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FROM THE PRINCIPAL: End of Term 4 2022

Learn some of the latest news at Preshil from our Principal, Josh Brody.

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Dear Preshil Families,

At Preshil, student voices are celebrated. 

This year, I have had the privilege of working with our students and learning about what motivates them. It is clear to me that we attract students who care about making a difference in the world. Our community of learners is encouraged to question and Preshil works to foster an environment where students can discover their purpose and develop tools to make an impact within the School community and beyond.

Next year, we’ll be focussing on student agency and changemaking across our programs and campuses. Building on the many things that Preshil students are already engaged in, we will look to provide opportunities to support our students to develop the skills, dispositions and attitudes needed to address issues they care about.. We want our students to be supported to challenge ideas, question conventional wisdom, form their own opinions, and set their own goals.

At Arlington, students will engage in an inquiry into the interconnectedness of human-made systems and communities; the structure and function of organisations; societal decision-making, economic activities and their impact on humankind and the environment.

Within this Unit of Inquiry, children from Prep to Year 6 will join a committee that focuses on a particular issue at Arlington. Teacher Mentors will support the children in these groups. Here are some examples of what their topics of investigation and research may be:

  • Animals at Arlington
  • Public Art
  • Branding and Signage
  • Events and Fundraising
  • Sustainability
  • Grounds, Gardens and Sports
  • Library and Games
  • Huts and Cubbies

Children will consider issues and problems related to their area and, using design thinking, will explore ways to resolve issues and contribute to our community. Committees will bring their problems and designed solutions to Whole School Meetings for consideration. There will be an emphasis on the interconnectedness of these committees. Utilising the design cycle, students will be developing the following skills; Thinking (critical thinking, transfer and application of knowledge, creative and novel thinking, evaluation within design and reflection on design efficacy); research (formulating, planning, gathering and recording), social, communication and self-management skills will be extended in all groups.

This unit of inquiry will connect students to each other, their school community, and help them see the ways in which they all have an impact at Preshil.

At Blackhall Kalimna, we are excited to be introducing programs and opportunities in 2023 that support our students to build design thinking aptitudes, whilst affording them opportunities to actively demonstrate the IB ATL skills of Service as Action (a foundational and requisite element of the IB MYP). This will continue to foster an environment where our students can develop into independent, lifelong learners, who make a positive contribution to their local and global context.

We hope to provide opportunities for our students to develop the skills, dispositions and attitudes needed to challenge both emerging and entrenched social and environmental issues – both internally within the Preshil environment and externally through the development of impactful projects that contribute to the betterment of the lives of others ‘outside’ of the school community.

Through their participation in service, students can become more confident and effective learners and take action by:

  • Appreciating and promoting intercultural awareness and developing a sense of respect towards people in the community
  • Developing altruistic attitudes through interaction with their community
  • Using their creativity to develop personal insight into local and global issues
  • Working collaboratively and developing the skills that will enable the students to work effectively with others
  • Demonstrating the skills, knowledge, and discipline required to complete an innovative project, with tangible outcomes
  • Communicating complex ideas effectively, to effect positive and sustained change.

I look forward to sharing with you future updates on the projects that BK students will be working on in the new year to affect change.
 

“Education is not preparation for life; education is life itself…”
John Dewey (paraphrased from Democracy and Education, 1916)


Preshil students don’t need to wait until they graduate to make a difference in the world. They are eager to act on their passions and test their ideas, rather than just following established norms. They have the courage to reimagine a better future. They are out there now, actively engaging with leaders and influencing change, and I’m pleased to share with you some recent examples:

A design workshop was held recently with eighteen Preshil students and they had the opportunity to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of the Blackhall Kalimna Campus Library space, brainstorm ideas for improvement and present some initial drafts. Improvements to the Preshil campuses are required to improve both the amenity of spaces and to maintain and preserve existing buildings. Read more…

The Student Representative Council (SRC) has been engaged in problem-solving within the School. Year 10 student, Manny, is pleased to share an update with the community about some of their recent activitiesRead more…

Through a chance discovery that ignited curiosity and a drive for social action, Year 10 student Kiera rallied student support and organised an event that not only lifted spirits, and brought students from many year levels together, it also raised much-needed funds. This initiative exemplified Kiki’s commitment to the IB Service as Action, through a demonstration of Intercultural Understanding, and by ‘deepening her fellow student’s knowledge and understanding of the world around them’ (IBO 2022). Read more…
Year 10 student, Stella, has been in Canberra conducting a Work Experience placement with Rebekha Sharkie, Member for Mayo (SA). She has prepared a reflection about this experience that we are delighted to share with you. Read more…
Arlington students Piper, Mia and Leon have been doing amazing work in the space of sustainability, advocating for a more sustainable campus. Read more…

Cultural diversity and International Mindedness are an integral part of International Baccalaureate (IB) schools. In an increasingly diverse and challenging world, it is critical that schools incorporate a culturally responsive curriculum. It is important for schools to remember that while each individual is unique, we need to recognise and understand our differences. By including opportunities to explore our varied cultures and acknowledging our diversity, we hope to promote awareness, tolerance and acceptance in our students.

Preshil’s Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP)
This term, our Aboriginal Reconciliation Action Team has met on a regular basis to discuss and explore ways of embedding Aboriginal culture and history through the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan.

Our vision is to authentically support and provide opportunities for the Preshil community to develop a sustainable, ongoing awareness and understanding of ATSI cultures and history, in the spirit of Reconciliation. Preshil is committed to the ongoing development of processes and policies that reflect our moral imperative as a school, ensuring that Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander (ATSI) history and culture are embedded into all aspects of school life.
 
As a school, we aim to embed ATSI knowledge, past, present, and future, throughout our curriculum. We want our students to grow up with a respectful and heartfelt understanding of what land they are on, and importantly, understand the diversity and cultural nuances that pervade on the country they reside on.
 
We believe that imbuing ATSI perspectives are imperative in creating a more unified and inclusive society. We want to place a greater emphasis on ATSI perspectives in our classrooms and within the wider Preshil community. As a school community that acknowledges we are on Wurundjeri land, we will demonstrate our support and encouragement for Indigenous Australians through word and action, not only to those in our local community but also to all ATSI communities.

The Aboriginal Reconciliation Action Team is pleased to report that we have established short-, medium-, and long-term goals that are already underway. Some short-term action items include the introduction of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags at the Blackhall Kalimna Reception and starting the 2023 school year with a smoking ceremony. Some long-term action items include considering cultural competencies and inviting Elders and Traditional Owners to share their stories and speak to students and staff.

If you would like to know more about what a RAP is, we invite you to watch the following video:

Legacy Reception Event
Completing Year 12 is a significant milestone and one that should be celebrated! At the conclusion of examinations, this was an opportunity to come together one final time as a cohort to officially welcome our emerging adults into the Preshil Alumni community.

We are grateful to the parents involved in this event! Their efforts towards fostering goodwill and connection within our community are sincerely appreciated. We thank you for your many contributions towards this Legacy Reception.

Alumni Council Formation
Preshil values its extended family and we encourage all our alumni, past staff, parents and friends to stay in touch and involved to ensure Preshil remains the special place it has been as we approach 90 years! We are delighted to share with you that we are in the process of forming a Preshil Alumni Council and we envision this to be a space where ideas and contributions can be made to deepen the connection that we have with our community.

Should you (or someone you know) be interested in joining our Alumni Council, or perhaps attending our first meeting on Friday 16 December 2022, please contact our Alumni Department by email (alumni@preshil.vic.edu.au) by Friday 9 December 2022.

90th Birthday Celebration Working Group Formation
Similarly, we are in the process of establishing our calendar of events for Preshil’s 90th Birthday Celebration in 2023 and we hope that you can help us! A Working Group has been formed and recently we had our first meeting.

Should you have any ideas or wish to join our small group, we invite you to please contact our Alumni Department by email (alumni@preshil.vic.edu.au) at your earliest convenience.

Family Book Fair
It was brilliant to see engagement in reading nurtured. Children walked around enthralled with the different books they wanted and were eager to share information about their favourite books with their classmates. Parents purchased books for the library and all seemed to be having a great time. Funds raised from the 2022 book fair are being used to bolster the Arlington Library collection to encourage the relaxation, creative thinking and discussions that ensue from the joyful experience of reading for pleasure.

Library Open Afternoons
This term, we have hosted a weekly after-school library session for families at the Arlington Campus and we are pleased to report that these were wonderfully lively sessions with lots of buzz. Lots of borrowing, mindful colouring in and quiet reading. We even had a furry visitor! Families were really pleased to have access after school and were asking if there will be more days. Thank you to all involved!

Book Club Update
The Preshil Book Club has officially met three times and we have successfully covered two great books! You might like to read a little bit about our second book club where we finished up the first book, ‘The Whole Brain Child’. During the third book club, we reviewed our second book, ‘Mindset’  was an enjoyable read for those that were able to attend and a rich discussion was shared about what this looks like for each individual. From work, to play, to parenting, to learning – we explored different strategies and brainstormed a variety of methods to support this at home and at school.

Just one of the many ideas that were discussed was how embracing the power of the word ‘yet’ and how one simple word can totally shift the perspective. For example;

  • “I can’t understand algebra …yet!”
  • “I don’t know how to spell complicated works …yet!”
  • “I don’t like the taste of pumpkin pie …yet!”

Recycling Week Update
Thank you to all those that contributed to a successful Recycling Week at Preshil! Many people took the opportunity to contribute their used clothing and shoes, and we are pleased to share the results with everyone:

  • Clothing: We collected 36 kilograms at Arlington and 11 kilograms at Blackhall Kalimna.
  • Shoes: We collected 52 pairs at Arlington and 10 pairs at Blackhall Kalimna.

Where did these items go?
Some clothes were sent to an artist in Northcote to be used in weaving. Some were sent to a secondhand clothes shop. A bag of woollen school jumpers was also sent to a lost cat’s home. The rest were sent to Upparal to be recycled. The shoes were sent to Save our Soles.

Introducing New Bins to Arlington
You may be aware that CERES recently came to visit our Arlington Campus and from this visit, we have been able to implement a new bin system to the campus! From mixed recycling, to landfill, to soft plastic – our students and staff are encouraged to think about the waste they generate and consider which waste stream would be the most appropriately responsible choice. Thank you to all that are involved in this implementation!

INTRODUCING LONG DAY CARE TO PRESHIL’S KINDERGARTEN

We are pleased to let you know about the exciting expansion of our Preshil Kindergarten into long day care in 2023! We look forward to sharing more information with our community over the coming weeks about this transition.

A long day care model affords us the opportunity to both offer a program for up to 48 weeks per year and also extend the available hours of care available each day. From 2023, the Preshil Kindergarten will operate from 8.00am to 6.00pm each day and will offer optional care across the term holidays all based within our existing kindergarten grounds. Our eligible families will also be able to access the Child Care Subsidy (CCS), with eligibility expanding in 2023.

We are committed to preserving and improving upon the Preshil Kindergarten, while acknowledging that many of our families seek extended hours and holiday care. We are aware of the modern-day pressures on families and are confident our children and families will benefit from care and education that commences earlier and continues later in the day within the Preshil Kindergarten setting.

Preshil’s First Alumni Council Meeting

The first meeting of Preshil’s Alumni Council was held at the Arlington Campus last week, and it was a resounding success. Attendees included alumni and friends from many different years, all of whom were excited to reconnect with their alma mater and catch up with old friends.

Read More »

With my best wishes,

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