Applications for joining Science Club are now OPEN!

Applications are now open to join the 2013 science club at WCCS. This club is open to year 7 and 8 students who are interested in getting some more hands on experience with science. The aim of this group is to encourage students to develop a greater interest in and awareness of science and the amazing way our world works. We hope to bring back some of those old experiments from ‘the good old days’ that have left permanent inspiring marks on scientists around the world (and the roof of C3).

For more information see the Science blog or the student note.

New Thoughts on How to learn!

Psychology experts have recently examined the various ways that students study and have ranked them based on how effective they are. Take a look at the article below for an outline of their findings.

The lesson you never got taught in school: How to learn!.

If any staff are interested in reading the original research behind these grand claims, email me and I can forward you the paper (Dunlosky et al., 2013, Improving Students’ Learning With Effective Learning Techniques: Promising Directions from Cognitive and Educational Psychology, Psychological Science in the Public Interest, 14(1), 4-58).

High School Extra-Curricular Opportunities for 2013

Welcome back to school for 2013! This year we have a whole host of activities available for high school students to get involved in to broaden and deepen their learning and also have some fun. In order for students to get the most out of their time at school we strongly encourage each student to find something extra that they’re interested in and get involved with the extra-curricular activities the school offers.

As you’re beginning 2013 we encourage parents and students to have a look at the following activities that are being planned and consider which ones you might enjoy.  Some students have the tendency to avoid doing anything extra, whereas other student have the tendency to try to do everything extra – parents are encouraged to assist students in making decisions as both extremes are typically unhelpful in the long run.

Over the year we will be advertising many events, competitions and challenges for students and we encourage you to subscribe to this blog!

Here’s a quick taste of the things on offer for this year:

Student Projects (ALPs)

The Advanced Learning Projects (ALPs) are a special program of study intended for students who are achieving well in their current studies and who want a little bit more – more interesting, more challenging, more feedback, more open-ended. Entry to these projects is open to all students via application. Students will be required to demonstrate (in their application) that they are independent and motivated learners to be considered for these projects.

These projects provide a very flexible approach to learning, allowing students to choose or design their own field of study and work one-on-one with a mentor to develop their skills in this area. Students will negotiate with their mentor all aspects of the project. A student’s project will continue over the entire year and count as an extra subject on the student’s report involving three assessment components (participation, a written component and an oral presentation).

Some past student projects include: software programming, creek health analysis, CREST science investigations, writing a fiction novel, producing a graphic novel, learning Spanish, completing a Moore Theological Distance Education course and many others. Applications for projects will open mid-Term 1. For more information contact Mr R Jackson (jacksonr@wccs.nsw.edu.au )

Reading Olympics

This year we will be running an open reading Olympics challenge for all students – starting in a few weeks. Students can collect a booklet from their English teacher (or the library or Miss Smith) with details of all the reading events they can compete in. Events vary in level of difficulty and time requirements, ranging from simple ‘read a book’ type events to ‘write an alternate ending’ or ‘draw a book cover’. Participation in Reading Olympics events will earn students house points and go towards winning the house trophy and BBQ lunch at the end of the year. Students may casually participate in just a few events that look interesting, or they can push themselves to win bronze, silver or gold medallions for earning enough points for their house.

Contact Miss Smith for more information smithc@wccs.nsw.edu.au

Science Club & CSIRO CREST awards

Science club is open to year 7 and 8 students who are interested in getting some more hands on experience with science. The aim is to let students chose areas of interest for us to investigate and experiment on together. We hope to bring back some of those old experiments from ‘the good old days’ that have left permanent inspiring marks on scientists around the world (and the roof of C3). Over past years topics of investigation include: explosives, dissections, astronomy, rockets and more!

As part of this club we hope to encourage students to participate in some serious science. To help students push to these levels we’re offering participation in many competitions and award schemes, particularly the bronze, silver or gold level CREST awards from CSIRO. These awards are given for long term science and/or technology projects and investigations. Participation in the CREST program may allow students to submit their CREST project as a class assignment in place of a regular task. Students do not need to be a part of the science club to enrol in a CREST project, however, time in science club maybe used to assist with these projects. CREST projects are open to all students.

The club will aim to meet once a fortnight after school on a Wednesday from 3:15 – 4:15pm. Students will need to be picked up from school shortly after this time. Applications for joining will open mid-Term 1. For more information contact Mr R Jackson (jacksonr@wccs.nsw.edu.au )

‘Nerd’ Club

Nerd club is a weekly group that meets after school on a Thursday from 3:30 to 4:45pm. The group is learning some fundamental programming skills. Students will focus on web-based programming (HTML 5, with some Ruby and Python) and will learn to integrate Facebook, Twitter, gPlus and WordPress widgets into webpages; as well as data manipulation using JSON and XML. Once these skills have been developed students will be able to make their own website (using PHP or ASP), or focus on making games (in HTML5), or for a mobile platform (iOS or Android).

Joining Nerd club is open for students in years 7-10 by application as numbers are limited. Students who are very keen may use Nerd club as the basis for an ALPs project. Students will be encouraged to compete in a programming competition that University of Sydney runs later this year.

For more information email snelsona@wccs.nsw.edu.au

Mathematics Challenge

This year we are running a program developed by the Australian Mathematics Trust called Mathematics Challenge for Young Australians. Entry is by invitation only as the program is particularly difficult. Top mathematicians in grades 8 and 9 will be selected and invited to participate. The program involves a detailed study of the works of Euler and students will attempt challenging problems on elementary number theory, arithmetic sequences, congruence, and pigeonhole principle among others.  Students will be provided with ongoing guidance and support to assist them to reach their own levels of excellence in mathematics.

The aim of this program is to encourage and foster a greater interest in and awareness of the power of mathematics, a desire to succeed in solving stimulating mathematics problems individually and in groups, as well as a discovery of the joy of problem solving in mathematics.

Serious participants will also be given the opportunity mid-year to sit for the annual Mathematics Olympiads developed by the same national body.

For more information contact Mr Ichwan (ichwanj@wccs.nsw.edu.au ) or Mr R Jackson (jacksonr@wccs.nsw.edu.au )

GATEway Challenge

The GATEway 8 Academic Gala Day is a competition in which students participate in a number of academic challenges based around a theme. Creative challenges may involve designing and planning a video game, creating an advertisement or movie trailer, participating in drama and sport challenges and composing their own musical composition using instruments and technology.

GATEway is a great opportunity for talented students who perform well academically and would like to compete against similar students from other schools. William Carey will be sending a Year 7-8 and a Year 9-10 team in Term Three, allowing the opportunity for students to meet with and compete against other similarly minded students from other schools.

Contact Miss Smith for more information smithc@wccs.nsw.edu.au

Tournament of the Minds

Tournament of the Minds is a problem-solving program for teams of students. Students are required to solve demanding, open-ended challenges from the following disciplines:

  • Applied Technology
  • Language Literature
  • Maths Engineering
  • Social Sciences

Tournament of the Minds provides opportunities for students around the country with a passion for learning and problem-solving, to demonstrate their creative skills and talents whilst competing against other schools. Students will be invited to try out for a place in the team early in Term Two.

 

Contact Miss Smith for more information smithc@wccs.nsw.edu.au

History Club

History club is open to students in Years 7-9 who have an interest in History and would like to participate in hands on activities. The aim is for students who already enjoy history to learn about fascinating topics not studied in the classroom and develop their skills. Students who join History club will have the opportunity to participate in:

  • Historical re-enactments
  • Cooking unusual recipes from the past
  • Armour making
  • Watching and creating historical films
  • Making models
  • Forensic archaeology
  • Creating an archaeological dig using real artefacts!

 

The club will meet once a fortnight in terms two and three after school on a Thursday from 3:15 – 4:15pm. Contact Miss Smith for more information smithc@wccs.nsw.edu.au

Creative Arts Activities:

  • Music tutoring
    School regularly has a variety of music tutors on site. Contact Ms Reece for more information if you’re thinking of learning an instrument or want practice performing. Tutoring is currently available for: violin, flute, clarinet, saxophone, trumpet, French horn, trombone, guitar, piano, vocals and drums.
  • Musical – The Wizard of Oz
    Auditions have begun, see Miss Morphett for ways to assist and get involved!
  • Concert Band
    Meets Friday at 7:45 am in G2, see Ms Reece if interested in joining
  • String Ensemble
    Meets Monday lunch in G2, see Ms Reece if interested in joining
  • Flute group
    Looking to start, please see Ms Reece if you play or are interested in playing the flute.
  • Drama Club
    Applications for years 7-8 students to join the weekly drama club have opened. See Mrs Morris for more information.

Other Activities

Keep your eyes out for the many other activities that are happening:

  • Book Chat
    Book Chat is held in the library with Mrs D Smith discussing and looking at books that students are enjoying and what to read next.
  • Debating
    Debating teams have formed in various grades and competitions will begin shortly. See Mr Engel (years 7 & 8) or Mrs Brendish (years 9 to 11)for more information.
  • Mock Trials
    The mock trial senior team has just begun meeting as they prepare for their first competitions. See Miss Morphett or Mrs B Jackson for more information.
  • Duke of Edinburgh
    Duke of Ed. is a great challenge for students to take on at either the bronze, silver or gold levels and the award is an excellent addition to any student’s future résumé. This award scheme involves students volunteering some community service, learning new skills, participating in physical recreation and completing an expedition. See Mr Kennedy or Miss Aitken for more information.
  • Engineering Challenge
    The engineering challenge will be open for students in grades 9 and 10 and involves a day long competition in designing and building solutions to a variety of problems. Entry will be by application and will begin sometime in term 2. See Mr D Ellerman for more information.