‘The Shack’ Shock


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in School Event | Posted on October 22, 2015

In the early hours of this morning, ‘The Shack’ next to our school burnt down. It celebrated its 100th birthday last year and if the walls could talk, they would have been able to tell stories about dances, concerts, weddings and wakes over the last century.

Photo from Google images

Photo from Google images

Photo taken by Alison H

Photo taken by Alison H


Until today, students at Upper Plenty P.S walked past ‘The Shack’ on their way  from the car park to the school grounds. After school the playground next to The Shack was a popular place to play.

This morning we worked in teams to research more about The Shack’s history. Before we started our research all we really knew was that it had been there for a long time. We discovered:

-It was built in 1914

-It used to be called ‘The Upper Plenty Hall’

-Sometimes it was called ‘The Mechanics Hall’

-After the original Upper Plenty school house burnt down in a bushfire, The Shack became a temporary classroom from 1919 to 1920

-Many dances and concerts have been held in the hall

-School concerts were held in the hall in the 1920s

– It was a very important part of the Upper Plenty community

-There was an exhibition on display showing how Upper Plenty has changed over time

-The committee received a Victorian Community History Award commendation only last week


We became journalists for the day and created a news bulletin about today’s events.


Thank you to the fire fighters who put the fire out and the police who looked after the scene today.


What do you think Upper Plenty would have been like 100 years ago?


Homework – Helpful or Horrible?


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Classroom | Posted on October 16, 2015

Today we watched two video clips and read one text about homework. We had to identify strategies used to influence viewers/readers, with a particular focus on the bias of the reporter/author.

This is the first clip we watched:

Click HERE if the video link doesn’t work.

After watching, we worked in small groups to discuss if the clip was fair to both sides of the homework debate and found examples to support our responses. We decided that:

* In the very first sentence the reporter shared his bias about not liking homework as a student or parent. In fact, he didn’t just ‘not like’ homework, he ‘hated’ it.

* Seven, six and three year old children do not get a lot of homework so why was the Crew family interviewed? What three year old gets homework?

* The reporter used words like ‘stuck inside’, ‘labouring over the three Rs’ and ‘burdened with homework’. He could have used words like ‘practising the three Rs’ and ‘completing homework’.

* More time was devoted to people who do not think homework is good. Charles spoke to the Crew family, the teacher from the Knox school and the author. Only one person, Debra, who supports the idea of homework was interviewed.

* Children are not at school in class for 30 hours a week, providing ‘more than enough education’. There are only five hours spent learning a day So, that is 25 hours of learning in a week. Charles used a larger number to make it sound worse.

* Charles said ‘The average Australian kid spends 7 hours a week’ doing homework. We don’t think this statistic is about primary school children only, yet the story is focused on primary school children.

* The clip uses quotes from Mrs Crew like ‘We go to the playground’ and ‘They (the children) are interacting with our chickens.’ She makes it sound like people who have homework can’t ever go to the playground or play with their pets.
This is the second clip we watched:

In small groups we discussed whether or not the clip presented a balanced view of homework. We decided that this clip was much fairer because:

* It allocated an almost equal amount of time to both sides of the homework debate.

* The reporter asked questions about both sides of the debate.

* Both people who think homework is good and people who think homework isn’t necessary were interviewed.

* The reporter did not share their own opinion. They stayed ‘neutral’.

After watching both clips, we shared our own opinion about the value of homework. A quick poll revealed that 17 people out of 33 believe that some form of homework is helpful.

Our school has a Homework Policy and we have different types of homework tasks each week.

This week, one of our homework tasks is to write a comment about this post. Half of our class are happy about this and half are not!


Should primary school children have homework? Why or Why not?


Is homework helpful or horrible?




Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Guest Post | Posted on October 14, 2015

* Guest post by Ella, Kaitlyn & Tayla-Jade *

Who am I?

I love the colour purple.

I have a dog called Spud.

I go for long runs every day.

I love theatrical performances.

I am the new principal!


Mrs Egan Photo credit: Kaitlyn

Mrs Egan
Photo credit: Kaitlyn


Mrs Egan’s favourite colour is purple because she has purple roses in her garden that smell beautiful. She has loved the colour for as long as she can remember.

Every day Mrs Egan goes for a long run and goes to Boot Camp three times a week. She is a keen participant in many fun runs as she loves running.

Over the two week break, Mrs Egan visited UPPS and travelled to Queensland for her auntie’s 80th birthday. She made the most of her trip by taking enjoyable walks and runs along scenic tracks.

After meeting Mrs Egan in person we were privileged to have the opportunity to interview her about her experiences at the school and her endeavours for the future. It is great that Mrs Egan has picked up quite a few names so far. At the time of writing, Mrs Egan remembers Grade 6 students Tayla-Jade, Bailey, Ella, Kaitlyn and from younger year levels, Campbell, Grace and Ned.

During our interview with Mrs Egan, she stated that on the holidays she was walking around the school and doing a bit of sightseeing when she realised that she had gotten herself lost near the 5/6 building and couldn’t find her way back to the office.

We asked what her favourite thing about the school is so far and her response was “Definitely the students, due to their friendly and welcoming attitude towards myself.”

Mrs Egan has been teaching for a long time and the first thing she said was that the students at the school come first. She carried on by saying that it is important to make decisions based on the kids. Mrs Egan is looking forward to maintaining a nice community and spending quality time with everybody.

Mrs Egan’s old school is a small school like ours, however there is a difference in the amount of students. There aren’t many other differences. The surroundings are quite similar and there are many lovely students.

In the future Mrs Egan is looking forward to getting to know everybody, sharing success with the community, supporting students and most importantly having fun!

Mrs Egan told us that she would not like to make any changes to the school for the time being because she thinks it is good to see how the school runs and how the students and staff work.

Mrs Egan is a very passionate principal and always keeps a positive perspective on everything. We look forward to spending more time with her and seeing her grand plans for the future!


Do you have a message for Mrs Egan?


How did you feel on your first day of school?

Where’s William? Part B


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Guest Post, School Event, Special Event | Posted on October 8, 2015

* Guest Post by Cam & Dylan *

This post is going to be about where William Tyrell is at the moment. William, aged three at the time, went missing on Friday 12th September, 2014 at 10:30am from his nana’s backyard in Kendall, NSW. He was wearing a Spiderman costume at the time.

The police and William’s family believe that he may still be alive. They have launched a massive campaign to raise awareness for William’s disappearance in the hope someone will come forward with information so that William can be found. If anyone has any information about William, they should call Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Merchandise is being sold from the Where’s William Foundation to help to raise money. They sell caps, t-shirts, ribbons and much more. Our school is running a fundraiser tomorrow for the ‘Where’s William?’ fundraiser.


Photo from Where's William? website

Photo from Where’s William? website


What fundraisers have you been involved with?

Where’s William?


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Guest Post, School Event, Special Event | Posted on October 8, 2015

Guest Post by Ebony & Olivia

Young William Tyrrell disappeared from his Nana’s home on the NSW Mid-North coast at around 10:30am on Friday 12th September 2014. He was 3 years old at the time and wearing a Spider-Man costume.


Photo from Where's William? website

Photo from Where’s William? website


William’s family and friends are heartbroken not knowing what has happened to their little boy. If you know anything that might help the police to find William please don’t keep it a secret. Ring Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

Even the smallest piece of information that someone may think is insignificant could help police find William and bring him home.

Everyone in William’s family loves him and cares about him and are desperate to find him and bring him home. There is a special fundraising campaign that people all around Australia can donate to. Our school is doing a fundraiser on Friday for William. We will be dressing in red and blue or Spiderman costumes. It will be a gold coin donation to dress up and all money raised will go to the ‘Where’s William?’ foundation.


Photo from Where's William? website

Photo from Where’s William? website

Click Here if you want to find out more about William. We used information from this website to help us write our post.


Have you been involved in any fundraisers?

 If you have, what are they?



Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Guest Post, Sport | Posted on October 6, 2015

Guest Post by Cooper and Jack

Basketball is a popular sport and people around the world play it. According to Wikipedia, basketball was invented in 1891 by a PE teacher called Mr Naismith. He wanted a game that was not as rough as football.

In 1949 the National Basketball Association (NBA) started in America. It is now very popular and worth billions of dollars. In America there is a National Basketball Association. It is called the NBA and there are lots of teams. Some of them are Chicago Bulls, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, New York Knicks and Toronto Raptors.

There were only thirteen rules of “basket ball”. These are the original rules which we have copied from Wikipedia.

  1. The ball may be thrown in any direction with one or both hands.
  2. The ball may be batted in any direction with one or both hands.
  3. A player cannot run with the ball, the player must throw it from the spot on which he catches it, allowance to be made for a man who catches the ball when running at good speed.
  4. The ball must be held in or between the hands, the arms or body must not be used for holding it.
  5. No shouldering, holding, pushing, tripping or striking in any way the person of an opponent shall be allowed. The first infringement of this rule by any person shall count as a foul, the second shall disqualify him until the next goal is made, or if there was evident intent to injure the person, for the whole of the game, no substitute.
  6. A foul is striking the ball with the fist, violation of rules 3 and 4, and such as described in rule 5.
  7. If either side makes three consecutive fouls it shall count a goal for opponents.
  8. A goal shall be made when the ball is thrown or batted from grounds into the basket and stays there If the ball rests on the edge and the opponent moves the basket it shall count as a goal.
  9. When the ball goes out of bounds it shall be thrown into the field and played by the person first touching it. In case of a dispute, the umpire shall throw it straight into the field. The “thrower-in” is allowed five seconds. If he holds it longer it shall go to the opponent. If any side persists in delaying the game, the umpire shall call a foul on them.
  10. The umpire shall be the judge of the men and shall note the fouls, and notify the referee when three consecutive fouls have been made.
  11. The referee shall be the judge of the ball and shall decide when the ball is in play, in-bounds, and to which side it belongs, and shall keep the time. He shall decide when a goal has been made and keep account of the goals with any other duties that are usually performed by a referee.
  12. The time shall be fifteen-minute halves, with five minute rests between.
  13. The side making the most goals in that time shall be declared the winner. In the case of a draw, the game may, by agreement of the captains, be continued until another goal is made.

This is a picture of the first basketball court.




A basketball court looks like this:

Picture from Word by Picture website

Picture from Word by Picture website


When you play basketball you need shorts and a t-shirt because you get hot. You also need a basketball and a pair of shoes that are easy to run in, like Nike, Asics or Adidas.

Basketball is good for your health because you run around and become fit. It is also good fun playing with your friends.


Photo taken by Jack

Photo taken by Jack


Do you like basketball? Why?


Tell us about a basketball game you have played.


The Term That Was…


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Classroom, Collaboration, Inquiry, Learning, Literacy, Numeracy, School Event, Special Event, Sport, Twitter | Posted on September 30, 2015

We are currently on school holidays after finishing Term Three on 18th September. We packed a fair bit into our ten week term. In addition to learning about procedures (more here), reports, finding the main idea and supporting details of a text, comparing texts, skimming, scanning, summarising, fractions, decimals, location, data and natural disasters we also had some special events, including:

A First Aid course



– A Hoop Time Basketball tournament






– Working with Miss Newton and Mr Sinclair (our pre service teachers)

– An Athletics Day (sorry, no photos – we forgot to take the camera!)

– Winning a T-Ball grand final

– Cooking



– eSmart Week and a cyber safety workshop with Susan McLean



– Developed growth mindsets and completed a ‘Seven Day Growth Mindset Challenge’.

– Dressed up as a favourite character from a favourite book to celebrate Book Week.












– Continued our #globalpal Twitter project with Mrs Monaghan in England, Mrs Yollis in America and Ms Shannon in Darwin.



– Went to Allambee Camp


– Some of us also went to Tasmania to visit Mrs Smith and our friends in 5/6CS. We also learnt about Australia’s convict history. Click HERE to read Mrs Smith’s blog post about our visit.


– Said ‘Goodbye’ to Mrs Laffan (our principal) with a special Mrs Laffan dress up day, flash mob dance and assembly.



No wonder we were all very tired at the end of term – we were busy little bees!

Our last term for the school year begins on Monday 5th October.  It is sure to be another busy and exciting term. Check out the ‘Curriculum’ tab in the ‘Parents’ section at the top of the screen to see what we will be learning about. There will also be ‘Where’s William?’ Day on Friday 10th October, a Genius Hour Day, Grade 6 Graduation, Christmas Carols and Awards Night, a Christmas Skype with Mrs Monaghan and some High School Days. We will also be welcoming Mrs Egan, our new principal for Term Four.


What did you enjoy most in Term Three? Why?


What are you looking forward to doing in Term Four? Why?

Staying Safe in Cyberspace


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in ICT | Posted on September 11, 2015

This week was National eSmart Week. Susan McLean, a cybersafety expert, visited our school to talk about how to be safe, smart and responsible when we use the internet.




Susan taught us two key words to remember which will make sure that we never say or write anything bad online. The words are RESPECT and RESPONSIBILITY. Before you type anything, you should ask yourself “Am I being respectful?” and “Am I being responsible?”

Sometimes people are nasty online. They feel brave because they are hiding behind a computer screen. We learnt about cyberbullying.




We talked about what to do if anyone is nasty to us online. We also talked about different examples of cyberbullying so that we can make sure we don’t do it. Did you know, that if someone sends you a mean message about someone and then you forward it on, you can also get in trouble – even though you didn’t start it.

We learnt about social media sites that have age restrictions. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube accounts and iTunes accounts can only be used by people over the age of 13. Susan explained that you can still watch YouTube clips if you are not 13, but you cannot upload your own clips. You have to be over 17 to use Kik. The age restrictions apply because young people are still learning how to use the internet responsibly.  Susan showed us a video about a creepy man who liked to look on these sites and try to make friends with children. Creepy Man lied about his own age and what he looked like.

Susan explained that sometimes people do things online that they would never do in real life. She asked us these questions:




Our answer to all of the above questions was ‘No’. However, sometimes people do this online, without even realising. It then makes it easy for people you don’t know to find out about you. It is important to be cyber safe at all times.





Susan told us different ways we can keep ourselves safe online. Only talk to people who you know in real life. If you have friends who you only know online, delete them. Don’t accept friend requests from people you have never met.

Susan summarised her tips for staying safe online:



Upper Plenty P.S received a Bully Stoppers grant which made it possible for Susan to visit. We would like to thank the Bully Stoppers grant people and Susan for helping to teach us how to stay safe online.


Click Here to complete a cyberbullying quiz and Click Here to see if you can earn your digital licence.


What is your  number one tip for staying safe online?


What did you learn from Susan?



Stinky Summaries!


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Literacy | Posted on September 2, 2015

Over the past two weeks we have been focusing on identifying the main idea in different texts. Click HERE to complete one of our reading activities from last week.

The main idea is the most important thing the author wants you to know. The text will also include supporting details. Can you work out which of the statements below is the main idea and which are the supporting details?

-The meat was undercooked

-The potatoes were burnt

-The meal was awful

-The food was cold

If you said ‘The meal was awful’ is the main idea you are correct! The other three statements support (‘back up’ / ‘prove’) that the meal wasn’t very nice.

If you can work out the main idea and the supporting details, you can summarise a text.

This term our class novel is David Walliams’ Mr Stink. Click HERE to find out more about David.




Earlier this week we wrote $2 summaries after reading a chapter. Each word ‘cost’ ten cents, meaning we could only use a maximum of 20 words. Here’s one a small group wrote:

Chloe and Annabelle gave Mr Stink a makeover because he was going to meet the Prime Minister.

Today we wrote a text response to summarise the chapter called ‘Long Lion Days’. We were allowed to use more than 20 words and had to include the main idea and supporting details. Here’s one a small group wrote.

Chloe discovered that before Mr Stink was ‘Mr Stink’ he was Lord Darlington.

Lord Darlington lived in a big, stately house with his wife Violet. One night Mr Stink/Lord Darlington went to London to catch up with some old friends from school. Whilst he was gone, his house caught on fire. Violet and their unborn child died.

Mr Stink blamed himself for the fire and Violet’s death. He tried to live in the house but it was too sad.

One day he decided to leave. He took some belongings with him, including a silver spoon, handkerchief and photo of him and Violet. Mr Stink just kept on walking.

Chloe’s kindness towards Mr Stink saw them develop an unlikely friendship. It proves you should ‘never judge a book by its cover’.

We are enjoying reading Mr Stink. At the start of each chapter we take turns to act out the name of the chapter. There have been some funny ones!

When we finish the book (which could be this week!) we are going to compare the book with the film version. Here’s a little taste of the film:


Have you read any of David Walliams’ books? Which ones?


What do you like most about the book Mr Stink?


What does ‘Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover’ actually mean? Have you been guilty of this?

Location, Location!


Posted by Miss Crowther | Posted in Numeracy | Posted on August 17, 2015

Recently we learnt about location. We learnt how to use grid references, co-ordinates, compass points and also compared different types of maps.

We began by making and using a giant classroom grid reference system. We drew our classroom using correct grid references to locate objects.




Aside from grid references, such as B3, we discovered that there are other ways to describe the location of particular objects. The Cartesian co-ordinate system was named after a man called Rene Descartes who was also known as Cartesius. Unlike grid references, the Cartesian system only uses numbers.

There are four quadrants in the Cartesian co-ordinate system, each with co-ordinates created using the x and y axis.  It’s important to remember to read the x co-ordinate first. Campbell shared his strategy for remembering this, which is Jack goes across the beanstalk and then up or down. Kaitlyn shared her strategy, which is x comes before y in the alphabet.

The image below is from Maths Worksheets for Kids and names the different quadrants.




We completed some activities like the one below from the Maths Aid website to practise finding certain points.


Capture 2


We used quite a few websites to learn about grid references and co-ordinates. You might like to complete the activities too!

Task 1. Click HERE to help Billy Bug find his food.

Task 2: Click HERE to help find the dinosaur bones.

Task 3. Click HERE to answer questions about co-ordinates in the Cartesian co-ordinate system.

Task 4. Click HERE to answer more questions about the Cartesian co-ordinate system.

Task 5:

We also compared satellite/aerial views with other maps. There are lots of differences between the two maps below. Both of them show our school. Most of us prefer the satellite view as it is easier to see details and it gives a clearer picture of what the actual area looks like.



UPPS satellite

Which map do you prefer? Why?


When do you use mapping skills?


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