Newsletter Number 3 • Wednesday 3rd March 2021

From the Principal

I am pleased to report that our Reconciliation Action Plan has now been submitted for review by Reconciliation Australia, and once approved will be published.  

A Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) is a formal statement of commitment to reconciliation. Back in 2019 we established a Working Group consisting of Cycle 3 & 4 students, staff, parents and leadership.  We developed our RAP using the Narragunnawali website.  The Working Group undertook a Reflection Survey which determined the current state of reconciliation in our school.  We also developed a vision statement communicating our school’s commitment to reconciliation. 

There are 40 RAP Actions to select from on the Narragunnawali website, including 14 that are a minimum requirement and need to be included within our school’s RAP. Our Working Group also documented RAP action-aligned goals and deliverables.

Now that the RAP has been submitted it is important that it becomes a ‘living, dynamic document’ and we ‘walk the talk’ and work towards achieving the included actions.  We have established a ‘Cultural Understanding committee’ which is made up of staff members to ensure we stay on track and are indeed working towards our vision and stated actions. 

However, our RAP and the process of reconciliation does not just sit with one person or a committee, it is the responsibility of all of us to play our part to recognise and respect the First Peoples of this land, to acknowledge the past injustices, and the ongoing inequalities, experienced by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples since colonisation, and to commit to working towards a more equal and respectful future.

I would like to thank the Working Group for their input throughout the RAP process and particular thanks to Nat Costello (Cycle 3 teacher)  and Tim Moore (Cycle 4 teacher) for their leadership.  Also, a big thank you to Uncle Ivan Copely (Peramangk elder) who met with the Working Group and provided advice and input into our Vision and Acknowledgement of Country.

We are proud of our school’s Vision statement that the Working Group developed.

The Hills Montessori School's Reconciliation Vision

For The Hills Montessori School, reconciliation means listening, recognising, acknowledging, speaking and acting.

Reconciliation means listening to the stories of Aboriginal peoples, particularly Peramangk and Kaurna in the past, the present and the future, valuing Aboriginal voices and connecting with their experiences.

Reconciliation means recognising and acknowledging what has happened in the past and the ways that this shapes the present and the future for Aboriginal peoples and non Aboriginal people in Australia.

Reconciliation means speaking out what needs to be spoken to acknowledge the enduring history, culture, experience, knowledge, wisdom and sovereignty of Aboriginal peoples.

Reconciliation means acting on what we hear, what we recognise and what we say, to move forward with Aboriginal peoples toward healing and unity.


Cathy France


RAP Working Group

Yultiwirra Open Day

Tuesday 16th March

Tours from 10 am  

Our greatest marketing tool is positive affirmation through “word of mouth” by current school families.  Please let anyone you know who may be interested in visiting our school or enrolling a child, the date and time of our Open Day at Yultiwirra.  Tours can be booked either online at the school's website or by phoning 8339 6842.

Sharing Assemblies

We wish to invite all parents/caregivers to our “sharing assemblies” this term held at Yultiwirra campus, where students will have the opportunity to share their work with the rest of the school.  Please make a note of the dates and place them in your diary.

Friday 12th March at 9.45am – Cycle 1 & 3 sharing

Monday 29th March 2.30pm – Cycle 2 & 4 sharing 

Term 1 chats

Yultiwirra parents have been emailed a link this week that will take them to the “Interview Schedule Portal” for booking a Term 1 Chat and details of how to make this on-line booking.

Yultiwirra Term 1 Chats – parent/teacher interviews will be held in Week 8 (Monday 15th March – Thursday 18th March)

Parents who do not have access to a computer can phone or come into the office to make a booking.

Parent Discussion Group - Supporting friendships & negotiating conflict amongst school friends

Supporting friendships & negotiating conflict amongst school friends

Friday 5th March

Children in primary and middle school undergo many changes physically and emotionally & the many changes mean friendship skills, negotiation and conflict management are bound to come up. This session is all about supporting your child when they encounter conflict, and ways to promote positive relationships amongst their peers. All welcome!

This session is hosted by Libby our Wellbeing Worker at our Yultwirra campus on Friday 5th March at 9.15am. If you would like to join in the conversation, please RSVP via the eForm on Skoolbag by Thursday 4th March. 

Games Day for Cycles 2, 3 & 4

Week 6 Thursday 4th March

Games Day will be held at Yultiwirra and run for the whole morning until lunchtime. It's a day that focuses on having fun, working together and getting to know students from the other Cycles.

We ask that students arrive on the day wearing their allocated colours. Students have been given their colour groups. 

A reminder for students to bring a hat, drink bottle and to wear appropriate PE clothing and footwear.

**This year students will split into four different colour groups, red, yellow, blue, and green. Each colour group will have two subgroups that are represented by different animals. Your child may wish to creatively represent the animal of their subgroup. 

Board communique

It was a great start to 2021 with the Board being able to resume meeting face to face in a Covid safe way. We discussed the Board action plan for the year, the upcoming AGM, and a new committee that will be put together for strategic planning this year. Cathy gave us an overview in her report of the various training and administrative functions that were successfully completed during the school holidays even with the challenges the Cherry Gardens fires presented at the start of the year.

Jade Crathern

Board President

Cycle News

Infant Program

Luca is using his listening skills and enjoying hearing "Down by the Station" on the listening post with his mum.


In Week 4 we were lucky to have Rachael, Lillian’s mum, come in to our class to teach us about Chinese (Lunar) New Year. We found out that there are twelve zodiac animals and this year it is the ‘Year of the Ox’. Rachael also explained that during Chinese New Year many people celebrate by wearing red, display fans and lanterns and set off fireworks and crackers. Lillian then gave each of her classmates a small red packet with a token symbol of money inside. As she gave out each packet she said, “Gong Xi Fa Cai” which means “Congratulations and prosperity to you”. Thank you Rachael for sharing your knowledge with us.

Cycle 1

The Cycle 1 students have been discovering the properties of water in science. Recently the children in Ixodia class created a device from a limited number of materials. They were each given a plastic bag, two paper straws and two paper cups. Their device had to be able to float and carry 5 x 10 cent coins. They were able to use as much packaging tape as they needed. The children were all excited to create a floating device. Some had to rework their designs and all of them successfully completed their device.

“My device floats!” Ren

“I put two cups together with sticky tape and one of my floating devices worked.” Noah

“My first one didn’t work, so I used 3 cups, 3 straws and sticky tape.” Charlie

“My first one was too tall so I made it a bit littler.” Reggie

“So I discovered that when it didn’t have these guys (straws) in it, it sank and when they were in, it floated.” Matilda

Cycle 2

In Cycle 2 this term, participating in the 'Replace the Waste' art exhibition has ignited the passion of our students to make positive changes for our planet.  We reviewed our classroom bins and recycling system and have worked hard to ensure as little waste as possible is going in our landfill bin.  We toured the school yard and identified the different wheelie bins and where our different recyclables should go.  We have had a specific focus on our yellow-lid bin and sorting our recycling correctly.  The students have practised identifying different types of recyclables and have shown particular interest in identifying plastics based on their numbered recycling symbols.  This led to some students independently completing a survey of classroom items to investigate how many items will be able to be recycled at the end of their lives.  The students have also been very concerned about the type of cutlery they receive with lunch orders.  We discussed that compostable cutlery is better than plastic, but the best option is reusable cutlery.  Following this discussion, we have been busy sewing cutlery wraps so that each student can store a set of reusable cutlery in the classroom.  This will also encourage individual responsibility and the practical life skills of washing, drying, and returning the cutlery to their wraps.  

We have been very lucky to have had the help of our Cycle 3 Big Brothers and Sister, Eli, Isaac, Joash, and Lilah while sewing the cutlery wraps.  The same Cycle 3 students have also helped Cycle 2 students with their morning work and baking in previous weeks.  Our other Big Brother and Sister, Jet and Summer, have also been supporting the students with various work tasks and have even run a basketball fitness session for the class.  This was met with significant enthusiasm, as many of our students are avid basketballers!  Thank you to Jet, Summer, Eli, Isaac, Joash, and Lilah for being our Big Brothers and Sisters, we are very grateful for your support so far and look forward to having you assist in Cycle 2 for the rest of the year!

Cycle 2 photos

Cycle 3

In week 5 the Cycle 3 classes had the opportunity to travel to Rundle Mall and see the “Plastic Bag Store” art installation as part of the Adelaide Festival. It is a thought provoking, interactive art installation which combines art, film, puppetry, sculpture and drama. The installation was a supermarket recreated with thousands of single use plastic items and plastic rubbish collected from the streets of New York by artist Robin Frohardt. It encouraged the students to consider the harmful effect of single use plastics and the way our planet may be impacted if we do not find more sustainable solutions. Our school was lucky enough to be the first school to ever see the performance and the group very much enjoyed the elements of humour and theatrical approach to the topic.

“I really enjoyed the museum where we got to see the plastic artefacts”. - Luca

“The plastic bag show was a good opportunity to learn about plastic and think on what it can do to the world and you". - Sophia

“It was really cool how they used puppets, and I liked how we went through the fridge to see another display". – Emily

Cycle 3 visit the Plastic Bag Store

Cycle 4

Last Friday the Cycle 4 students enjoyed their first immersive 'Occupations Day' for 2021. The action-packed day allows us to go out on excursions, have experts visit us, or get stuck into some projects that emerge through our work. 

The Working the Garden group travelled to Macclesfield where they visited landscape gardener Amanda Reynolds at her working garden, Green Platypus Gully. The students learnt so much about sustainable gardening, made worm farms and planted seeds for our veggie patch. The Feeding the Community crew bussed into the city.  The Central Market was the focal point of the day, and students spent time discovering new ingredients and cooking possibilibities for their up and coming Tastes of the World Event. The Production and Exchange students visited Stirling to engage with the local community and inspire thinking about their own small business ideas. The main work of the day involved pitching  their product and services idea to the 'community bank' to apply for a loan. Students developed a business plan and a budget too.

Music with Maree

Research shows that when young children play with musical instruments, specifically percussion instruments, it can be very valuable to their development. Playing with instruments helps build fine and gross motor skills and supports sensory development.

Our preschool students have enjoyed playing percussion instruments this term as they practise keeping the beat with claves, guiros, djembes and egg shakers. 

Snippets with Susan

'Snippets' sessions with Susan has recommenced this term.  'Snippets with Susan' is held fortnightly on Tuesday mornings at 9.15am.   

On Tuesday 9th March we will explore 'Supporting your child to learn times tables'. Please ensure that you RSVP as it is essential for COVID planning /spacing purposes.

If you have any suggestions of any ideas / topics  to explore as part of our 'Snippets' program, please email Susan at:


If your child has moved cycles/classes in 2021 you will need to make slight changes to your Skoolbag preferences and re-select the new class in 'Groups' on the Skoolbag app. The Skoolbag app is our main form of communication with parents. Most consent and permission forms will not be sent home as paper notes. You will need to access these and all other school communications via the Skoolbag app.

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.

Happy Lunar New Year

Did you Know?

The Chinese New Year is also known as the Lunar New Year and the Spring Festival. 

2021 is the Year of the Ox.  In Chinese culture, the Ox is a valued animal. Because of its role in agriculture, positive character traits, such as being hardworking and honest, are attributed to it.

The Spring Festival goes for 16 days in total and this year commenced on February 12th.

There are 12 animals in the Chinese zodiac.

The festival commences with a family feast on New Years Eve and concludes with a lantern festival.

National Close the Gap Day is March 18th

Everyone deserves the right to a healthy future and the opportunities this affords. However, many of Australia’s First Peoples are denied the same access to healthcare that non-Indigenous Australians take for granted. Despite a decade of Government promises the gap in health and life expectancy between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and other Australians is widening.

Diary Dates

Term 1 2021

Thursday 4th March

Games Day - Cycles 2, 3 & 4

SPTG meeting 9.00am

Friday 5th March

Fundraising meeting 9.00am

Parent Discussion Group with Libby 9.15am

Monday 8th March

Adelaide Cup Public Holiday

Tuesday 9th March

Snippets with Susan 9.15am

Finance meeting 6.00pm

Wednesday 10th March

Way2Go Bike Education for Cycle 3

Policy meeting 4.00pm

Cultural Understanding committee meeting 4.00pm

Student Wellbeing committee meeting 4.00pm

Friday 12th March

Sharing Assembly 9.45am - Cycle 1 & 3 sharing

Monday 15th March - Friday 19th March

Interview week at Yultiwirra

Monday 15th March

National Day of Action against Bullying

Tuesday 16th March

Yultiwirra Open Day - Tours start at 10am - bookings required

Executive Meeting 6.00pm

Board Meeting 7.00pm

Wednesday 17th March

Way2Go Bike Education for Cycle 3

Thursday 18th March

National Close the Gap Day

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)


“We are the sowers ~ our children are those who reap. 

We labour so that future generations will be better & nobler than we are.”

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