Latest News & Reminders
iPads in Classrooms
This year, we took the bold step of changing over from netbooks to iPads in the Senior Department. It was always a bit of a risk given that we had netbooks operating for the previous 4 years at Lara Lake quite successfully. We spent a lot of time reviewing the pros and cons of iPads before committing to the change. We were so lucky to have supportive parents who trusted uor judgment. We knew there would be the odd hiccup because the schools we visited in our research were all at the start of the journey and did not have all the answers.
Six months later and we are really pleased with the results. The enhancements that iPads have made to student learning have been immense. Students are able to easily reference the internet at any time in their daily learning and can produce multi-media projects across a number of forums and presentations. The potential is enormous. The students just love using the devices and are naturally attracted to them.
One of the common concerns from parents is that "the children will only use them to play" - the same could be said about pen and paper. Any tool that the students use could be seen as a negative or a positive. The reliance is on the quality of the instruction inside the classroom and that is the job of the school to ensure iPads are not reduced to play-things or time-wasters.
Another issue was that the Senior students from 2013 had netbooks. This was a bit of a hassle, but was always going to be when we changed devices which was inevitable in the long run. It is only a problem for this year so we are confident we have managed our way through this issue.
The success of the program has been so strong that the teachers are now seeing iPads as a wonderful opportunity to assist learners in grades other than the Seniors. Many schools we visited and talked to in Melbourne had 1:1 devices for students in Grades 3-6. We are exploring this option as well - so strong is the feedback around the effectiveness of the iPad program.
We are aware of the strengths of having students exposed to a variety of software and hardware platforms; but are also mindful that students working from the same device in classrooms is very efficient for instruction. We plan on having exposure to cross-platform as well as iPads - but having iPads for instruction is so efficient.
The purpose this article is to alert parents of our current thinking; remembering that nothing has been decided. More details will follow as the year progresses.
Random Acts of Kindness
The more acts of kindness we witness, the more are done and the more that are done, the more that are witnessed. According to research by Sonja Lyubomirsky (University of California), both random (letting someone stressed, anxious and obviously in a hurry jump in front of you in the queue for a taxi) and systematic (taking your elderly neighbour shopping every Thursday evening) acts of kindness are very effective ways to lift our levels of happiness. Lyubomirsky writes: "Being kind to others, whether friends or strangers, triggers a cascade of positive effects – it makes you feel generous and capable, gives you a greater sense of connection with others and wins you smiles, approval and reciprocated kindness – all happiness boosters."
With children, it is important to point out that kindly acts should be done spontaneously and with no ulterior motive or agenda and done without a desire for recognition or personal gain. Random acts of kindness can be performed by anyone in the school community and likewise witnessed by anyone, anywhere within the school community. It is like a positive virus and can only be a good thing. Think about your role in spreading the virus.
We wholeheartedly welcome Ms Kirby Rumsey to the Lara Lake Family as she takes over from Mrs Laura Kelson who has left to have her first child. We also welcome Mrs Cathy Dowling into the classroom as she takes over from Mrs Jae Conn who is also off to have her first baby. We know that Kirby and Cathy will do a marvellous job.
There has been a case of head lice in the Prep area. This is a timely reminder to regularly check your children's hair for head lice and nits. Don't wait until your children show signs of...
We have a couple of brand new winter kilts for sale. If you are interested, please contact the office - sizes 8, 10, 12 & 14.
To be eligible for EMA you must hold a Parents'/Guardians' Health Care Card or Pensioner Card which must be valid on 14 July, 2014 in order to be eligible for instalment two EMA payment....
Our wonderful Preps had a fantastic day celebrating their hundredth day of school on Friday 25th of July. They were all given a number when they arrived at school and they spent the morning...
Lots of delightful experiences to come! The English Curriculum are busy preparing for a wonderful week.
There will be three events which will take place over Book Week.
Please view the attached information regarding the YCDI Games on Thursday 31st July. The notice has been sent home however you can also view it here.
We have been advised that placement for 2015 high school students will not be confirmed until the 20th of August and no student is confirmed as enrolled at a secondary school until that time....
A District Basketball Tournament for selected students from Grade 6 is planned for Wednesday 30th July, however this is still to be decided if it will go ahead.