Volcanoes in Science!

Each Wednesday morning, we have science with Mrs Olsen.

We all look forward to our science lessons and it is great to see the students’ knowledge develop each week. Mrs Olsen has commented that she is impressed with the curiosity and love of learning displayed by the 3/4C students during science.

One student is selected as Mrs Olsen’s assistant each week…they dress up to look the part!

Today, we concluded our focus on “earth science”. We learnt about volcanoes. A volcano is defined as a mountain that opens downward to a pool of molten rock below the surface of the earth. When pressure builds up, eruptions occur. Gases and rock shoot up through the opening and spill over or fill the air with lava fragments.

The learning focus for today’s lesson:

  • We are learning how volcanoes are formed.

The success criteria:

  • I can describe the main ways volcanoes are formed.
  • I can make a model of a volcano.
  • I can research to find out more information about volcanoes.
  • I can make observations when doing research and making my model.

We learnt some key vocabulary about volcanoes in this lesson:

  • Magma
  • Lava
  • Tectonic plates
  • Pumice rocks
  • Cinder cone
  • Dormant volcanoes
  • Active volcanoes
  • Composite volcanoes
  • Shield volcanoes
  • Obsidian

After discussing how volcanoes are formed, completing some research and watching a video, students worked in groups to make their own ‘mini volcanoes’ in the classroom.

The equipment required to make the volcanoes:

  • Cup
  • Play dough
  • Plate
  • Vinegar
  • Bicarb soda
  • Food colouring


Thank you for all of the engaging science lessons so far, Mrs Olsen!

It is fantastic to build our science skills, knowledge and understanding. We are looking forward to learning about “forces” in our next science unit this term.


Can you define any of the key vocabulary from today’s science lesson?

What did you learn about volcanoes?

What science lesson have you enjoyed most so far this year?

What do you hope to learn in future science lessons?


“First Australians” Incursion

Today the grade four students enjoyed a fantastic incursion!

This term, the grade four students have studied Australian history for our inquiry unit. We have specificially foccused on the indigenous Australians, the First Fleet and European settlement during our First Contacts topic.

To conclude a great term of inquiry learning, Cynda and Barry from The History Box visited to expand our learning even more. To start the session, we learnt about and discussed a variety of topics relating to the first Australians, including:

  • Aboriginal history
  • Clans
  • Languages
  • Clothing
  • Art
  • Toys
  • Games
  • Symbols
  • Artefacts

Students then participated in three fun rotational activities. They were:

  • Learning and playing the ngaka ngaka game. It’s similar to the popular game noughts and crosses, but it has a twist!
  • Designing and creating jewellery using shells.
  • Sculpting an animal using clay and native materials.

Here are some photos that show the fun we had!


What was your highlight from the First Australians incursion?

What did you learn?

World Environment Day

Sunday 5th May is World Environment Day!

World Enviro Day

To celebrate, today all students and teachers at BHPS were asked to wear green. Here are the 3/4C students in all of their green glory!

Green Enviro Day

Our school Enviro Team, led my Mr Burdess and Mr Harris, work very hard to promote environmental messages to the students at BHPS.

They also undertake a variety of projects for our school. The latest project the Enviro Team has announced is a a Landcare initiative, where they plan to plant native grasses, shrubs and trees along the fence line from the bike shed. This project will continue the great work the Enviro Team have been doing with our butterfly garden and creating habitats for our local animals, insects and birds.


What do you do to help the environment?

How has the Enviro Team developed your awareness of environmental issues?

Do you have a favourite shade of green?

Mapping In Maths

Last week, our maths lessons were dedicated to extending our mapping skills.

We focussed on three major aspects of mapping:

* Legends Maps give information by using symbols.  Symbols can be figures, shapes, lines, and colors that show where places and things are on a map.  A map’s legend tells you what the symbols mean.

* Scale – Map scale refers to the relationship (or ratio) between distance on a map and the corresponding distance on the ground. It also refers to the sizes of the various locations on the map.

* Compass directionA compass tells us which way on a map is north, east, south and west.

Students completed three mapping tasks during the week, which gradually increased in scale and level of difficulty:

* House map – Students visualised their house and created a map to represent a floor plan of their home.


* School map – Students created a map of the school, including as many different rooms and spaces that they could. This proved to be a challenging task! Below is the official map of our school.

School Map

* Barwon Heads map – In pairs, students selected a section of Barwon Heads and created a map, including streets, houses, buildings recreational facilities and environmental features.


Below are some photos of the students working on their Barwon Heads maps. They used Google Maps on their iPads to locate their area, identify the surrounding streets and determine the scale of their region.


 When do you use maps?

How did last week’s maths lessons challenge you?

Our Amazing Art Walk!

Today, our school held its second Art Walk.

Our art teacher, Mrs Petersen, has been working busily with all classes to create artwork from different cultures. Between 11.30am and 1.30pm, all 19 grades travelled to each classroom to learn about the artistic cultures and view the artwork. It was wonderful to see the different art techniques students used to create their masterpieces.

The artwork that was featured included:

  • African necklaces from Kenya
  • Aztec Calendar Stone from Mexico
  • Kente Cloth from Ghana (West Africa)
  • Matryoshka Dolls from Russia
  • Kokeshi Dolls from Japan
  • Paper Molas from Kuna Indians
  • Day of the Dead from Mexico
  • Totem Poles from North America
  • Henna Hands from India
  • Egyptian Art from Egypt
  • Ojo de Dios from Mexico
  • Mandales from India
  • African Masks from Africa
  • Aboriginal Art from Australia
  • Origami from Japan
  • Notan from Japan

Learning about each culture’s techniques, designs, shape, colour, form, line, space and texture can really help students develop their own artistic skills.


4B focussed on Egyptian Art. They worked hard to create individual and unique pieces that demonstrate typical pharaonic designs. The use of colour made each student’s work really stand out. Check out 4B’s creations below.


The slideshow below features a selection of pieces from each class. The variety of artwork is amazing!

Thank you to Mrs Petersen for working hard with all of the students and organising our Art Walk. Everyone learnt a lot and we loved viewing the artwork in each classroom. We certainly have many talented artists at Barwon Heads Primary School!


What do you think of our artwork?

What was your highlight of the Art Walk?

What interesting information did you learn during the walk?

What are your strengths in art?


AFL Clinic

Today we were treated to a visit from a Geelong Cats football player for an AFL clinic.

Geelong is a team in the Australian Football League (AFL) and they are very popular in this part of Victoria. In Australia we use the word “barrack” to say who our favourite sporting teams are.


Geelong Cats player, Billie Smedts, came to help run a footy clinic for all of the grade four students. The students enjoyed practising their sporting skills in five rotations:

  • Kicking goals from different angles and distances
  • Marker’s Up
  • Getting the ball past Billie into the soccer nets
  • Dodge Ball
  • Tennis Ball Grab

The students also spent some time asking Billie some interesting questions about life as a Geelong Cats footballer.

Check out the photos of the 4B footy stars!

Thank you to Billie for visiting us at school!

Go Cats!


What was your highlight of the clinic?

What skills did you enjoy practising at the footy clinic?

Who do you barrack for?

What sports do you play?

Dynamic Division!

This week we have been improving our division skills.

Specifically, our learning focus has been: To apply appropriate strategies to solve division equations mentally.

Our goal by the end of the year is to have automatic recall of all division facts up to 10 x 10.

In order to improve our mental division strategies, we completed a variety of lessons practising several helpful strategies.

Some of these strategies are:

  • Skip counting
  • Counting on from a known fact
  • Using inverse operations (this is the relationship between multiplication and division).

Some division facts lend themselves to specific strategies. For example:

When you ÷1, the answer will always be the number you started with

When you ÷ 2, you can just halve the number you started with

When you ÷ 4, you can halve the number you started with, and then halve your answer

When you ÷ 8, you can halve the number you started with, then halve your answer, then halve your answer again.

We discussed that all division problems can be solved using your knowledge of multiplication!


Of course, sometimes the number you start with (the dividend) isn’t evenly divisible by the number of groups (divisor). In this case, you have remainders. During the week, students used their times tables and skip counting skills to solve a variety of remainder problems.

During the week, students could challenge themselves by using larger dividends and divisors to extend their knowledge.


One of our activities this week involved students selecting a variety of dominoes and using the number of dots on each side of the domino to form a fact family of multiplication and division equations. Fact families come from the inverse operation relationship between multiplication and division.

The slideshow below has images of dominoes. Try to say or write the multiplication and division fact family using the number of dots on each domino to create inverse operations.


What have you learnt about division this week?

How have your mental strategies improved?

Do you have any division tips?

When do you use division in real life?

Personal Narratives

Recently, we posted about our Writer’s Workshop sessions.

For the past couple of weeks, our Writer’s Workshop sessions have been devoted to working on our personal narrative drafts. A personal narrative is a text written about a personal experience. All students chose an entry from their Writer’s Notebooks as inspiration for their personal narrative. Students then worked through the writing process to draft, revise, edit and publish their work.

Drafting personal narratives

Drafting personal narratives

Publishing personal narratives on iPads

Publishing personal narratives on iPads

During this process, we spent time learning about the Six (+1) Traits of Writing. Learning about these traits helped the students to build their writing skills and focus on crafting their writing.

The Six Traits of Writing are:

  • Ideas
  • Organisation
  • Voice
  • Word Choice
  • Sentence Fluency
  • Conventions

The +1 trait is:

  • Presentation


Throughout the writing process, Miss Jordan conferenced with students to give them feedback on their work. All of the 4B students did a terrific job and worked very hard on their personal narratives. Miss Jordan is very proud of the students’ finished products!

Some of our personal narratives are presented below. Enjoy!


To celebrate this writing cycle, 4B interacted with Miss Campbell’s grade, 1B, and the students shared their writing with each other. It was wonderful to read the personal narratives written by the grade ones, and it was great to see the students giving each other feedback about their work.

 Here are some photos from our sharing session.


What did you think of the personal narratives?

How does writing and drafting improve your writing?

Can you explain one of the Six (+1) Traits of Writing?

Did you enjoy sharing your work with the grade one students?

Best wishes, Mr Watene!

For the past six weeks, 4A and 4B have enjoyed having Mr Watene in the classroom.

Mr Watene is a student teacher from Ballarat University and today is his last day in 4A and 4B. This was Mr Watene’s final teaching placement and in a few weeks he will finish his university degree.

During the past six weeks, Mr Watene has:

  • Been a Hooptime basketball coach
  • Assisted with high jump at the Athletics Sports Day
  • Implemented a variety of CAFE reading strategies
  • Helped students with their persuasive writing skills
  • Taught fun maths lessons
  • Launched our inquiry “sustainability”  unit of work.

On our Book Week dress up day, Mr Watene dressed up as Carl Fredricksen, from the movie Up. Here he is with the 4A and 4B students.

4A Mr Watene


Thank you and farewell, Mr Watene!


What was your favourite lesson with Mr Watene?

If you were a student teacher, what type of lessons would you like to teach?