Exploring learning in the Junior School

We continue to see the wonders of the learning journey in play throughout the Junior School. These past two weeks have provided so many opportunities for the children to explore their learning, and to move in and out of the Carey Positive Learner Attributes naturally. Curiosity, imagination, connectedness, collaboration, courage and resilience are all evident in their learning. Happily, we can share with you a selection of the interesting and diverse offerings the children have been involved in. 

Junior School Cross Country
The weather gods brewed up an aggressive cold front that threatened to rain on our parade and make the Junior School House Cross Country a battle against the elements. However, Mrs de Paiva’s positive prayers were answered and we managed to get through our events without too much discomfort, displaying some outstanding resilience and determination. Without doubt the event showcased all that is great about our House system, where the children proudly competed in their House colours and participated with the right balance of healthy competition and genuine effort. From the older students who navigated around a wet and slippery Bulleen course, to our younger students who dashed and splashed around Cluny Green, cheered on my their buddies and parents, it was a very memorable and enjoyable event. Congratulations to the Burnet students who were winners on the day, however a heartfelt ‘well done’ to all students for the manner in which they participated. Our thanks to the many Carey staff who assisted to make the day such a positive experience, with a special mention to Mrs Cathy Jackson and Mr Andrew Nichol who planned and managed the event so confidently. 

Year 4 Excursion – Cranbourne Botanical Gardens
The Year 4 students travelled to the Cranbourne Botanical Gardens this past week to explore the diversity of this natural resource. They learnt more about Australian plants and gardening and the tools and culture of the Aboriginal communities of the land. Clearly there was a lot of shared learning and the children presented some of their knowledge at the Upper Primary assembly where they were able to discuss a range of tools and art forms that were used by Aboriginal people. The day also included a scavenger hunt where the children had to work together and collaborate and communicate as a group to successfully complete the challenge. This learning beyond the classroom is a wonderful opportunity for the children to live and experience their understanding in a genuine and authentic manner. 

Year 6 Leadership at Donvale
Across the school year the Year 6 students at Kew and Donvale come together several times as one big community. They have been working to define, further reinforce and develop their ideas and understanding of what it is to be a leader, and how leadership is inherent in us all. This past week the Kew students travelled out to the leafy Donvale campus to share in the wisdom of past Carey student Denni Egan, who was able to share some highlights and learning of her own leadership journey. The question and answer session was interesting, and the children reflected deeply about the idea of ‘missing out makes me stronger’, as was outlined by Denni during her presentation. Denni also shared the idea that she has learned more from her losses and failures in many ways, than she has in simply winning. This was an interesting insight for the children to hear and to wrestle with as they reflect upon their wants and needs, successes and failures. Our thanks to the Donvale students and staff for hosting the day and for creating some really interesting activities for the children to engage in. 

Prep Zoo Excursion
The Carey Positive Learner attribute of ‘Curiosity’ was in play as the Prep students travelled to the Melbourne Zoo for a day of learning and excited exploration. When I spoke to some of the children they were able to tell me with great detail so many new facts and knowledge that they had gained on the day. Some of the priceless reflections included:

‘The legs of the giraffe are so long, they are like seven of us standing up’

‘The elephant’s trunk is stronger than a vacuum cleaner, and their trunk muscles are like the muscles in your hand’

‘One of the orangutans escaped recently, they are very clever, but people are chopping down their trees’

‘The Zoo get about 30 green tree frogs every year from boxes of bananas that come from Queensland’

It is clear when reading these reflections that the themes of conservation and preservation are starting early in these young activists. May they continue to reflect upon their world and to ask questions about how to help contribute positively to saving the planet. 

Year 6 camps
This week saw another two groups of Year 6 students camping down at Toonallook as part of their Outdoor Education Camping program. Mrs Burr’s class ended up in the water, paddling with the dolphins and swimming in this mild and sunny May weather. Across the Toona week the children sleep in their eco-cabins, camp out and hike across the Mitchell River National Park, cook food on open fires, cycle, paddle, swim and make lifelong friendships. 

Parent reading library
The Junior School Library has a Parent Reading section, located just inside the entrance door. This shelf is packed with wonderful resources that parents can borrow in their children’s name. Some of the titles have been deliberately added to assist parents in becoming more familiar with some of the themes at play in the life of the Junior School, including Positive Psychology, Positive Education, and strengths-based parenting, just to name a few. These valuable resources are available to all parents, so please feel free to ask the Library team, or any of the teaching staff for some assistance and guidance. In reading one book recently I was directed to a website for parents that had an excellent article on ‘Raising resilient kids’ – it may be of interest to you as well.

Carey Celebrates Literature Festival
Across Carey the staff are busily preparing for the 2019 Carey Celebrates Literature Festival. This occasion will see guest authors, illustrators and storytellers coming to the School to share their collective literary wisdom. Of particular interest to the parents in the school are the evening events including:

Award-winning author Mark Brandi. Mark will be speaking about his writing, particularly his novels, Wimmera and The Rip on Tuesday 4 June at 7.00pm in IWA.

An afternoon with artist, writer and illustrator Leigh Hobbs. Leigh will share his wonderful work in children’s literature – Wednesday 5 June at 4.00pm in IWA. 

Carey Community Forum
Make sure you book your ticket to the next Carey Community Forum. Scott Haywood, the Media Finance Guru, will be talking about how parents can assist their children to form health financial habits in their early years on Wednesday 29 May at 7.00pm in IWA. 

Ben Dooley
Deputy Head – Student Wellbeing