Monday, 20 November 2017

‘ZEALOUS MUSIC’ @ ALEXANDER SCHOOL

Zela Margossian’s music is a reflection of her journey in life. Born in Beirut of Armenian heritage, Zela’s music bears influences from the rich and colourful cultures that she represents. During her years studying piano performance in Armenia, Zela developed a great passion for the unique Armenian ethno-jazz that she experienced in the lively local scene. After moving to Sydney, she embarked on a new journey of nurturing this passion and has been making her mark here as a blossoming composer and artist. Zela’s music is best described as a fusion of folk and jazz, particularly carrying influences from Armenian traditional music.”

This is how the ‘Sydney International Women’s Jazz Festival 2017’ describes the Zela Margossian Quintet that will perform on the evening of Thursday, 9th November. Mrs Margossian will be performing with a line-up of talented, multicultural musicians from Sydney who seamlessly combine their authentic sounds to create an exotic musical atmosphere that is sure to take you on an emotive and pleasurable journey.

The Armenian community of Sydney is lucky to have such a talented musician and we have been honoured to have her at Alexander school since her arrival. Mrs Zela Margossian-Gaspar joined our dedicated teaching staff in August 2008 and our music lessons have not been the same ever since! Her passion for music has inspired many students and her professionalism has helped produce many wonderful concerts and memorable performances.

The students look forward to her weekly music lessons and are captured by her ideas and suggestions to always move them to another level. This has been the key to her success and her drive to attain the best out of her students. The same is true of her students who do private piano lessons. Zela’s perfectionist yet gentle approach drives not only her students but also those around her to give their best.

While the community has witnessed her talent and wonderful performances at numerous events over the years, the parents of Alexander school have been fortunate to have her teach their children. Combined with Mrs Seta Keoshgerian, they have been a formidable team that is set to produce another wonderful cultural event next Sunday.

Therefore, a warm invitation is extended to members of our community to come along and enjoy a unique and exciting ‘Armenian Cultural Evening’. As you are aware, the event will take place on Sunday, 12th November 2017 in the Gemjian Hall.

3rd November, 2017
Manoug Demirjian


Monday, 23 October 2017

YEAR 6 TRIP TO BATHURST

On the 13th of September the Year 6 class went to Bathurst. Our first stop was Echo Point. First we went on the Scenic Railway. Everyone was nervous and excited at the same time. The ride was really steep and fun but unfortunately very short. Once we went out of the railway there was a really good view of mountains and trees. Then we walked on a walkway through the trees and bushes to go to the skyway. On the skyway we also saw the 3 sisters.


At the Bathurst Goldfields we were able to pan for gold. Some students were lucky and found gold like Christopher who had found four specks of gold. After the panning we met a husband and wife who told us about when they came to Bathurst. Then we were split into three groups. In these groups we were able to make damper, which was really yummy. We got the chance to make mud bricks and play games of the 1850s.

After checking into our accommodation and having dinner we participated in a Bush Dance. Here we met Simone who taught us some dances. Some dances we knew and some we had to learn. We all had a really fun time.

The next morning after breakfast we went to Hill End to do some more panning! It was very muddy and dirty. Our instructor Michelle told us how to pan for gold. This time it was a different technique. Later on it got extremely cold and started to snow. Our hands turned purple in the freezing water. We were all happy to hop back on the warm bus.

In the treasure hunt we first gathered around a table and a lady told us some facts about Hill End and its history. Then she gave us a worksheet with 12 questions on it and said whoever got the most right would get a little capsule of gold. We got into groups of 5 and went walking around a village looking for the answers for the questions. At the end our school got 9 out of 12 which is really good.

Next it was off to an underground mine. Here we met Eddie and Garry. Eddie lead us into the mine and at first it was a little dark but then our eyes got used to the dark and we saw more. Eddie showed us the places where the miners thought there would be gold. At the end we decided if we wanted to climb the ladder all way to the top of the mountain.



After, we went to a cattle and drone show. The caretaker of the animal's name was Steve. He told us about the different species of sheep and cows. Steve also called up a few volunteers for different activities. Anita got called up to milk a cow, Jessica got called to hold a very small and cute bunny and lastly Christopher got called up and got to feed some lambs.

That night we were to have a campfire. We didn’t really sit around a campfire because it was too cold but some Aboriginal people came and told us about their history and culture. Uncle Bill told us about different weapons and what they’re used for.


On the very last day we got up nice and early, had our breakfast and went to the hayride. We were then able to visit the animals in the nursery. Our last stop was Mount Piper Power Station we first went inside the building and met Leo. He told us about coal and energy. He then showed us a video which showed us what the turbine looked like. We then got inside the bus and he gave us a tour around the power station.  We all had a wonderful trip but we were all ready to return home.

By: Year 6



Monday, 7 August 2017

Debating News... 2 DEBATES = 2 WINS!

The Forest District Interschool Debating Competition’s second round of debates took place on Wednesday, 2nd August at John Colet school. In this debate we opposed the John Colet School. The topic was “There is no need for tests and exams”, and we were on the negative team. The negative team consisted of Kevork as first speaker, Christopher as second speaker, Lilit as third speaker and Anita was fourth speaker.

Our team was able to use strong arguments and well thought out rebuts, as to why we needed to conduct tests and exams. Kevork started his speech by defining the topic and putting forward a strong case line that “The first step to anything is tests or exams”. He used strong arguments and outlined numerous examples as to why doctors need to conduct tests, even from the day we are born, to check our health and development. He also stated that medicines need to be tested before they are prescribed to people, otherwise we will have dire consequences.

Second speaker Christopher was there and ready to rebut many of the points that the affirmative team put forward. He went on to inform us about the benefits of tests and exams and the important function they play before placing a product on the supermarket shelf. He argued that before someone becomes a pilot, driver or doctor, they need to show the skills to operate as they risk the safety and life of many people.

Lilit, our third speaker came out strong with a number of well thought out rebuts on the main points the opposition had raised and summed up her team’s case. Anita was our fourth speaker. Her role was to help with any rebuts if needed and to thank the adjudicators for rewarding us the win! She also thanked the John Colet school for hosting the event.

We like to take this opportunity and congratulate all the students for their effort so far. It is great team work, as every member of class contributes to the process. Our next debate is on Wednesday, 9th August, against the German International School. A win will secure our place in the finals.
Good luck debaters!


Monday, 19 June 2017

WE ARE CODING ANOTHER LANGUAGE @ ALEXANDER SCHOOL!

As a bilingual school, one may think learning two languages simultaneously is already a challenge in itself - specially if one is English and the other Armenian. However, for students at AGBU Alexander Primary School and right around Australia, one of the most important languages they may all need to learn is also the language of computer coding. It might sound strange, but language of coding or computer programming will soon be the most commonly understood in the world.

We all agree that computer software is a growing field and allows for a great job outlook as well as entrepreneurial potential. As such, coding skills are incredibly useful for today’s students to learn, but it’s not just due to job prospects. Since today’s most interesting tools and platforms can all be manipulated by coding, having coding skills is also a great jumping off point for greater independence creativity.

It’s hard to imagine a single career that doesn’t have a need for someone who can code. Everything that ‘just works’ has some type of code that makes it run. Coding is all around us. It is the language that makes things happen. Its meaning is functional and practical, as it achieves instant results. Much like traditional languages, coding is also limitless in its creative potential. There is no end to the ‘on-screen’ events that coding can instigate. In digital context then, coding is the language of everything.

That’s why more and more Australian students are coding. They see in coding the tools through which they can access a vast future of creativity and productivity. Coding and programming is no longer a hobby for the ‘computer whiz’ in their twenties, hunched over three monitors... not any more! The newest coders have just begun primary school!

With coding set to take the world by storm, it’s our duty as educators to prepare students for the future, for jobs that will eventuate in this area. Coding is the primary tool through which manufacturing jobs are being automated, so it is reasonably easy to predict that coding will play a much more important role in future curricula. This means that any forward-looking school should be seeking to develop models that can see coding become part of the school culture.

At Alexander school, we have set a high standard for ourselves, by trying to go above and beyond so that coding becomes a part of students’ everyday language. While the Digital Technologies component of the Australian Curriculum tries to cover this content in the later years of primary and across Years 9 and 10, it is still behind compared to other countries. For example, in the United Kingdom’s computing curriculum there has been a clear shift away from using technology to making it. In other words, since 2014 the UK has joined the coding ‘C’ with the three Rs.

Today, there are many resources for people to learn code. The Barbies and GI Joes of yesteryear have become tablets and smart phones. As I have stated in the past, gone are the days when we used computers at Alexander school to do ‘things differently’, the time has come for teachers to use the computer and other modern educational technology and do ‘different things’ in the classroom. The employees of the future need to be able to think outside the box and do different things in order to have a competitive edge over their counterparts. This is the reason why we are coding another language… because we simply have the means to deliver this at Alexander school! 
16th June, 2017
Manoug Demirjian