~ ՊԱՐԲԵՐԱԹԵՐԹ ~
2023 | Issue 4 - 21 July / Յուլիս
From the Principal
The Latest Interactive Technology in Every Classroom!
Since the start of Term 2, we have been excited about the introduction of our new state-of-the-art SMART touchscreen panels in the classrooms! These innovative panels have been implemented in every AGBU Alexander Primary School classroom to enhance the learning experience and foster a more interactive and engaging environment for our students. This advancement will revolutionise how our students learn and interact with educational content.
Gone are the days of the overhead projector or even the Interactive Whiteboards (IWB) that served our classrooms for over a dozen years. They were the first step towards the new digital world. In contrast, the new and advanced SMART touchscreen panels are designed to provide a seamless and intuitive interface, allowing students to navigate through educational materials and resources efficiently. They offer various interactive features that encourage active student participation and collaboration, promoting a hands-on learning approach. With just a touch of their fingers, students can explore interactive lessons, diagrams, and multimedia content, bringing subjects to life in a captivating experience.
These panels offer numerous benefits that we believe will significantly impact our students’ education:
Enhanced Engagement: The touchscreen panels enable students to engage with the lesson material actively, promoting better understanding and retention of information. Interactive exercises, quizzes, and games make learning enjoyable and stimulate critical thinking skills.
Visual and Multimedia Learning: The vivid and high-definition displays of the panels allow for integrating multimedia elements such as videos, images, and animations. This visual approach enriches the learning experience, making complex concepts easier to grasp and retain.
Collaborative Learning: The touchscreen panels support collaborative activities, enabling students to work together on projects, presentations, and group discussions. The interactive nature of the panels facilitates teamwork and communication skills development.
Versatility and Flexibility: The panels can be used across various subjects, adapting to different teaching styles and catering to diverse learning needs. Teachers can customise the content, adjusting it to the pace and progress of each student.
Instant Feedback and Assessment: Teachers can provide immediate feedback on student’s work through the touchscreen panels, allowing for timely intervention and personalised guidance. This real-time assessment aids in tracking progress and identifying areas for improvement.
We are committed to creating a dynamic and future-ready learning environment for our students, and implementing touchscreen panels is a significant step in that direction. I want to thank the School Board for supporting and investing in this project. We believe this technology will empower our children to develop essential skills for the digital age while fostering creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities.
I extend an open invitation to community members to visit our school and experience the touchscreen panels firsthand. We are confident that our current and future parents will be impressed with the SMART panel’s positive impact on your child’s education. We look forward to working together to provide our students with the best possible learning experience.
Thank you to all our families for your continued support, particularly to the P&F Committee and their fundraising effort to support this project.
Professional Development | CPR & Emergency Care Training
On Monday, as part of our Staff Development Day, staff members completed the yearly review of their ‘Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation’ (CPR) training. Our trainer from The Australian Lifesaving Academy (the professional first aid training arm of Surf Life Saving NSW) also provided ‘Emergency Care Training’, a course specially designed to meet the needs of school personnel. Once again, this means our staff and office personnel were updated with their CPR and trained to deal with emergencies. They will return later in the year to conduct the ‘Junior First Aid’ course for the students.
Feast of Transfiguration | Celebrating ‘Vartavar’... Alexander School way!
‘Vartavar’ is one of several ancient Armenian festivals that has survived until the present. Although now a Christian tradition celebrating the transfiguration of Jesus Christ (the Feast of Transfiguration), Vartavar’s history dates back to pagan times. The ancient festival is traditionally associated with the goddess Astghik, the goddess of water, beauty, love and fertility. The festivities associated with this religious observance of Astghik were named ‘Vartavar’ because Armenians offered her roses as a celebration (‘vart’ means ‘rose’ and ‘var’ mean ‘rise’), which was celebrated during the harvest time.
On this day in Armenia, people of all ages drench each other with water and rose petals. It is common to see people pouring buckets of water from balconies on unsuspecting people walking below them. The festival is very popular among children as it is one day they can get away with pulling pranks. It is also a means of refreshment on July’s usually hot and dry summer days.
‘Vartavar’ was celebrated on Sunday. During the week, our students were also given the opportunity to join the festivities in our own Alexander School way! Considering the current winter season in the southern hemisphere, we modified the ‘water games’ that the students joined in to play during lunchtime. The House teams Masis, Sevan, Ararat and Yerevan took part in water relays full of joy and enthusiasm. During the weekly Assembly, students were presented with information about ‘Vartavar’, including the history, meaning and a sample of celebrations in Armenia today. Happy Vartavar!
School Show | “The Litterbug and the Rubber Jellyfish!
On Wednesday afternoon, the students gathered in the Gemjian Hall to join in “The Litterbug and the Rubber Jellyfish Show”. The Northern Beaches Council has been concerned about the amount of plastic waste still ending up in our oceans. As a result, this fun show had a serious message by looking at how we can “swap this for that” and change what we do to help our environment.
It’s Lisa the Litter Guard’s birthday, and the Litterbug wants to throw her a party. But things don’t go quite as he planned. Everything he chooses is single-use plastic. Lisa guides him on his way to make environmentally friendly choices.
Having a party without using single-use plastics might seem daunting, but it’s easy to do if you follow Lisa’s simple tips. Swap this for that and have a successful single-use plastic-free event!
We thank the Northern Beaches Council’s Office of Waste and Environmental Education for making this event possible.
Activism | Bringing awareness of the Artsakh Blockade
Dr Sophie Scamps Raises Artsakh Blockade in the Australian Parliament
On Monday, 27 March 2023, Dr Sophie Scamps, Federal Member for Mackellar, rose in the Australian Parliament's Federation Chamber to deliver a Constituency Statement discussing the ongoing Artsakh Blockade. Dr Scamps, addressed the parliament, following a visit from her local students at the AGBU Alexander Primary School, who had hand-delivered a letter to Dr Scamps at her office in Mackellar.
Dr Scamps said: “A couple of weeks ago, I was treated to a surprise visit in my electorate office by students of the AGBU Alexander Primary School in Duffys Forest in my electorate of Mackellar. AGBU is an independent, co-educational, bilingual English and Armenian Christian school. While I'm absolutely delighted to have received a visit from these year 5 and 6 students, they came with a very serious message. The students presented me with a letter they had written, asking me to address the Australian parliament on a very important matter: the ongoing blockade of the Lachin corridor in Artsakh since 12 December 2022, as part of the ongoing conflict between Azerbaijan and Armenia.”
“The Lachin corridor is a road that connects the Republic of Artsakh to the Republic of Armenia. The letter went on to explain how the supply of food and medicine is running dangerously low as a result of the blockade, and gas supply between Armenia and Artsakh has been cut off.”
“There is a vibrant Armenian community in my electorate of Mackellar, and I've had many representations from those people in addition to the schoolchildren. On their behalf, I have made representations to Foreign Minister Wong's office about this ongoing crisis and met with foreign department specialists to discuss the matter. The crisis affecting the people of Artsakh must not be forgotten or overlooked while the world is distracted by Russia's invasion of Ukraine.”
Federal Member for Mackellar, Dr Scamps visits Alexander School
On Friday 28 April, AGBU Alexander Primary School welcomed the newly elected Federal Member for Mackellar, Dr Sophie Scamps. On her inaugural visit, the local MP was greeted by the Year 5/6 students and School Captain Sofia Jebian in traditional Armenian costume and with "salt & bread". The honourable guest was introduced to the school and guided to the Gemjian Hall for a special assembly. There she received a warm welcome and a journey through the life of the school. During the address, School Principal Mr Manoug Demirjian also thanked Dr Scamps for being the voice of the Artsakh Republic in the Australian parliament. As the independent representative, she had taken up the challenge of being the community's voice by raising awareness about the plight of the Armenians in Artsakh who have been blockaded since 12 December 2022.
The students then sang 'The Rhythm of Life' in bilingual to the guest's delight, who acknowledged the warm welcome and thanked the school community for the invitation. She was delighted to meet the students as she spoke to them, later having the opportunity to visit the classrooms and tour the school grounds.
Having Dr Scamps at Alexander School was an honour, and we hope this will be the first of many. We wish her all the best in her service to the community and the greater Australian public.
Aussie of the Month
Congratulations to our first recipients of the year!
School Report | 2022
As part of our Registration and NESA requirements, the Annual School Report for 2022 was published end of last term.
The report includes... Academic Performance, Teacher Standards, School Policies on Enrolment, Discipline, Safe & Supportive Environment, Improvement Targets, Summary of Financial Information and a lot more!
Copies of the report can be obtained from the office, or by selecting the button below.
It is also available on our school WEBSITE, including reports from previous years.
Download the School Stream App | Select 'SchoolStream' for instructions or download from Google & Apple stores.