J Pod -Grovedale West Primary School

The J Pod blog – Year 1 and 2 learning at Grovedale West Primary School

JPod news Feb 2017

We hope you enjoy Jpod News which was shown in our whole school assembly last week.

Well done to all the students who took part in our first assembly of the year.

Just a reminder to please send in a box of tissues with your child as we need to stock pile some tissues to see us through all the winter months (not to wish away the lovely weather)

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Anglesea Bush Walk and Beach FUN!!

What a fantastic day we had today in Anglesea. The students were a credit to themselves as they enjoyed a bush walk, beach play and park play in the wonderful Anglesea (where the bush meets the sea!)

When we got back to school the students reflected on their day and it was so lovely to hear a range of appreciations for their day:

‘I appreciated the bus and the bus drivers for taking us safely there’
‘I appreciated my friends for playing with me and having so much fun’
‘I appreciated the teachers for organizing such a great day for us’
‘I appreciated Mrs Lynch for letting us go’
‘I appreciated the bush walk because it’s something I don’t do that often’
‘I appreciated the beach because we are so lucky to have such a lovely beach near us’
‘I appreciate Katie for making me such a special tasty lunch box today for my day out’ (Mr Ramage)

All the teachers in the Jpod have had such a pleasure this year working with your children and today was such a lovely way to enjoy a celebration with them of the fantastic year they have had.

We hope you enjoy a few photos of our lovely day.

































JPod Movie night…

The teacher and the students had lots of fun tonight at the Jpod movie camp night. The students arrived excitedly, some in PJ’s with bean bags and sleeping bags. After some fun games outside in the lovely evening sunshine with the teachers, including a HUGE soccer match it was inside for the movie.

Two super wide screens, complete with surround sound were set up in the rooms for the full movie experience.

The teachers then served the students popcorn and warm milo as they relaxed and enjoyed the movie.

Hopefully the students won’t be too tired in the morning!!

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The stick play area is now open…

Stick Play Area is now open.


Over the last couple of terms a group of Jpod students have been working on a project to develop part of the Jpod outside learning space.

There is more exciting news soon to come very soon about how this outside learning space will be developed this term, but the students are very excited to share the work they have done to develop an area where other students can use their creative and collaborative skills to build and create models using sticks and a healthy amount of imagination.

The students have made a video to share their work with the wider school community and other students in the school. As you will see from the video that the students have made, they have put a considerable effort into creating the area, making posters to support students who want to use the area as a play space, thinking about ways in which students can safely play with sticks and the sorts of things they can make and create.

The boys are very proud of their achievements and are looking forward to other students having the chance to use the area in the way they have planned.


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The Learning Expo movie

We premiered our Learning Expo film during our junior assembly on Friday and heard the Jpod students reflections about the Expo Experience.

In case you missed the assembly or wanted to see the film again, here it is:

Thank you again to everyone who came!


The power of the Learning Expo

Thankyou to everyone who came to celebrate the J Pod Learning as past of the Geelong Expo on Friday. We were overwhelmed with the number of visitors and the Jpod was buzzing with excitement as parents, grandparents, friends and students explored the room. It was particularly wonderful to see the students interactions with each other as they questioned one an other so respectfully about their learning.

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This Friday at our Junior assembly (2.45 -3.10) we will be premiering a film of the Expo, complete with many interviews of the students both before and during the Expo which will hopefully capture the atmosphere of the day. We hope you can join us for assembly to see the film together with a presentation from our fabulous Prep students about their maths learning.

At the end of this blog post we have also linked the many digital projects, films and drama productions which were produced by the students and shared on Friday.

Why do we value the Learning Expo’s?

The students at GWPS have over the last few years become increasingly used to showcasing their learning to the wider school community, parents and their peers through what we call Learning Expo’s. In just the last few weeks at school we have had a Prep Learning Expo showcasing their interesting and often personal investigations about different cultures of the world and also the Mi-pod students learning Expo where the students presented their learning about pollution of local water ways and the different ways the students were able to make a real difference to their local community and health of those waterways. This week it has been the J pod students’ turn, with their Geelong Learning Expo, showcasing the learning that has been happening over the last term as the students build their understanding of what is special about Geelong and its surrounding environment.

The value of these learning Expo’s should not be underestimated and they are more than a simple ‘show and tell’ of the student’s final work. They are often the culmination of weeks and hours of learning that has been built upon layer by layer as the teacher and students work together to understand an area of the curriculum and develop interesting, creative and authentic ways to demonstrate what they have learnt or how they are trying to make a difference to their world.

In addition to the curriculum area that has been developed (e.g. The Geography or History), the learning Expo gives the students a chance to tell more of their learning story and to demonstrate the many wider cross curriculum skills that they have developed. At GWPS we refer to these as the 6C’s, which you may have read about in the school newsletter or your students school report, being Creativity, Collaboration, Character, Citizenship, Communication and Critical Thinking. As we move into a world where technology is drastically changing the world and many jobs that your children will do have not yet been invented, these 6C skills are without doubt the most important skills that students will need to be successful and happy individuals in society. When students have the opportunity to work at length on projects as they do at GWPS and to celebrate and present learning at authentic learning Expo’s then the students have the chance to develop these 6C skills. The learning Expo also gives you as parents the chance to see these skills in practice.

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Take for example the work being presented last week in the Jpod. You might have seen a model that your child had constructed or a film another group of students had produced about a special place in Geelong. However, there is so much more to the learning than the final product. Firstly there is a development of the authentic need for the learning . In this case for the students to try to show students in Malaysia, (and along the way our own school community) what is special about Geelong. Then came the initial planning, questioning and research about the place in question. Then working with others and the teacher to decide on a criteria for what makes a good model. Then the planning of a model concept, choosing materials, designing, possibly redesigning again. Building, reflecting and adjusting the model. Taking feedback from their peers and their teachers about their work. Then comes the authentic preparation for the learning Expo; real timelines have to be met, perhaps everything might not be completed in time, the project might not work out as perfectly as expected… but, during every part of the learning, the 6C’s skills are being developed by the students and the teachers are working together to provide the supportive environment for those skills to flourish.

After the project is finished the students may not be able to recall all the facts they discovered about the model or tell you the date the building was build or who built it, but much more importantly than this recall of facts they will hopefully be able to remember where to find and research information when they need it, how to work in a team effectively and support each other, how to have the character to persist when they encounter problems in their learning, how to give and take feedback, how to communicate effectively to an audience and they will hopefully feel extremely proud of sharing their achievements with an authentic and real audience.

That is the power of the Learning Expo and why we value them at GWPS.

Below are the Geelong Drama stories, created using our Green screen studio.

The students developed their characters, created their storyboards and wrote and rehearsed their own scripts for the productions. After filming they then used their ICT skills to put scenery backgrounds into the films using a green screen app. Finally the films were then edited again and revised by the students using I-movie to add titles, credits and sound effects.

Another group of students produced the wonderful information Travel films before. These multi media presentations were created in I-movie. They were planned and researched independently by the students using websites and information they could obtain from the internet about the different places. They then combined their picture with text and recorded voice overs and music to produce these very engaging promotional films showcasing their special place in Geelong.

If you attended the Expo we would love to hear your feedback about the experience.

Or Jpod students might like to tell us what you enjoyed most about being part of the Expo as one of the presenters?


Jpod parent open night 5pm to 6.30 pm tonight

Hi Jpod families, just to confirm that tonight’s parent open night in the Jpod will run from 5pm to 6.30 pm, as advertised in the school newsletter. We hope you can make it.

Sorry if a previous blog post on Monday this week caused a little confusion about the times for the evening. 

Hope to see you from 5pm tonight .


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Photos of the Jpod excursion to Anglesea

We had a fantastic end to our year in the Jpod with a great excursion down to Anglesea on Wednesday.

The kids were fantastic and really enjoyed themselves. We were also really grateful to have help from many parents which made our day run all the smoother.

Here are some photos from the day for you to enjoy.




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Amazing writing shared during assembly.

We had another fantastic junior assembly on Friday. The assembly was hosted by our very confident year 1 students Ella and Joseph who did a fantastic job introducing the items and running the show. The prep students shared their interesting learning about our community and also previewed their forthcoming animation films which will be showing soon in the prep learning community.

The Jpod students showcased their recent writing successes in the following film. Students presented selections from their recent writing tasks. We have been focussing on using descriptive language in our writing to ‘show don’t tell’ the reader what is happening in the story. For example rather than saying ‘the boy was walking in the hot desert’, the students have been experimenting with using their senses to set the scene for the reader, for example, ‘dripping with sweat from his reddened face, the boy trudged through the deep, harsh sand’, might create a better picture for the reader.

We have also been learning how to use, and not overuse, talking in our stories and how to add correct punctuation when someone is talking. In addition we have been exploring synonyms to use for the word ‘said’. For example, whispered, replied, questioned, yelled are all words which help build a more vivid picture for the reader than the word ‘said’.

We are very impressed with the way the students are developing their writing skills and if you weren’t able to make it to assembly, we hope you enjoy the video below.

We’d love to hear what you think of the writing?

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The great Jpod bake off….

This term all the students in the JPOD will have the opportunity to learn some new and important skills in our wonderful kitchen.

Over the next 4 weeks students will be working in small groups to create their own ‘resplendent’ pizzas. No more sub-standard pizzas in the Jpod!!

This will involve making pizza dough and then creating interesting toppings, before cooking, sampling and hopefully making at home for families!!

We are sure the students will enjoy this opportunity and hopefully develop a passion for cooking!



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