Pigeon Post

2020 Volume 4 Issue 9

Acknowledgement of Country...

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Keep up with what's happening @ Balmain Public School


IF YOU SEE A COLOURED CIRCLE AROUND OUR EMBLEM, DON'T FORGET TO TAP ON IT, FOR OUR LATEST STORY...you've got to get in quickly, as it disappears after 24 hours!


Enrolling NOW for Kindergarten 2021

Visit our website for more information:


Check here to see if you are in our catchment area:


Our new online enrolment process makes it easier and faster to enrol your child at your local school. To apply online, you must:

  • be an Australian or New Zealand citizen or permanent resident
  • live in the local enrolment area of this school

Apply online here

If you are not eligible to use the online form, or prefer not to, you can download an application to enrol.

Are you leaving us?

Will your child/ren be leaving us at the end of the school year (apart from current Year 6 students)?

If so, please contact the school via balmainps@gmail.com or balmain-p.school@det.nsw.edu.au with Att: Leaving School end 2020, child/'s full name and class. Please also include the name of the new school for administration purposes.

This information will assist us with planning for next year's classes. 

Thank you.

From the Principal

What an incredible year!

‘Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish’ – John Quincy Adams

Who would have thought that, at the start of the 2020 school year, our little school on the peninsula would be affected by the world around us?

Who would have thought that our school of 381 students would be reduced to less than 30 on any given day?

Who would have thought that the advice from the NSW Department of Education would be to encourage learning from home, unless absolutely necessary?

What a year we have navigated ourselves through!

Students have, and always will, remain at the forefront of our priorities, as education is our core business.

Our students have been continued to be supported by their teachers and staff, despite the challenges we have faced.

Out of adversity, our connection with the community has further strengthened. Without hesitation, we saw our school community come together to support the teachers, staff and school; we, in turn, tried to pay that generosity forward, by supporting our local community, too.

Out of adversity, our students have developed such a variety of skills: resilience, patience, perseverance, independence, determination, problem-solving, time management, grit and, of course, using the Google Classroom platform.

Out of adversity, our students have learnt to get along with siblings, spend more quality family time at home, as well as to learn new skills such as cooking, gardening and learning new instruments.

As restrictions have eased, we’ve all learnt to adapt and improvise with the ‘new normal’ of life…hopefully, one day, in the not too distant future, life at Balmain Public School will be as we have always known it!

Thank you to our Balmain Public School family - students, staff, parents and carers, P&C and extended community - we are so grateful for your ongoing support of all our students and incredible school!

To our Year 6 students and families that are leaving us, we'll miss you all and wish you the very best for the future!

Wishing everybody a safe and relaxing Christmas and New Year, filled with love, joy and great memories!

Maria Lambos - Principal

Have you ever wondered what happens in our Opportunity Class (OC)?

2021 Year 5 Opportunity Class information...

You may be aware that the Opportunity Class Placement Test was conducted on Wednesday 18 November 2020 at our school.

Parents are being emailed to ensure that they watch their emails or depute someone else to respond on their behalf if they will be out of contact when the results are released as offers will lapse if parents do not respond in time

Key dates for remaining stage of the OC process:

  •  Mid-January 2021 – Placement outcome information is sent to parents and schools. Parents with offers must respond within one week.
  •  From mid-January 2021 – Parents accept or decline offers. The Reserve List is activated.
  •  25 January 2021 – Primary schools will be provided with an updated report of students with accepted offers.
  •  27 January 2021 – At 5pm, students with accepted offers are withdrawn from the reserve list.

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Early morning Soiree at Balmain PS...

Head over to Insta (and make sure your sound is on)...

...to watch the video (bottom right of screenshot above)...


Our fabulous Bach Band conductor, Naomi Robinson, has been involved in the band program at Balmain Public School for 6 wonderful years! Our musicians have certainly flourished under her tutelage and this morning’s soiree was definitely a testament to that! Sadly for Balmain, Naomi will be leaving us, as she will be heading over to the UK early 2021. Naomi is pursuing a Masters Degree in Flute Performance at the Northern College of Music in Manchester. What a wonderful opportunity for her…we wish Naomi all the very best for her future career and sincerely thank Naomi for her amazing contribution to our band program over the past 6 years!

Balmain Band & Strings Yearbook

Thanks so much to Directions in Music, for ensuring our band and strings programs continued throughout the remote learning time, as well as beyond...


Repeat message...

We are so grateful to our fabulous community for your ongoing support of our students, staff and school!

We are reaching the time year where many of our students and families like to show a token of their appreciation, by giving teachers and staff an end-of-year ‘thank you’ gift. Please know that this kind gesture is neither necessary, nor expected.

The staff are very appreciative of your generosity, however, as per the Department of Education’s ‘Gifts, Benefits and Hospitality Procedures’, the token of appreciation must adhere to the following:

  • Value – up to $50 ONLY per student
  • NO cash or negotiable instruments such as cash vouchers, ‘pre-paid cash’ and ‘EFTPOS’ cards, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT), shares or money orders
  • Gift cards are acceptable as a gift of gratitude, as they considered non-cash vouchers that must be used at specific retailers and cannot be converted to cash – a gift card cannot exceed $50 per student
  • Alcohol – MUST NOT exceed a value of $50

From the Office

How can we be of assistance today?

If you are coming to the school for collections or information, please use the office window on Eaton Street where we have our friendly Duck, named “Bill”, hanging out the window. Bill can alert us to your presence and help us to help you with your requests.

If your family details, circumstances have changed, ie: address, mobile numbers, separations, court orders etc, could you kindly email the school so records can be updated. This will ensure correct people are contacted and all relevant information is passed on correctly.

Please remember that if you are collecting your child early for an appointment or dropping them off, please ensure you allow extra time for your child to be located and brought down to the office.

If you are experiencing financial difficulty, please contact the office, or Mrs Lambos, to arrange alternate options.


Monday 14 Dec - Salvation Army Giving Assembly

In line with NSW Health and NSW Department of Education guidelines, the 2 senator representatives from each class will attend the Salvation Army Giving Assembly.

Monday 14 Dec - Year 6 Graduation - 10am

Year 6 students only

Monday 14 Dec - Semester 2 Reports go home

Wednesday 16 Dec - Celebration of Learning


Wednesday 16 Dec - LAST DAY OF TERM/YEAR

2021 DATES

Friday 29 January 2021 - Students in Years 1-6 return

ALL students in Years 1-6 return today.

2021 Kindergarten students - 'Best Start' Assessment sessions commence today, run over 3 days. Bookings required...information to follow.

Wednesday 3 February 2021 - Kindergarten starts today!

For a good cause...

Andrei L and Sam S prepare to shave...

Andrei and Sam...

We have been growing our hair for over a year to get ready to enter high school. Our hair has survived many obstacles, including nits, heat, problems with playing various sports, problems with finishing homework...? But now comes the time when the hair will need to go. We have decided to take this opportunity to shave/cut our hair to raise funds for the Leukaemia Foundation. We hope all our efforts and sweat to grow our hair will help save the world from blood cancer. Please sponsor us to give families facing blood cancer the emotional and practical support they need. You'll also fund vital research to help more people survive blood cancers, while improving their quality of life. We will have our hair shaved/cut on Monday 14th Dec at 3.30pm at Caravella Hair 301 Darling St Balmain. Please come to cheer us on if you are around!

Mac's fundraising for Pancreatic Cancer...

Check it out on Insta...

But wait, there's another update on Mac's efforts...

Odin's update...can we get him over the line?

Are you able to support Odin with his mission?

Pyrmont Cares Inc...

Pyrmont Cares Inc. (PCI) is a registered charity with deductible gift recipient status, that aims to help relieve poverty across greater Sydney by providing household goods, furniture and whitegoods to those in greatest need. We focus on the sustainability and environmental impact of our activities.

Fore more information, visit:



HUGE THANKS must go to our P&C, who, as always, strive for the very best for each and every one of our 381 students, as well as our wonderful school in general! As we all know, 2020 has been a bit of a topsy-turvy year, that we’ve been navigating our way through, to the best of our ability! I’m particularly grateful for the continued passionate interest, involvement and determination, to ensure that our students and school are undeniably supported and well-provided for. Thank you so much to our P&C executive team - Shehana, Cliff, Victoria and Alvin - who have done an incredible job in steering the P&C boat…it certainly hasn’t been smooth sailing, with all the obstacles that have appeared on the rocky seas! You, along with our very supportive community are amazing and so much appreciated…thank you! Alvin, thank you, and Jen, for your work and involvement over your time at Balmain…all the best to you and your family for the future!

Thank you for your ongoing support!

We have just received a portable PA system to replace the current ones (we have 2), as they are barely getting over the finish line at this point. The second one is due to arrive soon. Thanks again to the P&C...we'll be able to have our upcoming end-of-year events heard clearly!

The school year may be winding up, however, our last P&C meeting saw the approval of the following for the start of the 2021 school year:

  • Classroom resources - $500/class for Semester 1 (Terms 1 & 2)
  • Visual Arts program - $3,000
  • Reading specialist teacher - additional support - 1 day/week for Terms 1-4



Hi! Well, we did it – we got to the end of this year (end of the school year anyway!) It’s been such a roller coaster, on behalf of the P&C I want to say a big THANK YOU to all our wonderful teachers and Maria for all they’ve done to keep this year as ‘normal’ and happy as possible for our little ones. And thank you to all the parents for everything you’ve done and the support you’ve given our school – let’s all hope that 2021 will be better. I also want to thank Paul Galpin for volunteering to be our new Treasurer, we’re thankful that we will have his expert help on hand next year. Thank you!! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! See you all in 2021. The P&C Exec

Balmain P&C Welcomes 2021 Families...

Our P&C have created a Facebook group for our new families...here's the link:


School Uniforms

Order uniform items here

For any size exchanges, please:

1. Email the uniform stall with the details of the exchange, at: balmainpsuniforms@gmail.com

2. Return the items to be exchanged to the school office, clearly marked with Student name, Class and EXCHANGE

3. Replacement items will be packed and re-delivered to your child's classroom

Orders will continue to be packed and delivered for collection each week, until we are able to reopen the stall.

Thank you!



K GumnutGriffin S-Wbeing a shining star with his positive attitude and friendly nature
K JasmineAlec McEhis kindness and caring attitude towards all small insects in the garden
K KaleCamilla Kher happy and smiling approach to school life
1/2 Banana PalmThomas Mhis continued effort to tackle all tasks with enthusiasm and gusto!
1/2 CactaceaeOscar Fshowing kindness to his friends and peers
1/2 LavenderOscar Lhis consistent and thoughtful efforts in his learning
1/2 MangroveEva Kher impressive use of persuasive words when writing spelling word sentences!
3/4 BambooNico Soutstanding improvement in self-monitoring during class
3/4 MagnoliaEmma Ban outstanding 'wanted' Christmas elf poster
3/4 RainforestThomas Hhis consistent leadership, manners and thoughtfulness in the classroom. Tom, you are a gem!
5/4 MarigoldJude McPhis dedication to improve his focus and work throughout 2020
5/6 Cherry BlossomAlex Lhis thoughtful contributions to class discussions
5/6 FrangipaniKaito Shis focus and dedication towards set tasks
5/6 WillowEd Shis creativity, enthusiasm and focus during our 'Shark Tank' design challenge
5/6 YautiaAvery Lher focus and organisation during our 'Shark Tank' design challenge
LIBRARY K-2 - Ms WhelanMiles L-R 1/2Musing the library to enjoy quiet reading

LIBRARY 3-6 - Ms Whelan

Imogen H 5/6Wbeing super helpful in the library
STEAM K-2 - Ms BarcenillaAmber S KJshowing leadership through her initiative, kindness and thoughtfulness
STEAM 3-6 - Ms BarcenillaMarco M 3/4Rconsistently demonstrating initiative and responsibility during STEAM this term
ART K-2 - Mrs BowmanZac K 1/2Lexcellent festive art work! Well done!
ART 3-6 - Mrs BowmanZara R 3/4M

displaying consistent effort and creativity during art. Bravo!

YOU CAN DO IT! awards - Persistence

K GumnutMargot Bnot giving up and trying her best in all that she does
K JasmineMaylea Wworking with persistence to complete challenging writing activities
K KaleNathan Talways trying his best during literacy groups
1/2 Banana PalmSophie Wher never ending persistence to attempt all tasks enthusiastically
1/2 CactaceaeNaimh Fher amazing working out skills in mathematics
1/2 LavenderEllie Sworking hard to complete her narrative writing on 'Google Docs'
1/2 MangroveMillie Oher increased confidence and effort during writing tasks
3/4 BambooSummer Wwonderful improvement and persistence in her reading skills
3/4 MagnoliaBrodie N-Shis consistent and positive approach towards learning
3/4 RainforestLina Sher determination to achieve her goals across all areas
5/4 MarigoldLuca Mhis overall persistence in developing his understanding across all KLAs
5/6 Cherry BlossomJonah Jhis persistence through maths challenges
5/6 FrangipaniHarper Sher determination and high levels of effort
5/6 WillowJames Chis persistence and creativity in navigating our 'Shark Tank' design challenge
5/6 YautiaKathy Xher persistence in navigating our 'Shark Tank' design challenge


Thanks to Ms Karstrom, who organises the collection and distribution of the Gelatissimo ice-creams, as well as takes the fab photos!

PHOTO GALLERY: This Week's Positive Pete Winners

Final winner for 2020 is...

Congrats, Luca!

Luca D 5/4M passed the trials for the professionally graded Under 12 A team for Balmain Tigers (soccer). It’s the highest ranked team for his age group in our area and he’s the only boy from Balmain to make the team! Congratulations, Luca...so proud of you!

Spotlight on...

5/6 WILLOW!!!!!!

We have been doing the Hack Day Challenge and Shark Tank Challenge; students have been researching, creating and finally presenting their solutions and/or businesses.


In Week 8, Treehouse students worked on a Hack Day Challenge where we were given a topic/world issue that has impacted children around the world in 2020. We had to solve the problem on our challenge card by finding a solution in groups of five. My group was given the problem of world poverty. We worked to solve this by making a company that gave free packages with food, supplies and clothing. We also made a safe place, where people could sleep and receive their packages. All groups worked hard to solve their problem. Some groups made brochures, slides, posters, videos and many other things. It was really fun and a good break from usual work! Ava R, Year 6, 5/6W

This week, Treehouse students have all participated in the SHARK TANK challenge where we all created our own service and/or product and sold it to THE SHARK (Ms Wright). The way we showcased our products/services ranged from websites to presentations, where we even predicted our future profits! Just like in the real 'Shark Tank' show, we all requested a grant of X amount of money for a percentage of our company to go to the sharks. We spent 3 long days making and preparing our businesses and everything created was of high quality. Stakes are high for not only is being the best business around an awesome prize, but the top 4 groups will win a nice refreshing ice block. Who will be the best 4 businesses around and win!? James C and Eddie H, Year 5, 5/6W



Raise youth mentoring - a rewarding experience that makes a real difference

Australian Youth Mentoring Foundation, Raise is currently recruiting volunteers from the local community to mentor young people at Balmain and Leichhardt Secondary Colleges. The program at Balmain SSC runs on a Tuesday between 9.20-11.20am and the program at Leichhardt SSC runs on a Thursday between 9.55-11.55am.

From vulnerable and at risk of disengagement to resilient and confident – our youth mentoring programs are proven to help young people thrive. Raise matches members from the local community with selected young people at Balmain and Leichhardt SSC for a supported one-to-one mentoring experience.

To become a Raise youth mentor, all you need is a desire to make a difference. Raise provides you with expert training and once matched with a student in your community, the program is structured, managed and supported by a qualified Raise counsellor. Could you, or someone you know volunteer your time to mentor at Balmain or Leichhardt SSC starting in April 2021?

To ensure the best outcomes for our young people, Raise requires mentors to be:

• 21+ years old

• Available for 2 hours each week during school hours on a Tuesday or Thursday

• Able to attend at the same time every week to mentor a young person between April and October (excluding school holidays)

• Able to complete 6 online training modules (approx 3-4 hours) and 5 hours of group training

• Provide a Working with Children Check and a Police Check

Head to www.raise.org.au/mentor to find out more and become a Raise mentor today.

Our very own Sally Cooper's exhibition!!!!





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Celebrating 160 years of quality public education in 2020!