Looking Back on Good Times

Look carefully and you might see someone you know.

Do they remind you of your Prep buddies? Maybe they look a bit different now.

In the next couple of weeks, take the time to remember and share some of the many memories you have of your years at Clairvaux. Think also about what memories of yourself you can leave behind for others to reflect upon.

No matter which grade you are in, everyone can reflect on their times at school.

What are some of YOUR favourite memories at Clairvaux?

Share YOUR memories by leaving a comment.

Gourmet Pancakes Cooking Challenge

Guest Post by Madie 5\6 JF

(Madie is one of our new bloggers and has been blogging for only 3 weeks) 

Visit Madie’s Blog here

Gourmet Pancakes

breakfast art

Our Inquiry topic for Term 4 was ‘Try, Try Again’ and our group’s topic was Food and Cooking.

Our first Cooking Challenge was cooking Apple Stacks. They were delicious! You can read our blog post about Apple Stacks here. Clairvaux Cooking Challenge.

The task this time was to make Gourmet Pancakes.

Before we started cooking we had to plan what we needed to bring and how we were going to make it.

We were allowed to put what ever we liked on them or create any type of  pancakes we wanted to. Some of the main ingredients people used for their toppings were chocolate (white and milk choc), strawberries, blueberries, ice cream (plain or neapolitan) and many more as well as many different pancake flavours. They all looked fantastic and everyone said that they smelt nice too.

The judge had a small taste of them all and then at the 5/6 meeting he announced who had won. He said they won because he loved the fluffiness of the pancake. The winners were Callum and Jake 5\6 JC.

Well done guys, you did well!

Here is a video. I hope you enjoy it.  Take a look at the delicious pancakes we all made!

‘Pancakes’ by Madie

Edublog Awards 2011

 Edublog Awards 2011

As you have probably noticed, we have a number of excellent bloggers at Clairvaux! Some students have been blogging since July 2011 and some have only been blogging for 3 weeks, but are doing an amazing job as well.

Recently, a number of students took part in the Edublogs Student Blogging Challenge. This was a demanding 10 week challenge but our students excelled themselves by producing some excellent responses to the tasks.

Each year, Edublog Awards are presented to worthy blogs in a range of categories and we are able to nominate blogs which demonstrate excellence.  It has been a very difficult decision to make but I feel that Gemma’s Blog meets the criteria in all areas. Gemma is 12 years old.


So I am proud to nominate Gemma’s Blog for the Edublog Awards for 2011 - Best Student Blog. 

HERE’S WHY . . . .

Gemma does everything right as far as blogging goes, although she has only been blogging since July. She writes interesting and good quality posts, uses a variety of web 2.0 tools, demonstrates cyber-safety and copyright awareness, comments on other blogs frequently, makes connections with other bloggers locally and around the world, is helpful and supportive to all our bloggers and is teaching other students and teachers how to blog properly.

She has participated with great excitement in the Student Blog Challenge, writing 14 posts and receiving 61 comments and leaving comments on numerous blogs herself. This enthusiastic participation has seen her ‘raise the bar’ on her blogging skills even more.

Gemma is always looking at other blogs to find ways to improve and so I think she deserves to be nominated. Her Poverty post for the Student Challenge Task on Global Issues illustrates the quality I’m talking about.



We really hope your excellent blog makes it into the nomination list!


It’s November already, and that’s the time some funny little hairy growths start appearing on the upper lips of the male teachers at our school.

What’s it all about?

Is it due to a mysterious new disease? Is it a new fashion statement? Is it a MOhawk gone wrong? Is it some grass that needs a mow?

No, it’s actually about MOvember.

During November each year, MOvember is responsible for the sprouting of moustaches on thousands of men’s faces in Australia and around the world.

The aim of MOvember is to raise funds and awareness for men’s health, especially cancers and depression.

Read more at  http://au.movember.com/about

Our guys are going all out to raise money and awareness. They put up with a bit of good natured ‘ribbing’ from the rest of us, but we’re going to help them by donating money. We’re hoping that if we give them enough, we might be able to persuade them to shave their MOustaches off.

So if you see Glen, James, John D, John C, Tim, Luke or Andrew with a MOustache, then take MOment to think about donating some MOney. Any aMOunt will be MOst appreciated for MOvember.

Here’s Year 5\6 JF lending their support to their teacher, James.


 Want to see more?

If you’d like to see these amazing moustaches shaved OFF, then DONATE some money to the MOvember cause and you can get rid of them!

Technology Fun Day

Twice a term our school has a Sabbath week. (Sabbath is a time of rest and renewal)

Sabbath week at Clairvaux is a time when there are no meetings for the teachers (hooray!)  and the students have a special time set aside for fun and relaxation (awesome!)

So this week, because of our current Design Technology Inquiry unit, the Senior Learning Community organised a TWO HOUR TECHNOLOGY FUN SESSION.

Fun with an iPad

Everyone was allowed to bring an electronic device to school to play with – things like i-Pod touch, i-Pad, DS, Wii etc.

It was a great time to relax and have fun with our friends!

But if you have a technology day in your class . . .  remember this rule.

Any photos taken on a device at school need to be deleted before going home. This prevents any pictures being used outside the school or on the internet for any other purpose. . . . and most importantly protects your privacy.



What is your favourite technology game or device? 

Leave a comment to let us know. 

Clairvaux Cooking Challenge

At the start of term 4 we had to choose one topic of interest from 5 Design Technology subjects.

  •  House design
  • Toy Making
  • Food
  • Fashion
  • Computer animation

Our Inquiry topic is ‘Try, Try Again’ and our group’s topic is Food Technology.

We started off by using the Design Process. (Investigating, Designing, Creating and Evaluating).

Our Design Brief was to cook and present some Apple Stacks.  

In our apple stacks we had apples, puff pastry, some blueberries, strawberry and raspberries. When we put the apple stack in the oven the pastry puffed up and looked really cool. Then we decorated them with the berries and icing sugar.

Out of everyone’s apple stack that look very yummy, Leah in 5/6 JF won. Mr Mugavin was the judge. It would have been a hard job to pick because they all looked so amazing.

This was a practice for our Junior Masterchef Challenge we will be having. We can’t wait for that – it’s boys versus girls!


This report was written by Madie, Emily and Maggie R. (Junior Master Chefs in Training)


Take a look at our delicious results!

Clairvaux Junior MasterChef Challenge

‘Try, Try Again’ series. Part 2.

Excursion to the Gordon – Guest Post

This post is written by Gemma and Amy. (5/6 BV) We have blogs, so you can look at Gemma’s here and Amy’s here.

All the 5/6 classes went on an excursion to The Gordon Institute. It was great fun. On the bus there, everyone was chatting about what they would like to do when they grow up.

Once we got there, we met a lady named Sue. She took us up to the Gordon auditorium and talked to us about different courses that you can do. There were many interesting courses, and you can see them on the website here.

We played a charades type game, where you could win a Chuppa Chup, then found out about ‘The Gordon Race’!

The race was where you had to walk around the Gordon campus, and try to answer all the questions provided in a booklet. We were in groups of 2 or 3, and all we had was the questions, a basic map of the campus, a coordinates guide where it would tell you where the courses are held, and a course guide. From there, we were on our own.

Everyone was rushing around, trying to frantically to answer the questions and be the first back to the auditorium with all their answers correct.

The first question got a few people stuck, but after that everyone was working together answering all the questions. One of the questions was to go to the Fashion Lab and look for a glass cabinet and write what was inside. Hardly anyone knew where the cabinet was so I (Amy and Marie) ended up asking a teacher for the answer. There was actually nothing in there!

Once everyone was back, and my group (Gemma, Eleanor and Sophie) had got back second last, and were embarrassed as everyone was looking at us, we sat down and watched a video about the Gordon.

Then we went to Johnstone Park for first lunch and went back to school.

Watch a quick video about The Gordon that Gemma made.

Create your own video slideshow at animoto.com.


That’s all from us,

Stay Posted, (and check out our blogs!)

Amy and Gemma

 ’Try, Try Again’ series. Part 1

From Mannya to Clairvaux – Father Nestus visits us

Father Nestus in Mannya

Father Nestus is a warm and gracious man who is an inspirational leader in his parish in Mannya. This month he spent some time in Geelong meeting people and joining in many of our Parish activities.

We were excited when he came to our school and attended a special gathering for him. He also joined in a basketball game with some students and shared stories of how we are helping to make a difference to the children of our sister school in Mannya.

Father Nestus is always grateful for even the smallest gesture, and his beautiful smile reflects his love for his people and his gratitude for our friendship and assistance for the people of Mannya.

The video shows Father Nestus at Clairvaux.


What did you write in your letter to the children of Mannya?


The Premiership Cup visits Clairvaux

As many of you know if you’ve been reading our blog, our town’s football team Geelong Cats won the Aussie Rules Football Grand Final for 2011. For winning, the team was awarded the Premiership Cup, a very prestigious trophy. It is on display most of the time at the Geelong Football Club in Kardinia Park, but this week it came to visit OUR school.

Although not everyone barracks for Geelong, it was great to see what the real Premiership Cup looks like and naturally the Geelong supporters were ‘over the moon’. Each class was able to see and touch the cup . . . . and of course Dewey had to get into the act too!

Here are some images of the Senior classes enjoying the Cup’s visit.

Thank you to the Geelong Football Club for bringing the Premiership Cup to our school.

Could YOU Save a Life?

Are you trained in CPR?

Our teachers are all fully trained in First Aid, but for the first time this year, all senior students participated in a Junior First Aid course which concentrated mainly on saving lives by performing CPR on the patient.
The participants used dummies to practise on, and found the removable mouth pieces to be a little strange at first. This of course was for hygiene reasons and they soon overcame their apprehension as they concentrated on performing CPR on their ‘patient’.

Check airways

Begin CPR







Would you know what to do if you found someone unconscious and not breathing? 

What if you were the only one around? Would you be able to possibly save the person’s life?

There have been a number of instances where young children have performed CPR successfully after learning about it at school.

For example . . .
After seeing CPR performed in a movie, a boy as young as 9 once saved his young sister who fell in the pool and stopped breathing.

What to do in an Emergency

  1. Check if the patient is breathing.
  2. Call for help – In Australia call 000 or 112 for an ambulance.
  3. Clear the airways.
  4. If still not breathing, begin CPR. Continue to give 30 chest compressions and two breaths until help arrives.

VIDEO – Watch Clairvaux students learn how to perform CPR.

Click on the Resuscitation chart to view a larger version. (St John Resuscitation Chart)

Books vs e-books

Have you read a good book lately?

While I was on holiday, I read one of those types of books you just can’t put down. You know the sort I mean! It was called ‘Let me Whisper you my Story’ by Moya Simons. It was written through the eyes of Rachel, a Jewish girl living in Germany during the war. When the Nazis came to take the family away, her father told her to hide under the sink and remain absolutely silent on order to save her life. You can read more about the book if you visit our Book Bytes page, and the book is also available at our Library.

One of the first things I pack when I go on holiday is a book to read. It seems like people all around the world think the same way.  You see people of all ages reading on buses, trains and planes, at the airport, by the pool, on the beach  . . . almost anywhere.

Of course the style of a book has somewhat changed. Most popular by far, is still the regular bound paperback, but electronic books which you read using an e-book reader such as the Kindle and the iPad, are certainly appearing more often.

What is an e-book?

An e-book is an electronic version of a traditional print book that can be read by using a computer or iPad, or by using an e-book reader eg Kindle.

iPad and Kindle

So, what is the advantage of an e-book?

One advantage is space. Would you prefer to pack 5 books in your suitcase, or 1 Kindle with 5 books already downloaded?

Are there any disadvantages?

There are drawbacks, such as needing to spend quite a bit of money to purchase the electronic reader first; and not being able to see, feel and browse the copy before buying.

To read more about the advantages and disadvantages, click here.

Which way do you prefer to read stories?

Regular printed book?      OR        Electronic-book?

This topic would make a great debate.This term we are working on debates, so why not choose this subject to debate your ideas.

Start by registering your vote on this poll.

Next time I pack my heavy case to go on holiday, I might give it some more thought.

Aloha Clairvaux

In Hawaii people greet each other by saying ‘Aloha’ which means ‘hello’ or ‘good-bye’.

So ‘Aloha’ from me (Mrs N) from beautiful Hawaii.

I guess you’re back at school now, excited to see all your friends and to exchange stories about the holidays. I hope you all had a great time whether you stayed at home or went on a holiday somewhere.

Welcome back to Mrs Van der Burg who’s been on a very big holiday overseas. I’m sure you have lots of stories and photos to share.

Holidays are a great way to learn about different places whether in Australia or overseas. There are so many places to explore, and I’m lucky to be able to explore Hawaii while visiting family.

How much you know about Hawaii?  Here are a few facts.

DID YOU KNOW . . . . ?

  • There are only 12 letters in the Hawaiian alphabet. (Vowels: A, E, I, O, U and Consonants: H, K, L, M, N, P, W)
  • Hawaii consists of eight main islands: Oahu, Kauai, Maui, Molokai, Lanai, Kahoolawe, the Big Island and Niihau (a private island)
  • Hawaii is the 50th state of the USA.
  • Under-sea volcanoes that erupted thousands of years ago formed the islands of Hawaii.
  • ‘HI’ is the abbreviation for Hawaii.
  • HONOLULU is the capital of Hawaii.
  • President Obama was born in Honolulu, Hawaii.
  • Waikiki attracts 72,000 visitors on any given day.
  • Hawaii has its very own time zone.
  • The attack on Pearl Harbour, in Honolulu, took place in 1941.
  • “Humuhumunukunukuapua’a” the longest Hawaiian word means Wedge-Tail Triggerfish.
  • The Hawaiians fly two flags – the American stars and stripes and the Hawaiian state flag, which like ours, has the Union Jack in the top left corner.
  • Hawaiians walk and drive on the right hand side of the road or footpath (I know because I keep bumping into them – it should be the left!)
Here are some photos I took on my holiday.


Please leave a comment telling me what you did on your vacation


Tell me what you have been doing at school this week.



Clairvaux’s got Talent

A very popular event each year at Clairvaux is a talent quest organised by our Student Council.  Anyone from Year 3 – 6 can enter and it is fun to see children preparing and practising their items in all corners of the school to present to the huge audience  who turn up to watch and support their friends.

And, there is no shortage of amazing talent! There are comedians telling jokes, magicians performing tricks, ballet dancers dancing ‘pointe’, boy groups doing ‘shuffle’ dancing, dance groups doing amazing routines with splits and one-armed cartwheels, solo singers with beautiful voices presenting pop songs or even their own original composition, skip dancers, song and dance routines and even a masked mime artist who wowed the crowd with his silent act.

Mr Madden introduced the acts and as you can imagine, the judges found it very difficult to score the acts as they were all so entertaining and well rehearsed. There were some very close scores.

You can re-live the memories of some of those acts by watching the video below.  (unfortunately we did not have photos of all acts, so our apologies to those wonderful acts who are not included this time)


Footy Colours Day


We celebrated the last day of Term 3 with a School Footy colours day. This meant that everyone could dress in their favourite football team’s colours – Australian Rules Football, Rugby League or Soccer. For a gold coin donation which raised money for Catholic Care Family Services and the Don Bird Foundation, we donned our jumpers, hats, scarves and footy socks, tattoos and a little face-paint and had a lot of fun.

Of course, since we live in Geelong, the home of the Geelong Cats Football team, there was lots of blue and white around and many “Go Cats!” chants heard across the school. There was also lots of friendly heckling and the Collingwood army tried to upset the loyal Cats supporters in their home territory.

All of this provided a build up for the AFL Grand Final held at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) on Saturday the 1st October when the two top teams play off for the trophy. Australians LOVE their Footy so if they can’t get a ticket for the game you can bet they’ll be having a ‘barbie’ and sitting around the ‘telly’ with their eyes glued to the set.

This year Geelong and Collingwood are competing for the top position. Who will win the Grand Final? All will be revealed if you watch the movie below.

  Footy Colours Day on PhotoPeach

If you guessed that GEELONG won then you were correct!

Picture from Geelong Advertiser

Premiers 2011

Photo by Geelong Advertiser

And if you feel like singing along with the Club song, then here it is .  .  .

Geelong Football Club Theme

We are Geelong, the greatest team of all
We are Geelong; we’re always on the ball
We play the game as it should be played
At home or far away
Our banners fly high, from dawn to dark
Down at Kardinia Park

Of course if you are a Magpies supporter you may not want to join in the song, however you should be very proud of your team for being great competitors and playing the Grand Final in the true spirit of the game. Well done to both teams – it was a great game!

The Gazebo

Gazebo Maths Investigation

Our Maths Investigation task this term was to make a Gazebo to scale.

We first had to learn how to calculate perimeter, find the area of rectangles and triangles, do lots of measuring, use calculators and sketch 3-D objects from different views. Then we converted the original measurements of the gazebo to our chosen scale.

Finally we were ready to make our own gazebo. Our design brief allowed us to be creative as long as we measured to scale. And so we set to work to design and create gazebos for the garden, weddings, BBQ, outside room etc.

We were excited to find out that a mystery judge (Sarah) would arrive to interview us and judge our efforts, so we worked hard to impress her.

(As you’ll see, not everything went quite to plan, but there were lots of great mathematical discussions.)

Here are some of our results.

Have you ever designed and made anything to scale?

How did you work your scale out?

Fun with Poetry

What is


Definition: Poetry is  imaginatively describing an experience through rhyme and/or rhythmic language so as to awaken an emotional response.
(If that’s a bit wordy, maybe this might help)

There are many different types of poems . . .

Well, Mrs N is not a very good poet but it’s fun to try.

During our Writing sessions, the Year 5\6 students have been exploring various types of poetry and imagery and have enjoyed writing some of their own poems.

Several of these poems are included in a book we created in Toondoo. The book is is called ‘Fun with Poetry’.

Here’s another way you can express your poetry.

This is a Storybird (as mentioned in our last blog post) created by Charlotte. She has written a beautiful poem to pictures called ‘What I get up to when you’re not around…’

 What I get up to when you’re not around… on Storybird

Here’s a little challenge

for you this time.

When you  leave a comment

         Try to make it rhyme.


During their Writing time recently, some students from 5\6 TV tried a literacy web tool called Storybird.


Storybird works by providing a range of beautiful and inspiring pictures that children can select and arrange as they write a story about them. Putting the pictures and their story together creates an illustrated story book which can be embedded on a blog for all to see.

Here are two stories written by students in 5\6 TV for you to enjoy.

The first story by Jackson, ‘The Very Angry Shark’, is about Barry who is angry because the penguins have stolen his much loved owner, Sally. So with a little help from his friends, he sets out to save her.

 The Very Angry Shark on Storybird


The second story by Bilel and Harvey, tells of Danny and his nemesis Jumbo, challenging each other to a skateboarding contest.

*  (Nemesis means ‘an opponent that cannot be beaten or overcome’.)

Danny’s Amazing Comeback. on Storybird

And finally, here’s a story from Charlotte (5\6 SC) about Miles the Leopard who was a vegetarian and not quite your ‘average’ type of leopard.

Miles the Leopard on Storybird

What do you think of this story writing tool?

What ideas would you like to write about?


One of my favourite Web 2.0 tools for some time has been GoAnimate.

On this site you can create your own animated movies with a variety of characters using expressions, talking or actions, yet without drawing a thing.

You can sign up for your own account for free, or have more choices by paying a small subscription. I have created a private Goanimate for schools account for Clairvaux students only.

You can join by asking me for a username and password and then join in the fun.

Like many things, when you first begin you should experiment and explore. When you become more experienced, you may think of lots of ways to use GoAnimate in the classroom. (See how we used a GoAnimate movie on our blog to teach people about Copyright.)

 Go to ‘The Copyright Kid’ on our blog Copyright page to see how Tommy learns about Copyright.

The Blog group are creating scripts and working on some great little animations for their blogs.
Here’s one by Georgia (5\6 JC) showing 2 iphones talking about apps to each other. They end up fighting about who won in ‘Fruit Ninja’.

GoAnimate.com: The iphone app fight by Georgia

 Finally, here’s one I made about two stick figures trying to find the right scene in their movie.

GoAnimate.com: Boring! by pamn

Like it? Create your own at GoAnimate.com. It’s free and fun!

We would love some suggestions of how you could use GoAnimate in your classroom.

Please leave your suggestions in the Comments box.

Our Book Week Celebration


Those who attended the Clairvaux Book Week Celebration recently were treated to a wonderful display of literature and multi-culturism combined with music, colour and enthusiasm.

The theme was ‘One World, Many Stories’ and the performance began with Mother Superior and her Sisters taking off for Rome to enter the ‘Roma Grande Pizza Eating Competition’ for Sisters of the World.

However, on the journey their very wayward aeroplane (we won’t mention the airline company) diverted to several countries where they were treated to some great entertainment by the locals. In Year 1\2 there were lots of Hairy Maclarys and a sheep or two from New Zealand and a tuneful singing and dancing group of Ugandan children and their teachers.

Then to America, home of the famous storyteller Dr Seuss and the amazing Year 3\4 Diffendoofer classroom where the teachers taught some wild and wacky subjects and the children celebrated creativity and originality.

A shark swam past to say ‘Aloha’ in Hawaii, but the Preps sang and swayed to the hula in their grass skirts and stomped to the fire dance to entertain us there.

At Federation Square, a place of celebration for many cultures, the Year 5\6 students presented a spectacular display of dances from Vietnam, Greece, Ethiopia, Ireland and China highlighted by a beautiful LED light display. The Chinese Dragon looked almost as impressive as the Millenium Dragon! (Did anyone notice the two Irish Riverdancers who looked suspiciously familiar?)

FINALLY the plane arrived in Rome for the Pizza Eating Competition! But who was this? What was the brilliant Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti doing singing about pizzas and Gorgonzola? When finally the Pizza eating event got under way, the pizzas were very large but appetising, and the competition was fierce, with ‘dainty’ Sister Agatha (also known as Mr Flint) taking 1st prize.

The final song and dance ‘I will Follow Him’ got everyone’s feet tapping, as we all celebrated the end of Book Week for 2011. Another great day!

Thank you to all the students and teachers for preparing such entertaining items, the parents for their support and to Mrs H and the choir for their wonderful contribution.

Enjoy our movie.