The Auracle – Vol. 22, December 2017

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From the Principal’s desk

As has been the case in each of our three years of operation, this year has been one filled with many wonderful achievements. Once again, I find myself full of admiration and pride as I reflect on the many successes of individual students, but also on the collective successes of the college and its community. To our students, their parents and our staff, I offer my congratulations for the part each of you has played in our ongoing success.

Throughout the year, The Auracle has celebrated these many achievements and in this, the final edition for the year, our award recipients for 2017 take centre stage. I invite you to view a complete list of our deserving prize winners here. In the last weeks of the term, partner schools received certificates and/or medals for all prize winners. Prizes were awarded for academic achievement and for success attained via the college’s merit system. I would like to thank our partner schools for presenting these awards, as intended, at the end of year presentation assemblies across the state. Congratulations to all students for your magnificent achievements!

As we prepare for the year ahead, I am pleased to report that our school will experience significant growth in 2018. The new year will commence with approximately 260 Aurora students, shared with 75 schools across rural and remote NSW. In a very clear vote of confidence in our school, the executive of the NSW Department of Education recently approved a pilot program for a stage 3 virtual opportunity class. This expanded role for our school will commence in Semester 2, 2018. Watch this space for further news of this exciting development!

Locations of schools sharing: students (blue markers); students and teachers (green markers); and teachers (red markers) in 2018.

Last week, we said goodbye to a number of staff who, for a range of personal and professional reasons, will not be returning to Aurora in 2018. I would like to acknowledge and thank the following staff for the many contributions they have made to our school: Josh Westerway (Science); Penny Boucher (English); Sheridan Wilkins (English); Owen Brown (Mathematics and Science); Mark Goreta (Mathematics); and Tali Chew (Mathematics). I know that I speak for the entire Aurora College community when I wish our departing teachers all the very best in their future endeavours.

I would like to make special mention of Jennifer Densley (English) who, following a long and successful career in public education, is entering retirement. One could never measure the impact a great teacher like Jennifer has had on the lives of her students. Having had the pleasure of working with her these past three years, I know that the number of students that Jennifer has inspired to dream big and to achieve their best would be enormous. Jennifer’s knowledge and experience will be sorely missed by all her colleagues at Aurora and we wish her the very best in the next phase of her life.

Recently, a state-wide recruitment process for four permanent members of the teaching staff was concluded. I would like to congratulate and welcome Geoff Goldrick (Science), Ian Whiteway (Mathematics), Greta Gaut (Mathematics) and Daisy Little (English) to full-time employment with Aurora College. Ian and Daisy will continue to work from the coordinating office in Sydney, Geoff will continue from his base in Stuarts Point and Greta will connect with her students and colleagues from Parkes. We welcome also the following ‘shared-teachers’ to our school: Stuart Campbell (Science, Billabong High School); Anthony Martin (Mathematics, Chatham High School); Gracen Gu (Mathematics, Wiley Park Girls High School); Tegan Morgan (English, Glen Innes High School); Elizabeth Robson (English, Murwillumbah High School); and Julie Ruming (Languages, Erina High School). Joining the casual teaching staff at the coordinating office will be: Connor Boyko (English); Susan Laris (Science); and Mahez Tariq (Mathematics and Science). Welcome one and all!

Our State Reference Group (SRG) is currently reviewing the Aurora College stage 6 enrolment policy. This important work will clarify and make explicit the principles and processes that will be applied when students seek to enrol in one or more stage 6 courses with Aurora College. The SRG will appreciate your input into forming these principles and processes. Early in the new year, I will forward a link to a brief online survey which I encourage all parents to complete. 

To give the majority of our students the opportunity to take part in orientation activities at their home school, Aurora College classes will commence on Thursday 1 February 2018. Coursework will not commence until students in the Western division start the school year, from Tuesday 6 February 2018. Students in class before Tuesday 6 February 2018 will undertake an orientation and revision program with their Aurora College teachers.

Our coordinating office will be moving to a new location during the summer break. Our new location will be:

C/- Mowbray Public School
635 Mowbray Road LANE COVE NORTH NSW 2066

This will be our temporary home until our final move to the Lindfield Learning Village (formerly UTS Ku-ring-gai Campus) for the start of the 2019 school year. Should you need to contact me during the school holidays, I can be reached by email at christopher.robertson@det.nsw.edu.au or by telephone on 0475 961 392.

To all our families and friends, I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2018.

Chris Robertson

Principal

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Deputy’s report

I would like to take this opportunity to thank our students and staff for their commitment to Aurora College this year.

Year 7-11 lesson orientations

Thank you to Virginia Cluff, Kathy Howard, Carolyn McMurtrie and our Year 7 peer support leaders who assisted in our orientation lessons for our new 2018 students. During the lesson, our new students were shown some of the various technology platforms that they will be engaging with next year, including Adobe Connect and Microsoft OneNote. There were many engaged students, all excited at the prospect of communicating with teachers and peers in the new virtual learning environment.

New Teacher Induction Conference

On Monday 27 November, our new teachers were welcomed to the coordinating office at Ryde. In a very full week, they were provided with a comprehensive introduction to Aurora and also completed the University of NSW’s mini-Certificate of Gifted Education. Welcome to our school!

Reports

Semester 2 reports were distributed to parents and Aurora College Coordinators last week. Parents have access to these reports via their email and Sentral portal. Please be aware that all students are working beyond their stage level through a compacted and enriched curriculum.

Coordinator of the term

Joanne Garland at Willyama High School has been awarded Outstanding Aurora College Coordinator for Term 4. Joanne seamlessly transitioned into this important role during Semester 2. She was very quick in establishing herself in the role and she has been a great communicator with our office. Congratulations, Joanne! We appreciate your outstanding effort and commitment.

Farewell to staff

I would also like to thank our staff who will not be returning next year for the contributions they have made to Aurora College. They include: Josh Westerway; Jennifer Densley; Penny Boucher; Mark Goreta; Sheridan Wilkins and Tali Chew. We wish them the best of luck and hope to see them return to Aurora College in the near future.

What’s coming up next year?

The first residential next year will be held in Term 1 from Monday 5 March 2018 to Friday 9 March 2018. The ‘res’ will take place at the Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation on Sydney’s northern beaches, only 45 minutes from the centre of Sydney and moments from Narrabeen Beach.

Further information regarding the residential is available on the school website.

School holidays begin 15 December 2017 for all students. I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.

Kathy Klados

Deputy Principal

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Connect locally, learn globally

Chanse on the 'Swinging Bridge' everyone's favourite hang-out spot.

Chanse on the Swinging Bridge, everyone’s favourite hang-out spot.

Hey, my name is Chanse and I am currently in Year 10, my last year of Aurora. You may know me as Daenerys, from the fantastic Trivia Night Year 10 hosted at Residential Camp in Bathurst. But as well as being an Aurora student, I am also enrolled in Canowindra High School. Canowindra is a small town, situated about 60km south west of Orange, NSW. Cano, as it is often called, has a sparse population, numbering about 2,258 people, living both in-town and on surrounding properties. This means that I have many agricultural opportunities; I can literally look out my bedroom window and see sheep, horses and occasionally cattle. As well as being an agricultural hub, Canowindra is known for its ballooning, hot air ballooning, that is. We have an annual ballooning challenge and a festival we call the ‘Balloon Glow’, which brings in a swathe of enthusiasts and tourists, making our small town very crowded!

The Kookaburra – Canowindra’s most iconic balloon, which has burnt down at least thrice

Because of our less-than average sized community, we have quite a small school, with only about 200 students. But despite having such a small school community, we try quite hard to succeed. We have a competition each year known as ‘Rural Cup’, in which we fight to the death (in a metaphorical sense!) in a sporting competition against Molong and Oberon High. We also have a strong sense of community in Canowindra, especially when it comes to public events such as Remembrance Day.

Despite the obvious allure of Canowindra High, I don’t spend all my time here. Whenever I can, I apply to summer school programs based at Universities. I have attended 2 Uni summer programs in the last 18 months and I was recently accepted into a 3rd at the University of Sydney. By travelling to these summer programs, I have been able to experience a taste of University life and even study a variety of courses, such as Marine Biology, Law, Engineering, Sport Science, Commerce and my personal favourite, Medicine. I hope to one day complete my Bachelors of Surgery and Medicine (MBBS), receive my Doctorate of Medicine (MD) and specialise into further medical fields. After more than a decade of hard work and study, a massive HECS debt and a deluge of emotional breakdowns, I might be able to tack two letters onto the start of my name and be called a Dr.

I am now in my final year of Aurora, along with many of my closest friends. We are part of a dying breed, the last Xsellians. I suspect that without the help of both Xsel and Aurora, none of us would be where we are today. Over the last 4 years, we have forged friendships that will last a lifetime, even if we are separated. Aurora and Xsel have given us countless opportunities to succeed, excel (haha) and shine. Not only have I made strong friendships with other students, but also with several teachers. I am so grateful for their help in both academic and social areas, without whom I would be undoubtedly lost.

Thank you so much Aurora, we are all grateful.

Chanse McLean (Year 10, Canowindra High)

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Tip from a techie

HP Device Warranty

Students who enrolled with aurora College in 2015 were generously donated a device from our then technology sponsor, HP. Unlike the Microsoft and Lenovo devices that we have loaned to students in subsequent years, these devices were owned by the students. We were able to offer some assistance for hardware issues on this device due to a combination of the extended warranty that was included with the devices and a pool of spare equipment that HP also provided. Over the years, the pool of spare equipment has slowly dwindled until it is no longer feasible to offer a replacement service for these devices. For the past six months, we’ve been advising students with hardware issues for these devices to contact HP for repair or replacement under warranty.

From March 2018, these devices will start reaching the end of their warranty period. After that time any issues with these devices will incur a cost to repair. We recommend that should you have any outstanding issues with these devices, you contact HP for repair early in 2018 to ensure it gets covered by the warranty.

You can check your warranty at the following site: https://support.hp.com/au-en/checkwarranty. Simply enter your serial number (found on the bottom edge of the device) and it will give you the date your warranty ends. You can contact HP by calling them on 131047 (or 02 8278 1039) between 8:30am and 5:30pm (AEST) Monday to Friday.

 Ben Hillsley

Learning Technologies Support officer

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Faculty news

Mathematics 

The mathematics teachers at Aurora College have been impressed by the high quality of student work throughout the year. As the end of the year approached, students continued to work hard, willingly exploring challenging, unfamiliar concepts.

Our senior students in Mathematics, Extension 1 Mathematics, Extension 2 Mathematics and Software Design and Development have all ended the year with assessment tasks. We hope that they have some time to relax during the break as they prepare for 2018.

Year 7 finished the year as experts in applying Pythagoras’ Theorem. Here is a sample from Toby Gmur.

Year 8 studied Linear and Non-Linear Relationships. Jackson Winter made these discoveries about parabolas and the main features of a linear relationship.

Year 9 wound up for the year with further exploration of Non-Linear Relationships as you can see in Mackewin Strachan’s Geogebra work.

Our Year 10 students explored Circle Geometry in this final week of lessons. Here is some work from Rob Grant.

The mathematics faculty would like to wish everyone a very happy break and we look forward to seeing you again in the New Year.

Kathy Howard

Head Teacher, Mathematics

English

2017 has been a phenomenal year for both the students and staff within the English, HSIE and Language faculty.  Let the holidays be a time to relax, unwind, spend time with family and friends as well as reading a good book or three.

We look forward to seeing you all online again in 2018 ready and eager to learn.

Carolyn McMurtrie

Head Teacher, English

Science 

The science teachers would like to congratulate all our students for their consistent effort, diligence, and team spirit during residentials this school year. It was amazing to see all of you learning and achieving at such high levels.

The science faculty wish all our students and their families a safe and wonderful holiday season and invite you to view The twelve days of science Christmas.

Dr. Silvia Rudmann

R/Head Teacher Science

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Spotlight on … two of our English teachers

Penny Boucher

Penny being pushed

Penny with her two children at Falls Creek, VIC

My husband took this photo a number of years ago during a skiing holiday to Falls Creek, Victoria. (Our children are now 22 and 19.) They spent some time orchestrating this moment. As you can tell, they did a good job of keeping me in the dark. Despite the embarrassing nature of the image, this is one of my favourite family holiday snaps.

Where have your previous teaching appointments been?

I started my teaching career at Arthur Phillip High in Parramatta in 1989 and in my capacity as a long-term casual teacher I have taught in a wide range of schools in Sydney’s west and north-west suburbs.

What is your local community like?

For the past twenty years I have lived in Thornleigh, a suburb in Sydney’s north-west. Apart from the notoriously busy Pennant Hills Road, the area is surrounded by bush, and this is absolutely the best part about living here. Convenience is an appealing feature of this suburb; we are within walking distance to the local train station, there is easy access to a number of primary and high schools, and the shops are a 2 minute drive away.  Friendly and neighbourly is how I would describe my community; we do things like lend sugar and eggs to save an extra trip to the supermarket; often it is these little things that count the most.

 What’s your favourite subject to teach?

English is my favourite subject to teach. I love how writers play around with words and meaning. I love investigating different interpretations of texts with students. I love helping students decode the way writers communicate ideas and nuanced meaning and I love seeing students take risks in applying and adapting language forms and features and discover their own unique voice as they compose their own texts.

What do you like about teaching at Aurora?

Aurora College is a vibrant workplace where new ideas and teaching practices are constantly explored and implemented. Most of all, I love the students; they are mature, interested, focused, witty, and very supportive of each other. Who could ask for more? Oh, and working from the main office means no bells and relatively little noise to distract me from my work.

What are your other interests?

When I’m not teaching, marking or organising lessons, you will find me reading, bushwalking, gardening, at church, sharing stories over neighbours’ fences, out with my family, visiting family or having family over for meals. Every now and then I will have a big holiday with my family. These are always wonderful and memorable but generally life is about the simple things.

These holidays, however, will be anything but simple. I finish teaching at Aurora College at the end of this year and over the course of the next month or so I am moving to Blackheath in the Blue Mountains. It was a difficult decision not to renew my contract with Aurora. There are many changes afoot for me, but in the end it was my need to spend more quality time with ill and frail parents and parents-in-law that prompted this decision.

Whilst I plan to be available to Aurora College as an emergency casual, I will certainly miss taking permanent classes at Aurora – I aim to carry a big box of tissues to my remaining classes over the final 3 days of Term 4.

Penny Boucher

English teacher

Jennifer Densley

group photos of students wearing ninja masks

Mrs. Densley’s Ninjas at Term 4 Residential School in Bathurst

My three years of working for Aurora College has been a highlight of my long teaching career, 1984 – 2017. It has at times been a challenge to simultaneously work within the different school timetables and structures. These challenges have always been placed in the background by the pleasure received by participating in such a new and exciting initiative.

To my ‘Ninjas’, always use your determination and stealth to achieve your goals and your full potential.

Jennifer Densley

English Teacher

Ninja avator

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Bright lights

VEX IQ Excellence Award and Alex observing a peer flying a drone

VEX Robotics Australian National Championships

On 2 December, I with my team, Timm Scott, Braxton Thompson and the rest of the STEM group (10 teams in total) from my home school,  Goulburn High School,  travelled to Wangaratta to participate in the VEX Robotics Australian National Championships. The day was extremely successful with my team 11123A , aka TAB, taking out the excellence award. This means Braxton, Tim and I are now the Australian VEX IQ, in other words, we are the Australian champions! We now get the opportunity to represent Australia at the VEX Robotics World Championships at Louisville Kentucky in 2018. The “game” that we had to build our robot towards is called Ringmaster, this is a teamwork based game in which two robots have to work together to score the most points. There is also a driver skills challenge which means there is one driver and one robot who have to try and score the most points. The last task is the autonomous driver skills, which is a code based skills challenge.

Alexander Zecavic (Year 7, Goulburn High School)

ANSTO Report

From the 5th to the 9th of November, the Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) ran a program called the ‘Big Ideas Forum’ which brought 21 students and 11 teachers from around Australia to Lucas Heights in Sydney. For 3 days, we took part in workshops with scientists working at the facility and other activities to improve our presentation skills, as well as general scientific knowledge and procedures. We were given a detailed tour of the ANSTO facilities, including the Neutron Guide Hall, particle accelerators, and the Electron Microscopy Building. We got to work with different scientists depending on our interests and we were also given ample opportunity to talk with and learn from many other ANSTO employees who were around during mealtimes and other activities. We spoke about everything from nuclear power to subject choices for the HSC, to university, music, news, the scientists’ work and their stories of great and varied topics. Similar to Aurora, we were surrounded by like-minded and enthusiastic students and teachers, with the added bonus of the ANSTO employees who were all very generous with their time, advice and explanations and cool equipment that does clever stuff.

student and teacher at ANSTO

Bronwyn and Ms. Boneham at ANSTO

To apply for the program, Year 10 students and one teacher from the school had to create a 40 second video explaining their ‘Big Idea’ which had the potential to change the world. Out of all of Australia, 11 groups are chosen to come to ANSTO for the 4-day program, which was a truly invaluable experience. This year the schools involved were from Perth, Adelaide, Launceston, Sydney, Lismore and Brisbane and the ideas ranged from recycling human kinetic energy to curing Type 1 Diabetes and improving nuclear imaging (to name a few). My big idea was to develop and implement modular Liquid Fluoride Thorium Reactors (LFTR) coupled with Super-critical Carbon Dioxide Turbines in Australia to produce clean, efficient, safe and reliable energy with no carbon footprint, simultaneously with the production of radioisotopes used for medicine and space exploration. The LFTR (‘lifter’) is powered from a waste product of rare earth metal mines (the Thorium from one average mine in a year is enough to power the entire world, for a year). The LFTR produces industrial heat, which can be used to create ammonium based fertilisers, desalinate water and create closed carbon cycle fuels (to be used instead of fossil fuels in vehicles and such), and all in the size of a shipping container, with current technology.

The people at ANSTO were very supportive of our ideas and answered our questions to the best of their ability, putting us in contact with experts in related areas, if they couldn’t answer our questions themselves. As part of my interest in promoting this technology, I got to speak with people who know the ‘ins’ and ‘outs’ of nuclear power as well as those who communicate science to the public and the government; discussions from which I gained a great deal.

A part of the program for all participants was an emphasis on clear and concise communication of ideas and scientific concepts, to the point where one of the sessions was devoted to developing good presentation skills and habits. This in itself was invaluable, especially for those of us who are naturally sub-par communicators.

The amount that we learned and the opportunities provided to us would take about 3 days to relay, but it was a program which I cannot recommend highly enough. I gained a great deal from the experience and I thank ANSTO for their generous sponsorship.

Year 9, if you have an idea that can change lives or the world for the better, talk to your teachers about applying for Big Ideas next August, and keep your ear to the ground for other opportunities like this because you never know where it will get you, or what you will learn.

Good luck and Merry Christmas,

Bronwyn Kemp (Year 10, Yass High School)

United Space School

student portrait

Lauren Fisher at the Space Center

Recently, I represented Australia at the FISE United Space School, held in Houston, Texas. I was selected by the University Department of Rural Health to undertake this amazing opportunity and I have come away from the program with a hoard of new knowledge, and connections with people from all around the globe. I also experienced many new cultures, ways of learning and beliefs of people vastly different from myself. Altogether, 50 students came together from 23 different countries to collectively plan a mission to Mars over 2 weeks, which we presented to a board of FISE and NASA employees on our final day.

Upon arriving at the Houston airport, I was greeted by my host family, Rick and Myra Banke, who would act as my parents for the 2 weeks I was there. Rick works at the Johnson Space Centre developing the Probabilistic Risk Assessments. Each student was paired with 1-3 other students who would stay with their host family and I was lucky enough to be partnered with Valentina from Costa Rica. We then met the other students and we were taken to the University of Houston Clear Lake to be sorted into teams. We were split into 5 teams and each was delegated a section of the mission which we oversaw. I had the privilege of being part of the Green Team in charge of Mars habitation and on the final day, I was lucky enough to lead my team into the major presentation. The teams consisted of 10 students and a mentor; our mentor was German, and our team consisted of people from the USA, Colombia, Bolivia, Russia, Argentina, Chile, India, the Netherlands, South Africa and Australia. This meant that there was a total of 7 different first languages just within our team and many more among the whole school.

Other than working in the university, activities I got to experience within this program included lectures from professionals in fields such as space law, astrophysics and life support and we also met 2 astronauts, Dr Leroy Chiao and Colonel Doug Wheelock. We then got to explore the Houston Museum of Natural Science, conduct a successful simulation mission to Mars, visit the Johnson Space Centre, Brazos Bend Observatory and Neutral Buoyancy Lab. We also got to share and experience each other’s cultures in the Culture Fair where each country prepared a dish and a performance showcasing their unique culture. The other Australian students, Grace and Max, and I made Vegemite and cheese scrolls and damper and then performed a skit focusing on Australian slang and common activities.

Students learning in their teams during Space School

Students learning in their teams during Space School

We were also given the opportunity to participate in some other activities in our ‘downtime’ such as the Students vs NASA All-stars soccer match where we won by 1 goal, watch the Houston Dynamos soccer team play on their home ground, visit the Putt-Putt Fun House, pizza and game night at the university and we watched the Martian in one of the lecture halls and then dissected how scientifically correct it was. There was also ‘Host Family time’ when our families could take us out to fun activities in the afternoons and on weekends. Valentina and I were lucky enough to go to ‘Buck-ee’s’, see the Houston Astros, who went on to win the World Series of baseball, play in Minute Maid Park, eat breakfast at iHop, go shopping in Galveston, visit Kemah boardwalk with a few other host-families, have a dive-in movie/pool party with most other host families and visit Rocket Park at the Johnson Space Centre where we got to see the Saturn V. On the final day, after graduation, we all met at a local pool as a ‘goodbye’ party where everyone could get their shirts signed and say their last goodbyes. I will admit, I got a little teary that night because over the 2 weeks that we were there, I met many people, some of who are now amongst my closest friends and I still speak to them regularly. Leaving that party, both Valentina and I were very emotional!

This experience was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am so glad I was able to create so many wonderful memories, meet so many wonderful people and develop connections with people from all around the globe. Thanks to Ms Boneham and Dr G for helping me with my Astrophysics assignment because I would have been completely lost without them. United Space School was an eye-opening experience that gave me in-depth insights into the space industry and the careers that stem from that industry and it has allowed me to further understand what I want to do later in life.

Student holding her trumpet out the front of the Sydney Opera House

Sarah outside the Sydney Opera House

Lauren Fisher (Year 10, Willyama High School)

NSW Public Schools State Wind Band

Sarah Hall (Year 7, Dubbo College South Campus) has a talent for playing the trumpet that has taken her all the way to the Sydney Opera House, where she recently had the opportunity to perform in the NSW Arts Unit Public Schools Festival of Instrumental Music.

Sarah was offered a position to play in the NSW Public Schools Arts Unit Junior State Wind Band after attending the Western Band Camp at Lake Burrendong in February 2017.

She performed in the Sydney Opera House on the evening of Tuesday 5th September and Wednesday 6th September and was very excited to be playing at an iconic location.

She has been playing trumpet for 5 years now and achieved her 5th grade AMEB in August this year.

She tells everyone that she enjoys playing the trumpet as “it is loud – just like me.”

Travis Hall

Proud Dad

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Masterclass program

We have had some extremely interesting people share their career paths and unique discoveries at work with students over the last few weeks.

A new partnership with the Royal Botanic Gardens allowed us to hear from Botanist Dr. Hervé Sauquet who, using genetic mapping and evolutionary mapping, determined the shape of the first flower. He was quite animated, even as petals were falling off the 3D models he was using as part of his demonstration!

Kate Dave and Ben

Kate, Dave and Ben at Macquarie University

Marine botanist Dr Yola Metti consolidated information about phycology, shared her expertise in seaweed, her research techniques and the relevance of such research. Both scientists interacted very well with our students and explained complex scientific information in a way that interested them.

Some feedback about what students liked best included:

  • “Learning more about phycology, the effects of global warming and how to raise awareness”
  • “I liked getting to learn about botany and biology; I am very interested now and thinking of choosing it as a senior subject”
  • “The knowledge and the personal experience of a scientist that has achieved widely recognised things”

We also had Dr Simon Longstaff AO from The Ethics Centre  pose a range of challenging ethical scenarios. The initial scenario was rather confronting but it captured all our attention. He showed the harrowing 1994 Pulitzer prize-winning photograph of a vulture approaching a starving little Sudanese girl. Students felt comfortable sharing their views, values and questions in response to questions such as should children be allowed to go on the one way trip to Mars? At what age should they be able to make their decision? What if they wanted to go but their parents objected?

This tied in nicely with the previous week’s masterclass in which we heard from Dave Lavery, Program Executive for Solar System Exploration at NASA, who works on the design and development of spacecraft that will explore Mars. In conjunction with Macquarie University, FIRST Robotics and DoE Learning Systems, this masterclass was also streamed live on YouTube. Students were able to ask questions and have them answered in real time but Dave, which is a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Kate Thompson

Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Mentoring program

Thank you to those who have already submitted their student profile and permission form for our eMentoring program next year.

Students are encouraged to ‘opt in’ sooner, rather than later, so that their likes and interests can be best matched with our available mentors.

Students who wish to join our e-Mentoring program can complete the student profile and return it with parental consent.

We already have around 20 mentors who have registered and are looking forward to being able to inspire and influence students.

Further information regarding mentoring can be found on our school website.

Sharleen Mulawin

R/Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Student work samples

Year 7 English

Across eight weeks in Term 3 and 4, Year 7 explored Fantasy as a genre through the study of a novel. They focused on the conventions of this genre in relation to setting, characters, plot and theme. At the end of the unit, students wrote an analytical essay explaining how the novel studied in class reflected the Fantasy genre. Students were guided in how to write a focused and cohesive essay, responding to the question with well-chosen and supportive evidence from the text.

In particular, students were guided in the Step-by-step process of constructing ‘tight’ body paragraphs, employing the STEAL scaffold:

S = Statement addressing the question

T = Technique employed by the composer

E = Example from the text (including quote from the text as evidence)

A = Analysis of the effect of the technique in communicating ideas

L = Link back to the paragraph focus and question

Students were challenged to include more than one TEA chain in their body paragraphs in order to show deep understanding of the novel in relation to the question.

I wonder if you can find the parts of STEAL in this essay from Aja Bailey from 7ENG5 ( Year 7,  Jindabyne High School)?

Molly’s advertisement

Year 8 English – Buy It Now!

Our students had to create an advertising campaign in groups which saw them having to sell some interesting items. As part of the campaign, they needed to compose a visual advertisement as well as analyse the techniques and ideas which they conveyed in their advertisement as well deliver a ‘pitch’ to an audience to sell their product. Below are just a few examples of the products which students had to sell and the ideas they came up with to sell their product.

LARM’s biscuit bites analysis by Molly Oquist (Year 8, Richmond River High School)

Komfort Lift Chair by Callum Weppler (Year 8, Griffith High School)

Komfort by Joy Chow  (Year 8, Dubbo College South Campus)

Ice-Clean Ice-cream by Jackson Winter (Year 8, Nowra High School)

Ice Clean by Kayden Dunne (Year 8, Moruya High School)

Year 9 English –  Community Activism Projects

Through the course of the last five weeks of Term 4, Year 9 students explored the concept of Community Activism. They shared their involvement in and contribution to their various local communities and reflected upon how they have engaged in community activism.

Students engaged in an intensive group work project involving the creation of a website focused on a contemporary issue agreed upon by group members.

Enjoy browsing a website created by Samantha James (Year 9, Jindabyne High School), Katie Beck (Year 9, Jindabyne High School), Jess Ware (Year 9, Dubbo College Delroy Campus), Lily Callaghan (Year 9, Dubbo College Delroy Campus), Leah Watson (Year 9, Billabong High School) and Georgina Mildren (Year 9, Deniliquin High School) as well as reading the Reflection statement compilation by various students in 9ENG2.

Penny Boucher

English Teacher

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Library report

Summer Reading Challenge

Students are encouraged to participate in reading for their own personal enjoyment over the summer break. Again, the summer reading challenge is being run at Aurora College for the 2017/2018 summer holidays. Students area encouraged to read from our library, their home school library, public library or from other people’s bookshelves – just ask first! Full details have been emailed to students.

New Resources

A large number of new resources have been added to our digital library, this term. Students have been emailed our new library resources newsletter “Ex Libris Aurora”, reviewing these additions to our collection.

Wishing all our students and their families a safe summer break.

Kaylene Taylor

Teacher Librarian & Community Liaison Officer

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Safer Internet Day 2018 #SID2018

Aurora College is partnering with the Office of the eSafety Commissioner to promote Safer Internet Day 2A better internet starts with you 018.

This is a worldwide annual event which raises awareness of the safe and positive use of digital technology.

We invite NSW government primary schools to attend A better internet starts with you, 40 minute web conference for students in Years 4, 5 and 6.

Primary schools who would like to get involved can find more information on the  Latest News tab on our school website.

Further information about Safer Internet Day is available on the eSafety website

Sharleen Mulawin

R/ Head Teacher, Teaching and Learning

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Sponsors message from Microsoft

You may have heard of the term STEM and it’s applicability in modern teaching. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths, and Microsoft has a vast range of STEM tools available to parents and students.

Click the poster above to download a brochure with links to resources for embracing STEM with Microsoft!

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From the engine room

Our coordinating office will be moving to a new location during the summer break.

Our new temporary location will be:

C/- Mowbray Public School
635 Mowbray Road LANE COVE NORTH NSW 2066

If you would like to talk with us, our telephone number is 1300 287 629.

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Aurora College: C/- Mowbray Public School
635 Mowbray Road LANE COVE NORTH NSW 2066
Phone: 1300 287 629; Email: auroracoll-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au
Website: www.aurora.nsw.edu.au; Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuroraCollegeAU
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