September 20


Last Friday 18th of September, our School held a walkathon which was a fund raising event to raise money for our Japanese Garden. Students had collected sponsorship or donations for the walk. Our aim was to complete as many of the circuits as possible in one hour. Each lap was 1.2 km and was estimated to take 15 min. Given our determination in fitness, some of our enthusiastic walkers were aiming for six laps. It is possible I managed that last time.

Thankfully the day was pleasant with overcast skies and a slight breeze, perfect for walking. Our class was allocated to start with Mrs Baldwin’s class (our fellow bloggers) in the second round at 11.30.  We had a short rest before we were asked to line up at the start. Our CAT buddies would be walking in this session too we looked out for them.

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Oh come now Indi it’s not that scary!

 Our station was purple and Logan’s Mum was there ready to stamp our cards each time we completed a lap. We thank her for doing that job, she gave us lots of encouragement to keep going as well as protecting our drink bottles from disaster.


I had a great couple of laps chatting to Kate’s mum and then Narla and Ava kept me company for the last ones. I lost sight of most of the class, you guys must have had rockets in your shoes! I thought we all did well.


After the walkathon we were able to snack on some delicious fruit that was kindly cut up and delivered to our station. It was just the thing we needed after using up all that energy. We thank whoever did that, in fact there were a lot of parental support around the track making sure we were safe. What would we do without those tireless volunteers, thank you.

thank you dance

Quite a lot of class members did indeed complete six laps and others like me did five. Well done to us all. Now we need you to collect your sponsorship monies and donations and bring them into school by Wednesday if possible. It would be good to see how much our class raised. Thanks for your efforts in supporting Grange everyone.

What did you think of the walkathon? How did you go?

Do you have any other ideas on how we can raise funds for school projects?

September 20


DSC08556We are proud of our four students who put their Space Board Game into The Sir Mark Oliphant Science awards. Last Thursday night they attended an awards night at Grange School and were presented with a certificate and a fabulous medal for their participation. Congratulations for your efforts Emilia, Kate, Tia and Alicia, you look so proud. Science needs enterprising thinkers like you.

The board games are now on their way home I hope you all enjoy playing them with your families.

What do your families think of playing your games?

Were they able to answer any of your questions?

September 17

Public Speaking – Giving Oral Presentations

One of the hardest things in life is to give a talk or presentation in front of an audience or group of strangers, I have heard it said that people rate this as their number one fear. When I gave the information to the students that they would need to give a 2 minute talk, I could see the trepidation in their eyes, even though they would be delivering their oral presentation amongst friends.


Now all students were asked to spend two weeks getting their presentation ready. This required time to research and gather interesting information on a topic of their choice as well as rehearsing the delivery. They had a guide to help them.

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In week 8 we discussed ways of coping with those dreaded butterflies that appear when we are nervous. We all have them, the trick is to get them to fly in formation!



Remember        If you think you can or you think you can’t you’re right!


Tips to control your nerves

  • Know your topic -practise, practise, practise.
  • Memorise opening and closing words
  • Relax your shoulders, take a deep breath and stand tall and confident (even if you’re not, the audience doesn’t know that)
  • Take your time to get started scan the audience until you have everyone’s attention. Remember to keep scanning throughout the talk.
  • If you lose track, pause take a deep breath check your cue cards.



Tips for using your voice

  • Practise speaking
  • Read your talk to other people
  • Practise projecting your voice to the other end of the room
  • Use silences they are powerful!
  • Record yourself


10% of our message is words, 20% in the tone and expression, that leaves 70% comes from body language. Learn to use facial expressions, gestures, eye contact, hand movements etc to help you.

Tips for using powerful body language

  • Stance – feet slightly apart, body balanced, hands relaxed, head up directed at the audience
  • If you are sharing an item, pick it up but don’t let it be a distraction until you need it
  • Smile at the audience, look as if you are enjoying sharing your talk with them


We all gave our talks Monday, despite a few nerves we did our best. As we were delivering our talk two of our peers gave feedback on what they noticed while Ellen also kept notes. After all talks we looked at reflecting on our performances which is a good way to look at what went well and what we could change for next time. Copies of all the feedback can be read in their record books.

Something for you to think about. 

Which talk/s did you think were most entertaining, informative and effective? Why was that?

Which strategies did you use to prepare for you talk?

What would you like to hear in another talk or would you like to research for next time?


September 9

Resource Based Learning RBL

This term we have been working closely with our knowledgable Librarian Janet Sweeney, who has been helping us learn more about the history of parts of South Australia. It’s important that we understand that things change over time and that while we might be familiar with things now, it may have been quite different in the past. Change affects people and environments, in some cases significantly and we need to understand these changes from different perspectives.

City of Adelaide from Mr Wilson's Section on the Torrens, June 1845, G. F. Angas (AGSA Collection)

City of Adelaide from Mr Wilsons Section on the Torrens June 1885 G.F.Angas

We began by looking closely at The River Torrens which is a major river close to our school and very familiar to us all. Geography and mapping skills were needed to understand origins of the river from the source, the beginning, and the end, the mouth of the river.

Map of Adelaide

Look closely, can you locate the River Torrens ?

We were able to use google Earth to find and locate the path of the River Torrens  from the source in the foothills as it meanders its way across the Adelaide Plains east to west to the mouth at West Beach.

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Researching the Past

We know that the river flows through the land of the Aboriginal people of Adelaide called the Kaurna people. They called the river Karrawirrapari which we learnt meant Red Gum Forrest River or sometimes it was called Tandaparri which meant Red Kangaroo River. The Kaurna people used the river for water, hunting and built campsites along the banks using resources from the river environment. Researching information about past events is history, so we needed to rely and build our literacy skills in locating information which was linked to the River Torrens environments from long ago.

Here a Kaurna male is cutting holes in the tree to help climb up and we can see signs of this activity today in this scar tree. 

We discovered that the river was a place which provided a lot of food for the Aboriginals who camped nearby. Foods such as water fowl, cockles, fish and barti, which are witchetty grubs, these were found in the bark of the river gums. As the seasons changed we found out that the river changed from raging fast flowing flood waters in winter to small chains of small ponds in the summer months.

images-2Witchetty grubs like to live in the bark of trees close to the river and were quite a tasty snack for the Kaurna people.

It became very clear to us that Karrawirrapari was a very important resource for the lives of the Kaurna people in the past.

Building researching skills

We were given lots of information both written and visual to gather our facts. Note taking is a really important skill and can be a challenge. We needed to use lots of reading strategies to look at texts using their words and images, find key words and then summarising them into our own sentences.

Having notes meant that, once we examined the features of the genre explanation, we could order our sentences into a logical structure and explain what the river was like in the past. We used the same skills to discover facts about the present.

Researching the Present

Over the one hundred and seventy nine years of settlement the river has had many changes. We discovered that William Light who was the surveyor of Adelaide named River Torrens after his friend Robert Torrens. The river is a popular place for recreational activities for the people of Adelaide such as river cruises, paddle boats or having picnics along the banks. When people walk, ride or jog along the Linear Track, which runs along the river, they can see plaques that acknowledges both the indigenous and white settlement names Karrawirraparri and River Torrens.

Breakout Creek, Henley Beach South, Malone & Telfer

We know too that bridges, paths and lights have been added for pedestrians and traffic. At the mouth of the river, to stop the land from flooding, cement banks and flood ways have been added.

Settlers brought with them non native animals that have escaped and are now using the river as a their habitat. The house mouse is now the most common mammal found along the river. The European Carp is destroying the natural habitat and is eating the native fish. However many original water fowl can still be found along the banks.

A major change to the river was the building of three reservoirs in the catchment areas which now provides Adelaide with 60% of our water supply.

As we researched the present day uses of River Torrens, we all agreed that the river continues to be an important part of Adelaide and we couldn’t imagine Adelaide without it.

Comparing the river at different times

An interesting task was to use a Venn diagram to compare similarities and differences with the past and present features of the river.

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Art captures our images of the past

One way to show our understandings is to reflect and imagine scenes from days past. Using our knowledge of what the early river may have looked like, we created pictures using mixtures of coloured pencils, crayons and watercolours. We were inspired by looking back at some early landscape paintings. We were proud of our efforts. We wrote some sentences to describe the scene. What do you think?

What has been the most interesting part of our research for you?

What things do you along or on the River Torrens?

Do you have any questions about the river that may need further research?

September 1

CAT partners

Cross Age Tutoring

Our CAT buddies for 2015 are a wonderful group of year one students and their teacher Mrs Kate Monaco. As the older tutors this year it is our responsibility to model responsible learning when we support our partners with different tasks.


We had recently helped Kate’s class with their week of doing Random acts of Kindness. They explained to us that showing kindness was easy and that being random meant no one has asked you do be nice and caring, you just did it. It was fun to be caring for others and making people feel okay. We discussed the things that being kind meant and what we could do.


They had come up with an idea to make a bookmark that advertised random acts of kindness and had lovely words to make the reader feel good. Then the CAT buddies would place them secretly in various books in the library. As the borrower began to read a book they would get a lovely surprise. We thought that was a beautiful and thoughtful idea so we were eager to help.

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Our CAT buddies had a lot of kind words to write on these bookmarks and we had fun decorating them to make them eye catching and attractive. Tying the ribbons was challenge but we got there.


Quietly we were able to hide them in some library books. We hope the people who found them had a great day. It costs nothing to be kind to someone and like a boomerang kindness finds its way back to you. Here’s a thought, many years ago when Kate was a student in year three, she had a kind teacher called Ellen and now she has returned (just like a boomerang) as a teacher and kindly let us work with her students.