Term 3 begins!


Featherbrook students returned to school last week rested, relaxed and ready to learn after a 2- week break. My many chats to students across the college suggests that holiday experiences ranged from going to Queensland, Abu Dhabi and country Victoria through to visiting the sites of the Melbourne CBD: Federation Square, the museum and other city school holiday special events. Our families certainly made the most of the term break! I am most excited by the term ahead as our students will enjoy camp experiences; planned excursions; swimming for Year 1 students; Book Week, and ongoing rehearsals for our school production which will feature in term 4, just to mention a small fraction of highlights to come.

Year 8 Visual Arts....exemplary!

As I returned to school after the holidays, I noted some wonderful artwork on display in our secondary learning community. The pieces featured in the blog are a small sample of the exquisite art our very talented Year 8 students created through the tuition and guidance of art teacher Nicole Houlihan. On seeing the display, I felt compelled to share with our broader school community. Nicole provided the following comments explaining the techniques and creativity applied by the students.

Students explored the use of a plastic material in two different ways. Firstly, they used the installation and environmental sculptor Dale Chihuly whose work is considered to possess outstanding artistic merit in the field of blown glass. Students used this inspiration to develop a plastic painted vessel that was then moulded and shaped with a heat gun. When working through the design process on this piece, students needed to first consider the flat painted surface and how colour and texture might be compromised with the shaping of the item. They had to turn their thinking from two dimensional to three dimensional when they were shaping and bending the material to create their vessel. The result was colourful sculptured bowl that captures the light.

The artwork below required students to firstly create and etch, followed by printing on the printing press. The students looked at old masters such as Rembrandt as well as contemporary Melbourne artists like Clare Whitney. They then researched images that had some meaning to them. It could have been an item or a place of significance. Once they had the black and white image they then used an etching tool to carve out and create a textural image with only line. Consideration was given to how to make some areas darker than others. Unlike lino printing, printing using an etching plate requires practice to determine the correct amount of ink. This was done through the experimentation of ink to wet paper ratio resulting in some impressive pieces of artwork.

Bastille Day Celebrated at Featherbrook

Our Year 7 and 8 students are most fortunate to be offered the opportunity to learn either Japanese or French. This week, our French speaking students took the opportunity to learn a little more about a very significant date on France's calendar, Bastille Day. I stepped into the French class on Wednesday just as the Year 7 students were heading outside to enjoy a notable French game, Petanque which is similar to Bocce Ball. Below, is a description from French teacher Ms D, of the students' Bastille Day learnings, along with student reflections.

Bastille Day or ‘la fête nationale’ is celebrated on 14, julliet or July 14th. Students began their lesson standing for La Marseillaise, the French national anthem to tune them into their learning. Through reflection Vaani of 7B demonstrated her success in meeting the success criteria (I can explain why Bastille Day exists.) with the following explanation and reasoning for today’s lesson. “In 1789, 300,000 people stormed the Bastille Prison. King Louis XVI used this prison to detain his opponents. However, on July 14th, 1789, the success of the people against King Louis XVI played a significant role in the end of the Monarchy in France.”

With a brief lesson in French history, students investigated how Bastille Day is celebrated in both France and Australia. Scarlett from 7B recalled that both Sydney and Melbourne have major celebrations. In fact if you were at Federation Square this past Sunday, you would have been in the heart of Melbourne’s own Bastille Day celebrations. However, for 7B students, the celebration was brought to them. Using a boule set, students learned to play Pétanque. Pétanque is similar to bocce ball, and is widely played on Bastille Day in France.

Overall, the evidence of engagement in today’s lesson is not so hidden in the photos. Both Scarlett and Vaani gave feedback to Mademoiselle Dick. “It was very entertaining. I had a lot of fun! I loved learning all about the different things they do on Bastille Day.”