CAS Blog

Letters to friends during quarantine

Monday, July 20, 2020

During the quarantine break for COVID-19, I missed my friends and for the most part, a lot of my good mates were a little down as we had not been out of the house for a while and were really missing seeing everyone and being able to do things. A lot of us were also sad about missing out on our school formal, amongst other things. It got me thinking how I could help cheer them up a little and I had the idea of surprising them with a personal letter expressing my gratitude to all of them. I like to be able to tell my friends how much they mean to me and it was really fun to write all of them a letter and post them. Inside each of them I also included cut outs and I decorated each letter with their favourite colour to personalise it. Once I had posted them mostly everyone messaged me with their surprise and were very thankful for it. It made me feel really good that by taking a small part out of my day, it made theirs. It goes to show that a little gift like a letter really can make someone smile.

Shailen Ellis 
Year 12 IB Student

G'Day! Are you ok?

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The past few months have been a struggle for everyone, changing their normal, day-to-day routines and having to virtually meet with their family and friends. To do my bit within the community I contacted the Southern Volunteering (SA) Inc, a local registered charity, who were advertising for volunteers to deliver cards to the letterboxes of houses in the local neighbourhood. On these cards was information regarding where to seek help if them or their family are struggling due to the effects of COVID-19. My aim was to deliver 700 cards to the streets around my local neighbourhood on foot, to maintain activity during this period.

I began my journey on the 27th of April, by delivering the flyers for around an hour and a half. In this time I had delivered to about 250 houses. The next day I completed another 50 houses and went to pick up the 400 remaining cards from the Southern Volunteering (SA) Inc. After delivering to only 300 houses, I received an email from the executive officer at the charity, whom I had contacted, explaining that a lady had phoned her explaining she was doing ok and that it was a very difficult time for her and her family. She was very thankful to know that others were there to contact during this time. I then received another email from the executive officer regarding a man contacting the services to thank the charity and volunteers for being there for the community.

I delivered the rest of the cards in the next week, a little later than expected due to restriction in the weather conditions. I also received another email from Amanda Rishworth (MP), that was passed on to me from the executive officer, providing her gratitude towards all of the volunteers delivering the cards.

The gratitude I had received after delivering 300 cards really inspired me to keep going and by the end of the week I had delivered the flyers to the roads planned and also had spare cards that I delivered to more streets.

This has been a very rewarding experience as I learnt how important it is to give back to the community and how valuable it is for other people to know that someone is always there to talk to in these difficult situations.

Chloe Seckerson
Year 11 IB Student

Toilet Murals

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Once Xander, Shailen, Cassia, Freya and I got to know that painting a mural for our CAS Project was possible, we couldn’t contain our excitement. We got to planning right away, brainstorming ideas for the mural itself and the place where it would be painted. We had wanted to create something personal for the students at the school, so we decided to paint toilets doors in the toilet block near the library and 6/7 courtyard. In the girl’s bathroom, we wanted to create an inspiring and positive atmosphere by painting encouraging quotes on the stalls. For the boys’ stalls, we wanted to make the space more vibrant and bright for the students that use it by creating a dynamic, cohesive artwork across the three stalls.

We decided that it would be best to paint during the summer holidays, and picked a week in the holidays when all of us were available. It was a coincidence that that week ended up being the hottest week of summer, but that also meant that the paint was drying much quicker, allowing us to paint several coats in a short amount of time. Luckily, the toilets themselves remained relatively cool, so it was actually pleasant to work there most of the time. We worked through Monday to Friday, starting from 9 am and finishing after 2 pm on most days. We did have to abandon our work on the Friday as it was well over 40 degrees that day, but were able to come back on a later date to finish it off.

Being the only ex-art student among the group, I had doubted my ability to execute the mural properly. It took some getting used to, but I found that I was able to draw on my past experiences and things I had learnt from my teachers over the years. Mrs. Osborne was also always checking on us and thus was able to guide us when we were really stuck on a problem.

We found that all of us worked together well, and kept each other on track. Listening to music while painting and taking lunch breaks with ice creams were definitely highlights of our day. It was also extremely gratifying to see that the while we had to adjust to various changes and overcome many challenges, it came together just the way we had planned it.

All five of us consider this mural as our contribution to the lively community at Woodcroft, and an invaluable part of our IB journey.

Manika Sareen
Year 12 IB Student

Hot Chocolate Stall

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Last year, Cassia, Manika and I held a hot chocolate stall at school to raise funds for the Soi Dog Foundation as a Service activity, complete with whipped cream, marshmallows and sprinkles. Despite some initial difficulties that we encountered while making the hot chocolate and transporting the pots from the Home Economics Centre to the oval, the business was successful, as a surprisingly large number of students came to buy the hot chocolate. We were also very pleased to see many students bringing their own mugs, for a 50c discount, to be more conscious of the environment. Unfortunately, the rainy weather made it impossible to continue after a while, and the stall was closed early. However, the overall experience, from planning to handing out the leftover marshmallows to Junior School students made for a plethora of great memories.

The stall raised around $180, which was amazing and highly motivating, given the limited amount of time that we were open. All of the money was donated to the Soi Dog Foundation, an animal rescue organisation based in Asia.

This experience was highly enjoyable and rewarding as I was not only able to collaborate with other students while raising money for a good cause, but it also allowed us to interact with the broader student body. I was very grateful for the students from the Charity Team who volunteered their time to help alongside us. Bad weather aside, the overall experience was great and I hope that the positivity at school continues to thrive.

Xin Ma (Freya)
Year 12 IB Student

Future Leaders Program

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

My favourite CAS activity is being in the Future Leaders Program. This is because in Future Leaders, I experience things that I have never experienced and see things that I have never seen. Being in Future Leaders allows me to have a lot of unforgettable memories and unforgettable experiences.

I have learnt how to work in a team and be a leader. We are all leaders where we discuss what plans to do and what routine to do. This really gets us together and helps each other throughout the journey. We encourage each other and I persevered through my weakness which makes me feel really good to overcome my fear and push myself to my limit. I also learnt how to become environmental in different ways. Since every time we go on camp, we have to manage our own rubbish and also be aware of the rubbish that are being left in the environment. If less plastics are used, we will have to carry less rubbish, which became my habit of using less plastic bags but using containers or boxes rather than plastic. Before going to camp, I always have to have a routine of keeping myself fit which I will start by running so doing certain sport. This really allows me to keep the interest in sports and also see the good in sports. On the other hand, we also did a lot of activities where we help out other kids and services outside of school. This again gives me an opportunity to get to know more people and help out more people that really needed the help.

I am really glad to be part of this leadership program because I have learnt so much from being a Future Leader.

CHAN Sin Nam (Fiona)
Year 12 IB Student

2019 Musical Crew

Thursday, March 12, 2020

I was so glad to be a part of the makeup team, because even though I am interested in attempting to do makeup, I am not a professional, people still trusted me to do their makeup. During the process, my makeup skills seemed to get better and I became more confident than at the beginning. Likewise, I have to say thank you to my team members as they gave me a lot of support and told me what to do or what kind of makeup the performers needed to have and some different advice. This let me feel less panic when I was doing makeup for the performers and build up my skills.

On the other hand, the feeling that the musical brought me was amazing. Either performers, teachers or crews, they all worked hard and put lots of effort into the musical. Everyone seemed to be very passionate about performing in the musical which I never had an opportunity to see a fantastic performance like this in Macau before. Now, I am looking forward to see the musical again in 2020!

CHEN Weiqi (Yolly)
Year 12 IB Student

Year 6 and 7 Disco

Monday, March 02, 2020

Volunteering for the Year 6 and 7 Disco last year was an entirely new experience for me and I thoroughly enjoyed it. The girls who went on the Cambodian tour at the end of last year wanted to raise funds to ease their financial burden, and this event was just the right one to do so. Even more so, I was very excited about this event as we had been planning to do it for several years.

Members of the Charity Team were asked to run different activities throughout the night. I chose a dance competition as I am a dancer myself and have observed several competitions over the years. However, this was still a challenge for me as successfully planning and running an event aimed towards to younger kids would be difficult. So I made sure to select songs that were fairly recent and popular to gain the children's interest. I also chose songs that were age appropriate and not overly sexual for the Year 6s and 7s. Then these songs were sent to all the tutor groups to select from and choreograph in two weeks. All the classes took on the challenge and it was extremely rewarding to see their involvement.

Then I researched party games appropriate for children aged 12 - 13 and chose to do Pass the Parcel, Party Bags, Musical Statues and Back Up. I had to choose the items for the Party Bags myself, and I went on a hunt to find as many weirdly textured things as possible. For Pass the Parcel, I wanted to make it more unique and suited to the night, so I researched about some challenges and then set to create one myself. So when the students were actually playing the game on the night, I got to witness the excitement of them getting to open it. Alongside, I also filled up the two piñatas that were hung up on the night.

We also consciously made the choice to not use streamers and balloons so as to reduce plastic waste. I suggested we use glow sticks for each student as an alternative, which we ended up using on the night. The students were excited to have them, and it also helped create the mood for the disco. Most of the students ended up taking their glow sticks home or made sure to dispose them off, which was what we had hoped for.

The dance competition turned out to be the most anticipated part of the night, where everyone of us were waiting for the performances with bated breath. Each one of them were extremely well done and it was a pleasure to judge them. I think that the Year 6s and 7s found it just as enjoyable as we did, which made the activity, and the whole event, all the more successful.

Manika Sareen
Year 12 IB Student

CAS Day 2019

Thursday, December 05, 2019

This year’s CAS day encompassed all three strands of CAS, Creativity, Activity and Service.

We began the day with Service sorting and organising the Anglicare hampers. The Middle and Senior school community had donated a large number of hampers for the Anglicare Christmas appeal.We checked through each hamper to make sure that the required items were in there and then added a few extra Christmas treats. Hopefully the 72 families that receive a hamper this Christmas time will know how much care and good wishes were put into every box.

Next was onto Adventure Rooms where students had to use their creativity and their smarts to escape situations. The students were in two different teams and were battling to see who could escape faster. We then enjoyed a quick lunch down the mall.

Finally, we headed back to Woodcroft for Activity, where Hannah Guy educated the group on relaxation and stretching, a great way to deal with study stress.

It was a great experience for all involved and I would like to thank all the students who embraced the day so whole-heartedly.

Sarah Shoobridge
CAS Coordinator

Artwork inspired by Bali

Thursday, October 31, 2019

In July, I went to Bali, Indonesia for a family trip. While travelling, I had also planned to study the culture and ethos of Bali and create two artworks inspired by this.

Even on the first day, it struck me how important the tourist industry was to Bali as it is one of the major contributors to their economy. There were hotels and shops everywhere, ranging from modern to traditional and expensive to reasonably cheap. Some shops were dedicated to just souvenirs and massages. It had also become more crowded, in contrast to the very quiet place I had visited almost 11 years ago. I think it is important for an economy to flourish, but I also felt that the character of the place had also been, to some extent, changed.

Since Bali is famous for its arts and crafts, especially the stone sculptures and the temples, we went and saw many temples and palaces that showcased these in intricate detail in stone and marble. We went to one such palace that had a series of identical stone sculptures along with walls and courtyards lined with gold. Balinese paintings are also world famous and they have created schools of painting. Here, various artists have gotten together to form cooperatives, where they study, exhibit and sell their paintings together. So we went to a one of these cooperatives, and I found one of these artists going through the painting process and I was fascinated.

Inspired by these visits, I created two artworks. For the first one I used different types of pencil colours, including metallic and water colour pencils. I hadn’t pencil coloured in along time, so it took me a few tries to get re-accustomed to the grip and texture. Then to highlight the intricate details on the sculpture, I went over a fineliner to outline the drawing. I intended to keep raw look for the second one, so I used water colours around the pencil lines. It was very tempting to outline the painting, but I resisted in order to maintain its aesthetic. Despite having not done art for six months, I was proud of the end result.

Manika Sareen
Year 11 IB Student

Leading a Student Ensemble

Monday, October 21, 2019

For Showcase this year, I decided to create a student ensemble to audition with a piece. The ensemble consisted of students from Years 10 - 12 who played a range of instruments including the piano, trumpet, trombone, saxophone, clarinet, drums and guitar. As an instrumental group, I put together an arrangement of David Bowie’s classic hit Let’s Dance, featuring an added saxophone solo from Travis Hossack and the vocal line played by Jeremy Talbot on the clarinet. We successfully made it into Showcase and performed this piece on two nights, which was really enjoyable. I had a great time playing the guitar with the ensemble, and it was so awesome to see everyone’s dedication to rehearsals and practicing pay off! Thank you to everyone (Ally Gum, Ella Crossland, Ella Dallimore, Emily Adams, Jeremy Talbot, Lachlan Daniels and Travis Hossack) for making this ensemble a success!

Georgia Dallimore
Year 12 IB Student