Friday, 26 August 2016


My collegue, Principal of Little Bendigo, Karolina doesn't drive down Springs Road at the moment because of the kangaroos. These three were on the road when I drove up and then jumped the fence into the reservoir. I'll have to start being more careful especially in the early morning.
I popped up to school to get some paper work done and out of the way and also to clean. I finished the update of the Heidi unit and did some work on units for Northern Lights and Leviathan before heading home.

One of my jobs was to update our data wall with data from NAPLAN ( we got our results this week) and add student opinion data. Parent opinion data should be out next month.
Camel by the fence.

BFG teaching ideas included

Below is a link to my Blooms taxonomy literature unit for James and the Giant Peach PLUS teaching ideas for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, Matilda, Fantastic Mr Fox, Danny the Champion of the World and more. This huge (over 120 pages) unit includes craft and creative writing responses, graphic organisers, samples and photos of student learning, puzzles and much more!
NOW it includes recently completed activities for the BFG!
Click here for TPT:

Thursday, 25 August 2016


Spring flowers

Story maps and wanted poster for Kidnapped.

Second last session at gym

I am reading Northern Lights at the moment. Just over half way. I will start Leviathan after that.

Book Week next week. Every week is book week at Glen Park!

Sovereign Hill visit

We are starting a maths unit on money next week so I thought we might visit the Ballarat Gold Museum and see a gold pour at Sovereign Hill. We also a bit of an explore and a great sit down lunch.
Photos below

This gold was worth $170000!

We had a fantastic day, with great weather, some lollies and terrific lunch. We also found some gold!

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Schools have now received their NAPLAN results

The 2016 NAPLAN results for Victorian students were very similar to those from the past few years.
They showed Victoria as being either first, second or, in a couple of cases, third in reading, writing and numeracy at all year levels compared to the rest of Australia. In every case Victoria was comfortably above the Australian average.
There were one year fluctuations between 2015 and 2016 - some up and some down. The 2016 results were better than 2008 results except in Year 9 reading, Year 3 numeracy and Years 5, 7 and 9 writing.
There were significant improvements from 2008 to 2016 in Years 3 and 5 reading, Year 5 numeracy and Year 3 writing. The only level where there was a significant fall in achievement from 2008 was Year 9 writing.

Our results were excellent again.

Teacher university entrance requirements proposal

The State Government is proposing to strengthen the selection criteria for entry into initial teacher education (ITE) courses. 
In a Ministerial discussion paper - Working Together to Shape Teacher Education in Victoria - the Government sets out a reform package consisting of higher academic standards for course entry, the development of a Victorian teacher admission index/selection framework, a suitability to teach tool to assess non-academic qualities and the expansion of employment-based pathways. 
It also states that it will "consider" introducing a graduate only entry to teacher education courses.
The paper outlines the need for changes to course entry to ITE because of a steady decline in ATAR scores. Entrants to teacher education courses with an ATAR of less than 50 doubled over the past four years. Students with low ATARs are less likely to complete their courses.
While only a minority (23.4 per cent) enter via ATAR, the scores are highly visible and prominent in media reporting. Research has shown that perceived low entry scores reduce course attractiveness to high achievers, have a negative impact on community confidence and adversely affect the status of teaching as a profession.
Entry Requirements
The paper is short on details about any specific threshold level for entry via ATAR. It indicates that either ATAR scores or VCE achievement could form the basis for any new requirements.
New South Wales introduced new prerequisite standards of entry into accredited teacher education courses for 2016 using HSC results. It requires a minimum standard of three Band 5 (80 - 89%) HSC results, including one in English.
The discussion paper, in line with national reforms to be introduced in 2017, calls for the inclusion of non-academic attributes and capabilities associated with effective teaching in selection criteria. The national (AITSL) capabilities include: motivation to teach; strong interpersonal and communication skills; willingness to learn; self-efficacy; conscientiousness; and organisational and planning skills.
Melbourne University is already using the Teacher Capability Assessment Tool as an add-on to student academic results.
Other Pathways
Whatever selection criteria are chosen, they must ensure that disadvantage is not a barrier to entry and that candidates reflect the diversity of the Victorian community. The paper is concerned about the standard of some pathway and bridging courses into ITE and calls for a review and possible accreditation of these courses through the VIT.
The other pathways offered in NSW are: passing bridging units benchmarked to a Band 5 HSC result; enrolling in an accredited degree and passing a full year of academic studies in the subjects you will teach; or completing a NSW BOSTES (Board of Studies, Teaching and Educational Standards) approved alternative entry pathway.
Other proposals canvassed in the Ministerial paper are:
  • A broad-based Victorian Teacher admission index or selection framework (see example below);
  • An expansion of employment-based pathways such as Teach for Australia, Melbourne University internships and career change options;
  • Common practicum assessment tools linked to the Australian Professional Standards for all courses to help teachers assess ITE student performance;
  • Support for a "capstone" teacher performance assessment for graduating ITE students (ie a multifaceted final academic assignment). This is presently being used by Deakin University;
  • A more consistent statewide approach to induction and mentoring. 
The Deans of Education in Victoria are concerned about the impact of new standards for teacher education entry on enrolments. University education faculties are squeezed between pressures (including financial) from a demand-driven university access system and national and state demands for higher entry standards. 
The AEU will make a submission to the Government about the issues in the Ministerial paper.
The State Government will announce its changes to ITE at the end of 2016 for implementation in 2018.

Japanese Challenge

This year is the 12th year of the Japanese Challenge poster competition for children in the Ballarat area who are learning Japanese as a second language. Three of our students are eligible for the completion but all of them will have their work on display in the Ballarat Library for a week from Sunday. 
This year's theme is anime. 
Below are some photos of the kids working on their posters. I'll take some photos of them on display next week. They look great.
A big thank you to sensei Simone.

Finished Northern Lights display table.
We're half way through the book now and it's very good. I want to keep reading it and find out what happens next.