News, views and information from Tim Tuck, the MAS Primary Coordinator.
Wow! Is it really two years since we performed 'Compass Rose'? Well, Musical time has crept around again and we're full steam ahead for the world premiere of 'Bonsai Samurai', the story of a Samurai-obsessed little boy who has to learn the hard way about loyalty and why friends - of all shapes and sizes - are so important in life.
Auditioning has once again proved tricky with so many talented students. Height constraints have also played a part. Our hero Hiroki has to be short and his sister Shun tall. Then there are the good ninjas (small), bad ninjas (tall), two sets of Samurais (tall), a Sumo wrestler (very tall) and five Tsukuomogami (smallish Japanese ghosts). I congratulate all students who auditioned, whether they won a part of not. It can be a quite nerve-wracking procedure, so well done to everyone who tried out.
Di Bourne, our costumer extrordinaire has already accrued a stockpile of Japanese kimonos and accessories but is still on the look out for more. Donations only please, as we can't guarantee the safety of loaned material.
We'll be looking for lots of help this year, making costumes, decorating the PAC (think Japanese Theatre) and helping organise the myriad of details that a show involves. Please let myself or Deb Briggs in the front office know if you'd like to help. Performances We'll have two performances this year. They'll be a matinee performance on September 21 and an evening performance on September 22. Please mark those dates in your diary!
Monday, March 21 was Harmony Day and we celebrated this national festival of Australia's cultural diversity by joining students from Point Pearce Aboriginal School at a special morning of inclusiveness, respect and belonging at the Maitland Lutheran School.
The Harmony Day theme is 'everyone belongs' and children were treated to story-telling, cultural handicrafts, special games, face-painting and more in our two-lesson visit.
A special treat was a didgeridoo performance to finish our activities.
Thank you to the staff at MLS who organised and ran the activities and a special 'well-done' to the MLS students who led games and handicrafts and interacted so patiently with students from all three schools.
The Easter Bunny arrived early at MAS last week with a surprise visit to the school front office. EB then hopped down to the classrooms, posing for a group photo with the Year R-2 students who thoroughly enjoyed their unexpected visitor.
EB then caught up with the local police in the front foyer but left a little disappointed when he couldn't find Mr Keleher to say hello.
Maybe next year?
It was great to see our bus drivers getting into the Easter spirit on the Thursday with appreciative students receiving special bags of Easter goodies as they got off the bus.
Primary class teachers also helped spread the holiday glee with Easter egg hunts, Easter baskets, especially themed lessons and some spectacular artwork.
Variety Easter party
Some of our Rocket Room students were lucky enough to go to the Variety Easter Party at the zoo. Here's what Mitchell wrote:
On March 22 the Ladies of variety invited us to the Easter party at the zoo. We saw pelicans, lions, meerkats and pandas. We were lucky to have food supplied and face painting and a really big playground with trampolines. We had a really good day with lots of food and fun. When we left the zoo we were given a goody-bag with a biscuit, bunny and a teddy.
Primary SRC Leader elections were held on Friday February 5.
Congratulations to the nominees for their excellent speeches and the serious manner in which they conducted themselves and to the Year 4, 5 and 6 students for their excellent listening skills and mature approach to the voting.
MAS Music &Music & Drama is compulsory at MAS from Reception through Year 8 and a choice subject at Year 9/10. We’ve got lots planned for 2016, with a brand new recorder programme for the 2-3 class (Black-Belt Recorder!), a new classroom singing resource for R-6 (Jam Music), a new Performing Arts course at Year 9/10, the Music Is Fun band visit in Term 2 and lots more!
We have our biggest group of instrumental students in many years – nearly forty – starting this year.
This includes all our year 5 students who will be part of our new primary programme. Students will borrow instruments for a semester, have instrumental lessons with Mrs Schwartz and be part of band lessons with Mr Tuck. Students may choose to continue with their instrument in Semester 2 at the usual hire fee.
The Maitland based YP Combined Schools Concert Band continues to grow with over 50 students on the invite list for 2016. Invitations will be posted early next week, with Concert Band rehearsals commencing on Wednesday Feb 17 at 3.30pm in the PAC.
Concert Band uniform is the same as last year. If you need to purchase a new band polo-shirt for your growing musician, they are still $30 and come in sizes 8 -16 or adult S,M,L,XL, XX. A reminder that our uniform is black pants, black socks and performance polo.
We have a full performance calendar for 2016 including annual events such as the Balaklava Eisteddfod, ANZAC Day and the Band Tour. We also have a few surprises for students to watch out for.
Mrs Schwartz has purchased a number of new music charts, including two very exciting Japanese themed pieces.
Our School musical for 2016 is the Japanese themed ‘Bonsai Samurai’. More information will be available closer to the date!
The west side of the school is definitely 'building site' shaped! The huge covered outdoor learning area (COLA) framework has gone up over the secondary courtyard, the old JP rooms have been gutted with a second huge covered play area over the old primary courtyard. Interior walls have been erected in the new kindy section with the extension framework in place.
The newly refurbished 11-12 learning area is now in use and the R-2 classes have settled into their new unit. The special-needs bathroom area has been gutted, expanded and tiling is now complete.
A very exciting set of projects that will benefit our school community for years to come!
A big MAS welcome to all our new students and their families this year, and especially to our five reception students making a brand new beginning in Miss Atkins R/1 class. It was wonderful to see how quickly the young children settled in, even if a few teary parents made good use of the 'comfort package' thoughtfully provided by Sarah. Hopefully it included sufficient tissues!
Assemblies are changing in frequency this year. Primary assemblies will now be held every two weeks (odd numbered weeks) and SRC assemblies at the end of each term.
Keep an eye on the calendar for dates and times.
Year 5 ensemble
Last year we announced the trial of a new Year 5 instrumental program. Year 5 students in 4/5 SD and 5/6 KD will be loaned a band instrument for the first semester and have small group lessons with IMS teacher Deb Schwartz and band lessons with myself. Band lessons will be held on alternate weeks to assemblies.
Our combined Halloween dress-up-day and Danceathon was a huge success on Friday October 29.
Students arrived in costumes on-masse int he morning with some cute costumes such as minions and fairy-tale characters among the more horror-themed ideas.
Preparations for the danceathon had started at the beginning of the term, with students learning a dance routine to a Halloween-themed song.
The R/ 1 class learned 'Monster Mash' with Tim Tuck, the Year 2 class danced 'Thriller' with Emma Atkins, Letitia Linke gave the Year 3 (I'm a Monster) and Year 4 (Bad Blood) classes a great grounding for their songs with teachers Andrew Mills and Tim Tuck rehearsing after. Betina Davies choreographed This Is Halloween for the Year 5/6 class and the Year 7/8 class choreographed their own version of Silento - Whip Nae Nae.
The PAC was decorated with giant pumpkins, tiny pumpkins and lots and lots of lights! Year 9 students made creepy plastic tape arms and feet, pumpkin posters and gravestones. The Year 3-4 pumpkin pictures hung across the stage and the pumpkin pinata - a lolly-filled pumpkin for the best dance - took place front and centre.
Over sixty parents joined in the fun as we danced to favourites such as Ghost-busters and Everything Is Awesome and watched each class in turn perform their dance routine.
As extra entertainment the Year 5/6 class performed a special graveyard version of Danse Macabre with giant skeletons that somehow turned into the hokey pokey.
The Festival Choir also performed, singing a brand new song about Japanese ghosts from next year's musical.
The best dance was judged by the class SRC reps with the Year 3's taking first palce just ahead of the Year 7/8's.
Congratulations to all the students, staff and parents who contributed, with special thanks to Emma Atkins, Sarah Atkins and Beth hector for their help with setting up.
The YP Combined Schools Concert Band travelled to Ardrossan on October 27 for the Ardrossan Area School Music Concert.
The band played several numbers as the audience entered then officially opened the concert with the 'Abba On Broadway' medley, 'Hawaii Five-o' and 'How to Train Your Dragon'.
The MAS Festival Choir then joined the Ardrossan Festival Choir to present a combined repertoire.
Thanks as always to the dedicated staff, community members and concert band students.