What Brings Me Joy – Jennifer Oaten Principal

While visiting the Year 5 classrooms this week, it was very evident how happy the girls were, how they engaged with their learning, and how eager they were to share with me what they had learned.  This week I would like to share with you some of the fantastic things I saw our girls being involved with.  This definitely highlighted to me why our girls thrive in Year 5.


The creativity of the girls was evident in a task they were undertaking that involved writing poems about donuts, dogs, raindrops, autumn and many other subjects of their own choice. The next part of this project is to build confidence and public speaking skills through sharing their poems, actions and props with others in their class.

What the girls shared with me:

  • Isabelle shared that writing poems enabled her to express her feelings.
  • Briley said she had learned how much fun writing poetry can be.
  • Sophie shared that writing poetry made her happy.
  • Others shared they had learned about similes, metaphors and alliteration, all of which they could explain confidently to me.


A challenge was put to the Year 5 girls this week to build the highest spaghetti towers using the budget they were allocated. They had different budgets and were able to use this money to purchase different amounts of materials needed to build their tower.

What the girls learned:

  • Angela said she learned that the way money is shared in the world is not always fair but working together to problem-solve was the key,
  • Elizabeth said that the amount of money you have is not important, but you have to think carefully about what you spend your money on.

The girls loved the activity, and they were able to practice their collaborative and budgeting skills.


I noticed while watching some girls doing their multiplication that they were demonstrating persistence in solving Maths problems. It was enlightening to see the willingness of the girls to keep trying. They have been working on creating multiplication crosswords, which their peers will have an opportunity to solve.

What they shared with me:

  • Sienna learned many strategies to solve problems,
  • Ava said she loves the Maths games they play, and
  • both girls said Maths was one of their favourite subjects because it was so engaging and challenging.

Problem Solving

Frankie shared with me a hyperlinked quiz she had constructed on Arctic foxes during her Technology classes. She explained to me that she had linked questions, videos and websites to enable the user to see if they selected the correct answer. Frankie had learned how to problem-solve the challenges faced when using ICT.

I recommend you ask the Year 5 girls about Science and the Super Lab.  I saw them this week on the way back to class from Science and they were all beaming with enthusiasm and couldn’t wait to tell me all about blubber and its benefit to whales. In the  Super Lab, they had been experimenting to find out about the properties in blubber. Science is one of my passions, and I sense there are some budding scientists amongst them.

Congratulations to our Year 5 staff for the creativity and planning that has gone into the preparation and delivery of these incredibly engaging lessons. For them, it is just a typical week!

So what brings me joy as a principal?

The opportunity to see our students engaged with learning.  Thank you Year 5 for bringing me joy this week and for being part of our Santa Maria College.

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