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«BATHURST HIGH CAMPUS NEWSLETTER OCTOBER 2013 FOCUS ON SCIENCE -Year 5 Iexplore Enrichment Program, 2013 The last week of term 3 saw the final ...»

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FOCUS ON SCIENCE -Year 5 Iexplore Enrichment Program, 2013

The last week of term 3 saw the final Iexplore session for

2013. This was a fitting celebration of the achievements of

the group of academically advanced year 5 students from

our partner primary schools who have participated in the program throughout the first 3 terms of this year.

One of the activities within the program is the opportunity for students to research, design and test prototypes for a soft drink bottle rocket, culminating in a competition to determine which team could launch their design the longest distance.

In an extremely close competition, the team of Bradley Vella, Zachary Haynes, Harry Healey and Hugh Parsons, from Eglinton Public School, achieved first place with an impressive launch of 31.5 metres.

These worthy winners were presented with their trophies on the day.

The students took the opportunity to showcase their laboratory skills to their parents and carers who attended the final session.

All students were recognised with the presentation of participation certificates to acknowledge their efforts throughout the program.

Denison College of Secondary Education—Bathurst High Campus—www.bathurst-h.schools.nsw.edu.au


FOCUS ON Science cont...

Brain Bee Challenge Each year The Australian Brain Bee Challenge is held in high schools across Australia and New Zealand.

The program is designed to capture student’s interest in brain structure, function and anatomy and to educate students, teachers and the wider community about the importance of neuroscience research to society.

Neurological and mental illness accounting for almost half of the total disease burden in Australia. In recognition of this important social health issue eight of our year 10 students participated in the Brain Bee challenge.

In the challenge, Eily Fidock, Katherine Hogan, Samantha Leckie, Huiying Li, Jessica McLeod, Sarvin Sadrzadeh, Danika Smith and Catherine Walther were exposed to neuroscience andthe important work that neuroscientists do.

Congratulations to Danika who was successful in making it through to the state finals of the Challenge that were held at the University of Western Sydney!

–  –  –

Year 11 Chemistry students have been investigating different allotropes of carbon.

As part of this, students were required to build models of different molecules including diamond, graphite and Buckminsterfullerene. Buckminsterfullerene contains 60 carbon atoms which required many hands to improve the structural integrity.

–  –  –

On the 8th of August Year 11 Physics students Scott Inwood, Zac Lew, Hamish Starr and Josh Stapely attended the "Great Engineering Challenge" in Dubbo.

This fantastic day involved competing against many teams from schools around western NSW.

We began the day with a road building challenge in which we had to construct a 30cm x 30cm road from materials such as dirt and sand. The road was tested by dropping weights on it until it broke up.

After this task we were required to build as strong a bridge as possible with paddle pop sticks and glue.

Finally, we competed in a surveying task. This involved each team using a floor plan and items such as tape measures and compasses in order to determine specific distances and areas.

At the Awards Ceremony the BHC team was delighted to win the award for Best Teamwork for the day.

Zac Lew

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Essential Secondary Science Assessment (ESSA) 2013 ESSAonline is the annual state wide Science assessment for all Year 8 students in NSW. In preparing for ESSAonline 2013, students at Bathurst High were provided with the opportunity to attempt a 20 minute online Readiness Test. This occurred within the last two weeks of Term 3 during normal Science periods. Students were provided with their ESSA logon details and successfully accessed the readiness test through the new Science laptops. During the test, students listened to audio presentations using their personal earphones.

Overall, the test proved to be a valuable experience for all students who participated. Through participation students they were able to familiarise themselves with usernames, passwords, navigation tools and practice items.

This year ESSAonline will be held between Monday 11 November and Friday 15 November. The results will provide parents and schools with information about what students know and can do in aspects of Science.

This will prove useful for improving learning and teaching of Science for all students. A letter will be sent to parents about ESSAonline in week 3.

–  –  –

Preliminary Biology and Senior Science Excursion It was an early morning start as Preliminary Biology and Senior Science students arrived at the train station bleary eyed to catch the train to Homebush. The destination was the Homebush Field Study Centre where students would apply their knowledge on ecosystems in a mangrove environment. After a couple of train swaps and a short walk the students arrived at the centre, eager to start studying. The group split into two to begin the learning activities for the day. Students were able to apply learnt skills and also developed new skills and knowledge and they moved around the centre, paying close attention to the features of the mangrove ecosystem.

Of particular interest to the group was the various adaptations that different plants and animals had developed to be able to survive in the mangrove ecosystem. The experience was very hands on, with students participating in a variety of practical activities such as measuring factors influencing an ecosystem, drawing transects and measuring distribution and abundance of certain marine plants and animals. Valuable skills and knowledge were developed throughout the day which had a direct link to studied material.

A very successful day of science learning! Students returned home tired, and filled with enthusiasm and improved knowledge of specific ecosystems.

–  –  –

Welcome back to Term 4! We have started the term with great energy. Bathurst High is certainly a dynamic place of learning where every teacher is looking out for the best opportunities for students and students are making the most of teacher expertise and encouragement. As well as teaching over 270 classes across the

school in the last 9 days, we have:

Worked through the Year 11 into 12 transition processes with every student.

 Begun teaching the Higher School Certificate (2014) courses.

 Wished students all the best as they commenced their HSC examinations.

 Enjoyed an afternoon of road safety education (Year 11).

 Witnessed students demonstrating and articulating their learning in the cross-faculty Biotechnology  expo.

Undertaken professional learning, including Visual Arts Practical Marking and Accreditation at the  Higher Levels with a guest speaker from the NSW Institute of Teachers.

Held a performance of Cybershots for Year 7.

 Our Captains elect 2014 ran their first school assembly.

 Hosted a visiting teacher in PD/H/PE from the UK.

 Completed the teacher component of the Year 11 reports.

 Ran an orientation session for Year 6 students who will be attending class in our Support Unit next  year.

Held rehearsals for our bands and dance groups  Hosted visitors from Port Macquarie as they examine the successful Denison College model.

 Welcomed our new canteen proprietors.

 Celebrated news of students gaining early entry into universities.

 Prepared for the Trivia Night on Friday 18th.

 Congratulations to all our students, staff, parents and community members whose participation and dedication to learning makes every day a great one.

This term we continue to explore the implications of the Great Teaching Inspired Learning document and focus our teacher workplace learning in on the DEC Every Student, Every School, an initiative providing better learning and support for students with a disability, learning difficulties or behaviour support needs.

Parents not yet involved in our Parents and Citizen’s meetings (P&C) are invited to come along to the next meeting where the latest changes in education are discussed. The next meeting is Wednesday 6th November at

7.30 in the Staff Common Room (Admin block).

All the best for a fantastic term,

–  –  –

Personnel Matters Merit Selection interviews were held at the end of last term for the Head Teacher Junior Studies (Kelso High Campus) position. The panel was pleased with both the size of the field and the quality of the applicants.

Anna Townend (Forbes HS) has subsequently been recommended and has accepted the position to commence at the beginning of 2014.

I would like to thank Richard MacFarlane for his outstanding work relieving in this role during 2013. Thanks to all the panel members, especially Cathie Hale, for their support. I will be organising a professional learning activity for staff at both campuses around preparing an application under the new procedures. This will be held 4-6:30pm on 31st October.

Future Directions

Subjects have been chosen, interviews held and lines finalised for Year 11 2014. The process ran very smoothly, with no major variations to patterns from previous years. Thanks to all the parents and staff who supported the process. The Senior team will be reviewing the organisation for 2014 with a view to running smaller interview panels and holding interviews concurrently at both campuses, in order to reduce disruption to campus routine.

College Planning Day

College Head teachers will be released from class on Wednesday 23rd October to conduct strategic planning for the college for 2014-16. This will support major college initiatives such as School Within a School, iLearn/iexplore, enrichment activities, Future Directions, HSC Seminar Days, Shared Courses Procedures and the Online Learning Team.

CSU Partnerships

Towards the end of last term, I attended a number of events at Charles Sturt University. As well as the regular Teacher Education Course Advisory Board meetings held each term, I was invited to the Vice Chancellor’s Regional Leaders’ Luncheon to provide advice on how CSU can better contribute to regional development. I have also been assisting CSU in the selection process for a number of School Outreach Officer positions which will be used to support students from disadvantaged backgrounds in transitioning into higher education. In early November, Mr Peasley and I will also be assisting the university in their early entry processes.

CSU provides enormous support to the College throughout the year, by sponsoring events such as the High Achievers’ Reception, Future Directions Night and the HSC Seminar Day and supporting programs such as School Within a School. In 2014, CSU Bathurst will be a major sponsor for the NSW Secondary Principals Council State Conference.

–  –  –

Port Macquarie Visit Earlier this year, the Deputy Director-General, Schools, the President and Vice President of NSWTF and the Deputy President of the NSW SPC visited the College to investigate whether our successful model could be transferred to other contexts. As a follow-up to this visit, we will be hosting a team of teachers from Port Macquarie HS and Westport Technology HS on Wednesday 16th October when they visit us on their own fact-finding tour. The DEC, NSWTF and SPC have agreed that the adoption of a collegiate model similar to Denison would be highly advantageous in their context.

Leadership Fellowships

I have been privileged to receive two study grants this year. The Academy Photography Fellowship will support the work I have been doing in relation to Rural Education and will fund further research into successful rural schools in NSW. The majority of this research will be conducted during this term and early next year and will be presented as a paper and workshop at the 2014 NSW SPC State Conference.

The NSW DEC Leadership Fellowship will allow me to travel to Canada in February /March 2014 where the focus of my research will be on their approaches to rural education, but with a more specific focus on the development of effective leadership practices to support improved educational outcomes. Whilst I am there I hope to be doing work with CSU Ontario and the Ontario Ministry of Education, visiting the Nova Scotia Virtual School, attending a three day Rural Education Symposium in Alberta before finishing the tour with a trip to Saltspring Island Middle School - Kelso High’s new sister school in British Columbia. The results of this research will be presented to the Department as a 3000 word report by the end of June, 2014.

–  –  –

Welcome back to Term 4!

Mrs Stirling is currently on leave and I am relieving Deputy until she returns on the 23rd October.

Reports and Assessments This term is always a busy one as teachers finalise marks and write reports. Students are encouraged to make sure all their assessment tasks are up to date to ensure teachers are able to report on their achievements as accurately as possible. There is help available if students are having difficulty with the completion of their assessments. Students should speak to their classroom teacher or Year Advisor as soon as possible if additional support is needed.


On Tuesday 15th Yr 7 students attended a performance from the Bamboo Theatre company which explored issues around safe and responsible cyber use. "Cybershorts” was an interactive performance workshop which looked at the consequences of our online actions. I encourage parents and carers to discuss the performance with their child. It was a thoughtful and engaging performance which highlighted how important it is to be careful and responsible with our online use. A big thank you to Ms Wood, who is relieving as HT Welfare, for organising the performance.

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