Wednesday, July 30, 2008

2008 Athletics Carnival: Sturt Wins!

Our 2008 Pre-School to Year 6 Athletics Carnival was held last week in front of an extremely large crowd of supportive, cheering and vocal parents, relatives and friends. Our athletes responded to the great conditions on the athletics facilities in our school playground with some outstanding performances, although a strong headwind made it virtually impossible for any running records to be broken on the day!

This carnival was the culmination of many weeks practise and trials at school as part of our weekly sports and PE program and this extensive preparation certainly paid dividends.

After two days of hard fought competition, Sturt was the winning house. The Ball Games Championships Shield was won by Mitchell.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mary Steele inspires Stage 3

Recently Stage 3 had the pleasure of meeting Mary Steele. She is the author of various books some of which include Arkwright, Blotsville, Featherbys and Tenterhooks. Mrs Steele read part of the novel Blotsville to the students (and teachers) which was quite entertaining. She was able to give a first hand account of planning, writing, editing and eventually publishing books. There is more editing involved than a lot of us knew about. She told us that ideas come from many different places and that she didn't start writing until she was about 40. By then she said she had many life experiences that she was able to draw upon for ideas for her books.
Below are some questions that students asked Mrs Steele.

Makayla, "Why do authors dedicate novels to people and why did you dedicate 'Blotsville' to Josie?"

Daniel, "When did you start writing books and when did you first publish a book?"

Keith, "What gave you the inspiration for writing Arkwright?"

Blake, "When did you decide to become a writer?"

It was a very entertaining event for the Stage 3 students and now they are all waiting in line to read Mary Steele's books.

5/6C Native Garden Project

Our class have been researching government. We watched a video about "How kids can make a difference in the environment". We thought we might be able to help the environment by cleaning up an area and introducing native plants to help improve the grounds near the school. We discussed developing an area of the lake near the school fence. It was decided that a site outside of the school would be difficult to maintain so we went for a walk around the school to see if there was a location that we could develop. Luckily the place we found was right behind our classroom.

We researched native plants that would suit this area. Other requirements we needed were:

  • no spikes
  • no fruit that younger children might eat
  • bird attracting
  • frost tolerant
  • drought hardy
  • full sun/ part shade
  • less than 2m tall

We decided on some plants and prepared the area which required digging, raking, clearing, introducing new soil, creating a border, stepping stones and seats.

After the preparation we began planting trees and shrubs that class members brought in. We were all responsible for the garden and the continual maintenance.

The garden is going quite well, it has improved from being a pile of dirt to a garden that is already attracting birds. It was great that we could all help improving our school and creating a garden that will hopefully be here for a long time.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Crazy Hair Day

On the last day of Term 2 our Student Council organised our involvement in Crazy Hair Day, which raises funds for Cystic Fibrosis. Students made a gold coin donation for the privilege to come to school with their craziest hair. $200 was raised by the students of Narrabri West for this worthy cause. We certainly had some strange sights and crazy hair styles!

Silver Badge Assembly

Our Silver Badge assembly was held this week where we presented Bronze Certificates and Silver Badges to all students who have reached these levels in our Merit Award system. Our school captains and councillors once again organised and hosted this special occasion. Students receiving these awards have displayed fantastic behaviour all year. We had another large crowd in attendance to congratulate all the fantastic students of Narrabri West.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Knitter's Galore at the West!

Now that the colder weather is here, students from Year 1 to Year 6 are learning to knit so they can create some warm winter woolies for themselves! Ms Dafter and Mrs Barrett have been overwhelmed with the number of boys and girls coming along each Friday lunchtime to learn to knit, and have been very impressed with how quickly some students are catching on to their new craft. There are many colourful projects on the go at the moment, including beanies, scarves (in footy team colours) and even a blanket. Ms Dafter is encouraging Year 6 knitters to work hard so that they can wear their woollen creations when they go to Canberra in Term 3.
Learning to knit is a fun and easy hobby and Ms Dafter and Mrs Barret look forward to seeing more knitters join the group in the near future. Well done to everyone who has started knitting and we look forward to seeing your finished projects soon!

What's been happening in K/1D?

The children in K/1D have been working very hard in in Term 2, but it wasn’t until they all sat and made a giant list of all the fun things they have done, that they realised just how busy they have been! This term the focus has been on healthy eating and the children have been making decisions about whether different foods are healthy or not so healthy choices. They have also been working hard to improve their reading and writing skills with fantastic results all round. Below are some comments made by K/1D children about their favourite classroom activities this term.
“I really like learning about numbers and doing Count Me in Too games with Ms Dafter and Mrs Nichols.” by Harry.
“I liked making 3D watermelons with 6F and I like them visiting to do craft with us every Thursday afternoon.” by Anthony.
“My favourite art activity was making a collage of a bowl of ice cream.” by Chloe.
“The mystery bag was the best bit, where we had to hide a fruit or vegetable in a paper bag and give clues so the class could try to guess it!” by Clayton.
“I liked drawing a proper picture of bananas with crayons and Ms Dafter put a paint wash over it.” by Kyah.
“We have a sight word competition. Ms Dafter plays a slideshow on the Smartboard of our sight words and she picks one person every day. If they get them all right they win a treat like a Freddo.” by Jonty.

It's great to hear that the children are enjoying their learning and are coming to school each day with big smiles, eager to try something new!

During the first half of the term, K/1D learnt how to describe foods and became very good at writing descriptive clues about a particular fruit or vegetable. They were given a "What am I?" task to complete at home, where they had to hide a fruit or vegetable in a special bag and create clues to present to the class, to see if they could guess what was inside. There were some very interesting foods described, such as lychees and pecan nuts, and some very tricky clues were given.

After this the children learnt about procedures and decided to write instructions about how to make a milkshake. They wrote their own milkshake recipes and decided that they would like to test them out. Ms Dafter agreed that this would be a great way to really understand the purpose of a procedure so, on Friday of Week 9, K/1D teamed up with 6F to make their milkshakes. With all the ingredients ready on the table, each K/1D student was able to tell their 6F buddy how to make the milkshake with step-by-step instructions. This certainly was a tasty way to end the term!

Boys Softball Team

On Tuesday the 1st of July, the Boys softball team continued their excellent form, defeating Inverell Public School 12-4, in Round 4. They played a fantastic game, with all players demonstrating excellent skills, which have been developed through many training sessions at lunchtimes and after school. This now secures them a place in the regional boys softball final to be played early in Term 3. The boys are to be highly commended for their excellent teamwork and sportsmanship as well as their positive attitude to the game. Boys, we are so proud of your achievements and wish you all the best in your next game!