La Casa della Terra

Teachers:  Bronwyn Hope & Brendan Giambazi

La Casa della Terra

Over here in Terra we have had a fabulous start to the year.  In Humanities students have worked hard to present some fabulous projects on the Vikings, as demonstrated in our corroboree this term. It’s a pleasure to watch students follow their interests which are sparked in key lessons, and then to go off and research and explore lesser known aspects of a civilization, and educate the group about this.

In Occupations, we focused on aquaponics. Students had key lessons on the water molecule, the water and nitrogen cycles, water quality testing and interdependence between fish, bacteria and plants that occurs in an aquaponics system. Personal project offshoots from this unit of study have been diverse, including topics such as Protista, parasitic fungi, advanced nitrogen cycle, hydroponics and the properties of water.

In Physical Expression this term, students were exposed to the sport of water polo. For some students this meant an extra training session for the week, while for others, it was their first exposure to the game.  Students were taken through a weekly one-and-a-half-hour session which covered all the basic skills and game knowledge needed to dive into this challenging but rewarding sport.

In Creative Expression students explored a variety of different mediums of sculpture under the tutelage of Peter Flavelle.

I think the most popular was our ephemeral artwork, where we went down the beach and channelled some Andy Goldsworthy, and as a group created our own communal piece in the sand.

It was fabulous watching students work collaboratively and meditatively in this way together, and I can see how these skills will stand them in good stead throughout their later life.

In Music students have had lessons in digital music and the basics of MIDI (musical instrument digital interface). Specifically, we have worked on a Mac based digital audio work station (DAW) called Garage Band. We have also worked on theory of major scales and triads, practice techniques, composition, instrumental lessons and ensemble skills. We have a very musical group in Terra at the moment and it is fantastic to see them get so excited about music.

In English we have been exploring the genre of podcasting, and writing our own transcripts for production, which will now flip out of English and into media lessons, as we record, produce and polish. Students have enjoyed book groups and all the discussion and reflection on an author’s intent, themes, voice and style of writing. We have also been reviewing our understanding of punctuation and spelling.

In Mathematics students have been working towards developing their math understanding by engaging in various concrete and more abstract activities both in and out of the math class room. Students have been given weekly homework that I am happy to say has been completed by all. Students all have a Khan academy account and login which is a great website and really helps us hit the digital aspects of the math curriculum. Overall it has been a really positive term.

In health we have been exploring study strategies and techniques. We also went on an excursion to Kingsley Montessori to take part in a Constable Care playback theatre workshop on bullying and mental health which was well received by the students. It was also great to get to experience another community of adolescents and we hope to keep up contact throughout the year.

As well as all this academic study, we have harvested, extracted and bottled honey from our beehives, maintained and planted out our garden beds, made various products for the Coastal business (has anyone tried our new deodorant line?), run the Café on Fridays, made community lunches and fundraised for the Yr 9 Camp with sausage rolls and PJ Day.

A massive thanks to Tony Stewart this term for helping us out this term with transport, as well as Deb Colling our Beeliner, for her help with the sausage sizzle, and Martin Black and Siobhan Neville-Murphy for manning the BBQ.

Here’s hoping everyone has a great break, and comes back revived and ready to go for Term 2.


Bronwyn & Brendan