New Junior Fiction – February

New series

Jinny had wanted a guinea pig for ages…. Cooper is a guinea pig who is obsessed with junk food and tells tall tales. Will he be the perfect pet?

Remote Rescue

An outback adventure.

Diary of a Tennis Prodigy

Marcus is an ordinary boy. His Dad wants him to play tennis. Marcus isn’t very good at tennis or any sport really. Find out how he gets on…

Squishy Taylor

Your’re going to love Squishy Taylor, she is brave, gets herself into all sorts of trouble, is a dare-devil ninja and solves all sorts of mysteries.

Barney and the secret of the whales

It’s 1791 and a boy on a whaling ship wants to make his fortune. Another great read from Jackie French.

Iris and the Tiger

Iris is 12 years old and is sent to Spain to visit her unusual, wealthy aunt in Spain.


Jacplus Digital Bungle

Year 9 and 10 students at Hawkesdale P12 are settling into digital learning with Jacplus digital text books. With textbooks at their fingertips 24/7 students are embracing a new dimension in learning. Students and teachers log into their own domains at Jacplus online and use text and digital resources from eight subject areas; English, Maths, Science, History, Geography, Economics and Citizenship, Art and Physical Education and Health.

‘Knowlege is power’ Log in @


Paws for Reading

Prep to year 6 students are participating in PAWS for Reading. Scholasitc reading campaign that runs until June 30, 2014. Each P-6 class is participating in the challenge. Teachers register their class, track reading in the classroom and motivate students. Kids select a team CATS or DOGS and record their reading times and progress. Parents can be involved too, helping children to record their results, remind them to reading at least 10 mintues every night and keep them interested in the program by sharing reading time with them.

Scholastic PAWS for Reading

Author ‘virtually’ visits our classroom

Terri Rose Baynton author of ‘Mr Bear Branches and the cloud conundrum’ visited our year 2 and year 5/6 classrooms last week. Thanks to Electroboard, Polycom and HarperCollins Terri Rose presented a workshop to each class engaging readers through Visual Literacy and Problem Solving. We didn’t really know a lot about Terri Rose or her book before the video conference session. There is a YouTube video which we watched, but that is all the prior knowledge students had.  Students entered the session with anticipation, looking forward to Terri Rose reading her book. It’s a fantastic experience to have an author read and share a book they have written. Being able to discuss the characters and learn how they were developed was amazing. After reading the book Terri Rose took us through different parts of the story and described how her characters developed and stepped us through the illustration of Mr Bear Branches and his friend Lintfrey Longfellow. Each child and teacher participated in the drawing process with results that amazed themselves. Students have time to think and prepare questions they may like to ask both before and during the workshop and conversed with Terri Rose as though she was physically in the room. The sessions run for approximately 45 minutes and the time just flies as everyone is so engaged and busy.

Year 5/6 Student illustrations and story development

Terri Rose prepares to read Mr Bear Branches and the Cloud Conundrum


Visiting our Beijing sister school with Skype

Prep and year one students greet our Chinese sister school with an English and then a Chinese version of Incy Wincy Spider. The young students were very confident in Chinese language performance. This was the first time that the schools had communicated with each other using Skype with great success. Secondary school students from years 7-9 then continued the session practicing their Chinese language skills while the Beijing students their English.

Jumping into Book Week with Polycom and Electroboard

Students in years Prep-6 and year 8 participated in Book Week extension activities through Polycom video conferencing and Electroboard using Bridgit software to show note pad presentations and demonstrations. This was the first time we have put this equipment through its paces and expectations of success were not disappointed. Although there were some connection issues, once that was sorted out, it all ran very well. Both the Polycom and Electroboard help teams were great with advice and navigation assistance.

The busy week began on Monday with year six students in the classroom at Hawkesdale P12 and author Libby Hathorn being streamed in via video conference on Polycom from the State Library of NSW. The students listened and interacted with Libby who discussed the books she has had published, her most recent ‘A boy like me’. Libby then led the students in an interactive poetry workshop. It was an amazing experience for the students who produced great poems that they are very proud of. The sessions are all limited to one hour and it is amazing what can be accomplished in that time.

Tuesday the prep/one classes joined in a visual literacy session using Smartboard notebook on the Electroboard through Bridgit and video conference with Polycom. There were a few technical hiccups in this session, but once it was all up and working it was great.

Wednesday, we had two sessions, year 2/3 developing characters through drama and year 4/5 extending literacy through pottery. The year 4/5 students made their favourite book character from clay as directed by their video conference teacher Ms Devine. Who demonstrated pottery skills to develop and extend students’ knowledge in this area. See photograph of all busy at work.

Friday year 2/3 students participated in the visual literacy workshop using the book ‘Into the forest’ by Anthony Browne linking fairy tale characters into story writing. The week wound up with our year 8 students participating in a workshop with James Moloney, another great experience.

It is safe to say that we put Polycom and Electroboard through their paces during the week and as the week went on we grew more confident in setting up and connecting. The presentations/workshops were all great and both teachers and students worked with the new technologies very well. It is great for a rural school such as ours to have access to this type of learning. The students were amazed that the presenters were in Sydney or Melbourne.

The calendar for the programmes can be found at See Share Shape you can just browse at what is on offer, but to book you will need to make an account and then you are on your way, just follow the prompts.

Book Week extends beyond the library…..

Students in prep to year 6 and year 8 will participate in a range of extracurricular activities to celebrate Book Week this year (August 20-24). Using the Polycom Video Conference equipment and Interactive Whiteboards teachers and students will interact with authors in extension activities related to specific books. Creative arts are also on the activity list with Hands on Literacy through Pottery and the use of Drama to Develop Characters. The programme begins on Monday when we have Libby Hathorn working with year 6 with her book ‘A boy like me: a story about peace’. Tuesday the prep and year 1 classes will explore illustrative text and fairy-tales using Anthony Browne’s book, ‘Into the forest’. Wednesday has two creative arts sessions, the first is for the year 4/5 class exploring Literacy through Pottery followed by the year 2/3 class who will experiment with Developing Characters through Drama. Friday finishes the week off with year 8 students participating in the interactive author workshop with James Moloney working with his book Tamlyn. What wonderful way to bring these special events and activities to students, especially in smaller rural communities.