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In this issue...

Students challenge their thinking at the da Vinci Decathlon.

Reception students get creative for their Jolly Phonics dress-up day.

Vocal Cabaret - what a night!

Middle SchoolCollege News Print Email
Edge-lit Signs in Design and Technology

This year our Year 8 Design & Technology courses were moved into a trimester format, providing an opportunity to establish a new program of work.  After much planning and prototyping, we developed the Edge-Lit Sign project in which students used a range of traditional materials and construction techniques to create the base. They then learnt how to use Adobe Illustrator to design and manufacture the acrylic sign component using the laser cutter. To illuminate the finished product, they built a circuit board using their electronics knowledge and skills. After an extremely busy 13-week program, the signs were finally completed and the smiles on the students' faces as they proudly displayed their work says it all.

Shane Beitz
Head of Design and Technology

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da Vinci Decathlon

Earlier this month, a team of eight Year 9 students represented Concordia at the 2017 South Australian da Vinci Decathlon. All Year 9 DARE students trained last term and those selected (and able to attend around camp) dedicated several lunch meetings to refining their team strategy in the week leading up to the competition.  

Student groups from 17 schools pitted their intellectual athleticism against each other in a series of 10 problem solving challenges across various disciplines from Art, Poetry and Drama to Science, Engineering and Mathematics. As well as mind expanding fun, we experienced great success, gaining placings in the top five for four challenges:

  • General Knowledge - 2nd
  • Ideation - 3rd
  • Cartography - 4th
  • Art and Poetry - 5th.  

Ideation, based on the Design Thinking Process, was brand new this year, and the team received a commendation for their thoroughness and innovative approach from the markers. The close-knit professionalism and camaraderie of the Concordia team was a credit to them.  

Louise Thomas
Gifted Education 

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Maths in Film

In recent weeks, Year 8 students have continued to engage in a trial interdisciplinary unit on ‘Mathematics in Film’. As part of the unit, students finished viewing their individual films before beginning work on implementing their chosen mathematical principle into the short film they are to construct. Classes have begun studying the technical aspects of film, including the use of diegetic and non-diegetic sound, and a guest speaker from the local film industry will be presenting to them shortly. Stay tuned for the final products; we may have a budding Spielberg (or Hitchcock) in our midst!

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Year 8 Challenge Day

On Wednesday 7 June, our Year 8 cohort competed in the second annual ‘Year 8 Challenge Day’ at Waite Arboretum. Students were required to pick a theme, design their costumes and create a class chant in preparation for the day, before competing in a short cross-country race. 8EJO were the overall winners for the day, but as you can see by the smiles on the students' faces, a brilliant afternoon was enjoyed by all. Thomas and Samuel from 8EJO expressed the following thoughts at a recent Middle School Assembly: 

"Year 8 Challenge Day was a great success for 8EJO because we won. It was an event where Home Classes competed against each other for the Year 8 Challenge Day Shield ... There was a lot of responsibility with each Home Class deciding what to wear and what chants were going to fire up the class members. ... The emphasis on the day was to show team spirit, dress together with a theme and complete a cross-country run around the Waite Arboretum and oval. For 8EJO, the effort paid off for the win and we’ll enjoy a free class lunch next week. We’d like to thank all of the Year 8 Home Class teachers for helping plan and put together the event, and for the other teachers who came along to support the day."

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Year 8 Dad Joke Contest

Have you ever heard the following witty one liners? 

"I don’t trust stairs; they are always up to something."

"I hate perforated lines; they’re tear-able."

"The rotation of the earth really makes my day."

If your response was to roll your eyes or groan, your reaction was in keeping with the responses of 150 Year 8s when we introduced our inaugural ‘Dad Joke’ contest to the cohort during Pastoral Care last week. The competition began with Mrs Ridenhour and Ms Narino-Terry in a ‘joke duel’, with the teachers locked in a cringe-worthy draw. On Wednesday 21 June, representatives from the various Year 8 Home Classes took to the 'stage' to share their dad jokes, with lots of laughter from the audience as students tried to make their opponents smile. In the end, Ryan from 8VNT delivered the following joke and secured the win for his Home Class:

"Did you hear about the cheese factory that exploded in France?

There was nothing left but de brie."

Mr Saegenschnitter then presented Ryan with the 'Golden Cheesy Corn' trophy which Ryan received on behalf of his Home Class.

Lots of fun was had by students and staff alike, and it was great to see students joining in and encouraging one another throughout the competition.

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Middle Years Gifted and Talented Conference

On Tuesday 15 August, Concordia will be hosting UK academic Julie Arliss to present the 2017 SA Middle Years Gifted and Talented Conference in the Chapel.

Julie Arliss represents Academy Conferences associated with Oxford University. She uses a combination of Community of Inquiry and lecture-style approaches to develop lateral thinking and explore the interplay of Science, History, Philosophy, Religion and Ethics around hard questions. Students will have the opportunity to interact with like-minded peers from a variety of schools. This Conference builds on last year’s event and complements the Senior Oxbridge Conference held here in May, providing an insight into the IB Diploma subject, Theory of Knowledge.

This year’s topics are:

  • Does a snail have consciousness?
  • Is self-sacrifice ever reasonable? (Interactive session)
  • An introduction to the Science of Nanotechnology
  • Debate: Has Science has replaced God?

Letters will be emailed home next week to parents of students invited to attend DARE. If your child is not in the DARE cohort but is interested to attend, please contact Louise Thomas at

Louise Thomas
Gifted Education

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Diary Dates

Click here for a list of upcoming diary dates.

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