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Dec 17

Anyone for Badminton?

Posted by Kerry Clayton on Monday, December 17, 2018

As we enter the home stretch for the school year, it was suggested in the staffroom last week by someone feeling energetic, that we hold a staff afternoon of badminton and table tennis. So I dragged out and dusted off the Black Yonnex racket ready for a challenge. Before we knew it, almost every staff member had signed up for a bit of a hit and giggle.....and giggles were aplenty this afternoon. We have some very talented staff with excellent eye/hand coordination too! Fun and fitness at Featherbrook was the order of the day and it was very evident!


Dec 16

Maths Proficiencies in the Year 1 Learning Space

Posted by Kerry Clayton on Sunday, December 16, 2018

  As the school year quickly comes to an end, there is no change in the provision of learning programs for our Featherbrook students, so important is every day to facilitate learning and importantly, literacy and numeracy learning. The 4 mathematics proficiencies of understanding, fluency, reasoning and problem-solving are core to the mathematics programs across all year levels.

The Victorian Curriculum expresses the proficiencies accordingly:

The proficiencies of Understanding, Fluency, Problem Solving and Reasoning are fundamental to learning mathematics and working mathematically and are applied across all three strands Number and Algebra, Measurement and Geometry, and Statistics and Probability.

Understanding refers to students building a robust knowledge of adaptable and transferable mathematical concepts and structures. Students make connections between related concepts and progressively apply the familiar to develop new ideas. They develop an understanding of the relationship between the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of mathematics. Students build understanding when they:

  • connect related ideas
  • represent concepts in different ways
  • identify commonalities and differences between aspects of content
  • describe their thinking mathematically
  • interpret mathematical information.

  Noting the above explanation the following is an illustration of the way Year 1 students last week applied maths proficiencies –fluency and reasoning through exploring efficient addition and subtraction strategies in real life ways. After reading “Safari Park” by S.J. Murphy, the Year 1 students worked collaboratively to design their own activity stalls for a theme park. The young mathematicians chose the price of tickets for their activities and applied their knowledge of persuasive writing drawn from their literacy learning, to create posters to capture their customers’ attention. Student comments are insightful and further help to illustrate this important learning.

Andi – “To find out how many tickets we all started with, we could count by 20s. Each group had 20 tickets to share.”

Kai – “When trying to find out how many tickets were sold, I started with the larger numbers, 21 and 20 then added the smaller numbers last.”

 Sidd – “To find out how many tickets weren’t sold we could think of this number sentence, 85 + something = 120. You could also use subtraction to get the answer.”


Dec 16

Roll Up! Roll Up! Nude Food Roll Up Day at Featherbrook!

Posted by Kerry Clayton on Sunday, December 16, 2018

It's no secret that at Featherbrook College there has been a sustained effort to promote through word and deed, our commitment to a more sustainable local environment, contributing to a more sustainable global environment. Our motto of  'Local Education, Global Future' is representative of our endeavour.

Last Friday, the sustainability team and student leadership team supported by a team of willing and community-minded parents and grandparents, worked collaboratively, to cater for the hundreds of students who chose to buy their nude food, healthy salad roll for lunch. The children filed through in an orderly way in their home groups with their lunch box in hand, selecting the bread roll fillings they wanted to enjoy for lunch. The students were able to select from vegetables including lettuce, tomato, cucumber and carrot along with a selection of meats. Not only was the lunch healthy, but it meant that there was no plastic wrap or other non-sustainable waste as children used their re-usable nude food lunch box to package their salad roll in readiness for lunch-eating time.

A BIG thank you to all families who supported this event. Payment for each roll was used to cover the cost of the ingredients along with raising funds to contribute to the college's edible garden which at this stage, has been only partly progressed.

Through activities such as this and through the considerable support of our college community for such events, our college is further enabled to progress our 'Sustainability Star Rating' to the next level. We anticipate at this point in time, that our school will be awarded a second star from CERES as we complete our second year in operation. Over the coming years we will continue to apply effort, focus and resources to make our college one that values and enacts sustainability practices and it is heartening to know that our community also recognises the critical importance of this.


Dec 16

HipHop, Contemporary Performing Arts

Posted by Kerry Clayton on Sunday, December 16, 2018

Recently, our Hip Hip students were treated to an opportunity to expend some creative energy showing their moves and skill to the assembly audience. Practising at lunchtimes to learn the dances, the students really have been committed to their craft and thoroughly enjoyed performing for their peer audience. Student comments sum up the experience and Stavriana's comment is particularly pertinent!

Sachi- It was really fun as we worked as a team.

Katalina- We worked hard and it was really fun to perform it.

Suravi- I really liked the danced we did. We get to act as well as dance. We really get into it.

Stavriana- I really enjoyed the procedure of practising a dance and would like to do another dance!

Emily- It is fun as we got to show what we learnt in a dance.


Dec 13

Preps Spread Christmas Cheer

Posted by Kerry Clayton on Thursday, December 13, 2018

Entertainment and enjoyment was had by all who came along to the Prep Christmas Carols today. Our Prep students sang, danced and moved to the festive songs they had chosen. Iconic Christmas songs featured including Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer; All I Want for Christmas is My Two Front Teeth; Santa Claus Is Coming; Jingle Bells Rock; We Wish You A Merry Christmas; Santa Claus Is Coming To Town and 6 Days of Christmas.

Santa also visited hosting a Q&A session where the children asked him questions like 'Am I on the nice list?' Did you get my list? Why don't you go through the front door (instead of the chimney)? ....very inquisitive and very much into the spirit of the festive season. Congratulations to performing arts teacher Rebecca Clark and the Prep teachers for the way they prepared the students for this fabulous and memorable Christmas Carols event!




Dec 12

Induction for New Staff 2019

Posted by Kerry Clayton on Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Induction for new staff appointed to our school is an important step in supporting them to understand our key priorities and our school values of high expectations, respect, safety for all and collaboration. Induction supports our new staff to engage with our journey as a new school so far and how their skills and knowledge will be drawn on to further shape our culture, contribute to educational excellence for all students and to assist them to enjoy a smooth transition to our fabulous Featherbrook College.

17 new staff members gathered together to work with members of the leadership team to engage with each other as topics including strategic direction, policies, professional learning team structures, our instructional model, School Wide Positive Behaviour System and digital technologies were explored and discussed. A walk through the learning spaces also generated much excitement and anticipation of joining our current staff, commencing in 2019, our third year in operation. I know our school community will warmly welcome our new college members as they take up their teaching and/or ES roles in 2019.


Dec 11

Cliffhanger Rockclimbing Challenge

Posted by Kerry Clayton on Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Year 7 students were put to a challenge that might arguably be considered at the height of all challenges they have faced this year! Rockclimbing at Cliffhanger Gym in Altona was anticipated by our senior students and they were not disappointed.  With walls standing 20 meters high, Cliffhanger is the tallest climbing centre in the Southern Hemisphere. 

With just a rope and a harness, students entrusted their safety with each other in one of the truest forms of collaboration. Constant encouragement and cheering helped to build resilience and support climbers to face their fears. Even staff at the climbing centre commented on the spirit of our Featherbrook students. “They’re doing fantastically. Usually we have to encourage a few students up the wall, but these guys are doing it themselves.” 

It is important to note that whilst fun was central to the experience for our students, a number of curriculum areas were central to the experience as well. Students engaged with General Capabilities, focusing on personal and social wellbeing and critical and creative thinking. Year 7 student Ganiou said “It was really nice, because you had to work together and the students supported each other.” This was magnificently modelled to the teachers throughout the excursion. 

Staff and students had an absolute ball at Altona Cliffhanger Climbing Gym. When asked to retell her favourite part of the experience Ava acknowledged, “It was really fun. We had to work hard and rely on each other. No one gave up.”

Dec 09

The week in pictures....

Posted by Kerry Clayton on Sunday, December 09, 2018

As the school year rapidly becomes ever closer, the work at our school is a mixture of the impressive day to day learning programs of literacy and numeracy along with our specialist programs, along with that which informs the concluding weeks of a school year....assessments, report writing, reflecting and planning for 2019.

Staff at Featherbrook College have quickly grown a reputation for their collaborative approach to their work, to provide excellent learning programs for our students, and for demonstrating one of our key 4 values, collaboration. Staff recently worked together to reflect on, analyse and evaluate the degree of achievement against our 2018 Annual Implementation Plan priorities, goals and targets (found on our website under the School Council menu tab), informing the strategic directional work of the college for 2019.

Remaining on the topic of our amazing staff, congratulations were in order for 6 of our graduate teachers who last week, presented to a panel, their evidence of achieving all 7 professional standards of which there are a total of 37 focuses and descriptors, such is this considerable body of work. A question of inquiry about their teaching underpinned the teachers' achievements, and in seeking to reflect on their practice through the process, resulted in improved practice as well as achieving full registration with the Victorian Institute of Teaching. Congratulations to Kayla Kelly, Karli Mynott, Louise Johnson (absent from the photo), Noah Kim, Ashlin Brown and Patrick Pawlukowski!

Thank you to all of our generous Featherbrook families who have inundated the school with Christmas goodies to place under the Salvation Army Angel Tree to support those in need over the festive season. The generous spirit of our college has really come to the fore. Our leadership students have needed to package up the gifts and goodies on a regular basis to make space for more items coming in every day. Again thank you to our open-hearted families; there is another week of opportunity to contribute.

Families received a newsfeed informing them of our off site evacuation drill undertaken last week. Students, staff and visitors to the school all responded to the announcement and the siren that followed and in a very orderly fashion, made their way along the evacuation pathways, arriving at the Featherbrook Community oval. After accounting for all, we returned to the school. The purpose of emergency drills such as this is most important and provides an experience on which students can reflect with their teachers and provide feedback on the success and efficiency of the drill processes and how we may improve so that safety under such circumstances may be further enhanced.

And a final post.......

 ........Assistant Principal Paul Bombaci and Year 2 / 3 Team Lead Jess De Bono enjoying the spoils of a recent staff lunchtime BBQ....our staff know collaboration in its many forms!



Dec 04

Science Inquiry In the Kitchen

Posted by Kerry Clayton on Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Whilst some of our Year 1 students were in the kitchen making cookies under the guise of science...yes, there is a lot of science in cooking, other Year 1 students were also undertaking their own exploration of the way changes may occur to foods including popcorn, chocolate, eggs, ice and noodles. As a part of 'going further' in their inquiry, students wanted to explore the changes that happen to ice and icypoles. After researching different recipes containing icypoles and ice, the 1C students found a tropical fruit slushie that they could make and taste. Here are some photos of the cooking in process and the delight experienced is evident in the student comments, along with their 'science' observations.


Shirin-  “The colour of the juice at the start was yellow and after it was blended, it turned pink.”

Nash - “After the slushie was blended and stayed still for a while, there were two layers. They had separated.”

Ethan – “Because the ingredients were blended they are not able to be changed back to the way they were.”

Dec 04

Science Inquiry- cooking?

Posted by Kerry Clayton on Tuesday, December 04, 2018

Yesterday our Year 1 Master Chefs formed collaborative groups, collected their ingredients, warmed the ovens, mixed the dough, and finally placed their works of edible art on the oven trays to bake...irreversible change took place and the results were an olfactory, visual and taste sensation!

One of the intentions of the experience was to promote collaboration and problem solving.  Students  were assigned specific jobs such as cleaning the utensils, placing the mix on the trays and establishing turn-taking systems. As a key value of our college, the students are well practiced in collaborating and appreciating the benefits of working together. The cookie recipe used stemmed from the students' initial inquiry into the changes of different foods, narrowing their focus down to chocolate, researching different recipes, and eventually selecting the oatmeal cookie recipe baked. Further, the experience enabled real life connections to their learning, specifically understanding and applying the method of a recipe, being in the kitchen environment and familiarising themselves with certain resources and expectations they will be using in the future.

Above all else, it was fun as can be seen by the images and noted in the students' comments. I was fortunate to sample the final product made by our Featherbrook Master Chefs as did many other staff and it was difficult to resist a second!

 “The brown sugar melted when we mixed the butter and made it gooey” – Kai 1D

 “ The cookies changed in the oven because of the heat” – Maylana 1D

 “We won’t be able to change the brown sugar and oats back to normal because it has changed from the heat” – Lara 1D