The Learning Hub… After School Learning Hub and Makerspace 

Rationale: In our modern world, many of our parents struggle to support their children’s academic learning, especially homework, and it often proves to be a source of increasing frustration and stress in households. By providing a homework centre we can help parents to support their children’s learning by providing a safe and structured environment where students can complete homework and receive the support needed by qualified staff. Our desire is that students will be able to complete a large section of their work at school and thus be free to participate in other activities outside of these hours. Our hope is that this will help to develop a more balanced approach to work/life commitments in their adult lives.

Research shows: The Australian Society for Evidence Based Teaching published the recent findings of John Hattie, in which he synthesised over 500 000 studies relating to improved student achievement. Hattie found that repeated reading, problem solving, worked examples, and vocabulary and comprehension programs have a significantly positive impact on student performance.

Purpose: To provide academic support for student learning, particularly homework, and reinforcing necessary literacy and numeracy skills. 

When: Monday – Thursday 3.15pm – 4.30pm

Who: Students in Years 5-12. 

Where: The Learning Hub

Staff: Melinda Willis and Michael Cunial

Creative/Performing Arts @ OCS

 An area of particular focus at OCS is Creative and Performing Arts. Our aim is to encourage students to be regularly involved in Music, Visual Arts and Drama so that they will develop their God-given talents and abilities. We continue on a journey of cultural change, placing a high value on the expression of God-given creative gifts both for those expressing these gifts and for those enjoying them as an audience.

  Musicals

OCS has been performing major Musicals over the past 15 years. In 2019 we will perform Mary Poppins. Our Musicals are always a fantastic joint effort between staff, students and parents. These Musicals take place each year.

Primary Musicals are staged every two years. In 2019, we will present Honk Jr.

  Christian Education National (CEN) Music Festival

Every two years OCS hosts the CEN Music Festival in August, usually with 10 schools involved over three days of workshops, culminating in the Grand Concert. Approximately 200 visiting students attend plus 150 OCS students. They are given the opportunity to make music together and to learn how to use their God-given gifts to bring glory to God.

  Music Tuition Program

Music Tuition is offered at OCS in a very wide range of instruments The range of instruments being taught now include cello and brass, to add to woodwind, strings, percussion and voice, as group or individual lessons.

Early Years Music

Specialist music sessions are provided in Prep twice each week. The aim of these sessions is to begin music education with our four year olds so as to introduce them to the delights of music. 

 Year One and Two Strings Program

We have an established Year 1 Strings Program, whereby 25% of Year One students receive small group violin tuition for one term each. Mrs Carmel Follent has been ably taking the violin group and  also takes a group for Year 2’s, playing cello. We aim to have strings students join our Concert Band in 2022, to create an orchestra!

 Year 7/8 Concert Band

We have two Year 7/8 curricular Concert Bands as a regular part of our students Music Education. Band members each receive weekly group tuition on their instrument and play together as a band. 

 Stage Band

OCS Stage Band exists to give musicians in all School grades an opportunity to further hone their musical skills, especially once they have completed their Concert Band experience.

Latest Developments

-Lunch-time Primary Band

-Stage 2 and 3 Choir

-Weekly String Ensemble for primary students

-Hip Hop Dance class, led by parent and Dance Studio Principal Mrs Leesa Chaseling 

Our Stage One Choir, directed by Mr Bill Moxey, the Stage 2/3 Choir and the Primary Band prepare for and perform each year in the City of Orange Eisteddfod.

 Worship Teams

Two Secondary worship teams practice every week, alternatively taking fortnightly Secondary Assemblies. Our teams also lead worship at various events including: Dedication Service, Easter Assembly, Year 12 Farewell and the Thanksgiving Service. 

 The Creative Arts journey that we are on at OCS is clearly a most challenging, yet exciting one! Looking back at what has been achieved in recent years is a most encouraging exercise. We are in the business of changing the culture, so that expressions of God-given creativity become natural out-workings of our praise for God. 

 Peter Cooper, Performing Arts Coordinator 

OCS After School Sport Program (ASSP)

The ASSP for students from Years 3-12 seeks to develop athletes’ skills and abilities and encourage healthy lifestyle in all children. The aim of the program is to give athletes targeted training, coaching and development in their chosen sport in order to assist them to achieve their goals. We understand life is holistic and students who excel in their preferred interests are more inclined to excel in other areas of their lives. 

There are strong connections between academics and sport. Assisting students to excel in their area of interest in sport may also boost their academic abilities. Developing a child’s confidence on the sporting field can have a positive impact on their confidence in the classroom and in future career choices.

The purpose of this program;

• To increase student participation in sports and active lifestyles and ability the skills of students to excel in their chosen sport

• To develop athletes’ understanding of sports training including fitness and biomechanics, technical skill acquisition, health and nutrition. 

• To create an engaging environment for students of all skill levels to grow in and develop their leadership skills and sportsmanship from a Christian perspective.

Assessment of the ASSP athletes is helpful to intentionally target skill areas, identify strengths and develop confidence.

• Each athlete receives a certificate of attendance and a score card with their assessment specific to each sport. 

• Each athlete is assessed against relevant training / skill criteria.

• The Athlete Development Record contains personal goals to allow athletes to reflect on progress, consider the coach’s recommendations and think about directions for the future. 

Representative Sport

The Christian Schools Sports Association of NSW (CSSA) provides our athletes pathways to further representation and success beyond the school level in a wide range of sports.

There are two main pathways for further sport representation.

• Carnival Progression

In sports such as Swimming, Athletics & Cross Country the pathway is through carnival progression from School to Zone and then State Carnivals at Primary and Secondary level. These can lead to selection in CSSA, CIS (Combined Independent Schools) and All Schools and State teams at the respective Carnivals.

• Nomination Progression

In a wide range of other sports, such as basketball and soccer, the School may nominate a student to trial or compete at CSSA level. Sports we have had students complete in recently include;

  •   Equestrian
  •   Tennis
  •   Gymnastics
  •   Triathlon

Parents Connect…each Friday @ 9:00am in Bembooka Cafe

Parents Connect is an important part of Parents in Partnership (PiP) @ OCS. The café is open and free tea/coffee is also available, so it’s a great time to chat with other families and our Community Development team, making and maintaining strong community connections.

Here at OCS we believe that parent partnership is an essential component in a Christian school. When our fore-fathers designed and formed OCS that is certainly what they believed, to the point that they made it one of our 3 strategic pillars. We expect that when selecting a school for their child, parents will seriously consider the values, vision and focus of the school, to ensure that they feel confident in that partnership.

Parent partnership in OCS, as in all CEN (Christian Education National) schools, began as an absolute necessity. It was the parents’ vision that founded our schools, parent volunteers who designed and often built our schools; parents cleaned the schools and even taught in the schools. The partnership was strong, practical and visible. The concept of sacrifice was the norm, volunteering was the culture and communication was the key. In those early days, parents sent their children to the school despite sometimes having minimal resources, because they believed that what the school stood for was most important. They also believed that one day the schools would grow and flourish, and indeed the schools did!

Over time our school has grown; both in size and capacity. What was once done by volunteers, out of necessity, is now often done by paid professionals. But what has not changed, is the importance of parent partnership. This idea of the school/home relationship being strong, supportive and clearly evident for children to see, has remained a steadfast distinctive of OCS. Whilst some of the partnership programs may look a little different from 30 years ago, it is still important that our children see staff and families working together, talking together and learning together. For this reason we want families to ‘come on in’, where possible, and be part of the life of the school. Whether that is for pick up and drop off, Practical PiP mornings, or special event days; or whether it is involvement in one of our structured programs, our whole school flourishes when home and school works positively together. And it is fun!

Formally, partnership occurs through the collective body of Christian parents and community members, known as the OCS Association. From this Association the OCS Board is elected, whose responsibility it is to oversee the governance of the school and set our strategic vision.

Informally, this occurs in a huge variety of activities, from helping with classroom literacy, through to assisting at school sports carnivals; from coming along on your child’s school camp, through to serving on any of the school subcommittees.

Exploring ways to keep parent partnership effective and relevant in 21st century is a key goal of the current Strategic Plan. Pilot programs such as the video log program to assist with home learning – respectful home partnership, without being intrusive; flexible delivery of subjects, to ensure that learning is not limited to a classroom context; a parent coaching program, and more focus groups to ensure that we hear your thoughts and ideas, will be brought in during 2019.

We still have all the regular parent information sessions, parent teacher meetings, school events and graduations. We also want to allow space for new ideas.

Visible and vibrant; these are the words we want to use to describe our Parents in Partnership program. It is our prayer for this vital relationship: why not join us and let’s pray this together and see what God can build in our school!