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The German Immersion Program Parents & Friends (GIPPF) have been very busy with their initiative: researching and working towards the establishment and implementation of a German Language and Culture Program in a new public primary school when it opens in 2021, comprising of a German Immersion Program, German language program for the mainstream students, and German cultural events to be celebrated school-wide.
The GIPPF has consulted with the ACT Education Directorate on how to implement this initiative and have developed a strong business proposal. Furthermore, they have received letters of support from key players in bilingual education and German language in Australia.
In August, they are meeting with the Swiss Ambassador and the Cultural Attaché of the German embassy who have expressed an interest in the initiative. They are visiting the German International School Sydney and Froebel Australia, and will be presenting the initiative at the ACT German Mini-conference.
The decision however ultimately lies with the ACT Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, Yvette Berry MLA.
As there is no public primary school in the ACT offering a German language program, this is an important initiative for the German-speaking community to support.
In response to community consultation, the ACT government is trialling some changes to Haig Park. One suggestion was to formalise the walking tracks into paths.
The Pfadfinder joey and cub scouts volunteered to help spread bark chips along one of the paths. Our Pfadfinder kids sure know how to turn work into FUN!
Five cubic meters of bark chips were delivered to Haig Park, and in the dark of night, we beavered away spreading bark and beautifying the trees lining the path.
We wanted to work quickly so that in the morning local residents would wake to a picturesque path.
The scouts had prepared beautiful natural objects and colourful birds to hang in the trees. There are even two hand-crafted eucalyptus bark baskets for people to admire, which had been created by a parent for our lantern walk.
Many hands (and buckets) make light work, and we had time for a few races up and down the path in the wagons, bike trailers, billy carts and wheelbarrows that we had used.
The sun rose the next morning on our picturesque path, all finished. We hope local residents enjoy the scouts’ contribution to Haig Park.
In Lisa-Marie’s latest lesson about colours and colour-mixing, the children had a great time painting with blocks of frozen paint. As the little blocks melted, we could paint and mix more and more colours into our works of art. It was really fascinating and lots of fun!
A special guest to the GAP went through the list of colours of the rainbow with the children, and one little girl added at the end, “And don’t forget sparkles!” So it seems that just because we have banned glitter due to environmental concerns, doesn’t mean we can’t still have sparkles in our lives!
In the past weeks, the GAP children have been talking about sciences like biology, chemistry and geophysics, and performing fun experiments in class. The children are always keen to explore outdoors, so….
We ventured out into the field as biologists searching for animals. And guess what? We found some never discovered before! With the discovery of a new species, comes the prestigious naming rights in Latin, of course.
The photo featured above is Igelus Nicki. Meet some of our other newly discovered geo-flora-fauna below!
The Monday-Tuesday GAP class thoroughly enjoyed learning about colours and vegetables, with Lisa-Marie’s innovative lesson about making a rainbow pizza. We did this in small groups so that everyone had an opportunity to participate.
Making our own vegetarian pizza was fun and healthy, and it meant less packaging was wasted and it was more environmentally friendly.
What a wonderful winter walk we all enjoyed. This year’s traditional German lantern walk was a magical evening.
Many volunteers helped to put the event on: providing food, drinks, shopping, cooking and serving on the BBQ, cleaning, providing the audio/visual magic, and much more.
The walk took us along a path lit by lanterns, to a wide circle area in the forest. There we enjoyed more singing together while the children paraded inside the circle with their lanterns, and we heard a special choral performance by the joeys and cubs.
Returning to the hall, we were entertained by a play about Saint Martin who is associated with the lantern walks in Europe.
We are grateful to the ACT government for their ongoing support of this event, through the ACT Multicultural Grants program.
Aboriginal Australian Duncan and his team from Wiradjuri Echoes visited us at the GAP, and we loved having them!
Duncan spoke to us about Reconcilation Week and the Stolen Generation. We all agreed with him that children shouldn’t have been taken away from their parents. We talked about how we love our parents, and parents love their children.
Duncan then proceeded to delight, entertain and educate us with Aboriginal musical instruments and fascinating tools they used to use.
We got to hear amazing didgeridoo music, see a bush telephone in action (we “rang” Duncan’s mum on it!), dance, sing, learn a few new words in Duncan’s mob’s language, pretend we were various Australian animals, have our faces painted, hear a Dream-Time story and learn a fun snake dance. It was a great morning!
Our annual fire safety inspection turned out to include a whole lot of fun and education for the children at the GAP.
We were invited to explore the fire truck and ask a lot of questions.
The fire fighters were very pleased to hear that we had quarterly fire drills and that we are “blitz schnell” (lightning fast) at evacuating our premises.
We talked about what a good idea it is to store our shoes and boots in a tidy fashion at school and at home, in case we wanted to go outside to play as quickly as fire fighters do. The fire fighters said they always store their shoes, boots, jackets and hats tidily.