Excursions Notice

Today students will be bringing home a notice about this term’s grade 5/6 excursions.

excursionsThis term we are offering excursions a little bit differently. As is outlined in the note, there are three different excursions to choose from and will be offered on a first in, first choice situation. Please ensure your note is returned as soon as possible. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask!

CyberSafety Sessions

On Tuesday, 19th July at 7:00pm Berwick Fields will be hosting a Cybersafety Outreach-Internet Safety Awareness Presentation. This presentation is thorough and non-technical. It covers a range of issues including:

  • the ways children use the internet and emerging technologies
  • potential risks for children online, such as cyber bullying, identity theft, inappropriate contact and exposure to inappropriate content
  • tips to help children stay safe online.

This would be a fantastic session for all parents to attend, especially those of students from grades 3-6 who are exposed to social media on a daily basis.

Cybersafety Picture 1

Cybersafety Picture 2

5/6 Sausage Sizzle This Friday

This Friday the 5/6 team is organising a sausage sizzle to support one of our students, Jake in 56A, who has been selected to represent Victoria and Berwick Fields at the National School Swimming Championships in August. You can read more about Jake’s fantastic efforts in this article from the Berwick News.

To help with the cost of attending, a sausage sizzle has been organised for this Friday lunchtime (24th June). Each sausage will cost $1. We are happy to cook an alternative for those students who have dietary or cultural requirements (cost will be the same). If you want to order sausages, can you please complete the form that went home today and return it to school by this Thursday.

Reading Comprehension: Inferring

What makes a good reader?

In class over the past few weeks we have been focusing on inferring meaning from the texts that we read. Inferring is one of the many comprehension skills we need to develop in order to become a confident and capable reader.


As you can see from the diagram above, there are many, many skills required to be confident reader who has a really good understanding of the texts that we read. By grade 5/6, most of us are really good at ‘decoding‘ the texts that we read; that is being able to sound out and say the words we see on the page. This does not mean we necessarily understand the words that we read.

Many students are also good at understanding ‘literal‘ comprehension questions. Literal questions are questions that require an answer that is directly stated in the text. For example:

Luke bought a new, blue car.

What colour was Luke’s new car?

This question is literal because the answer is right there in the text. I do not need to sort the information or work out what the author is trying to say; they have told me right there in the text.

Inferring Meaning

Inferential questioning is more difficult and requires a different set of skills to understand. As I have talked about with the students, it is much like knowing the four operations in maths; just because you know one of the skills doesn’t mean you know them all. You need to be able to add before you multiply, and multiply before you divide. The skills build on one another.

An inferential question is one where clues are given in the text, but they are implied rather than stated literally. For example;

Luke chose a car that was the colour of the sky on a clear, sunny morning.

What colour was Luke’s car?

This text does not tell us exactly what the colour of the car is. Rather, we need to identify key words in order to answer the question. Looking at this text, the words clear, sunny and sky stand out. We can then make a link to what we know about clear, sunny skies and know that the colour must be blue. Another example;

Tears ran down the baby’s face. The noise filled the house. A full bottle lay dripping on the floor.

What was the noise? Why was it happening?

This text does not tell us what the noise was literally, but we can infer that the baby is crying because there are tears running down his face. We can also infer that this is happening because the baby dropped their bottle; we know that a bottle does not normally belong on the floor.

Often, what we know about the world around us, our life experiences, can have a big impact on our understanding of what we read. This is a question we looked at two weeks ago and only one student could answer it.

Except for a few clowns we all missed the parade, but we would see everything tonight in the gigantic tent rising now in the park.

What were they going to see tonight?

It wasn’t that they didn’t know how to answer the question. The students could identify the key words – clown, parade, tent. But only one student had been to a circus that had clowns. A lot of the time, to infer meaning, we need to have a lot of experiences on which to draw. And while these can come from when we are out and about, they also come from what we read. The more we read, the more experiences we can draw on. This is why we encourage students to read a wide variety of texts.


These skills require a lot of practise and reinforcement to master, just like our maths operational skills. In class we have been constantly talking about the importance of these skills and looking at short texts each week to learn to identify the key words and the links we need to make. The texts 5/6 students are reading contain a lot of inferential information as it is much more interesting to read; but are the students understanding it if they do not have these skills? While students are reading at home it is still important that they have the opportunity to read with an adult who can question them and see if they understand the meaning of what they are reading. While they may seem to be reading ‘independently’ because they can decode, they may not have an understanding of what it is they are reading.

If you would like any more information, please feel free to contact me. In a few weeks we will have a look at another of the reading skills.

56C News Update

Dear Parents,

This is a copy of our class news update emailed home today. Have you been receiving these email updates? If not, I may have your email address wrong – please feel free to pop your email address into your child’s diary so that I can fix it up.

Dear 56C Community,

Welcome back to term two! I hope that you had a fantastic holiday and got to spend lots of time with your family.
We have had a big start to the term in 56C – beginning with the Fun Day with Mr Painter and Cross Country all in the first week. Certainly made those three days fly!

Last week, half our grade participated in the KEA Netball Cup at St Margaret’s School. Not bad, considering only 16 students were selected from Berwick Fields! It was our first year in the tournament, but we had great success and after 10 matches, our mixed team won the premiership on Friday. What a stellar effort. You can see Tai, Zenia, Liam and Luke with the trophy and their medallions here (http://goo.gl/pVoGV). Well done to Chevrolet, Olivia, Sarah, Amber, Malinthi and Kelly who also competed on Wednesday.

Regular news and activities from the grade is posted almost daily on our blog. Some of the highlights so far this term have included;

  • Kambrya and Berwick SC came to talk to us during the week about what it is like at secondary school, and to answer our questions. Tonight (Monday 8th) is Kambrya’s Open Night. Even if you are not attending Kambrya, it is a great opportunity to see what a secondary school is like. I will be heading along to check it out, and if you would like more info you can look here: http://goo.gl/LabTL
  • Our learning agenda for week three can be viewed here- http://goo.gl/RNw6l
  • As always, our homework for the fortnight is online: http://goo.gl/czAIw
  • The students (and some parents!) have been attempting our maths problem solving challenge; ‘Powerlines’. It has been great to see the persistence of many students with this fun challenge. Why not try it yourself? http://goo.gl/0aZLu
  • Recipes from the Kitchen on Wednesday. The students cooked up a fabulous feast and really enjoyed it. I am sure they would love the chance to cook the menu again at home for you – why not let them and have a night off! http://goo.gl/nDKi0
  • We celebrated our 5th year at Berwick Fields on the 5/5 with a whole school photo on the oval. Check it out – http://goo.gl/yqlsI

Many of the students have now become regular commenters on the blog, which is fantastic to see. There are two really great positives I see from this;

  • Firstly, the students are extending our classroom into their home. It shows that our learning doesn’t stop at 3:15, or begin at 9:00. They can access games, work and resources on here if they choose, as well as communicate with me and their classmates.
  • They get to develop their English and communicating skills while they use the blog. To comment, students need to know the writing genre, formulate a message and proofread their work. Any writing practise is good writing practise, and this is an authentic medium for them to practise with! Since we no longer write letters to each other as times have changed, it is important students have these chances to practise writing. We don’t allow SMS or ‘txt’ talk on our blog, so we are practising correct spelling and grammar all the time.

We would LOVE for you to join in our conversations as well, by posting feedback or discussion on items you see on the blog. It gives us a great sense of pride and joy to know others are interested in our learning and what is happening. Have you heard the podcasts or seen the videos we created after camp? Ask your child to show you! Maybe you have a grandparent, uncle, aunt or family friend who would also be interested in what is going on in our class and would like to comment with us.

Thanks for taking the time to read our update! If you would like any more information about anything that is happening in 56C, or would like to discuss how you child is going, please feel free to contact me at any time by email, phone, blog or popping in. I am always happy to talk about what is going on!

Have a great week!

Dale Mills

Kambrya College Open Night

Yesterday at assembly we had a visit by Jeri Fox from Kambrya College. She told us some things that grade 6’s heading to Kambrya next year could expect, and answered some of our questions about secondary school. Below is a copy of the flyer that went home with all students about their open night next Monday night.

On Friday afternoon we will be having some teachers and students from Berwick Secondary coming to speak to us as well, where we will be able to ask more questions about going to secondary school.

Kambrya Open Night
Monday 9th May 2011
6:30 – 7:30pm

A warm invitation is extended to all Year 6 Parents and other interested parties to our annual Open Night, commencing in the Ian McKenzie Centre.

Come along and hear about the fantastic programs offered at Kambrya College. Take part in a tour of the College and find out about our school priorities, High Achievers’ Program, curriculum from years 7-12, enrolment procedures and co-curricular programs.

Presentations will be run by student leaderts, members of ythe Principal Team and Teaching Team.


Interschool Sports Notices


Yesterday students took home a notice about the upcoming Winter Interschool Sports next term. We will be playing five games this season, along with the Lightning Premiership at the start of term three.

  • Friday 13th May vs Berwick Primary @ Berwick Primary
  • Friday 27th May – BYE
  • Friday 3rd June vs Brentwood Park Primary  @ Brentwood
  • Friday 10th June vs Berwick Lodge Primary @ Home
  • Friday 17th June vs Beaconhills Berwick Campus @ Beaconhills
  • Friday 24th June vs Oatlands Primary  @ Home
  • Wednesday 20th July – Lightning Premiership – All of the above schools and Maramba Primary at Beaconhills and Sweeney Reserve.

You can download the notices below.

Blogging Info Night Postponed

Dear Parents,

Unfortunately it appears our blogging session tonight was not convenient for parents so we have decided to postpone the session until next term. We had two families RSVP for tonight, but many said they would like to see the session at a later date.

Don’t forget in the meantime you can check out what is happening in our classes online:
56C – http://56c2011.global2.vic.edu.au
56D – http://56d2011.global2.vic.edu.au

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Dale and Jackie