National Simultaneous Storytime at Broughton

National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) is held annually by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). Every year a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country. (

Mrs Barnes organised an event in the IRC for Kindergarten and Year 1. It included reading the story three times: once by Mrs Barnes with added ‘Sound Words’, once by Jay Laga’aia  reading online and then again with teachers and two senior students as a ‘sound band’ accompaniment. This was concluded back in the classroom with prepared activities. (A short video of the event is in the ‘Events’ menu above)

Broughton Kids Lit Quiz Team – Second Place in Australian Final

Four of our Year 7 students represented the school in the Australia Finals of the Kids Lit Quiz held at Trinity Grammar school. The team came second out of the eleven teams and we can be very proud of their remarkable achievement. They each received a silver medallion, a selection of books and $50 in cash.

“Last term, we went to the Kids Lit Quiz NSW heat and to our amazement, got second. Part of the reward for this, was an opportunity to compete in the national final, with a chance to represent our country at the world final which was being held in New Zealand. The National Final was held at Trinity Grammar School, in Summer Hill. Though we did not win, we were lucky enough to come in second place!

The competition was very hard. We had to verse 11 teams from all over Australia, who all came 1st in their own heats. It was an amazing experience and we got to meet the famous author Jacqueline Harvey who is best known for her Alice Miranda series.

On behalf of the team we would like to thank Mrs Sheerman and Mrs Koek for their ongoing support and confidence in us throughout this journey. Overall it was an awesome experience and a fantastic day and we hope to return next year and win nationals!” (Payton, Isabelle, Prisha and Hannah)

‘Fake News’ or ‘False News’ and the need for skills to deal with it

Adults have problems deciphering truth from falsehoods as information is twisted and changed to compete with different ideologies and competing voices. How much more do our students need to be skilled in discerning truth from fabricated or twisted information. This is where information literacy skills need to be embedded into all aspects of the curriculum and practice given under guidance. It is the role of the Teacher Librarian to assist in this.

Some good ideas for initial activities to make students aware of how easy it is to believe false news are given in this article in the NY Times: Evaluating Sources in a ‘Post-Truth’ World: Ideas for Teaching and Learning About Fake News by 

This New Yorker Cartoon by  says it all!

Four absolutely necessary skills and five vital ‘soft skills’

A A Juliani published a paper yesterday entitled ‘21st Century Skills Have Always Been “Needed” Skills, But Now We Need Them More Than Ever’. He points out that these vital skills are not the focus of standardised testing yet so many educational decisions lie on the results of these tests.  He points out that : If schools are meant to prepare students for the real world. Then why doesn’t school look more like the real world?”

These are the skills we focus on at Broughton when many of our classes, both Primary and Secondary, take part in units of work using Guided Inquiry.

However, A A Juliani goes on to discuss the work of Seth Godin

Let’s Stop Calling Them Soft Skills“, in which he describes five categories of skills that we all look for in colleagues, employees, and students–yet, don’t seem to value over other content and standardized skills.

The five skills Seth describes (from are:

Self Control — Once you’ve decided that something is important, are you able to persist in doing it, without letting distractions or bad habits get in the way? Doing things for the long run that you might not feel like doing in the short run.

Productivity — Are you skilled with your instrument? Are you able to use your insights and your commitment to actually move things forward? Getting non-vocational tasks done.

Wisdom — Have you learned things that are difficult to glean from a textbook or a manual? Experience is how we become adults.

Perception — Do you have the experience and the practice to see the world clearly? Seeing things before others have to point them out.

Influence — Have you developed the skills needed to persuade others to take action? Charisma is just one form of this skill.

There is plenty of food for thought here as we plan another year of activities and learning experiences for the children in our care. The content is not all we must teach!


Future Skills – How do we teach for these today?

An interesting blog post by @refthinking giving us much to ponder about. I know that the collaborative, differentiated method of learning with Guided Inquiry Design we do at Broughton certainly assists students to develop many aspects of the skills mentioned here. According to educational technology researcher Dr. Ahmed Kharrufa, this list was ‘formed by the World Economic Forum following their Future of Jobs report’.


Book Week 2016 – Australia: Story Country

Junior School (Years K-6): On Monday morning the Junior School celebrated Book Week with a Grand Parade of Australian Stories. Every class recited a poem they had learned, dressed for the occasion and also decorated the hall with art work to illustrate their recitation.

Old Man Platpus

Old Man Platypus Display

A ‘Shelfie’ competition is taking place this week in the IRC for the Senior School (Years 7-12). Students and teachers have to guess which teacher belongs to which ‘Shelfie’. Next week all will be revealed with the teachers’ ‘Selfies’ that were taken in front of their bookshelves.


IRC Display


National Simultaneous Storytime 2016

Year One came to the IRC to officially take part in the National Simultaneous Storytime event for 2016. The students all came appropriately dressed with hats representing many things – from Vikings to sportsmen. NSS6

After some activities involving hats the students listened to the book version of I got this hat by Jol and Kate Temple, they then watched a few renditions online from the NSS site. We also really enjoyed the illustrated Auslan version in sign language.

These faces tell it all:

Guided Inquiry Democracy Unit – student evaluation

Year 5 completed their Guided Inquiry ‘Democracy’ unit with one day to spare before the Christmas holidays! Last week parents came for a presentation of their StopMotion videos and a question/answer time that took the form of a Game Show. The ‘surprise’ host was one of the parents dressed as Cleisthenes!

Today was the final evaluation of the unit and took the form of a colour/symbol/image response to the Hardest Part and the Best Part. Data has also been collected via a Survey Monkey questionnaire for our ongoing Action Research into using Guided Inquiry as pedagogy. Students accessed this from a link in their Edmodo learning group for this unit.
Response to the “Easy Part”
Best part









Response to the “Hard Part”
Alexis_theHardest Part