Head of Middle School
An interesting brochure passed across my desk this week promoting the website parentingideas.com.au. The website is run by Michael Grose who provides support and advice on building resilient families and creating positive parent – school relationships.
Below are Michael’s thoughts on building resilient families that I found interesting and provided something of value for all parents.
From a resilience perspective parents need to coach kids through some of the more challenging moments and reviewing what they may have learned for next time. Avoid solving all their problems for them.
You can promote a lasting sense of resilience in your kids by:
- Having a positive attitude yourself. Your attitude as a parent impacts on their ability to bounce back from some of the difficulties they face. Make sure you model a ‘you can do it’ attitude for your child when he/she meets some of life’s curve balls.
- Look for teachable moments. Many kids’ learning opportunities are disguised as problems. Make the most of these opportunities so that kids can grow and learn from some of the challenges they face.
- Make kids active participants in the family. Active participation in a family develops the self-help, problem-solving and independence skills of kids that are necessary for resilience.
- Build kids coping skills. There are plenty of strategies you can pass on to kids to help them cope when life doesn’t go their way, including acceptance, getting away for a while, and normalisation.
Promoting resilience in kids is a not a single event but a continuous process that requires adults to be supportive and empathetic when things don’t go their way. It also requires you as a parent to have an understanding of resilience, so you have faith in yourself, and your child’s ability to cope.
If you found this interesting you may wish to sign up for his free weekly newsletter.
Meanwhile in the Middle School ….
MYP Information Evening
Last Wednesday evening we had the pleasure of speaking to next year’s Middle School families about the exciting adventure in learning they are about to embark upon that is the International Baccalaureate Middle Years Programme (MYP).
It was great to see around 30 – 40 parents take the opportunity to engage in their child’s learning and learn more about the MYP curriculum framework, that governs all learning, assessment and reporting in the Middle School.
The highlight of the evening was provided by four of our current Year 6 students; Iliiana Nicolaou, Stephanie Kalogeropoulos, Jonathan Daoulis - Liapsis and Helena Papagiorgiou, who each wrote and delivered a reflection on their experience transitioning to the Middle School and undertaking the MYP. Here are two of those reflections;
"Hi my name is Iliana Nicolaou and I am in Grade 6. I have been at Oakleigh Grammar School since Grade 2 but this is my first year of the IB Middle Years Program (MYP).
This year has been a new and exciting experience for me. My classroom is located in the middle school as opposed to the primary school. Mr Flanagan is the head of Middle Years, and I am lucky enough to have Mr Damatopoulos as my homeroom teacher. He is also the Year 6 and 7 coordinator.
I am really enjoying Year 6 and the different types of learning. I feel the MYP Program is instrumental in encouraging me to think. With assessments and even during class time we all need to try and formulate questions around topics we are exploring, and take a more active part in our learning. For me this has been particularly helpful as I feel my research skills have improved as well as my organisation.
Even though I had a slight amount of trouble making the large jump between Year 5, Junior School, and Year 6, Middle School, it was made easier with all the support I received from all my friends, family, and teachers. I am really happy I made the jump, it holds many opportunities and I am loving all of it so far!
I like the feeling of having control over my learning and how we immerse ourselves in topics. I enjoy the flexibility of being able to present my work in various forms of media, and it makes me feel more independent. This year my confidence has increased and thanks to my awesome teachers and the programs I am supported both in my school work and as a person.
My favourite subjects are Language and Literature (English), Science, IT, Art, Food Tech, and P.E (Sport). I love the weekly lunchtime Art Club and the Drama Club. Camp this year was awesome, and watching the teachers perform alongside us was a major highlight! I am looking forward to year 7, meeting new students, learning new things, and especially the new library because I love books! Thank you, Have a good afternoon, and good-bye!"
~Iliana Nicolaou Year 6B
"Hi my name is Jonathan Daoulas today I am going to tell you about why Year 6 at Oakleigh Grammar is special.
The reason Year 6 is special is because it helps transition us to high school by giving us our own lockers, extra homework, new subjects and gives us a sense of responsibility.
Through this journey, it is great to have teachers like Mr Damatopoulos who guides us through this year 6 journey.
Year 6 also has different activities such as camp, science incursions and city excursions.
Starting at Year 6 through to Year 11, we have special rolls, which are called SRC leaders. Each class has 1 SRC leader, I am the SRC leader for my class. What an SRC leader does is organise fundraisers and ways to help the school improve. This may include going out of school to represent Oakleigh Grammar at special events such as Remembrance Day.
I think with all the new subjects and activities we have done throughout Year 6 we are now able to reach our academic goals in the future.
Year 6 has been a wonderful journey for me and I hope my speech has given you a better understanding of year 6. Thank you for listening."
Our students are our greatest advertisement for the School and the power of the MYP as these four Year 6 students clearly demonstrated through their eloquence and confidence on Wednesday evening.
Blackheath and Thornburgh Visit – Weekend Billet families required.
As mentioned in the last edition of the Grammar News, students from Blackheath and Thornburgh College (BTC) will be visiting Oakleigh Grammar between Thursday 9 and Wednesday 14 September, on the return leg of our camp and exchange program.
We are still looking for a number of families who are willing to billet one or two BTC students over the weekend Saturday 10 and Sunday 11 September and return the wonderful hospitality shown to our students.
A reminder also that Students of billeting families will be given first choice at joining the Oakleigh Grammar trip to Blackheath and Thornburgh College in Northern Queensland next year!
If you are able to take one or two students (sometimes it is easier with two as the students feel more comfortable) for the weekend, please email:
[email protected] [email protected].
Year 8 Environment Day
On Tuesday 30 August our Year 8 students travelled to The Pines Flora and Fauna Reserve in Seaford for an Environmental Day of planting trees and shrubs. The excursion formed part of their Science programme and doubled as a Service as Action activity. Service as Action in the MYP provides students with opportunities to utilise their skills and knowledge to make worthwhile contributions to the community. This empowers students to realise that they can make a difference.
Despite the cold and wet weather the Year 8 students enjoyed the chance to get back to nature and make a positive contribution to the preservation of the Flora and Fauna reserve.
Thanks to Mr Gridley for his organisation of the excursion, to Ms Papadakis and Mrs Takos for assisting on the day and to the volunteers and personnel from Parks Victoria for their guidance.
Parent Teacher Interviews
We are looking forward to having another chance to speak with parents at the second round of Parent Teacher Interviews on Tuesday 6 September. The interviews provide a chance for a productive three way discussion centred around your child’s learning. Students should be in attendance and are encouraged to attend in full school uniform.