Worawa Community Outreach
Whilst the students were back in their home communities during Stage 3 COVID-19 restrictions, Worawa introduced a meal delivery service to support Elders and vulnerable members of our community. The Meal Service operation consisted of 45 nutritious meals prepared three times per week by Chef Robin Sutcliffe which were delivered with contactless delivery by College staff.
At the commencement of Stage 4 restrictions the College re-commenced food delivery service with food prepared by local Chef Tim Campbell owner of the prestigious The Mabel Restaurant. Worawa students prepared Care Packages of sanitizer, masks, wipes, cards, reading material and handwritten messages from our students for distribution to the community. Worawa efforts have been warmly welcomed by Elders and community. We wish to acknowledge the support of the Department of Justice, Eastern Metropolitan Regional Aboriginal Justice Advisory Committee.
Health and Wellbeing
We are pleased to announce that Dr Emma Weiz has joined the Worawa healthcare team. Dr Emma is attached to the Monash Children’s Hospital and has a special interest in paediatrics and adolescent health. Our twice-weekly telehealth clinic with Dr Emma has contributed to providing a high standard of medical care for students.
The Nurses Clinic, now located in the College’s new building, provides a warm, friendly, safe environment that offers a balance of consultations, telehealth appointments, medical health check-ups and first aid.
The focus on this term has been obtaining and maintaining maximum health and fitness. We aim for this through educating girls to understand how a growing teenage body works, how to manage wellness through a holistic approach to nutrition, sleep hygiene, exercise, forming respectful relationships, and developing resilience.
In order to provide the students with the best possible health care, the College utilizes many services and supports. During this term, we have had emergency dental treatment organised through our partnership with Healesville Dental Clinic and hearing checks with Australian Hearing and some students had eye exams. Caraniche psychologist services continue teleconferencing as required and a partnership with the Get Well Clinic in Healesville provides a holistic approach to student health and wellbeing.
Wellbeing is an integral part of caring for the students at Worawa Aboriginal College and ongoing communication between teaching, boarding and wellbeing staff, ensuring any issues are addressed and then monitored.
Morning briefings between Wellbeing and teaching staff, allow the Wellbeing team to confer with teachers on students that may need extra support. Afternoon handover between wellbeing and boarding staff notifies the houseparent of any issues with students arising during that day which may affect the house during the evening.
The College COVID-19 Management Plan has required implementation of strict regimes across College operations. This has had some effect on student wellbeing due to restricted contact with other students and external activities. Whilst this has been challenging, girls have done very well in adapting to operations in a COVID-safe environment.
Boarding House Operations
The girls have done extremely well at adapting to boarding routines and online learning in the houses in accordance with the College’s COVID Management Protocols. Girls are showered and ready for breakfast, which is now served in the houses, by 8.15 am. Each girl is allocated a designated shower and toilet to use, and a seat around the dining table and the lounge. Temperature is taken and recorded and chores are completed following COVID Management Protocols.
Girls get ready for online learning at 9.15 am where they set up their tables in their rooms with the days learning resources and materials. A Day Supervisor is assigned to each house to assist the teachers and help the girls with their learning.
Meals are prepared in the kitchen and packed individually for students and delivered to the houses. Tables and other surfaces are disinfected between meals.
Girls remain in their house groups and do not physically interact with students in other house groups so as to keep them safe. Adults wear masks at all time when they are in or out of the houses. The girls are required to wear their masks when they leave their houses but do not have to do so when they are in their houses.
Additional measures are provided by contracted cleaners who undertake touch point cleaning throughout the day. To assist in preventing contamination and spread of infectious conditions all student washing is done by the College laundress every alternate day.
Girls are encouraged to go outdoors during their breaks in between lessons and Zumba classes have been introduced during lunchtimes. The girls are also rostered to go to the gym for a work out at least once a week after school.
Temperature is taken and recorded in the evening before dinner and the girls’ complete homework before getting their phones and having recreation time. Girls are in bed by 10 pm on a school night
On the weekends, girls continue with their morning routine of shower and chores and participate in organised creative and fun activities such as painting on boomerangs, clay modelling, sewing, baking and dessert making, walks, picnics, theme parties and dance-offs. All activities adhere to the College’s COVID protocols.
Caring for Country / Geography
This term in distance learning, years 7 and 8 Caring for Country students have undertaken a new Unit named Changing Nations. Students investigate the changing human geographies of countries around the globe. The distribution of populations is used to show students social change, they consider why people move from one place to another, also known as ‘push and pull factors’.
Students further understand how jobs, education, culture and family may influence where someone decides to live, as well as cases where people are forced to move from their homes such as war and natural disaster. Asia is used as a case study continent where students learn about shifts in population around megacities such as Tokyo and Mumbai.
The sinking megacity of Jakarta is researched and analysed as students make a risk assessment of moving the sinking city to a new location in the jungle island of Borneo, and what this may mean for local island residents. The skills of research, data interpretation, comparing, analysing and personal reflection are focused on throughout the Changing Nations Unit.
In years 9 and 10, Caring for Country students begin their new Unit of Geographies of Interconnection. Here students understand how the world around them is becoming ever more connected. Students explore connection through the process of globalisation and how they too are world citizens. Asia and Oceania are the case study continents for the Unit, where students investigate the effects of production and consumption of goods on people and environments.
Students reflect on ways in which they are interconnected with the world, the land, their culture, family and friends. The skills of comparing, analysing, communication, using evidence and giving opinion are focused on through the Geographies of Interconnection Unit.
All students have adjusted very well to their online learning, engaging and participating with interest and enthusiasm.
During this term, we have investigated kinetic and heat energy through traditional fire starting methods with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander knowledge of energy. We have explored the concept that energy appears in different forms, including movement (kinetic energy), heat and potential energy, and energy transformations and transfers cause change within systems and in some situations can form a chain of this transfer and transformation process.
We have explored how our connection with fire has changed within society and how people use science understanding and skills in their occupations and these have influenced the development of practices in areas of human activity when Fire is involved such as Bushfires and Hazards within family households and the community.
Sports and Health
Learning at Worawa during Term 3 looked very different for our students. The Stage 4 lockdown saw all classes move online with onsite girls participating in their learning from the boarding houses. Both staff and students demonstrated a high level of resilience and agility as they navigated the challenges imposed by limited movement and working in a digital space.
Everyone is commended for their amazing achievements as they developed new skills, rapidly grew their digital literacy and worked together to problem-solve new challenges all while following the Worawa curriculum.
We are all looking forward to the return to some normality however we intend to take the growth and new skills we have gained through this experience into the new normal.
Students have participated in a wide range of sports and activities this term, including badminton, volleyball, tennis, basketball, and fitness and circuit training. Remote physical education has presented its challenges but with great leadership from the VCAL students and supervisors, who helped run the sports activities, they were able to have some successful classes.
The VCAL students organized a scavenger hunt as part of their Personal Development Skills class which required them to complete an activity. They were required to organize the event from conception to completion including the activities and resources. The whole school had a great time participating and it was a great way to get in some fitness.
A highlight of the term was having Australian and NBL player Mitch Creek, run a basketball session for the students on zoom. He ran the students through a number of skills and drills ending the session answering any questions they had.
In Health, students developed knowledge about preventative health practices and taking care of their own and others’ health and wellbeing as well as expanding their knowledge of the physical and emotional changes and transitions associated with puberty.
In Health and Human Development, VCAL students developed an understanding of the complex nature of health and wellbeing, and human development and regarded Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives on health.
Reading Week, which was developed around the celebration of Indigenous Literacy Day, was also a highlight. These dates saw a number of English activities developed, focusing on giving students the opportunity to reflect and share thoughts, ideas and dreams for the future.
This was especially memorable during the challenges we are all currently facing and highlights the resilience of our students to continue to nurture their love of learning.
Shape Is More than Just Shapes
During the Term in Mathematics, the students have been working on topics related to Shape. As the term progressed, students developed their ability to use algebra equations and methods for finding unknown interior angles.
We soon discovered that the topic of Shape was more than just being able to name shapes according to their sides and angles. The topic also including developing a known repertoire of words and symbols that relate specifically to the topic. As such, there were times when we knew the size of an angle by reading the non-written information.
With the number-crunching of finding unknown angles sorted, we moved on to creating and drawing 3D objects. In the context of remote learning, this was quite a different experience as students worked with paper and scissors at their desks, working to create a net that would fold into a prism or pyramid without the use of a preprinted pattern to follow.
We had varying levels of success, which held with it the life lesson of trying and trying again in order to achieve the desired outcome.
To finish our unit, we worked on developing the ability to draw 3D shapes and to create 3D lettering. For letters such as S, O and D, this can be quite a challenge.
Our final lesson was on Tessellation as we sought to create a pattern using a 2D shape that had no gaps or overlaps. Our conclusion? Shape is much more than just shapes.
English and History
Term three began face-face in the classroom and quickly transitioned into distance learning from the boarding houses. Teachers really enjoyed the short time we had to welcome students back to school and into our new classrooms. Welcome banners, work displays, Vocabulary walls, NAIDOC posters and language maps provided a nurturing and inclusive environment.
To further develop English skills and expand upon historical understanding English and History were combined this term as students were provided with opportunities to develop their knowledge of key Aboriginal people and events; such as Pearl Gibbs, The Day of Mourning, the 1967 Referendum, Eddie Mabo and Vincent Lingiari and the Wave Hill Walk Off.
Following the changes to onsite teaching and learning, teachers quickly pivoted and developed a routine and learning experiences to best suit distance learning. Teachers were passionate and dedicated in their efforts to ensure distance learning for students was engaging, meaningful and a space to learn. This term, a range of digital literacy programs were utilized and included: Click View, Menti, Cars and Stars and Padlet.
These programs were used to continue to develop student skills in reading strategies; research; support students to identify and explore primary and secondary sources and provide a digital space to present understanding.
The interactive features of the programs also provided opportunities for students to share their thoughts and opinions in a variety of ways. Students continued the weekly spelling program and their reading skills development through daily Reading Fluency.
Choosing to incorporate the English and History curriculum saw the development of innovative learning materials that explored visual and written sources through an Aboriginal lens. Each week we focused on a key Aboriginal person or event.
Students examined their experience, contributions and efforts made by individuals and collective groups to bring about change and the ways in which events and stories can be shared through images, song and written texts. Reading to Learn strategies were embedded in the lessons, through Detailed Reading and Joint and Individual Construction, to expose students to higher-level texts and to develop their reading, writing and comprehensions skills.
Students were also engaged through learning experiences linked to key events that took place in Term 3. On National Aboriginal Children’s Day students reflected on what issues matter and what visions they see for future generations.
Students also enjoyed participating in activities linked to the AFL Sir Doug Nicholls Round and the football match in Darwin.
VCAL Business Certificate II
VCAL students have passed the first subject of the Business Certificate II ‘Contribute to the health and safety of others’ with great results. In class, we discussed hazards and risks both in various workplaces as well as in the home environment.
We reviewed the work of the Dhimurru Rangers in East Arnhem land and the tasks they have to carry out on a daily basis. As a class, we talked about the hazards and risks they need to be aware of as they carry out their work in isolation a long way from Nhulunbuy.
We now move on to our next subject, ‘Preparing for employment’. This involves looking at what we can bring to a workplace in the way of skills and attributes, what the interview process is like and how to present yourself in the best possible way at the interview and during your working life.
This term for Numeracy, the VCAL students have been planning, designing, and building a model of a bedroom for one of their classmates. They began by carefully considering what things they would need to have in a bedroom if they moved into a share house. The students then met with their client to discuss their colour preferences, desired furniture and other design constraints for the bedroom.
As part of the planning process, they researched award wages for different jobs and other potential incomes. After a lively discussion on how much it costs to rent and run a house, the students worked out a budget for their bedroom.
Based on their clients’ preferences, the students found furniture and other accessories online to include in their room. After careful consideration of the ideal placement of furniture and the best use of space, they drew a to-scale plan of the bedroom.
The last and longest stage of the plan was to create a 3D model of each item. This part involved the students using prior and new knowledge from a range of areas in Mathematics. After a few setbacks, the students persevered to create wonderful to scale model furniture.
Despite the changes and challenges of this term, the VCAL students have been enthusiastic and dedicated throughout this whole project.
A big congratulations to our budding architects and interior designers for the great work they completed this term.
VCAL Oral Communication
This term in VCAL Current Issue, year 11 and 12 students undertake an independent research project to present to the class.
Students were required to deliver a ten-minute oral presentation to the class via Zoom, detailing statistics, maps and graphs alongside their strong personal opinions on the matters.
Students chose topics such as the refugee crisis in Libya, the humanitarian crisis in Yemen, racism in Australia, life inside North Korea and the different forms of personal identity.
Students have progressed immensely in their abilities to give their oral opinions, using evidence and articulating the facts and stats around current world issues.
During this term, we have taken time to develop a case study for the careers found within the Police Force both within State and Federal levels. This has allowed students to investigate a wide range of occupations, and the skills and personal qualities required in these fields both working directly with the community and within the organisations. At the start of the topic, we watched the documentary called “Our Law” about the Warakurna Police Station in WA that is entirely staffed by Aboriginal Police Officers. This was inspiring for many of the girls. By focusing on the job clusters explored through term one and two, we have taken a cluster focus to explore the Police force. This has included identifying types of workplace communication and the effect of context on the choice of communication, the need to explain the importance of teamwork and collaboration and the range of skills and attributes necessary to work effectively in the 21st century and in remote contexts.
Students have also explored the differences in the roles and their need for empathy and resilience to help identify the attitudes and skills required for self-directed and lifelong learning.
They have developed strategies to plan, implement and processes to improve their learning and therefore, enhance the potential to realize their aspirations and personal wellbeing and to become positive role models and leaders within and outside their communities.
During this term, students analyse features of Australian democracy and explain features of Australia’s democracy that enable active participation. They recognise different types of law in Australia and explain how laws are made. They identify the diverse belief systems in Australia and analyse issues about national identity and the factors that contribute to people’s sense of belonging.
When researching, students develop a range of questions to investigate Australia’s political and legal systems and critically analyse information gathered from different sources for relevance. They explain different points of view on civics and citizenship issues. When planning for action, students take into account multiple perspectives, use democratic processes, and develop solutions to an issue. Students develop and present reasoned arguments on civics and citizenship issues using appropriate texts, subject-specific language and concepts. They identify ways they can be active and informed citizens in different contexts.
Students have had the chance to explore the vital role that the public can have in the decision-making process for local, state and federal government. This has included the need to enrol for voting, petitions, and creating focus groups and panels to explore issues from a variety of perspectives.