Monty the penguin

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John Lewis Christmas advert 2014 – #MontyThePenguin


John Lewis: behind the scenes – #MontyThePenguin

Teachers’ notes for My father the great pirate

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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

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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 In many places of the world, donkeys have been replaced by technology: shopping trolleys, tractors, cars, trains, etc.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

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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!

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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

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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

Investigating Australian birds

Dreaming stories, Early Stage 1, ICT, information skills, Stage 1  Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , No Comments »

Early Stage 1 and Stage 1 students have been reading the Aboriginal Dreaming story of Pheasant and Kingfisher, in a big book version by Catherine Berndt & Raymond Meeks.

We used a Google Images search to locate online photographs of Australian pheasants and Australian kingfishers. The additional descriptor of “long tail” helped us find images of kingfishers “with firesticks stuck in their bottom”.

We discussed why images of peacocks (not Australian!) and lyrebirds turned up in the pheasant image seach, and why kookaburras turned up in the kingfisher search. We then used Youtube to locate examples of a pheasant saying its name, “Bookbook”, as in the story, and a kingfisher saying “Bered-bered”.


Common pheasant making quick repeated sounds while taking a walk


Pheasant – common pheasant bird call


Pied Kingfisher catching fish in split second – BBC wildlife

The next week, we moved our investigations into factual information on Australian birds:


Aussie beauties – a tribute to Australian birds

Le metro, Paris

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

Metro entrance
Abbesses Station in Montmartre, Paris, France.


Travel Paris, France – Learn how to ride the Metro in Paris


How to use the Paris Metro – Rail Europe


Paris Metro Pass : Unlimited travel in Paris (Metro, bus, RER trains)


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