PRINCIPAL’S MESSAGE

Welcome back to Term 4

Spring is my favourite season. Whilst I quite enjoy having a neat and tidy garden I cannot say I am overly diligent in looking after all the plants throughout the year. During spring I am constantly surprised and impressed by the resilience of some plants. Despite receiving very little care and support during the year, with the arrival of spring, these plants spring into life. New buds and green growth appear. Plants may become taller, bulk out and produce fruit.

Our lives can spring to life just like plants during spring time. We just need the right environmental conditions. I recently spoke to students about how we can actively and intentionally plant ourselves in the right conditions to promote growth.

Their encouragement was to plant in:

  1. Good places - where do you go? What do you do?
  2. Good relationships - do you have people around you who build you?
  3. Good words and thoughts - what words do you say about yourself and others?

I continue to learn how true the following verse from John’s gospel is.

“Remain in me, and I will remain in you...you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.” John 15:4

To grow well, we must remain in close and regular relationship with Jesus. If you are not sure what this is about a staff member from the College would be really happy to chat to you or your children about it.

Setting a learning goal

In each and every lesson our teachers identify a learning goal. They do this by asking the question, what is it that I want the students to engage with, be challenged with and learn by the end of this lesson?

I encourage our students, particularly older students, to identify goals regularly. It might be a goal to set the alarm and get up by a particular time each morning or to ask at least two questions of my teacher each and every lesson.

It has been so good to reconnect with our students and get straight back into learning.


Year 7 Information Night - 6:30pm 20th October

One of the key school events this term is the Year 7 Information Night. It is an important event for our Year 6 students and their families. We have advertised this event widely and, as always, appreciate all our families sharing the good news about the excellent teaching and learning opportunities at the College. If you would like to collect an information flyer for a friend or neighbour with a child in Year 6, feel free to drop into the College Office to collect one. Alternatively, you may like to share our Facebook post.



Click here for a brief outline of the night.

Future planning: Year 11 & 12

Great news - during 2017 we will be working our way through processes with BOSTES NSW that will enable us to deliver Year 11 and 12 coursework from 2018. More information about this process will be provided to you throughout 2017.

Hand ball competition

Our fantastic Mr Vincze is running a handball competition that all students can take part in this term. I am so excited to see some of our primary students take on the secondary students. Prizes and glory await the victors at each stage!

New students

We welcome three new students to the College this term. Make sure you welcome them and seek to get to know them. From what I have learnt so far, they are wonderful young people.

I look forward to working with you again this term in the growth and development of your child.

Tim Shields
Principal
[email protected]


Memory Verse

We begin Term 4 with this very powerful memory verse from Paul’s First Letter to the Thessalonians.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:11

Each and every one of us needs encouragement. Psychologists know only too well that individuals thrive when they are encouraged. Conversely, discouragement breaks the spirit. Encouragement influences our relationships, work performance, and academic performance in the classroom, and it can often mean the difference between a good and bad day.

Paul the apostle urged the believers in Thessalonica in Greece to encourage one another. Biblical encouragement isn’t just a meaningless platitude or insincere flattery. It isn’t a motivational poster or trite cliché, but rather it is God’s will that His people encourage one another to embrace God’s promises and to trust in His faithfulness. Paul also encourages these new Christians to ‘walk in a manner worthy of God’ (Thess 2:11-12).

It is our hope and prayer that everyone who is a part of our school community actively encourage one another.

SNAPS

Last term we introduced SNAPS. SNAPS - Special Needs and Parent Support - is a group of mums who have children with special needs. We meet to chat over a cup of tea and support one another by sharing strategies and just ‘hanging out’. The first SNAPS meeting for this term is next Monday 17th October. We meet at 7pm in the College library. New members are most welcome to come along. For more details, please don’t hesitate to contact Mrs. Meredith [email protected]

Writing Competition

Don’t forget that the fractured fairy tale writing competition closes next Friday 21st October.

A fractured fairytale is a fairy tale that is re-written from its original version with one or more surprising changes to the plot or characters. Sometimes a different point of view is given. The author takes a well-known fairy tale and ‘fractures’ it. In other words, the author borrows ideas or characters or situations and then re-uses them in a slightly different way to create a new and exciting fairytale.

All students from PK to Year 10 are invited to contribute an original fractured fairytale. For more details please see Mrs. Meredith. We can’t wait to read your stories!

Speaking of Writing...

I often speak to my students about the importance of effective opening lines in a piece of writing. Here are some great introductions that captivate the reader and propel them forward into the story.

  • We’ve been best mates for the longest time; since the sun kissed the Earth, since plants release oxygen, since… since…since some other metaphor that I can’t think of. She was always the strong one. (Callum Allinson)
  • A continuous thump ricocheted about Riley’s head as she groggily blinked, peering into the eyes of uncertainty. Streaks of auburn hair smudged defiantly across her freckled cheeks as pain shrieked through every fibre of her being. Ignoring fear that pricked her every sense, Riley shifted through the debris of her projectile and exited onto what seemed like solid and safe ground. (Kimberley Armstrong)
  • It all started with five simple words; “There’s nothing we can do.” And just like that my world crumbles around me. (Taylah Reijn)
  • Ten minutes ago everyone and everything I believed was a lie. (Jesse Allinson)
  • Fear snapped Annabelle’s neck to the left - an arrow whizzed straight past her nose. (Brittany Armstrong)
  • Science proved it. Geography knew it would happen and everyone thought it was just a worldwide prank. (Brendon Ortolan)

I genuinely love to read students’ work. Anything your child wishes to write, I’d love to read!
Mrs. Meredith

Literacy

Never underestimate the importance of reading.
All children, regardless of age, benefit from reading for pleasure each day. All children, regardless of age, benefit from reading aloud which improves comprehension, fluency and builds vocabulary. Encourage your children to read aloud to you. Reading from a newspaper or online news is a simple way to encourage this.

Parents are not only role models in a general sense, but are also the prime figures who can inspire reading. At the risk of repeating ourselves…children need to see their parents read.

Primary

Welcome Back

Welcome to Term 4 our final term for 2016. I trust everyone had an enjoyable and restful break. This is always a busy but exciting term as we see the coming together of a year's learning and opportunities to celebrate these successes with our students. We have many events and activities planned for this term so make sure you put important dates in your calendar. One very important date is our ‘End Of Year School Presentation’. This will be held in the morning (9:00am ) on Wednesday 7th December. I hope early notice of this event may be of assistance to working parents and family who wish to attend.

As we begin this term I would like to extend a warm welcome to all our new students starting this term, A special welcome to Teana and Timothy in primary.

As always we encourage all students to be prepared each school day with the right equipment and correct uniform. A reminder that as we move into summer that hats are a vital part of the uniform and need to be worn when ever students are outside.

As we approach the end of this year our year 6 students will be preparing for transition to High School. Mrs Hartmann is beginning preparations for the Year 6 Graduation and will be contacting parents soon about helping out. We also have our Year 7 Information Night on the 20th October if you know of any interested year 6 students wanting to enroll in our High School in 2017.

Don’t forget to let friends and family know about our Pre Kinder Orientation on the 11th November and Kindergarten Orientation Event on the 18th November. If you require any information about these event please contact our office.

Author Visit

Thanks to the generous support of Coal and Allied all students in primary will be attending a special presentation by author Katrina McKelvey and illustrator Kirrilli Lonegan, who will share their book ‘Danelions’. This presentation will take place at another Singleton school. Our students will attend free of charge and be transported by bus to the event. I am sure it will be not only entertaining but also inspiring for all of our budding authors.

Swim School

Each year we provide students with the opportunity to improve their water skills through the Learn to Swim program at Singleton Swim & Gym (YMCA). This is part our primary sport and we strongly recommend that all students attend this program.

The program caters for beginner swimmers right through to advanced swimmers. Each student is assessed by a qualified instructor at the commencement of the program and then placed in a group that best suits their current ability.

Students from Kindergarten to Year 6 will participate in the Learn to Swim program from Monday 7 th November to Friday 11th November. A permission note will be sent this week.

Numeracy - ChooseMATHS Family Night

“It’s my turn!” Exclaimed Henry
“Yes! Got it!” Yelled Harry.
“This is so much fun!” said Kelsey
These were some of the comments heard at the ChooseMATHS family evening last term. Marcus Garrett from AMSI (Australian Mathematical and Sciences Institute) came and spoke to our parents on the importance of their partnership in ensuring academic success of their children in Numeracy.

He spoke about how studies have shown that children who participate Maths at home gain a significant advantage in the classroom. Along with Marcus’ very informative and helpful presentation he also gave parents simple and practical strategies to use in the home. After the presentation parents were encouraged to join their children in the fun maths games that were being played. A big thank you to everyone who attended.

Term 4 Parent Notes

Each primary school parent has been sent a class note today outlining a range of learning activities and events planned for this term. Teachers have also included key practical information relevant for your child. Please take the time to read this note and update your diaries and calendars with apt information.

Secondary

Welcome Back!

It is always exciting to see the happy smiles on students’ faces as they greet one another and their teachers. Term 4 is a busy term and we can’t wait to get started!

Semester Two Exams

End of Year Examinations for high school students are scheduled for Week 6 (14-17 November). In addition to homework tasks, students now need to be revising so that they are adequately prepared.

Whilst it is important for students to develop independence and effective study habits, parents often need to supervise homework and encourage their teenagers to set realistic study goals. It is important that students have a quiet study space with few distractions. We look forward to seeing students reach their potential.

Homework

There is no such thing as no homework at ACC. If teachers do not set formal work, it is an expectation that students:
i. Revise the day’s work and
ii. Read for pleasure.

ACC’s Homework Policy outlines the following guidelines:

Year 7 - 20 minutes reading - 1-1.5 hours homework/assignments/revision
Year 8 - 20 minutes reading - 1- 1.5hours homework/assignments/revision
Year 9 - 30 minutes reading - 1.5-2 hours homework/assignments/revision
Year 10 - 30 minutes reading - 1.5-2 hours homework/assignments/revision

Morning Routine

In our Morning Routines we often speak to the students about neuroplasticity, which is really just a fancy way of saying ‘brain flexibility’. Until quite recently, scientists believed that intelligence was fixed and that most brain development occurred during the first three years. Recent studies, however, have shown that the brain continues to grow and develop throughout teenage years and into the early twenties. This means that intelligence isn’t fixed, as we once thought.

One of the chief goals of our twenty minute Morning Routine is to wake up the brain, enhance neuroplasticity and improve memory. We know the value of repetition and actively work to assist students to transfer information from their short-term to long-term memory.

There are lots of simple things you can do at home to improve your own neuroplasticity or that of your child. For example, an attitude shift from ‘I can’t’ to ‘I’ll try to master this’ makes a huge difference. Exercise is also important. The first hour of brain activity after exercise is the most productive. Laughing and smiling actually boosts cognition.

Thank you for ensuring that your high school child arrives by 8.50 am sharp. We don’t want them to miss even a single minute of valuable learning time.

VOCABULARY ENHANCEMENT

Words are the currency of communication. Vocabulary enhancement is another specific goal of our Morning Routines. As teachers we know the importance of explicitly teaching key terms and having students develop word banks. We also teach the etymology of words. It is a fact that a robust vocabulary improves all areas of communication - listening, speaking, reading and writing. Comprehension improves when we know what words mean. Since comprehension is the ultimate goal of reading, the importance of developing a good vocabulary cannot be overstated. Here are five words to enlarge your personal word bank:

  • Companionable (adjective) - friendly and sociable
  • Flailing (verb) - waving or swinging wildly
  • Acrid (adjective) - unpleasantly bitter or pungent
  • Robust (adjective) - strong, sturdy, healthy
  • Immutable (adjective) - unchanging over time

BYO Devices

Secondary students are reminded to bring their devices to school every day. Please make sure that devices are fully charged. Whilst we do have technology available for those few students who do not yet have their own, students are expected to have their own technology. A USB must also be brought to class.

Stationery

Stationery is a basic requirement for every lesson. Stationery items are often depleted by the end of each term and may need replacing. Please check your child’s pencil case to ensure it contains the following items: red pen, blue or black pen, pencils, ruler, eraser, highlighter, glue, scissors, USB. Thank you for ensuring your child has the necessary equipment to participate productively in each lesson.

Uniform

The start of the new term signals that it is now time to wear the summer uniform. Most of our students wear their uniform appropriately and with pride. Wearing the uniform correctly and completely is an indication of belonging to a community and of identifying with a group. There are many opportunities for personal expression outside of school hours.

Some of our students have grown significantly over the past term. Please check that your child’s uniform is of the correct length and size.

Thank you for your support in ensuring that your child is always correctly attired. We appreciate the efforts of parents in helping us to maintain high uniform standards.

Greek Banquet

What better way to start the term than with a simple, healthy Greek salad! Under the gustatory guidance of Mr. Perry, Stage 5 students are exploring the world of Greek cuisine this term. We can’t help but wonder whether Mr. Perry’s little granddaughter Xanthi is the inspiration for the feast!

Greek Salad
Ingredients

  • 6 ripe tomatoes, chopped coarsely
  • 3 cucumbers, chopped coarsely
  • 1 red onion, sliced into rings
  • 1 red capsicum, halved, deseeded, chopped coarsely
  • 200 g marinated Greek olives
  • 220 g marinated feta, chopped coarsely
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 125 ml (½ cup) olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried Greek oregano
  • 60 ml (¼ cup) white vinegar

Method

  1. Combine the tomato, cucumber, onion, capsicum, olives and feta in a salad bowl. Sprinkle with oregano and salt.
  2. Whisk together the oil and vinegar in a jug. Drizzle the salad with the dressing and toss to combine. Serve immediately.

Handball Competition

Between Weeks 3 and 6, a ‘whole-school’ handball competition will be making its mark on the courts of ACC Singleton. Prizes will be up for grabs for the best male and female player in each Stage across the school.

The finals of the competition will be played in Week 6 – Friday November 18th after exams. Practice starts now for all of you handball enthusiasts (teachers included!) with the first play-offs commencing Week 3. Stay tuned!

IMPORTANT DATES

  • Term 4: 11th October - 7th December (9 week term)
  • Year 7 Information Night - 20th October at 6:30pm
  • Pre Kinder Orientation Event - 11th November at 9am
  • Remembrance Day Service - 11th November at 10:40am
  • Kindergarten Orientation Even - 18th November at 9am
  • Week 6 - secondary exams
  • Presentation Day - 7th December