Newsletter Number 11 • Wednesday 4th August 2021

From the Principal

After a disrupted start to Term 3 with the lockdown in SA, we were pleased to be able to welcome Yultiwirra students back to school last Wednesday.  Living with COVID and the subsequent implications entailed, has become our 'new normal' and I can't thank staff, students and parents enough for 'going with the flow' and showing flexibility when new restrictions are placed on us with very little warning or preparation time.

The imposed lockdown in SA resulted in our building project at Wairoa coming to a standstill which eventuated in the handover being delayed, and the school not having a space for the Wairoa students to work in for Week 1.  Thank you to the Wairoa students, staff and families for graciously accepting this situation, and seemingly effortlessly and efficiently moving to remote learning for one week.

We were delighted to welcome Wairoa students back on campus this week and the staff were excited to reveal the wonderful transformation and new learning facilities.  An occupation being offered to interested Wairoa students this term is to help design the interior space and suggest new furniture and furnishing requirements.  The builders are still on site finalising the exterior paving and painting but the finish date is in sight!  We look forward to ‘officially’ opening the space and welcoming parents on site to view the changes.

I would like to thank Paul Noon for managing the project and Pippa Milroy who has also been very ‘hands on’ in managing logistics and selections.


As of midnight tonight, new restrictions come into play for South Australia.  We have received updated advice from SA Health, the Education Minister and the Association of Independent Schools (AISSA).

We have been advised the following activities can resume:

  • Infant Program (as of week 3) - parents/carers wearing masks
  • School assemblies - parents/carers wearing masks
  • Extra curricular activities
  • Incursions and excursions

The following measures will remain in place until further notice:

  • Middle school students & staff to continue to wear masks
  • Yultiwirra staff to continue to wear masks when they are moving around the school and working in areas other than their classrooms.
  • Limiting the number of parents on site and parents who do enter the school grounds need to wear a mask at all times and use the QR code on entry.
  • Parents are asked NOT to enter classrooms and meetings between staff and parents where possible, will need to occur over the phone or by Zoom.  
  • Physical distancing protocols of one person per two square metres needs to be observed.
  • If a student exhibits any symptoms of COVID-19 whilst at school, no matter how mild, they will be isolated, and parents will be contacted to arrange immediate collection.

We thank parents for keeping their children at home if they are showing any signs of being unwell. 

We will continue to regularly review and adjust the COVID measures and communicate these with parents.

We really appreciate the support and understanding that parents and school families have shown and continue to show.

Cathy France


Wairoa new learning spaces

Term 3 Staffing

This term there are a few changes to our staffing.

We welcome Ben Noble back to the middle school.  Ben has been appointed to cover Tim Moore at Wairoa whilst Tim is on Long Service Leave for Terms 3 & 4.

Suzie Saffin has been appointed as the new the Learning Support teacher to replace Anne Winter who retired from this position at the end of last year. Suzie is easing out of her classroom position and so will be working as the Learning Support teacher one day a week in Term 3 and two days a week in Term 4. Sam Cameron will take on the extra days of teaching in the Cycle 3 class.  We are delighted that Christine Perry (previous Cycle 3 teacher) will return one day a week in Term 3 working as a Cycle 3 school assistant replacing the assistant role that Sam has been undertaking.  We welcome back Christine to our staff.

Robert Doolan (groundsman) is on leave for Term 3. Andrew Garsed (old scholar) will be covering Robert's grounds work at Yultiwirra.  Ben Noble will be covering Robert's absence at Wairoa working on grounds maintenance each week.

Megan Lynch has resigned and will finish up as a Cycle 3 school assistant this week.  I would also like to thank Megan for the work she has done in our school over the past few years in both the OSHC program and as a school assistant.  We wish her well with her new endeavours.  We are currently in the process of appointing a replacement for Megan's position.

Classes who are directly affected by these changes have been notified by email.

I know you will join me in making these new and returning staff feel welcome.

Vacation Care News

July Vacation Care

Our school holidays were jam packed with lots of great activities. In the first week we did lots of Arts and Craft and made all sorts of painted creations and masterpieces! We also went on an excursion to the local Op Shop where all the students had a budget each and the task of creating the most interesting and outrageous outfit they could manage. We all had a great time seeing what we could find and counting out our money to buy our goodies. After our shopping trip we headed over to the Bridgewater Playground to burn off some energy before heading back to school for a ‘Fashion Show Like No Other’!

In the second week we brought back a favourite of last holidays and created our very own Terrariums to take home! This time we had a Winter theme and filled them with moss and native grasses. They came out a treat and it will be great to watch our OSHC Terrarium grow over the term. We also took a trip to the cinema, played Minute to Win it and chilled out with a very relaxing Pyjama Day.

Week 3 of Vac Care had a great start, we made slime and gloop which went everywhere (Maddy had a great time scrubbing the tables after!). On Tuesday we got a chance to see a sewing machine in action and all created our own cushions to take home. In the afternoon we tried our hands at tie-dye and created some wearable masterpieces.

While our Week 3 of these holidays may have been cut short, rest assured there will definitely be another chance to go to the Hahndorf Farm Barn next holidays and revisit some our most loved activities! Keep a look out for the booking form at the end of the term and make sure you book in so you don’t miss out on the fun!

I can’t wait to see you all during the term and am looking forward to our next Vacation Care, it’ll be a blast!

Roxy Lewis

OSHC Co-ordinator

Vacation Care Photos

Board Communique

At the recent board meeting we discussed the 2022 School term dates which we have been trialing as a 3-week break in the middle of the year. A survey will shortly go out to the School community for views on this trial. We also reviewed the annual board survey results, code of conduct and compliance risks. A number of members recently attended a MSCA Governance workshop and presented their key highlights from the session.

Jade Crathern

Board President

Andrew Lines Online Presentation

The Rite Journey Parenting Plan

Montessori Schools and Centres Australia (MSCA) is hosting The Rite Journey Parenting Plan by Andrew Lines on Wednesday August 11th at 7.00pm AEST.

This practical workshop is for ALL parents and uses birthdays as a ‘transition template’ for raising responsible adults. It will begin by exploring the world that our children live in, the effects of parenting styles of the 21st Century and will then move into providing parents with practical help on how to create responsible, respectful, resourceful, resilient young adults. Parents will leave with a template of their own…an action plan that they can start putting into place immediately!

Andrew comes highly recommended and has presented in our school previously and the feedback from parents was overwhelmingly positive.

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 2019.... 

Andrew’s talk on how to support our children to be respectful, resilient, responsible and resourceful was inspiring. Andrew discussed ways of allowing the growth of our children and presenting them with age appropriate challenges and responsibilities, which aligns beautifully with the independence and child led learning environment within the Montessori classroom. One of his main points was about rituals, rhythms and the family culture, something which can be fostered through simple family dinners and bedtime routines to setting clear expectations and commitments as a family. This intentional family culture provides a predictable routine for little ones while also preparing a strong foundation of respect and connection as they move into adolescence. Andrew had a great way of relating to the audience and provided many (often humorous) examples of the differences between our childhoods and those of our children. It was refreshing to acknowledge these differences and to name them, a contrast to the feeling of overwhelm when considering the challenges of modern day parenting, such as screen time, social media and pornography.

Andrew also provided a thought provoking commentary of our risk adverse culture, highlighting the ways in which it has shifted over the years, stating that the fear of risk in our society has resulted in a removal of almost all decision making and risk taking from our children’s lives. This change absolves our children of any responsibility be it with their school report, time management or age appropriate independent adventures means they have no opportunities to grow and develop their sense of self or sense of responsibility.

Andrew’s talk reminded me of the work of Alfie Kohn.

"The way kids learn how to make good decisions is by making decisions, not by following directions.”  Alfie Kohn. 

These sessions are always so inspiring not only for the content and learning but for the sense of community and togetherness of The Hills Montessori School.

Robin Ovenden –Cycle 1 Preschool Parent


Government Accountability

As part of our funding agreement with the Australian Government, we are required to ensure that specific “School Performance Information” is made publicly available to the school community.  This information is provided to the school community in various forms such as newsletters and the Annual Report throughout each year.

A collated version of this information under the headings specified by the Australian Government is now accessible on our school website for perusal by parents and the general public.  The information relates to the 2020 school year.  You may note that some of the information may be slightly different to the information provided on the government’s My School website due to the month of the year the data was captured or the inclusion/exclusion of preschool/infant program students.

Roundtable Interviews at Wairoa

As part of the reporting procedures, three-way parent / teacher / student roundtables will be offered this term in Week 5 at Wairoa. These were scheduled for earlier in the term however with the recent COVID restrictions staff were very keen to ensure they could be face to face so they been deferred a few weeks.

An email will be sent out in the coming weeks giving parents more information about these and providing a step by step guide as to how to make an on-line booking.  The Roundtable Interviews are an opportunity to discuss your child’s achievements and areas for further learning.  Wairoa Term 2 reports were posted to families at the end of the holidays.

Book Week Installations

Book Week is coming up in Week 5 this term.  Lisa Goodwin (Cycle 2 teacher) is once again planning to 'work her magic' this year along with her creative parent helpers. 

If any parents would like to be involved in the creative team this year please email Lisa by this Friday 6th August; and let her know your willingness!  Installations are always put in place the weekend before Book Week (21st/22nd August). 

The Book Week installations are always such a delight for our students and really bring the joy of reading and books alive!

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 items below.

The Hahndorf Story

Saturday 30th October

'The Hahndorf  Story including a traditional custodian’s perspective: – Peramangk Land – now and then – how much has really changed over the last 100 years'.

Earlier in the year, we shared news of a walking tour with Hahndorf Walking Tours and Peramangk and Kaurna Elder, Uncle Ivan Copley. Participants who attended the walking tour spoke highly of the walk, particularly Uncle Ivan’s rich knowledge and engaging presentation. The event is running again on Saturday 30th October and will have a focus on bush tucker.  The previous events were very popular, so we suggest getting in early if you are keen to learn more about Peramangk culture and the beautiful land on which many of us live and work.  

For more information, head to:

Term 3 Sausage Sizzle

Unfortunately due to COVID restrictions, the beginning of Term 3 sausage sizzle was postponed. We will be in touch as soon as we can make arrangements to reschedule this event.

Sharing Assembly - Preschool, Cycles 1 & 3

The sharing assembly scheduled for this week was postponed due to current COVID restrictions.

We are pleased to inform parents that with the change in restrictions as of this Thursday we have been able to reschedule the assembly for next week. Parents attending will need to wear a mask, use the QR code on entry to the school and observe social distancing requirements.  We ask that parents RSVP via Skoolbag so we can adhere to number restrictions and  have required seating in place.

The Assembly will be held on Tuesday 10th August 9.30am in the Yultiwirra hall.

 Cycle 1 Preschool, Cycle 1 Primary and Cycle 3 students have the opportunity to share their work with the rest of the school.  

Bunnings Sausage Sizzle

2021 Quiz Night

How can you help with Quiz Night

Do you have any items that might be suitable for our Silent Auction & /or our prize pool for the Quiz Night being held on Saturday 11th September??  We would love to hear from any school parents who are able to donate anything to help make our Quiz Night successful.  This is one of our big fundraisers for the year so we would appreciate any donations.  Please let us know in the office or email .

Community News

Diary Dates

Term 3 2021

Sunday 8th August

Bunnings Sausage Sizzle 8am - 4.30pm

Tuesday 10th August

Sharing Assembly - Preschool, Cycles 1 & 3 - 9.30am

Please RSVP via Skoolbag app so we can adhere to COVID restrictions

Parent Rep meeting - 2.00pm - 3.00pm - Zoom meeting

Finance meeting - 6.00pm - Zoom meeting

Wednesday 11th August

Andrew Lines online parent presentation - 6.30pm

Cultural committee meeting - 4.00pm

Student Wellbeing committee - 4pm

Thursday 12th August

WHS committee meeting - 4.00pm

Strategic Planning committee - 6pm

Tuesday 17th August

Executive meeting - 6.00pm

Board meeting 7.00pm

“The things he sees are not just remembered; they form part of his soul.”

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