The Auracle – Vol. 25, June 2018

From the Principal’s desk

My sincere thanks to Samantha Cosgrove (mother of Jack Meredith in Year 8, Gulgong High School) and Maryanne Bourke (mother of Shannon in Year 8, Nyngan High School) for volunteering their valuable time to serve on the 2018 Selective High School Selection Committees.

Samantha will be our parent representative on the Year 7 panel and Maryanne will be our parent representative on the Years 8, 9 and 10 panel. The Year 7 panel will meet on 5 June 2018, with outcome advice being sent to applicants by the department’s High Performing Students Unit in early July. The Years 8, 9 and 10 panel will meet in early August to consider applications for vacant positions in those years.

Aurora College staff learning about Microsoft Teams

Applications for enrolment in 2019 in:

Years 8, 9 and 10 open 22 June 2018 and close on 27 July 2018

Year 11 open 18 July 2018 and close 26 October 2018

Year 12 open 18 July 2018 and close 24 August 2018.

For further information, please visit http://www.aurora.nsw.edu.au/learn/enrol/.

As I mentioned in the previous edition of The Auracle, the Aurora College State Reference Group (the Aurora SRG) gathered in Sydney on 11 May for a full day face to face meeting. At the meeting, the results of the numerous surveys conducted in Term 1 were presented and discussed.

On behalf of the Aurora SRG, I thank all respondents for their valued input. This data will help to inform the ongoing refinement of the ‘Aurora model’ by the Aurora SRG and the college’s executive. The survey results of students and parents are summarised in And the survey says … below.

A significant portion of the surveys of students, parents and principals related to Aurora’s Stage 6 (Years 11 and 12) enrolment process. The process requires students applying to enrol in one or more subjects in Stage 6 at Aurora College, including those students already enrolled in Year 10 at our school, to have the support of their home school principal.

In ratifying the Aurora College Enrolment Principles, the Aurora SRG considered the responses of all key stakeholder groups. The resulting document clarifies and makes explicit the principles and processes that will be applied when students seek to enrol in one or more Stage 6 courses with Aurora College. For students seeking to enrol in Stage 6, the principles outlined in the document will be the basis of decisions made by the principals of the home school and Aurora College.

It is the view of the Aurora SRG that issues arising from students seeking to enrol with Aurora College are best resolved informally and on a case-by-case basis by the two principals. Where issues cannot be resolved by the two principals, either principal and/or the student’s family may seek assistance from the Director(s) Educational Leadership for the home school and/or Aurora College. Guided by the Aurora College Enrolment Principles, the two directors would then work together, in consultation with both principals, the student and his/her family, to resolve issues and determine the best outcome(s) for each student.

As Year 10 students across the state consider their Stage 6 subject choices, I urge students and parents to review the Aurora College Enrolment Principles. The list of Stage 6 subjects to be offered by Aurora in 2019 will be finalised at the next meeting of the Aurora SRG in Sydney on 4 June. Information will be provided to students and parents soon after.

Planning for the Aurora Opportunity Class Pilot (AOCP) is now in full swing. Interested schools and/or groups of schools wishing to be part of the pilot should complete and submit an expression of interest by Friday 8 June 2018. For further information, visit http://www.aurora.nsw.edu.au/teach/opportunity-class-pilot/.

Leading the work on the AOCP is Serena MacLean. Serena’s substantive position is Assistant Principal, Hunters Hill Public School. Serena brings a wealth of experience to the project and she is a very welcome addition to the Aurora team. Meet Serena in this edition of Spotlight On …

Supporting Serena in the implementation of the AOCP will be Sean Will. Sean has recently completed a primary education degree and he has a keen interest in the effective integration of technology in the classroom. We look forward to welcoming Sean when he starts part time work at the coordinating office from 6 June, where he will provide technology support to students and teachers. A reminder, technology support is available toll-free by telephone on 1300 610 733, or by email at support@aurora.nsw.edu.au.

Following the success of the 2016 and 2017 HSC Study Days series, we will be offering an expanded program in 2018. This initiative provides any HSC class in a rural or remote Department of Education school with the opportunity to connect online and revise with other students from across the state. A range of subject experts, highly experienced teachers and HSC markers will present HSC examination advice and up to date information on course content. For further information, see the HSC Study Days section of this newsletter or visit http://www.aurora.nsw.edu.au/learn/hsc-study-days/.

Are you following Aurora on Facebook? If not, you are missing out on regular updates about all that is happening in our school. To stay in the loop, go to http://www.facebook.com/AuroraCollegeAU

Enjoy another great edition of The Auracle.

Chris Robertson

Principal

Deputy’s report

This term has been an extremely busy time for our students and teachers as they complete assessments and get ready to compose reports.

Reports

Semester 1 reports will be issued for students in Year 11 on 8 June (Week 6) and Years 7 to 10 on 25 June (Week 9). These will be issued via email and the Sentral parent portal (https://aurora.sentral.com.au/portal). Unlike the Term 1 interim report, the Semester 1 report is a full ‘academic’ report. It will show the progress that each student is making towards achieving specific course outcomes.

Parent-teacher meetings will occur in Week 10 on Monday 2 July between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm for Years 7, 9 and 11 and on Tuesday 3 July between 3:30 pm and 5:30 pm for Years 8, 10 and 12.

The meetings will give all parents the opportunity to discuss their child’s progress. Meetings will take place via telephone this semester. Further information, including how to book an appointment, will be emailed to all parents.

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s progress or well-being, please contact the coordinating office by phone on 1300 287 629 or email auroracoll-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au.

Assessment handbooks and scope and sequences

Assessment handbooks and scope and sequences are now available in Sentral via the parent portal link (https://aurora.sentral.com.au/portal). These resources allow parents to further support their children by accessing timelines for formal assessment tasks and topic outlines of their subjects.

Student attendance

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 a student is sick, or:

  • has an unavoidable medical or dental appointment
  • is required to attend a recognised religious holiday
  • is required to attend an exceptional or urgent family circumstance
  • has a home school commitment including school excursions, school carnivals etc.
  • arrives late or leaves early from an Aurora lesson at a time which has not been negotiated and does not appear on his/her timetable.

The Aurora College coordinating office may be reached by email at auroracoll-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au or by telephone on 1300 287 629.

If students miss more than 15% of class, letters of concern (for Years 7-9) or N-Awards warning letters (for Years 10-12) will be sent home. This informs parents that the student is missing work and/or is at risk of not fulfilling course requirements.

Students on leave for extended periods

A Certificate of Exemption 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 to be forwarded to the coordinating office via the ACC.  In order to meet course outcomes, students will still be required to complete assessment tasks and classwork as negotiated by the Head Teacher for each subject.

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 their parents. This also applies to special events in schools where the students will be absent from their usual Aurora classes.

Extensions for assessment tasks

An extension for an assessment task may be granted in exceptional circumstances where students are unable to complete the task by the due date, because of illness or misadventure (eg: accident, unforeseen event). The illness/misadventure form must be completed and signed by the student, parent/guardian and the Aurora College Coordinator. The coordinator will then email a scanned copy of the form to the classroom teacher and relevant Head Teacher Curriculum. The completed form must be forwarded within 2 days of the request for the extension. The Head Teacher will review the application and any supporting documentation before deciding to uphold or decline the application. Each application is assessed independently, so it is important to attach comprehensive evidence.

If a student is absent from class on the day of an ‘in-class’ assessable task, they should have a completed illness/misadventure form with them when they return to school and should expect to complete the assessable item on their first day of return to Aurora College lessons.

External health services

The availability of external health services varies from community to community. Aurora College endeavours to identify service providers and develop partnerships with them to effectively plan and provide pathways to support our students, parents and staff.

Your local GP is often the best place to start when looking to access support services. The following links may also assist you in accessing local health services:

What’s coming up?

  • Year 11 academic reports issued by 8 June
  • Year 7-10 academic reports issued by 25 June
  • Year 7, 9 and 11 parent interviews on Monday 2 July
  • Year 8, 10 and 12 parent interviews on Tuesday 3 July

Virginia Cluff

R/Deputy Principal

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National Privacy Week

NSW Public Schools are invited to attend My House My Rules to celebrate National Privacy Week.

This is an online class for students in Years 3-5 presented by Aurora College and the Office of the eSafety Commissioner.

Classes are scheduled for Monday 4 June at 9:30 am and Tuesday 5 June at 2:00 pm (repeated).

For further information, go to http://www.aurora.nsw.edu.au/blog/2018/05/02/national-privacy-week/

Sharleen Mulawin

R/Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Faculty news

Maths and SDD news

We’ve had an exciting addition to the mathematics faculty this term. Mr Greg Smith has joined our teaching team and is having a fantastic time working with students in 7MAT4.

Of course, Mr Smith is also part of the Aurora College executive team, but we are ecstatic to have him back in the classroom. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mrs Marea Taylor for her work with us throughout 2017 and term 1 of this year. We hope she is enjoying her retirement!

While the rest of the mathematics staff have been getting on with business as usual, one of our members has gained huge accolades and fame for his work. Mr Anthony Martin featured in the following teach.nsw news article this term.

Anthony Martin

Bringing life skills to mathematics teaching

Anthony Martin originally trained as a teacher but changed direction and established a career as a police officer. However, an opportunity to tutor friends in mathematics relit his fire to teach and he hasn’t looked back!

The article discusses Mr Martin’s creativity in teaching mathematics and ability to link the learning to real world applications.  Click here to read the full article (the third story down the page).

Congratulations, Mr Martin!

Mr Hogan and Dr Goldrick welcomed new students into their HSC and Preliminary Software Design and Development classes this term from Yass High School. Our HSC students have started work on their major projects for this subject.

Mathematics students in Years 7 to 10 recently submitted assignments as part of their formal assessment for 2018. Our teachers have been very impressed with the standard of our students’ assignment work, particularly where students have been able to articulate their logic through words, calculations, diagrams and graphs. Congratulations, students!

Kathy Howard

Head Teacher Mathematics

Science news

Last year, a group of students from Year 9 applied to participate in the Gifted and Talented Discovery Program at the University of Sydney. More than 2000 students sat the examination, which was part of a very competitive selection process.

We are happy to announce that Mackewin Strachan (Year 10, Nowra High School) was selected to participate in the program, which will be held in the July school holidays. This means that Mackewin achieved a result in the top 5% of the group of students who sat the test. Congratulations, Mackewin! You are going to learn lots and have so much fun!

Another important announcement relates to our HSC Agriculture students, Taylor Gunning (Year 12, Hastings Secondary College, Port Macquarie Campus) and Lara Mitchell (Year 12, Cobar High School). Taylor and Lara entered the 2018 Sydney Royal Poultry Show, and achieved second place in the competition.  Congratulations Taylor and Lara on a magnificent result!

Science in the news – Kilauea Volcano

In Years 8 and 9, students learn about the earth’s structure and plate tectonics. What better example of the power of our planet is there than the recent activity on Kilauea volcano, Hawaii?

Kilauea volcano is a shield type volcano with an altitude of 1247 metres. The last big eruption was in 1983 and it has been oozing lava since then. Kilauea is part of the Hawaiian Emperor seamount chain on the island of Hawaii, known commonly as the Big Island.

The eruptions and the fissures are amazing to watch and they remind us of how young our planet is. Of course, volcanos have immense destructive power and our thoughts are with the people who have suffered loss during this time.

Click here to view the latest video.

Science challenge for 3 ASTRAs!

Congratulations to Luke Wilson (Year 10, Cowra High School), Heidi Parkin (Year 7, High School), Jeorge Collins (Year 7, Denison College) and James Greenway (Year 7, Moruya High School). All showed excellent lateral thinking skills to win triple ASTRA Awards.

Here is the new challenge:

There are 8 batteries, but only 4 of them work. You have to use them for a flashlight, which needs only 2 working batteries. To guarantee that the flashlight is turned on, what is the minimum number of battery pairs you need to test?

Send your answers to Dr Rudmann silvia.rudmann@det.nsw.edu.au

Dr Silvia Rudmann

R/Head Teacher Science

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And the survey says …

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Masterclasses

A variety of masterclasses for students have been organised for the remainder of Term 2, according to student interest, curriculum areas and school priority areas.

On Thursday 31 May at 9:30 am and 11:30 am  (2 sessions to target all 7-10 students) we had masterclasses on Understanding giftedness. The sessions focussed on building self-efficacy and awareness, bringing in the challenges of how to deal with failure, developing ‘grit’ and resilience. We consolidated this with a parent webinar at 7:00 pm on similar content to ensure a consistent message and continuation of the conversation at home. If you’re interested, there is a TED Talk by Angela Duckworth on Grit: The power of passion and perseverance (approx. 6 mins) and also one by Carol Dweck on The power of believing that you can improve (approx. 10 mins).

Feedback from the student sessions included:

  • 70% of students thought it was a valuable experience
  • 69% of students said it helped them understand resilience and a growth mindset.

When asked what they enjoyed the most, Heath said, “Everything; masterclasses are the best.” Emily said, “Listening to all the inspirational stories” and Alyssa said, “I like that everything was explained and all our questions were answered. This masterclass was enjoyable because I could relate to it.

Following the masterclasses during the residential, and those held online, by Taronga Zoo on enclosure design, Alice (Year 8, Baradine Central School) took up the challenge of designing her own enclosures for the eastern bongo and the echidna. Each enclosure takes into account the relevant principles and regulations to create a rich environment for the animal and the audience. Alice demonstrated skills of research, communication and creativity in this task and she has been awarded an ‘Astra’ for her efforts. It is really nice to see that the masterclass program inspires students and enriches learning. Click here to see her creative design.

Upcoming masterclasses are scheduled for:

  • Tuesday 5 June at 2:30 pm with physicist, Markus Nordberg from CERN, Switzerland
  • Wednesday 20 June at 9:30 am on Marine Debris and Science with Chris Wilcox from CSIRO
  • Wednesday 20 June at 11:30 am with Mathematician and media personality, Adam Spencer.

Kate Thompson
Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Spotlight on … Serena McLean

Serena McLean

Where was your previous teaching appointment?

My previous appointment was at Hunters Hill Public School where I had been for 7 years. I was Assistant Principal of Stage 3 with a great 5/6 class.

What is your local community like?

I live in an old, leafy suburb of Sydney, about 30 minutes’ drive from the city centre and 20 minutes from the beach. National Park surrounds us and we are lucky to have bushwalking tracks next door which lead down to creeks and the beautiful Australian bush. Our little pocket of homes has a wonderful array of kids riding bikes and scooters and there’s always someone to kick the soccer ball with. Leaf boat races down the creek and climbing the big bush rock which overhangs our backyard are activities my boys love and these make our community a very different place to many others in Sydney.

What’s your favourite subject to teach?

The chance to disappear into another world of colour and form makes art one of my favourite subjects to teach. Watching students express themselves and represent their view of life is so much fun. Everyone has something to offer.

But I can’t pass up the opportunity for a shout out to science and technology? I love science. A curious mind is magical! Our world is full of opportunities to learn, explore and experience and science helps us to understand it better. Being able to share my excitement of science and technology by designing, creating and reinventing makes my day. Who doesn’t love to pull things apart and explore how they work?

So of course, STEAM is my favourite as it’s the perfect combination of science, technology, maths and art.

What do you like about teaching at Aurora?

I am yet to teach a class with Aurora although I am excited about the prospect of teaching STEM to Stage 3.

What are your other interests?

Three kids keep life chaotic and adventurous. Being outdoors in the sunshine is my idea of perfect. I’m not a great swimmer but I love nothing more than swimming in the ocean. I love the feel of the waves rolling over me and washing away the thoughts of the day. Summer or winter, the beach is so enticing and without a doubt I’m there building a sandcastle like the Taj Mahal, digging a hole to China, walking the coastline or practising my ‘down face dog’ on the sand. Yes, I love yoga. Whether it’s my personal practice in a yoga studio, teaching a class, meditating, or practising mindfulness driving down the road, I enjoy the space it gives me to think and be calm.

Oh… and chocolate; there must be chocolate!

Serena McLean

Stage 3 Opportunity Class Project Manager

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Bright lights

A television star in the making

Morrow Taplin (Year 7, Wauchope High School) featured on the children’s’ TV show, Get Arty: Season 2 Episode 43. Morrow was filmed at the Opera House explaining the Frugal Forest project.

Click here to watch Morrow at 5:35 minutes into the segment. The video will expire on 27 June 2018.

Angus leading the march on the bass drum

Artist extraordinaire

Angus Baker (Year 8, Tottenham Central School) achieved 1st place in the Secondary Green Art competition of the Tullamore Irish Festival. Angus used chalk pastels for his entry, Mussenden Temple, which was completed in Stage 4 Visual Arts.

Angus has also been voted the Stage 4 representative for the Student Representative Council in his home school for 2018.

He has had a great start to the year, balancing his time between his new Aurora College classes, electives, and extracurricular activities within his home school.

Well done on your artwork and leadership, Angus!

Christina Baldwinson

Aurora College Coordinator

Tottenham Central School

 

Our very own tennis champ

Jeorge Collins (Yeat 7, Denison College of Secondary Education Bathurst High Campus) is currently ranked in the top 7 tennis players in NSW in his age group and he is ranked 797 in the Tennis Australia Rankings. Jeorge’s recent achievements on the tennis court are listed below.

Jeorge (left) was presented with the NSW Government Representative Award by Paul Toole MP, State Member for Bathurst,

  • School Sports Australia Player, representing NSW in the winning Bruce Cup team (November 2017)
  • Awarded Blues Award by the Western School Sports Association (December 2017)
  • Awarded Bathurst Junior Sports Award (December 2017)
  • Played National Tennis Tournament in Melbourne (December 2017)
  • Nominee for Bathurst District Sport and Recreation Council Award (March 2017)
  • Ranked the number 1 player in the Central West Cyclone Team for consecutive 4 years in the NSW State Team Championship (March 2018)
  • Winner Under 18 in the Central West Junior Development Series at Springwood (March 2018) and Blayney (May 2018)
  • Finalist 12/U Boys Singles at Nepean Gold Junior Tournament (April 2018)
  • Winner 12/U Boys Doubles at Nepean Gold Junior Tournament (April 2018)
  • Finalist 12/U Boys Doubles at NSW Age Gold Junior Tournament (April 2018)
  • Awarded NSW Government State Representative Award (April 2018)
  • Winner 12/U Boys Singles at Bathurst Autumn Open Junior Tournament (April 2018)

Jeorge’s proud mum said, “Jeorge is a very quiet boy, who doesn’t like to be in the spotlight, but he has been gaining confidence in himself with his tennis this year.” Congratulations and well done, Jeorge!

 

 

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Library report

Borrowing stars

We have awesome readers at Aurora College and our borrowing rates continue to rise! Congratulations to our borrowing stars for Term 1:

Ella Carson (Year 8, Nowra High School)

Heidi Parkin (Year 7, Parkes High School)

Adara Henby (Year 9, Oberon High School)

Eva Pendlebury (Year 7, Eden Marine High School)

Will Kojetin (Year 7, Ballina Coast High School)

Luka Potts (Year 11, Narooma High School)

Mae Browning (Year 7, Denison College, Bathurst)

Emma Buckland (Year 7, Condoblin High School)

Ayla-Willow Eden (Year 7, The Rivers Secondary College, Kadina Campus)

Calvin Matthews (Year 9, Parkes High School)

Alex Williams (Year 9, Parkes High School)

Isha Corkey (Year 7, Young High School)

Ella Dennis (Year 8, Jindabyne Central School)

James Greenway (Year 7, Moruya High School)

Maria Tynan (Year 9, Leeton High School)

Maggie Zannon (Year 9, Broken Hill High School)

Sarah Burnes (Year 9, Moruya High School)

Iris Cuddy (Year 8, Canowindra High School)

Jordan Gmur (Year 8, Moruya High School)

Riordan Kerscher (Year 7, Denison College, Bathurst)

Tim Lyons –(Year 7, Eden Marine High School)

Duncan McDonald (Year 9, Ulladulla High School)

Joshua Whittington (Year 9, Denison College, Bathurst)

Premier’s Reading Challenge

I am excited to see a number of Aurora College students participating in the Premier’s Reading Challenge with us, this year. I am continually adding new titles to our digital library to support this challenge. To complete the challenge, students must read 15 books from the list and 5 personal choice books. The challenge closes in August.

Want to review new books? Or see your art, poetry, film, music or short story published?

In partnership with SpineOut, Aurora College students have the opportunity to read and keep the new books they review. SpineOut is an online magazine written by and for Young Adults and is published by Good Reading Magazine.

If you are interested in reviewing for SpineOut, please contact me for the relevant permission forms. SpineOut also welcomes submissions of short stories, poetry, art, short films or original music – so get creative and get your work published!

Access to SpinOut is via the OLIVER homepage in the student DoE portal.

Kaylene Taylor

Teacher Librarian

Kaylene.g.taylor@det.nsw.edu.au

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Student work samples

The Hero’s Journey

Year 8 English 1 have been enjoying learning about ‘The Hero’s Journey’ this term. They’ve had a chance to explore the qualities and traits that heroes demonstrate in real-life and fictional worlds, as well as experimenting with their own myth/legend writing. Tuesday afternoon lessons are our favourite time, as we develop our creative writing skills and apply our understanding of the world to new and exciting contexts.

Click here to read a poem and two short stories by Ella Dennis, Mac Webster and Aja Bailey.

Christianna Elliott

English Teacher

Storytelling

Last term, Year 7 English completed cultural narratives as a part of their Storytelling unit. This story, by Jaslyn Mckenzie in 7ENG1 explores elements of Italian culture. Jaslyn is looking forward to learning even more about Italy when she travels there later in the term!

Tegan Morgan

English Teacher

Creative nonfiction

Year 10 have engaged in creative nonfiction writing this year which has seen them write on numerous topics and observations that they have made in their lives. This has enabled them to write in a variety of forms to express their ideas and opinions. Students then looked at the concept of social satire and the satirical comments that are made on many aspects of lives, particularly in the areas of politics and social mores.

Following is a range of student’ work samples:

Carolyn McMurtrie

Head Teacher English

Amazing science

Sienna Condie (Year 7, Ulladulla High School) created the video below to explain heat transfer.

Great work, Sienna!

Silvia Rudmann

R/Head Teacher Science

Meaningful maths

Science is essential to technological development, and English is a part of everyday life as we speak, read and write, but when will I ever use THIS kind of Mathematics outside of the classroom?

Have you ever felt like this or heard someone express a similar sentiment? Dr Gaut’s 10MAT4 and 8MAT4 classes are providing answers by finding ‘out of school’ applications for the topics they are studying in class. Below are the first few examples that have come in. Can you find more?

Applications for ratios from 8MAT4

Applications of quadratic equations (which graph to a parabola) from 10MAT4

Never waste a good mistake

To do well in Mathematics it is very important to identify your mistakes and work out what’s causing them.

There is a cool saying I really like: “Never waste a good mistake!” Mistakes are learning opportunities, so embrace them and learn from them. Below is an example of one of my students in 8MAT4 learning from a mistake and another from 10MAT4.

Click here to see how two students have benefitted from their mistakes.

Creating a topic summary full of annotated examples is a super way to consolidate your learning or prepare for exams. Some students aren’t sure how to make a quality summary and looking at outstanding examples can help them learn what is involved.

Click here to see some examples from Momo Hayashi-Kinny (Year 10, Murwillumbah High School) as she explains how to: factorise monic-trinomials; check by expanding; and divide algebraic fractions.

Click here for an example from Jaslyn Mackenzii (Year 7, Ulladulla High School) showing how to calculate the perimeter of compound shapes and demonstrating her understanding of geometric markings.

Setting out your working is another important skill in mathematics. Some students like to draw all over their work, while others have super skills at using equation editor.

Click here for a quality example of setting out working in an extension level question by Lucy Goldman (Year 8, Glenn Innes High School).

Click here for an example of digital working out from Shannon Bourke (Year 8, Nyngan High School).

Greta Gaut

Mathematics teacher

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Connect locally, learn globally

Anthony visiting Martin Place, Sydney

Ciao! My name is Anthony and I live in Inverell, which is also known as The Sapphire City because many sapphires have been found here. Inverell is home to 18,000 people and is known for local farming and again, sapphires.

Okay, now let’s forget about Inverell and talk about me.

Well, I was born in 2006 in Perth and weighed just 3.4 kg! In 2007, my mum gave birth to another boy, who we decided to name Chris.

My dad is a doctor and my mum is a scientist. In 2014, our plan was for dad to move to Inverell and for the rest of us to stay in Perth. We all missed Dad a lot, so we decided to move to Inverell aswell. I spent over a year there until we decided to move to Armidale for a training course that my dad had to do.

We lived in Armidale for 3 years and I made a lot of friends, but unfortunately every good time has an end. Returning to Inverell in 2017, I attended Ross Hill Public School for 2 terms. In term 4, Mum found a learning program called Aurora College. I applied and got in! A new good thing had started.

I LOVE Aurora because it challenges me, and I have Ryley (also in Year 7 at Macintyre High School), who attends with me. Because I attend Aurora, everyone at my home school seems to know my name and of course, Ryley’s.

My dad’s training course has ended now, so I am expecting to stay in Inverell.

Anthony

Year 7, Macintyre High School

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Supporting student wellbeing

This term, students in Years 7-10 participated in a wellbeing class presented by Jonny Shannon, who discussed how students can connect with other people and protect their online reputation. Jonny’s presentation was engaging and full of good humour and focused on how to create and maintain good friendships.

Students were reminded of the advantages of having quality friends over quantity, and to:

  • be friendly
  • be interested in the other person
  • spend time with close mates
  • to allow friends to have their space.

Students heard that five is the maximum number of genuine friendships that most people can maintain at once. In high school, if you have 1-3 close friends you are doing well!

Feedback on the class from students was very positive, with:

  • 88% said it was a valuable experience
  • 77% saying it helped them feel more confident in how to respond to bullying
  • 91% said they would like the opportunity to attend more classes like Jonny’s.

Aswell as seeking support from staff at our school, students can seek advice about responding to bullying from Kids Helpline and can report online bullying on the eSafety Commissioner website.

Sharleen Mulawin

R/Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Nationally Consistent Collection of Data

All schools across Australia will again be participating in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data (NCCD) on school students with disability. Our involvement in this process is crucial as it will provide valuable information about support required for a broad group of students in our schools. The NCCD enables national and state governments to better target support and resources in schools, which in turn, helps schools access support for all students with additional needs.

The NCCD is not limited to students with diagnosed disabilities. It uses a very broad definition of disability, taken from the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005, which includes a range of health issues and learning difficulties where schools implement strategies to support students in participating effectively in their learning.

The data collection will have no direct impact on your child and they will not be involved in any testing process.

The NSW Department of Education will provide data to the Australian Government from all NSW public schools in such a way that no individual student or school will be able to be identified. In this way, we will ensure the privacy and confidentiality of all students.

All information is protected by privacy laws which regulate the collection, storage, and disclosure of personal information. Information about the Australian Government’s Privacy Policy can be found here. Information about the NSW Government’s privacy policies can be found here.

The data collection will take place in August. No personal or identifying information about any student will be included, however, if you decide you do not wish information about your child to be included in the NCCD, you are asked to contact the school to discuss your concerns. If you are still concerned you should request and complete an opt-out form and return to the principal.

Click here for the parent fact sheet.

More information about the NCCD is available here.

If you have any questions, please feel welcome to contact me or the Deputy Principal, Virginia Cluff.

Alana Ragen-Harrison

Learning and Support Teacher

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HSC revision for rural and remote NSW Department of Education schools

This year, we will be offering an expanded HSC Study Days series, open to all rural and remote public schools. The 2018 program includes English Standard and Mathematics General, and we hope to support more students in completing these courses.

As in previous years, a range of subject experts, experienced teachers and HSC markers will present HSC examination advice and up to date information on course content. Students will have the opportunity to ask questions and seek answers in real time.

Programs, payment instructions and links to register for each of the events will be available on the ‘Learn With Us’ tab on the Aurora website at http://www.aurora.nsw.edu.au/learn/hsc-study-days.

Subject Date                          
Chemistry – with Australian National Maritime Museum Thursday 28 June
Economics – with Ross Gittins & Jessica Irvine from SMH Thursday 2 August
English Advanced Thursday 13 September
English Extension 1 Thursday 6 September
English Standard Tuesday 4 September
Mathematics 2 unit Thursday 9 August
Mathematics Extension 1 Tuesday 31 July
Mathematics Extension 2 Thursday 26 July
Mathematics General Tuesday 11 September
Physics – with ASTRO 3D (TBC) Tuesday 7 August
Software Design and Development Tuesday 19 June

Hope to see you there!

Kate Thompson
Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Professional Learning

Aurora College continues to offer high quality professional learning sessions online and the participation rates are increasing as more staff from rural and remote NSW become aware of them.

Each session generally attracts between 120 -220 participants. We offer courses that align with our school plan and strategic directions, and where possible, they are registered courses that contribute to professional maintenance requirements.

The session on 16 May was offered statewide and was about Microsoft Teams with Microsoft software engineer, Sarah Joshi. As luck would have it, there were a few technical challenges as she was connecting from India, so Joe Cohen stepped in and delivered the session to 133 teachers. Feedback indicated that:

  • 92% of participants rated it as excellent, very good or good
  • 94% of participants rated the content as extremely helpful, very helpful or somewhat helpful
  • 92% of participants indicated that are likely to recommend an Aurora Professional learning event to a colleague

Qualitative feedback about the valuable things people learned from the event included:

  • “We were provided with more explicit information about how to use Teams with a class. The demonstration of different features e.g. assessment was great.”
  • “I didn’t even know the app existed, and it is an amazing hidden treasure. I can’t wait to play with it and learn more.”
  • “Practical, great tips for sharing with staff at school. Great to have the PowerPoint to ready to share.”

Kate Thompson

Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Education Week – an opportunity for students

Secretary for a Day is a key event in the department’s Education Week activities.

The event will be held in Sydney on Monday 6 August 2018, providing an opportunity for student leaders to actively engage with senior department officers as part of Education Week. On Tuesday 7 August 2018, students will also participate in a forum exploring the Education Week theme, Today’s schools – creating tomorrow’s world.

This is an exciting opportunity for Year 9, 10 and 11 students to learn about the challenges and satisfaction of working in senior management in the department, and to find out how educational policy relates to schools. Places are limited and each school may only submit up to two student nominations for consideration.

If you’re a student leader in Year 9, 10 or 11, complete the expression of interest form and return it to your school principal via the school email address.

Further information is available on the DoE website under Education Week

Sharleen Mulawin

R/Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Tip from a techie

Welcome to Sean Will who will be joining me in providing learning technologies support to our students and teachers.

Sean will commence part time work at the coordinating office from 6 June, supporting the implementation of the Aurora College Opportunity Pilot.

A reminder, technology support is available by phone on 1300 610 733, or by email at support@aurora.nsw.edu.au.

Ben Hillsley

Learning Technologies Support Officer

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From the engine room

 

Jacket

Aurora College all weather jacket

We are very excited to offer our students the opportunity to purchase an additional item of clothing.  An all-weather jacket is now available for purchase at a cost of $57.50 (incl GST).

The purchase of the jacket is optional.

Please fill in the order form and return to auroracoll-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au.

Orders must be received by close of business 29 June 2018 to enable production.

Denise Deaves
School Administration Manager

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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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