Term 1 Years 7 to 10 Electives Blog | Preshil
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Term 1 Years 7 to 10 Electives Blog

By April 16, 2015 Blogs, Electives Program News

Once again, the year began with a great range of choices for our Electives Program Term One. It was a pleasure to welcome back familiar faces, with two of our former students also sharing their skills as part of the program.

This term, to commence our Electives Program, we welcomed a visit from Latrobe University Dr Jon Stanger who came to talk to all our students about their RAMP program which essentially promotes the use of Electronics and Arduinos coupled with 3D printing as an essential tool for students who want to study engineering or technology in the future. He also gave the students a great insight into their different Tertiary Courses, Scholarships’, Grants and Career options available.

Latrobe University and RAMP    

Soccer Skills with Shede

Shede says it has been a pleasure guiding our students in soccer as one of their Electives and we are pleased to have him continue with the same program in Term 2. Here are some of the things they have covered in Term 1.

• Team work

• Effective team communication

• Fair play during the match

• Advanced rules

• Advanced ball possession (passing, mobility and ball protection)


3D Printing – Advanced with Scott Phillips

The advanced class investigated the options for converting the school’s 3D printer to print in chocolate.  In order to finally achieve this, students will need to learn parametric software, achieve accurate measurement and fit of mechanical components, prototype and test the machine.  Students were also able to continue with their explorations of the possibilities through their own projects.

Debating with Adam Simon

Students debated a range of topics including Animal Testing and Genetic manipulation.


Australian Music with Alumni Jordan Oakley

Students had a chance to look at lots of different periods of Australian history. Most of their learning was focussed on Rock and Popular music of the time. Jordan and the students successfully played songs by Jet, Skyhooks and Silverchair. The students were really enthusiastic and keen to give their own opinions, which Jordan encouraged. With so much great music still to explore, Jordan has given the students more than enough bands to listen to over the next few months though.”

Scriptwriting with Alumni Sunday Sommerfeld
Students were given the opportunity to explore the performance potential of their writing and to develop, alone or in collaboration with other students, their own script for performance. This term students will have the opportunity to continue honing their writing skills in the Writers’ Salon with parent and freelance writer and editor Donna Coutts.


Art Projects with June McKenzie

Students continue each term to work on their ongoing individual projects, be they sketching, painting, design or sculpture.


Balanced Body Workout with Marisa Lawlor

Marisa led the students through a series of weekly workouts which included building strength and flexibilty with a fun blend of pilates and yoga.

Sport with Nick Compton and Swimming with David Cobb

This term students participated in a variety of different games including Four Square, Swing/Tether Ball, Soccer and Swimming.



Textiles with Cressida Batterham-Wilson

Students embarked on making a simple gathered skirt – firstly to choose and buy fabric, then construction and fitting of the skirt which included techniques for cutting, pinning and/or tacking, observing the 1.5cm seam allowance, finishing techniques for all seams and button holes and invisible hemming with a herringbone stitch. We look forward to seeing how they finished up!


3D Printing and Introduction with Scott Phillips

Students had the opportunity to learn the basics of 3D printing in this introductory class.  Students also experimented with different 3D Cad packages including Tinkercad, Thingiverse, Fusion360 and the latest online program called Onshape where students can not only create but collaborate and share the same project. Those students now have the opportunity to extend their understanding of the craft by taking the advanced 3D printing class. 3D printing can also allow for exploration in the classroom of materials not readily available like animal anatomies, toxic materials, fossils and artifacts. The British Museum for example has a free collection of 3D Fossils you can download and print. (http://www.3d-fossils.ac.uk/ )


Songwriting/Music Video with Hugh Matthews and crew from High Voltage Rock School

Congratulations to our excellent Songwriting & Video Workshop. Hugh says students have shown great creativity, talent, drive and dedication in their work and he and teachers Steph and ben were so pleased to be involved in the project. The students’ finished music clips and performances will be shown and performed sometime this term.




Rocket Science with Adam Simon

Students continued in the Kerbal program to experiment with building rockets and the complexity of navigating space, with some once again successfully navigating their way to Mars and our vast solar system.


Learning to Program with Liam Routt

Students worked their way through a gradual introduction to programming concepts using the Stencyl package (http://www.stencyl.com/). This visual coding style encourages experimentation and people have been helping each other to get the hang of things. As it turns out though, almost everyone has a project (or several) that they are working on for themselves through using the things they’ve seen (and things they figure most possible) to make their own games. It is a wild and a varied bunch of ideas! We can’t wait to see them all come together, perhaps later in the year? This term Liam Is running an elective which will explore the mechanics and design of board and card games.


Kitchen Garden with John Collins

This term the students worked in small groups taking turns to research, develop, budget and prepare a menu for the rest of the class to create and enjoy, including cuisine from France and Mexico.




Street Art with Adam Simon

Students in Street Art continue to explore the works of the great street artists from all around the world as well as experimenting and developing their own ideas and styles. You may notice a few new artworks on the art room walls around the school.


Origami with Nick Compton

Students learnt the secrets of the centuries-old Japanese art of paper-folding. With single sheets of square paper, along with patience and attention to detail students mastered may different pieces. You can still see some of them in the library at the Senior Campus.


Clay Sculpture with Rosalind Paterson

Students examined the Zombie genre in clay form. A trans disciplinary approach was applied to encourage lateral thinking skills. The notion of the village as both a social/cultural, philosophical, literary and material construct was being explored. The clay elective was introduced by the concept of the African proverb: It takes a village to raise a child. In the style of the Zombie genre, the theme has been reinvented as: It takes a village full of Zombies to raise a child.



Students also got to experiment centering clay on the wheel which is very challenging. Students studied buildings and gained familiarity with period architecture, and simple design and clay building terms. Also how to recognise basic style and features of genre. Appling new literacy of Zombie genre between context of classical architectural design, the 19th century English novel and individual clay-building/potting skill project.

Discussion ensued during the term as the village comes out of the kiln about the recurring theme of Zombies in literature such as Frankenstein and Dracula and what questions are raised about human identity.

MinecraftEdu Architecture with Adam Siddaway

Students collaborated on working projects of architectural wonders. MinecraftEdu are always posting great blogs from teachers all over the world about how they are using the program in their classrooms. This link by Sara Richards is a good read.


We look forward to updating you about Term 2 Electives later in the term.

The Electives Program enables students to (from the Courage Book)

  • make choices about their learning
  • work at their own level on small projects
  • explore a diversity of experiences and approaches
  • engage with tasks that interest them and develop a positive attitude to learning
  • plan what they will do by setting short-term goals
  • locate resources required for the task
  • develop a sense of personal responsibility and accountability
  • communicate and work with their teachers/peers
  • ask questions
  • use ‘self-talk’ to verbalise their thinking processes, thoughts and feelings
  • take risks with their learning
  • make mistakes and learn from them
  • encounter problems and develop practical/creative strategies to solve them
  • persist with the task and follow it through to a conclusion
  • manage their time
  • build on previous learning
  • reflect on their learning
  • use knowledge gained as the basis for future learning.

“From the earliest years, children at Preshil are encouraged to choose. In the 5s this takes the form of a simple “choosing time” where children can decide how to engage themselves for the next part of the day. In later years, children are encouraged to choose and pursue one or more special interests…This tradition of choosing special projects and electives continues throughout the school.”

Preshil believes that providing children with the choice to follow their own interests leads to a more compelling and rewarding learning experience for both child and teacher. By taking ownership of their education children invest more of themselves and are more motivated to learn.

By learning to make their own choices in ever more significant ways, children begin to learn the importance of making good choices and taking responsibility for them. When children can understand that their every action is the product of a choice they themselves make, whether consciously or unconsciously, they become more empowered to direct their own lives.

By choosing to pursue their own interests children solidify their unique strengths and the growing expertise that will aid them in their later studies, as well as in their vocations as adults.”                                                                               The Courage Book