Newsletter Number 8 • Wednesday 26th May 2021

From the Principal

On Wednesday 26th May we held a special assembly which was attended by all students from Preschool to Year 10, along with all staff, some Board members and parent reps to officially launch our school's Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP).

Cycle 3 and 4 students who were on the RAP Working Group spoke to the whole school to explain what a RAP is, the importance of a RAP and shared our RAP vision.

Mandy Brown, a local Peramangk leader provided a  Welcome to Country  and read some of her poetry about Reconciliation and Sorry Day.

Ruth and Lauren's Cycle 1 Primary class also presented an Acknowledgment of Country that they had written themselves.

In addition to speaking about the RAP, students spoke about the meaning and significance of Sorry Day (26th May) and Reconciliation Week which starts on Thursday 27th May.

It is important that our school celebrates the  launching of our RAP and fully understands the significance of committing to doing what we have said we will do and working towards achieving our stated actions.

Our RAP and the process of reconciliation does not just sit with one person or a committee, it is the responsibility of all of us to play our part to recognise and respect the First Peoples of this land, to acknowledge the past injustices, and the ongoing inequalities, experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people since colonisation, and to commit to working towards a more equal and respectful future.

I would like to thank the RAP Working Group for their input and particular thanks to Nat Costello and Tim Moore for their leadership in this area. 

All of the students also enjoyed a performance by 'Imbala'; a Peramangk dance group in the afternoon.

Cathy France


Photos from the RAP launch

Photos of the Imbala dance performance

Cycle News

Infant Program

We have been exploring the colours black and white in the Infant Program. We have made white play dough and have been doing black and white marble paintings and black and white collage. To incorporate our focus of the senses we have also been spreading crackers with 'black' vegemite. Abigail is practising her spreading skills and experiencing the salty umami taste of vegemite.

Cycle 1 Preschool

At Preschool this month, children have been learning about the world around them and their place on it. They explored the continents, their diverse cultures and learnt how to use Google Earth and Montessori maps to help them visualise those abstract concepts and allow them to connect what they learn in the classroom to what they experience in their daily lives, community, and to the larger world.

Cycle 1 Primary

Every week in Cycle 1 Primary, we cook something delicious as part of our practical life skills program. Here the children are tasting the pumpkin soup they made in class. The skills they were introduced to and practiced were peeling, chopping (onion, garlic, and pumpkin), measuring liquid using cups, stirring, cooperation, patience, and turn taking. All the children were encouraged to taste the soup but if they decided they didn't like it they could put it in the compost. Some comments made by the children were...Cooper "it's stinging my eyes, when onion is cooked it doesn't hurt, can I have some safety goggles";  Zeke "I had to cut up something"; Holly "it was yummy, I like it when the yoghurt is stirred through it"; Cooper "it was horrible".

Cycle 2

This term we are learning about the Earth and solar energy.  On Friday, we completed several scientific investigations to discover more about the way the sun supports life on Earth.  We explored how we get different temperatures based on the angle of the sun's rays hitting the Earth, and why the weather is warmer near the equator.  We did this by examining a torch light shining on black paper at perpendicular and oblique angles, just as the sun's rays hit the Earth at a perpendicular angle near the equator and at an oblique angle near the poles.  We also used string to consider the distance between the sun and the North Pole versus the sun and the Equator.  We used the Tellurium to investigate how the Earth's rotation on its axis contributes to the different seasons we experience throughout the year.  Our favourite activity looked at the impact of the Earth's rotation and how it ensures that heat from the sun is spread across the globe rather than just concentrated in one spot.  This involved using a candle to simulate the sun and a marshmallow to simulate the Earth.  We discovered that if the Earth (marshmallow) did not rotate on its axis, there would be an intense, concentrated spot of heat, resulting in a burnt marshmallow (on one side only), whereas when it was rotated, the heat was more evenly distributed and did not result in a burnt spot.  


"If the Earth was still, one side would always be cold.  The side that is facing the sun will always be hot." - Daniella

"If the Earth didn't spin, one spot would get all the heat from the sun." - Stella

"It would be too cold to survive on one side and it would always be night-time." - Lilly

"If the Earth was still, one side wouldn't get any Vitamin D." - Lachlan 

"If the sun is shining at a direct angle, it is hotter.  If the sun's rays shine on the Earth at an oblique angle, it is spread out and not as hot." - Ollie 

"The North Pole is colder than the Equator because it is further away from the sun." - Audrey

Cycle 2 Photos

Cycle 3

This term Cycle 3 has commenced a program called the Keeping Safe Child Protection Curriculum.   The focus is on developing healthy and positive relationships.

So far we’ve covered the UN Convention on the rights of the child.  In this session, the students watched some videos outlining the 53 articles of the rights of the child.  We then shared the book ‘For Every Child’ and discussed the content.  The children then had to select one right that resonated with them and represent it using visual art.

The following week, the Year 4/5's and the Year 6's split and absorbed different sessions.  The focus was on gender stereotypes for the Year 4/5's.  We shared some old advertisements from the 1950s, highlighting the specific role for a man and a woman in a family.  There was some mature, thoughtful and progressive discussion generated from this. 

The most recent topic was identifying positive relationship traits for the Year 6’s.  

Meanwhile, the Year 4/5’s looked at their relationship circles and identified where people in their life fit in. 

Such a bonus to have Libby onboard for the Friday afternoon sessions!


Cycle 3 photos

Cycle 4

With our increase in numbers, we are running four Occupations at the same time! The conditions for the Exploring Fungi team this year have been fantastic. We have identified 16 different species of fungi on our site so far and we have been fascinated by their diversity as we have explored our key question: are fungi friend or foe? In the rest of the term, we hope to grow our own oyster mushrooms after our site visit to a mushroom facility next week. The Caring For Children group has been working with children from 0 to 6 to understand their needs through different developmental stages. Maintaining wellbeing and developing resilience has been the central focus for the Thrive Guide crew as we use strategies for increasing self-awareness. In the Farming Fabrics occupation, we investigated different fabrics and their uses. A highlight has been working alongside the Hills Spinners and Weavers to learn the ancient craft of making textiles from raw materials.

Cycle 4 photos

Music with Maree

Cycle 2 students have been enjoying the experience of performing creative dance movements to represent various Australian animals. “Koori Dreamtime”, featuring the didgeridoo, has been used to accompany their performances. 

Board Communique

At our recent board meeting, we ratified the curriculum and enrolment policies. The Board received an update on the Wairoa building progress and discussed other capital projects.  We also confirmed the four board position nominations received for the AGM.

Jade Crathern

Board President

Cultural Connection Zone

The Cultural Connection Zone is a regular spot in the Newsletter highlighting cultural events & information provided by the Cultural Understanding (staff) committee. See item below.

Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week

Sorry Day  is on May 26th and is also the start of Reconciliation Week

Why do we acknowledge Sorry Day?

National Sorry Day or National Apology Day is important for Australia because it is a day to remember and acknowledge the Stolen Generations. It is an annual event that has been held in Australia on 26 May since 1998, to remember and commemorate the mistreatment of the country's Indigenous peoples.  The point of Sorry Day is for Australians to show empathy to those affected for the crimes committed against them in an ongoing journey of reconciliation.

Paul Keating's Redfern Speech

Kevin Rudd Sorry Day speech

Reconciliation Australia’s theme for 2021, More than a word. Reconciliation takes action, urges the reconciliation movement towards braver and more impactful action.  

New School Resources

The staff on the Cultural Connection committee recently watched a webinar which focused on some new resources purchased by our school called ‘Our Land Our Stories’.

A key message that came from the webinar was that Reconciliation is not a week of the year but needs to be embedded in everyday practice and conversations.  A question that was raised for us to ponder is… can we become an ally? 

What is an Ally?

An ally is an individual who speaks out and stands up for a person or group that is targeted and discriminated against.  An ally works to end oppression by supporting and advocating for people who are stigmatised, discriminated against or treated unfairly.

Contributor Sally Lawrence said the series was all about giving teachers the tools to feel confident teaching Indigenous culture in the classroom.

“In our talks around the country, educators have agreed that currently embedding Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories and cultures within the Australian curriculum is not being realised to its full potential,” she said.

“Our Land, Our Stories supports all Australian teachers to build their cultural capability to ensure that the generations of bright minds in our schools learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and their cultures than the majority of us did throughout our own primary, secondary, and teacher pre-service education at university.”

The series is aimed at primary school-aged children, with books designed for lower, middle, and upper-primary school children included in the set. 

Radio Show

Three D radio is a local community radio broadcaster.  Thursday mornings from 9am-11am, there’s a great show, often with multiple acknowledgements of Aboriginal culture and current affairs.  Freewheelin’ is a magazine-style show with interviews, film reviews and social commentary on a bed of new & used music.  The show is hosted by Andrew Bunney - a musician, film maker and lapsed lawyer (So their website says).

Annual General Meeting

Congratulations to the following school members who were voted onto the Board to represent the school community at the AGM:

Josh Ross, Andrew Park, Anwar Daou, Nicole Stewart

Yultiwirra Open Day

Yultiwirra Open Day - Tues 1st June Tours start at 10am

Open Day at Yultiwirra Campus will be held on Tuesday 1st  June with tours starting at 10am.  Our greatest marketing tool is positive affirmation through “word of mouth” by current school families.  Please let anyone you know who may be interested in visiting our school or enrolling a child, to head to our school website to book in for a tour.

Walk or Run to School!

In the spirit of being active and getting together as a community let's walk or run to school!

When: Friday @ 8.30am in weeks 6 & 8 

Where: Bridgewater Oval

Attila is looking for parent volunteers to supervise the run to school.

Please see the information sent out on skoolbag form for more details.

Please RSVP the Wednesday before the active Friday or if you know your schedule RSVP now!

Add these dates to your family calendar  Friday 4th June & Friday 18th June

Walk or Run to school photos from week 4

Cycle 1 & 2 Music Concert

On Wednesday 2nd June (next week) we are holding the Cycle 1 & 2 Music Concert in our school hall at Yultiwirra.  All school families are invited to attend this concert which will begin at 6.30pm.  This is a wonderful opportunity for students learning instruments to showcase their learning and have the experience of performance.  The Cycle 2 choir will also perform.  We encourage you to come along and support the students involved. 

Preschool parent information session

An information morning for preschool parents interested in learning more about our primary school and specifically the Cycle 1 Primary classes will be held on Monday 7th June from 9:15 – 11:15 a.m.

The session will cover:

·         how the Cycle 1 Primary classes differ from mainstream Reception/Year 1 classes

·         how the Montessori philosophy and methodology are incorporated into the Cycle 1 Primary classes

·         a tour of the Cycle 1 Primary classes (Rec/Year 1)

There will be opportunity for parents to ask questions, gain insight and see first-hand how our Primary school operates.

An invite will be sent home via Skoolbag - please complete the eForm by Wednesday 3rd  June to book your place.

Sharing Assembly - Preschool, Cycle 1 & 2

We wish to invite all parents/caregivers to our next sharing assembly on Wednesday 9th June 11.15am to be held at Yultiwirra campus, where Preschool, Cycle 1 & 2 students have the opportunity to share their work with the rest of the school.  

Three way Collaborative Interviews

As part of the reporting procedures, three-way parent / teacher / student conferences will be offered this term in Week 7 at Yultiwirra & Week 3 Term 3 at Wairoa.  An email will be sent out to all families giving you more information about these and providing a step by step guide as to how to make an on-line booking.  The Collaborative Interviews are an opportunity to discuss your child’s achievements and areas for further learning.  Documentation from the three-way conference forms our Term 2 report.

Dr Tom Nehmy parent session

Dr Tom Nehmy presents 'Pathways to a Healthy Mind'

Dr Tom Nehmy comes highly recommended and has presented in our school previously. Tom will be presenting an online parent workshop entitled 'Pathways to a Healthy Mind' on Wednesday 9th June at 7.30pm AEST. 

The school has purchased TEN tickets to gift to any parent who would like to attend this session. 

Please email if you would like a ticket - the first ten parents to do so will be emailed a free ticket! 

We strongly recommend you don't miss this great opportunity!  

Here is a review from one of our school parents when he last presented in our school back in 2018.... 

Dr Tom Nehmy’s presentation on the ‘Pathways to a Healthy Mind’ was both enlightening and educational. We liked the common sense approach & practical tools to help parents give our children the opportunity to build resilience & personal wellbeing. Dr Nehmy’s research into the importance of self-control in early childhood was fascinating & we can see how the Preschool/Cycle 1 approach facilitates this key learning.  Thanks again for getting Dr Nehmy in, it was a great night!

Parent Elective - Acrylics workshop

Thank you to Briali Bedson who recently ran an acrylic art workshop as part of our adult electives. Ten keen and 'eager to learn' adults (parents and staff) attended the Friday evening workshop held at school.  

There was much laughter and we had lots of fun learning some new skills, and in the process some impressive art work was produced! Thank you Briali for making the session conducive to learning no matter what the level of skill or talent, and encouraging all of our efforts.  We greatly appreciated you sharing your skills.

Parent Elective Art Acrylic Workshop photos

Tax Deductible Donations

It is nearly the end of the Financial Year so you could take advantage of a Tax Deduction through making a donation to our school Building Fund.  Many families already donate and have nominated to do this when paying their tuition fees.  Your donations can make a very real difference for our students and we are extremely grateful for the donations we receive each year from families. 

You can support through donations to the School Building Fund.

This fund is used to help cover the costs of new buildings, renovation & improvements to existing structures but you only have until the 30th June for a tax deduction for this financial year. 

Snippets with Susan - Hunt, Gather, Parent Part 2- Tools and Tips

Tuesday 8th June 9.15am

Hunt, Gather, Parent Part 2 - Tools and Tips

Come along and hear more about the 'TEAM' strategy from author Michaeleen Doucleff.  This time the session will have a particular focus on practical tools for parenting with togetherness, encouragement, autonomy and minimal interference. 

Diary Dates

Term 2 2021

Thursday 27th May

1967 Referendum & Start of Reconciliation Week

Tuesday 1st June

Yultiwirra Open Day 10am

Wednesday 2nd June

Cycle 1 & 2 Music concert 6.30pm

Thursday 3rd June

Mabo Day - End of Reconciliation Week

Monday 7th June - Friday 11th June

Interview week at Yultiwirra

Monday 7th June

Parent Information session 'Cycle 1 transition' 9.15am

Tuesday 8th June

I & PC meeting 8am @ Wairoa

Snippets with Susan 9.15am

Finance meeting 6.00pm

Wednesday 9th June

Sharing Assembly - Preschool, Cycle 1 & 2 - 11.15am

MSCA Parent online workshop

Dr Tom Nehmy 'Pathways to a Healthy Mind' 7.30pm AEST

Thursday 10th June

Class parent rep meeting 2.30pm

Friday 11th June

Parent Discussion group with Libby 9.15am


“The one thing life can never do is to stand still.”

Maria Montessori


Term 1:  27 January – 9 April
Term 2: 28 April – 2 July
Term 3: 27 July – 24 September
Term 4: 12 October – 8 December