PRINCIPAL’S MESSAGE

A well known American speaker and writer, Joyce Meyer, has produced a book and associated material titled 'The Battlefield of the Mind'. I have personally benefited from this book not just once, but time after time. For me, it is one of those books that is a constant on my bedside table.

The title is so accurate. The mind IS a battlefield. In many ways, the mind is THE battlefield.

We can all be challenged by those internal thoughts about ourselves and about other people. I wonder if you ever tell yourself things like this:

  • ‘I’m not good enough’
  • ‘I will never be able to do that’
  • ‘I will never be accepted because….’
  • ‘No one will want to spend time with me’

Instead Joyce Meyer says:

  • ‘Our joy does not have to be based on our circumstances’
  • ‘There’s no happier person than a truly thankful, content person’
  • ‘We can improve our relationships with others by leaps and bounds if we become encouragers instead of critics’

We need to take control of our thoughts that destroy. We need to replace them with thoughts and actions that build up.

I am so thrilled when one of our students approaches me in the playground and excitedly tells me that they can recite the memory verse. Why? It is because, we choose verses from the Bible that students can use in the battlefield of their minds. The verses we choose build your children’s view of their own value. When we have an increasing sense of our value in God’s eyes, we are better equipped to embrace life and relationships with resilience.

Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as you are doing. 

1 Thessalonians 5:11

2017 Planning

If you have a child whose enrolment is not yet confirmed for PK or Kindergarten for next year, I recommend you contact us as soon as practical as we are approaching the need for a waiting list in both classes.

Mrs Atack has been working hard at finalising enrolment paperwork for new students in preparation for 2017 - particular in PK, Kindergarten and Year 7.

Our confirmed student numbers for 2017 reflect our continuing growth with an increase of approximately 25% in student numbers.

As you move around the school campus over the next few weeks you will notice some minor improvements to key facilities. This week our front reception area is receiving a revitalisation. Following this will be some painting of two secondary classrooms and our Stage 3 classroom.

I trust you will have a great week.

Tim Shields
Principal
[email protected]

A Colourful Adventure

As an additional school project, Mr Vincze, along with a few other teachers and students created this 'pet' project with many hours and love. It has been a HUGE hit at ACC Singleton, but we want to make it even bigger! Now it's time for it to be shown to the world!

Synopsis: The students in Art class are told by their crazy teacher Mr Vincze that Vincent Van Gogh had a vision that the world's colour will switch to black and white. It actually happens! The colour changes to black and white and the students go on an 'adventure' to find how to turn the colour back on…which ends up being a simple 'colour machine' operated by the infamous Tech teacher. Please share and enjoy.

Mr. Allan Perry

Celebrating new beginnings

We thought it only fitting that our families get to see a snap of the recent wedding of Mr and Mrs Vincze. Congratulations.

Federal Technology Report from the eSafety Commissioner

I recently read the ‘Aussie teens and kids online’ report published by the Federal Government’s Office of the Children’s eSafety Commissioner. While it is probably no surprise to learn that teenagers are using technology in greater numbers than ever before, there are a few points that are worthy of highlighting.

Teenagers spend more time on their mobile phones than any other device. 82% of Australian teenagers now have access to technology, with home being the most common place for teens to go online. This means that it is parents who have most control over how technology is used by their child.

The statistic that I find most disturbing is the significant increase in the number of teenagers going online between 10pm and midnight, and the even more worrying increase in the number of teenagers using technology between midnight and 7am.

Sleep researcher and psychologist Dr. Sarah Blundeon recommends that teens get about 9 hours of sleep per night. Given the statistics cited above, it isn’t surprising that her studies reveal that most teenagers are not getting enough sleep. This ‘sleep debt’ is having a negative impact on the lives of our young people.

The prefrontal cortex is an area of the brain that controls how well we learn. This particular part of the brain requires lots of sleep to function efficiently.

Lack of adequate sleep increases accidents and clumsiness, affects appetite leading to obesity and increases sickness. Lack of proper sleep can also lead to depression, anxiety, mood swings and a decreased ability to concentrate, which can lead to a diminished ability to learn.

Technology is ubiquitous and it is difficult to imagine life without easy access to our devices. If we are to believe current data, then Australian parents are not very good at placing reasonable limits on their children when it comes to technology and bed times.

I am so concerned by these latest statistics that I’ve been chatting to our students about their internet and sleep habits. Worryingly, many of our students do fit the statistics, especially the late night use of technology. Many also use their phones to communicate throughout the night.

At ACC we are genuinely committed to ensuring your child receives the best possible education. Although there is no doubt that the internet can be a wonderful place for children to learn and play, we encourage parents to monitor their child’s internet usage and to set appropriate limits. Bedtime curfews are also necessary if we want our teens to be alert and active at school.

The report also cites an increase in students’ mobile phone usage during school hours. ACC’s policy is that students are NOT permitted to use their mobile phones during school hours. We do not want any unnecessary interruptions to your child’s learning. We respectfully ask parents to support our policy by not contacting their children directly.

By working together, we can provide the best possible environment for your child to thrive.

If you are interested in reading the report, it can be accessed HERE.

Mrs. Marney Meredith

Attendance and Punctuality

Being at school is vitally important. Attending school every day is the only way our teachers are able to get the sequences of learning that every child needs to be successful. Arriving on time means that students don’t miss important lesson information on which future lessons are built.

Did you know that if a student misses as few as 8 days per school term, by the end of primary school they would have missed over a year of school?

It is no surprise that children and young people who regularly attend school have better outcomes than those who frequently miss days.

Regular school attendance is vital for students’ success in academic, language, social and work related domains. Studies show that students with regular attendance have higher test scores in external tests such as NAPLAN and better life outcomes. It is important that children develop habits of regular attendance and arriving at school on time. If students miss school regularly, or misses even part of a lesson due to arriving late, they miss out on learning fundamental skills. Each day a student misses school puts them behind.

Sadly, studies show that a child who regularly misses days in kindergarten or in the early years of school will often continue to miss classes in the later years.

There are, of course, always times when illness prevents attendance or when commitments arise that necessitate absence. Arranging appointments and outings after school hours, at weekends or during school holidays will help to prevent disruption to a child’s education. We ask parents to think twice before letting children have a 'day off'. Every day counts.

PAT Testing

In weeks 6 and 7 our students will be sitting the ACER PAT Tests. PAT stands for - Progress Achievement Tests. They are widely used in schools across Australia to monitor progress in key skill areas. PAT Tests are ideal for understanding students’ current strengths and weaknesses, informing teaching and learning, and monitoring progress over time.

All students will sit the tests in the following skills:

  •  Kindergarten will sit Early Maths and Reading.

The rest of our students will sit PAT tests in:

  •  Maths, Comprehension, Vocabulary, Science, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation.

Our Primary Students will sit their tests in Week 6 on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. Our High school students will sit their PAT Tests in Week 7.

We wish them all the very best and look forward to seeing how they have progressed in their learning this year.

Mrs. Lynda Armi

Handball Competition

Did you know that handball is played in over 150 countries and is part of the Olympic competition? According to the Australian Olympic Committee, the modern version of handball originated in 1919 in Germany. Our whole-school handball competition kicked off this week with the first play-offs being held during lunch breaks.

Thank you, Mr Vincze, for preparing the courts.

Stay tuned for details of our handball champions!

Literacy Tip for Week 3

An effective way to connect with your child about books and reading is to become an expert on the subjects they like - from sporting personalities to coins, carburetors and everything in between. Children, both primary and secondary, thrive when parents and caregivers show a genuine interest in the things that matter to them. Provide reading material that targets their interests and you will help to build a lifelong love of reading and create connections with your child.

Memory Verse

Don’t forget our memory verse. We pray that you will be blessed with extra words of encouragement this week.

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

Primary

Term 4 in Full Swing

There is always lots happening in Primary. Our author visit last Friday was an absolute hit. The students thoroughly enjoyed Katrina McKelvey sharing her delightful book ‘Danelions’.

This week Stage 3 students are off to Sydney. This term they are studying Space so they will be visiting an observatory.

All primary students are busy practising this year’s song for ‘Count Us In’. Count Us In (MCUI) is a national school initiative. In 2015, more than 550,000 students from over 2,100 schools participated nationwide. Count Us In brings teachers, parents, students and the music industry together in celebration of music and music education. All students will be singing the same song simultaneously right across Australia. This event will be happening on Thursday 3rd of November.

Preparations have begun for our Year 6 Graduation. Thank you to the parents who came to the planning meeting. Don’t forget the next meeting is Monday the 7th of November.

A reminder that students from Kindergarten to Year 6 will participate in the Learn to Swim Program from Monday 7th November to Friday 11th November.

Bright Creations Playgroup

Parents with children between the ages of 0-5 years are welcome to join us on Wednesdays of each school term from 9:30am to 11:00am.

There will be planned activities, stories and songs, arts and crafts, play dough and morning tea.

Come and meet with other friendly families.

Enquiries

   Mrs Martha Burgmann 0408 964 639

   Mrs Beth Jenkins 0409 530 480

Daylight Savings and Outdoor Play

Outdoor play gives children the opportunity to experience the natural environment and have adventures! Now that daylight savings has started, children have even more opportunity to get outside before school, after school and on the weekends.

Make the most of the sunlight by having some outdoor activities planned in advance. Consider installing a basketball hoop for summer evenings or planning to build a cubby house on the weekends. Playing outdoors with neighbourhood play mates is a great afterschool activity. Family activities could include a bushwalk or beach cricket day.

Secondary

Week 3 Already!

It’s hard to believe that it is Week 3 already! High School students have settled happily into the new Term and are focused and working well. Our core business is teaching and learning in an environment where Jesus Christ is at the centre of all we do. It is satisfying to hear high school teachers praising pupils for their positive attitudes and consistent effort.

Semester Two Exams

Don’t forget that Yearly Examinations are in Week 6.

All students should have already embarked upon a nightly study routine. Thank you for encouraging your child to revise their notes and complete homework tasks.

Teenagers: Eating for Study

A small number of high school students regularly fail to bring food for recess and lunch. As teachers, we worry about these children. We experience first hand the lapses in concentration caused by a hungry tummy!

Whilst most high school students are independent enough to make their own lunch, some still require assistance and supervision. Mornings can be busy, stressful times, which is why some families prepare lunches the night before. Grabbing a packet of biscuits or chips on the run is not going to sustain your child throughout the day.

The kilojoules in your child’s lunch are essential for energy levels for the afternoon ahead. By skipping lunch, your child will not consume the protein, fibre, vitamins and minerals needed to concentrate and focus. Without a nutritious and well-balanced lunch you are also more likely to have an irritable, tired teen when they arrive home from school.

We’ve all heard the maxim that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but the teenage brain also needs extra energy at school and when studying. Eating healthy foods improves concentration.

With Yearly Examinations drawing closer, it is timely to offer some tips to help with healthy eating while your teen is studying.

  • We find that most of our students are really hungry by the end of Period 1. Breakfast is important. Ensure your child eats a nutritious breakfast. If your child finds it difficult to eat breakfast, try making them a fruit smoothie.
  • Small frequent meals boost brain power.
  • Easy, convenient and nutritious foods to offer teens include cheese sandwiches or toasties, peanut-butter sandwiches, breakfast cereals, baked beans or eggs on toast.
  • Snack foods such as lollies, chocolates and chips can cause some teens to feel grumpy, irritable and low in energy (after a short sugar burst of energy). Make sure there are healthy snacks on hand. Yoghurt, nuts, dried fruits, fresh fruit, plain popcorn and dip with vegetable sticks are some simple options.
  • Even teenagers who don’t choose fruit as a first option are more likely to eat fruit if it is cut up for them. (I guess we’re all kids at heart.) Containers of fresh fruit salad work well in lunchboxes.
  • Discourage your child from consuming soft drinks, energy drinks or caffeine-laden drinks. Too much caffeine can disturb sleep and increase the heart rate, making it difficult to focus. It also increases anxiety in some people.
  • Encourage your child to drink plenty of water. It is easy to become dehydrated. Dehydration leads to fatigue. Make sure there is cold water in the fridge.

Vocabulary Enhancement

I mentioned in the last Newsletter that words are the currency of communication. When it comes to enhancing language skills, there are thousands of tools available, ranging from software, blogs, dictionaries, thesauruses to word puzzles. One digital tool that I really like is the online graphical dictionary Visuwords. When you look up a word, it produces a graph which connects that word to various other words based on the different relationships between them. It is a great dictionary and thesaurus with an added benefit for visual learners.

Check it out HERE

Mrs. Marney Meredith

BYO Devices Reminder

Thank you for encouraging your child to bring their fully charged devices to school each day. They are frequently used in high school classrooms and it is an expectation that all students possess their own technology.

I Dub Thee, Sir….

Congratulations to our Stage 4 students on producing excellent models that represented one aspect of life during the Middle Ages. Students conducted research on everything from knights and castles to medicine and the role of women. I urged students to complete their model with a minimum of assistance from parents and without incurring unnecessary costs. It was fantastic to see students present work that was completed independently. Well done, Stage 4! On our next historical quest we will explore the Inca civilisation which flourished in ancient Peru between c.1400 and 1533.



Seven Steps to Writing Success

Last week I attended the ‘Seven Steps to Writing Success’ workshop that our primary teachers attended last term. I learnt some great new strategies to enhance the writing process that I can’t wait to put into practice. It is also great to know that the skills our young writers learn in the primary years are being reinforced and consolidated in high school.

The Seven Steps work together to lay the foundations for composing engaging stories in any form – written, spoken or visual. The Seven Steps are:

  1. Plan for Success
  2. Sizzling Starts
  3. Tightening Tension
  4. Dynamic Dialogue
  5. Show, Don’t Tell
  6. Ban the Boring
  7. Exciting Endings

Mrs. Marney Meredith

High School Library Visits

We have resumed our fortnightly visits to the Singleton Library. Our decision to introduce regular library visits was made on the strength of data that shows that children who choose to read independently for pleasure demonstrate significant improvement in comprehension, spelling and grammar, writing skills, general knowledge and self-esteem.

We deliberately provide as many opportunities as possible because we know from research that children who read for pleasure achieve higher scores on tests, including in maths, reading comprehension and logical problem solving. Studies also show that teenagers who read in leisure time showed less risky behaviour and had higher levels of motivation towards school.

We encourage you to ask your child what they borrowed and to show an interest in what they are reading. All high school students must contribute to our compulsory Library Log on Schoology. Ask your child to share with you what they have contributed. Thank you for supporting us as we strive to improve outcomes for your child.

Stage 4 English

In Stage 4 English, students are currently exploring the adventure genre. We began by looking at Biblical people who had extraordinary adventures, and after refining skills in finding the main idea and paraphrasing, students then composed narrative poems about their Biblical adventurer.

Here is a sample. Thank you, Lucy, for sharing your work.

Daniel and the Lion’s Den

(By Lucy Kelly)

He was a faithful servant,

A faithful servant was he.

No error or fault could be found,

Yet the men plotted for him to be bound.


“May King Darius live forever!”

They made a statue in his favour.

This was all a part of the plotters’ plans

To see Daniel fall at their hands.


So Daniel hearing this decree,

Three times fell to his knee.

He had always praised God this way.

And so too this was how they found him one day.


The king was displeased at this news,

But his decree he knew he could not refuse.

“May your God whom you always worship save you!”

And so Daniel was to meet a lion knowing there was nothing he

could do.


So into the den he was thrown,

For the faith in his God that he had shown.

So God sent an angel to his side,

The lions could not eat him if they tried.


The eventing went on with the King not at rest,

Then the morning rose with him hoping for the best.

“Was God, whom you always worship able to save you?”

Then Daniel proclaimed, “My God, He came through.”


Soon King Darius would make a new decree,

And post it where all could see -

For people to follow Daniel’s God In every way,

And pray sincerely each passing day.

Φοβερός - Foveros!

‘Prwto’ is the Greek word meaning ‘first class’. ‘Foveros’ and ‘gamato’ both mean ‘awesome’. These words capture perfectly last Friday’s Greek banquet. Stage 5 students worked hard all day to prepare an amazing array of Greek dishes that were all eagerly devoured by their delighted parents. We congratulate our wonderful students on their culinary skills, hours of preparation, superb cuisine and warm hospitality. Thank you, Mr. Perry, for all your hard work in preparing the students for this event.



Missions

All high school parents should be so proud of our students in their community service activities. Last term we visited Cooinda Retirement Village and gave assistance at the Salvation Army hall. They really did you proud!

This term, Stage 4 will have 2 visits again to Cooinda. It has been a raging success. Our students have gone over, showing respect and care for the elderly, coming out of their comfort zones to create conversations with strangers. These strangers are fast becoming friends. You only had to see the smiles from the residents and the students to realise how caring our students are.

Stage 5 have begun two amazing programs during Missions this term: Shine (for our girls) and Strength (for our boys). The programs are designed to build confidence and understanding of intrinsic value. There is also a focus on decision making and problem solving skills.

Students have been buzzing over how good these programs are on their first week. It is excellent to have such high quality programs available to the students.

Mrs. Makayla Tydeman


Mathematics

Stage 4 have commenced Probability this week, with Stage 5 commencing Non-Linear Graphs. Early this week there will be a topic test for both classes. Once these are complete, a full scale study-assault should be commenced to prepare for the Yearly Exams coming up in Week 6.

Food Technology

Stage 4 were abuzz with success and culinary pleasure after making scones this week. Our journey is to appreciate the cultures that have historically contributed to today’s Australian palate. The recipe is the easiest ever.

Ingredients: 2 cups self raising flour, 150 ml thickened cream, 150 ml chilled lemonade. Mix it, knead it, cut it into circles, cook it at 200 degrees Celsius for approximately 12 minutes. Just delicious!

Year 10 Formal

On Thursday 1st December, our Year 10 students will celebrate an important milestone - the end of Stage 5 and their schooling at ACC. They are excitedly planning their Year 10 formal dinner which will be held at Tuscany Estate, Pokolbin on Thursday 1st December.

IMPORTANT DATES

Term 4: 11th October - 7th December (9 week term)

Pre Kinder Orientation Event - 11th November at 9am

Remembrance Day Service - 11th November at 10:40am

Bridging the Generations - Local History with Senior Citizens - 17th November

Kindergarten Orientation Event - 18th November at 9am

Week 6 - Secondary Exams

Year 10 Formal - Thursday 1st December

Presentation Day - 7th December