Welcoming new Gib Gate students

Welcoming new students to the school at the start of Term 1, it was wonderful to see Gib Gate students excitedly greeting new and old classmates, and rewarding to watch Kindergarten 2019 start the school year so smoothly and confidently after participating in the 2018 Kindergarten Orientation Programme.

Kindergarten's first day

Kindergarten's first day

After an exciting start to the day, there was time to catch up with both new and old families at the Welcome Back Coffee Morning for parents in the Gib Gate Library, and it was lovely to see existing parents welcoming new families.

Working with senior colleagues, new staff and Gib Gate staff in the weeks leading up to the start of school, I am confident Gib Gate students will have a tremendous year guided by the expert teaching and learning team from Preschool to Year 6. The Gib Gate Preschool to Year 2 Early Years Curriculum is stronger than ever, with two experienced and expert educators, Ms Jacqueline Pawl and Ms Stefanie Klauer, joining the Gib Gate staff on Year 2 and Year 1.

Years 3 and 4 students are looking forward to the upcoming Outdoor Education programme where they will be learning to orienteer, cook outdoors, build an outdoor shelter, abseil and mountain bike. Year 5 is eagerly anticipating their first three-day Outdoor Education Camp and the Gib Gate Year 6 Leaders have already assumed their leadership responsibilities as Monitors and Kindergarten Buddies.

Year 6 Monitors with Kindergarten Buddies

Year 6 Monitors with Kindergarten Buddies

I am looking forward to welcoming parents to upcoming events such as the Families of Gib Gate (FOGG) Welcome Drinks, Parent Information morning and evenings, the Year 6 Monitors Presentation Assembly, Outdoor Education Camp briefings and the New Parent Welcome Dinner. All of these events are designed to assist you in finding out more about the School, your child’s class and how you can support your child at school.

Ms Sally Robson, Head of Gib Gate

New Science and Technology Syllabus for 2019

The new NESA Science & Technology Syllabus will be implemented K-6 from Term 1 2019. Science and Technology K-6 is an integrated discipline that fosters in students a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world around them and how it works, and encourages them to embrace new concepts and the unexpected and to learn through trialling, testing and refining ideas. The syllabus is designed to provide flexibility for teachers to develop teaching and learning programmes to meet the needs of our Gib Gate students who continue to display highly-developed skills and knowledge in this exciting Key Learning Area.

The syllabus now consists of five ‘strands’. In Living World students learn about living things, the needs of living things and where food comes from. In Material World students explore the characteristics and properties of materials and substances. In Physical World students explore forces, energy and how the physical characteristics of objects affect movement. In Earth and Space they learn about the Earth’s place in the universe and about caring for the Earth’s resources.

In Digital Technologies they investigate existing technologies and create digital solutions. In this particular strand, Gib Gate students have already begun their journey in learning about Digital Technologies - way ahead of their NSW peers - through their intensive Term 3 2018 programme on coding and algorithmic and computational thinking delivered by pedagogical specialist leaders in this field, ScopeIT Education, and we will continue to provide them with this exciting learning opportunity to develop and apply these 21st century skills in Term 1 2019.

ScopeIT Education bring state-of-the-art equipment and expert technology educators to Gib Gate on Wednesday of each week, and each class is immersed in their new learning for one 40-minute lesson with instructors and their class teachers. This provides our students with the opportunity to learn new skills in a computer coding programme, taking their education in technology to the highest level by including: how the internet works; how to build basic apps, websites and other computer programs; safe use of the internet; logical thinking, problem solving techniques and creative design using technology; and 3D printing and robotics. The courses feature fun puzzles and interactive games so they can learn about the ‘engine’ that drives computers in a way that relates to what they already know about technology and their devices. Over time, students will be coding apps and printing 3D objects in class.

In Term 1 Kindergarten are participating in ‘Mouse Skills in 3D Design’; Year 1 ‘Coding for Kids 1’; Year 2 ‘Coding for Kids 2’; Years 3 and 4 ‘Young Coders 2’; and Years 5 and 6 move into more complex thinking through the ‘Intermediate Coding’ course. Teaching Kids to Code is about providing a fundamental set of skills and logical thought-process techniques. At Gib Gate we have chosen these specific differentiated courses not solely for the pursuit of ‘tech’ knowledge, but rather as a complementary set of skills to develop students’ thinking across all curriculum areas. Teaching students to code teaches a structured methodology of learning, logical thought process, problem solving and collaborative team work to name but a few skills. Often this is generalised as ‘algorithmic thinking’. We prefer the term ‘Teaching Kids to THINK … by Teaching Kids to Code’.

Students are spending increasing amounts of time on electronic devices but they are missing the underlying principles of how they work. Through learning computational thinking, design and reasoning we show them how to be creators, not just consumers of technology. Parents are invited to learn more about our learning providers at: https://www.scopeiteducation.edu.au

In addition, our students will develop an understanding of the five strands through two skill processes: Working Scientifically, and Design and Production. This enables them to answer questions and develop creative solutions to problems. The syllabus addresses important contemporary themes and general capabilities as students prepare to live and work successfully in the 21st century.

Ms Kate Chauncy Director of Teaching and Learning P-12 and Coordinator of Gifted and Talented Programmes

Enrichment/Activities

Music

Music lessons will recommence for continuing students next week (Week 3) and new students will commence lessons in Week 4. Places are available in all instruments if your child is interested in starting this year. Junior Singing sessions and Senior Choir have been held this week and Orchestra rehearsals will commence this week, Week 2, on Friday 8 February at 12.30pm.

Extra-Curricular Activities

Extra-Curricular activities commence in Week 3. There are places available in a number of classes. Please contact Mrs Graham if you would like to enrol your child.

Years 3 and 4 Outdoor Education Adventure Day

Year 3 and Year 4 will participate in an OEG Adventure Day on Monday 25 February. We are required to provide 2019 medical forms to OEG for the day. If you have not already done so, could you please assist by returning your child’s medical forms.

Mrs Anne Graham, Gib Gate Coordinator (Administration)

Sport

Summer Sports

The second half of the summer season is underway, with Basketball, Water Polo and U11 Cricket all starting back this week. Students and parents will shortly be asked to make their selection for winter sports, with these selections finalised by early March.

Swimming

The Swimming Development programme at The Centenary Pool for all classes from Kindergarten to Year 6 will resume in Week 2.

The Year 3 to Year 6 Gib Gate Swimming Carnival will be held at The Centenary Pool on Friday 15 February and all the children have been asked to nominate the events in which they wish to compete.

The SHIPS Carnival at Bowral PooI will take place on Thursday 28 February, while the IPSHA Carnival at Homebush will be held on Tuesday 5 March. Teams for these representative events will be selected following the Gib Gate Carnival. The Fun Aquatic Carnival for Kindergarten to Year 2 will be held on Thursday 14 March at The Centenary Pool. Parents are most welcome to come along and support at all these carnivals.

Squad and Swimming Development sessions for all levels are available at The Centenary Pool by contacting Ben Slade at the Pool on 4872 3672.

Swimming Race Development Clinics are held each Friday afternoon from 4:00pm at The Centenary Pool. This is open to any Gib Gate students wishing to develop skills in diving off blocks, timing and fitness.

Cross Country

The Gib Gate Cross Country Carnival will be held on Friday 22 March, with the SHIPS Carnival held at Gib Gate on Tuesday 26 March and the IPSHA Carnival at The Kings School Parramatta on Saturday 6 April. Cross Country training will begin in Week 5 this term on two mornings a week. Training is open to all children from Year 2 to Year 6.

Representative Trials

Term 1 is a busy time for selection trials for various representative sports. Over the coming weeks, several children from Year 5 and 6 will be invited to trial for IPSHA selection in a range of sports.

Mr Michael Standen (Co-ordinator PE and Sport Gib Gate)

Preschool

Show and Tell provides an opportunity to share personal items/home-grown produce and experiences with Preschool. Presenting is valued at Gib Gate as a powerful activity that fosters self-esteem and allows each child to become ‘an expert’, sharing their knowledge with their class. These informal interactions foster oral language by building vocabulary as well as self-expression. They are an activity that can be socially rewarding and academically advantageous for young children, while also solidifying the home-school connection. By encouraging the children to participate and speak in front of others, the student can be the centre of attention, and their classmates learn to respect each other’s turn to talk. Students have the opportunity to practice the skill of listening to and answering simple questions. This term commenced with many eager Gib Gate pupils eager to share experiences with their classmates.

For Show and Tell, Louis Vaile brought in a bowl of blackberries he had picked before school…and shared them with his peers. During the morning meeting, Louis told his classmates about the prickly parts of the bush around which you need to be careful and about how some of the berries are ‘squishy’ before you pick them. He decided blackberry pancakes should be made so a group of children measured flour, milk, and blackberries into a bowl before adding the mixture to the frypan to cook. The blackberry pancakes tasted delicious and were enjoyed by all.

Leo Berkelouw brought photos, cards and a badge from an aircraft museum in America that he had visited during the vacation. He shared information about the aircraft and explained that the planes landed in the water when the men fought during the war.

Samuel Robb discussed the postcards he sent to Preschool over the vacation. He explained how he posted them from a museum that had planes and trains. He shared with the class that he didn’t think people fought there but moved the trains with levers.

It was delightful to see the respect the children have as they listened and questioned our presenters.

Mrs Tinna Locker, Preschool Co-ordinator