Newsletter Number 5 • Wednesday 31st March 2021

From the Principal

The sun is shining and the concrete pour onsite at Wairoa is underway! Our middle school campus in Stirling is expanding the main building over the next couple of months to enhance facilities and accommodate the growing number of students in our Adolescent Program.

The main common room will be extended to include a dedicated music practice space, additional meeting rooms, extended teacher preparation area, enhanced entrance and internal locker areas. Operable acoustic glass sliding walls will create multi-purpose general learning areas, while a raked roof and floor-to-ceiling windows will optimise and enhance the natural light and beautiful views.

Building works will be completed by the start of Term 3 2021 and we can’t wait to share the new space with students and staff!

Cathy France


The Wairoa slab gets poured!

Thank You!

We’re incredibly lucky to have many talented and generous parents in our school community, especially those handy ones who seem to be able to make anything! A big thank you to one of our school dads Mark Baryczka, who solved our problem of a letterbox that was too small and leaked through winter, by hand crafting a beautiful new letterbox that keeps the mail dry, suits its surroundings, and looks fantastic! Thanks Mark for turning the letterbox into a work of art and thank you also to the apprentices Joe and Ollie who assisted.

Our new letterbox!

Life membership

At the last Board meeting, two people were nominated for Life Membership of the School.  Our School Constitution and Regulations state that… “a person shall be made a Life Member of the School as a recognition of consistent, long standing and excellent service rendered to the School by that person and such person shall be of good standing in the community and held in high regard by other members of the School.”  Written nominations need to be submitted to the Board by four School members setting out the details of the nominee’s service.  Nominations then need to be displayed for 14 days calling for any further written submissions supporting the nomination prior to the Board voting on the appointment. 

Terri Ross Marriott and Rosi Hardy have been nominated for Life Memberships.  It is customary that Life Members are inducted at a formal presentation at the AGM.  If you wish to support this nomination in writing please do so and submit it to the office by Friday 9th April.

Terri and Rosi have been nominated as Life Members of The Hills Montessori School in recognition of their long standing and generous service to the school.

Board Communique

The Board was pleased to ratify the Foundation Constitution in our meeting and wish to thank all the members of the SPTG Foundation committee for their hard work over the past 18 months, and we look forward to the launch later this year. We also ratified many policies put forward by the Policy committee, discussed the upcoming AGM and Life Member nominations.  

Jade Crathern

Board President

Annual General Meeting

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

Board Nomination forms and information about the AGM will be sent home next week.  Board Nominations need to be lodged at the school office by Friday 30th April.  If you would like to discuss Board member obligations, please email Cathy.

Cycle News

Infant Program

We have been doing activities that involve the colour red and continuing with our focus on the senses over the past couple of weeks in the Infant Program. Axel is using the sense of sight and memory to find and match up the objects in the activity box. Eight different interesting objects are hiding in the box for the children to discover and pair up. 


Taste is a very important sense due to its role in helping us determine the flavours of foods and other substances. Preschool children are exploring the sense of taste and the role of taste receptor cells located on taste buds in our mouths. This is a photo of Madeline and Ayushan exploring their sense of taste by trying different types of food prepared by Narelle. They sampled a variety of sweet, sour, salty, umami and bitter flavours. Facial expressions say it all!

Cycle 1

As part of our growing understanding of Montessori’s Practical Life and Grace and Courtesy, the Cycle 1 children have been working on a sewing project. Over the past few weeks we have been carefully concentrating on cutting, sewing and stuffing our teddy bears in preparation for the Teddy Bears Picnic. Last week both classes joined together in the bush where we shared our snack with each other and our special teddies.

Florence said “I’ve never had a picnic with teddies and I loved it.”

Noah shared “ I loved sewing my teddy and playing with him and my friends.”

Amber said “Sewing my teddy was fun, the trickiest part was cutting out the fabric pattern.”

Ren loved cuddling his teddy and Johnathon said “I had to ask for help to sew my teddy but it was lots of fun.”

Cycle 1 photos from the Teddy Bears Picnic

Cycle 2

As part of the cosmic curriculum, students are presented with Montessori’s Great Stories. Our students have been presented with four of the five great stories this term. The first story is the introduction to the universe, the solar system and Earth. The second story is the evolutionary timeline and an introduction into botany and zoology. The third is a story of early man, the timeline of man and an introduction to history and the progress of human civilisation. The fourth is a story of communication in signs and various early alphabets, an introduction into language, reading and writing. All stories are supported by various lessons and activities which change over a three year cycle.

The children have participated in various activities learning about the solar system. They have researched life forms from different eras and learnt about the physical features and characteristics of early man. Most recently they have enjoyed activities learning about hieroglyphics and inscribing into clay tablets. Along with other classes in the school, we had the privilege of a Preschool parent talking to the students about rocks and minerals. Nick’s experience as a geologist, his passion and knowledge fully engaged the whole class, encouraging many questions and leaving students wishing to learn more. In a move to follow the children’s interests, students were then presented with the Cycle 2 rock and mineral collection for independent research, of which many were keen to share at the Week 10 Sharing Assembly.

Cycle 2 photos

Cycle 3

This term, Cycle 3 have been doing ‘Community groups’.  This program is to promote working as a team, getting to know the class community, building and maintaining friendships and generally establishing a supportive environment.  There have been many short activities to break the ice and give opportunities for the small groups and class to work together.  Some of these are solving word puzzles, creating a combined tessellation with various shapes in a 2 minute time frame, creative thinking activities, listening to movie soundtracks and identifying which movie and using cards with various scenarios to teach about friendships.

Last Wednesday, the Year 6 cohort ventured to Bridgewater oval to participate in the annual billy carting day.  The aim of the day was to provide experience for the Year 6's to be out of their comfort zone, learn about leadership and resilience.  There are 26 Year 6 students this year.  They worked in small teams and designed a billycart , built it, created a team name and chant then raced them around a track.  They all developed skills in negotiation, listening, engineering and persistence.  After the session the group had their lunch together at the oval, then walked back to school.

Cycle 3 photos

Cycle 4

Q: What do a dog bandanna, original art, a pumpkin scone, and a biodegradable plant pot all have in common?

A: Our students marketed, produced, and sold them as a part of our inaugural Market Day!

The idyllic Wairoa campus hummed with productive energy from 7am on March 26th, as student stallholders worked to deliver a successful event, showcasing their newfound abilities in activities such as coffee making, sausage sizzling, chicken frying, and chopping board manufacturing.

As part of the Term 1 Occupations, students worked in small groups to offer goods and services. These included strawberry jam, smoothies, and ice-cream topping; Korean fried chicken; a sausage sizzle; bubble tea; baked goods; potted succulents… to name a few! 

A rich learning opportunity, our Market Day was a fantastic example of Montessori adolescent education. Our younger students developed hospitality skills as part of Feeding the Community occupation, and will put these to extended use in the Tastes of the World Festival early next term. Year 8’s have been focussed in the Productive Garden occupation, and their sales will feed back into this. The Occupation for older students was Production and Exchange. As well as studying some basic principles of economics, they brainstormed, designed, and delivered their pop-up business ideas, considering saleability, deliverability, and environmental sustainability. 

A key group of younger students managed the money on the day, capably handling cash and, for the first time, cash-less transactions. Several stalls sold out, and around $2500 changed hands. There are plenty of calculations still to do to figure out profit, and decisions to make about community money. We didn’t get everything right, so there were lots of debriefing points to consider and work on for next time. We need to get the bin systems working properly, and there were lots of new stall ideas as well as talk of music and children’s entertainment. The learning continues to be rich indeed.

Keep your eyes out for more examples of Wairoa students in action: we are planning to have the Wairoa seasonal cafe back up and running in Term 2 (possibly with a hint of extra market..:) and our Coffeehouse Cabaret season is just around the corner!

“I loved the variety of things available to buy, and that so many different people of all ages came along as customers.” Ashleigh

Cycle 4 Market Day

PE with Attila

Students in all Cycles have explored the importance of working together in teams and have looked specifically at the role of communication, participation and encouragement during group activities.

Squash has been our focus for the second half of the term. James Rogers from Squash SA came in to run session with Cycles 2 and 3. He brought along two inflatable courts for students to experience what it’s really like to play squash.

Cycle 4 students have participated in athletics sessions with a coach, David from Athletics SA. David shared his deep understanding of athletics and how the body works. He put us through a number of drills to test our abilities. Basketball has also been in focus for the Cycle 4 students. Students have furthered their individual skills and played competitive games at the Yultiwirra indoor basketball courts.

Students across all cycles have been participating in a range of traditional indigenous games. We have been learning about where in Australia the games were played, why they were played and of course, experiencing how to play them ourselves.

PE Photos from the Squash Clinic

Thank you Nick

Recently Max’s dad (Preschool) , Nick Tate, a geologist, visited the Cycle 1 primary and preschool classes and some of the Cycle 2 students. Nick talked about his role as a geologist and shared some very interesting information with the students. He showed us, and talked about many different minerals and how we use them in our everyday lives. He posed lots of interesting questions as well as answering many, many questions that the children asked. He showed us and described some of his own and the Preschool's rock and mineral collection.   We were very grateful for the time he spent with the children and the vast knowledge that he shared with us. Thank you Nick!

Vacation Care – Yultiwirra

Vacation Care Program will be operating each day during the coming holidays from 7.30am to 6pm.  The program will run from Monday 12th April– Tuesday 27th April.  Please note that term 2 starts on Wednesday 28th April due to the ANZAC Day public holiday and pupil free day.  The program was sent home last week.

If you are interested in your child attending Vacation Care and have not completed the booking form, please make sure you do this ASAP and hand into the office or directly to Roxy.   We are currently trying to finalise staffing arrangements.

Term 2 Sausage Sizzle

A note was sent home last week in preparation for our Term 2 Sausage Sizzle in the 1st week (Friday 30th April).  Orders must be in by the last day of THIS term.  Class Parent Reps are organising & hosting this special lunch for the students to celebrate the beginning of Term 2!


There is going for a Sunday jog, and then there’s running an ultra-marathon! On Sunday three of our staff members Lisa, Nikki and Jodie, who are also parents at our school, ran a combined distance of 148km (Lisa 60km, Nikki 60km, Jodie 28km) as a part of the 5 Peaks Trail Running Festival. The run started at Athelstone and finished at Belair National Park, going via the ‘5 peaks’ of Black Hill, Rocky Hill, Norton Summit, Mount Lofty and Brownhill Creek. It was a combined elevation of 2,305 metres.

We're blown away by your efforts, well done to you all!

Onka Piranhas Basketball 🏀 🐟

It was a fantastic turn out on Sunday at the end of season celebrations for all our basketball teams who are a part of the Onka Piranhas Basketball Club. 

Thank you to all our coaches, team managers and parents for their time and energy and special thanks to Angler in Stirling for sponsoring the teams.

 All the very best to the U16 Boys who have made it through to the Grand Final this Wednesday night, well done and good luck!

Onka Piranhas Basketball Teams

Naplan Testing

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual assessment for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9.  Students enrolled in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 will be participating in Online Naplan Testing in Term 2  from 11th May - 21st May.  

NAPLAN is made up of tests in the four domains of Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and Numeracy.

All students are encouraged to participate in the tests.  Involvement in testing against the National Benchmarks is linked with receipt of Government funding and we are therefore, as a school, obliged to participate.  We view student participation as developing a “life skill” and teachers assist students in their preparation leading up to the testing week.

In previous years we have found that the results confirm what our own testing regime and professional judgment have identified, and thus we use the reports from this National Testing as part of our overall assessment practices.  Results will be posted to the school and we will notify parents when we receive the reports so the results can be interpreted together with your child’s class teacher. 

If your child is in Years 3, 5, 7 or 9 please notify the school if your child will be absent during the NAPLAN testing period. 

All children in these year levels will sit the tests unless an exemption or withdrawal has been arranged prior.

 If you do not wish for your child to sit the NAPLAN tests in May for philosophical or personal reasons, please come to the office to complete and sign a withdrawal form. 

More information is available at

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, Nat and Sam’s class presented a video which they produced.  As a part of the process, every child in the class wrote their own Acknowledgement of Country.  We then collated the words and created one which reflected everyone’s sentiments.  We have made a poster which is displayed next to the entry to our classroom.  You are welcome to come and have a look!

South East Asian Dining

The Indonesian program sometimes uses readers or views footage that refers to fruits, spices and dishes of Indonesia that students may not be familiar with. I'd like to point out that three restaurants close to our school serve Indonesian and South East Asian cuisine:

Warong Parkside (Shop 1/84 Glen Osmond Road)

Pondok Daun (94 Currie Street) and

Hut and Soul (310 Pulteney Street)

Your child might enjoy noticing 'ayam' (I-yum)(chicken), 'nasi' (NAHR-see)(rice), and 'mee' (mee)(noodles), on the menu. They could ask to 'tambah lagi' (TUM-buh LAR-gee )(add more) , ask that their dish be 'Tidak pedas'  (TEE-duck PEH-duss)( not spicy)  and of course delight the wait staff with frequent 'terima kasih' (thankyou).

My three children with various taste tolerances found adventurous options at all of these establishments - still talking to this day of durian flavoured ice-cream, and avocado milkshakes.

Lyndal Chilltleborough (Cycle 3 & 4 Indonesian teacher)


Community news

Diary Dates

Term 1 2021

Thursday 1st April

Community Breakfast @ Yultiwirra 8.15am

Friday 2nd April

Good Friday

Sunday 4th April

Day Light Savings Ends

Monday 5th April

Easter Monday

Tuesday 6th April

Marketing meeting 4.00pm

Wednesday 7th April

Policy meeting 4.00pm

Thursday 8th April

SPTG meeting 9.15am

Adolescent Program Wellbeing Festival

Friday 9th April

Term 1 ends 2.00pm finish

2021 School term dates

The 2021 School term dates are listed below. 

Term 1 - Wed 27th Jan - Fri 9th April

(Term 1 Pupil free day = Monday 25th Jan)

Term 2 - Wed 28th April - Fri 2nd July

(Term 2 Pupil free day = Tuesday 27th April)

Term 3 - Tues 27th July - Fri 24th September

(Term 3 Pupil Free Day = Monday 26th July)

Term 4 - Tues 12th October - Wed 8th December

(Term 4 Pupil free day = Monday 11th October)


“And such is our duty toward the child;

to give a ray of light and to go on our way.”

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