Middle School News

Aspectus 6 Middle School 11th May

I would like to begin by expressing my best wishes to all the mums out there and that I hope you had an enjoyable Mother’s Day on Sunday the 9 May . Having worked with middle school aged children for 20 years, and now having younger children of my own, the way gratitude is displayed towards mum is significantly different – not all the time, but more often than not. They may not want to jump back in bed with mum on Sunday morning, or argue with their sibling as to whose turn it is to cuddle mum, but I can reassure you that the underlying love and appreciation for you, and everything that you do, continues to strengthen day after day. They may just demonstrate this differently in the teenage years.

Our Mother’s Day Bowling night this term  was a wonderful evening with nearly 200 mums and daughter/sons joining us for the night. There were plenty of laughs, plenty of strikes as well as plenty of gutter balls or strategic use of the gutter bumpers – at least that’s many were claiming! Thank you to Forest Hill Bowling who host us each year, as well as for Father’s Day, and thank you to all the mums who were able to make the evening with your child/children. Apologies to those that missed out due to the number of respondents reaching the maximum number, hopefully next year we see many of you again.

At school over the last two weeks there has been many activities occurring that continue to provide our students with experiences and opportunities to challenge themselves, as well as to find and develop any areas of interest and passion. We have had representatives across the Middle School competing in the Davinci Decathlon which is an academic based challenge that incorporates 10 different disciplines. This is a teams-based event where our boys and girls compete together against other schools in areas such as mathematics, poetry, problem solving, plus more. On Wednesday 12 May the results will be announced and we look forward to seeing how we went.

A significant number of our girls and boys participated in the Melbourne University Mathematics Competition last week on Wednesday May 5th. This competition, run by the School of Mathematics and Statistics at Melbourne University, is a very demanding competition that is aimed at identifying real mathematical talent. The problems encountered are different from the regular school syllabi, being less mechanical and requiring a higher level of mathematical insight and creativity. I wish all the students who participated in this competition all the very best.

Our sport department continues to provide many opportunities for our students with the regular athletics training running on Monday and Friday mornings, as well as Wednesday afternoon, along with the regular weekly EISM Competitions against other schools. On top of this, we have had a significant number of students across the secondary (predominantly Middle School) participating in a volleyball training program aimed at competing in the Volleyball School Cup competition last week. It was wonderful to see such a large number of students participating in the program over the last couple of months. They have received excellent coaching and development of both skills and game sense and were able to put this all into practice last week in the first of several competitions. Our teams all competed very well throughout the day, with one of our Year 7 boys’ teams making their grand final, only to fall just short in the last game. Well done to all involved and a huge thank you to the staff who have facilitated this new initiative across the school.

Saturday 8 May was our Open Day at school and I want to pass on my sincere gratitude and appreciation to everyone involved. We were blessed with most beautiful of mornings weather wise, and with the amazing work our maintenance staff, our school was looking stunning. What was the most amazing part was the significant involvement of our current students and parents in helping out on the day. Our students were demonstrating in subject based stations such as Outdoor Ed, PE, Agriculture, Science, Mathematics and STEAM, they were on stage playing music in front of a large audience, or they were leading one of a very large number of tours. It is always humbling to watch our students interact with other families and explain how our school operates, the opportunities available and their own personal interests and experiences. I want to express a huge thank you to all of those students involved as your sense of school pride and belonging was absolutely palpable.

Monday 10 May was the second of our GEM Days in the Middle School. These days provide opportunity for our pastoral teams to implement larger activities aimed at helping the growth and development of our students. Our Year 7s participated in a variety of activities including engineering challenges, Resilience Project sessions and a number of fun games aimed at continuing to provide our boys and girls with the opportunities to mix and connect. Our Year 9s are currently working on the Year 9 House Showdown which is a mixed House presentation to parents at the end fo this term involving dance, multi-media and a lot of fun. Their GEM Day provided time for House Showdown rehearsals as well as Resilience Project work and the opportunity to further the focus on respectful relationships. They had an external group discuss with them the topic of consent and how this is relevant to them at this current age and stage. The session was very well received and hopefully continues to develop their understanding in these areas.

Our Year 8’s have been involved in a program title The Smoothie Bar over Monday 10 and Tuesday 11. This two-day program is an entrepreneurial based program that is aimed at developing skills such as creativity, teamwork, communication and presentation. Mixed groups of boys and girls design, build and sell (not literally) a smoothie. Over the two days they received masterclass coaching on areas such as pitching/presenting, financial literacy, communication, marketing, branding and teamwork. They designed a smoothie to a market audience of their choice, built the business including running and selling costs, developed a marketing campaign, and also developed a presentation/pitch that was designed to sell to their audience. The final part of the program is an expo style event where parents vote on different criteria for each group, and the leading three groups then present their final pitch to the audience and our Head of Commerce who will judge the best presentation and pitch. Good luck to each group in The Smoothie Bar of 2021.

As the last two weeks demonstrates, there are a huge number of opportunities for our students to participate in programs and activities that sit outside of the classroom. These programs are a combination of academic challenges, pastoral growth and development, and personal passion and interest. It is through these experiences that students can generate a sense of belonging and engagement at school which goes a very long way to helping them achieve success in their schooling journey.

 

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