We celebrated Anzac day by commemorating the Centenary Anniversary of the Western Front in 2017 on the last day of Term 1. Year 9 World History class under the guidance of Mr Lachlan Drummond researched and presented an excellent narrative focused on the Battle of Pozieres and Villers Bretonneux, battles in which the Australians suffered severe casualties. The program included the school choir and the school concert band, and we welcomed back old boys from the 50s and 60s for the commemoration. My thanks to all staff who contributed to this event and my congratulations to students for their excellent presentation. More photos in May Tech Talk 2017.

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THE NEW HSC

New Syllabus for Stage 6 (Years 11 and 12) in English, Mathematics, Science and History have been developed by the newly named NSW Educational Standards Authority, NESA (The old Board of Studies). This new syllabus will affect Year 10, who will be the first cohort to present for the new HSC starting in 2018. In recent press releases, the new syllabus claims to reflect a move to stronger standards. Their aim is to encourage students to show off their deep knowledge, conceptual understanding and problem solving and analytical skills. School based assessment practices will change from 2018. There will be mandated components and weightings for tasks in both Years 11 and 12. The number of school based assessment tasks in Year 11 will be capped at three per subject studied, and in Year 12 it will be four. There will continue to be external assessments such as the formal HSC assessments. Submitted major works such as Visual Arts or English Extension 2 or Music and Design and Technology will remain the same. There will continue to be a 50:50 breakdown between school assessment and the HSC. For each course you study the final HSC mark is comprised of the school assessment and a moderated exam mark from NESA. A very brief look at the new English syllabus shows that there will be a very strong focus on writing skills.

NAPLAN CHANGES - The focus on writing is also reflected in the new NESA regulations about NAPLAN. To be eligible for the HSC from 2020, you must demonstrate a minimum literacy and numeracy standard. That means that all students completing Year 9 NAPLAN will be expected to achieve a Band 8 or above in their NAPLAN tests. The minimum standard applies to reading, writing and numeracy, and is mapped against the Australian Core Skills Framework (ACSF) which is a nationally agreed standard of functional literacy and numeracy. Any student in Year 8 will be affected by this change.

If you have reached the ACSF standard, then you are expected to be able to:

  1. Predict the meaning of unknown words based on the context
  2. Understand some words and phrases have figurative not just literal meanings
  3. Read and interpret diagrams
  4. Write clear sequenced instructions for using everyday technology equipment
  5. Use email for routine workplace communication
  6. Write a short formal letter with a purpose such as closing a bank account
  7. In numeracy you are expected to be able to demonstrate:
  8. Comparing the cost of everyday items in different sized containers to work out the most cost effective purchase
  9. Create a personal weekly budget on a spreadsheet
  10. Prepare an invoice for a particular job eg to build a fence of a set length

For further information on the Australian Core skills Framework click here https://www.education.gov.au/australian-core-skills-framework

The school has a strong focus on literacy development and we have a targeted literacy class in Years 7, 8 and 9 to assist students gain these important skills. It is of critical importance that students read on a very regular basis, and the Library is full of very good books bought with student interest in mind. Students are also encouraged to ask our Librarian, Ellen Campbell, to purchase books they may like to read. I ask parents to do all they can to encourage reading.

In the March Tech Talk parents are being asked if they could fill out a parent survey for our MindMatters Program.

Survey URL to share;

https://www.mindmatters.edu.au/surveys/survey-start?id=parent-family-survey---090-20e94bc75e084ae3be73

Survey Opens: Tuesday 7th March, 2017 and closes on Friday 7th April, 2017.

Also as part of the wellbeing fees this year, parents, students and teachers have access to Dr Prue Salters online study skills work booklet, videos and pintable's for 12 months.

To access materials you need a username and password which will be sent via SMS to families on Monday 6th March, 2017.

Study Skills Handbook, Helping students develop effective study skills URL Link below;

http://www.studyskillshandbook.com.au/admin/users/login.php?ce=0&group=1&url=www.studyskillshandbook.com.au/inside/index.html%3f

Public Education Scholarship

Well done to Chester Cao who has started his accelerated course in Engineering at Griffith University Queensland. Chester is the recipient of a scholarship from the Public Education Foundation, valued at $1000.

The Public Education Foundation is a charity arm of the Department of Education dedicated to providing life-changing scholarships to young people in public education, as well as their teachers and principals. They work in collaboration with schools, communities, individuals and the government to help students achieve their full potential. The foundation also advocates for public education. Scholarships are open now. For more information, go to http://www.publiceducationfoundation.org.au/

Publications

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Publications

"Every individual has the right to realise himself: that is to fully develop the power and capacities, physical, mental, moral and spiritual; with which nature endowed him."

 − JA Williams (the first Principal of Tech writing in 1912)