Prep | Year 1 News

Prep | Year 1 News

Unit of Inquiry

During our unit of inquiry learning engagements over the past few weeks, the boys have been consolidating their understanding of the central idea, ‘Structural design is informed by scientific principles’, by completing experiments to test load, designing and making houses using shapes and support beams to hold a load and building towers using cups. The boys have used their knowledge of foundations to experience success when building different structures. This week we are continuing to explore the structural design of buildings and we will then go into the exploration of bridges. Year 1 enjoyed going on a walking tour around Strathfield. They investigated and inquired into what a building site’s form is and how structures including scaffolding, support beams, arches, triangular shapes and the use of brick bonds were used to ensure the building survived. The boys became mini engineers and practised their drawing and labelling skills whilst on the excursion. Later this week, the boys will interview real life building and project managers asking them key wonders about their job and encouraging real life contextual learning.  At the conclusion of this unit students will combine the knowledge they have gained during STEAM and UOI to complete design and make a structure.


In Writing the boys have been working on imaginative texts. The boys have been writing descriptions on the different characters and settings within a story as well as the problem and solution. As the term continues the boys will be using their imagination to start to write their own stories and fairy tales. It is encouraged to introduce and read various fairy tales to your sons at home.

Reading to your child: The impact on learning is significant

Reading with and to your child is one of the most significant ways that you can have a positive impact on the development of your child’s reading and comprehension ability. While children are still young, their cognitive skills are flexible and able to be shaped. Children who are read to are more likely to quickly pick up the reading and comprehension skills required to become a successful reader. “Research has found that reading storybooks to children is one of the most important activities for developing the knowledge required for eventual success in reading” (Reading to young children: University of Melbourne). During our three-way conferences we had an opportunity to discuss your son’s reading including the areas of growth and development. We have been reading lots of fairy tale books – traditional and fractured. It is encouraged to continue reading stories for pleasure at home. Please consider how much you are reading to your son and whether or not this is a habit in your household. As you consider what happens in your house, reflect on this quote from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory… “So please, oh please, we beg, we pray, go throw your TV set away, and in its place, you can install a lovely bookshelf on the wall.” – Roald Dahl

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In class music, Year 1 is exploring the concept of being ‘Foley Artists’ in the Stand Alone: Musica Viva Unit. ‘Foley Artists’ are musicians that make sound effects for certain actions in a movie while on screen e.g. horse running. The students are investigating how sound effects can be used in movies and drawing connections regarding what certain sounds could represent (e.g. rainstick could represent a snake slithering or shaking keys/ counters could represent rain falling).

They were also creating and designing sound effects to silent movie clips from Timmy and the Breakfast Band as well as Peter Rabbit. The boys really enjoyed this task and found the most appropriate instruments to match the actions that were occurring in the short film clip. They had to individually focus on their sound effect and time it correctly, as well as work collaboratively with others to make sure their sound effects were suitable to the clip.

In the strings program, the boys have been working on technique, ensemble playing and developing their music reading skills, understanding and performance etiquette to work towards an impressive concert in Week 9, where they get to showcase their talents and new skills to their peers.

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