Newsletter Number 17 • Wednesday 10th November 2021

From the Principal

The Hills Montessori School is focused on its vision to provide a Montessori learning environment and community of the highest quality, guiding and inspiring each student to become the best person they can be.

Our Strategic Plan provides the road map to guide our way to achieving this vision and we review and reset our course every five years.

It is a great time to be undertaking a review and rewrite of our Strategic Plan with the world constantly changing, so too is our school community and the education journey of your child or children.  We have much to be proud of.  We have come far and we want to go further, adapt and grow. 

Parents can help the school Board develop the new Strategic Plan by participating in our parent survey. The staff, Board and school committees have taken the first step in brainstorming activities that will help us reach our vision.  And now, we would like to test them with our community, asking parents to prioritise these activities and check if we have missed anything. In coming weeks, we will be asking for input from students. 

The Strategic Planning committee will then collate the collected data and bring it all together to draft and deliver our new plan in early 2022.

I ask that you visit our Strategic Plan survey at this link and let us know your priorities.

Please respond by Friday 26th November.

Thanks for being such vital contributors to this important work.

Cathy France


Cycle News

Infant Program

The sun has been shining for our Infant program these past two weeks and all have enjoyed using the outdoor space and sunshine. We concluded our focus on the rainbow colours and moved on to the softer pastel colours this week. The children have been delighting in the Montessori practical life activities, including tweezering and sorting. Some children have discovered their personal passion for the pink tower these past weeks. It has been a pleasure to witness their focus, concentration, repetition, and mastery. 

Infant Program photos

Cycle 1 Preschool

Students in the preschool have been learning strategies for keeping themselves safe as a part of the Keeping Safe Child Protection Curriculum. We have talked about what might constitute an emergency and what to do in the case of an emergency, including when and how to call 000 for help.

We discussed the school’s plans for internal and external fires, as well as what we would do for an invacuation. Students enjoyed participating in a practice drill where we listened to the message (usually delivered over the telephone speaker phone), left our activities where they were and calmly lined up at the door ready to go to the safe meeting place.

Students have been working on memorising some practical safety information, such as a parent’s name and phone number to help them in an emergency. Students really enjoyed using an old school telephone to practice dialling their parents’ phone numbers. Chloe was so excited about learning her Mum’s mobile number that we arranged for her give her Mum a call from the real school telephone!

Preschool photos

Cycle 1 Primary

In Cycle 1 Primary, the fraction circle materials introduce the children to many of the aspects of fraction work, and a very popular activity is sorting them. This helps the children discriminate and categorise the fraction pieces. 

Florence said, “I’ve sorted the fractions”. It also allows them to see and feel the pieces that match, and helps them understand that a fraction is an equal part. 

Amber stated, ”I had to find the correct pieces and put them together”. 

After the children have explored the materials in this manner, they are introduced to the names of the fractions as well as finding equivalence by mixing, for example ½ and ¼ pieces to create one.

Later, we show the children how to write fractions and afterwards introduce them to addition and the other operations using the materials.

Ren said, “I think fractions are easy and I’m good at it” and Sahara announced, “I think fractions are fun and interesting”.

Cycle 1 Photos

Cycle 2

Cycle 2 have been innovating on popular, well know picture books this term. Each student made their own version of a story by changing characters, events and settings. 

Inspired by the Magic Hat and Diary of a Wombat,  the finished books, complete with illustrations, have been shared with each other and will be shared with other students across the school. These wonderfully creative  books have been a great opportunity to connect with other classrooms. 

Quotes from students:

Tabby “I liked trying to figure out what to write and then drawing it.”

Arthur “I liked it, I want to write my own creative story now.”

Aurora “I liked when my magic hat landed on the head of a snowy owl called Hedwig.”

Jasper “I did a magic banana, I loved it.”

Seph “My stickman had play dates and played games, but he also had a job.”

Bella “They were fun, I made two books with llamas as the character.”

Pippa “I made my diary about baby possums who did lots of sleeping and ate toast when they got sick of milk.”

Marni “It was fun changing the words and the characters.”

Cycle 3

One of the most exciting things about Cycle 3 is our graduate program, during which the year 6 students each have a graduate week. Throughout this week they present their “me bag” and a photo display to the class, organise a guest speaker to come in and speak, and organise a graduate activity to do with their peers. Joash, one of the graduates in Suzie and Sam’s class recently organised an excursion to beyond bouldering for his graduate activity. He has written about the experience of this below!  

In Week 3 Term 4, Suzie and Sam’s class went bouldering as part of my graduate activity. 

Bouldering is the simplest form of rock climbing, where you climb short but difficult problems (routes). The focus is on power and technique rather than endurance. Bouldering doesn't take you too high off the ground, as you do not use a tether or a rope. Most routes aren't more than 12 -15 feet tall (approx. 3.6-4.5m).  

While our class was there, we could climb whatever they wanted, orange tagged climbs being the easiest (v0) and black tags being the hardest (v7). Beyond Bouldering describe orange tags as “beginner” and they describe black tags as “ludicrous”. There was also an instructor that supervised us and helped us top the boulders. 

Overall, our class was very well behaved and we really enjoyed the experience of bouldering. 

By Joash.

Cycle 3 photos

Cycle 4

Nurturing Individualism in Cycle 4

“Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you” (Dr. Seuss).

And so it was seen, the Cycle 4 students gleamed, watching their hard work take on the Big Screen—The International Youth Silent Film Festival, held at the Capri, hosted our young Film Makers, guides ‘n families. The organ did play, our seats we did take, the curtains were drawn, the chatter did break, Shh! Crackle, shlurrrp. The Devil’s Lipstick (Daisy Barton) a vengeful tale, a chiller indeed; a love shrouded in secrecy but death awaits He. And, Hole Again (Marley Boyce) an Avant-garde thriller sure to deliver through and down to your liver a cold shiver.

Though the stars shone bright that night, they were not the only twinkles to be seen in the sky. For Sunday gone by, spirits were high. One and a half terms prepping, for the competition of our lives. The First Lego League: Challenge had set the . . . well . . . challenge. So we built, we thought, we programmed, we thought, we developed, we refined, we thought again. Until sitting there at 4 inches tall the robot from our dreams programmed for the scene. An App was created to solve the problem stated, the boys were elated! We all knew our stations, we all took our places, and so . . . 3. . . 2 . . . 1 . . . LEGO! Great work on the day Lucas, Michael, Harry, Jack S., Carl, Tadgh, Caeleb and Aiden.

But there, glistening in the absence of moonlight shone 6 more stars. And lest we neglect their participation in a series of Maths tests. Tests so testy they would not soon forget. The Kangourou Sans Frontieres, Computer and Algorithmic Thinking, and the Australian Maths Competitions was their decision and like nuclear fusion they funneled their energy to outstanding conclusions! Well done to Charlotte, Macy, Michael, Eamon, Lucas and Jack. C. earning Credits, Distinctions and even a HD!

And so it was proved, that for our students it’s true, that no-one alive is youer than you!


PE with Attila

Term 4 has seen some beautiful weather getting us outdoors and practising our tee ball skills. Students have been working in small groups playing modified games with a focus on hitting into the space. The fielding team has practised working together to return the ball as fast as possible. Our fitness sessions have continued to focus on learning new Indigenous games each week.

Wairoa students have also enjoyed learning a range of Indigenous games as well as several rounders games such as tee ball, softball and baseball.  

PE Photos

NAILA Awards

I invite you to join in celebrating the shortlisting of some Cycle 4 students' National Speech Award entry by clicking on the link to NAILA  and voting. (the entries are not subtitled as it is mostly expected that voters are Indonesian speakers, however, we ask you to let the entries speak to you with their vivacity).

The Hills Montessori School students have entered this competition for the last six years and this year as always, gain so much by creating their own authentic oral texts that 'cut the mustard' alongside Australia's best.

For the first time, two of the Montessori quality entries were shortlisted and we invite you to vote for either of them. The theme in 2021 was 'Travel'. Macy-Mae, Lilly, Sophie and Charlotte wrote their own song about the island of Lombok, as their study group is named Lombok. They researched facts about this beautiful island and then commenced the challenging task of making what they wanted to say rhyme. Their final product is sweet, harmonious, impressed me, and will delight Indonesian voters. Jack Clarke's entry will likely have Indonesian speakers in stitches. He plays himself and also his four wives, to whom he seems to have overpromised extensive and exclusive holidays. As they naturally discover his over-commitment, the wives  decide to travel together without the company of, but funded by, Jack.

I hope that you can see in these entries both how much independent work our young thinkers undertook and also how much joy they have taken in their productions.

Voting closes November 26th - please feel free to on-send the link to supportive family members.

Staffing news

It is with sadness that we report that Maree Clarke (Music teacher) is currently on extended leave as she undergoes treatment for cancer.  We know our school community will join the staff in wishing Maree strength and positiveness as she fights this unwanted battle. 

If parents or students would like to send their thoughts and wishes to Maree by writing cards or letters please bring them into the office and they will be passed onto her.

We thank Tony Calvett for very quickly stepping in to cover Maree’s absence and providing an Art program for Yultiwirra students for the remainder of this term.

Wairoa cafe

Thursday 25th November, 9am-11am

This term we are holding our Wairoa Cafe. It is the first cafe we have had this year so everyone at Wairoa is very excited to prepare and serve you our delicious food and drinks. It is on Thursday the 25th of November, 9am-11am. Tea, coffee and yummy home-made food can be bought, cash and eftpos payment will be available. Please remember to bring a mask to wear, sanitise your hands and practise social distancing. The cafe is a great way to socialise, meet new people and see our brand-new space.

End of Year concert

It is disappointing to have to cancel the end of year concert for the second year in a row which was being organised for Monday 6th December. We understand that this may be upsetting for some families, but due to COVID restrictions we are unable to hold the event. 

At Yultiwirra an assembly will be held just for students and staff so that we can celebrate our Year 6 leaders and thank and acknowledge their leadership in 2021.

In anticipation, thank you for your understanding.


Congratulations to our Cycle 3 student Lucia who has been announced as a winner in the Little Big Ideas competition for her phone app idea that helps school children pack their bags without leaving anything behind. Lucia was one of three winners from 1100 entries across Australia and has won $10,000 for her winning idea!  A surprise assembly was held yesterday where we were joined via Zoom by judge and Ambassador of Little Big Ideas, Dr Jordan Nguyen, who spoke about the importance of creative minds and big imaginations when it comes to solving real world problems. Dr Jordan Nuguyen is a biomedical engineer and inventor, whose achievements include creating a mind-controlled wheelchair for people living with a high-level physical disability. He is one of Australia's most creative minds and it was very exciting for Lucia and the students to hear how STEAM subjects, combined with big imaginations, can lead to some of the very best problem solving that assists human beings. Well done Lucia!

NAPLAN Results

Parents with children in Years 3, 5, 7 & 9 are asked to contact their child’s class teacher to make a time to discuss the NAPLAN results in conjunction with other school records.

We're challenging ourselves for sick kids!

On the last day of term three, Cycle 3 students watched the movie 'Wonder' after reading the book and are raising funds to support sick children who are cared for by the Women's and Children's Hospital (WCH) including children cared for by the Craniofacial Unit.

The WCH Foundation relies on the generous contributions from the community to brighten the lives of patients and their families and support brilliant care at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

Please DONATE NOW by clicking on the link

and support our challenge.

Thank you to those families who have already donated.  Last day to donate will be Friday 19th November.

Thank you – Cycle 3 staff and students.

Donations for St Vinnies Christmas Hampers

Many people have been 'doing it tough' this year and so as a community we would like to support those in need.

If families would like to donate non perishable items for St Vinnies Christmas Hampers, please drop off non perishable goods to staff at the gate and / or have your child drop items into the Office.

Donations will be accepted until Monday 22nd November.

Thank you for your support!

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.

2021 Multicultural Festival

Taste, experience and celebrate our state’s cultural diversity at the 2021 Multicultural Festival.

Featuring over 70 community groups, showcasing more than 50 cultures – there is something for everyone.

Listen to stories, learn about cultures from far and wide, all right in the heart of Adelaide.

This free event offers a great day for celebrating cultural music, dance, arts and crafts, and culinary delights as community groups bring their culture to the big stage.

The 2021 Multicultural Festival is a COVID safe event brought to you by the State Government.

When: Sunday 14 November

Time: 11 am – 5 pm

Where: Victoria Square

CLICK here for the full festival program! 

People’s Choice Community Lottery

Hands up if you want to support The Hills Montessori School and be in the chance to WIN some great prizes valued at more than $300,000? 

This year the school is again taking part in the People’s Choice Community Lottery to help reach our fundraising goals. We get to keep 100% from every $2 ticket sold and our goal is to sell enough tickets to raise at least $1500 so we can make improvements to the outdoor spaces at both the Yultiwirra and Wairoa.

Tickets are only $2 each and by buying from us, not only do you support us, you also go into the draw to win one of 40 prizes worth over $300,000. 

To buy tickets, head to  and click buy tickets. Each ticket is another entry to win! 

Please feel free to also send this on to your family and friends.

Diary Dates

Term 4 2021

Wednesday 10th November - Friday 12th November

Cycle 3 Camp

Thursday 11th November

WHS committee meeting 4.00pm

Monday 15th November - Friday 19th November

Cycle 4 Expedition

Tuesday 16th November

Executive meeting 6.00pm

Board meeting 7.00pm

Wednesday 17th November - Friday 19th November

Cycle 4 Camp

Wednesday 17th November

Policy committee meeting 4.00pm

Tuesday 23rd November

Marketing committee meeting 4.00pm

Wednesday 24th November

Cultural understanding committee meeting 4.00pm

Wellbeing committee meeting 4.00pm

Thursday 25th November

Wairoa cafe 9.15am


Whoever touches the life of the child touches the most sensitive point

of a whole which has roots in the most distant past

and climbs toward the infinite future.”

Maria Montessori


Term 4: 12 October – 8 December


Term 1:  1 February  – 14 April

Term 2:  3 May – 1 July

Term 3:  26 July – 30 September 

Term 4:  18 October – 14 December