Welcome to our second newsletter for 2017. I have some fantastic news to share with you.
In the past week I have been reading over the results of some testing that our Primary School students did in November last year. Students in Years 1 to 6 undertook testing on their reading comprehension. The test tells us how much growth students have had in their reading competence over a 12 month period. In 12 months, students’ reading competence should increase by 12 months.
Our students performed exceptionally well, with 77% showing more than 12 months of growth. Another fantastic statistic showed that 41% of students are reading at a level two years or more above expected.
We are increasingly confident that the new direction we have taken in the way we teach is paying dividends. Those dividends are notable improvements in student learning outcomes.
Congratulations to our amazing teachers and students.
Parent Connect is a new initiative this year. Our first Parent Connect session will be held at 7pm on Wednesday 22nd March, in the College Auditorium. We have chosen this time in order to provide opportunity for both mums and dads to attend as they are able, outside daytime work hours.
The aim of the sessions is to:
a) hear in person what is happening at the College, including plans for the future;
b) provide opportunity for parents to initiate and contribute to school events and projects that will enrich school life for our students.
At this point, we plan to hold 6 Parent Connect session during the year. The sessions will run for approximately 1 hour.
We hope to see you on Wednesday 22nd March.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
Individual Music lessons
Music lessons have started. Mr Luke Pittman still has some time slots available on Tuesdays for 30 min lessons. For further information please contact Luke Pittman at [email protected] or 0427 832 527.
College Swimming Carnival
Blessed with fantastic weather, competitive energy, encouraging sportsmanship and plenty of awesomeness all round, the 2017 Australian Christian College Swimming Carnival was a great success!
Bristling with energy, students began arriving early to start the lengthier endurance races of the 100 and 200 metre events. Following this, the grandstand began to fill steadily with the blue, green and red house colours from the students. It was so good to see the K-2 students in the children’s pool joining the fun as well. They danced the Macarena, threw hundreds of coloured balls at Mr Perry’s face inside the target and played numerous games thanks to the talents of Ms Moore.
The carnival in the big pool continued to kick up a few notches as the 25 metre and 50 metre events began after recess. House points were quickly racking up and it was neck and neck all the way to the end with a Thorley-Corinda tie for 1st place. There were free-time swims in between, as well as the teacher’s annual 50m race (incurring a much needed bomb on Mr Perry thanks to Mrs Salanoa!) and an awesome BBQ lunch cooked by our fantastic parents, the Hackett’s and the Williams’.
Finishing the day with some relays and cracking belly flops, the day was a solid win for everybody! Congratulations to all of the swimmers, our staff who helped it all run smoothly and a big thank you to the parents who assisted in all areas. God Bless.
Staff Training Day
Recently our teachers took part in a professional learning day. We were joined by teachers from our Marsden Park Campus, Maitland Christian School, Tyndale Christian College and consultants from the Association of Independent Schools, NSW.
School leaders from Dianella Heights Primary School in Perth facilitated the training. Dianella Heights is one of the highest performing schools in Western Australia, thanks to their implementation of Explicit Direct Instruction.
It was great to receive affirmation on the high standard of teaching here at ACC and to learn new strategies to enhance our students’ learning.
Covering of Exercise Books
Just a reminder that exercise books need to be covered. Thank you for supporting us in encouraging students to take pride in their bookwork.
Contact Details - Reminder
Thank you to those parents who have updated their contact details. It is very important that all contact details are accurate. Please ensure the office has your most up to date contact details.
Before School Supervision
Parents are reminded that supervision of students begins at 8.30 am. Students who arrive prior to this time are to sit in the area adjacent to the Teacher’s Staff Room.
Nut & Egg Free School
As we have children at Australian Christian College who are highly allergic to nuts (anaphylactic) and eggs, we request that no nuts, products containing nuts (including spreads such as Nutella) or eggs be brought to school. Thank you for supporting us in keeping all our students safe.
Arriving on time & leaving early
It is important to your child’s education that they have a solid attendance record. A high rate of attendance:
- ensures that children do not miss out on important learning activities that are scheduled
- reinforces the importance of real-life skills such as punctuality and routine
- provides time for children to develop their social skills
- reduces disruption that a late arrival/early departure causes to other students
The College reports attendance data to various government agencies. The information we provide to government relates to whole day absences, partial absences and patterns of both.
If your child is absent (full or part) please provide the College with specific information about the reason for the absence. Please do so via a signed and dated note, an email, phone message or message in person to the College Office. Thank you for your assistance in this matter.
Are you following our Facebook page yet? We use the Facebook page for regular updates on things happening at ACC that are of interest to parents and carers.
Click here to see our page and select the 'Follow' button.
Individual Plan Meetings
If your child requires adjustments in their learning you will be contacted over the next few weeks to meet with your child’s 2017 Classroom Teacher/s to develop a plan for the year. If you have any concerns about this, you can contact your child’s Pastoral Care/Class Teacher.
1 Peter 4:10 tells us: “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others.”
We are keen to see the many gifts, talents and special interests of our Stage 5 students enrich our community.
Lucy, our College Captain, has taken the initiative to organise lunchtime clubs, where our immensely talented Stage 5 students will share their skills with our younger students.
Stay tuned for details!
We have some very talented students here at ACC. If your child achieves something notable outside school, please let us know. We’d love to affirm them, too!
All in a day’s work
Mr. Incredible one day...vacuuming the classroom in readiness for a conference the next. We so appreciate you, Mr Shields.
What a busy first 5 weeks we have had. Our Swimming Carnival was a fantastic day with a successful first with our Kinder to Year 2 students participating.
All primary classes are into good routines and students are working well. Thank you parents for so promptly covering and returning student books to school.
Regular homework is in full swing. Kinder to Year 6 students have weekly homework set by class teachers which is due in each Friday. Along with this homework students in Kinder to Year 2 have home readers. Year 3 - 6 students are encouraged to read books of their choice every night. All reading though needs to be recorded in student diaries. Year 1- 6 students have additional spelling homework set by their Spelling Mastery Teacher. This also needs to be completed weekly but is due in each Monday. If you have any questions about homework please contact classroom teachers.
Homework is a valuable part of schooling. It allows for practising, extending and consolidating work done in class. Homework provides training for students in planning and organising time and develops a range of skills in identifying and using information resources. Additionally, it establishes habits of study, concentration and self-discipline.
ACC recognises the educational task as a shared one. The school takes on a large part of the formal aspects of educating children. Most of the student learning takes place in the classroom under the instruction and guidance of teachers. However, schools may also set homework to:
1. Complete work which could not be covered at school
2. Cover work which can be better accomplished at home
3. Reinforce or extend what was completed at school
Additionally, in seeking to share the educational process with parents, homework affords the opportunity to allow parents to be actively involved in school related learning (as well as in the classroom for those who are able).
Special Welcome to Miss Belinda Moore
We are thrilled to welcome Miss Moore to our team. Belinda is teaching our Year 3 and 4 students. It is always nice to get to know our new staff so we asked her some probing questions.
Where do you live? Newcastle
How long have you been teaching? This is my first year.
Where did you train? Avondale
What is your favourite subject to teach? Maths
What do you do to relax? Watch TV and catching up with friends.
What is your Favourite Food/Drink? Love chocolate and coffee.
What is your favourite Bible verse? Jeremiah 29:11
What are you passionate about? Seeing young people growing in their Christian faith.
What do you love about our school? Everyone has been so welcoming.
This year Mrs Hartmann meets with our PK students for Sport on Thursday afternoons. Last week the students were extremely excited when Mrs Hartmann introduced them to the large colourful parachute. It is wonderful to see our youngest students enjoying games that refine their gross and fine motor skills. Each week Mrs Hartmann will challenge PK students with fun activities and games that will not only teach skills in movement, body awareness and control but also provide a lot of fun.
A lively bunch of our primary students recently enjoyed setting up a pretend hospital. They were very entertaining to observe.
Our high school students have all knuckled down to serious work. As teachers, we often share stories about the wonderful things happening in our classrooms and a regular comment is, ‘Aren’t they a great bunch of kids!’ They really are a joy to teach.
Studying with Music
Many students tell us that they study and complete homework and assessment tasks more effectively when listening to music. The music may actually be distracting them from concentrating on the set task.
The truth is that listening to music is fine if you are doing work that doesn’t require much concentration. If you are doing something complex that requires you to think, or understand or remember information, then music is not recommended.
Not only is music a distraction, but it also slows down your ability to process and remember information.
The only music that actually helps your ability to concentrate is a type of classical music called baroque music. Some studies show that this type of music in some cases is actually better than silence.
If you wish to try it, here is a link to an hour of classical music composed by Bach.
Thank you for ensuring your child brings his/her fully charged device to school each day. We appreciate your support.
Schoology – Learning Platform
Have you asked your child to show you their Schoology Course yet? All high school homework tasks are posted on Schoology. Students can also access worksheets and textbook material. Please encourage your child to check Schoology each day.
Remember the days of the old school yard
Does anyone remember the old Cat Stevens’ song ‘Remember the Days of the Old School Yard’?
Stage 4 students have been learning about biographies, autobiographies and memoirs. Reading their reminiscences of the first day of Kindergarten certainly took me on a trip down memory lane. As I look at all of our gorgeous little PKs and Kindergarten students, I can’t help but think how important it is for that first day to be fantastic. It stays in the memory forever.
I hope you enjoy Emily’s description of her first day of Kindergarten...way back in 2010.
Memoir- Emily’s First day of school
I could feel my warm cheeks flood with embarrassment as I walked into the colourful classroom. A few kids were outside playing hop scotch whilst the others were happily drawing. I held my mum’s hand even tighter knowing that all of these people were strangers. Mrs Williams politely introduced herself. I shyly whispered ‘hello’ as I was studying her face.
My mother slowly let go of my hand and waved a goodbye as she left me standing on my own. I didn't know where to go and what to expect; I felt left out and unsure of things. I suddenly felt a warm tear, drop upon my cheek. This day couldn't get any worse, I thought to myself.
The bell suddenly rang and I quickly lined up like everybody else. I instantly recognised a familiar face - her metallic glasses shone brightly in the sun just like her hazel eyes, and two long plaits flowed down her back. Without a warning she shot a look right into my eyes as she gave a gentle smile. That afternoon I started to think that school wasn't so bad after all, if you have a good friend!!
What a blessing to see that Emily and Felicia are still best buddies!
English - Timed Writing Task
In English, we regularly practise timed writing tasks. We do this to enhance students’ ability to think and respond within strict time constraints. This is an important life skill.
I love the following description of a migraine written in five minutes by Brendon (Year 10). For anyone who has ever suffered a migraine, it describes the sensations perfectly. For those who haven’t, it gives an insight into just how awful they are. Thanks, Brendon.
Everything stops. People stand like statues all around me. My head is throbbing and I can't stand straight. My migraine is getting worse as I try to overcome its power - everything around me, from people to pets, are starting to go fuzzy. I'm stuck in this limbo. I can't escape. I hesitate to sit down as it feels like I'm being pushed around by invisible forces.
I manage to place myself firmly on the bench seat. Everything in my vision is melting now; it's like a real life hell.
We can all say 'G'day mate! How's it going?'. But could you say it in French? Could you find France on a map? Could you count to ten in French? Well, our Stage 4 class most certainly can. They can introduce themselves, describe where they live and check to see how someone is going. Ask them. Try "Bonjour. Ça va?" and see what they say.
Stage 4 Music
This Term in Stage 4 Music we have been learning about the origin and elements of rock music. Students have been researching the great artists such as Buddy Holly, Bill Haley and the Comets, Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry, just to name a few. When trying to define what rock music is, students discovered that it wasn’t easy to come up with a precise definition. The reason for this is that rock music spans such a wide range of genres such as Rap, Hip-hop, R&B, heavy rock, harmony-singing, country music, techno-pop and anything that is possible or acceptable.
Students have also been learning how to appraise music. This is an important skill to develop as it can be applied in many areas of life. To do this they gather information about the song that they are listening to using elements such as the texture of the song, duration, pitch, volume, etc and then form an opinion of what they have heard.
Students have also been discovering instruments within a rock band and as a class we concentrated on the different components of a drum kit. In class, a group of students pulled a drum kit apart and then put it back together giving them a better understanding of the correct positions of instruments that are used within the kit. The students have found that to play the drums, you need to be very coordinated!
As part of the Music Course students are required to learn about sequencing and looping software. This term students will be using a program called, ‘Garageband’ in order to compose their own contemporary electronic compositions. Foundations in this area are being laid and students will be receiving their assessment task this week. Could I please ask, that if your child hasn’t the Garageband app, that you purchase it for them in preparation for them doing their assessment task? I’m really looking forward to hearing the many different compositions that our students and your children will compose.
Speaking of Music…
Jericho (Year 10) serenading his class mates.
We could listen to you sing and play guitar all day, Jericho!
What a great talent!
The ayes (or is that eyes) have it! Practical lessons are always fun with Mr Perry.
Mr Barnes always has a smile on his face when he is mowing the grounds. Mr Perry loves the ride-on and often mows the College Green before school. There’s clearly something about the ride-on mower that our boys just love!
Year 7 Vaccinations: Tuesday 7th March
Secondary Zone Swimming: Thursday 9th March
Maths Fun Day: Tuesday 21st March
Parent Connect: Wednesday 22nd March @ 7pm
Police Officer visit Year 3 & 4: Tuesday 28th March
Romeo & Juliet play Year 9 & 10: Tuesday 4th April
Hunter Valley Zoo visit Year 1 & 2: Tuesday 4th April