~ ՊԱՐԲԵՐԱԹԵՐԹ ~
2023 | Issue 2 - 24 February / Փետրուար
From the Principal
Education in the Modern World
There are many views about what education is and is not, what it should be and should not be. It is stated that the “purpose of education is not to fill the minds of students with facts… it is to teach them to think.”
For others, “education means learning to think for yourself, learning to make and repair friendships, learning to see other people’s points of view, learning not to be frightened of uncertainty or difficulty, learning how to live in society, learning how to be a good citizen, learning how to be self-reliant.”
Therefore, education needs to prepare children for the real world. Students need to learn to problem solve and show initiative. They need to be able to work as a team and develop excellent communication skills. Developing the ability to think creatively is very important, as well as having the curiosity to explore areas of interest and excitement.
The way students learn is also changing rapidly, and it is quite different from education even a few years ago. Blackboards and chalk have been replaced with whiteboards and interactive technologies. Google Apps for Education empowers our students to connect with others in their classroom and with the much wider community.
At the same time, the role of the teacher has changed dramatically. While they may no longer be viewed as the ‘fountain of all knowledge,’ their role is as crucial as ever in teaching children how to process the massive amount of information now available to us. Therefore, developing these skills is a critical part of education.
Teachers are now very much aware of the need to engage their students by ensuring they understand clearly the purpose and real-life application of the skills being taught.
Teachers must have time to develop knowledge, skills and character while teaching students how to learn. In acquiring knowledge, teachers must connect content to real-world experience.
21st-century skills such as the 4 Cs – Creativity, Critical thinking, Communication and Collaboration are essential for absorbing knowledge and work performance.
Children need to develop character, including behaviours, attitudes and values, to face an increasingly challenging world. For this reason, programs which develop traits such as adaptability, persistence, resilience, integrity, justice, empathy and ethics are increasingly important. Our Values Education program is essential in reinforcing the development of character.
It is similarly important to teach children how to learn, connect their learning in one discipline to another, develop curiosity, and provide time for students to follow their passions and interests.
At Alexander school, together with the teaching staff and the school community, we must continually evaluate what we do and how we do it to ensure that we provide the best possible educational opportunities for all children. With a clear goal and commitment, we strive to achieve the purpose of education in the modern world.
Parent Information Evening
On Monday 13 February, we held our annual ‘Parent Information Evening’. We would like to thank all the parents for coming and showing their support for their children’s education and demonstrating interest in their school life. Here at Alexander school, we believe the commitment of the parent body plays an important role in the life of a school. Therefore, continue with your valued effort to get right behind your children and play a supporting role, because your children are the ones who benefit.
The first session of the evening was held in the Gemjian Hall, where parents were given an outline of the year's plan and an update on a number of policies. They were encouraged to consider joining the P&F Committee which is a good forum to bring ideas or suggestions for the everyday running needs of our school. The P&FC also plays an important role in running the canteen and catering special events. They are responsible for organising a number of in-school events and providing general feedback and assistance in areas of need.
Following the plenary session, parents were directed to the classrooms. Teachers of each grade had the opportunity to explain to their parents the special features of teaching and learning which pertain to their classes.
St Vartan's Day | Blessing & Holy Communion
AGBU Alexander Primary School students visited the Armenian Apostolic Church of Holy Resurrection to receive Holy Communion and blessings for the start of the school year and on the occasion of Vartanants. The service was followed by a special program by school students, dedicated to St Vartan and the heroes of the Battle of Avarayr in 451AD
ՀԲԸՄ.ի Ալեքսանտր Վարժարանի ընդունուած սովորութեան համաձայն Հինգշաբթի 16 Փետրուարին՝ Վարդանանց Տօնին առիթով աշակերտութիւնն ու ուսուցչական կազմը ներկայ գտնուեցան Ս. Պատարագի արարողութեան՝ Ս. Յարութիւն եկեղեցի, ստանալով հաղորդութիւն եւ օրհնութիւն՝ Առաջնորդ սրբազան հօր՝ Գերշ. Տէր Հայկազուն Արքեպիսկոպոս Նաճարեանի մասնաւոր հրաւէրով:
Այս ազգային իւրայատուկ տօնին առիթով աշակերտներ առիթ ունենցան մօտէն տեղեկանալու ՝՝Աւարայրի Ճակատամարտի՝՝ իմաստի մասին, ազգային, կրօնական և մշակութային առումով: Սուրբ Պատարագի աւարտին տեղի ունեցաւ գեղարուեստական յայտագիր աշակերտներու մասնակցութեամբ:
Visitors | Rev. Vatche Etmekjian & Mrs Rita Shnorhokian-Davidian (From USA)
On Tuesday, 14 February we were visited by Rev. Vatche Etmekjian from Pasadena. He was accompanied by Rev. Hagop Sarkissian from the Armenian Evangelical Uniting Church of Sydney and Mr Soghomonian. The visitors had the opportunity to visit the classrooms, where some of the senior students welcomed the guests with a brief cultural program of songs and poetry recitals. Following the presentation, Rev. Etmekjian spoke to the students and passed on a message of hope with a short story, that was well received by everyone.
The following day, as part of our weekly Scripture lessons, Mrs Rita Shnorhokian Davidian joined the class with Mrs Cynthia Tomassian to share God's message. Mrs Rita was also visiting Sydney from America and we were delighted to have her join us on this occasion.
School Policy | Documents
School Standards on Homework:
THE SCHOOL LUNCH BOX
Parents are instrumental in the success of our school’s healthy food program as providers of good, nutrition-filled lunch boxes. To help parents with the confusing task of deciding on suitable snack foods, below is a list of what we consider to be appropriate.
ONE ONLY - Snack Food which includes any one of the following: baked biscuits or snacks such as BBQ shapes; yoghurt or other dairy dessert such as Yogo or Petite Miam; slice of plain cake, fruit muffin or fruit toast; fruit straps/bars; breakfast/muesli bars, plain pop corn.
SNACKS WHICH DO NOT QUALIFY: All chips, roll-ups, LCM’s, chocolate muffins, cream biscuits and wafers.
UNLIMITED AMOUNTS OF - Fresh Fruit & Vegetables … fruit bars and fruit yoghurt are no replacement for fresh fruit.
AT LEAST ONE SERVE OF - Bread … sandwiches
Sandwiches are the most ideal lunch food but we do understand that children need some variety and often have home-cooked meals to replace sandwiches.
SUITABLE LUNCH DRINKS FOR SCHOOL - fruit juice, milk, water.
Armenian Student Fund
Scholastic Book Club
CANTEEN NEWS | Lunch Orders
Thanks to the Canteen Coordinator Mrs Alisa Mahmur and her wonderful team of volunteer parents, the School Canteen and Lunch Orders are up and running.
The system that has been implemented over the last few years will continue, where parents don't need to follow up on their Lunch Order with a paper bag and cash payment. Once orders are placed for their child/ren via the Google Form, the school will calculate all the orders for the month and issue an invoice to the family. When invoices are paid, the office will issue a receipt to acknowledge payment.
PLEASE NOTE: THIS IS FOR LUNCH ORDERS ONLY
Students are required to have money to purchase Morning Tea and Afternoon Treats over the counter. Please make sure your children are aware of what they want to buy and the money given to them, as credit will not be provided.
Parents can follow the Canteen Menu from the calendar on the website, Newsletter or through the link on the School Stream App.
Select - CANTEEN CALENDAR | MENU
Notifications for lunch orders will continue to be sent out via email and the School Stream App. However, parents can access the Order Forms from the links in the Canteen Calendar for each lunch order.
P&F News | Easter Celebrations - Sunday 26 March from Lunchtime
With only a few weeks left for this traditional annual event, the P&F will once again follow the generally well established precedent. As a major school event, all families will be asked to help on the day and a draft roster of tasks will soon be shared to help everyone prepare for their part.
In the past, we’ve had a huge number of Easter chocolates for the raffle prizes. This year we’d like to prepare more varied hampers for the raffle prizes. We ask that families contribute items such as homemade biscuits/sweets, wine, coloured eggs, and Easter themed decorations to assist with the preparation of more interesting and attractive prizes.
For the Cake Stall on the day, the P&F is also requesting for all families to contribute cakes or sweets and make the Easter Cake Stall the best ever! Home-made fare, in particular traditional Armenian choreg, are always best sellers. Some ideas for traditional sweets include – choreg, kata, mahmoul, kaghka, kounafa, khourabyeh, baklava… Another popular selling item is homemade cake – uncut and sold whole.
Further information and details regarding the Cake Stall and concert day preparations will be emailed to parents.
The Parents & Friends Committee can be contacted via email: PFC@alexander.nsw.edu.au
Happy Birthdays to…
Vardan S. | Nicholas A. | Serineh M. | Mrs Julie-Anne L'Estrange
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