Holbrook Public School

Quality education for all, in a secure and caring environment

ISSUE 18: Term 4, Week 3 - Tuesday, 19 October 2021

From the Principal's desk

Welcome to Week 3! Our Year 3/4 boys, who have taken a great interest in our vegetable garden, had a big week with Mrs D, the School Chaplain, last week. They continued harvesting the vegetable garden and sold over twenty bags of fresh produce to staff and parents, raising over $100 for the new school playground. They are eagerly waiting to plant the summer crop! I had a delicious salad for lunch yesterday, with roast beetroot, beetroot leaves, celery and baby spinach, and can attest to the high quality of this flavoursome produce.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, but our Murrumbidgee Local Health District is obviously going through a challenging period at the moment, with multiple cases of COVID arising close to our backyard. Many schools in our network have had to move to a non-operational status over the past week, so that deep cleaning and contact tracing can take place. If this occurs at Holbrook Public School, please be aware that communication from the school will be guided by a collaboration between the NSW Department of Education and NSW Health. We will be directed as to when and what we can communicate. 

At school, we have a broad range of safety measures in place, including: vaccination of staff, contractors and volunteers (mandated from 8 November), ventilation, regular sanitisation and hand washing procedures, additional cleaning throughout the day, minimised movement and contact between cohorts, and infection control and hygiene measures. It continues to be important that students and staff stay at home and get tested if they are unwell. 

I understand that after lockdown, followed by one week at school, then two weeks of holidays, and some current uncertainty, that some students may be feeling anxious about coming to school. Please reach out to us so we can help provide support if this is the case. 

Welcome Caitlin! - It was wonderful to welcome Caitlin Kotzur for a four week university placement today. She is a third year CSU student and will be working with Mrs Biar and the Year 1 class. Please see Caitlin's introduction in today's newsletter!

NEW: Assistant Principal, Curriculum and Instruction - From the beginning of 2022, our school will have a new executive leadership position; Assistant Principal, Curriculum and Instruction, for four days per week (0.8). Over the course of next year, all NSW public schools will have a teacher in this role which is a very exciting addition to our school staffing structure. The position will involve the successful applicant working to build the capacity of all staff, particularly in the areas of literacy and numeracy, through professional learning, data collection and analysis, individualised planning, modelling best practice, and generally introducing strategies to raise the overall level of education we provide. Thank you to Stephanie Hartwich (parent representative), Kimberly Ross (teacher representative), and Jennifer Lumsden (director’s representative) who have participated in the merit selection panel with me over the last two weeks. We hope to be able to announce who was successful in the next newsletter once the ten-day appeal period is complete.

COVID Intensive Learning Support Program - This year, we have been able to support a range of students through small group individualised learning opportunities with additional teachers; Judy Ross, Elise Cheadle, Kimberly Ross, Jessica Trethowan, Stephen Leitch, Brenda Jones and Megan Young. Part of the funding for this came from the COVID Intensive Learning Support Program, which we have just had confirmed will continue in 2022. Another win for the students of our school! It is regular practice at our school to be monitoring the learning growth of all students, so we can put in place programs and interventions where necessary.

Staffing Update - Due to a range of circumstances, there are currently more casual teachers working at the school than usual. Mrs Pargeter continues to be on leave, with Mrs Kimberly Ross (Monday to Thursday) and Mrs Wedgwood (Friday) teaching the class again this week. The class is settled and operating as normal, with great achievements in writing being noted at last week's assembly. Well done, Year 2!

UNSW ICAS Assessments - Due to delays surrounding remote learning and the COVID-19 lockdown during Term 3, ICAS assessments will be held in Week 3 on Thursday, 21 October and Friday, 22 October.  These assessments will be scheduled as follows:

Thursday, 21 OctoberFriday, 22 October

English: 9:35 - 11:15 a.m.

Spelling Bee: 12:00 - 1:15 p.m.

Mathematics:  9:35 - 11:15 a.m.

Science: 12:00 - 1:15 p.m.

Semester 2 Reports - As in Semester 1 2020, flexibility has again been offered to schools for the Semester 2, 2021 reporting period. Due to COVID-19 and the interruption of lockdown and learning from home, our school will provide a two-page modified Semester 2 report to parents/carers. This will include an overall achievement and effort grade for English and mathematics, a general comment, and information on attendance and commitment to learning. We will be using the Sentral learning management system for the first time to produce these reports.

P&C Meeting - Our next P&C meeting will be held this Wednesday, 20 October via Zoom at 7:30 p.m. Under Level 3 school operations, parents are not allowed on site for these meetings. The main agenda items will include the new fixed playground equipment and new school boundary fencing.

Holbrook Public School P&C Association is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Join Zoom Meeting https://au01web.zoom.us/j/69332417641?pwd=cDE2RkRicXZqZS8wdjhCa2h6UjN1QT09

Meeting ID: 693 3241 7641 Passcode: 153972

Year 5 Opportunity Class Placement Test - Due to the ongoing COVID restrictions, this year's Opportunity Class Placement Test has been rescheduled to Wednesday, 17 November 2021. It has been agreed by the Minister that the test will be administered as a computer-based test in a process similar to the Check In assessments. The change of date will require students attending NSW public schools to be tested at their own schools with teaching staff administering the test. This approach will ensure placement of students in opportunity classes on Day 1, Term 1, 2022. 

Year 7 Selective High School Placement in 2023 - Parents of our current Year 5 students, make sure you read the note attached to this newsletter and inform the school via the note provided if you will be applying.

Check-in Assessments - Years 3 to 6 students will participate in a reading and numeracy Check-in assessment during Week 4. The Check-in assessment is a NSW Department of Education online reading and numeracy assessment available to support schools to assess and monitor student learning. The assessments supplement existing school practices to identify how students are performing, and help teachers tailor their teaching more specifically to student needs. If you have any questions about the Check-in assessments, please contact your child's class teacher or Miss Lavis.

Funky Friday: An Odd Day  - It has been a bit of an odd year, so this Friday, 22 October, we'll be encouraging students to wear something a little odd. They could wear odd or different shoes, odd socks, odd colour or clothing combinations, or even their shirt backwards. Students will be encouraged to bring a gold coin donation, and everyone will be given a fruit tube to eat with their home class. Please let the school know if you'd prefer that your child not receive a fruit tube. Our next Funky Friday will be in Week 5 for Book Week. It will include the book fair and parade!

Whole School Performance - We have received guidance from the Department that we may (if circumstances allow in our LGA) revert back to Level 2 or 1 school operations after 3 December 2021. We are currently on Level 3, which includes no singing, no parents/carers, no mingling of cohorts, and risk assessments for dance, therefore unfortunately, the Whole School Performance will not be able to go ahead again this year. The 3 December date would only give us two weeks of school to practise, prepare and perform, and if allowed, there are already multiple school events scheduled to occur during this time. Miss Lavis is investigating the possibility of Year 6 presenting a play to students and staff at our school instead, similar to last year.   

Year 5/6 Ballarat Excursion - With news from the Department that we most likely won't revert back to Level 2 or 1 school operations until after 3 December, combined with us now receiving requests from providers for final numbers and deposits, I regrettably inform the community that we will have to cancel this major excursion as well. I know that our students are pinning their hopes on these experiences, and this is yet another let down for them. I can assure you we are actively looking for ways to provide enjoyable learning experiences for them each day!

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 now in place!

    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.

      Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition Regional Finals

      Congratulations to Ollie Cardile for receiving a Highly Commended award in the Stage 2 regional final for the Multicultural Perspectives Public Speaking Competition held via Zoom in Week 2. Ollie actively developed his speech ‘Stronger Together’ in the lead up to the final and he worked diligently on developing his ‘manner’ with practise both at home and at school. His hard work was celebrated by the adjudicator through her appreciation of his very clear and well-paced manner when speaking. In addition to presenting a prepared speech, Ollie had five minutes to write a one-minute impromptu speech on the topic ‘a big mistake’. Ollie spoke admirably and we are extremely proud of his achievement, receiving one of the two Highly Commended awards given. 

      Miss Morgan

      Public Speaking Coordinator

      Year 4/5 History with Mr Powys

      Year 4/5 have been presenting their 'Colonial People Shaping the Nation' projects for History with Mr Powys. Students were asked to explain why convicts, domestic servants, miners or squatters were important in Australian history and what role they played in shaping the nation. Check out some of the awesome creativity of these students.

      Transition to School Orientation

      On Friday, 15 October, the children who will be attending Holbrook Public School in Kindergarten next year came for a visit to the Kindergarten classroom. Unfortunately, due to COVID restrictions, the Year 5 students are unable to attend these transitions at the moment. But they were more than happy to say hello from a distance!

      The incoming Kindergarten students then headed for the Kindergarten room, where we read the story ‘I Went Walking’ by Sue Machin. They then coloured in the animals and glued them onto an A3 sheet of paper. The children did a fantastic job at colouring in the animals, and checking that they had them all on their page. 

      We look forward to seeing the children again for the next transition to school session on Wednesday, 20 October at 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Drop off and pick up will be the same as Friday’s session, with parents/carers leaving/collecting their child at/from the office once they have been signed in. We kindly remind parents/carers that they are not allowed to be on site for more than 10 minutes at drop off/pick up times.

      Miss Hemphill

      Meet Caitlin

      Hello everybody, I am Caitlin Kotzur.

      I am a third year, Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood and Primary) Student at Charles Sturt University, Albury. I am completing a four-week placement in the Year 1 classroom at Holbrook Public School, from 18 October until 12 November. I am from a farm near Alma Park (Walbundrie area) and I enjoy playing netball, STEM, reading, playing with my dogs Barry and Max, and growing vegetables in my garden alongside our crops. I look forward to furthering my own learning through observing and aiding in your children’s learning by developing diverse and exciting lessons and activities in many different learning areas.

      I look forward to meeting you and your child(ren) all soon.

      Book Fair 2021 - Moved to 5 November 2021

      This term, we will be celebrating Book Week from 1-5 November. 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, 1 November: K-2 Book Fair Wish List

      Tuesday, 2 November: 3-6 Book Fair Wish List

      Friday, 5 November:  Book Week Dress-up Parade (Theme: Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds​) and book purchases. 

      2021 Presentation Day

      At Presentation Day, we award students who have achieved excellence, consistent improvement, citizenship and sporting achievements. Each year, the local community sponsors the awards. If you would like to make a donation towards the book prizes this year, it would be greatly appreciated and your name will be listed in our newsletter. Donations of cash or cheques, made out to Holbrook Public School, can be handed in to our office.

      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

      Class awards

      Sustainable Sam

      This award is given to the class who keeps their room tidy, consistently uses their recycling bin and turns off lights when the room is not in use.


      Yellow Star Card

      For excellent behaviour in the playground.

      Antonia Grunow and Alex Prentice

      Blue Star Card

      For excellent behaviour in the classroom.

      Anabella Lindsay and Leo McCarthy

      Term 4, Week 2 award recipients

      Miss Hemphill

      April Henderson: For the great effort and focus she is applying to her writing and presentation

      Leo McKeahnie: For the great effort and focus he is applying to his writing and reading

      Ruby Mohr: For her great efforts with her handwriting and improved book-work

      Archer Purcell: Sportsmanship

      Mrs Biar

      Natasha Atkinson: For being enthusiastic about her learning and being a great friend to others

      Jack Lindsay: For showing great persistence with work and not giving up

      Layla Pendrick: Sportsmanship

      Mrs Ross

      Westley Henderson: For showing a great sense of maturity and focus in his approach to all learning tasks in Year 2

      Isabella Ingle: For creating a well thought-out narrative that was meaningful and included a beginning, middle and ending

      Miss Morgan

      Blake Robards: For using wonderful descriptive language during an imaginative writing task and for actively taking ownership by editing his work. Well done Blake!Jett Coates: For completing an impressive amount of work during remote learning. Well done Jett!

      Azaria Wright: For her diligent focus and enthusiasm during both collaborative and independent writing tasks this week. Keep up the great work Azaria!

      Henry Lindsay: Sportsmanship

      Miss Barraclough

      Antonia Grunow: For he creative use of language and poetry for her PDH speech

      Gen Prentice: For settling into her new school and bringing a positive outlook to the school

      Montanna Spencer: For her confidence when delivering her PDH speech about her identity and for explaining how she's changed over time

      Byron Flewin: Sportsmanship

      Miss Lavis

      Georgie Cardile: For giving 100% effort in all areas of her learning

      Tayleah Flewin: For showing care and creativity in Creative Arts

      Ryder McKillop: Sportsmanship

      Mr Powys

      Sophia Henderson: For presenting her history project with confidence, enthusiasm and in a timely manner. Awesome speech, Sophia!

      Cooper  Mohr: For his dramatisation of the Pigeon: Impossible story board with enthusiasm and collaboration

      Isaac Nisbet: For presenting his history project on convicts with enthusiasm. It was dramatic and very engaging - fantastic.

      Ada Ryan: Sportsmanship

      Mrs Wedgwood

      Jasmine Lieschke: For being proactive and always happy to help. Thank you!

      Alex Prentice: Settling in well to Year 2. Welcome to Holbrook Public School!

      Isabel Yensch: For being proactive and always happy to help. Thank you!

      Mr Leitch

      Isobel Atkinson: For her detailed and neat decision making flow chart in Digital Technology

      James Lawson: For showing wonderful kindness and manners towards his peers in the playground and in sport

      Georgina McGrath: Sportsmanship

      Mr Fisher

      Darcy Hartwich: Excellent effort and improvement in writing.

      Teddy Heijse: Wonderfully engaging and sophisticated writing, demonstrating complex punctuation, adjectives, adverbs and WOW words. 

      Isabella Ingle: Excellent effort and improvement in writing. Great sentences, Issy!

      Kasey Worldon: Wonderful improvement in writing!

      Tom Black: Sportsmanship

      Year 7 Selective High School Placement in 2023

      Dear Parent/Carer

      Selective high schools cater for academically gifted students with high potential who may otherwise be without sufficient classmates at their own academic standard. Selective high schools help these students to learn by grouping them with students of similar ability, and by using specialised teaching methods.

      If you would like to have your child considered for Year 7 selective high school entry in 2023, you need to apply on the internet using a valid email address (not the student’s email address).

      The Selective High School Placement Test will be held on Thursday, 10 March 2022.

      Detailed instructions on how to apply and the link to the online form will be available in early-October 2021 at https://education.nsw.gov.au/public-schools/selective-high-schools-and-opportunity-classes/year-7

      Applications open on 19 October 2021 and close on 17 November 2021. You must apply before the closing date.

      You must submit only ONE application for each student.

      The tear-off slip below is NOT an application and the school CANNOT apply on your behalf

      Intention to apply form

      Applications for Year 7 entry to selective high schools in 2023 open on 19 October 2021 and close on 17 November 2021 at https://education.nsw.gov.au/public-schools/selective-high-schools-and-opportunity-classes/year-7

      All candidates are required to sit the Selective High School Placement Test to be held on Thursday, 10 March 2022.

      Selective High Schools 2023

      Aurora College

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