This week Stuart and I were fortunate enough to attend a professional learning opportunity with world acclaimed Professor Yong Zhao.
Professor Zhao currently works at the University of Kansas and was previously the Presidential Chair and Director of the Institute for Global and Online Education at the University of Oregon, where he is also a Professor in the Department of Educational Measurement, Policy, and Leadership.
He is a professorial fellow for Health and Education Policy and his work focuses on the implications of globalization and technology on education. He has published over 100 articles and 30 books, including Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Dragon: Why China has the Best (and Worst) Education System in the World, Catching Up or Leading the Way: American Education in the Age of Globalization and World Class Learners: Educating Creative and Entrepreneurial Students.
His ideas and big picture thinking about education were incredibly inspiring, as was his passion and commitment to children, their learning and well-being.
Some of the take-home messages were:
Everyone can learn!
We are each born with incredible creative capacity!
Everybody is creative at a genius level at age 4 but then it rapidly declines … how can we protect and foster this creativity throughout schooling and on into our lives?
The foundation of learning is CREATIVITY!
Developing a growth mindset supports learning!
We need to help children to discover and nurture their strengths and talents – the more diverse theses are – the better for our society!
Technology is advancing at such an incredible rate, the challenge is to find our passion and to tap into our own creativity and strengths – to become uniquely great so that we can carve out a niche for ourselves!
A good education creates a very broad and diverse curriculum
Less assessment, more feedback!
Important to give children more autonomy and agency – at home and at school!
Children need to learn to ask good questions, to identify real world problems and to employ creative thinking to solving them!
We need to think more globally!
In a world and an education system driven by league tables, Naplan data, testing regimes and more, Yong Zhao’s messages really resonated with all the leaders in the room. Schools and families are being challenged to continue to support children to discover and develop the special abilities, interests and talents they each possess, so they can create a niche for themselves, in a world where technology is having an ever increasing impact, on the nature of the work we do and on how we live – now and into the future.
In Year 2 we have been learning about Indigenous culture. We have loved reading a variety of Dreamtime stories, including the story of ‘The Waakarl’. The children have created their own representations of a ‘spirit snake’, and have experimented with different Aboriginal symbols to complete their artwork.
Long ago there was a snake called the Waakarl. It was enormous! The Aboriginal people thought the Waakarl made the hills and the rivers and everything in the world. (By Harry H)
In the Dreamtime, there was a rainbow snake that made the earth. When the snake moved across the ground it pushed the rocks out of the way and made the Swan River and made the the other rivers and the other things in the world. (By Oliver H)
We are now working on writing our own versions of a ‘Dreamtime story’, and are having a lot of fun planning our characters, setting, problem and resolution!
Today when we were working on “How Jesus Loves Children” in Religious Education, year two was given the option to take off their shoes. Those of us who chose to work shoeless described it as feeling “free,” “relaxing” and “comfortable.”
If you want to learn more about “Shoeless learning” check out the link! http://rubble.heppell.net/places/shoeless/default.html
Please find below some information that we hope will assist us with the smooth running of the School Disco on Friday the 4th August – and will assist you in planning your time and family
There will be staff and nominated Yr 6 students assisting with supervision of children. While we understand that some parents may be a little reluctant to leave their child (particularly Kindy & PP parents), this is a great way for children to experience something new, in a safe space with familiar staff faces.
Please read the info below carefully as it will hopefully clarify any questions you may have. Please phone the Office if you need any further clarification.
Tickets for the disco are $5.00 – paid upon arrival at the door.
Snacks will be on sale at the hall from 4pm – 4.40pm ( K-2 Junior disco) and 5.30pm – 6.10pm (Yr 3 – Yr 6).
WHAT TO WEAR
Please do not get overly worried about the ‘dress-up’ part of the disco… the ‘Disney’ theme leaves a lot of room for the imagination and hopefully you won’t need to go out and buy or hire anything expensive.
We have spoken to the children that it is important to keep it simple and if you can’t manage a costume just come as you are
It is important that children wear practical shoes–no high heels.
The Novelty and Snack Stall will be open 4pm – 7pm and on sale in the hall meeting room.
Make sure that children have a little wallet or purse in which they can keep money safe.
No food or drinks can be taken into the hall – these are to be consumed when purchased, or on the way home.
TEA AND COFFEE
Tea and coffee is available for parents in the NEW LEARNING HUB(located to the right of the school library and MPR and this is where the Wine and Cheese Evening will be happening also).
KINDY -YEAR 2 DISCO
4.30pm – 5.30pm
Please understand that with eight classes discoing and playing games in the hall, it doesn’t leave any room for parents in there too.
If you wish to stay and wait, you are invited to walk across to the new Learning Hub and have a chat and perhaps share a glass of wine or a cuppa with other parents.
Any siblings younger than Kindy age are to be strictly supervised by their parents at all times.
In the hall, children will be fully supervised by staff. Children will not be allowed to leave the hall until they are collected by their parent promptly at 5.30pm.
Children will be seated in year levels in the hall ready for you to collect them at 5.30pm.
Please note that after children from Year K-2 have been collected, they will not be permitted to re-enter the hall.
YEAR 3-YEAR 6 DISCO
6.00pm – 7.30pm
As no food or drink are permitted in the hall, Years 3-6 children are encouraged to bring their own water bottle for during the disco (other drinks are available for purchase before the disco, however they must be consumed before entering the hall). Please make sure that these bottles have a name on them!
Students can purchase snacks/drink from 5.15pm however they must remain under the supervision of their parent until 6.00pm when the disco commences.
Children from Yrs 3-6 are to be dropped to the hall door.
Parents are to collect their child from the hall promptly at 7.30pm. Children will not be allowed to leave the hall without a supervising adult.
Children will be seated in year levels ready for you to collect them.
(Please be mindful that staff and P&F helpers will all be needing to pack up and head home as soon after this as possible so everybody’s full cooperation is needed to take children home on time!)
Please note: While we recommend that parents do not stay at the disco, those who plan on staying rather than driving home and back again, are reminded that they are invited to come and support the P&F Wine and Cheese Evening at the new Learning Hub.
Not staying at the disco helps us to maintain supervision more easily; it gives your child some ‘safe’ freedom and promotes independence; it gives children more confidence to ‘have a go’ and get involved in the dancing and games without parents ‘watching on’.
Let’s remember that nothing in our school happens by magic. Every opportunity that your child is offered is the result of a lot of careful planning and the hard work, generosity of time, cooperation and goodwill of many staff and parents.
The way that you can show appreciation on a night such as this is by – following the rules; helping out where you can and by encouraging your children to be thankful and positive. Your modelling goes a long way to achieving this, thank you!
All children are expected to:.
Know the boundaries – where they are allowed to be and where they are not to be.
Understand that a disco is about joining in and making the night fun for everyone – this takes care and consideration.
Bring and use their best manners, to put rubbish into the bins provided and to thank the staff and parents that are helping at the disco before they leave.
Make sure that they are wearing sensible clothing (high heels are not practical or safe; and children need to be mindful of dressing modestly and age appropriately; please label clothing that might be taken off during the evening).
Seek help from staff or one of the designated parent helpers if they need any help.
All parents are expected to:
read the notes above and following them carefully.
Be considerate of those who may be attending Friday night Massi.e. leave parking bays right outside the church for parishioners
Turn up and leave on time
Encourage children to thank parents and staff for the disco
Be considerate in the parking area
understand that only staff (and Yr 6 student helpers) who have been given permission prior to the disco are to be in the hall during the discos.
Older high school siblings are not to come to the disco, thank you.
See you there and on your behalf we sincerely thank the P&F for organising this event and the staff for giving up their Friday night to support your children in having some social fun together!