Week 4

This week has flown by already, probably because we have been so busy!



On Monday all students completed a practice RELAT test. It was an opportunity to reassure the children that they have nothing to panic about and they are well prepared for the assessment. We have several weeks to continue preparing  before the official assessment in Week 7.



In Numeracy this week the children have been working on a budgeting and money investigation.

We have been working alongside the children discussing their strategies and reflecting on how they have applied their understanding of decimals, multiplication, addition and subtraction throughout their calculations. It has been pleasing to see the children taking risks with their problem solving and using strategies such as acting it out (using notes and coins), solving a simpler problem, looking for a pattern and making a table to assist them with calculations.



In Literacy this week BH have continued on with guided reading groups. This term the groups have been encouraged to visit the library and select their own reading packs to share with the teacher. Some of the reading strategies that we have been focusing on includes making connections ( to their life, prior knowledge, previously read texts etc) and summarising the text. This week both groups so far have chose factual texts so we have looked at killer sharks and burrowing animals. This has tied in well with our writing task which has been focusing on writing informative texts.


In our writing task over the last few weeks the children have been supported to research a native Australian animal. They have then used a variety of graphic organisers to sort their information. The focus has been on the use of key words and vocabulary, encouraging the children to avoid copying large chunks of text when researching. The next step will be to use the information they have collected to explain and inform the reader of what they have learnt about the animal they researched. This will be a written text and the children will have a choice as to whether they create a digital or hardcopy.


The Dragonkeeper

This term we are sharing a text called the Dragonkeeper by Carole Wilkinson. We are well and truly immersed in the story now and this afternoon we came to a really pivotal part of the text. It was fantastic to see the children sharing predictions and realisations with each other. Often as we read this text aloud we will re read paragraphs or pages. This has been to model the practice of re reading complex passages to improve fluency and comprehension. It gives the children time to reflect and visualise parts of the text and the events that occur. Due to the links with Ancient China throughout the text we have been exploring traditional Chinese practices and visual arts as the children indicate their interest in the culture and history that is explored throughout the novel. Several children have now borrowed other texts from the library by the same author. We also had to help them resist the urge to read the sequel until after we have finished the first book !


As a class we have begun preparing for Book week in week 5. The theme for book week this year is Find Your Treasure.

The children are working on building their iMovie skills as they create a short film based on this theme.


School Photos: School photos are in Week 5. Please send your order forms in or remember to send with your child on the day.


A reminder that we have sent home the permission notes for Made in the Image of God. Please send these back asap.


In kindness,

Mrs Hawkes and Mr Elder

Taste Test

Today some of the students tasted the radish sprouts we have been growing in our aquaponics garden.

You can probably tell what they thought from these photos 🙂

Apparently they were quite peppery!

In kindness,

Mrs Hawkes

Wipe out Waste

Yesterday we had a guest from Wipe Out Waste who assisted the school with a rubbish audit. The results were very confronting. Several of the class actually helped sort out the rubbish for the audit.

Here are some statistics ….

Of all of the dozens of garbage bags of general waste (landfill) that was collected in just one day at Holy Family only a bin about this size  (small waste paper basket) actually needed to be in the landfill waste…..

  • Foil can actually go through with mixed recyclables as long as it is in large balls that can be pulled out by hand. So all those foil containers from the canteen can be recycled.


  • We can collect clean soft plastics like glad wrap and snap lock bags and drop them off at Woolies or Coles for recycling.
  • If as a school we collected all of our 10c containers we could make approximately $3000 per year!
  • As a school we are adding approx. 10,000 straws to landfill and waterways. Do we even need a straw to drink a slushie???
  • Our school adds 8,000 zip lock bags to landfill
  • Based on the food waste in our bins we throw away nearly 5,000 sandwiches in a year that HAVE NOT EVEN BEEN UNWRAPPED  let alone eaten…..that doesn’t include all of the other food (muesli bars, chips, snacks) that were in the bin totally wrapped in their original wrapper….

We followed up the visit yesterday by watching a short episode of War on Waste on the ABC. It added to our thinking and made us think carefully about our ecological footprint….

Today as a class we discussed some of the action we could take in response to this information

Some ideas included

  • Come up with a manageable classroom recycling system. This will require additional tubs and labels to ensure children know what to put where.
  • Investigate how the rubbish is handled once it leaves the classroom.
  • Talk with the canteen about the selling of straws and possible alternatives
  • Talk with Mr White about upgrading the drink taps to ensure accessibility, possible refrigeration of drink fountains and the potential for the canteen to stop selling disposable water bottles.
  • The use of reusable cups in the classrooms that have sinks so that children that forget their drink bottle can access water there instead of buying it.
  • Educating others about everything that can be recycled.
  • Nude food to ensure minimal waste is brought from home
  • Never buying yogurt squeeze pouches as they NEVER break down….and they are expensive!

The children then worked individually and in small groups to devise a personal action plan in response to the provocation ” So what can I do….I’m only 9/10 ”

We encourage you to talk with your children about their personal action plan.

In kindness,

Mrs Hawkes and Mr Elder

Eco classroom

This term we will continue our focus on reducing our environmental footprint and exploring sustainable practices.

Last term we were excited to win the aquaponics aquarium which we completed setting up today. We now have 2 guppy fish in the aquarium and have planted some micro herbs to grow.



We have also started using the SMART Cara.

This is a portable and compact composting system that rapidly turns fruit and vegetable scraps into a concentrated compost powder.


From this 



to this 


We are then going to use our powdered compost to add to the soil in our next round of gardening.

Last term BH planted a selection of seeds to raise plants with the hope of selling some of these at Spring Fair. Our seeds are now little seedlings and next week we will be transplanting them into bigger pots. Our plan is to plant some chilli plants next to see how we go with them.


Produce Stall

We have also been managing the Holy Family Produce stall for the last few weeks. We are attempting to ensure that none of our lovely produce is wasted and offering fresh picked herbs and vegetables in return for a small donation. It is not about raising money, however the donations go towards buying new seeds, soil and pots to keep our gardens cycling through the growing phases. So far we have sold : tomatoes, onions, basil, mint, parsley, beetroot, cauliflower, spinach and lettuce.


In kindness

Mrs Hawkes and Mr Elder







Sense Making


As we prepare students to once again undertake the CLARA survey and explore their learning powers, we have been looking at the characteristics of the different learning powers. This week we have focused on Sense Making.


Sense making is making connections between ideas, memories, fact – everything you know – linking them and seeing patterns and meaning. Its about how ‘learning matters’ to you, connecting with your own story and things that really matter.

Below is the icon that students in the Holy Family community designed to represent Sense Making 

As part of our inquiry yesterday students had to use their sense making learning power to recognise, find, make, and build connections between several images. It was very interesting to hear the different ways that the children made sense of the pictures. The different connections they saw and identified. They were encouraged to use their 100 languages to explain what ‘sense’ they made of the images.

Hope that all makes sense 🙂

Mr Elder and Mrs Hawkes

A walk in the bush

Today in library we read the second book week picture book  named A walk in the bush

We all enjoyed this text and it led us to discussing Dad jokes !

In this case it was Grandad humour.

“Didn’t you know I can read caterpillar?”


We then voted on which book we preferred with some of the feedback being that this book was entertaining because of the opportunity to make animal noises. The Australian wildlife, and the cute cat character.


Mrs Hawkes


Notice of Excursion – Mary Poppins


Hi Parents,

On Friday 7th September we will be attending an excursion at The Shedley Theatre to see the Thomas More College performance of Mary Poppins.

We will be departing school at 10am and returning at approx 2pm.

If you have a Catholic Schools police clearance and are available to help could you please let us know. We will need 2 parents per class to attend with us.


Thanks in advance

Beth Hawkes