News for Tasmanian Teachers


Archive for August 2014

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My School rankings to remain
The Courier, 31 Aug 2014
My SchoolThe ranking of schools using data from the My School website is to continue to be possible, despite federal education minister Christopher Pyne's pre-election comments suggesting otherwise...

Teachers to take on Pathway Planners' roles
The Mercury, 30 Aug 2014
TasmaniaThe state government's decision to replace Pathway Planners with an online module managed by teachers appears to be inconsistent with the aim of increasing student retention, AEU president Terry Polglase says...

Bullet Axing undermines efforts to improve outcomes, Michelle O'Byrne, Opposition education spokesperson, 1 Sep 2014
Bullet Minister described Pathway Planners as 'frontline workers' when in Opposition, Michelle O'Byrne, Opposition education spokesperson, 10 Sep 2014

Teach more about drugs in primary school, says magistrate
The Mercury, 30 Aug 2014
Retiring Burnie magistrate Don Jones says there needs to be more education about drugs in primary school...

Add domestic violence to curriculum, says coroner
SMH, 29 Aug 2014
The NSW Deputy Coroner says he will ask for the topic of domestic violence and abusive relationships to be added to the school curriculum...

Extending high school to Years 11 and 12EXTENSION OF HIGH SCHOOLS
Concern high school extensions could jeopardise colleges
The Examiner, 29 Aug 2014
The Tasmanian State School Association Conference is to discuss the issue of whether the state government's policy of extending high schools to Years 11 and 12 will adversely affect the quality of education at colleges...

Poor choice of words by principal
Daily Telegraph, 28 Aug 2014
New South WalesIn a newsletter to staff, a NSW principal has referred to a mental health program as "Operation Nutcase" and to students as "morons", "village idiots", and having "two heads" and "webbed feet"...

Bullet Family prepares to sue over principal's "two-headed" comment, SMH, 29 Aug 2014

Billy Possum's Interactive Reading appEDUCATIONAL TECHNOLOGY
Tas app to improve comprehension
The Advocate, 28 Aug 2014
Wynyard PhD student Michelle Somerton has developed an app to improve students' reading comprehension  ...

Bullet Billy Possum's Interactive Comprehension, iTunes website

Ice Bucket Challenge (photo: Wikipedia)CHARITY EVENTS
Another ice bucket challenge
The Examiner, 20 Aug 2014
Prospect High School is the latest school to have an ice bucket challenge in aid of motor neurone disease...


Bullet Budget media releases
Education budget media release, Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training, 28 Aug 2014

Bullet Premier's Budget page

Bullet Download the 2014-15 Budget documents


Freeze hits morale

ABC News, 28 Aug 2014
Terry PolglaseThe large amount allocated to education in the Budget is pleasing, but the morale-sapping public sector wage freeze conflicts with the fact that good teacher performance depends on good teacher morale, state AEU president Terry Polglase says...
Bullet 'Record spend' for education, The Examiner, 28 Aug 2014
Bullet Budget should have filled federal government's early years kinder gap, Kim Booth, Greens leader, 28 Aug 2014
Bullet TQA, Schools Registration Board and Tas Early Years Foundation to be abolished, The Mercury, 28 Aug 2014
Bullet How schools benefit, The Examiner, 28 Aug 2014
Bullet Budget rips $150m out of education, Bryan Green, Labor leader, 29 Aug 2014
Bullet Libs deliver Gonski funding, The Mercury, 29 Aug 2014

School chaplainsSCHOOL CHAPLAINS
States divided over chaplains
ABC News, 28 Aug 2014
The Queenslander who successfully challenged school chaplain funding in the High Court has described as "arrogant" the federal government's attempt to arrange for individual states to administer the funding instead, but the states themselves appear divided over whether schools should be able to use the funds to employ "secular" social workers...

Bullet What does "secular" actually mean?, The Conversation, 29 Aug 2014

Trees chopped down
New South WalesSMH, 28 Aug 2014
The NSW government chopped down 5,000 trees at its schools after a girl was killed by a falling limb, but an arborist says the funds would have been better spent training staff how to identify dangerous trees...

Simpler L2 licence procedure
Tas Govt media release, 27 Aug 2014
A proposal to allow certain driving instructors to grant L2 driver licences to learners should speed up the licensing process, infrastructure minister Rene Hidding says...

Bullet Removing road blocks, The Advocate, 27 Aug 2014

Infinity electrical cableCONSUMER SAFETY
Electrical cable recalled
news.com.au, 27 Aug 2014
Electrical cable branded Infinity or Olsent and sold in Tasmania in 2013 has been recalled for safety reasons...

Bullet Infinity electrical cable recall, ACCC
Bullet Tassie homes at risk, The Examiner, 27 Aug 2014

Jeremy RockliffSTATE BUDGET
Rockliff promises full six-year Gonski funding
Tas Govt media release, 26 Aug 2014
This Thursday's Tasmanian Budget will include a record $1.4 billion in education funding and a promise to contribute funds to support the full six years of Gonski reforms, premier Will Hodgman and education minister Jeremy Rockliff announced today...

Literacy and numeracyLITERACY AND NUMERACY
Promoting literacy and numeracy for adults
Tas Govt media release, 25 Aug 2014
In promoting National Literacy and Numeracy Week, education minister Jeremy Ferguson has drawn attention to the strategy behind the state government's 26TEN program in helping adults gain numeracy and literacy skills...

NAPLAN preventing out-of-area sibling enrolments
The Courier, 24 Aug 2014
A Queensland parent outlines her personal experience of the way  the publication of NAPLAN results can have adverse social effects through skewing the property market...

New South WalesNAPLAN
Classes grouped using NAPLAN results
SMH, 24 Aug 2014
Some NSW schools are grouping classes on the basis of NAPLAN results...

School farms lauded
news.com.au, 22 Aug 2014
Larmenier Catholic School is one of about 32 Tasmanian schools using a school farm to enrich their students' learning experiences...

"Bless you" suspension
news.com.au, 22 Aug 2014
A Tennessee (USA) student has been suspended for saying "Bless you" after another student sneezed...

Somerset students support Daffodil Day
The Advocate, 22 Aug 2014
The Cancer Council and Royal Guide Dogs Tasmania are the favourite charities of the students at Somerset Primary School...

Autonomy looms
Tas Govt media release, 21 Aug 2014
Christopher PyneTasmanian government schools will be able to operate more autonomously with the support of funds from the federal government's Community Empowered Schools program, federal education minister Christopher Pyne said today...

Bullet Students First, Australian Government website

Student arrested after writing that he had killed a dinosaur
The Mercury, 21 Aug 2014
US flagA South Carolina school called in the police when a student said in a writing assignment that he had shot a neighbour's dinosaur...

Resurgence of laptops
SMH, 21 Aug 2014
LaptopTablets are falling in popularity in NSW schools as the usefulness of laptops becomes increasingly recognised, particularly in secondary schools...

Students missing out on trade training
The Mercury, 21 Aug 2014
Kate EllisStudents from an additional 65 schools in Tasmania are missing out on the opportunity to gain vocational skills from a Trade Training Centre, federal Opposition education spokesperson Kate Ellis says...


Reading a book (Photo: Microsoft)BOOKS VS COMPUTERS
Books beat Kindles
The Guardian, 20 Aug 2014
Readers of paperback books recalled information better than those who had read the same story on a Kindle, a recent study has found...

Call for better homework
The Courier, 20 Aug 2014
VictoriaTeachers need to improve the quality of the homework they set, according to the parliamentary report of the Inquiry into the approaches to homework in Victorian schools...

Bullet Tas homework issue is complex, The Advocate, 21 Aug 2014

NW science competition looms
The Advocate, 20 Aug 2014
Students from 19 North-West schools will take part in the UTAS Science Investigation Awards competition on 4 September...

Ice Bucket Challenge (photo: Wikipedia)CHARITY EVENTS
Ice bucket challenge hits Tassie schools
The Examiner, 20 Aug 2014
A Punchbowl Primary teacher is one of the first Tasmanian teachers to succumb to the "ice bucket challenge" in which a bucket of ice water is tipped over the head to raise money and awareness for charity, with particular focus on motor  neuron disease...

Bullet Ice bucket challenge, WikipediaExtending high school to Years 11 and 12

Second phase of extensions begins
Tas Govt media release, 20 Aug 2014
The Minister for Education and Training, Jeremy Rockliff, has begun inviting more rural and regional high schools to participate in the state government's program of extending schools to Years 11 and 12...

Extending high school to Years 11 and 12EXTENSION TO YEARS 11 AND 12
Extension schools to receive $160,000
The Examiner, 20 Aug 2014
The schools involved in extending their classes to Year 11 next year will receive a total of more than $160,000...


Drawings predict intelligence
BBC News, 19 Aug 2014
The standard of four-year-olds' drawings can predict intelligence at age 14, researchers have found...

e-course for parents
medianet.com.au, 18 Aug 2014
The Australian Primary Principals Association and Parentshop have teamed up to provide an online course in parenting for parents...

NAPLAN writing test too hard
SMH, 18 Aug 2014
NAPLANStudents Australia-wide performed poorly on the NAPLAN writing test this year, possibly because schools "over-prepared" for the test...

Bullet NAPLAN's literacy results slide, The Mercury, 18 Aug 2014
Bullet NAPLAN drop blamed on hard question, ABC News, 18 Aug 2014
Bullet Tas performs poorly again in NAPLAN tests, The Examiner, 18 Aug 2014
Bullet Writing task will be overhauled, SMH, 18 Aug 2014
Bullet Still much work to be done, Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training, 18 Aug 2014

Tas still behind Mainland states in numeracy and literacy, The Mercury, 19 Aug 2014
Bullet NAPLAN produces culture of compliance, The Conversation, 20 Aug 2014

Music - tubaMUSIC
Band entitled to blow own trumpet
The Examiner, 15 Aug 2014
The Launceston College Concert Band came away from last week's Tasmanian Band Championships with a swag of awards...

Science Week ushered in at Hobart College
Tas Govt media release, 15 Aug 2014
The Minister for Education and Training, Jeremy Rockliff, opened new science facilities at Hobart College today, drawing attention to the commencement of National Science Week which runs from 16 to 24 August...

Bullet Curiosity stimulated at QVMAG, The Examiner, 17 Aug 2014

No ban for RateMyTeachers.com
The Advocate, 15 Aug 2014
RateMyTeachers.comEducation minister Jeremy Rockliff says that although a website that sometimes includes comments that defame teachers will not be banned, the site is not condoned...

Chips and chocolates still allowed in canteens
The Examiner, 14 Aug 2014
Tasmania is the only state that still allows school canteens to sell chips, chocolates, fizzy drinks, cakes and ice-cream but Mowbray Heights Primary School is helping to set an example by selling healthy foods...

Private schools not worth the money?
Jennifer Chesters, The Conversation, 13 Aug 2014
Independent schoolAn analysis of the post-university occupations of students from Catholic, independent and government schools concludes that parents might not be getting value for money for the large private school fees they pay...

Bullet State school kids do better at uni, Barbara Preston, The Conversation, 17 Jul 2014
Bullet The strengths and benefits of Catholic and independent schools, Kevin Donnelly, The Conversation, 14 Aug 2014
Bullet Private schooling no better, SMH, 17 Aug 2014

Reading to a dog benefits the reader
The Examiner, 13 Aug 2014
LiteracyStudents at East Ulverstone Primary School are taking part in the Story Dogs program in which students' reading skills improve when they read to a dog...

[TASLEARN COMMENT: Using dog-eared books might work just as well.]

Measles rash fades
ABC News, 12 Aug 2014
Tasmania's recent outbreak of eight measles cases and possible cases included a student attending a Hobart school, but the threat appears to be over...

Bullet Measles continues to spread, The Examiner, 13 Aug 2014

Experts reveal what now makes a good teacher
The Conversation, 12 Aug 2014
Four Australian educationists summarise their views of what now makes a good teacher. Some of the comments that follow are just as insightful...

Calves in NW schools
The Advocate, 12 Aug 2014
Calves are being lent to ten North West Tasmanian schools under the Cows Create Careers - Farm Module ...

Relationships educationSEX EDUCATION
Call for more LBGTIQ knowledge
The Examiner, 12 Aug 2014
Discussion of safe-sex and relationship issues for gay, lesbian, transgender and bisexual people should be compulsory in all schools, advocates say...

Brain training claims lack evidence
BrainThe Conversation, 11 Aug 2014
Claims that brain training games provide an overall improvement in a student's working memory should be taken with a pinch of salt at this stage, a researcher argues...

School calls in police over inappropriate images of teachers
FacebookSMH, 8 Aug 2014
Two NSW teachers who wore skirts are on stress leave after it emerged that five Year 9 boys had surreptitiously been taking inappropriate images of them which they then shared on Facebook...

School closures
DoE Facebook page, 11 Aug 2014
Collinsvale Primary School will not open until 10.30am today (Monday) due to snow and ice.
For the latest information about school closures see the DoE school closures page and the DoE Facebook page.

Weather warnings, road closures, power outages, SES, schools
Bullet Weather warnings, BoM
Bullet Road closures, Police website
Bullet Power outages, TasNetworks
Bullet State Emergency Service

Bullet Emergency Facebook and Twitter messages, TasAlert
Bullet School information, DoE Facebook page

Universiity of TasmaniaSTUDENT SUPPORT
Boys missing out
The Mercury, 11 Aug 2014
Only 17 percent of Tasmanian boys have gained a degree five years beyond college compared with 27 per cent of girls, ABS figures show...

Too much screen timeSTUDENT HEALTH
Screen time harming kids
The Mercury, 9 Aug 2014
Too much time spent using smartphones and tablets is giving young children eye problems and causing other technology overuse issues...

What is bullying?
The Conversation, 8 Aug 2014
BullyingBullying now ranks ahead of the environment as the number one concern of young people. But what exactly is bullying?...

See also:
Bullet What works best to stop bullying?, The Conversation, 7 Aug 2014

School chaplain sacked
ABC News, 8 Aug 2014
The Hobart College chaplain who had re-posted a homophobic Facebook comment has been sacked...

Sport program to be funded now
The Mercury, 8 Aug 2014
FootballThe state government has reversed the decision not to provide the $17,000 needed to send Tasmanian school students to national sporting competitions, and will examine the matter further....

Bullet Wider range of sports for kids, The Mercury, 9 Aug 2014

Saturday detentions for unruly students
Queensland Times, 7 Aug 2014
QueenslandSaturday detentions and community service are among the discipline options to be made available to school principals under the Queensland government's Strengthening Discipline in Queensland State Schools reforms...

Catholic school teachers to strike
The Mercury, 6 Aug 2014
Industrial actionTeachers and support staff from Catholic schools will strike tomorrow, Thursday 7 August, but schools will remain open...

Bullet Teachers on strike, ABC News, 7 Aug 2014
Bullet Teachers and support staff strike, The Mercury, 8 Aug 2014

TMAG to close on Mondays
ABC News, 5 Aug 2014
Tasmanian Museum and Art GalleryThe Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery will be closed to visitors all day on Mondays and close an hour earlier on other days due to funding problems...

Bullet Museum reduces hours and cuts staff, The Mercury, 6 Aug 2014
Bullet Call for entry fee, The Mercury, 7 Aug 2014

School chaplain apologises after posting homophobic comment
ABC News, 5 Aug 2014
A Hobart College chaplain has apologised for re-posting a homophobic Facebook comment and has promised there will be no repetition...


USA flag UK flag

Australian flag
Overseas trends harming education here: professor tells
The Conversation (opinion), 5 Aug 2014
An Australian academic with US roots outlines five overseas trends that have harmed public education in the US and the UK yet are being followed in Australia...

University of TasmaniaEncouraging further education
Tas Govt media release, 4 Aug 2014
The state government's Bigger Things project will trial a program to encourage Huon students to aim for university or TAFE ...

School absence really is serious
SMH, 3 Aug 2014
NAPLANMissing even one day of school can adversely affect a student's academic results, an analysis of NAPLAN results shows...

Delay for NAPLAN's move online
SMH, 2 Aug 2014
NAPLANThe plan to move NAPLAN testing online (which would have enabled the results to be released much sooner and therefore be more usable) has been delayed ...

Sport program cut
The Mercury, 2 Aug 2014
FootballTasmania will not be paying the $17,000 required to enable about 400 school students to participate in the national School Sport Australia competitions...

Bullet Only a trial that was not value for money, Jeremy Rockliff, Minister for Education and Training, 2 Aug 2014
Bullet Young footballers will miss out, The Mercury, 3 Aug 2014
Bullet Decision now to be reviewed, The Mercury, 4 Aug 2014
Bullet Editorial: It's time to play ball, The Mercury, 4 Aug 2014
Bullet Decision to be comprehensively reviewed, Will Hodgman, Premier and Minister for Sport and Recreation, 4 Aug 2014

Another Catholic strike looms
Industrial actionABC News, 1 Aug 2014
Following a stall in negotiations, Catholic school teachers have vowed to go ahead with a strike next Thursday, 7 August, but the Catholic Education Office says schools will remain open...

Weather warnings, road closures, power outages, SES
Bullet Weather warnings, BoM
Bullet Road closures, Police website
Bullet Power outages, TasNetworks
Bullet State Emergency Service

Bullet Emergency Facebook and Twitter messages, TasAlert

Northern schools hit by wind
The Examiner, 1 Aug 2014
Eight schools in the North were closed when wild weather including winds of up to 115 km/h hit Launceston yesterday...

Department of EducationSOCIAL MEDIA
DoE liked more as a result of school closures
DoE Facebook page, 1 Aug 2014
The number of likes on the Department of Education's Facebook page jumped by more than 1500 due to the popularity of its school closures advice page during the recent period of stormy weather...
Bullet DoE Facebook page
Bullet TASLEARN COMMENT: The recent need to unexpectedly close and consider closing some schools due to wild weather enabled Facebook to come into its own.
Facebook was clearly the best tool available for the Department of Education and a number of schools to quickly provide up-to-date information to parents and to share with everyone the responses to specific questions by parents.
Congratulations to the DoE and the schools involved.

Snow collections
DoE Facebook page, 1 Aug 2014, 2.00pm
Department of Education FacebookParents are being advised to collect students from the following schools if developing snow access issues will affect travel home:
- Dover District High School
- Franklin Primary School
- Glen Huon Primary School
- Kempton Primary School
- Mountain Heights District High School
- Taroona High School
Bullet Check the DoE Facebook page for updates

School closures
1 Aug 2014, 8.48am
See the DoE list of schools that are closed today, Friday.
Department of Education FacebookBullet The DoE Facebook page may contain additional information.
Bullet See also the following Facebook pages of some individual schools:
- Cressy District High
Department of Education Facebook- Kings Meadows High
- Punchbowl Primary
(restricted access to page)
- Riverside High (now open Friday)
- Riverside Primary (now open Friday)




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