Yamba Public School year 5 students at their
Yamba Public School year 5 students at their "camp" at school

KIDS OF SPIRIT: New meaning for a ‘school’ camp

South Grafton Public School

South Grafton Public School has enjoyed a very successful start to Term 4 and already our students have been involved in a number of exciting initiatives. Last Tuesday 74 of our wonderful infants students received their silver badge at a special assembly. The students also received a certificate, bumper sticker, individual photo and enjoyed a delicious morning tea. Congratulations to all of these fantastic students.

This week our Primary Campus will also be holding a Silver Badge Assembly to recognise 92 students who have achieved this excellent level of our Positive Reward System.

Congratulations to our school debating team on winning last weeks debate which was the fifth round of the Premier’s Debating Challenge. Our team debated against Budgewoi PS from the Central Coast using Zoom facilities. The topic of the debate was “That every school should put the smartest kids into a separate class”. We were the negative team for this debate. This is an excellent achievement by our team to reach the sixth round which will be held on Monday 2nd November with the debate against Jasper Road PS, Sydney.

This week Zoe Rayward will be participating in the Regional Final of the Multicultural Perspective Public Speaking competition. Zoe has to present a prepared speech based on her initial speech at our finals. Zoe will also have to present an impromptu speech which may go for 2 minutes and must be prepared within a 5 minute time frame. Zoe is one of 16 students from across NSW who are participating in this regional final. Good luck to Zoe!

Last Wednesday our Year 5 students enjoyed a fantastic excursion to the Dolphin Marine Conservation Park in Coffs Harbour. The students displayed excellent behaviour and enjoyed a fabulous day.

Our Year 3 excursion will take place on Thursday 12th November to the Peach Farm and Clarence River Ferries.

Our Year 4 excursion will take place on Friday 13th November to TreeTops Adventure Park and Coffs Harbour Botanic Gardens.

We would like to recognise and congratulate our Age Champions for our Primary Athletics which was held at the end of last term. Junior Girls: Mia Van Doorn, Junior Boys: Charlie Rouse, 11 Years Girls: Meg Amos, 11 Years Boys: Aidan Menzies, Senior Girls: Abigail Woods and Keira Lafferty, Senior Boys: Wayne Chase Whitney.

The SRC have decided to keep the spirit of Jacaranda Thursday alive and will be hosting a “Dress in Purple day” on Thursday November 5 2020. Everyone may wear something purple on this day. A gold coin donation would also be appreciated. The SRC are raising money to purchase more recycling bins and another compost bin to help manage with the waste generated each day.

Scholastic Book Club Issue 7 has gone home. All orders are ONLINE and are due by 3pm Thursday October 29.

St Joseph’s Primary South Grafton

We are excited that our swimming programs are able to go ahead later this term. Infants will participate in an intensive swimming program for half an hour each day during Week 9 and lessons will be organised in year groups. Primary students will participate in water safety sessions for an hour each Wednesday during weeks 5-9 and groups will be based on ability, using information provided from parents and grading completed by the teachers.

Mrs Smidt has planned a busy term for students during their Science lessons. The focus is on materials and their purpose, in particular compounds and mixtures. The classes have been looking at recipes and studying each step to determine what happens when ingredients are combined. As part of this exercise, students completed a survey to gauge a favourite food and … bikkies were the winner! With the assistance of Mrs Smidt, Stage 3 students baked choc chip cookies for the whole school. Yum!

For Term 4, Miss Lizz is continuing activities around the 2020 NAIDOC theme “Always Was, Always Will Be”. During history lessons, the students will be learning about the Gumbaynggirr tribe, who are the custodians of this land, and their indigenous culture.

St Joseph's Primary South Grafton students learned about puppetry.
St Joseph's Primary South Grafton students learned about puppetry.

Last Sunday was National Grandparents Day. This is a day to honour grandparents and show them how much we love and appreciate them. Although we were unable to celebrate this special day at school, we kept them in our thoughts and prayers.

We are all looking forward to tomorrow and the commencement of our Junior Joeys Investigators! We are delighted to be able to welcome them in person to our beautiful school.

We are taking a well-earned rest from our art travels and, this term, are focusing on drama. Mrs Davies has lots in store! Infants are concentrating on the art of puppetry and, in particular, the movement of puppets to show facial expressions. They commenced their first lesson by watching a video about Darci Lynne Farmer, a 12 year old American ventriloquist and singer. Growing up, Darci was very shy and afraid to perform in front of an audience. To overcome her shyness, her parents encouraged her to participate in an international scholarship program where she met another teen ventriloquist who inspired her to try ventriloquism herself. Darci was the winner of season twelve of America’s Got Talent. Stage 1 has been practising with finger puppets and concentrating on making eye contact. Mary and Joseph puppets also made a surprise visit to the Stage 1 classroom. Primary are focusing on the art of movement and, in particular, mime. We look forward to seeing some fantastic performances later in the term.

St Joseph's Primary South Grafton students learned about puppetry.
St Joseph's Primary South Grafton students learned about puppetry.

Maclean High School

Students at Maclean High School participated in the NSW Government Brilliant Business Kids awards on Thursday 22 October in collaboration with Charles Sturt University.

The state awards celebrated incredible student business projects that solve problems in the local community. Students developed a pitch for a business that will be sustainable according to the United Nations sustainable development goals.

At the awards ceremony the Honourable Dr Geoff Lee, Minister Skills and Tertiary Education said, “The initiative is all about students connecting with businesses in the area to solve problems in an innovative way.”

Jo Burston, 2018 Optus Business Woman of the year said, “Entrepreneurs embrace change and challenges and see them as opportunities to create novel and innovative solutions.” Ms Burston added, “We have 20 schools from NSW that undertook the program in 2020. This is more than twice the intake of last year. We had over 500 students that participated in developing soft skills like strategic thinking, creative problem-solving, collaboration, and resilience. With the help and support from the RIEP Officers, we linked schools with more than 60 mentors. These are massive achievements that would not have been possible without the NSW Government who is dedicated in supporting you to become job-ready.”

Leigh Morgan presents students with awards from Sydney Startup Hub
Leigh Morgan presents students with awards from Sydney Startup Hub

Ms Burston said, “I believe that through communities of practice, we encourage students to become more professional and entrepreneurial and perhaps one day start their own business that will in turn create jobs.”

The judges said that they were impressed with the high calibre of pitches presented by the students this year.

Leigh Morgan, Education and Program Director of Start-up Business said, “The students could have gone into hibernation mode when Covid19 shut down schools but instead they pushed through and made it to the state awards. It is really an incredible achievement that Maclean High can be very proud of.”

Yamba Public School

Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards 2020

The Dorothea Mackellar Memorial Society receives thousands of entries each year to this writing competition.

The standard of poetry writing is exceptional.

Congratulations to the following students from Yamba Public School who submitted entries this year.

Abigail Devine, Archie Talbot, Dimity Clarke, Ellis Thompson, Freya Meade, Isabella Devine, Jake Clark, Lily Hall, Olivia

Whitehouse, Sophie Bates and Stella Davey.

Yamba Public School Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards entrants
Yamba Public School Dorothea Mackellar Poetry Awards entrants

NSW Junior Chess League 2020

Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions this year, it wasn’t possible to run regional chess competitions. At one point during the year, it looked possible to hold the competition, so 28 students, from Years 4 to 6, competed every lunchtime for two months to decide the top eight players to represent our school. The teams have been ready to play, hoping that conditions would change. I would like to acknowledge the efforts of those students who entered and to congratulate the qualifiers.

Our “A” Team consisted of Tye Nikas, Axel Trotman, Alex Sowell and Franklin Stephenson.

Our “B” Team consisted of Brayden Connell, Hamish Hillier, Jaellah Coe and Rhianna Bosward.

Year 5 Camp was cancelled this year due to COVID-19 restrictions. Instead Year 5 participated in a number of activities in the school including; sandcastles, miniature raft building, bushwalking, damper cooking and rock painting.

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