From the Deputy Head of Middle School

The Carey calendar is full to the brim with opportunities for our students to shine, and for us all to feel part of the caring and vibrant Carey community. The Middle School Musical is one of these great events. This year’s musical is Bye Bye Birdie, and there are a huge number of students involved in the cast and crew. They have rehearsed over much of the long weekend, and are now into the final stages of preparations. From my office, I have had the privilege of listening to the rehearsals for many, many weeks now, and the talented singing plus the energy and enthusiasm of the cast has had me tapping along, as I have corrected my maths tests. I cannot wait to see the performance! Opening night is tomorrow night (Friday 17 June) and the musical continues until Thursday 23 June. Make sure you have purchased your tickets!

Carey also has a number of smaller, more boutique opportunities for students to take centre stage. Debating competitions, asking a guest speaker a question during Civics Week, reading a sport in Assembly, and the FYI Presentation Evening – just to name a few. Follow Your Interest: Independent Project (FYI) is a core enrichment elective subject offered in Year 9. As its title suggests, students spend the semester studying a topic which holds particular interest or passion to them. Teachers tailor the learning experience to each student and guide students as they narrow their focus, refine their research skills, learn how to take notes, and write in their own words and cite references. Students are expected to consider at least three subject disciplines, include a creative element, showcase their learning in a visual display and report, and then participate in the Presentation Evening for parents and other invited guests.

It was an absolute pleasure to attend their recent evening. The range of topics was very broad, and truly reflected our wise, independent and motivated teenagers. How a camera is used to photograph nature, the benefits of AFL pre-season training, the history of soccer in Australia, the Great Barrier Reef and coral bleaching, making music with Garage Band, shark attacks across the world, and digital manipulation and the perceptions of beautiful women … the list goes on. The depth of learning was most impressive, and the model of the Bismark and of a house with solar panels facing north were amazing! I particularly enjoyed chatting to the students and hearing of their ups and downs through the semester. Everyone had a story to tell about their learning. Some students had chosen FYI because they had a specific topic in mind, others chose FYI because no other electives appealed, while others thought the subject sounded interesting but were not sure what focus they would take. Many students started a project but then realised that they were unable to find information, or that they needed to zoom in more specifically. What was clearly apparent was how proud these students were of their project and of themselves!

Believe it or not, the subject selection process for 2017 begins early next term. It is very important that the three-way partnership between parents, students and teachers is working well as we help students select subjects which are of interest to them, build their skills for the future, can be successfully completed, and create a broad program which allows the student to try something new. There are many great electives in our Challenge and Choice program, and I recommend that you consider Year 9 FYI: Independent Project and its Year 8 counterpart FYI: Innov8.

Finally, please be advised of the following changes to Middle School Heads of House and Mentor roles for Semester 2:

After a period of Long Service Leave, Mr Greg Warmbrunn will return as the Head of Moore and Mrs Brooke Kenwright will take up the position as Head of Hickman. Mr Tom Christensen will remain a Hickman Mentor, and Mr Matthew Barker will become a Moore Mentor. Ms Eleanor Wood will be a Gadsden Mentor, and James Grindrod will replace Mrs Karly DaCosta as a Newnham House Mentor as she commences maternity leave. Heads of House will be also in touch with specific families about these Semester 2 staff changes.

Meredith Plaisted
Deputy Head of Middle School – Student Learning