Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Gonski 2.0 truths start to leak out!

Simon Birmingham not  admits in Senate Estimates that public schools in at least 5 states and territories will be underfunded after ten years! Gobsmacking! Will the Greens still vote for Gondki 2.0? The ALP was on the radio this morning saying they would negotiate on some matters but basically they will vote against what has been presented. As far as fees are concerned for uni students, today in question time we learnt that Under Malcolm Turnbull's plan, a graduate with a HECS debt will pay 4% at $42,000. Over the next dollar, that's a tax rate of 168,000%. !
And meanwhile: Massive public outrage has forced the government to quickly reinstate funding for Life Education and Healthy Harold! It only costs $500000.
Finishing Anubis tombs today. We also made jelly! 

Oh, and Birmingham's dodgy figures are being exposed today. Education Department officials confirmed at Senate estimates hearings on Thursday that the 2017 estimates on the website do not reflect what schools have actually been allocated by the federal government this year.

This year's estimates are instead calculated using the proposed new funding formula, which would not take effect until 2018.

Labor senator Jacinta Collins described the figures in the funding estimator as "completely illusory" and "inaccurate".

"These figures are based on a reality that will never exist," Senator Collins said.

"They are based on a fantasy."

For example, the funding estimator says St Dominic's School in Camberwell East received a federal government funding allocation of $756,600 this year, which would grow to $783,800 in 2018.

St Dominic's was actually allocated $1.92 million this year under the current formula, meaning its federal allocation would plummet by $1.14 million next year.

The funding estimator says Sacred Heart Catholic Primary School in Pymble received a federal funding allocation of $624,633 this year, which would rise to $648,550 in 2018.

Sacred Heart was actually allocated $1.76 million this year under the current funding formula, meaning its federal allocation would drop by $1.1 million.

National Catholic Education Commission acting executive director Danielle Cronin said the actual 2017 allocations and the figures published on the website "bear no resemblance to one another".

"For some reason, the minister [Simon Birmingham] has felt the need to recalculate the 2017 allocations to create the impression that all systemic Catholic schools will see their funding allocation grow in 2018," she said.

"We know that's not the case for 40 per cent of our schools.

"The minister is confusing and misleading parents and principals." 

From the SMH

Tuesday, 30 May 2017

The Curse of Anubis

Finishing off the Calcifer picture ( putting it all together) and creating a sample for The Curse of Anubis ( Jonny Quest)
Late Autumn strawberries in our garden

Minus 1 at school

Winter is just one day away and it is very chilly this morning. Cars covered in ice down Humffray Street, smoke pouring out of chimneys and crunchy icy grass under foot. And.... some pretty morose cows!

We're all Custodians

We're All Custodians ( Professional Learning Event)

Sovereign Hill Education

Sovereign Hill


Started 4:00 pm

Alice Barnes

All teachers should feel empowered to teach aboriginal studies but turn to elders to help define culture.

Uncle Bryan

Talked about ceremony and tradition. 'Welcome to country' is about telling the rules of the land.

It is about respecting other people's customs. (Like inviting people into your house)  you have an obligation to care for and look after country. Only take what you need and disrespect the people and the land.( Take only photos and leave only footprints) pass it on in a better state for your children.


Make knowledge of original owners known to the school community. 

Talked about teaching shared history. Showed a massacre map 1836-1850.

Discussed Indigenous Studies at Federation University and saw a film clip from them. ( Starting to teach pre-service teachers about teaching aboriginal culture)

Learning about aboriginal and Torres Strait islander histories and cultures is part of the Victorian curriculum. Refer VCAA website for PDF version of 

60000 years of aboriginal occupancy of Australia. Could by 120000 years

35 nations in Victoria ( customs and traditions)

Lake Condal is a good example of permanent settlements including fish farming.( Refer Melbourne Museum)

First colony in Victoria in 1803 failed. William Buckley lived with Wadawurrung people for over 30 years.

John Batman's treaty with the Melbourne aborigines was signed in 1835.Squatters arrived after that. Traditional food sources destroyed by sheep. Land claimed and aboriginals were driven off. Bulk of massacres occurred at this time.

In 1851 the non aboriginal population was 77000 but after the gold rush was 500000.( It took 16 years to drive aboriginals off their land.)

Mission system stared in 1861.

Refer 'Hidden Histories' timeline. (Great school resource and includes a teaching kit)

Pete Hoban

Peter talked about teaching Outdoor and environmental studies incorporating land use by aboriginal groups. 


  • Not many primary sources
  • Portraying aboriginals always as victims 

Good new stories

Aboriginal land use is sustainable

Europeans didn't recognise aboriginal land use.( Refer: Bill Gammage on YouTube ) historically bush referred to park like countryside.Aborigines used sophisticated fire stick farming used for kangaroos.

Every animal and people have a totem. You must look after your totem. this is kinship. A relationship with the land and the animal.( refer Dark Emu by Bruce Pascoe in our parent library) 

Pascoe talks about stoked grasses in southern Queensland proving aboriginal land use. 34000 year old grinding stones have been discovered. Victoria described as have an abundance of yam daisies. ( sheep at these and practically made them extinct.) 

These were farmed by aborigines. Aborigines lived in little villages.

Pascoe said: '.....this information should help every Australian be proud of all of our history' a really positive story about land use Age can be told.

Back at school

  • Consider looking after a native animal as our 'local totem' such as kookaburras.
  • Visit Lal Lal Falls when it is running.( Bunjil country) 
  • Use Hidden Histories resources.( also refer ABC Open Bryan Powell )
  • Distribute NAIDOC week resources.

Uncle Bryan talked about local creation stories and local culture and answered questions.

Session ended 6:30 pm



Monday, 29 May 2017


Two photos of new building developments happening down Springs Road. So different to 20 years ago when I started here!
Making a castle for Jonny Quest unit
Tower being finished. Just adding some weeds and growth to the ruins with a glue gun.
Calcifer picture nearly finished.....

Sunday, 28 May 2017

Finished the last of the Famous Five work today

Some of the resources we have used. I'll put my updated unit on TPT on the weekend.
Dungeon scenes on display. Still one tower to finish.

The failing US education system

By Matthew Lynch in The Edvocate

Public education in America is a paradox in the global perspective, a system that congratulates itself from within while failing to measure up to the achievements of other developed nations. It is not what is being taught in the American K-12 public school system that is so detrimental, either. It is more about what is missing. Larger cultural influences that focus on materialism and bottom lines undermine the public education of American K-12 students. Our students are prepped more for tangible results and less for a lifetime of learning. Part III of my series will continue to chronicle the problems and issues that are negatively affecting the public education of the nation’s K-12 learners.

Closing the college gender gap. If you have been following education hot button issues for any length of time, you’ve likely read about the nationwide push to better encourage girls in areas like science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The thought is that by showing young women that these topics are just as appropriate for them as their male peers, more women will find lasting careers in these traditionally male-dominated fields. I’m all for more women in the STEM workplace but with all this focus in one area, are educators neglecting an even larger gender gap issue? I wonder how much of this trend is based on practicality and how much is based on a lingering social convention that women need to “prove” themselves when it comes to the workforce. Do women simply need a degree to land a job in any field? If so, the opposite is certainly not true for men – at least not yet. Will the young men in our classrooms today have a worse quality of life if they do not attend college – or will it be about the same?

High school dropouts. It seems that every time the issue of high school dropouts is discussed, it all centers on money. U.S. Census Statistics tell us that 38 percent of high school dropouts fall below the poverty line, compared with 18 percent of total households in every demographic. Dropouts are also 40 percent more likely to rent their residences and spend $450 less per month on housing costs than the overall population. Only around 60 percent of dropouts own vehicles and they spend over $300 less on entertainment annually than average Americans. It’s clear that a high school diploma is in fact the ticket to higher earnings, at least on a collective level. The negative financial ramifications of dropping out of high school cannot be denied but the way they are over-emphasized seems like a worn-out tactic to me. To really reach today’s students and encourage them to finish at least their high school education, we need to value them as learners and not simply as earners.

Education equity. Equity in education has long been an ideal. It’s an ideal celebrated in a variety of contexts, too. Even the Founding Fathers celebrated education as an ideal – something to which every citizen ought to be entitled. Unfortunately, though, the practice of equity in education has been less than effective. Equity, in the end, is a difficult ideal to maintain and many strategies attempting to maintain it have fallen far short in the implementation. To achieve equity, school systems need to have an approach for analyzing findings about recommended shifts in learning approaches and objectives. These approaches should also help teachers and administrators understand not what they have to avoid but what it is that they can do to achieve optimal equity moving forward.

Cheating and technology. Academic dishonesty is nothing new. As long as there have been homework assignments and tests, there have been cheaters. The way that cheating looks has changed over time though, particularly now that technology has made it easier than ever. Perhaps the most interesting caveat of modern-day cheating in U.S. classrooms is that students often do not think they have done anything wrong. Schools must develop anti-cheating policies that include technology and those policies must be updated consistently. Teachers must stay vigilant, too, when it comes to what their students are doing in classrooms and how technology could be playing a negative role in the learning process. Parents must also talk to their kids about the appropriate ways to find academic answers and alert them to unethical behaviors that may seem innocent in their own eyes.

Teacher tenure. One of the most contested points of teacher contracts is the issue of tenure. Hardline education reformers argue that tenure protects underperforming teachers, which ends up punishing the students. Teachers unions challenge (among other reasons) that with the ever-changing landscape of K-12 education, including evaluation systems, tenure is necessary to protect the jobs of excellent teachers who could otherwise be ousted unfairly. It can often be a sticking point – and one that can lead to costly time out of classrooms, as recently seen in large school systems like New York City and Chicago. Now, I’m not suggesting that teachers just “give up” but I would support adjusting the expectations for tenure. It seems an appropriate step in the right direction for teachers in all types of schools. That energy then can be redirected towards realistic and helpful stipulations in teachers’ contracts that benefit the entire industry.

This is part 3 of his  series. The other parts are on the blog and the  fourth and final part will be out soon.

Saturday, 27 May 2017

Friday, 26 May 2017


Over 500 Glen Park Gazettes all ready to be distributed. School cleaned and everything organised for next week at school. It's also Hertiage Week in Ballarat this weekend.

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Foggy this morning at school.

Creepy cows in the fog! 
 Already fining up into a lovely late autumn day.

Finished Flat Stanley, art material ready for an Italian weather mobile, creating a tower and finishing off work for Howl's Moving Castle.

Amazing 'own goal'

It's the parents sending their children to private schools, especially the 'elite' private schools that this government has, to use Pyne's own words....'a special affinity with'. When they want to make an announcement about education, they go to these schools. Its children from these schools who have the pedigree to join the Young Liberals on campus. (If they can survive being at university wihout being 'spoon fed' by their a get an outstanding VCE score....gotta get into Melbourne/Sydney Uni to do medicine or law!) BUT....its these families who are going to be equally affected like state schools by Birmingham's funding cuts to education! ...oh the irony of it. Mmmmm how will this play out at election time. So much for silencing the 'education funding wars'!

From the SMH
Forty per cent of private schools – more than previously thought – would be worse off under the Turnbull government's education funding changes, according to the sector's peak body.
The private school sector says the fact more than 400 of its schools would lose out shows the Catholic sector is wrong to suggest it has been singled out for harsh treatment by the government.
The Catholic sector has reacted furiously to the funding changes, claiming it will have to increase fees massively at many schools to make up for the shortfall. 

The Independent Schools Council of Australia (ISCA) says it supports the government's model because it creates a more even playing field for schools.
The council outlined its argument in a submission to a Senate inquiry examining the funding changes. The Greens and many members of the Senate crossbench say they will use the inquiry to decide whether to support or reject the new funding model. 

The government has previously estimated that 350 schools would be worse off than under current arrangements, with slower funding growth, while 24 mostly high-fee schools would have their funding cut.
The ISCA says that, based on its analysis of Department of Education modelling, it believes 423 private schools will be worse off over the decade than under the current legislation.
"Recent media coverage and statements from Catholic school system leaders give the impression that Catholic systemic schools are the only schools adversely impacted by the proposed changes," the council's chief executive, Colette Colman, said. 
"That such a large proportion of independent schools are impacted by the proposal clearly dispels any perception that the government is targeting one section of the non-government sector over another.
"However, ISCA believes that the opportunity to establish a consistent and equitable funding baseline for all non-government schools should be our highest priority.
"Continuing to seek to protect inconsistently applied funding arrangements that distort the non-government school relativities is no longer in anybody's interests, particularly not Australian school students."
While some elite private schools will have their funding cut under the new model, others such as King's in Sydney and Caulfield Grammar School in Melbourne would receive significant funding boosts.
Many of the schools that would be better off charged low to medium fees, Ms Colman said. 

British Head Teachers buy into the election.

3,000 headteachers across 14 counties have come together to issue a warning to parents voting in the general election. And it’s one we all need to listen to if we value our children’s future and education.

The letter

The heads have sent out a letter to parents, seen by The Canary, to help them put education at the forefront of the election debate. And while they are careful not to be party political, they are adamant that what is happening with schools is a vital issue:

During all our campaigning work to improve funding for each and every child in each and every school, we have been careful not to become involved in a politically biased or partisan way. Headteacher colleagues and I feel that ahead of the forthcoming general election, it is crucial that parents, carers and all other interested parties raise the issue of school funding ‘on the doorstep’ with all prospective candidates.

It continues:

It would be naive to think that school funding is the only issue affecting everyone’s lives but school finances are in such a dreadful state that we believe it is vital to urge you to raise it as a key issue.

Furthermore, it states:

As professionals, we are only interested in securing fair and adequate funding for the children we educate. This is under severe threat and has influenced our decision to contact you in a collaborative manner.

A clear choice

The letter may not be party political. And schools may have made every effort to keep party politics out of their campaigns. But the fact remains that it is the Conservative Party that is making real-term cuts to education. And it is under the Conservative Party that schools are being forced to make teachers redundant and cut essential services. As well as making staff teach in leaky classrooms and with increased class sizes.

And it is the Conservative Party that has made it absolutely clear in its manifesto that it is not prepared to properly fund our schools. But not only is it not providing the funding, it is not listening to teachers.

Although too ashamed to call them by name, the manifesto reintroduces grammar schools. This is despite both the National Union of Teachers and the National Association of Headteachers opposing the plans.

Meanwhile, Theresa May has been labelledthe “dinner snatcher” for proposals to take free school dinners away from primary school children. May wants to replace them with breakfasts. But that’s a policy the government has had to step back from, given original costings provided less than 7p per child for breakfast.

Another world is possible

The Labour Party, however, is showing that it doesn’t have to be like this. Jeremy Corbyn promised that:

We will make sure schools are properly resourced by reversing the Conservatives’ cuts and ensuring that all schools have the resources they need.

And the proposals in its manifesto could do just this. Labour plans include introducing a National Education Service that will invest £25bn into schools. This means reducing class sizes for infants, free school dinners for all primary school children, giving teachers more control over the curriculum and ending the public sector pay cap.

Corbyn is showing that he is listening to teachers. And headteachers responded by giving him a standing ovation at their conference. A conference that Education Secretary, Justine Greening, was too scaredto speak at.

Schools in England don’t have to be underfunded. There is an alternative. And Corbyn is showing that another world is possible for our children. But it’s up to us on 8 June as to whether we want to take it.

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Howls Moving Castle work

Today I made a sample of Howl's 'location changer' ( Helps him keep one step ahead of the Witch of the Waste) today is apparently Public Education Day, not that you'd know it!
Ruined towers finished today and they look great!

Pop up scene

I made a pop up scene sample for the Famous Give book we just finished.
We also started painting our tower ruins from Kittin Island.
Also just confirming....using Birminghams own budget documents... schools will be 22 billion dollars worse off!
HOORAY 108000 views!