1332.0.55.001 - CensusAtSchool Newsletter, Apr 2008  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 07/04/2008   
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April CensusAtSchool Newsletter - Edition No. 25
CensusAtSchool logo


1. CensusAtSchool questionnaire - Getting Involved Is Easier Than You Think!
2. Inquiry-Based Learning At Anglesea Primary School
3. Students Have Their Say About The 2008 Questionnaire
4. How Your Students Can Get The Most Out Of CensusAtSchool
5. Why Should My School Participate In 2008?
6. CensusAtSchool International Workshop in LA
7. Teacher Librarians Find Out About CensusAtSchool

Eon character CensusAtSchool Questionnaire - Getting Involved Is Easier Than You Think

According to a recent random survey of 100 Maths teachers, conducted by Education Services, the leading reason of teachers not taking up CensusAtSchool is the perception of it being too difficult to implement in class. However this is a misconception! In fact you can set-up your account, generate SANs and get your students to submit the Questionnaire all within the one class! If your school participated in 2006, now is your chance to get involved in 2008 and see how things have changed for students in your area. If you've never participated before then make sure you don't miss out this year!

See how quick and easy it really is...

Already Registered?

  • Set Up a Teacher Account - 5 mins! (Please call 1800 623 273 if you have forgotten your SPN and to update your contact details)
  • Generate SANs (Student Access Numbers) - 2 mins!
  • Submit Questionnaire - 20-30 mins!
Not Registered? New schools can complete a Registration Form today and fax it back to (03) 9615 7798. Registration closes early July, but you must submit your school's responses before the Questionnaire closes so that your students don't miss out on being part of the data 2008! Knowing they are part of the data is what truly engages them.

If you haven't already discovered our redesigned How to Get Involved page, then now is the time. It is simpler to read and to follow and shows you just how easy it is to get your school involved in CensusAtSchool.

Project Cycle

Inquiry-Based Learning At Anglesea Primary

Grade 5 & 6 students at Anglesea Primary School are using CensusAtSchool to help them answer some very interesting questions. Students will be devising their own Inquiry Topics, for which they must use data in their investigation.

CensusAtSchool and other ABS data provides students with real data, hence its value for the project!

QLD logoThis is a major piece of work for students, who will have the opportunity to work on their topic for an hour a day. One underlying idea is that their work must be such that “anyone can pick up your work and will be able to see what you are doing”.

To help them decide on a topic that interests them, students will be given an Activity Sheet asking them to develop mini questions about their chosen topic. By completing this process, students are forced to think more deeply about their topic, in turn assisting them with the structure of their investigation.

Topical questions were offered to students as a starting point for developing their own line of investigations, such as: What is the future of Recycled water on the Surf Coast? What was it like being a student from the past? Are males better drivers than females? How has people's leisure time changed over the years?

No limits are placed on the work children will produce but they are expected to incorporate ICT – PowerPoint, digital cameras, graphs, etc. This is a fantastic example of integrating CensusAtSchool with ICT! At the end of term, students will show their work at an Expo for parents and their peers, where they will give an oral presentation of their topic. The presentation will also be used to initiate discussion at the Parent / Teacher conference.

Inquiry TopicActivity Sheet
Inquiry Topic.doc
Students Have Their Say About The 2008 Questionnaire

Here's what students from Anglesea Primary School have to say about their recent encounter with the 2008 CensusAtSchool Questionnaire...

" My favourite part of the CensusAtSchool Questionnaire was probably the concentration game, I liked all the little pictures that came up. Also probably the most interesting part was the dominant and non-dominant hand [question]. I liked all of the questionnaire."

"I thought the questionnaire was very helpful and useful to a lot of people, and it will help a lot of people in the future. I liked a lot of the questions because they were a bit different to the normal every-day questions. I thought it was good because it's open to any sort of student in Australia, and lots of people have been doing it".

" I thought the CensusAtSchool survey was interesting and the questions were different. I thought the belly-button height question was interesting, and the hand coordination question, and the concentration game".

Thanks to students from Anglesea Primary School for providing the wonderful feedback on the Questionnaire!

How Your Students Can Get The Most Out Of CensusAtSchool

The Questionnaire is well underway. Please remember that to ensure your students meaningful data, you must get your school to participate! Here's what you can do to help your student get the most out of CensusAtSchool:

1.Have all the classes in your school complete a survey not just your class The more data the better for your students.
2. Encourage your students to submit the questionnaire - after all, it is their local area data they will want to see.
3. Encourage other local schools to also complete Questionnaires.

In 2006, over 112,000 students completed a Questionnaire. This has provided a wonderful resource of a large database of relevant, up to date data about Australian students, Free online.

NT Numeracy Officer, John Bradbury has said that he has "found the CensusAtSchool data base to be possibly the single most effective resource in teaching Chance and Data." Don't miss this exciting opportunity - now is your chance to get your school counted!

Tips for completing the questionnaire

The 2008 Questionnaire takes approximately 20-30 minutes to complete, however you may like to consider the following handy tips to minimise response time:
  • Preview the live questionnaire by looking at the interactive sample version. Students can even have a go with a few questions to get comfortable with the questionnaire response types
  • Prepare student's measurements for the "Your Measurements" section of the Questionnaire by setting it for homework
  • Have the school postcode, and number of students attending the school, handy when students are completing the questionnaire i.e. write details on the board for everyone to see
  • Plan ahead - allocate a time for students to complete the questionnaire
Teachers are advised to look carefully at the new survey and the Carrying Out The Questionnaire.

Why Should My School Participate in 2008?

In its first year the project was implemented in an unprecedented 28% of all schools in Australia. An evaluation by the Curriculum Corporation about the 2006 CensusAtSchool, found that:
  • Teachers reported that in a significant number of classes there was improvement in students’ understanding of data collection, and increased engagement in tasks using statistics
  • Teachers agreed that the CensusAtSchool resource materials are ideally suited for use within their school curriculum requirements at ALL year levels from Year 5 to Year 12.
  • Students felt some ownership of their investigations because they had a chance to add their data to the resource.

Even if your school did not participate in the 2006 project, students can still access this rich source of data. Also, although there are several new additions to the 2008 Questionnaire, many questions from the 2006 Questionnaire have been retained so comparisons can be made to 2006 data - beginnings of longitudinal studies. Check it out for yourself!

CensusAtSchool International Workshop in LA

On 28-29 July, delegates from around the world will be meeting in Los Angeles to talk about the engaging resource that is CensusAtSchool.

CensusAtSchool International Workshop logoHow far has it come since the last conference and where will it go next? These are the types of questions, among many, that participants will be discussing.

The last International Workshop, held at the Australian Bureau of Statistics in Victoria, culminated in 11 common international questions being included in the 2008 Questionnaire. This will further the scope of analysis when it comes to the Data Usage Phase (the phase at which data is released back to the school community).

The 2008 workshop theme will focus on ‘Data Handling and Chance Activities that Promote Statistical Literacy.’ Participants will include South Africa, Canada, United Kingdom, France, New Zealand the United Sates, Australia and possibly Japan. Delegates will be sharing their experiences about promoting statistical literacy among students, within their respective countries.

Although the project has already reached international parameters, the more students that submit a questionnaire - the richer the data for students to use. Hence the International Workshop aims to continue along the path of expanding CensusAtSchool even further into the global arena. See Full Article.

Teacher Librarians Find Out About CensusAtSchool

Teacher Librarians recently attended an Information Session the ABS office in Victoria. This included a short session about CensusAtSchool. Participants were divided into groups and allocated a section of the 2008 Questionnaire to complete. While completing the questionnaire, participants were advised
to keep in mind what subjects could benefit from such a resource. Here's what they came up with:

  • SOSE
  • Health, Physical Education and Human Development
  • Geography
  • Biology (i.e. the measurements questions to address the topic: "How we grow")
  • Psychology
  • ESL
  • Adult Education
  • Personal Development (i.e. internet access/ time spent on internet)
Teacher Librarian Session at ABS
If you have any questions or general CensusAtSchool project enquiries, please contact ABS Education Services, 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.