12 Apr 2019

A Message from the Head of Lindfield

How to Develop the Curiosity of our Boys – 

In the book Out of Curiosity, Bryan Goodwin says we must provide an environment to stimulate their innate curiosity. “We cannot make students become curious,” says Goodwin; “rather, we must lead them to it by creating environments and opportunities for curiosity to flourish.”

Goodwin hypothesizes a number of “curiosity principles” for schools and parents to consider:

  • Embrace not knowing. “Curiosity involves an element of risk taking,” he says. “We must delve into an area we know little about or where we feel incompetent. And we’re more likely to do that when we feel safe to admit we don’t know something. Thus, we need to help our kids see that it’s OK to profess ignorance, yet a shame to profess indifference.”
  • Ask fewer, deeper questions. I know as a parent, I am sometimes guilty of asking meaningless questions of my children about their school day. How was school? Who was in your after-school activity? How did you go in music today? All these closed questions mean that I often get a one-word response: good, fine or okay. We want to ask questions of our boys that spark thought and curiosity. Goodwin suggests changing the questions we ask: What surprised you today? When did you feel joyful today? What are you wondering about now?

If you do get a consistent good, fine or okay response from your son then follow up questions that I use to elicit thinking and discussion are: What was good about it? or What made it okay?

  • Use questions to provoke thought versus seeking correct answers. Avoid quizzing your boys. Make sure that your end of day conversations don’t resemble an inquisition, where your boys feel like they are being tested and are expected to give you a certain answer.  It is better to ask broad questions and create a climate where mistakes and different opinions are welcome, so your boys are keen to discuss, argue and explore different ideas.
  • Use wait time. Teachers at Lindfield, stress wait time or thinking time for our students. It is also good at home to pause for three or four seconds after asking a question. You are very likely to get more thoughtful responses and better discussions with your son if you pause and give them time to think.
  • Let your son follow his curiosity. As a parent, I struggled for a long time to understand that the things that I found fascinating, did not necessarily fascinate my children. Support your child to explore their curiosities and passions. “Curiosity is more likely to flourish,” says Goodwin, “when kids are free to pursue their own interests alongside supportive adults who offer well-timed nudges to guide their explorations and keep their curiosity alive.”
  • Go play outdoors. One of the biggest take home messages from the book is that a great way to stimulate curiosity, even with the most technology soaked young boy, is to be outside having unstructured time to explore and play. The holidays are coming up and it would be great if your son can get a healthy dose of the outdoors by camping, bushwalking or spending time at the local reserve exploring and seeing where his curiosity leads him.


Out of Curiosity: Restoring the Power of Hungry Minds for Better Schools, Workplaces, and Lives,  Bryan Goodwin, (McREL International, 2018)

Re-engineering Learning with Curiosity in Mind, Marshall Memo, Issue 756


Ben Barrington-Higgs

Pastoral Care

Celebrating Effort and Success

Our students regularly set goals, both short term and long term, using a variety of strategies and then reflect upon these goals to determine how much effort they put into achieving them and how successful they were along the way. Our students need to understand that working towards a goal is just as important as reaching the goal and that it requires a sustained effort and focus.

Often our students experience setbacks on the way to achieving their short or long term goals, they may need to try several different strategies or they may need to fail in order to move forward (often referred to as ‘failing forward’). The conversations that teachers have with their students and parents with their sons around goal setting and effort is important and these conversations should centre around the effort that has been made along the way and not just the achievement at the end.

As parents you need to always look for opportunities to compliment the way your son is approaching a task rather than placing all your emphasis on the end result, which may not turn out how he had hoped. Effort-based praise lets you tell your son you value not only him, but also his willingness to take risks and his determination to work toward his goals.

For example, let’s say your son’s goal is to get to school on time. There are smaller steps along the way: waking up, brushing his teeth, getting dressed and having his backpack ready. By recognizing the steps your son does well, you can help him see that he is capable of reaching the overall goal. You can also show him he can achieve it through effort and planning.

Key Components of Effort-Based Praise – (understood.org)

Effort-based praise can be a great way to motivate your child. To maximise its effectiveness, be sure to include these components:

Sincerity: “Thank you for all of the time you put into making this cake” is better than “This is the most delicious cake I’ve ever tasted!” Insincere praise can make your child wonder if you think he’s not capable of doing any better. Overpraising can also make him wonder if you don’t know what really good cake tastes like.

Specificity: “I like how you double-checked all your math problems” is better than “Good job on your homework.” Good, descriptive praise takes the guesswork out of what you’re praising. This can help reinforce the positive behaviour you want your child to repeat.

Realistic standards: “Your watercolour technique is really coming along nicely—did you use any new techniques in this painting?” is better than “This is such a fantastic painting. Some day you’ll have your own art gallery!” Try to praise your child’s efforts in a way that emphasises growth and learning from mistakes. This can help avoid putting too much pressure on him to succeed the next time.

By recognising the efforts of our students and your son we can create resilient students who understand that mistakes are opportunities to learn and whose self-esteem is strong and healthy, allowing them to successfully interact with their peers and the adults in their lives.



Pascal Czerwenka – Deputy Head – Lindfield

PYP (Primary Years Programme)

Approaches to Learning

The students and teachers are continuing to explore the PYP  framework in their learning. Over the course of the year, Prep Talk will explore each of the concentric circles that make up the PYP framework to provide a snapshot into how learning develops at NCL.

The PYP framework centres on transdisciplinary learning and is the curriculum organiser for our school and enables the students to experience learning between, across and beyond traditional subject boundaries. We strive towards deeper learning and the framework helps us to plan and develop learning that best fits the needs of our learners which includes the requirements of NESA (NSW Education Standards).

In the previous Prep Talk, the centre of the framework illustrated below, the Learner Profile, was the focus. This issue will emphasise Approaches to Learning (ATL, previously known as transdisciplinary skills). There is little difference, other than a change of name, so as to be in line with all IBO programmes. The ATLs are grounded in the belief that learning how to learn is fundamental to education. They complement the learner profile, knowledge, conceptual understanding and inquiry of the PYP.











Five categories of interrelated skills aim to support students to become a self-regulated learner who know how to ask good questions, set effective goals and pursue their aspirations with determination to achieve them. These skills also support students’ sense of agency, encouraging them to see their learning as an active and dynamic process.

At Lindfield, it is our aim to embed these five skill sets in authentic learning experiences. These skills support purposeful inquiry and set the foundations for lifelong learning. The five interrelated approaches to learning are:

  • Thinking – critical thinking, creative thinking, transfer, reflection skills
  • Research – information literacy, media literacy, ethical use of media skills
  • Communication – exchanging information, literacy, ICT skills
  • Social – interpersonal relationships, social-emotional intelligence
  • Self-management – organisation, mindfulness skills.


Embedded within the ATL are digital literacy skills that can be an invaluable resource for information gathering or processing, as well as for critical and creative thinking, communication and collaboration. By combining ATL and the attributes of the learner profile, PYP students become self-regulated learners. Self-regulated learners are agents of their own learning. They know how to:

  • set learning goals
  • ask open-ended questions
  • generate motivation and perseverance
  • reflect on achievement
  • try out different learning processes
  • self-assess as they learn
  • adjust their learning processes where necessary

(Zimmerman and Schunk 2001; de Bruin et al 2002; Wolters 2001).

They are a focus for learning with each unit targeting a number of the skills. This ensures that the students come to know, understand and practice them to achieve fluency in using them in a range of situations preparing them for life.

Sue Gough – PYP Co-ordinator

Faith Matters

Everywhere in our life we are surrounded by symbols. Symbols tell us what to do or where to go, they tell us what something is or how we should respond in a certain situation. If we see the Golden Arches on the road we know that there’s a McDonalds inside. If we come to a red traffic light, we know to stop. Symbols help us to make sense of the world around us and tell us how to act.

In Christianity we have one symbol above all others, the cross. The cross is universally acknowledged as the symbol of the Christian faith because it represents the very heart of Christianity. And it’s at Easter time that we come to understand what this symbol means for us.

At Easter we hear the story of Jesus being convicted as a criminal and subjected to the most brutal punishment that the Roman Empire could offer, crucifixion, death on a cross. On Good Friday, one of the most sacred days for Christians, we hear the story of Jesus’ suffering and his death.

Although this is a brutal and violent day where Jesus is horrifically killed we call it Good Friday which seems wrong. Yet, in a strange way this is a good day. Because it’s in Jesus’ death, and his resurrection three days later, that we see God’s love most clearly shown. Which is why we can think of the cross in this simple equation. The cross equals love.

For Christians, Jesus is God made human, God with us. In Jesus’ life we see a God who doesn’t sit on high, removed from humanity, but rather gets involved in the mess and the madness of life. And in Jesus’ death we see a God who is willing to do whatever it takes, even endure the most brutal of deaths, so that we may be made closer to God. That’s powerful love.

In the Temple of Jerusalem in Jesus’ time there was a large curtain in the most sacred part of the Temple, behind which they believed God inhabited. This curtain separated the people from where God was. The Bible says that when Jesus died that curtain ripped in two, telling us that there is no longer a divide between people and God.

The cross is such a powerful symbol for us still today because it represents God’s love for all people. There is no longer any separation or divide between God and humanity; the cross is God’s way of welcoming and loving all of us, no conditions.

The cross shows us that God walks with us, cares for us and loves us no matter what. This symbol of pain and suffering is transformed into a radical symbol of God’s love and acceptance of all people; with no regard for a person’s background, experience, sexuality, culture, gender… nothing. The cross marks the point where God says, all are welcomed, and all are loved.

This Easter season let me encourage you to reflect on this powerful symbol wherever you might see it, be it in a Church or just on a Hot Cross Bun. Because in the symbol of the cross, we see most clearly God’s love for all people.

Let me wish everyone a happy, safe and restful Easter break. It’s been wonderful working with the boys at Lindfield this term and I look forward to another great term.

Pastor Richard La’Brooy


Kindergarten and Year 1 – Possum Magic

Last week, Kindergarten and Year One had the pleasure of attending a live performance of Mem Fox’s picture book Possum Magic. In the lead up to the performance, the boys engaged in a range of activities that allowed them to deepen their understanding of the text and its characters and expand their experiences and vocabulary.

In both classes, the boys are practicing determining the important parts of a story and retelling or recounting them in the correct sequence. When we explore new texts, they are also encouraged to take on the different perspectives of characters as they work towards developing empathy and inferring ideas about the feelings and motives of others. Through opportunities for story mapping and role play, the boys immersed themselves in the story of Hush and Grandma Poss, supporting their understanding of the main characters and their long journey around Australia to find the magic foods to make Hush visible again.

Exploring Possum Magic was also a perfect way for the boys in Kindergarten and Year One to expand their vocabulary related to different foods and key places in Australia. We enjoyed a Possum Magic picnic, for which the boys helped make some iconic Australian foods like Vegemite sandwiches, mini pavlovas and pumpkin scones. They ‘travelled’ to the different States, Territories and Capital cities to try the food they had made and identified these places on a classroom-sized map of Australia. It was exciting to see so many boys take risks in making and trying new foods that they had not eaten or heard of before.

A quality children’s picture book is more than a story. It’s a chance for us to explore, play and connect to our world. Well done Kindergarten and Year One!

Christine Hilder – Year 1 Teacher


Stage 2 – Unlocking the Past

Stage 2 boys have been learning about diverse backgrounds throughout history and how this has played a role in shaping the local community.

The unit commenced by learning how historians unlock the past using primary sources. In the study of history, a primary source is an artefact, document, diary, manuscript, autobiography, recording, or any other source of information that was created at the time under study. It serves as an original source of information about the topic. We then examined secondary sources. In contrast, a secondary source of information is one that was created later by someone who did not experience first-hand or participate in the events that were being researched. For the purposes of a historical research project, secondary sources are generally scholarly books and articles.

After discovering how historians are like detectives who look for clues, we then looked at different types of communities. We started with the Newington Community and briefly looked at the history of Newington College.

The boys then discovered other types of communities – urban, suburban and rural. They investigated communities and matched images to their findings and found that a community is a group of people living or working together in the same area. They realised that their own neighbourhood is a community, and that a town or city can also be a community.

Finally, our third line of inquiry was about their historical investigation. The boys completed their inquiry by researching five different areas of European Settlement in Australia. They loved the stories about various convicts and why there were sent to Australia. The boys followed the journey of the First Fleet and read about the harsh conditions the convicts endured for eight months. They studied Bungaree, an Aboriginal community leader who sailed with Matthew Flinders working as an interpreter and a guide, Captain Arthur Phillip, Joseph Banks and how the British communicated with the Aboriginal People.

The boys were totally engaged with each lesson, and to conclude the unit, the boys shared their research findings by presenting them to the class, in small social groups.

Mrs Leonie Russell – Year 3 Teacher

Stage 3 – Taronga Zoo

This week, to support our current Unit of Inquiry “How the World Works”, Years 5 and 6 visited Taronga Zoo. The excursion aimed to look at the behavioural and physical adaptations that animals have made to help them survive in various environments. Armed with our iPads, the boys explored many different exhibits, snapping pictures of various features that the animals had evolved to help them to survive. One highlight was the seal show where the seals demonstrated their natural behaviours and how these helped them to find food or keep an eye out for danger.

Split into three groups the boys had the opportunity to visit the newly completed Institute of Science and Learning. Here they were taken into either an Australian desert, woodland or rainforest classroom where half the room was for the students and the rest devoted to creating the scene complete with animals. 5W visited the desert room where a bilby happily hopped around, feeding on fly eggs and grubs. Also fluttering around the room were about 15 tiny birds adding to the authenticity of our experience. Adam, the keeper, brought out some animals including a two-headed Shingleback lizard that we were able to touch. He discussed the adaptations these animals had made as well as considering the effects that a changing environment was having on these animals. It was a fantastic opportunity that the boys embraced which was evident by the questions they asked.

Back at school, we were able to trawl through the hundreds of photos taken by the boys and in amongst the blurred images of boy’s feet were some beautiful shots of different animals. As a provocation for our unit, this excursion was a huge success. We look forward to seeing how the boys develop this unit in the coming weeks.

Phil Trethewey – Y5W Teacher

Stage 2 – Heaven and Earth

People moved heaven and earth to make visiting “Heaven and Earth in Chinese Art” possible – an exhibition at the Art Gallery of NSW.

Our Year 3 and Year 4 students enjoyed the Art and Chinese excursion to the Art Gallery of NSW on Wednesday 3 April. As part of the “Where We Are in Place and Time” unit, the boys observed some fine Chinese art collections from the past. They learned and inquired about the key concept: Heaven, Earth and harmony expressed through some of the rare Chinese art collections from The National Palace Museum, Taipei. The boys saw some examples of how the concepts were applied in modern architecture and interior design. During the Art and Chinese classes, the boys observed pieces including: FuxiWheeled-bird Zun VesselOlive pit in the form of a boatMeat shaped stoneSquare curiosity box with multiple treasures (as known as “Emperor’s toy box”).

The National Palace Museum, Taipei, was listed as one of the “most visited museums in the world” and home to the largest and most delectable collection of Chinese art and treasures. Almost all the art works were collected by emperors over the generations and could only been seen by emperors and people close to them. It is indeed a rare opportunity to see the exhibition –  “Heaven and Earth in Chinese Art”. It took years of planning and support from various people and organisations to make it happen. According to the Art Gallery of NSW “…this is the first time the collection has travelled to the southern hemisphere and it is unlikely to be seen in Australia again.”

Below are some of the feedback/reflections from our Year 3 and Year 4 students:

What I really liked about the Art Gallery was each room had something different. In one room, there was pictures of emperors and valleys and then in another room there was Aboriginal art which was detailed and colourful. My favourite part was learning about the cultures of different countries. The Chinese Art had some extremely long scrolls which showed different parts of China. Oliver F, Year 3. 

My favourite part about going to the Art Gallery was seeing The Emperor’s Toy Box because it had hidden compartments. It was made of wood and the outside had coloured designs on it. Inside, the toys were made of jade, gold, porcelain and bronze. There was also a Miniature boat which was carved from an olive pit. In the boat, there were tiny people. Liam F, Year 3 

The best piece of art was the Phoenix. It was cool because it had interesting patterns and the colours of the phoenix were blue, green and yellow. It had an interesting design and it was a similar size to a basketball. Anthony F, Year 3.

I was really excited to see the Chinese art work at the Art Gallery of NSW. I spotted many art works we’ve learned about in the Art and Chinese classes. Daniel K, Year 4

… I was really excited when I got there. The art gallery is big. There were paintings after paintings. I really liked the painting of lotus pond projected on the wall and the floor. It was so colourful. We could stand on the lotus leaf and a school of fish would come out from under the leaf. It was fun… Jaiden S, Year 4

Eva Angel – LOTE Teacher




Musical Notes

This term has seen the over 50 boys begin to learn to play an instrument. This means that they are:

  • learning to hold an instrument
  • making a sound on the instrument
  • reading and interpreting musical notation
  • transferring this to making notes on the instrument

As you can see from this list, there are many levels of learning here which can help learning in other curriculum areas as well.

It is really important that the work done here at school is followed up at home.  There is the physical side to playing an instrument. Holding the instruments correctly requires developing muscles. For the woodwind and brass instruments, there is also the blowing of the instrument – the lips are muscles too and if the instrument is not played regularly at home, when the student comes to school and plays for at least 45 minutes, his lips will be quite numb at the end of the session.

Over the holiday period, please encourage some practice so that the learning and muscle tone achieved during this term does not disappear.

School Ensembles

The School Band and School String Ensemble have made a strong start to the year. Boys have been able to learn a number of pieces in both ensembles. I look forward to next term when we will continue to expand the repertoire. This will also prepare the groups for the Lindfield Concert which is held in the last week of term two.

School Choir has also made a good start. It would be great to have a few more members. I invite all boys from Years 3 – 6 to join.  There is a rehearsal every Monday morning (there will be one the first day back!) and another at recess time (just a brief one while boys are eating). If your son is on the morning bus to school the recess rehearsal is the one that he would attend.

GarageBand in the Classroom

In some classes this term (Years 3, 4 and 6), the boys have been exploring and composing music using GarageBand on the iPads. I have been asking them to share their compositions with you using SeeSaw. It has been great watching them gain more confidence as new tools have been introduced.

Vanessa South – Music Co-ordinator

SRC – Entertainment Book

Support Newington College!








Get your new Entertainment Membership today

Want to know how to tackle the school holidays and help us raise much needed funds?  The new Entertainment Membership is here, packed with amazing offers, including family activities, casual dining and tasty treats. So who wants an ice cream?

All proceeds from membership purchases will go to support our SRC initiatives this year.

Purchase your 2019/2020 Entertainment Membership today!

Keep the family “Entertained” these school holidays






























The Grammar Football Cup

“Football is about joy. It’s about dribbling. I favour every idea that makes the game beautiful. Every good idea has to last.”- Ronaldinho.

On Saturday 23 March, we took four teams of boys to Grammar St. Ives for an inaugural cup competition, the Grammar Football Cup. Our two junior and two senior teams faced the likes of Kings, both Grammar schools, Barker and Redlands in a round robin style competition with quarter finals, semis and then finals.

Over the course of the day, each team played a minimum of four fifteen-minute games with no half time intervals, before progressing further if they won their quarter final game. The quality of the football was high, and the day was a great test for boys considering that the winter season starts soon. Every boy played well and represented the Newington sporting values – personal best, resilience, team work, respect, enjoyment and improvement. A couple of our teams made it to the semi-finals, with our Senior B team losing on tense penalty, but eventually finishing fourth after a play off. Special mention also goes to the Junior A’s, who beat Redlands 12-1 in their quarter final. Well done to all who took part on the day. 

Here are a selection of the boys who took part sharing their views on the day:

Tom Andrews, 6W: I liked it because I have never played in a preseason tournament before, it was fun to see some of our competition for the winter season.

Phoenix Yim, 6W: It was very competitive but fun at the same time. Everyone had a go and no one was left out. The penalties made me feel nervous but I was happy to make some saves as the keeper.

Felix Lee, 6W: All the teams were evenly matched and there were only fifteen minute games so it was good to score an early goal and try and keep the lead. In one of the games we scored in the first thirty seconds. It was good fun and great having Phoenix in goal for penalties.

Good luck to all the boys in the upcoming winter season!

Sam Watson – Year 6 Teacher.