Monthly Archives: April 2015

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Poetry in the Wild

Our Year 7/8 Book Club got off to a great start this term with a very hands-on experience for the boys. In the US, Poem in Your Pocket Day is celebrated on 30 April so, to tie in with this, we decided to run our own ‘Poetry in the Wild’ event, showcasing different poems in the lead-up to 30 April.

Each boy had to find four different poems, one for each morning, on War, Australia, Humour and Song Lyrics. They also had to find poems that would appeal to the Senior boys as well as the Middle School boys. The poems were written in chalk on the concrete pathway where many of the boys walk into the school, and this created a lot of interest, with many boys and teachers stopping to look and read as they made their way into the school.


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Recycled Poppies make a Stunning ANZAC Display

Elephant Rock at Currumbin Beach at the Gold Coast was decorated for ANZAC Day this year with a spectacular cascading ‘river’ of 5000 poppies created from recycled plastic bottles.  Designed by local artist Lynne Adam, each poppy was made by school children from local schools, and would make an ideal durable but environmentally-friendly school project to celebrate ANZAC Day in 2016.

Each poppy was made from the top halves of two 600ml plastic bottles and Lynne’s partner, Tony Butler, assisted by cutting 10,000 bottles in half. Each was then cut to form petals and two were fitted together to make one flower. The plastic sides of the bottles were folded back to form petals, and then painted red underneath. Tony also drilled two holes each in 5000 caps: these formed the centre of each flower, and cable-ties were threaded through the holes to secure each flower to shark netting. Abseilers then attached the net to the lookout fence at the top of the rock.

1200 students were involved in this amazing project helping, in a stunning way, to commemorate 100 years since our soldiers landed on the beach at Gallipoli.

Poppies - top face view (Copy) Poppies - tied to shark net (Copy) Poppies - cable ties 2 (Copy)


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Students Remember the Great War

Boys in Years 5 and 6 have been learning about our World War 1 experiences in the lead up to Anzac Day.

Claire Saxby’s book Meet the ANZACs describes the excitement and eagerness of the young soldiers to fight for their country. They were impatient to begin and felt frustrated by their months of training at home and in Egypt. Eventually they arrived at Gallipoli but found that, “War was like nothing they could have imagined.”

The Beach They Called Gallipoli by Jackie French was the focus for Year 6 students. A video clip of Jackie reading the book while looking at the images made for a moving session with each class. The book begins on 25 April 1915 and ends with “Lest we Forget” on Anzac Day 2015.

Following each book and class discussion, each boy made a poppy to add to our Library window as a sign of respect for people who died during the battles.


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Year 7 Bushranger Activity

This year we have deliberately tried to make our 7/8 Library lessons playful as well as educational, in an effort to give our boys many positive experiences with books, reading and libraries. This week our Year 7 boys have been having lots of fun dressing up as bushrangers and videoing each other in ‘Wanted’ posters, as part of their unit on Heroes and Villains. We also wanted to focus on the difference between fiction and non-fiction books.

A selection of  jackets, waistcoats, cravats, hats, beards and moustaches was laid out on a table as the boys arrived then, working in pairs, one boy dressed up as a bushranger, while the other became the camera man, using the Funny Movie Maker app on an iPad.

In preparation for the lesson we had made up two short scripts about John Donahoe (aka The Stripper), and Francis McNeish McCallum (aka Captian Melville) for the ‘bushranger’ to read from. This information, briefly outlined each bushranger’s life and why he was wanted by the police, and helped to reinforce the idea that non-fiction books are full of interesting facts and true events.

We had also saved a couple of blank ‘Wanted’ posters into the photos app on the iPads. Using Funny Movie Maker the camera man selected one of these, snipped out a section for the bushranger’s face, and then videoed him saying why he was wanted by the law.

The boys were highly engaged and thoroughly enjoyed dressing up and acting out. Some even put on the most amazing accents as they read their scripts.