Newsletter Number 20 • Wednesday 9th December 2020

From the Principal

2020 has been a strange and difficult year and I think I would be right in saying that most people are looking forward to it drawing to a close!

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of the staff; both teachers and school assistants, for their positivity even in the face of adversity and for 'soldiering on', being flexible, adaptable and creative in their work throughout the year.  They are a wonderful team of people and their contributions, input and care contribute to making our school the wonderful, unique and vibrant place that it is.  Everyone deserves a well-earned break at the end of this year! 

Thanks also to our Child Care and OSHC workers who work tirelessly throughout the year and provide a wonderful service and particularly to OSHC coordinator Megan Lynch and Child Care coordinator Narelle Kenning.  Sincere thanks also to the admin staff; Susan Harris Evans, Paul Noon, Jodie Searle, Gab Tooth, Alexis Winslow and Anthea Hagar for all that they have done to ensure things run smoothly on a day-to-day basis.  

We farewell Denise Manson (Wairoa Kitchen Specialist) at the end of this term and thank her for the work that she has done at Wairoa.

We also sadly farewell our long servicing staff; Terri Ross Marriott (Preschool Assistant)Rosi Hardy (Cycle 2 teacher) and Anne Winter (Learning Support Teacher) as the three of them retire after 22 years, 28 years and 30 years service respectively, to the school.  We thank them for all that they have contributed to our school over the years and we will miss them all dearly.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all of our parent community who have volunteered and helped in some way this year.  As a small, parent/staff managed school we rely heavily on parental assistance and support and truly value your involvement and contributions whatever they might be.  Parent involvement enhances, either directly or indirectly, the educational experiences for all of our students and contributes to maintaining a positive, supportive school community. 

Most importantly, thank you to the students who make our work meaningful, bring light into our lives each day and life into our school.

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday and look forward to seeing you all in the New Year.

Cathy France



As you would be aware, at the beginning of each year we choose a theme that we focus on throughout the year and refer to, and reflect on, with the students and school community.  This year we chose the theme of “celebrate”.

As Covid-19 began to emerge early in the year, we started to question, “how can we use this theme and focus on celebrating when we are being thrust into a global pandemic?”.  

However, as the year has progressed and our world and lives have been turned ‘upside down’, changed and morphed into a ‘new normal’, holding onto this theme and celebrating no matter how small the achievement or accomplishment, has been vital.

Each fortnight this year in the school Newsletter, we have had this section where we have focused on our theme of “celebrate”. 

Looking back over the 2020 Newsletters we have celebrated lots of things…....we have celebrated Book Week, Science Week, Art and artistic endeavours of our students.  We have celebrated the completion of the new Preschool front yard & playground; we have celebrated current students and parents' achievements, and old scholars achievements and achieving your personal best.  Significantly, we celebrated the anniversary of Maria Montessori’s 150th birthday and we also celebrated the 10 year anniversary of our adolescent program at Wairoa (however we have had to postpone the actual celebratory event until 2021).

We have celebrated bravery, giving service, improvement, role models and having fun in the face of adversity.  We have celebrated creativity, thinking outside the square, our wonderful staff and our hugely supportive community.  Following remote learning we celebrated returning to school and it made us appreciate and be grateful for the relationships we cherish and the connection we have with our students, staff and community.

Finally, last fortnight we celebrated the ‘simple things’……Covid-19, lock down and restrictions have taught us to rejoice and celebrate in the simple things.  Simple things such as a walk in the park, baking and cooking for loved ones, spending time with friends and family, hugging someone you love, watching the sunrise or sunset, gardening and being outside in nature, listening to music, making someone laugh or smile, reading a good book.

Simple things provide moments of joy that bring us firmly back into the present moment and make us grateful for everything we have in life.  As I quoted in the last Newsletter"Enjoy the little things in life because one day you'll look back and realise they were the big things."

It is hugely important to celebrate the fact that we live in a safe country and state, we work and learn in a safe and supportive environment, we have people who love and care for us and we have our health.

Enjoy your family and friends as you celebrate through the festive season and into the New Year. 

Reflecting on our situation, here at our school in the Adelaide Hills,  we are incredibly privileged and we have much to be grateful for and a lot to celebrate! 

2020 Graduates

Last week we held a modified version of our Year 6 (Cycle 3) Graduation Ceremony in the hall at Yultiwirra.  Graduates, their families and some staff  listened to the graduates speak and recall the memories of their time in Cycles 1, 2 & 3, outlining their achievements and taking the opportunity to thank those people in their life who have supported them along their journey thus far.  After the formal part of the evening, the graduates and a few staff enjoyed a meal at a local restaurant to celebrate the end of a challenging yet successful year for these senior students.


Last Friday the middle school students held their Exhibition of Work and Learning during the day followed by the Year 9 (Cycle 4) Graduation in the early evening.  This also was a wonderful event where parents, staff, families and friends came to celebrate the graduation of Year 9 students completing Cycle 4.  Following the graduation speeches the Wairoa students and staff had a sit-down dinner together at Wairoa and then a ‘party’ that the students organised themselves.

These graduation celebrations have become embedded in our school traditions and are a rite of passage for these students.  Thank you to Natalie Costello, Sam Cameron, Lauren Kervers  Suzie Saffin (Cycle 3 teachers) and Pippa Milroy, Tim Moore, Dave Coulter & Alice Nisbet (Wairoa teaching staff) for all of the wonderful programs and support you offered these students throughout the year and the assistance you provided in helping the graduating students prepare for the transition and next part of their educational journey.  

We acknowledge the following graduating students.

Cycle 3 – Year 6 Graduates

Mary Burnard

Ashleigh Evans

Jarrah Ferguson

Caeleb Guerriero

Ava Koh

Darcy Koh

Ewan McBryde

Oliver Musgrave Evans

Holly Pope

Satine Richmond

Billy Rowan

Aiden Salmon

Blake West

Pepe Zahra


Cycle 4 – Year 9 Graduates

Darian Bartley-Clements

Marley Boyce

Jack Clark

Kit Erhart-Bruce

Brianna Monk

Tara Sheridan

Thank you class parent reps

Thank you to the 2020 class parent reps for undertaking their role in this difficult year and giving their time to the many facets of the role.  They have assisted in building community spirit and a positive, supportive school environment. 

Christmas Concert

Although our Christmas concert was not quite the same this year without parents, grandparents, carers and our wider school community in the audience, it was still a fantastic morning for students and staff who came together to enjoy a whole variety of performances from choirs to musicians, recitals, dance troupes and more. There were some spectacular dance moves as we saw the gym transform into a dance floor! ??

We also took the opportunity to farewell our graduating Year 6 students and acknowledged what a different graduate year this has been for them. Students were presented with their certificate, graduation mug and the 2020 elbow tap! 

Thank you to all our students and staff who were involved in the Christmas concert, and a special mention to Maree who coordinated the morning. 

Christmas Concert gallery

Cycle News

Infant Program

In the Infant Program we are celebrating the season of Christmas and have Christmas crafts for the children to do. Finnley is making a Christmas card with care and precision using stickers, glue and glitter. The perfect combination. 


The Montessori Preschool includes a wide range of activities developing children's skills indoors and outdoors, life skills such as preparing food, creative and artistic offerings, activities using their senses to categorise and organise their world about them as well as introducing academic skills in numeracy and literacy when the children show readiness.  Here Mila is working with the moveable alphabet and blue box work.  This activity encourages the child to focus on the construction of longer phonetic words such as 'flag'. The alphabet helps the child to focus on the sounds of the word without the often slow and effortful task of having to form the letters themselves using pencil and paper.  Children then typically are able to complete more extensive work using this material.  

Cycle 1

Our class was thrilled to receive an invitation to attend Ruth and Lauren’s class cafe this term. We were invited over for a lovely afternoon of pancakes, lemonade and good conversation with our Cycle 1 friends.

‘I loved the pancakes’, Iris

‘Ren was great, he looked after me and brought me some food’, Mae

‘It was so nice, there was lemonade, it was the best’, Bede

Cycle 1 cafe

Cycle 2

This term in Cycle 2 we have been focusing on health and STEM.  For our health studies, we have explored sun and snake safety, body systems and healthy eating.  The students have been checking the UV index using the Sun Smart app, which has demonstrated that even on overcast days, the UV is very high this time of year, and care must be taken to 'slip, slop, slap, seek and slide'.  While exploring the body's systems, the students were particularly interested in the digestive system.  This led to the creation of life-sized diagrams of the digestive system, incorporating 6 metres of party streamers to represent the small intestine!

Cycle 2 photos

Cycle 3

The camp that almost was! The Cycle Three camp ended up becoming “the best excursion ever.” Despite the fact that it didn’t turn out quite like we had planned, the Cycle Three students soldiered on with a super attitude, and had a fabulous day at the beautiful Aldinga beach. We were fortunate enough to have perfect weather and spirits were high! We swam in the ocean, played beach games, built sandcastles and went on a beach walk which included races and scavenger hunts. It was great to spend the day as a whole cycle! The day finished off with a delicious afternoon tea feast prepared by our fantastic parent helpers, and singalongs on the bus ride back to school!

Cycle 3 camp photos

Cycle 4

We have a had a very busy last week or so at Wairoa.

Last Friday, we held an adapted Exhibition of Work and Learning. Parents booked into 1 of 5 possible visiting times to engage and converse with the students. Each student curated an exhibition space featuring a selection of their work from throughout the year which best represented their learning across the very rich( if we do say so) curriculum. The day not nearly done, the Graduation celebration and party followed in the evening. Our year 9 graduates spoke so eloquently of their experience in the Adolescent Program and gave sage advice to the younger community members. We also bid farewell to our departing staff and students who will be transitioning to new schools in 2021. Thank you to Alice and her team for organising a terrific night. Our annual Big Day Out is our trademark last hurrah for the year and this year was definitely one to remember. The whole crew ventured to TreeClimb to tackle the challenges on offer. This was a blast! It was awesome to see everyone encourage and cheer each other on. For lunch we walked to a nearby park for pizza. Thanks again to Alice’s Transitions and Celebrations team for pulling this together! And a special thank you to the very generous parent who helped to make the day happen. Happy and safe holidays from all at Wairoa! 

Cycle 4 Exhibition of Work and Learning

PE with Attila

Term 4 has seen some beautiful weather getting us outdoors and practising our cricket skills. Students have been working in small groups playing modified games with a focus on hitting into space. The fielding team has practised working together to return the ball as fast as possible. Hannah from Cricket SA has run a number of sessions with the Cycle 2 students. She has set up various stations and fun games for students to further their skills. Wairoa students have also enjoyed developing their cricket skills as well as using the Aldgate tennis courts to further their tennis abilities. 

Cultural Awareness

“The spirit still lives amongst the steel, concrete, roads and lawns. Learn about the past so that we can grasp the future.”


With the school holidays approaching we suggest that you take time to walk or visit the sites on the Adelaide Kaurna Walking Trail. This trail will take you to places of significance to Kaurna culture and heritage. You can learn about traditional Elders and discover their stories of the past as told through art and word.

“Kaurna miyurna, Kaurna yarta tampinthi” means recognising Kaurna people and Kaurna land.

“Yertarra padnima taingiwiltanendadlu” means “When we walk the land, we become strong”.


For more information and to access the trail map follow these links-

Vacation Care - December 2020 – January 2021

To help with your summer holiday planning you may wish to take note of the Vacation Care dates over December 2020 and January 2021. 

Vacation Care will run from:

Thurs 10th Dec 2020 – Fri 18th Dec 2020

Vacation Care will close:

Mon 21st December 2020 – Friday 8th January 2021.

Vacation Care will reopen:

Mon 11th January 2021 and run until Mon 25th Jan 2021.

(Tuesday 26th Jan is a public holiday and Term 1 starts on Wed 27th Jan)

Diary Dates

Wednesday 9 December

End of Term - 2pm finish

Thursday 10 December

Vacation Care begins

Friday 18 December

Vacation Care ends

Monday 11 January

Vacation Care begins

Monday 25 January

Vacation Care ends

Tuesday 26 January

Australia Day Public Holiday

Term 1 2021

Wednesday 27 January

Term 1 2021 begins

Friday 29 January

Wairoa (Cycle 4) Big Day Out

Wednesday 3 February - Friday 5 February

Adolescent Orientation Camp

Wednesday 10 February

Wairoa Welcome and Information Evening

Thursday 11 February

Yultiwirra Information Evening

2021 School term dates

The 2021 School term dates are listed below. 

Please Note:  The 2021 school year will start on Wednesday 27th January as Monday 25th January will be a pupil free day and Tuesday 26th January is a public holiday.

Please Note: Term 3 pupil free day will now be held on Monday 26th July rather than the previously advertised Friday 13th August.

Term 1 - Wed 27th Jan - Fri 9th April

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

Term 2 - Tues 27th April - Fri 2nd July

(Term 2 Pupil free day = Monday 26th 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)


“Character formation cannot be taught. 

It comes from experience and not from explanation.”

Maria Montessori


Term 1:  29 January – 9 April
Term 2: 28 April – 26 June
Term 3: 20 July – 25 September
Term 4: 13 October – 9 December