No Time!

Different to many other countries, Australia’s educational year runs from February to December, which means we are closing in on our final 4 weeks! Yes, very soon our year 6 students will be walking out of the school gates for their final time to embark on a whole new chapter of their lives. However, that doesn’t mean the pressure’s off; as any final year primary school teacher will know the opposite is much closer to the truth. Lately we’ve been very busy getting to grips with an assortment of technological challenges. We’ve experienced coding with Lego, used the activities on the world renown, created podcasts about the great work done by charities around the world and we’ve been making stop-motion style animations with I Can Animate on the iPads. So much done, so much to do, so little time!

Joe, Owen, Kyza

Joe, Owen, Kyza

Maddie and Cumorah

Maddie and Cumorah

The US Election

As far as I can remember I don’t think another election anywhere in the world garnered as much attention as the recent one in the US between the Democrats and Republicans. My own Twitter and Facebook feeds were constantly full of the often hostile debates between the two presidential nominees, along with their opposing stances. But the interest wasn’t restricted to adults. The discussions amongst the students showed that this particular election had reached places usually reserved for sports stars, pop stars and friendship chatter to a level never achieved by our own home-grown politicians. The conversations were serious, the opinions well thought-out, and the concerns genuine. As the results came in, the discussions flowed and the students proved they are a generation with their own beliefs, their own values and a depth of hopes and fears for the future that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

Blogging Task #8

Have you ever had a great idea for an invention that could make a massive difference in the world? Well, one company has not only had a fabulous idea, this idea will soon be in the shops. Waverly Labs have created an amazing new gadget, a gadget that I reckon just about everyone will want to rush out and buy; they’ve created a language translator that fits in your ear. I know, this isn’t a new idea (if anyone has read The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy they’ll recall the Babel Fish) and that Waverly Labs aren’t the only company with the idea, but it’s one with the potential to bring the people of the world much closer together. If you had the chance, what would you like to invent that would be of great benefit to mankind? What would your invention do and how would it make a difference? While you’re thinking, check out the translator here and be sure to read the whole article.


Last week the year 5 and 6 students took part in the regional cricket competition. Last year we did so well in the same competition that the girls’ team won a trip to the national finals in Melbourne; unfortunately this year we didn’t quite make it. Strangely, the girls’ team was technically better this year than last year, but the standard of girls’ cricket has risen dramatically and we missed out by a frustrating ten runs. The boys also missed out, despite having some fabulous individual cricket players. Check out the photo’s below of the girls (unfortunately I don’t have photo’s of the boys as I spent the day helping coach one of the girls’ teams).







A School Video

In today’s competitive education market it falls on schools to try to demonstrate to the community what makes them different or better than their competitors. Schools become businesses, competing for customers (I like to call these “families”), not dissimilar to the price-wars at the local supermarkets. This is an unfortunate aspect of modern education, although the teachers who work in the schools generally ignore all this and simply carry on caring for the personal, social and educational development of the children in their charge. However, the competition can stimulate some incredible creativity, as happened at Fallingbroome Academy in the UK. Fallingbroome is just a normal, local high school, but what they produced will surprise you. Check out their video here, but make sure you watch it to the end.

Busy, Busy, Busy!

Tuesday was an incredibly busy and productive day this week. The students buddied up with the year 4s to help them with their IT development and showed amazing patience when things didn’t go quite right (as happens with technology). An hour of Science saw the students return with their experiments which they had to observe through the day. They also completed BODMAS in Maths, the order of operations and learnt how to draw triangles with a ruler, compass and protractor from specific measurements. Finally they continued their work on their animations with I Can Animate on the iPads. A busy, busy, busy day!



An Old Blogger

Blogging has been such a great tool for me over about the last ten years of my teaching career. I’ve spoken before about the many educational benefits of blogging in the classroom (check them out if you wish) and I’ve always been pleased when students take to their blog with enthusiasm. No-one I’ve taught has demonstrated more enthusiasm than Demi. She actually left our school two years ago, but she chose to keep her blog and post occasionally to let us know how she was going. It’s been great to get her perspective on starting a new high school, getting to grips with the work and routines and making new friends. To read about Demi’s journey take a look at her blog here.

Blogging Task #7

This task is all about our recent animation activities and comes in two parts. For the first part you need to explain what we’ve been doing in our animation project. First, write a brief explanation of what stop-motion animation is and how it’s done. You can also mention the app you are using. Next, explain the steps you’ve gone through to practice, plan and storyboard your project and say what your animation is about. The second part is a little trickier; you need to write an exciting blurb for your animation to advertise your final production. Hopefully you will complete your project and upload it to your blog and your blurb will act as an advert, tempting people to watch your movie when you publish it.

See The Light

Every year I let the creative side of the students run free by setting them a photographic task. The tasks always have a theme and this year it was “Light”. Every year I do this I always start off with some sort of idea in my own mind of the type of images that relate to the topic. I also have some thoughts about the type of images I’m going to get. Every year, though, I’m completely surprised by the level of talent, ideas and creativity I get from the students. Strangely, I always know I’m going to be surprised, but that’s the great thing about allowing creativity to flourish. Check out the small sample below.







The Last Leg!

Back to school this week (yes, that’s why this blog has been quiet for 2 weeks) and the final term of 2016 is upon us. From a personal perspective, this is always the busiest of terms. Not only is there the usual day job of creating and delivering the Australian Curriculum to 30 amazing young people (a life consuming effort in itself), but we have so much more: there are the end of year reports to write; a year 6 leavers assembly to organise with speeches included; a year 6, end of school-life video to create and produce; end of year testing and assessments due (data, data, data); excursions, celebrations and events to organise. Ten weeks sounds like such a short time when I consider the things that have to be done, but I’m pretty sure that when the ten weeks are up it will seem like it’s been sooo much longer. Ah well, roll up the sleeves, take a deep breath in and…