Our Precious Environment- Ecology

As stewards of God’s creation, we are called to make the earth  beautiful garden for the human familyPope Francis

The students in the Village have been enjoying feeling connected to Gods creation. Over the term our students have done a remarkable job at housing and caring for the Murray Cod and Hopping Mice. Sustainability is one of the cross curriculum priorities and R/1MC and R/1EN have been out and about helping Mr McCarthy in preparing the new pond and planting herbs and vegetables in the garden beds.

It has been great to see that the children have been taking ownership of the environment, ensuring the school is tidy and contributing to their environment. Jed and Leo were stoked to receive a sticker from Mr Slater this afternoon for collecting rubbish after lunch. Similarly, Zahra, Dimi, Viraj and Sahib visited our Village courtyard and were eager to ensure it received a tidy up.

Great work team!

As R/1 MS and R/1EQ went to buddies, R/1MC and R/1EN participated in some mindfulness. We were exhausted after our busy day of planting and playing so we listened to the story “Mindful Monkey, Happy Panda“. The story connected with our students as it introduced the powerful practice of mindfulness. Monkey is not so mindful – his Monkey Mind constantly jumping from one thing to another – but he encounters a friend in Happy Panda. Panda helps Monkey recognize the joy of doing what you’re doing while you’re doing it.


“I’m mindful when I’m eating, like I sit” – Zahra

“I’m mindful when I’m walking” – Leo

“I’m mindful when I play”- Viraj

“I’m mindful when I am kind” – Dimi

“I’m mindful when I play” – Jed

We ended our day with some mindfulness- yoga!


On Friday’s we Flourish

As with each Friday, we spent today investigating through play-based learning. This means that we are exploring the things that are of interest to us as individuals. Children engaged with a range of provocations, consolidating their learning from the week, adding their own interests through exploration inside and outside. Today, the children used the laptops to research, follow drawing tutorials and play games. The children continue to explore their social skills through the formation of new and old friendships, and sharing their interests with others. We love seeing the children in flow as they engage in self-directed investigations, limiting mat-time and direct-instruction from teachers.

You would be forgiven for thinking that a tornado had rolled through the class by the time we were done, such were the levels of engagement in our play.



After lunch, R/1EQ & R/1MS met their buddies from 3MA & 4BH to create streamers and signs for sports day next week. The children led the whole afternoon, which also resulted in some spontaneous dancing and conga lines.

Declan: I liked doing a zombie.
Nahom: We were making words for sports day next Friday.
Alexia: I hold up my picture and it said ‘Team Titans Go”.
Kobe: I liked making a card for sports day. We drew on it and made a picture together with my buddies and then we took a picture of it.
Nyok: I like drawing Enderman with my buddy and taking a picture of it.

Please don’t forget to check the newsletter, which is now up on the school website. We hope you have a happy and safe weekend, and look forward to another great week of learning next week.

Sports Day Helpers

R/1EQ & R/1MS and R/1EN & R/1MC are seeking parent/family helpers to join us on sports day – Friday 5th April (week 10).

We will need support to walk to Creaser Park with the children, and then with scoring some events throughout the day. Some other jobs may include supporting children when they need to go to the toilet. But mostly, you will be able to join in the fun of sports day and watch your child/ren participate in their events.

If you are able to help us out, please comment on this blog, send us an email, or catch us in class.

We can’t wait for this exciting day in our school calendar.

Palm Sunday and Sense Making (CLARA)

Today The Village explored the provocation of Palm Sunday.

We first read “The Beginners Bible” together, then shared the video of God’s Story, Palm Sunday.

The Village reflected on what they thought Palm Sunday was about.

Arjan: you can clap the branches like they did in the book, a bad person was coming so they cut it down.

Dimi: Jesus had a big crowd around him, but some people didn’t wave because they were jealous

Declan: The bad people were jealous of Jesus so they didn’t wave.

Nhial: Jealous means selfish.

Olly: Jealous means you are serious.

Viraj: Jesus likes everyone so they wave the palms

Ishpreet: Jesus was helping someone

Nhial: Jesus likes people and likes to help them

Jacob: They were waving the Palms because they loved Jesus.

Declan: When they were waving branches because they grateful for Jesus.

Zac: They cut the palms trees so they could make a road and they welcomed him by fanning him and treating him like a king.

Charlee: They help people be kind and show especially respect.

Ishpreet: Jesus helps the people when they are hurt.

Alexander: When you put the palms on the road that means they are thanking Jesus for everything from the children and animals. They are saving Jesus and Thanking him.

Yasha: He went into a maze.

Adum: The people that were getting the leaf, they got the leaf from a tree, they were cooling down Jesus.

Elnathan: They blessed the plants to Jesus because he is the king of Israel.

Annabelle: They are important because of the cross on the head.

Nahom: They created a path to make him the king.

Alexia: Jesus was making him sad and he was giving some love to people.

“donkey” – Kiet

“I saw the people” – Alexa

“I saw people were rude to Jesus” Ravleen

“Jesus riding a donkey”- Yasha

“people mad”- Annabella

“Jesus was good and people were following him ” Alexia

“Jesus the king” – Annabel

“King of creating people” – Alexia

“God looks after everyone” – Yasha

“God made everybody and loved everyone” – Leo

“people around Jesus”- Zahra

“They are waving types of leaves”- Eva

“palm trees”- Enquire

“ashes come from palm trees”- Max

“because how we got the crosses on our heads people burnt the palms trees”- Alexa

The students then used their literacy skills of oral language, writing, comprehension and re-telling to reflect and share their understanding of the story.

From here the students went into play where they used their 100 languages to explore Palm Sunday

It was great to see all the students engaged take a look at the students and their great work.

After Lunch

Today we introduced the learning power “Sense Making” we used our puppet animal Dingo to help us.

Sense making or Miss Dingo is all about making connections between everything we know – ideas, memories, knowledge, skills, facts and experience. It is about us making sense of them in relation to each new context of learning and performance. We want the students to create a ‘knowledge map’ of what they are learning and making connections to how it all fits with their own learning.

As educators it is really important that we use our own knowledge of sense making to support our students and help them make connections to their own lives and learning experiences at school.

The children shared their ideas about what Sense Making means:

Adum: It means to be listening.

Declan: It means to have respect and be nice and be kind and be thankful for everybody and have a nice day and make sure you help God.

Nahom: It means to listen to the teacher so you can learn.

 Bodhi: It means to be nice, no hurting people and respect others of the kids and be nice.

Nhial: It means respect your elders.

Felipe: Respect your elders.

Arjan: You can keep thinking in your brain.

Elnathan: When your brain might not be feeling good, then when you have another rest and a long rest, your brain gets stronger and you learn lots.

Nahom: When people are thinking about things, then after they try to make it in their brain and then they will make a train for their brain.

Declan: When you have breakfast, your brain gets super, supper strong. You are good at maths when your brain works. It will make you think better.

Nhial: Songs can help us learn numbers and letters and shapes, different colours. Counting from 1 to 100 and the ABC’s.

Arjan: You think when you learn and we do actions in songs.

Exploring Literacy

Hi everyone,

Wednesday proved to be a big day of learning for all the students in The Village as we explored many areas of our learning from literacy, incorporating our 100 languages and creativity, our play based investigations, as well as R/1EQ and R/1MS exploring some games our buddies had created as part of their harmony day learning, whilst R/1EN and R/1MC explored relaxation and writers workshop.

This morning the children engaged in their literacy provocations where the letter/sound ‘Ee’ was explored through the use of the children’s 100 languages, learning powers and character strengths. Students used their growth mindsets to explore this part of their literacy learning by creating elephants, cooking eggs, using their energy outside in a obstacle course, creating Ee books either in a paper book or on the laptop, creating objects they may see in the environment for our ecology focus and incorporating the learning of Elma the Elephant as students challenge their literacy learning, and explored their strengths in this area.

Students were flourishing through this play time and it was evident through the engagement shown across all classes. R/1MS and R/1EQ let the children lead their learning, and this was evident as the students explored their ‘Ee’ learning right up until the recess bell went, to the students surprise when they realized it was recess time, packed up their belongings, and moved outside for recess play. This was a speak of gold for us as the students were truly immersed in their learning, with the recess break coming to early as many students wanted to continue flourishing through our literacy time and showcased their growing agency within how they learn.


Have a look at our learning

As mentioned previously, R/1EQ and R/1MS had the opportunity to spend some time with our Year 3/4 buddies! Our buddies had researched games from around the world as a part of their Harmony Day inquiry! It was incredible to see the positive relationships they are being created with our classrooms and more importantly the fun each member of our learning communities are having with one another. The R/1 students moved around to the different activities the Year 3/4’s had organized and showcased their creativity, leadership and more importantly their patience, understanding and willingness to use their growth mindsets to give it a go! Have a look at our amazing time together 🙂

After lunch R/1MC and R/1EN had relaxation, writer’s workshop, fitness and Prayer.

Also a friendly reminder that Sports Day is Week 10 Friday, which is just around the corner. We would love to see you all there, and if you’re able to, we are on the lookout for some parent volunteers for the day 🙂 Thank you so much!

Play is the way children discover themselves- including their whole body, their emotions, and their minds- Pasi Sahlberg

At Holy Family Catholic School we are advocates for children immersing their senses in nature and becoming real-life problem solvers, things that flash cards and worksheets don’t always align with. Worksheets may never compare to a child holding and feeling natural objects as they problem solve to find their own answers and explore their own identity. Time spent out at Grevillia Reserve today saw the children in R/1MC and R/1EN have control over the space and their learning.  Children were stimulating different parts of their brains, exploring their feelings and wellbeing, engaging in literacy and numeracy moments and making sense of their world.

Jacob, Jordan, Cooper, Jed, Leo, James, Nicholas and Kalil designed and created a race track around the outskirts of Grevillia Reserve. This moment saw the boys rich in numeracy as they problem solved, discussed the length of the track, time, distance and estimation. They were learning from each other as they listened to each other and worked together . Also rich in numeracy was Sahib and Viraj  (who were holding their sticks in the air). Viraj said “mine is longer”, Sahib replied “nah they’re the same”. The two boys continued to walk toward the trees where they then held their sticks against the trees to further investigate length. Sara, Annabella, Alanna and Zahra were applying numeracy while rotating turns on the swings. The girls were also learning from each other as they counted down to ensure each person had an equal turn on the swing. “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, off its my turn”– Zahra.

There were also literacy moments. Sara and Ravleen sat around the campfire, Ethan and Kiet played zombies, and the trees transformed into houses and the branches became the bedrooms in the house. Hendrix used a stick and carefully placed the stick in between the trees and commented, “there, it’s a lock. The house is safe!”

Yasha  “This is my bedroom”

Sierra was collecting twigs and said “this is dinner”, Sierra pointed to Poppie and continued “that’s my daughter”.

Ishpreet then said to Poppie, “Excuse me, my mum said I have to live with you”

Yasha contributed to the play and said “i’m making mint for my coffee, you all can have coffee”

Grevillia Reserve holds many potential learning opportunities that are endless and more meaningful to the children, empowers children with choice and supports their unique inquiries, learning processes and needs.

Week 9 Doing Fine

Our Tuesday morning began with ‘Come Read with Me.’ The more opportunities children have to engage in reading, the more progress can be achieved. Here are some helpful tips, when reading with your child:

Guided reading strategies:

  • Understanding left to right directionality
  • Matching one-on-one speech to text
  • Pointing under the words
  • Making predictions using a pattern
  • Locating known words on a page and using them as starters
  • Seeking initial letters in a word
  • Using picture cues for support
  • Making connections to background knowledge or other personal links
  • Reading fluency

After sharing in a rainbow facts song, which focuses on number bonds to 10, students engaged in numeracy investigations. Many of the provocations allowed for deeper exploration into number facts, bonds, subitizing, number formation, counting on and addition. Below shares a good representation of this and makes up the bulk of the photos for this blog post today.

During library today, the village read the story ‘Let me sleep sheep’ by Meg McKinlay. Students were able to make predictions about the story and get lost in the imaginative possibilities within!

Image result for 'Let me sleep sheep' by Meg McKinlay

The village also discussed the letter Ee today. Students were able to talk sing along with a song, perform actions, review the formation of the letter and generate an ‘Ee’ word bank. Some students used this to create their own Ee sentences and record other Ee words and pictures. Following this session, students will use their 100 languages to deepen their understanding of the letter Ee, using their creativity and curiosity.

There was also an opportunity for some circle time, where students were able to practice their friendly greetings, as well as role playing situations where they needed to express how they were feeling and what they would like.

Free investigation play time also allowed for further creativity and inquiry.

We finished the day off by singing along in ‘The Butterfly Song’ and sharing gratitude prayers:

Jacob – Thank you God for the beautiful teachers.

Jed – Thank you God for the toys and laptops.

Sara – Thank you God for butterflies.

Dimi – Thank you God for holy family and netball.

Yasha – Thank you God for everyone.

Kiet – Thank you God for for putting gems in buckets.

Viraj – Thank you for the lovely teachers.

Sierra – Thank you God for my lovely classroom and my friends.

Jordan – Thank you God for basketball.

Annabella – Thank you God for my lovely friends.

Leo – Thank you God for the beautiful teachers.

Nicholas – Thank you God for all the stuff we need to make things with.


25th March, Monday week 9

Welcome back to another exciting week of learning here in the Village!

Our morning as a Village started off with come read with me, and once again we are truly blessed for all who are able to join us during this time 🙂 The children love exploring their reading, and it is always such a positive start to our week!

This morning R/1EQ and R/1MS investigated the ‘Kk’ letter/sound and used our growing 100 languages to explore this further. Students showcased their creativity through making Kites, Cakes, Kangaroos, Koalas, Keys and so much more! The students thrived on challenging their thinking by exploring new ‘Kk’ words in their writing, and identifying these words in their reading.


Students then engaged in their weekly play-based investigations, showcasing their ongoing learning powers of creativity, belonging and curiosity, as well as demonstrating their growing character strengths.

After lunch R/1MC went to sport and R/1EN engaged in writer’s workshop. R/1MC and R/1EN gathered and read the Creation Story from the Children’s Bible. We reflected on what God has created for us.

“God is in heaven in the sky and has the love of the heart” – Yasha

“God made everything” – Viraj

“God is St Vincent de Paul” – Cooper

“God made the sun” – Dimi

“God made food and people and love everybody” – Leo

“God made animals” – Hendrix

“God made clouds” – Nicholas

“God made fish”- Sara

“God made clouds” – Kiet

“God made a leaf” – Kuch

We went for a walk through our environment to explore God’s Creation. We started on the oval where the students decided to record in their learning journals. Leo said “God made grass so I drew the grass and a tree, and apples on the tree”, Yasha commented “I drew God and the sun”. Sara also shared “I drew the sky”.

The children also decided to enter the Fish Farm and draw all the animals in Kuyangani!

R/1MC and R/1EN concluded with Prayer and expressed gratitude for the world God made.

“Thank you God for the koalas” – Jed

“Thank you God for penguins” – Kalil

“Thank you God for turtles” – Dimi

“Thank you God for horses” – Arianna

“Thank you God for the horses” – Zahra

“Thank you God for cheetahs” – Jordan

Parent/Teacher/Student Interviews

Please don’t forget to book your interview with your child’s teacher. Click here for the instructions to book your time. If you need any help, please don’t hesitate to see your teacher, and they will be able to help you choose a time.
Please note that interviews need to be booked by this Friday, 29th March.

Please visit the school website: www.holyfamily.catholic.edu.au to book your time.

Pedagogy, Catholic Identity & Ecology

Numeracy is about more than just counting. Today the students from R/1MC and R/1EN teamed up with their buddies from 5/6 HS and 5/6 BM to sort and categorize objects, measure and calculate amounts, arranging objects in space and identifying shapes.

Over the term our students have been participating in the Lenten Challenge- Each day of lent, students have removed one item from their cupboard or room that they no longer use, wear or need and placing it Vinnies classroom bin. Before Jayne Shortt arrives to collect our donations the students engaged in a numeracy provocation to gather the donations, count, sort and classify the items into bags. Students collaborated in groups and recorded their learning using their laptops. This allowed children to problem-solve and explore the world ‘mathematically’.

During this time we also had groups of students working with Mr McCarthy at the Fish Farm.  Jed shared “the big boys (buddies) were helping me put the sand in the bucket to put behind the pond”. Dimi added “I did with Mr McCarthy I was gardening. We put sand because we wanted to put the turtles there”.

Student reflections

“We had 6 piles and 17 dresses and 6 toys”- Jordan

“I sorted 6 food like noodles (that’s all I can remember) and 4 clothes”- Jacob

“We sorted 1 dress and we counted 2 shoes and we and Zahra found 1 colouring book and 1 pencil case”- A

“We got two baby shoes and a baby bathing suit and we found make up and lots of clothes”- Zahra

“I found a jacket and pants and 7 toys”- Viraj

“I sorted 9 clothes”- Kiet

“We had a lot of clothes and 2 baby shoes”- Yasha