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Primary Blog

15 March 2017

Positive Relationships Week

Last week we celebrated Positive Relationships week at The Lakes College. While we encourage and nurture positive relationships every week at TLC, having one week a year especially dedicated to raising awareness of the skills involved in developing and maintaining positive relationships with peers send a powerful message to all members of our community – we take this very seriously.

Throughout the week, the students were upskilled in how to be a good friend. It is very easy to make a new friend but the challenge is to maintain a positive friendship, especially when two friends do not see eye to eye on something or a new friend joins the group, changing the dynamic. Maintaining friendships is hard work! The assembly item presented by 5V last week focused on the ingredients in Friendship Soup listed below:

  • 1 cup of kindness
  • 3 blocks of honesty
  • 2 cups of respect
  • 2 litres of trust
  • 100 grams of acceptance
  • 1.5 cups of love
  • 4.5 cups of happiness
  • 4 tablespoons of friendliness
  • 3 tablespoons of playfulness
  • and a sprinkle of embarrassment

When all the ingredients are mixed together, you get a wonderful friend but as you can see, it is a complex recipe made up of many, many ingredients. Being a true friend is a tough gig, not just for children but for adults also.

Sharon Lollback
Head of Primary

1 March 2017

My Aims For The Primary School

A few years ago I shared with the staff, my aims for the Primary School at TLC. I felt it was important that every staff member understoood my foundational beliefs so they then had a greater understanding of the direction for the Primary School and the reasons for the decisions I make. As we commence the new school year, I would like to take this opportunity to share my aims with you.

As the Head of Primary, at The Lakes College, I believe that TLC should be a learning environment which:

  • Recognises that every child is a unique individual, created in God’s image and therefore, will have specific learning, social and/or emotional needs which must be identified and addressed.
  • Believes that every child has a right to feel safe. The safety of our students is our priority and forms one of the three guiding expectations of our College. At all times, we must be alert to possible dangers to our students which may be caused by members of our College community, the local community, College equipment , events or facilities and enact to ensure this danger is alleviated.
  • Believes that every child has the right to learn. It is our responsibility to ensure that each student receives opportunities to learn in a variety of contexts to ensure their preferred learning style is addressed and at a differentiated level to ensure their learning needs are met. As they learn, students need to be engaged, excited, challenged and supported by meaningful learning experiences.
  • Treats every member of the College community- staff, parents and students - with respect. By loving others as ourselves and demonstrating inclusivity and care for each member of the TLC community, we are encouraging the promotion of the College values of Faith and Justice.
  • Understands that children must learn how to get along with others in a supportive environment. Not all children commence school at The Lakes College with an understanding of how to manage their emotions and behaviours appropriately in situations that may occur. It is our responsibility to work in partnership with the families to support the development of sound social skills in each and every TLC student.
  • Recognises that children will only learn and achieve their potential if they are happy. Despite the issues some students must deal with at home, their time at school should be secure and stable. TLC should be a place where all students feel safe, supported and above all happy. Laughter and smiles should form part of our daily routines here at TLC.
  • Keeps informed about the latest developments in curriculum delivery, pedagogy and best practice. Through professional reading and development opportunities, peer observation and shared practice all TLC teachers feel well informed, supported and confident that they are delivering the most up to date curriculum and pedagogical practices.
  • Researches and delivers innovative and diverse opportunities which ensure the holistic education of each and every TLC student, while continuing to develop the infrastructure to support these opportunities.
  • Promotes the development of the 5 foundations for successful learning through the You Can Do It Program: Confidence, Resilience, Persistence, Organisation and the ability to get along with others.
  • Equips our students with the skills necessary for them to be successful in a future world which is fast paced, globally connected and digitally driven.
  • Develops the skill of risk taking in every student. Through reassurance and support, all students are encouraged to have a go at opportunities which they find unfamiliar and ‘out of their comfort zone’. Knowing that their attempts at new things will be celebrated and that mistakes are seen as a part of their learning journey, students will feel more at ease to take a chance at trying something new. Through this we will foster in students a more positive, optimistic and empowering outlook towards school life and their life in general, and the determination to succeed thus promoting the values of Hope and Courage.
  • Prepares active citizens of the future by encouraging students to develop an awareness of the environment and the impact people are having on the fragility of our natural resources. Students will also be encouraged to develop strategies which can enable them to assist those people in our world who are less fortunate than us. Through displaying the values of Love and Community, students will demonstrate support, encouragement and compassion, while working together in service for others.
  • Celebrates diversity with the message ‘different is great’ and something which should be promoted. In a multicultural environment such as the TLC community, the joys of cultural diversity are shared in a variety of contexts.
  • Effectively communicates valuable and meaningful information to parents about the progress of their children and ensures parents are well informed about the process of assessment.
  • Encourages meaningful student leadership opportunities which will encourage all students to have a voice at The Lakes College.
  • And finally……is fun!!

Everything we do at The Lakes College is to ensure we provide the very best learning opportunities for our students and I am extremely proud of the school we have created together. At times, some of the innovative approaches to the way we deliver curriculum have been met with a degree of trepidation by some parents, yet over time have proven to be great success stories. For example, the introduction of the subject specific teaching model in Years 4, 5 and 6 was a new approach to curriculum delivery which was unheard of at other schools, yet now many schools are implementing this model and universities are now required to include subject specialisation in all Primary teaching courses. This new tertiary direction has been outlined by AITSL (Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership), the body which provides national leadership for the Australian State and Territories in promoting excellence in the profession of teaching and school leadership. The standards for preservice teachers have been revised to include the following:

4.4 In addition to study in each of the learning areas of the primary school curriculum sufficient to equip teachers to teach across the years of primary schooling, programs provide all primary graduates with a subject specialisation through:

a) clearly defined pathways into and/or within a program that lead to specialisations, that are in demand, with a focus on subject/curriculum areas

b) assessment within the program requiring graduates to demonstrate expert content knowledge and pedagogical content knowledge and highly effective classroom teaching in their area of specialisation

c) publishing the specialisations available, and numbers of graduates per specialisation through their annual reports

The Lakes College is a leader in the field of education!

Sharon Lollback
Head of Primary

3 August 2016

A few weeks ago I addressed the students, staff and parents who attended the Semester 1 Academic Excellence Assembly. Since then, a number of parents have requested a copy of my speech which is very affirming. It appears below.

The focus of my address this morning is something that you may not expect to hear about at an Academic Excellence Awards Assembly. Losers. Yes, you know what I mean - Loser!!

When most of us think of a loser we often think of words such as failure, disappointment, defeatist, untalented, unsuccessful, - these are ugly, negative words. Yet every person in this room has been a loser at some time, yes even Mr Armstrong, yes even the many parents and teachers here, yes even today’s award recipients and yes, even me!! We have all been losers. I repeat ….We have all been losers.

Think about a time when you have felt like a loser. Perhaps it was during a game of soccer or netball when you missed that winning goal or dropped the ball. Perhaps it was at the end of a “discussion” with Mum or Dad or for the adults in the room, a discussion with one of your children, and you realised you weren’t going to get your way after all or perhaps it was simply not finding that Pokémon you had been searching for. Whatever the situation I am sure you didn’t feel good, in fact you were probably very disappointed in yourself, maybe even embarrassed, frustrated or just plain angry- negative, ugly feelings.

In fact, I guarantee some of our award recipients sitting here at this very moment have felt like losers about the very thing they are being awarded for today- their academic achievement. At some stage of their schooling- they may have received a poor mark for an assignment, they may have missed a deadline or handed in their homework late, they may have struggled to really understand what a teacher was telling them or what they needed to do in class, they may have actually failed an exam, but yet…. they are all about to stand up on stage and be presented with an award to signify their academic achievement.

So what happened to make these students become winners when they were actually losers at some point??? I found the perfect answer to this question in a quote by George Bernard Shaw, a great Irish playwright. He said “Winners are losers who get back up and give it one more try”. The award recipients today are all winners, because when they were losers they didn’t give up. I am sure they felt disappointed, frustrated and maybe even angry with themselves or their teacher…… and who could have blamed them if they gave up right then and there ……but they didn’t. They got back up and gave it one more try. For some of the award recipients today they did that again and again and again and as a result of their persistence and attitude they became winners and we are all so very proud of you.

So if you are not receiving an academic award today, don’t be a loser……give it one more try. And if you miss out again next time, give it another try and keep trying. Of course this doesn’t just apply to your school work; it applies to everything you do. We are all going to be losers at some stage and that’s ok because being a loser is only a few small steps away from being a winner, you just have to give it one more try.

Sharon Lollback
Head of Primary

15 June 2016

What is a “C”?

In line with the Australian Curriculum we will be using an A-E scale for Years 1 to 6 in the Semester 1 reports. For you to feel comfortable about this reporting scale it is important that you have the correct information and understanding about these attainment levels. If your child achieves a “C” in any area of their report, they have achieved the standard expected of their grade. C indicates that your child has demonstrated a sound level of knowledge and comprehensive understanding in that particular area. This level of achievement is what we expect our students to achieve if that particular year level. Any attainment level above a C, i.e A or B indicates that your child is achieving beyond what is expected at that year level. Any attainment level below a C i.e D or E indicates that your child is having some difficulty with certain aspects of the curriculum. It is important to celebrate C levels on your child’s report as they have achieved year level expectations; however, for some students a “C” level may be well below what they are capable of. Each student’s achievement must be viewed according to their ability but also compared with the expectations of the year level, thus the need for a “C” level.


A: Very High Achievement -The student consistently demonstrated a high level of knowledge, skills and understandings and was able to generate new ideas and creative ways of thinking about situations.

B: High Achievement -The student demonstrated a high level of knowledge, skills and understandings and was able to apply them in manipulated situations.

C: Sound Achievement -The student demonstrated a sound level of knowledge and comprehensive understanding in all areas.

D: Limited Achievement -The student demonstrated a developing awareness of knowledge, skills and understandings and was able to apply them in some situations.

E: Low Achievement - The student had difficulty grasping knowledge, skills and understanding and often required additional support.

Sharon Lollback
Head of Primary

16 May 2016

What is different about TLC?

Everything we do here equips our students with lifelong skills - which will help them become self-managed, responsible, respectful, well balanced, knowledgeable, empathetic members of society.

Chinese, Instrumental Music, Classroom Music, Art, Performing Arts, PE, Religious Education and ICT (Year 3-6) are taught by specialist teachers who are highly skilled in their particular area. By having these specialist subjects taught by specialist teachers, it allows our classroom teachers to focus on the teaching of the 4 core subjects – English, Maths, Science and Humanities.

Did you know that:

  • Learning the violin increases memory capacity, teaches perseverance, boosts mathematical ability, improves reading and comprehension, sharpens concentration skills and improves listening skills.
  • Learning Music improves visual and verbal skills, makes you happier, reduces the stress hormone and is relaxing.
  • Learning Art nurtures inventiveness and develops self-esteem, self-discipline, cooperation and creative problem solving.
  • Learning Performing Arts (Dance and Drama) encourages the development of motor skills and creativity, is a great form of great exercise, improves moods, promotes the development of understanding and expressing emotions and increases vocabulary and mental organisation.

Other areas of our College which enhance our difference include our extensive extracurricular program, ABCC, capped class sizes and numbers of classes in each year level, our consistent behaviour policy from Prep to Year 12 including our 3 Bs - Be Safe, Be Respectful and Be a Learner, our high expectations of appearance, our amazing facilities and our wonderful community.

Lastly, we don’t rush the foundations of learning in Prep and Year 1 or in the years that follow. We make sure they are rock solid before adding the next layers of learning in future years. Our results in external testing such as NAPLAN and the Queensland Core Skills test shows that our approach to education is working.

Sharon Lollback
Head of Primary

17 February 2016

Why Prep?

In some Australian states, Prep is known as Foundation, and for a very good reason. The skills that are learnt in Prep are foundational. They are THE most important skills a child will learn throughout their 13 years of schooling.

Imagine you were building a skyscraper. The most important parts of the skyscraper (or any building for that matter) are the foundations. Without strong foundations, cracks or faults will occur in the building as time goes on.

This is exactly the same with your child’s learning. Without strong foundational skills, cracks will likely appear as future layers of learning occur during subsequent years of schooling.

The foundational understanding of numbers and the patterns that occur between them leads directly into addition, subtraction, multiplication and division knowledge and understanding. The foundational skills of reading, if not solid, will cause ongoing frustration for your child and you as parents, as the reading material becomes more complex.

Even learning how to be a learner starts in Prep. Short rotational activities where our Prep students sit in groups and strive to complete an activity in an allocated time, are the first steps in developing well organised, self-managed and collaborative learners.

The Prep year is foundational and is a critical year in your child’s learning journey. You only get one chance at ensuring your child’s Prep year provides the strong foundations required for future knowledge building. Choose wisely. Choose The Lakes College.

Sharon Lollback
Head of Primary