Aurora College

Telephone1300 287 629

Emailauroracoll-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au

From the Principals desk

This week, all parents and care givers of Aurora students in Years 5 to 10 should have received correspondence related to the Residential School to be held in Canberra from October 24 to 28.

The decision to ‘go ahead’ with the Residential School followed extensive consultation with the Department’s COVID Taskforce. This process included the development of an approved COVID Safe Plan which adheres to the current Public Health Orders and the NSW Department of Education’s protocols. Of course, either or both may change before the Residential School is underway. If so, we will update our advice and plan accordingly.

I acknowledge and appreciate the disquiet that some parents/carers have expressed about two attendance requirements. At the time of writing this article, Public Health Orders prevent any COVID-positive individual from using taxis, ride share services, public transport or from flying. Consequently, if your son or daughter develops COVID-19 whilst on camp, they would need to be transported home in a reasonable time frame by you or a family member in a private vehicle.

In the context of overnight excursions and residential settings, a ‘close contact’ is defined by the Department as a student or staff member who has slept overnight in a room shared with a confirmed COVID-positive case. The Department considers such individuals to be at ‘high risk’ of being infected with COVID-19 and current guidelines require close contacts to also be transported home in a reasonable time frame in a private vehicle.

The Residential School is an important component of the Aurora experience; however, we understand the capacity of families to collect COVID-positive and/or close contact children from Canberra may be limited in some cases. For this reason, attendance at the Residential School will not be mandatory. If your son or daughter is not in attendance, alternative tasks may be completed in their home school during times when their Aurora lessons would otherwise occur. 

If your son or daughter contracts COVID-19 on camp, they will be cared for by a registered nurse and a member of the Senior executive, in an area of the Canberra Park site which will minimise the risk to other students and staff. This facility will also be available on Friday 24 October and Saturday 25 October, should parents/carers be unable to collect their child prior to the conclusion of the camp.

Having a medical professional onsite 24 hours a day is one of a number of measures the school will be taking to promote a COVID-safe Residential School. A designated ‘COVID Marshal’ will also ensure the camp is conducted with the highest standards of COVID-19 safety.

We can all help to promote a COVID-safe camp by ensuring firstly that your child conducts a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) on Sunday 23 October or a Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) test on Friday 21 October. Under the current guidelines, no student or staff member who tests positive to COVID-19 and/or is identified as a household or close contact will be permitted to participate in the Residential School. Please refer to the documentation provided via email for further details and other requirements.

On Tuesday 30 August at 6:00 pm (AEST), we will be hosting a livestream meeting at which we will update you on preparations for the Residential School and will answer any questions you may have. In a follow-up email closer to the date, we will provide all families with the relevant connection details. In preparation for the livestream, I invite you to add your questions to this form: https://forms.office.com/r/UwB4NA0i7V

Last night, the Aurora College Parents and Citizens Association (ACPCA) held its Annual General Meeting (AGM). As is the case at most AGMs, the occasion marked a change in who is to serve in many of the leadership roles. I am very pleased to welcome the incoming president for 2022-2023, Gail Richardson, and returning office bearers, Wendy Zanon and Leise Farquharson.

In welcoming the new office bearers, I would also like to thank the outgoing leadership for their hard work over the past 12 months. Leise, Narelle, Nicole, Wendy and Seamus have all done a great job in continuing to grow NSW’s first virtual P and C, and our school is stronger for their efforts.

A reminder to all Aurora parents and citizens, you can show your support of our school by joining the ACPCA at https://aurora.schools.nsw.gov.au/parents-and-citizens--association/how-to-join.html. The cost of membership for one year is only $5.

Enjoy another great edition of The Auracle.

Chris Robertson | Principal

Deputy Principals report

A big thank you to all Aurora and partner school staff for going the extra mile to continue to deliver quality education to our students during extraordinary times.

Trial HSC examinations and the HSC

Trials HSC examinations were completed by Aurora students during week 4 & 5 this term and are most likely in full swing in most partner schools; creating considerable stress for students during this period. For further information on coping strategies for exam stress, click on the following link https://au.reachout.com/articles/coping-strategies-for-exam-stress to access some helpful strategies from REACH OUT.

Students and their parents should also note that an enormous amount of growth can happen following the Trial HSC examinations and how important this growth will be for HSC examination results. I wish all Year 12 students the best of luck with their examinations.

Please note: Preliminary Yearly Examinations begin in Week 8. These examinations will be an opportunity for Year 11 students to further develop the necessary skills in preparation for their HSC year.

Leadership conference

Our leadership conference last term was able to be a face-to-face meeting in Sydney at the Aurora office. The leadership conference allows us to welcome Aurora’s leaders and aspiring leaders from around NSW to focus on various aspects of implementing the Strategic Improvement Plan, as well as professional learning to support the school. We were privileged to work with James Anderson, looking at Learnership for Leaders and being agile leaders in the Aurora College context. Also on the agenda was a look at platforms such as iSee, with a focus on how we continue to use technology to deliver quality education and increase student engagement. The second day was spent delving into the Aboriginal Education Policy, as well as understanding and composing an Acknowledgment of Country with Les Pitt and his team from Aboriginal Education Team based at the Tuggerah. This was a fantastic day supporting our important role in Aboriginal education and closing the gap for our students and communities. Thank you, Serena McLean, for a relaxing session on wellbeing.

In Week 6 this term we will be returning to an online leadership conference focused on continuing to build and strengthen our leadership team and collaborative culture. Again, more time will be devoted to the planning, implementation and assessment of our Strategic Improvement Plan.

Subject selection process

The process of selecting subjects and developing timetables for 2023 is now in full swing in most schools. Students in Year 10 will be making subject selection choices for Years 11 and 12. If your child is unable to study a subject or subjects in Year 11 or 12 at their home school, or if they wish to continue their studies through Aurora College, further information can be accessed on our website. https://aurora.schools.nsw.gov.au/learning/senior-school/senior-enrolment-information.html

Communicating with Aurora

If any of our students are in need of support, their first point of contact is usually the Aurora College Coordinator in their home school. If students are absent for an assessment, not understanding assessment guidelines or not understanding classwork, they are encouraged to communicate directly with their teachers. Parents who would like to contact an Aurora teacher to discuss any concerns can do so by contacting the coordinating office by phone on 1300 287 629 or email at auroracoll-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au

What’s coming up later?

Carolyn McMurtrie | Deputy Principal

Residential School

The long-awaited Residential information email is here! We thank you for your patience.

Residential is a very rewarding program which gives our students a chance to meet their peers and teachers in a physical environment. We have a diverse range of excellent activities on offer. The Residential will run in Term 4 2022, Monday 24th October – Friday 28th October for all students in Years 5-10. The Residential will be held in Canberra where students in Years 5-9 will attend the Canberra Park venue while students in Year 10 will attend the Ibis Styles, Eaglehawk venue.

While Residential is an important part of the Aurora curriculum and we encourage everyone to attend, due to the mandatory requirements that must be acknowledged and agreed to in the ‘Acknowledgement of COVID procedure/permission” form, we understand if attendance is not possible for everyone.

Please read the information below very carefully and ensure you complete the necessary steps.

Next steps:

  1. Please read the Residential Information handbook sent out via email for more information. Please refer to page 11 for all costings.
  2. Complete “Acknowledge of COVID Procedures/permissions (Form 2 of 2)” form emailed via SchoolBytes
  3. Complete “Residential Camp, 2022 (Form 1 of 2)” form separately emailed via SchoolBytes
  4. Complete PowerKart Indemnity Form, scan and email back to auroracoll-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au.
  5. Complete online PowerKart Registration Form. Link found on page 1 of Residential Information handbook.

Please complete the ‘Acknowledgement of COVID procedures/permissions’ first. If you are not comfortable with the mandatory conditions then your child will not be eligible to attend the Residential School.

If there are any questions please email: auroracoll-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au.

Connor Boyko | Rlg Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

Events

Res Camp Q & A Livestream

Do you have a question about the Residential School camp? We’re hosting a Q&A session all about Res Camp 2 in Term 4, 2022 on Tuesday 30th August at 6:00pm (AEST).

Join our Principal, Chris Robertson, Deputy Principal Secondary, Carolyn McMurtrie, A/Deputy Principal Primary, Serena McLean, and R/Head Teacher Teaching and Learning, Connor Boyko, to hear the answers to your questions.

Submit your questions before the event using this link: https://forms.office.com/r/UwB4NA0i7V

Parent Webinars

Managing Anxiety with Karen Young

On Tuesday 26 July, Karen Young from Hey Sigmund presented a series of student masterclasses, staff professional learning and a parent webinar on how to manage the big feelings of anxiety. Karen is a very engaging speaker, and her sessions offered practical strategies to students and parents alike. Feedback from parents said they enjoyed “the points of anchoring, and using the sense were recognisable and practical” and that her work was “excellent and relevant to many parents”. 

We would love for more parents to attend these vey valuable sessions. We are thrilled to host James Anderson on Thursday 22 September, who will be presenting on Leadership and the ways students can harness habits of mind and growth mindset to learn in the best ways. We also have gifted education expert Dianne Bond from the GERRIC School at University of NSW presenting on Monday 21 November. 

Watch the Aurora College website for future chances to register for parent webinars. 

HSC Study Days 

13 Study Days, hundreds of schools, and over 9000 students! 

We finished our Science and Mathematics HSC Study Days last week and are having a few weeks rest for Trial examinations before our English Study Days begin. Our amazing presenters were drawn from not only Aurora College, but also from the wider communities of schools. I would like to offer an enormous heart-felt thanks to all our expert presenters- we couldn’t do it without you! 

We have three sessions coming up, with English Standard (31 August), English Advanced (6 September) and English Extension 1 (14 September). We have some incredible presenters sharing their expertise in these sessions, including English Teaching Consultant Jane Sherlock, Rosemary Henzell from Willoughby Girls High, Julie Roberts from the Rural Learning Exchange, and Aurora College’s very own Jowen Hillyer. We even have one session where students will get the opportunity to speak with the author of the text they are studying. With thanks to Frances Dwyer of West Wyalong, Alana Valentine, the author of the play Shafana and Aunt Sarrinah, will work directly with our students.  

More information is available on the Aurora College website.

Masterclasses

Not only have we enjoyed a Masterclass with Karen Young around Managing Anxiety, we have also enjoyed The Secrets of the Universe with Macquarie Uni’s Professor Andrew Hopkins. Masterclasses continue to be a way to share great content with students from experts in their fields.

Marnie Etheridge | Rlg Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

Co-curricular

Term 3 Week 3 Assembly

On Friday 5 August, the final day of Education Week, the Aurora College SRC held an assembly to acknowledge the achievements of students. Awards were presented for Student of the Term and Perfect Attendance, and it was an opportunity for students to hear from our Principal, Mr Robertson, about seeking support in times of need.

A popular part of our student assemblies is the Robots and Robertson draw, and our Year 5 and 6 Opportunity Class students were very excited to take part. Congratulations to all our award recipients, prize winners, and outstanding SRC hosts for the day. We become what we repeatedly do.

Virginia Cluff | Instructional Leader

Bright lights

State Wind Band

Good luck to Anthony Bethe who will be performing with the State Wind Band at the Sydney Opera House next week.

Anthony gave an outstanding performance recently at the Leeton Eisteddfod in both the Band Solo, and the Individual Instrumental sections. His efforts were rewarded with the Jean Dodds Trophy for outstanding performance.

Congratulations Anthony, and have a great performance at the Opera House!

Academic Excellence

Flinders Bean has earned the gold award for Academic Excellence in the combined Macleay region.

Well done Flinders!

Student opportunities

Harding Miller Scholarships

Applications are now being accepted for the Harding Miller Scholarships. Be sure to submit yours before they close on Wednesday 14th September.

The Foundation has supported just over 800 students since inception in 2016. The scholarships are worth more than $20,000 over 4 years and are focused on providing practical tools and resources to support the students to excel at their public high school.

Over time, the Foundation has been able to increase the extra experiences and support to their scholars through study skills resources, book vouchers, tertiary open day programs, as well as career profiling and workplace experiences – both online and in person.

The Foundation attempts to provide students with exposure to as many different industries and career paths as possible with a focus towards STEM opportunities, because it teaches critical thinking and instils a passion for innovation – key skills for the future!

For more information, visit: https://www.hardingmillereducationfoundation.org.au/

Staff spotlight

Meet Kim Morris

Where is your 'home base'?

I am a 'shared' staff member of Aurora College and  Southern Cross School of Distance Education in Ballina.

What is your local community like?

My local community is a coastal region on the North Coast of NSW (south of Byron Bay). Everyone in some way is connected to the beach and water; whether it is for surfing, boating, walking, bike riding, kayaking, whale watching or fishing.

Like many parts of NSW, our community has experienced a lot of hardship recently with floods, bushfires and drought. Surviving all of that has demonstrated how resilient the community is.

What is your role at Aurora College?

I am the Careers Advisor. There is so much new information to process and new jobs and training are happening all of the time. It is a very exciting time to be a young person, and helping our students in this space makes for a very interesting job.

What do you like about teaching at Aurora College?

Meeting so many new people from different places. Recently, I completed a Mentoring session with the mentor in Hong Kong, me in Ballina and a student in Murumbidgee. So cool!

What are your other interests?

My 2 rescue cats I've had for 12 years and netball. Unfortunately, I've had to retire ungracefully from netball with a torn calf muscle, so walking, going to the gym, reading, gardening, and volunteering for the flood relief in Lismore keeps me busy.

Any other cool things we should know about you?

1. I dance really well at the school disco - hope there is one at our next residential.

2. Great sense of humour, but can't actually tell jokes.

3. I think I sing very well but in reality I am dreadful (in choir I was always told by my teacher to mouth the words so no-one would hear me)

4. I used to be a police officer. 

Connect locally, learn globally

Meet Nellie Yr 5

Where do you live?

I live in Grenfell, which is a town in Weddin Shire in the Central West of NSW. Some of our bigger neighbouring towns are Forbes, Cowra, West Wyalong and Young.

What is it like growing up in your town?

Grenfell is a small town, but it is fun to live in. People in our community are very supportive of eachother.

What is your favourite subject/s?

Maths and science

What do you like most about learning at Aurora?

That I am being extended in my studies and I am meeting new people from all over the state.

What are you other interests?

In my spare time I like to ski, learn about and use new tech, write and trampoline.

Do you have any career aspirations or ideas of what you might like to do in the future? 

I would like to become a physicist

Student Support - Library

Aurora College Reading Challenge

Now that the Premier’s Reading Challenge has finished for 2022, our students have the opportunity to complete an Aurora College Reading Challenge. The challenge is to read a book in at least 5 of the categories below before 1 December 2022:

  1. Read a book published in 2021 or 2022.

  2. Read a book that has been nominated for an award.

  3. Read a book of poetry or a verse novel.

  4. Read a book from the NAIDOC Week reading list in the Oliver library or a book from your home school or local library written by an Indigenous author.

  5. Read a non-fiction book.

  6. Read a book written by your favourite author.

  7. Read a book that someone has recommended to you.

  8. Read a book that is illustrated (picture book, non-fiction, artwork, comic, anime, graphic novel etc).

  9. Read a book by an author you have met (in person or online) such as Oliver Phommavanh (coming to Res 2 in October, 2022), Tristan Bancks, Melina Marchetta, Asphyxia, J.C. Burke, or any author that you’ve met at your home school, local library or a bookstore in the past.

  10. Read a play.

Students can email their completed challenge to Mrs Lieschke (lisa.lieschke@det.nsw.edu.au) with details of the books read. Successful students will receive Astras and completion certificates and will be entered in the draw for book vouchers for completing this challenge in 2022. 

Lisa Lieschke | Teacher Librarian

Student Support - Wellbeing

City Country Alliance

On Thursday 4 August, students from the Aurora College SRC were representatives at the very first meeting of the year for the City Country Alliance of Schools.

Our group comprises of Macintyre High School, St Ives High School, and Wyndham College. The virtual meeting was a wonderful opportunity to share what made our individual school communities unique and we were able to view school life from the perspective of student leaders in city and country locations across NSW. The student leaders spoke highly of their experiences throughout high school and the leadership skills that they demonstrated were a credit to their school communities.

Thank you to Emma and Soham who were our SRC representatives on the day. The bright lights of Aurora College are shining.

 

Student health support

The New South Wales Department of Education schools undertake collaborative individual health care planning to determine the best way for the individual health support needs of students to be met.

Recently, we sent out communication via email to families seeking feedback about support your child(ren) may need when engaging in school activities.

We ask that you check your email and if the documentation applies to your child(ren) please complete this paperwork and return to Aurora College via email auroracoll-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au by Monday 5 September. 

Julie Ruming | Head Teacher Welfare

Student Support - Careers

Careers NSW School Hub

Careers NSW is initiating a trial of its services to NSW public schools, and Aurora College is a part of this pilot program in Term 3, 2022. 

  • Students in Years 9-12 will be able to book a careers consultation appointment with a Careers Practitioner.

  • Parents and guardians of Aurora College students in Years 7-12 can book an online information session with a careers practitioner to discuss their child’s career development.

Find more information at https://education.nsw.gov.au/public-schools/career-and-study-pathways/careers-nsw-schools-hub

Newcastle University Open Day

Saturday 27 August 2022, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

Open Days are an exciting way to start your journey at university. It’s a great chance to chat with current students and academics and find out all you need to know about university life.

Find out more: https://www.newcastle.edu.au/open-day

Top Hints

  1. Time Management Hack - https://francescocirillo.com/pages/pomodoro-technique

  2. Enrol to Vote - https://www.aec.gov.au/

School based traineeships

A school-based apprenticeship is like any other apprenticeship or traineeship, but it begins while you are still studying at school, usually in Years 10, 11 or 12.

You will have the opportunity to work with an employer and get paid, while participating in vocational training that contributes to a Certificate II, III or higher vocational qualification. You’ll also spend some days at school like normal.

Fine out more:  https://www.aapathways.com.au/about/australian-school-based-apprenticeships

Kim Morris | Careers Advisor

Faculty - OC

Year 5 - Geometry Maze

Our Year 5 students have been combining their maths knowledge and their burgeoning coding skills to create a geometry maze.

Using a strict criteria of including a range of angle types and positional language, students designed a maze, which they then coded a Sphero robot to navigate..

Have a look at some of the work below! 

Year 6 - Algebra

Year 6 students have been upping the ante with their work in geometry too.

Students combined understanding of algebra and geometry to determine the missing angle, working collaboratively with their class mates, and also with the expert advice of Aurora College High School Mathematics Teachers.

Mr Gorton visited a few classes to give a well timed nudge or clue to help students navigate geometrical proofs to find that hidden answer.

Year 6 - Roboforce

Year 6 are now proficient with using the iSTEM design process.

This year, students have expanded their understanding by including a further three stages of identifying, brainstorming and evaluating. These new skills were taught, supported and then demonstrated through the Roboforce Project. 

In this project, Year 6 students designed, built and coded a Sphero Chariot to race at its top speed around a race track. Along the way they explored the application of a range of contact and non-contact forces.

Please have a browse through some of the exceptional work created below.

Year 6 - Game Changers 2022

On Wednesday 10 August, 11 teams from Aurora College's Year 6 cohort competed in the NSW Department of Education Game Changer Challenge Semi Final.

Wow, what a day! Our students attended the full day virtual event, exploring, ideating and refining some brilliant (and some slightly crazy) ideas. Literally hundreds of solutions were proposed to answer the Wicked problem: We have a global challenge of ensuring healthy lives for all, at all ages.

Students were delighted with the chance to work with their peers for an extended period of time, working as a team and collaboratively creating a pitch for an impressive judging panel. It was incredible to see the future citizens expressing a mature understanding of complex challenges, and providing innovative solutions that genuinely empathised with the needs of communities all around NSW.

Year 5 - The Jiggler Challenge

‘The Jiggler Challenge’ is the second project undertaken by Year 5 students.

In this project, students learn about the design process and build an online design portfolio that includes documentation of their prototyping and iterating stages.

The innovation, originality and ingenuity were clear as Year 5 students rose to the challenge.

Beth Hodson | Rlg. Assistant Principal

Faculty - English, Languages, and HSIE

Year 9 

Year 9 English have been examining the Lived Experience of different groups in Australia - from Aboriginal experience through to refugees and differently abled Australians. They examined literature, documentaries, poetry and non fiction memoirs so that they could show their deep understanding in a presentation format called Pecha Kucha.

Essentially, it was only created in 2003 but has worldwide popularity and is used frequently in contemporary business presentations. To explain simply, it is mainly images on a slide rather than words, so that audiences are not giving ‘death by PowerPoint’ with speakers reading an essay off a slide. It asks the presenter to think more metaphorically, engaging their higher order skills.

The total time given in a traditional Pecha Kucha is 6:40 seconds - 20 seconds for each slide and 20 slides in total. Since Year 9 are beginners in this sophisticated slide presentation style we allowed a little leeway, but as you will see the presentations were engaging and well considered.

Pecha Kucha - Esther W

Pecha Kucha - Ivy L

Year 10 

In Term 2, Year 10 completed a unit called ‘Poets and Context’ and explored the world of performance or ‘slam’ poetry. They delved into the distinctive and engaging works of Australian poets Omar Musa and Luka Lesson, as well as the powerful and evocative work of British poet Kae Tempest.

Students analysed the work of these poets and were asked to consider: How does a poet’s body of work represent their experience in particular contexts?

The summative assessment for the unit asked students to create a recorded presentation in the style of a ‘TED talk’, where they could explore how the personal and cultural context of their chosen poet permeates their work and influences the subject matter and tone of their performance pieces. Students put in a great deal of work to create presentations that were thoughtful, articulate and engaging. 

Harry K

Adibah T

Kate I

Luca GK

Jowen Hillyer | Head Teacher English, Languages, and HSIE

Faculty - Mathematics and Software Design & Development

Mathematics Competitions

We had over 200 students opt to compete in the 2022 Australian Mathematics Competition on 4 August! This was an outstanding turnout and effort from all involved. 

The next mathematics competition running is the ICAS Mathematics Competition, which is scheduled for 30 August.  We wish our participating students all the best! 

Parallel.org.uk will also be starting back up in September! Our current leaders for the year are:  

Year 7 – Kit Hardy

Year 8 – Emma King

Year 9 – Anneliese Rothe

Year 10 – Hayley Fraser 

Assessment Tasks

All students in Years 7-10 should have received instructions for assessment task 3. 

Year 7 and 9 – Due 25 August, 5pm

Year 8 and 10– Due 18 August, 5pm 

Please see your teachers well before the due date if you have any questions or concerns. Students who are absent on the due date or otherwise unable to submit should contact the school and make an Illness/Misadventure application. 

Classwork and homework

Every Mathematics student has access to a list in their OneNote of exactly what classwork needs to be done and their progress towards completing that. It is expected that students are regularly checking and updating their Completion of Work (COW) trackers and catching up on any missed classwork. 

Students who have missed work or were absent are expected to complete that work outside of class time. Recordings of their lessons can be found in their Term Planner, which is also in every student’s OneNote. Students also all have access to their textbook via box of books. These textbooks have written explanations and worked examples to assist students in practising a concept. Most exercises also have video links at the top, and Mathspace links which contain practice questions with videos of worked solutions. 

Students also have access to optional weekly homework in Mathspace that is tracked by teachers and comprised of a small number of mixed revision questions. A number of students are sitting at 100% complete to date! Congratulations to those students who are setting themselves up for success in their future studies.  

Calculators

Students are required to have their own personal physical calculator, separate from their other devices for all mathematics lessons. A single calculator can last students their entire 7-12 schooling, as most allow batteries to be changed when necessary. The list of calculators approved for the HSC can be found at NESA’s approved calculators website page. 

We recommend the Casio FX-82AU plus II, which is the calculator most staff will be using. The Abacus calculators are very similar to Casio, and most staff are also familiar with the Sharp calculator range and able to assist students. 

Karen Bellamy | Rlg. Head Teacher Mathematics and Sofware Design & Development

Faculty - Science

Welcome back to Term 3 everyone!

Assessments in this term are focused on examinations for students in Years 7 to 12. We are starting with the Year 12 trials, followed by the Year 11 exams in Week 8 and then examinations for Years 7 to 10 in the last two weeks. Timetables for exams will be sent to schools soon.

In preparation for these important assessments, we encourage our students to complete all the classwork, flipped lessons and practicals to consolidate their learning and gather valuable feedback from the teachers to improve in areas of weakness. The most successful students in exams are not usually the smartest, but rather the hardest workers who achieve best results.

Practicals

Students must attend and complete their science practicals in our partner schools. Pratcicals for juniors and seniors are compulsory, as they are part of the mandatory component of the science curriculum. 

Science practical teachers mark the roll for each practical and any absences contibute to the general attendance rate for each student. The same applies to the senior practical days.

Senior practical days for the rest of this term: 

Science Week

Week 5 – 15th to 19th August is Science Week, a time to celebrate our passion for science. The theme for this year is GLASS. That means everything related to the properties of glass. 

Students will participate in a competition during class time, and our teachers are working hard to organise some fun activities.

Around the classrooms

Year 11 Biology students are learning about cell structure and functions, and are developing skills in drawing scientific diagrams. Here are some wonderful examples of those drawings, which can be recognised as pieces of art.

Around the classrooms

Year 9 is developing scientific literacy skills. Students were recently asked to create a story from the point of view of a carbon atom and a nitrogen atom as they flow through their respective cycles. Students were given the choice of how they wanted to present their understanding, for example to write a creative story, poem, or drawing.

Examples are shared below:

A story about an atom of Nitrogen - Eric H

Once upon a time a nitrogen atom was happy, in the atmosphere around it, but then, tragedy struck! In the form of a lightning strike! This initiated nitrogen-fixing, and soon the nitrogen went down a dangerous path. They, desperate in the terrifying moment, had bonded with some oxygen, becoming nitrogen oxide, but this was a terrible mistake! Due to the storm, there was moisture everywhere, and they were now a perfect target! As the nitrogen dissolved into an ever-growing droplet they began to precipitate, weighed down by gravity much more than they ever had before. As they slowly sank into the soil they slowly dispersed, mixing with the soil over time, but then, there was a reason the nitrogen atom had never gone to the ground before, micro-organisms! As they looked for food, they got closer and closer until he was digested, but all was not lost, for the micro-organisms released the nitrogen, now free as a gas again into the air, home at last.

A story about a carbon and nitrogen atom meeting from Carlos’ (carbon’s) point of view, by Aisha Sims 9SCI6

All my friends and I were celebrating, we made it to the atmosphere. The long task was finally finished. I looked to my side and caught my eye on nitrogen. I tried to look away, but I couldn’t, my eyes were fixated on her, she was the most beautiful atom I had ever seen. She looked away and started floating away. I should not follow, I know that, but I have to. I have to know her. I flew to her, when I caught up to her there was a bit of awkwardness, but we both occasionally looked at each other, we could both tell we liked each other.

We were getting along, when suddenly I felt a pulling sensation, I was sinking. The last thing I saw was Nita chasing after me. I was in a tree; I was a part of the carbon cycle. Photosynthesis, that's the first stage, I am flowing through the tree providing health to the plant. And darkness, where am I? Oh, I was in the dirt, I was one of the unlucky ones, I wasn't just dispersed back into the air where I could be with Nita. It was in the dirt where I met Nita. She was nice, she explained what was about to happen to me, and how I can get back to Nita. I was going to go through a decomposer, like a mushroom or fungi.

Silvia Rudmann | Rlg. Head Teacher Science