BLACKFRIARS GIVING BOYS AND GIRLS A HEAD START ON THEIR EDUCATION
Children at Blackfriars Priory School’s Early Learning Centre are benefitting from a vital head start to their school life.
Blackfriars’ ELC is a key part of the Prospect school, offering boys and girls, aged from 3, a unique opportunity to access specialist staff and facilities in the areas of music, art, drama, physical education, ICT, languages and sciences.
Acting director Jacqui Ballestrin said the collaboration between the ELC and the rest of the school made good sense.
“Our ELC students get to experience all the great things the wider school has to offer,” Mrs Ballestrin said.
“Whether that is science in the Secondary School science labs, music, art or drama, sport, or just a visit to the library, our children have access to specialist staff and facilities across Blackfriars. “It’s a pretty special thing to be able to offer our ELC boys and girls.”
A SMOOTHER TRANSITION
Mrs Ballestrin said the connection the ELC students had to the older Blackfriars students also made the eventual transition to school much easier.
“The ELC boys and girls have spent time with the students in the Primary School and the Secondary School,” she said.
“They have friends from the Primary School who look out for them and, even if their schooling journey takes them to another school, they have developed a real understanding of how to relate to, and work with, the older students.
“That first day of ‘big school’ is then far less daunting than it may otherwise be. It’s so important for a young person to have that positive transition to school.
“For those boys staying at Blackfriars, they are familiar with the campus, the classrooms and the teachers.”
Every ELC student is presented with a “Blackfriars Hound” toy, to symbolise their belonging in the Blackfriars family.
COLLABORATION IN ACTION
The ELC is not simply a pre-school on a school site – it is an integral part of the Blackfriars community with connections across the campus.
For example, as part of National Science Week, ELC students joined a Year 11 chemistry class.
The students – little and not-so-little – learnt about static electricity, with the help of a Van de Graaff generator and a special “wand”. They were also shown some colourful Bunsen burner flames and learnt how they related to fireworks.
Then there was the “Elephants’ Toothpaste” – a mixture of hydrogen peroxide, food colouring and dishwashing liquid that produced spectacular, volcanic-like results.
The ELC students also worked with the Year 11 boys to create colourful chromatography butterflies, which the younger students took home as a memory of their day.
“It’s great for our students to be able to be part of something like National Science Week in a secondary school environment like that,” Mrs Ballestrin said.
“It’s just one of the many ways the Blackfriars’ ELC helps children explore, investigate and discover through play while preparing them for ‘big school’ life.”
The ELC students visit the school library, have access to the oval and are part of whole-school events and celebrations.
A SPECIAL SPACE
Blackfriars’ Early Learning Centre is located in a spectacularly renovated church hall in the south-west corner of the school’s Prospect campus.
It has three learning spaces, each with a qualified teacher and a qualified education support officer.
With a broad curriculum developed using the Reggio Emilia approach, the children enjoy learning through play, investigation and exploration.
It offers programs for boys and girls, aged 3-5, including pre-school, early and late care and vacation care. The Federal Child Care Subsidy enables the ELC to offer reduced fees to families.
The ELC is also Inclusion Aware Centre certified, meaning it has consistent and considered thought about environments, resources and planning to support children and families with a diverse range of abilities, interests and backgrounds.
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Benefits of STEM education for girls
There are no gender specifications when it comes to STEM education. In fact, there is a misconception around stereotypes and cultural norms, which can dampen girls’ interest in STEM pathways. If you have a young daughter, you may have been exposed to the industry-driven demand for more female roles and minorities in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and maths (STEM). STEM education has many benefits for girls, from building confidence in their STEM skills and abilities, to developing problem-solving and thinking skills.
The team at NumberWorks’n’Words Norwood/Unley have given us their top three benefits of STEM education for girls.
1. Build confidence in STEM subjects
Girls can develop a lack of interest, motivation, and confidence towards STEM subjects, especially due to common stereotypes and misconceptions that girls are bad at science and maths. By introducing girls to STEM education and encouraging them to explore opportunities with STEM-related subjects, it helps them to build confidence and develop a passion for the STEM field. Early introduction to STEM education will enable girls to feel more confident and comfortable about taking on STEM subjects, while pushing and challenging themselves. Learning about STEM helps bring women together, which provides the younger generation of girls with role models and encourages them to seek STEM mentors. Support your daughter in every way you can to ensure that they feel confident and comfortable with STEM subjects.
2. Develop their problem-solving and thinking skills
STEM involves critical thinking and problem-solving, while also encouraging creativity. When taught at a young age, STEM encourages children to solve problems and think outside the box, so that the skills they learn remain with them throughout their lives. Maths is an important component of all STEM subjects, and requires children to think critically and logically. As parents and educators, we want to instil these skills in our children to enhance their learning agility. If you have concerns about your daughter’s competency in maths, after-school maths tutoring with NumberWorks’nWords can help them get up to speed.
3. Opens up career opportunities and educational pathways
STEM education not only teaches girls valuable skills, but it also prepares them for a future where most jobs will require a basic understanding of maths and science. Actively involving girls in STEM education opens up endless career options and educational pathways. As we live in an ever-evolving world with technology advancements, STEM for girls is becoming increasingly relevant. STEM skills are essential for many science, technology, engineering, and maths careers, which is why it is important instil these skills in girls from a young age. If you have a daughter who is interested in STEM subjects, open up a discussion about the career opportunities and pathways available to them. They may end up surprising you by pursuing a job in a STEM field.
Women perform just as well as men in STEM-related industries and are highly sought-after in many male-dominated fields, which is why it is important to overcome these gender disparities through STEM education. Breaking down gender barriers with STEM introduces a whole new world of educational and career prospects for girls. At NumberWorks’nWords, we offer after-school maths and English tutoring to help children progress and elevate their learning journey. Get in touch with us to learn about how we can help support your child with their academic needs.
If you would like to learn more about our tutoring programmes, contact your local centre, or book a free assessment today!
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St Raphael’s Catholic School announce financial scholarships and redevelopment plan
St Raphael’s Catholic School are opening their doors to all who want quality education for their children, with the announcement of their new scholarship program which will provide sponsored placements in 2022.
“Everyone has the right to the best education. We decided to open our doors and provide free education for a limited number of learners in each year level from Reception to Year 6 in 2022. We are a small school, focused on learning and belonging, and we want to welcome new families to share in our incredible community.” said Mia Harms, Principal at St Raphael’s Catholic School
Through the scholarship program, your child could join the St Raphael’s Catholic School community, where they nurture and extend learners academically and creatively, while supporting them to be well-rounded socially active citizens who lead positive change for the world.
With scholarships available for places rom Reception through to Year 6, the scholarships will provide sponsored placements for the 2022 school year. Families with more than one child are welcome to apply.
“We pride ourselves on high-quality learning with single stream, small class sizes providing focused, personalised learning each and every school day.” said Marianne Farrugia, Assistant Principal and Director of Learning.
Scholarship application forms are available on the St Raphael’s Catholic School website under Scholarship:
REDESIGN AND REDEVELOPMENT OF FACILITIES
The St Raphael’s Catholic School community has also announced success in obtaining grants from the Commonwealth and State Capital Grants Program to redesign and redevelop the school.
Stage 1 of the building redevelopment has already commenced at the school’s grounds at 114 Glen Osmond Rd in Parkside. In partnership with Catholic Education S.A., St Raphael’s Catholic School has engaged Studio Nine Architects to design the new facilities.
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Bilingual Education – French language: a passport to learning for Highgate School & Unley High School students
Considering a bilingual education for your child opens international accessibility for further education and career pathways. Bilingual education also offers exceptional neurodevelopmental benefits such as higher executive functioning, adaptability and problem solving.
“Commencing bilingual education in the junior years develops essential learning and life skills and offers a broader range of future pathways and cultural connections in a global society” says Highgate School Principal, Nicola Brelsford.
Delivering the French Bilingual Binational Program
Starting in 2017, Highgate Primary was the first local school to deliver the French Bilingual Binational Program (FBBP) with its unique harmonisation and integration with both Australian and French curriculums.
“Our students have the opportunity to take part in uniquely French cultural events and apply their bilingual classroom learnings in social situations with fellow students and families. They recently met with the French Ambassador, which gave their learnings different context”.
One program across two schools
Highgate School works in collaboration with Unley High School, which runs the Years 7 to 10 component of the French Bilingual Binational Program, with options for students to complete SACE through the senior school’s International Baccalaureate program from 2022.
Unley High School is preparing for 2023 when the first cohort of FBBP students will transition from Year 6 at Highgate to continue the language program during Year 7 in Unley High’s middle school.
Ms Genevieve Papineau, Directrice of the Reception to Year 10 French Bilingual Binational Program said:
“These primary students embarked on their bilingual journey in their very first year at school and it will be really exciting to see them transition and complete the program at high school level when they graduate.”
Language, and specifically bilingualism, is the passport which creates greater student engagement, and offers a fuller experience in children’s education.
For program and enrolment information please visit:
For primary pupils
For Year 7-10 secondary students
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Discover Westminster School
Westminster’s transformative campus masterplan firmly keeps the School at the forefront of education in South Australia and demonstrates a strong commitment to providing students with innovative spaces to learn, create and grow.
“Education practices are constantly evolving. We ensure our staff and facilities are at the forefront of learning and development to shape each student’s future pathway,” says Westminster Principal Simon Shepherd.
Westminster’s state-of-the-art STEAM precinct is the most recently completed aspect of the campus masterplan. The precinct includes the Inquiry & Innovation Hub and Carter Wing, which encompass learning spaces across science, technology, engineering, the arts, mathematics, fashion, food technology and media.
Due to open in early 2022 is the School’s new cultural precinct. The new precinct includes the Forder Centre, Michael Murray Centre for Performing Arts and a new Year 12 centre as well as wide-open social spaces, collectively referred to as Westminster Square. The Forder Centre will offer unique facilities, including a new dining hall for day students and boarders, cafe, new library and feature a level dedicated to drama and music. The Murray Centre is regarded as one of the best auditoriums in South Australia and the planned foyer upgrade and expansion will affirm this well-earned reputation in our community.
“There are many exciting developments on campus at the moment. Seeing the new facilities in action is really special with students demonstrating huge enthusiasm for the new learning spaces. You can see they’re inspired and thriving as a result,” says Pedagogy Coach and Head of Mathematics, Angela Phillips.
The School’s iconic sporting complex now includes the Thomas Pavilion, opened in late 2020. This superb facility provides players and athletes with great training facilities while families and supporters can enjoy one of two grandstands overlooking the ovals. Upstairs, there is an indoor event space with a panoramic view of the playing fields.
On Friday 10 September, families are welcomed to tour Westminster to discover these new facilities, the broad range of academic subject choices and co-curricular activities, as well as find out more about the School’s comprehensive student wellbeing programs. Tours across the School’s spacious campus, during school hours, provide a true insight into the exceptional education offered to each and every student.
Tours start at 9.30am and 11.30am and after the general information session to commence each tour, will be streamed into Preparatory School or Senior School to meet each family’s requirements. Bespoke tours for families interested in Year 7 entry are also available.
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