Monthly Archives: June 2016

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Our Best Readers Cup Ever!

Nerves were on edge, students were tense, parents were jittery, the excitement was palpable – and all due to five books!! What were the titles of these books holding all this power?

  • The adventures of stunt boy and his amazing wonder dog Blindfold – Lollie Barr
  • Fuzzy mud – Louis Sacher
  • The ratcatcher’s daughter – Pamela Rushby
  • Theophilus Grey and the Demon Thief – Cathy Jinks
  • Jandamarra – Mark Greenwood

Contestants had to read these books and try to memorise facts from them then, on the night, they were asked questions in each round from each book.

This year we had a record number of 24 teams from different schools competing in our Brisbane North 7/8 Readers Cup Competition. From early in the evening, the Learning Commons became more and more crowded, and once the parents moved into the back of the Forum, we were seriously challenged to find seats for them all!! But how good to think that all of these crowds were there because of reading!!

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Organisation of the competition was also a team event, with TLs from each school supplying questions for each round and books to use as prizes, and taking on roles on the night such as judge, time-keeper, scorer, MC, etc. All in all, Readers Cup is a great way to bring schools together in an arena that’s not sport-related.

This year, Grumpy Cat also attended the competition for the first time ever. Maybe he was just too grumpy on the night, or maybe our boys were just having too much fun – whatever the reason, they didn’t manage to win! A big congratulations to the team from Murrumba State Secondary College who came first, followed by teams from Brisbane State High and Ferny Grove State High in second and third place. The team from Murrumba will now do this all again as they prepare for the State Finals to be held in September.

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Year 6 Squishy Circuits STEAM Activity

To complete their unit on Electricity this term, all of the Year 6 students visited the Centenary Library this week to participate in a ‘Squishy Circuits’ activity.  Run by our  Makerspace coordinator, Ms. Hunter, this activity helped to prepare students for their upcoming test, while incorporating STEAM elements into their unit.  The boys had lots of hands-on and creative fun while also learning-by-doing how circuits work.

Students were tasked with creating both a parallel and series circuit using only a battery pack, LEDs and play dough.  Once they were able to achieve this they were invited to make an artistic creation of their choosing using more LEDs, buzzers and motors.

The activity was very engaging, with students wanting to know where they could buy their own Squishy Circuit packs so they could continue experimenting at home.  Comments like ‘This is so much fun!’, ‘This is the best exercise ever!’ and ‘I really like this,’ were heard in every lesson.  It is evident from the success of this program how beneficial STEAM activities are to student learning. Allowing an Arts integration into the activity helped the students to solve creative problems in a fun and engaging way.


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Your Next Read

Our Middle School students were part of an exciting new reading initiative this week with the first session of “Your Next Read”. Year 12 student Josh Jarrah and Library Technician Mr Hills visited the Middle School Library at lunchtime on Monday to share their favourite reads from their own younger days. Both guests spoke about their books and read excerpts from them, much to the delight of the group of attendees.

Josh spoke about the Bartimaeus sequence, beginning with The Amulet of Samarkand. He has only recently reread the series after enjoying it years ago. Although the story is of a 12- year-old boy who has stolen an amulet from a powerful magician, he described it as being very funny. At the conclusion, Ryan, one of our Year 5 boys was able to share with Josh the new version of the book as a graphic novel.

Mr Hills shared his love of Terry Pratchett by introducing the boys to the Tiffany Aching series by reading a section of The Wee Free Men. Boys were laughing out loud. Mr Hills said that Terry Pratchett books are very funny but deal with serious topics and are great for intelligent readers.

More of these sessions will take place in the libraries during the course of the year.

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