The Auracle – Volume 44, September 2020

From the Principal’s desk

In the June edition of The Auracle, I wrote about an important development which clears the way for the formation of an Aurora College Parents and Citizens Association. Historically, Parents and Citizens Associations incorporated by the NSW Minister for Education, have not had an enabler within their constitution to hold meetings in any form other than ‘face to face’. The recent approval by the Minister of an amended constitution for the Federation of Parents and Citizens Associations of NSW (the P&C Federation) now allows for virtual meetings; hence, removing the barrier to the formation and operation of an Aurora College P&C.

To gauge the level of interest in establishing a P&C Association at Aurora College, we will be holding a public online meeting at 7:00 pm (AEDT) on Wednesday 21 October 2020. At this initial meeting we will be joined by officers from the P&C Federation: Tim Spencer (President); Hannah Pia Baral (General Manager); and Debbie Clifford (Projects Officer). Tim and his colleagues will take us through the options, laws and procedures which must be followed when forming and operating a P&C Association.

Cordy Lloyd with Minister for Education and Earlty Childhood, The Hon. Sarah Mitchell MLC, and the Minister for Agriculture, The Hon. Adam Marshall MP

The school community’s decision about forming a P&C Association may be made by no less than 7 persons at the initial meeting, each being a parent of a child attending the school or a resident of a district served by the school. If the school community’s interest is in forming a P&C Association, then a working group will be formed to draft by-laws and policies in preparation for a follow-up ‘foundation’ meeting.

If you are interested in forming an Aurora College Parents and Citizens Association, and you are able to attend the initial online meeting, please register your interest here. Connection details and a meeting agenda will forwarded to registered attendees.

On Monday 14 September, we were pleased to have The Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, The Hon. Sarah Mitchell MLC, visit Aurora’s coordinating office. Accompanying Minister Mitchell were: The Hon. Samuel Farraway MLC; The Hon. Geoffrey Provest MP; The Hon. Michael Johnsen MP; The Hon. Wesley Fang MLC; and The Hon. Benjamin Franklin MLC. Our visitors had the opportunity to observe a Year 6 pilot opportunity class engaging in some programming in Micro:bit and a Year 10 science class learning about black holes. They also met with staff in Aurora’s 3D virtual playground and learned about the many programs on offer at our school.

In 2020, Aurora College is partnering with the Country Education Partnership (CEP) in the delivery of the renowned Rural Youth Ambassador Program. Developed by the CEP, the program provides young people in rural and remote communities with the opportunity to develop their leadership skills. Year 11 Aurora students, Ben Caughey, Harry Bottero, Neve Lawson, Maggie Zannon and Cordy Lloyd have joined 25 representatives from 15 other schools as inaugural NSW Rural Youth Ambassadors, providing a voice on rural and remote education to government and education sectors. Minister Mitchell launched the program in Armidale on 1 September with Cordy Lloyd, who did a great job of representing Aurora College and her home school, Guyra Central School. Read the full story here in The Land.

Applications for Year 11 are open now and close on Friday 23 October 2020. Students may choose to study one or more of the following Preliminary subjects with Aurora: Biology; Chemistry; Physics; Agriculture; Mathematics Advanced; Mathematics Extension 1; English Advanced; English Extension 1; Italian Beginners; Japanese Beginners; Korean Beginners; Software Design and Development; Economics; Geography; Modern History; and Legal Studies. For further information, please visit

The final enrolment process this year will be the selection of students for our first Year 5 Opportunity Class. In complying with the latest advice from NSW Health to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmissions, I am advised that the Department’s Opportunity Class Placement Test will now take place at the current school of applicants, rather than in examination centres. To allow this change to be made, the test date is now Wednesday 18 November 2020. Only students whose parents have received a confirmation email from the High Performing Students Team are eligible to sit the test on the new date. The application portal will not be re-opened for new applications.

All Year 7 to 10 students and their parents would have now received information about iRes2020, which will be held on Monday 26 October and Tuesday October 27. We are very excited to present an exciting array of online activities, including masterclasses by: the ABC’s health expert, Dr Norman Swan; self-confessed ‘numbers nerd’, Adam Spencer; and award winning author, Melina Marchetta. Parents, pets and siblings are invited to join us from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm on Tuesday 27 October for our virtual disco party and from 12:00 pm to 1:00 pm for our Term 4 Presentation Assembly. For further information about iRes2020, visit

One of Aurora’s signature programs is the HSC Study Days Series. An annual event since 2016, HSC Study Days provide an opportunity for any HSC class in a NSW Department of Education school to connect and revise with other students from across the state. A range of experts, experienced teachers and HSC markers present HSC examination advice and up to date information on course content. Given the events of 2020, this year the program played a particularly important role within the NSW Department of Education in preparing HSC students for their examinations.

The final day of the 12-day 2020 program was held on Tuesday 15 September. This year, a record total of 18,354 students attended the live sessions, an increase in attendance of 67% compared to last year. In support of students and teachers across the state, recordings of the live sessions and copies of all resources were also made available on the Department’s HSC Hub website ( My thanks to Kate Thompson for her exceptional planning, organisation and management of the program, and also to the many presenters who made the 2020 HSC Study Days Series another outstanding success.

Finally, we wish our departing Year 12 students all the very best for their upcoming Higher School Certificate examinations. In the face of adversity, you have all shown true mettle in maintaining your focus on your learning. I hope the completion of Year 12 is the next step in happy and fulfilling lives for all of you.

Enjoy a bumper school holidays issue of The Auracle!

Chris Robertson | Principal

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Deputy Principal’s report

Farewell and good luck, Year 12

As Year 12 students stand on the threshold of the end of one journey and the beginning of another, we encourage them to continue to be engaged and inspired and to remain connected, global citizens. The achievement of all students is to be commended and we wish them all the best of luck in their future endeavours.

All partner schools have been sent a graduation certificate to issue to our shared Year 12 students. We have asked schools to present these at their graduation assemblies.

HSC written examinations begin on Tuesday 20 October 2020. The 2020 Higher School Certificate timetable lists the dates and times of all written examinations.  Year 12 students may also download their personal HSC examination timetable from the Students Online website.

Both parents and students need to read and be aware of the Covid Safe guidelines for HSC exams which are in place at partner schools to ensure the safety of students during this period.

Aurora teachers will be available during their usual Aurora lesson times during the first week back next term to provide assistance to students, up to the commencement of the HSC examinations. Students are encouraged to contact their teachers during this time to ensure they maximise their learning opportunities in preparation for their exams.

Semester 2 reports for Year 12 have been issued through the parent portal in Sentral. These reports show the progress that each student has made towards achieving specific outcomes in their HSC course. This report is issued independently of the home school reports for the other subjects studied by each student.

If you have any concerns regarding your child’s progress or well-being, please contact the coordinating office by phone on 1300 287 629 or email (

Coordinator of the term

Paul Celegon from Coomealla High School has been nominated as coordinator of the term. He continually goes ‘above and beyond’ to facilitate the learning and support needs of the students that are shared between the two schools. A massive thank you Paul for all that you do each and every day.

Professional learning

This term Virginia Cluff, Luisa McDiarmid, Marnie Etheridge, Serena McLean, Kate Thompson and I have all completed the UNSW GERRIC Mini-Certificate of Gifted Education Advanced course.

Attendees learn how to compact the curriculum for students who have mastered outcomes, supporting their development further.

Curriculum compacting is “a procedure used to streamline the regular curriculum for students who are capable of mastering it at a faster pace… [it] helps prevent our academically talented and high potential students from repeating academic content that they already learned…” (Reis, Renzulli & Burns, 2016)

This type of differentiation and support gives students a voice in what they learn and how they learn.

By the end of this course we were able to:

  • Learn how to compact the curriculum for students who have mastered outcomes
  • Expand our repertoire of teaching strategies to suit the intellectual development and characteristics of students
  • Practice new curriculum models including independent research projects
  • Develop individual learning plans
  • Plan learning and teaching programs using contemporary knowledge and understanding of curriculum
  • Support colleagues in selecting and applying effective teaching strategies
  • Develop and apply a comprehensive range of assessment strategies to diagnose learning needs

Study Skills Handbook

Aurora College has purchased an online subscription to ‘Study Skills Handbook’. Check out some study tips further in this edition of the Auracle.

Subscription details to access this resource were emailed to all parents and students.

Login to the website. The username to access this is: auroracollege

If you have misplaced the subscription details with the password, please contact the school.

There’s life after Year 12 exams for students and parents!

As approximately 200,000 Year 12 students near the end of high school, leading digital mental health organisation ReachOut Australia is reminding young people and their parents that there is life after Year 12 exams.

Prominent Australians, including actor Rahart Adams and journalist Sarah Harris have joined the likes of former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, former Opposition Leader Bill Shorten and Osher Günsberg to contribute video messages of support for this year’s Year 12 students.

For the first time, ReachOut is also providing tips and information for parents of year 12 students.

What’s coming up next term?

  • Applications for entry into Year 7 in 2022 open on 6 October 2020 and close on 9 November 2020. The Selective High School Placement Test for entry to Year 7 in 2022 will be held in March 2021.
  • Applications for Year 11 (2021) opened Wednesday 15 July 2020 and close on Friday 23 October 2020.
  • The next Residential School has been cancelled due to Covid-19 and in its place an iRes has been organised. All information for students and parents can be found

Carolyn McMurtrie | Deputy Principal

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Executive Director School Performance Recognition Program

Serena McLean was recognised for her outstanding leadership of the Aurora Opportunity Class Pilot.

The Executive Director School Performance Recognition Program recognises the significant contribution of teaching and executive staff to public schools.

Award recipients have played a significant role in supporting high quality learning and wellbeing outcomes for students, and are reflective of one or more of the values of the NSW Department of Education’s 2018-2022 Strategic Plan.

Assistant Principal, Serena McLean, received this prestigeous award for her leadership of the Aurora Opportunity Class Pilot at an online ceremony on Thursday 24 September. Throughout the pilot program, Serena has demonstrated her ability to initiate improvement in teaching, learning and classroom practice in the virtual environment. With highly developed communication and interpersonal skills, Serena has built trust among key stakeholders, including: students; parents; partner school staff; and senior officers of the Department.

At all times, Serena’s work has been reflective of the Department’s values of excellence, accountability, integrity and service. Through the OC Team’s hard work, the conversion of the pilot program to an ongoing provision will ensure that generations of high potential and gifted students in rural and remote communities will have access to a specialist educational program.

Serena is the third Aurora staff memeber to receive this award, with Kate Thompson (Head Teacher Teaching and Learning) and Greg Smith (former Head Teacher Secondary Studies) also recognised in the 2018 and 2016 programs, respectively.

Congratulations, Serena!

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Opportunity Class

Our OC students have been busy competing in various tests and competitions this term. Students have just completed the VALID year 6 science and technology test. The Validation of Assessment for Learning and Individual Development (VALID) program provides online end-of-stage assessments for the science key learning area. We look forward to hearing about our student achievements in the coming term. 

Students also had the opportunity to participate in the CSIRO Bebras Computational Thinking ChallengeThis challenges supports computational thinking strategies taught in Stage 3 and the Science and Technology syllabus. We are very proud of our students and their achievements and we would like to congratulate these students on their high achievements. Certificates and further details will be sent to schools early in term 4. 

Honour Roll for Bebras: 

  • Charlie Coombes

High Distinctions for Bebras: 

  • Emily Caughey 
  • Edward Cheetham 
  • Leo Jones 
  • Alannah Koivu 
  • Cooper Finnegan 
  • Bradley Keith 
  • Lachlan Spence 
  • William Kline 
  • Cormac Skaliotis 

Students have been investigating circuitry in the unit, Communicating Connections. Using the Micro:bits, students have been challenged to make a range of activities, including a flashing heart and a complete circuit that they could control. Students are now using this knowledge, along with their acquired knowledge of the NBN, to create a pitch to make their home town a Regional Hub of NBN! 

Fractions and Decimals was a huge topic this term that had students looking at adding fractions, finding the highest common factors and finding the equivalence between fractions, decimals and percentages. One task asked students to create a park following the committees requirements. Students had to design their park in OneNote, show the area each section would take up in fractions, decimals and percentages, and then replicate their designs in Minecraft. 

This week we looked at 3D Objects where we identified a variety of prisms and pyramids and their properties. Students used this knowledge to create a robot. The robot had to have seven different 3D objects. They first designed them in OneNote, labelling the shapes they wanted to use. These designs were then created using Maker’s Empire. They have turned out fantastic so far and will be printed in the coming days. Stay tuned for updates on when the mail will arrive! Back to top

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Faculty news – English, HSIE, and Languages

Year 8

In Term 3, Year 8 students have been practising their powers of persuasion. In “Buy It Now”, students worked in small groups to create an advertising campaign for a product they created and had to use a variety of persuasive techniques to sway their audience. Year 8 teachers were very impressed with the high quality and diversity of the advertisements the students presented, as well as how students developed their communication and group work skills in collaborating on the presentations.

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Year 9

This term, Year 9 took on the role of interrogating one of Shakespeare’s most controversial plays, The Taming of the Shrew. Whilst George Bernard Shaw wrote that “No man with any decency of feeling can sit [the final act] out in the company of a woman without being extremely ashamed”, Germaine Greer sees this very differently, and of her favourite play says, “The Taming Of The Shrew is not a knockabout farce of wife-battering but the cunning adaptation of a folk-motif to show the forging of a partnership between equals.”

These vastly differing views convey how individuals see this play and Year 9 students were able to robustly debate the concepts of the play by comparing the text to the modern adaptation, 10 Things I Hate About You. The unit culminated in an assessment task where students wrote a formal response to the statement, Modernisation is not about throwing away a classic and replacing it with something new, but rather drawing in a new audience using a medium they are comfortable with. They effectively discussed the significance of adaptations and analysed whether a range of concepts had been critiqued or challenged in the contemporary representation.

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Year 10: Slam poetry and talking it up… 

I realised that our words don’t have to be heavy to hold weight.

It depends more on how you make them…fall.

Luka Lesson.

Year 10 recently examined the concepts behind a very modern style of poetry called slam and performance poetry. By looking at current trends in the composition of poetry, our students have reflected on the importance of context on meaning making. We also looked at how ideas in poetry, such as epic poetry, can transcend time and be relevant to modern audiences, no matter what their background is socially, culturally or intellectually.

Our Year 10 students were asked to record a speech via Flip Grid, using the platform to embed images and words while they spoke. Students composed a TED style talk, using a hook to capture the audience’s attention and a call to action at the end of the speech.

Finally, students watched each other’s’ presentations and recorded a review via Flip Grid looking at the strengths and areas of improvement for two speeches. This is a valuable activity for students to see each other’s work and engage critically with the content. We are immensely proud of our students’ achievements in this task.


English Extension 2

The English Extension 2 course provides students who are accomplished in their use of English with the opportunity to craft language and refine their personal voice in critical and creative ways. They can master skills in the composition process to create a substantial and original Major Work that extends their knowledge, understanding, and skills developed throughout Stage 6 English courses. Through the creative process, they pursue areas of interest independently, develop deep knowledge, and manipulate language in their own extended compositions.

Through the experimentation with and exploration of form, style, and media, students express complex concepts and values in innovative, insightful, and powerful ways. The creative process involves the exploration and expression of complex human experiences, connects individuals to wider visions and perspectives, and enhances a student’s enjoyment of literature and the aesthetics of language.

For Myka’s Major Work she has crafted a 5,000 – 6,000 word short fiction hybridised narrative which explores the concept of how an individuals’ environments shape their morality and application of ethics. Myka also needed to compose a Reflection Statement which allowed her to reflect on the influences, concepts, and process which she undertook writing this piece.

So grab a cup of tea, sit back, and enjoy Only by enduring (Sa pamamagitan lamang ng pagtitiis)

Carolyn McMurtrie | English Extension 2 Teacher


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Year 12 Japanese for Beginners
In preparation for the HSC Speaking Exam, Chloe has been rehearsing conversations on numerous themes including, family, neighbourhood, leisure activities and future plans. In this clip Mrs Wolfe and Chloe are working on improving her fluency to answer questions on the theme of education. Chloe sat her 5 minute speaking exam on Tuesday 15 September, with an examiner asking her questions on many of the themes she has studied via Microsoft Teams. She was happy to report she could answer questions on all the themes throughout the exam, even though there was a word every now and again that she didn’t understand. Congratulations Chloe and good luck for the Listening, Reading and Writing paper!



Renetta Wolfe | Japanese Languages Teacher

Luisa McDiarmid (Simeonidis) | Relieving Head Teacher English, HSIE, and Languages

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Writers Prize competition

Elizabeth Hooper | English Teacher

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ICAS 2020

Wow, what a year it has been for participation in the ICAS Assessments! We had 396 papers completed in 4 subject areas. We would like to thank all of these students who completed their ICAS online assessments.  I would also like to thank our classroom teachers who had to give up class time to allow their students to compete.

For each year level in the country, a:

  • High Distinction is awarded to the top 1% of participants
  • Distinction is awarded to the next 10% of participants
  • Credit is awarded to the next 25% of participants
  • Merit is awarded to the next 10% of participants.

We have received some outstanding results and these students are to be congratulated on their amazing efforts.

We also received many Credit and Merit certificates. 

All certificates will be sent to the Aurora Office by ICAS and once received, will be posted to our students.

Congratulations, all.

Virginia Cluff | Head Teacher Science and Agriculture

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iRes 2020

Due to the cancellation of Residential 2, Aurora College have organised a fantastic virtual experience for our Year 7 – 10 students in lieu of the physical residential.

Aurora College is excited to present an amazing array of activities and fantastic guest speakers such as celebrity mathematician Adam Spencer, Dr Norman Swan and author Melina Marchetta. This is also an opportunity for students to “virtually” interact with their peers, friends and teachers through the various activities and social gatherings on offer.

We also have an exciting ZOOM disco event for all students in year 7 – 10 organised for the night of the 27th where they will be able to remotely log in from home to participate in activities and dancing hosted by a professional DJ.

This event will occur over two days, the 26th and 27th of October 2020 from 8:45am – 3:00pm each day. Students can still participate and will be marked as attending if they log in late. Students are still expected to attend their home schools in full school uniform as per usual and will log into iRes using their devices. Students are being sent a limited-edition Aurora college iRes hat. It is advised they bring this to school with them during iRes.

The iRes assembly will be live streamed on the Tuesday 27th October at 12pm. Parents/guardians are welcome to view the stream as we acknowledge our students’ achievements. The link for the livestream will be emailed at a later date.

Finally, for our graduating Year 10 students, we have organised a special virtual escape room experience that will take place once, for 1 hour 30 minutes, for each student on either Wednesday 28th or Thursday 29th. Students will compete in teams of six to try and solve puzzles relating to a virtual bank heist.

For more information please visit our iRes web page, the link is here:

If there are any concerns regarding iRes please do not hesitate to email Aurora college at:

Connor Boyko | Relieving Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Faculty news – Mathematics and Software Design and Development

Maths Challenge 2020

In the Upper Primary division, distinctions were earned by Emily Caughey (Hay Public School, top 23% of entrants, nationwide) and Cara Sims (Moss Vale Public School). Leo Jones (Moss Vale Public School) and Soham Ghosh (Griffith East Public School) both gained credits.

At Junior Secondary level, there were many fine results.  Adrian Le (Ulladulla High School) was awarded a High Distinction. His score of 23 from 24 placed him in the top 9% of entrants, nationwide.  He was closely followed by Samuel Rivett (Parkes High School), Hayley Fraser (Wauchope High School), Esther Wenham (Willyama High School) and Bailey Caughey (Hay War Memorial High School) who all earned Distinctions. Additionally, Ryan Mitchell (Griffith High School), Anneliese Rothe (Young High School) and Krzysztof Wierzejski (Willyama High School) gained Credits. Anthony Bethe (MRHS – Wade), Peter Jones (Canowindra High School), Hollie Mason (Murwillumbah High School), Charlize Cattermole (Broken Hill High School), Lily Llewellyn (Gloucester High School) and Lana Pike (Temora High School) also took up the Challenge and were awarded Participation certificates.

Rounding out a year of high achievement was Angus Braiden (Bowral High School) who gained a Distinction for the Intermediate Secondary division. Maths Challenge certificates should arrive in home schools by early next term. Meanwhile, several Aurora Mathematicians have gone to the next level by enrolling in the Enrichment program which runs until the end of this term.

Ian Whiteway | Mathematics Teacher
Scott New | Relieving Head Teacher Mathematics and Software Design and Development

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A coordinated approach to wellbeing and managing anxiety in students

Karen Young

On Thursday 17 September Psychologist, Karen Young addressed approximately 140 staff from around NSW, primary and secondary schools alike, on the issues of managing anxiety in students. 95% of participants said that this session was good, very good or excellent and 97% said it was helpful in some way. A number of participants commented that the information they learned would impact their teaching in the following ways, and it’s a testament to how much staff really care for every student.

  • It will significantly impact the language I use and the support I am able to provide, in working with young people experiencing anxiety.
  • I am now more conscious of the symptoms and observe my own students to see if they may have some of those triggers.
  • As many students experience anxiety it has given me many insights and strategies to apply in the future
  • I have greater understanding of how to walk students through their anxiety.
  • I will be able to use the strategies discussed to build a more effective dialogue with the students in my care.

We also heard from Andrew Fuller, clinical psychologist, on Wednesday 5 August about neurodevelopmental differentiation. This session equipped staff to differentiate teaching according to the strengths and blockages in individual learners’ brains. Over 150 people provided feedback on this session, for example:

Andrew Fuller

  • I have several students in my class that often take more than one way to learn something. This gives me strategies on how to further enhance the other ways of learning.
  • I will be thinking more about how to utilise learning strengths in the classroom and how best to communicate these to staff and students
  • I will be thinking about how different information pathways work for a range of students within my mainstream mixed classes and how to best modify the work to allow multiple ways of Learning and expressing knowledge
  • Making sure to use the positive learning styles as a way to connect students who think they cannot do something. Utilise their strength area to teach new or difficult concepts.

In a coordinated approach to wellbeing and managing anxiety in students, we also engaged Karen Young for a parent webinar and student masterclass.

In the parent webinar, Karen explored the different ways anxiety manifests at school and the unique parts of the adolescent experience that can fuel anxiety. Parents gained a range of practical strategies to support adolescents through anxiety both in the short and long term, to strengthen resilience and courage.

On the same day, our students participated in masterclasses, also delivered by Karen. Let the conversations around the dinner table begin!

 A few helpful online resources on managing anxiety are below:

Kate Thompson | Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Learning and support

RU OK? Day Celebrations at Aurora 2020

The theme for this years’ RU OK? Day was “THERE’S MORE TO SAY AFTER RU OK?” Aurora College celebrated RU OK? Day on Thursday 10 September 2020 with several initiatives.

  • The SRC, under the astute guidance of Mr Happ, designed posters to display in classrooms and created a montage of photos
  • Classroom teachers showed video clips to demonstrate how to ask a mate, RU OK?
  • There was then some follow up discussions which included ALEC (A = Ask; L = Listen; E = Encourage Action; C = Check-in)

During this time, teachers also displayed an infographic of where the students can access help if needed. On the RU OK? website you can read all about RU OK? and includes:

  • resources
  • tips on how to ask
  • videos that explain in detail the ALEC process
  • where to find help and support.

Final word – remember: Every Day is the Day to ask RU OK?

Cathy Groth | Wellbeing Coordinator

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HSC Study Days

Professor Tim Bedding presenting a session on electromagnetics at the Physics HSC Study Day

The 2020 series of HSC Study Days concluded last week with 18,354 attendees accessing the expertise of 37 presenters over 72 sessions in 12 days of content delivery.

Over the past five years this project has grown immensely. This year, in particular, it was great to see such high levels of participation and we were pleased to be able to support HSC students affected by various restrictions related to COVID-19.

Once again, we drew on experts in the field such as Ross Gittins, Economics Editor from SMH and Professor Tim Bedding from the School of Physics at the University of Sydney. Alongside them, we had many other presenters with expert curriculum knowledge, industry knowledge and/or HSC marking experience and I would like to express my appreciation for all their hard work, hours of preparation and their engaging delivery on the day(s).

Click here for a breakdown of what our HSC Study Day Series looked like!

Kate Thompson | Head Teacher Teaching and Learning

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Library news

Semester One Borrowing Stars

Congratulations to our TOP TEN borrowing stars from Semester One: Tazmine Campbell; Zoe Cowled; Madolyn Beesley; Tanish Ahmed; Leanne Adams; Soham Ghosh; Elsa Wilson; Micah Wiedemann; Isha Corkery; and Hayley Fraser. Astra’s have been awarded. All students are encouraged to borrow and read widely from our digital library.

 iRes 2020 – Author spotlight

Super excited to be welcoming Melina Marchetta as our guest author for iRes 2020.

We have an array of her works in our digital library for loan, or students may like to look in their homeschool or public library too. As we move towards the term break, it’s the ideal time to learn a little about Melina and her works, and to plan some questions to ask her about reading and writing. Melina will be responding to student questions, submitted prior to the iRes.

Melina’s bio:

Melina Marchetta’s writing career took off in 1992 when she published her first novel: Looking For Alibrandi. She later turned the story into a film script. The movie Looking for Alibrandi screened in theatres around Australia and the world from 2000.

Melina has a Bachelor of Education degree, managing to combine writing with teaching, releasing two further novels, Saving Francesca and On the Jellicoe Road. She now writes fulltime.

Her first fantasy novel, Finnikin of the Rock, was published in 2008, won the Aurealis Award for Best Young Adult Novel and was shortlisted for the 2009 CBCA Award for Older Readers. Froi of the Exiles and Quintana of Charyn complete The Lumatere Chronicles.

The Piper’s Son (a companion novel to Saving Francesca) was released in 2010, and has been long-listed for the Miles Franklin Award and shortlisted for the New South Wales Premier’s Literary Awards.

Recently, Melina has expanded her repertoire to produce a crime/mystery novels (Tell the Truth, Shame the Devil), a novel for adults (The Place on Dalhousie), novels for children (The Grogon in the Gully) and a series for 5-7 year olds (What Lola did on Monday).

Melina is keen to share her expertise with Aurora College. Students and staff are asked to submit their questions for Melina, so she can prepare her content to best meet our needs as readers and writers. Please visit the iRES website to submit your questions:

Premier’s Reading Challenge – Entries have closed

Congratulations to students who completed the challenge with Aurora College or their home school. Certificates from the Premier’s Department will be presented later in the year.

Aurora College 2020 Reading Challenge – Entries open until 1 December

We can now turn our full attention to our school wide reading challenge. The 2020 Challenge is to read eight books, one from each category listed on the attached reading log. Click here to get your copy. The challenge is open to students from Year 6 – 12 and staff. Entries close on Tuesday 1 December 2020.

Aurora Book Club

Many thanks to the students who completed the survey in regards to Book Club. The current time on a Thursday was the most popular response, so we will continue to meet in iSee from 1:20 – 2pm, each Thursday.

Term Four

Oliver, our digital school library, will be having an upgrade over the term break, as we prepare to launch LearnPath at Aurora College. This will allow us to provide curriculum resources in a curated way, to directly support teaching and learning units of work.

An expansion of our digital subscription services is also being implemented, to commence next term. Students will be notified of these new resources and how to access them via our Aurora College Student Team.

Recommending resources

To recommend resources for our digital library, it is as easy as sending me an email (, with a subject, book title or author’s name. This is our school library, so student and staff contributions are most welcome.

Kaylene Taylor | Teacher Librarian

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Student Representative Council

Meet our SRC Representatives

The Student Representative Council (SRC) is made up of a group of students who want to help their peers by presenting ideas that are of benefit to all students and Aurora College.

The SRC also informs its peers of any important information which affects the student body. The students below are this year’s current representatives. Please become familiar with their faces and make sure you know who you can talk to when you have ideas that you would like to put forward. Over the next Term, we will also be welcoming some Year 7 students to the ranks of the Aurora College SRC.

RU OK? Day
Last week for RU OK? Day, SRC representatives from all years participated in RU OK? Day through a poster promotion of this year’s theme ‘There’s more to say after RU OK?’ As members of the SRC, students called on their peers to learn what to say after RU OK? so they can keep the conversation going when someone says they’re not OK. Great work, team!

Mr. Raymond Happ & Miss Elizabeth Hooper | SRC Coordinators

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Bright lights

Chiranjeev ‘CJ’ Kalsi’s cakes a hit!

Last Wednesday, 2 September 2020, students in the Year 9 Food Technology at Denison College, Bathurst High Campus showed off their wonderful cake designs.

Every year, both teachers and students work together to design and produce an array of fantastic cakes. It can be a messy exercise; however, students love taking their cake designs home to show off to their families. Year 9 Aurora student, CJ Kalsi, had a fantastic time and showed some flair with his cake design. Well done, CJ!

If your child has a passion outside of our virtual classrooms, please feel free to email us a few words and an image. It is always lovely to celebrate what our students are up to in their local communities! Please email:, marked: attention The Auracle.

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Connect locally, learn globally

Congratulations to Dr. Jessie Hoang, mother of Aurora student, Adrian Le, for finishing in second place in the inaugural GP Synergy Video Competition.

The aim of this competition was to help inspire, encourage, and inform doctors and medical students about the benefits of a rural general practice career in NSW.

For her video, Dr. Hoang created a fantastic presentation of her local community, Ulladulla, and also showed Adrian’s experiences with Aurora. Enjoy the video below.

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Spotlight on… Alicia Townsend

Where was your previous teaching appointment?

Hunters Hill High School

What is your local community like?

Beautiful – there’s a nearby river and walking tracks, many kookaburras and lorikeets.

What’s your favourite subject to teach?

Biology and Japanese

What do you like about teaching at Aurora?

Connecting with students from across the state.

What are your other interests?

Music from a range of genres, movies and travel (not that there is any travel taking place right now!)

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Considering a career in the ADF?

Replay all the excitement any time.


Now available on-demand here

Take the virtual campus tour featuring ADFA’s world-class facilities, hear about the UNSW degrees available and watch the Open Day demonstrations. Receive first-hand knowledge from Army, Air Force and Navy Officer Trainees as they discuss the opportunities and experiences on offer in the Australian Defence Force.

Event highlights

  • Welcome to ADFA Open Day 2020
  • Campus Tour
  • Military Working Dogs display
  • Chat about study/life balance at ADFA
  • Abseiling demo
  • ADFA Degrees Q&A
  • ADFA Precision Drill Team performance
  • Section Attack demo

Watch anytime

Click above to view the live event. If you would like to talk to someone about studying at ADFA, call us on 13 19 01 from 8am – 9:30pm weekdays, or from 9am – 5pm Saturdays AEST.

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