The children, with help from Uncle Gavi Duncan, have focussed on the key drivers of Indigenous Culture and Heritage. The focus has been on how we can strengthen partnerships between staff, students and the local Indigenous community.
Embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives enhances educational experiences. It provides an accurate and rich understanding of Australia’s history and culture. The Yarramalong area contains evidence of ancestors, of creation times, of the relationships between the sky, landforms, waterways, plants, animals and people, of relationships between other Indigenous groups, of language use over time, of colonisation, loss, change, life stories, family histories and current realities.
Students enjoyed creating their own version of a dreamtime story and are working towards creating books and a Claymation movie. Traditional dancing with Uncle Gavi is always a hit especially when barefoot and outside in the dirt. The students have been exploring the Aboriginal history of Australia and the first contact between the Macassans and Arnhem Land mob.
K-2 have been working with Senior School Science teachers support as part of their learning. They have been looking at the structure of living things and what helps them survive. They started by answering the inquiry question, Is coral a plant or an animal? The students looked at a variety of living things in an aquarium. Then they looked at creatures and shells under the microscope. Students were able to conclude that coral is an animal because it eats.
Years 3 - 6 have been working on visualisation and reading for meaning as they have been sharing the novel; The Witches, by Roald Dahl. In Maths, they explored multiple mental strategies, applying their understanding by challenging each other in Maths games with cards, board games and Prodigy. They have been learning how to utilise diverse software for learning and are focusing on accessing and completing work online using Microsoft OneNote. In Science, the focus has been on living things in our environment and the children plan to rejuvenate our School garden beds. In History, they have been exploring ‘My Place’ introducing a variety of Australian characters throughout the 1700-1800s. They compared the past to the present and this tied in well with International Women’s Day, looking at the changes for women over time.
Words: Mandy Shaw
The excitement of 20 bright, smiling faces running to our classrooms each morning is wonderful. Our School is flourishing and the students’ enthusiasm for learning shows our unique style is working. High expectations, great results, being happy, strong, proud learners is the key. We focus on wellbeing and on being yourself. At the heart of our School is embracing identities, being proud of who you are and proud of what you can achieve.
Learning on Country allows you to refresh, to heal, to take in the beautiful surroundings and really ‘feel it’. It makes learning relevant and practical, it empowers the students to share their knowledge, helps to build culture and identity and strengthens connections to the land. This connection is strong when we stroll into Wollombi, look down at the flowing brook and the beautiful green leaves and trees. The land connects all aspects of our lives and when Country is healthy, the people and culture are healthy and content. It helps to achieve dreams and goals and it feels so good! We have been reading some great books on identity, including The Colours of Us, Fair Skin Black Fella and The Skin You Live In. This led to interesting questions and discussion about different skin shades concluding with an agreement that we are all different, but all deadly! The students produced some amazing, shades of deadly, self-portraits. The students also created handprints, using white ochre. These handprints are a record of our presence and symbolise our belonging and respect for Ngarralingayil Barker. The children discovered that expression through painting is fun, exciting, and allows you to relax and be creative. In Term 1, we celebrated Easter with a Hat Parade, National Close the Gap day, Harmony Day and World Down Syndrome Day with special guest Amarli who is in Year 8. She has her own business and enjoys music, dancing, travelling and doesn't let her Down Syndrome hold her back. She shared her Wiradjuri culture, her Acknowledgement of Country in sign language and her bright, happy spirit. She even helped cook a BBQ lunch. We all wore coloured socks in her honour. The Harmony Day message of ‘Everyone Belongs’ and the kindness, the respect and inclusion shown by everyone made us so proud.
We are proud of our School and the way we learn and play together. Ka-kulay - Be Happy