Newsletter Number 7 • Wednesday 12th May 2021

From the Principal

Over the past 12 months the leadership and management team of the school has been examining the viability of continuing to offer Year 10.  The pros and cons were presented to the School Board late in 2020 and it was determined at that meeting that Year 10 would be phased out of the Middle School.

As our parent body knows, Montessori cycles cover a 3-year range and are based on the developmental phases of children and young people as observed by Dr Maria Montessori.  Cycle 4 consists of Years 7, 8 and 9 (12-15 years). 

When the school established Wairoa campus and the Adolescent Program in 2011, we also sought registration for Year 10 and commenced offering this ‘senior year’ in 2013. At that time, some senior secondary schools in Adelaide did not offer Year 10 and we wanted our graduates to have a continuous pathway through to senior schooling. As of 2020 this is no longer the case and all senior secondary pathway options now offer Year 10 as part of their senior school programs.  For students who want to take an academic pathway we see the senior secondary schools in Adelaide (those specialising in Year 10, 11 and 12) as an excellent option.  These schools are seeking students who are independent, who take responsibility for their learning, who can manage and prioritise their time – many of the key tenets of the Montessori philosophy.  These schools tend to be very good academic options for our graduates.

Over the years that Wairoa has been operating, we have always had very small Year 10 cohorts, ranging from 2-5 students.  Last year we had no Year 10 students, and this year we have three students.  We have proudly offered a very personalised and individualised Year 10 program, and feedback has shown that it has prepared students well for senior studies; however covering the required curriculum has been a juggle at times with the resources of our deliberately small school, and for students there has only been a tiny academic cohort to work and collaborate with.

Eleven years since establishing our Adolescent Program, we believe that the reasons for offering Year 10 at Wairoa have shifted, and that there are now very good pathway options available for all of our students in the range of senior secondary school possibilities.

We understand that some families may have been considering Year 10 at Wairoa as an option for their child.  We have recently met with Wairoa families who have young people in Year 9 to talk through options for those students.  We are committed to working with all families to plan suitable senior school pathways for students.

Going forward we will cease offering Year 10 at Wairoa after 2022.  Rather we will focus on and specialise in offering the exemplary, rich and engaging Cycle 4 program for young adolescents of 12-15 year olds.

Cathy France 


Cycle News

Infant Program

This term in the Infant Program we are continuing with our focus on the senses and exploring colour along with all the usual shelf and outdoor activities. For the first part of the term we are looking at the colours black and white. Darcy is making a black and white 'straw necklace' which involves colour coding, fine motor skills and concentration which he is demonstrating.

Cycle 1 Preschool

Preschool students have started the term learning about the world that we live in. They have been introduced to land, air and water and have had discussions about where we can find them on planet earth. Piper contributed to the discussion on water stating that, “Rivers can link into oceans!”, while Indi added that, “Rain goes into rivers. All water stuff comes from the rains.”

After showing the jar with only air, Arlo said, “Air! Air is all around us! Air is invisible!”. They enjoyed watching a demonstration of a balloon being blown up with air, and then seeing a ribbon move when the balloon was released.

They found it very interesting that big masses of water such as rivers, lakes, oceans are like big puddles and that land is underneath. This photo shows Vincent, Magnus and Freya sorting pictures into the categories of ‘land’, ‘air’ and ‘water’ – a very popular activity in our classroom at the moment!

Cycle 1 Primary

Lunch time play, especially in the bush, is often reported as a favourite part of the Cycle One students day.

"I like playing with my friends Noah and Reggie in the bush. We play all sorts of games like Double D", Charlie.

"I like building cubbies in the bush", Harry.

Many children choose to spend play time in other ways like attending lunch time club, playing in the sandpit or the classroom. Playing ‘hairdressers’ has been a popular past time recently. This game has included making signs to direct clients, creating a sign-in sheet, arranging a waiting area and styling space as well as creating hair styles. The clients have included other Cycle 1 children, some lucky staff members and some obliging Cycle 3 students.

“I play hairdressers with Florence, Matilda, Amber and Sahara. Someone is the hairdresser and they tie the hair. It is very fun. Some people do other jobs like telling people to sign in”, Maggie.

(P.S. We have not yet had to hide the scissors!) 

Cycle 2

Work has begun on the Cycle 2 outdoor area. After many brainstorming and design sessions, the Cycle has settled on four main outdoor projects. Weaving designs on the fence, creating wind chimes out of recycled materials, making over the sandpit and making artwork and signs to display.

We thought it would be lovely to hang wind chimes up by the sandpit because they make a really calming sound. - Avi

We like the idea of stepping stones to the sandpit so we are going to make some. - Ashlee W

We made different weaving designs like rainbows and weaving positive words like be kind. - Ashlee G

Cycle 3

On Wednesday Cycle 3 headed to the Adelaide Central Markets for our first excursion of the term. It was a great opportunity to spend time with our friends, enjoy the treats the markets had to offer and embark on a treasure hunt to find items from different continents from around the world. Some of the items we found were vanilla sugar from South America, coffee beans from Africa, chocolates from North America, glazed ginger from Europe, emu sausage rolls from Oceania and durian from Asia. Without a doubt we had a great time completing our treasure hunt, hanging out with our friends, getting to know our peers better and enjoying the delicious treats the markets have to offer.

Cycle 4

May 7th marked the beginning of Tastes of the World season, whereby our new middle school students work in teams to host their VIPs and the other Wairoa students for a lunch based around international cuisines. Our 2021 cuisines include Israeli, French, Dutch, Mexican, Spanish, and Chinese. Our first shared lunch was hosted by the French and Mexican teams, who set a very high standard.

The Studio was briefly transformed into a rustic French bistro, guests enjoyed a main course of French onion soup, topped with grilled Gruyère. This was followed by crêpes accompanied with sliced banana, Nutella, berry compôte, and vanilla whipped cream.

We were blessed with beautiful weather, which meant that guests of the Mexican team were able to dine al fresco, at long tables, surrounded by handmade bunting flags. Our students served a mole sauce with either jackfruit or pork, accompanied by rice and salsa. For dessert: a flan, with chocolate-dipped dried oranges, edible flowers, and freeze-dried raspberries.

The success of the day was the result of a term of planning and testing by our students. They researched their chosen cuisine, tested and re-tested recipes, and scaled their meal to be served in a hospitality setting. They have practised various cooking and food preparation techniques, readjusted their plans, and shown curiosity and creativity. It was a true pleasure to see the result of their perseverance, flexibility, and teamwork. Special mention must also go to Wendy, who has worked tirelessly in the kitchen, and Natasha Slee, our current preservice teacher, who gifted us with her passion for food and hospitality.

“I’d say the day went well, and I really liked being in charge of making the crêpes and their toppings. During Tastes of the World, I’ve improved my knife skills and I’m more confident in the kitchen.”

Tastes of the World is run each year for entering students, and our older students particularly enjoy the opportunity to be hosted by their younger peers. As Lucas, a Year 10 student, said, “It was really great to see the Year Sevens coming in and taking on Tastes of the World. I remember doing it when I was younger, and to see their final product, and know the work that has gone into it, makes me really appreciate it. The highlight for me was the crêpes - they were amazing!”

We can’t wait to see what the upcoming groups bring to the table!

Cycle 4 Tastes of the World

Indonesian with Ellis

Another traditional Indonesian children’s game learned in Cycle 1 and 2 is the popular ‘Ular Naga’ (the ‘Dragon game’), which focuses on coordinated body movements, cooperation and concentration. Students sing the song and parade around the room like a dragon, holding each other’s shirt tails, and taking turns passing through the ‘terowongan’ (tunnel). At each pause in the song, students practise a simple verbal exchange by asking and answering the question ‘Kamu pilih apa?’ (‘What do you choose?’).  Topics of choice are discussed and decided by themselves from previous learning activities and can include colours, numbers, body parts or Indonesian animals etc. The main aim of the game is that they must work collaboratively in order to ensure the snaking form of the ‘ular naga’ not be broken. Through this fun game, students have opportunities to further develop and use their new language competencies, cognitive skills, social interaction and physical dexterity in a relaxed and playful environment. 

Yuk kita bermain! (C’mon let’s play!)

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.

Acknowledgement of Country

As a part of the school’s RAP actions, each class is taking turns to create their own Acknowledgement of Country.  At the last assembly, Bonnie and Penny’s class presented a slideshow of images of each child enjoying time in nature, along with information about which first nation they are on in the picture.  We also had a short video of several children reading an Acknowledgement statement about how lucky we are to attend school on Peramangk Country.  We have made a poster, which is displayed next to the entry to our classroom.  You are welcome to come and have a look!

Acknowledging Country

Eid al-Fitr Festival

Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim custom which means ‘festival of breaking the fast’. It is celebrated at the end of Ramadan, a month when many Muslims fast to practice self-control and develop empathy for less fortunate people. If one chooses not to fast, it is common practise to give the same food that you are eating to someone that does not have access to a plentiful amount of food.

Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr are in line with the lunar calendar which means the dates vary each year. This year Eid al-Fitr begins on the evening of Wednesday the 12th of May and ends on the evening of Thursday the 13th of May. Adelaide celebrates this with ‘Adelaide’s Multicultural Eid Festival’ on the following weekend.

“Eid Festival is South Australia’s largest and most prestigious Eid celebration. The Eid Festival is the premier Muslim celebration for one of two important occasions in the year: Eid al Fitr and Eid al Adha. This self-funding, not for profit community event draws and binds people of all different cultures together during this great celebration time. It is also a chance for non-Muslim Australians to be exposed to Muslim culture, food and family fun.” – Adelaide Eid Festival

When: Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd May, 12:00-8:00pm

Where: Adelaide Showground

Entry: $5 per person Online, $35 on the day

Mother's Day celebrations in the Preschool

Our celebration of Mums continued today, with students in the Extended Day program hosting an afternoon tea for mums, grandmothers and other special guests. The Extended Day Program is an extension of our Preschool Program and children are offered a place to attend 4.5 days per week when they are developmentally ready. It has a focus on early literacy and numeracy skills, developing social and work skills such as cooperation, confidence and concentration, and provides greater opportunity for group work and whole class activity. The Extended Day Program is excellent preparation for the child prior to starting in our primary school.  Before guests arrived for the afternoon tea, students spent the morning preparing food, setting the tables and designing placemats. They had a lesson on greeting their guests and serving food prior to hosting the afternoon. It gave students the chance to put their Practical Life skills to work and practice Grace and Courtesy. Most importantly, it gave students the opportunity to show Mum and the other special people in their life, how much they love and appreciate them.

Photos of Mother's Day celebrations in the Preschool

Annual General Meeting

Please enter Tuesday, 25th May 6.00pm in your diary as the date of the school’s AGM.  The AGM will be held face to face in the Common Room at Yultiwirra. 

Following the business section of the meeting, Rosi Hardy and Terri Ross Marriott will be presented with their Life Memberships to the school followed by wine, cheese and chatter.

We hope you can join us.

2020 Annual Report

Next week we will distribute the 2020 Annual Report to our school community to read and share, outlining the school’s activities for the 2020 school year.  We hope you enjoy reading all of the wonderful learning activities the students were engaged in throughout last year.  The Annual Report also details the general school operations highlighting the progress and growth that has been made in the twelve month period. 

The 2020 financial statements are not included in the annual report; however if any school community members would like to peruse the financial statements they are available at the office. 

The Annual Report document can also be used in a marketing and promotional manner and be provided to prospective families if they are interested.  I have no doubt many of our school families will want to share the report with family and friends.  We are also happy for you to share the document with anyone you know who is perhaps seeking more information or interested in the school as a prospective family.  If you don’t receive a copy please contact the school office.

A huge thank you to Nicki Stewart (parent) for designing the document and putting many hours into it to make it look so professional.  Thank you to Anthea Hagar for her input on the design and layout and thanks to Pete Kupniewski (parent) for his time in editing the document. We very much appreciate all of you generously sharing your skills.  

Wairoa Open Day

Wairoa Open Day - Tues 18th May Tours 9.30am

If you are interested in finding out more about the Middle School and our Adolescent Program (Yrs 7-9) come along on a tour!  Alternatively, if you know families from outside the school who might be interested please let them know the details.  The Wairoa Open Day is for both current school families and the wider community.  Phone or come to the office to book into a tour at 9.30am.

Walk, Run, Ride to School!

In the spirit of being active and getting together as a community lets walk, ride or run to school!

When: Friday @ 8.30am in weeks 4, 6 & 8 

Where: Bridgewater Oval

Atilla is looking for parent volunteers to supervise the ride and 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 21st May, 4th June & 18th June

Tax Deductable 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. 

Coffee Cart - This Thursday

Unfortunately, Stuart from Roving Cafe is no longer able to offer his coffee cart services on Thursdays.

However, the good news is we have managed to secure another coffee cart. Carlo from Stirling Cibo will offer hot chocolate and coffee as of Thursday 13th May 8.15am - 9.15am.

Don't forget to put a reminder in your diary!

Leaving School Early

If your child needs to leave school early due to an appointment or for any other reason, please let your child's teacher know in advance via a phone message or email. 

When parents collect children to leave school early, please note that parents also need to sign their child out at the school office.

At all times we need to keep a register of students who are on site in the case of an emergency.

Adult Electives - Acrylic Workshop

Adult Electives Review: Plant propagation workshop

Huge thanks to Merilyn Kuchel for hosting the propagation workshop in her beautiful garden on Saturday 10th April. We learnt about different types of growing media; how to take soft tip, semi hardwood, and hardwood cuttings; and how to grow flowers and vegetables from seeds. 

Big thanks also to Ellie Ross and Rom Evangelista for organising the delicious morning tea!

Kath Whitson (parent)

Workshop on Montessori's Four Planes of Development - hosted by MSCA

Montessori Schools and Centres Australia (MSCA; sounds like 'MISS-kah') is hosting a workshop on Montessori's Four Planes of Development as a tool for parents on Thursday 13th May from 6 - 7.30pm.

To book please visit or the link below & use code MSCAPARENT for a $30 ticket!

Presented by Simone Davies, educator and author of The Montessori Notebook website and podcast. All attendees will go into the draw to win a copy of Simone Davies’ book, The Montessori Toddler.

Snippets - The pocket money predicament

Snippets with Susan - The pocket money predicament 

Tuesday 25th May 9.15am

Pocket money can be used to teach all sorts of things: delaying gratification, the benefits of shopping around, and even the happiness that can come from giving money to a good cause. Despite it being a foundation for understanding money, opinion is divided as to whether pocket money should be tied to chores. 

Some families give pocket money with no strings attached. Others give pocket money on the condition that the children complete household chores, others believe children should do chores because they are part of the family and doing chores is helping out the family. Many families might not be able to give pocket money — or simply choose not to.  

So, what is the happy medium to this debate and what works? 

The next 'Snippets with Susan' session will discuss how giving kids pocket money looks different for each family – here’s how to navigate it. 

Please RSVP at the office or via the Skoolbag app invite.


Congratulations to Nikki Green (Learning Support assistant) who recently completed an AMI Montessori 6-12 Assistants Certificate through the Maria Montessori Institute in London UK.

PeaNOT Butter

Looking for an alternative to Peanut Butter in School lunches?

A new product on the market is called PeaNOT Butter - by VGood.  ( It mimics peanut butter but with a clever twist is not made out of nuts- but actually chickpeas!  Apparently, it tastes pretty much like the real thing- and is designed to keep anaphylactic kids safe. 

The Nutella type version called HazelNOT Choc is apparently pretty good too according to a report in the Weekend Australian Magazine.  

Diary Dates

Term 2 2021

Thursday 13th May

Coffee Cart @ Yultiwirra 8.15am - 9.15am

MSCA Montessori online Webinar - Simone Davies

'The four planes of development' 6.00pm - 7.30pm

Friday 14th May

Adult Elective - Acrylic Workshop with Briali BEdson

Yultiwirra common room 6pm - 9pm

Tuesday 18th May

Wairoa open Day - Tour @ 9.30am

Cultural Understanding committee 4.00pm

Executive Meeting 6.30pm

Board Meeting 7.30pm

Wednesday 19th May

Student Wellbeing committee meeting 4.00pm

Friday 21st May

Walk, ride, run to school

Meet @ Bridgewater Oval 8.30am

Tuesday 25th May

Snippets with Susan 9.15am - The pocket money predicament

AGM 6.00pm @ Yultiwirra

Wednesday 26th May 

RAP Launch

National Sorry Day

Policy meeting 4.00pm

Wednesday 27th May

Start of Reconciliation Week


“The essential thing is to arouse such an interest that it

engages the child’s whole personality”.

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