School Holidays

The Australian school year is based on what is known in America as “year round school”. Four terms with 2 week breaks in between, and a six week summer vacation. 

It works well, from what we’ve witnessed. 

We are currently half-way through a term break. The kids are staying on for some of term 2, since they’ve really enjoyed school. 

Our plans right now are to pull the kids from school on June 3, when we will drive down to Perth, to meet Scott who will be flying back from a conference in Melbourne. We will begin a long, long, long journey home, which we will elaborate on more later!

Anyway, here’s a few photos from our last week. We went camping with our camper trailer. It’s essentially a tent packed on the top of a trailer, in which we stow all our camping gear – stoves, BBQ, sleeping bags, mattresses, tables and chairs etc. 

   
    
   
Here we are, setting it up. It still takes us a while to put it up and down, but now that we have all posts labeled, it will hopefully go more smoothly. 

We also spent some time at Kalbarri’s coastal lookouts, all of which are beautiful. The following photos were taken at Mushroom Rock. We saw lots of crabs underneath the rocks, in a variety of colors.

   
    
    
   
Will and I went to Rainbow Jungle to look at the tropical birds. Scott and the girls went fishing and we met up with them later to cook hotdogs on the beach. 

   
    
    
   
We are beginning to understand that our time in Geraldton is running very short, and so the last few days we have snorkeled, dived for crayfish and spent time on the beach and building sandcastles. 

Time sure flies….

   
    
    
    
 

Advertisements

Snorkeling at Coral Bay

A few weeks ago, when Uncle Danny was visiting, we took a trip to Coral Bay, about 8 hours north of here. This is where we visited last September, with our friends Louise and Joe and their twin boys, and where we all really snorkeled for the first time.

Coral Bay was originally a small fishing community on the Ningaloo Reef. The bay is now protected from fishing, although there are numerous spots close by to catch the snapper that just flock around while you are swimming. From the surface, it just looks like a pretty little seaside resort. But beneath the water…..

 

I would love to attach some video, but am having trouble and will try again later. Can you see the manta ray under the ledge?

School Part 2

The kids are almost done with their first term at Aussie School and have decided they’d like to remain on in school until we begin a couple of months of traveling starting in June before we return home.

Addie has been attending Geraldton Senior College, which is essentially high school but only includes grades 10-12. It is the only public senior school in the town, although there are several private schools.

www.gsc.wa.edu.au

We’ve been very happy with the school, as has Addie, and she is doing very well. She takes math, English and science (genetics, currently) an Australian history and social studies class (they are studying World War 2 and Australia’s involvement). She also takes geography and is currently studying local erosion and other beach issues. This is quite a big topic in Geraldton, since the construction of the wharf where the large container ships come in,has changed the flow of the sea, which in turn has somewhat changed the shape of some of the beaches and caused indundation of some roads. Not being coastal dwellers, she and I find this interesting. Par for the course for beach folk, though.

She also takes a cooking class and brings home a variety of dishes, and a photography class. Also PE is a required class and she is learning netball which can be best described as basketball for females, without dribbling, and with no backboard.

Challenging.

Frankie is at John Willcock College which is the public middle/junior high, grades 7, 8 and 9. It’s a very large school, split into subschools. Frankie is in Chapman subschool and is in an extension class that generally contains students who will probably be on a university track as opposed to workforce or vocational track.

www.johnwillcock.wa.edu.au

She is playing euphonium in the school band and has also joined a little group of musicians called The Fifth Beat in which she plays drums. She enjoys both of these.

She is also doing very well, and is taking math, science, English, music, art, social studies (history), home economics, Indonesian (the foreign language here!) and PE. She’s really been enjoying basketball in PE. It’s like netball, but with dribbling and a backboard. Lol.

Will is in Geraldton Primary School and is in grade or year 6. There’s an endless number of public primary schools in town, all relatively small. It’s not the one closest to us, but it is one of the oldest schools in Western Australia and was recommended to us. The school has that old colonial feel to it.

http://www.everythinggeraldton.com.au/directory/primary-schools/geraldton-primary-school

He loves it, has made good friends and has joined the ukulele club on Wednesday lunchtimes. Ukelele is huge here, which fits right in with the sub-tropical beach lifestyle.

He also takes Indonesian, which he found a bit challenging because all the kids have already been learning it for a year. But he feels he will at least know how to buy a banana when we go to Bali.

He does soccer on Friday nights, has just finished surfing on Saturdays, and still does Scuba Ranger activities.

He has played some American football with his friends and last week he went to his friend Jaxons birthday party at the beach. Jaxon had asked for a “grid iron ball like Wills “.

Will gave him his! It was a big hit.

Anyway, I have a few photos of Will’s school disco on Friday night. It cracks me up that they still call them discos. They were called that when I was in school here!

When we picked him up they were all dancing to Thriller and I thought for a moment that I was possibly stuck in a weird squiggle of time-space continuum.

The lighting was a bit funky due to strobes so they are a bit blurry, but you can see he was having fun. He’s wearing a white shirt and blue shorts.

 

  

😊

The rest of the pictures are of the first school assembly at the primary school. Parents are all invited and a lot attend. These take place every two or three weeks on Friday morning. They sing the Australian anthem, repeat the school motto and then a certain class is appointed to sing a song that addresses a current topic of citizenship and behavior at school. They also have a gold slip drawing and prizes. Gold slips are given out for good behavior and the prizes are usually canteen vouchers, which pleases all parents!

Merit awards and sports awards are also given out for commendable behavior and skills.

Will got a merit award at the first assembly for adapting well at his new school. They said they would make sure he had such a great time at school, he wouldn’t want to leave. 😀


Will getting his merit award.

He’s facing the principal. The other boy is a sixth grade student council member. These kids are selected in 5th grade and seem to take it very seriously. On this occasion they were busy ushering the tinier tikes into their proper places in line.

 

 
Our last day of school will be June 3rd, which is winter here, so school will still be in session. We will pull the kids out, muster up as many report cards as we can, and head onto the last part of our adventure: the Big Camping Trip.

More on that later…

Blessings to you all.