Holbrook Public School

Quality education for all, in a secure and caring environment

ISSUE 17: Term 4, Week 2 - Monday, 11 October 2021

From the Principal's desk

Welcome to Term 4, Week 2 - Hello to the wonderful Holbrook community, and welcome back to our final term of 2021. I really do hope that you and your children were able to spend some quality time together over the holiday period. I spent plenty of time in nature, hiking up hills with my family (Huon, Red Light, Eastern, Nailcan and Budginigi), bike riding, and we also got away for a quick trip to Mulwala which was enjoyable.

With the pandemic causing lots of mental health concerns in society, and to strengthen my leadership, both personally and professionally, I have been reading about happiness. Happiness is quite an abstract concept, and I've discovered that many psychologists tend to refer to the experience of 'positive emotions' as opposed to the general term of 'happiness'. Some positive emotions include: love, serenity, forgiveness, awe, joy, interest, hope, pride, gratitude, amusement and inspiration. Furthermore, the Losada Line (or ratio) has found that for an individual to flourish, they need to experience somewhere between 3:1 and 6:1 positive to negative emotions. For those interested, the book I'm reading is called 'The Happiness Advantage' by Shawn Achor. If reading isn't your thing, he also has a short Ted talk which can be found here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GXy__kBVq1M  I found it interesting, as it has helped me see how 'happiness' can be constructed to help us all thrive. One initiative in our school plan over the next four years is Positive Education, and this mindset or perspective aligns very well. As you know, this term will see many restrictions remain in place at the school, so we're trying to think of creative ways to help our staff and students experience many positive emotions in Term 4. Our leaders have agreed to set up the table tennis tables each day for students to use during breaks, and we have also set up a pool table for Year 6 to use. Other students are spending time in our vegetable garden which is definitely thriving. It is amazing how a small tweak can make such a positive change.   

School Staffing - It has been wonderful to welcome back Mrs Wedgwood and Mrs Slater this term after their leave in Term 3. Mrs Trethowan will remain on leave for the rest 2021, with Mr Leitch working on Thursdays and Fridays to replace her. Mrs Cheadle is also on leave, potentially for the remainder of term. She has been coordinating the COVID Intensive Learning Support Program with Judy Ross, who will now come in for an additional day each week as a result of this change.  Unfortunately, Mrs Pargeter has needed to take unexpected leave, for at least the first two weeks of term. Kimberly Ross, a current teacher at our school, will take Year 2 for four days in Week 2, with Mrs Wedgwood taking the other day as usual.  I recognise there have been some changes in the staffing space, and I'll endeavor to keep the community informed of any future adjustments as further information becomes available to me. As always, I will seek the best solutions for our students, with the staff that are available.

Hats, Drink Bottles and Summer Uniforms - A reminder to all families to ensure that their children come to school each day with the correct uniform, hat and drink bottle. I realise this is slightly more complex at the moment with parents not being able to visit the school, but if you give the office a call, I'm sure we can find a solution. Our SunSmart Policy requires that all students bring a hat to wear each day.

Major Excursions - We have been fielding many phone calls in regards to our excursions to Borambola (Years 3 and 4 - Week 4) and Ballarat (Years 5 and 6 - Week 7). Under Level 3 School Operations, we are unable to go on any excursions. We have deliberately held on to our bookings in case restrictions ease, however, with the Borambola excursion only two weeks away, and increasing pressure for us to pay fees by the provider, we have today cancelled the 3/4 excursion to Borambola. Whilst we are not able to leave the school, much less the LGA, or state at the moment, we are holding our booking for the 5/6 excursion to Ballarat.

Riverina Athletics Carnival - Unfortunately, Riverina Sport has had to cancel the regional athletics carnival for 2021. Congratulations to all of our students who qualified and were potentially going to make it to state. Try to let your disappointment drive your training and desire to do just as well next year, or even better. 

Mandatory Vaccinations - As I'm sure you're aware, all volunteers, contractors and school staff will need to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19 by 8 November 2021. 

Masks - The wearing of masks is mandatory for all staff both indoors and outdoors whilst on the school site. The wearing of masks for students is strongly recommended, both indoors and outdoors. Masks are available at school on request, however, students may also bring their own.

New Boundary Fencing - I have been liaising with the Department's Learning and Wellbeing Team and the Asset Management Unit over the past month, and it has been decided that our school will be supplied with new boundary fencing and lockable gates to increase the safety of our students. This will be a large investment in the school, and one that should offer greater peace of mind to parents and staff.

Kindergarten Orientation - Finally, I am excited to announce that our next scheduled Kindergarten transition activity is able to commence on Friday, 15 October.

Nathan Fisher


COVID-safe school operations framework - Updated 6 October 2021

 Level 3 Schools

The following Stage 3 restrictions will be in place at school until further notice:

  • COVID Symptoms - Students must not attend school if unwell, even with mild symptoms of COVID-19. Any person with any COVID-19 symptoms must be sent home and not return to school unless they have a negative COVID-19 test result and are symptom free.
  • Non-essential visitors not allowed on-site (including parents and carers). Those parents/carers who are invited onsite are asked to maintain physical distancing, wear masks and sign in using the QR code.
  • In circumstances where children have other medical reasons for recurrent symptoms, a letter from their GP is sufficient to negate the requirement for a negative test.

    • Introduction of staggered breaks and reduced mingling of student cohorts wherever possible
    • Activities such as singing, chanting, choirs, bands and school performances not permitted
    • No assemblies
    • No excursions
    • No community use
    • No uniform shops
    • No SRE
    • While on school sites, masks or face coverings are required for all staff and students in Year 7 and above and strongly recommended for all primary students.

    School Visitor Check-in

    A single School Visitor Check-in system for every school across the state is coming from 18 October!

    The NSW Department of Education has partnered with Service NSW to provide a streamlined, digital school sign-in system for visitors and contractors at every NSW government school. 

    Benefits of the new system include:

      • Accelerating your check-ins to as fast as 20 seconds!  
      • Linked to NSW Health’s COVID-19 contact tracing ensuring every school is compliant with the NSW COVID-19 Mandate.
      • Giving every school greater access to streamlined NSW Government services.
      • Watch our short parent video to see how it works for parents.

      Who can use School Visitor check-in

      • Visitors such as parents and carers, contractors, service providers and volunteers.
      • Students or visitors under the age of 18 are not required to use School Visitor Check-in.

      School Visitor Check-in will be ready from 18 October at all NSW Government schools.

      For more information visit School Visitor Check-in on the department website.

      Operation Art

      Earlier in the year, we submitted three art entries for the Westmead Children’s Hospital — Operation Art Exhibition. The artwork was to be part of an exhibition in Sydney, however, due to COVID restrictions it became a virtual exhibition instead. The 723 artworks exhibited were then judged and considered for the following — a travelling art exhibition, be donated to regional hospitals and healthcare services throughout NSW, including Bear Cottage in Manly, or be given to the NSW Office of the Children’s Guardian to be exhibited in its offices for 12 months and later donated to regional hospitals. We recently got notification that Geordie Geddes’ artwork will be donated to a regional hospital or healthcare service in NSW. Having watched Geordie create his masterpiece over a few weeks, there is no one more deserving. Well done, Geordie! Your masterpiece will brighten so many lives and be enjoyed by many who need uplifting. A big thank you to Mrs Kimberly Ross who has initiated and driven this arts project, along with the P&C and Satch & Co. for their support as well.

      Year 1 magpie collage with Mr Powys

      Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking

      Next week, Ollie Cardile will be competing in the regional final of the Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition. To get to this level, Ollie competed against his peer group at school which then led to him representing our school at the local final.  An added difference for the final this year is that it will be conducted on Zoom due to the Level 3 restrictions schools in this area must comply with. Good luck, Ollie!

      I Feel the Earth Move Under My Feet - Literacy with Mr Powys

      Students have been writing recounts and summaries of their own experiences of the earthquakes that occurred during the school holidays. They conducted a before and after web which is a reading and comprehending strategy used to demonstrate prior and new knowledge. Many of the students in the class were not aware of the seismic activity as they were recovering from the learning of Term 3. Please enjoy some of their recounts, information reports and summaries. Mr Powys

      Lacey McKillop, Year 5 - On Wednesday, 22 September at about 9:20 a.m., there was an earthquake. When it happened I was in bed. When it had stopped I went up to my family and they said it was an earthquake. Earthquakes are caused by the tectonic plates rubbing together. They can go inwards which is called convergent, outwards which is called divergent or rubbing left and right which is called transform tectonic boundaries.

      Ollie Cardile, Year 4 - The earthquake was 5.9 magnitude. It was the 22 September and the first week of holidays. An expert would say the best thing to do would be to drop to the ground, hold on to something and cover up. There are lots of faults criss-crossing caused by the earthquakes in Australia. On average Australia has about 100 small earthquakes that we usually can't hardly feel per year. Earthquakes will make things shake and wobble. Honestly when I found out it was an earthquake I kind of froze and was scared and excited at the same time.

      Olly Davis, Year 6 - Melbourne hasn't had a bigger earthquake since European settlement and earthquakes are one of those emergency events that you cannot predict.

      Tayleah Flewin, Year 6 - I was riding my bike and somehow I fell off. And the ground was shaking and vibrating. Mum said she saw the windows shaking and the walls moving side to side. Our earthquake lasted for 30 seconds.

      Jack Lennon, Year 6 - The earthquake lasted for about a minute. Six aftershocks have been recorded after the initial earthquake. The aftershocks happened one or two days after the earthquake.

      Cooper Mohr, Year 4 - Social media was going insane. All apps that you can talk to were overflowing about the earthquake. We don't know how big or long the next one will be, but we hope nothing else like this will happen again. Luckily no one died or got injured. Newcastle 1989 magnitude 5.6 unfortunately, 13 people died and millions of dollars gone from just an earthquake.

      Jasmine Purcell, Year 4 - This was my first earthquake, even though they happen on average of around 100 times a year! There could be aftershocks to come and they could continue for months. There is a small likelihood that there could be a larger earthquake this year.

      School veggie patch - Produce for sale

      This weather, which has brought both sunshine and rain, has seen our vegetable garden explode! Students will be harvesting silverbeet, rainbow chard, celery and parsnips on Tuesday and Friday this week. You are welcome to purchase a mixed bag of vegetables for $5 (please submit the Mixed Vegetables Order Form in Skoolbag Forms and send your money in with your child). All proceeds will go towards our new fixed playground equipment.

      Commander Holbrook Scholarship - Tuesday, 19 October 2021

      A new application form for the Commander Holbrook Scholarship will be sent out today and must be returned to the office by Monday, 18 October. Those Year 6 students who return their application will sit the test next Tuesday, 19 October from 9:30 a.m. to 1:15 p.m.

      Book Club: Issue 7

      It's on - Book Fair 2021

      This term, we will be celebrating Book Week from 25-29 October. The theme is Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds​. Throughout the week, teachers will be reading and exposing students to texts that follow the theme. Students will be able to make a Wish List at the start of the week and then purchase on Friday. As parents/carers are unable to enter school grounds, they will either need to provide cash to their child/ren or make purchases through Scholastic, which is offering an online payment option for Book Fair purchases. Your child will be given a Wish List to take home, and should you wish to pay in advance online, simply go to scholastic.com.au/payment, select NSW, enter Holbrook Public School, your child's name  and the amount you would like your child to spend. Record the receipt number on the back of the Wish List for your child to  take back to school on the day of the Book Fair and present to the cashier as payment. Remember, Christmas is just around the corner.

      We will be holding two parades this year due to current COVID-19 restrictions. Prizes will be awarded for the most creative outfits. Unfortunately parents, carers and community members will not be able to attend this year.

      Monday, 25 October: K-2 Book Fair Wish List

      Tuesday, 26 October: 3-6 Book Fair Wish List

      Friday, 29 October:  Book Week Dress-up Parade (Theme: Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds​) and book purchases. 

      New enrolments

      A family of henduplets (11 babies) arrived early this morning for enrolment at our school. We hope that our students enjoy watching their new friends' antics from a distance.

      Years 3 and 4 Excursion to Borambola - Cancelled

      Due to COVID-19 restrictions, we have had to cancel this year's Year 3/4 excursion to Borambola. Within the next couple of weeks, we will be organising refunds.

      Statewide Eyesight preschooler Screening - Cancelled

      Term 4, 2021 Lunch Order Roster

      School hats

      You may notice something different about our school hats. The style is the same, with a wide flat brim, the colour is the same and the price is the same; however, these hats are made from lightweight, water repellent microfibre, which can be folded and scrunched down without creasing. These hats feature an adjustable crown cord, a moisture absorbing sweatband, cooling airflow eyelets and a 50+ excellent UPF rating, making it the perfect choice for year-round coverage. We are hoping that these hats better retain their colour fastness and shape than the cotton hats we have purchased in the past.

      Need uniforms?

      Please ring or email your uniform order through to the office. Payments can be made online, by clicking the 'Make a Payment' option on our website or by credit card over the phone. We will then place your order in the front office for collection on Monday's Wednesdays and Fridays or give it to your child to take home with them.

      Pre-loved uniforms for sale from $5 each

      Uniform ItemSizes Available
      Summer Uniforms
      Short sleeve polo shirt4, 6, 8, 10
      Shorts6, 10, 14, 16
      Summer dress4, 6
      Winter Uniforms
      Long sleeve polo shirt4, 6, 8, 12
      Fleece jacket4, 6, 8, 12, 14
      Long pants4, 6
      Tartan pants6, 8, 10
      Tartan skirt8, 10
      Windcheater6. 8
      Sports Uniforms
      Sports shirt6, 8
      Sports shorts6
      Track pants4

      Parenting Ideas

      Thunderstorm Asthma

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