From the Principal’s desk
Welcome to the 2018 school year.
In every edition of The Auracle we celebrate the wonderful achievements of our ‘bright lights’ in a wide range of endeavours. As you read on and reflect on the many stories we have shared, I am sure you will agree that there has been no story more worthy of being told than that which follows.
At his home on a remote property near Jindabyne on the morning of 5 October 2017, Colin was attempting to attach a horse float to his car. With the driver-side door ajar and his right arm outside the cabin, Colin accidentally reversed into a pole. The impact completely tore off the car door and with it, Colin’s lower arm. With blood gushing from the wound, poor mobile phone reception and the nearest medical assistance a long way from his property, Colin must have assessed his chances of survival to be very small.
Fortunately for Colin, at home with him on this morning were his daughter Ayumi and her best friend and Aurora student, Aja Bailey (Year 8, Jindabyne Central School). Quickly overcoming the shock of the horrific scene before them, both girls sprung into action.
As Ayumi ran to a nearby hill to call for an ambulance, Aja made a makeshift tourniquet from a horse lead and secured it to Colin’s upper arm. Displaying amazing composure, the girls went about the business of keeping Colin alive as they patiently waited for help to arrive. In the twenty minutes it took for the paramedics to reach them, both girls worked together to keep Colin calm and to stem the loss of blood by compressing his pressure points.
Ayumi and Aja even had the foresight to place Colin’s severed limb into a plastic bag. Although surgeons at Canberra hospital were unable to reattach Colin’s arm, they were able to utilise some of the tissue during the emergency surgery that followed the accident.
The paramedics who responded to Ayumi’s call for help and the medical staff who treated Colin at Canberra hospital were in no doubt that the actions of Ayumi and Aja had saved Colin’s life. On 27 February, in recognition of their heroic efforts, both girls were presented with the Pride of Australia Award at a ceremony held at the Sydney Opera House.
Even with the strong support of his community, Colin faces a long recovery. “I still don’t have the words to explain my pride in the two girls,” he said recently. Congratulations, Aja. We are all very proud of you. Watch a video on this incredible story of bravery here.
In this, Aurora’s fourth year of operation, we share 260 students with 75 government schools across rural and remote NSW. In 2018, our 37 classroom teachers are shared with 23 other schools. It gives me great pleasure to report that approximately half the teaching staff of Aurora v4.0 are themselves located in rural and remote areas of our state.
I would like to thank our partner schools for the excellent job they have done in accommodating our ‘shared enrolments’ and preparing for the year ahead. We continue to work with a very small number of schools to improve the alignment of their timetables. If you have any concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact the coordinating office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone on 1300 287 629. If you would feel more comfortable speaking with one of your parent representatives on our State Reference Group, please contact either Andrew Strachan (email@example.com) or Genie McMullen (firstname.lastname@example.org).
As I reported in the final edition of The Auracle for 2017, our school will experience further growth in the second half of this year with the addition of a Stage 3 virtual opportunity class. I will endeavour to keep the community fully informed of our progress in implementing this exciting pilot project via a dedicated page on our school website. Watch this space!
Finally, I would like to congratulate our Deputy Principal, Kathy Klados, who has been seconded to State Office for the next six months to lead a teacher professional learning project. During this period, Virginia Cluff will be Relieving Deputy Principal and Silvia Rudmann will fill the role of Head Teacher Science. On your behalf, I would also like to welcome Anthony Scarman to the science faculty. Anthony will be teaching his Aurora College science classes from his ‘home base’ at Gorokan High School.
Enjoy another great edition of The Auracle.
Welcome back to the 2018 school year. I trust you and your family had an enjoyable and safe holiday and your children are excited to be back at Aurora. A special welcome to all our new students and their parents. We look forward to working with all of you.
Who do I contact if I have concerns?
For concerns related to their learning and assessment, students should always make their first approach to their class teacher. Students and their parents also have the option of contacting the relevant Head Teacher.
For most other concerns, the best point of contact for students and their parents is the Aurora College Coordinator (ACC).
Aurora College Coordinator (ACC)
In each of our partner schools, Aurora College funds the release of a teacher to fill the role of Aurora College Coordinator (ACC). The ACC adds an important layer of support for the educational, social and emotional needs of our students.
The role of the ACC is similar to that of a Year Advisor. The role has an administrative component, but the main focus is the pastoral care of our shared enrolments. The ACC is also the key contact person for Aurora College teachers, students and parents.
The ACC in your ‘home school’ is responsible for:
Your ACC has access to a range of information via Aurora College’s ‘home school’ portal on Sentral, including attendance rolls, details of assessment tasks, timetables, merits and reports. Your ACC can also provide advice about who to contact if you have concerns they cannot assist you with.
More information regarding the role of the Aurora College Coordinator can be found on our school website http://www.aurora.nsw.edu.au/partner-school-information/
All other correspondence to Aurora College should be directed to email@example.com or via phone on 1300 287 629.
Assessment handbooks for Years 7 to 11 were distributed via email to all students and their Aurora College Coordinators the week ending Friday 2 March 2018. The handbooks can also be accessed through the parent and student Sentral portals.
New student orientation program
This year, we continued with our orientation program to support our new students. Topics included:
This will be further enhanced through Masterclasses delivered to students and parents by mental health organisations such as Beyond Blue and Reach Out, on topics including resilience and wellbeing.
Expectations of all students
When a student enrols with Aurora College, they become a shared enrolment of two schools. It is the school’s expectation that our students will behave in a manner that reflects well on Aurora College and their home school at all times.
All students in NSW government schools are expected to:
Behaviour that infringes on the safety of others, such as harassment, bullying and illegal or anti-social behaviour of any kind, will not be tolerated. [Source: Core Rules – Student discipline in NSW Government Schools.]
Our students should:
As heavy users of the internet and online communication services provided by the NSW Department of Education, all Aurora College students must abide by the Department’s conditions of acceptable usage. Online Communication Services: Acceptable Usage for School Students lists three key areas of responsibility for students when working in the college’s virtual learning environment. These relate to: access and security; privacy and confidentiality; and intellectual property and copyright.
Students need to attend school regularly to meet the course requirements of the ROSA, Preliminary HSC and HSC. Student attendance is recorded in each lesson at Aurora. The coordinator or parents/caregivers are required to inform the coordinating office of Aurora College within seven days if the student is sick, or:
The Aurora College coordinating office may be reached by email firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone on 1300 287 629.
Students on leave for extended periods
A Certificate of Exemption from Attendance must be obtained from the Principal of your home school if the student plans to be on leave for extended periods. An example of when this may be required is when travelling overseas. In the case where a student is granted a Certificate of Exemption, Aurora College requires a copy via the ACC. Students will still be required to complete assessment tasks and classwork as negotiated by the Head Teacher for each subject in order to meet course outcomes.
Home school excursions or events
Students involved in home school excursions, such as sports or swimming carnivals, must notify Aurora College via their ACC or through you. This can also apply for special events in schools where the students will be absent from their usual Aurora classes.
What’s coming up?
In Week 2 of this term, we were delighted to partner with the Office of the eSafety Commissioner to host two Safer Internet Day webinars in our virtual learning space for government primary schools across rural and remote NSW. These sessions were a great success, with 19,783 students attending from over 300 schools.
Following the very positive response to the Safer Internet Day initiative, Aurora College will again partner with the Office of the eSafety Commissioner, this time to promote the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence.
Primary schools that would like to get involved can find more information on the Latest News tab on our school website.
Further information for parents, students and educators about eSafety and how to have safe and positive experiences online is available on the eSafety website.
R/Head Teacher Teaching and Learning
Residential school news
Our first residential school in 2018 is being held for all Year 7 to 10 students and Year 11 Agriculture, Chemistry and Physics students from 5 March to 9 March. The venue is the Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation, Wakehurst Parkway, Narrabeen. The academy is located on the northern beaches, only 25 kilometres from the centre of Sydney, and is surrounded by natural bushland with magnificent views of Narrabeen Lake. The venue also has world-class sports training grounds and facilities.
A range of exciting activities are scheduled for our students, including:
All students in Years 7-10 will have an opportunity to purchase from the popup bookshop with cash or credit card. Students paying via credit card will need to bring this completed order form with them on the day.
R/Head Teacher Teaching and Learning
Connect locally, learn globally
Hello! My name is Ruby and I am 12 years old. I live in Wongarbon, which is an awesome village about 30 kilometres out of Dubbo. I moved there just last year in August when my family saw a great opportunity for us.
In Wongarbon, there is a post office that used to be a general store owned by a guy called Al. Now, it’s called Grumpy’s General Store & Café and my family own it. My family consists of my mum, dad, 2 sisters, 3 cats, 3 dogs, 3 alpacas, 2 chickens, 2 ducks, a lamb, a cockatiel, a frill-necked lizard and me!
On the weekend, I like to ride my bike, go down to the park or even chillax in the pool when it’s hot. I also love to paint or do anything artsy (things like, dancing, singing, writing, crafting, etc). When I am older, I really hope I get to continue running the shop.
I attend school in Dubbo, but there is a primary school in Wongarbon that most of the children attend before going to high school in Dubbo. When I found out I was accepted into Aurora, I was really excited because my older sister is an Aurora student and I wanted to follow in her footsteps.
I like Aurora for many reasons, but I think it is cool because I get to become friends with and meet people I never would have if it weren’t for Aurora. It’s also handy that if I am at home because I am sick, I don’t have to just sit at home bored all day, I can just attend my Aurora classes.
I can’t wait until Residential!
Year 7, Dubbo College South Campus
Tip from a techie
The last few weeks have been very busy as we have been sending out the student devices for everyone who has returned the Bring Your Own Device and Student Technology Loan Agreement forms.
The device this year is the same as last year, the Lenovo Yoga 11e laptop. It features:
What about software?
The device comes with Windows 10 installed. Most of the applications you will use for study with Aurora College are online based, however you can install the following programs.
Where do I store my files?
It is important that you store your files somewhere safe. As a DoE student you have access to OneDrive via your student portal. This is an online storage facility for your school files that is accessible from any internet connected device, worldwide. Please be aware that should your device require repairs, we will not be able to recover any files from your device.
What if it breaks?
If the device is not working, or has been damaged, you must contact Aurora College using the details below. We will then determine the best way to resolve the issue. In some cases, we might have Lenovo technicians visit your home school to repair the device. In others, it may be necessary for you to send the device back to us for repairs. All shipment of devices will be arranged through Aurora College at no cost to you.
Please be aware that if the device has been damaged and the repair incurs a cost, you will be liable. The devices have been purchased with an Accidental Damage Plan that will cover some damage at a reduced cost (approx. $100). The only costs you will be liable for are the costs levied by the vendor. Aurora College will not charge any additional costs for the repair or handling of the devices at any time.
What if I leave or finish studying with Aurora College?
When you leave Aurora College, the device and all of the accessories must be returned to your ACC. The device belongs to Aurora College, and cannot be purchased from us. We will arrange for your ACC to collect the equipment and package for return to our office. If there is any damage to the device when we receive it, you will still be liable for repair costs.
Healthy use of laptops
A parent’s guide to health and safety issues related to laptop use can be accessed at:
A student’s guide to health and safety issues related to laptop use can be accessed at:
What if I need help or more information?
If you need any help setting up or using the laptop, please contact us at:
Learning Technologies Support Officer
English faculty news
A warm welcome to you all from the English, HSIE & Languages faculty. We hope you had a relaxed and enjoyable holiday.
2018 is shaping up to be a busy year yet again for our faculty as we welcome aboard some new faces to the team as well as having some familiar faces continuing this year. New teachers to the English team are Connor Boyko (Lane Cove), Tegan Morgan (Glen Innes), Elizabeth Robson (Murwillumbah) and in languages – Japanese Beginners: Julie Ruming (Erina). Continuing with us again this year in English are Daisy Little (Lane Cove), Cassandra Kaloudis (Lane Cove), Adria Hertel (Kelso), Christianna Elliott (Karabar) and Deborah Royston (Bossley Park). Continuing in languages – Italian Beginners: Alana Ragen-Harrison (Lane Cove), in HSIE – Commerce: Susan Powell (Killara) and our Librarian Kaylene Taylor (Eden), while I am based at Cobar.
Students in Years 7-10 have been emailed their assessment booklets which give them an insight into what lays ahead of them for the year. Students, parents and the ACCs will still also receive an official notification via email at least two weeks before the assessment task is due. This will allow any minor adjustments to be made so that it reflects the work that students are completing in class.
Some of the exciting units of work, which you will be studying in English this year, include:
There will continue to be plenty of creative writing competitions for students to enter as well as reading programs run through Aurora’s digital library. Keep an eye out for emails from our Librarian in regards to these.
If you have any concerns throughout the year please do not hesitate to contact the classroom teacher or myself so that we can assist you and your child with their study of English.
We look forward to a productive 2018.
Head Teacher English, HSIE & Languages
Spotlight on … Greta Gaut
Where is your home base?
I am based at Parkes High School, though I am working full time with Aurora College from a room off the school library. I used to be full time at Parkes High and enjoy catching up with my ‘ex-students’ as I walk across the playground to and from the Parkes High Mathematics Faculty offices and the library.
What is your local community like?
The town of Parkes has a population of around 11.5 thousand, with business centered around the farming, mining and transport industries. The town is small enough to have that country feel with strong community connections, yet large enough to have a good range of shops and close enough to the major centres of Dubbo and Orange to get anything else you need. Sport is an important part of the Parkes culture.
What’s your favourite subject to teach?
Mathematics of any form, though probably algebraic fractions and geometric proofs are my favourites within mathematics.
What do you like about teaching at Aurora?
I am only just beginning my Aurora experience, but watching the students at Parkes High School and talking to Aurora teachers I am confident that I will love the following:
Now that I have taught for a couple of weeks with Aurora I am finding lots of things to love:
However, with SO much more of my day spent at a computer, I’m finding just how important it is to pay attention to the “safe laptop use” information presented to new students in the orientation program. I also have to be more deliberate with my exercise as I don’t get to “run” around a traditional classroom or walk around a playground on duty. So I say to all of you new and existing students: Take care of your body! Get moving regularly and make sure your work-spaces will be kind to your muscles, bones, and eyes!
Anything else you’d like to share?
I love playing brass instruments. I have played the trumpet since I was four years old, but now mostly play the euphonium each week at church (though I own a tuba, trombone, French horn and flugal horn as well as the trumpet and euphonium). Actually, any kind of music is tonic! I also play the recorder, sing alto, and am slowly, ever so slowly, gaining some skills on the piano. Beyond music, I love contact sports and enthusiastically play for a local soccer club. When I’m sitting still, I’m usually drinking freshly brewed coffee or playing with one of my 21 fidget spinners. I have actually worn out the bearings on a number of my favourites…sigh.
What does a typical day look like at Aurora for you?
After teaching with Aurora for 3 weeks, my typical day is a tug-of-war between needing to sit and produce digital resources or teach digital lessons and trying to keep up my Fitbit step count. When I arrive in the morning I get my two computers up and running with all the programs open. I love my Surface Pro, so use two machines – my desk is a mess of tech. Many days I have four Aurora lessons and when I’m not on class I’m madly emailing, upskilling myself in the new programs, or creating resources. I work in the library, so midway through lessons when I give my students a “brain break” and tell them to go for a 3-minute walk, I run up and down the 2 set of stairs just outside the library. Three trips up and down gets me ready for more teaching! And when I’m not teaching, a break in the library means access to books, and talking to the library staff – what a good way to have a break! Lunches are down in the Mathematics staff room so I can listen in to the discussions of the syllabi, what’s working in their lessons and what’s not. All in all, I LOVE MY JOB.
Jackson Winter attends the GWS Giants performance camp
In the second half of 2017, the GWS Giants AFL club visited schools throughout NSW looking for future players. In the process, the club tested over 3000 students in 3 areas: the 20 metre sprint; the vertical jump; and the ‘beep’ test.
The top 0.5% of students tested were invited to the Giants Head Quarters in Sydney Olympic Park for a day of performance/body mapping and ball skills.
Jackson Winter (Year 9, Nowra High School) was one of the students chosen to work with the training and medical staff at the Giant’s amazing facility.
Natalie Winter (Jackson’s mother) said she found it “quite eye-opening to see how technology plays a major part in athlete selection for their sport.”
You can see more information on this Facebook post shared by Nowra High School.
Young High Swimming Champs
Congratulations to Emily Lamb (Year 7, Young High School), who was runner-up, and Liam Wymer (Year 10, Young High School) who was the 16 year boys champion at the Young High School swimming carnival on 7 February.
Liam is also the second-fastest swimmer in the school and competed in the regional swimming carnival held in Temora last Friday 23 February.
Despite the water being ‘freezing’ in Tumut, Emily beat her personal best by 2 seconds for the 50 metres.
Aurora College Coordinator for Young High School
New beginnings in Nyngan
The new year has welcomed a new Aurora student to Nyngan, Angela Tang (Year 7), and a new Aurora College Coordinator, Ngaire Booth.
Angela has been incredibly well supported by her peer, Shannon Burke (Year 8, Nyngan High School), who has kindly guided her with her new, self-directed learning mode. In recognition of his selfless support, Shannon was recently awarded a School Citizenship merit at Nyngan High School. Well done, Shannon! It is always great to see Aurora students supporting eachother.
The Aurora students at Aurora have been encouraged to personalise their workspace with photos, drawings, and artworks and to make the space as energising as possible.
In her third year at Aurora, Kate Currans (Year 9, Nyngan High School) has also settled into the new year well, although she has confided that Mathematics is more challenging than last year.
What is life without a challenge?
Aurora College Coordinator and Teacher Librarian for Nyngan High School
On 22 February, we targeted student wellbeing for Years 9 and 10 who heard from an Aurora parent, John Larter. John is also a councillor for ‘The Snowys’ and a paramedic in the Tumut region. He spoke about drug awareness, risks and wise decision-making whilst relaying a few interesting anecdotes from his job. We thank John for his time and expertise. In the session, John mentioned a publication which can be accessed online and contains vetted, reliable information: Quick Guide to Drug and Alcohol.
Taronga Zoo has drastically moved away from once being an area where people simply looked at animals in cages (there are even archived photos of chimpanzees dressed up and sipping tea). The zoo now develops ‘learning journeys’ in an effort to create behaviour change and increase awareness of scientific issues and conservation. The tiger exhibit, which Year 7 and 8 students will visit during their residential is one such example that seeks to promote wise consumer choice around palm oil consumption.
Two masterclasses have been scheduled to consolidate the information and experiences gained during the residential visit. One of the tiger zookeepers will present via Adobe Connect on March 21 about tiger wellbeing, which includes things like brushing tigers’ teeth, new enclosure design and tiger vitamins. The second talk will be on April 3 about managing the global tiger studbook to ensure that the integrity of the gene pool is maintained when breeding.
Coding short course
We will be providing a short coding course on web app development, in conjunction with Coder Academy, throughout Terms 3 and 4. Details are currently being finalised and will be sent to students after the Residential School. Watch this space!
Information for the next parent webinar has been emailed to all parents. For new parents in particular, this webinar will assist you in accessing information such as your child’s reports via Sentral. Please register your interest here by Friday 23 March.
On Tuesday 20 February, we held a teacher professional learning session which focussed on gifted education and included a discussion on a comprehensive literature review. The event attracted over 130 teachers from all around NSW who were eager to update their knowledge about the needs of gifted students and how best to cater for them. We will continue to provide professional learning events for colleagues in rural and remote NSW throughout 2018.
Thank you to those students who have returned forms for the e-Mentoring program.
Students will be matched to suitable mentors after the Residential School. We anticipate that mentoring will commence early Term 2, once our new mentors have completed the induction.
Our mentors are keen to share their expertise and life experience to inspire students. Further information regarding mentoring can be found on our school website.
R/Head Teacher Teaching and Learning
Student work samples
Students in Year 8 have started work on their genre study, ‘Shock Horror’! Its terrifying to think how dark their imaginations can become!
Take a look at some great snippets of writing from the following students in 8Eng1: Amelie Robinson (Melville High School); Nicholas Newton (Billabong High School); Geneieve white (Billabong High School); Owen Stonestreet (Jindabyne Central School); and Aja Bailey (Jindabyne Central School).
Welcome to new and returning Aurora College students and their families for 2018! An exciting year ahead, awaits….
Congratulations to our Borrowing Stars of 2017: Ella Dennis (Year 8, Jindabyne Central School) and Iris Cuddy (Year 8, Canowindra High School). Both will receive recognition at our first Residential Camp, this year.
Congratulations also to the students who participated in the Summer Reading Challenge. Your reviews have been added to our library management system, OLIVER, and Astras have been awarded to you, as well.
I am pleased that we are again partnering with The Children’s Bookshop, Beecroft, to host a Pop-up bookshop at the Residential School. Students may choose to purchase books using the authorised order form sent with the Residential Information pack, or with cash on the day.
Paul MacDonald, will be presenting at the Residential for our students in Stage 4. Paul is highly recognised and won the inaugural Maurice Saxby Award in 2012 for his contributions to raising the profile of teen fiction. He was also the winner of the 2016 Lady Cutler Award for services to children’s literature and literacy in Australia. It will be a privilege to hear Paul speak about the latest in reading trends for young adults!
State Library of NSW
Aurora College students are encouraged to join the State Library of NSW, as access is provided to many e-resources, free, to NSW residents. A membership form was sent with the Residential Information pack – or you can access it via this link: http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/research-and-collections/get-library-card.
Students in Stages 5 & 6 will be visiting the State Library during the Residential School to undertake sessions on accessing e-resources, provided by the State Library of NSW.
Premier’s Reading Challenge
It is with much excitement that Aurora College students are now able to participate in the Premier’s Reading Challenge. The Challenge for 2018 will be launched on 5 March. I will be emailing students all the details, straight after Residential.
The reading list can be found here:
Ex Libris Aurora
New resources added to our digital library collection are promoted via a separate newsletter; Ex Libris Aurora. It is emailed directly to students during each term.
Kaylene Taylor (Kaylene.email@example.com)
From the engine room
The office staff have been busy preparing for residential camp, creating ID cards, packing show bags, t-shirts, hats etc., as well as checking first aid kits and compiling permission notes.
We have moved into our new premises at Mowbray Public School. Thanks to Ben Hillsley for coordinating the move, which occurred with minimum disruption.
Our new address is:
c/- Mowbray PublicSchool
If you would like to talk with us, our telephone number is 1300 287 629.
|Aurora College: C/- Mowbray Public School
635 Mowbray Road LANE COVE NORTH NSW 2066
Phone: 1300 287 629; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Website: www.aurora.nsw.edu.au; Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuroraCollegeAU