|Vol. 13, November 2016
In this issue:
3B Smalls Road
Phone: 1300 287 629
From the Principal’s desk
This edition of The Auracle follows yet another magnificent residential school, this one held in the nation’s capital, Canberra. My thanks go to all staff, but particularly to Louise Swanson (R/Head Teacher Teaching and Learning) and Greg Smith (Head Teacher Secondary Studies) for organising and delivering such an engaging, challenging and enjoyable program. As I did at the residential, I would also like to congratulate our students for the cooperation they showed staff and for the enthusiastic way in which they approached every activity. I would also like to thank both students and staff for being such great company for the week!
The Residential school report details the many and varied activities that students and staff were engaged in during our stay in Canberra. If you have not already done so, I urge you to also visit us on Facebook, where you will find a selection of great photos and videos.
Planning is already underway for the next residential to be held at the Sydney Academy of Sport and Recreation in Narrabeen from Monday 27 February 2017 to Friday 3 March 2017. The second residential school for 2017 will be held in Bathurst from Monday 23 October 2017 to Friday 27 October 2017. A reminder that financial assistance to help with the cost of residential schools and other educational expenses is available to eligible families. For further details, please contact the Aurora College office toll-free on 1300 287 629.
Last week I had the pleasure of meeting our 2017 Year 7 cohort and their families in a ‘meet and greet’ video conference. At this stage, 67 Year 7 students in 30 government high schools in rural and remote NSW will be co-enrolled at Aurora College. Later this term, we will be hosting a similar event for new students in Years 8 to 11. I am pleased to report that we will begin the 2017 school year with more than 210 students. This represents a significant increase on our 2016 cohort (160 students) and reflects the growing awareness of the great things that are happening at our school. Welcome to all our new students and their families.
The Anthea Kerr Award was established in 2013 in honour of Anthea Kerr who passed away suddenly after 16 years of outstanding service to the NSW Government sector. The then Minister for Finance and Services highlighted her service in Parliament and stated that an award in her honour would be established to help outstanding public servants develop their careers. Our Head Teacher English, Jake Henzler, was nominated by the Department of Education for his outstanding work at Aurora College and his ‘home’ school, Killara High School. In a large field of nominees, Jake was one of three finalists and the only finalist from the school sector. At the NSW Premier’s Awards ceremony on 25 October, Jake and Byron Hooker (College Team Leader at TAFE Broken Hill) were named as runners-up to the award winner Lucy Nair (Director of Pharmacy, Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital). Congratulations on a great achievement, Jake!
Following the success of the inaugural Rural and Remote Education Conference held in Bathurst in Term 2 this year, Aurora College will again be co-hosting this event with our colleagues in Rural and Distance Education. The 2017 conference will be held at the Novotel Sydney Brighton Beach from 7 to 8 September 2017. Our aim is to celebrate and share successful school based strategies around innovation, resilience and community. Further details can be found on the conference website http://www.rde.nsw.edu.au/ruraledconf/.
Enjoy reading another outstanding edition of The Auracle.
Thank you to the students and staff who joined us for the residential in Canberra last week. This was a very enjoyable week for all staff and students who attended.
The residential next year will be held in Term 1 from Monday 27 February 2017 to Friday 3 March 2017 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.
Attendance of students in Term 4
The Department of Education requires all students to attend school until Wednesday 16 December, the last day of teaching for Term 4 2016. Prior to this date, students in all year groups will be engaged in meaningful work based on the curriculum and syllabus requirements.
Worried you have anxiety or stress symptoms?
Anxiety is an uncomfortable feeling of worry or fear and is a normal human response to a lot of situations. Everyone feels some anxiety at different times in life. It’s the way our body tries to keep us out of dangerous situations and motivates us to solve problems. If you feel so anxious that it gets in the way of you living your life, or causes a lot of distress – that’s a problem. If this is happening to you, you can do something about it.
Anxiety can affect both your physical health and your mental health and the symptoms might be short lived, or stay for a long time. It can cause you to:
Common ways anxiety might affect your body are:
If you want to hear from others, watch this 3-minute video about feeling anxious by clicking on this link.
What can you do if you’re feeling anxious? There are a few things you can do to when anxiety is becoming a problem. You might need to change your lifestyle, learn some relaxation techniques, or if you think something more serious is going on, it’s worth learning more about anxiety disorders.
If you’re still not feeling better and it’s not going away, it might be wise to get an expert opinion on what’s going on and what to do about it. Check out some info on the treatment available for anxiety, and who can help you get the treatment you need. It can be hard to know where to find the right support you need. ReachOut NextStep is an anonymous online tool that recommends relevant support options based on what you want help with. Try ReachOut NextStep to learn about the support options available for you.
What’s coming up next term?
Preparations for 2017
We continue to work with our partner schools in preparation for 2017. With our support, this term our partners will:
Connect locally, learn globally
Lachie is a Year 8 student from Eden Marine High School. Lachie recently undertook a successful 3 day fishing trip to Lake Eucumbene with his brother, uncle and grandfather. They were allowed to catch 16 fish, but only caught thirteen.
Here is a recount of Lachie’s fishing expedition:
On the first day, we only caught one fish which was a brown trout of 2.02kg. On the second day, we decided to fish the same spot as last year. This paid off as we caught eight fish that day. We probably could have caught more but this was our bag limit and we couldn’t take anymore.
The eight fish for that day included two of my fish – two brown trout weighing 1.38 kg and 1.67 kg. The most exciting part was the last day when I caught a 65 cm, 2.63 kg brown trout.
On Sunday the 9th, we got up at 4:30 am and were treated with an amazing sunrise.
Year 8, Eden Marine High School
The first weekend of November saw a dramatic start to the bushfire season with more than 50 fires blazing across NSW. Several communities were evacuated and prolonged closures of the Pacific Highway caused traffic chaos.
A wet winter and early spring has left many areas of NSW primed with high fuel loads so we could be in for a long hard season. The rural communities served by Aurora College are largely dependent on volunteers to assist them in times of natural disaster. These volunteers are drawn from the community, including the Aurora College community.
After a busy but delightful residential, Aurora teacher Geoff Goldrick, Deputy Captain with the Yarrahapinni-Stuarts Point Rural Fire Brigade, spent most of the weekend helping contain a major fire threatening houses and other infrastructure just south of Kempsey.
This is the fourth and final instalment of Yr 7 Storytelling narratives. The students were challenged to write stories that reveal and shed light on the value of culture. There were so many outstanding submissions, that it has taken a number of Auracle publications to showcase them all! This is the last. Please enjoy How the Murray River got its name by Sarah Burnes (Moruya High School.
Mrs Densley’s Year 7 English class has engaged with a diverse number of Assessment Tasks including:
Preliminary Extension 1 English focused on values and context (Katana Murphy, Blayney High School).
Click the links below to see sample student work from:
Head Teacher English
Congratulations to the six hard-working Aurora College students who recently received their results for the Mathematical Challenge for Young Australians (MCYA) Enrichment phase.
At the Euler level, Liam Wymer (Year 8, Young High School) attempted 9 problems to gain a Credit.
At the Dirichlet level, Zoe Jenkins (Year 7, Tenterfield High School) was awarded a Distinction and Jonah Menzies (Year 7, Maclean High School) was awarded a Credit.
Well done also to Tynan Matthews (Year 8, Parkes High School), Djer Kenny (Year 7, Mudgee High School) and Jaimee Soo (Year 7, Ulladulla High School ) for taking up the Challenge and receiving Participation certificates.
In 2017, we plan to offer the MCYA Challenge phase over a three week period in Term 1. Watch for more details!
Mrs Renee Dawson
Head Teacher Mathematics
At Aurora College we strive to give all aspiring scientists a realistic understanding of what it means to study the universe in all of its complexities. Our students develop skills and understanding in the many different branches of science, along with the knowledge of the multiple industries where these skills are required. For this reason, in Year 7 our students are given opportunities to research and interview real life scientists.
This semester, Year 7 students were given the assessment task of writing a ‘meet the scientist’ article about a real life scientist of their choosing. They needed to research the scientist, find out how they got into the job they currently have and investigate the work they do on a daily basis. This being my first year at Aurora College, I was immensely impressed with the quality of work that was displayed by our students.
Not only were our students able to demonstrate their abilities to stretch their skills to source information, but they were also able to build strong partnerships between Aurora College and industry professionals. Scientists researched were from all over Australia and included:
and many, many more.
The Science Department would like to thank all of the scientists involved in this project for your time and dedication to helping our students grow. Click the links below to see Science reports from the following students:
Teacher, Science & Mathematics
Professional learning special event
Aurora College will be presenting Dan Haesler in a professional learning special event in our virtual learning environment next term. Dan is an international keynote speaker who works with organisations around issues of engagement, wellbeing, mindset & leadership.
As well as schools, Dan has consulted to government education projects, corporate business, The Black Dog Institute and other not-for-profit organisations. He was a very popular keynote speaker at the Rural and Remote Conference hosted by Aurora College in Bathurst earlier this year.
This special event will be available to all government school teachers in rural and remote areas of NSW. Details will be distributed to all schools via email and SchoolBiz. We hope to see as many of our colleagues as possible.
R/Head Teacher Teaching and Learning.
Residential school program
Our students had the opportunity to come together at our recent Residential School held in Canberra. This was an opportunity for students to have some face-to-face time with their classroom teachers, get to know some of the school’s support staff and executive and participate in a range of curricular and extra-curricular activities. Class time was allocated for each subject to allow students to interact with their teachers and their peers. This is particularly important given the virtual nature of our school and the isolation of students in remote areas.
Students attended a range of venues including the Ian Potter Technology Learning Centre (where students undertook hands-on STEM activities in a fantastic maker space), Questacon, Royal Australian Mint, the National Library, the National Film and Sound Archive and the Australian Institute of Sport. The program for the residential was developed in close collaboration with faculty Head Teachers of the school to ensure that the activities related to course outcomes or developed skills relevant to learning.
As with any other school, it is our aim to provide not only for the academic needs of the students, but to also provide opportunities and activities for the ‘whole student’, including social and emotional wellbeing. As a result, we also provided opportunities for students to participate in some fun, social activities to allow them to develop social connections with the peers and to reinforce a positive attitude to the school. Students participated in Lazer Tag, Quidditch, games and activities evenings to create a bond and allow some rest time.
In NSW, it is mandatory for students to learn about Civics and Citizenship. This is generally incorporated into learning across a range of subjects. To incorporate aspects of Civics and Citizenship students visited Parliament House. We were lucky to o meet with NSW Senator Fiona Nash, the Deputy Leader of the Nationals and Minister for Regional Development, Local Government and Territories and Regional Communications.
Nina Walters (Year 7, Blayney High School) had the following to say about her ‘Res’:
“The 2016 term 4 residential was my second and I think it was even better than the one at the beginning of the year. I enjoyed seeing all my friends and participating in so many activities including Questacon, The Mint, Parliament House, classes, Lazertag and the Ian Potter Foundation Technology Learning Centre. My favourite activity was the Ian Potter Foundation Ball Run Challenge. In groups with our friends, we had to design and create a coin run using materials such as cardboard, pipes, plastic bottles, paddle pop sticks, masking tape and a lot of glue. Our design was 2 stories and included ramps, jumps, curtains, slides, pegs and a pinball style section. I had an amazing time at this Residential. Thank you to everyone for giving us these great opportunities.”
R/Head Teacher Teaching and Learning
Bright lights of Aurora
Congratulations to Tieke Thomas (Year 12, Molong Central School) and James Stoddart (Year 12, Dunedoo Central School) who have been appointed school captains at their respective schools.
Thomas Derwent (Year 7, Moruya High School) has been involved in 4 competitions for RoboCup this year. His team achieved the top secondary Rescue Award for the South Coast Regional RoboCup Junior Competition in June. In August, his team competed in both the ACT and NSW Competitions of which his team achieved a placing of 6th out of 12 teams and a placing of 11th out of 36 teams. In September, Thomas and his fellow student Max Cooper competed in the National Competition for RoboCup Junior at which they achieved a placing of 34th out of 47.
His team has developed a wide range of team work skills as well as programming and problem solving skills for Rescue and they are looking forward to working with Robotics further. All RoboCup teams will be involved in Week 9 of next term for the “Hour of Code” where they will be working with small teams of Primary students on developing skills in coding.
Mallee Goldrick (Year 8, Macksville High School) competed at the Interschool Horse Extravaganza in Tamworth in October. Mallee entered the one day event (ODE) and the show jumping event.
An ODE tests the horse and rider over three phases: dressage, a test of composure and control; cross country, a test of courage and stamina; and show jumping, a test of trust and skill. Mallee’s horse, Max, was just too excited and wouldn’t calm down during the dressage and the pair finished with a score that placed them around the middle of a very large field.
The cross country leg started brilliantly with Max cantering boldly over the jumps but halfway through the course he showed his inexperience by slamming on the brakes at a large brush fence. In a wonderful demonstration of Newton’s Laws of Inertia and Gravity, Mallee ended up in the dirt. A fall in the cross country leg results in elimination so Mallee and Max never got to compete in the show jumping phase of the ODE later that day.
The show jumping event, held the next day, gave Mallee and Max a chance at redemption. The pair showed their potential with good results in all classes, including a couple of top ten finishes. This was a very satisfying result for a new combination and hopefully an indicator of even better things to come. Congratulations, Mallee and Max!
Georgina Mildren (Year 8, Deniliquin High School) had the opportunity to perform with her band “The Breves” at the Deni Ute Muster held on 29 and 30 September. At the core of this festival is the Guinness world record breaking Ute Muster which sees thousands of people from every capital city and many towns attending. Concerts over two nights featured Australia’s best country and rock musicians, including Keith Urban as the headline event. The Day Stage supports Australia’s best up and coming country music artists. This is the third year in a row that Georgina has sung at the Ute Muster. Congratulations on your many talents, Georgina!
Tynan Matthews (Year 8, Parkes High School) has been identified as a top performer in the Computational Algorithmic Thinking Competition and has been invited to attend digIT. This program is run by the Australian Maths Trust and aims to increase the participation of all students and the community in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) and to improve their digital literacy. Tynan is very keen to take up this fantastic opportunity. Congratulations, Tynan!
Mackewin Strachan (Year 8, Nowra High School) achieved a credit in the ICAS Mathematics Competition and was in the top 10% in NSW for the Mathematics Olympiad. Congratulations, Mackewin!
Finally, congratulations to Jacky Zhao (Year 12, Junee High School), Tieke Thomas (Year 12, Molong Central School) and Jye Robinson (Year 12, Cobar High School) for each being awarded the Victor Chang School Science Award for their excellent achievement and passion for science. We look forward to further successes in your science studies with Aurora College!
What have you been doing in your home school recently? Ask your Aurora College Coordinator to send a brief report for the next edition of The Auracle. All contributions gratefully accepted by email to email@example.com.
Top borrowers for Term Three
Congratulations to our top borrowers last term! Astra awards have been awarded to: Roshan Caldwell (Year 7, Tenterfield High School); Kahli Henley (Year 7, Jindabyne Central School); Madeleine Ross (Year 7, Jindabyne Central School); Jaimee Soo (Year 7, Ulladulla High School); Justin Blanch (Year 8, Dubbo College South Campus); Caitlyn Hillsley (Year 8, Dubbo College South Campus); Conor McMullen (Year 8, Cobar High School); Aiden Wallis (Year 8, Nowra High School); and Liam Wymer (Year 8, Young High School).
Year 12 students returning items
Best wishes to our outgoing Year 12 students – the class of 2016! If you have any textbooks, please return them to your Aurora College Coordinator in your home school. We will arrange to collect the textbooks and distribute them to the class of 2017.
OLIVER Masterclass carousel
Have you attended a recent masterclass? Did it inspire you to want to know more? Visit the Masterclass carousel set up on the OLIVER homepage of the Aurora College Digital Library, accessible via the Student Portal.
It was fantastic to work with some of our students at Residential and show them how to read offline on personal devices. If any other students would like assistance borrowing resources from the Aurora College Digital Library, please send me an email so we can set up a time to go through the steps in my Adobe classroom.
Ex Libris Aurora
Mystery, non-fiction and student requests from Residential featured in the latest issue of Ex Libris Aurora. Ex Libris Aurora has been emailed directly to students and staff. If you missed receiving the latest issue of Ex Libris Aurora, please let me know and I will arrange for a copy to be sent to you.
Featured staff reader – Denise Deaves (School Administration Manager)
When asked to review a book by our Teacher Librarian, Kaylene Taylor, I couldn’t settle on just one!
Jane Austen was a woman before her time who wrote contemporary novels about Regency England. She showed us how they viewed marriage, social order, economics, manners and a woman’s place in society.
Pride and Prejudice (first published 1813) explores relationships and how impressions and misinformation can affect people’s attitudes. It also explores the complex legal structure which prevented women from inheriting property, which had to be passed down the male line only. Imagine a man who has five daughters in Regency England and no male heirs. What will his family do if he should die? Mrs Bennett must get her daughters married and seeks “every opportunity” to make it so. Mr Bennett secretly enjoys watching the antics of his wife from which he derives much amusement.
Emma is a somewhat clueless girl who spends most of her day looking after her invalid father. She decides to become something of a matchmaker and completely gets it wrong. She cannot see what is happening around her and thinks she knows it all. Clueless was first published in 1811 and a contemporary movie based on the novel is Clueless (1995).
Sense and Sensibility (first published 1815) is the story of the Dashwoods, who are suddenly left almost penniless after their father/husband dies. As the inheritance of their vast property, Norland Park, must go directly to a male heir (in this case their brother/stepson) they are reliant on the generosity of a cousin for somewhere to live. This novel includes themes such as unrequited love, scandal and mayhem. Contemporary movies based on this novel are Material Girls (2006) and Scents and Sensibility (2011).
Any of these books make for a fantastic read. The fact that the author led a somewhat sheltered life doesn’t affect the insight she had into a rather one-sided period in history. They are an excellent comparison of how far our society has come and also of how little some things have changed.
Aurora College has a number of subscriptions to digital resources. Access links, login and password details can be found on the OLIVER homepage. Please stop by the digital library – accessible via the Student Portal – to take advantage of our resources, selected to support your learning.
Holiday reading requests?
It’s time to start planning for our summer holiday reading programme! Full details will be emailed to students closer to the end of the school term. If there is a book or two (or in my case, a whole shelf full of books) that you’d like to read over the summer holidays, make your requests NOW! Send me an email with the title and author details and I’ll let you know when it has been added to our digital library.
Spotlight on … Elizabeth McDonald
I work across 18 schools, supervising the student psychological services of my team of 12 school counsellors and 2 school psychologists. My community comprises 2 selective high schools & 2 single sex high schools, 1 school for special purposes, and 13 primary schools. My direct service is at Aurora College and in complex case management across my district.
I went to school in the remote mining town of Tennant Creek (we lived on a mining lease about 16 km out of town), and because there was no one who had ever been as far as Year 10 at my school, I had to be sent to boarding school 2,000 miles from home.
Senior Psychologist, Education
Tip from a techie
A reminder to all students that password security is important! Every time you log into a computer at school, or log into the DoE Student Portal, you agree to be bound by the Online Communication Services: Acceptable Usage for School Students policy. Part of this policy states:
Students will (…) keep passwords confidential, and change them when prompted, or when known by another user.
It is very important that no one else has your password, not only for the access it provides them to your DoE Portal site, but for all the systems that are linked to the same username and password, including:
Statistically, people are likely to “reuse” passwords for multiple sites. The password you use for the DoE Portal might be the same as your Facebook, personal email, etc. You may be sharing more than you think if you give away your password!
So what can we do, and what should we do? Advice has changed a lot in the last 5 years about password security. Previously we were advised to make the password complex, by having it comprise of about 8 characters between lower case, UPPER CASE, and special symbols (@#$%^, etc). The main problem is that these passwords are hard to remember and you’re more likely to forget them. After some research, however, it’s been found that a longer password is just as effective, if done properly. Instead of a password like Tr0ub4dor&3, you could use correct-horse-battery-staple and it will be even more secure!
Of course, you should still have a separate password for every site or system because no password is perfect. Even if someone can’t guess or “crack” your password, there’s other ways to get it. A malicious user can steal information from the site itself and get your password without trying to guess it specifically. If you use the same password for your bank and your Facebook, then the next time Facebook is targeted by a group intent on causing damage, they can potentially get into your bank account too! There’s been many such incidents in recent years and usually we don’t hear about it until much later. For example, in 2014, hackers stole 500 million usernames and passwords from Yahoo!, who didn’t fully report the incident until September this year.
Please take the time to think about your passwords, how safe they are, when they were last changed, and what you can do to be more secure! The requirements for students in Years 7 – 12 when creating a password for their DoE Student Portal account are that the password be at least 6 characters, must include a letter and a number, and have no more than 2 repeating characters next to each other.
Adobe Creative Cloud for students
A change has been made to the Adobe suite offered to students as part of the DoE Enterprise Agreement with Adobe. Previously, students were able to download and install the Adobe CS6 suite of programs on one computer, free of charge. Under the new Enterprise Agreement, any student who installed the CS6 suite will have their licence disabled on December 1st 2016. Instead, students are now able to access Adobe Creative Cloud, a subscription based service that always keeps the applications at the latest version. This includes:
The entire suite is offered free of charge for students and can be accessed from the OnTheHub site. To use the new subscription service, students are required to sign up for an Adobe ID account (free of charge) and to register the code that the OnTheHub site provides. There is an extensive help document the OnTheHub site has provided to help with the process, but you can always contact me if you need some extra assistance.
Laptop care tips
HP have created the following poster for NSW Schools to help students with some tips on how to care for their laptop:
Learning Technologies Support Officer
A message from our technology sponsor, Microsoft
Aurora College; 3b Smalls Road, Ryde, NSW 2112