Over 19,000 SA children learnt how to speak robot this year!

Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly has today announced key outcomes of her ‘Learn to Speak Robot’ Commissioner’s Digital Challenge. Participation was robust with an estimated 19,026 South Australian children completing the Challenge in its inaugural year.

This figure represents 217 public and independent schools and 31 public libraries around the State, and equates to approximately one third of primary and combined schools. Of these, 27% of the overall number of participants came from regional schools with 23% from South Australia’s remote area schools. The vast majority of schools are expected to register for the Challenge again in 2020 with positive feedback received from students who participated (see a selection of children’s testimonials below).

Adelaide’s Thorndon Park Primary School were chosen as recipients of the major digital reward – a new school website donated by project supporters EWS – when one of their students had this to say about their experience: “Although I wasn’t that interested in things like coding at first, experimenting with Grok and Code.org has made me insanely interested in a future of technology and even an education career in it. So, thank you!”

The Commissioner’s Digital Challenge is not a competition, but is designed to encourage children of all ages in South Australia to increase their uptake of digital skills. It is made available FREE to schools, community groups, libraries and families via a dedicated website (commissionersdigitalchallenge.net.au) where hundreds of digital activities curated with input from some of Australia’s (and the world’s) leading digital industry players can be accessed with ease. They include activities from Microsoft’s MakeCode, Code.org’s Hour of Code, Grok Learning, Digital Technologies Hub, CS Unplugged and Code Club Australia. Digital rewards donated by Microsoft, JB HI-FI Solutions, Grok Learning, Advanced Technology Project and Thinkfun Games were awarded to schools and libraries submitting the best testimonials. Strong support for the Challenge has also been provided by Girl Guides, Scouts, Children’s University Adelaide, Public Library Services SA, EdTechSA, the Australian Computing Academy and the Computer Science Education Research Group.

‘Learn to Speak Robot’ re-opens on Day 1 of Term 1 in 2020, at which time the second challenge in the series will also be launched; a Mars-themed design thinking challenge called ‘Space to Dream’. ‘Space to Dream’ is designed to encourage children to ‘lean in’ to their innate creativity and limitless potential. In 2021, the Challenge will expand to include systems thinking, digital literacy and digital citizenship components, with these programs being developed hand in glove with industry to ensure relevance to technological changes and advancements occurring in real time.

Details of which SA schools received Digital Challenge rewards: commissionersdigitalchallenge.net.au/digital-thinking/schools-winners/

Mem Fox’s ‘The Tiny Star’ is Helping Children Grasp Loss

Mem Fox’s ‘The Tiny Star’ is Helping Children Grasp Loss

The Tiny Star

A life-cycle story aimed at the very young and also those much older.

Renowned author Mem Fox and illustrator Freya Blackwood have created this touching and charming story about the journey of life to help our little ones grasp the notion of loss.

We asked Mem Fox a few questions to get an insight into the thought process behind her newest book:

What inspired you to write this book?

I bonded with my grandson the day after he was born. He was premature and was in hospital for the first three months of his life, so he was in a fixed place and couldn’t escape my loving attention, my songs, my reading aloud, and my endless chatter.
But it was when he was about three that I came to realise the strength of our bond and I was alarmed about the future. No one in my acquaintance died until I was 38 when a friend died of a heart attack. None of my close friends has died even now, and I’m 73. My parents lived till their very late 80s, and although I was distraught each time, it was time for them both to die, given their dementia. Grief struck me hard when my younger sister died two years ago, but given her circumstances also, there was a sense of relief, for her sake.
I didn’t know my own grandparents because I’d grown up in a different country, so their deaths left me unmoved, except for the death of my paternal grandfather, whom I re-met when I came back to Australia. I grew to love him when he was in his 90s and I was in my early 20s, but I didn’t have a bond with him when I was a child.
My grandson will experience the death of my husband and me perhaps within the next ten years. The grief doesn’t bear thinking about. It took me six years to write The Tiny Star, so it’s not for him anymore. He’s nine. It’s more for me, I guess, to comfort myself. And of course, I hope it comforts parents and those very young children whose grandparents eventually disappear, and who need a more cheerful ending to the sad ending of that relationship.

Do we, as a society, talk about death enough?

No, I don’t think we do talk about death enough. If we did, it would be less ghastly for everyone concerned. It’s pointless pretending that everyone lives forever or hoping that the people we love won’t die. I don’t think it’s necessary to talk about death if it doesn’t come up in the conversation naturally, but when it does, or when a death occurs, it seems to me to be almost wicked not to deal with it with the greatest sensitivity, head-on. To avoid it is surely psychologically dreadful.

What can shared reading do for a child’s development?

Shared reading, from 0-5 and after, provides a bountiful basket of goodies that will nourish a child educationally, socially, linguistically, and scholastically for the rest of their lives. The attachments they form with us when we read to them, through the laughter and the sighing, the excitement and the silence, the love and the comfort, will make them feel psychologically safe, and thrilled to be alive. They will learn to talk early, with sensational vocabulary. They will fly into reading at school. Their success and happiness will be our success and happiness. Far from being a tedious duty, reading to our children is scrumptious fun and helps us, let alone the kids, unwind and totally relax at the end of our very busy days.

The Tiny Star is available from all good bookstores.

Australia’s Best Maths Teacher Has Been awarded!

Australia’s Best Maths Teacher Has Been awarded!

Australia’s Best Maths Teacher Has Been Announced!

Congratulations to Walford Mathematics teacher, Ms Deb Woodard-Knight!!

Ms Deb Woodard-Knight, has been crowned Australia’s Most Outstanding Mathematics Teacher by the Australian Mathematical Science Institute. At a ceremony in Melbourne last Friday Deb was presented the Award which “recognises an exemplary and innovative teacher who has been instrumental in encouraging students to continue with their study of Mathematics.”

Deb has taught at Walford for the past two years predominantly teaching girls in Year 11 and 12, in both SACE and IB courses.  Deb is absolutely passionate about encouraging girls to continue to pursue Specialist Mathematics at school and beyond to university.  She engages and inspires her students and shows them how Mathematics is related to the real world.  She mentioned today in conversation with me, that Mathematics encourages the ability for critical thinking and it is the basis of so many careers that our girls will want to follow.  Deb provides sound advice with respect to appropriate future courses of study and pathways and this has opened up more options for our students in taking STEM related university courses.

In addition to teaching at senior mathematics level Deb has been instrumental in introducing MathsCraft to Years 5 and 6 at Walford. Deb’s philosophy is that the development of problem-solving strategies at an early age sets up students for success in Mathematics and in life generally, building students’ resilience and risk taking.

Deb lives and breathes Mathematics 24-7, such is her genuine love of her subject. In her own special way she adds humour in her explanations and every day she wears Maths inspired t-shirts, shoes, socks and brooches much to the fascination of her students.

Deb scooped the pool with Awards as she was also distinguished with another honour, the Excellence in Teaching Award, for a teacher who is “an engaging and passionate communicator of Mathematics who inspires students to see the beauty and importance of Mathematics.”

Rebecca Clarke, Principal

The students, staff and colleagues are very proud of the well-deserved recognition that Deb has received on the national stage. Her enthusiasm for teaching and her much-loved subject of Mathematics is contagious!  I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our staff at Walford for their dedication, said Rebecca Clarke

For more information head to WALFORD

Located at 316 Unley Road Hyde Park

Calling all young SA creatives! C3 Poster Design Competition now open

Calling all young SA creatives! C3 Poster Design Competition now open

Calling all young SA creatives! – C3 Poster Design Competition now open

South Australia’s Commissioner for Children and Young People Helen Connolly, today launched her C3 Poster Design Competition with a total of $500 in prize money up for grabs.

The competition is open to all South Australians aged 14 to 22 and is inspired by her Youthful Adelaide Report in which young people defined what they believe are the essential elements of a youthful city.

Their answer – a youthful city is one that is ‘Connected, Creative and Confident’ – and therefore the theme of the Commissioner’s inaugural 3C’s poster competition. The winning entry will need to reflect all three elements in one single poster design.

The winner will receive $350 and have their poster design featured on the front of the Commissioner’s Get Around It Zine, full of young ‘thinkers, makers and doers’ who have been selected to be part of this year’s Get Around It Showcase – an initiative of the CCYP published on Instagram and on the Get Around It Travelling Clothesline.

The Commissioner will judge the poster competition alongside renowned Adelaide artist Dave Court, up-and-coming designer Lucinda Penn, and art curator Laura Gentgall.

Best entries will be featured on CCYP’s Facebook page to determine second and third place winners, who will be selected via a People’s Choice Award with $100 in prize money for second place and $50 in prize money for third place.

Entries close Sunday 3 November, 2019 at 11:59pm (ASCT).

Visit ccyp.com.au/postercomp for full details.

Competition Details

The Design challenge:
Come up with a poster design that represents what it means to you to be “Connected, Creative and Confident“ in South Australia.

Artwork Specifications:
Finished artwork completed to A2 Poster size (420 x 594mm).
Minimum 150 DPI (6300 x 8910px) and Maximum 300DPI (12600 x 17820px).
Acceptable file types: JPG, AI, PDF or packaged INDD file.
Hard copy entries will also be accepted via post.

Key Competition Dates:
The Commissioner’s C3 Poster Comp is open from Wednesday 9 October through to Sunday 3 November, 2019, inclusive. Entries will accepted via email up until 11:59pm (ACST) or if sent by post, date stamped
Friday 1 November, 2019. Late entries cannot be accepted.

Entrants must be aged between 14 and 22 years and be a resident of South Australia.
(Please note: proof of age and residency will be required for prizes to be awarded).
Closing Date:
Sunday 3 November, 2019 at 11:59pm (ASCT).

Judging Panel:
Commissioner for Children and Young People, Helen Connolly
Renowned Adelaide artist, Dave Court
Up-and-coming designer, Lucinda Penn; and
Art curator, Laura Gentgall.

1st place: $350 with the winning design published in the CCYP Get Around It Zine;
2nd place: $100 in prize money (People’s Choice via Facebook)
3rd place: $50 in prize money (People’s Choice via Facebook)

Submitting Your Entry
You must complete the online entry form via the link below before submitting your poster design. Alternatively your physical poster entry can be mailed to 251 Morphett St, Adelaide SA 5000 by the closing date, enclosing a printout of the completed online submission form with your entry.


Orthodontic Fast Fact File with Transform Orthodontics!

Orthodontic Fast Fact File with Transform Orthodontics!

Orthodontic Fast Fact File with Transform Orthodontics!

When those little baby teeth fall out it may be time to brace yourselves… literally! Irregularities in teeth and jaws are not uncommon, especially in young developing kiddos, but sometimes it can be difficult to decipher what the problems and solutions are. That’s why we have the experts!

The wonderful team at Transform Orthodontic Care are here to answer all of our Orthodontic questions.

The Transform team is led by Dr Daniel De Angelis, a father of two and a South Australian accredited Specialist Orthodontist, who has been straightening teeth and correcting bites for over 20 years.

We ask Dr Daniel about payment plans, how to know when to go, and more:

How do you know when it’s time to see an orthodontist?

For kiddos and adolescents:

*You have a kiddo aged 7 – 10 years of age and you’re concerned about their teeth, or they are showing signs of the following characteristics:
– Early loss of baby teeth (before age five)
– If their teeth do not meet properly when biting
– Mouth breathing and/or snoring
– If your child’s front teeth are crowded (around age seven or eight)
– Protruding front teeth
– Biting or chewing difficulties
– A speech impediment
– If your child’s jaw shifts when he or she opens or closes their mouth
– If your child is older than five years and still sucks a thumb or finger

For adults:

– You want to straighten your teeth!
– You need help with a jaw problem which has impacted you in adulthood (orthodontists can help with some forms of sleep apnoea)

Why should my child see an orthodontist?

· Only a specialist orthodontist has the training, experience and expert knowledge to determine the most appropriate treatment options for straightening teeth and correcting bites.
· Dr De Angelis has the training (an extra 3 years on top of a general dental degree), experience (20 years worth) and expertise to accurately determine what’s normal, and what isn’t normal, particularly when assessing the development of a child’s mouth.

Do you have payment plans?

We sure do! We can arrange 0% interest free payment plan solutions to suit your budget and we also offer discounts for those who opt to pay in full at the commencement of treatment and for kiddos in the same family.

I have private health insurance, can I claim my orthodontic treatment?

A portion of your orthodontic treatment may be covered as part of your ‘extras’ cover with your private health insurance company. We can’t directly liaise with your private health insurer on your behalf but we can provide you with all the information you need to discuss any rebate to which your kiddo may be eligible.

If you’re a specialist, does that mean I need a referral?

The great news is you don’t need a referral from you or your kiddo’s dentist! But we work with your dentist and keep them informed of your assessment and/or treatment. Maintaining your general dental health with your dentist is really important. TOC patients get a movie ticket if they see their dentist every 6 months!

5 dot points of prepping your kiddo for the orthodontist

 Just like the dentist, your kiddo will sit back in a reclining chair, except there are no needles or drills in sight (yay)
 Dr De Angelis will assess your kiddo’s face, jaws, mouth and teeth with a mirror. Mum and Dad will be in the room too.
 X-rays may be taken on the day
 Dr De Angelis will discuss any concerns Mum or Dad may have and then talk you through the best personalised treatment option (if treatment is required)
 One of our friendly Treatment Coordinators (Di or Tracey) who will be in the same room, will go through cost, timeframes and answer any other questions you or your kiddo may have.

The Clear Alternative to Braces – Invisalign!

Dr De Angelis was one of the first providers of Invisalign in Australia! More than 1000 patients have had their teeth straightened with Invisalign by Dr De Angelis and it’s for all ages. Transform Orthodontics have both young kids and patients in their 50s straightening their teeth with Invisalign.

You’ll find TOC at St Peters, West Lakes and Modbury.
133 TOC (133 862) transformorthocare.com.au

Hanna Beaven Psychologist: Fatherhood

Hanna Beaven Psychologist: Fatherhood

Adelaide psychologist and mother of three boys, aged ten, seven and two, Hanna Beaven, specialises in families’ emotional wellbeing in the stages of trying to conceive, pregnancy, birth and parenting babies and young children. For more information: Hanna Beaven Psychology

Firstly, I think it is important to acknowledge that while I am writing an article about fatherhood, I am not a father myself! I do, however, support fathers in my perinatal psychology service, I have a father, I am married to and co-parent with my children’s father and I know many fathers.

The role of a father has evolved over time, and while this evolution has brought with it many positives, it has also created some challenges. I believe more than ever, parents are under great stress and pressure to ‘do it all’.

Modern fatherhood has progressed from men being mainly observers and disciplinarians of their children to being integrally involved and very hands-on with raising their children.

Families have also evolved from the nuclear family to a rich diversity of many wonderful variations. As a result, fatherhood can take many forms – fatherhood within a partnership, single fatherhood, part-time fatherhood, step-fatherhood, stay-at-home fatherhood, working fatherhood etc.

Becoming a dad brings inevitable changes to every area of a man’s life, for example, his view of himself, his role in life, his relationships, and so on. While many of the changes of becoming a dad are exciting and joyful, they can also be overwhelming and stressful. Therefore, it is essential to provide support not only to your partner, but to also ensure your own self-care.

Our parenting style (authoritarian, permissive, disengaged or supportive) is largely shaped by the way we were parented! Other influences are: generational expectations regarding masculinity and fatherhood, social media, culture, religion, friends and family, life circumstances, the amount of support available and so on. While these factors influence your parenting, it is up to you to decide what is best for your child(ren) and how you choose to raise them.

Fathers should engage in each stage of parenthood:

– Listen to your partner and her thoughts and feelings about pregnancy and parenthood and share yours too
– Attend the antenatal scans, appointments, parent education classes
– Learn about the development of the baby
– Talk, sing, play music to your baby as they grow within your partners amazing body

– Listen to your partner and their expectations, thoughts and feelings about birth and share yours
– Attend birth preparation classes
– Learn about:  The process of birth, what your partner may experience both physically and emotionally, what your partner may want during birth and be an advocate for her,
ways you can provide physical and emotional support throughout the birth – to avoid feeling helpless

– Listen to your partner about their thoughts and feelings regarding their experience of parenthood and share yours
– Skin to skin contact with your baby
– Support your partner and actively participate (without being asked) in caring for your baby: feeding, settling, bathing, changing, playing (looking at, talking, singing and reading to your baby) and so on
– Support your partner by taking the baby for a walk in the pram or a drive in the car
– Assist with household tasks like cooking, dishes, laundry, cleaning and so on
– Self-care activities for you and your partner

Important things to consider regarding fatherhood:
– Fathers can struggle with the level of selflessness being a parent requires – it is no longer about what suits you best but what is going to be best for the whole family
– Fathers can feel more responsibility after having a child and more pressure to provide financially for their new family
– Fathers can feel left out or jealous of their new baby – due to their partner’s focus on the baby and not seeming to have time for them anymore
– Fathers can feel criticised by their partner when they are doing the “wrong” thing with their baby, and this can lead to a lack of confidence in caring for their child
– Fathers often develop a stronger bond once their baby is more interactive
– Fathers can struggle with their own big feelings that arise frequently in their role as parents, like despair, frustration and anger
– Fathers might need to buffer wider family stressors
– Fathers may have to support their partners and / or their own mental health while adjusting to parenthood

Your partner may resent you for things like:
Always suggesting the baby needs a feed when they cry
Going to work – being able to go to the toilet on your own, consume hot beverages and converse with other adults
For sleeping
For being able to escape the house without being tied to the baby
If you come home a minute late
If you ask “what did you do all day?”

Help online:

Childbirth education for dads at the pub

Perinatal Anxiety and Depression Australia (PANDA)

Beyond Blue

Gidget Foundation

Centre of Perinatal Excellence

MensLine Australia

Having trouble falling pregnant? Need some advice for life at home? Learn more about Hanna’s services here: Hanna Beaven Psychology


Subscribe to our newsletter to hear about all the things.

Be Connected