spring 2013
Applying Science
Cross-age Observations
In Term 2 Year 11 Psychology students were given the opportunity to
visit the Year 2 and Prep classes as part of their unit on Developmental
Psychology. The students conducted some simple Piagetian tasks to
illustrate the characteristic ways young children think about the world
and interpret changes that they see in it. It was interesting for the
older students to observe the differences between the younger and
older Junior School girls and their own way of thinking.
The Year 11 students also had the opportunity to make drawings of
their families with the Junior girls, an activity which everyone enjoyed!
Thank you to Mrs Gidley, Mrs Bennett and the enthusiastic girls of
MG and Prep BE for making this such a unique learning experience
for our VCE students.
Ms Melinda Sanders,
VCE Manager and Psychology Teacher
A Mainstay of the Science Department
Mrs Averil Toyne joined the staff of Ruyton on 16 September 1985 as the Laboratory
Manager for the Science Department. In her 27 years at Ruyton Averil, often
referred to as
the real Dean of Science’
was an integral member of the School
community and saw many changes. It is people like Averil who make it possible for
Ruyton’s unique culture and special sense of belonging to be retained, as buildings,
staff, curriculum and programmes change around us. She supported the teaching
staff in their curriculum development and delivery to ensure that the girls’ learning
was enhanced by engaging and relevant practical work. Only occasionally did she
question our weird requests for strange combinations of equipment, whether it
was for a new experiment, demonstration or role play we wanted to try, or part of
the countless student-designed investigations that took place over the years. On
any one day Averil may have juggled plants, various brands of cleaning materials,
pikelets, multimeters with blown fuses, multiple types and concentrations of
chemicals and the odd skateboard or guitar, as well as tending to the occasional
injured bird or animal, often brought to her by earnest Junior School students.
Averil was always the staff member of choice when it came to accompanying
teachers on a science excursion and annual trips to places like Queenscliff, Luna
Park and Melbourne Zoo were the highlights. Averil’s rapport with students was
very evident.The continual stream of students coming to the prep room to say
goodbye in Averil’s last few days at Ruyton was testament to the high-regard in
which she is held. I am sure this had nothing to do with the fact that she was the
source of countless chocolate frogs (for staff and students) over the years. Averil’s
care and support of all staff, but particularly for those in the Science Department,
was evident through many a crisis or life-changing event. She wiped up tears,
nursed babies, organised birthday cakes, shared our laughter and joy, and even
took on the mantle of surrogate grandmother.
Averil’s work at Ruyton also reached well-beyond the realm of the Science
laboratories. A great lover of all things equine, Averil established the Ruyton
Equestrian team and for many years organised, supported and encouraged this
group of girls. On the day of an event she would leave home before dawn to
ensure she was at the venue (usually far away in the country for us ‘city dwellers’)
before the first of her charges arrived with horsefloat in tow. As a member of
the Victorian Independent Education Union Averil represented the non-teaching
staff in a number of enterprise agreement negotiations, always maintaining
a professional and balanced view and never afraid to voice her beliefs or take a
stand. For many years Averil also undertook the task of working with the Principal
to prepare the annual Equal Opportunity for Women in theWorkplace report.
Averil leaves Ruyton after 27 years of
remarkable service to enjoy a well-deserved
retirement. I know she is looking forward
to spending more time with her daughters
and grandchildren inWestern Australia,
travelling around Australia with her partner
Rob, and watching some of her race-horses
hopefully have a few wins! Averil has left an
indelible mark on Ruyton and will be missed
very much.
Mrs Cathryn Furey,
Assistant Principal,
Director of Learning