Junior School


Term 2 Week 7

Dear Parents and Carers
Between March and April, The Educator Magazine asked educators across Australia to nominate the brightest young teachers under the age of 35 who are poised to become tomorrow’s school leaders.

After sifting through a large number of strong nominations, the national magazine has awarded 20 educators from around the country the Rising Star award. I am very pleased and proud to announce that Miss Georgia Gibbons, our fabulous Year 2 teacher, has been listed in this group.

I have included this statement, submitted as part of this award:

Georgia Gibbons is one of those teachers that all parents want their child to have. She is bubbly, enthusiastic and always positive. She is an exemplary practitioner who is always thinking about what else she can do to make her students have the best possible experience.

Georgia is dedicated to the art of teaching; she could easily transition into an administration role, but she is committed to be an outstanding teacher. She actively shares her classroom practice ideas via social media. In fact, last year she was invited to go on the 7:30 Report, who were doing a story on the new generation of teachers who have great motivation, a passion for teaching and who are using their Instagram accounts as platforms to talk about education. They noticed that Georgia has a following of 20,000 teachers from around the world.

Georgia has created an Instagram page that she uses for professional learning networking, where she connects with other teachers all over the world, sharing classroom and lesson ideas and gaining inspiration from others.

As our Year 2 Team Leader, she openly shares and discusses her ideas with her colleagues.

Please congratulate Georgia on this amazing achievement when you see her around the Junior School.

Critical Thinking
If we want children to thrive in our complicated world, we need to teach them how to think. And we can do it with 4 simple questions.

We all want the young people in our lives to thrive, but there’s no clear consensus about what will best put them on the path to future success. Should every child be taught to code? Attain fluency in Mandarin, Spanish, Hindi and English?

Those are great, but they’re not enough, says educator and teacher trainer Brian Oshiro. If we want our children to have flexible minds that can readily absorb new information and respond to complex problems we need to develop their critical thinking skills.

In adult life, “we all have to deal with questions that are a lot more complicated than those found on a multiple-choice test,” he says. “We need to give students an opportunity to grapple with questions that don’t necessarily have one correct answer. This is more realistic of the types of situations that they’re likely to face when they get outside the classroom.”

How can we encourage kids to think critically from an early age? Through an activity that every child is already an expert at — asking questions.

1. Go beyond “what?” — and ask “how?” and “why?”
You may ask, “What are the main causes of climate change?” Oshiro says there are two problems with this question — it can be answered with a quick web search, and being able to answer it gives people a false sense of security; it makes them feel like they know a topic, but their knowledge is superficial.

At home, prompt your child to answer questions such as “How exactly does X cause climate change?” and “Why should we worry about it?” To answer, they’ll need to go beyond the bare facts and really think about a subject.

Other great questions: “How will climate change affect where we live?” or “Why should our town in particular worry about climate change?” Localising questions gives kids an opportunity to connect whatever knowledge they have to something personal in their lives.

2. Follow it up with “How do you know this?”
They have to provide some sort of evidence and be able to defend their answer against some logical attack. Answering this question requires kids to reflect on their previous statements and assess where they’re getting their information from.

3. Prompt them to think about how their perspective may differ from other people’s.
Ask a question like, “How will climate change affect people living in X country or X city?” or “Why should people living in X country or X city worry about it?” Kids will be pushed to think about the priorities and concerns of others and to try to understand their perspectives — essential elements of creative problem-solving.

4. Finally, ask them how to solve this problem.
But be sure to focus the question. For example, rather than ask “How can we solve climate change?” — which is too big for anyone to wrap their mind around — ask “How could we address and solve cause X of climate change?” Answering this question will require kids to synthesize their knowledge. Nudge them to come up with a variety of approaches: What scientific solution could address cause X? What’s a financial solution? Political solution?

You can start this project any time on any topic; you don’t have to be an expert on what your kids are studying. This is about teaching them to think for themselves. Your role is to direct their questions, listen and respond. Meanwhile, your kids have to think about how they’re going to put this into digestible pieces for you to understand it. It’s a great way to consolidate learning.

Critical thinking isn’t just for the young, of course. If you’re a lifelong learner, ask yourself these types of questions in order to test your assumptions about what you think you already know. We can all improve and support critical thinking by asking a few extra questions each day.

Smart Watches
As a Junior School, we wanted to provide some clarification regarding current College policy as it applies to smart watches, particularly those which provide the ability for students to contact parents, such as ‘SpaceTalk’ and ‘Moochies’ watches.  These devices are quite clearly described as ‘Smart’ phones by their manufacturers and therefore our current policy regarding student mobile phones would apply.  This requires all mobile phones to be surrendered to the Junior Administration office during school hours.  Students are responsible for the delivery and collection of their own devices and the College accepts no responsibility for loss or damage.

In this case, these ‘Smart’ watches would need to be clearly labelled with your child’s name prior to being handed in.  Students would then be permitted to collect these at the conclusion of the school day. If students do not surrender their watches and are subsequently discovered with them, they will be subject to appropriate consequences in line with our current Responsible Use Policy.

This does not apply to non-sim enabled smart watches and fitness trackers, which are allowed under current uniform policy.

Mr Bill Garland
Dean of Junior School

Discovery Centre News

Junior School Book Fair
Thank you to everyone who supported the Book Fair this week. The Fair closes at 4:30pm on Monday 10 June. We are grateful to both buyers and sellers especially Mrs Alchin and Mrs Reed who have been on duty every day.

One of the highlights has been a visit from Clifford the big red dog. Thanks Clifford!

The Fair always highlights the importance of reading and what a fabulous library we have at Canterbury College.

Book Club
The parents' book club is meeting in the Research and Next Centre on Tuesday 18 June at 3:30pm. The book to be discussed is Lisa Wingate’s “Before we were yours”. Everyone is welcome.

Ms Megan Stuart
Coordinator of Information Services

1GRP News

In 1GRP, we have been having a blast this term.

In English we have been learning to write procedures. This meant we have done lots of hands on procedures. We have made some yummy snacks like fairy bread and mixing different ingredients to create explosive bath bombs and super slimy slime. To top it off we showed off how great we are at blowing bubbles. 

In our daily THRASS session, 1GRP have loved building our very own THRASS board and creating stories as we go. We have been working hard at using our HOTWORD in all our writing. We are unstoppable at finding our different graphemes and love a good codebreaker.

During numeracy, we have used Lego to explore how we can separate collections into groups. We split pieces of Lego to make halves and quarters. We explored what was the best type of measuring stick to see how far year one students can roll a ball and measured our room with string as long as our arms.

Arts Food and Wine Festival