THORNLEIGH WEST PUBLIC SCHOOL

Strive to Achieve

Telephone02 9484 4242

Emailthornleigw-p.school@det.nsw.edu.au

A love of learning in Stage 2

A love of learning in Stage 2 

Year 3 and year 4 have made a super effort settling back into school routine. We have seen a huge growth in learning and confidence this term, a reflection of the You Can Do It lessons. This term we explored a new sport, Newcombe ball. During stage sport time each Friday the students rotate between Newcombe ball and T-ball. In Newcombe ball the students have learned throwing and catching skills and also the importance of being a team player. As they pass the ball around their team to make it over the net, they have learned the valuable qualities of collaboration, communication and FUN! 

It is with such proud hearts that all of the Stage 2 teachers congratulate each and every student on their speaking and listening task this term. Students came prepared and well-rehearsed to deliver their well planned and thoughtful responses. As we continue to use our social skills program, You Can It, the current focus is on confidence which links so beautifully with public speaking, students explored what it means to be confident and how you can develop confidence in yourself. A valuable formative assessment tool is ‘peer feedback’, all stage 2 classes have used this to allow peers to provide each other with feedback. Students look at the success criteria and provide a star and wish or warm and cool feedback which aligns with what we are looking for in our speech. Students use this feedback along with the teacher’s feedback to then self-assess their speech. What worked well and how can they move forward in their learning next time. 

Writing has seen creative juices flowing in Stage 2 through the creation of imaginative texts. A strategy Year 3 are currently focusing on is ‘Show don’t tell’. This strategy builds students ability to use adjectives and figurative language. I wonder if you can guess the feelings these two wonderful writers from 3DZ are describing here….

Using the rich text ‘The Duck and the Darklings’ by Glenda Milard and Stephen King, An extraordinary and enchanting story of friendship, hope, and joy about a young boy who wants to find something special for his grandfather, and finds a fallen duck in need of care, the students have been exploring the vocabulary, structure and vocabulary used to assist in their own narrative writing. As they make connections, visualise the story, and build their vocabulary the students are enjoying exploring this book.

Students in 3DZ work collaboratively to unpack the vocabulary in the story and look for figurative language. 

Here we focus on building field knowledge by brainstorming the key words related to the book dark & light. Thought provoking questions used include: ‘What things come to mind when you think of dark and light?’ ‘Where and when do they occur, what creates dark and light?’ ‘What is typically dark and light, what is symbolically dark and light?’ Students then continue to add to this brainstorm as they read through the book. 

To connect our History unit ‘Community and Remembrance’ where students are exploring our community, and our local indigenous heritage, with reconciliation week, Stage 2 students each created their own unique square to make up a rainbow serpent. Students listened to the beautiful dreamtime story ‘The Rainbow Serpent’ by Dick Roughsey and then represented their understanding to create a class snake collage. They look so effective and hold so much meaning.

Stage 2 Super Scientists 

Our inquiry questions for Semester One: How do light, heat and electrical energy make things happen? How can objects affect other objects with or without touching them? How can we use forces and energy in a product or system? 

Students continued to display great enthusiasm throughout the semester both during at home learning and whilst being at school. Our recent study on 'Force ' encouraged much class discussion and brainstorming amongst our young Scientists. We put on our inventors’ caps to invent a balloon rocket. Our inquiry question was: How do different forces affect the movement of balloons?

  • Discuss the scientific variables
  • Control: What stays the same across all tests
  • Dependent: The change we measure because of changing the independent variable
  • Independent: One thing you will changes, e.g. length of straw, shape of balloon, amount of air, colour of balloon, position of masking tape, angle of string, type of string, position of straw etc.
  • Small groups record their variables, make a hypothesis and conduct their experiment.
  • Record and represent data gathered 

This was such an engaging, interesting experiment with some fun and interesting results. 

These art pieces make me smile each time I walk into a Stage 2 classroom, they are full of joy, creativity, and colour exploration. The Cityscape Art - ‘New York’ is inspired by James Rizzi, A pop artist from New York who loved his neighbourhood, this inspired him to draw and create sculptures of the city.

Nicole Dowd
Stage 2 Assistant Principal