From the Principal

I trust that you are all enjoying our wonderful, wild and windy weather. The recent photos of the sea spray cascading over the lookout at The Gap in Albany were quite spectacular weren’t they?What huge waves! However it won’t be long before Spring arrives and the most recent weekend was a good reminder of things to come. Despite our winter weather a lot of good things have been happening here at school.

School Board Meetings:

Last week we had our Board meeting for the month and it was good to have all our Board members present and for the chair to be able to meet and hear from staff and parents. One of the exciting results of this meeting was the decision for our school to go ahead with three new classrooms and a toilet block and to seek town planning approval as soon as possible. We are hoping to have these on site for next year.The Board also discussed our Master Plan for future buildings and growth and I am happy to show parents if they would like to see it. The concepts for our future in our Master Plan are wonderful and provide great scope for our continued growth.

Sentral:

Another bonus for our school last week was the introduction of Sentral which is our new software information data system and which replaces Quickschools. In an age which requires information to be at our fingertips, Sentral is a ‘top shelf’ system. Barb and other members of our administration team are checking the rollover into Sentral and as soon as this is complete I am sure you will see its benefits. If there is a hiccup in this changeover period please be gracious and let Barb know.

School Photos:

Even though it rained on the day we were able to get all the class photos and individual photos completed. Thanks to all parents who assisted by ensuring students had their forms and were wearing the correct uniform.

Uniform Issues:

Unfortunately our photo day did highlight the number of students who do not have all the required uniform. Boys were especially at fault in the primary school for not possessing a tie. It is important for all students to be in the correct uniform. I am asking if parents could check that your students do have the full school uniform. This is especially important as full dress winter uniform is required for the final Presentation Day/Night events at the end of the year.

Soccer Canteen Fundraising Effort:

I must mention the fantastic effort of parents and students in running the soccer canteen a few weeks ago. We were able to raise $1900 on that occasion and so thank you for all who could help by either selling or providing home cooking.

Issues related to IT and Digital Use:

The digital world is ever changing and so we have started a review of our use of devices policies and procedures. Staff are currently reviewing best practice in this area and also noting the excellent material on the eSafety Commissioner website. https://www.esafety.gov.au (This is well worth parents looking up). I am hoping that we will come up with a Student Agreement for our On Campus students as well as a Student Agreement for Distance Education. In our preliminary review we have come across an excellent summary of the laws relating to sending sexual images on a phone. Did you know that even a child asking another child to send them a sexual image is breaking the law? I have included this summary below.

Kindy and Pre-Primary:

Swimming lessons start next week and will run for 2 weeks. Oh the joys of having a heated indoor pool in Albany.

The Primary Music Festival:

The Primary Music Festival which is being held at the Albany Entertainment Centre, is coming up on Thursday 6th September.This is a great opportunity for our students to represent our school to the wider community.

Musica Viva Performance:

Please also note that our Musica Viva Performance (K-6) took place during the school day on Thursday at the Living Water Anglican Church. What another great opportunity for our students.

Reflection

I have recently read “The Smartest Kids in the World” which is an indepth look at why some countries’ students are doing much better than other countries in international PISA tests. Earlier this year I attended a conference with the main speaker being Sir John Jones who is a world leader in Education and whose book I have also read.Both of these authors arrive at a similar conclusion and that is, in order for a school to achieve at the top level these days, it needs to work at developing a culture which is based on two key elements: a culture of relationships where students are “well known, well loved and well taught” and which then shapes a culture of rigour i.e. a place where learning is taken seriously and enjoyed.

I loved what these authors are saying because they confirm the journey and direction of our school. That is, a school based on relationships and reflected in taking learning seriously. I might also add that our school is able to go one step even further because we are also based on an even deeper relationship and, that is, God’s love made available to us in Jesus Christ … and that is a wonderful gift.

Only last week I read an article byLinda Darling-Hammond who is the President and CEO of the Learning Policy Institute and in the article she was asked, “what are the most powerful things we can do to transform education?” In her reply she said, “If what you've done is memorize information and spit it back on a test, you will be utterly unprepared for our changing world. In fact, our kids are going to have to work with knowledge that hasn't been discovered yet and technologies that haven't been invented yet, to solve big problems that we haven't been able to solve. They need work in school that allows them to take up a problem, figure out how to find the resources that will be needed to solve that problem, work with others to design a solution, test it, evaluate it, revise it, and be able to generate their own progress in learning… That's a very different kind of teaching. It doesn't mean the facts disappear. It doesn't mean that teaching a structured curriculum disappears. But it does mean that the way you approach the curriculum has to be much more focused around that kind of inquiry than simply reading the chapter and answering the questions at the end of the book.”

I noted what LInda Darling-Hammond said because this confirms the direction we are taking in many parts of our school. The Year 6 Ten Challenges which encourage students to think outside the box and the Year 9 Principal's Exhibition project are directly linked to encouraging students to enjoy inquiry and to tackle problems they are interested in. Even our Year 7-8 Sydney/Canberra trip is geared to extending our students in their wider understanding of Australia as well as extending them personally. Please continue to pray for our school as we seek to develop the best programs and opportunities to prepare our students for the future. There is no agreed blueprint for how we are to do this and so we might even make mistakes on the way. That is why I enjoy receiving your feedback so we can continue to learn what is the best way of engaging our students.

May God continue to bless you as families and the staff of our school.

R. Malcolm Bromhead

ACC Albany Chess Club Competes in District Finals:

This is the second year that Albany ACC has had a Chess Club.Research studies have shown that students playing chess:

  • significantly raised their IQ,
  • increased their problem-solving skills,
  • promoted their brain growth,
  • exercised both sides of their brains,
  • sparked their creativity,
  • taught them planning,
  • improved their reading skills, and
  • improved their memory.

Some schools have introduced playing chess because it also improves student behaviour and socialization. We have already seen the positive results of chess at Albany ACC.A part of the Albany ACC chess program is to enter the National Chess Competition.

Chess Tournament 2018

ACC Albany Chess Club leaving on the bus in the early morning

It was a perfect crisp winters’ day on Friday, 10 August 2018 when the Albany ACC boarded the school bus driven Mr Graeme Pederic to travel for one hour to Kendenup to compete in the district playoffs for the National Chess Championships.Kendenup Primary School prides itself on being the “Chess Capital” because they have consistently taken teams to state finals and national finals.Their achievements have been honoured by the creation of giant chess pieces (carved from tree trunks) in the main street.This year the Chess district playoffs were held in the refurbished Kendenup Showground Agricultural Pavilion which was an excellent venue for students to fight out the tournament.There were over eighty contestants this year (which was an increase from last year) representing eight teams in two divisions - Primary (Years 1-6) and Secondary (Years 7-12).It was going to be quite a challenge. 

The Albany ACC squads were:

Primary Division Years 1-6

  • Noah Sephton and Ryder Elliot from Year 3
  • Cooper Harvey and Austin Whiston from Year 4
  • Angel Brooks, Evan Hancock and Archie Pegden from Year 5
  • Grace Croston, Oliver Pens and Riley Nash from Year 6

Secondary Division Year 7-12

  • Riley Clare, Liam James and Liam Queay from Year 7
  • Aaron Giovanazzi and Morgan Vanderwal from Year 8
  • Ferdinand Pizarro from Year 9

The Squad was accompanied by the staff - Mr Mick Nairn (Coach), Mr Peter Milnes (Teacher), Mrs Jacqui Croston (Administration) and Mr Liam Bottomley (Teacher Aide).There were also a number of parents including Riley Nash’s great grandfather, Ryder Elliot’s parents and Cooper Harvey’s parents.We wish to thank all parents that attended (we hope you had a wonderful day) as well as a specially big thanks to our Coach Mr Mick Nairn who has faithfully assisted our club on a weekly basis.

Results:

The tournament was overseen by Mr Jay Lakner (from the Perth Chess Academy).The structure of the tournament was that the students who won played off against each other - those who won occupied Table #1 (and #2, #3 up to #8) were the winners playing winner.It was a coveted position to reach Table #1.The following ACC students who were able to reach Table #1 were Grace Croston, Oliver Pens, Riley Nash and Noah Sephton in the Primary Division and Ferdinand Pizarro in the Secondary Division. At one stage the Albany ACC Primary Squad had students playing at Tables #1, #2, #3, #5, #7 and #9 - indicating that our students were doing well.

Primary Division (Individual winners from Albany ACC):

  • Silver Medal: Oliver Pens

  • Bronze Medal: Riley Nash

In fact, the students from both squads performed creditably (many received Distinction and High Distinction Awards).Unfortunately, this time the Primary team was pipped at the post by two points by the Mt Barker Community College Squad.

Looking to the Future:

The young age of the Albany ACC contestants means that there is scope for a future formidable “power squad” being developed.We will be continuing the Chess Club under the guidance of our wonderful Coach - Mr Mick Nairn.Also, Mr Jay Lakner indicated that he will be starting four Chess Tournaments per year for individual players in Albany in 2019 and we encourage as many students as possible to enter.

Warm ups and thinking about the next move:
Angel Brooks, Grace Croston, Austin Whiston & Evan Hancock
Aaron Giovanazzi

Angel Brooks, Grace Croston, Austin Whiston & Evan Hancock

Mr Milnes

Mr Liam Bottomley, Riley Nash and Austin Whiston

Ferdinand Pizarro & Liam Queay

Cooper Harvey, Ryder Elliott & Noah Sephto

Amazing results

Visual Arts

The Year 5/6 students attended a incursion/excursion in Week 5 with visiting artist Miik Green. It was part of a collaborative program with Act-Belong-Commit and the Vancouver Arts Centre. Miik explores the theme of Science in his works, in particular cell formations. This program coincided with National Science Week and it was a great way for students to see how Art and Science can come together. Students enjoyed the Artist Talk and hands-on workshop presented by the artist. The 5/6 class were very enthusiastic towards Miik’s style, processes, techniques and theme of his works. Miik was equally impressed with the high level of engagement from the students and enjoyed all of their insights and questions about his artworks.

Distance Education:

We are blessed that Distance Education (DE) is flourishing and I would like to take this opportunity to welcome all our new families who have joined us recently. May your child’s online learning experience be a great and successful one.

This Term we have had a number of new teachers come on board to work with Special Needs and to assist in some subjects. I am happy to report that over the term so far, our students have received much needed assistance and extra scaffolding in the Primary and Maths Courses. Mrs Whiston (Year 3 & 4 Teacher) was sharing with me her absolute joy in seeing students improving their writing skills because they had followed her suggestions and scaffolding. Well done, students, that shows great learning.

I have had a wonderful positive response from some parents who are delighted with the attendance taking procedure changing from Quickschools to Sentral. Please remember to be in touch with our administration on: [email protected] for any attendance changes that need to be noted by the school. Instructions on using the new procedure were sent out earlier this week. Please let us know if you did not receive it.

Please Note: Any changes to parental and guardian details such as phone numbers and addresses need to be sent in as soon as possible to our school administration on: [email protected] . Thank you.

The information for Years 10’s transitioning to Year 11 has been sent out and we appreciate all students who responded to the survey questions as this will help us ascertain their pathway preferences. Most of our students replied that they were interested in following the General pathway. Should we offer the ATAR subjects in 2019, students will need to apply to do so. At this stage we are looking at a small cohort entering ATAR for 2019 and depending on how successful that is for Distance Education, we can then extend our ATAR program in future years.

It is important to note that to achieve a Western Australian Certificate of Education (WACE), your child needs to demonstrate a minimum standard of literacy and numeracy, either by achieving Band 8 or above in reading, writing and numeracy in your Year 9 NAPLAN or by demonstrating the standard through the Online Literacy and Numeracy Assessment (OLNA). If your child did not achieve Band 8 in one or more of the NAPLAN tests, he or she will be required to demonstrate the relevant standard through the OLNA.

OLNA Testing is beginning next week and so we wish all the students participating in these tests all the very best and we hope you receive excellent results. Students who missed out on this round will be given another opportunity in March next year.

Our DE Activity Day is beginning to take shape. This will be held at North Beach Baptist Church, on Monday 17th September and will cover Maths and Science activities. More information to follow once we have confirmed Scitech bookings.

Thank you for all your support and prayers.

God bless

Mrs Terry Phipson

Events coming up 

  • Weeks 6 and 7: PP-6 swimming classes

  • Weeks 7-8: Swimming classes for PP-4

  • Week 7: Thursday 30th August - High school Perth Inter school Athletics event

  • Week 8: Primary Music Festival held at the Albany Entertainment Centre 6.30pm Thursday 6th September

  • Week 9: Book Week activities

  • Week 9: Wednesday 12/9 - Primary school assembly at 2.30pm

  • Week 9: Friday 14/9 - Book Week parade at 9am.

  • Week 10: Sunday 16/9 at 2.00pm. Year 7-8 depart for Perth and Canberra trip for a week.

  • Year 12 Mock Exams in the 2nd week of Holidays