2014 Newsletter 1

Welcome!
Welcome to new and established families of our school community for 2014. We are excited about the prospects for the new year with a new principal and enthusiastic new staff who join our excellent staff from last year. The newest member of the team only started last week, but now that she’s with us, it’ll be smooth sailing for the year. Read on for biographies, below, of the new staff members including Magdalena Doslov, our principal. And see Magdalena’s welcome, too.

This year we continue with the implementation of Fit in Deutsch, the Goethe Institute’s world-class curriculum for learning German. Teachers are already seeing its success in the form of continuity and skills from last year’s students. Read on for details.

AGM Breakfast and Coffee
The German Breakfast and Annual General Meeting is on 15. March. This will include a short welcome, food and coffee. It is an opportunity for parents and guardians to meet each other and the committee and learn more about the running of the school. There will be Brezel for sale but please bring a plate to share, too.

At the AGM all office-bearing positions on the committee will be opened. Have a look at the Committee Self-Nomination form and please consider getting involved. It’s your school!

Community Language School subsidy form
Please remember to bring us your child’s copy of the state’s Community Language School subsidy form which is the mechanism by which you can receive $100 off the cost of your child’s attendance at the GSS. Please remember to have your day school principal sign your child’s form and then return the form to the staff room on a Saturday before the end of March.

The school also hosts a Facebook page,
http://www.facebook.com/GermanSaturdaySchoolMelbourne

Academic Goals
In 2013 all our students who sat for the Goethe Institute examinations Fit in Deutsch 1 and 2 passed the exams with the highest results. This year we decided to offer another internationally recognised German language examination and to join the international network of schools that offer Deutsches Sprachdiplom Stufe 1 (DSD 1), an internationally acclaimed academic diploma issued by the Standing Conference of the Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of Germany. In 2015 our students will be able to earn the DSD 1 German Language Diploma as proof of their proficiency in German. Students who are interested in taking this examination will be able to start preparations with our teachers this year.

Goethe Institut

This examination is based on the Common European Framework of References for Languages. The DSD 1 diploma involves taking written examinations, to be sent to Germany for evaluation, and an individual oral examination administered in our school by internal and/or external examiners.

When our principal, Magdalena, and our parents’ committee president, Robert, met on Sunday with our DSD–Fachberaterin (German Language Diploma expert advisor for Australia) Katja Ezel, our school was offered the opportunity to become a member of the PASCH network. PASCH schools receive modern learning and teaching resources and equipment in order to promote German as a school subject. The schools are obliged to maintain a high standard of German teaching and to this end students and teachers are supported by expert advisors and experts in teaching.

Students who learn German in a PASCH school will have the opportunity to establish international contacts with students from other partner schools. Particularly dedicated students will be eligible to attend summer courses for young people in Germany or to participate in an international German Olympiad and similar competitions.

Please welcome our new teachers!
The school is fortunate to have recruited some wonderful new teaching talent for 2014.

Magdalena Doslov is our new principal and is teaching years 4, 5 and 6. Magdalena has a Bachelor of Education majoring in German Language and Literature from Bosnia-Herzegovina and has studied at the University of Leipzig and University of Bayreuth in Germany. Magdalena was the coordinator of the international program Deutsches Sprachdiplom der Kulturminister-konferenz (DSD) at Banja Luka and has worked as a German language examiner in this program. Magdalena is a dynamic language educator and a life-long learner who approaches her work with confidence and energy.

Nadine is a native German speaker who has taught German to adults and children both in Australia and the UK. She is teaching years 3, 4 and 5. Nadine has a Bachelor of Arts and Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of Exeter in the UK. She has a strong focus on oral proficiency as well as grammar and culture. Nadine also speaks French.

Angela, teaching Year 6, 7 and 8, has taught at the GSS previously. She is a native German speaker with a degree from the University of Bonn and a Bachelor of Arts from La Trobe University. She has been an active member of the Association of German Teachers of Victoria and has taught German to students from Kindergarten to adults. Angela also speaks French and Latin and brings a great passion for languages to the GSS.

Jörg is a native German speaker and is teaching the senior students this year. He has a Bachelor of Arts from the Conservatory in Essen, a Master’s degree in Music from the University of Melbourne and a Diploma of Education from La Trobe University. Jörg has taught both adults and school-aged students in Australia, Germany and the UK. He has great enthusiasm for contemporary German culture including music and film.

Laura, teaching Year 2, 3 and 4, is also a native German speaker. She is a graduate of the University of Marburg with a Bachelor of Education majoring in Latin, Ancient Greek and German. She is currently studying history at Deakin University and is working at Mentone Girls’ Grammar School. Laura has a student-oriented teaching style derived from her global and cross-cultural experience. She is able to shift strategies to suit individual students’ learning needs and develop innovative teaching solutions.

Meg is teaching years 4 and 5 this year. She has a Bachelor of Arts from RMIT University, with a major in German from Melbourne University. She has continued her studies with a Graduate Diploma of Secondary Education from RMIT. She is currently teaching year 11 and 12 German at Bendigo Senior Secondary College. She has recently been in Germany on a scholarship to undertake an intensive course at the Goethe Institute in Munich. Meg finds teaching extremely rewarding and takes pleasure in working with young people and providing them with the best possible opportunities for their education.

She writes, “Hello my name is Meg Randles.

I am a new teacher at the German Saturday School this year. I have been teaching VCE German for the past 3 years at Bendigo Senior Secondary School, a role which I enjoy immensely.

My love for the German language and culture started with my year 7 German teacher who taught our class through tales of her childhood in Holland and her interesting relationship with the German language and culture. Since then I have completed a Diploma of Modern Languages in German at Melbourne University and lived in Germany for a year, over which time I undertook an internship for my undergraduate degree at RMIT.

I have returned to Germany every year for the past 12 years since the first school exchange in which I participated. I have now established my own student exchange on which I take students every year.

It is a privilege to be able to impart my knowledge and experience at the German Saturday School and I look forward to being a part of such a highly skilled group of teachers and working with students who have a desire to learn and improve their German.”

If you have any questions or concerns, please get in touch with the committee or the principal. We look forward to meeting you at the AGM.

Christmas Concert
We would like to thank all those who attended and contributed to the Christmas Concert last year. This includes the Austrian Club and their staff who worked very hard to accommodate the whole school. The children sang well, the cakes and Schnitzel were excellent, and the door prizes were numerous. It was a very fitting way to end the year. This year’s end-of-year celebration will be on Saturday 13. December.

Calendar for Terms 1 and 2
To see the full year’s calendar, go to
http://germansaturdayschool.org.au

March 1: classes
March 8: classes and committee meeting
March 15: classes and AGM
March 22 and 29: classes
April 5: classes
April 12 and 19: school break
April 26: classes and committee meeting
May 3, 10, 17: classes
May 24: classes and committee meeting
May 31: classes
June 7, 14: classes
June 21: classes and committee meeting
June 28: classes
July 5 and 12: school break
July 19: classes resume, committee meeting

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