Thursday, April 12, 2012

School life

School Life
I know you've seen pictures of my room and my block where my class is, but I thought you'd like to see & learn more about the school.  Holy Cross is a private Catholic school with 467 students from Primary to year 7.  There are about 2 of each grade, with similar numbers to classes back home, some high, some low.  I had 27 year 3 students by the end of the year.  I started with 24, exactly half boys & half girls, a first for me.

Some of the things that stand out at this Catholic school, is the fact that everyone meditates after second break for 15 minutes using a CD with music, scripture and silence.  We have mass at the church as a whole school and also two grade levels will hold their own mass with Father twice a year.  When a teacher or adult says good morning to the students, they all respond with "good morning Mrs./Mr...... and God Bless You".  A first for Scott being speechless with this one when I introduced him to my class!

One of the playgrounds & block C (after a big rain!)

New assembly area and court

Holy Cross church right across the parking lot

Tuck shop and eating area for P-year 2

Court area

The school year is divided into 2 semesters, with a total of 4 terms.  Report cards are given out twice a year, at the end of each semester.  Oral interviews are also held twice a year, at the end of term 1 and 3 and organized by the individual teachers.  The curriculum is fairly similar to Alberta's, but with a few twists.  The big difference is when I taught the life cycle of an animal it is for a platypus or kangaroo, where back home it would be a bear or beaver.  I taught the history of Australia and the aboriginals and how they lived off the land.  In Airdrie I would have taught about the First Nations and how they lived off the land and used the buffalo.  I did a little learning myself in this area before hand.  School starts at 8:25 a.m. with 2 half hour breaks during the day, then ending at 2:50 p.m.  Breaks for the students are 10 minutes to eat and 20 minutes to play, all outside.

Year 4 to 7 each go to camp during the school year for 3 days at a variety of locations. 
Year 7 camp

Each class from year 2-7 take swim lessons at least once a year, some twice.  We walked to the nearby outdoor pool for our lessons.  Year 7 holds a mass and graduation which Brody was able to participate in.  Many classes go on excursions/field trips throughout the year.  Darby went to Tjapukai and Brody went paint balling.

Hailey at swim carnival- "I won!"

Grad procession with candles in church

Presentations from the principal
They had a few school sport teams which included netball, rugby and a cross country team.  Darby made the net ball team and Brody was on the cross country team.
Holy Cross netball team
The tuck shop is like a concession for students & staff to order food from for either break.  They have wraps, spaghetti, icy poles, chicken burgers, frozen yogurt, sushi, pizza and grilled cheese & ham sandwiches.  The best part was they had gluten free products for sale!!

We had school assemblies every Monday and Friday morning.  On Friday mornings we sang the national anthem, Australian Fair, celebrated the birthdays for the week as well as Student of the Week certificates were given out.  One class presented a prayer or poem at the start of the assembly each week.
3 Student of the Week awards!

Brody's class presentation
Holy Cross was a great school.   The staff, parents and students were very helpful and welcomed us to their school.  I will miss everyone at Holy Cross very much!

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