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Principal's Newsletter, Week 2, Term 1, 2015

posted May 1, 2015, 8:44 PM by Unknown user

Our Robotics team have returned from their fabulous trip to the USA. The team exceeded all expectations winning four matches. We will have a full report in next week’s newsletter to celebrate their success. Thank you again to Mrs Pooviah and Ms Kong for leading this overseas excursion.

Year 11 exams have proceeded smoothly and next week Year 11 will participate in their 3 day Crossroads camp at Morisset. Year 9 will also be going on their camp next week on the Colo River coordinated by the Somerset Outdoor Education group. Both camps aim to build resilience, provide safe opportunities for students to meet challenges and develop personal responsibility. Many teachers have to give up so much of their time for these camps to run – thank you to Ms Katrina Jenns, Ms Keira Brooks, Ms Jen Burgess, Ms Joyce Ng, Mr Neil Pakes who will hike with Year 9 and to Ms Stella Chan, Mr Mark Long, Ms Nancy Zhu, Mr Daniel Hutchinson, Ms Sandra Fernandez, Ms Sofia Hameed and Mr Morgan Gengiah who will supervise Year 11. I will also participate on the Year 9 camp and Ms St Louis will remain at school.

Elevate Education is Australia’s largest study skills provider, running sessions at over 800 schools across the country, as well as more than 500 schools across the UK, South Africa and the United States. Founded upon 14 years of benchmarking research into the study habits of top performing students, Elevate conducts a number of study skills workshops across Years 7 to 12 at James Ruse, covering a range of important skills areas.

This week, Year 7 completed the 'Study Skills/Kick Start' workshop which covered skills including dynamic reading, note taking, conceptual learning skills and independent learning. Year 8 completed the 'Memory and Mnemonics' workshop which introduced students to a number of memory techniques, memory and manipulation skills and also taught students skills on retaining information. 

Year 7 and 9 will complete their NAPLAN examinations in Week 4. NAPLAN is made up of tests in the four areas (or ‘domains’) of:

  • reading
  • writing
  • language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation)
  • numeracy

Year 7 and 9 will do NAPLAN exams on Tuesday 12th, Wednesday 13th and Thursday 14th in the Hall. Year 8 and 10 will complete their half-yearly exams in Week 4. Year 7 and 9 may complete their PDHPE exam on Friday 15th – this is still to be determined – and will then complete all other half yearlies in Week 5. A roster will be emailed to students and will also be available on the intranet. An important reason for completing half-yearly exams is to allow students to practise their time management skills. Establishing a revision program over the coming weeks is valuable. Effective note taking and practise at exam style questions are important habits to build. Please ensure all students are getting 8-9 hours sleep each night. Parents must enforce a bedtime for younger students.

Thank you to our fabulous athletes who competed in the Zone Cross Country. We were able to field teams in all age groups. Further news will come next week – but our students did exceptionally well.

Next Tuesday night at 8pm the Community of James Ruse will meet in the Lecture Theatre. Our guest speakers for this event will be Mrs Liza Mayers (Head Teacher of English) and Mr Bravin Ragavan (Ex-student). Mrs Mayers will give a brief overview of the English curriculum and suggest advice on how best to assist your children in the study of English. Bravin will discuss the importance of a well-rounded education and the need for extracurricular activities to ensure a successful university and career experience.

Unfortunately due to poor weather on the North Coast our Year 9 excursion to Tocal was cancelled. Students will be refunded the cost of this excursion. I do ask your patience as creating a whole year group of refunds in our new accounting system will take time. We will contact students when we have the refunds ready for collection.

The Agricultural and TAS faculty are enjoying the Faculty of the Month this month. This week students participated in three focus groups giving fabulous feedback on Agriculture, Technology / DT and Software, Design and Development and Information Processes and Technology. These focus groups provide advice on preferred learning styles, assessment and resources needed.

This week we farewell Ms Christine Lim from our HSIE / LOTE faculty. Ms Lim has been offered her dream job working in a data analysis firm in Tokyo and is seizing this exciting opportunity. I would like to thank Ms Lim for her dedication and commitment to her classes and wish her the best in the future. We welcome Ms Alicia Hall as our new Japanese teacher. Ms Hall will begin on Monday after completing a maternity leave contract at Karabar High School.

Coming Events

Week 3A             

Monday Wednesday  Year 9 and 11 Camps

Thursday 7th                Year 11 English Orals, Whole School Assembly P4, Economics                                                                          Competition (year 11 and 12); Preliminary Exam for Year 9 SDD

Friday 8th                     Met West Debating Gala Day

Week 4B               Year 8 and 10 Exams

                        Year 11 English Orals

                        Year 7 and 9 NAPLAN (Tuesday – Thursday)

Thursday 14th               Year 10 Business Studies Competition

Week 5A              Year 7 and 9 Exams

Monday 18th                 Table Tennis Gala Day

Tuesday 19th                 ICAS Computing – Year 7 and 8; SDD and IPT students

Wednesday 20th           Big Science Competition

Thursday 21st               Year 11 Field of Mars biology excursion


Have a wonderful week

Megan Connors