Ficino School Letter Week 5, Term 3, 2016

The latest piece of legislation on education to come before parliament this week is to allow school-aged children to do all their learning on line.  The government wants to introduce communities of online learners or COOL schools.  It is easy to see why such proposals come into being; there seems to be an urgency surrounding changing the way we teach and learn.  The term often used is 21st century learning.  An idea like this, that children will receive a proper education by doing all their learning online, clearly misses the point of what education is about.  It reduces education to a very limited dimension.

We already have increasing numbers of young people being diagnosed with social disorders; whether it be anti-social behaviour or an inability to socialise normally.  What we learn at school, especially at primary school, are fundamental tools to be able to interact happily and generously with our fellow human beings.  This is largely learnt by example; children learn together by listening, and watching each other and especially their teacher.  Children learn most from real example.  We take away this kind of interaction at our peril.

Furthermore, by moving to solely online learning with information at our finger tips, we risk losing the ability to recall anything.  A recent article by a 26 year old in the Spectator magazine described the embarrassing secret of her generation being that ‘we can hardly recall a thing.’  Every day and increasingly, we are outsourcing our brains to the internet.’
(Heads in the cloud, Lara Prendergast, from the Spectator, 19/8/16)

The article also mentions that memory and our sense of self are inevitably linked, because personal identity is founded on consciousness.  People have always learnt from each other by close association and interaction;  this is no different in this century or any other.

Peter Crompton



Dance Assembly – Friday 2/9

All parents are invited to our Dance Assembly on Friday 2nd September at 8.30am.  Boys and girls from Classes One to Four will perform various dances, and the girls from Classes Five and Six have two items for you – a folk dance and a temple dance.  All welcome.

Yr 7 & 8 Renaissance Trip – Sponsorship Board

We would like to invite Ficino School families to support children from Years 7 and 8 who are going on their 2016 Renaissance Trip to Europe in October, by sponsoring an item on the sponsorship board displayed at reception. There is a variety of sponsorship options including visits, activities, accommodation and meal costs, at various dollar values. Sponsorship forms are available at the reception desk where the board is displayed. Donations are tax deductible.  Thank you.

Trampoline Park Fundraiser – Friday 16/9

You will have received an email today with a poster attached giving details of this fundraiser for the Year 7 & 8 Renaissance Trip.  This has been kindly donated by New Entrant parents Kirk Bayvel and Clementine Ogilvie-Lee.  Please make your bookings at the school office.

Venue:  Gravity Trampoline Park, 77B Morrin Rd, St Johns
Date & Time:  Friday 16th September – 6 – 8pm
Cost: $15 to Jump – $5 for pizza and sushi

Samosa Orders

All order forms with money are due at school on Tuesday 30th August. Thank you.