2022 | Issue 6 - 18 July / Յուլիս

From the Principal

Dear Parents,

Welcome Back

We hope you've all had a restful break as we get ready to welcome back our students on Tuesday, 19 July. As usual, Term 3 is expected to be busy both inside and outside the classroom.

The NSW Government has placed Covid19 safety standards for schools to ensure students come together in the classrooms to learn and grow. Therefore, some "Covid-smart" measures have been developed with NSW Health to minimise transmission and keep schools open. However, we must continue to exercise suitable hygiene measures and use the rapid antigen test kits supplied by the school to monitor any symptoms. Parents can request more kits from the office if required. Please remember that students cannot attend school if they show any symptoms of Covid-19.

Parents can check the advice for families on the NSW Government website.

An Extra Year of Schooling

It has been called “a game-changer!” I am referring to the NSW Government’s latest budget pledge worth $5.8 billion over 10 years to help introduce an extra year of education. The most significant schooling reform is offering five days per week of pre-kindergarten to every four-year-old by 2030.

The Government will be working with the early childhood sector to create the tens of thousands of places needed, including adding new facilities to schools and expanding existing community preschools and long daycare centres. Premier Dominic Perrottet said the decision to introduce a universal, pre-kindergarten year of learning reflected the importance of early education to children’s future. “This is incredible reform that will change lives,” he said.

For the AGBU Alexander Primary School community, this statement seems outdated by a decade. Unfortunately, by the time this policy has been fully implemented, it will be trailing our school for over two decades. This is based on the fact that in 2013 we introduced our current Preparatory (Prep) class for children from 3½ years of age, designed to make the transition to school a smooth and enjoyable experience.

Research shows that the first five years of a child’s life are critical for their development and strongly predict how they will perform in school. Childhood experts agree that attending a high-quality program prepares children for Kindergarten and beyond. This is why Alexander school offers a Preparatory class for children the year before starting school.

All parents strive to find the best option for their children, understanding that a sound foundation will prepare them with the skills and qualities they need for a fruitful school experience. Early Learning and Care Council of Australia chief executive Elizabeth Death said the policy was a “game-changer in Australia”. “We know that children who start behind often stay behind, and we know that learning starts at birth, so extending the universal education system to include the early years makes perfect sense,” she said.

The Government’s reform also depends on recruiting and retaining early childhood educators and teachers. We have been focusing on this area and have successfully maintained high-quality care in our Prep class with qualified teachers and early childhood educators. We know what it means to have an experienced, nurturing and dedicated early childhood teacher like Mrs Talar Bedikian at the school. Over the past decade, we have seen and experienced what a Prep class means for our school and families.

While the NSW Government’s decision is a welcome announcement, the members of our community do not need to wait for another ten years. Therefore, we extend a warm invitation to community members to visit our school and see the unique learning environment for our students from Prep to Year 6.

Manoug Demirjian

School Life | Community Service & Activities

AGBU Alexander Primary School has a proud history of service to the community. We lead our students to become active participants and contributors to the community. Students throughout the year join the after church volunteer service of providing coffee/tea and sweets to the parishioners.

On Sunday, 29 May, students were back on duty at the Armenian Apostolic Church of Holy Resurrection. It certainly is a wonderful way of connecting with the community as they strive 'To Grow & Serve'.

Kindergartners are wonderful mathematicians! They have been using concrete materials to further their understanding of number, time and pattern concepts. Well done Kindergarten!

Year 1 students are investigating the properties of materials. They have been working cooperatively to construct a sturdy tower using spaghetti and marshmallows. The tallest, most stable tower will be the winner! We all worked as a team, listening and thinking critically. So this means we are all winners!

They have also been painting their handspan. They are measuring length using body parts and informal units. They are having lots of fun!

In science, the students of Year 5/6 have been studying magnets. In this lesson, they were given the - Ring Magnet Challenge.

The following questions were posed: Can you make all the ring magnets sit down together at the bottom of the pole? Can you make all the rings float above one another? What other arrangements of rings can you make? How does it work? The students worked through different possibilities observing the results and drawing conclusions from their findings.

Our junior students have been learning about different cultures. They prepared and tasted some Sushi!

In Art, Year 1 have been analysing olden day photographs. Today, with the help of our iPads, we explored different techniques to change colour and create images that look old. We learned so much about technology and how it has changed.

The Basketball sessions as part of the Sports lessons for this term have been a great opportunity to improve the student's "Fundamental Movement Skills". We like to thank the Manly Warringah Basketball Association for providing the training, in particular, Brad Dolton (Former basketball player for Australia and the Sydney Kings in the NBL)

Mufti Day! | A wonderful end to a busy term

On the last day of term, the students of Alexander school were in mufti clothes and enjoyed dancing to some disco and Armenian music at the end of the day! It was a fun way to celebrate while wishing everyone a safe and relaxing holiday... enjoy!

Birthdays - June/July

Happy Birthday to…

Naomi B. | Vanig O. | Aram S. | Ara T. | Lori M. | Sossi M. | Gohar H. | Davit K. | Sophia U. | Christopher W. | Leah B. | Lucas D. | Sirag K. | Peter T.

Our neighbourly peacock... during his daily visit!

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