Archive | July 2014

Education Week

A big thank you to all our parents, grandparents and family friends who helped celebrate Education Week with us today.

Well done to Dan and Sarah who did an amazing job performing their speeches at the assembly to over 170 visitors!

It was great to have so many family members join us in our classroom for our cup tower challenge. Students used 100 plastic cups for 2 challenge tasks. The first, they had to design and construct a tall free-standing tower and the second was to construct a supportive tower at least 30cm tall that could hold weight. Lots of noise but lots of fun! Thanks to everyone who got involved.

ICAS Science and Computer Skills

Congratulations to our students who participated in the 2014 ICAS Science and Computer Skills competitions. Students received their results and certificates at today’s assembly.

Well done to our Science participants: Adrian – participation; Nelson – credit; Sarah – credit; Lachlan – distinction (top 4%); Eva – distinction (top 6%); and Dan – high distinction (top 1% and our Principal’s award recipient).

Our Computer Skills participants: Zane – credit; Max – credit; Nelson – credit; Lachlan – credit; Sarah – credit; Eva – distinction (top 8%); Dan – distinction (top 8%); and Adrian – distinction (top 8% and our Principal’s award recipient).

Term 3 Overview

Welcome back for Term 3! Below is an overview of some of the opportunities and learning programs students will be involved in this term. Remember to visit the OC Events page as I will be updating it regularly throughout the term when dates and information become available.

Camp Quality Fun Day

Notes have been sent home for this term’s SRC fundraiser for Camp Quality – taking place in Week 4 on 6th August. Students may come dressed out of uniform for a gold coin donation. There will be a comedy talent show for students wishing to audition and a pizza lunch.


Homework for students will begin next week (Week 2). Homework consists of a choice menu, where you can negotiate with your child what activities to complete at home. Please ensure homework is handed in on a Friday.

Class Needs

It’s that time of year when many students need to replenish materials and equipment. Please encourage your child to bring the required equipment each, in particular – glue stick, USB, headphones, pens. We are also running low on tissues.  

Student Welfare

This term we have introduced a new whole school welfare policy and have already begun implementing this with students. Our focus is about positive behaviour for learning incorporating our whole school core values of respect, responsibility and quality. The focus for Term 3 is respect and Term 4 will be responsibility. As part of our classroom behaviour system, students have the opportunity to be recognised for positive behaviour with the aim to reach the ‘Mastery’ level. Students who demonstrate Mastery during the week will receive a Mastery ribbon for our core value on a Friday. This new system replaces the Star Card program. Students who achieve 5 Mastery ribbons within the term will be recognised at our new Hall of Fame assembly (this will replace Principal’s Personal Best) and be invited to attend a special morning tea with Mr Selwood at the end of the term. All Hall of Fame recipients will have their photo taken and displayed on our new Hall of Fame wall (currently under construction) in the lower hall.


This term students will be studying the class novel Animal Farm by George Orwell. We have begun learning about the roles in a  Literature Circle and students will participate in discussion groups as the term progresses. 

Well done and thank you to all the students who brought in a book that they read during the holidays for discussion first day back. It was great to see so many passionate readers share their thoughts and reviews.

OC Book Club

A note was sent home today about our new OC Book Club. This is voluntary for students who love to read and discuss books. Our first novel is The Giver by Lois Lowry. Our first Book Club will meet in Week 7. If you have any questions or would like further information, please let me know.


Each morning students begin with D.R.A.W – daily reading and writing. Students will be learning about a variety of concepts and devices to enhance their writing skills and will use these to produce imaginative, informative and persuasive texts. Part of this process involves students sharing their work with peers for critiquing and publishing finished pieces of writing on their individual blogs. This term our  main focus will be producing informative texts. I will continue to showcase quality examples on the blog.

Students will also have the opportunity to participate in a variety of writing competitions. I will also share student entries on our blog.


During our maths sessions, students will work in groups, covering a different strand each week. The maths content we will be covering this term includes: Fractions & Decimals, Angles, Volume & Capacity, Mass, Patterns & Algebra, Chance, Length, Area and Data. Students will continue their participation the in annual Maths Olympiad – 3 to go! So far, students have been doing a terrific job solving these challenging problems. Students also have the opportunity to access past Olympiad papers as part of the homework options.

The ICAS Maths competition is coming up in Week 5 and the Australian Maths competition in Week 4 for students who have paid. All students in Year 5 and 6 will take part in the Newcastle Permanent Maths competition in Week 7.

Premiers Reading Challenge

Well done to the students who are taking part in this year’s challenge and who have been entering their books online. There’s not long to go – all reading logs need to be completed by 22/8/14 (end of Week 6) for validation. Keep reading!!

Premiers Spelling Bee

One of my favourite events – the Premiers Spelling Bee – will be taking place this term in Week 5. Information will be sent home soon for students who wish the participate. Parents and carers will also have the opportunity to come and watch the Spelling Bee.

Parent/Teacher Interviews

At the end of this term we will again hold parent/teacher interviews to discuss student progress and development. These interviews will also allow the opportunity to review student’s Individual Educational Plans (IEP). The online booking system will again be used and information regarding this will be sent home closer to the end of term.


At the end of this term is our Stage 3 excursion to Canberra. Thank you to all the families who have finalised payments or been making regular instalments. If you require assistance or have any questions, please let me know.

The OC will also be taking part in the Science and Engineering Discovery Day in Week 9. Permission notes will be sent home later this term.

Arrangements are currently being made for the Interschool Chess Challenge, which our students qualified for last term. As soon as a date and venue are confirmed, I will let families know.


This term students will continue their study of Australian history by focusing on Democracy and Federal Government, in preparation for our 3 day excursion to Canberra.  Students will have the opportunity to investigate the people and processes involved in legislative, executive and judicial functions of Federal government. This unit of work also focuses on the responsibilities of
different levels of government and how parliaments work.

Maths Buddies

Last term our class worked with 1E and 2B for our Writing Buddies program. This term we will be focusing on Maths where students will have the opportunity to share their problem solving skills with our younger students and create and develop mathematical learning games.

CEP Outdoor Festival

Our school will be taking part in the Callaghan Education Pathways (CEP) Outdoor Media Festival in Term 4. This is shaping up to be a fun event with lots of schools getting involved. Part of the festival involves a short film screening and the OC have to fun task of making a film for our school. We will begin working on our filming project this term. Information about the CEP Outdoor Festival will be sent towards the end of this term.


This term is already looking to be very busy with lots of exciting events taking place. The Zone Athletics carnival will be held over 2 days in Weeks 2 and 3 for our qualifying representatives. We will have several Year 6 students attend the Hunter GATs camp in Week 2 – have a great time. Congratulations to the students who were selected to attend the Creative and Performing Arts camp this term. Good luck to Dan and Sarah, who will represent our school in the Public Speaking competition next week. There are also two more Aim High programs happening for nominated Year 5 students this term – visual arts and maths. The English ICAS competition will take place in Week 3.

We will be receiving a visit from our Scientists in Schools partner, Dr Graeme, next week (weather permitting) to race our solar carts. Fingers crossed that we may finally get a sunny day. In Week 4 we will also have a class visit from our Mathematicians in Schools partner, Dr Jarad.

In Week 9 this term, students will be organising our Year 6 Fair which is a fun celebration day for all students and our major fundraising initiative for our Year 6 Farewell and school gift.

Finally, congratulations to all the students who have had a wonderful start to the term. Please feel free to contact me with any questions regarding OC learning programs or events.


Here are some writing samples students published last term.

#BAN THE CAN – Students used a stimulus which asked them to persuade or dissuade their audience to eat canned unicorn meat. You decide?

img069 Oliver – Unicorn

Louis – Unicorn

Max – Unicorn

Heidi – Unicorn

Unicorns – Cala

Nelson – Unicorn


ad (left) courtesy of Oliver




Which Door? Students used the image below and chose to write either a persuasive or imaginative text…

Picture1Which Door – Dan

Jack – Which Door

Louis – Which Door

Oliver- Which Door

Which door – Rory

Will I ever find it.docx