Our tribute to Steve Garthwin, as he leaves Korowal and moves towards retirement.
Steve came to Korowal in 2004 when Mark was School Coordinator and could no longer find the time to take Science classes. His application for the position arrived at 3.59pm for a 4.00pm deadline.
When Steve left Springwood High they really didn’t want him to go and it very quickly became apparent to us why he was so highly valued. Over 14 years at Korowal he has taught Physics, Chemistry, junior science, Maths, Sport, Personal Development. He has also been a Year Coordinator, Pathways Coordinator, High school Coordinator, Work Health and safety Officer and Director on the school board.
As many of you know, Steve teaches through storytelling. He is a great raconteur, and the perfect WHS officer for the school because of his adventures, from breaking his back on falling through a dodgy floor when he was a pest controller, to crawling through a nuclear reactor: from North pole adventures on a dog sled to leading an expedition to Mt Everest. It wouldn’t take much to prompt a response such as ‘have I told you about the time I went swimming with whales off the coast of Thailand?’ or ‘that reminds me of the time I……’.
Window with a View - Week 3, Term 4
In Week 3, I had the privilege of attending a reunion of graduates of the Flagship Leadership Program run by the Association of Independent Schools. Re-acquainting with fellow students from our 2013 class, and meeting graduates from the subsequent five groups, we reflected on the driving principles underpinning leadership and what we had gained from this Flagship experience. Over a period of twelve months we had each embarked on an inner and outer journey towards authentic leadership through reflection, rigorous review of academic theory, conversations, Principal shadowing experiences, coaching and workshops. Maintaining our moral purpose, our values and our School’s mission, while understanding ourselves as leaders, is the ongoing challenge for all School Principles and Deputies. While we do trip up, we are all stronger for the experience.
So, I am delighted to announce that Bec, our Primary Coordinator and DP, has been accepted into the AIS Flagship Course for 2019.
Years 5 and 6
This week we held our first planning meeting to gauge interest from parents and children from Years 5 and 6, 2018, regarding a potential visit to Hangzhou and our sister school in China in April 2019. At this early stage, there are enough people for it to proceed and therefore for us to roll into the next stage of planning. A parent is welcome to attend with each child (but this is not essential), so our resident Chinese PhD student from Western Sydney University, Bing, will soon commence Mandarin language sessions for our parents. Bing will also increase the Mandarin exchanges and classes she is having with Years 5 and 6 so that they tune in to the inflections and gain confidence in simple exchanges.
High School prepares for Academic Year changes this week.
This coming Week 4 will be the final week of classes before our high school students change academic years. As we do the compressed model of delivery of our HSC, which we refer to as ‘Pathways’, Year 11 subjects commence in Week 6 of this term. In preparation for this the other years, 7 to 10, also shift up a year this term, but they do so at the start of Week 5 so that we can all settle into the new timetable and so that teachers can prepare for the new cycle of subjects they will take for HSC from Week 6.
This means that Week 4 provides two staff development days for high school teachers. Students will attend school from Monday to Wednesday, and Year 10 students will undertake their exams on these days, before all students in high school have Thursday and Friday as a mid-term break, to return refreshed and ready for their new programs.
In week 5, Years 11 and 12 will come together for the first time as the new Pathways group. We will enjoy a week of mentoring, studentship workshops and discussions where the new Year 12 cohort will share their experiences of Cycle 1 and the HSC, as well as their newfound wisdom. We are relieved to announce that we will have only one timetable rather than the three Cycles A, B, and C which we had previously when we ran Focus Studies.
Welcoming new students
As this is a new start, we will also welcome three new students to Korowal over the next two weeks. We welcome Matilda into Year 8, and Joseph and Luca to Year 11. It is worth letting friends who may be considering Korowal for 2019 know that we have a high school intake over the next two weeks. It is sometimes easier to start at a new school when others are starting at the same time.
It may also be less stressful to change before the long Summer holidays so that the students make connections and begin to forge new friendships, rather than become anxious about the change over the holidays. We all thrive when we feel we belong, so placing ourselves in the new environment, experiencing the culture and meeting new people close on leaving one’s previous community, can alleviate potential separation anxiety at times of change.
On Wednesday afternoon at our Assembly, we will be honouring Steve Garthwin and thanking him for all he has brought to us over his years at Korowal. This assembly starts at 2.20pm with school business and will move to farewell Steve around 2.50pm. You are welcome to come along.
RSVP’s would be greatly appreciated on 4758 7466.
Finally I will leave you with a gem from a member of the public this week.
‘I had to let you know this...
Korowal kids waiting for the train... so calm and sweet and they talk to each other with kindness and interest.
They give me hope for the future!’
Thank you to all of our students, teachers, school assistants and parents who model these values and encourage kindness.
Window with a View - Week 2, Term 4, 2018
In Week 2 of our term and we had HSC exams running, our K,1,2 Swimming Program got underway, Wild Ground Bush Playgroup had their second session in our grounds on Tuesday morning (at 10.00am) and the Self Defence for Young Women Course- 12+ (and their mums if they wish) started on Tuesday evening from 5.45pm – 7.30pm. This will continue for six weeks and there are still places available. In PE this week high school students were coached in tennis (Years 9&10) and circus skills (Year 8).
Staff Professional development
As we stay connected to educational developments in order to remain current in our practice, several staff development courses, training sessions and updates on curriculum continue throughout the term. This week Jason, Jody and Rita attended the DigiStem Conference in Sydney, while Alistair and Rick attended the Association of Independent Schools RoSA (Year 10) and HSC Accreditation requirements update. Bec and Meaghan will be attending the K-6 Registration update while Elise and Anne attend the Anti Bullying Strategy Conference at the end of the month. Kizz, Sarah, Alistair, Kim and Louise will be participate in workshops on the application of the new syllabus requirements in PDHPE for primary and high school.
Louise, Hannah and thirteen students flew to Japan on Monday evening for eighteen days. Here is an update from Louise:
‘Day one in Tokyo found us at the lovely temple in Asakusa where traditional worshipping and ‘applying’ of healing smoke to whatever part of our body needed it was undertaken. We also got our fortunes and anyone with a less than happy one was able to tie it on a rail and step away from it. Love that practice!
Breakfast was a smooth operation with everyone making it down on time! ...this is a first for me on tour.... I am delighted to have people who can organise themselves so well. Most rooms are also beautifully organised although there are a couple of rooms that look like bomb sites. (NB. We have since heard they missed their transport in Kyoto due to some students sleeping in! But Louise remains optimistic.)
The Ghibli Museum was magical with us all reverting back to being six again and wrapping ourselves in the joy of Ghibli characters and visions. We also visited the Totoro Cream Puff Factory on the way back into town.
Then on to Harajuku where many shopped ‘til they dropped and some of us took time out to cuddle hedgehogs. Great fun and we are now searching for weirder cafes....we hear tell of an otter cafe..........’
And finally, a couple of the Year 12 Graduates of 2018 offered us their farewell talks to publish. Here we have sections of Olivia Gilmore McKimm’s thank you.
‘Hey, I’m Liv and I’ve got a little list here of the things I’m grateful for and can’t leave without saying soooo here we go;
To my primary teachers, I’ll always remember how hard everyone worked to make you feel important and unique and heard. Those were the little foundations that lead to a future of critical thinking, and this is something the school prides itself on so much, and should.
Now, my High School teachers. It’s been so, so special to be taught by teachers who have so much passion for their subject and for their students. When you can tap into that as a student... well it gave me that extra motivation to succeed and find what the relevance of these last two years was for me. And then, specifically, to my English and Art teachers, Lisa, Andrew, Anne you all helped me tap into that creative side of myself I didn’t even know I had. I'll have that forever now, and I’m so grateful for that. And then my science teachers, if it wasn’t for all of you I wouldn’t feel as competent or confident regarding where I want my career to go one day, and that means so much to me.
And then my family; Mum and Dad. Somehow you both knew that this kind of education at this kind of school would be what I would need, and you didn’t just work hard to get me in here, you also worked hard to make me feel supported in every little way.
And everyone up here (Year 12 on stage), I mean in a group of this size you’re not all meant to be this unique, entertaining and talented, and it’s been a gift to get to spend time with you all, some of you for over twelve years. So even though we’re all leaving, it’s nice to know that school will continue on a little bit in our friendships.’
We continue to hold you all in our hearts, especially as you approach each HSC Exam.
Have a beaut week!
A Window with a View
Welcome back to Korowal for Term 4 2018, where we have many opportunities to connect and celebrate before the extended Summer break.
This week the HSC Exams got underway with two English papers now completed. Our Year 10 students met their elders for the Intergenerational Project at the Bodington Home on Friday afternoon and emerged from their visit quite animated and grateful for the opportunity to hear stories of rich lives. Amongst the ten elders we have a former Detective and a former Ballet Dancer with the Royal Ballet London. We look forward to hearing from all of the students in class next week as they debrief and plan for the next session.
We began Week 7 with primary and high school students doing a walk around the school to see the work displays set up for Open Day. It was a treat for us all to go from Kindy through to high school and see the development of skills and ideas realised, from building blocks, crayon and pencil through to lab experiments, robotics and drone photography.
Korowal is excited to announce that we will be hosting Wild Ground's bush playgroup on Tuesdays in Term 4. This is a wonderful offering for our families with younger children and is open to the wider community also. Please see the flyer below for details and for more information or to make a booking contact email@example.com.
Train times for the Year 8 Romeo & Juliet excursion on Friday are as follows:9:15am train from[Read More...]
Yoga for parents is starting again from Week 4 of Term 3, on Mondays at 2pm. For details please see the attached flyer.
A Letter from Greg Lucas, Chair of the Korowal School Board, to our community
Korowal is proud of our commitment to education, where relationships are at the heart of the educational process. Our values of compassion, tolerance, equity, respect, empathy, commitment and resilience support and guide all that we do in educating the whole child to help them reach their full potential.
We recognise that this privileged role in educating young people also brings with it particular responsibilities, including the responsibility to ensure that Korowal is prepared to respond to any disclosure or concern, historic or current, that may be brought to our attention.
Protected Disclosures - ‘See something. Say something’
The Korowal Board wants to ensure that our governance makes provision for the safe disclosure of any serious wrongdoings.
We have developed a Protected Disclosures Policy and Procedure. Korowal recognises that any genuine commitment to detecting and preventing illegal and otherundesirable conduct must include a mechanism whereby staff, parents, students and others are able to report their concerns freely and without fear of reprisal, victimisation, or intimidation. The mechanism needs to be independent of the School and provide disclosers with the option of remaining anonymous.
We have appointed Integroe Partners as the inaugural provider. In the Policy we have called this mechanism the Korowal Protected Disclosures Service. We are confident that this will promote a positive culture of honesty, justice and strong governance. It also supports our capacity to respond ethically, respectfully and effectively to such disclosures.
Our highlight for Week 6 at Korowal has to have been Pyjama Day, Year 12’s first fundraising event[Read More...]