Penrhos Community News

7 September 2018

Head of Junior School

Ms Trish Somers

Dear parents

Father’s Day Celebrations


A very excited group of girls welcomed their fathers in to watch them sing and to dance, and to share some wonderful experiences with them. All of the girls were delighted to see their dads in their classroom.

Kindergarten to Year 1

Another happy group of girls showed their fathers their work and treated them to a new and colourful tie to wear on Father’s Day. This was followed by some very enthusiastic entertainment in the Chapel and afternoon tea for the dads.

Years 2-6 Father’s Day Breakfast and Principal’s Assembly

A lovely morning with a fair sky and not too cold greeted our fathers for their breakfast with their daughters. It was lovely to see so many grandfathers in attendance too. This was followed by an assembly with a wonderful item by our Year 2 students, who looked resplendent in their sparkling red hats and ties. The renditions of what the girls loved most about their dads was very touching and also very amusing in parts!

A big thank you to the fathers, the grandfathers and significant others who attended to make this such a lovely time for the girls.

Big Book Swap Fundraiser

Junior School Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and History Captain, Olivia Sanderson, and Term 3 Team Captain, Anoushka Joshi, spoke about an exciting fundraising activity during their Captain’s report at the Junior School Principal’s Assembly last week.

We have been asked to help acknowledge Indigenous Literacy Day on 5 September by supporting the Indigenous Literacy Foundation’s valued initiative, The Great Book Swap. This event will be held on Wednesday, 19 September in the Junior School Courtyard. It is a wonderful way to promote reading and a love of literature, whilst raising much-needed funds for remote communities. All we ask is that students give a gold coin donation to ‘purchase’ a donated pre-loved book.

Please have a look around your home to see if you have any books in good condition that could be donated to the Penrhos Junior School Great Book Swap. Donated books may be left in the plastic crate which is in the foyer of the Junior School Reception.

We look forward to your support and to the Junior School contributing towards the Indigenous Literacy Foundation’s goal of raising $300 000 to buy 30 000 new books for remote Indigenous communities. – Ms Susan Neale, Year 4 teacher, Middle Primary team leader and ATSI leader.

Bounce Back!

Bounce Back is a positive approach to developing resilience and social emotional wellbeing in children, run by Dr Kellie Cassidy. It is based on positive psychology principles which research shows can help people to flourish in their lives. The program is intended to instil skills which promote positive mental health wellbeing and resilience. There are several programs on offer for children aged 9 to 11 years of age. If you would like to enrol your daughter or you would like more information about this program that Mrs Shelley Farrow, the Junior School Counsellor has recommended, please follow the link:

Congratulations to Ariel Daborn

“I took part in the 2018 Australian National Indoor Skydiving Championships, which were held in Sydney.

I competed in Junior Freestyle Intermediate and came second. The whole experience was amazing. I had to create a routine that was approximately one minute long. I had four attempts to do it and after the first attempt I was coming second and I kept that good streak going. I met so many people and made so many new friends, I even met some of my old friends such as Peter, he only has ONE LEG, but he was still an amazing flyer. I absolutely loved it and I will definitely go there next year”.

by Ariel Daborn

Please follow the link below to see Ariel in action →

‘The Silly Scientist’ Incursion Pre-Primary and Year 1

To coincide with Science Week, the girls in the Early Learning Centre were treated to an interactive incursion by the Silly Scientists. The Silly Scientist Show is an interactive performance which aims to promote positive attitudes in young children when participating in science-related activities. The scientists highlighted the ‘everyday’ accessibility of science in the students’ everyday lives. The students were entertained with comedy and singing, whilst highlighting many aspects of science.

During the performance, the presenters demonstrated fun and exciting science activities from the Science Understanding strands of the Australian Curriculum, including: Biological, Chemical, Earth and Space and Physical Sciences. Squeals of delight and laughter ensued after each experiment, and the students left feeling very connected to the magic of science.

Year 5 Fremantle Excursion

As part of our History program in Term 3, Year 5 students visited the Fremantle Prison, Round House and Maritime Museum. The day commenced with a convict History Tour of Fremantle Prison. The girls’ imaginations ran wild as they were presented with historical truths about the prison facilities and inmates. The next stop was the Fremantle Round House, the first permanent building built in the Swan River Colony. The surrounding grounds proved a lovely spot for recess. Finally, we walked to the Fremantle Maritime Museum for a hands-on discovery and historical exploration of immigration to Australia and the changing face of Fremantle.

JIGSSA Cross Country

Congratulations to our Years 3-6 Junior School Cross Country team who represented the College at the JIGSSA Interschool Cross Country event at Perry Lakes on Tuesday, 4 September. We were very proud of every student who participated and gave their absolute best on the day. They achieved some very pleasing results with our Year 5 and 6 teams both placing second overall. We also took out two individual medals as well, with Kaelan Adams placing second in the Year 5 race and Courtney Shelby placing second in the Year 6 race. Well done to the entire team on a fabulous effort in what was a great morning of running.

Year 2 News

Boarding House Visit

From a place of curiosity and inquisitiveness the Year 2s dreamed of visiting the Penrhos College Boarding House. Mrs Michele Hay, Head of Boarding, kindly invited all the students to visit during lunchtime when they could meet the Year 7 and 8 boarders. This trip, after the Boarders’ long weekend, was a very exciting event for the Year 2s who could not understand how a student could live without their family around them all the time. It also helped the Year 2 girls understand why Penrhos College has a small break for the Boarders long weekend in terms 1, 2 and 3.

The Year 2s got to see all the areas that the boarders spend their time in, including the shared facilities and most importantly their bedrooms which were very tidy, brightly coloured and full of inspirational messages. After the tour finished the Year 2s got to ask as many questions as they wanted to Mrs Michele Hay and all were absolutely delighted with the answers!

After many classroom discussions the Year 2s decided to make messages of love and gratitude for the Boarders. They created huggable cards that the Boarders could read and remember the Year 2 visit. A week later we returned to the Boarding House and had the special privilege of laying the cards on the Boarders’ beds. It was such a treat for the Years 2 and a pleasant surprise for the Boarders!

Wireless Hill comes to Penrhos College

As a follow up to our recent excursion, Heather Thomson from Wireless Hill visited the Year 2s on Monday September 3 and showed us a range of technological artefacts from the past. These included many items that had already been discarded in preference of smarter technology before the Year 2s were born. Watching the girls engage in ‘discovery learning’ while they tried to work out how a tape recorder, hand held camera, type writer and other items worked was an unforgettable experience as they struggled to understand how expensive, big, heavy and slow technology was in the past. Much fun was had by all and, from seeing how quickly technology changes, we gained a deeper understanding of how challenging life was in the past.

Sustainable September

With September upon us, the Junior School will be embarking on Sustainable September once again. As an initiative of the Uniting Church, students are being encouraged to develop personal responsibility for the waste they produce. From Monday 3rd September, we will be taping up the bins in the courtyard. You will be encouraged to bring only nude food in your lunch box. Nude food is not rude…it is simply food not packaged. With the Queensland fruit fly problem, however all fruit and vegetable waste is to be placed in the nominated bins provided at school. Any other waste that remains you will need to brought home.

The average person in WA produces around 2.4 tonnes of waste every year! This means an average household can fill a three-bedroom two-bathroom house with this amount of waste being produced. Now, all of the other states in Australia are pretty good at recycling except WA. WA is recycling only 30% of our waste compared to the national average of more than 50% and the Northern Territory recycles 75% of their waste. In the Perth metropolitan region there are more than 30, yes 30 landfills. As the population of Perth grows the level of waste produced is also increasing. This is putting pressure on the reserves available for landfill.

This is the bad news... the good news is... we can make it better.

How many times have we all said or heard “Oh I never eat these sandwiches, or I don’t like bananas”. Believe it or not, the majority of food being thrown away almost whole in the courtyard bins are full pieces of fruit and sandwiches. The most important tip the Sustainability Captains can give you is to discuss this with your parents. Perhaps they don’t know you prefer chicken to ham sandwiches or that what is in your lunchbox is too much for your tummy. An idea for this is, sitting down as a family and discussing how much food is needed and perhaps making a planner for the week. Another idea is to make your lunches together. Of course… remember to try nude foods first and go without the plastic.

Camp Australia Holiday Fun

Bookings are now open for Camp Australia's latest Holiday Club – Inside Out. Full of fresh activities, Inside Out focuses on wellness inside and out that will have kids springing these school holidays.

very session will also include a healthy breakfast before 8.45am and an afternoon snack. To view what’s on these school holidays and to make a booking, visit:

Staffing News

Mrs Jayne Bolton and Mrs Gemma Brogden

Mrs Jayne Bolton will be taking leave in Term 4 and will return in the new year. She will be replaced by Mrs Rachel Elliot, an experienced Learning Enhancement teacher. We send Mrs Bolton our best wishes as she commences her leave and look forward to her return in January 2019.

Mrs Gemma Brogden will commence her parental leave at the end of Term 3 and she will be replaced by Miss Jenny Kirk. We wish Gemma much happiness with her new baby and look forward to her return from leave in Term 4, 2019.

Learning Styles - valid or not?

I have included below an interesting little article about Learning Styles by Christian Jarret in the British Psychological Society, Research Digest.

“The idea that we learn more effectively when we’re taught via our preferred ‘learning style’ - such as through pictures, written words, or by sound, is popular with students and teachers alike. A recent survey found that 93 per cent of British teachers believe in the idea. (It was a theory originally posed by Daniel Goleman). But time and again laboratory tests have failed to find support for the concept of learning styles. In fact, the most effective learning modality usually depends on the nature of the material to be learned. So why does the myth of learning styles refuse to die?

A new student in The British Journal of Psychology uncovers a compelling reason – when learning via what we think is our preferred style it feels as though we have learned more effectively, even though we haven’t. Abby Knoll and her colleagues at Central Michigan University began by asking 52 female students to complete a questionnaire designed to establish how much they like learning through written words and how much they prefer to learn through pictures. For example, they said how much they enjoyed doing work that involves, or how much they use diagrams to explain things. The researchers then asked the participants to study and remember a list of 30 pairs and words, presented one pair at a time, then do the same with list of 30 pairs of pictures, also shown one pair at a time (some participants did this in reverse, studying the picture pairs first and the word pairs later). The words and pictures corresponded to common objects and animals. During this study phase, the researchers gauged the participants’ subjective sense of learning. Immediately after some pairs, the participants were shown one item in the pair and asked to rate how confidently they thought they would be able to recall the other item. Other times, they made this subjective judgement after a delay (that is, after studying several other word or picture pairs). The participants also make a global judgement of how well they felt they’d learned each list, and they answered a few questions about learning, such as whether they believed in learning styles - all of them did. After a short while, during which time the participants completed some irrelevant filler tasks, the researchers tested the participants’ memory for the word and picture pairs by showing them one item from each pair asking them to recall the other item.

Consistent with past research on learning styles, the participants’ preferred learning style (verbal or pictorial) was not related in any way to how well they recalled the pairs of words or the pairs of pictures. In fact, regardless of their preferred learning style, participants were better at remembering picture pairs than word pairs. This is consistent with the well-known ‘picture superiority effect’ – i.e pictures are easier to remember than words. But crucially, despite there being no link between learning style and objective performance, participants expressed more confidence in their learning of pairs that matched their preferred modality. This was true when asked immediately after seeing a pair, but not after a delay or when making a global judgement. This is presumably because the participants’ immediate judgements were influenced by their beliefs about their learning style or their feelings of ease of learning, whereas the subjective judgements of learning they made after a delay were likely based on a private attempt at recall, success at which would not have been greater for their preferred modality.

This study is not the final work on why the concept of learning styles is so popular. The sample was small, the study only looked at one binary division of learning styles (there are many, countless competing ways to categorise learning styles) and the learning test was very simple. However, it provides concrete data demonstrating one important and compelling reason for the stubbornness of this psychological truth – for many of us, learning via our preferred style feels more effective even when it isn’t, and effect that means learning via our preferred style could even be harmful in the sense of given us false confidence.’

The article also cites other reasons for the myth’s endurance is possibly because of teachers’ motivation to be sensitive to each student’s individual needs, and the commercial interest of many publishers and related industries in providing ways to measure learning styles.

The quote from this week comes from Eleanor Roosevelt, 1884-1962, first lady of the USA, writer and diplomat: “Remember always that you have not only the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one. You cannot make any useful contribution in life unless you do this.”

Best wishes
Trish Somers
Head of Junior School

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