The Auracle – Volume 17, May 2017

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Vol. 17, May 2017
In this issue:


Aurora College

3B Smalls Road
Ryde NSW 2112

Phone: 1300 287 629
Fax: 02 9886 7525

From the Principal’s desk

Image of Ross Gittins

Renowned political and economic journalist and author, Ross Gittins, will present a session for Economics students at our upcoming virtual HSC Study Days Program.

One of Aurora College’s strategic directions in the period 2015 to 2017 is to establish and lead best practice learning and teaching in a virtual learning environment.

Throughout our first years of operation, significant resources have been deployed to encourage and support our teachers in not only becoming highly skilled users of established and emerging technologies, but also in becoming pedagogical innovators with them. Our focus on continuous improvement in learning and teaching in this environment has seen the school earn its ‘leadership credentials’ in a very short space of time.

The impetus for the creation of Aurora, the Rural and Remote Education Blueprint for Action, suggests a wider role for our school beyond providing broad curriculum opportunities for our own students. For the benefit of students and staff across the state, our school happily embraces a commitment to share expertise and to facilitate opportunities that otherwise would not be possible.

Examples of this commitment includes the following initiatives:

HSC Study Days Program

HSC study days are an important part of students’ preparation for their HSC examinations. Unlike students in metropolitan areas and some larger regional centres, students in rural and remote communities have few choices available to them to revise with subject specialists, experienced teachers and HSC markers. Following a successful trial in 2016, this year we will again be offering the virtual HSC Study Day Program. This will be an annual program from 2018.

The program this year comprises the following courses: Mathematics (2 unit); Mathematics Extension 1; Mathematics Extension 2; English Advanced; English Extension 1; English Extension 2; Economics; Physics; Chemistry; and Software Design and Development. Sessions will be facilitated by a very experienced group of presenters, including Ross Gittins, the renowned political and economic journalist and author.

Any HSC class in a rural and remote government school is welcome to join our students in receiving HSC examination advice and up to date information on course content. Interested schools should visit http://www.aurora.nsw.edu.au/learn/hsc-study-days/.

Teacher professional learning special events

Staff at Aurora’s partner schools regularly attend our professional learning sessions in the college’s virtual learning environment. Teachers and school leaders in all rural and remote government schools are also invited to attend professional learning special events delivered by a range of high quality speakers. In the past twelve months, Aurora has presented the following sessions to hundreds of our colleagues:

  • Engaging Generation Z with social researcher, best-selling author, and influential thought leader, Mark McCrindle
  • Engagement and Mindset with Dan Haesler, an author and keynote speaker on issues related to engagement, wellbeing, mindset and leadership
  • The developing brain with teacher, author, child therapist, university lecturer and neuroscience trainer, Nathan Wallis.

Proving herself to be equally as popular as our guest speakers, Virginia Cluff (Head Teacher, Science) presented a session to teachers from across the state titled, OneNote classroom. Virginia will present a follow-up session on Monday 5 June where she will present further examples of how staff in ‘terrestrial schools’ can successfully integrate the Microsoft Office 365 suite into their own learning and teaching programs. Interested teachers should enrol at https://myplsso.education.nsw.gov.au/q/nr14973.

Further special events are planned for this year and beyond, providing our rural and remote colleagues with easy access to sustainable, high quality professional learning.

Rural and Remote Education Conference

Building on the success of our first Rural and Remote Education Conference held in Bathurst last year, Aurora will host the 2017 conference in Sydney on 7 and 8 September. Underscoring its prominence in the department’s calendar of events, the conference will be opened by Mark Scott, Secretary, NSW Department of Education.

With the theme What works! Sharing our success, the conference will bring together teachers and school leaders from across the state to share examples of practices that are having a positive impact on student outcomes. This exciting two-day event will provide delegates with an opportunity to celebrate and share successful school-based strategies that are centred around innovation, resilience and community.

To register or to find out more about the event, please visit our conference website http://www.rde.nsw.edu.au/ruraledconf/.

My sincere thanks to Natalie Winter (mother of Charlie in Year 7 and Jackson in Year 8, Nowra High School) and Stephen Tynan (father of Maria in Year 8, Leeton High School) for volunteering their valuable time to serve on the Selective High School Selection Committee. Natalie will be our parent representative on the Year 7 panel and Stephen will be our parent representative on the Years 8, 9 and 10 panel. The Year 7 panel will meet on 6 June 2017, with outcome advice being sent to applicants by the department’s High Performing Students Unit in early July.

Applications for enrolment in 2018 in:

  • Years 8, 9 and 10 open 23 June 2017 and close on 25 July 2017
  • Year 11 open 24 July 2017 and close 27 October 2017
  • Year 12 open 8 July 2017 and close 25 August 2017.

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

Enjoy reading another great issue of The Auracle.

Chris Robertson

Principal

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Deputy’s report

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

Reports

Semester 1 reports will be issued for students in Year 11  on 2 June (Week 6) and Years 7 to 10 on 19 June (Week 6). 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 26 June between 3.30 pm and 5.30 pm for Years 7, 9 and 11 and on Tuesday 27 June between 3.30 pm and 5.30 pm for Years 8, 10 and 12.

These 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 02 9886 7560 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. This will allow parents to further support their children by accessing timelines for formal assessment tasks and topic outlines of specific 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 the 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 auroracoll-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au or telephone on 02 9886 7560.

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

Students on leave for extended periods

A Certificate of Exemption from Attendance must be obtained from the Principal of your home school if the student plans to be on leave for extended periods. An example of when this may be required is when travelling overseas. In the case where a student is granted a Certificate of Exemption, Aurora College requires a copy via the ACC. Students will still be required to complete assessment tasks and classwork as negotiated by the Head Teacher for each subject in order to meet course outcomes.

Home school excursions or events

Students involved in home school excursions, such as sports or swimming carnivals, must notify Aurora College via their ACC or through you. This can also apply for special events in schools where the students will be absent from their usual Aurora classes.

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.

Learning and Support Teacher

Our Learning and Support Teacher (LaST) Alan Ragen-Harrison, based in the coordinating office, works collaboratively with our school Learning and Support Team, teachers, students, and parents to identify additional learning and support needs and ensure the needs of students are being met. Students, parents, and teachers can request learning and support assistance, which will be prioritised based on the needs of students across the whole school and available resources.

For students who are experiencing difficulties in keeping up with their home school and Aurora workloads, we may also provide targeted one-on-one support in English, maths and science. If, at any time, a student feels as though they are struggling and would benefit from help in organising their time efficiently, they (or their parents) should contact the coordinating office and speak to Alana Ragen-Harrison or myself on Ph: 02 9886 7560.

Technology update

A reminder that students should be connecting to their virtual classrooms on a Department of Education computer supplied by their home school. Please contact Ben Hillsley by telephone on 1300 610 733 or email support@aurora.nsw.edu.au for further information or assistance with technical issues.

What do student’s workbooks and textbooks look like at Aurora?

Teachers at Aurora utilise various platforms to communicate and provide notes and feedback to students on a daily basis. One of the most utilised platforms is Microsoft OneNote. Using this tool, teachers can prepare lessons and resources and distribute this digitally to each student’s personal OneNote book which acts as their digital workbook.

In OneNote, students can enter typed text via keyboard, create tables, and insert pictures. Students do not need to explicitly save their work – OneNote saves data automatically as the user works. OneNote saves information in pages organised into sections within notebooks. The interface provides an electronic version of a tabbed ring-binder, into which the user can directly make notes and gather material from other applications. Teachers can virtually “look over the shoulder” of their students when they are completing work. Students can work offline at home even if the internet is a problem, they just need to sync their workbook when they are back at school. To see how OneNote works please click here.

Aurora students also have unlimited access to digital textbooks via LearningField. Their teacher will recommend a text book or a chapter of a textbook to compliment the current units of work and the students can use this at any time online. There is also an e-Reader that can be downloaded that allows textbooks to be stored locally on the student’s laptop so they can be easily accessed without the internet. Students can also select other textbooks to supplement their learning and assist in clarifying concepts or research for an assessment task. For further information about LearningField please click hereIf your child is having difficulty in accessing any of these resources please let their classroom teacher know or contact the Aurora College coordinating office via email – auroracoll-h.school@det.nsw.edu.au or telephone on 02 9886 7560 for further assistance.

External health services

The availability of external health services can vary from community to community. Aurora College endeavours to identify service providers and develop partnerships with these providers to effectively plan and provide pathways to support our students, parents, staff and communities. If you would like to see what local services are available in your area, please access the following links for more information.

What’s coming up next term?

  • Year 12 academic parent interviews
  • Year 11 academic reports issued by 2 June
  • Year 7-10 academic reports issued by 19 June

Kathy Klados

Deputy Principal

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Connect locally, learn globally

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Tip from a techie

WannaCrypt ransomware

This month the world was hit by a new virus named WannaCrypt (also known as WannaCry, WannaCrypt0r 2.0, and Wanna Decryptor). This virus is an example of Ransomware, which is a type of malicious software that blocks access to the victim’s data or threatens to public or delete it until a ransom is paid. In this case, the virus encrypted (or password protected) all the users files on an infected computer. The only way to get the ‘password’ to recover the files is to pay the equivalent of $300 USD in bitcoin to an anonymous address. As of Tuesday 23 May, it is calculated that the virus creators have received over $115,000 USD of ransom from over 300 people worldwide. Security experts quickly advised against paying the ransom as there was no proof that the password would be delivered, and paying could encourage more people to write similar viruses.

Image of screengrab

Infected computers were presented with a screen similar to this one.

The virus attacked computers using SMB (or Server Message Block), which is the protocol that Windows file sharing services is built on. Worldwide, over 90% of computers run a version of Windows released in the last 10 years. This makes Windows computers a tempting target for viruses, as it allows them to infect more computers and spread more easily.

Microsoft, having recognised the potential danger, released a ‘critical patch’ to Windows systems (including Windows 10, Windows 8.1, Windows 7, Windows XP, and Windows Server 2003) in March 2017. Any computer that is set to automatically update would have been protected before the release of this virus. Unfortunately, not all computers are set to automatically update, and so the virus hit hard especially in Russia, Ukraine, India, and Taiwan. Large companies and agencies were affected, such as Britain’s National Health Service, Spain’s Telefonica, America’s FedEx, and Germany’s Deutsche Bahn.

Early in the investigation, a ‘kill switch’ was detected in the virus code that allowed researchers to prevent the virus from spreading or encrypting new computers. This was only a temporary measure, however, as the virus was adapted to work around this kill switch and it would not prevent any copy-cat viruses, or other ransomware that might potentially infect computers.

Malicious programs like the WannaCrypt virus are not rare, but they generally do not spread as far or as fast as this. The anti-virus/anti-malware field is a continual tug-of-war between virus creators trying new methods to infect computers, and the anti-virus software companies trying to immediately block every attempt. Occasionally an attempt by the creators will get through, and for a few days the virus is free to infect computers. More often than not, the anti-virus software does its job and users never notice the virus that almost killed their computer. The only way you are ever safe from viruses is if you regularly update your computer, as well as your anti-virus software, and have multiple regular, complete, and off-line backups. Backing data up to cloud services is a great way to ensure the data is always available, but cloud services are vulnerable to outages for a wide range of reasons. It is always best practice to ensure that you also have an off-line backup and store files on a USB drive that is disconnected when not in use.

References:

Ben Hillsley

Learning Technologies Support Officer

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Bright lights

ANZAC Day

A number of Aurora students were involved in ANZAC Day marches and ceremonies across the state. Students depicted in the collage below include Kustiani Tuckerman (Year 12, Gunnedah High School) and Mallee Goldrick (Year 9, Macksville High School) who wore her Grandfather’s medals from Malaya and Vietnam as she read the Peace Poem at the Stuarts Point ceremony.

Lest we forget.

Jye Robinson at NSW Parliament House

On Thursday 11 May, Owen Potter (Cobar High School’s Co-School Captain) and I attended a leadership program at NSW Parliament House. This program was hosted by the Parliamentary Education Unit and instructed the students in attendance on leadership values and how the parliamentary system works. We also got to meet many local members from different regions, including my local member for Barwon, Kevin Humphries. They informed us about their roles and we also got to ask them questions on various topics.

Later that day, we had a tour of Government House and we met His Excellency General the Honourable David Hurley AC DSC (Ret’d), Governor of NSW. We learned about the Governor’s role in parliament and his work in the community.

It was a very informative day and I recommend it to all future School Captains.

Jye Robinson (Year 12, Cobar High School)

Regional SRC Conference

Last week I had the privilege of attending the regional SRC conference held at Warrambui Retreat and Conference Centre near Murrumbateman. Students from 45 high schools in the Western NSW, Illawarra, Wollongong and South Coast regions attended the week long camp to develop the leadership skills of SRC members. The camp included team building activities, ‘big ideas’ sessions on tackling issues in our schools and a forum at which many of these ideas were presented and discussed. We also attended various ‘Flexi-shops’ of our choosing, each concerning issues in society.

Fun activities such as orienteering and ‘minute-to-win-it’ challenges helped build team work in the different colour groups we were assigned to and to make new friends along the way. This experience has been one of the highlights of my year and has taught me valuable skills in leadership. I am excited to return to the Parkes High SRC to implement some of my ideas and strategies from the camp. The camp has also allowed me to meet many amazing people who I have formed strong friendships with that  I know I will have for the rest of my life.

Julia Williams (Year 10, Parkes High School)

In other news, Jackson Winter (Year 8, Nowra High School) has been selected to represent Southern NSW at the State soccer titles this July in Sydney. Callum Weppler (Year 9, Griffith High School) has been offered a place at the Junior State Music Camp (alto saxophone) to be held in Narrabeen in the first week of Term 3. Congratulations, boys!

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Masterclasses

This term we have held a number of exciting masterclasses featuring speakers from Australian Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO), Elevate, Future Projects and the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS). Please enjoy a few reviews or reports on some of these classes written by our students and teachers.

Project Futures

One of the best things about being a student enrolled in Aurora College is the Masterclass program. Masterclasses are presented by professionals on important topics and issues such as climate change and mental health. This masterclass was focused on human trafficking and its implications for individuals and the whole society. The content was relevant and interesting, and the delivery and passion of the speaker was fantastic.

Stephanie Lorenzo, the founder of a non-profit organisation called ‘Project Futures’ educated us on what human trafficking and exploitation actually are; how many people are currently victims of these crimes; and how these are part of the fastest growing crime industry. The most shocking part is that these kind of abhorrent acts actually take place all over the world, right now, and in our own backyards. On the Project Futures website (http://projectfutures.com/) you can educate yourself about human trafficking and even contribute to the cause by donating.

Stephanie explained that she was inspired to fund raise after reading a book written by Somaly Mam, a Cambodian anti-trafficking advocate. After a life-changing trip to Cambodia, she was left in awe at the conditions in which the people lived. Before creating her organisation, Lorenzo organised a bike ride through Cambodia and after a rocky start, 21 people jumped on board and collectively raised over $80,000. It was this experience that fueled her desire to help people affected by human trafficking.

Project Futures aims to liberate victims of human trafficking, to empower young people, to support and to educate people on what exploitation is. This is all in the hope of preventing these kinds of crimes in the future. You can learn more about Project Futures by visiting: http://projectfutures.com/.

One of the best parts about the Masterclass was how engaged and passionate Stephanie was about her work and how willing she was to tell us all about her story and the stories of others. I would give this masterclass a rating of 4/5 stars.

Chanse McLean (Year 10, Canowindra High School)

Full steam ahead

Presented by the Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences (MAAS), this masterclass featured a panel presentation by game designers who discussed advances in technology and virtual reality.

I gave this class a rating of 3/5 stars because I learnt about new types of technology I didn’t know about, and also revisited things I was already aware of.

I learnt about new and different ways to use technology to help people. I was particularly impressed and interested by the robotic type glasses that are used for blind people and I think they would really help people in need. These glasses use face recognition technology to describe people and their emotions.

The masterclass was interesting and engaging. The host was an appealing speaker and she kept the presentation flowing. All of the presenters were really knowledgeable about their topics. I particularly liked three of the presenters and thought the things they spoke about were really interesting and I enjoyed listening to them.

Charlotte Kelly (Year 7, Canowindra High School)

Meet an expert from ANSTO

On Thursday 27 April, Year 9 and 10 students took part in a masterclass by two presenters from the Australian Nuclear Science & Technology Organisation (ANSTO) who talked about neutron imaging and nuclear science in general.

Our main presenter was Instrument Scientist, Dr Gail Iles. Gail is from England but is now living in Sydney and is leading vital research into how we can use neutrons, beams of small subatomic particles, to create detailed images of the inner workings of many intricate systems which are blocked from our view, such as pistons in a car engine. Supporting Gail was education officer and science teacher, Marian Jones.

Students learned how the ANSTO OPAL reactor at Lucas heights in Sydney is used to conduct all kinds of nuclear research and production, including making the medicinal isotope Technetium-99m. This is used in local hospitals and is also exported overseas.

Marian explained how Tc-99m gives off safe levels of Gamma radiation. When administered to specific parts of the body, the radiation can be measured. If there is a body part giving off surprisingly high radiation, this is because many of the Tc-99m atoms are accumulating in that tissue, which may indicate a tumour or some other abnormality. It allows doctors to look into the body in ways an X-ray cannot.

Making medicinal isotopes is not Gail’s line of work, but Gail depends on this process because the production of Tc-99m produces an excess of dangerous neutrons which can be directed elsewhere.

In Gail’s work, these neutrons are directed into a beam and aimed towards an object, such as a car engine. Areas of high density will not allow many neutrons through, and areas of low density allow more neutrons through. A type of film or receptor detects the amount of neutrons that make it through to the other side, producing an image of what is inside the engine. It works like an X-Ray, only much more dangerous to living things!

The general workings of a nuclear fission (splitting) reaction were explained. Australia has large amounts of Uranium; therefore, the isotope U-235 is used most commonly for fission at ANSTO. Students learned that there TWO types of water: heavy water and light water. Heavy water is made using special Hydrogen atoms called Deuterium atoms that contain a neutron in their atomic structure. Heavy water is used as a shield against travelling neutrons. Year 9 students recently learned that most Hydrogen atoms (99.9%+) don’t contain neutrons at all, that is why most water is known as ‘light’ water!

Marian said that heavy water is not good to drink, and at $1000 a litre, who would want to anyway?

Despite ANSTO not being a power plant, students pitched in very insightful questions about the future of nuclear energy. The Aurora teachers were proud to see many of our students showing such an interest in Australia’s energy future, especially Bronwyn Kemp and Samuel Greville from year 10, who showed particular interest in new foreign nuclear technologies. They certainly kept our presenters on their toes!

With climate change remaining a serious issue and given Australia’s stable geology and abundant Uranium, Australia’s nuclear future will always be a cause for consideration. However, this is a contentious topic as there remains a lot of fear and scepticism among the populace about the safety of the technology, due to nuclear war and disasters such as Chernobyl and Fukushima. Aurora College hopes that this masterclass allows our students to approach the debate with an informed and intelligent outlook, and judging from the keen participation in today’s masterclass, we are well on the way!

Owen Brown

Science and Mathematics faculties

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English report

Culture

In Term 1, Year 7 English students explored the relationship between storytelling and culture. They explored narratives from a variety of cultures to understand the role of narrative in preserving and continuing aspects of culture in an ever-changing society. Students came to understand the elements of successful storytelling, including character, setting, effective description, and narrative arc development. Students were required to submit a short story conveying a sense of a particular culture or sub-culture and teachers were impressed with the high standard of submissions.

Enjoy reading Another Chance, by Vincent Ward (7ENG5)

Shock Horror

Year 8 have been learning about the horror genre in a unit entitled ‘Shock Horror.’ They have learned about the characteristics of the genre and how they have changed over time.

The following two pieces of work stood out for the strength and sophistication of their story structure, vocabulary and unique ideas.

Short Story, by Alex Williams (8ENG2)

Repeat by Elizabeth Hoyle (8ENG2)

Visual Literacy

Year 7 continue to impress their English teachers with the quality of the work they are producing! Every day we are bombarded with images, and in the digital age ideas are increasingly communicated via image and image manipulation. Visual literacy forms an important part of the English curriculum. Through this unit, students explored a range of image-based texts for creative choices and techniques associated with visual literacy.

For their assessment, students were required to create two consecutive pages (or one double page spread) of an original, imagined picture book. Many students took advantage of this opportunity to get away from screens to engage paints, pencils and collage. Others allowed their flair with design software to shine. Using the Adobe classroom share screen, microphone and webcam, students presented their pages to their class. They were required to outline the creative choices and visual literacy techniques used and explain how the techniques help to communicate ideas. The students were required to submit a typed transcript of their presentation speech.

I had the absolute pleasure of marking both the picture book pages and typed transcripts across the cohort and I thoroughly enjoyed delving into the creative minds of our Aurora students through their submissions.

Enjoy reading LOST, by Amy Maher (7ENG2).

Penny Boucher and Cassandra Kaloudis

English faculty

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Science report

This term has been a very busy one for science students and teachers.

Year 7 completed their first assessment task in two parts. In the first part, they interviewed a scientist and gained valuable insights into their career path progression. The process also gave the students an understanding of the work of the scientist and the importance of the contribution it is making. The second part of their task asked them to utilise their skills in working scientifically to analyse, assess and present data. Most students achieved well in both parts of the tasks and they will be returned with feedback very shortly.

Year 7 then completed their half yearly exam online using the STILE platform in Week 4.  The science faculty utilise this platform extensively as it integrates learning and teaching resources with students feedback tools in a visually pleasing manner. Year 7 were our first cohort to experience an exam on the platform and we will be collecting their feedback to ascertain the suitability of this platform for future examinations. Year 8 also completed their half-yearly examination last week and we are marking those as we speak.

Year 8 are enjoying the Unit of work entitled Future Science, in which we are exploring scientific advances in all areas of science and the advancement of technology that has accompanied them. This unit is allowing students to find an area of science that interests them and create a short presentation on the history and impact of the discovery, as well as the future possibilities.

At the end of Term 1, Year 8 completed an Energy assignment designed to teach them the skill of thorough research. The product of the assignment was not just a presentation, but a rigorous scaffold of investigative data to support their presentation. Most students completed this task to a very high standard, producing highly detailed and well researched presentations on the Energy future of Australia.

Here are a couple of student work samples:

Molly Oquist (Richmond River High School) – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MQ_I7YacNBA&feature=youtu.be

Maria Tynan (Leeton High School) – http://australianfutureenergyreport.weebly.com/

Year 9 completed their half-yearly exam last week. They have also recently completed an investigation into the corrosion of an iron nail. The image below is taken from Jack Goldman’s submission.

The current topic in Year 9 examines the area of energy. Students are looking into the concept of waves and the electromagnetic spectrum. Year 9 have a current assessment task in which they are required to complete an audit of their home energy use and discover the key appliances that contribute to the energy bill.

Year 10 also completed their half-yearly exam last week. They are currently completing an independent investigation into an area of interest. Students are able to select a topic or area of science that most interests them and complete an investigation at home. They will analyse their results and their findings and present the final report to their class.

Virginia Cluff

Head Teacher Science

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Library report

Borrowing stars for term one

Three of our partner schools, Jindabyne Central School, Kyogle High School and Parkes High School had avid readers in term one! Congratulations to the following students for excellent borrowing and reading habits in term one: Ella Dennis (Year 7, Jindabyne Central School); Zara Gardiner (Year 10, Jindabyne Central School), Jaimee Soo (Year 8, Ulladulla High School), Nutthinee Sirising (Year 9, Kyogle High School), Ayla Hausen (Year 9, Kyogle High School), Elizabeth Hoyle (Year 8, Parkes High School), Holly MacGregor (Year 7, Parkes High School), Quilla Brodie (Year 9, Coolah Central School), Hunter De Jong (Year 9, Eden Marine High School), Darcy Hopkins (Year 9, Nowra High School) and Lucas Stacey (Year 7, Broken Hill High School).

Student survey

Thank you to all students that responded to our recent library survey. The responses are extremely helpful in meeting your reading needs. It was fabulous to know that so many of you LOVE to read! Changes will be made to the resources that we provide as a direct result of the survey. Keep an eye out for our library newsletter, Ex Libris Aurora, to see what new resources we are adding to our digital collection.

Digital resources

Aurora College students have access to a wide range of digital subscription services. Some of our students have started reviewing for SpineOut, an interactive magazine from the team at Good Reading. SpineOut also publishes creative student contributions in words, art, film or music. If your child is interested in seeing their creative work published, please encourage them to contact me for further details. To access SpineOut, students need to log in to their portal account and follow the links from the OLIVER homepage.

Book Week 2017

The theme for book week 2017 is Escape to everywhere. The ‘long list’ of books being considered for the title of ‘book of the year’ has been announced by the Children’s Book Council of Australia. In the older reader category, entries may be fiction, drama or poetry.

We have the following titles available for students to borrow from our digital library:

  • Waer – Meg Caddy
  • My Best Friend is a Goddess – Tara Eglington
  • Yellow – Megan Jacobson
  • Becoming Aurora – Elizabeth Kasmer
  • The Sidekicks – Will Kostakis
  • Ocean of the Dead – Andrew McGahan
  • Our Chemical Hearts – Krystal Sutherland
  • Everything is Changed – Nova Weetman
  • One Would Think the Deep – Claire Zorn

The winners will be announced on Friday 18 August.

Text Books

Students were sent an email earlier in the year, providing them with access details to LearningField, our current digital textbook provider. Textbooks can be accessed on desktop machines and personal devices. If you require assistance with accessing LearningField, please contact Ben Hillsley or myself.

 

New Resources

Not all resources that students request are available in digital formats. Others are delayed until after they have had a dedicated print run before we can purchase them in a digital format. I keep a list of all student requests and periodically check on their availability to be purchased and added to our digital library. If students would like to suggest a resource to be added to our digital library, they only need to send me an email (kaylene.g.taylor@det.nsw.edu.au) with the subject, book title or author’s name. Student and staff contributions are always welcome.

Ex Libris Aurora, our new Library resources newsletter, is emailed directly to students. The next issue is due out later this term.

Happy reading!

Kaylene Taylor

Teacher Librarian

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From the engine room

For the past 10 weeks, Georgia Brown and myself have been learning our new financial and student management systems. We went ‘live’ on Monday 22 May and are slowly working our way through the new processes.

Harriet Jeong has joined our team this term to assist with the increased workload created by absences for training and implementation of the new systems. We thank Harriet for her assistance. We also thank Lynne Derrick who has relieved as a casual during our training period.

There is still more training to come but we are looking forward to becoming efficient users of all our new systems.

Denise Deaves

School Administrative Manager

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A message from our technology sponsor, Microsoft

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

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

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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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