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Pulteney Review Week 4, Term 1

From the Principal
The Importance of the Learning Environment

“Any space we enter elicits physical, psychological and behavioural responses” Heidi Hayes-Jacobs.

As the shape of our Middle School becomes less amorphous and more defined, it is timely to revisit why we have embarked on such an innovative and important development for our School.

The traditional “one-house” schoolrooms of the past are no longer fit for purpose for our 21st Century learners.  In the 1800s and throughout the 20th Century, as well as a standardised curriculum, there was a standardised classroom layout and a “one size fits all approach” to the furniture in those classrooms.

At Pulteney, we have been continuing a dialogue over a number of years about which environments work best.  This has, quite rightly, prompted numerous discussions amongst our staff, students and parents.  These formal and informal discussions have influenced our decision making about learning spaces, the breakout and communal spaces that adjoin them and our exterior landscape.

We continue to refine our approach to an inclusive design process, that engages all users of a space, and we have learnt from the work already completed in the Centre for Senior Learning, the 3 year old room in the Early Learning Centre, the Senior Resource Centre and the trial of furniture currently being undertaken in the Mod Pods.  These are spaces that cater to a diverse student population, ranging in age from three to eighteen years old.  These spaces must also provide the agility to foster adult learning opportunities for our staff, parents and wider community. 

Heidi Hayes-Jacobs is an author and internationally recognised education leader known for her work in curriculum mapping, curriculum integration, and developing 21st century approaches to teaching and learning.  She states:

“To assist innovation design teams, I created the Learning Space Spectrum (below). The spectrum shows how educators can begin with the most basic changes, such as moving furniture and fixtures to create a more accommodating environment. As you go around the spectrum, the options become increasingly complex, leading to dynamic new learning environments that, in turn, increase the opportunities for responsive and robust learning.” 

At Pulteney, we have been investigating and applying the range of approaches outlined in this spectrum and we will continue to measure and seek feedback on the impact that these have on the learning of our students.

It is an exciting time for our School and I look forward to sharing with our entire community the innovative, agile and stimulating learning spaces that our new Middle School will provide very soon!

Anne Dunstan

Principal

 

References:

Jacobs, H. & Alcock, M. (2017) Bold Moves for Schools: How We Create Remarkable Learning Environments, ASCD.

My.aasa.org. (2018). Feature: Heidi Hayes-Jacobs. [online] Available at: http://my.aasa.org/AASA/Resources/SAMag/2017/Oct17/Jacobs.aspx [Accessed 19 Feb. 2018].  

Business Directory now online

The Pulteney Business Directory has arrived!  We encourage our community to search and support businesses connected to our School. View here

Upcoming events

Save the date for the following Pulteney events!

 

   
March  
Thursday 15 March Senior Sports Day
Friday 16 March Junior Sports Day
Friday 23 March Senior School Formal
April  
Sunday 8 April Venture Club Gin Tasting
May  
Sunday 6 May Blues Fest
Friday 11 May Chic & Champagne Fashion Evening
June  
Friday 22 June Whisky Dinner
August  
Saturday 18 August Pulteney Foundation White Party
November  
Friday 2 November Pulteney Foundation Golf Day

 

 

Middle School
Smartphones

I am very pleased with the support from parents and the response of our students to the rule implemented this year that student phones be kept in lockers.

The issues around the use of smartphones have confronted schools, families, and in fact our entire society exceptionally quickly. It is only in recent times that we have begun to hear of the effects these devices and the internet have on the iGen (students who have been born since the internet was introduced). The true effects of the constant connectedness, use of social media, gaming, and the amount of screen time experienced by the iGen, have been an unknown. How to deal with a child’s obsession with their devices and wanting to be connected is a new frontier. Most teachers and parents did not experience the world the iGen are experiencing, so how we manage it has been difficult to answer.  One thing we do know is that the technology is not going away and that we need to understand the effects and ensure our children’s use of this technology is not detrimental to their health and development.

As much as concerns have been expressed for some time about the effects of technology and social media, these fears were highlighted when key people in the Facebook organisation began raising alarms.  Last year, Sean Parker, the first president of Facebook, told the media that he does not allow his children to access social media. Chamath Palihapitiya, a former Facebook executive, said in an interview at Stanford's Graduate School of Business that social media was damaging society. But where is the evidence?

I recently read an article based on the research of Jean Twenge. Twenge is an American psychologist who has been researching generational differences. The article is titled, ‘Have Smartphones Destroyed a Generation?, and provides some interesting and disturbing statistics about the iGen compared to previous generations..

She states that the positives of this IGen’s world is that they are less likely to have car accidents, drink alcohol and take unnecessary risks. They attend parties a great deal less than previous generations and have little desire to be independent resulting in them living in the family home for much longer. The allure of being independent meant I left home when I was eighteen, but that is unheard of these days.

The reasons for these positive outcomes is that the number of teens who get together with their friends in person has dropped by more than 40% according to Twenge. How adolescents relate to each other has changed dramatically. In my day, when I was bored I would go to the neighbour’s place, knock on the door and ask whether my friend could come out to play. These days young people are in their bedrooms connecting with each other through social media. Twenge states ‘The number of teens who get together with their friends nearly every day has dropped by more than 40% from 2000 to 2015…. They’ve all been replaced by virtual spaces accessed through apps and the web’. I am sure this statistic fits with many parent’s experiences. Parents have told me that their child did not see any of their friends during the entire Summer break but connected with friends online.

However, many of the statistics Twenge provides paints an even darker picture. The incidents of mental health issues, such as anxiety, depression and generally feeling lonely and unhappy have increased dramatically for kids of the IGen.  We have seen this change in schools and what I find disturbing is that the issues of anxiety and depression seem to be affecting students of much younger ages than ever before. Some interesting, but disturbing statistics that I have pulled out of the article are below:

  • ‘Eighth graders who spend 10 hours a week on social media are 56% more likely to say they’re unhappy than those who devote less time to social media.’
  • ‘Teens feeling of loneliness spiked in 2013 and have remained high since.’
  • ’The more time teens spend looking at screens, the more likely they are to report symptoms of depression.’
  • ‘Eighth-graders who are heavy users of social media increase their risk of depression by 27%.’
  • ‘Teens who spend three hours a day or more on electronic devices are 35percent more likely to have a risk factor for suicide, such as making a suicide plan.’
  • Girls have borne the brunt of the rise in depressive symptoms among today’s teens. Boys’ depressive symptoms increased by 21% from 2012 to 2015, while girls’ increased by 50% - more than twice as much.’

The serious effect that cyber-bullying can have on young people has been documented for some time. The need to be constantly connected is sometimes so engaging that teens remain in online conversations that are abusive and/or exclusive. Social media has exacerbated the teenage concern about being left out. Another Twenge statistic: ‘Forty eight percent more girls said they often felt left out in 2015 than in 2010, compared with 27 percent more for boys’.

And then there is the problem of sleep deprivation. Sleep experts say that teens should get about nine hours sleep a night. However, ‘Teens who spend three hours a day on electronic devices are 28 percent more likely to get less than 7 hours sleep.’  We certainly have seen this in some of our students, who unashamedly confess that they were up very late gaming or checking social media.

So, what does it all mean? What should we, as responsible adults, do? Well firstly it is not all doom and gloom, but there is enough to be concerned about to take some action. Placing limits on our children’s use of the technology, as the school has done by ensuring phones are in lockers, is one strategy. But educating young people about the appropriate and responsible use of the technology and modelling appropriate behaviour are the most effective strategies. If you are not sure what I mean regarding modelling behaviour then watch this cute video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ge_Wa6azMpA

As teachers and parents, we certainly need to be aware and we need to be informed. I have come across a couple of websites that you may find useful:

If you would like to read the article I have referred to, it can be found at: https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2017/09/has-the-smartphone-destroyed-a-generation/534198/

Paul Ryan

Head of Middle School

Student Wellbeing

Over the last week I have been fortunate enough to meet with many key staff in relation to discussing how Pulteney Grammar puts students at the heart of all that we do.

As part of this we are looking at ways to make our support services clear and easily accessible when our community may need them. We have launched our wellbeingservices@pulteney.sa.edu.au address, which is evidence of this. This email is accessible for all members of our Pulteney community if they are looking for wellbeing support. This of course does not replace the vital communication with Home Group and class teachers, but hopefully provides an easily accessible contact point for those who may not be sure how to access our services. I look forward to sharing our initiatives with you and giving you the opportunity to hear from the members of the Wellbeing Services team.

As we move through the first half of Term 1, I thought it may be timely to look at some strategies to engage in conversations with our children when we speak to them after a day at school. Often our approach can be to ask, ‘How was your day’, however, we may wish to think about the nature of the questions we could ask to generate conversation. Below I have listed some alternative questions for us to consider when speaking to our children about their day at school.

10 questions to replace 'How was your day?'

  1. What was the best thing that happened at school today?
  2. Did anything happen today that made you laugh?
  3. Tell me one thing that you learned today.
  4. What challenged you today?
  5. What was the most interesting thing your teacher said today?
  6. Who did you play with today? What did you play?
  7. What did you eat for lunch today?
  8. What is one thing you did today that was helpful?
  9. When did you feel most proud of yourself today?
  10. What are you looking forward to tomorrow?

I hope they may help in keeping our lines of communication open.

Have a great week

Steven McCulloch

Head of Student Wellbeing

Language and Culture
Languages Events
新年快乐

Chinese New Year was celebrated on February 19 at Pulteney this year. Our Kurrajong students enthusiastically paraded around the campus wearing red and using noisemakers to scare off the beast ‘Nian’. The Kurrajong and Prep students then enjoyed a martial arts performance and bamboo dance in Wyatt Hall. Delicious spring rolls, dumplings, fried rice, red bean buns and Chinese pancakes were prepared by some of our parents and we thank them much for this very welcome inclusion to our celebration!

Languages and Culture Celebration Week

The Languages and Culture Celebration Week will take place in Week 11 this term. The Languages faculty will be offering a large variety for our students both in and out of the language classrooms. Competitions, martial arts and cooking demonstrations, station-based learning, shuttlecock, sumo suits, Bee-bots programming, Wei Qi and Easter Egg decorating are just some of the activities involved. Our International Lunch will be held on April 11. The Gourmet Grillerz foodtruck (German hotdogs) will be returning this year and the Beyond India food truck will also be at the school. The Qkr! App will again be used to pre-order the meals so please make sure that you are au fait with the app!

Exchange Returnees Speech

Charlotte Moseley and Jake Reedman delivered 3-4 minute speeches in excellent German at the German Club at the weekend. Charlotte and Jake were the recipients of exchange scholarships from the Hermann Thumm and Josef Landherr Foundation in 2017. They have recently returned from 8 weeks in Alzenau Germany where they attended school, travelled in Germany and Europe and obviously spent a lot of time perfecting their German! 

Lara Candy and Erin Morello have also recently returned from exchange and had a wonderful time exploring Berlin, visiting numerous Christmas markets and improving their language skills. The four are now undertaking Stage 2 German and are looking forward to putting their skills to good use.

This term we are excited to have the opportunity to host a total of 5 German exchange students at various times and we would like to thank the Perrott, Jaksa, Johnson, Castro, Champion, Jones and Radbone families helping to make their stay possible.

Our exchange programs are valuable on so many levels; from the intercultural learning that takes place amongst the student body, to their reciprocal nature which then allows our students to experience time overseas, to the assistance the exchange students provide to our language classes. Thank you to anyone who assists the programs in any way.

 

Dankeschön, ありがとうございます, 谢谢 

Kirsty Hickman

Learning Area Leader Languages

Sports Day

Senior Sports Day is being held on Thursday 15 March

Junior Sports Day is being held on Friday 16 March

Immunisation
Year 8 School Immunisation Program 2018
 Immunisations will be held Thursday 1 March in Wyatt Hall.

 

Year 8 students will receive their first of a two dose course of Human Papilloma Virus (HPV/ Gardasil) and one dose of the booster of Diphtheria, Tetanus and Whooping Cough /dTpa (Boostrix).

It is advisable on the morning of the immunisation that students have breakfast and students are asked to wear their PE uniform for the entire day.

If your child is absent they will receive a letter from Health & Immunisation Management Services advising of clinic locations to receive the vaccine they missed.

Please note: Vaccinations will only be given if a valid consent form is returned prior to the school visit.

Regards

Paul Ryan

Head of Middle School

Reconciliation

The Reconciliation Action Plan working group have completed an update of Pulteney Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). Our working group included Deputy Principal, Greg Atterton, teaching staff Briony Franklin, Daniel Crane, Kirsty Raymond and Jayme Wearn and Kaurna Elder, Jack Buckskin. Students from across each sub-schools contributed to all aspects of our RAP, including Senior students Stella Healey, Anastasia Patsouris, Callum Menadue, Matt Slattery and Coby Howell, who are leaders in this area at Pulteney.

Our vision begins by stating a Kaurna Acknowledgement at School assemblies, Chapel and Pulteney Celebrates in Kaurna language, which respects Kaurna culture.

Reconciliation to Pulteney means educating all members of our community about the heritage and current realities of our shared history. It is also about commitment to the rights of children. Through encouraging leadership, excellence, respect, courage, honesty, openness, collaboration, diversity, justice and social inclusion it can be ensured that the Pulteney community is committed to sustaining and being accountable for long-term reconciliation outcomes.

Through our Reconciliation Action Plan, Pulteney challenges its community to ask critical questions. These questions are pivotal to our commitment to Reconciliation and are grounded in ethical practice, the rights of children and our endeavour to be active global citizens. We are dedicated to making a concerted effort to eliminate all forms of racism in our community and promote shared respect and cultural understanding. This is possible through sustained engagement with staff, students and community members.

The working group meet regularly to create, plan and share ideas for events at Pulteney over the next 2 years, to which our RAP will once again be revised.

We will soon begin plans to celebrate National Reconciliation Week, which begins on 27 May to 3 June 2018. The dates commemorate two significant milestones in the reconciliation journey— the successful 1967 referendum and the High Court Mabo decision.

Adelaide Festival and Fringe:  Aboriginal Performances 

There are a number of Aboriginal performances in the Adelaide Festival and the Fringe including the very popular Djuka Mala, Bennelong by the Bangarra Dance Theatre and a range of other artists and performers. Supporting Aboriginal artists promotes Aboriginal culture and helps us all learn more about their perspectives.

I can highly recommend Djuka Marla dance group as I have seen them perform. They are fabulous dancers with a twist of cultures and is suitable for all ages. They are lots of fun!

Briony Franklin

Year 3 Teacher

 

From the Chaplain
Taking Lent seriously- it’s good for us, it’s good for others.

Every year the Lenten Season begins with Ash Wednesday and by the Sunday gospel reading describing Jesus being tempted in the wilderness. Mark’s gospel is characteristically concise. It describes Jesus’ baptism by John, the ‘heavens being torn asunder’ and Jesus being moved by the Holy Spirit to withdraw to the wilderness. For 40 days Jesus is tempted by the very things that tempt all people. Jesus emerges from the time of contemplation and discernment, ready to begin the task of bringing God’s heavenly kingdom to earth.

Many people are involved in Lenten like activities, even people who are not seemingly religious. FebFast is the most recent pursuit to come to my attention. People deliberately forgo a range of ‘temptations’, for example alcohol, social media, sugar, junk food or smoking to raise money and awareness about addiction, especially addiction as it affects vulnerable youth. ‘Giving up’ something during February/Lent has become a new normal and quite different from the mechanist, self-serving, self-righteous giving up of something that I can remember many people engaging with when I was a child.

The impression I get is that, while the giving up a vice or pleasure is in one way about improving an individual’s physical and mental health, it has an additional consequence of improving spiritual health. Doing something out of concern for others, even as it serves you, is good for growing and deepening relationships.  In Lent, as we strive using a whole range of strategies to be healthier more connected people, we need to remember that Jesus’ teaching is calling us to improve our relationships with each other and God. It is not about not about unthinking acts of obedience or self-serving, self-righteous satisfaction.

Growing relationships takes a lot of spiritual work. It often requires us to change our minds, to think new thoughts. Love and kindness help shape how we change our minds. The teaching of Jesus transformed the world and continues to do so. That work is now ours to do. We are called to proclaim the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven in our homes, our work, with our friends and the wider community. May we strive to be always be an outward sign of God’s love for the world.

In the name of God, creating, redeeming, sanctifying.

Magdalene Centre

Providing gifts of food and op shop items for the Magdalene Centre continues to be a regular opportunity for us to do something kind. Donations can be brought to the Chapel Foyer. Basket and boxes have been labelled so that we can sort and care for your donations. Thank you for your ongoing generosity

Chaplaincy for 2018

Reverend Michael Lane will work with the whole school community. Michael is at Pulteney every school day and is available to conduct special services, such as baptism, weddings at other times.

I can be contacted at any time for any pastoral needs. Please email michael.lane@pulteney.sa.edu.au, phone 8216 5512, 0434 297 879 or contact the school office. Let me know if you have an interest in saying Morning Prayer together. Please feel invited to join this or any other service.

Deep Peace,

Michael