the Nor'Wester

02 August 2019
Issue Thirteen
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 3, 2019


02.08.2019 - Grade 5/6 camp returns

04.08.2019 - Working Bee **please note the change of date, due to WMM changing

05.08.2019 - OSHC Committee

                           - B&G Committee

06.08.2019 - Education Committee

06.08.2019 - Tuning in to Teens (7-9pm MPR)

10.08.2019 - Winter Magic Market (BNW 90th Birthday Celebration)

                              (please note date change from printed school calendar)

12.08.2019 - F-2 Swimming commences (finishing 22.08.2019)

13.08.2019 - Family Information Evening: preparing for school camp

13.08.2019 - Tuning in to Teens (7-9pm MPR)

14.08.2019 - Finance Committee

15.08.2019 - School Council

17.08.2019 - Indonesian Independence Day

20.08.2019 - CET Meeting

21.08.2019 - Grade 3/4  camp departs

23.08.2019 - Grade 3/4 camp returns

30.08.2019 - Spring Family Day

                           - Plant & Produce Market (Grade 3 families)

02.09.2019 - OSHC Committee

                           - B&G Committee

03.09.2019 - Education Committee

06.09.2019 - Divisional Athletics

10.09.2019 - Grade 2 Sleepover #1 (half cohort)

11.09.2019 - Finance Committee

12.09.2019 - School Council

14.09.2019 - Garden Group’s Spring-A-Ding-Ding! Fundraiser

17.09.2019 - Grade 2 Sleepover #2 (half cohort)

20.09.2019 - End of Term BBQ

                          - Term 3 concludes


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

winter magic market

I can’t believe we are only one week out from the Winter Magic Market and a chance to celebrate our school turning 90! BNW is a hive of activity at the moment; in addition to all the incredible teaching and learning programs and the array of extra-curricular activities we always have available, there is an increased sense of liveliness amongst all community members, as people find ways to participate in the lead up to our great fundraising annual event. I particularly enjoy this lead up, as I get to know some of the parents and caregivers in a different sense; finding out more about people’s interests and talents. It’s this diversity of backgrounds and experiences that make our community so rich, but it also continually shapes and reshapes the way our market (and other events) run. For example, this year I am seeing a stronger focus on sustainability - a movement that has come predominantly from students and families. One way this has re-shaped our market is through the selling of higher-quality, homemade toys and circus gear, which I cannot wait to see the kids get their hands on! It is so exciting to see how each individual within our community can have an impact on our whole school and I thank each of you for your involvement. If you have not yet signed up for a shift, there is still time, spaces available and plenty of fun to be had!

2020 enrolment forms due

Our Winter Magic Market is an excellent demonstration of our school community spirit, bringing many interested families to my door for a tour. So this is a fantastic time to remind all existing families that enrolment forms (for younger siblings) are now due for 2020. We ask for enrolment forms to be handed in by the beginning of August each year, so we are able to make plans for the following year. With the change of enrolment policy last year, this deadline is more important than ever. Following the Department’s policy, we will accept student enrolments for next year in the following phases:

  1. Local enrolments (guaranteed placement)

  2. Sibling enrolments

  3. Out-of-zone enrolments (if space allows) 

As we have over 40 families on a waitlist in category 3, it is important that I am able to determine an accurate number of places we have available for incoming, out-of-zone students and inform these families accordingly. Late sibling enrolments that are out-of-zone may not be able to be accepted if classes are already full. If you have not yet handed in an enrolment form but need to do so, please collect one from the front office.

attitudes to school survey

Our 2019 Attitudes to School Survey (AtoSS) results have come in and are awaiting analysis by many stakeholders within the school. The AtoSS is completed by students in grades 4-6 annually, from every government school in Victoria. Just as we did last year, teachers and leadership are interested in taking the results back to the students to help us unpack, analyse and understand what the data is telling us. This was an incredibly powerful process last year; the information students gathered and presented sparked many actions within the school and wider community. 


Students identified issues of safety in the yard, which were addressed through increased yard duty teachers, increased access to play-resources in the yard, a review of lunch clubs and increased teacher training in Restorative Practices. Students identified that they felt they were low on resilience - learning, social and self. This sparked actions around visiting experts coming to the school to speak with teachers, students and families (such as Tuning Into Teens this week), funded teaching, learning and leadership programs within classrooms, a schoolwide exploration of The Learning Pit and becoming comfortable with discomfort as well as our Resilience Week last year. Discussions around equity (age, gender, cultural background and interests) were raised, with actions including the return of the 5/6 combined camp and the initiation of our Oval Project. 


From the start, this data analysis and action planning excited me. It’s real, it is change-making and it is student-driven. I love the idea that we can respond to concerns within our school and community and harness authentic teachable moments that move people from feeling powerless to empowered. Equity on the oval has been an issue perhaps as long as ovals (or co-ed primary schools?) existed. I have visited schools across the world, spoken to educators and educational leaders from wide and far and the issues are almost always there… but starting in 2018, Brunswick North West students (in partnership with Lauren French of Body Safety Australia) are doing something about this. Something that may change the world (in time… I’m getting a bit ahead of myself here!). Lauren has completed her research project report and has given me permission to publish it through our newsletter, for your interest. Our intention is to use this report to take the idea (How can we create more equitable spaces for all students in every yard?) further; sharing this report with other organisations to locate and receive funding for further student improvements. A few organisations are already interested, so stay tuned and enjoy the read! 

If you missed this week’s Tuning into Teens, there are still two more sessions that are open for everyone! We have received rave reviews about the content and presenter. Debbie Wood (one of our highly talented parents and live sketch artists) has kindly let us include her sketch of the night’s information to entice families further for sessions 2 & 3. Please do make sure you register though (it’s open to all, it’s just so we have enough seats and biscuits!).


2D vs 3D

This week Alice, Jessie and I attended maths training as part of the Primary Maths & Science Specialist project they are participating in. This is always a thrilling time for me, to work with teachers on pedagogy and best practice; to be exposed to and collaborating with some of the best educational researchers in Australia. This week’s sessions were particularly special for our school, as Alice and Jessie presented our school’s best practice in community engagement and formative assessment to over 100 of their PMSS peers. I felt extremely proud of Alice, Jessie and our whole school during this moment and we are excited that we can support other schools to adopt great processes.

This week one of the paid presenters, Dr Jill Brown of ACU, was discussing the impact of screen usage on young people’s ability to develop a good understanding of 3D shapes. As children of previous generations, many of us explored the outside world through our play and if we didn’t, we played with LEGO or blocks, sandcastles, pillow forts or alike. All of these activities are fun, active and social, which is what I regularly hear families mourn over when discussing screen time. But what else has become lost, with so many of us stuck to screens? Dr Brown put forward that young people’s concepts of 3D solids, their properties, how to manipulate them and even how to visualise them is being damaged by a reduction in time with the 3D world. I started to wonder, does this mean our students will find interpreting 3D shapes when drawn in 2D easier? But after more thought realised that it is not easy to visualise something you can’t conceptualise… This is an interesting idea that I want to ponder more… while I sit in my pillow fort and play with LEGO.

arts information evening & arts festival

I want to extend a big thank you to Andrew, Jack and Kate Mc, who spoke to community members about the Arts Program and term 4’s Arts Festival on Wednesday night, this week. I am continually impressed by the way our teachers are able to share their passions through their teaching. During this night we heard about philosophies and vision of the Arts Program and heard about some of the truly incredible learnings that happen in the Art Studio and MPR. 

The second portion of the evening was focused on the upcoming Arts Festival in term 4. The Arts Festival is well into planning mode (and beyond) with children already creating elements of the special afternoon. For anyone who was not able to attend, the first-ever BNW Arts Festival was held in 2017. It was called ‘Unseen Forces’ and was completed in partnership with an Artist in Residence: Lauren Simmonds. This was an exciting time for our community, as we transitioned from a much more traditional, passive dance-stage performance to an interactive, multi-disciplinary artistic experience that utilised our entire yard. The Specialist team have reflected on the wins and challenges from 2017 and have planned this year’s Arts Festival to be filled with colour, creativity, movement, our school community and our students’ voice and vision. 


The information evening was exciting and inspirational and I know many of the families in attendance found it really interesting to know more. If you are interested in helping out with the Arts program or the Arts festival, please don’t hesitate to contact Andrew, Kate McCormack, Jack Madin or the front office.


variety show

Yesterday was our second JSC Variety Show session for 2019 and wowsers, I’m glad that this is becoming a new tradition! “A.J. Hitmaker” is quite the talent scout, but what really brought a smile to my face and tears to my eyes? Your children. For 45 minutes during a very busy day, I was able to sit in the MPR with sun shining on my back and the Junior School spread out in front of me and watch the particular (and peculiar) skills and talents of our students in grades 1 and 2. Now I think you all know that I absolutely love and adore your children, but I try to always allow for space for them to surprise me. And surprise me they did! 

I was knocked out with the talents displayed by our kids, by their creativity and their showmanship. But what took my breath away, was the social and inner strength demonstrated by so many students. Just one example of this is a grade 1 student who was due to perform a solo song. Before even walking on stage, a serious case of stage fright was evident; tears streaming down her face, hugging herself tightly, this little girl walked out on stage to the microphone and the audience went silent… A.J. Hitmaker made his way across stage to give gentle words of encouragement; this helped… a touch. Then the magic happened. A student from the audience - a peer - called out. Not a sneer or a laugh, but words of encouragement “You can do this!” and slowly the audience began to clap and cheer this would-be performer, until she had enough breath to start singing. And wow, did she sing?! But you know what? Even if the singing had been less pleasant to the ears, the show had already met an ultimate point for me - a demonstration of incredible resilience and persistence on this student’s behalf and a wonderful, moving, powerful demonstration of the strength of our community when we look after each other, when we build each other up and cheer each other on. After the performance, murmurs spread throughout the audience and again, all I could hear were words of encouragement and appreciation; for this students’ courage, her singing or both and then to top it off, Grace and Perry (the remarkable presenters of the afternoon) provided specific and positive feedback to the student that surely cemented this experience for everyone in the room.


I thank you all for the way you are working with us to build our young people’s resilience. I thank you all for partnering with the school in seeing the importance of social emotional learning. I thank Andrew “A.J. Hitmaker” for leading JSC through these student projects and all the Arts teachers for inspiring this performance culture within our school. I hope the JSC is ready for a 2020 Variety Show, because I’m not sure I can live without them, now!

friday 16th august assembly

On Friday 16th August, our assembly item will start earlier, to incorporate performances from all year levels to celebrate Indonesian Independence Day (Hari Merdeka). After the assembly will invite community members to participate in games from the performances for fifteen minutes or so. We will let you know of an updated start time next week, as we improve our timing in rehearsals, but we wanted to let all families know about this change and to encourage you all to come along! 

Foundation students: Marching

Junior Students: Kerupuk eating competition

Middle: Pen in the bottle competition

Senior: Cultural exhibition – Angklung performance (Twinkle twinkle little star)

Balinese dance – Rosa

school life

100 days of school 

To celebrate 100 days of school the foundies and their teachers have dressed up in their best 100-year-old attire and put on a wonderful parade. 





Great learners and great teachers- what qualities do they have?


Jessie and I had our next PMSS sessions this week and it was filled with new ideas, strategies, games and theory. We heard some amazing people speak and (as usual!) Jessie and I were off on our own tangent, thinking of ways we can adapt it to BNW. We were also very privileged to be asked to present all the things we’ve been able to achieve so far to our cohort. As teachers, we are comfortable talking to kids but as soon as adults are in front of us it’s a totally different ball game! However, we were amongst supportive colleagues and were able to talk about our family info night, sharing lesson structures to staff and how we use data to inform our teaching. It was great to show other schools how amazing BNW is and for us to stop and think about the things we’ve been able to achieve over a semester.

During our Monday session, we were asked to reflect on what make a great maths learner and what makes a great maths teacher. We all had to write words up on a poster to describe what qualities we think a great teacher and learner has, and it was interesting seeing other teacher’s responses. We were then asked to have a go at this maths question:

My dad offered me a deal. I choose any number on a hundreds chart. He’d then roll a 6 sided dice and we’ve count by that number (for example, if he rolled a 5 we could count by 5s) from 0. If we land on my number he’d give me $10 and if we skip my number, I’d give him $10. What are some

good numbers I could choose? Should I take the deal?


After we had a go at this problem, we then reflected on what we wrote down on the poster and decided if we wanted to add anything to it. It was really interesting to be a learner again and to experience how it might feel as a student attempting a maths problem. While we were completing the problem, I had a moment of “oh no…my strategy isn’t the same as the person next to me, maybe I’m doing this wrong…” which led me to add to the poster that a great learner needs to be okay with making mistakes and knows that you can use different strategies to solve a problem (and just because someone is solving a problem one way doesn’t mean that’s the way for you).

When each group shared what they wrote on their poster there were some that resinated with me, some that I hadn’t even thought of and some that I necessarily didn’t agree with which is the great thing about working with different people; you get to hear such a variety of different responses! Which gave me a thought...what do the parents at BNW think make a good maths learner and a good maths teacher? At our info night we asked parents to think of a teacher that inspired them, but this time we want you to think about characteristics that make a good learner and teacher. Near the office we will have two posters up, one that says what makes a good maths learner and the other, what makes a good maths teacher and we want you to write down what qualities you think you need to be these two things. Please add as many things as you want and feel free to add on to other people’s ideas. We want to have a poster full of qualities from our wonderful parent community, because you will no doubt have ideas that we may not have thought about before!

Are you curious about all the awesome maths things we do at BNW? Follow @BnwpsM to have a squiz at our photos (including Jessie and I being great maths learners!)

Have a great weekend and feel free to try our hundreds chart maths challenge and let us know if you would take the $10 deal or not! :) 



For ‘Schools Tree Day’ & ‘National Tree Day’ we wrote stories about micro bats and birds living along Merri Creek and the problems they encounter when their environment changes.


Completed during Craft Club is the poster to go alongside our Merri Creek threatened species writing pieces. This has been submitted to Humane Society International’s art competition.



building works

A quick update on our building works process:

  1. If you have been keeping track of our progress, you will likely remember the survey I invited all community members to complete and held student workshops to inform where our school vision was heading and what we deem as being most urgent. This information was used to complete our AMP-1, which has been finalised and submitted to the three architecture firms tendering for the project. I School Council for assisting with this application and endorsement process, especially given a tight timeline. For any members of the community interested in reading the document, you can access it through the link below.

  2. This document has been provided to the tenderers, who will consider this along with their visit to the school earlier in the term as well as the strategic infrastructure needs statement that was emailed after their visit. This information is used to put together a proposal, which they will talk to next week when I will be interviewing the three firms, in order to make a decision about moving forward. I am seeking student input to questions and have again received support from school council and buildings & grounds, for which I am very grateful. I will of course keep you up-to-date on any progress, but if you have any questions along the way, please let me know - your questions are generally shared by more than one person within the community!


oshc & sprout




Please note that due to the winter magic market sprout will only be offering sandwiches on the menu for next week. 

school council

school council update

In May the State Budget included funds for Brunswick North West to undertake the planning phase for major capital works to commence later in 2020.  It is an incredibly exciting time for our school as we begin to imagine a future with the facilities to provide our children with the best possible educational experience.  Led by Hannah, School Council has just ratified the Asset Management Plan as Phase 1 of the planning process. Planning and building major capital works takes time and we still have the immediate needs of our staff and students to consider.


The Winter Magic Market has been the signature event for Brunswick North West since 2012.  As our major fundraiser, together we have raised over $200,000 for our school. This income has a huge impact on the variety and quality of learning experiences for our children. The Winter Magic Market also showcases our extraordinary community and our ability to work together to pull off an event of this size.  2019 marks the school’s 90th birthday, giving us extra reason to celebrate.


With just one week to go I strongly urge you to get involved in any way you can.  We still need people to volunteer for all sorts of roles. There is something for everyone, and I’m sure you don’t want to miss out!  Please refer to the WMM notices for details on how to sign up.


Thank you to those who have already contributed their time and talents, and thank you to those who have signed up to help on the day.  Looking forward to seeing you all on the 10th!


Fiona Heathcote

SC President


winter magic market 

Where do we still need some magic for WMM?

We still need people to put their names down to do a shift helping at the stalls during the Winter Magic Market. If a parent or carer from every family does one shift no others will need to do double shifts so please put your name down on the roster.


When - Saturday 10th August, 2-8pm

Shifts are either 2-5pm or 5-8pm. Free childminding is available from 4.45pm please sign up on Be Collective. The kids will hang out and watch a movie inside in the warm.


What will I be doing?

Volunteering may involve:

  • serving customers,
  • helping with the cooking (pancakes/sausage sizzle/baked potatoes)
  • packaging up the purchases for customers

We really need help on:

Baked Potatoes (6 people still needed) - You'll be warm in the OHSC kitchen and close to the kids music stage.

Pancake stall (4 people still needed) - You'll be warm in a marquee on the asphalt near the main music stage

Sausage Sizzle (4 people still needed)- In the undercover area

Warm drinks stand (7 people still needed) - You'll be in a marquee near pancakes

Treat stall (7 people still needed) - Marquee on the asphalt, you'll be in a prime spot

Art Auction (7 people still needed) - Warm in the Art room

Spit Roast (6 people still needed) - Marquee on the asphalt in a prime spot

Main Bar (people with an RSA still needed please) - Undercover area


Where do I sign up?

Please remember you need to be a member of Brunswick North West PS group on Be Collective to see all the opportunities.

hello wonderful Bakers, Makers and Growers


Here is some important information regarding the Cake and Treat Stalls.

We'd LOVE donations for these two stalls and they don't have to be fancy! Doesn't have to be baking either, if you have any home grown produce (lemons, limes, winter veggies, herbs, eggs).

Please take 30 seconds to let us know online what you're able to donate. This will allow us to easily collate donations and pre-print the labels for the jars and packaged biscuits and slices. We can then ensure that we don't have to nag/plead/beg closer to the market date! We understand that ingredients can change and ovens can fail so don't worry if you end up making a last minute change.

Cake boards, tags and jars are available to collect from the office. Tags are for the cakes only. Please write the name of the cake on one side of the tag and ingredients on the other.

Drop-off goodies between 9-12pm on Saturday 10th August to the multi-purpose room. This is where the stall will be.

Cakes - no wrapping, just on the board and the tag completed. Cakes will be wrapped that morning and the tag attached. Remember, no cream cakes please as we don't have refrigeration facilities.

Jars - once filled can be dropped off on the day or to the office from now on. Please attach your details including name, type of product and number of jars so we can match the printed label to them.

Treats - items for the treat stall need to be NUT FREE. Examples include brownies, cupcakes, fudge, crackles, honey joys, biscuits, meringues, cake pops.

Please write out the ingredients and if it's gluten/dairy free or vegan. Drop off in a labelled container on Saturday morning.

Lastly, we will need cake stands to display all of the wonderful baked goods. If you are happy to lend any you may have please label and drop them to the multipurpose room on Saturday 10th August.

If you need any help or have any questions, please let us know. Feel free to email or see Liz at school on most mornings.

Thanks again!

the Nor'Wester
Oval Project Report Final.pdf
Brunswick North West Primary School AMP2019-2020.pdf
AMP Phase 1 Brunswick North West.pdf