More about national parks and feral animals

Guided Inquiry, information skills, Stage 2  Tagged , , , , , , , , , , No Comments »

Stage 2 students are continuing their explorations into Australia’s national parks.


Australian National Parks


Springbrook National Park and Lamington National Park, Rainforest Australia in HD

We have also been investigating the onging threat from feral animals in Australia, another threat to our national parks, farms and rural communities:


Australian Feral Camel Management Project 2013


Feral pig control

Another controversial issue is the suggestion that Australia’s marine parks, and “no take” fishing laws, be extended. Some excellent examples of persuasion here, from both sides of the debate.


60 Minutes – Marine parks in Australia

Wheels, wheels, wheels

Early Stage 1, humour, information skills, Stage 1  Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments »

Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students are investigating transport. This week we are looking at the wheel, which researchers now believe may be an invention from about 5000 years ago. Some texts state the wheel was an invention of prehistoric peoples, but the evidence has not supported that assumption.


History of the wheel – claymation


Hidden histories: The wheel


Horrible histories – Pioneers of transportation

Monty the penguin

humour, news  Tagged , , , , , , , , , No Comments »

Each year, UK department store, John Lewis, hires a team to create a special ad for the Christmas season. These ads are excellent examples of persuasive visual texts.


John Lewis Christmas advert 2014 – #MontyThePenguin


John Lewis: behind the scenes – #MontyThePenguin


John Lewis Christmas advert 2013 – The bear & the hare


John Lewis Christmas advert 2012 – The journey


John Lewis Christmas advert 2011 – The long wait

Same ad, wwith a different music track:

John Lewis Christmas advert 2011 [Alternate]


John Lewis Christmas advert 2010

Teachers’ notes for My father the great pirate

books, news, Stage 2, Stage 3  Tagged , , , , , , No Comments »

Presenting My father the great pirate: teachers’ notes, by yours truly, published by Australian Standing Orders & Wilkins Farago, 2014. In support of the picture book by Davide Cali & Maurizio Quarello, and including this digital story on PhotoPeach as an example of a practical learning activity I brainstormed with Stage 2 and Stage 3 students a few months ago:


Nudge nudge, wink wink…

Reindeer’s Christmas surprise

news  Tagged , , , , , , , , , No Comments »

On Sunday, the choir attended the Celebration Concert at Sydney Town Hall.

Sydney Town Hall concert 2014

Sydney Town Hall concert 2014

Sydney Town Hall concert 2014

During the evening meal break, we visited the David Jones’ Christmas windows, this year based upon a new picture book, especially commissioned from Ursula Dubosarsky and illustrated by Sue deGennaro.

Christmas 2014
Click HERE to see a slideshow.


Christmas windows – Reindeer’s Christmas surprise

The man, the boy and the donkey revisited

Early Stage 1, fables, Stage 1  Tagged , , , No Comments »

Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students have been investigating the Aesop fable, The man, the boy and the donkey. (Previously, we used the following Youtube links.)


The farmer, his son and his donkey – Aesop’s fables – animated/cartoon tales for kids


The man the boy and the donkey || short story for kids

From there, the students have begun looking at factual information about donkeys, especially as to how they were once used prolifically as a working animal, for transportation, carrying heavy loads. In many places of the world, donkeys have been replaced by technology: shopping trolleys, tractors, cars, trains, etc.


Braying donkey


Pets 101- Mini donkeys


Moose the donkey needs a job | Farm raised with P. Allen Smith


Sustainable transport in Ethiopia – The Donkey Sanctuary


Kids Short Stories | The Donkey’s Burden

National parks: Crown of thorns starfish and cane toads

Stage 2  Tagged , , , , No Comments »

In Stage 2′s exploration of the HSIE unit, Australia’s national parks, we are looking at the problem of introduced species, feral animals and fragile ecosystems that become unbalanced.


Invasion Of The Deadly Cane Toads – Australia with Simon Reeve – BBC


Killing Star Fish to Save the Great Barrier Reef – Australia with Simon Reeve – BBC


Crown of thorns starfish Monster from the shallows trailer

Frogs and their life cycle

Early Stage 1, fables, information skills, Stage 1  Tagged , , , , , No Comments »


Aesop: biography of a great thinker

Following their investigations into variations on Aesop’s fable of The exploding frog (aka The bull and the bullfrog, aka The frog and the ox), plus Sally Murphy & Simon Bosch’s picture book, The floatingest frog, students in Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 are learning about factual information on frogs in science & technology.

Spring is here!

Early Stage 1, Stage 1  Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments »

Spring has well and truly arrived at Penrith PS and the Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students are investigating Spring this week!


Taronga spring babies


San Diego Zoo kids – babies!


Baby animals being cute at the Pittsburgh Zoo & PPG Aquarium


Dandelion flower and clock blowing away time lapse


Bee collecting pollen on echinacea flowers in slow motion


Sid the seed by Daniel R Pagan

London’s Underground and New York’s Subway

Stage 2  Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments »

Next year, our school celebrates its 150th anniversary. Last year, the London Underground train network celebrated 150 years.


Engineering the London Underground


The secret station – Aldwych [London, UK]

In New York City, USA, the underground (and above ground) train network is called the Subway:


TourTips New York: How to ride the Subway


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