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A Window with a View - 2021

A Window with a View - Wk 4, Term 2, 2021
A Window with a View - Wk 4, Term 2, 2021

Week 4, Term 2, 2021

There were many engaging events across our School in Week 4, and we now will hear from a few people about just how engaging these experiences were.

Poetry in Action

What better way to learn that through immersion?
 
“Yrs 8-10 English Classes are all exploring poetry in their current units. To support their learning, we invited the Poetry in Action theatre troupe to perform their show ‘Power of Poetry’ to all of Junior High. Year 7 were also entertained. This fast paced, one hour performance showcased the power of language and the ways in which words can make a difference. Via a humorous plot, students were treated to renditions of 'The Man From Snowy River', Ginsberg's 'Howl' and the poetry of song lyrics, among many others. We enjoyed an entertaining and informative afternoon that perfectly complemented the work being done in the classroom”       Lisa Harding

Science Research Projects Market Place

There had been a great deal of refinement occurring in the weeks leading up to this event. Mark has supported Year 10 students to become the experts, to document research, methodology, evidence and findings of their experiments. Together with Louise they have also been working to hone in on our students’ presentation skills, using our Oracy framework. 
 
What we witnessed was awesome! It was with great pride that Year 10 presented their science projects in a Science Marketplace on Thursday afternoon. Poster displays were exhibited throughout the space and the students stood alongside these summaries of their Science Research Projects. They talked about their work to a rotating audience of students including Years 7, 8, 9, as well as staff. Some students would have explained their projects in excess of 15 times, gaining confidence and refining their skills in delivering the information to a wide-ranging audience of adults and students. In my walkaround I learned about The Placebo Effect, Egg storage, Cardio V’s Weight Training, whether Practice does in fact Make Perfect, and The Impact of Light on Various Pigments.
 
Each audience participant was asked to peer review the student according to their presentation skills, thus bringing focus not only to the content but also to the delivery. 
 
There was a great deal of focussed and impressive scientific research evident in the students’ projects. They did in fact, deliver it as experts. This was a masterful event and we thank all of you for bringing it to us.

Excursion to see ‘HAMILTON’- the musical 

This was so popular that we had two busloads of students and 5 staff members head off to Sydney after school on Thursday and return around midnight. There was certainly a buzz of excitement as we waved them off. 
 
Rick’s brief report back reads like this:
 
“Bus trip down - a sense of anticipation. The show - slick production, choreography visually amazing, the performers were outstanding and good sound let them strut their stuff admirably. American history - meh. Bus trip home - way too excited but slowed up towards home. Lots of hoops and hollers through the show - the students seemed to love it, and Jack went nuts when they performed ‘The Room Where It Happened’.”
 
Special thanks to the staff in attendance and in admin for without your support, this would not have been possible. Thanks to Kelly for organising it!

Futsal Gala Day

This week our Futsal on Friday was for Years 3&4. We understand that the Year 3 girls went through to the final!  As it was due to finish at end of school time, we have not received any further review thus far. Bravo to you all for participating and also for making it to the final.

Upcoming Events 

While we continue to have many excursions, camps and events organised, we are including a calendar for you. Here is a quick summary of Week 5, (HS is high, PS is primary).
  • HS Monday 17th May Work Ed Market Stall – at school
  • HS Tuesday 18th May Japanese Foundation Excursion
  • HS Tuesday 18th May ‘Onstage’ Drama Elective Incursion
  • Pathways Wed 19th May ‘The Tempest’ excursion - Advanced English 
  • HS Thursday 20th May Year 10 & 11 Careers Market
  • PS Thursday 20th May East Timor Sisters Visit Year 5 & 6
  • HS Friday 21st May Climate Strike excursion in Katoomba (pm)

Connections

If you are hoping to meet more of our Korowal people, why not pop by for a casual ‘cuppa under the tree’ on Tuesday morning at drop -off time.
 
May you stay well and healthy as the weather throws us this crisp chill!
 
Barb
 
A Window with a View - Wk 3, Term 2, 2021
A Window with a View - Wk 3, Term 2, 2021

Week 3, Term 2, 2021

We have only been back for two weeks and for many it feels as if Term 1 simply rolled on into Term 2. Holiday rehearsals of the School’s celebrated Cabaret, production week and then the six-show season all came to an end after a final show to a packed house on Saturday night. And we’re still smiling and having earworms of Kermit the Frog’s ‘Rainbow Connection’ and ‘I just Can’t wait to be King’ accompanying our daydreams.

The whole of primary experienced the thrill of being entertained with a mini version of the Korowal Cabaret on Friday afternoon. Many of the children had never experienced attending live theatre before and were in for a treat! This took me back to being a child and going to pantomimes in Sydney. The chatter of voices, excited giggles, the tension of expectation, then a hush as the lights went down and the band started. As the magic unfolded the audience was mesmerised. The high school students really played to the young people in front of them. The theatre rang with guffaws of laughter and loud applause. It was equally hushed in the quiet and dreamlike performances.

Our primary children were attentive and engaged throughout, and the high school students fostered that connection. This was a special and memorable event, and one which encapsulates all that we love about being a K-12 school. It was a polished and slick show, wrapped in love.

As the children walked back to their classrooms, we overheard such comments as:

  • Fun-tastic!
  • Cabaret is THE BEST thing ever!
  • I loved it!
  • Soooo good!
  • My favourite part was when ZAZU said- “I beg your pardon. Now get off!”
  • “…The bit where the guy did the splits (in Room where it happened). That was so cool.”

Now we linger in the delight of success as last night we farewelled the Korowal Cabaret 2021. All that work, intense focus and euphoria now disperses. However, what we experienced will remain in our senses, our hearts and minds for many months to come.

After the year that was 2020, the opportunity to be entertained by live performers,

to enjoy our community and smile with huge pride at our students’ and staff’s capacity and courage, is uniquely appreciated.

WE APPLAUD everyone who was connected in any large of small way with this successful and thoroughly entertaining season of our Cabaret. We express gratitude to our senior students for being great leaders and fine role models to our younger children. We are very proud of the big successes that our little School achieves.

Important Events Coming Up 

  • Tuesdays this term: We will be holding our first Cuppa under the Tree for 2021 on Tuesday morning from 9.20am.
  • This Wednesday 5th is Our Annual General Meeting from 6.00pm. This will be held on site and a zoom link has also been emailed to families.

Let’s hope the earworms fade, but if they don’t, just sing along.

Barb

 
A Window with a View - Wk 1, Term 2, 2021
A Window with a View - Wk 1, Term 2, 2021

Week 1, Term 2, 2021

Welcome to Term 2 

Already we are fully immersed in School life and we welcome everyone back after the first term break. The main focus for the high school and admin in Week 1 has been our Korowal Cabaret, which opened on Thursday night and has sold out for the season. The joy it brings us all is palpable. To be able to celebrate together and be entertained by our talented students and staff, after the COVID restrictions of the past 12 months, is doubly appreciated by everyone.

Korowal Cabaret

Cast and crew rehearsed throughout the last week of the holidays, including the weekend. Because of this the show was ready for opening on Thursday night, with a preview for the high school on Thursday afternoon. Kelly Wyburd, Kim Poole, Jason Carthew, Rick Morris, Lisa Taylor and Peter Kennard have dedicated their expertise to the production. Kim has done musical arrangements and conducting, and performs throughout; Kelly has woven it together with theatrical direction and design; Jason has trained his team for technical production and lighting; and Peter is our master in sound production. Together they have coached the students so that they can now mostly run each show. We have ex-students coming by to support with back stage and catering; Caroline, Deb and Cassie keeping bookings and front of house smooth; teachers from primary and high school supervising dressing rooms and students in performance. It takes a school to raise a Cabaret!

The senior students in Years 11 and 12 have stepped up to lead the junior cast members. They have thrown energy, talent, commitment and good humour into the rehearsals and, in that very inclusive way, invited students who may be shy yet aching to perform to join in the group numbers. Even up until the day before opening! Year 7 are looking at Years 11 and 12 with starry eyes.

Why a Cabaret?

The Korowal Cabaret is unique for many reasons. It is framed around the theme of ‘the Musical’ and both Music and Drama electives for Years 8,9,10,11&12 study aspects of ‘The Musical’, its context and development through the decades. The Art Co-curricular steps in to assist with design. It is cross-curricular project work at its best.

Students are invited to work up a piece from a musical for inclusion according to their interests, and the level of commitment they are willing to bring to the production. For solos and small group acts, they need to demonstrate that they can develop their act to a particular standard through working independently, then present the piece to Kelly and Kim who assist to refine it for performance. Some choose to do a stand-up comedy piece, or to sing a solo from a musical, such as ‘Wilcommen’ from Cabaret, or ‘Speechless’ from Aladdin. Others are keen to be involved singing in duet or trio in a group choreographed piece. Such examples this year include ‘I Just Can’t Wait to be King’ from the Lion King and ‘The Room Where it Happens‘ from Hamilton. Then there are the big showstopper numbers with over half of the high school on stage, where there are lead roles and ensemble roles, but where everyone is having a great time. Some of these push the boundaries beyond a PG rating.

 For this reason, we will be selecting three or four songs to perform for primary next week, outside of the regular evening performances. 

The origins of our Cabaret

The Korowal Cabaret has now been part of our school culture for around 14 years. It is created every second year. It was born out of our observation that while our primary students were involved in singing, they lost the drive for singing in high school where they became far more self-conscious. 
We pondered the questions

  • What may entice our students to continue to enjoy singing? 
  • How do we create the possibility of a fully inclusive performance, without needing auditions based on top talent selection?
  • What would encourage students to nominate and refine their musical pieces, as well as provide meaningful contextual performance experience?
  • Where can our senior students demonstrate leadership?
  • How can students give back to our community in a way that celebrates their talents? 

Thus, the Korowal Cabaret was born as the perfect variety show for our purposes. It has become a biennial celebration of our unique School. We are extremely proud of everyone involved, from the performers to the stage hands, to the runners, the catering and marketing  team. 

Students are challenging themselves to perform for an audience. This ensemble approach reflects our core values. Why not accept the challenge rather than shy away? Give things a go and we will support you to go as far as you can. We do not focus on individually becoming stars, but rather, on bringing everyone together to support each individual to be their best self. 

This way we create a galaxy. 

Thank you 

Thank you all for bringing smiles, laughter, tears and joy back into our lives. We appreciate what you have conquered to give us the gift of your performance, as well the commitment of support people hidden in the wings.

Barb
 
A Window with a View - Wk 9, Term 1, 2021
A Window with a View - Wk 9, Term 1, 2021

Week 9, Term 1, 2021

We hope you have enjoyed the sunshine as much as we have in Week 9. While we have kept away from the trees for three days following the rain, there have been plenty of spaces outdoors to play, kick balls around, and picnic on the grass. The creek through the middle of the playground was the perfect place for Year 1 to play ‘Pooh Sticks’, by throwing sticks into the flowing stream and watching them race each other. 

Looking Outward

Forging cultural links and experiences was one focus that went on hold under the COVID restrictions, but it’s one which we highly value. With these lifting, we have been able to immerse students in museums and galleries, to lift learning off the page or screen and into the sensory realm. In both Week 9 and 10 we are seeing many classes getting out and about. On Monday the Fire and Rescue NSW’s Lawson crew met with our primary children to talk about safety in fire situations. By Wednesday our senior Visual Arts students had ventured to the NSW Art Gallery to see exemplar 2020 HSC artworks, and then the White Rabbit Gallery’s exhibition of a significant collection of Chinese contemporary art, a topic which they study in their Year 11 Course. Year 9 attended the Anzac Memorial in Hyde Park on Thursday. 

Coming up in week 10, Years 5&6 will attend the Cultural Centre for the Arthur Boyd Exhibition, while Years 11 and 12 enjoy an excursion to the Royal Easter Show, and Kindy, Years 1&2 have their Teddy Bears’ Picnic at school. Thursday is the last day of term before holidays commence on Friday, which is a public holiday.

Unfortunately, Bush Day plans for last Friday needed to be postponed until next term. However, everyone enjoyed the Pyjama Day fundraiser on Thursday.

Primary Assembly 

In keeping with the opening up and returning to traditions, on Thursday morning we will be welcoming primary parents to school for an end of term primary assembly. The primary vocal group have been preparing for this day and will sing ‘We Are the world’, accompanying it with Auslan signing. Some of us were privileged to have a preview of this on Friday. The children, under Amelia’s direction, touched our hearts, bringing tears to our eyes as they connected with the lyrics. 

We will also say farewell to Clare at this assembly and thank her for care, warmth and passion in teaching Years 1 and 2 over the past three-plus years.

Cabaret 

Our Korowal Cabaret rehearsals have picked up momentum. High School students are rehearsing acts in every free moment of the day, with senior student taking leadership in a number of areas, and Jason and his tech team setting the spaces in preparation for the performance at the beginning of Term 2. For students in the Cabaret, rehearsals will run in the last week of the holidays so be sure to have a copy of that schedule where the family can all see it. It opens on Thursday 22nd April, in week 1 of Term 2.

The most important aspect of these final weeks is that the cast is reliable and meets their rehearsal commitments. Time is of the essence, and every single person’s contribution is what strengthens the ensemble.  The band cannot rehearse without the full suite of instruments, nor can the dance routine or vocal group refine their gig if people are absent. Every person matters and any absences slow down the momentum. The run-throughs, feedback, the entrances and exits, the costume calls, all require that everyone hears the same message at the same time. Changes in direction are quick and frequent in the final weeks as the show comes together, with great joy and excitement generated by the group. 

The cast and crew take the show to the next level in preparation for their ultimate purpose, which is to share the fun with an audience and simply entertain us.  Tickets are on sale from this week and more information on how to purchase these will be sent home via SkoolBag. The good news is that we can welcome bigger audience numbers!

Darcy's Swimming Success Continues 

Congratulations to Darcy Hollingsworth in Year 9 for swimming personal bests in nearly every event at the AICES swim meet, including blistering a 1 min 07 secs in her 100m freestyle. Over 3 secs off! 

Darcy now moves on to represent Korowal at the Combined Independent Schools (CIS) Swimming Event. If you know Darcy, you will no doubt agree that she is a determined and disciplined young woman, with a gentle and caring disposition. This is a well-deserved result. She has our confidence and support with her as she swims for CIS.

School Holidays Commence on Friday 

As swiftly as we commenced the term we are now signing it off! Years 11 and 12 have their Course exams on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday this coming week, and many subjects in high school have been presenting and submitting tasks over the past two weeks. If you follow Korowal on facebook or Instagram you will be seeing many posts of dynamic work being undertaken by students across primary and high school, celebrating our unique learning environment, including Oracy and Project Learning presentations. 

Thank you all, students, teachers and parents, for being engaged and supporting our beautiful school. 

There is a parent meeting being held this Monday night, 29th, from 6.00-7.00pm. This will provide the space to come together, meet new friends and share questions, comments and ideas. Everyone is welcome. We ask that you just let us know you are coming as we prepare our COVID Plan for this event.

I’m off to get a hit of Vitamin D as the sun is calling me outdoors.
May we all have a gentle week.

Barb

 
A Window with a View - Wk 8, Term 1, 2021
A Window with a View - Wk 8, Term 1, 2021

Week 8, Term 1, 2021

It was lovely to arrive back at School on Wednesday after a few days of leave. Staff were all sporting orange ribbons in honour of Harmony week, which culminated with many students and staff decked in orange on Friday. Bec did such a beaut job of explaining how we integrate conversations, value respectful relationships, and layer restorative practices across the school on a daily basis in her ‘Window with A View’ post. Here we include many photos of just what activities with such focus looked like at School this week.

We encourage our students to give voice to their experiences or feelings, especially when things are not ok. Trusting that they will be heard and believed without judgement can take time, depending on their previous experiences of situations where they have felt threatened or intimidated.

Sunday 21st March is the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. One of our students, Elrica, has developed such confidence over the past 12 months that on Friday, she accepted an invitation by the Blue Mountains Refugee Group to speak to students at Grammar about her refugee experience.

‘It was an honour to be part of the team accompanying Elrica to visit Blue Mountains Grammar School on Friday. Elrica was invited to be interviewed by Brendan Doyle from the Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group in front of the BMGS Senior students. Standing in front of more than 300 students, Elrica spoke with courage and honesty about her and her family's experience in Malaysia. She described her education at Korowal, with great warmth and gratitude’.  Bec Finch

Elrica and her family have been part of the Korowal community for 2 years and this is her first experience of speaking publicly about her life prior to coming to Australia, which drove her family to flee their homeland of Malaysia and apply for refugee status. This year Elrica has set herself a goal to become stronger in speaking up, before she graduates, so we will be hearing more from her soon at Korowal.  You may recall that her HSC Multi-Media project was shortlisted as an exemplar piece by NESA last year, when she did her first round of HSC subjects in Year 11. For those interested, here is the link to her project Possibilities. https://fb.watch/2fXzBsslqB/

The Blue Mountains Refugee Support Group and Korowal have provided a haven for the Danish family and they speak glowingly of our school and the people here. As a community we are richer for having Elrica, Groshen, Rosie and Danish with us. Their perspectives on the stark contrasts between their lives in Australia and their previous lives accentuate our privilege, and the need to be acknowledging and exercising gratitude as a regular practice. With our students, we start by opening our hearts and minds, and together creating an inclusive culture of which we are proud.

As part of her talk about life before Australia, Elrica read a section from her poem, the complete version of which I include here.

 

KOROWAL By Elrica

The tree that grows in the centre
is ever so sweet and lively
it glows a warm light
it gently takes the people in
and brings them out again...

It has planted smiles, bigger than ever before
and...it made them glow!
Extraordinary...the people not only glow...
they shine! They're brighter than the tree...

The tree gives.
My, what selflessness...

The tree takes me in
What life would take in another lifeless soul?
That I do not know
but I give in...

It gently brings me out...
I'm shining.
I'm smiling.
I'm living...

I'm shining and smiling and living!
Thank you tree
I am fixed
This kindness shall be repaid...
One day...
Someday...

 

May you have a safe (yet very wet week). Let’s not let the rain dampen our spirits!

Barb

 
A Window with a View - Wk 7, Term 1, 2021
A Window with a View - Wk 7, Term 1, 2021

Week 7, Term 1, 2021

Many Windows with Many Views

While Barb enjoys a weekend with her family, I’m taking the opportunity to share some thoughts on diversity and harmony. This coming week is Harmony Week with the theme “Everybody Belongs”. We will celebrate Harmony Week on Friday 19th March and invite everyone to wear orange signifying “social communication and meaningful conversations. It also relates to the freedom of ideas and encouragement of mutual respect.” https://www.harmony.gov.au/ As well as wearing orange, Harmony Week will be acknowledged by teachers appropriately for their students’ age, subject and context. Maria has gathered a collection of books, and Talulah has organised a lunchtime activity making friendship bracelets.

 
Harmony Week celebrates Australia’s cultural diversity. It includes the 21st March, which is the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Schools are called to address racism with a multi-tiered approach to education about diversity and acceptance. Our Japanese language course at Korowal has long been established as an immersion in Japanese celebrations, traditions, philosophies, art and dress. Students participate in tea ceremonies, craft activities and small culinary treats to experience the textures, tastes, sounds and sights of a different culture. This subject is held with commitment and care by our Senseis, Louise and Harumi.
 
Harmony Week’s theme of inclusion and acceptance is embedded in our daily practices of meeting circles, respectful relationships and restorative practice. Dialogue is at the heart of our teaching, learning and communication through our network meetings and Oracy program; supporting all voices to be exercised and heard. 

Parents, families and friends wish to belong and participate, and we invite meaningful conversations. The change to Covid restrictions early last week, opened the school campus for parents, with many taking the opportunity to reconnect with teachers face-to-face. The feeling before and after school was celebratory! Some parents have asked for greater opportunity to talk together and have organised a community meeting on Monday 29th March at 6pm. We have a vibrant, passionate, and engaged community.

Meaningful conversations are not always harmonious and we experience conflict, frustration and upset daily. During lunchtime on Friday, I listened to a 7-year-old’s elaborate explanation of his “dance-off” and how upset he felt about another child’s dance-off rules. Restorative Practice addresses issues by asking questions to open conversation, hearing from multiple perspectives and listening to the impact of words and actions. Our first question is always “what was happening for you?”

Sarah Farrell-Whelan’s practice is the school’s adaptation of Open Dialogue which has its principles grounded in curiosity and inviting a polyphony of voices. The founders of Open Dialogue decided to “free themselves from searching for a non-existent truth…Linked to this, they incorporated the recognition that language shapes our reality, and that one’s language, and thought, is dependent on seeing the world through a personal lens." 
https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/hide-and-seek/201507/open-dialogue-new-approach-mental-healthcare

Starting inquiry with a question is a healthy way to invite conversation and develop greater understanding. Project Based Learning works from a driving question with real-life context, inviting investigation, collaboration and communication.  Our students are learning how to navigate the world. They are naturally curious, they are learning how to express their ideas, and to listen to the ideas of others. There are different ways to hold a dance-off!

For Harmony Week, let’s celebrate freedom of ideas and equally encourage mutual respect. Let’s open our conversations with questions and be ready to listen, reflect and accept difference.

Bec

 
A Window with a View - Wk 6, Term 1, 2021
A Window with a View - Wk 6, Term 1, 2021

Week 6, Term 1, 2021

As you may have seen on our facebook page, in Week 6 we have enjoyed the new seating provided by our Japanese cedar rounds collected beneath the Maple tree in our entrance.

At the close of business on Friday we received the good news from NSW Health  that we may welcome parents and carers back into the School for drop off and pick up from Monday. This latest development in easing restrictions has been welcomed by us all. Unfortunately, it doesn’t give us a lot of time to think through the best way to proceed but we have developed a plan over the weekend. Our comprehensive summary of the current COVID-19 arrangements has been emailed to families and posted on SkoolBag on Sunday, and importantly we adults must all maintain the 1.5m distance rule. We need to avoid the corridor crush.

No doubt we will soon be able to reinstate our Cuppa Under a (different) Tree!

Consent

Throughout the media, and from many different areas of our society, we have been confronted by the lack of respect, cultures of abuse and silencing in both our government and leadership, as well as amongst our youth. This is extremely concerning. It is our responsibility as a school, and also as parents, to ensure that we are opening conversations around consent, respectful relationships, and speaking out against violence and abuse. To this end we have commenced reviewing our personal development program and the resources that are currently available to schools, students and parents. There is one YouTube video, titled ‘Tea and Consent’, which is a great conversation starter. It does contain some swearing so the link is not included here, but we highly recommend this for your viewing and even sharing with your teenage child.

As always, we encourage you and your child to bring any concerns you have to us directly. When we are made aware of disquiet, friendship challenges, any sense of isolation or unkind behaviours, we always act towards a resolution.

On a positive note

Darcy has returned from the WAS swimming meet triumphantly. From Kizz:

‘She won every race she swam, thus making her the age champion. She also qualified for AICES in a variety of additional long course races based on her times. She also reported to us that she broke a WAS record.

In short, she’s phenomenal! And smashed Crossfit on Thursday knowing she had 2 hours of swimming training ahead of her that day too.’ 

Congratulations Darcy, and all the very best for the Association of Independent Coeducational Schools meet.

Year 7 camp to Yarramundi

As we commence Week 7, we wish Year 7 and their teachers a fabulous time at camp. Such experiences create memories that stay with us throughout our lives. Time away together, conquering new challenges, learning new things about ourselves and each other are the foundations on which resilience is built. To our staff, thanks so much for giving these your priority and leaving family to be with our students. No doubt you will all have a lot of fun.

Time is passing so quickly as we approach the final weeks of first term. Equally, it has been and continues to be, a rich and supportive environment for us all.

Barb

 
A Window with a View - Wk 4, Term 1, 2021
A Window with a View - Wk 4, Term 1, 2021

Week 4, Term 1, 2021

In Week 4 we had the pleasure of hearing beautiful singing and music merging across the School as vocal groups, band rehearsals and music classes gain momentum. In high school the focus on our Cabaret in Term 2 has many of our co-curricular activities working in a themed approach. The Friday afternoon tech art group and vocal groups are preparing and upskilling, while elective music and drama classes are working on specific pieces. Many senior students are leading lunchtime rehearsals for group dance pieces. 

Kim has begun arranging music to enable the students to accompany many of the songs, and Kelly is working alongside the students on the production elements such as rehearsal schedules, publicity and design while also assisting students to incorporate the elements of performance into their chosen pieces. It is still early days but with each passing week time becomes the challenge.

Our primary vocal group continue to work with Amelia to create harmony that sends tingles down our spines!

High School Swimming School Carnival - Thursday 25th February

This event at Lawson Pool will be a lot of fun with challenges built within the activities. We encourage every high school student from Years 7-10 to participate as best they can. Whether it be as a swimmer, a timekeeper, announcer or runner, we need your energy and support to make this a festive occasion. This has started already with class discussions at morning meetings around a suitable theme for the day. 

Each class can collect points through participation in the races as well as by upholding the theme, wearing hats, sun protective gear, or taking on other jobs that support the whole event.  Some previous examples of class themes include Hawaiian, 70’s and rainbow. There are serious races against the clock as well as novelty races, with an overall intention of enjoyment and participation by all.

COMMUNICATIONS
Even though we are all back at school we miss having our primary parents visiting us. We are working on ways that we can include you in a staggered pattern, so that you can visit your child’s classroom and they can share their work with you. Meanwhile, we encourage you to make contact with your child’s teacher if you have any questions, concerns or positive feedback. Our goal is to keep communication channels open as we all support the ethos of our beautiful school, where relationships sit at the heart.

ARRIVING AT SCHOOL READY FOR LEARNING
When students regularly arrive late to school, they start the day outside of the group, where morning meetings and morning circle are used to bring us all into the learning space. As we try to avoid entering a meeting which has already started, so also do our children, circumventing any unwanted attention this may draw upon us. 

Hopefully by now your child/ren have re-established sleep patterns for school, rather than for the fluidity of life in the holidays, where nights may linger and morning wake-ups merge across the afternoons.

We are approaching the change of season, from Summer to Autumn, and noticing the fatigue levels in some children and teenagers. At such times there is a tendency to catch whatever bug is going around. We know that keeping to routine bed times and waking times assists our children to be ready for the day. Depending upon the age of the child, having an old-fashioned clock rather than a digital device and its inherent connections, may be beneficial. Transferring the responsibility for setting the alarm to your child may give them ownership of the routines and help to develop self-discipline around bedtimes. Having all electronic devices switched off from a family-decided hour is also a great habit.

We encourage you to let us know if sleeping routines are an issue for your child so that we can work together, with them, for optimum wellbeing.,.bmn

We also praise the students for their good humour during these wet days. It is terrific that primary children have their wet weather gear at school for outdoor activities. 
And now, the weekend has brought the sun. May you bask in it.

Barb

 
A Window with a View - Wk 3, Term 1, 2021
A Window with a View - Wk 3, Term 1, 2021

Week 3, Term 1, 2021

After two and a half weeks of Term 1 we are feeling quite settled back at School. In Week 3 we enjoyed the conversations we had at meetings with our parents. All class meetings from Kindy to Year 10 have now been completed. They provided the welcomed opportunity for us to share our story of the significant developments within our strategic priorities over 2020. In spite of COVID interruptions we made sound progress in further embedding Oracy, Project Based Learning and Sustainability projects.

Thank you to all who were able to attend and rekindle our sense of community.

Interschool Sporting Events

We take a moment to shine a light on a couple of students who are representing Korowal at interschool sporting events. Our enthusiastic and talented PE teacher, Kizz Boyd, has made the following observation:

“As a small school, we have very few students attend major interschool sports events, so those who do need to be quite confident and courageous. It is therefore double the achievement to make it to a WAS (Western Area Schools) or a CIS (Combined Independent Schools) team when coming from a school such as ours.

Dylan McKerrill of Year 10 recently attended the WAS Basketball Trials in Bathurst and was selected to represent WAS at the CIS Tournament in Homebush.  This is a fantastic achievement considering he would have been the only solo student to attend.  All other schools sent a team, and Dylan had to manage the social challenge of being subbed into a team from a different school with teachers and students he has never met.”

Dylan will now represent Korowal as he plays in a WAS Basketball team.

Darcy Hollingworth of Year 9 is familiar with this situation, as this is the fourth year that she has represented Korowal at the Western Area Swimming Trials. Darcy will swim on 26/2 and hopes to finish strongly to then progress with the WAS team to CIS later this term.

We extend a big thank you to both of you, and hope you enjoy the experiences and challenges ahead.

Vocalocity

Students from Years 3-6, as well as 7-10, have all begun singing within COVID safe plans. This is such a joy for us. Primary students have recommenced learning ‘We Are the World’ with the beautiful Amelia, who is also teaching them Auslan signing to include in the chorus. The children had just begun with Amelia before singing was cancelled (COVID) last year so they are overjoyed to have Amelia back.

Amelia is running vocal masterclasses for our high school students on Friday afternoons at cocurricular. They are preparing songs for the Korowal Cabaret which is planned for the beginning of Term 2. Kelly, Kim, Jason, Bec and students are building the buzz, with every new week bringing us closer to performance dates.

Health Reminder - Covid

As we often see with change of seasons, there appears to be a cold spreading through some classes. This is a timely reminder that we are still required to observe the COVID Health directives that we had in place last year, and while we sent out information outlining the procedures prior to returning to school, some parents may have overlooked these important instructions.

Korowal is following this same advice given to all Department of Education Schools to ensure the safety of students, staff, and parents. We require that any students who are unwell or displaying cold or flu-like symptoms, stomach aches, headaches, or fevers, to stay home and be COVID tested before returning to school.

If families do not wish to have their child tested, and the doctor has not given exemption for hayfever, asthma or any other specific condition, then the following advice exists for all schools.

“Students who do not undertake a COVID-19 test will not be permitted to return to school for a 10-day period. Additionally, they must be symptom-free for at least 3 days prior to returning to school”.

Source: https://education.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/advice-for-families#School2

Please present the negative COVID result to a staff member on return to school, or email a photo of the result to the info@korowal.nsw.edu.au address prior to attending classes.

We realise that this can be hugely inconvenient. However, we are still operating within a pandemic regardless of whether there are any local cases, and we are committed to keeping everyone as safe as possible.

Thank you for your understanding in this.

Finally, this quote may put a spring in your step this coming week.

“If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times.”       
John O’Donoghue: Anam Cara: A book of Celtic Wisdom.

Barb

 
A Window with a View - Wk 2, Term 1, 2021
A Window with a View - Wk 2, Term 1, 2021

Week 2, Term 1, 2021 

In Week 2 we pay homage to our elephant tree.

On Wednesday of this week just passed, our beautiful old elephant tree, our Cryptomeria Japonica- or Japanese Cedar, was struck by lightning from the tip down through to the ground. While she is still standing, after such a strike there is no way of saving her. 
Nor will the roots provide for any future regrowth. 

It is with great sadness that we will farewell this grand old dame next week.

For the eleven years that we have been Korowal at Hazelbrook this beautiful protector has been at the centre of our gatherings, even establishing ‘A Cuppa Under the Tree’ in her presence. One can only imagine the stories she could tell, the things she has seen and the calm and joy she has provided over her 112 years, where she has stood proudly alongside 
the carriage way. She became the guardian of our gathering place. 

Planted no doubt in the first years of the establishment of this site as the R.T Hall Sanitorium, we expect that this tree dates back to 1908 when the Hall was open as a Sanitorium for consumptives. Since then she has lived through its many iterations as a Home for Boys and a Hall for Children, before becoming Korowal School.

Not only does this cedar transform carbon dioxide to oxygen and provide extensive shade, but she has extended her limbs over our children as they have arrived each day. From Monday to Friday the primary children and parents pass beneath her. We often interview new families under this tree. When we returned from our COVID lockdown the classes gathered to play recorder and sing in the protection of our elephant tree, her strength and beauty evident to us all. She has received, and given, many hugs. 

There exists a calm in the courtyard. This was the area where Dawn and Nigel Foote chose to farewell their son Lachlan Foote, a recently graduated student who tragically passed away three years ago. It has a significant energy. 

On Friday some of our primary students came to pay homage, to draw her and just sit, to acknowledge her presence. 

We cannot get too close for safety reasons, but throughout the coming week we can take a moment to just give her a nod and a big thanks for the time we have had to enjoy her blessings. 

Class Meetings

These continue for Years 5&6 Thursday evening, Years 8&9 Tuesday evening, and Year 10 also Thursday evening. Please check your emails and SkoolBag App for details. We appreciate your attendance.

Thank you to all parents of Kindy, Years 1&2, Years 3&4 and Year 7 who came and engaged in conversation with us in Week 2. It was refreshing to have you in the rooms with us after such a long time of distance.  These meetings not only provide the opportunity for us to discuss the class program but also the developments we have made, and will continue to make, around our purpose and whole school strategic priorities.

We are thankful for the beauty that surrounds us each day at Korowal.

Barb

 
A Window with a View - Wk 1, Term 1, 2021
A Window with a View - Wk 1, Term 1, 2021

Week 1, Term 1, 2021

In our first week of Term 1, 2021, the rain has dampened our shoes and clothing, but not our spirits. We were greeted with smiles as we met the students across the School on Thursday and Friday. The same can be said for the welcomes we have made to parents of Kindy, Years 1, 2 and 7. It was delightful to invite you into the classrooms for a brief moment. We also enjoyed seeing our parents in the turning circle but due to the rain, it was mostly behind masks or glass that we tried to decipher the identities of the drivers and cars in the mist.

With indoor play throughout primary, the Year 1 children explored the dress-up box. On Friday, I quickly found myself in the patient’s chair with young doctors and nurses taking my temperature and blood pressure, checking my irises and reflexes, then giving me an injection. When I asked what I had been given, ‘Is it medicine? Is it blood?’, I was told with a most sincere expression, that I had been given ‘magic and sparkles’. As you can imagine, Friday was a terrific day!

New Families

We welcome 22 new students to Korowal from Year 1 to 12. The first day was a bit hectic with parents needing to sign COVID paperwork, and we thank you all for your patience.

Caroline, Deb and Cassie have been efficiently processing all paperwork and lastminute phone calls, text book orders and queries about transport. They are gems!

Traffic

The traffic can get very congested, at pick up in particular. However staggering primary and high start and finish times has eased this. We remind you that parents of high school students need to enter the carpark after 3.30pm, which is high school’s finishing time. This gives time for all of the primary parents to come between 3.15-3.30pm. No child will be left unsupervised, but the flow of cars is eased from 3.30pm.

Class Meetings

While we had tentative dates for these, we delayed them so as to wait and see if restrictions on numbers of participants had eased (COVID). That is now the case, so wherever possible we will have stage meetings in the School hall. Dates for Primary and Year 7 have been being sent via SkoolBag and email to all families. The others will follow. We highly recommend attending these meetings to hear the overview of the year for your child/ren, to meet each other, and to ask any questions that may arise.

Kindy Orientation

Our Kindy students and parents attended their final orientation session on Friday, as we were not able to offer the usual number of introductory sessions for them in 2020. They arrived with sensible shoes, grins from ear to ear and effervescent energy. Their first official day of school will be on Tuesday, 2nd February. We are unable to host a morning tea so please welcome our new families as you come across new faces.

Communications

For daily changes to routine please call the school office, as teachers may not get the email before classes commence. We send all notices to you through the SkoolBag Ap. If you are not sure how to download this, the office staff can talk this through with you. Emails are preferred for brief communications that alert us to a need for a meeting, or for permanent change in arrangements.

Korowal Policies and Procedures

Our suite of relevant policies is available through our School website. While you may not need to refer to them when things are running smoothly, it is good to be familiar with the suite as they comprehensively cover all areas of management. We follow our policies and procedures to keep us all safe, to ensure that we are employing best practice measures throughout the School, to be fair and equitable, and compliant in all matters. It may come as a surprise that the language within our policies and procedures can be more formal than our regular communications, and this is to ensure that nothing slips through the net and all legal requirements are met. We take our duty of care seriously.

I will leave you with a few photos of the chalk drawings that are a feature of the boards in primary, depicting images of their first Focus Studies Topics for 2021.

May you enjoy the novelty of the weeks ahead.

Barb