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The Australian

“What you need to know about ec ial Post Gradua te Pu Courses” ll O


Education Times ut

Issue 3 • Feb 2014 •


“It’s essential to get a set of core skills and then have the passion to adapt as you go through life and continue to hone those skills” Mr Sean Barrett, Head of the Origin Foundation

Outstanding School Catholic vs Independent "Scan QR Code to read digital edition"

Corner: Magic Maths: ICT FOR EDUCATION: Learning Literacy Creating Passionate Readers Abracadabra, should be 3D,not 2D and Future Leaders it’s easy Algebra

Success Story


Contents News and Views:


Outstanding School of the month:


Success Story:


ICT For Education:


Special Pull-Out:


The real cost of education

Merrylands East Public School

10 Insightful Questions to Mr Sean Barrett, Head of the Origin Foundation

Learning should be 3D,not 2D

If the Hat Fits. A look into post graduate study

“It’s essential to get a set of core skills and then have the passion to adapt as you go through life and continue to hone those skills” Mr Sean Barrett, Head of the Origin Foundation

FOLLOW US @TheAusEduTimes CONTACT US email : Phone: +61 2 8883 0750 ADVERTISE email:

Learning should be 3D, not 2D


Career of the Month: 25 Guide to becoming a Teacher

Test Zone:


Literacy Corner:

28 Career of

Fun classroom tips to prepare for the Selective High School Entry Test

Creating Passionate Readers and Future Leaders

the month Teacher

Magic Maths:


Science Corner:


Curriculum Link:


Puzzle Pop:


Global Stories:

38 Corner

Abracadabra, it’s easy Algebra

Mallowing Out


ICT For Education


Being Harmonious at School on Harmony Day

Some fun activities and games

A tribute to Nelson Mandela

Literacy Creating passionate readers

28 The Australian Education Times

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The Australian

education times

From the Editor 2

Quotes of the Month

014 is a promising new year for many people as they begin a new journey. During the summer holidays we were touched by the great volume of mail we received from readers who have shared stories of their children that are making the transition to high school or beginning kindergarten. Some of the mail that we received was from students who are going to start university.

This month, we have used case studies to interview students who are undertaking postgraduate studies in various courses and compare the experiences of those that attend a Sydney (city) University versus a Country University versus studying via Correspondence. This Pull Out Section reviews available postgraduate opportunities and assesses their relevance in today’s society. Our ICT For Education section will look at how to use blogs in the classroom and also examine the latest technological trends for 2014. We have modified our Numeracy and Literacy sections, making them more practical for our students and their parents so that we can give better pointers on how to improve this year. We have also included a Global Story section and pay tribute to Nelson Mandela and Malala Yousafzai who both shared a fight for freedom,

In times of change, learners will inherit the earth, while the learned with find themselves equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.

but in different parts of the world and in different eras. Finally, a huge thanks to Origin Energy's Sean Barrett for your story about your role in developing and implementing programs through the Origin Foundation. Your story is incredibly inspirational and the projects that you are involved in are extremely beneficial to our future generations.

Eric Hoffer

Education makes a people easy to lead, but difficult to drive; easy to govern, but impossible to enslave.

If you are an educator and doing something fantastic and innovative in your teaching and learning environment, please feel free to share your experiences with The Australian Education Times. Please email me at

Henry Peter, Baron Brougham and Vaux

Noelene Callaghan

The Australian Education Times would like to acknowledge the Darug people who are the traditional custodians of this land. I would also like to pay respect to the elders past and present of the Darug nation and extend that respect to other Aboriginal people present.

Teachers open the door but you must enter by yourself. (Chinese proverb)

Letters To Editor Dear Editor

Just found a copy of your magazine and think it is brilliant. Finally, a magazine for parents to help them understand the education sector. Keep up the fantastic work and good luck with your future issues. This is certainly something that I will keep a look out for every month! Rebecca, East Gardens

Dear Editor

I loved your pull out on what to do during the school holidays. As a full-time working single mother, these resources are always helpful. I would like to learn about more strategies that I could use to help my children with their homework so anything about that would be great. Patricia, Regents Park

Dear Editor

I have just completed my HSC and would like to learn more about universities. The only information that I can get hold of is from the UAC Guide or from the universities themselves. I would like more impartial information. Thanks. Cameron, Wiley Park

The Australian Education Times is dedicated to providing relevant and up-to-date news and resources that can be used in the classroom or at home. If you would like to contribute to our magazine, please write to Noelene at All contributions are to be 300 words long and to include a photo that is saved as a jpeg.

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The Australian

education times News and Views

The real cost of education


he cost of sending your child to school in Australia is one of the highest in the world. At the same time as this new information is broadcasted nationally, news about the potential abolishment of the Schoolkids Bonus (aka the Education Tax Refund) that many families depend on is also released. Fortunately, the Australian

Government has not yet made a move on this and families are receiving this income to assist schools that are introducing new BYOD programs, sporting events and creative arts programs. So, regardless of this “bonus” what do struggling families do to accommodate the learning needs of their children?

What the Labour Party says…

What the Liberal Party says…

If the Abbott Government does repeal the Schoolkids Bonus, it will be a savage cut for local families. It means their kids risk missing out on all the things they need to do well at school. Families in West and North-West Sydney receive the Schoolkids Bonus on a large scale and this bonus is crucial in determining which school children can be enrolled in. The Schoolkids Bonus has meant much needed relief for low and middle income families struggling to meet the costs of their children’s education – one of the most important things we can spend money on. Every one of these local families will be worse off if the Schoolkids Bonus is scrapped. The average Australian family with two kids will be $1,230 worse off every year and $15,000 worse off over the life of their children’s education.

A Coalition government will improve Australia’s schools through improved teacher quality, greater parental involvement in decisionmaking, a sound national curriculum, and delivered certainty over funding. We are committed to providing local communities with a greater say by encouraging around 1,500 existing public schools to become independent public schools by 2017. We will establish a $70 million ‘Independent Public Schools Fund’ to help this occur. We will match Commonwealth funding for students with disability for 12 months while a new ‘loading formula’ is developed for these students. We believe students with disabilities deserve better support.

The real cost of sending your child to school According to the National Centre for Social and Economic Modelling, educating one child in the public system from Kindergarten to Year 12 will cost on average $50,000.

The Australian Scholarships Group estimates that the total cost of putting a child through private school can cost up to $430,000. This includes not only school fees, but uniforms, excursions, home computers and internet costs, musical instruments, creative and technical supplies, and sports uniforms.

Average Cost per Child per Year

Fees $1149 Extra Curricular Activities (including excursions and sport) $1312 School Uniforms $415 Travel $385 Computers and peripherals $749 Resources (stationery $486)

Tweetings #schoolkidsbonus Bill Shorten to battle for struggling families to save the #SchoolKidsBonus #AUSpol http://www.canberratimes. … via @ canberratimes @FPsych School kids bonus set to be axed :  @phlogga Take away school kids bonus chop mining tax drop super tax on wealthy retirees make poor people pay for medical etc. Yep this is Australia @phlogga 7h Of course the school kids bonus mainly affects families in Labor seats Cormann. It’s all about disadvantaged http://www. html … @PeterFosterALP Tony Abbott wants to make it harder for families by removing the School Kids bonus & hitting families with a $6 GP charge. Shame. #AusPol @AnastasiaIvins @TonyAbbottMHR No school kids bonus forces low income families to save and kids miss out on exploring life. They are left in isolation. @Nanso44 How many people realise tony is taking away school-kids bonus- income support payment- low income super contribution? All too late anyway. @jasonbryce Votes are in - 99% of parents vote for Schoolkids Bonus & against Tony Abbott’s ‘beer & skittles’ language. #auspol centrelink/school-kids-bonus-pollresults-31122013-jason-bryce.html#. UsOx_nxN0aY.twitter … @ByronBayMango It will be interesting to see if PUP senators vote for families or billionaires miners when they take their seats. #SchoolKidsBonus #AUSpol @CL_Journal NSW: selective school fees “five times higher than at other public schools” ( status/425072782528233472)

The Australian Education Times

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The Australian

education times News and Views

Environmental grants for 80 schools


ighty primary and secondary schools building food gardens and establishing innovative environmental programs are to receive Environmental Trust Grants totalling $220,000.

Announcing the grants, Environment Minister Robyn Parker said 60 schools will share $150,000 under the Eco Schools Program, and 20 grants totalling $70,000 will be awarded for Food Gardens in Schools projects. Ms Parker said the students will transfer their learning to peers, families and communities, creating a community benefit well beyond the schools themselves.


n the UK, 90% of internetusing teens accessed a social networking site in 2013, this being a higher percentage than any other age group. The average UK Facebook user spends about eight hours a month on the site compared to the average Twitter user who spends half an hour. So what can we safely say about Facebook adoption? Overall, in countries where it is already dominant, the site appears to be reaching a plateau (though globally user numbers have risen by 20% this year to 1.2 billion and will continue to rise as more

Is there a Future for Facebook?

Students, pull your phones out!


he potential for mobile phones grows when you think of them as powerful handheld computers, complete with camera, speakers and a whole host of educational apps. 4 |

The Australian Education Times

people come online). Where it has been widely adopted for a few years, there is some evidence that younger users may be tempted to reduce their use, from a currently dominant position, in favour of newer, “cooler� services. Interestingly, Facebook is now becoming a website of choice for educators to use to contact and teach their students as it accommodates the necessary levels of communication between teachers and students, permitting the sharing of files as well as a traceable history of conversation.

Mobile phones encourage independent learning and allows students to choose what approach will suit them. It is found that encouraging mobile device use can enable students to access resources that schools

cannot provide otherwise. For example, students access the internet for research (such as KLA blogs or Facebook support pages). On excursions, students can record images, video, sound, take notes and use GPS technology and mapping software to record information essential to their coursework. In schools, students can use mobile phones to record work. For example, when using chalk to leave messages around school, mobile phones can be used to take images and record sound interviews of them discussing their work. This can then be shared with the class. The focus is on the learning, i.e. the discussion on what they gained from the activity, not on the device.

Where Top Students Study


ight International Baccalaureate students at one Sydney private school scored the top ATAR of 99.95 compared to six HSC students at James Ruse Agricultural High School, raising questions about whether the alternative qualification gives students an advantage in university admission.

Mathematical Magicians


he evidence for changing the dominant method of teaching mathematics in schools is convincing as the benefit of inquirybased learning for modern student cohorts is strong. Mathematicians are beginning to shift the paradigm with new, innovative teaching approaches. While many mathematicians may not refer to IBL or the flipped classroom trend in higher education, they are actively engaging students in mathematical problemsolving. For example, having students make problem-solving videos to

encourage communication of complex mathematical ideas. Free student response systems are also transforming passive classroom lessons into question and answer sessions. The possibilities are endless for teaching mathematics to engage students. Such strategies led students to dominate Maths in the HSC in 2013. Students from Sydney Technical High School, Kilara High School and Sydney Grammar were all taught mathematical concepts using these new innovative pedagogical strategies.

The diploma, which is not allowed to be taught in NSW public schools, was offered at 15 private schools last year as an alternative to the HSC. When results were released, 11 of the state’s 450 IB students, or 2.44 per cent, received the top score of 45, which translates to an Australian Tertiary Admissions Rank of 99.95. In comparison, 48 out of almost 55,000 ATAR-eligible HSC students achieved the same result, a rate of 0.087 per cent. While the IB students make up a tiny sample of the wider community of school-leavers, the year’s results suggest they were 28 times more likely to achieve an ATAR of 99.95. The president of the Board of Studies, Tom Alegounarias, said the top IB mark would be equivalent to several marks at the top of the ATAR scale for an HSC student. The lowest score for a student who passed the IB translated to a 69.35 ATAR, which was higher than the median ATAR of 69.20 among HSC students.

Are you a part of an innovative educational experience? If so, please send us your story in 100 words accompanied with a photo (saved as a high resolution jpeg image) to Noelene at The Australian Education Times

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The Australian



f you walk into Merrylands East Public School today, you will need to be there early, 8am to be precise, in order to watch the students walk into their learning spaces and commence the school day. No longer do students at the school learn in between the traditional times of 9am and 3pm, but rather anytime and anywhere. Merrylands East Public School has 370 students, 89% from a non English speaking background with 10% having refugee experiences. Many of the parents are from Asian, European and Middle Eastern backgrounds where school times traditionally commence earlier than 9am. The change in school hours is an example of a school community problematically solving a solution to capture the peak learning times for primary aged students while balancing the busy schedule of family time. The school operates a homework centre from 1:15pm to 3:00pm for working parents that genuinely cannot pick up their child but the vast majority of students go home after a full day of school for lunch or stay at school for extra-curricular activities. The change in school hours has just entered its second year. In 2012 and 2013, Queensland University of Technology conducted a study into student engagement and found Merrylands East students to have high levels of engagement in their learning. Most notable from the study was that Years 4-6 boys’ engagement had increased from 2012 and 60% of students like the school because of the learning and programs while another 10% was for social reasons. The research indicated that in other studies, the statistics were reversed. However, the jury is still out as to whether the change in school hours was the single factor that contributed to the increase.

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The Australian Education Times

Time For Changing Merrylands East students do not have traditional classrooms where students sit in rows or pods of traditional rectangular tables. In fact, there is not a table and chair for every student in the school. The classrooms have been transformed into learning spaces and contain a combination of mobile and agile furniture to enable students to learn in collaborative settings. Walls have been knocked

down to create bigger spaces for students to learn and team teaching to occur. Coloured ottomans in a range of different shapes, bean bags, coffee booths, height adjustable round tables, and whiteboard tables are just some of the furnishings that can be found throughout the school. Students can work anywhere in their learning space. Throughout the day, students can interact with the school farm, where rabbits are fed, eggs are collected from the chicken and duck coop, and cockatiels are breeding in the school’s aviary or simply observe the koi swimming in the Japanese gardens. Fruit trees, vegetable gardens and vertical gardens can be found throughout the school to help students learn about sustainability, along with their 64 solar panels and 5 water tanks that collect 100 000 litres of water.

Merrylands East staff have adjusted their pedagogy to suit the National Curriculum General Capabilities and outcomes to enable students to learn in the 21st century. Traditional timetables have been replaced with seamless learning where bells are non-existent throughout the day. Students are involved in project based learning, genius hour, play based learning, and small groups are taught literacy and numeracy skills that are linked to their area of study. Teachers still provide lessons throughout the day but the difference is less reliance on textbooks or photocopied worksheets that simply keep students busy. Students create powtoons, design webpages, blogs, create phone apps, edit videos and build a range of models to solve problems on a daily basis. It is not uncommon to walk around the school each day and see children

engaging in a multitude of learning tasks that once seemed the domain of older students. Students are becoming more tech savvy and learning how to use devices to assist in their learning. Individual programs designed to help students with disabilities integrate into their learning space and gifted and talented students are extended with a range of options for learning. Teachers often check students’ learning by asking open ended questions and scaffolding discourse. Students are able to articulate their learning and outcomes. In 2013, some of the major projects of the school included the creation of e-messages for the students at Sandy Hook Elementary School in the United

States and Winmalee High School, video conferencing with a school in South Korea and project based learning the redesign of a local park. Merrylands East staff self direct their professional development on line using twitter to share articles or through feedback with one another. There is no place to hide for underperforming teachers as each teacher works in open spaces and is constantly on show with their students and colleagues. In many ways, the school atmosphere is a vibrant learning culture, where students and staff are constantly learning together. In 2014, the school is expanding the external learning environment. Over the vacation period, large Freenote musical instrumental were installed in the playground as the first step in creating a music area. Merrylands East Public School has shifted from an industrial age 20th century teaching and learning paradigm to a learning environment where students can create their future.

John Goh is the School Principal of Merrylands East Public School The Australian Education Times

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The Australian

education times Catholic Schools


urrently there are approximately 150 primary and secondary Catholic schools in NSW with more than 68, 700 students enrolled in its institutions. There are also 16 independent Catholic schools, run by religious orders, catering for around 16, 000 students. In total, there are more than 84, 700 students currently enrolled in Catholic schools. Catholic schools teach the same curriculum as Government schools however the expectations of achievement and conduct are high. With a strong focus on the individual, the broad curriculum offered by Catholic schools caters for a wide range of interests and abilities. Catholic schools offer highly qualified and professional teachers who cater to the diverse learning needs of their students. Catholic schools have been a major component of Australian education for over 175 years. During that time they have adapted to changing circumstances and changing times. In recent decades, as both the Church and Australian society have changed, Catholic schools have continued to develop and grow in quality and public esteem. Compared to previous generations, today’s Australian Catholic schools are relatively well equipped and staffed by well-qualified, committed teachers. Parents, students and staff of Catholic school strive to be Christ-centred

communities which witness to the Faith. Like all Australian schools, Catholic schools are accountable to governments and their local communities for meeting all the teaching and learning requirements of the state. They also have distinctive goals and features which derive from a core of philosophical and theological truths which are central to their character and mission. They are highly regarded by the Australian community. Catholic schools will strive to continue to meet the needs of the Australian people as they begin to confront the major national challenges such as Reconciliation and the demand for greater social equity. It is therefore timely to take stock of Catholic schools in Australia and the ways in which they are still relevant to meeting the needs of students and parents, the Catholic community and Australian society.

Student Achievement There are many student achievements in academia, sport, creative arts, music and more. More recently, three students who have been commended for their academic excellence are among the state’s brightest this year. Three female students; Alessandra Bianco, Natalie Betteridge and Larissa Grinsell came first in the state in a selected HSC subject and were among 121 first-place recipients recognised at the 2013 Higher

The secret of c i l o h t a C W S N S chools

lia’s school 20% of Austra lled in ro students are en Primary c either a Catholi ool. So h or Secondary sc olic schools th a C s what make ding quality unique in provi h-centred fait education in a environment?

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The Australian Education Times

School Certificate First In Course awards at Technology Park.

Enrolment Process To enrol your child into a Catholic School, please contact the school Principal or the school’s Enrolment Secretary who will advise you on the procedures. The school will provide you with an Enrolment Pack which will contain all the information you will need, including the application forms. Please contact your local school for further information about the best time to enrol your child. There is strong demand for places in many Catholic schools so it is important to make your application before the advertised closing dates. Catholic Schools Week, which is a statewide celebration of Catholic education, also takes place during the ‘formal’ enrolment period

Information for overseas students A small number of places in secondary Catholic schools are available to overseas students who share the Catholic faith and ethos embedded in our schools. Enrolment will be contingent on the student remaining in the care of a parent or a suitable guardian and subject to the approval of the Executive Director of Catholic Schools, Catholic Education Office, Sydney. None of the Sydney Catholic schools have boarding facilities.

Teachers Teachers in Sydney Catholic schools understand that being a successful teacher means being able to integrate their work, life and their faith. The Catholic Education Office is strongly committed to providing the highest standards of education for its students. The Catholic Education Office attracts quality teachers in the annual Targeted Graduate Employment Program. Each year the Catholic Education Office works in collaboration with the major Education faculties to identify the highest achieving and most suitable final year undergraduates, with a view to attracting them into schools in the Archdiocese upon graduation. This program is open to emerging teaching graduates from all universities in Australia.

The Australian

education times Independent Schools

Is Learning more Innovative at Independent Schools ? Independent Schools are renowned for their ethos, religious outlooks and their commitment to educational excellence. But what makes 174,000 NSW students call an Independent School their home away from home?


here are 450 Independent schools in New South Wales. While the majority of these schools are Pre K-12, others offer Boarding School facilities and opportunities to study abroad and via correspondence. The NSW independent schools sector enrolls more than 174,000 students, which represents approximately 15% of all students in NSW. The greatest proportion of independent schools are in Western Australia (13%) while the least are in Victoria (9%). The independent sector is so-called because each school is independent of government or Catholic system ownership. It is made up of individually operated schools as well as small groups or systems. Independent schools vary widely in size from schools with fewer than 20 students to large schools with up to 2,000 students. Independent schools are located in all areas of NSW, covering metropolitan, regional and rural, and remote areas of the state. All independent schools in NSW are registered by the NSW Board of Studies and are educationally and financially accountable to the Board and to the Australian and NSW Governments. Many independent schools are not affiliated with any particular religious philosophy or church while others follow

certain types of educational philosophies such as Rudolf Steiner Schools and Montessori Schools. Furthermore, a significant number of independent schools in NSW also operate boarding facilities. There are 25 special schools in NSW that cater for students with disabilities and other special needs, including students with severe and multiple physical, emotional and learning disabilities or behavioural issues. Other independent schools cater specifically for students from indigenous backgrounds.

Student Achievement In the recent HSC, 35% of recipients who topped subjects came from independent schools. Pupils from Sydney Grammar School took out six First in Course

awards while students from Pymble Ladies College achieved three awards. A further six independent schools had two First in Course recipients while 22 other independent schools each had one student who topped the state in a subject. In the sporting arena, many independent schools also have a track record for scoring excellent results from state through to international levels. For these schools, success has generally been the result of strong sporting traditions, meticulous dedication and cutting-edge coaching programs, yet not all principals see the road to success as overly complicated.

Enrolment Process Enrolling your child into an Independent School varies between schools. Please contact the Principal or the school’s Business Manager to book a tour of the school and for information regarding enrolment procedures. The school will provide you with an Enrolment Pack which will contain all the information you will need, including the application forms. This process also applies for international (overseas) students.

Teachers Teachers are encouraged to apply for jobs at Independent Schools by subscribing to TeachersNet or by searching the school of their choice for vacancies. Teachers are often required to be of the same religious background or demonstrate particular areas of excellence. Teachers who are employed by Independent Schools are required to undertake professional development which organisations such as The Teachers Guild of New South Wales offer annually.

The Australian Education Times

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The Australian

education times SUCCESS STORY

10 Insightful Questions to Sean Barrett, Head of Origin Foundation On behalf of the ‘News Crew’ of ‘The Australian Education Times’, Richa Mudaliar met with Sean Barrett to find out more about his impressive career and work in education.

Q1. What is your focus at the Origin Foundation? Our focus at the Origin Foundation is education and educational outcomes. We believe that education is the pathway to a brighter future for individuals and communities. Q2. What was the role of education in your personal journey? Education has played a critical role in my life and career. I have two older brothers, both of whom left school early. My parents however encouraged me to stay in school and as a result I’ve had opportunities that my brothers never had. In my life I’ve been paid to travel, paid to go to plays, even paid to read books! It’s all because I had a basic education. Q3. What would you say are the best parts about the education system and what is lacking? The best part of the Australian education system is the teachers. I have met some extraordinary teachers who are truly inspirational. This is why we, at the Origin Foundation, are investing heavily in helping to improve their 10 |

The Australian Education Times

skills. If there’s a problem, I would say it is the lack of appreciation for our teachers. They are the solution not the problem. Q4. What is a typical day for you? I spend about a quarter of my day reading policy documents and the latest research on issues in education. Then I spend about another quarter of my day finding people who are trying to solve these issues and going out and meeting them and probing why their programs are successful. I then spend time talking to our existing partners who are working in schools and around schools to make sure that the programs are delivering. The rest of my time is spent on administration. Q5. How did you get to this point in your career? I started out as a journalist. I then used those skills to become a health campaigner, then again in the business world and finally in the world of international NGOs. It’s essential to get a set of core skills and then have the passion to adapt as you go through life and continue to hone those skills.

Q6. In your opinion, what are some key factors required for success? Surround yourself with good people. No one person is capable of running an organisation. The Origin Foundation is quite small, we’re a team of five people, but if you look at Origin itself as 6000 people no one person can control all of that. You need to have good people around you. That’s the secret. Q7. Looking back at your career, are there any decisions you could have made differently? I rarely look back, but my partner teases me sometimes. If she’s bored, she asks me where we met or where we went on holiday and invariably I get the answer wrong. It’s not because I don’t care, it’s because I focus on the future. That said, it doesn’t mean that I haven’t made mistakes and wrong decisions but what I’ve learned is that it’s no use dwelling on your mistakes. You need to learn from them and move on. Q8. Who has been your greatest inspiration to date? I don’t think there’s one person. I think a joy of life is that you can find inspirational people around you every day, you just need to spend enough time listening. People who have found education and used it as a tool I find very inspirational. Q9. What do you think is the most important skill in leadership? I believe it’s the ability to communicate and listen. These skills allow you to explain complex ideas to people in a concise way which in turn motivates and enthuses them. Q10. What advice would you give to young readers? My advice would be to find out what you are passionate about and then pursue it. If you build your education around what you’re interested in it will no longer be a chore but a pleasure and a pathway to reaching your objectives.

The Australian

education times ICT FOR EDUCATION

Crunch, Crackle, Create ....

Using Blogs by Lizzie Chase 1. Preparation • •

Create a Blog using Blog Ed or Google Blog (Blogspot) Create a question that is to be answered.

2. In class

...enrichment lesson ideas at for Years 5-9 English students were specifically created to assist teachers who are new to the Williams, Maker and Bloom’s Models of enrichment, and also new to literature circles, Thinkers’ Keys, Thinking Hats and Art Costa’s Habits of Mind. The lesson ideas are in response to nine picture books and they respond to the questions: What is creativity? and What are my creative approach processes? The literature response and research tasks support creative thinking, visual literacy, personal expression and multimodal composing tasks for the NSW English Syllabus K-10. Student work produced by the project can be viewed at www.crunchcracklecreate. com and at http://crunchyemerton. In Term 2 this year, as my part of this Crunch, crackle, create enrichment project, I worked with Year 6 students from St Marys North PS and Blackheath PS. I was also lucky enough to work with girls in an enrichment writing group from Year 7 at Nepean HS. We focused on creating exciting story

starters for a fantasy quest blog and the students’ work from these sessions built on previous quest blogging ideas of mine at http://bandofheroes.weebly. com/. I had noticed that students write far more readily if they have pictures as inspiration and now I wanted the students in my enrichment groups to plan their own quest scenarios from scratch. Working in pairs, in small groups and as individuals, they came up with heroes, evil rulers, magical helpers, quest objects, weapons, magical strengths and a battle plan. After they had planned these, they recorded their story starters as 30 second movies on the Tellagami app. These movies were then uploaded and embedded in Weebly PRO websites at and We welcome student bloggers to these sites, to continue the stories that students have started. Or, have fun and make your own quest blog, story starters or board game as an engaging enrichment task!

Explain the question to the class and have a class discussion, think tank session or think pair share on how to best answer the question

Discuss what elements a ‘perfect’ answer should include

Students begin answering the question

10 mins before the lesson ends, ask students to mark each others work using questions such as:

a. What do you think is the strongest part of the blog? This could be a certain post, the writing style, the graphic design, the use of alternative media, the images, etc. What makes this element so strong? b. Is there a part of the blog you find confusing? A part that doesn’t seem to quite match the rest or the character for which it was designed? A link for which you don’t understand the connection? Can you give some suggestions for how to improve that part? c. After reading the blog, what would you like to know more about? Is there a post that leaves you with questions? Write down at least two questions to help your partner further develop this blog. d. Did you notice any major typos or grammatical issues? Please note anything glaring in this space.

The Australian Education Times

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The Australian

education times TECHNOLOGY TREATS

Apps & Terms T


iStudiez Pro

his app provides all of the tools you need to plan and organise your studying. As well as a class timetable and coursework planner, you can add in useful contacts, get notifications on upcoming projects and meetings, and back-up data with a simple tap for sound piece of mind. iStudiez Pro has a unique built-in planner that lets you input and easily manage all types of schedules including classic, alternating (A & B weeks), rotating and block schedules. Not only can you enter most common course details, but you can also add instructions, phone numbers and email addresses. There is also an opportunity to personalise your iStudiez Pro by using an expanded set of icons to mark your class types and extracurricular activities. iStudiez Pro is available on IOS at $2.99.



athboard is an app that is suitable for students aged from pre-school upwards. This app covers all of the numeracy basics, through to the more advanced stuff, and presents it in a clear and engaging chalkboard format. As you learn, you can test yourself with a selection of quizzes to make the learning fun. More than just standard drills, MathBoard encourages students to actually solve problems and not just guess at answers. This is done by providing multiple answer styles, as well as a scratchboard area where problems can be worked out by hand. Students can also turn to MathBoard’s Problem Solver for further help. This powerful teaching feature walks students through the steps required to solve addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division equations. Additionally, the included quick reference tables serve as a valuable learning tool. This App is available on iPad and costs $4.99.


1. ADSL - Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line. ADSL is the most common type of fast connection to the Internet. Asymmetric means that the upload speed is different to the download speed. For example, a typical 2Mb connection has a download speed of 1800Kb per second and an upload speed of 200Kb per second. 2. Alignment - Alignment refers to objects or text lining up with each other on a page. For example ‘Left Alignment’ will make every line of text have their left edge line up beneath each other - sometimes also called ‘left justified’. 3. Audio - In ICT terms it usually refers to either sound files such as MP3 formatted digital files or it refers to applications that handle sound, such as open source Audacity. 4. Automation - A mechanical device, operated electronically, that functions automatically, without continuous input from an operator. 5. Computerisation - To control or perform (operations within a system) by means of a computer (eg, robotics) 6. Hardware - Physical components that make up a computer system 7. Robotics - Terms related to robotics, including definitions about consumer or manufacturing robots and words and phrases about stepper motor systems, XY positioning tables, automation and artificial intelligence 8. Software - Computer programs and related data that provide the instructions for telling computer hardware what to do and how to do it

See Touch Learn


ee Touch Learn is a speech therapy based app that uses a Picture Card Learning System that replaces all your physical flash cards. This is designed by professionals specifically for those with autism and other special needs. See Touch Learn is used by SLP’s, BCBA’s, Teachers, and Parents to provide custom picture card instruction. It includes a starter set of stunning, high-quality images and 60 exercises created by a certified assistant behaviour analyst. It is linked to over 4,400 additional images, and lessons are available for purchase from within the app. This is a free app that is available on IOS

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The Australian Education Times



pecifically created for uni students, Turnitin is a great way to check how much of your work is similar to the research that you have referred to and to determine what your ‘plagerism’ count is. It is renowned as the most innovative and effective online technology for improving student writing. Turnitin is cloud-based and can be used for most of Sydney’s Universities. Turnitin is also known for assisting student writers by facilitating personalized feedback. Turnitin is a free app that can be downloaded onto an iPad.

9. Terabyte - Another word for 1,000 Gigabytes. This used to be a very obscure term because there was very little use for it. But now storage devices are becoming so vast that Terabyte hard disks are becoming available and so the word is appearing more and more when talking about storage. 10. Wifi - (short for wireless fidelity) is a term for certain types of wireless local area network (WLAN) that use specifications in the 802.11 family. The term Wi-Fi was created by an organization called the Wi-Fi Alliance, which oversees tests that certify product interoperability. A product that passes the alliance tests is given the label “Wi-Fi certified” (a registered trademark). Noelene Callaghan Noelene is an ICT Teacher at Rooty Hill High School, a member of the ICTENSW and a Councillor of The Teachers’ Guild of New South Wales

The Australian

education times ICT FOR EDUCATION

Technology is in the Sky! Advantages for I the Institution T n the (recent) past, accessing files (word processing files, spreadsheets, etc.) on different computers required a floppy disk or USB drive. The disk or drive had to be carried with you so that any file could be opened on other computers. This was often a nervewracking experience, waiting for your document to appear. Things have changed; the safety, stability, and simplicity of cloud computing has increased its popularity, massively. This has led to widespread adoption in various educational institutions.

Why use the Cloud?

What are the advantages for storing files off-site on a server that can be located anywhere? You may ask. Here are some:

Advantages for the Student


o need to carry around devices, such as USB drives or CDs. You don’t need to worry about losing or breaking the device, or not having your file load properly. Files stored in the cloud usually require a user ID and password – so it is not easily accessible, providing secure storage of your work. Working on a group project? Files can be shared between students through the cloud, removing the need for more than one USB drive or burning another CD. Student groups can be set up to work on assignments in the cloud, allowing for collaborative experiences.

he usual time teachers spend carrying out administrative duties can be used on more educationally-driven activities that are beneficial for the student’s educational progress. Savings made from not purchasing, hiring, or maintaining photocopiers and printers, ink cartridges, and paper. Also reducing cost by removing the need to purchase alternative, servers, software, and related items, such as: USB drives, and CD-ROMs. An overall increase in efficiency as accessibility of files is available for teachers and staff anytime, anywhere without needing to rely on anyone else’s approval or recognition. Files can be tracked using various analytical tools in the cloud. This allows for the opportunity to see the frequency of file-accessing, and at what times of the day and days of the week are frequented the most.

Advantages for the Teacher


f the technology encounters a problem, your content will still be accessible if it is stored elsewhere. When making changes to a lesson plan and you want such changes reversed, cloud computing will save duplications and versions of a file. This will allow you to chronologically trace back through the history of your work item. Cloud computing removes the need to both save and print files. Therefore creating more space in your filing cabinets. Learning to use the cloud system is straightforward, a few hours (if that) Is all that is required to get to grips with it. The Australian Education Times

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The Australian

education times ICT FOR EDUCATION

Learning should be 3D, not 2D


D Printing is bringing learning to life. It is a new technology that allows users to turn any digital file into a three dimensional physical product. Within education, 3D Printing is an excellent tool that is beginning to turn the tide on traditional teaching methods. 3D printing provides assistance that can revolutionise education. For example: • It provides teachers with 3 dimensional visual aids for use, interactively, in their classroom. Particularly in illustrating a difficult to grasp concept. • 3D printers make it easy for teachers to grab the interest of their students, compared to expressing ideas through pictorial representations of objects. Developing a deeper understanding. • It encourages hands-on learning through practical application. • Prototyping technology allows students to produce realistic

3 dimensional mini-models, bringing their ideas to life. • It provides more room for interactive class activities. In biology, for instance, teachers could create a 3D model of the human heart, head, or skeleton etc. to teach students about the human anatomy. All levels of education (primary, secondary and tertiary) may benefit from 3D printing technology. New schemes are being introduced into schools to support the new Australian Curriculum which assists teachers in learning how to build 3D printers and incorporate them into the classroom. 3D printers are relatively costeffective and cost per printing of designs can be manageable within an academic budget (some institutions have made these devices available for paid use, helping to offset costs).

3D Printing In Action @ Islington Public School, Newcastle, NSW


ust over one year ago the Principal of Islington Public School, Matthew Bradley, purchased a 3D printer for the school (a UP Plus – a simple and affordable way to print from your desk) Following a moment of inspiration, the Young machine has people have become a valuable such big ideas and when you tool in multiple allow them to subject areas. run with them Exposing students they can often to the technology at amaze. a young age is valuable experience for a career in design and engineering industries as 3D printing and additive manufacturing are key in creating new products. Knowledge of how the technology works and its limitations are sure to benefit the students at Islington and any other student who has access to such technology. Although the They technology has develop existed for many solutions to years, it was too problems in expensive for schools very abstract to own. Now that ways. there are affordable options (desktop printers available for less than $1000), students and teachers are learning together as they explore the world of 3D printing and design.

Is your school doing something innovative in the space of ICT? Why not share you experiences with us at 14 |

The Australian Education Times






My Reminders:




Chinese New Year Markets

1864- Banjo Patterson was Born



Mental Health First Aid Training, The York Conference Centre, Sydney


1803 - Great Fire of Bombay

1988-Rihanna (singer) born

Australian Surfing Awards, Manly



6 337AD - St Julius I begins his reign as Catholic Pope




1984 Michael Jackson wins 8 Grammys at the 26th Grammy Awards

1842 - 1st Sewing Machine was patented



Valentines Day

1915 - 1st wireless message sent from a moving train to a station received


Stanhope Doll, Bear and Craft Fair, Stanhope Leisure Centre, Stanhope


Kids InStyleSydney, Royal Hall of Industries & Hordern Pavilion,Moore Park



1978 - Proceedings of the United States Senate are broadcast on radio for the first time.


Coffee Lectures, The Great Poets, Art Gallery of NSW


education times

A school-based program to combat bullying, depression and isolation caused by others via social networking sites.

University Semester 1, 2014 Begins


18 The National Higher Education Womens Leadership Summit 2014, The Marriot Hotel, Melbourne

1885Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain was published

Cyberle Smi

Colour Me Rad, Eastern Creek

Jazz at the Pines, Dural


1879-1st artificial ice rink in created in Madison Square, New York City




1948- Sri Lanka Chemist 1931- The (formerly Warehouse Hawke’s Bay Ceylon) Naturally earthquake, declares Australia New Zealand’s worst natural disaster, independence from UK Wellness Day, Martin Place, Sydney kills 258


Puppet Camp 1964 1621 - Alexander Sydney, Beatles 1st Ludovisi is Sydney Live elected Pope appearance Gregory XV Harbour (-1623) Marriott Hotel at Circular in the USA




Chinese New Year Celebrations, Darling Harbour


2014 February Calendar

The Australian

If The Hat Fits! A special pullout for anyone thinking about

completing a Post Graduate Degree The Benefits of completing a Post Graduate Degree: What’s in it for me?

Study Patterns: How to choose electives in postgraduate study

Case Studies: Life as a Post Grad Student

The Australian

education times FOCUS ON UNIVERSITY

Postgraduate Study – What’s in it for me? A 3 t a time when universities are expanding their postgraduate offerings and many professions have enhanced expectations in relation to qualification requirements, you may question the benefits of such a commitment. Postgraduate study does not come cheaply, but it offers graduates many significant advantages in the workplace. This is especially true for teachers and school administrators who will benefit from obtaining a relevant postgraduate qualification such as a Graduate Certificate, Graduate Diploma, Masters or Doctorate. Potential benefits include:


Career Advancement: In many education employment sectors, those seeking to ‘climb the career ladder’ will be expected to obtain a higher level qualification after their undergraduate teaching degree. For example, leaders of contemporary schools require more than a solid understanding of the curriculum. They also require advanced skills in human resource management, policy interpretation, data analysis, financial management and a capacity for strategic planning. A higher degree in research can certainly provide these.


Financial Reward: For those educators seeking financial reward, this will often accompany the achievement of a research higher degree. In the current national education environment that has a renewed focus on student and therefore teacher performance, there does seem to be a political appetite to reward teachers who facilitate exceptional learning

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The Australian Education Times

should seek out a provider who offers an engaging curriculum that meets your needs, whilst engaging you with your teacher and fellow students. Online postgraduate study can be a lonely experience so look for providers who understand your personal and study needs. •

Look for a program that offers or encourages work integrated learning – opportunities to engage in reallife situations and environments as an integral component of your study. There are many hands-on courses and programs where you will undertake the research of a relevant issue and write it up as a paper or minor thesis. Most teachers undertake further study to equip them with new knowledge and skills that will assist their student to achieve better learning outcomes, so a practical project is most welcome.

You should also look for employerfunded scholarships. Many large organisations (including State and Federal governments), recognising the benefits of postgraduate study, offer a range of fully or partly funded scholarships as an incentive for their employees. You should not however, let the non-availability of these scholarships influence your decision, as many qualifications can be gained on a ‘loans’ basis and ‘paid off’ post-graduation. This certainly eases the immediate financial burden.

outcomes. The enhanced skills required to do this can often be developed through further study.

Professional Renewal: One of the more altruistic reasons for engaging in further study is for the purpose of ‘lifelong learning’ that enables educators to keep up with contemporary research outcomes or pedagogical strategies. Furthermore, postgraduate study frequently sharpens teachers’ skills or offers them a different perspective through which to view their profession. Additional qualifications can certainly assist teachers to ‘keep up’ with the ever-evolving needs of their learners.


Change of Direction: Some teachers and school leaders undertake further study as a means of changing their ‘professional direction’. Quite often classroom teachers wish to diversify or to specialise in areas such as executive leadership, early childhood, special education or e-Learning. Central Queensland University offers postgraduate qualifications in each of these areas for teachers interested in a practically-based program of study with a research-based project in a relevant context.

So, once you have decided to take on the challenges and opportunities afforded by further study, what should you look for in a course or program? •

If you are working full-time, it will be important for your study to be flexible and preferably online where you can engage at any time. You

Studying whilst working often strikes fear into the heart of many professionals, including busy teachers, however I firmly believe in the great benefits of lifelong learning and as such, I would encourage teachers and school administrators to take on the challenge. It will require hard work and persistence but will definitely provide tangible benefits of both a personal and professional nature.

Professor Helen Huntly Dean, School of Education & the Arts Central Queensland University

The Australian

education times


How to choose electives in postgraduate study C

hoosing electives for postgraduate study in humanities can sometimes be a daunting prospect. Students can often find it difficult to pinpoint what to look for in an elective and where to go to find more information. Gavin McLean is an Academic Services representative for Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University. He’s an expert on helping students choose electives for postgraduate study. Here, he sheds some light on the process of choosing electives and outlines how the university helps its postgraduate students pick the right electives for their studies. • What do electives offer a student? Electives offer students the ability to tailor their degree to suit their academic interests or preferred outcomes. Well-designed courses allow students to feel safe in the knowledge that the core subjects within their degree cover the essential material pertinent to their particular course. A healthy elective list for postgraduate courses allows students to be flexible with their subject choices, not only based on content, but also with timetabling. Many postgraduate students have already entered full-time work and may require particular times for their subjects to allow them to attend. The postgraduate courses with electives within La Trobe’s Humanities and Social Sciences offer subjects outside of regular working hours, including

evenings during the week and blockmode subjects on weekends. • What should students look for when choosing electives? Students should look for electives most suited to their interests and/or desired outcomes from their course. Students should be aware that a postgraduate course is much shorter than an undergraduate course, with less electives, so they will not have as much scope (as in an undergraduate degree) to choose electives unrelated to their course. Students should also contact the academics who teach in the course, particularly the course coordinator, for advice on which subjects are most appropriate for the student’s particular focus and career aspirations. Course coordinators have normally had a major role in the design of their course and are always happy to assist students by offering advice on how to structure their degree, including the best electives to choose. Again, wherever possible, students should choose electives based on pedagogy and content rather than timetabling, assessment tasks or other details.

• What are some common mistakes students make when choosing electives? When students enrol into our postgraduate courses in Humanities and Social Sciences, there are always staff, both academic and administrative, on hand to ensure that students choose appropriate subjects for their degree, interests and desired outcomes. However, students may change their enrolment at any point before the census date (the deadline for choosing subjects) for each semester. Some students have limited time available to dedicate towards classes. Consequently, they may choose their second- or third-choice electives because they fit in with their other commitments. While this situation may be unavoidable in some cases, it is not an ideal way to choose the best possible electives for your degree. Whatever postgraduate electives you choose, follow these simple tips to ensure you get the most out of your educational experience. La Trobe University offers its humanities students a wide range of electives in its postgraduate degrees. Find out more by visiting: Gavin McLean is an Academic Services representative for Humanities and Social Sciences at La Trobe University

The Australian Education Times

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The Australian

education times FOCUS ON UNIVERSITY

Want to complete a post grad degree? But which, what, where, how?


ith competition The benefits for quality of post management graduate positions becoming study in the field increasingly fierce, many individuals are looking to of education are up-skill to increase their varied and broad. chances for promotion. All They include of Australia’s universities improving offer postgraduate knowledge and courses, some subjectskills in a based whereas others specialist area. are research based. Post and Training in Australia, graduate degrees typically November 2013). The core objective include Diplomas, Graduate “The benefits of for many is to Certificates, Honors post graduate study in enhance Degrees, Masters Degrees the field of education employability and and Doctor of Philosophy are varied and broad. chances for courses. They include improving advancement or In 2013-14, Australia’s knowledge and skills in a Education and Training specialist area. The core to facilitate a industry is expected to objective for many is to jump to a broader generate revenue of $97.2 enhance employability administrative billion, and the sector and chances for role. is expected to grow by advancement or to 2.5% per annum over facilitate a jump to a the next five years to broader administrative reach $109.9 billion in 2018-2019, with role,” explains Vice Chancellor and competition in the industry for teaching President of Australia’s newest and management positions steadily university: Torrens University Australia. increasing. (Source: IBISWorld, Education 20 |

The Australian Education Times

What is essential to a postgraduate degree is flexibility. For many post graduates, fitting further study into busy working schedules is one of the greatest barriers to success. When selecting a course, it should suit your lifestyle, thus selecting one that is offers a range of flexible delivery methods including on campus, online or a combination of the two. Most universities offer courses via Blackboard (their Learning Management System) which enables students to learn via an innovative online environment accessible 24/7 that uses social technology to help students share ideas with their teacher and peers. Jessica Thompson & Amity Roche Torrens University Australia

education times FOCUS ON UNIVERSITY The Australian

Life as a PhD Student • Why did you select this course over others? The robotics program at USYD is highly respected internationally. As a US citizen, there was also the appeal of living in another country. I had a few other options and the Sydney lifestyle trumped Glasgow and Los Angeles. • Detail your selection process. I looked for the top ten universities in the space industry focusing on laboratories with a research focus. The university’s reputation was important. Since space engineering is a big field, I looked for a variety of programs relating to areas I wanted to grow in, such as propulsion, spacecraft design, and mechatronics. In the end I applied to two “reach” universities (University of Southern California in Los Angeles and Perdue), one local university (University of Colorado-Boulder), and two international universities (Glasgow and USYD). • Why did you choose to complete a post grad course/ qualifications? Years ago, my Army unit was sent to the Balkans for peace-keeping and we had a lot free time on our hands. Out

of boredom I read science books and started keeping a journal of designs and ideas. Many of these ideas, I found out later, were supported in science, which gave the confidence to pursue a career in Space. At some point I was up for promotion and the US military encourages postgraduates so they gave me leave to find a program. While I doubt the Army realised my choice was a program in Australia they handled it with grace, and off to USYD I went. After six months at USYD my supervisor offered me the chance to upgrade to a PhD, which I think is more common in Australia than in the USA. • What do you most enjoy? Why? I enjoyed the scientific process, the life of a researcher (ramen noodles anyone?), and the idea that you can sit doing nothing but thinking all day and people will actually pay you for it. The intellectual challenges are limited only by your imagination and by the end of the PhD you get to write the thesis. The most fun I had was finding the gaps in human knowledge, creating new methods to fill them, and the “eureka” moment when you realise your ideas working in the study.

Jason Held Name of Uni: University of Sydney (USYD) Name of Course: PhD Aerospace and Mechatronics

• What are your career prospects once you complete this degree? My story is a bit unusual because I had a solid career in the space industry prior to starting the postgraduate degree. You don’t need a postgraduate degree to be successful. The PhD has been useful in honing my critical thinking skills, not my career prospects. • What advice would you give to others seeking to complete a post graduate degree? If you are looking to be an expert in your field do a Masters degree and head to industry. If you wish to expand human knowledge, do a PhD. Pick what you love first and foremost and make sure that you pick a thesis supervisor that is willing to work with you on a topic. Even though a Masters degree does not sound as exciting as a PhD, graduates with a Masters get paid more upon graduation. Also, it’s perfectly okay to do a Master or PhD later in life. Some of these kids that go straight into post-graduate miss out on experiences from the workplace. “Experience is the best teacher… but look out for the tuition”. The Australian Education Times

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The Australian

education times


Case Study of a Post Graduate Student:

Naveen Sharma

University of Queensland – Master of Technology Management; Griffith University – Graduate Certificate in Flexible Learning and Certificate in University Teaching; and University of Leicester – MSc in Risk and Security Management. University of Queensland; Griffith University and University of Leicester (UK) Course Mode: On campus and off campus

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The Australian Education Times


chose to complete a post graduate degree as I wanted to improve my skillset and knowledge. I felt that completing this degree would provide me with better opportunities over other applicants when applying for a job. I selected this course (a Master of Technology Management; Griffith University) over other courses as I believed that it would offer better career prospects. I found this by comparing universities (worldwide) and critiqued the postgraduate programs that they were offering in the area of security and risk. I found a course at University of Leicester which I believed offered the best curriculum and areas of research. I feel that completing this degree (albeit some years ago), it has given me recognition in this field and enhanced my career aspects. The one thing I that I most enjoyed when completing my post graduate degree, was that I was learning whilst studying and learning whilst working.

The common theme here is that I was always learning and seeking answers. So what I enjoy most is that at different times whether I am asking the questions or providing answers, I am always learning. Remember the saying “one is never too old to learn” or “age is no barrier to learning”. On the other hand, I found the need to balance study, work and family life as the most challenging aspect of completing a post graduate degree. It appears there are never enough hours in a day. Yes there are many time management techniques, but in reality it is difficult. If I could pass on some ideas to other potential post graduate students, I would recommend that you don’t just complete any course. I recommend that you always scan the job market, e.g. look at what types of jobs are being advertised, talk to career counsellors, employment agencies and friends or staff who are already working to find out who or what sorts of skills are in demand or emerging.

education times FOCUS ON UNIVERSITY The Australian

Why I chose to complete a Postgraduate Degree An insight by postgraduate student Tia Spanos


n my last semester of my Bachelor degree (International Relations), it dawned on me that the brilliant experience of three years of study was coming to an end. In as much as Year 12 students are uncertain of the ‘new adult world’ they are stepping into, I wasn’t sure what the working world looked like for a new graduate. I also wasn’t sure I was ready to follow my life ambition and long-term career at the age of 21. I was accepted into Honours the following year, but wasn’t sure that an academic path suited me. I felt I needed to better understand what I had learnt during my undergraduate degree, and how I could enter the working world applying myself to the content I had for so long devoured and spoke on endlessly. I decided to do a Masters degree. Completing my Master of International Relations allowed me to realise what my specialisation was, and how theoretical knowledge can be applied to government, diplomacy and international affairs. Postgraduate study consolidated the knowledge I had acquired over the previous three years and placed me in a position to confidently enter the labour market. Many graduates say they are frustrated by how qualification-driven employment opportunities have become in Australian

cities. It’s tough to get a job with just an undergraduate degree, or without substantial work experience. The reality is that Australia is now catching-up with what is already experienced by graduates in the United States and the European Union. It is unfair and irresponsible to suggest everyone should complete postgraduate studies. However, the upside of becoming further specialised in your field will make you more competitive in both the local and global labour market. In an environment of continuous globalisation, increased labour mobility and Australia’s transition into a knowledge-based economy, postgraduate study prepares students for a world of opportunities. Additionally, in a constrained local labour market, further studies will not be frowned upon by a prospective employer. Postgraduate study is geared towards providing students with greater vocational skills. It offers a conceptual foundation of their field of study. The course material and assessment also assist students to develop the critical and analytical skills required to practically apply their knowledge. Postgraduate study also gives you the opportunity to build professional and social networks with leaders in your field,

and those who will be pursuing their careers alongside you. You also have access to academics with strong links to their respective fields. Importantly, you are given access to Masterclasses and networking events with industry professionals. What is gained from this is early exposure to the day-to-day work issues and pressures in your industry, as well as the long-term challenges and expected outcomes you will be faced with. When I finished my Masters degree, I felt prepared to enter the working world with confidence in the knowledge capital I possessed. I also felt I had the ability to navigate the labour market to seek employment in areas which were suited to my skills. Entering the professional workforce demonstrated to me that postgraduate study provided the analytical, communication and writing-based skills I needed to make a smooth transition into the workplace – and additionally, the specialised knowledge which ensured I was ready for the content and demands of my role. Postgraduate studies made me job ready.

Tia Spanos is a graduate of La Trobe University. She currently works in the public sector. The Australian Education Times

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The Australian

education times



was initially interested in completing a Masters in Economics. However, I was currently working in the area of IT and having career aspirations of moving into Project Management so I thought it would be more beneficial if were to complete an MBA as it would provide me a diverse understanding of business-based subjects and not only economics.

Why I chose to complete a post graduate course My drive and dedication for learning something new and going out of my comfort zone has been strong ever since my schooling days. I have an undergraduate degree in Information Systems, so doing an MBA would help me to diversify my knowledge into the Business and Management domains by doing subjects such as Marketing, Economics, Operations Management etc.  My day to day role involves dealing with Business requests and supporting Business activities, so I wanted gain a more holistic understanding of the Business and how IT fits in with their overall strategy. Furthermore, it would enable me to nurture my leadership, communication and teamwork skills which are essential in any professional environment. 24 |

The Australian Education Times

Case Study of an MBA student What I most enjoyed whilst studying

you to grow in your business or The best part of doing an role. If so, then MBA is building networks definitely pursue with your peers and other this career option Name of Uni: ‘like-minded’ individuals.  and take advantage Macquarie Graduate School of With people coming from of the networking Management various domains and opportunities Name of Course: working backgrounds, I get available and Masters in Business the opportunity to interact try to apply the Administration and mingle with these postknowledge you (MBA) graduate students, which learn wherever you Course Mode: helps to not only make the can in the company Part-Time course more enjoyable but you work for.  There also allows me to gather is no “perfect age” an insight into other to learn something, companies and make more relevant so studying part-time or full-time is an sense out of the knowledge gained option, depending on what works best from the subjects/lectures.  It is mainly for you. through group assignments and in-class The career prospects from discussions that I get the most benefit completing this degree and do try to participate and provide input where I can. I am currently working as a Business Analyst, so I am hoping to use the Advice I would knowledge I have learnt in my Masters give to others to provide a platform into a Project Don’t think of post-graduate study Management role.  To become a great as another ‘piece of paper’ you need to Project Manager involves understanding get or ‘more work’.  I’d first recommend the Business requirements, IT capability you to see if it is relevant to your line and customer satisfaction, which is my of work and whether it’ll actually help career aspiration.

Kapil Vaswani

The Australian

education times Career of the Month

Is this career path for you? E

• Bachelor of Education (4 years) • a four- or five-year combined degree program such as a Bachelor of Science/Bachelor of Teaching

Educational Qualification

Note that the undergraduate subjects studied in your degree should be chosen with the subject(s) you wish to teach in mind. For secondary teaching your undergraduate majors should match the subjects in which you want to train and teach. As for primary teaching, you will need to have a range of undergraduate subject content studies across the primary curriculum areas such as English, Mathematics and Science. If you have already started your studies at university, never fear! The degree you’re currently undertaking could still lead to a job in teaching. If you are completing an undergraduate degree such as a Bachelor of Arts or Science, you can complete an endon graduate entry teacher education qualification such as a Graduate Diploma in Education or an end-on Bachelor of Teaching or a Master of Teaching. For more information visit:

veryone remembers their favourite teacher. That teacher, who made learning fun, filled the classroom with energy and ideas and who always knew exactly how to answer your questions. Did you ever imagine yourself in their shoes? Could you see yourself in front of the whiteboard? If you’re considering becoming a teacher, you might be envisaging early marks every Friday, long summer holidays and a desk overflowing with cards and chocolates at the end of the year. But be warned, this is no 9-5 job! Be prepared for the long hours spent preparing classes, the formidable task of writing reports and hearing about all those pesky pups with a penchant for homework. Don’t let me discourage you however; a job in teaching is like no other. Not only is no day the same, you have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of countless young people.

Luckily for you there is more than one way into a rewarding career in education. The journey begins with finishing high school and completing your HSC. Remember, you should choose to study subjects which you have an interest in teaching. In order to qualify as a teacher, you will need to complete a course of study that meets the NSW Institute of Teachers teacher education program requirements. When it comes to applying for courses at university, there are various options you can choose:

Top tip! According to the Department of Education and Communities, there is currently a high demand for teachers of secondary Mathematics and Science (especially Physics), and in the specialist areas of school counselling and special education. If you choose to complete studies in any of these areas, your chance of finding a job as a teacher are greatly enhanced.

Starting rates Beginning teachers in NSW public schools enjoy one of the highest commencing salaries of any profession. According to the Department of Education and Communities, in 2013 four-year trained teachers started on a salary of $59,706.

Is teaching the right career for you?

Alternative pathways

• Are you passionate about education? • Do you like kids? • Are you comfortable in front of a classroom? • Are you responsible and a good role model?

If you miss out on the marks needed for university, don’t despair! You can get back on track with integrated courses, articulation, and credit transfers offered at TAFE NSW and alternative colleges.

Remember, for the best advice make an appointment with your careers advisor or speak to one of your teachers at school.

Torrens University Australia has just announced that all students that enrol in its online postgraduate courses (including the Masters of Education) by May 2014 will receive a 30% scholarship! The Australian Education Times

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The Australian

Education Times TEST ZONE

Fun classroom tips to prepare for the Selective High School Entry Test.


elective High School testing falls on March 13 this year and preparation time can be stressful. Testing itself helps primary school students learn to be effective under pressure and reinforces their prior learning. The Selective High School Entry Test focuses on Reading, Mathematics, General Ability and Writing. The following activities aim to make this test preparation easier for teachers and more fun for students, while also ensuring that they are well prepared.

Focus Groups Children can be grouped according to their weaknesses, as these are the areas which need to be improved. If you are unsure of these, test the students first. Helpful categories are vocabulary, maths, comprehension, writing and handwriting (if a person can’t read the test, they can’t mark it). Each group can be given teacher-created booklets which could include answer sheets so that children can work independently. Writing groups can be given visual or written stimuli on the page and write an appropriate text to go with it. While students do the work, teachers can circulate and focus on specific groups as needed.

To finish each session, students share their experiences with the rest of the class or keep a journal of their own progress.

Mini Revision Lessons Deconstruct and revise each of these basics for twenty minutes or more. This will also help any students going through synaptic pruning. Give mini-lessons on: - spelling rules - times table revision - various text types - unpacking mathematics problems - basic mathematical formulas - understanding comprehension texts - grasping what a question is actually asking

Reading Engage readers by using texts from the contemporary world. Deconstruct and ask questions about commercials, online articles, blogs or information reports about celebrities and sports. More traditional comprehension tasks, can be refreshed by transforming them into a Trivia-type game.

Mathematics Bring a sense of fun to practice tests by enlarging them to A3 size and allow students to work on them as a team. For tougher questions needing clarity, students can act out or use props to dramatise them.

General Ability General Ability tests require children to have a large vocabulary and use it appropriately.

Here are some handy suggestions: - Play a dictionary game. Read the definition of a word aloud and ask children to guess the word it refers to. - Go on a vocabulary hunt. Students sort through texts and highlight words that they do not know. After finding the definitions, the task can be extended by forming groups and performing plays, while using these words in context. - Encourage peer teaching. Give chosen students a whiteboard marker and practice test questions. Let them ask these questions to the class and guide their peers to the correct answers.

Writing Students who are less sure of text types may like to act them out in order to become better acquainted with them. They can convert information reports into fake news stories and narratives into plays. This will expose them to the text type, while still being engaged. These can even be filmed and later reviewed in class. All of the above exercises are designed to provide a sense of freedom and creativity in the lead up to the test. To a certain extent, it also allows the teacher to differentiate. It is hoped that this preparation lets students express themselves, and improve in a relaxed learning environment. Skye Patch: Skye Patch is an OC teacher who specialises in Drama and English at Wilkins Public School

Is Your Child Ready For The Selective School Test?

Pre Uni College contact 8678 2722

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Education Times INSIDE SCHOOLS

Too Cool @ Schools College Captains 2012

Primary School

Secondary School

Tertiary School

There is a Kitchen in My School!

Virtual My Quest

$74 million to improve brain research and beat disease


limate plays an important role in what can be grown and harvested at different times of the year. Australia is home to a wide range of climate zones, so produce opportunities vary for Kitchen Garden Schools. At Wyndham District High School in far north-east Western Australia the tropical climate has made for perfect conditions to grow tomatoes, sweet corn and Chinese giant capsicum. Lou Rodgerson of Majura Primary School commented on Wyndham District HS’s Shared Table post, “They look fantastic. I wish we could be harvesting capsicum at this time of the year in Canberra!” The variety of produce has prompted classes to investigate photos of fresh food markets from around the world as part of the ‘Markets of the World’ activity. *’Markets of the World’ is an English, Geography, Languages and ICT lesson in Tools for Teachers 2 – Years 3 & 4 and can be found on the Shared Table in the Resource Library


significant proportion of students attending this Secondary College are refugees, who have suffered war, trauma and interrupted schooling. According to the two ESL teachers undertaking the Games Based Learning project, these students typically had only ‘limited worldly experience’, lacked ‘understanding of broader environmental and social issues’ and had little previous involvement in inquiry-based learning. The Quest Atlantis Endangered Species Mission was chosen as the focus of the project as the students had a substantial pre-knowledge about endangered animals. This provided learning experiences in which the students were encouraged to be proactive. Students felt the site was attractive and exciting. They “enjoyed using games in class” and were keen to add that they were “learning and improving a lot”, highlighting advances in their reading, writing and spelling and their ability to learn “new words and hard words”.


onash University will lead three new national Centres of Excellence that have received $73.9 million in funding from the Australian Research Council (ARC), through the Centres of Excellence program. Monash achieved the highest funding amount awarded to an Australian university - leading three of the 12 ARC Centres of Excellence announced yesterday, and will be a partner in an additional two – ARC Centre of Excellence for Robotic Vision (Queensland University of Technology), ARC Centre of Excellence for Electromaterials Science (University of Wollongong). Led by Professor James Whisstock of Monash University’s Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, the $28 million ARC Centre of Excellence in Advanced Molecular Imaging  will develop innovative imaging technologies to explore the immune system, leading to a better understanding of how the immune system functions.

Is your school doing something fabulous? Why not share it with us. Simply write a 200 word article on your event and attach an image (in a jpeg format) and send it to The Australian Education Times

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education times Literacy corner

Creating Passionate Readers and Future Leaders By Children’s Author, Deborah Abela

Equipping children with the skills necessary to become confident readers will help set them up for the rest of their lives. It improves spelling and vocabulary, develops creativity and critical thinking, promotes understanding and empathy, and even teaches us what it is to be human. Reading educates them about the world, helps them express their ideas and realise that there are many ways of facing a situation. As our passionate readers grow older, they’re equipped to read and interpret instructions, study for their driver’s licence, balance up the pros and cons of big decisions, successfully complete higher education, apply for a job or a home loan and pass on what they know to the kids in their lives. Here are a few ways we can help create passionate, young readers:


Treat our teacher librarians with respect. Many school principals have been given the power to decide their own budget allocations for staffing and some have decided not to have a librarian. We need to realise that the librarian isn’t a ‘special’ position but an essential part of a school’s staff, crucial to the educational wealth of a school.


hen my partner and I visit his parents in country Victoria, they become very excited. Partly because they love our visits but also because they arrange for me to speak to every student in town. Hopetoun has a population of five hundred and is a five hour drive from Melbourne, so author visits are rare. In front of a class of 5-year-olds, I was retelling the story of my first novel, Max Remy Superspy, about a young girl who is sent to the country for the school holidays. She is miserable about what she thinks will be weeks of boredom, dusty paddocks and cow manure. I was playing up my main character’s desperation, when my partner overheard a conversation between two boys: “I’m never going to the country.” His friend turned to him and said, “You live in the country.” 28 |

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2 3 4

Read together – either you to your kids or they can read to you.

The first boy slapped his forehead and smiled, “Oh yeah.” This is one of the main reasons I love being an author. Story has the ability to take us on a journey, to entertain and amuse us, to lift us out of our world, even if it looks remarkably like the one we’re in, but we all know it can do much more than that. One of the most important gifts we can give the children in our lives is a love of reading and the earlier we start, the better. The most active period of brain growth and development is 0-3. The American Academy of Paediatrics “strongly recommends reading to children every day, starting after they are first born,” “reading stimulates the development of the brain, language and a closer emotional relationship with a child.”

Be a reader in front of kids and make time to read at all times of the day, not just at night or on holidays. Let kids read for interest and never force it. Fiction, non-fiction, picture books, graphic novels and comics. Reading should be as non-threatening and enjoyable as possible.

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Have books around the house.

Encourage a sense of story by asking kids what they think is going to happen next or after the book is closed.


Listen to audio books at home and in the car. This can be less threatening for a reluctant reader and they may even like to follow the words in the book.

Many kids love reading and writing too! Which is brilliant! So with twenty years of being a professional writer, I wanted to share some writing tips: • The Love Factor Write about what you love and are excited about, then, hopefully, that excitement will be felt by your reader. • Read, Read, Read Read for enjoyment and to see how your favourite authors create their stories and make their characters feel so real. • Daydream Imagine walking around the settings of your story to get to know them as if you’ve been there. When I decided to set my novel, The Remarkable Secret of Aurelie Bonhoffen, in an amusement park, I took lots of photos of Brighton Pier in England and used those as my inspiration for the novel. • Making Your Characters Feel Real Interview your characters so you get to know them like your best friend or family. Ask them questions like, how they feel about school, what is their worst/best trait, do they have a secret, what makes them happy and sad? • Make Every Word Earn its Place in Your Story Ask yourself: Is this the most perfect word for this sentence? Is this the best line of dialogue for this character? Does this sentence best describe what I want to say? Be picky with your words and read it aloud to see if it flows. • Look it up Does any part of your novel need to be

researched? This can help to make a story feel true. I did a lot of research for my novel Grimsdon (http://deborahabela. com/site/Books_1.html) to learn ways to survive in a flooded city, from sneaker waves to peddle-powered engines and Da Vinci’s flying machines. • Getting Unstuck Lots of young writers say that they can start a story easily but then become bored and never reach the end. Planning helps keep me on track. If I get stuck (which happens a lot!) I ask myself ‘what if….’ Soon I have loads of ideas about what should happen next. • Show it off: Read to friends, place it on fanfic sites or your school blog and don’t be afraid of criticism. Other people’s ideas can help you become a better writer. • Just start! Creating confident readers and writers can change lives and create opportunity. By nurturing these confident readers, we are helping them achieve their potential and realise their dreams. We’re doing nothing less than helping to create better versions of themselves. It’s that fundamental.

Deborah Abela is the author of the Max Remy Superspy series, Jasper Zammit (Soccer Legend) series, The Remarkable Remarkable Secret of Aurelie Bonhoffen, Grimsdon and the Ghost Club series. She is the 2013 recipient of the Maurice Saxby Award for Services to Children’s Literature.

Author Of The Month The News Crew Exclusive Interview – Ms.Deborah Abela

Gagan from ‘The News Crew’: Why is reading so important for children? Deborah Abela: It’s the basis of everything. I work a lot in schools, especially primary schools, because if we don’t manage to get kids to love books at an early age then everything else becomes really hard afterwards. Even if you want to be a great soccer star, or an astronaut, or a plumber, or a painter, you need to be able to read. So, if we can get kids loving their books in primary school then it’s perfect. Also, reading is so much fun! There are so many fantastic stories out there. It’s great to know that if you pick up a book and you don’t like it, it’s ok to put it down and pick up another one. I think everybody loves stories. Gagan from ‘The News Crew’: How can parents and teachers encourage children to read? Deborah Abela: I think one of the big things is if they read themselves. I think that it’s a really really good way to show kids that it’s fun. It says, “this is so much fun I want to do it at night, or on the weekends, or when I have 10 minutes and want to stop and sit in the lounge with a book.” I think that’s the biggest thing. It also helps to have books around the house. Another great thing is to encourage kids to use their school and public libraries. You can’t afford all the books that you want to read, so that’s what your library is there for. The public library system is fantastic and so are school library systems. You have a beautiful librarian to ask “what can I read next?” I think these are probably the main things that parents can do to encourage their kids to read. For the complete interview, visit: The Australian Education Times

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education times Magic Maths


lgebra is a division of mathematics designed to help solve certain types of problems quicker and easier. Algebra is based on the concept of unknown values called variables, unlike arithmetic which is based entirely on known number values. We will introduce an important algebraic concept known as the Equation. The idea is that an equation represents a scale such as the one shown on the right. Instead of keeping the scale balanced with weights, numbers, or constants are used. These numbers are called constants because they constantly have the same value. For example the number 47 always represents 47 units or 47 multiplied by an unknown number. It never represents another value. The equation may also be balanced by a device called a variable. A variable is an unknown number represented by any letter in the alphabet (often x). The value of each variable must remain the same in each problem. Several symbols are used to relate all of the variables and constants together such as those below:

* Multiply / Divide + Add or Positive - Subtract or Negative ( ) Calculate what is inside of the parentheses first. (also called grouping symbols)

Solving Equations These equations can be solved relatively easy and without any formal method. However, as you use equations to solve more complex problems, you will want an easier way to solve them. Pretend you have a scale like the one shown. On the right side there are 45 coins and on the left side are 23 coins and an unknown amount of coins. The scale is balanced, therefore, we know that there must be an equal amount of weight on each side. As long as the same operation (addition, subtraction, multiplication, etc.) is done to both sides of the scale, it will remain balanced. To find the unknown amount of coins of the left side, remove 23 coins from each side of the scale. This action keeps the scale balanced and isolates the unknown amount. Since the weight (amount of coins) on both sides of the scale are still equal and the unknown amount is alone, we now know that the unknown amount of coins on the left side is the same as the remaining amount (22 coins) on the right side. Because an equation represents a scale, it can also be manipulated like one. Below is a simple equation and the steps to solving it. Initial Equation / Problem x + 23 = 45 Subtract 23 from each side x + 23 - 23 = 45 - 23 Result / Answer x = 22

, a r b a d a c a r Ab it’s easy Algebra 30 |

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This is a more complex equation. This equation has both a constant and a variable on each side. Again, to solve this you must keep both sides of the equation equal; perform the same operation on each side to get the variable “x” alone. The steps to solving the equation are shown below. Initial Equation / Problem: x + 23 = 2x + 45 Subtract x from each side x - x + 23 = 2x - x + 45 Result 23 = x + 45 Subtract 45 from each side 23 - 45 = x + 45 - 45 Result -22 = x Answer x = -22

Identifying and Using Coefficients The coefficient of a variable is the number which the variable is being multiplied by. In this equation, 2 is the coefficient of x because 2x is present in the equation. Some additional examples of coefficients: Term Coefficient of x 2x 2 0.24 x 0.24 x1 -x -1 Note that in the last two examples, the following rules are applied • If the variable has no visible coefficient, then it has an implied coefficient of 1.

If the variable only has a negative sign, then it has an implied coefficient of -1.

Continue to the next page to see how we use the coefficient of the variable x in the equation, 2, to find the value of x.

Using Division Recall the initial equation “x + 23 = 3x + 45”. Applying addition and subtraction gave 2x=-22. But our end goal is to determine what x is, not what 2x is. Imagine that three investors own an equal share in the company Example. Com. The total worth of is $300,000. To determine what the share of each investor is, simply divide the total investment by 3: $300,000 / 3 = $100,000 Thus, each investor has a $100,000 stake in We apply the same idea to finding the value of x. However, instead of dividing by the number of investors, we divide by the coefficient of the variable. Since we determined that the coefficient of x is 2, we divide each side of the equation by 2: After dividing by 2 1x = -11 Finally rewritten as x = -11

Alegebra is presented in numerous elements of the Numeracy Continuum of the Australian Curriculum as diagrammed below Numeracy Continuum

Australian Curriculum: Mathematics

Estimating and calculating with whole numbers

Number and Algebra Measurement and Geometry

Recognising and using patterns and relationships

Number and Algebra Statistics and Probability

Using fractions, decimals, percentages, ratios and rates

Number and Algebra Measurement and Geometry

Using spatial reasoning

Measurement and Geometry

Interpreting statistical information

Statistics and Probability

Using measurement

Measurement and Geometry

The Numeracy elements in the Australian Curriculum Time To Practice This column states the skill that students are expected to know at the end of the school year. These elements are drawn from the Numeracy Continuum of the Australian Curriculum

Here are examples of question types that students will be exposed to in each year of schooling.

Year 5

Solve for t 59+83=t t=

Year 6

Find the value of the expression m+7.8 For m= 0.9

Solve Equations with Addition

Evaluate variable expressions involving decimals

Year 7

Graph a line from a function table

Year 8

Does x satisfy the equation?

Is t=4 a solution to this equation? 20=3t Yes/No?

Year 9

Find the product. Simplify your answer -9d(-d2+5)

Year 10

Find the Degree of the polynomial N10 – 2n8 + 3

Multiply a polynomial by a monomial Polynomial vocabulary

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education times Science lab

Getting particular about particles U

nderstanding particles and how they behave assists students to better understand the world around them. Particles or matter make up everything on the Earth. Understanding how particles interact and how they respond to changes, such as temperature, assist in understanding everything from the states of matter to chemical reactions. In essence, understanding particles is understanding chemistry. Particles respond to temperature, via the transformation of thermal energy to kinetic energy. As the temperature increases, particle movement is more rapid. This in turn causes particles to more frequently collide, moving the particles apart.

When you relate this behaviour to the states of matter from a solid to a gas, the behaviour of the particles within them, help you to understand how these phase changes occur. When a substance is in solid state, the particles are tightly packed and close together, with very little kinetic energy. As a solid is heated, the particles have more kinetic energy, moving further apart, into the phase as a liquid. Particles move even further apart in gaseous state, giving gases their very low densities and ability to diffuse through a room rapidly. Try the following experiment to illustrate how heating substances cause them to expand!

Mallowing Out! All you need: • • •

A paper plate Marshmallows Toothpicks (optional)

Method •

• •

• •

Place two marshmallows on a paper plate and put them into the microwave. Cook the marshmallows for 60 seconds on High. Watch what happens to them through the window of the microwave. Wait ten seconds and then remove one of the marshmallows. What does it look and feel like? As it begins to shrink, you can mould it into any shape and it will remain fixed in that shape!

The moisture in the marshmallow warms up the air bubbles within it. The air bubbles expand due to the rapidly moving air particles, making the marshmallow expand (up to at least four times the original size). When it cools, the air particles contract, making the marshmallow shrink. As the marshmallow has been heated, the marshmallow hardens because it has lost moisture, plus the sugar becomes hardened, via a process called caramelisation.

? Dideryofoconufecktionnaoryw of air? items are filled with a lot

A numb ws are can eat more! Marshmallo No that does not mean you sugar, y stl mo n tai Marshmallows con a great example of this. of air. wrapped around bubbles

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Created by: Ms Sarah Chapman, winner of the 2013 Prime Minister’s Prize for Excellence in Science Teaching in Secondary Schools

The Australian


Being Harmonious at School on Harmony Day

What to do


Read out the following scenario: Buck’s Bar and Grill is full of diners. The owner discovers that a bag of money has been stolen from an area that only staff has access to. The owner suspects that the employee responsible for taking the bag is still in the restaurant as nobody has left the restaurant in the last 30 minutes and Buck saw the bag of money 20 minutes ago. Nominate six students to act as the employees and hand each of them a profile. The rest of the class are to act as diners. The six students introduce themselves to the diners, using the information in the profiles. Invite the ‘diners’ to ask the employees questions to try to determine which one is guilty. The ‘employees’ improvise their answers. After a period of questioning, the diners form small groups (4-5) and are asked to discuss the information that has been presented and reach consensus on who the guilty employee is. Each group presents their decision and reasoning to the whole class. The true culprit is revealed.


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he message of Harmony Day is ‘Everyone Belongs’. It is a day to celebrate Australia’s diversity. It is a day of cultural respect for everyone who calls Australia home – from the traditional owners of this land to those who have come from many countries around the world. There are many ways we can celebrate Harmony Day – through sport, dance, art, film, music, storytelling, cooking and sharing cultural meals. By participating in Harmony Day activities we can learn and understand how all Australians from diverse backgrounds equally belong to this nation and make it a better place. Lesson Plan: Role play, questioning and discussion. A role play style activity that explores the concept of stereotypes and the assumptions that underlie them.

Harmony Day is an Australian Government programme and coincides with the United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination. Since 1999 Harmony Day has been widely celebrated across schools, childcare centres, community groups, churches, businesses and federal, state and local government agencies. To encourage celebrations, free Harmony Day promotional material is available to those who register events on the website. There are also educational resources for teachers and students to celebrate Harmony Day in their schools

Aims • To introduce or examine the concept of stereotypes. • To raise awareness of assumptions that underlie stereotypes. Preparation Cut the profile sheet into the 6 separate profiles. (see the Harmony Day website to download profiles)


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Lead a whole group discussion on stereotyping, asking students to reflect on their own thinking, rather than reporting on what other individuals had to say in the small group. Did we stereotype some of these people? How? What assumptions did we make about individuals? What sorts of things cause us to stereotype people? How does it feel to be stereotyped? Are stereotypes accurate or do they cause us to believe things that aren’t based on facts?

Link to the Australian Curriculum Students in all years attain an understanding and participation of the Standards of Language, Literacy, History and Literature when participating in a School Organised Harmony Day The Australian Education Times

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education times


Can you spot the NINE differences

in the two pictures?

Crazy But True!!!!! A shrimp’s heart is in its head Like finger prints, everyone’s tongue prints are different Cold water weighs more than hot water Earth is the only planet not named after a god

For most people, no matter how hard you pinch the skin on your elbow with your fingers, is doesn’t hurt The plural, gender-neutral term for nieces and nephews is ‘niblings’

Pineapples are not a single fruit, but a group of berries that have fused together

The voice of Yoda in Star Wars and Miss Piggy in the Muppets were done by the same person

Crocodiles can’t stick out their tongue

The ‘@’ symbol is known as an ‘ampersat’

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Laughter Zone!

Valentine’s Jokes Q: What did the stamp say to the envelope on Valentine's Day? A: I'm stuck on you! Q: Why is lettuce the most loving vegetable? A: Because it's all heart. Q: What is a vampire's sweetheart called? A: His ghoul-friend.


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education times

Puzzle POP! Knock your Brains!!!!!

1 2

What belongs to you but is used more by others?

It's been around for millions of years, but it's no more than a month old. What is it?

3 4 5

What gets wetter as it dries?

What type of cheese is made backwards? What begins with T, ends with T and has T in it?

Literacy Puzzle



















Record Of The Month!

World record: Fastest serve of a tennis ball (male) Who: Samuel Groth In the spirit of the Australian Open, our chosen record of the month belongs to Samuel Groth for the fastest male serve of a tennis ball. On May 9, 2012 at an ATP Challenger event in Busan, South Korea, the 6-foot-4 (1.94m) Australian put his impressive height to good use when he smashed the world record previously held by Croatian, Ivo Karlovic. Serving to his opponent Uladzimir Ignatik, Groth reached remarkable speeds of 253.5km/h, 255.7km/h, and finally the eventual record holder, an incredible 263km/h. To the surprise of no one, the record serve went unreturned for an ace! For more info on this record and hundreds more, go to *The answers can be found on the contest page at The Australian Education Times

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education times


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The Australian Education Times

Aries Taurus Gemini Cancer

You will make lots of new friends this year. Within the classroom, you will work hard and feel empowered to lead group work activities. Take time at home to review your work as this will lead to a successful year.


This year, all of your efforts will be recognized. That’s not to say that you can sit back and rest easy. If you work hard in the classroom and dedicate additional time to your studies you’re likely to see tremendous success.


This year, you are determined to make people happy. Look kindly but closely at your friends and don’t be surprised if one of them asks for help. You have the intellect and book smarts to lead others to academic success.


You are determined to start the year with a fantastic circle of friends. You will enjoy recess and lunch times as you experience a burst of popularity. Remember that you can only succeed academically if you dedicate sufficient time towards it.


It’s an action-packed new school year, just the way you like it. You will be busy in the classroom and in the playground. You will have a lot of luck with completing your work, however do not push your own limits by doing things last minute.


tarting at a new school is hard for everyone. But then not everyone is August (Auggie) Pullman. Born with a rare birth defect, Auggie’s face is not one that blends easily into a crowd. Previously home schooled by his mother to shelter him from the relentless stares, Auggie is about to start 5th grade at his first proper school. ‘Wonder’ is the story of Auggie’s first year at Beecher Prep. Auggie learns a lot of new things at school; however his most valuable lessons do not always take place in the classroom. Despite the initial difficulty of being accepted by his peers, Auggie’s courage and kindness prove to those around him that beauty truly is only skin deep. Written in clean and simple prose, we experience the highs, the lows, the tears and the smiles as narrated by Auggie and those closest to him. The use of shifting perspectives throughout the novel demonstrates beautifully that there are always two sides to every story while the short chapters make ‘Wonder’ an enjoyable read for booklovers of all ages. ‘Wonder’ is a delightfully unique and heart-warming tale with prominent themes of friendship, loyalty and looking beyond appearances. It also happens to be an ideal way to spend an afternoon in the summer holidays and a perfect pick for all students, especially those who are a little apprehensive about heading back to school.

You have made a New Year’s resolution about how well you will do at school this year however you are going to find it hard to stick to. Take each day as it comes and believe in your friends as they will help you focus and study.

The generosity of other students will help you settle into your new schooling environment. You should remain relaxed and prepared for a positive change. Teachers will reward you for your determination to do well.



Victoria Stone

Going to school can sometimes feel like a chore. You would much prefer to be outside doing something practical. Use your skills to look outside the box when creating inspiring pieces of work at school.

At school, you are surrounded by people who care about you very much. You will develop a good school routine enabling you to be motivated and conscientious. Listen and believe it when a teacher compliments you for your hard work.


Wonder by R.J. Palacio

February brings a lot of challenges for you. Although you are excited about going to school, it is more so to see your friends and teachers again. Use your enthusiasm to take the lead in group work in the classroom.

Like every year, you intend to make this year memorable. This month, you will improve your daily routine and study regimen. It will involve tiny changes at home and at school leading you to feel and perform better.


Book Review

Horoscopes February

Brace yourself for some serious study as you are determined to do your best. When working with others, always interact sincerely and kindly. It is best to focus on your own studies to ensure that you don’t hurt anyone’s feelings.

The Austrailan

Education Times

December/January in Pictures Rubber Duck on Parramatta River

New Year’s Eve

Florentijn Hofman’s 5 storey high (and wide) Rubber Duck inflatable returned to the Parramatta River in Parramatta Park from the 9th to the 26th of January as part of the Sydney Festival.

More than 2 million onlookers packed into Sydney city and its surrounding areas to catch a glimpse of the world famous firework extravaganza at midnight. This years ‘shine’ themed show cost $6.8 million - the biggest to date.

Carols In The Domain

Australia Day

A crowd of over 50,000 people gathered to watch the 31st annual installment of Australia’s largest free public event.

This year’s Australia Day celebrations ran over a long weekend from 25-27 January, 2014. It was a fun-filled day for all, with the highlight for families being the Summer Playground in Hyde Park.

Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race Winners! - The Clipper Round the World Race had a prize giving ceremony to award the top place getters in Leg 6 of their race - the 69th Rolex Sydney Hobart Yacht Race.

Link to The Australian Curriculum

Did you know that pictures help Year 1 students self-correct when reading does not make sense by using pictures, context, meaning, phonics and grammatical knowledge? Did you know that pictures help Year 4 students construct suitable data displays, with and without the use of digital technologies, from given or collected data. Include tables, column graphs and picture graphs where one picture can represent many data values?

The Australian Education Times

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education times

Global Story


What would you do if you couldn’t go to school?


alala Yousafzai is a Pakistani school pupil and education activist from the town of Mingora in the Swat District of Pakistan’s northwestern Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province. She is known for her activism for rights to education and for women, especially in the Swat Valley, where the Taliban had at times banned girls from attending school. In early 2009, at the age of 11–12, Malala wrote a blog under a pseudonym for the BBC detailing her life under Taliban rule, their attempts to take control of the valley, and her views on promoting education for girls. The following summer, a New York Times documentary was filmed about her life as the Pakistani military intervened in the region, culminating in the Second Battle of Swat. Malala rose in prominence, giving interviews in print and on television, and she was nominated for the International Children’s Peace Prize by South African activist Desmond Tutu. On 9 October 2012, Malala was shot in the head and neck in an assassination attempt by Taliban gunmen while returning home on a school bus. In the days immediately following the attack, she remained unconscious and in critical condition, but later her condition improved 38 |

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enough for her to be sent to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, for intensive rehabilitation. On 12 October, a group of 50 Islamic clerics in Pakistan issued a fatwa against those who tried to kill her, but the Taliban reiterated its intent to kill Malala and her father. The assassination attempt received worldwide media coverage and produced an outpouring of sympathy and anger. Protests against the shooting were held in several Pakistani cities the day after the attack, and over 2 million people signed the Right to Education campaign’s petition, which led to ratification of the first Right to Education Bill in Pakistan. Pakistani officials offered a 10 million rupee (US$105,000) reward for information leading to the arrest of the attackers. Responding to concerns about his safety, Malala’s father said, “We wouldn’t leave our country if my daughter survives or not. We have an ideology that advocates peace. The Taliban cannot stop all independent voices through the force of bullets”. Since the attack, Malala has won numerous awards including a Nobel Peace Prize nominee (March 2013) and continues to lead a fight for girls to be educated.

elson Mandela became the first black president of South Africa in 1994, serving until 1999. A symbol of global peacemaking, he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993. Nelson Mandela was born on July 18, 1918, in Mveso, Transkei, South Africa. Becoming actively involved in the antiapartheid movement in his 20s, Mandela joined the African National Congress in 1942. For 20 years, he directed a campaign of peaceful, nonviolent defiance against the South African government and its racist policies. In 1993, Mandela and South African President F.W. de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their efforts to dismantle the country’s apartheid system. In 1994, Mandela was inaugurated as South Africa’s first black president. In 2009, Mandela’s birthday (July 18) was declared “Mandela Day” to promote global peace and celebrate the South African leader’s legacy. Mandela died at his home in Johannesburg on December 5, 2013, at age 95. Nelson Mandela was born Rolihlahla Mandela on July 18, 1918, in the tiny village of Mvezo, on the banks of the Mbashe River in Transkei, South Africa. “Rolihlahla” in the Xhosa language literally means “pulling the branch of a tree,” but more commonly translates as “troublemaker.” When Mandela was 9 years old, his father died of lung disease, causing his life to change dramatically. He was adopted by Chief Jongintaba Dalindyebo, the acting regent of the Thembu people—a gesture done as a favor to Mandela’s father, who, years earlier, had recommended Jongintaba be made chief. Mandela subsequently left the carefree life he knew in Qunu, fearing that he would never see his village again.

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Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela Civil Rights Activist, World Leader, Writer July 18, 1918 December 05, 2013 Clarkebury Boarding Institute, Wesleyan College, University College of Fort Hare, University of London, University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg Mveso, Transkei, South Africa Johannesburg, South Africa

When Mandela was 16, it was time for him to partake in the traditional African circumcision ritual to mark his entrance into manhood. The ceremony of circumcision was not just a surgical procedure, but an elaborate ritual in preparation for manhood. In African tradition, an uncircumcised man cannot inherit his father’s wealth, marry or officiate at tribal rituals. Mandela participated in the ceremony with 25 other boys. He welcomed the opportunity to partake in his people’s customs and felt ready to make the transition from boyhood to manhood. In 1939, Mandela enrolled at the University College of Fort Hare, the only residential center of higher learning for blacks in South Africa at the time. Fort Hare was considered Africa’s equivalent of the University of Oxford or Harvard University, drawing scholars from all parts of sub-Sahara Africa.

Mandela soon became actively involved in the anti-apartheid movement, joining the African National Congress in 1942. Within the ANC, a small group of young Africans banded together, calling themselves the African National Congress Youth League. Their goal was to transform the ANC into a mass grassroots movement, deriving strength from millions of rural peasants and working people who had no voice under the current regime. Specifically, the group believed that the ANC’s old tactics of polite petitioning were ineffective. In 1949, the ANC officially adopted the Youth League’s methods of boycott, strike, civil disobedience and non-cooperation, with policy goals of full citizenship, redistribution of land, trade union rights, and free and compulsory education for all children. For 20 years, Mandela directed peaceful, nonviolent acts of defiance against the South African government and its racist policies, including the 1952 Defiance Campaign and the 1955 Congress of the People.

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In 1956, Mandela and 150 others were arrested and charged with treason for their political advocacy (they were eventually acquitted). In 1961, Mandela orchestrated a three-day national workers’ strike. He was arrested for leading the strike the following year, and was sentenced to five years in prison. In 1963, Mandela was brought to trial again. This time, he and 10 other ANC leaders were sentenced to life imprisonment for political offenses, including sabotage. Nelson Mandela was incarcerated on Robben Island for 18 of his 27 years in prison. During this time, he contracted tuberculosis and, as a black political prisoner, received the lowest level of treatment from prison workers. Mandela’s release was finally announced—on February 11, 1990. Upon his release from prison, Nelson Mandela immediately urged foreign powers not to reduce their pressure on the South African government for constitutional reform. While he stated that he was committed to working toward peace, he declared that the ANC’s armed struggle would continue until the black majority received the right to vote. In 1991, Mandela was elected president of the African National Congress, with lifelong friend and colleague Oliver Tambo serving as national chairperson. In 1993, Mandela and President de Klerk were jointly awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for their work toward dismantling apartheid. And due in no small part to their work, negotiations between black and white South Africans prevailed: On April 27, 1994, On December 5, 2013, at the age of 95, Nelson Mandela died at his home in Johannesburg, South Africa. Zuma released a statement later that day, in which he spoke to Mandela’s legacy: “Wherever we are in the country, wherever we are in the world, let us reaffirm his vision of a society ... in which none is exploited, oppressed or dispossessed by another,” he said. For decades to come, Nelson Mandela will continue to be a source of inspiration for civil rights activists worldwide.

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