Celebrations – Local and Global
Gib Gate’s connection with our Japanese sister school, Hokuriku Gakuin, was a focus of the P-6 Mother’s Day Breakfast event this year where we celebrated Japanese Children’s Day (Kodomo no Hi) together, decorating beautiful paper Koi wind streamers and making origami.
Kodomo no Hi is a national holiday in Japan, set aside to respect and honour children’s personalities and strengths and to celebrate their happiness. On Children’s Day, Koinobori, or cloth/paper Koi streamers, are flown on poles outside public buildings and homes to bring luck and good fortune to the children inside. Koi are believed to be strong, spirited fish and are celebrated for their determination and perseverance as they fight their way upstream, symbolising the hope that children will grow to become strong and resilient individuals.
Enjoying 31 years of global exchange, K-6 students at Hokuriku Gakuin and Gib Gate connect via Skype each week, practising Japanese and English language skills through communicating directly with one another, face-to-face. Hokuriku Gakuin School, located in the countryside just outside of Kanazawa, is a beautiful school and the cultural and language connection is greatly valued by the students, families and staff across the schools.
We are fortunate that the virtual connection allows us to remain connected and engaged whilst Years 5 and 6 tours of Japan and Australia remain on hold. Thinking of our friends in Japan and looking to strengthen our connection, the Gib Gate Preschool children are learning Japanese through the ELLA (Early Learning Languages Australia) programme and Mrs Loker is looking forward to virtually connecting with the Hokuriku Gakuin Preschool students in the near future. To learn more about the Preschool ELLA programme please see Mrs Loker’s report.
Ms Sally Robson, Head of Gib Gate
Gib Gate: A Cambridge University Global Perspectives School
Cambridge Primary Global Perspectives® is a unique, transformational programme that helps students at every stage of school education develop outstanding transferable skills, including critical thinking, research and collaboration. This innovative and stimulating skills-based programme places academic study in a practical, real-world context. It will allow our students, from Kindergarten to Year 6, the opportunity to develop transferable skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, research, communication and collaboration that they need to be successful in primary school, into high school, and beyond. The programme develops the skills of research, analysis, evaluation, reflection, collaboration and communication and offers valuable opportunities to reinforce links with and skills learnt in English, Mathematics, Science and ICT.
Cambridge Global Perspectives taps into the way today’s students enjoy learning, including group work and projects. The emphasis is on developing students’ ability to think critically about a range of global issues where there is always more than one point of view. For Term 2, Gib Gate students will study global topics that are relevant to them including the environment, education and keeping healthy. The programme we are implementing is flexible so we have chosen to dedicate three full days, Thursday 20, Friday 23 and Monday 31 May to focus on each chosen ‘Challenge’ from start to finish, which will allow students to deeply engage in learning new knowledge and skills. The following ‘Challenges’ have been carefully selected by class teachers to develop their global awareness across a range of topics:
- Kindergarten will investigate the topic: People young and old – Growing and growing up
- Year 1: Water, food and farming – Why is soil important?
- Year 2: People old and young – When I’m sixty-four
- Year 3: Keeping safe – How do homes provide shelter?
- Year 4: Rich and poor – My chocolate bar
- Year 5: Keeping healthy – How can we stay healthy
- Year 6: Respecting myself and others
A feature of this in-depth study will be the additional day we spend together on Friday 4 June when we will be sharing our learning with each other in our ‘Learning Walks’. All students from Kindergarten to Year 6 (and their teachers) visit each other’s classrooms to view the displays of their work. As this is our Frensham Schools Birthday day we are cordially inviting parents to come and share in our learning at Gib Gate from 2:30pm-3:15pm.
Ms Kate Chauncy, Director of Teaching and Learning P-12, Coordinator of Gifted and Talented Programmes P-12
Enrichment and Activities
Last week, students in Kindergarten to Year 4 participated in URStrong workshops. This programme enhances the social-emotional wellbeing of children and provides child-friendly concepts that help students establish and maintain healthy relationships, manage conflict with kindness, and increase their overall resilience. A common language is used by students and teachers to open lines of communication, helping to build trust and empower students to make healthier decisions in their friendships and put out Friendship Fires® (resolve conflict) in a respectful way.
The Year 6 Term 2 Leadership Programme, Peer Support K-5, takes place weekly. Their leadership has been outstanding with groups using the following model to assist students in developing the skills of optimism.
Mother’s Day Breakfast
Gib Gate welcomed mothers and special friends on a wet morning for our annual Mother’s Day Breakfast. Visitors joined children in their classrooms for a Japanese Children’s Day activity before students performed some Japanese songs together for their audience.
Mrs Anne Graham, Gib Gate Coordinator (Administration)
Gib Gate has started the winter sports season well, with many Soccer teams participating in Gala Days and Hockey players showing some improvements as the season progresses. In PE and Sports Lessons, and during break time, students have been developing their skipping skills in preparation for Jump Rope for Heart later this term. For many of our students skipping is a new skill and in just a few short weeks there have been some great improvements. Students can access skipping videos and resources via the Jump Rope for Heart website (for details please see my Schoolbox page). Athletics Training is held on Thursday mornings before school and the Tennis Development programme is in full swing during PE Lessons. Students are also able to participate in Swim Race clinics for Gib Gate students at 4.00pm on Friday afternoons at The Centenary Pool.
May is an important month as it is SHOOSH for Junior Sport month. This is a NSW Government Office of Sport initiative to promote a fun, encouraging and inclusive environment for all junior players, umpires and coaches. The goal is to combat negative spectator behaviour and to help children concentrate on playing the game. For our youngest students who are playing sport for the first time, even cheers of encouragement can be distracting as they try their best to learn new skills and concentrate on the game. We encourage all to actively participate in SHOOSH for Kids this month and every month. I have included an insightful SHOOSH campaign video on my Schoolbox page, which focuses on the perspective of junior players, coaches and umpires.
Ms Nicky Fenaughty, Gib Gate PDHPE and Sport Teacher
Gengo o shiru koto wa, kenja e no michi.
Knowledge of languages is the doorway to wisdom
We are enjoying immersing ourselves in Japanese culture and language through the ELLA (Early Learning Languages Australia) Programme. ELLA is a digital, play-based language learning programme for preschool children. This Australian Government initiative inspires children by driving a genuine interest in learning a new language and culture.
The ELLA journey progresses through seven Apps called ‘The Polyglots’ (a polyglot is someone who speaks multiple languages), which each focus on a different topic. The Apps were developed by language and early childhood professionals. This means they are fun to use and they also deliver on learning outcomes.
At Gib Gate, students in Years K-6 learn Japanese and interact with our sister school, Hokuriku Gakuin, via Skype each week. The two schools have an exchange programme where students in Years 5 and 6 (in normal times) can visit Hokuriku Gakuin and the students in Japan visit Gib Gate. We are hoping that through starting the ELLA Japanese programme in Preschool, we too can connect with Hokuriku Gakuin’s preschool via Skype - but first, we would like to learn some Japanese words!
The Preschool children play with the Polyglot Apps on the Preschool iPad for short periods of time on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday in groups of six children. A teacher supports the children as they repeat what the characters say in Japanese. As the children play with the Apps, they can discover fun and intriguing Japanese cultural references such as sushi rolls, ninja, Kokeshi dolls and cherry blossom. They manipulate the Polyglot characters to play in the sand, explore a playground and talk to each other.
We are mindful that the children are growing up in a world of technology. As such, use of the iPad, smartboard and computer are tools we use to extend our programme. However, we are also very aware of not overusing these in Preschool as we focus on interactions and social connections.
We have added a Japanese table to the Preschool with examples of writing, the globe, books and photographs, which the children are keen to explore. Some children have collected a word/picture card we placed in the room and practiced writing bee (hachi) in Japanese script. Self-motivated learning occurs when the educational environment becomes the ‘third teacher’, inspiring and motivating the children. Imbedding various cultures into our programme makes learning a lot more powerful and not ‘tokenistic’ – thus we are thrilled that the children are starting to become aware and curious about Japanese culture.
Ms Tinna Loker Gib Gate Preschool Coodinator