Newsletter of Hunter Christian School July 2016

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Newsletter of Hunter Christian School July 2016 Mr Boyd Allen Principal I m reminded daily of the troubled nature of humanity when I read the scriptures each morning. It s also the reality of life being played out on the news during the remainder of the day, or through my own experiences or those of people close to me. The challenge and opportunities of this dynamic were part of a recent discussion I had with Professor John Fischetti, Head of the University of Newcastle s School of Education. How do we as educators fulfil our roles as school community members and continue to best prepare our students for what seems such an uncertain future? How do we remain relevant without being just fashionable and constant, without being simply dormant, or dynamic while still holding core beliefs as to our God-given identity, purpose and capacity? Digital technology in many ways captures the tensions of modern living. A seemingly constant disrupter that ensures we never seem to arrive ; not just with our latest Apple product purchase, but that there is always more, something better, stronger, quicker and newer. While it seems to solve so many problems, technology also creates many of its own. Hilary Clinton s continued challenges with emails as Secretary of State and Presidential candidate, provide a great example of how vulnerable we all are to this disrupter. That also applies to us as a school as we have also been recently reminded with incidents of students emails and Facebook postings. In The Link From the Principal... 1 Primary School News... 4 Secondary School News... 11 Notices from Administration... 19 Prayer Points Year 12 Trial HSC Exams Good health for staff and students through the winter season. For a successful and fun filled Trivia night. Bible verse Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience Contact Corner Kerr and Bull Streets Mayfield NSW 2304 [PO Box 10 HRMC NSW 2310] E: P: 4967 2111 W: Office Hours: 8.00am to 4.00pm hunterchristianschool1 1

I m incredibly grateful that we have already organised to host one of the officers from the e-commissioner on Tues 23 August, to talk with our parents and broader community to ensure you have a greater awareness of this technology and how best to manage it, without it overwhelming us. A commitment we also make as a school is to continue to equip our students, among other areas, to know how to use technology responsibly. Our capacity as a school community with inherent strength of intergenerational wisdom, is to intentionally partner our passionate and gifted staff with our genuine, capable, committed parents and carers, to help ensure our students can achieve their best in any endeavour. They can be encouraged to be more aware of their passions, strengths and limitations, confident in who they are and committed to making a difference for the better, whatever their circumstances may be. Our students, your children, can be reassured that in this increasingly troubled and complex world they not only have hope and know what truly matters; but they can be equipped for the future, regardless of what that future may look like. Enrolments If you have a child at home who is not currently enrolled at Hunter Christian School and you are planning to enrol them in 2017, could you please let the School know. ( We are putting assessment days aside now in Term 3, so we can complete the enrolment process for all new students by 20 September. Also, if you have friends or other family to whom you would like to recommend the school, please take the time to catch up with them and encourage them to submit an enrolment enquiry via the School Website's Enrolment Tab or to contact us at the email address above. A reminder that we budget for promotion of the school and have always found that word-of-mouth referrals are most effective. So we have a referral rebate available to any families who recommend the school when a student(s) enrols as a result. The referral rebate is $300 taken off your fees on their enrolment, and a Uniform gift voucher given to the new family. The new family needs to note your family's name on their family application. For any students who will not be returning in 2017, please remember there is a term s notice requirement or a term s fees charged in lieu of notice. Thank you for your help with this. We are looking forward to knowing enrolment numbers and class sizes for next year as we plan and budget for 2017. More than that, we are looking forward to including new students (including yours) and new families into our School Community. 2

CUA Community Care We need your votes to help us win $5,000 to improve our school! There are only a few weeks left to vote for our school project to win $5,000 from this year s CUA Community Care program. Thank you to everyone who has voted so far. There are still two weeks left to vote, so if you haven t already voted, please vote now! You can register your vote at or go to the local CUA branch at: 31 Darby St Newcastle NSW 2300 Branch Manager: Heidi Murray Phone: (02) 4908 8400 Don t forget you can make a vote once online and once in the branch. We re up against 13 other schools in the area and it s down to who gets the most community votes. So, please feel free to get friends and family involved and voting as well! To learn more about CUA Community Care and our school project proposal, please visit and select our school from the drop-down menu. Remember, voting closes at 4:30pm (AEST) on Tuesday 23 August. 3

Mr John Rolland Head of Primary Primary News Welcome to Term 3. We are very much looking forward to a busy, industrious term with many events and plenty of learning planned. Congratulations to Mr Tom Lambert who, after many hours of editing put together a video entry into a NSW Sport and Recreation competition, and won!!! The school will receive a prize of students attending one of the NSW Centres to the value of $20,000. Well done Mr Lambert, along with the students whose action was captured on video. Planning is already under way. Thank you to those parents who were able to come along to our Parent Teacher interviews. It is a vital part of your child s journey here at Hunter CS. If you were unable to attend please be encouraged to make contact with your child s teacher to discuss any concerns or simply to get an update on how your child is going at school. We have started our LunchPlus+ activities again for this Term, we have an Olympic day planned and our Zone athletics team is off to Glendale to compete against other Christian Schools in our zone. Then on Thursday 11 August our Junior Boys Soccer team is off on a trip to Penrith to compete in the finals of the Metropolitan Cup. Book Week is coming up, our Primary Public speaking competition is being organised and don t forget the Trivia Night on Saturday 13 August. There has been a major change to our Term 3 Calendar in that the Aquatics Program we were hoping to have turned out to be logistically unworkable without causing some major disruption to our learning programs. As a result, we are now in the initial planning stages of having a water-based activity/event sometime during Term 4. We have also had a number of new families join our school over the last few weeks so if you see someone new please take time to introduce yourself and welcome them into our school community. Let s all have a great term. 4

K-2 - Teddy Bears Picnic If you had gone out into the woods, or should I say the Primary school, on Wednesday 29 June, you would have been sure of a great surprise : to see the students from K-2 enjoying a day with some furry friends. The children from each of these classes were asked to bring their favourite teddy bear to school for a funfilled day of teddy bear activities, including a yummy picnic. A visit to the Library was also a delightful addition with Mrs Stabler sharing a teddy bear story and songs. The day was enjoyed by all with some very tired teddy bears and very full children s tummies with all the wonderful treats that were shared and games that were played. 5

Stage 3 Newcastle At the end of Term 2, Stage 3 students were blessed with beautiful weather as they undertook a walking tour of the historical sites of Newcastle. The main focus of the walk was visiting significant sites that helped establish Newcastle as a colony from the late 18 th century. The walk began at the Convict Lumber Yard and concluded at the Anzac Memorial Walk, with visits to places such as the old gaol site, Shepherds Hill, Macquarie Pier and Fletcher Park along the way. There was even the opportunity to watch the whales from both Fort Scratchley and Strzelecki Lookout. Much thanks must go to Mr O Sullivan for dropping us off, Michelle Morgan Ward for capturing some amazing pictures and to the many parents that joined us for a walk through history that covered an impressive 6.42km! 6

Stage 1 Information Reports During Term 2, Stage 1 spent many hours researching, planning, drafting, revising, editing and then publishing information reports. The result of their work was a book on an animal of their choice. The Stage 1 children were very keen to share their published work and Kindergarten children were a very interested audience. Great work Stage 1! Thanks Kindergarten! 7

Stage 2 Student Race Success Levi Stephens in S2P recently competed in the Hattah Desert Race on his motorbike. It is a 100km desert race and Levi finished 3rd in his class in Australia (the 7-9 years 65cc class). The race is challenging both mentally and physically, as riders cannot stop, other than to get fuel; many riders suffer from cramps and blisters. Levi had to compete in a prologue event, which is a smaller race, in order to get his starting position for the big race. Levi also recently competed in Dunedoo at a motorcross track which is about 1.5km long. The track consists of turns, jumps and table tops. Each race is four laps long with around 30 entrants per race. Levi came first overall in the 7-9 65cc class at Dunedoo, gaining 3 firsts and 1 second, after crashing in one of his races. Levi s whole family loves to race on this track. All four family members achieved a first place on the last race day. Congratulations to Levi and his family! 8

Beanie for Brain Cancer Day Last term the Primary Department students celebrated Beanie for Brain Cancer Day. Students were invited to wear beanies to raise money for the Mark Hughes Foundation. This Foundation raises money for research to find a cure for brain cancer. We were all moved by Emily Evans in Stage 3 who shared her own personal experience with brain cancer. 9

LIBRARY LINKS Welcome back to the beginning of Term 3. It s always a busy term for the Hunter Christian School Library as we come to the end of the Premier s Reading Challenge and then prepare for and celebrate Book Week. For the next couple of weeks, though, we will be celebrating the Olympic Games in our School Library. There is an historical display, a daily medal tally and an Olympic Reading Challenge for Stage 2 & 3 students. We encourage everyone in our School Community to get involved and cheer for Australia! August 22-26 is Book Week. This year, the Children s Book Council of Australia theme is Australia! Story Country, which is a very fitting theme to follow the Olympic Games. Every Australian has a story, even though not every story is printed or published. Our Library will be decorated with an Australian flavour, there will be colouring and reading competitions for all Primary Department students, visiting speakers and readers and many other activities. Our annual Book Parade will take place in the hall on Friday 26 August beginning at 9 am, with all Primary Department students and staff dressing to reflect the Australian theme. Everyone is welcome to attend. This year s Premier s Reading Challenge concludes on Wednesday 17 August. Students who have not completed the Challenge and wish to do so, should hand completed forms to Library staff by the above date. 10

Mr Ron Bulley Head of Secondary Secondary News Growth Mindset We sometimes look with awe upon the achievements and skills of people who are labelled prodigies. However, the studies of a range of scientists interested in the Growth Mindset suggest that genius is much more associated with practice and hard work than we often imagine. Dr Daniel J Levitin, a neuroscientist, musician and author, studied top musicians at colleges for the arts, looking for what he called the signature of talent the quality that separated the best performers from the rest. He researched soloists, teachers and concert musicians, looking for that x factor. His conclusion: the factor that made the difference between the best and the rest, was practice. The Growth Mindset understanding of talent relies on brain science which shows that purposeful practice re-makes brain pathways, as skills and understanding develop. Perhaps the most famous musical prodigy in history, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, said: People make a great mistake who think my art has come easily to me. No-one has devoted so much time and thought to composition as I. Mozart had as his teacher (his father) an accomplished musician who had also developed his teaching skills through teaching Mozart s older sister. Mozart practised his music from a very early age and at great length, probably sometimes less than willingly! However, the many hours, and the skilful direction of the practice through his father, meant that Mozart developed his skills over time. Every Australian is probably familiar with the story of Don Bradman, and the hours he spent practising hitting a golf ball against the water tank behind his home with just a cricket stump. His outstanding talent on the cricket field was founded on extended, purposeful practice. Anders Ericsson, a psychology professor at Florida State University, and his colleagues, studied expert performances in soccer, surgery, piano playing, software design, writing, chess and other pursuits. Their findings proved that expert performers are nearly always made, not born. It is only when a task is repeated many times to perfection that people excel. However, the concept of deliberate practice, emphasised by Ericsson, involves more than just repeating a task; it includes setting goals, obtaining necessary feedback, correcting past mistakes, and focussing on the process as well as the outcome. So again, the hope is there for any of us a struggling student, a parent, or a teacher, or anyone, that we can become better at almost anything to which we put our minds and commit time and effort. Principal s Awards At the Celebration Assembly in the last week of Term 2, the following Secondary students received Principal s Awards: Year 7 Kulia Toofohe, Matthew Allen Year 8 Mykayla Haddow, Alyssa Kidd Year 9 Kupakwashe Matangira, Jessica Weld Year 10 Ada Talbot, Hayden Smith Year 11 Blake Applebee, Israel Rumbel Year 12 Angelique Clark, Sophie Ingham. The Prefect s Award for Term 2 was awarded to Cassandra Sinclair of Year 10. 11

In congratulating these students, I also wish to thank them for the part they play and the positive contribution they make to our school community. They are much appreciated. Patricia Weerakoon Relationship Talks Dr Patricia Weerakoon has begun her 2016 sessions on relationships in a talk with Years 11 and 12 on June 14 entitled Sex, What Has God Got to do With It? Patricia s sessions are split this year between Terms 2 and 4. She will be coming back for a Parent Night on Monday 24 October and student sessions with Years 5 10 on Tuesday 25 October. Music Room The Secondary Music Room has had an exciting makeover during the recent vacation. The room has been re-painted in a new colour scheme, the desks replaced with benches and there are now stools rather than standard school chairs. A small stage will eventually be installed to enhance the performance space. On-Line NAPLAN Trial ACARA (the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority), which administers NAPLAN Australia-wide, has invited our school to participate this term in a trial as part of their plans for the test to be fully on-line in 2017. Our school will be assisting ACARA to evaluate the test items, while other schools will be testing other aspects of NAPLAN being on-line. The Trial will not record results and the students involved do not have to study or prepare in any way. The Trial gives us a good opportunity to assess the possible use of desktop computers v laptops v BYOD devices for on-line NAPLAN, and we will hopefully also learn how our school network copes with the demands of a large number of students being on-line at the same time engaged in such a test. Prefects In Term 3 each year, which is the last term of attendance for the outgoing Year 12 group, nominations are invited for prefects for the coming year. Students in the current Years 10 and 11 are eligible to be nominated and elected, and the Prefect and Captains Induction ceremony is set down for Thursday 8 September. All school staff, and all Secondary students, vote for the new prefect group. Please pray for those students who are considering nomination, and for those who will be elected to this important role in our school. MADD Planning is now well under way for MADD Night, which is scheduled for Tuesday evening 30 August. MADD Night allows the opportunity for performance and display of works in Music, Art, Drama and Design. Students from Kindergarten through to Stage 6 will be involved. Some of the featured works will be Year 12 HSC Music performances, Design & Technology projects and Visual Arts major works. There is also an exciting menu of food options being planned by Food Technology students. Keep your eye out for the MADD Night flier which should be coming home soon. Year 12 Year 12 students are currently studying hard for their Trial HSC exams which will be held in Weeks 4 and 5 of this term. Major works for the HSC are due soon after, and then reports will be written as the students ready themselves for the final HSC exams starting in the first week of Term 4. The Year 12 students finish their school attendance with their Graduation, on the 12

last day of this term. Please pray for them as they undertake this final leg of their schooling journey and as they move on to significant life decisions over coming weeks and months. VET Work Placement Year 11 Metal & Engineering students are currently learning their skills via the workplace, through their mandatory work placement. Students spend a full-time week in industry placement, which is often crucial to learning the real application of the skills they are developing in the school workshop. Reports Parents of students in Years 7 to 11 should have received Semester 1 reports at the end of last term. It is my privilege, in the final checking stage with the reports, to read every one. The progress and development of students, as the terms and semesters unfold through their time at school, are a blessing to see. Many overcome struggles of various kinds to achieve the grades they receive. For any student, to achieve their own personal best (not someone else s) is something to be celebrated. Scheduled parent-teacher interviews are now behind us, but if any parent would like to talk to a teacher about any aspect of their child s progress, they are always more than welcome to make an appointment through the school office or by email. Youth Mental Health First Aid In the Staff Development Week prior to the commencement of Term 3, Secondary teachers participated in a two-day Youth Mental Health First Aid course run by Hunter New England Health. Teachers came away better equipped to assist our teenagers at the first aid level of helping with mental health and well-being issues. They were also given useful information on referral pathways for students needing further help, recognising that, as teachers, we are not mental health professionals. As a school we are committed to helping students to be healthy in mind, body and spirit, giving them the optimal conditions for effective learning. Subject Choices Students in Years 8, 9 and 10 are currently in the second round of their elective subject selections for 2017. Their first round choices led to the determination of subject lines. Now students must make their (hopefully) final choices among the electives that are actually running for next year. If any student or parent has questions about the subjects or the process, they are welcome to ask staff members via email or phone, or by making an appointment. Art Competition Winner Recently, Sophie McMurray in Year 11 won a monthly art competition for high school students, run by Hunter Design School. The competition involved designing sections of a slide deck. Congratulations Sophie! We hope you enjoy spending your prize money. Check out her work at 13

House on the Rock Update During the school holidays, Miss Melissa Collins and I visited our sister school in Raki Raki, Fiji to help prepare for the commencement of work on our House on the Rock project. As part of the preparations, Hunter Christian School and Nakuvadra High school signed a Memorandum of Understanding covering the lease and use of the two properties which will make up Stages 1 & 2 of the project. Miss Collins and I also had meetings with the Fijian Government s Provincial Administrator, local Director of Education, Land Council Representatives and sundry businesses with whom the project will be working. By the end of the week, all was put in readiness to see the concrete poured and renovations begun on the House on the Rock project. In September of this year, Miss Collins and 2015 School Captain, Miss Lydia Taylor, will be taking up residence in one of the two houses to oversee and assist in the renovation of both houses. Both ladies will be staying in the village until January at which point it is anticipated the two houses will be ready for the 12 remote area students to move in and attend Nakuvadra high school. The school will be assessing the needs of students and their families and will decide who will be our first House on the Rock residents. If you are interested in what the House on the Rock is all about, don t hesitate to call me at School. I am always happy to chat about ways to involve you in the ongoing needs of the project! If you would like to contribute to our project, then why not come along to our Trivia Night on 13 August, but be quick, we only have 3 tables left on the night! - Mr Steve Taylor Lot 11 Lot 10 14

Maths Challenge results 2016 The Australian Mathematics Trust (AMT) invited interested students to participate once again in the Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians in 2016. This is a three-week problem-solving activity which is aimed at the top 15% of students in their year level from Years 3-10. Congratulation to the following students for these wonderful results: Distinction certificates Isaac Forryan (Year 3) Isabelle Wong (Year 4) Credit certificate Amy Iveson (Year 8) Participation certificates Lachlan Forryan (Year 5) Jonathan Iveson (Year 5) Jolie Gibbon (Year 6) Lachlan Graham (Year 6) Belle Amos (Year 7) Well done to our budding mathematicians. See your Maths teacher if you are interested in entering next year. Notes come out during late February. Are you up for the challenge? - Mrs Charlene Coates 15

Mini Muddies Centaur Outdoor Events was established on the unwavering belief that through fun fitness events, we can empower, motivate, excite and unite; bringing everyday people together, and pushing them out of their comfort zones, so they can realise their full potential and live their lives through amazing experience away from the 'daily grind'. The Mini Muddies High School Obstacle Challenge was developed in 2015, as a Grand Opener event for Centaur s highly successful Suck it up Buttercup Assault Obstacle Mud race. Opened especially for High School students, we believe that we have found a unique, challenging and highly enjoyable way to get young people more involved in physical fitness, and build confidence and life skills for the future. How did Hunter Christian School achieve such great results? Hunter Christian School s Paul Monk, Teacher and Year 8 Co-ordinator, and Chris Tyrie, Teacher and Sports Co-ordinator, took two different approaches to achieve the school s excellent results in student participation in this year s fitness event, promoting the value of physical activity in their lives. Here s what Chris did Chris Tyrie saw an extra-curricular event (Mini Muddies) as an opportunity to incorporate a unique, challenging and fun activity into the 7-10 PDHPE syllabus, linking specific objectives and outcomes components directly to Mini Muddies. Being part of the syllabus, we were able to directly tether the event to the PDHPE related outcomes for movement and skill, individual and community health, and lifelong physical activity. Students were responsible for forming their teams of 6, working out course strategies, packing their own equipment for the event, completing the relevant online and offline forms associated with the event, and designing and completing lead-up fitness training sessions, both inside and outside of school hours. said Chris. We decided to keep the focus on participation and enjoyment. Internally, our expectations as teaching staff were for the students to experience a fun and challenging event that achieves improved resilience, enhanced teamwork and familiarity amongst students and staff, improved physical fitness, and a better understanding of the benefits of lifelong participation in physical activity. 16

Hunter Christian School did not use Mini Muddies as a formal assessment task. We decided to keep the focus on participation and enjoyment. However, the event did allow for numerous opportunities to observe students behaviour, participation and resilience in what was both an enjoyable and challenging event. Here s what Paul did Paul Monk s approach was focused on the fun aspects of Mini Muddies. Paul said We loved last year s event, so I decided to offer Mini Muddies as a (mid-year) end-of-year excursion event for Year 8... and they jumped at the chance. The fact that the event is specifically for Secondary School students is a real selling point, and compared to some of our previous years excursions, was extremely cost-effective. We also had 5 teachers involved in the race, which gave us the added bonus where the students got to see their teachers as human, leading by example, and having a go. Physics News The Year 11 Physics class is investigating moving objects and how to safely stop them. 17

Maths Fun Day Inquisitive Minds On Tuesday 28 June, ten students from Years 7 and 8 took part in a fun-filled day of Maths called Inquisitive Minds. The day was held at Hunter School of Performing Arts and around eighty students from the Newcastle Area took part. The students had a great time solving problems, puzzles and challenges, while putting their Mathematical and thinking skills to the test. As you can see from the photo below Maths is definitely fun! (Emily Baker also attended on the day but was not available for the photo). 18

Mr Luke Kirkegard Support Services Manager Administration Hunter Christian School now has it's own APP. The APP is replacing the current Skoolbag HCS APP. The functions of the new Hunter Christian School APP include: Absence notification Alert notification School communication Student timetable Teacher email contact Student information View student absence School Calendar Newsletter School contact information A separate email will be sent to the nominated caregiver shortly with a link to log into the School Portal. Some School Portal permissions have changed so you will need to use the link in the confirmation email to refresh your login. On the login screen you have the option to change your username and password if you wish. Your School Portal login details can then be used to log into the School APP. The APP is FREE and now available from the Google Play (Android) and Apple APP store (ios) You can search for "Hunter Christian School" in either store - the publisher is "Com-Assist Solutions Pty Ltd. Here are the links to the APP in the Apple and Google Play stores. Google Play Apple Store 19

Quest Camp Over the past ten years, Northlakes Church has sponsored a High School Youth Camp. It is a place where youth can get away from the world and have some great fun, connect with peers, and look at life from a different perspective! The goal is to help the next generation to live with a hope of the future. We are all on a Quest...we are all headed we challenge students to look into their future, to see the possibilities of what their future might look like in connection with a loving God. Quest Camp does this in a very fun and active way and as you can see from some pictures there is never a dull moment at Quest!!! If you are interested in being a part of Quest 2016 please contact: Rob Branham - Lead Pastor of Northlakes Church, Cameron Park Community Centre Fliers can be picked up at the school office. 20

Dates for August Wednesday 10 August Primary Chapel / Primary LunchPlus+ CANTEEN HELPERS WANTED We would be so grateful for more parents, grandparents or friends who could assist in the school Canteen. Please email if you are available From 9am until 11.15am is the most crucial time. Thursday 11 August Primary Metro Cup Finals Friday 12 August Secondary Zone Basketball Year 10 5.3 Maths Excursion Year 3-6 Sport Saturday 13 August Trivia Night Fiji Fundraiser Monday 15 August Year 12 Study Leave Tuesday 16 23 August Year 12 Trial HSC Exams Blue Wombat Driving School Tuesday 16 August UNSW Maths Competition Year 3-6 Wednesday 17 August Primary Assembly / Primary LunchPlus+ Thursday 18 August Year 9 Online NAPLAN Trial Contact : Doug Rumbel 0414 765648 Friday 19 August Year 7 Online NAPLAN Trial CSSA State Athletics / Year 3-6 Sport Monday 22-26 August Book Week Wednesday 24 August CSSA Athletics / Year 12 Study Leave Primary Chapel / LunchPlus+ Friday 26 August Book Week Parade HCS Chess Championships Tuesday 30 August MADD Night NPBS Maths Comp Wednesday 31 August Primary Assembly / LunchPlus+ 21