Friday 27 August, 2021

Principal's News

Community and connection look different during a pandemic. Many schools across Australia are not able to be on campus, together, for a Book Week celebration. We are blessed in SA to be on campus and at Annesley we had a delightful, colourful and vibrant celebration for Book Week. Seeing the joy that the dress ups bring to our whole community is significant for me. It is disappointing that parents, caregivers and our wider community could not be on site in Gillingham Hall for the celebration of books, characters, creative thought and language. Here are but a few photos for you to enjoy and reflect upon as families.

A Note from the Head of Primary Years

Late last term, I took my children to have their eyesight assessed by Tania Straga, Principal Orthoptist at Adelaide Eye Therapy. The first question Tania asked my eldest was; ‘How much homework do you do?’ Eamon shared that his time after school is not determined by overly structured work given by his teachers, instead he is encouraged to pursue sports, hobbies, interests and his own inquiries.

Tania wrote to me after our appointment and shared the following;

‘I so, so love your approach to ‘homework’. If only more schools resisted societies push to create mini intellectuals rather than support children. Childhood should be about play and fun – and naturally the learning will come. Our kids need to be forming social and problem solving skills at this age, not rote learning skills or slabs of information.’

Tania then made connections between traditional homework and the pandemic of myopia (short-sightedness) that we now see world wide due to children not spending enough time outdoors and too much time on near-focused tasks. Tania shared that a great deal of research is available to support this, one of which is from the World Health Organisation. She highlighted this quote from the report; ‘Time spent outdoors (47): I. Morgan informed the meeting that the epidemic of myopia in East Asia is primarily due to changes in environmental (social) factors, specifically intensive education and less time spent outdoors (Fig. 6). Observed seasonal variation in the progression of myopia adds weight to the argument that time spent outdoors slows the progression of myopia.’

The path of myopia from a young age leads to poorer outcomes in regards to vision for the remainder of life. The earlier the myopia starts, the more likely that the myopia will increase to higher levels, which can lead to increased risk including many eye co-morbidities, the most severe being retinal detachment and blindness.

In my house, my children use their afternoons to pursue interests and co-curricular activities, play on their own and with others, whilst spending time relaxing and connecting to nature outdoors. Of an evening, they spend some time practicing and developing the skills of reading, times tables, playing their chosen musical instrument or furthering some research related to learning that has inspired them at school. My husband Matt and I identify goals and areas of age-appropriate skill-development with them to guide their home learning and together we can manage these activities in balance with other home and family commitments. This precious time together enhances our connection with our children. Their home learning is personalised, meaningful and the stress that traditional homework can cause in a household is not a barrier to settled, relaxed evenings spent together as a family.

Jo Rossiter
Head of Primary Years

Our School

Staffing Update

Alana Iannazzo and Nicole Schiller will soon be commencing maternity leave and we wish them all the best as they prepare for the arrival of their babies. Both teachers will finish teaching on Friday 3 September 2021.

ELC Grevillea – Penny White will be teaching fulltime in the Grevillea Room until the end of Term 3. Towards the end of this term we will welcome Jess Fosdike back from maternity leave as she will be preparing to return on Thursdays and Fridays in the Grevillea Room from the start of Term 4.

Year 1 – Devan Chalmers is currently co-teaching with Nicole Schiller to ensure a smooth transition for the students. Devan will be teaching full time form Monday 6 September.

Front Office – We will soon be welcoming a new member to our Front Reception team. Bianca Harms has been appointed as Administrative Assistant to support with reception duties, school uniforms and a many other administrative duties. Bianca has enjoyed a very successful career in marketing and communications, whilst also volunteering at Unley Primary School and Walford Old Scholars. She is looking forward to sharing her strengths in supporting the Annesley community.

New Staff for 2022 – We have recently advertised for additional staff to join our growing team in 2022. The roles advertised include ELC and classroom teaching positions, additional teachers for Personalised Learning, French and Technologies, as well as a new role in supporting English and Languages/Dialects (EALD).

The Quest

Over the past fortnight, Base 5 have tackled two of Annesley’s signature (and possibly two of the toughest) Quest experiences. As a group, they worked together to successfully complete a 35km bike ride along the River Torrens to the beach and back, as well as conquering the Waterfall Gully to Mt Lofty hike. Base 3 continue to use the animals and habitats at Adelaide Zoo each week to deepen their knowledge and skills in the Sharing the Planet inquiry ‘Living things depend on each other to survive.’ 

Parent Teacher Meetings

We value the opportunity to meet with parents regularly throughout the year at a time that suits each learner, family and teacher. Instead of holding Parent Teacher Interviews on a set date each year, we encourage families to make a time that suits them to meet with their child’s teacher. If you haven’t met with your child’s teacher this year, we encourage you to make a time to meet with them this term. Under current SA Health guidelines, our teachers are conducting these with a phone call or virtually via Microsoft Teams.

Junior Orator Competition

This week, Katie (Year 5) and Annika (Year 6) represented Annesley at the Junior Orator Competition at Prince Alfred College. They have worked tirelessly this term to write a 4 minute speech that they then presented to a group of students and adults. They also prepared a spontaneous speech on the night to present also. Katie and Annika can be very proud of themselves; they took on a new challenge, built their confidence and skills through the process and represented our community exceptionally well!

Oliphant Science Awards

The Oliphant Science Awards is an annual competition for students from Reception to Year 12. The competition aims to foster students interest in Science and develop a range of skills such as observation, prediction and communication.

Congratulations to the following students who entered the awards this year:

Vanessa, Benji, Jeremy, Ginevra, Paige, Sophie, Elise, Eliza, Amelie, Zara-Rose, Lucy, Indigo, Spencer, Tobias, Alex, Eamon, Avi, Yana and Jack.

Special mention to:

Amelie and Zara-Rose who were prize winners in the R-2 Games category

Paige who was a prize winner in the R-2 Games category

Elise for a Highly Commended in R-2 Games

Tobias for a Highly Commended for 4-5 Models/Inventions

Jack for a Highly Commended in the 6-7 Models/Inventions

Primary Years' Learning

Year 3 (Rosie) Video News

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Early Years' Learning

Banksia Room Video News

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A Note from our Chaplain

Book week has caused me to think about the value of story. Stories entertain us. Stories inform us. Stories inspire us. But the deeply significant and meaningful stories exist to transform us. To change us for the better.

As a child I remember reading The Magic Faraway Tree, The Hardy Boys, and The Hobbit. These were amazing stories which grabbed my attention, connecting me with the characters and the journey they were on. I often saw something of myself in them, or someone who I wanted to be like. They gave me imagination, vision and a spirit of adventure. Another significant book for me was the Bible. Not just as a collection of different stories about people who lived a long time ago, but knowing it as God’s story of restoring a broken relationship with Him.

We are often captured by stories because we relate to the characters the author describes. We see something in a person of that story which is similar to us. Something we’ve experienced for ourselves. Something we’re going through now. Or something we aspire to be. It’s the same for the Bible. As you read it you discover that people behaved in ways which really aren’t that different from you or I. Similar thoughts. Similar feelings. Similar emotions. And in many cases, similar responses.

Through the Bible we see God, either directly or through other Christian men and women of that time, strengthen, encourage, raise up, and challenge people to believe and trust in Him. To know why they were created. And for what purpose they were in the world. And God wants the same for you and me today.

Let me encourage you to take the time to read the Bible. Connect with the characters. But let it do more than just entertain you? Let it do more than simply inform you about facts? Connect with the Author and allow Him to inspire you. Because the Bible is a deeply significant and meaningful story that exists to transform us. To change us for the better.

Peter Morton
Annesley Chaplain

Assembly & Chapel

Due to COVID-19 restrictions Assembly & Chapel will continue to be for Students only until further notice.

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