Worawa Term 2 Newsletter 2020

Worawa’s Changing Landscape

At the end of Term 1, planned work on College buildings and grounds commenced. The works included removal of two portable buildings, completion of a new classroom complex to house classrooms, health and wellbeing and a staff room. Works included a facelift to the recreation room, landscaped gardens and new pathways. The next stage will see the development of the Worawa Heart and an outdoor fitness station. We are looking forward to seeing the students’ reaction to the new developments upon their return.

Artwork Opening Doors

We are delighted to present the amazing work by artists Khatija and Azeza Possum Ramzan, daughters of artist Michelle Possum Nungurrayi whose father was world-renowned artist, Clifford Possum Tjapaltjarri. Khatija and Azeza have clearly inherited the family talent and we are proud to share this story. In the tradition of Aboriginal storytelling, the doors of the new buildings are meaningful and reminiscent of the story of Elders of Papunya who, in the ’70s painted school doors to encourage Aboriginal involvement in the school to bridge the gap between Western and Aboriginal knowledge systems. This beautiful work is on permanent exhibition for all to enjoy.

Artwork Opening Doors

Steam at Home

During distance learning, students learnt that scientists seek to gather knowledge to help us understand our world and that they do so in a very structured way using observation and experimentation, keeping detailed records, making inferences and predictions and writing reports.

During our distance learning unit, students explored what Science is and how Scientists work. They did so by completing everyday tasks while thinking, acting, measuring, experimenting and reporting like a Scientist. The aim of this task was to support students when drawing links between traditional knowledge and school knowledge and to develop their confidence in using English and Scientific terminology when discussing these links.

It has been an amazing experience working with students while they are at home, seeing their botanical drawings and having discussions about the processes that have occurred while they cook their dinner. We are very much looking forward to having students back on campus for Term 3.

 

Art at a Distance

In Art, we focused on the Elements of Art: colour, texture, line, shading and more through set Tasks and Projects.

The Tasks varied from Photography, Drawing, compiling found objects to create jewellery designs. With drawing we first started with learning how to shade, how to draw a basic eye, how to draw cliffs, shading and drawing 3D water droplets.

Students also learnt how to draw a hyper-realistic 3D eye. The students then photographed their Drawings and Photographs and uploaded their completed tasks and projects to their Art folder within Class Dojo.

This is where I could comment on the submitted tasks and give one on one instruction on ways to further develop and improve the skills being used within specific Tasks.

As phone photography was used to take images of various art elements or finished work, photography tips helped students to improve their photography with outstanding results.

I’m sure we are all looking forward to getting back into our beloved Art Studio and getting creatively dirty hands once again.

History

During distance learning, students were challenged to reflect on the history of their surroundings. Students were asked to speak with relatives and Elders of their history and record the major events of their life thus far. Historical sites, landforms, landscapes and structures were investigated in order to report on the meaning, significance, location and possible date of creation.

Students were encouraged to record a story from a landform or landscape nearby, either sharing a Dreaming story, a positive experience they have had at the location, or a story about what may happen when they visit. Students were asked to focus on the skills of ordering information and sequencing events of what may exist around them.

Caring for Country

The Caring for Country online program for years 7 and 8 focused on the unit ‘Landforms and Landscapes’. Students examined the processes that shape individual landforms and the values and meanings placed on landforms and landscapes by diverse cultures.

Students explored landforms such as The Three Sisters, Uluru, Katherine Gorge and the Bungle Bungles. Students were directed to find similarities and differences between landscapes such as deserts, rainforests, coasts and grassland, locating the major landscapes in Australia and around the world.

Students shared the significance and connection to the land around them, giving examples of what their surroundings may look like, sound like and feel like.

In years 9 and 10, students have continued to explore the unit ‘Biomes and Food Security’ and were encouraged to discover the biomes found in Australia and around the world, investigating the different types of foods and fibres that can be grown in these environments.

Students reflected on their surroundings, describing the types of foods and fibres that can be grown around them and how these are used. The work culminated in a local case study to investigate the means of food insecurity and how access to foods and water sources could be improved.

Civics and Citizenship

Civics and Citizenship for the Year 9 and 10 students explored Treaty and the vocabulary used around why a Treaty is necessary. We looked at the impact of Peace, Alliances, Commerce, International Relations and Sovereignty. In doing so we also looked at how the Waitangi Treaty in New Zealand was formed, Self-Governance in the Yukon and how some countries manage to escape any form of war both within their borders and with other countries.

It gave the students the chance to form ideas and think about what the future could look like if a treaty were put in place in Australia, how it would impact the perception within and outside Australia if our country were to formally acknowledge First Nation’s people in a treaty, and how that might lead to other improvements. Looking forward to seeing all the activities from the students that have not been able to be online and hope our future leaders push for change.

Next Term we will explore the Australian Government System, this will include the levels, representation at the different levels of government and what they mean regarding the needs of all Australians.

Each student will create their own community profile and find their local representatives for all the levels of government. We will also look at the involvement of First Nations People becoming political representatives and giving their voice in Parliament.

VCAL – Current Issue

VCAL students explored current issues involving COVID-19, inequalities of social distancing and discriminatory thoughts and actions towards people from China due to the origins of the virus. Students held a facilitated pre-discussion on the given topic in order to establish their thoughts and opinions. This was followed by analysing a chosen text or video, recording points that are for or against the students’ initial thoughts and opinions. Students were then asked to hold a post-discussion in order to share gained knowledge on the topic, noting down their new opinions with evidence to back.

Distance Teaching and Learning – The New Normal for Term 2

Proving yet again how resilient and motivated Worawa students are, we all prepared for the new normal at the end of the last term in response to the COVID 19 pandemic. Students headed home early with education packs to last them for the weeks ahead as well as apps they would need for the weeks ahead.

Fortnightly education packs were then sent out and included work that was accessible to our students, even if they had to work alone. They were sent to students in the Northern Territory, Queensland, Victoria and Western Australia. Teachers and Wellbeing staff worked to establish strong contacts at home and with those in the community who could support Worawa students. This term teaching happened via phone, Class Dojo, Zoom and all other methods available. We also had some amazing support from local community schools, youth centres and from families and friends.

A significant highlight was the self-motivation and commitment to learning that Worawa students displayed, even when faced with transport, weather and other challenges, the most significant being the need to work alone at times. It is a credit to their passion for learning and their desire to walk successfully in Two Worlds.

Well done to all Worawa students who have made the best of this most unusual of circumstances.

Worawa and Australian Girls’ Choir on Zoom

Every Tuesday afternoon during Distance Learning, staff and choristers from Australian Girls’ Choir and the Worawa Choir joined forces to sing together via Zoom.

Singers spent time practising and perfecting some school classics; Burra Ferra and Yellow Bird. This provided not only a connection for Worawa students with something they love doing but also gave all participants a sense of community and connection at this difficult time of isolation.

At 3 pm Victorian time, girls joined a Zoom breakout room to sing up a storm! It provided positive morale and something to look forward to in the week ahead.

English – Strong Women

Term Two has seen the English Team and students quickly adapt to a distance learning model. Students completed activities to develop and extend their reading, writing, spelling and grammar skills while exploring the stories of Cathy Freeman, Truganini and Rosa Parks.

When the realities of the COVID pandemic became apparent, the school moved to distance learning to keep our students safe, focused and engaged as they continued their learning journeys from home.

Worawa girls were amazingly adaptive and moved quickly to these new ways of learning.

English teachers engaged in extensive professional development to explore the most successful and engaging ways to support students remotely.

As students were returning home to family and community, teachers saw this as a valuable opportunity for learning on the country, sharing stories and reflecting on students’ passions and challenges.

Accordingly, an English Unit was developed around the theme of Sharing Our Stories. Through this, the students read and researched the journeys of previous students and girls heading off to boarding school around Australia.

They were encouraged to speak with family and share their stories exploring the challenges they have faced in their learning but also connecting with their passions as they grow and develop into young women learning to share their valuable thoughts, ideas, beliefs and stories.

Careers

While the students have been at home it has been a great way to explore the Job Clusters. These are skill-based clusters where jobs are linked by the tasks required and not the work setting. The students have looked at local employment opportunities and interviewed people in their family about the jobs that they do and the skills they might need to do those jobs.

We have combined our knowledge from the last term about Personality and our skills interests to see what clusters might appeal to the students for future consideration. Many of the students that have been online have found similarities and some have found contrasts between interests and what they imagine their future job to be which has been a great chance for each of the girls to think about what they might need to do, skills they could start to develop even at school, and for some, the chance to look at jobs they have never thought of before.

For our younger students, this has been a challenging term, but it has been wonderful to see them building interest and motivation with each term as they learn more about the world of work. Hoping to find some wonderful artistic interpretations of the job clusters when we return to Worawa. Next term we are doing a Job Skills Case Study with a focus on the Job Skills required to work as a Police Officer, a popular career choice amongst many of the girls.

Maths Mastery

During the term, students have been learning and practising their Mathematics skills in a variety of ways, including using an online program called Mathletics. Mathletics is an educational mathematics program that can be used on computer, tablet or phone. Before leaving for the term holiday in March, many students excitedly downloaded Mathletics onto their phones so they could complete tasks during their time at home.

Mathletics has levelled activities, tests and games for every area of Mathematics that directly align to the Australian Curriculum. Each student has their own login where they can customise their background and complete work that has been chosen specifically for them based on their prior knowledge. The students receive points for completing activities that contribute to the students achieving Bronze, Silver or Gold awards. When students have completed their set activities, they can choose to play educational games or spend time learning more about an area of mathematics of their choice.

This term, it was fantastic to see many students’ enthusiasm for growing their mathematics knowledge and skills, with some students on Mathletics for more than four hours in one week. Mathletics allows students to retry activities they have previously done to achieve better results. Some outstanding students demonstrated their rigour and responsibility to learning by attempting activities multiple times until they completely understood the new skills. Congratulations to all students who showed their dedication to their education this term by working online and challenging themselves to further develop their understanding of Mathematics.

National Reconciliation Week

27 May – 3 June 2020 ‘In this Together’

National Reconciliation Week is an important event on the Worawa school calendar. The 2020 theme, ‘In this together’ encourages all Australians to learn about shared histories, cultures and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia’.

Worawa normally marks this symbolic event with a Reconciliation Sports Carnival, bringing together Government, Catholic and Independent schools in the spirit of reconciliation to share sporting, cultural and social exchange.

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this year we’ve had to postpone the event but still wanted to mark this important time in our distance learning program. To give recognition we developed a unit of work where students could reflect, research and act on events that they felt strongly connected to. Students reflected on what Reconciliation meant to them, their families and their communities.

‘Our History, Our Story, Our Future’ provided students with a stimulus to consider and write about a change they would like to see in Australia. They also viewed ‘The Children Came Back’ – Briggs & Gurrumul and completed a task which involved researching Aboriginal heroes and finding out what they were known for.

Students welcomed a virtual visit from Hawthorn football star Chad Wingard who shared messages of commitment, resilience and hope.

These learning opportunities will lead onto our unit in Term 3, where students will research key Aboriginal heroes and significant recognition and reconciliation events.

Download Term 2 Newsletter 2020