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Term 3 Program

June 14, 2012

Welcome to Living Learning’s Term 3 Program!

All workshops are held at the Mid Mountains Community Centre in Lawson and run from 11am-12 on Tuesday mornings, with time to share lunch and play afterwards.  Everyone is welcome to come along at lunchtime for a catch up whether or not they attend the workshop.  For all bookings and inquiries contact Julie at  Our sessions have been booking out recently so book early to ensure your place!  All workshops are Home Education Association Inc (HEA) events.

July 17th – Police Visit Please note the Police Visit has been postponed to the first week of Term 4, October 9th.

An officer from Springwood Police Station will run a workshop for the children about the police force and safety in the community.  The children will have an opportunity to do some finger printing and see the inside of a police car.


HEA Members $2 per child

Non HEA Members $4 per child

July 24th and 31st – 2 Week Sculpture Workshop

During the two weeks children will be exposed to a variety of sculpting materials and view works from a range of artists. We will focus on human bodies as subject matter, the natural environment as art and explore a little about installation artworks.

Participants will:

# learn how to draw faces with one long, continuous line and then adapt that drawing into a wire face.

# explore plaster as a medium and create two art pieces with plaster. One using a mould and one more like a relief.

#examine works of other artists and discuss ideas about sculpture with others

#work co-operatively to create an environmental installation piece.

#use their own bodies as moulds for sculptures.

#have a really fun, co-operative couple of sessions with other home educators.

Some children will require assistance from an adult for some of the activities. It would also be helpful if families could bring along tin snips or plyers for cutting wire.


HEA members: $19 for one child, $35 for two children and $50 for a family (covers both weeks).

Non HEA members: $22 for one child, $41 for two children and $56 for a family (covers both weeks).

Payments will be due by the 10th of July.

August 7th through to August 28th – Four Week Felting Course

Over four weeks Bev Webster will help each child create a colourful piece of felting to be used as a small wall hanging or a table centre-piece.  Children will require the assistance of an adult.  All materials will be provided, including other decorative fibres to incorporate into the creations.

Bev is a local visual artist with a degree from Sydney University.  She is currently working in a variety of mediums including stained glass and mosaics. As well as exhibiting locally, Bev is teaching a variety of mediums in community groups, including homeschooling groups and local schools.  Bev is very flexible and encouraging and loves working with children, helping them to express their innate creativity.


HEA members: $40

Non HEA members: $45

Payments will be due by the 24th July.

September 4th – Introduction to Mathematics through Story

We plan to feature a series of workshops with Joshua Barnes next year, this one off workshop is an opportunity to get to know Josh and his approach, and for Josh to get a feel for our group and what he can offer us.  Josh’s introductory information is featured below:
Joshua Barnes

I am an educator with a wide range of experience in NSW Public Schools, youth arts
and teacher education. I began my teaching career, developing student-devised theatre with young
people at Newcastle’s Tantrum Theatre and my emphasis on student centered learning through
creative and story driven mediums has developed throughout my career, working for Sydney Theatre
Company (STC), Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP), and The University of Sydney (USYD).
I consider myself to be a collaborator. I have worked alongside primary school teachers and their
students, to realise the literacy benefits of using drama in the classroom (School Drama – STC). I am
also working with other academics, researching how to evaluate the efficacy of such creative learning
programs. I am also working with other researchers to widen participation to university through
narrative research into the experience of First Year Students. At USYD, I work together with preservice
teachers and was a recipient a 2011 Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award.
My own research as part of my Master of Education (USYD) explored ‘Storying in the Mathematics Primary Mathematics Classroom’ and alternative
pedagogy in the mathematics classroom – a field plagued by disengagement, anxiety and often failure. While still an emergent area of educational
research and practice, narrative approaches in mathematics learning and teaching, it is built on the premise that children are natural storytellers and use
stories to make meaning of all learning experiences (Bruner, 1986; Lowe, 2002) and
mathematics should not be excluded from this equation (Burton, 1996, 2001). Furthermore, an
objective view of mathematics where ‘only the teacher has the right answer’ excludes learners
from authoring their own understanding (Burton, 1999) and developing self-efficacious
approaches to mathematical inquiry.
My own inquiry into mathematics education has been driven from a personal place where I too
was disengaged in mathematics as a site of solitary confinement to text books with rear-end
answer, repeated algorithms, and limited diversity of learning experiences. I am inspired by
the power of narrative to “pose, explore and respond to questions, to examine implications
and to pursue and test conjectures against the substance of the experience” (Burton, 2001, p.
3). Therefore my classrooms are a place for meaningful and inquiries; communication and
collaboration around personal understandings.

Step 1 – Building Relationships
For me, quality learning and teaching begins by building significant relationships within the group. The first session(s)
would involve activities built around student engagement through games – getting to know you based activities, drama
games, mathematical games. The first session is also about setting up the way we work together; as an individual
coming into a new community I need to be guided by the dynamics of the group, as well as sharing my own beliefs about
how I feel comfortable working – understandings around how to collaborate, respect each others perspective,
participation etc. Finally I want to get to start to get to know the children’s mathematical abilities and interests through
open-ended questions (ie. Tell me everything you know about the number 12) and open ended tasks (see below).
Step 2 – Drama as pedagogy and the power of narrative
The way that I usually work is to set up the conditions for students to explore mathematical ideas through dramatic
scenarios. The image below shows the beginning of a process I developed with a colleague of mine where children get
to act out being the Barista and characters in a coffee shop. I suggested that there is this character called “Little Miss
Sweet Tooth” who always have four sugars in her coffee. Each day she comes in and gets a randomly selected (dice)
number of coffees for her and her friends. Children are empowered to use a range of strategies to calculate how many
sugars they need in total. Depending on their development and exposure to different mathematical strategies, children
will count in different ways – in ones, pairs, using fingers, grouping and multiplying. Children change roles and watch
each other working out the mathematics, learning from each other. I would encourage the use of reflective diaries (visual
& written) to help children work meta-cognitively and also to communicate with me what they have found significant and
are learning.
I use a lot of children’s literature as pretexts for our journey into story based mathematics.
There is a wealth of books that is extremely useful – some with specific mathematical
themes such as Mr Archimedes Bath (volume and capacity) or The Doorbell Rang (division
and counting backwards), but also most stories have mathematics waiting to be uncovered
just through effective questioning.
Central to all my work is the belief that we are all ‘storying our experience’. And an
important part of my role is to validate their experience and also lead them into the
mathematics that they may see or be on the edge of. Through creating a space for sharing
and making stories, through the development of processes with deep open ended
mathematical problems, and through the exploration and enactment of existing
mathematical stories, there is the capacity for children to be naturally curious and
empowered by their mathematical literacy.


HEA Members: $12 per child

Non HEA members: $14 per child

Payments will be due by the 20th of August.

11th September – End of term Spring Party!

Lets celebrate the arrival of Spring with craft and stories, dressing up, food and fun.


HEA members: $2 per child

Non HEA members $4 per child

Lastly, I have been talking to the wonderful Georgia Adamson about running another “Literature through Drama” series in term 4.  This series focusing on literacy would run alongside Georgia’s Tuesday afternoon drama classes, which focuses solely on drama.  Georgia and I have been discussing options of running a series similar to previous years where we focus on a particular children’s picture book, or alternatively focusing on creating stories.  I would love to get everyone’s input about whether they would be interested in attending a Literacy through Drama workshop series with Georgia in Term 4 and whether they would prefer a series based on a text, or on creating story.

For those of you who don’t know Georgia her bio is below:

Georgia is an actor who has performed for the Sydney Theatre Company, Bell Shakespeare Company and Ensemble Theatre as well in film and television. She has taught for the last 3 years in the joint Sydney Theatre Company and Sydney University project ‘School Drama’, teaching teachers how to use drama to enrich their literacy teaching, and she has also taught in schools for Bell Shakespeare.  Georgia has run numerous ‘Literature through Drama’ programs for our homeschooling community which have been extremely well received.  Georgia also runs regular drama classes for homeschoolers on Tuesday afternoons in term time.

Look forward to connecting with everyone over the coming term.

Best wishes,


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