It has been a very busy start to the year for HSIE students at Inaburra.
The nature of our subjects is that there is a need for in class learning matched with real life experience and it is this mix that we have endeavoured to deliver from the very beginning of the year.
On invitation of the school’s local MP Craig Kelly, our Year 11 students and School Captains were invited to listen to the House Economic Committee which was sitting in the Sydney CBD to ask questions of RBA Chairman Glenn Stevens. We then went and had lunch in the Federal Parliamentary Offices in Sydney. We were blessed through the day to meet, and talk to, member from all sides of politics, including Ed Husic, Arthur Sinodinos, Barnaby Joyce, our local MP Craig Kelly and member for Banks David Coleman, amongst others. Students were able to learn about the relationship between the RBA and the government as well as current economic policy and the differing viewpoints on it.
Students in Year 11 Geography went to Lane Cove National Park only a week ago, where they completed compulsory fieldwork. It was an excellent day as we went to various parts of Lane Cove River to test the health of the river, utilising University level field work equipment. Analysis is occurring back in class on the results as we will be completing a case study on rivers and the ecosystems throughout them.
The classes doing Geography this semester in Year 10 visited the Sydney Water Treatment Plant at St Marys and the Suez Lucas Heights Waste Centre. The purpose of these visits was to learn about what we do with waste products in our society. Each student was able to experience what a water waste treatment centre does, including the ever popular primary treatment area. This enabled students to see classroom learning in action, and gain some insight into what different businesses are doing to try and reduce the amount of goods we are wasting, including water and the importance of reducing, reusing and recycling. Students doing Geography in second semester will complete this excursion at that time.
All students in Year 10 were visited by Mr Howard Smith last Wednesday. He held a seminar on key employability skills such as writing an effective resume and completing a successful job interview. This learning is now going to be put into practice with a mock interview being held for each student of Year 10 in the final week of the semester.
Finally as part of their threatened habitats topic, and as a precursor to their eco-tourism topic, students of Year 8 visited Taronga Zoo last Thursday. They represented the school well and visited the seal and bird shows as well as looked at a number of the exhibits to see how and why the animals natural environment has been replicated. The thinking behind having Taronga Zoo was also discussed from the context of the zoo’s role as an animal protection body as well as a tourist venue.
With trips to Canberra, Katoomba and St Marys still awaiting HSIE students it will be another big year for out of class experiences that reinforce in-class learning. All out of class experiences are fully aligned with in-class tasks and in turn the achievement of specific assessment tasks. This framework provides the means of measuring student competency levels overall. This being said, the memories of these trips for the students themselves is the most valuable aspect of all.