Middle School

It is exciting to see the slow, but sure, progression back to the regular routines and events of school life. Parents will have received the Term 1 Interim reports and should be now participating in the on-line Parent, Teacher, Student meetings.

I have been most impressed with the online interviews. There certainly was some uncertainty before the first afternoon as to how well the online method would work but, besides a few minor glitches, the process has worked well.

I have also been pleased with the number of students that have participated in the interviews with their parents. In Term 3 the Middle School re-frame the interviews as Student Led Conferences, continuing the great work of Kurrajong and Prep in encouraging students to take responsibility for their own learning.  We ask the students to respond to four questions:

  1. What are my strengths in this subject?
  2. What do I find challenging?
  3. What am I proud of?
  4. What are my future learning goals for this subject?

These four simple questions aim to have students reflecting on and taking greater responsibility for their own learning.

Young learners can view learning in a very black and white manner. They often view their results as pass or fail - success or failure, with little understanding or recognition that doing poorly in an assessment simply means that more learning is required. They often lack independence with their learning and perceive their results as something that the teacher has ‘given’ them rather than seeing it as useful feedback. This black and white view of learning often creates a ‘can do, can’t do’ mentality.

Whereas, as adults, we understand how to learn independently. Successful adult learners tend to see their teachers as facilitators of learning – aiding, guiding, supporting our efforts to understand. Adults tend to have confidence in their ability to learn and take full responsibility for their success, or failure, to achieve their learning outcomes. They understand that often learning can be frustrating and that persistence and hard work is required.

In the Middle School, we aim to assist our students to develop an understanding of learning, and how they learn, so that they can see learning in a positive light and not be fearful of, but enjoy, the challenges learning provides. We want our students to have a love of learning and to be life-long learners. 

We also want to celebrate success and the following House articles will report on the academic success of many.

Paul Ryan

Head of Middle School

Kennion Miller

At the end of each Term, teachers are hard at work creating reports for each of our students. In recent years we have developed this to have a key focus on the Areas of Strength and Future Learning Goals of our students. Even at times when students do not receive comments in these areas, teachers are being thoughtful about how these ideas will support our students and actively communicating these with the student, Tutors and Wellbeing teachers. All students received their reports last week and while Kennion-Miller came 4th in Academics overall for Rungie Cup points, it was pleasing to see that so many of our students received excellent effort results and were able to work hard to achieve our academic goals of constant improvement and development. There were some students who received certificates for academic excellence. Congratulations to Emily Soon-Kreuger (Year 8), James Bradley (Year 8), Philip Tan (Year 8) for their academic successes and it was fantastic to see Addison Ritossa coming in the Number 1 academic position for all of Year 7!

For all of our students there has been a good chance to gain some feedback on their learning and work on Future Learning Goals through the Parent, Teacher, Student meetings that have occurred this week and will continue into the next. At the end of this term it will be excellent to see some of our students on the list of Academic Improvers as evidence that they are continuing to grow and develop in their learning using feedback given. As evidenced by our recent success in ‘In It to Win It’ events throughout the school year, Kennion-Miller has a proud history of striving to engage and ensure that we are working on ways to constantly improve and be involved. I am sure that this will translate into greater academic focus in Term 2 and the ability to reach each student’s individual learning goals.

Go Kennion!

Kirsty Raymond

Middle School Head of Kennion-Miller

Cawthorne Nicholls

Cawthorne-Nicholls successfully ran, for the first time in its history, a full Year 7 to Year 12 virtual House Meeting and I thank our Middle School Leaders Ariel Boyce, Cassandra Wadham, Dion Patsouris, and Gabe Bowering, who worked with the senior leaders, to deliver the meeting to all members of the House so successfully.

A focus of the meeting was presenting and celebrating Middle School Academic Achievement Awards, where we had some great individual results. I would like to acknowledge the recipients below for their awards for Term 1 academics.

Year 7:  Nikita Amos, and Samara Zhang,
Year 8: Nanci Congdon, and Hanukkah Deasagayam,
Year 9: Ariel Boyce, Isabelle Pearce, Jade Penno and Michael Trenwith

For all Cawthorne-Nicholls students there has been a good chance to gain some feedback on their learning and work on Future Learning Goals through the Parent, Teacher, Student meetings. I encourage our students to strive for their individual bests in all areas, including academics, which I believe is showcased greatly in the effort ratings on their reports.

Simon Sharley

Middle School Head of Cawthorne-Nicholls

Bleby Howard

I would like to congratulate the many Bleby-Howard students who achieved excellent results last term.

I would especially like to mention Eliza Button (BH2) and Zane Phua (BH1) who were the best academic performers in Year 9. Other high achievers in Year 9 included: Alicia Dahm (BH1), Sienna Brownrigg (BH2) and Abbey Wilkinson (BH2).

In Year 8, congratulations go to Zara Chiera (BH2) and Anna Dalby (BH2), along with our Year 7’s who placed in the Top 10 – Charlotte Jarmer (BH3), Zella Monaghan (BH3), Hannah Corby (BH2) and Leila Mislov (BH1).

Overall, Bleby-Howard results landed us in second place in the Middle School for Term 1 academics, which is a noteworthy achievement. No great scholar ever succeeded without hard work, and I am proud of the effort, determination and commitment of the well-earned academic award recipients. Students were announced and given certificates at our first ever virtual House meeting this week and were applauded by the Sharks across the sub schools.

Clare Reed

Middle School Head of Bleby-Howard

Moore Sunter

This week we saw the presentation of Moore-Sunter Academic and Athletic results from years 7 – 12 in our virtual House meeting. Congratulations to all Moosies on their achievements in Term 1!

Academic Awards:

I would like to acknowledge the following students for their outstanding perseverance and demonstration of understanding and application of knowledge across a range of subjects in the Middle School.

Year 7: Lucy Allen, Eric Liang, Charles Grivell, Sienna Pagnozzi and Zara Pagnozzi
Year 8: Sarah Ninio, Sophie Fonovic, Hannah Wanzek and Leo Chen                       
Year 9: Emma Neuhaus

Athletics Awards:

I would also like to acknowledge the following students for showing great spirit and leading the House in a range of athletic events.

Bronze Medallists:      Alex Foster, Emerson McClurg, Charlie Brennen                     

Silver Medallists:         Lucy Allen, Cameron Hughes, Olivia Cardillo

Congratulations to all award winners and to all students in the House. We have produced excellent results from the Middle School through to one ninety. Mr Taylor and I are delighted with the achievements of every single student and hope we can continue to build on this in the future.

GO MOOSIES!

Michael Moularas

Acting Middle School Head of Moore-Sunter

Tournament of Minds 2020

I am pleased to advise the community that Tournament of Minds (TOM) is going to be offered again this year though in a different format. This year there is going to be a SUPER CHALLENGE which will be a combination of STEM, The Arts, Social Science and Language Literature. There will continue to be Primary and Secondary divisions made up of seven team members, however, there are no year level restrictions. On Wednesday 9 September, after 5 weeks of preparation time, students will submit their 5-minute video presentation of their solution to the challenge. Presentations will be judged “virtually” on Saturday 12 and Sunday 13 September. Due to travel restrictions there will be no National Final.

Karen Penn will be facilitating the Primary teams (Year 4-7) and I will be facilitating the Secondary teams (Years 8-10). The students have been emailed about training days and times which are as follows:

Tuesday and Wednesday Recess: Primary teams
Thursday and Friday Recess: Secondary teams

All training will be in the Challenge Room. Attendance at every training session is a requirement unless this has been negotiated prior to the session. This is particularly important for students who have been involved in a TOM team previously, as all teams will be changed due to the criteria requiring an even wider range of skills for each team. Selection of teams will occur during Term 2 and students will be advised verbally of the outcome of this.

Tournament of Minds is about thinking creatively, solving problems in unusual ways, working as a team and having fun, which is why we will continue to be involved in this event.

Sue Mavropoulos                                                       

Tournament of Minds Coordinator and Facilitator      

Gifted and Talented Coordinator and Teacher