Learning @ Kunyung Primary School

Learning for the 21st Century

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Taking Action! :)

‘You must be the change you want to see in the world.’
- Mahatma Gandhi

Good Day Kunyung! :)

I hope your holidays were wonderful times and many happy family memories created! I spent 3 weeks navigating my way around California, Arizona and Nevada with my husband and boys! What an experience……hopefully they will never forget hiking the lip of the Grand Canyon, visiting Alcatraz, jogging across the Golden Gate Bridge, playing tennis in Yuma, visiting Hollywood, Disneyland, Universal Studios, basketball, ice hockey and basketball and spending time with family! They’re kids so these experiences may not seem as wonderful and special to them yet, but as adults…WOW!!! I couldn’t believe what amazing things we were doing together and I was reminded every day what a HUGE place the world actually is and how many different people live in it!

We saw some amazing sights and also some very sad ones. The amount of people begging for food and homeless in Downtown LA and San Fransisco, for example, was eye opening for all of us and started some family discussions that we didn’t really find answers to…………………it did start the discussion about the importance of Taking Action…………………..whether it be in our own home or within the community. We talked about how Taking Action can bring about change in small and big ways.  We saw many examples of people trying to make a change! Even looking on Facebook on our return I was reading through the ‘Love your sister’ page and inspired by what some people are doing in our community!

Taking Action can be as simple as acting on classroom learning and as large as raising money. It can include raising awareness of school-based, community or global issues and attempting to change someone else’s behaviour and/or thinking! Our school Working Bees are a great example of Community Action! J

Encouraging the Taking of Action @ Kunyung Primary School may not always lead to solving big issues BUT ……….you just never know!!!

If you have examples of children or families within our school community who are Taking Action PLEASE let us know. We have a school Action Team dedicated to raising money and/or  raising awareness of particular issues BUT we want to know how we can lend support to some of our families who are going above and beyond to support others.

We may not always be able to raise funds but we will try to support through the raising of awareness where we can!

Not only can it build community spirit but it can also change people’s thinking and behaviours!! Please let me know if there is something we can highlight in our community communication and if your child is taking action on their learning please let the classroom teacher know!

We are also very keen to get our vegetable gardens up and running again. We have a couple of very enthusiastic children and mums who are ready to start but any other support would be greatly appreciated! We are hoping to start growing our own vegetables and using them to make food for the canteen! Sustainable ACTION already!

I am very happy and appreciative to be back in Australia and Kunyung for another ‘ripper’ term!

Cheers

Kim Jackson

Assistant Principal

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Inquiry Learning @ Kunyung! :)

InquiryGood Day Kunyung! :)

 I must admit I do like to write my own blog articles using examples of work from our wonderful school BUT this week I have included a BLOG POST from a well-known and highly respected educator…Kath Walker (Through a wonderful BLOG called ‘What Ed said……’) I have done this as part of our attempt to further ‘break down’ what the International Baccalaureate actually means! If Inquiry Based Learning is at the heart of the program then it stands to reason we need to know what it actually looks like, sounds like and feels like…..If you would like to look at previous articles please read other posts further below……so here we go…………

Kunyung is an ‘Inquiry Based’ school and last year our staff spent a lot of time inquiring into what that actually means! We asked questions like “In the best inquiry classroom ever- what would the teacher be doing? What would the students be doing? What would the task look like?”

The discussions, conversations and change in practice as a result of this work has been incredible….particularly concluding that sometimes explicit teaching is required to take place that is NOT inquiry practice!! Please read below and think about your stance on inquiry!! Over the coming weeks I shall put examples of our students @ work in an inquiry classroom………visit our blog if you get a chance to  see Level Team examples also!!

This is how inquiry teachers teach…

by whatedsaid

Inquiry2

I have long been utterly intrigued by the question “what makes an inquiry teacher’ – why is it that some find it such a natural disposition and while others struggle SO much with sharing power or seeing a bigger picture?  But I’ll save my musings on that for another time….  Today, I am thinking about what inquiry means for the act of ‘teaching’ itself.   Here are techniques or approaches I observe inquiry teachers use.  A dozen of the best…..

 1. They talk less.  It’s that simple (I’m still working on that one myself!!) 

 2. They ask more.  The discourse in an inquiry classroom is rich with quality questions – inquiry teachers know how to use questions to help students uncover their own thinking and understanding.

 3. They relate – with the heart as well as the head.  The BEST inquiry teachers I see genuinely enjoy their students and know them.  Knowing your students is the key to successful facilitation – particularly of personal inquiries.

 4. They let kids in on the secret – inquiry teachers have a transparent style. It’s not just about putting learning intentions up on the wall – they constantly ensure their kids know why they are doing what they are doing.  Inquiry teachers often think aloud – they reveal the complexities and the joys of learning to their students by being a learner.

5. They use language that is invitational and acknowledges the elasticity of ideas.  Words like ‘might’ ‘could’ ‘possibly’ ‘wonder’ ‘maybe’ ‘we’ are used far more  than ‘must’ ‘is’ ‘will’ ‘I’.    They remain open to possibility…. and you can hear it in their voice.  Inquiry teachers speak what Claxton calls “learnish”  - and they help their students speak it too 

6. They check in with their kids – a lot.  The teaching itself looks, sounds and feels like an act of inquiry.  They listen, observe and ‘work the space’.  They do not spend most of their time at the front of the room.  They teach beside – sometimes ‘on the side’ and not – for the most part – on the stage.

7. They collaborate with their students. They trust them!  The ‘asymmetry’ of power in the traditional classroom is challenged by inquiry teachers – they allow role reversal and are comfortable letting the learner lead.  

8. They use great, challenging, authentic resources – not just the ones that are easy and on hand.  They are hunters and gatherers – looking for objects, people, places, texts that will bring the world to their kids.

9. They are passionate and energetic.  And that includes some of the most calm and quiet teachers I have ever worked with!  I think that’s true of all the best teachers – inquiry based or not  – but these teachers are passionate about investigation, about the thrill of discovery, about seeing patterns and the learner ‘getting it’ – they are genuinely interested in the world and relentlessly curious.  And it shows.  INquiry3

10. They see the bigger picture – they have a good grasp of the significant concepts and skills relevant to the focus of students’ inquiry.   They may not know all the facts – but they DO have a ‘birds eye’, conceptual  view that is invaluable in scaffolding learning for children.  You can hear it in the way they question. 

11. They invite, celebrate and USE questions, wonderings, uncertainties and tensions that arise from their students.  They may not be the questions they expected – but they use those questions to scaffold learning.

12. Traditional pedagogy sees the teacher provide a set of instructions, make sure everyone ‘knows what to do’, explain everything and THEN students might be given some time to do a task themselves. It’s about 80% teacher led and 20% student.  Inquiry-based pedagogy gets kids doing, thinking and investigating – and the explicit teaching happens in response to what the teacher sees and hears.  The 80:20 ratio is reversed. Good inquiry teachers know how to get more kids thinking more deeply more of the time

Have a lovely last week of school and enjoy a safe and happy holiday break with your gorgeous children! I am taking a week’s long service leave next week and spending the holidays visiting my brother in Los Angeles! America may never be the same once the Jackson 7 arrive!!!!! Think National Lampoon’s Vacation!! We may be forever known as the New Griswalds!!

Cheers

Inquiry4Kim Jackson

Assistant Principal

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Think Global Act Local!

Good Day All!

What a wonderfully busy place Kunyung has been so far this year…actually just this week even!!!!! Middles swimming sessions, District swimming, Carnival preparations, Family Picnic and Open Classrooms Afternoon (Please go to the previous POST to see what Hamish (Year 6) has put together from the afternoon!), Sub School Assemblies, Fun Friday Fitness, Aerobics rehearsals, Mandarin classes,  Kunyung Singers and dancing, Units of Inquiry, classroom tasks and  activities that include- Juniors writing lists of ‘Healthy Tips’ and how they  can action these tips, Middles writing speeches on ‘What it means to be   human’, Seniors looking at Role Models from a variety of perspectives and our gorgeous Preps finding out about the ‘Roles and Responsibilities people have in a community!’…………the list goes on!! Yep…..written like I talk……fast and annoyingly non-stop!!!!!

I haven’t listed all of these things just to show you how good our school is (even though it is!) I have listed them because I have been doing some reflecting lately…………..reflecting on what experiences make a great human! How does it takes a community to raise a child? What is it that influences children to become great members of society? Yes…small  questions I know!!

This thinking was inspired last week when I went with Elaine to a PYP meeting in Berwick and we   listened to an unbelievably inspiring young man- MATTHEW ALBERT (A very young  practicing barrister who founded The Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning (SAIL) Program while he  was in undergraduate at Melbourne University.

As he was speaking I was, not only impressed by his intellect and ability to tell a fantastic story, not just impressed by   the fact that he attended an IB school as a child, not only by the fact that   he was taking such wonderful action in the community BUT by his ability to   reflect on all the things he had done in his life that had influenced him to be   such a perfect example of a great citizen! He reflected on so many ‘small’ things that made him the person he is………..little things that, as a school and as parents, we provide for our children every day…..they do matter…..children   do remember them…….they do have an impact on our children’s lives………………..

Matthew quoted his Year 5 teacher ‘Think Global, Act Local’ and can remember the impact this simple comment had on his life ‘From little things big things grow’ was another quote he remembered fondly!! You won’t necessarily find these quotes as answers on a NAPLAN test   but they had such a profound effect on his life!

So………………celebrate these simple things with   your children, encourage them to have a go at new things, talk to them about their learning and encourage them to reflect on their experiences!

We are trying that everyday with our students   at school………………………how many ‘Matthew Alberts’ are out there in our Kunyung Community, how many of our students can make a difference in the   world……….STACKS!!!!!!!

Please read more about Matthew and the SAIL Program below!

Matthew is a   sessional lecturer and practicing barrister. He was admitted to practice in   2005 after completing articles with the Victorian Government Solicitors’   Office. He worked in the Executive Branch of that Office as a solicitor until   2007 where he advised on tort, contract, administrative and constitutional   law.

Before coming to the   Bar, Matthew was the sole researcher to Geoffrey Robertson QC at Doughty   Street Chambers, London. Prior to that, he was the associate to Justice   Habersberger of the Supreme Court of Victoria and the legal researcher to the   Solicitor-General for Victoria (now Justice Tate of the Victorian Court of   Appeal).

Matthew has been on   the research staff of the law faculties of the University of Oxford, and of   New South Wales. He contributed to a number of leading international law   textbooks and reports, as well as co-authoring a legal guide for members of   the Australian Refugee Review Tribunal. In 2002, he was the Blake Dawson Pro  Bono Fellow for legal research.

In 2004, Matthew   worked for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Kenya as a   legal protection officer. He has done consultancy work for the United   Nations, most recently on legal issues arising from environmental   displacement.

Matthew completed his   undergraduate study at the University of Melbourne and his postgraduate   degree in international refugee law at the University of Oxford, for which he   received the highest mark ever awarded for the course.

Getting to know Matthew Albert

Posted on March 4, 2012 by De Minimis

Matthew Albert, Melbourne Law School alumnus, barrister, co-founder of SAIL, one of six barristers on the Malaysian Solution (the M61 and M70 cases) High Court cases with less than 72 hours to complete all the work, winner of the prestigious Tim McCoy award in 2011, authentic wunderkind.

 

SAIL
The Sudanese Australian Integrated Learning (SAIL) Program was founded by Matthew and a friend while he was in undergrad. When discussing pro bono work, Matthew was quick to point out that if community legal centres are too busy to roster volunteer law students immediately, “just start your own”.
Okay, not necessarily a community legal centre, but a pro bono initiative. SAIL is an ongoing initiative that Matthew clearly takes great pride in running and contributing to. Most
notably he stated that “all the volunteers are there for the right reasons.”

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Family Picnic Afternoon

Thank you to all the parents who were able to come to our annual Family Picnic Afternoon. It is an exciting day for the students and teachers to see families at school with their children enjoying the afternoon. It was also great to see families sharing the learning in the classrooms with students and students sharing what they do in class with parents, grandparents and family friends.

Hamish has put together pictures from the day for you to look back on.

Click on the link below to view.
http://youtu.be/m7EykJyq0JA

We welcome your comments below about this day.

 

 

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Whata postive way to start the year! :)

 

Kunyung is motoring along at a very fast speed…………….as the Leader of Curriculum in the school I have the pleasure of meeting every week for two hours with every level team!! (I think they get sick of me really!) So I get to see what is planned and taught on a daily basis!

What I love about this work is to be able to keep all levels in the school working consistently and collaboratively with planning, teaching, language used, and assessment. We have spent time collecting data and analysing it to really see what our students need to move forward in their learning. Sorry but I wanted to share!!

OK……..Remember when we went to school? Actually I need to be careful when I say that because many of you are young enough that I could have taught you! I don’t mean all of the really young people then!

We had a series of classroom rules! From memory they nearly always started with DON’T or NO………..

MY OWN YEAR 6 CLASSROOM RULES FROM MEMORY- Derinya PS Mrs Ord 1980!!IMG_1962[1]

DON’T run around the room

DON’T use a loud voice

DON’T call out

DON’T talk when working

 The teacher pretty much created these rules and was the chief enforcer! The teacher owned them……..you may say ‘Well it worked’ but did we follow them because we were frightened of what might happen if we didn’t?

Guidelines and boundaries in the classroom are just as important now as they were ‘back in the day’ but the process of developing them falls not just solely with the teacher. It is a collaborative task at Kunyung Primary School- as it is in many Primary Schools.

Working collaboratively with the class enables the teacher and children to have a voice, to drive the classroom boundaries, to own them and to hold themselves and other students to account if they are not followed.

They are written in a positive manner, using child friendly language and most importantly- referred to throughout the year….even modified if the class sees something not working! They are still enforced, but students follow them because they know they need to of EAthe class is going to function well- not because they are frightened! They are displayed in every classroom!

We call them ESSENTIAL AGREEMENTS and, as a school, we have tried to bring this concept into our workplace, outside of the classroom. We work through the process of creating Essential Agreements for the Whole Staff, Level Teams and the Leadership Team!

Please have a look at some examples below and see how articulate our children are……..they are so much more useful and student owned than the DOs and DON’Ts list………………….

Please refer to the School Blog for up to date information on each Level Team’s Unit of Inquiry and current events! We are working really hard to get into the habit of up-dating IMG_1961[1]information on a regular basis!

Finally, please try and come to our Open Afternoon next week……..the teachers and students are really proud of the speed with which we have started the year! Reading groups are up and running, children have all been assessed and placed on the Mathematics NUMERATION continuum and ALL classes in the school have begun creating a ‘Community of Writers’ by introducing a Writer’s Notebook! Some testing is still being finalised this week…….but the learning started way back in the year! Are we only 4 weeks in?????

Cheers

Kim Jackson

Assistant Principal

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Ready, Set, Go……….2014 is here and we can’t wait to see you all!! :)

For all my colleagues starting back tomorrow … may 2014 be your best year yet xxClassrooms have been cleaned, displays have been put up, teachers have been working together to plan for the start of the year, school books have been organised and there’s just one thing missing………..students!! C’mon we’re waiting for you!!!!! Students make schools the best place to work in!!!!!! :)

We are so looking forward to seeing all of our Juniors, Middles and Seniors on Wednesday and our new Preps on Friday!!

A new school year is upon us and there are so many things to do, people to see and places to go! We can’t wait to share all that the school year will bring!

This will be the second year our School Blog has been running and just a reminder what you will find on it……..

Its main focus is CURRICULUM!! It is where you will find out about the things going on in the classroom, excursions, Units of Inquiry, Students’ work and Homework!

We are aiming to keep you updated with what we learn, why we learn it, how we learn and what we are learning next!!!!

5 weeks off and I could still do with more holidays!!! It's gonna hurt tomorrow morning!!!(Couldn’t help using the picture- too cute!! :)

The newsletter will provide more information about the workings of the school as a whole- Principals message, canteen rosters, buildings and grounds information etc….

The School App (Skoolbag) will provide alerts when new information may be required by parents. It will send you an alert, and direct link, to the newsletter, possible homework reminders or any other information we want to push through to you!

We also use direct emails to all families for important general information BUT we try to keep this to a minimum! 

We will still send home hard copy notices when we feel this is required but we are aiming to provide a range of communication avenues for all! We have linked all forms of communication where possible!

Please come and see us if you would like to make suggestions or provide some positive feedback on our communication strategy!! :)

Cheers

KPS STAFF :)

 

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The 3 most important minutes b4 the holidays!! :)

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End of Year! :)

Dear Kunyung Families! :) quotes-18he7ck[1]

Surely it hasn’t been a year since I started at Kunyung Primary School??

Well, actually, it has and I have to say….it has flown by at break neck speed!

Kunyung is the third school I have worked at and I have to say that it has quickly become my favourite! I have loved everything about it- the CHILDREN, PARENTS, STAFF, CURRICULUM and let’s not forget the BAY VIEW!!!!

Learning @ Kunyung………..

“Tell me and I forget, teach me and I may remember, involve me and I learn.”  
―     Benjamin Franklin

Kunyung Primary School is an ‘Inquiry Based’ School……………….we not only want to teach explicit skills (which we recognise are important and essential to learn) but we want to involve our students in the learning of them! We promote asking questions, understanding where you are in your learning journey, what you know and what you need to know! We want students to know where to find the information to answer their own questions, interpret this information and present it to an audience!

We are well on the way on this journey as I have witnessed so much authentic learning in my constant travels around the school and I have very rarely seen any student who wasn’t thoroughly engaged in their learning!

Through Assemblies we have recognised individual students’ and their achievements or efforts and highlighted so much of the wonderful student learning through class presentations!

Communicating this learning to parents has been a focus this year. Hosting parent morning teas, family picnics, open afternoons and parent information forums as well as implementing some digital initiatives (Newsletter, Blogs and Skoolbag App) has hopefully increased the home/school communication channels. 2014 will see us work harder to develop some of these new ideas….our aim is to keep you as up-to-date as possible with what’s happening at our school!

As well as the traditional Kunyung Events such as the Musical and many sporting events- we also entered our very first Aerobics Team in the State Schools Aerobics Competition! We also reintroduced Fun Fitness Friday which has seen us currently exiting Warnambool!

Kunyung is a happy, vibrant place to be……………….our students are divine and deserve the best learning environment we can possibly provide!

Thank you for allowing us to teach your children! Get on board for 2014 as it promises to be bigger and better!! :)

The Teaching and Admin Staff at KPS wish you and your families a wonderful, restful and safe Christmas and New Year’s break! Enjoy the time with your children and we look forward to seeing you all back Bright Eyed and Bushy Tailed in 2014!!

untitledCheers

Kim Jackson XX

 

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Fun Fitness Friday Update! :)

WOW! The Kunyung Fun Fitness Friday Team have run/walked to Warnambool so far…………that’s approx. 362 kms!!!!!!

Some super efforts have been rewarded so far for children achieving a personal distance of 10 kms and we are now seeing students approaching the 20 km mark!! Our first student to do so is one of our Preps Sebastian Farrelly!!!! Super Job! :)

We have over 110 members of our community participating every Friday morning SO ‘Come on down……’ if you would like to join us! We are on the oval every Friday morning starting at 8:20!!

Thanks again to all the parents who come and support the mornings- many also participating in the exercise with their children and toddlers! ALL WELCOME!!

Hope to see you there!! :)

 

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Emotional Intelligence! :)

Please have a look at an expert on Emotional Intelligence! What does it mean? Why is it important? How can we develop Emotionally Intelligent children?

Thanks to some of our parents for making Emotional Intelligence something we want our children and teachers to further develop @ Kunyung PS! :)