Staying engaged and capturing the enthusiasm

Weeks 3-4, Term 2, 2010

Community  focus

In week 3 we had a cyber cafe for parents and interested community members. At this stage the focus is on:

  • cyber safety and department and school online policies
  • providing parents an insight into social networking sights and what their children can do and access,
  • the educational reasons for all students to have departmental email accounts
  • a wider introduction to web 2 possibilities

Whole School
Science Specialist Program
Waggrakine is a Primary Science Specialist school with a Specialist Teacher available to mentor and coach other primary specialists teachers from the 55 schools in the Mid West region. Our specialist teacher is currently working on a number of projects with classes from Waggrakine year 3-7 classes. New technologies in the past 12 months have considerably enhanced the program and allowed science to take on a new dimension in global learning.

photos of science to come

Leading 21st
Century Schools:
Engage with Asia Program 2010
Four of the Mid West schools joined 15 other Western Australian schools to be a part of this National initiative where our schools have taken up the challenge of building our schools’
capacities to ensure our students are Asia-literate. The L21CS project is a national
initiative of the AEF working with the peak principal associations of
Australia and all state and territory education jurisdictions. One component of our challenge has been to join the ‘Adopt a School’ program and adopt a sister school in Bali. Our sister school has no phone line and only one staff member who speaks English yet despite this we have created a steady flow of communication through student texting and emails from the lead teacher who speaks some English. Senior students are very keen to support the school and our Student Leaders have embarked on various fund raising ventures to support them.

Update from Year 6/7

With the last of the NAPLAN testing behind us we are excited to finally
have the time to begin fully developing our Collavataring projects.
This week we have focused on viewing the MARVIN tutorials available on
MrNattyp’s Youtube channel.  These tutorials have been fantastic for helping the students develop the necessary skills to begin creating their own MARVIN movies.  The children quickly came to understand the potential of communicating with MARVIN and began planning the backgrounds shots they hope will provide a uniquely Australian flavour to the
movies they will share with our Canadian friends.   Next week our focus will be on developing the storyboards and scripts necessary to begin bringing their ideas to life. Last week Lis Turner shared with us her idea of creating a video
for our sister school in Bali to help them on their journey towards learning
English.  The children are all very enthusiastic about this project and have
this week been learning about the importance of storyboarding and planning the
filming that is to take place.  A few children have already had an opportunity
to be part of the ‘film crew’ and they have been excitedly sharing their
experiences with others in the class.  We are all very much looking forward to
developing this project further.

Both of these projects offer terrific opportunities to develop students’ writing, communication and problem solving skills using authentic tasks.  Students’ high levels of
engagement and motivation in these projects are already showing benefits
including: behaviour management becoming less of an issue and students
displaying a greater commitment to producing work of a high standard – they care
about and are interested in their final product.  Since both projects require
similar skill sets, as a teacher, I am also looking forward to developing
students’ awareness that they are in fact transferring knowledge and skills
across settings and contexts – an essential awareness for all good metacognitive

Regards Kellie Hunter
Class Teacher

Cyber Cafe week 4
This week, in after hours fortnightly cyber cafe, we completed looking through the web sites that Microsoft gave us to review and finalise our last choice for a case study. Our cyber cafes are proving very popular and we don’t have time to cover all the areas staff are interested in. Its fantastic we have staff who are so keen and we also have a number of other schools keen to join in. We have planned a half day sharing session in week 6 with other schools and then we will open our cyber cafes up to the other government town schools.

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