il nido

learning community blog

Il Nido Term 3 Wrap-up

The year has been speeding by and here we are almost at the close of Term 3!

It’s been an eventful term with some brilliant highlights:


Our competitive debating group continued to develop their skills this term with ongoing teacher-led sessions, inter-LC debates, and a debating excursion.

Alex, Lois, Ari, Lily, Olive K, Nadia, Felix, Leonhard, Oliver, Andrew, Milo M, Ed, went with Robyn to Clifton Hill Primary School for inter-school debating on Wednesday 12th September. It was a terrific experience for all and our team had some excellent results, winning three of the five debates, with several students earning best speaker.

Some quotes about the experience:

Olive K “We felt really good about the blind debate, since we were able to get everything prepared and still have time to practise. It was really enjoyable being in debating and helped me improve my skills a lot.”

Lois “I enjoyed doing it at a different school, and practising in front of other people.”

Nadia “I enjoyed writing the blind debate under pressure. We only had an hour and forty-five minutes to write the debate then we had to speak in a shorter debate.”

Angus “The thing I like about debating is that we compete against the other classes and it’s a lot of fun preparing and getting ready.”

Lily “I think it’s good for kids to do it. It helped me with my public speaking. I usually speak too fast – it helped me slow down. It helps you see things from different perspectives and each side can have good points.” 


This year Il Nido completed 3 group project entries for the Maths Talent Quest:

“All about Moreland and our Local Area”

and “The Human Struggle: a Global Solution” both won credit prizes;

and “How will Australians adapt to the future Australia” won a distinction!

Congratulations to all our wonderful Il Nido Mathematicians!

Some representatives from the Future Australia group will be selected to attend the awards ceremony on Thursday 18th October at La Trobe University.


Thanks again to everyone for contributing to and supporting our Friday Market. Once again our Learning Community has been successful and raised an extra $350 for the LC, which we have elected to spend on the purchase of new educational games.

Well done!

PORTSEA CAMP Monday 15th – Wednesday 17th October (Term 4 Week 2)

We are in the process of finalising the last few details for our camp and are getting really excited now that it’s so close. The final camp note will be handed out at the during the first week back in term 4. For anyone who needs an extra packing list, we will attempt to attach this below as well as put a copy on the Il Nido 2018 Google Classroom.

Il Nido Camp packing list 2018


To close, we’d like to wish everyone a safe and happy school holidays, and send you off with a poem:

Spring Awakening by Lily Baker

Spring is the magical time

When the rainbow lorikeets hum and the honey suckles


When I actively bounce down the sand dunes

And onto the pea green grass,

The waratahs and the wattles bloom,

And my heart opens to the riot of spring.

I love this time when everything comes to life,

Nature triumphs in the trees, swaying freely in the wind,

Stealing my train of thought

And making my imagination run wild.

I am inspired by this heavenly kingdom,

The tranquillity of dew droplets falling,


The mastery of the rain.

I feel connected.

Tree sap trickles down the bark of native gum trees

I examine this , calmly, curiously.

Sometimes the wind whispers to me at dusk

Giving me confidence within my body

I promise

I will always make the most of springtime.

Source: Poems written by Australian children in masterclasses on The Four Seasons using The Hathorn Technique led by Libby Hathorn.

See for more.



Photo g GThe feedback about drumming was really positive. The African drumming incursion in which students (and teachers!) participated, was challenging, but heaps of fun! We all got a Djembe drum to play, and participated in a whole-group drumming performance led by a highly talented and experienced teacher. With so much playing, all of us were shaking our hands at the end, and we were so amazed that people who do this style of drumming could keep it up for such long periods of time!

“Best experience I’ve ever had” – Hugo M

“Very informative!” Alex BA

“Fun, interactive, and I learned so much” – Lizzie

“Fun experience, but sore hands!” – Leah

“It was really fun, but my hands got itchy from so much drumming!” – Kyla

“It was fun learning how the drums are made” – Alice

photo g ga

“It was fun and very enjoyable learning the different types of sounds on the djembe” – Jemimah

“I thought that it was very entertaining and I liked how it’s something new we can do” – Lois

“I liked doing the beats and dancing” – Leonhard

“It was thrilling and very fun” – Edwin

“It was quick paced and exciting” – Solomon

“It is musical fun that everyone can join in with” – Max

“It hurt my hands, but it was so fun!” – Milo L


This week we have been exploring science through the lens of engineering. First of all we explored the simplest of machines- screws, wedges, wheels, gears, pulleys, levers and inclined planes.

After designing and creating a pinwheel. Each group was asked to ensure that no individual had the same design, but that the pinwheel did need to function. The results were phenomenal! The extreme range of machines created by the students just cutting and folding different parts of the paper were surprising.

We also looked at the design process from a Science stance- Asking about and Identifying the problem, Imagining plausible solutions, Planning the materials and methods needed, Creating and Testing the design and then Reflecting and Improving upon it.







Last Wednesday we were all in for a fantastic treat usually reserved for High School students. Janet bought in a sack full of sheep hearts and ran an Anatomical Science session with il Nido. Groups of student explored the features of the hearts, slicing them open and disassembling the tendons, muscles, chambers, valves and arteries.

It has been truly fantastic to give the students such a broad understanding of the complexities of science. We are continuing to reframe science as an investigation of the world both physical and metaphysical, an excellent way of thinking, discovering and explaining for EVERYONE to enjoy (whether you are wearing a white coat or not!).





Below you can see the incredible results (and variation in results) from one of our  chemical mixing experiments using cabbage water.

collage science results

The students thoroughly enjoyed the ‘Reactive Chemistry’ session. Many reported it was really interesting conducting all the experiments, others liked learning some chemical symbols and others said they learnt something they didn’t know anything about. All in all there were no complaints and there was an excited buzz of conversation in every session.

The teachers were impressed with the hands on nature of the activities and the presenter successfully engaged all students.

This week, on Wednesday Janet will be doing a science session on the heart with all the students and in week six, ‘Hands on Science,’ returns for a hands on engineering session.

Stay tuned for more incredible photos!


All of us are experiencing technical difficulties at school through. Because a technician has not been allocated to our school, please bear with us whilst we communicate as best we can.





Il Nido News 2018

A great start to the year! The students are already demonstrating positive learner behaviours and an enthusiastic attitude towards their learning.

 Inquiry focus – Science

Hopefully you have heard something about our science topic from your child because the students have certainly been engaged. Our big concept is ‘Change’ – science helps people to understand the natural world and creates different futures.

So far the students have watched You Tube films – ‘The world in 2050,’ The story of Earth (looking back to look forward) and an ABC Catalyst documentary on the future use of robots on farms. In English we have learnt about the ozone layer, clean coals and poaching. Some other areas coming up will be cloning, robotic technology and looking at articles about why we need to embrace science. In research sessions the students are taking notes about antibiotics, coal energy and solar energy, with more independent tasks to follow soon.

Next week we have our first science incursion; ‘Reactive Chemistry’ followed by a second session in week six about ‘Engineering and design.’ Janet has volunteered to do science workshops involving the students using real hearts to make a link between our lungs and heart; a change in one impacting the other. Also Charis from the ‘Science in Schools program,’ is visiting to talk to the students about DNA. We will post some pictures of these events.

All in all, some exciting stuff.



In Maths we have begun with the Statistics and Probability section of the curriculum. The students have been playing games with dice and cards, collecting data, interpreting statistics, drawing conclusions, using probability language to explain results and applying strategies to make the games fair. We will be moving on very soon. Access to students results for PAT maths testing at the end of the year has been made available this week, which will give us insight into what the students need to focus on and hence drive our planning and teaching for the rest of the term. Stay tuned for more maths updates soon.

If you have knowledge of a good maths tutor, please let us know because some families in il Nido are looking for one.


Looking for community volunteers


This is where you come in. We are aware that some of you also work in some sort of science related field and we would love it if you could come in to give some real life application for our students. Please drop us a line if you would be interested and we can slot you into our program in weeks 7, 8 and 9.

Conferencing help

If you are able to help out with conferencing, please email us. Usually in the past adults have assisted in the first one or two sessions of the day between 9:00 and 10:50am.



  • If you haven’t returned the pink Science incursion note and payment please do so by the end of this week. The first session is next Monday.
  • Some students will be involved in the inter-school sport day this Friday. please pay and give permission on QKR, which Peter has set up. You would have received an email if your child is involved in this program.
  • Swimming every Thursday. The Curiosita team will be supervising them this year. Support your child to remember to bring their swimming gear.


Drink / fruit

This year we are encouraging the students to get a drink of water and a piece of fruit if they wish at workshop swap over time. This provides the students with a quick break and then a refocus on their learning and it seems to be working for most of the students. The teachers are trying to model this behavior as well. Please help by sending your child along with a drink bottle and providing them with some fruit.

GATEways Challenge


Written by Indigo, Alex V, Emily and Angus

On the 11th of October 3 teams from B.E.P.S participated in ‘G.A.T.EWAYS THE CHALLENGE,’ at Ivanhoe grammar.  The teams were made up of 4 students from each of the 456 LC’S. We each had a half an hour practice session for each task in the morning. The tasks each had a team leader. For example our group

A cool crisis-Angus

A pirate’s plunder-Emily

The great solar space race-Indigo

Dissecting Frankenstein’s lab-Alex


You were given a score out of 50 for each activity giving the maximum score becoming 200. You were scored for teamwork, representation and overall getting the challenge done. For each task you had an overall working time of 28 minutes, often broke up into 4, 7-minute sections. At the end they announced the top three and gave all teams a certificate. In the end ST ANTHONYS filled 2nd and 3rd places but the BE.P.S team from Il Nido won with a total of 151 points.


The task ‘A cool crisis’ was about making a new circuit board because you were in the arctic and your existing circuit board was about to disintegrate and your Ecopod was about to shut down and the team will freeze to death. Each one of you would draw one of the quarters and you only had 7 minutes to draw your quarter. Then you would go to your team table and compare. After that you would fill out a materials list and after 7 minutes the storeroom would be open for 7 minutes. The twist was only one team member was allowed at a time and then you would have to build your replica circuit board.


The task ‘dissecting Frankenstein’s lab’ featured you being Dr. Frankenstein’s assistant and you turned up at the lab one day and find an experiment has gone wrong and some of the walls have been destroyed. You then had to work out word puzzles based on mythological creatures to restore one quarter of the labyrinth. Then we had to choose a mythical creature that would be suitable for a wedding on a ship, and then we read the information and found out that mermaids cause shipwrecks. To restore the third quarter of the labyrinth we had to write a narrative about what happened on the ship with the mermaid on board. To restore the fourth quarter of the labyrinth we had to create our own mythical creature. We got extra marks for creativity.


The Great Solar Space Race was by far the hardest task. We had to do 7 tasks. They involved lots of maths. We had a made up solar system where we had to use astronomical units also known as AU which = 150,000,000 kilometres. We use AU to see how far each planet was from another. You get 3 bonus points if you complete the 7 tasks first.


A pirate’s plunder was a bit less challenging than the others. We were given a bag of challenges that contained padlocks with keys. We had had to work out which one fitted each padlock. There was another padlock that there was a number combination for. There was a puzzle that had different coins on it. It was hard to build because the pieces were 2D. At the end you had to fill out the answer sheet that had lots of different questions about a pirate. The pirate was Edward Teach also known as Blackbeard.


We enjoyed getting this opportunity and would recommend it to other students if they had the chance to participate in Gateways. We learnt a lot and it was fun.



And from our Year 5/6 team…

Andrew – “There was all these teams and I felt special because I was chosen to go there.”

Ed – “Don’t be sad that it’s over, smile that it happened” 🙂

Oliver H – “GATEways was awesome.”

Keir had to leave just after we took the photo



Maths Talent Quest

Last term, as a learning community, we were inquiring into the wonders of the human body.  We identified lots of different ways we can see mathematics in our bodies, which we grouped in three big areas – our form (how we look), function (how we move), and focus (how our brain works).  These became our three Maths Talent Quest (MTQ) groups.

All three groups worked collaboratively on three terrific projects.  They were each submitted to the MTQ competition run by the Maths Association of Victoria.  If you haven’t already heard; Function and Focus both achieved Credit awards, and Form was awarded a High Distinction.

The ‘Form’ group was also selected as the Year 6 class entry from Victoria to go on to the next level of National judging (being multi-age, the rules stated we had to enter at the highest age of the students in our group).  We were the winner of our category!

Last week, Aki and Noah went along to the ceremony at La Trobe uni to accept the awards on behalf of the group.  We celebrated in our LC with a delicious cake made by one of our parents – thanks Petra!


Here are some of the snaps from the awards ceremony.


Wondering what our project was about?  Haven’t already heard all about it?

The ‘form’ group’s inquiry began with us measuring our bodies in different ways, in small groups, which then sparked an interest in genetics.  We built on this by creating surveys about different traits to research whether they’re inherited, collecting data from our peers.

We worked collaboratively as a group from week to week, working with different people each time according to our interest areas.

An excursion to the Melbourne Museum gave us an insight into what our early ancestors were like.  We were amazed by how much we’ve changed.

It was at this point that we started wondering about evolution… and the focus of our project was decided…. What would humans look like in 1,000 years?

Our aim was to use what we know about our human form; measuring ourselves, collecting data, and calculating averages, and use this data to calculate changes to the human body based on what we predicted about the future.

We then applied what we learned to make a scale model of our future human.

Pretty cool.


A few final words from the kids…

“It was really fun and I learned a lot.” (Noah)

“I enjoyed working in different groups with people I wouldn’t usually work with.” (Olive B)

“I learned so many new things in our MTQ group.  My small group worked out our average skin tone.” (Roman)

“It was fun getting up and accepting the trophy for everyone at the awards ceremony.” (Aki)

“We never thought we would make it this far!” (Saskia)

“We won!”  (Keir)

“We surveyed people to get information about eye colour and hair colour and measured how tall we are.” (Charlotte) “And we had to work out averages.” (Jemimah)

“It was fun.” (Bromley)

“Our topic seemed pretty simple at first, but then it became quite diverse.  We started thinking about life on Mars and it grew into all of this cool stuff.” (Oliver Rawson)

“All the work really paid off, we won Nationals.” (Lyla)

“I liked the sense of the achievement at the end when we were surrounded by our awards.” (Emily)

“I liked working with my friends.” (Cardamon)

“I had a good time doing it.” (Darcy)

“We all worked as a team.” (Olive K)

“We had a few ups and downs, we struggled figuring out some of our measurements, but we got there in the end.” (Milo M)

“It was awesome.” (Tabby)

“It was fun to collaborate with other people I wouldn’t normally work with” (Oliver Raleigh)

“It was good.” (Abbe)

“It was fun to investigate.” (Oliver H)

“So much fun.” (Nadia)



More camp pics!

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