the Nor'Wester

14 June 2019
Issue Eight
upcoming events
principal's message
school life
oshc & sprout
school council
Brunswick North West Primary School
Culloden Street
Brunswick West, VIC, 3055

upcoming events

term 2, 2019

17.06.2019 - OSHC subcommittee meeting (MPR @ 6.30pm)

                           - Buildings & Grounds subcommittee meeting (staffroom @ 7.00pm)

18.06.2019 - Education subcommittee meeting (staffroom @ 7.00pm)

19.06.2019 - Maths Information Night (BNWP 6pm - 7.30pm)

21.06.2019 - Plant & Produce Market (grade 4 families coordinating)

22.06.2019 - BNWPS Great Winter Clothing Swap (MPR @ 9.30-11.30am) 

27.06.2019 - School Council meeting (staffroom @ 7.00pm)

28.06.2019 - Term 2 concludes (2.30pm finish)

28.06.2019 - End of Term BBQ 



winter magic market date change

Please note that this year's Winter Magic Market will be postponed by one week - now to be held on August 10th. We apologise to any families who might have planned around the WMM and will endeavour to remind families as the printed calendar needs a revision!

volunteering @ BNW

We pride ourselves for our sense of belonging as it is beneficial for everyone. Family involvement in school strengthens our young people's connection to their education, it demonstrates the community connection many families choose our school for and helps us provide the best educational program and environment possible. In an attempt to better communicate with those interested in volunteering, the school is trying to build a volunteer register. We would love all family members to complete this short survey to help us collect this information. All information will be kept private and no one will be asked to commit to any volunteer work in the survey. 

There are so many different ways to become involved in your child's education and we love it when you want to get involved, but we must remind all family members that Working with Children Check cards are required by law.



principal's message

school funding (capital works)

This week I attended a training session to find out more information on the process involved in spending the Capital Works funding that has been provided to the school. This process will extend over many weeks and consultation and communication are going to be great levers of success for both the school and the wider community. I will be updating the community with new information (and seeking information from the community!) as changes and new information arises. This information will be found in the ‘School Life’ portion of the newsletter each week - including this week!


Families would have received communication via Sentral regarding two confirmed cases of Chickenpox from one family within our school earlier this week. A few years back we discovered that many families had vaccinated their children against Varicella/Chickenpox with the initial shot, but were unaware of a booster shot that was available.

The Royal Children’s Hospital immunisation clinic has advised that a second immunisation is available over the counter at a cost of $60 per person. Two weeks after the booster shot, the effectiveness of the immunisation will increase from approximately 85% to 97%. Please note that even will full vaccination, it is still possible for people to contract Chickenpox. As Chickenpox can be quite dangerous for young babies, pregnant women or people with a lowered immunity, we ask that all families keep an eye out and inform the school of any suspected cases of Chickenpox especially throughout the rest of this term. For interested families, the RCH Immunisation Clinic can be contacted on 1300 882 924.

building resilience

Last week I briefly outlined the BOUNCE BACK acronym, which was just one of the gems from Helen McGrath during her workshop on building resilience. Another concept that really resonated with me was 5-Finger-Gratitude. For over 12 months I have been completing a gratitude journal that asks me to consider three things I am grateful for each day. When I heard about considering 5 things I am grateful for, at first I baulked - that’s so many things to think of! But after a bit more thought, I realised how lucky I am each and every day and that it is not hard to think of 5 things I am grateful for… as long as I actually think about how lucky I am. This has been a wonderful exercise that I am excited to continue, as it helps to provide myself with a broader context to each day and helps me see how lucky I actually am. Today I am going to share my 5-Finger-Gratitude with you all!

  1. I am grateful for my coat. Not everyone has a coat and with this cooler weather, I can only imagine how hard some days and nights could be for people without coats.

  2. I am grateful for Wendy! With her being away this week I have had an opportunity to see what life would be like as a single mum with 430 kids… it’s much easier when there are two of us!

  3. I am grateful for free education for all. When thinking about the state of our buildings, it is easy to get caught up in all the things we don’t have. What we do have is something so very special - an opportunity for everyone to learn.

  4. I am grateful for the passion and dedication of our teachers, who I know have spent many hours of their personal time to complete reports - never once complaining or asking for overtime!

  5. I am grateful for the lift someone gave me this morning, which meant I could get back to work on time - thank you!

tax time!

It is that time again - the end of the financial year is not that far away, giving you the opportunity to make a contribution to the building fund for our school. Donations to the building fund are used to make improvements to our incredible school grounds, to foster an environment that is warm and welcoming as well as inspiring and engaging. Your donation will help support a number of the projects we are currently working on, such as:

  • Upgrading the lighting within classrooms to be brighter and more environmentally sustainable

  • Painting our classrooms and corridors

  • Making improvements to our woodlands and yard that support children’s play whilst protecting our trees

  • Adding soundproofing between the Art Studio and Music Room

  • Reinstating the new Gaga Pit

  • Upgrading Sprout and the outdoor space


Contributions to the building fund can be made by EFT, credit card and cash. EFT details:

Brunswick North West Primary School

BSB- 063-150

Account no: 10047335

Please put the family name and reason for payment in the payment reference box. eg. “Building Fund - Reid”.  The minimum deductible amount is $2.00 and a tax-deductible receipt will be issued to contributors.


CSEF applications closing

The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) helps ensure all students are able to participate in school trips and sporting activities. The fund provides a payment of $125 for eligible primary school students and $225 for eligible secondary school students, paid directly to the school to be used towards camps, sporting/swimming events, outdoor education programs and excursion/incursion costs.

Families and students who received CSEF at our school last year do not need to reapply this year unless there have been changes to your family circumstances or if you have changed schools. Families holding a valid means-tested concession card are eligible to apply, as well as certain students and families who fall into a special consideration category. Applications can be downloaded here and paper copies can be found at the front office. All application forms must be completed and returned before the end of term.


walking to school

We love to see families coming to school in sustainable ways, whether it be carpooling, riding, catching public transport or walking. We also love to see families encourage a sense of independence with students coming to school on their own or with siblings/friends. We do ask that all families make sure their children are properly prepared for this journey - aware of the route to go, how to stay safe in regards to traffic and strangers and what to do if they get lost or something goes wrong.

For any families looking for guidance in preparing your child to travel to school on their own, including age regulations and tips of what to talk about, VicRoads offers support through this website.


school life



International Children’s Day June 1

our action towards drawing attention to children’s issues was to create a wall display of the world.

MABO Day June 3

our action towards acknowledging 3rd June 1992 and the High Court of Australia's rejection of the notion of "Terra Nullius" - that this land was not occupied before European colonisation - was to make Indigenous flag sticks, write a procedural text explaining how to make the flag sticks, and tweet about our MABO day gallery.



World Environment Day June 5

our action towards improving the environment was to make posters to help our school community know what ‘rubbish’ goes where.


capital works updates

As was mentioned in last week’s newsletter, during this year’s State Budget announcement, our school was given $623,000. This is one-tenth of the initial funding announcement and has been tagged for the planning stage of a bigger project. Throughout the next 40 weeks or so, we will be busy consulting with various stakeholders to consider the current and future needs of the school and the community, interviewing architects, costing our dreams and making plans that are so incredibly inspiring that everyone will be throwing money at us!

As the Department has funded many schools, there are strict timelines that we must adhere to with the first phase of the planning due in 5 weeks’ time. In next week’s newsletter we will be seeking information from the community about various elements of our school - identifying the biggest and most urgent priorities. Throughout the rest of the term we will be seeking similar information from students, staff and our closest neighbours. Once this information is collated, we will start the second phase of the project where our priorities will be presented to members of the Victorian Schools Building Authority (VSBA), who will then determine realistic and effective actions to improve our school environment in order to positively impact student outcomes of education, resilience and good health.

If you have questions at any stage, please do not hesitate to contact the school as your questions will likely be something other people are wondering about as well.


What is an affirmation? How do we show that we care about each other? In the senior school we spoke about our emotions and how they can change as we head into puberty. We acknowledged that we might face difficult times when things can seem hopeless and dark. We agreed that instead of crying into our instant noodles, it might be nice to open a drawer, find an envelope and re-visit kind words from lovely young friends. So, we made envelopes and wrote letters to each other. We then placed those letters in the envelopes to read after school. Envelopes were left out on desks all day and beautiful things were written in the hope that, like all good time capsules, they would reach into the future and shed a warm light at different times. 


oshc & sprout


Wominjeka everyone,

First of all, we would like to welcome our newest educator- Jackie Jardine. Jackie has experience in art therapy with children both in Austin Hospital and in India. It is an honour to have Jackie in our Team. Please pop in for few minutes to say hi to Jackie.

We are very excited to announce that we have been working on the Reconciliation Action Plan in collaboration with our school BNWPS and our neighbours Brunswick Montessori Children House. It is a learning journey for all of us and we cannot wait to complete our RAP. If anyone would like to be part of the RAP working group or simply contributing with some ideas or knowledge we would be thrilled to hear from you. If you wish to find out more please shoot an email to Bernadetta at

Science Club: Camera obscure

Children love Thursdays with Brianna’s science projects. Last week, students observed the behaviour of a reflected light Ray. Children hovered around the white board while Edo drew a light ray on the board. Then we investigated what happens to our sight when that ray is reflected. So, students created camera obscure that made their vision of outside areas become reversed.



Cooking Club: Pizza Margherita with Manuela

Did you know that pizza Margherita was created by Raffaele Esposito in 1889 in honor of Queen of Italy, Margherita of Savoy?  And that the toppings colours represents the Italian Flag?  - tomato (red), mozzarella (white) and basil (green). Well, students learnt a bit of Italian History as well as how to make the pizza dough from scratch! In Before School Care, students made the dough and watched how it raised. In the After School Care, students had fun to make the pizza base and adding toppings. Len created an Australia pizza shape and Javier decided to make Africa. Guess what the best part was after baking???? 


Planks Constructions: Towers and bridgesHave you ever heard about our planks and what the students can create with them? Here are some examples of great design work and strong team work.



Important notes:

  1. Payments due by the end of Term 2: A reminder that all outstanding fees are due by Wednesday the 26th of June. In the next statement, all families will be charged until the end of the term, so payments can be arranged in time.

Please note: if there are outstanding fees no bookings will be confirmed in term 3.

Any booking changes, such as emergency bookings, casual bookings or cancellation will be adjusted at the end of term. This means if you are in credit you this will carry forward in term 3.


2. Direct Debit: A reminder that you are going to switch our payment method do either Direct Debit or Credit Card from term 3. Forms are emailed out. You can write digitally on the PDF and email back or simply complete a hard copy form. Spare blank forms are also available at the program.

All families must complete a Direct Debit form no matter how casually children attend the program. If you have any questions please let Bernadetta know.


3. Solstice Celebration: will be next week, on the 20th of June. There will be lots of outdoor education activities, such as firepit and storytelling. We are still going to have marshmallow and, now, hot chocolate – just to keep us a bit warm! 

Families and friends are welcome to attend the event!



  1. Unidentified Payments: we still have no idea how to trace some of the unidentified payments. Shall we just assume that they are donations to OSHC program??? We wouldn’t mind that! J

Please check your statement and make sure that your payments have been receipted. If not, let Bernadetta Know ASAP.


2. Casual Booking: We have a few families that are making casual bookings in the wrong roll. It is really important that you select the right role for the After School Care. Misplacing the children in the wrong roll will cause lots of confusion for children and educators. Unfortunately, this process cannot be automatic at this stage – so parents and guardians need to be more careful when they make their casual bookings. Thanks for understanding.


3. Sick Children or away: If your child is sick or away for holidays during school terms, please make sure to cancel your booking through MFL/Calendar. Unfortunately, Sentral doesn’t talk to MFL!



OSHC Team.

school council

OSHC Committee update

More than half of our school community rely on the wonderful staff and service at OSHC (Out of School Hours Care) to make our busy lives tick along like clockwork (we hope!). We are so lucky to have a school-run service which is overseen by the OSHC sub-committee, a small team of parents and carers whose kids attend OSHC.


We support and help run OSHC through meeting twice a term to discuss current and emerging issues. We review policies and procedures, and act as a general sounding board for new initiatives and ideas to make OSHC as fun and enjoyable an experience as possible for all children. 


This month we have been discussing the development of a Reconciliation Action Plan with the school, the transition to the direct debit system, acknowledging a newly developed range of activities run by the educators and supporting and congratulating OSHC staff on exceeding national standards in the recent assessment and rating of the service.


We are always looking for new members! It is a great way to connect to the school community whilst providing input and ensuring that OSHC remains an outstanding resource for busy families. Get in touch with Van Sowerwine ( or Bernadetta at OSHC if you’re interested in finding out more.


spiny leaf insects for sale at plant and produce market - pre order 

Would you like to own a minibeast? Well the next Plant and Produce market on Friday June 21st is your chance!

We will be selling Spiny Leaf Insects, a pair for $10.

These funny little minibeasts make great pets. They don't bite, pinch or sting.  (I'm not sure how they survive in the wild TBH!)


All you need is a secure enclosure, some gum leaves and a water spray gun. Please refer to the link for more information in caring for your minibeast.


You would need to have an enclosure ready before you pick up the minibeast, we would provide a (very) temporary container to take them home in.

If you would like you have your own minibeast please email Tamsin at before the market.

There will only be minibeasts available for people who have  pre-ordered. Payment can be made on the day. I look forward to sharing the fun of having your own minibeast!


the Nor'Wester