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Partnerships in a Community of Learning: From the Head of Teaching and Learning, Maggi Gunn

10 February 2023

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“A community is a group of people who agree to grow together,” Simon Sinek


It has been a wonderful start to 2023, with students and staff returning to the College refreshed and eager to connect and learn. Parent Welcome (Primary) and Meet the Mentor (Secondary) evenings are valuable opportunities to connect with community and learning – and we appreciate the time and commitment of staff and parents in attending these evenings. As Week 4 ends, we hope that school and home schedules and routines are starting to settle for students, while a sense of belonging and an enthusiasm for learning is continuing to strengthen.

The phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” originates from an African proverb and is relevant as we strive as a St Andrew’s community to empower our students, from Prep through to Year 12, with an enduring curiosity for learning, a strong sense of self-efficacy, the capacity to achieve and flourish in their daily lives and the skills and capabilities to walk confidently into their futures.

Numerous studies identify that quality teaching is the most significant in-school factor affecting student achievement, and staff at St Andrew’s were fortunate to commence this year with a presentation by Jan Owen AM about preparing our young people to thrive in the new work order. Through 2023, staff will be continuing to cultivate a culture of thinking in our classrooms and focusing on refining and improving teaching practices based on existing and emerging research and evidence.

Another significant influence on student learning and growth is parental engagement and support. Completing a synthesis of factors affecting student achievement, Marzano (2000) concluded that one third of the variance in student achievement could be predicted by factors relating to students’ home environment. Interestingly, the kinds of parent engagement and behaviours that most influence students’ achievement might not be what you expect. In two separate meta-analyses (Fan & Chen, 2001; Jeynes, 2007), parental expectations and the consistency and regularity of communication supporting high academic aspirations was found to be significantly influential for student learning and achievement (surpassing the impact of monitoring homework or supervising free time).

Families have an important role in helping children to become confident and motivated learners. In encouraging and supporting your child/ren in their learning, it is important to share your high aspirations for their learning, encourage and develop in them an internal desire to learn, persist and strive for their personal best, and regularly share in the joy of learning. We encourage you to focus on the process of learning and growth, rather than on results and achievements alone, by helping students develop consistent study and reading habits, encouraging thinking, wondering and asking of questions, and regularly talking about school and learning with your child.

Finally, as a parent, I understand the frustration in enquiring about the school day and being met with a younger child’s “I don’t know” or a more adolescent “fine”. Open-ended and specific questions will require children to think and should elicit more than a one-word response, so I leave you this week, with a variety of starter questions suitable for various ages that might provide some insight into your child’s learning:

What did you enjoy most about school today?

What did you learn today that you didn’t know before?

What was the most interesting new thing you learned today?

What was something that challenged you to think today?

What was something that puzzled you today?

What made you feel most proud of yourself today?

What subject/topic are you most interested in at the moment?

Of course, in a learning and caring community, a question for any day is, “What was the kindest thing you did for someone else today?”

References:

Fan, X., & Chen, M. (2001). Parental Involvement and students’ academic achievement: A meta-analysis. Educational Psychology Review , 13(1), 1-22.

Jeynes, W. H. (2007). The relationship between parental involvement and urban secondary student achievement: A meta-analysis. Urban Education , 42(1), 82-110.

Marzano, R.J. (2000). A new era of school reform: Going where the research takes us. Aurora, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.

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Sunshine Coast Primary Independent District Swimming
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February 24, 2023

Our fantastic Junior swimmers were outstanding at the Sunshine Coast Independent Schools Carnival on Tuesday. There was some amazing swimming to finish a very close Runners up in the Overall Trophy - just 53 points behind Matthew Flinders. Importantly there was lots of success and enjoyment.

Congratulations to our Independent District Age Champions
Seb S - a Multiclass Age Champion in his first Swim carnival for the College.
Ryan P (10 years boys) and Tallow C (12 years)Age Champions.
Stella S (9 year girls) and Chelsea Green (12 years girls) were Age Champion Runners up.

In the Age group championship
Our 11 years girls and 12 years girls won their age group overall.
Our super 9 Years girls, 10 years girls and 10 years boys were runners-up
11 years boys were third overall.

There were a wonderful 27 top three results and a superb 63 top 10 finishes from our team. There were 12 relay events and our teams finished in the top three in nine.

There were event wins for:
Stella S (9 years 50m freestyle)
Ryan P (10 years 50m breaststroke), (10 years 50m butterfly)
Sophia G (10 years 50m breaststroke)
Chelsea C (12 years 50m butterfly)
12 years girls 4x50M freestyle relay (Lucy S, Chelsea C, Tallow C and Sienna H)
10 years boys 4x50M freestyle relay (Ryan P, Archer L, Jack R, and Seb S)

Congratulations to our second placegetters:
11 years girls 4x50m freestyle relay (Lilah V, Grace M, Cara B, Tempsee P)
10 years girls 4x50m freestyle relay Sophia G, Holly P, Stella C, Abigail W)
10 years mixed medley relay (Archer L, Sophia G, Ryan P, Holly P)
9 Years mixed medley relay (Archie T, Josephine R, Stella S, Kai B)

Lilah V  (11 years 50m freestyle)
Alex B (12 years 50m breaststroke)
Talllow C (12 years 50m breaststroke)
Stella S (9 years 50m backstroke)
Stella S (9 years 50m butterfly)

Congratulations to our third placegetters:
Ryan P  (10 years 50m freestyle)
Jack R (10 years 50m breaststroke)
Stella S (9 years 50m breaststroke)
Talllow C (12 years 50m backstroke)
Grace M (11 years 50m backstroke)
Archer L (10 years 50m backstroke)
Alex O (11 years 50m butterfly)
Grace M (11 years 50m butterfly
9 years boys 4x50m freestyle relay (Kai B., Archie T, Archer T, Oscar M)
11 years boys 4x50m freestyle relay Kobi A, Teddy D, Hamish B, Dylan S)
12 years mixed medley relay (Sienna H, Hugo Cox, Chelsea C, Alex B)

Huge Congratulations to the whole team - there will very likely be lots of St Andrew's swimmers heading to the Regional Swimming Championships and representing the Independent District.

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Secondary Independent District Swimming Champions
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February 24, 2023

Congratulations to our super Secondary swimming team who were outstanding both individually and collectively to win the Sunshine Coast Independent Schools Swimming Championships 2023 on Monday 20 February. There were some super results with an impressive 145 Top 10 finishes out of a possible 162 swims. There were 63 top three finishes that included 27 first places, 23 second places and 13 third places. It was also fantastic to see every relay team and age group place first, second or third.

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Partnerships in a Community of Learning: From the Head of Teaching and Learning, Maggi Gunn
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February 10, 2023

“A community is a group of people who agree to grow together,” Simon Sinek


It has been a wonderful start to 2023, with students and staff returning to the College refreshed and eager to connect and learn. Parent Welcome (Primary) and Meet the Mentor (Secondary) evenings are valuable opportunities to connect with community and learning – and we appreciate the time and commitment of staff and parents in attending these evenings. As Week 4 ends, we hope that school and home schedules and routines are starting to settle for students, while a sense of belonging and an enthusiasm for learning is continuing to strengthen.

The phrase “it takes a village to raise a child” originates from an African proverb and is relevant as we strive as a St Andrew’s community to empower our students, from Prep through to Year 12, with an enduring curiosity for learning, a strong sense of self-efficacy, the capacity to achieve and flourish in their daily lives and the skills and capabilities to walk confidently into their futures.

Numerous studies identify that quality teaching is the most significant in-school factor affecting student achievement, and staff at St Andrew’s were fortunate to commence this year with a presentation by Jan Owen AM about preparing our young people to thrive in the new work order. Through 2023, staff will be continuing to cultivate a culture of thinking in our classrooms and focusing on refining and improving teaching practices based on existing and emerging research and evidence.

Another significant influence on student learning and growth is parental engagement and support. Completing a synthesis of factors affecting student achievement, Marzano (2000) concluded that one third of the variance in student achievement could be predicted by factors relating to students’ home environment. Interestingly, the kinds of parent engagement and behaviours that most influence students’ achievement might not be what you expect. In two separate meta-analyses (Fan & Chen, 2001; Jeynes, 2007), parental expectations and the consistency and regularity of communication supporting high academic aspirations was found to be significantly influential for student learning and achievement (surpassing the impact of monitoring homework or supervising free time).

Families have an important role in helping children to become confident and motivated learners. In encouraging and supporting your child/ren in their learning, it is important to share your high aspirations for their learning, encourage and develop in them an internal desire to learn, persist and strive for their personal best, and regularly share in the joy of learning. We encourage you to focus on the process of learning and growth, rather than on results and achievements alone, by helping students develop consistent study and reading habits, encouraging thinking, wondering and asking of questions, and regularly talking about school and learning with your child.

Finally, as a parent, I understand the frustration in enquiring about the school day and being met with a younger child’s “I don’t know” or a more adolescent “fine”. Open-ended and specific questions will require children to think and should elicit more than a one-word response, so I leave you this week, with a variety of starter questions suitable for various ages that might provide some insight into your child’s learning:

What did you enjoy most about school today?

What did you learn today that you didn’t know before?

What was the most interesting new thing you learned today?

What was something that challenged you to think today?

What was something that puzzled you today?

What made you feel most proud of yourself today?

What subject/topic are you most interested in at the moment?

Of course, in a learning and caring community, a question for any day is, “What was the kindest thing you did for someone else today?”

References:

Fan, X., & Chen, M. (2001). Parental Involvement and students’ academic achievement: A meta-analysis. Educational Psychology Review , 13(1), 1-22.

Jeynes, W. H. (2007). The relationship between parental involvement and urban secondary student achievement: A meta-analysis. Urban Education , 42(1), 82-110.

Marzano, R.J. (2000). A new era of school reform: Going where the research takes us. Aurora, CO: Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning.

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Secondary Swimming Carnival 2023
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February 07, 2023

What an incredible day of House spirit, super swimming and wonderful Water Polo to start the year. Our 20 year celebrations saw our biggest ever Secondary Swim Carnival with outstanding participation from so many!

Congratulations students on a fantastic day.

Rafter House won the Overall Swimming trophy for the 4th year in a row, with Burkett in 2nd and Williamson in 3rd. Burkett took out the House Water Polo Championships and Rafter won the House Duck for House spirit. Records were also set alongside many personal bests achieved and special thanks to World Swimming Champion Isaac Cooper who presented the trophies. Full results are available on the College Portal.


Fastest Boy: Kalaa (Open Boys) – 23.91

Fastest Girl: Kaia (Open Girls) – 27.74

Water Polo Points
1st - Burkett
2nd - Rafter
3rd - Williamson
4th - Hocknull

Swimming Points (including Relays)
1st Rafter
2nd Burkett
3rd Williamson
4th Hocknull.

NEW Records:

15 Years Girls 50m Freestyle: Erin M- 28.00 (old record: Chaya Hall (2022) - 28.45
16 Girls 50m Breaststroke: Ava G– 34.68 (old record: Kaia Stephens (2022) – 34.78
14 Boys 50m Freestyle: William H – 26.22 (old record: Jake Packard (2008) – 26.57
13 Girls 50m Backstroke: Megan G – 33.84 (old record: Sarah Johnson (2023) – 34.84
17-19 Girls 50m Freestyle: Kaia S –  27.74 (old record: Lauren Maguire (2021) – 28.46
17-19 Girls Backstroke: Kaia S – 31.35 (old record: Darcy Smith (2022) – 32.23
17-19 Girls Breaststroke: Kaia S –  33.86 (old record: Jessica Gardener (2022 – 35.75

Age Champions

12 Years Girls: Gold – Chelsea C, Silver – Tallow C, Bronze – Olivia G
12 Years Boys: Gold – Alex B, Silver – Josh F, Bronze – Tom H
13 Years Girls: Gold – Ashlee C and Megan G, Silver – Lili L, Bronze – Isabelle L
13 Years Boys: Gold – Jackson S, Silver – Ted S, Bronze – Finn G and Oliver T
14 Years Girls: Gold – Hailey H, Silver – Marnie S, Bronze – Charlotte O
14 Years Boys: Gold – Will H, Silver – Darcy Tarrant, Bronze – Oliver G
15 Years Girls: Gold – Erin M, Silver – Sienna P, Bronze – Grace D
15 Years Boys: Gold – Zac H, Silver – Lachlan C, Bronze – Fynn N
16 Years Girls: Gold – Sophie M, Silver – Ava G, Bronze – Willow S
16 Years Boys: Gold – Deon B and Will S, Silver – Harrison S, Bronze – Alex Otto
17-19 Girls: Gold- Kaia S, Silver – Darcy S, Bronze – Jessica G
17-19 Boys: Gold – Kalaa H, Silver – Jake W, Bronze – Jake Renfrey

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Meet our Gappies
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February 03, 2023

After a two-year hiatus, St Andrew’s Anglican College has relaunched its GAP Year program - Beyond.

Three Scottish GAP-year students, Ailsa, Caitlyn and Rachel have arrived at the Peregian Springs – based school to assist around the College. In return, three 2022 St Andrews graduates, Abi, Lucy Stephenson and Jimmy Rudkin have moved to Scotland for 12 months to work at one of two prestigious partner schools in Edinburgh: ESMS and George Watson's College.

With visions of Australia filled with moster-like spiders and snakes at every corner, Australia has thankfully not been what the three Scottish girls expected so far.

Despite an early incident with a cockroach, and a brush with the Queensland sun, sport-loving Rachel is now embracing the vastly different fauna, sunscreen and is now looking forward to lots of new experiences.

“I'm most looking forward to being able to work with new people and explore a new lifestyle and way of living such as checking under my pillow for spiders and not having to layer up with jumpers and jackets to simply leave my house,” she said.

“I’m especially excited to be  training with a new swimming squad and be  able to work closely with the sports department as I love all sports. I’m also excited to learn more about AFL and seeing what  it is all about.

“Since arriving in Australia the gappies and I have been especially amazed at how friendly and kind every  single person has been to us and how welcoming everyone at St Andrews has  been towards us.”

After her GAP year, Rachel, who is also a national-level swimmer, is hoping to study Business and marketing at Edinburgh University and continue her swimming career within their high performing programme. Caitlin will study Medicine at university, and Ailsa aims to study English Literature and Politics at University of York in England.

A GAP year is when a student takes a break from their formal education to pursue other interests or experiences and gain new perspectives, learn new skills, and real-world experience before entering higher education.

The highly successful GAP year program has been running at St Andrew’s for more than 8 years, headed by Mr Tim Barrett.

“Our Beyond program is designed to connect our students with information and opportunities related to post-year 12 travel and education,” Mr Barrett said.

“Our long-standing partnership with ESMS and George Watson's College provides our students with unparalleled access to resources and experiences that will help them to experience the world, develop their intercultural understanding, and grow skills that will assist them in their chosen future endeavours.

“It also helps empower students to take ownership of their own life direction and to improve their knowledge and skills relevant to their potential vocation and go on to make informed decisions about their future career plans.”

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Meet our 2023 College Captains
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January 13, 2023

What inspired you to nominate for Captain?

LM: I have always felt so proud to be a St Andrew’s student and was inspired to make a greater contribution to the life of the College through the role of Captain.

JL: I applied for College Captain because I want to leave a positive mark on the school before graduating in 2023, and I want to know that I have helped encourage the already existing great community of St Andrew's.

LL: Since arriving at the College in Year 7, I have always accepted every opportunity that comes my way, no matter my knowledge or skills in that area. By nominating for the position of College Captain, I saw the opportunity to influence all students to do the same, to take part in all aspects of St Andrew's life, and to be humble while doing so. I also saw the leadership position as an opportunity to build the College community further, where there is no division, each student feels accepted, and is proud to wear the St Andrew's uniform.

WM: I was inspired to nominate for captain to lead the St Andrew's community in the upcoming year and to leave a positive mark on the school but also for the challenges that would present themselves throughout the year.

What does being a leader mean to you?

LM: To me a leader is someone who listens to those around them, showing kindness and compassion always, while also being able to stand up for what they believe is right. A leader is able to make a difference by inspiring those around them through their actions and attitude.

JL: I believe being a leader is more so about leading from the back, rather than the front. I push myself to encourage everyone from the ground up, so I can help them become the best version of themselves.

LL: I strongly believe that a leader does not celebrate their own achievements, but conversely uses them to encourage others to succeed. A leader is consistent and disciplined in their treatment of others, showing everyone respect regardless of their position, role, or title. A leader has the confidence to listen to those who are not in leadership roles across the school community while being a voice for all.

WM: For me, being a leader means you are someone people can look up to and talk to, as well as being able to create a positive change within the community.

What do you love about St Andrew's?

LM: From the very first moment I became a St Andrew’s student in Year 7, I have always loved the vibrant and inclusive community that St Andrew's provides. The positive and supportive relationships between the staff and students is what I believe makes St Andrew's such a special community to be a part of. Every individual has a sense of belonging and feels valued by the people around them.

JL: I’ve been at St Andrew's for my whole life, and I’ve enjoyed every day of schooling here. I really enjoy spending time at the school because the community is so kind and caring, which has helped me become a better version of myself.

LL: Before joining St Andrew's in Year 7, I would continually look up to my sisters who were a part of the College community, and couldn’t wait to become involved across the sport, music, and art faculties by trying new experiences. Opportunities are constantly being presented to us, and I love the support and encouragement from my peers and teachers. This support and encouragement contributes to the sense of belonging to a team, all working together to achieve our ambitions.

WM: I really love the sense of community within St Andrew's, no one is afraid to try something new and there is such high participation throughout the school, especially on our carnival days and inter house competitions.

What do you hope to achieve?

LM: I would love to leave a legacy that inspires both my own peers and younger students within the College to be the best versions of themselves and encourage each student to pursue their passions whatever they may be. I would also love to further build upon the connections between older and younger students and continue to develop the spirited culture that is so much a part of the College life.

JL: I believe the St Andrew's community is already very strong and supporting of everyone in it, and my goal is to help encourage that more into the future.

LL: Since accepting the leadership position, we have already been successful in implementing a Buddy Program for the Secondary School, commencing a trial run in Term 4. I am extremely passionate about this program as I believe it provides students the opportunity to build relationships with students in younger and older cohorts and will ultimately achieve a more unified College community.

WM: I hope to achieve better connections throughout the grades within the Secondary school as well as continuing to grow the culture within the school, especially with it playing such an integral part of our community.

If you were Prime Minister, what would you change?

LM: The wellbeing of the Australian people in all areas would be a priority to me. I would work to shorten the gap between the wealthy and poor by providing all Australians with affordable housing and stronger job and work opportunities. I would also ensure Aboriginal, and Torres Strait Islanders achieve proper recognition in our Constitution.

JL: I would reduce the amount of coal mining in the country, and make renewable energy compulsory for everyone.

LL: If I were elected as Prime Minister of Australia, the first issue I would address would be endeavouring to mitigate the poverty crisis currently affecting 13 million Australians. Prominent issues influencing this crisis include, unemployment, inequalities in the structure of society, education opportunities, housing, infrastructure, and health care services, therefore by strengthening and targeting these factors, I would hope to see the poverty rate decrease.

WM: If I were Prime Minister, I would propose initiatives to further help Australia families that are struggling to compete with rising food, fuel and housing costs.

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2022 Atar Results
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December 21, 2022

Having met with a few of the students over the weekend, irrespective of their individual rank, they are so happy with what they have achieved. As they all shared, their results were just what they needed to achieve access to the course of their choice.

Sixty-one per cent of our students achieved an ATAR of 90 and above, which places us amongst the top performing schools in the country. Also 38 per cent of our students achieved an ATAR of 95 and above. Our median ATAR was 92, which again places us in the top 10 schools in the state, based on those schools who chose to share their results.

The College is incredibly proud of all our students, both those who chose an ATAR pathway and those who worked hard to achieve their Diploma. As our students now wait to hear about University offers, they do so, confident with the results they have achieved.

As always, our staff have been positive and supportive of our Class of 2022 and we want to thank them and acknowledge their hard work in preparing them well for their next steps.

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Back to Canberra
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November 01, 2022

Who on earth gets to school at 5am??? Year 6 had the delightful experience to rise early on a wintery, dark and cold morning on either the Monday or the Wednesday of Week 1, Term 3- headed to Canberra, dressed in our formal uniforms, ready to learn all about our Australian Capital City, in particular, how our government system works.

Once we loaded the bus with our bags and waved a sleepy ‘bye’ to our parents, we were off to Brisbane airport full of excitement for what lay ahead. Checking in our bags (each group of 60 students) went without a hitch, much to our teachers’ great surprise, as did the flight to Canberra. But what we stepped out to on that cold but sunny Canberra tarmac took us all by surprise – IT! WAS! FREEZING!

Over the three days, we had many wonderful and memorable experiences. The bus and our bus driver (Mark) were great and the karaoke was super fun on the bus (go DJ Fraze-dog!) For one of the groups, one song in particular was a favourite…..Year 6……… “Tell Me Why?”……

Throughout the trip, our favourite five places were Questacon because of the inventions activities and freedom; the AIS with its brilliant activities - especially the Sportex and having the freedom to explore all of them by choice; Government house was truly unique and an eye-opener, because of what we saw inside and outside the magnificent house and from what we learned about the role of our Governor General; the War Memorial was a huge highlight because of the interesting facts and learning opportunities given to us of Australia’s war history; and of course, Parliament House because we learnt how Parliament works here in Australia.

Breakfast and dinner were great, lunch was okay and the morning and afternoon teas were also fine – there was no shortage of food, that’s for sure! It kept us all warm and energised to keep everyone going on our very long days.

The accommodation was comfortable, warm and toasty, although some people had squeaky doors and beds. However, we all had enough space for three or four people in each room with our own bathroom – absolute LUXURY!

Though we could have wished for more free time, we were very busy learning, eating, looking out for each other and having a great time. There was not a second to miss our families and before we knew it, we were back on that plane, then bus heading home.

We would like to thank our families for allowing us to go, thank the staff and tour guides who helped us everywhere throughout our trip, and the biggest shout-out of all AND a HUGE THANK YOU must go to the College staff who gave up time away from their own families to look after us for those three days.

Written by Jess H, Gemma J, Oscar M and Rorke R

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Tournament of Minds
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October 04, 2022

1st Place – Sunshine Coast Regional Champions

Primary Social Science – Year 5 - Eloise, Lucy, Clementine Year 6 - Telahlee, Leni, Shaya & Harvey

Primary Language Literature – Year 5 - Evie, Lilah, Lilou, Addison, Charli Year 6 - Zara, Sophia

Primary STEM – Year 4 - Flynn, James Year 5 - Charlie Year 6 - Lincoln, Orlando, Henry, Kashyap

Secondary Social Science – Year 7 - Molly, Charlie, Emily, Matias Year 8 - Sally, Sascha Year 9 Evelyn

2nd Place – Honours

Primary ARTS – Year 4 - Sabine, Indigo, Lucia Year 5 - Mia, Sienna, Tillie, Grace

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Chinese Cultural Day
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August 18, 2022

1. Knot Tying -Ms Xiao

The ancient art of knot tying which was first developed in the early Tang dynasty (AD 618-907). Knots are good luck charms representing longevity and eternity.

2. Fan dancing-Ms Wu and Ms Liu

Fans and fan dancing has been popular throughout many of the Chinese dynasties. Originally fans were used a bit like umbrellas before they became hand sized ornaments depicting wealth and royalty. Fan dancing has become a very popular art form and is even used in martial arts!

3. Calligraphy - Mr Li

Calligraphy, painting, and poetry were some of the main forms of Chinese art. These were also referred to as the 'Three Perfections'. Students spend years trying to perfect the art form of Chinese calligraphy. Calligraphy is a source of pride and pleasure for the Chinese people and embodies important aspects of the country's intellectual and artistic heritage.

4. Kungfu/wushu/martial arts demonstration - Mr Jason King

Historians suggest that the fighting styles of kung fu were originated by hunters who needed to defend themselves in the forests of China. Students learnt some neat tricks on balance and the application of a little force in the right way can be more effective when considering circles and physics.

Thank you so much to Antoine and his team of dedicated, talented teachers, this was a wonderful experience for our students.

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