Monday, 31 October 2016

Buying Day's vote

Discredited, bankrupt ex liberal (still a Liberal) senator Bob Day seems to have been handsomely rewarded for his vote on the ACCC Bill.

The federal government handed a $2 million grant to a small trades training school chaired for a decade by senator Bob Day, the crossbencher whose business woes are a threat to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's bid to resurrect the building industry watchdog.

The one-off allocation, made without any competitive tender process, will let the vocational college in Adelaide's north trial Senator Day's pet project, a new apprenticeship system known as "student builders".

The program takes the financial burden for apprentices off employers in the construction sector by funding them as tertiary students.

According to a trove of government documents, Senator Day began lobbying government ministers in 2015 for $1.4 million to trial the program with 20 apprentices from North East Vocational College, where he is a current director and former chairman of 10 years.

Six months later, he was told in a letter from the then assistant minister for education and training, Luke Hartsuyker, that the college would receive $1.84 million - nearly $500,000 more than he asked for.


Day seems to have got the message and has now resigned. I guess egg is on Birmingham's face now!

Melbourne Cup day

Sometimes we have a big Melbourne Cup day at Glen Park but other years we don't. This year was a quiet year. We had a sweep as usual...everyone but me seems to have won something and we did a Melbourne Cup facts flap book which I got from Paula's Place.( photos below)
I think this is the only time in the year I buy the Herald Sun.
I did some sketches today while the kids were working on a unit for The Hound of the Baskervilles. I hope to start next week.
HOORAY 88000 views

Gina visits

Gina visited us today. She is studying teaching at ACU and has volunteered to come and do some work with us this year. She worked with My grade 2 student today and they created some great work.
Money Matters game I played with my grade 3 student today. She also almost finished her Jungle Book work.
My grade 6 kids are finishing their work on Leviathan and I started reading The Woman in Black today.

NO Phantom NO!

Saturday, 29 October 2016

Alleys of Ballarat #5

Sovereign Hill version.

WTF #4

This pops up on Twitter quite a lot, it dates from pre-World War One.


The Church of Scientology has defended the use of NSW schoolchildren in an ad promoting the church, as the self-described "advanced organisation" goes on a marketing drive following the opening of its $37 million Asia-Pacific headquarters on Sydney's north shore.

The children, from Newtown's Athena School appeared in advertisement for the church alongside their principal Fiona Milne in July.

Schools associated with the Church of Scientology are receiving large portions of state funding in comparison with state schools. In this promotional video produced by the church, Sydney school principal Fiona talks about what Scientology means for her and her students.
In the ad Mrs Milne said she "wasn't going to let children suffer how I'd suffered in the classroom", so she implemented the "clear" teaching techniques of L. Ron Hubbard in the classroom. Mrs Milne declined to comment on whether the school had obtained parental permission for the ad.

The church has strenuously maintained the school and the church are separate organisations. The school teaches the "Way to Happiness" philosophy of Scientology leader L. Ron Hubbard, but does not disclose that philosophy's link to the church on any promotional material.

Vicki Dunstan, the church's Australian president said: "To suggest that the school's independence is undermined in anyway [by the ad] is preposterous."

In July, Fairfax Media revealed schools associated with the Church of Scientology were receiving more government funding per student than hundreds of Australian public schools, despite benefiting from generous private donations and hundreds of thousands of dollars in school fees.

The "meet a Scientologist" series is part of the church's wider marketing push to counter negative perceptions of the organisation in the wake of damaging revelations in a book by ABC journalist Steve Cannane​ ( I recommend that book) and Louis Theroux's documentary My Scientology Movie.

Since opening in September, the church has flung open its doors at its Asia-Pacific headquarters in leafy Chatswood. It is due to host family barbecues next week with non-Scientologists as it looks to expand its footprint in Australia.

An Operating Thetan is a Scientologist who has reached its highest state, according to the church's doctrine.
Housed in the site of the former National Acoustics Laboratory, the headquarters have been given a multimillion dollar face lift, resplendent with hundreds of tributes to the church's founder L. Ron Hubbard, marble floors and well stocked with books written by Hubbard covered in volcanoes.

Sei Kato, a member of the advanced organisation who volunteers at the church seven days a week said the media's treatment of the church "had been vicious".

Ms Dunstan said the church was experiencing the greatest expansion time in its history. It frequently disputes figures that shows just 2163 called themselves Scientologists in the last census in 2011.

"The church internationally has grown more in the past five years than it has in the previous 50," she said. "Our parishioners and staff are absolutely loving our new church and the surrounding grounds in Chatswood."

But neighbours remain concerned about the impact of the church on house prices and perceptions of the community.

"It's very weird, the ANZO buses come and they all march down the street in black at 8:30 in the morning before leaving at 11:30 at night," said a neighbour who asked only to be referred to as Karen.

"They are entitled to their beliefs, they've been very welcoming, knocked on doors and invited us over," she said.

"My partner is worried about house prices, but I think maybe rich Scientologists might buy in the area instead, so we might be lucky," she said.

Disturbing graphic from the SMH this morning about government funding for Scientology schools.

New unit on TPT. Leviathan by Scott Westerfield

About Leviathan....
Prince Aleksander, would-be heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is on the run. His own people have turned on him. His title is worthless. All he has is a battletorn war machine and a loyal crew of men.

Deryn Sharp is a commoner, disguised as a boy in the British Air Service. She's a brilliant airman. But her secret is in constant danger of being discovered.

With World War I brewing, Alek and Deryn's paths cross in the most unexpected way…taking them on a fantastical, around-the-world adventure that will change both their lives forever.
Go to the hyperlink below to find my just completed unit for Scott Westerfield's Leviathan.

Friday, 28 October 2016

Henry Sutton

Three great Australian inventors we probably haven't heard about. Story from the ABC.

Henry Sutton

"What did Henry Sutton do in Ballarat in 1885?"

I have asked this question all around Australia, and rarely get an answer.

One man who did know when I asked him on Channel 9 a few years ago was Barry Jones, Labor's former minister for science.

Dr Jones told the story of Sutton's work on telephones in the family store, and how he set up a system that sent primitive pictures of the Melbourne Cup to Ballarat in 1885.

Sutton was well known for his inventions in the 19th century and was even visited by Alexander Graham Bell.

Sutton spoke to Bell about his invention of the phone box on the wall, with its speaker poking out and an earpiece on a cord, and asked Bell whether he had thought of combining the two. Thus the handset was invented.

Sutton was experimenting with innumerable devices from an early age, even ones for automobiles.

So why is his name unknown? Did he influence John Logie Baird, the Scot famously linked to TV?

Sutton's grand-daughter Lorayne Branch, who is writing his biography, is investigating.

It is a story even more perplexing than that of Lawrence Hargrave, whose work on box kites inspired the Wright Brothers and the invention of planes — but at least Hargrave made it to our banknotes.
A Henry Sutton car, built in Ballarat, Victoria, Australia, in 1900, believed to be the first front wheel drive vehicle in the world. 

In 1876: At age 20 Henry Sutton read a brief account of Alexander Graham Bell's telephone in 'Scientific American'. Bell's telephone patent was issued on 7 March 1876 and within 6 months Henry Sutton had designed and built at least 20 different types of telephones. Henry wired up Sutton's Music Store and the Warehouse with telephone lines. This was at least 2 years before Australia's first official telephone system was installed in Melbourne (c1878). The first telephone exchange was in 1880 shortly before Ned Kelly was hanged and by 1884 7,757 calls had been made. Henry did not patent his telephones as he believed the fruits of science should be available to all. Later 16 of his designs were patented by others less noble.

Ruby Payne-Scott: Radio astronomer

Ruby Payne-Scott was a pioneer of radio astronomy and of interferometry — using more than one observational position to locate something in space.

In the 1940s, working in Sydney, she tracked various bursts from the sun.

During World War II she was part of the Allied team developing radar.

This immensely able woman had married, secretly, while working for CSIRO.

At that time no wife could hold a senior position in the public service.

When, eventually, her baby bump made her situation obvious, she was effectively sacked and left astronomy in 1951.

When telling her tragic story at an Australian Academy of Science meeting in 2014, Professor Brian Schmidt, now the vice chancellor of ANU, burst into tears and was given an ovation.

How times have changed. But recognition of this brilliant woman's work has not.

Dr John Cade: Medical scientist

John Cade discovered what became the first really effective drug to treat a mental affliction: lithium, which is used as a cure for bipolar disorder.

Cade grew up in Melbourne, was a superb student and followed his father into medicine.

A spell in a Changi prisoner-of-war camp in Singapore during the war reinforced the young man's self-reliance and prudence.

His discovery of the effects of lithium was accidental — he used it in the preparation of some other ingredients to test guinea pigs and found that they became passive and almost seemed to lie about with smiles on their faces.

The recognition of lithium was delayed because of resistance to the substance in America, where it had been used instead of table salt with unfortunate results.

The first experiments on people, though successful at first, led to harmful side effects.

Only when Cade, with help from colleagues at the Florey Institute in Melbourne, was able to monitor his patients' blood levels of the element, was treatment smooth.

Cade's influence on civilising mental hospitals included being a pioneer of dietary standards.

Some institutions fed their charges so badly that Cade found there were even outbreaks of scurvy. Now, because of him, we have dieticians attached to the wards.

His legend may at last be spread by a terrific new book by Greg de Moore and Ann Westmore, called Finding Sanity: John Cade, lithium and the taming of bipolar disorder.


Kids with disabilities are still not being adequately funded.

Thanks Tessa

Our PST, Tessa finished today. It was great having her with us, we will miss her.
We have just about finished Leviathan and I will post my unit for it on TPT tomorrow. We start on The Woman in Black next week.i have started on a unit for The Hound of the Baskervilles and The Giant in the Snow. They should be finished by next weekend. I have a very busy end to the school year. Next weekend I hope to finish my next Glen Park Gazette which I will hand deliver later in the month.

The kids worked on a maths task with Tessa on using mode, mean and median.

Thursday, 27 October 2016


Our PST today helped the kids turn their notes from their experiments into PowerPoints. They did a great job.
To celebrate Teachers Day tomorrow I was invited to attend a special activity night with her Girl Guides troop. This is my third year. 

Wednesday, 26 October 2016


A Tweeter I follow posted a photo of a permission slip they send home so students can read Fahrenheit 451 📚 🔥 Great idea. I wish I could find a good abridged version for younger kids.

Tuesday, 25 October 2016


My PST, Tess has been going some fantastic work with the kids this week with more to come.
Below is s photo of a sign they made of the school using body shapes and they also conducted science experiments looking at the best way to clean up oil spills. Tomorrow they have a lab report to complete. 

We are working through our Leviathan tasks at the moment including a battleship model and pop out scene.

I visited Sovereign Hillbto pick up our school photos.

A history tour I ran into at Ballarat Train station. 


A new edition of William Shakespeare's complete works will name Christopher Marlowe as co-author of three plays, shedding new light on the links between the two great playwrights after centuries of speculation and conspiracy theories.( This debate has gone on for centuries. I have an 1870s edition of collected works which has a forward by a renowned Victorian actor suggesting that Marlowe may have written some if not all of the plays) 

Marlowe's role in the Henry VI plays had been debated for centuries
Academics are extremely confident about Marlowe's authorship of some parts.
Collaboration between playwrights was normal in the Elizabethan period
Marlowe will be listed as co-author of the three Henry VI plays in the New Oxford Shakespeare, due to be published in several instalments over the coming weeks by the Oxford University Press.

Professor Taylor, a Florida State University expert, said academics had known for a long time that Shakespeare worked with other writers on some plays.
The idea that he collaborated with Marlowe on the Henry VI plays had been debated for centuries, but had not been possible to demonstrate before.
Professor Taylor said scholars had used databases of plays and other writings from the Elizabethan period, not just by Shakespeare or Marlowe but by many others working at the time, to search for distinctive words or combinations of words.

The academics who worked on the New Oxford Shakespeare, and others who had provided peer reviews of their findings, were extremely confident about Marlowe's authorship of some parts of the Henry VI plays, Professor Taylor said.

"There are parts that are very clearly by Shakespeare and there are parts that are very clearly by Marlowe," he said, adding that most of the best-loved passages were by Shakespeare.

Professor Taylor said that collaboration between playwrights was entirely normal in the Elizabethan period, and there was no suggestion of any great secret or conspiracy regarding Shakespeare's work with Marlowe.

The author of The Jew of Malta, Doctor Faustus and Edward II, Marlowe passed into British popular culture as Shakespeare's great rival, but Professor Taylor said that was speculation.

"It's possible they loved each other, it's possible they hated each other. We have no way of knowing," he said.

Monday, 24 October 2016


Emergency Preparedness and Response Training
Novotel Geelong
October 25th 

Reviewing EMP, and risk assessments.
OHS Audits a possibility. Documentation essential.
Emergency defined as something that totally disrupts the school.
( ie bushfire, flood, severe weather etc)
Table discussion about responding to a severe weather warning and the importance of BOM site and local knowledge. Also checking in with the SES.
Important to use the student activity locator when going on excursions.
Discussed incident management teams and the need for ' a shelter in place'.
Need to consider being part of the global community.
Watched a video featuring principal Susan Ogden from Dandenong High about a bomb threat she received at the start of the year when there was a spate of bomb threats ( 92 schools got threats effecting 36000 students)The bomb threat section of the EMP has been modified given the bomb threats made earlier this year.
Our main classroom is regarded as our designated 'shelter in place'.( Last resort if we can't evacuate but first resort in bad weather) Grass fire might be a big concern this summer. Remaining inside is the best option for us.
Discussed the Risk assessment aspect of the EMP.
Discussed the role of the IMT ( Incident Management Team)
When reviewing our EMP over the Christmas break we need to update our IMT roles and determine risk assessment, update emergency kits, communicate clearly with parents what we intend to do regarding evacuation and closure.
Communicate with local government about off-site evacuation.
These sessions would be more productive if they were undertaken for like schools with like issues. A lot of what was talked about today was for me impractical or irrelevant.


I organised one of the grade 2 excursions to Sovereign Hill today. Four small schools attended including Glen Park. My colleague, Alison is the grade 2 teacher there are she played the part perfectly and did a great job. I had one student going and she had a fantastic time.
I took a few sneaky photos ( I had to be careful because I was in costume and not supposed to use a mobile phone.)
Below is a photo of me and Alison and photos of my grade 2 student.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Hospital walk

Today was the Ballarat Walk/Run 2016 for the children's ward of the Ballarat Base Hospital. I went on the 6 km walk. Well done to Ballarat High School for hosting it this year.