Are We Preparing Students for Their Future or Our Past?

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As we move into the final term of the 2012 school year we begin to turn our attention to planning for 2013 (our Centenary year). With our focus on student learning the question about ‘how’ we engage students and meet their learning needs is continually discussed at our school. A recent blog post from our principal asks the question “Are we preparing students for their future or our past?”. It can be found by visiting

End of Term Events

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The last week of school saw Learning Journeys in Year 2, Year 3 and Year 4 at St Augustine’s! The children were able to present their learnings as experts in their area of research. Many parents took the opportunity to attend and share in the excitement of learning in our school. We are certainly building a culture of inquiry in our students.

Author Deborah Abela visited students in Years 3-6 t talking to the students about being a writer. Deb’s sessions were most enjoyable and gave the students an insight into how authors come up with ideas for the books. Select students from Years 5 and 6 were also fortunate enough to participate in a writers workshop with Deborah!

On the sporting front, congratulations to Gold House on a fabulous win at the K-2 Athletics Carnival. It was wonderful to see so many parents and grandparents supporting the children throughout the day. A beautiful day and great fun was had by all


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On Wednesday we held our Book Week Character Parade. The theme for Book Week this year is “Champions Read!” and St Augustine?s was awash with champions! The Parade was a mass of colour, excitement and many well-known and not so well- known characters. Everyone looked fantastic and had a fabulous time. Many thanks go to the mums, dads and extended family for organising costumes, and especially the teachers for getting into the spirit of the occasion. Our Parade has become a highlight for Kindergarten to Year 2 and it is always an enjoyable event.

Our winners this year:

Year 2
Sam Catling – Sam I Am from „The Cat in the Hat?.
Sienna Carrett – Willy Wonka from „Charlie and the Chocolate Factory?.

Year 1
Brady Blundell – The Mad Hatter from „Alice in Wonderland?. Lila Smith – The Mad Hatter from „Alice in Wonderland?.

Wylie Book – a Dalmatian from „101 Dalmatians?.
Alexandra Nealand – the Little Pig in the Brick House from „The Three Little Pigs?.

Photos from the morning can be viewed on our school Facebook page.

National Year of Reading

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This year is the National Year of Reading. Did you know that 48% of Australians can’t read newspapers, follow a recipe, make sense of timetables or understand the instructions on a medicine bottle, because they lack the literacy skills to do so? Not being able to read has a profound effect on people’s lives, as it limits their life chances and so can have serious consequences for their overall quality of life. It affects the way individuals feel about themselves and their abilities and makes it virtually impossible for them to be properly educated and thus be capable of rising to a better job.

The National Year of Reading 2012 is about encouraging children to read and encouraging keen readers to find new sources of information. It’s about helping people discover and rediscover the magic of books. Most of all it’s about Australia becoming a nation of readers. Being able to read well and write well is more than an enhancement of life in our developed and modern world.

That wonderful provider of insightful comment, “Anonymous”, is credited with saying, “There are those who read to remember and those who read to forget”. This was never so true than in Haiti after the January 2010 earthquake, when children experienced tremendous trauma both physically and emotionally. Many children lost their homes, members of their families and their basic security; many were so traumatised they could not sleep at night.

A month or so after this incomprehensible disaster, volunteers began a “Read to Children” programme, which consisted of a person reading to a small group of children for one hour per day. “The purpose of the programme was to engage the children’ s imaginations by bringing them into stories and showing them the way that reading can transport one’s mind, spirit and heart and so bring some peace even in the midst of a tent city.” Melinda Miles Last year marked the 400th anniversary of the translation of the Bible into English. In 1620 the Mayflower set out from Plymouth, England, with the Plymouth Pilgrims and the King James Bible on board bound for the Americas. They set up a small colony and called it Plymouth in what is now the State of Massachusetts. The education system that ensued over the years was provided by the churches and inevitably it was Bible-led. By 1700, Richard Middleton, a historian of Colonial America, tells us that about 70% of men and 45% of women could read and write. When in 1850 Massachusetts became the first State to introduce mandatory education, literacy levels were at 98% in that State!

Walt Disney once said, “There’ s more treasure in books than in all the pirates’ loot on Treasure Island”. This type of treasure, parents are quite capable of providing for their children. When parents read aloud to children, especially from a book with no pictures, children have to use their minds to picture what is happening in the story. W ell-written stories challenge children to go beyond their own experiences and put themselves into someone else’s place. A child can listen to a captivating story for a long time and this practice increases their ability to pay attention and focus on an activity.

Reading aloud to children gives parents a chance to choose timeless, appealing stories that will grab a child’ s interest and attention. And of course there’ s nothing so influential as “parallel reading” which is when parents and children read independently at the same time; this allows parents to demonstrate their love and respect for reading. In this, an Olympic Year, how appropriate is it that the theme for Children’s Book Week is:  “Champions Read”!

Want to know more? Check out the LARC’s KnowledgeNET page or come in and visit the LARC. There are a number of exciting reading initiatives and events to help spread the reading bug. Come and be apart of it.

Year Six Design New Worm Farms

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Last term Year 6 at St Augustine’s were looking at their place in the global community and discovering what they can do in regards to making a more eco friendly footprint in their local community.

As part of their learnings, students were actively engaged in designing worm farms. Each group  researched what it takes to build a worm farm and then presented  a prototype and plans to present their ideas. Students presented their ideas to their cohort, teachers and then some very interested Year 3 students. It is hoped the winning design will be used as part of the schools environmental initiative and be developed into a worm farm in the new sustainable garden.

My Golf Program

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Year 2 students at St Augustine’s school are eagerly participating in the My Golf Program each Thursday as part of their PDHPE program.

My Golf Schools is the official national program designed for Australian Primary Schools by Golf Australia and Jack Newton Junior Golf.

St Augustine’s teacher, Alex Shaw, has been trained in the program and is looking forward to implementing it over the course of the term. “Each class will participate in skills lessons, a skills challenge and a golf competition. Many opportunities exist for the development of both golf and leadership skills in the children” Ms Shaw said.

Yr Two Students are enjoying golf for sport this term

St Augustine’s Win Regional Chess Championships

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Congratulations to all our chess players for the wonderful way you represented your school last week. It is a pleasure to take you to tournaments because I know you always play with enthusiasm, sportsmanship and respect. Well done!

Our A Grade 1 & 2 teams were successful in placing first and third on Wednesday. Our A Grade 1 team (Lachlan Golding, Noah Dalton, Adam Bain and James Maybank) will now progress to the next level of the competition. Good luck boys! Lachlan Golding was undefeated on board 1 and won this trophy for the second year running. Adam Bain was undefeated on board 3.

A special mention to all our B&C teams for their efforts as well. Many of the teams are from our younger grades.


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The Buddies Liturgy was held yesterday. Many parents, carers and grandparents attended. The theme was ‘The Good Samaritan’ and we hope this feeling remains with the boys and girls for the whole year. This cross-grade connection between Year 6 and Kindergarten is very important for our students.


Welcome back to 2012

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Welcome back to St Augustine’s Primary to all students, staff and families.

We hope you all enjoyed the break and are keen to settle in to First Term.

There are many new faces this year  and we hope you all make them feel very welcome as we all share in our great school community.