The Bark July 2018 - Issue 16

In this issue of The Bark there are some fabulous articles to read and some gorgeous photographs that people have shared with us. A big thank you to all those people that contributed to this issue. It's so great to share in all the wondering happenings around the school

If you have anything you would like to contribute to future issues of The Bark please feel free to email me; janeduggan26@yahoo.com.au

Jane Cahill - Editor In Chief


  • Term Dates
  • What's Happening At Candlebark
  • Three Music Practice Tips That Parents Will Love!
  • Girls Chess Woorana
  • Year 9 Fundraiser
  • Save The Date
  • Super Spelling Strategies
  • Larapinta Trail Reflections
  • 40 Hour Famine Backpack Challenge
  • Community Notices

Term Dates

  • Term 3: 16 July to 20 September
  • Term 4: 9 October to 13 December

What's Happening at Candlebark

  • July 18 to August 22 – Swimming program for Grade 5/6s.
  • August 7 – CDSSA Basketball
  • August 10 – Grade 5/6/7 to Bendigo Writers Festival
  • August 16 – Grade 6 to Les Miserables at Mountview Theatre 7.30 pm
  • August 18 – Tournament of Minds regional final at La Trobe University Bendigo
  • August 29 – Romeo and Juliet 1 pm ACM Playhouse
  • August 30 – CDSSA Athletics
  • August 25 – Bush Dance Fundraiser Year 9s
  • August 31 – ‘The Bottle Collector’ performance at Candlebark
Brilliant Chess minds at work...

Three Music Practice Tips That Parents Will Love!

It’s a common scenario – you ask your child if they’ve practised their instrument today and they grumble and mumble and ask you to stop hassling them about it. Playing should be fun, but you may often feel like your encouragement is interpreted as nagging, instead.

Every parent wants to be able to encourage their child’s musical practice without coming across in this way, but it’s not always easy. You don’t want to discourage them by making playing feel like a chore – but you also want to make sure that they actually play the instrument they’ve made a commitment to.

To help you overcome this scenario, we’ve got three great tips to help your kids get the most out of their practice sessions, making them as fun and easy as possible.

Whatever instrument your child plays, be sure to use a practice stand or display stand to store their instrument on. Research has proven that if you don’t have to pull your instrument out from its case or out from under the bed or closet every time you want to play, you are less likely to come up with excuses not to practise.

In order to keep your instrument in good condition while it’s on display, be sure to place the stand in the corner of a room, like the kids’ bedroom or the living room. Even if it does get a bit of a knock, it’ll be less likely to be knocked over completely if it’s in the corner. It’s also a good idea to keep it away from any direct sunlight, sources of extreme heat or breezy areas.

Long practice sessions don’t always equal excellent output. When you think of practice, quality definitely trumps quantity. Having shorter, more focused practice sessions for your child will generally bear greater results. As long as your child is in the right frame of mind, or the ‘open mode’ of brain function, they’ll be more receptive to their practice and take in more, despite the shorter practice time.

For each practice session, make sure that your child has some clear goals and targets, and that they know why they’re practising (it could be for an upcoming concert, exam, or just for fun) and what they want to achieve from their session.

Be involved! Setting these goals can be a great way for you as a parent to get involved. You can work on the targets with your kids, reward them when they reach an agreed upon goal and get them to really appreciate what their practice is about. This is another great reason to keep the instrument on a stand in the living room, so that their practice will be in the midst of their family.

Start a playing group for your child and their friends so that sessions are about making music rather than just practising. Encourage the kids to just have a jam, play around and explore the music making process. Once they’ve developed a solid musical framework, they can begin to explore more and start making their own music.

BONUS TIP! If you use the word ‘practice’, kids are more likely to associate it with a chore. Instead, you should ask, “Have you played your instrument today?” Psychologists say that this is a more favourable way to approach the topic.

To further improve their practice, we suggest investing in a decent music stand that is set at the right height and angle to make reading their sheet music much easier. You’d be amazed at how many people just prop their music up on couches, tables or anything they can find. A music stand will make things much more comfortable, so they’ll be less to stop due to pain or discomfort.

A metronome and tuner are also essential in every practice room. A tuner will ensure that their instrument is in tune every time they play, and this will make their practice sessions much more pleasurable for everyone in earshot. A metronome will also help them to understand different beats and tempos.

Candlebark can certainly produce some wonderfully unusual things ... look what Mandy found in the garden ... a very unique looking free range carrot. Photo Credit - Mandy De Lacy

girls chess woorana

I didn’t jump out of bed this morning. It was raining, it was dark: it was Dandenong in rush hour. But I’m glad I did!

What a very musical drive, girls singing Frozen and The Greatest Showman, all the way through the Burnley tunnel. Pretty cool.

Ebony and Ava B off to dirty 4 move wins, despite warnings. However, happy to see they’ve remembered it.

Daisy and Penny a couple of losses. Let’s see how the girls cope with a loss. Let’s see if they can bounce back quickly, and not let it taint the day.

The girls are in two groups, due to the smaller size of the tournament. Means some civil wars! Eliza kicking herself for getting too cocky against Nell, having won her queen early. Kudos to Nell for fighting on to a win, and to Eliza for her reflection.

Fabulous use of the clock by almost all the players. Grace loses on time at her first ever tournament, something I’ve hardly ever seen. Brilliant. Plus she loses to Darcy, so it’s still points to Candlebark.

Really impressive start from the team.

Second round.

Loving seeing Wynfred really scanning the board for options against India. Hearing Lena declare a loss against a really good player, but quite easy about it. Seeing Alice ponder a move, and then attacking. Grace chewing an apple and deliberating for a while.

Penny and Maisy battling. Alice and Tabitha at war! All using the clock really!


Alice and Tabitha and Eliza still fighting on, when all the other games have finished.

Darcy gets a draw from a really difficult position with a perpetual check.

Eliza, from a really really bad position, hangs in to get a stalemate, deservedly so, never giving up.

Tabitha and Alice end a very long game, with a draw awarded. Very proud of them both: their first points in tournament chess.

Third round. Kate and Darcy with their first loses of the day. A little fatigue coming in. Time for water, fresh air and a snack.

Lila backranks Alice. Apparently Alice was one move away from “killing” her! The classic back rank!

Charlize disappointed to lose a game. I’m trying to remind them all, it’s a game, our reactions to it are its very purpose. It’s not having the desired effect. Wynifred a little disappointed to lose, but impressively sporting to her victor, Penny, with her first EVER win!

Round Four: 11.49 some tired girls out there, almost halfway through the day.

As I keep telling them, I don’t care if they win lose or draw, they’re the only ones who really do.

I’m walking around watching missed moves. The belief hasn’t disappeared, and only Daisy, our youngest player, and star of the future, has to get her first win. Far more importantly though, and something that is very hard to teach, is her attitude. She is staying bubbly, staying positive, and she WILL get her reward.

Wins, losses draws it’s all the same to me. But to the others, it’s everything, which it shouldn’t be.

I’m watching a lot, and writing a little. Tabitha has bounced right back from a very disappointing last game. Amelie reports an all-time high score, Charlize actually wants to come to more tournaments, although it might be the chocolate talking. Lena, after a very unlucky stalemate, gets a good win. Everyone is supporting each other beautifully, and I’m so proud of this young team. Penny gets a draw from being a mile behind and with only four seconds left.

Last round, the chocolate one! Eliza and Acer fighting on the top table against the two red hot players! Great stuff. Lots of inter-Candlebark battles being fought. Love it.

It’s 1.20 and we will be racing to get home for the buses, so my write up ends here.

It wasn’t our greatest last round and it wasn’t the toughest tournament, but there are so many great positives to come out of today:

• Fourteen girls went to their first ever tournament.

• Everyone got at least a point, and there was only one lot of tears, and she bounced back very quickly, once she realised that no else really cares about your results, they’re YOUR results!

• The teamwork and general support was excellent.

• The levels of concentration were high: to maintain focus for seven games after an hour and a half of singing was fantastic.

Some things to work on:

• Spotting traps: how to skewer, pin, fork and do a “discovered” check. This can be worked on at school and at home. (Magnus Carlsen has a good free app, otherwise ChessKids or Chessfox.com has good lessons).

• Slowing down and assessing the board, after the opponent has made their move. Chess is often won by spotting your opponent’s mistake, so look for it.

• Being a little more attacking, forcing the opponent to react to your moves, and keeping control of the board

Anyway, it augurs well for the future, and perhaps Candlebark will have a shot at regaining our NATIONAL GIRLS TITLE which we won only three years ago…

- Andy Moffat

Dane coming 2nd at the State Orienteering for his age group. Way to REPRESENT Dane, congratulations!! Photo Credit: Mandy DeLacy

save the date

'Game of Shows'

Tuesday 18th September

This date will be the world premiere of "Game of Shows", the wacky new musical performed by the senior grades of Candlebark.

  • Venue: The Alice Miller Gym
  • Show Time: 6pm

- Donna Prince

SUPER SPELLING STRATEGIES(that will not make you snore)

The Mighty Syllable

When we learn to read and write, we use sounds. These sounds form parts of words called syllables. A syllable is the ‘beat’ in a word. The humble syllable can then multiply to transform smaller words into longer words. From little things, big things grow…


1. They are the beats in a word (count them, tap them out). Count the syllables to show the parts put together to make a word.

2. Every syllable has a vowel a e i o u and y. Y acts like, mimics or represents a vowel (usually “e” or “i” sounds) often e.g. my, why, any, happy.

3. Vowel sounds happen when we open our mouth. Look in the mirror or put your palm to your mouth. Air is expressed when you enunciate a vowel.

4. Represent syllables in a word using crocodile or karate hands. Imagine your hand karate chops or bites each syllable like a crocodile. Use this visual when you ‘sound out’ and count the syllables.

5. Syllables go from left to right in words (so chomping or chopping should move in this direction).

6. Colour, underline, circle and decorate them! When we write words with children it helps to have each syllable stand out, making it memorable.

So, syllables may seems simple, but used scientifically, can support a student to sound out superbly with greater satisfaction!

- Glenda Earle

Larapinta Trail Reflections

Our journey begins at Ellery Creek, a permanent waterhole and popular campground in the West MacDonnell National Park. A second Alice Miller group will begin a similar journey to ours from nearby Standley Chasm, while a third will spend three days driving here before following the same route as us. In total, 41 Alice Miller students have chosen to join this particular adventure – roughly one quarter of the entire student population. We are all delighted to be here.

Adventure awaits ...

Our route will take us 65 km to the east, towards Alice Springs, across six days of walking. Along the way we will cross over and through the Heavitree and Chewings Ranges, and through the traditional lands of the Arrente people. It’s an ancient landscape that is different to anything most of us have experienced before. We marvel at the differences and try to make sense of our new surroundings.

Photo Credit - Sam Ford

Our first campsite lies within a dry creek bed which offers both shade and sunshine. Leo and Narong roll their beds out on a rocky ledge that is warmed by the sun. Those brave enough to swim rely on the sun to warm them too – the water itself is icy. Others scale rocky walls and ledges around the waterhole as the last light to reach the red walls brings a warm glow to the natural amphitheatre.

We spend our first evening under a clear sky filled with stars. We never grow tired of these evenings. We lie content and comfortable in our sleeping bags, peeking out through tightly drawn hoods at the endless and ever changing night sky. Most of us spend more time in bed than we normally would – it feels like a form of hibernation. There are shooting stars everywhere and those who are able to keep their eyes open long enough spot plenty.

The next morning we head east toward the morning sun. After a few kilometres we reach a small gap in the Heavitree Range where we stop for morning tea. We get our first glimpse of the Chewings Range, which makes the place where we’re standing seem small in comparison. Below us lies a wide, flat, open valley and we pull out a map to work out where our path goes from here. The landscape features in the valley are so subtle that it’s hard to locate the route our trail follows. As the trail descends to the valley below it disappears into the landscape, and soon we do too.

We slowly discover that what looked like a featureless landscape from above is actually a landscape filled with detail. We drop in to and out of many dry creek beds before we eventually reach the one we’re looking for – Rocky Gully. We hop across a few final rocks and discover a delightful campsite with everything we need for the night – a toilet, drinking water, and flat ground. We settle in for the evening, content to have completed the first of two 15 kilometre days of walking.

Photo Credit - Sam Ford

We set off in small groups the following morning. There could be an hour between the first and last of these groups. We catch regular glimpses of our fellow walkers in the distance and occasionally it’s possible to trace a line between them and us. We meet others along the way too – including a father and son, a few solo walkers, a guided group, and some international travellers. One couple asks if we’re a travelling band – they have spotted a guitar, a water bladder that looks like bagpipes, and a folded sleeping mat that seems to resemble a piano concertina.

We enjoy an early lunch at Ghost Gum Flat. Luca produces a fantastic set of spoon carving tools and we soon find ourselves deeply engaged with cutting, carving, sawing and shaping our selected pieces of wood. This activity soon becomes a favourite pastime within our group and on this particular occasion, we feel no real urgency to leave. Time stands still for a while. We each set off when we’re ready and as we creep closer to the Chewings Range, it becomes possible to imagine where the trail might lead from here – directly into the mountains.

Photo Credit - Sam Ford

We camp in the bed of the Hugh River where it emerges from Hugh Gorge. The following morning we exchange open skies for towering rock walls as we make our way deep into the Chewings Range. We marvel at the sudden change of scene while negotiating the rocky riverbed with backpacks that are heavily loaded with two days and one night of drinking water. Within the high walls of the gorge it’s cooler and greener. Birds call cheerfully. Shallow rock pools support tiny fish and tadpoles.

We enjoy a leisurely lunch at Hugh Gorge junction, before climbing a path through neat clumps of spinifex to a scenic saddle. We find ourselves perched above two long, straight valleys. In the distance we spot a track that climbs steeply up the side of a hill. A quick glimpse at the map confirms that this is actually the trail we will take the following morning. While a realisation such as this could be a cause of concern for some, it has the opposite effect on us. As we make our way down to our campsite at Fringe Lily Creek, we begin to feel the excitement that comes with being in high places.

Fringe Lily Creek offers a perfect meeting point for two Alice Miller groups walking in opposite directions. We have this remarkable place to ourselves and we quickly make ourselves at home. It’s hard not to be amazed by the improbability of the situation we find ourselves in – two groups of students from Victoria, each three days walk from where they started, camping together in a remote gorge in the centre of Australia. Everyone seems thrilled to be here and we spend many happy hours together before silence eventually descends upon our home away from home.

In the morning, we say our farewells and climb steeply in glorious sunshine. It’s hard to imagine more perfect moments than these. Our bodies feel strong and our backpacks are lighter today than they were the day before. It’s even possible to forget we’re carrying them – they have begun to feel like an extension of ourselves. There are constant distractions as we climb and we regularly pause to appreciate the views. We follow a spectacular track along Razorback Ridge where we find ourselves torn between the joy of continually moving and the inevitably of reaching the top as a result of that movement. We slow our pace even further in order to fully appreciate each individual moment.

Photo Credit - Sam Ford

A small group walking with Bettina have already climbed and descended these mountains when we eventually catch up with them near the end of Spencer Gorge. We decide to push on to our campsite for lunch. In the afternoon, we rest in the shade of a well-constructed shelter. Esha and Amy paint while the sun warms their backs. The spoon carving continues until Keir carves himself. Sam cannot resist an invitation to play cards, and he is a hard man to beat. Bettina supplies sudoku puzzles. Later, we wander to nearby Birthday Waterhole to enjoy a refreshing swim.

Some people set up beds in the shelter but the roof limits the expansive views of the night sky that we’ve grown so familiar with. The rest of us find suitable spots to sleep outside. We’re struck by how little we need to be totally content at night – some flat ground, a clear view of the night sky, and a sleeping bag, mat and thermals to keep us warm. One by one we fall asleep, content and happy to be where we are, on this grand adventure together.

The gradient profile on our map shows a significant steepening on our fifth day of walking. We wander alongside a wide riverbed until we reach the base of the climb to Brinkley Bluff – our home for the night. The opportunity to spend an evening camped on the summit of a mountain is all the incentive we need to begin the climb. An excellent track meanders gently around the lower slopes and we make surprisingly swift progress. We break for lunch beneath the steepest section of the climb. The track itself is not visible from below, but we watch another group descend and the route becomes clear. It’s another delightful climb and before long we’re able to celebrate our arrival at the summit cairn. We have almost the entire afternoon ahead of us.

Photo Credit - Sam Ford

The views from Brinkley Bluff are sublime. To fully appreciate them we wander regularly – not far, but enough to see the landscape from a slightly different angle, to gain another perspective. We watch as the country slowly changes with the advance and retreat of light and shadow. Narong and Bettina time dinner preparation and serving to perfection – we enjoy a delicious meal while watching the sun set over the mountains we have passed through during the past five days. In the distance, we can even make out the small gap we climbed through on our first day of walking.

Sleep comes slowly on the mountain. Instead, we lie in our sleeping bags with eyes wide open. As the hours slowly pass we drift in and out of sleep. The Earth turns gently and the stars move across the night sky. Five shooting stars are spotted in fifteen minutes. We calculate the number that might be seen in a single night if they continued to appear this frequently.

Light eventually appears on the horizon. It’s too cold to get out of our sleeping bags so we wait patiently for the arrival of the sun. Charlotte, Mim, Zari and Lily carry their sleeping bags to the summit cairn, determined not to miss the moment. We celebrate when the sun greets us on the Brinkley Bluff summit. We’re in no real hurry to leave this extraordinary place. We make cups of tea and enjoy breakfast in the warm sun. Meanwhile, Luca finds a painting that Lilu had lost on the mountain a few days earlier. We pick out the peaks she painted from this very location.

Photo Credit - Sam Ford

Reluctantly, we begin our descent from Brinkley Bluff. It’s our final day of walking but we’re yet to grow tired of the track and the landscapes that surround it. Today, the path is lined with amazing rock formations. It continues to twist, turn, rise and fall unexpectedly, until we eventually reach the top of a relatively straight valley that will lead us out of the mountains. We soon discover a final dry creek bed that we follow to the road. A gentle breeze rustles leaves and cools our skin.

Before long we find ourselves on a patch of green grassy lawn at Standley Chasm. There are vehicles, mirrors, flushing toilets, and people setting off on their own journeys. It feels surreal. Our own walking journey has come to an end, but these extraordinary places have found a place deep within our hearts. The experiences that we have shared will exist well beyond the six days we have spent together. We will carry them with us well into the future.

We spend a restless night in Alice Springs before commencing the long drive home. This epic mission is a three day blur with occasional stops for food, rest, fuel and toilets. However, it’s an important journey to make because it offers us a greater understanding of the vast distances and the changing landscapes between where we live and where we’ve been. We spend a night in Coober Pedy where we enjoy pizza, world cup soccer, and warm showers. Felix is up early the following morning to make bacon and eggs for breakfast for everyone. We’re on our way by first light.

Photo Credit - Sam Ford

Our final night is spent in Burra. Arriving after dark, we are deeply impressed with the way people unpack the trailer, set up camp, empty and clean the bus, make and serve dinner, and eventually make their way to bed. Most sleep on scraps of black plastic in the open air – no tarp, no tent, no roof above their head. They are tough, adaptable, and resourceful. They are remarkable humans.

- Sam Ford

Photo Credit - Sam Ford

The World Vision 40 Hour Backpack Challenge 2018.

Last year a small but inspired bunch of Candlebark students took part in the first ever World Vision 40 Hour Backpack Challenge. The challenge involved living out of a backpack for 40 hours – no easy task in the Macedon Ranges in the middle of winter. The group successfully completed the backpack challenge and raised $3689.34 for World Vision – an amazing effort!

Inspired by the efforts of these extraordinary students, the Year 5/6 students have decided to attempt the backpack challenge again in 2018! This year the challenge will take place at Candlebark in August. This gives us time to plan, prepare and raise funds.

We plan to take no tents, tarps or other forms of shelter. Instead, we will build shelters from salvaged materials and things we find in the bush. We will however take some recycled black plastic to help keep our shelters waterproof. We will cook on open fires and we will walk to collect water as needed. We will live on a budget of $3 per person during the challenge. This money will be used to buy food, toilet paper, matches, and other items we think we'll need.

We would like to raise money as a group, rather than individually. Any money we raise will support the work of World Vision. If you would like to support our efforts, please consider giving what you can using the 'Donate' button at the following website: https://www.40hourfamine.com.au/supporters/2634448

The more people that know about the 40 Hour Famine Backpack Challenge and the difficulties facing refugees around the world, the greater our impact will be. Please spread the word by sharing our page with your friends and family. Thank you in advance for your generosity, it means a lot!

- Sam Ford

Community Notices

Created By
Jane Cahill

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.