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WA’s peak parent group has slammed a plan to test pre-primary students next year as a waste of money, saying it’s “ridiculous” to assess children as young as four.

As part of its strategy to improve literacy and numeracy across WA, the Education Department will start to roll out the 30-minute assessments in the first term in public schools. The Sunday Times can reveal some of the sample questions likely to be used in the so-called “on entry assessments”, which are aimed at picking up early problems.

Pre-primary students in public schools will be asked to: Speak about a certain topic, such as friends or favourite games, for two to three minutes. Estimate how many teddy bears are in a cup. Put objects, from smallest to tallest, in order. Count backwards. Match dots with a number on a page.

WA Council of State School Organisations president Rob Fry attacked the $2 million plan, saying he expected parents to be angered by the “ineffective” results.

“I just find this truly remarkable when you’re dealing with children of such a young age,” he said.

“If you get an exceptionally shy child, you’re asking a four-year-old to talk on a subject for two minutes and some of them won’t want to say anything at that age. Does that mean they’ve got a literacy problem? No, they might be shy.

“It’s ineffective and you are going to get such diverse responses between a child coming from an indigenous community to a child living in a Perth suburb with a highly socially active family.”

School Support Programs executive director David Axworthy said the Education Department based its tests on the Victorian model because it was the “best tool to meet the needs of WA children”. It would also enable shared resources between the states.

“It will leave WA well placed for the introduction of the national curriculum when it is produced in 2011,” he said.

WA Primary Principals Association president Steve Breen supported the plan because it would allow teachers to set benchmarks and adapt their programs to suit children’s needs.

Education Minister Liz Constable said children at risk of falling behind would be identified earlier, allowing urgent action to be taken.

Under the plan, students in 50 schools will be tested in term one before all public schools will have access to the assessments in the final term. From 2011, each pre-primary student will be tested at the start of the year.

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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JANNIE and Amanda Klue, their eyes wide with desperation, are staring at two distinctly different futures.
One future embodies the Australian dream: running their own business, living in their own house, building community ties and watching their two children, Jan-Sari, 9, and Pieter-Nick, 6, flourish in an environment that is far removed from their homeland.
The Klues have been living that dream since migrating to the Sunshine Coast from South Africa 22 months ago.
The other future is a bleak one: a barb wire-fenced home with security cameras, guard dogs and streets deemed too unsafe for their children.
The Klues lived that nightmare in South Africa. And now they have been told they must return to it.
Having sold everything before moving to Australian on Christmas Day, 2007, the family must leave the country after their application for a state-sponsored business-owner visa has been rejected.
On Monday, the Klues learned they have until October 19 to get out of the country after they received two-week bridging visas.
In a bid to stave off deportation. Jan-Sari wrote a letter to Anna Bligh this week, in which she pleaded with the premier to help her family.
“We don’t want to leave Australia,” she wrote. 
“My mum and dad has (sic) come to Australia for my brother and my future.”
Mr Klue said on Friday that he had bought a business – Middy’s grocery store at Buderim – as required under the business-owner visa and had ticked every other box, bar one.
He said he couldn’t sufficiently prove to immigration officials that one of the two money-lending businesses he had owned in South Africa was actually his and, as a result, the family didn’t meet the visa’s minimum-assets requirement.
“I thought everything would work out,” Mr Klue said.
“I’m not a fugitive or a criminal … they will show discretion and let commonsense prevail.”
Fighting tears, Mrs Klue described the situation as “unreal”.
“It shouldn’t have come to this,” she said.
Mrs Klue said her children were well-established at Buderim Mountain Primary School and the family now considered themselves Aussies.
An immigration spokeswoman said the Klues simply didn’t meet the criteria for a state-sponsored business-owner visa, and then failed to lodge their appeal against the ruling on time.
She said applicants must show they owned and directly managed a business with a turnover of at least $300,000 for two of the past four fiscal years, or had a successful record as a senior manager.
“Entering Australia on a temporary visa does not mean you have an ongoing right to remain in Australia,” she said.
A spokesman for Ms Bligh said while immigration was a federal government matter, state officials were talking to immigration officials about the Klues’ case.

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ITS quaint facade may display its history, but it gives little hint to the sprawling family home within.   bakehouse

Once the Old Bakehouse, the Bassendean home now serves as a four-bedroom, two-bathroom residence with a below-ground pool and self-contained studio.

Its owners bought the property about five years ago and took care during renovations to retain its original character features.

They added a studio adjacent to the pool and fitted it with a bathroom, built-in barbecue and pizza oven.

“We just love the big leadlight back windows overlooking the swimming pool, and the big family block,” the owner said.

The 1012sqm block has subdivision potential, with the opportunity for two street frontages.

The owner said the neighbourhood felt like a little community.

“The kids go to school locally and I work locally,” she said.

“We used to have the whole school class over at the end of school year for a swim, which was great.”

She said the property was ideal for entertaining in summer.

“The pitched room overlooking the pool is my favourite feature. When you sit in there, with the height of the ceilings and the view, it’s just really peaceful,” she said.

The residence has polished jarrah floors, bathrooms with federation tiles, an ensuite to the main bedroom, wood heating, reverse-cycle airconditioning and decorative cornices.

The property is a short walk to the Swan River and about 11km from the city.

BASSENDEAN
Auction: Saturday, September 12, at 11am
122 West Rd

Four-bedroom, two-bathroom character house with study, al fresco entertaining area, pool, self-contained studio with bathroom, built-in barbecue and pizza oven, on 1012sqm.
Agent: Julie Pedulla 0419440093, Altitude Real Estate 93883911

Source  :  http://www.news.com.au/perthnow/story/0,21598,25998702-5013239,00.html

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A Quinns Rocks couple in their 50’s have wasted no time coming forward to claim an $820,000 win from last weekend’s Saturday Lotto draw.

The couple said that the prize money is the “icing on the cake” and will allow them to retire earlier than they’d expected.

They have decided to keep the win a secret from all family and friends.

The winning ticket was purchased at Ocean Keys Lottery Centre in Clarkson.

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The Broome to Fremantle Ocean Race will be a part of the 7,500 nautical mile Around Australia Race and Rally event.

Bob Williams the CEO of Ocean Events Pty Ltd, the Western Australian company behind the 2011 ‘Around Australia Ocean Race and Rally’ has spent the last few days in Broome, located in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia, and an important stop-over port for both the Around Australia Ocean Race and Rally.

Williams has been meeting with local authorities and business people discussing the event coming to Broome waters in August and September 2011.

‘I couldn’t be more pleased with the reception that I have received in Broome and the enthusiasm for our event. Broome people will make this a memorable stop-over port that everybody associated with both the Race and Rally yachts will thoroughly enjoy.’

Incorporated into the 2011 Around Australia Ocean Race is the Broome to Fremantle Ocean Race. The Perpetual Broome to Fremantle Ocean Race Trophy is designed and manufactured in Broome by the internationally renowned pearl jewellery company Linneys of Broome.

Principal owner of Linneys Mr Bill Reed yesterday gave Bob Williams and Broome Shire President Mr Graeme Campbell the first viewing of of the trophy.

Linneys apprentice Joshua Gower is the proud craftsman of this fine trophy a copy of which will be taken home by the winning skippers of the 2011 Broome to Fremantle Ocean Race.

Originally founded as a pearling port over a hundred years ago, Broome now boasts a multicultural population of many nationalities lured here by the promise of finding their fortunes. Asian, European and Aboriginal cultures have all blended to create a captivatingly friendly and flamboyant personality that is the heart and soul of Broome.

Broome pearls are recognised as the best in the world and pearling remains one of the town’s major industries.

Broome has a permanent population of 15,000 which expands to 40,000 around the time of the Broome Cup Week horse racing carnival (August) attracting visitors from all over Australia and around the world.

The crews of the Around Australia Ocean Race and Rally yachts, shore crew, family, friends, supporters, sponsors, and local and international media people are bound to be captivated by Broome – one of Western Australia’s and Australia’s best loved tourist attractions.

‘Since we opened the doors for Slot Reservations we have been staggered by the responses for both the Race and Rally – still about neck and neck in event preferences at this stage.

Skandia – 2011 Around Australia Ocean Race and Rally for Cruisers  Andrea Francolini ©  

 

‘We’ve heading towards 100 boats now from 100 foot super maxis to Transatlantic racers, from cruising and racing catamarans and many cruising monohulls and the reservations just keep rolling in and we expect that at this rate we will have a total of around 300 reservations.

‘It’s very gratifying to see such interest in the event. It’s plain that the event has such national and international appeal with Event Slot Reservations coming in from South Africa, Europe, the USA, and New Zealand already.

‘Some very significant Australian yacht clubs have chosen to join with us in planning and running this major event and we will be making announcements about that in coming days.

‘Please get your Slot Reservations in as soon as possible, the news is spreading internationally now!!’

Got to www.sailaroundaustralia.com.au to read more and fill in your Slot Reservation now

Source  :  www.sail-world.com

 

 

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For travellers who are REALLY on a budget and are looking for a way to skim a few bucks off their travel expenses, why not consider sleeping in an airport?singapore02_std 

Why spend money on a night in the airport hotel when an inflatable raft on the airport floor is free? Sure, it may sound a little cheap and degrading at first, but read-on and you’ll soon discover a travel community, that for 13 years has been sharing their airport sleeping experiences and travel advice with fellow airport sleepers around the world. Airport sleeping is no longer just for the poor young backpacker. Nowadays, you’ll find travellers of all ages and income brackets stretched out on airport floors around the world.

So now, sit back….get out your travel itinerary and read the latest airport reviews.  You are about to discover which airports you can sleep in safely and comfortably and those which you should avoid altogether on your next trip.  Your friends and family may look at you funny when you return with your airport stories, but as you’ll read here and on our blog, that’s only part of the adventure.  

Whether you sleep in an airport overnight by choice or get stuck in the airport due to an airline problem or weather delay, let sleepinginairports.net help you make your stay more tolerable.  Together with a hearty dose of your sense of adventure, unnecessary airport hotels are about to become a travel expense of your past!

Visit  :  www.sleepinginairports.net

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JULIE Goodwin has dedicated her victory in MasterChef Australia to her family after winning the final of the Channel 10 reality show.

Goodwin, 38, beat Adelaide’s Poh Ling Yeow after a gruelling series of challenges that tested both competitors to the maximum.

The New South Wales mother-of-three spent three months away from her husband Mich and sons Joe, 13, Tom, 12, and Paddy, 10, to take part in the TV show and says it was the hardest time of her life.

“Winning MasterChef Australia feels like such an achievement and means the time away from my family was worthwhile,” Julie said

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In his first interview since he miraculously survived almost two weeks lost amid freezing temperatures in Sydney’s Blue Mountains, the 19-year-old from north London, who was found by bushwalkers last Wednesday, also denied his story was a hoax.

“I was thinking I might die on that mountain,” he told the 60 Minutes current affairs television program in Australia in an interview for which he was paid an estimated $200,000 (£100,000).

“I had actually written some goodbye notes and things to my family saying, my last walk, saying sorry, explaining how I’d got lost and different things like that.

“I’m not a particularly religious person but I started thinking about God and I was praying and saying, ‘Surely you can move a helicopter an inch and find me,’ and ‘Why won’t you just help me?’”

Mr Neale returned to the location of his near-fatal bushwalk with the television crew after being released from hospital in Katoomba on Friday.

He posed for photos at the Narrow Neck Plateau near Katoomba where he had been discovered last Wednesday by bushwalkers, and was then flown over the Blue Mountains by helicopter.

He said he had lost the notepad with his goodbye letters, and his digital camera, while trying to get out of the dense bushland.

His incredible tale of survival – where he endured 12 nights in freezing temperatures, eating kangaroo berries and geebung weed, and drinking from local streams – has attracted many sceptics questioning the veracity of his story.

However Mr Neale remains adamant that he became lost after getting disorientated by the sun, and dismissed talk his disappearance was a hoax or a stunt to make money.

“I know what happened, and I know the people who were out searching for me,” he said in the interview, which was set to air in Australia on Sunday night and will be broadcast in the UK on Sky.

“They know that it happened and that’s good enough for me. People can say what they want because I’m not lying. It’s the truth.”

Mr Neale and his father Richard Cass hosted drinks in Katoomba on Friday night for some of the scores of volunteers who searched the rugged bushland looking for the lost backpacker.

Mr Cass, who had flown to Australia from the family home in London to help search for his son, returned to England on Saturday.

Mr Neale will now travel by train to Perth to stay with relatives as he cannot fly for eight weeks due to air bubbles on his lungs.

Source  :  www.timesonline.co.uk

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DINA and Brett Pappin took their time in choosing their dream home when work commitments forced them to relocate from WA’s south.  yanchep

Every house looked the same to the couple until they stumbled across this five-star energy-rated property in Yanchep.

“We were looking in Quinns Rocks because that’s where I grew up and then we decided to look in Yanchep because it was just up the road,” Mrs Pappin said.

The four-bedroom, two-bathroom energy-efficient home immediately caught their attention. 

The home has quality fittings and fixtures throughout, including granite benchtops, polished porcelain tiles, highly polished marri floors in the theatre room, and floor-to-ceiling porcelain tiles in both bathrooms.

“The main ensuite is better than a five-star hotel, with twin vanities, a corner spa and glass-enclosed showers,” Mrs Pappin said. “The bathroom and the kitchen are what sold it for me.”

Another plus for Mrs Pappin was the floor-to-ceiling windows in the main living area.

“I can stand in the house and see the entire backyard,” she said.

“It’s great because I have young children, so I can keep an eye on them while I am cooking dinner.”

The home has an outdoor area with a cedar ceiling and there’s a study. The property is in a cul-de-sac about a 10-minute walk from the beach.

“The Lagoon is the best beach in Perth; the kids love it in summer,” Mrs Pappin said.

Work commitments are taking the family back south.

YANCHEP
$629,000
4 Le Buse Cove
Four-bedroom, two-bathroom house with a study/fifth bedroom, five-star energy rating, cedar-lined outdoor area, porcelain tiles, polished marri timber floors in the theatre room, and resort-style ensuite with spa.
Agent: Peggy Middelveld 0415566825, Peard Cox
Real Estate 9400 1599

 

Source  :  www.news.com.au

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