Glenaeon Rudolf Steiner School

Design Thinking, Debating and World Café

Debating @ Glenaeon: Years 7 to 10

Debating can be an important part of a high school education and while there will be debating opportunities within the core English lessons, there is nothing quite like the experience of building debating skills over time and debating with other schools. The benefits of debating are well known. Developing logical thinking and the ability to think “on your feet”, public speaking, confidence and team work are just some of the benefits that debaters experience and enjoy. 

From the start of Term 2 Masters Academy will be offering Debating to Glenaeon students in years 7 to 10 as part of our Cocurricular program, running from 3.30 to 5 pm on an afternoon to be determined. The company is a very well established provider of debating in many schools in the area: you can look them up at https://www.mastersacademy.com.au/. They also have a YouTube channel which has further resources. Masters offer a full and extensive debating syllabus that builds in a consistent manner from first steps to sophisticated debating. They also have a social debating network with other schools of which we will become a member.

There is a cost which they will charge directly. They charge $20 per hour (incl GST) for a weekly session of 1.5 hours, running for 27 weeks until the end of the year. Total cost for the rest of this year will be $810. In case a student is unhappy with their experience, or their timetable changes due to other commitments, they are happy to offer a full refund within 3 weeks of commencing the course (i.e. they can attend up to 4.5 hours of coaching before deciding). 

We have not determined the afternoon on which to place Debating, and will settle on the most convenient for the majority of debaters. If your child is interested in trying debating in Term 2, please contact Anette at [email protected] to register your interest.

Glenaeon Parents Association AGM and World Café

You thought we have a Café where people meet and talk? Yes we do but we also have another kind of café, one that is portable, reusable, pop up and very engaging. It’s called World Café, and it’s a format we use for deeper engagement with parents, teachers and the community. As part of the AGM of the Glenaeon Parents Association on March 27th, we will be hosting a World Café session to explore some key questions for our community. Come along and be part of the conversation at 7.30 pm Wednesday evening March 27th.

One Reason We Teach Japanese

An edited version of an article by Jenna Price, an academic at the University of Technology Sydney, gives one of the reasons why we teach Japanese at Glenaeon.

"After a month in Japan, I can see exactly where Marie Kondo is coming from. Kondo, featured in the documentary Tidying up with Marie Kondo, is the 34-year-old genius who says we should get rid of possessions that don’t bring us joy. 

Japan, Kondo’s country of birth, is a country where the culture is tidy by design. Here, even the cistern has a double purpose. When you flush, water comes out of a tap that drains back into the cistern. You wash your hands as the cistern refills. This is a genius idea and one I’ve only ever seen in Australia at Melbourne’s iconic Vegie Bar….

OK, I’ll be frank. It is my first time in Japan and I am boggled. I am not alone in my adoration. Japan was Australia’s fastest growing tourist destination last year. The number of Australia visitors to Marie Kondoland has surged in the past 10 years, up 340 per cent, with more than 80,000 Australians heading there over July and August 2018 alone. We are not the only ones who love Japan. Last year, Traveller predicted a nearly five percent increase in tourists in just one year.

While there are reports the Japanese are sick to death of tourists and winding back on their famed omotenashi, they must be winding back in a measured way. The citizens are bloody amazing. Mainly what people tell you about Japan is how great the food is (yes, it is) and how wonderful the scenery is (shrines, mountains, a water feature round every corner, flowers, leaves, ducks, cranes, ceramics, snow).

Nor do Australians who visit emphasise the design thinking that goes into the Japanese way of life. It’s not just the glorious toilets that flush as soon as you get up or the cisterns. It’s not even the extraordinary public transport system where, like any Australian, you get to the top of the stairs to see your train departing. And before you have the chance to say bloody hell, a new train has arrived, with heated seats and a “hold on handle” to suit passengers of every height….

The sheer ease with which this country appears to run is probably why I have never felt more untidy or ungainly in my whole life. And this is where Marie Kondo comes in. She is the human manifestation of Japanese design thinking, empathy, definition, ideation, thinking of a prototype to solve the problem and then testing it. And her test has come up with the joy division, the separation of us from our joyless junk.

My friend Alison describes the discovery of Japan as an addiction. I think she might be right."