Week 9 of 10
Last day of school Thursday 12 December Early Finish 1:15pm Buses leave 1:30 All iPad orders need to be in by 16 December 2013
Friday 6 December 2013
FROM THE PRINCIPAL’S DESK
As we head into the final week of the 2013 academic year, I am happy to report on the the wonderful primary school celebration, acknowledging student endeavour and achievements in across all areas of school life. The primary celebration afternoon saw many wonderful class performances, getting us all into the spirit of Christmas and the holiday season which awaits us. The celebration assembly also gave us the opportunity to announce and induct the 2014 primary student leaders. We congratulate: Primary Captains Khushi Jadhav and Yanni Papailiadis Primary Vice Captains Christopher Seoud, Jonathan Potamianos, Nicola Tsaboukos, Petra Christofileas Primary House Captains Aristotle: April Bozinis and George Sakkas Byron: George Fedorov and Harry Reid Pericles: Sylvia Ghenes‐Lambiris and James Bougias Socrates: John Baoustanos and Tara Nikolaou
WED 11/12 Bands Day
Uniform Shop 8:30‐9:30am
LAST DAY OF 2013
STAFF LEADERSHIP: As we say good bye to one academic year and prepare for a new one, I am pleased to announce the staff who will take up key leadership positions in 2014. To better cater for the academic and pastoral needs of girls and boys, in our care, our new pastoral care structure will see redefined roles for House Co‐ordinators in the Pri‐ mary school. House Co‐ordinators will work across year levels, with the classroom teachers, to build a greater sense of attachment and belonging at school, their sense of wellbeing will increase and, with it, their chances of academic success. The development of quality relationships amongst students and between students and teachers will further build on the necessary life skills our children will need to achieve academic success. In the secondary school our new vertical pastoral care structure will enable the group‐ ing of younger and older students together in a long term relationship where the for‐ mer can gain advice, information and assistance from the latter, who can, in turn, de‐ velop their leadership and monitoring skills as they act as role models for younger stu‐ dent friends. This model already exists at Alphington Grammar School, particularly in the Performing Arts and the Fine Arts, where many older students forge strong rela‐ tionships with younger students, mentoring them and coaching them along the way. The secondary school will have Heads of House who together with the House Home‐ room teachers will have daily contact with the students and their families over a six year period. The secondary pastoral care vertical House Leaders will become, and re‐ main, a significant adult in the life of each student in his/her care. They will have daily
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contact with the student getting to know them and their parents/guardians very well, and be able to share in their growth, maturity and general development over this period of time. While I will be writing more about the House system in a separate letter to families, I congratulate the new Heads of House in the secondary school and our House co‐ordinators in the primary school.
PRIMARY HOUSE CO‐ORDINATORS ‐ 2014
Mrs Marianne Hull Mr Luke Barnewall House Coordinator P‐2 House Coordinator 3‐6
SECONDARY PASTORAL LEADERSHIP GROUP ‐ 2014 Ms Margaret Huddleston Mrs Danielle Lichoudaris Mr Con Papoulis Mr Brandon Fuga Ms Mary Kontosis Head of House Head of House Head of House Head of House International Student Aristotle Byron Pericles Socrates Coordinator Alongside our strong Pastoral care structure we have reviewed the learning needs of our students across the school and developed positions of responsibility that best reflect the academic needs of our students from Primary Years through to secondary school. I congratulate the following staff on their appointments.
PRIMARY SCHOOL STAFF ‐ LEADERSHIP 2014
Ms Lisa Blyth Mrs Jillian Lynn Mrs Dianne Downey Mrs Glenda McKie Ms Nitsa Katsambanis Educational Leader Literacy/ESL/Language Maths/ICT Coord Assessment Visual Art Coordinator Pre‐Prep
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SECONDARY SCHOOL STAFF ‐ LEADERSHIP 2014 Ms Kylie Nealon Mr Louis Diamandikos Mr John Savopoulos Ms Janine Goodrope Mr Steve Viccars Head of English Head of Maths Head of Science/ICT Head of Humanities Sport Co‐ordinator
WHOLE SCHOOL ‐ LEADERSHIP GROUP 2014 Ms Jacinta Shannon Mr Jacob Mithen Mr Stephen Spiby Dr Vivianne Nikou Mrs Josie Walta Head of Performing Arts Secondary Music Head of Health Languages Head of ERC Coordinator & Physical Education The new academic and pastoral care structure will report to members of the Senior Management Team which will position us strongly to cater for the needs of our children at the various stages of learning so that they can aspire and achieve success within a supportive and respectful learning environment.
SENIOR MANAGEMENT TEAM 2014
Dr Vivianne Nikou Mrs Tracey Nicholson Mr Rowan Evans Mr Manuel Pappos
Principal Assistant Principal Head of Secondary Business Manager Head of Primary I look forward to all that Alphington Grammar School will provide for all the children in our care.
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LEMNOS GALLIPOLI COMMEMORATIVE COMMITTEE INC The Lemnos Gallipoli Commemorative Committee has now launched its fundraising campaign to build a lasting memorial to the role of Lemnos in Australia’s Anzac story. This week I met with committee members to hear of the links between Lemnos and Gallipoli and the coming Centenary of Anzac in 2015. The commit‐ tee explained various projects and activities, on Lemnos and in Australia, including the proposed memorial commemorative sculpture.
ABOVE: Committee member Christina Despoteris, Secretary Jim Claven, Principal Dr Vivianne Nikou and President Lee Tarlamis MP
One of the important proposals was the possibility of involving school students in raising awareness of the Lemnos link to Australia’s Anzac story, including linking school students on Lemnos and in Victoria. Some of the secondary schools on Lemnos have already started researching the story and are interested in linking with students in Australia. This will provide a wonderful opportunity for our students to enhance their skills and connection with the world beyond our own shores in so many ways.
Dr Vivianne Nikou PRINCIPAL
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FROM THE ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL HEAD OF PRIMARY Our second last week of the school year has been a fruitful one. It was a real pleasure to be part of the Primary Celebra‐ tion Day yesterday and to have every Primary class in the school, from Pre‐Prep to Year 6, participate in an afternoon of song, poetry and dance. My sincere thanks to all our teachers and staff. They all worked so hard to prepare items and assist in any way, and I am sure that everyone who attended the performance had an enjoyable time.
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Our pupil‐free day on Friday Dec 6th allows our primary teachers to hand over their 2013 class to the 2014 teachers. It is a vital procedure that will help make our Orientation Program next week run smoothly. Teachers will be discussing each student individually, looking at work samples, discussing liter‐ acy and numeracy levels, social, emotional and health issues etc. to ensure that they have the relevant information they need. Teachers will also be spending time setting up their rooms for Orientation and preparing their programs for next week. On Monday morning all children in Years Prep‐6, 2013, should attend their normal classroom. Swap over to 2014 classes will take place around 9.00am in a series of small assemblies in various locations. Class lists will be displayed around the school during the morning. It is an exciting time! Teachers have taken much care and thought in the placement of students for 2014. It takes many hours to co‐ordinate the process. Where possible, parent input has been taken into account. However, as started in the original letter about class allocations, not all requests are possible, especially when we are dealing with so many variables. In the end, teachers make the final decisions about student placement as they have the greatest knowledge about your child in the school setting. We are happy that our classes are well‐balanced and we do not anticipate making any changes to class lists. Some teachers have changed year levels for 2014 and some classes have moved rooms. Many teachers have also taken on new roles for next year in the redeveloped Leadership Structure of the school so it will be an exciting year of development for us all. We particularly ask that all parents lead by example with regard to their children’s (and their own!) anxiety about change. Please allow your child to settle in during Orientation Week and the first weeks of 2014 and alleviate their concerns by being upbeat and positive. Please do not be swayed by the ‘none of my friends are in my class’ cry. This will seldom be the case and is often really a manifestation of change anxiety. Children see all their year level peers at recess and lunchtime to socialise and you can be reassured that children play with each other across class groups rather than exclusively within them. New classes offer an opportunity for children to make new friendships and this is a very positive thing. Please also allow teachers some time to get to know your child— and yourself. Although they will have a very good knowledge of him or her, it will take some time before they can comment about your child in depth. We are looking forward to an exciting final week of school and I thank all of our families for their support throughout 2013 and look forward to even greater things in 2014. A reminder that on Thursday 12th December all students return to their 2013 class for their final half day with dismissal at 1.15pm.
Mrs Tracey Nicholson
ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL HEAD OF PRIMARY
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The Impact was Legendary As the year draws to a close the Literacy Legends team of parent helpers and I are able to reflect with pride on the positive impact this particular literacy classroom reading initiative has had on the literacy develop‐ ment of many of our students over the course of the second semester this year. The Year 1 and 2 classroom teachers and I observed with satisfaction how the confidence of the parent helpers and the students they assisted grew, almost on a weekly basis. Although the primary aim was to improve reading benchmark levels and reading fluency, gains were also made in the students’ self‐esteem and motivation. We know that our lovely group of parent helpers brought an element of fun to their reading sessions and consequently inspired our young readers to read more and with enthusiasm. We thank the Legends team: Fotina Babalis, Rachelle Maratheftis, Efi Katiforis, Debbie Kirmos, Vicki Dou‐ kas, Margaret Fullard, Marlon and Dora Moses, Helen Nervosa, Sophie Manousopoulos, Kristy Nikas and Sharon Stratsianis for their contribution to the school in 2013. Their assistance was greatly appreciated. Many of them have volunteered to continue supporting literacy enhancement programs in 2014. Juanita Lee Learning Enhancement Coordinator
Peer Support Leader Training On Monday and Tuesday of this week, 16 Year 9 students attended a two day workshop run by AGS staff, to prepare them to take on the role of Peer Support Leader to Year 7 students in 2014. There were many discussions about the responsibilities of the role, strategies to encourage all students to participate and useful games and activities. We look forward to a successful programme in 2014, which will allow the senior students to demonstrate their leadership skills, while helping the younger students settle in to secondary school. Denise Diakodimitriou Peer Support Coordinator
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Chinese Travelling Museum
On 4th Dec, students from Year 7‐9 who are currently learning Chinese as a second language participated in the Chinese travelling museum incursion program. Performers and instructors from the Chinese Museum were invited to Alphington Grammar School to give a wonderful program to all students. The first part of the program was lion dance performance. Students did not only watch the performance, but they also learnt the techniques of how to perform this Chinese traditional dance. Everyone played a part in the dance including the lion head, lion tail and drummers. The second half was culture‐based work‐ shops. Students were divided into two different workshops: Chinese herbs and a n d medicine, Chinese calligraphy. Students are more familiar with Chinese calligraphy because of previous class practice. Many of them already knew how to hold the pen brushes and how to structure a Chinese character including the stroke orders, which was very impressive to the instructors. Students found Chi‐ nese herbs and medicine interesting and exciting because it is something totally new to them. Students were not taught but only facilitated by the instructors when necessary. They needed to find the cures for various illnesses and diseases by reading the medicinal properties of different herbs and choose the right ones with the right amount. Participation in the program benefited students by deepening their understanding of Chinese culture and the awareness of how important it is to study this ancient language. Knowing the differences between the different cultures will prepare our students to become better global citizens. Mr Bo Wang Chinese LOTE Teacher
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PARLIAMENT HOUSE Year 6 students visited Parliament House. Everyone had to go through a security checkpoint before going on the tour. We saw lots of paintings and portraits of previous premiers of Victoria. First stop was upstairs to the gallery of the Legislative Council where we looked down upon all the red seats and up to a ceiling adorned with ornate classical decorations that were inspired from the buildings of ancient Greece and Rome and painted with real gold. There is six million dollars worth of 23 carat gold throughout the building. Downstairs we sat in the chamber and saw a very long table with a lot of books containing all the laws of Victoria. In the Legislative Assembly we sat in the green seats where the premier and the members of parliament debate. We also visited the library with its amazing chandelier and the garden, where politicians have interviews with the press.
Mrs Jillian Lynn Years 5 & 6 Coordinator
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YEAR 3 GREEK The Year 3s would like to thank parents, grandparents, special guests Stephanie Houdalakis Year 8 and Penelope Koutoulas ‐ a past student, for making a special effort displaying how to wear a traditional Cretan costume. Thank you all once again and happy holidays! Σας ευχόμαστε Καλές Γιορτές! Year 3 Greek Class In Greek this term we have learned about the Greek regions. The region I studied was the Peloponnese, Kalamata. I learned that Kalamata has a population of 70,000 people. I enjoyed this project because it was fun and interesting. By Anthony Boussounis 3K This term the focus was on Greece. Our greek teacher Mrs Coumaros set us an assignment on one of the islands, regions or cities in Greece. The children presented in a variety of ways, from postcards to posters, powerpoint pres‐ entations, cooking and even some visitors attended. We were lucky enough to have Dr Nikou join us on Wednes‐ day. Michael and I partnered up and decided on Crete. I learned many facts about Crete. My favourite part was when I learnt that in Crete they write short poems for special occasions called mandinathes. My God brother and God sister live in Crete and I would love to go and visit them in the near future. Valente Mavropoulos 3K
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Year Four – Six Bike Ed This week saw the conclusion of the years four to six Bike Ed programme. This program is seen as an im‐ portant component of the school's road safety curriculum, considering that the widespread ownership and use of bicycles by children and adults in the Australian community is estimated to be one bicycle for every four people. The Bike Ed programme enables students to participate in an enjoyable learning ex‐ perience and develop the physical skills of cycling, together with responsible attitudes and behaviours for safe use of bicycles in the local traffic environment and in off‐road situations. Each class participates in two full‐day sessions— the Year 4s concentrating on cycling skills, rules knowl‐ edge and simulation activities. Year 5 students work at further developing their riding skill, and concen‐ trate on traffic and hazard management strategies in the school environment. The 6 students aim to prac‐ tice these skills and knowledge in a highly supervised on road environment. Students enjoyed the programme and the challenge of performing the required skills to a high standard. Mr Stephen Spiby ,ĞĂĚŽĨ^ƉŽƌƚͬW