Archive | February 2014


Congratulations to our OC students who have been selected to represent our school in debating this year.

Our debating coordinator, Miss Beker, had the very tough job of holding try-outs and selecting the teams. There was a huge interest from students and many fine candidates. Well done to everyone who had a go!

Yr 5 Train On Team - Heidi and Cala Yr 5 Premier's Team - Louis, Sarah, Max, Joseph and Zane

Year 5 Train On Team – Heidi and Cala.

Year 5 Premier’s Team – Louis, Sarah, Max, Joseph and Zane.

Year 6 Team – Demaris, Dayna, Eva and Rory.

The debating competition season commences at the end of this term. Students in the Year 5 Premier’s Team also received an invitation this week to attend a debating workshop next Friday with Miss Beker.

Art Supply Surprise!

If you happened to be walking past the OC room today at recess you probably would have thought Christmas had come early! We received a terrific surprise when our Woolworths Earn and Learn order arrived, full of lots of exciting art materials and resources for students.

As you can see in the photos, students had a great time helping me unpack all of our new materials and also enjoyed the shredded paper packaging! Thanks to all our families who helped support this program.


Global Environments


As part of our study of the HSIE unit Global Environments, students learnt about rainforests this week.

Below are several examples from our talented students who have done an amazing job writing descriptions about this type of environment. Enjoy!


The fern green leaves dripped with moisture, hot and humid, sticky and alive.

Ants the size of erasers march alongside decaying tangerine leaves… beetles and crickets beware!

The smell of rotting flesh stifles the scent of fresh rain, but in the shallows, sanctuary is found as the waterfall pounds the rocks below.

Anteaters, ocelots, jaguars and panthers crawl, pounce and trot.  Eating ants and each other, silent and deadly.

A gigantic fleshy flower the size of a car tyre, rose red with alabaster spots, smelling like rotting flesh, attracting flies like a beacon from miles around.

Gigantic trees tower into the sky like giant green skyscrapers, hosting life, like their city counterparts. Vines hanging to and fro, tree to tree, caramel and tawny-coloured wood dotted with pickle-coloured moss and tan lichen.

Tarsiers hunt in darkness, gigantic eyes, never blinking , always watching. Snakes hunt for marmosets, while the eerie ‘tap, tap, tap’ of the aye – ayes search for wood grubs in complete darkness.

Dawn comes as tree frogs jump and dart away from predatory tarantulas. Bromeliads host life in tiny pools amongst the boughs of giants.

Toucans pluck fruit from the boughs that grow upon the trees, epiphytes leech nutrients from their gigantic hosts, while some merely grow upon pockets of collected earth, such as the magenta bromeliads forming tiny pools in-between their leaves, but to their inhabitants it is a gigantic lake, although still full of life.

Eagles soar above the tree tops, hunting their quarry with telescope like vision. Bats roam the skies at night – silhouettes across the inky black sky, dotted with millions upon millions of stars, but not for long – the age of man has come!

Written by Oliver


The Rainforest

The fresh, cool rain drizzled, revitalising the dark green forest, slowly trailing down the leaves, only to fall onto the trunk of the tree. It found its way to the roots of the magnificent redwood tree, where it would then be absorbed into the soft moss that carpeted the forest floor.

The usually small creek that puddled in the middle of the forest now cuts through like a cold, metallic knife. The cold, refreshing water eventually pounds over a forceful drop, ending up at a calm and tranquil lake, where all the native forest animals, such as leopards and jaguars drink, if the rainfall is good.

The dark green canopy of trees stood above the forest like silent protectors, ready to take the weight of anything nature had to throw at them, such as ferocious lightning, rain-storms, and extreme wind.

Written by Rory


The thunder rolled around the lush shamrock-coloured ferns that lived all around the rainforest.

The 350 year old beech trees sheltered a lot of the heavy downfall from the younger, more vulnerable shrubbery beneath.

The swift speeding rapids of the freshly made stream tumbled over the rocks adding to the amplified sound of the thunder as lightning flashed across the sky, striking trees alight, only to be extinguished by rain and the saturated mossy wood.

The animals scampered around the trees looking for some substantial shelter beneath the undergrowth. Even the jaguars stalked away from the usually irresistible smaller game running around helplessly to escape the extreme downpour.

This is the rainforest.

Written by Dan


Last week, information was sent home with students about this year’s ICAS University of NSW competitions and the Australian Maths Trust competitions.


These competitions allow the opportunity for students to demonstrate their skills in a variety of learning areas and receive a diagnostic assessment of their results.


I have attached copies of these notes below for families who are interested in their child taking part. The competitions are held later in the year, but notes and payment need to be returned to school by the cut off date so that the required materials can be ordered.

ICAS Competition Note 2014          AMC Competition Note 2014

Some of our 2013 participents receiving their certificates

Some of our 2013 participants receiving their certificates


Principal’s Personal Best

Congratulations to our students who were recognised for their achievements at this week’s Principal’s Personal Best assembly.

Wk 5 Principal’s Personal Best – Sarah; SRC members – Noah and Dayna; Merit awards – Heidi and Daniel; TICs award – Jasmine; School Leaders – Demaris, Eva and Rory.

Star Struck

It’s that time of year again when students are busily learning the dance for this year’s Star Struck performance.

Ms Brown has been working with students at lunchtime to learn the dance so our school team can be formed. She has kindly shared this link to the video so students who would like to practice at home can do so.

Good luck everyone!
2014 Primary Finale – Audition Piece
Audition Video

Great Aussie Bush Camp

Today the OC embarked on their first excursion together – a day trip to the Great Aussie Bush Camp at Tea Gardens!

Students participated in a variety of team building and peer support activities including the dual flying fox, high ropes and raft building.

It was fantastic to see the students working together and encouraging one another during the obstacle courses and challenges.

A big thank you to our wonderful instructors, Chelsea and Grace, who took Team Unicorn (our new class name!) through the days events and provided enthusiasm and encouragement.

The bravery award goes to Demaris, who found herself stuck at the half way point on the flying fox. She kept smiling even when poor Chelsea fell out of her canoe on her first rescue attempt!

Thanks for a terrific day, OC! I’m sure everyone will sleep well tonight after our exciting adventures today. Great job!

Reading Buddies


Today the OC participated in their first session of Reading Buddies with students from 1E.

Reading Buddies is a program where older students are paired with younger students for one-on-one reading time. The program aims to develop reading skills and enhance self confidence, academic performance and a love of reading.

Well done to our students for sharing their positivity and enthusiasm for reading with our younger students. It was a joy to watch!

Binary Numbers

Today the OC received a special visit from Dr Elena Prieto-Rodriguez (Computer Science- Mathematics) who is a lecturer from the University of Newcastle.

Elena very generously offered her time to come and share some of her skills and expertise with the students in the OC. Today we learnt all about binary numbers and computer codes.

I was very impressed to see some astute code breakers amongst our students who enjoyed the mathematical challenge and concepts explored during the session. We look forward to having Elena come and work with our class again in the near future.



Today our students had their first sport session of karate with Sensei Mark from Newcastle Karate. It was great to see so many students get involved in this terrific sport opportunity for Term 1. Even Mr Selwood couldn’t help having a go!

Have a look at the photos below of students demonstrating their impressive new moves.