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FROM THE PRINCIPAL: Term 3 2022

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

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Dear Preshil Families,

I learned in the Kindergarten that yesterday was the first day of Porneet (tadpole) season according to the Kulin nation calendar. This is a season of growth and abundance around Victoria when animals, bugs and plants and especially tadpoles are bursting with new life. As one of our families discovered last weekend, this is also a great time to see platypus that are out and about dining on all of this new life. The kindergarten students saw a wonderful video of the platypus that the family saw in the wild and have been busy drawing what they observed.

Happy Birthday, Preshil!
Did you know that Preshil turns 90 next year? According to our resident Preshil Historian and Archivist, Libby Shade (Year Group 1959), the School was founded in 1931. However, the certificate in my office says the school was actually registered on 25 July 1933. So, because there were no 90th festivities last year due to COVID-19, and next year is 90 years since the official school registration, we can all celebrate this big anniversary for the School next year in 2023. Stay tuned for opportunities to celebrate in future updates.

In addition, next year marks the end of Preshil’s current ten year strategic plan. We are excited to begin the process of setting the school’s strategic direction for the next ten years. Preshil’s school council has formed a committee to oversee the strategic planning process, which will include participation and feedback from groups including students, staff, parents, and alumni. We anticipate the planning process will commence during the first part of the next school year and look forward to your participation!

Committee Updates
At Preshil we’d like to create and foster an environment where everyone can contribute to the learning that goes on. One way to do this is to make sure there are opportunities for parents to become involved in the life of the school. To that end, we have created some newly formed committees to increase parent involvement and take advantage of the expertise within the parent body.

Our newly formed committees are progressing well and I’m pleased to share with you an update on some of the recent activities undertaken by each group:

Thank you to Jessica Halpagoda who has graciously taken on the position of Parent Education Committee Chair. We are excited to share with you the Parent Education Committee’s inaugural event – the Preshil Book Club. The Education Committee hopes the event will help parents access resources, connect over shared experiences, and discuss with each other how we might put into practice or readily ignore the advice from childhood behavioural experts. Please have a complimentary cup of tea with fellow families and staff, all whilst enjoying a gentle discussion around our first book–New York Times Bestseller ‘The Whole-Brain Child’ by Daniel J. Siegel, M.D., and Tina Payne Bryson, PhD.

This book is recommended for parents with children aged Kindergarten to Year 7, and covers twelve revolutionary strategies to nurture your child’s developing mind. Our book discussion will take place over two sessions, with the next session occurring in Term 4. For the first session, we will discuss the first few chapters. The great news is… reading is not mandatory! 

Life After Preshil Panel Discussion: 
The Parent Education Committee is looking for opportunities for our Alumni to return to Preshil and share their experiences. Alumni might have recently graduated, or perhaps attended Preshil some time ago. We would like to
connect and share with our current students and parents ways that a Preshil education helps shape and inform students’ lives after leaving school. If you know of anyone (including yourself) that would like to share their Preshil and post-Preshil experiences, please invite them to reach out to us (alumni@preshil.vic.edu.au). 

Should you be interested in joining the Parent Education Committee, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our Committee Chair for more information.  

Thank you to Amelia Trompf who has taken on the position of Committee Chair. Our Sustainable Campus Committee has not wasted any time in getting started, and we have partnered with Reground as part of our committee’s intention to improve the sustainability practices at both Arlington and Blackhall Kalmina. Reground (click to open) is a social enterprise helping organisations and individuals create a circular economy through waste collection and minimisation projects. 

Together with students and staff at Preshil, Reground has begun by visiting the Arlington campus for a detailed audit to set up a project with key objectives unique to Preshil. The aim of this project will be to give the school community insight into their waste, to introduce infrastructure that is tailored to our community needs and, of course, to provide some engagement and education with staff and students so they are connected and involved in the process.

Reground shares: 
It’s really great that Preshil is taking these steps now, as it is very quickly becoming the standard within education settings to lead by example. As waste management plays a huge role in working towards initiatives such as net zero emissions, it’s an important element of the School’s system to get a handle on this sooner rather than later. 

Thank you to our committee members for their hard world so far – we can’t wait to find out the results of the audit. 

The Council has formed the Advancement Committee and we are excited about considering ways in which to generate resources for the future of Preshil. Please look out for more ways in which we hope to raise funds and contribute to some exciting future initiatives.

In the meantime, we are pleased to announce our first gift from the Zipper family. We would like to acknowledge and thank the Zipper family for their recent, generous donation to our ongoing endeavours to imbue Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander education and Reconciliation throughout the School.

Preshil’s vision for reconciliation is to deepen our community’s learning, understanding and awareness of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures, perspectives, and priorities. 

We are committed to the authenticity of Reconciliation as a significant opportunity for recognition and equity, of ALL Australians.

 

“The true essence of reconciliation is more than making friends with non-Indigenous people. Our motto is a united Australia, one that respects the land and the heritage of its Indigenous peoples and provides justice and equity for all.”
– Jackie Huggins, Co-chair National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples

Caitlin Bruns has recently joined Preshil as a Teacher Librarian, and as part of her responsibilities, she works with the Library Committee to set up programming and enhance our collections. Some of the important work that the Library Committee is undertaking is to review the current collection of books. Under the leadership of Caitlin, they will be ensuring that those books with historical value are conserved and also look to embellish the collection with a wide range of publications.

Anthology at Arlington
Last week, the Arlington community shared in the joy of Anthology Week – an annual tradition that brings the children together for a week of creative writing, poetry, recitations, Zines, illustrations, dress ups and creative expression. At the end of Anthology Week, each child selects and submits a piece of their own work which will by published in a bound Anthology for 2022. This year, we are delighted to be supported by students from our Secondary School Language and Literature classes who have been working with their younger peers helping the develop their storylines and characters, and produce artwork. Well done to all involved!

DP Art Exhibition 
Thank you to those who visited the DP Art Exhibition and opening this week. This exhibition makes up 40% of the student’s final assessment and is also a great way to celebrate two years of work produced by the Year 12 Visual Arts students and to see the vast range of talents and interests within the group. It was evident that the student’s enjoyed engaging with their families and teachers during this event showcasing their final artworks. 

What a credit to our artist’s educational and personal journeys. The time and energy put into creating an exhibition space like this, showcased the talent captured here. Thank you to the many staff that have supported this successful exhibition.

Personal Project
MYP students in their final year explore an area of personal interest over an extended period. It provides them with the opportunity to consolidate their learning and develop important skills they’ll need in both further education and life beyond the classroom. It also helps them develop confidence to become principled, lifelong learners. Thank you to all families that were able to attend, and celebrate the student’s work! This has been the culmination of almost one full year of work for them and Preshil is proud of their achievements.

Science at BK
Secondary students have been busy in the science laboratories recently with many experiments taking place. In Year 8, students have been developing their understanding of the structure and function of different body systems, and how the body systems work together as part of a Biology Unit. In Year 10, students used common household products like salt and dishwashing liquid to break apart the cells in a banana and extract the DNA.

Mathematics at BK
Did you know that trigonometry is the branch of mathematics concerned with specific functions of angles and their application to calculations? Our Year 9 Mathematics students have been applying their knowledge outdoors, and testing their theories. Students had to work together to calculate and measure the six functions of an angle commonly used in trigonometry. Their names and abbreviations are sine (sin), cosine (cos), tangent (tan), cotangent (cot), secant (sec), and cosecant (csc).

Ski Camp
Acting Head of Campus (BK), Karoline Kuti, reports that this week was filled with challenge and fun for the Year 9 to 12 students that attended the Ski Camp. Students arrived at Mt Hotham with a variety of skill levels; from never having seen snow before to expert skiers and boarders. Over the course of the week, they developed new friendships, built new skills, pushed themselves out of their comfort zones, mentored one another, supported and encouraged each other and kept each other safe in what were, at times, extreme conditions. Karoline observed that the students were a cohesive and kind-hearted group and that they worked together to make the experience unforgettable. This was a vertically integrated camp that brought students from four different year levels closer. We are happy that our students were able to share this experience and deepen their connection with each other. 

Open Mornings
I would like to share my appreciation with all staff and students who have contributed to our recent Open Morning events. Choosing a school can be a big decision for any family and I am grateful to our dedicated staff and students for helping out with these events, ensuring that prospective families can make informed decisions and be confident that Preshil is the place for them.

Wishing you a happy home stretch for Term 3. Don’t forget to look out for those platypuses!

Sincerely,

 

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