A Window with a View
The joy of writing this weekly post comes in reviewing the week and registering how many great things are happening at Korowal. Week 3 was again dynamic, filled with opportunity for our students and community.
On Monday our Pathways Years 11 and 12 students were overjoyed as a labradoodle named Daphne visited them. Daphne is part of a pets for therapy program and several staff have been keen to introduce our senior students to this program as the HSC exams approach. Reducing stress is the aim. It worked a treat and we are keen for a return visit.
The Naplan tests were run with over half of our primary parents electing to withdraw their children. We hope that this is the last round of Naplan tests as discussions around the reform of the current system progresses. We acknowledge that we do not teach to the test. We provide the opportunity for the students to see papers, to test themselves against the clock, and to understand the nature and meaning of the questions likely to be posed. For many of our students it is the first test they encounter, which is why we ask Years 7 and 9 to give it a serious attempt. It is for them to understand how they respond to testing requirements, working to a time limit, sitting quietly without distracting others if they finish early, and having a go at a challenge. To this end we can report that our students aced Naplan!
Year 11 and 12 parent Teacher evening was well attended on Tuesday evening. Thank you for coming in to discuss progress and studentship with the teachers. There is great value in having a shared understanding of how a student is progressing and the challenges ahead.
Year 7, 2019, Information Evening was held on Wednesday and we had a huge turnout. The Year 6 students were bright eyed and engaged, as were their parents. Following this evening, next term we will be holding interviews and tours of the high school for Year 6 families. We have offered places to the families on our waiting lists and still have a few places available, so feel free to invite your friends to call anytime for a tour.
On Wednesday students in Year 10, Louise and Rick, embarked on a three-day adventure to the CBD for their city camp. They accepted challenges, conquered group exercises, explored Sydney and the Rocks, camped on Cockatoo Island, engaged in Dragon Boat racing on the harbour and held a masterchef cookoff, then arrived home satisfied and tired on Friday afternoon. Louise sent photos through to entice us, and at one point she commented that ‘there was nowhere else she would rather be’. Such is the passion and commitment of our teachers to our students. Aren’t we fortunate?
Speaking of commitment, Kelly and the Year 9 and 10 Drama students are at school for their dress rehearsal this Saturday. In case you have missed seeing the posters around the school they are performing ‘Night Fall’ next Friday evening. If you intend to come please let the school office know so that we can accommodate all.
On Friday, Years 3 and 4 (and some Year 2!) students attended the Futsal Gala Day with Meaghan and Chris. We cannot wait to hear how that went for them all. Also on Friday, two Year 11 students attended a writing workshop with author Bernard Cohen at Varuna Writers’ Centre. This is the second workshop our students have enjoyed, for another couple attended in April. We are grateful to Varuna for holding specialised sessions for our youth. Eighteen students from schools in the Mountains attended yesterday’s workshop. This funded program has been a huge success with 46 students in total having attended.
We can also now announce that our inaugural excursion of some Year 6 students and parents, Bec and Elise, to Hangzhou, China, in October, will be going ahead. We have been in discussion about the possibility of this since 2017, following the visit of our Hangzhou sister school students and teachers. The current arrangement will have a student and their parent in homestay with a Chinese family for a week. The students will spend two days with their sister school, tour the city, visit tea gardens, performances, as well as Disneyland in Shanghai. It is considered a great honour to host families from visiting nations. We are keen for our students to experience cultural immersion as we embrace our global community. As this is our first venture to China with students we will review the merit in continuing such an excursion on their return.
This term we will also welcome Bing, a post -grad Chinese student studying at Western Sydney University. Bing will be at Korowal two days per week and, amongst other cultural offerings, will assist to prepare the students and families for their trip by introducing useful Mandarin terms and explaining the culture.
Finally, this Sunday there will be a large hazard reduction burn around the borders of Korowal so we ask that no one attends the school on Sunday. On Monday, rural fire fighters will be onsite checking the grounds. We anticipate that smoke will linger so asthmatics please be prepared. This burn has been scheduled for many years and finally the conditions appear to be suitable. We extend our thanks to the volunteers and firefighters who will work this burn, as they are placing us in a safer position for the next Summer season. We ask that no one enters the burnt zones on Monday, even though we will be filled with intrigue. We need to wait until we have the all clear.
NB: A reminder that on Monday evening we have our annual general meeting at 5.30pm
Now it is time to rest and replenish. Have a great weekend.