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1332.0.55.001 - CensusAtSchool Newsletter, May 2006  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 05/05/2006   
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May 2006 CensusAtSchool Newsletter - Edition No. 11

Contents
Questionnaire Makes Perfect Census to Us!
Case Study - How a CensusAtSchool Questionnaire was used to Organise a Term of Work
Using the Questionnaire to Reinforce ICT and Literacy Skills
What Teachers are Saying...
Census Tram Art Competition
eCensus - Complete Your Census Form Online

QUESTIONNAIRE MAKES PERFECT CENSUS TO US!

The CensusAtSchool questionnaire is hot news in classrooms throughout Australia. By completing the questionnaire teachers and students have found out a lot about themselves and the importance of data collection.

Ivy Batten and the Mathematics Faculty from Casuarina Senior College in the Northern Territory decided to get involved with CensusAtSchool using it as a great hands-on experience for students to see how data is collected.

When completing the questionnaire, Ivy noticed that the students “ … were most interested in the right hand/left hand reflex timing exercise and the picture pairing activity. Some of the questions asking for information on things like take-way foods and music also caused some discussion among the students.”

After completing the questionnaire Lisa Veitch, ICT co-ordinator at Noble Park Primary School in Victoria used it as a starting point in discussions with her classes about the importance and value of data collecting. The questionnaire was the impetus for starting an interesting discussion between teachers and students about bed times, as Lisa commented “ The question on bed time lead to what was on TV… I was amazed …about the times they went to bed!”

Lisa also highlighted the need for certain questions and concepts to be explained and highlighted to students, particularly those with English as a second language. She found a useful strategy was introducing students to the questionnaire in hardcopy prior to their completion of the online version.

Teachers at Circular Heads Christian College Tasmania commented that the process of completing the questionnaire “…exposed students to ‘real life’ situations. We felt that the CensusAtSchool project would give good experience for students to fill out forms and would require them to read details carefully.”

To read further about each of the schools’ experiences check out the full article. Schools can still register to be part of the project until the beginning of July 2006.
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Key DatesKey Dates
30 Jan 2006
Questionnaire Open
07 Jul 2006
Questionnaire Closed
11 Jul 2006
Data Usage Open
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Registered Schools
as at 01/05/06
ACT
52
NSW
743
NT
36
Qld.
397
SA
276
Tas.
85
Vic.
680
WA
260
Total:
2,529
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Spacel

CASE STUDY - How a CensusAtSchool Questionnaire was used to Organise a Term of Work

Caroline Springs Secondary College has taken an integrated approach to learning, using CensusAtSchool data as a basis for investigation.

Year 9 staff decided to focus on question 37 of the questionnaire “Do you agree or disagree with the following water related statements about your community?” Students filled out the questionnaire, and in mathematics they analysed their results. In social studies and science they studied environmental issues pertaining to water catchment areas near their school, and in English they wrote a letter to their local member of parliament explaining the issues that the students thought important.



Using the Questionnaire To Reinforce ICT and Literacy Skills

The online questionnaire is a great way to introduce or revisit skills and concepts with your class. During ICT sessions, the questionnaire can be used to consolidate skills such as accessing web sites and using a browser, identifying pages and reading instructions. Since questionnaire style documents are becoming more prevalent in schools especially in testing, a literacy focus can also be achieved by emphasising accurate reading of questions, selecting appropriate answers and following instructions when completing the questionnaire.

Download a sample copy of the Questionnaire from the Project Support Materials page.

ICT in the classroomThe CensusAtSchool web site also provides a series of ICT lessons that can introduce your students to using spreadsheets and using the internet. This is an excellent resource to get your students familiar with internet and spreadsheets. They can then use the Random Sampler to filter and get questionnaire response data when it is released on 11 July.
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What Teachers are Saying...

Our Year 6 and & classes have submitted their questionnaires. It was great to have the students exposed to what is becoming a very popular format for gathering information. Their need to think about their own lifestyle added to the value of the exercise. Having the class teachers move through the questionnaire has allowed some of these lifestyle questions to be integrated into the lifestyle and values discussions within the classroom.
- Graham Irvine, Regent College, IT Teacher and Principal, Perth WA


"This is a terrific site, links are clear, information is clear - it is a very good resource for teachers..."
- Jennifer Johnson, Southern Cross Primary School, Victoria, Leading Teacher

“I think the teachers enjoy the variety programs such as CensusAtSchool introduced into the standard curriculum.”
- Patricia Spannagle, St Joseph’s Principal.

"We are a small school with 8 senior students participating in the project. They have all done their questionnaire. Very easy for us as they all have a laptop. We did it as part of their reading. The project fits well with the Quality Teaching Framework for NSW schools."
- Sue Hobbs, Bungwahl Primary School Principal

" [the students] appreciated the opportunity to use real 'live' data in their studies."
- Christopher Meadows, Westside Christian College School Principal

To submit your comments, please send an email to: censusatschool@abs.gov.au
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Census Tram Art Competition

Are you at an inner Melbourne primary school? If so, the Victorian Census team invite your class to create an artwork for the Census Tram Art Competition. The winning work will be reproduced on banners on Melbourne’s tram system in the month before the Census of Population and Housing on August 8th.

For more information visit the 'Census Tram Art Competition' news page or contact Iain Sutherland from the Victorian Census Management Unit on 03 9615 7269.
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eCensus - Complete Your Census Form Online
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Throughout its history the Australian Bureau of Statistics has been quick to adapt to technical innovation. One indicator of that is the speed with which the ABS has introduced an Internet option for the Census. The Internet option, called the eCensus, will give householders the opportunity to fill in their Census forms online.

The 2006 Census - to be held on 8 August - householders will be given the usual paper Census form and a sealed envelope containing a PIN number which gives them access to the eCensus option. Householders will also be supplied with a guide which will show them how to fill in the eCensus form online, along with the usual information about how to fill in the paper form. Based on testing to date, the ABS expects approximately 10% of the population, or around 800,000 households, to complete their Census form online.


National Census, 8 August 2006 To find out more about the 2006 National Census visit the ABS website at: http://www.abs.gov.au/census
If you have any questions or general CensusAtSchool project enquiries, please contact the ABS, National Education Service Unit, CensusAtSchool Team by email censusatschool@abs.gov.au or on free call 1800 623 273 between 9:00am and 5:00pm (AEST) Monday to Friday.Online Newsletter
CensusAtSchool News

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