the Nor'Wester

07 June 2019
Issue Seven
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

10.06.2019 - Queen's Birthday (no school)

12.06.2019 - Finance Committee meeting (Hannah's office @ 7.00am)

 - Eid

13.06.2019 - Strategic Infrastructure Committee meeting

                           - Tuning In To Kids family final workshop (MPR @ 6.00-8.00pm)

14.06.2019 - BNW Co-Motion Dance Evening

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)



This term will be the first time we are hosting the Commotion, a big dance and music event at the Brunswick Town Hall. All members of the school and local community are invited to come and join in!

This event will be in the tradition of Bush-dances popular in Melbourne throughout the 70s & 80s, but with added multicultural and student lead elements. In this tradition, it will be a participatory dance rather than a concert and all attendees will be involved!


Date & Time: Friday, 14th of June - 6pm to 8:30pm

Cost: $5

Ticket Bookings:

Food: Anyone can bring a plate of finger food or treats

Volunteers: Anyone who would like to volunteer please email

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 photo week

Our school photo week has come to a close and I want to thank all the students and families who have provided us with so much positive feedback about the change. We are looking forward to an improvement in quality photographs of your children as memories of their time at school. Orders for photos continue to arrive at the school, but while late orders can be submitted for an extra fee, we ask that all families who are wanting to submit a late order, do this directly with the company through their website:

Please also note that all students were photographed for school purposes and so individual and class photos can be ordered late, however sibling photographs were only taken upon request and therefore no late sibling orders can be processed.

evacuation drill

Congratulations to students and staff for our successful evacuation drill on Tuesday. I was particularly impressed with how calmly students made their way to the assembly point. As this was a known evacuation, we were able to prepare students for success. However, we recognise that emergencies generally come without any warning and therefore we will be practising ‘surprise’ drills soon also. We can’t wait to improve the time it takes to get to the assembly point without being unsafe or missing any steps!

building resilience

This week has been a busy one not only for our students (with an evacuation drill, Eid, school photos, cross country, and all our normal learning programs) but also for our families - with a number of education and information evenings! On Wednesday night we had a presentation from Helen McGrath on building resilience in children as they prepare for high school and beyond. There were a number of pertinent points from Helen’s presentation, but one of the most important concepts for me was the idea of how many different factors influence a person’s resilience and following on from this, how many aspects of a person’s life is influenced by their level of resilience! Helen has developed an acronym to help keep track of ways to build resilience: BOUNCE BACK

B - Bad times don’t last. Things will get better. Stay optimistic

O - Other people can help if you talk to them.

U - Unhelpful thinking makes it hard to problem solve. Try reframing the idea.

N - Nobody is perfect - not you and not others. Be kind.

C - Concentrate on the positives (even if they seem small) and remember to laugh - it’s good for your body!

E - Everyone experiences hard times (sadness, hurt, disappointment, setbacks, and rejection). These are normal parts of life and are not just happening to you.


B - Blame is not helpful, but finding causes is. What was in your power and control? What was due to other’s actions and what was just bad luck?

A - Accept what can’t be changed and find a way to work with it.

C - Catastrophising exaggerates your worries and makes it hard to find positive solutions. Don’t concentrate on the worst possible outcome.

K - Keep things in perspective - this is only one part of your life.


It was so fantastic to see a number of families in attendance. We also had a number of staff attend the evening to learn about building resilience. We are looking forward to implementing these ideas and working with students and their families to hear from our young people and help support them to think and feel positive about themselves, their peers, their families, and their education.

capital works funding

I know that a number of community members saw after the completion of the Federal election, through the State budget announcement, that our school has received $623,000 (10% of the money pledged last year for our Capital Works needs). Never fear! We have been reassured that this money is only for the planning stage of the Capital Works program and the remaining 90% will be made available over the next 2-3 years. I am attending training next week to learn about the Capital Works program and will keep our community informed as we progress through each stage. My understanding is that a number of stakeholders are consulted when planning for the works and our own school community is certainly a voice that will be included! Please stay tuned for the different ways you will be able to share your hopes, dreams and opinions of the needs for facilities within our school. Thank you again to all the community members who participated (and lead) the funding campaign.

school life

foundation news

In Foundation, after some inspiration from the grade 3/4s, we have been exploring the learning pit.
We have been practising some strategies that can help us to get out of the pit and we realised that sometimes you need a friend to give you a little boost and encouragement. So in Unit DR, we made a space where we can go to find some encouragement! In our pit booster, we have some notes that can help boost our attitude.
We have also been using these face to face of course, so if you ever need a little encouragement to keep trying or to have a go -ask a Foundie!


math news


Sometimes it’s hard to think of some games to play at home. You want something fun, rich and engaging that also lets your child learn and won’t make it seem like a chore (which will result in a potential battle and who wants that after a long day?!). We have compiled some games that you can play at home with your child. These games are engaging, quick to play and help reiterate those key skills students need to develop all of their mathematical concepts. All of these games can be played with just a deck of cards and some scrap paper! Also, lots of these games have already been played in the classroom so your child might be able to teach you. The more games you can play and the more you can make maths fun, the more your child will engage.

Here is a list of games you could play:

Game: Skip counting

  • Using a 100’s chart, skip count by 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 20.
  • Variations:
  • Count backwards by the above amount
  • Start skip counting from a random number
  • Skip count by above numbers, not focussing on the timetables count (e.g skip count by 3 starting from 5, skip by ten starting from 9)

*What patterns can you see?

* Can you use these patterns to inform other areas of your maths knowledge (e.g 5+3=8 so 15+13=__)

Here are some skip counting tricks!

2s facts- eg, 2 ones, 2 twos, 2 threes, 2 fours, .... 2 eights ....

DOUBLES, eg, “2 sevens ... double 7, 14”

Establish RELATED facts, eg, 7 twos, think 2 sevens


3s facts- eg, 3 ones, 3 twos, 3 threes, 3 fours, .... 3 eights, 3 nines ....

DOUBLES AND 1 MORE GROUP eg, “3 eights ... double 8, 16 and 8 more, 20 ... 24”

 Establish RELATED facts, eg, 8 threes, think 3 eights


The 4s facts eg, 4 ones, 4 twos, 4 threes, 4 fours, .... 4 eights, 4 nines ....

 DOUBLE DOUBLES eg, “4 sixes ... double 6, 12, double 12, 24”

 Establish RELATED facts, eg, 6 fours, think 4 sixes


The 5s facts eg, ... 5 threes, 5 fours, 5 fives, 5 sixes .... 5 eights, 5 nines ....

RELATE TO TENS eg, “5 eights is half of 10 eights, 40

Establish RELATED facts, eg, 8 fives, think 5 eights or 4 tens


Game: Recognising numbers

  • Using any objects you can find, place the items randomly on a surface.
  • Race to see who can recognise the amount of numbers on there first without touching them
  • “What strategy did you use?” (bunched 5 objects together and then added the 3 to make 8)
  • Add quantities to make a new number E.g. 8 objects already on the table - what if I add 5 more, 10 more, 100 more etc?



Game: Guess the number (play like guess who)

  • Using a pack of cards, flip 1-2 numbers over without your partner seeing them
  • If using two cards, combine them to make one number (e.g. flipped a 2 and a 3 so combine to make 23)
  • Your partner needs to ask as many questions as possible in order to guess the number E.g. odd or even, two digit, multiple of 5, factor of, higher then, lower then etc
  • Variations:
  • Start off with one digit numbers only
  • Build up to three digit numbers
  • Remove cards above 5 from the pack initially

Game: Salute

  • Three people required - one person calculates and the other two flip a card onto their forehead
  • Two players pick a card from the pack and salute them to their forehead - you do not look at your own card, but must see your opponents
  • The third person calculates the answer of the card by adding them together. They say this answer out loud.
  • The aim is that the two people playing must use the answer announced to work out what number they have on their own forehead. E.g. my opponent has a 5 and the answer is 9  - I need to work out that my card must be 4.
  • Some things you could ask while you’re playing are:

    “Can you explain how you got that answer?”

    “Can you see a pattern?”

    “What strategy could you use?”

    “I wonder what you would need to know before you played this game/answered this question?”


    If you want to know more about what you can do at home, how to apply a growth mindset to maths and some activities we do in the classroom, come along to our maths info night. Friday 7th June is the latest you can register and buy a resource pack (which will be paid for on the night).

    If you missed out on the info night, in week 9 on Friday 21st June, we will be having an afternoon of maths games. Parents, carers and special friends are welcome to attend and play some maths games in their child’s class. It will be a great way to see what we do in the room, and how fun maths it!

oshc & sprout


Wominjeka everyone,

Lots of interesting things are happening in OSHC and it is great to see how children’s sensitivity can influence the OSHC program.

Science Club: Beeswax Wraps

During a discussion, children wondered how you can destroy plastic. You can’t! In Science we attempted to destroy/dissolve plastic and discovered you can only break it into smaller pieces.

Some of the children’s responses were: “So why do they keep making it?” or “Why don’t they just stop?” “Then where does it go?” (Answer: Into our oceans and becomes micro plastics).

A small solution: Children created an alternative to glad wrap. The Beeswax wrap. It is a very easy process. Children choose a piece of cloth from the OSHC supplies. Melted the breeze wax in microwave containers. In pairs poured their breeze wax past over the clothes. If you like to use alternative way to wrap your food, please come and talk to Brianna.


Reconciliation Poster: Last week children were encouraged to take part in different activities for Reconciliation Week. One of the activities was an open end project: “Reconciliation Means..” poster. Students shared their understandings of reconciliation and with further discussion increased their knowledge of Aboriginal and Torres Strait people’s cultures and histories. “They weren’t allowed to dance or speak the language” Molly. “They weren’t allowed to do their special traditions “ Amira.



Garden Guru Program: The Olive Curing Soaking Method

As mentioned last week, the studentsare exploring different methods to preserve olives. Recently, students learnt the procedure for the soaking method of curing olives. This learning activity also provided students with the opportunity to use numeracy skills in a real world situation because they had to measure and count cups of water and salt.


Important notes:


  1. Direct Debit: Big thank you to all the families that retuned their Direct Debit Forms. We have now about half families to go. 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. If you have any questions please let Bernadetta know. She is very nice and welcomes everyone to come and talk about any concerns. Bernadetta will work out any possible solutions with our families.


2. Next Community Event: will be on the 20th of June to celebrate Solstice (the shortest day of the year or the longest night). There will be lots of outdoor education activities, such as firepit and story telling. And yes, there will be some marshmellow (shhhhh don’t say anything to the children!!!). Families and friends are welcome to attend the event!


3. A call out to any parents, families, friends: if you have a telescope we would like to borrow. As the sun goes down early in June, we are hoping to do some star gazing!!!  Don’t you worry, we will take good care of the telescope – promise!



  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 has been receipted. If not, let Bernadetta Know ASAP.


2. Casual Booking: We have few families that are making casual bookings in the wrong roll. It is really important that you select the right roll 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 you child is sick or away for holidays, please make sure to cancel your booking through MFL/Calendar. Unfortunately Sentral doesn’t talk to MFL!



OSHC Team.


Together we make a difference


We ask that you please try to avoid using zip lock backs where ever possible. BNWPS & Sprout care for the environment and aim to reduce as much plastic waste as possible.  Please bring your own reusable container for pretzels & liquorice & use a container for lunch orders.

Please note on all sibling orders where the payment is. 


Please don’t drop your rubbish - put it where it belongs.



school council

AGM Buildings and Grounds Committee Report

The Buildings and Grounds Committee is comprised of a group of parents who volunteer their time and expertise in an effort to provide a safe, enjoyable and pleasant environment for our children. Its open to all and anyone with a passion and a wish to contribute towards improving our schools amenity is welcome to join.

Our last working bee which was held on Sunday the 26th of May centered on the garden area and the preparation for planting of fruit trees by lots of weeding and the placement of weed matting and mulch. The garden storage container was also reorganised and hooks placed on the interior walls so that the garden tools used by the children could be safely stored.

As well as the undercover area of the main building given a good sweep and clean, litter and other rubbish was picked up from the school yard.

Thanks to Ian, Pip, Ross, Niamh, Leo, Arenys, Rainer, Drew, Tamsin, Jason, Indiana, Harper, Zoe, Dallas, Hazel, Finch, Phil, Priscilla, and Lisa.

A special thank you to Eva and Sarah for cleaning up the school grounds.


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!


If all of this can be put in the actual notice (rather than an attachment) that would be great. I just know of loads of people who have trouble opening attachments!



the Nor'Wester