May News
May News May 21, 2020
MAY 2020 Welcome to our new families! We have been busy ensuring we are complying with the ‘new normal’.  Schools are back!  YEAH! Although some students whom I’ve asked are not really looking forward to the return to the classroom, many parents and teenagers are thankful for the break from online learning. This means we are expecting ALL students to be at lessons in the studio from 18th May unless the student or the teacher is sick. If you’ve had to keep your child home (sick) please let us know if an online lesson would suit you, instead of a make-up lesson later. Please do not send your child to an Enriched lesson if they’ve been home from school.

Open Hours:
Monday to Thursday, 1 pm to 6.30 pm (at least) and
Saturdays, 11 am-1 pm. 
18/5/20:  Week 5 at Enriched Learning, Week 4 at schools. All make-up lessons and Term 2 lessons should be completed before the next school holidays.  Extra lessons may be organised now or in week 10. You can check what week your child is currently studying by checking the homework sheet.  

STAFFING We currently have four teachers: Veronica, Matt, Roland and Alison. We have lesson times available for new students or students wanting multiple lessons or subjects.  

TERM 2 English: The mystery stories this year are supported by new materials in resources, online mini-mysteries and incorporating the Seven Steps to Successful Writing. Your young student will receive transferable resources such as the key strategies of the Seven Steps program, their own story writing templates and, at the end of the term, a booklet of the students’ stories this term.
Maths: Mathopoly has intrigued students with its mathematical problems required before tokens can be moved. Term 2 topic, fractions, are used to develop deeper multiplication and division skills through finding equivalent fractions and simplifying them.
Coming soon… We are bringing the Square Terminal to the office for easy payments. We are adding a retail element to the Balmain Learning Studio so you can purchase Slapzi from us soon. Education games and puzzles will be available at an affordable cost. Presents, isolation activities and skill-building at home will all be conveniently available to take home. Giant Microbes will be ordered mid-year, as the Covid19 Giant Microbe will become available. If you are interested in ordering, an order form will be available.  
Following are some critiques of recent reading material and movies which you may find interesting…

      TRASH: Some of the older students have been reading Part 1 of this book by Andy Mulligan.  Veronica used this as the focus of a reading unit for advanced year-eight readers a few years ago, in a secondary school. This is not a hard read but was created thoughtfully with fictional newspaper articles and a book code to decipher with our young 14yo protagonists. The setting is a third world slum area near a coastline. The book is set in the Philippines by Andy however, the movie was filmed in Brazil, South America. Our heroes discover a ‘breadcrumb’ which leads them on an adventure which uncovers political corruption and ultimately more money than they know what to do with.  The story is well-explained by a multitude of characters and draws the reader through a brave quest with serious consequences.  I really like this for young readers because it gives them a window into a life beyond our ‘privileged’ culture here in Australia without being depressing or dark. However, one chapter in the book (in Part 2) describes the fear of police corruption and the movie is tainted from the start with police violence way beyond what is seen in Australia (or in the book). The movie is rated “M”. It is available on Youtube (for a borrowing or purchase price – not free). For this reason, we will not read the entire book (a tricky thing to accomplish during our lessons anyway) however, the newspaper articles and a letter in the back of the book tie up the loose ends, explaining the details of where the ‘breadcrumbs’ and money comes from, without detailing violent acts. There are no sex, drugs or supernatural themes however, the movie also contains swearing also not in the text. For these reasons, while we mentioned that a movie exists, it is up to you, as parents, to decide whether it is worth watching with your older students.   

Another piece of advice regarding movies. With all the lock-down, quarantine periods it’s been tempting to watch more TV than usual.  I came across the movie “Good boys” on Foxtel. This opens with young tweens and quickly sounds ‘young’ as they want to learn how to kiss a girl at an upcoming party.  This movie is NOT for primary students or even young teens.  LOTS of sexual innuendoes, swearing, drugs and inappropriate behaviour. Rating: R.  This kind of movie is easy to access if you have Foxtel and Foxtel on devices so just be careful what your little people have access to watching in their own time. Have you engaged a parental lock?  

If you would like topics, movies, books, games reviewed for our next newsletter please let me know….    
Thank you for your continuing support of your children’s enriched potential,  
Veronica Schwedes Managing Director.
(GCEd. (Gifted Education); BEd. Education)