The Auracle – Volume 14, December 2016

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Vol. 13, November 2016
In this issue:


Aurora College

3B Smalls Road
Ryde NSW 2112

Phone: 1300 287 629
Fax: 02 9886 7525

From the Principal’s desk

Year 7 students exploring the virtual playground

Year 7 students exploring the ‘beach’ area of Aurora’s 3D virtual playground

The year has been one filled with many wonderful achievements and it is with admiration and great pride that I reflect on the many successes of individual students, but also on the collective successes of the college and its community. To students, parents and staff, I offer my congratulations for the part each of you has played in our success.

Of course, a common characteristic of all great schools is the high expectations they have of their students. Each of the Semester 2 prize winners listed below have responded magnificently to the high expectations their teachers have of them and they have produced outstanding results. Those students listed as receiving an Excellence award have done so by placing first in the course. Of these, Mackewin Strachan (Year 8, English, Mathematics and Science), Helen Trantino (Year 9, English, Mathematics and Science); Lauren Cook (Year 10, Mathematics and Science), Katana Murphy (Year 11, English Advanced, English Extension 1 and Mathematics) and Tieke Thomas (Year 11, Physics and Chemistry) received Excellence awards in more than one subject. Congratulations to all our Academic prize winners:

Sarah Burnes (Year 7, Moruya High School) Achievement in English; Alex Williams (Year 7, Parkes High School) Achievement in English; Alleyne Gaut (Year 7, Parkes High School) Achievement in English; Elizabeth Hoyle (Year 7, Parkes High School) Achievement in English; Zoe Jenkins (Year 7, Tenterfield High School) Excellence in English; Lucas Williams (Year 7, Broken Hill High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Daniel de Haan (Year 7, Coolamon Central School) Achievement in Mathematics; Anita McKenzie (Year 7, Coonamble High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Kahli Henley (Year 7, Jindabyne Central School) Achievement in Mathematics; Maddison Gay (Year 7, Jindabyne Central School) Achievement in Mathematics; Alleyne Gaut (Year 7, Parkes High School) Excellence in Mathematics; Zoe Jenkins (Year 7, Tenterfield High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Harry Bottero (Year 7, Tumut High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Neve Lawson (Year 7, Ulladulla High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Emily Adamson (Year 7, Wade High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Chloe Gruber (Year 7, Young High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Maria Tynan (Year 7, Leeton High School) Achievement in Science; Jonah Menzies (Year 7, Maclean High School) Achievement in Science; Alleyne Gaut (Year 7, Parkes High School) Achievement in Science; Elizabeth Hoyle (Year 7, Parkes High School) Achievement in Science; Zoe Jenkins (Year 7, Tenterfield High School) Achievement in Science; Harry Bottero (Year 7, Tumut High School) Achievement in Science; Chloe Gruber (Year 7, Young High School) Excellence in Science; Wilmien Kok (Year 8, Cobar High School) Achievement in English; Hunter De Jong (Year 8, Eden Marine High School) Achievement in English; Darcy Hopkins (Year 8, Nowra High School) Achievement in English; Mackewin Strachan (Year 8, Nowra High School) Excellence in English; Emma Hocking (Year 8, Broken Hill High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Wilmien Kok (Year 8, Cobar High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Darcy Wood (Year 8, Dubbo College South Campus) Achievement in Mathematics; Justin Blanch (Year 8, Dubbo College South Campus) Achievement in Mathematics; Hunter De Jong (Year 8, Eden Marine High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Mackewin Strachan (Year 8, Nowra High School) Excellence in Mathematics; Tynan Matthews (Year 8, Parkes High School) Excellence in Mathematics; Liam Wymer (Year 8, Young High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Emma Hocking (Year 8, Broken Hill High School) Achievement in Science; Wilmien Kok (Year 8, Cobar High School) Achievement in Science; Ella Roberts (Year 8, Cowra High School) Achievement in Science; Justin Blanch (Year 8, Dubbo College South Campus) Achievement in Science; Hunter De Jong (Year 8, Eden Marine High School) Achievement in Science; Mallee Goldrick (Year 8, Macksville High School) Achievement in Science; Darcy Hopkins (Year 8, Nowra High School) Achievement in Science; Mackewin Strachan (Year 8, Nowra High School) Excellence in Science; Tynan Matthews (Year 8, Parkes High School) Achievement in Science; Liam Wymer (Year 8, Young High School) Achievement in Science; Robert Grant (Year 9, Cobar High School) Achievement in English; Amy Ibbott (Year 9, Coonamble High School) Achievement in English; Julia Williams (Year 9, Parkes High School) Achievement in English; Madison Bland (Year 9, Parkes High School) Achievement in English; Lauren Fisher (Year 9, Willyama High School) Achievement in English; Helena Trantino (Year 9, Young High School) Excellence in English; Robert Grant (Year 9, Cobar High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Andrew Ngyuen (Year 9, Dubbo College South Campus) Achievement in Mathematics; Julia Williams (Year 9, Parkes High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Madison Bland (Year 9, Parkes High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Trefor Robinson (Year 9, Parkes High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Lauren Fisher (Year 9, Willyama High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Maighan Mashford (Year 9, Willyama High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Bronwyn Kemp (Year 9, Yass High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Helena Trantino (Year 9, Young High School) Excellence in Mathematics; Robert Grant (Year 9, Cobar High School) Achievement in Science; Ryan Anderson (Year 9, Cobar High School) Achievement in Science; Andrew Nguyen (Year 9, Dubbo College South Campus) Achievement in Science; Julia Williams (Year 9, Parkes High School) Achievement in Science; Lauren Fisher (Year 9, Willyama High School) Achievement in Science; Bronwyn Kemp (Year 9, Yass High School) Achievement in Science; Helana Trantino (Year 9, Young High School) Excellence in Science; Natasha Newman (Year 10, Coffs Harbour High School) Achievement in English; Alexandra Lindsay (Year 10, Dubbo College South Campus) Excellence in English; Josie Stanger-Jones (Year 10, Dubbo College South Campus) Achievement in English; Lauren Cook (Year 10, Dubbo College South Campus) Achievement in English; Emily Knox (Year 10, Guyra Central School) Achievement in English; William Wright (Year 10, Canowindra High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Natasha Newman (Year 10, Coffs Harbour High School) Achievement in Mathematics; Alexandra Lindsay (Year 10, Dubbo College South Campus) Achievement in Mathematics; Lauren Cook (Year 10, Dubbo College South Campus) Excellence in Mathematics; Jack Robbers (Year 10, Bega High School) Achievement in Science; William Wright (Year 10, Canowindra High School) Achievement in Science; Natasha Newman (Year 10, Coffs Harbour High School) Achievement in Science; Alexandra Lindsay (Year 10, Dubbo College South Campus) Excellence in Science; Josie Stanger-Jones (Year 10, Dubbo College South Campus) Achievement in Science; Lauren Cook (Year 10, Dubbo College South Campus) Excellence in Science; Robin Hall (Year 10, Dubbo College South Campus) Achievement in Science; Tieke Thomas (Year 11, Molong Central School) Excellence in Chemistry; Katana Murphy (Year 11, Blayney High School) Excellence in English Advanced; Katana Murphy (Year 11, Blayney High School) Excellence in English Extension; Katana Murphy (Year 11, Blayney High School) Excellence in Mathematics; Tieke Thomas (Year 11, Molong Central School) Excellence in Physics; Katana Murphy (Year 11, Blayney High School) Achievement in Science; Budjarn Lambeth (Year 11, Denison College Kelso Campus) Achievement in Physics; and Jacky Zhao (Year 11, Junee High School) Achievement in Physics.

The Galaxy Medal is awarded to students who have accumulated 25 Astra Awards. Tynan Matthews, Bronwyn Kemp and Maighan Mashford each received their second Galaxy Medal in 2016. Congratulations to the following recipients of the Galaxy Medal:

Daniel de Hann (Year 7, Coolamon Central School); Madeleine Mulligan (Year 7, Cowra High School); Maria Tynan (Year 7, Leeton High School); Jordyn Chapple (Year 8, Parkes High School); Hunter De Jong (Year 8, Eden Marine High School); Ayla Hausen (Year 8, Kyogle High School); Archie Lickess (Year 8, Parkes High School); Tynan Matthews (Year 8, Parkes High School); Mackewin Strachan (Year 8, Nowra High School); Jessica Ware (Year 8, Dubbo College Delroy Campus); Luke Wilson (Year 9, Cowra High School); Ryan Anderson (Year 9, Cobar High School); Lauren Fisher (Year 9, Willyama High School); Zachary Giger (Year 9, Orange High School); Robert Grant (Year 9, Cobar High School); Samuel Greville (Year 9, Broken Hill High School); Bronwyn Kemp (Year 9, Yass High School); Maighan Mashford (Year 9, Willyama High school); Taran Walters (Year 9, Blayney High School); Jack Wickes (Year 9, Blayney High School); Julia Williams (Year 9, Parkes High School); Lauren Cook (Year 10, Dubbo College South Campus); Alexandra Lindsay (Year 10, Dubbo College South Campus); William Wright (Year 10, Canowindra High School); and Katana Murphy (Year 11, Blayney High School).

This week, we said goodbye to a number of staff who, for a range of personal and professional reasons, will not be returning to Aurora in 2017. I would like to acknowledge and thank the following staff for the many contributions they have made to our school this year and last: Renee Dawson (Mathematics); Sana Hijazi (Mathematics); Paul Brewster (Mathematics); Amy Naughten (Mathematics); Jay Quince (Mathematics); Susan Leamon (Mathematics); Michelle Kirchmajer (Science and Mathematics); Greg Davidson (Science); Adele Stoddart (Science); Teresa Naso (Italian Beginners); Naomi Wrench (Economics); Jake Henzler (English); and Lisa Neilson (English). Louise Swanson, who is Relieving Head Teacher Teaching and Learning, was recently successful in gaining a well-deserved promotion to Deputy Principal (Sydney Secondary College Balmain Campus). Sharleen Mulawin will be relieve in this position until Kate Thompson returns from leave. I know that I speak for the entire Aurora College community when I wish our departing teachers all the very best in their future endeavours.

To give the majority of our students the opportunity to take part in orientation activities at their home school, Aurora College classes will commence on Wednesday 1 February 2017. Coursework will not commence until students in the Western division start the school year, from Monday 6 February 2017. Students in class before Monday 6 February 2017 will undertake an orientation and revision program with their Aurora College teachers.

Should you need to contact me during the school holidays, I can be reached by email at christopher.robertson@det.nsw.edu.au or by telephone on 0475 961 392.

To all our families and friends, I wish you a very merry Christmas and a happy and prosperous 2017.

Chris Robertson

Principal

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Deputy’s report

This has been a very busy time of the year and now that 2016 draws to a close we look forward to what 2017 will bring for all our students.

Year 7-11 lesson orientations
Thank you to Virginia Cluff and Jake Henzler who ran a number of orientations lessons for our 2017 new Year 7 and 8-10 students. They were shown the various technological platforms that they will be engaging with next year. These included getting familiar with Adobe Connect, Microsoft One Note and Moodle. There were many engaged students, all excited at the prospect of communicating with teachers and peers in the new virtual learning environment.

Teacher Professional Learning – New Teacher Induction Conference

On Monday 5 December, our new teachers were welcomed to the coordinating office at Ryde, where they were provided with a comprehensive introduction to Aurora.

The induction provided the new teachers with:

  • a sound understanding of the school structure and procedures
  • an introduction to the technologies currently being used for administrative and educational purposes
  • opportunities to work in their faculty to prepare for 2016.

GERRIC training

Our new teachers also completed the University of NSW’s mini-Certificate of Gifted Education.

Run by the Gifted Education Research Resource and Information Centre (GERRIC), the training focused on:

  • how to identify gifted and talented students
  • strategies to differentiate the curriculum for highly able students
  • whether and how to implement ability groupings and acceleration of students
  • what the research says about gifted education best practices.

GERRIC also runs weekend courses for parents of gifted and talented children and publish a range of helpful books and other resources. Furthermore, they run a range of school holiday enrichment programs for gifted and talented students from Year 3 to Year 10. For further information, visit https://education.arts.unsw.edu.au/about-us/gerric/for-parents/

Elevate STEM course

Fiona Boneham and Geoff Goldrick have also been in Sydney upskilling themselves to deliver the new robotics and computer science component in the Year 10 science curriculum next year. Students will engage with virtual robots and will code computer animations and interactive games. They will also learn the skills and knowledge necessary to perform complex tasks and enhance student engagement.

Reports

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

What’s coming up next year?

The first 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.

School holidays begin 16 December 2016 for all students. I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday.

Kathy Klados

Deputy Principal

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Connect locally, learn globally

Salutations! Despite going to school in Eden, I actually live in Pambula. Do you know about Narooma? Go further south. Bermagui? Further south. Bega? Further south. Pambula is a great little place, probably known mainly for its amazing bakery called Wild Rye’s. You can’t go into Pambula without meeting at least three people that you know. We’re a small town and a very close-knit one at that. We’re also a very arts focused community, so there are lots of theatre and dance groups, even some local filmmakers.

AnnaRecently, I created a film with some friends for the Yooftube 2016 competition. It’s like any normal film festival but Yooftube is specifically for youth. In some places it was a difficult process, but we managed to pull it off in time and even ended up winning an award for our entry! Then, during Science Week this year, I had the opportunity to run a gaming camp. About 20 people got together to play games and create worlds, which was brilliant fun and a great experience in which I made many new friends. Every first Thursday of the month, coding nights are held in Bega for people of all ages. Myself and some of my friends sometimes attend and different mentors teach programming, robotics and other awesome things.

Aurora has provided me with the opportunity to extend my learning in ways I never would have previously thought possible. I was able to take part in a computing course with the Powerhouse Museum, speak to authors whom I greatly admire and get to hear scientists speak about what they do. I was able to be in Aurora’s SRC this year, which was really flexible through Adobe Connect. Aurora is a great group of people with really open minds. At Eden we’ve never had a Quidditch match before! I plan to suggest it now though, of course. Without Aurora, I wouldn’t have had such opportunities. I will miss them greatly when I leave the virtual college.

After leaving school, I’d like to pursue a career in medicine and 3D modelling. It’s surprising how often nature and art overlap, so being able to do something that combines both my passions would make a career that I’d love. But who knows, I might finish school and decide I want to become a lion tamer instead.

Hasta la vista, Aurora. It’s been a fantastic year, thank you for every moment of it!

Anna Auer

Year 10, Eden Marine High School

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Mental health support

There is a plethora of information about mental health available on the internet. I have chosen to share with you just a few essentials from e-resources available for iphone and android for you to use that may help you to support your friends, family or even yourself as you head towards the summer holidays.

  1. Emergency+ This free app can allow you to call emergency services with your longitude and latitude and assists you to contact the correct Fire, State Emergency Services, Police or Ambulance Service closest to you.
  2. Lifeline service finder This free app can allow you to locate the nearest services to you or someone you are concerned about for issues like counselling, legal services, emergency accommodation, mental health, family crisis support, suicide prevention etc.
  3. Smiling mind This free app enables you to look after your own wellbeing by using guided relaxation techniques and assists you to track your progress.

In addition, there are great links to helpful information on the Kids Helpline website, including sites such as Beyond Blue and the Black Dog Institute.

I look forward to catching up with you in person again at Residential School next term.

Best wishes for a safe, fun and interesting holiday.

Elizabeth McDonald

Senior Psychologist, Education

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Kruki 2016

Kruki 2016 - At the Anatomy Lab

Kruki 2016 – At the anatomy lab

Last week, instead of attending regular school and going on my Year 9 excursion, I drove 7 and ½ hours to the University of New England (UNE) to take part in ‘Kruki’. Kruki is a program for Indigenous students in Years 9, 10, 11 and 12, who wish to explore and get a taste of what studying Medicine is really like at University; but just in 6 short days. We were supervised by several people, including a lecturer named Lisa, an Elder named Aunty Dotty, a lecturer named Amanda Nagle, our bus driver Graham, and one of the major organisers of the program, Shannon. They are all amazing.

Over the course of the week, we took part in a PBL (problem based learning) case, in which we hypothetically found an 8 year old boy on a sidewalk, in shock after being struck by a slow moving car. After filling in a trauma sheet, we discovered that the boy had a fractured right humerus, a scalp laceration, multiple abrasions to the thorax and abdomen and heavy blood loss. He was also found without any parents in the immediate area, meaning that we had to devise a course of treatment without knowing if he was religious (hindering the use of a blood transfusion), had allergies, underlying medical conditions, or could undergo surgery without parental consent. We were also given ‘learning targets’, which are basically questions about the human body, moral and ethical enigmas, courses of treatment and more, in which we had to write several pages per question and present our findings.

Kruki 2016 - Attempts at suturing

Kruki 2016 – Attempts at suturing

As well as doing theory activities, we were given the opportunity to participate in multiple practical lessons. We learned to wash our hands properly, where we saw how germy our hands are under black-light. Several excursions were organised, such as to the Tablelands Clinical School, where I was taught to safely cannulate, suture, perform CPR and defibrillate someone in cardiac arrest. The Head Anatomist at UNE also taught everyone about the structure of the human arm, the major bones of the body, and also showed some of us an arm in formaldehyde; which was stored in a container, in a cupboard.

Everyone in the program made really strong friendships and we are all so incredibly grateful for the experience. We are all well on our way to becoming successful medical students, and eventually doctors. Thank you so much to Mrs Coutanche, for allowing me to take part in such an amazing program.

Chanse McLean

Year 9, Canowindra High School

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Mathematics report

On Monday 5 December I flew to Tamworth, before driving on to Gunnedah, seeing some spectacular lightning en route. Tuesday was spent working with Kustiani and Lachlan from Gunnedah High School on their Extension 2 Mathematics. We were able to navigate our way through a large part of the Graphing topic sketching many, many curves and advanced on to implicit differentiation.

Year 12 Maths Extension 2 Students

Year 12 Maths Extension 2 Students

The friendliness of the staff and the enthusiasm of the students (even after this maths marathon) stood out to me. The trip home was remarkably smooth, considering there were a lot of thunderstorms in the Tamworth area.

Maths trivia

Following are some questions recently given to Mr Whiteway’s Year 7 Maths classes from the topic, Time. Can you answer them?

  1. Is it true that nothing at all happened in Samoa on 30 December 2011? Explain your thinking!
  2. If, in the future, Aurora College had students from Norfolk Island, Lord Howe Island, Dubbo and Broken Hill in the same virtual classroom, how many time zones would there be in the class (in Winter)?
  3. Is it true that absolutely nothing happened in the UK between 3 September and 13 September 1752 inclusive? Explain your answer!
  4. A plane landed from the North at an Australian Airport. When the plane reached the Southern end of the runway, the Flight Attendant told the passengers they could turn off flight mode on their mobile phones. Their phones said 12:30 am on Wednesday 8 October but when the passengers reached the terminal of the same airport it was Tuesday 7 October! Which airport did the plane land at?

Answers can be read here.

Mr Ian Whiteway

Teacher, Mathematics

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Student work samples

Year 10 Science was given the task to research and identify the advantages and disadvantages of immunisation. Alexandra Lindsay created the following video:

Year 10 English completed a number of assessment tasks on satire. Following are some great samples responses.

Anna Auer completed a set of cartoons about the recent US election. Click the image below to see the full set.
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Lauren Cook completed cartoons about the media. Click the image below to see the full set.
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Jack Robbers wrote an analysis of the news cycle: The News Cycle: An Analysis

Eva Knox wrote an article for The New York Times on fashion: Today’s unusual fashion trends…

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Opportunities to shine

The 2017 Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) High School Scholarships provide an opportunity for students studying in Years 10, 11 and 12 to access scholarships of up to $1,000 to assist them with their education and training.

Students can use the funds to purchase items such as course materials or equipment, or pay for excursions and even tutoring, so they don’t miss out on educational opportunities. Scholarships are open to those receiving housing assistance from FACS, community housing providers or Aboriginal housing. This also includes students:

  • on the social housing waiting list
  • in Out of Home Care – currently under the care of the Minister
  • in public, community or Aboriginal housing
  • in transitional or crisis accommodation or receiving supported accommodation
  • through a specialist homelessness service
  • receiving private rental assistance such as a private rental subsidy, bond loan or
  • tenancy guarantee.

For more information, you can call the FACS High School Scholarship line on 02 8753 8673, or see the flyer here: FACS High School Scholarship 2017 flyer

Louise Swanson

R/Head Teacher Teaching and Learning.

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Residential school program

Initial information and permission forms have been sent out to all parents, teachers and Aurora College Coordinators regarding the Term 1 2017 Residential. The Residential will take place from February 27 to March 3 and will be held at Sydney Academy Sport and Recreation Centre, located at Narrabeen.

Year 7 will take part in Elevate’s Study Skills Kick Start program as well as an orientation session on using the Aurora library. Year 8 will be introduced to the new e-Mentoring program and will meet the new Mentors and be led through a range of activities. Year 7 and 8 will visit the Narrabeen Rock Platform to complete science research, and will also take part in the Manly Surf School. Year 9 and 10 will visit the Museum of Human Disease. Each Year group 7-10 will take part in a master class with Bell Shakespeare. Year 11 and 12 Chemistry and Physics students will complete mandatory practical experiences, while Year 11 Agriculture students will complete a mandatory farm visit.

A range of fun, physical activities will be provided by Sydney Academy to enable students to bond and ensure they enjoy their time at the Residential.

If you have any questions, please be sure to call the coordinating office for clarification.

Some of our teachers at the AIS at our last Residential in Canberra.

Some of our teachers at the AIS at our last Residential in Canberra.

Louise Swanson

R/Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Bright lights of Aurora

Anna Auer, winner of the Lions Youth of the Year club award for the Pambula-Merimbula Lions Club

Anna Auer, winner of the Lions Youth of the Year club award for the Pambula-Merimbula Lions Club

Anna Auer (Year 10, Eden Marine High School) recently won the Lions Youth of the Year Club Final at the Pambula-Merimbula Lions Club. After interviews with the judges, the students gave two impromptu speeches on the “problems that farmers face in 2016” and “how to encourage youth to remain in the Bega Valley”, followed by a 5 minute prepared speech on the topic of their choice.

Anna’s chosen topic was “Tertiary Education Should Be Free”. All of the students did an excellent job with their impromptu and prepared speeches. Our thanks go to Eden Marine High teacher, Mr Rowan Drowley, for encouraging the students to take part and being there to support them on the night.

Anna will represent the Pambula-Merimbula Lions Club and Eden Marine High School at the ZONE finals in Merimbula in February 2017.

Georgina Mildren (Year 8, Deniliquin High School) has just returned from an epic bike expedition, the Great Victorian Bike Ride (Community Event). Students, staff and parents from Deniliquin High School participate in the event each year. This year, 26 students, 5 teachers and 8 parents rode 500 km over 8 days.

Deniliquin was one of the many schools that contributed 1500 of the 4200 bike riders in the event. This year the ride was along the beautiful Great Ocean Road, starting in Halls Gap (Grampians in South West Vic) and finishing in Geelong. Each day, participants would ride from one camping ground to the next, a distance of 60 km to 100 km. It was a moving town each day!

While on the bike ride, Georgina had to miss one day (Monday) and drive with 2 other students to try out for Bendigo Academy of Sport’s netball program. She was invited with 80 other girls to try out for the Academy’s 2017 program. After the trial, the girls drove the 3 hours back to the bike camp at Dunkeld to continue the bike ride the following day. We were happy to hear that she had made the final 20 to take her place in the Academy program for 2017.

Madeline Ross (Year 7, Jindabyne Central School) was recently awarded the Year 7 Year Advisor’s Award. Madeline was chosen to receive the award because she exhibited the values of Respect, Responsibility and Personal Best across all aspects of her school life at Jindabyne Central School.

Lillia Schlack Whitehouse (Year 8, Narrabri High School) was part of the West of the Divide Choir that toured Europe last holidays.

Our Parkes High School students performed very well in the ICAS English competition. Alleyne Gaut (Year 7), Libby Hoyle (Year 7) and Alex Williams (Year 7) received distinctions, while Tynan Matthews (Year 8), Julia Williams (Year 9), Madi Bland (Year 9) and Trefor Douglas (Year 9) received Credits. In the ICAS maths competition a distinctions were awarded to Alleyne Gaut (Year 7) and Tynan Matthews (Year 8), Credits to Alex Williams (Year 7) and Maddi Bland (Year 9) and Merits to Jordyn Chapple (Year 8) and Julia Williams (Year 9).

Parkes High School students with their awards

Parkes High School students with their ICAS certificates

Last newsletter we mentioned the Victor Chang School Science Award received by Jacky Zhao (Year 12, Junee High School), Tieke Thomas (Year 12, Molong Central School) and Jye Robinson (Year 12, Cobar High School). These are awarded for excellent achievement in and passion for science. Below are photos of Tieke and Jye receiving their awards.

Congratulations to Jessica Kitto (Year 12, West Wyalong High School)  who received a swag of awards at the recent West Wyalong High School presentation day.

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Jye Robinson and Tieke Thomas with their Victor Chang School Science Awards and Jessica Kitto with her swag.

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 auroracoll-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au.

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Library Report

It’s time to start planning what great books you will be reading over the summer break!

I am running a reading challenge over the summer. Details can be found here, and prizes will be presented at the first Residential in 2017!

Feel free to select your own books from our digital library to read, or you can choose some from our list of recommended reading books.

If you have further questions, please send me an email.

Kaylene Taylor

Teacher Librarian

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e-Mentoring 2017

At Aurora College, we take great pride in inspiring our students and broadening their experiences by connecting them with professionals and academics who are leaders in their chosen field. We have achieved this through our Mentoring, Masterclass and Residential school programs.

This year, we have worked in close collaboration with Kathleen Vella, one of Australia’s leading authorities on youth mentoring practices, in further developing our Mentoring program. We are pleased to announce that our new e-Mentoring program will be launched in 2017.

We are busily recruiting volunteers who are interested in mentoring our students in 2017. If you, or anyone you know, have significant experience and expertise in a field and are willing to invest your time in our students, we invite you to apply.

For further information, or to register your interest in becoming a mentor please visit the e-mentoring tab on the “Teach with us” page of our website.

Sharleen Mulawin

Learning and Support Teacher

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Spotlight on … Penelope Boucher

At what other school do you teach?

At the moment I do not teach at any other school. I am based at the Aurora office in Ryde. Other schools I have taught at in recent years include Pennant Hills High School and Cumberland High School – both in Sydney.

What is your local community like?

I live in Thornleigh, a suburb in north-western Sydney. When we first moved there twenty years ago, the Sydney Morning Herald ran a headline labelling Thornleigh as ‘Pleasantville’. If you have seen the film by the same name, you would understand that I was concerned about transforming into a black and white twin-set-wearing, ponytailed cardboard cut-out of myself!

Seriously though, despite being cut through the middle by one of the nation’s busiest roads, Pennant Hills Road, Thornleigh is a terrific neighbourhood for families with parks, ovals and bushwalks all close at hand.

What’s your favourite subject to teach?

That’s easy! English! I love that no two people will read a text in exactly the same way. I get a real buzz when students share their ideas and go deep in their exploration of meaning in a text. Sometimes we go too far and when I hear the cry, ‘Miss, maybe the curtains are blue for no reason at all’, then perhaps re-direction is in order.

What do you like about teaching at Aurora?

I love that Aurora students just get in and collaborate and share and create. They appreciate the talents of their classmates and celebrate the wins. I really appreciate the way Aurora students grasp hold of opportunities to express themselves and it is exciting that so many are involved in really interesting and important extra-curricular pursuits. Aurora students are proactive and engaged and many are happy to step outside the set curriculum to make videos and other presentations through which to teach the class new concepts and skills.

What are your other interests?

I love reading and bush walking. There are plenty of lovely walks near my home. I also enjoy family time. We often have impromptu family gatherings at our home and they are always fun. I love snow skiing and, despite my better judgement, always see if I can go just that little bit faster down the slopes!

Penelope Boucher

Teacher, English

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From the engine room

The Department of Education is undergoing a number of changes, including a new finance system with schools no longer holding individual bank accounts. We have been allocated Group 5 for training which will commence in March 2017.

As a consequence of this change, from May 2017 we will no longer be able to accept direct deposits. The reason for this change is due to the impossible task of identifying payments and allocating them to the correct school. You can still make credit card payments through our secure “Make a Payment” website page, by credit card payment form or by telephone or cheque. Residential Camp Term 1 2017 payments are not due until Friday 24 February 2017.

We remind all our parents and students to take care during the school holidays, particularly when driving or crossing roads. Take a look at the Road Safety Education website for valuable resources for parents and students.

We wish all our families a Happy Christmas, New Year and safe holiday season and look forward to welcoming our existing and new students in 2017.

Denise Deaves

School Administrative Manager

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A message from our technology sponsor, Microsoft

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Aurora College; 3b Smalls Road, Ryde, NSW 2112
Phone: 02 9886 7560; Fax: 02 9886 7525; Email: auroracoll-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au
Website: www.aurora.nsw.edu.au; Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuroraCollegeAU

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