Digital Technology lessons, led by Ms Georgie Buenfeld, Learning Area Leader in Digital Technology, have proven popular with students in the Prep School again this term. This subject focuses on the teaching of the fundamentals of computing science and problem solving as students learn how to logically structure a sequence of instructions to achieve an outcome.
The Year 6 students began the term exploring the binary number system through games and activities as an introduction to computational thinking. The children were encouraged to decompose problems into a series of questions, as they recognised patterns in the way the binary system works. They then used the knowledge they had gained to program a simple circuit using an Arduino Uno (microprocessor), coding it to communicate a binary message.
Students in Year 3 have also continued developing their coding skills through the Mblock application. They have learned to program characters known as ‘sprites’ to move around a screen and interact with each other and have been introduced to broadcast blocks which can be used to control the timing of different events in a program. Year 4 and 5 students build on this knowledge base to create simple interactive games exploring the use of concepts such as if/then statements and conditional loops.
By giving students new ways of thinking and the basic coding tools to create their own solutions we empower them to develop skills in reasoning, innovation and creativity.
Head of Prep
Letter writing in the Prep School
In weeks 2 and 3 of term, the Prep School took some time to write letters to some Old Scholars. In class 6K, students were encouraged to tell the Old Scholar a little about themselves, ask questions about the history of schooling at Pulteney Grammar School and ask how the Old Scholar is coping in isolation. The letters were handwritten by every student and last Friday afternoon we walked down to the closest post box to personally post each letter. The students of 6K enjoyed the fresh air and small walk to the post box. We all look forward to hearing back from our Old Scholars and learning a little about who they are and what they are doing to keep busy, safe and healthy during this pandemic.
Year 6 class teacher
Tournament of Minds 2020
I am pleased to advise the community that Tournament of Minds (TOM) is going to be offered again this year but it will be 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.
Tournament of Minds Coordinator and Facilitator
Gifted and Talented Coordinator and Teacher
Prep Debating will commence on Wednesday Week 5. Weekly meetings will run from 3.40 – 4.40pm in the Prep Language Room. Students should make their way there at the end of the school day and will be supervised by one of the debating coaches until the meeting begins. Please send a healthy snack for your child to ensure concentration can be sustained.
The nature of Prep Debating will need to reflect the time frame left for this term. As such, students will learn about the structure of a debate, develop understanding of debating techniques and practise their public speaking skills by delivering individual speeches. Students will then be ready to engage confidently in 2 debates next term.
Please inform Michelle Reynolds or one of the debating coaches below if your child is unable to attend a meeting.
Elizabeth Simpson-Smith (email@example.com)
Justin Putland (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Emily Clarke (email@example.com)