End of year excursion.

Last week we had a fantastic end of year excursion to visit Barwon Heads river beach. The kids had a great morning making sand sculptures, playing beach games and playing in the newly developed play park. After lunch they walked to the bluff and explored the rock pools at low tide, finding crabs, snails, seaweed and asking lots of interesting questions about the coastal environment. When we got back to school the students did some fabulous drawing and writing about their trip and helped to narrate our film below.

Special thanks to the parents who came along and helped with the excursion

From all the Prep Team we would like to wish you a very happy Christmas and a merry New Year. Its been a fabulous year and a pleasure to be involved in the education of the wonderful students at Grovedale West PS. Thankyou all for the lovely gifts, personal messages and special treats we have had over the last year and recently for Christmas.

Enjoy the summer break and see you all next year!

Prep Community Exhibition 2013

The final part of our Community Inquiry took place recently when our students exhibited their learning about Community to the local community. The Exhibition was a fabulous conclusion to our Inquiry learning with 234 visitors sharing the learning journey with the students. It was wonderful to watch the students using their speaking skills to present their learning and we had so many fantastic tour guides operating in the room. Thankyou to everyone who came along and to everyone who left us a written comment or recorded what they thought of the exhibition. There were too many comments to share them all but we have included a few on the following video.

After the exhibition we gave the students the chance to reflect on their learning by drawing and writing about what they thought would make a good community. Their work displayed their understanding that a community is made up of people who work together and help each other, together with important infrastructure like houses, gardens, roads and shops. The details in many of their drawings of community were really amazing.

We hope you enjoy the following video all about the exhibition.

Enacting the curriculum with the students.

This term we have been exploring the concept of ‘Community’ with the students.

We have been using our Investigations learning time to develop the students understandings, guiding them with planned stimulus but allowing them to use their own independent skills of investigation to take forward and find out more about the community aspects they are most interested in. By regularly sharing with each other the different aspects of learning in the room, we are confident that all the students have furthered their understanding of what it means to be part of a ‘community’ and more specifically the communities of Grovedale and Grovedale West Primary school.

As our learning has progressed children have had the chance to build on their own individual understandings and importantly by working collaboratively for much of our learning they have actually experienced and ‘enacted’ what ‘community’ feels like and what is important about any community they might encounter. We have discovered that community starts with our families and builds out to our school, local organisations, our local area and eventually the world community we are all part of. We have also discovered that just like our classroom and school, good communites need respect at their centre and good communication and rules to help everyone get along.

The students have enjoyed finding out about people who help us in our community, such as vets, doctors, firemen etc. They have also loved finding where they live using maps and Google Earth and comparing this to other friends and to the school.

Our learning led us to organise a community walk so the students could find out about the community directly around the school. We gave our exploring of Google Earth and maps a ‘real life’ focus by asking students to find their homes and to convince us that their house was close enough to walk past on our community walk. We then planned our walk using our visualiser camera to take into account the route that the students wanted to take.

Many students are now researching areas of interest to them, making models and using their writing and drawing skills to present posters about their learning. To add further real life aspect to their learning the students are now hosting an exhibition to share what we have learnt about our community with the school community!

On Thursday in preparation for our prep/1/2 assembly we filmed (without any prompting) the learning that was going on in the room and interviewed many students about what they were doing and what they had learnt through our community project. The video was played in assembly and a group of very confident students also presented the invitation that they had been working on for the exhibition. Some of the quotes in the video (particularly the final words) certainly confirmed our thoughts that ‘enacting’ the curriculum with the students had helped build the understandings we had hoped for at the start of the term.

 

It is wonderful to hear the students reflecting on the ‘special’ community that they belong to.

We hope as many of our parents, grandparents, aunties and uncles, brothers and sisters might be able to come and share in the students learning during our classroom exibition on Friday 22nd November, you are welcome anytime between 9 – 10.30 am.

 

Dress Rehearsal

Here is a very sneak preview of the prep item for the school concert.

If you havent yet sorted out a costume for the show there are some great ideas in the short video. Any tin men out there, look for the great use of a simple (and good value) metallic windscreen car shade.

We also wanted to say well done to all the children who have been working so hard to learn their words and moves for the show and of course a BIG THANKYOU to Mrs Burns who puts such a fantastic effort into making sure that the concert is such a special night for the students and watching families.

Prep – year 2 special assembly reminder

On Friday we will have our final Prep – Year 2 special assembly for the year. The assembly starts at 2.45 in the level 2 learning space. The prep children will be sharing some of the great work they have been doing recently about our local community and we hope to involve as many children as we can in the assembly. Please try to make it along as it is a lovely way to share in the great learning that is happening in the junior part of the school.

Hope to see you all on Friday.

From the prep students and teachers.

Book week celebrations 2013

The whole school had a fantastic book week celebration on Friday. The prep children enjoyed working with the 5/6 children to create art work inspired by the book week books. There was a fantastic atmosphere in the school with teachers, students and parents all enjoying the celebration.

We hope you enjoy our video of the morning and the photos of the children.

 

Can you guess why the music was chosen for the video? Answers on the blog please!

 

100 days party celebration

Its amazing to be part of the prep children’s first 100 days at school. We had a fantastic day on Friday to celebrate this milestone. We hope you enjoy the video below which was premiered at the prep-2 assembly. We are looking forward to the next 100 days of the prep children’s year with us.

Its such a privilege for all the team to be part of the Prep children’s first year at school!

Prep Djembe drumming circle.

We have recently purchased some more wooden Djembe drums for the school, meaning that we now have a set of 26 drums to create larger drumming circles for the students. We have decided to start regular djembe drumming sessions for the prep children to help build their musical skills, sense of rhythm, counting and gross motor skills. Being part of a drumming circle is also great for listening skills and learning to work as part of a collaborative group. It is also really good fun and good exercise!

We started the sessions today with all the preps spending 45 minutes outside in the lovely warm winter sunshine experiencing the djembe drumming circle. We discussed that djembe drums came originally from Africa, how they were made and how we could make different notes depending on where we hit the drum. The ‘bass’ note came from the centre and the ‘tone’ note from the edge. We learned to count in 4’s as we played and practised playing together in time and in patterns of 4 beats each time.

We think the preps were pretty amazing considering it was there first session. Have a listen and tell them what you think?

Assembly prep performances

In case you were not able to make it to our junior prep/1/2/ assembly on Friday, here are a couple of videos of the prep performances.

The first is a show case of some of the Auslan learning with the students signing the alphabet.

The second is the culmination of one of this term’s ‘Buzz’ Learning groups. The students

have been working collaboratively in a small group with the support of a teacher to explore their undertsanding of ‘Feelings’. This has led to the students composing a feelings musical composition, which they did over the last couple of sessions with the kind support of one of our parents (Asher’s Dad Evan) who came into work with our buzz group on their feelings musical soundscape. This led to a pretty special performance to the class and then to a wider audience at our assembly.

Prep first cross country race pictures.

Despite the weather the prep’s had a fantastic fun first taste of cross country racing. This lead perfectly into an exploration during maths of the language of first, second, third in the classroom and some wonderful drawings of the event. The sportmanship on display between all the house members was lovely to be part of and a reflection of the great school community we have at Grovedale West PS.

Why not ask your child what they thought of the experience and add it as a comment to the blog post and we will read them out in class next week.

Enjoy the photos and the weekend.

The Prep Team