the Nor'Wester

10 May 2019
Issue Three
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

13.05.2019 - Grades 3-6 swimming program commences (concluding 16.05.2019) Monday -                                                Thursday. Please note Friday is not included. 

14.05.2019 - NAPLAN testing window commences (concluding 24.05.2019)

15.05.2019 - Finance Committee meeting (Hannah's office @ 7.00am)

16.05.2019 - Grades 3-6 swimming program concludes

                           - Tuning In To Kids family workshop 2 (MPR @ 6.00-8.00pm)

                           - Strategic Infrastructure Committee meeting

18.05.2019 - Federal Election Day (BBQ @ BNW!)

                           - BNW Trivia Night (Estonia House - tickets available now)

22.05.2019 - BNW Open Day

23.05.2019 - Tuning In To Kids family workshop 3 (MPR @ 6.00-8.00pm)

24.05.2019 - NAPLAN testing window concludes

26.05.2019 - Working Bee (9.00am - midday)

27-30.05.19- School Photo Days (individual, class and siblings)

30.05.2019 - Tuning In To Kids family workshop 4 (MPR @ 6.00-8.00pm)

04.06.2019 -  Community Events Team meeting (Sprout @ 9.30am)

05.06.2019 - Eid

06.06.2019 - 2020 Foundie Information Evening

                           - Tuning In To Kids family workshop 5 (MPR @ 6.00-8.00pm)

10.06.2019 - Queen's Birthday (no school)

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

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)

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

27.06.2019 - School Council meeting (staffroom @ 7.00pm)

28.06.2019 - Term 2 concludes (2.30pm finish)



school photos

We know that school photos are an important way of remembering moments in your child's life. After feedback from our school community on the quality of photos, we have been researching school photography companies to find 'the right fit'. We are beyond excited to announce that we have found a company that we are very keen to work with!

Kids in Living Colour produce beautiful portraits of students and will be utilising different aspects of our yard to provide a truly unique school photo of your child whilst at BNWPS. Due to the artistic nature of the portraits, school photos will now be taken over three days (27-30th May). This will minimise disruption to classes and will also provide an opportunity for students who are absent to have an individual portrait taken on another day.

Order forms are going home with your eldest child today, with additional copies at the office. You can also order online at


BNW trivia night


                                        ONE WEEK TO GO UNTIL TRIVIA NIGHT ON 18 MAY




We’ve had some amazing donations from our school and local community. Check out the list below and get ready to bid in the silent auction. All funds raised will help our school!


  • Family photo session donated by Little Moments Photography. Value: $550.
  • Artwork donated by Beinart Gallery. Eevien Tan’s 'Amaranth'. Value: $250.
  • Kuwaii dress (donated new from their archive collection). Value: $250.
  • Cake voucher donated by Creative Cake Art Melbourne. Value: $200.
  • Galaxy planet earrings donated by jeweller Sarah Heyward. Value: $190.
  • La Mama theatre packages including two tickets + drink vouchers. Value: $74 each.
  • Green Magazine subscription. Value: $65.
  • Treadlie Magazine subscription. Value: $40
  • More auction items to be confirmed!


Buy tickets (or make a donation) by going to Tickets cost $20 online and $25 on the night.



  • Bring CA$H for drinks and food
  • EFTPOS will be available for silent auction purchases
  • No BYO alcohol allowed
  • Delicious pizza/cheese platters for sale
  • Bring your plates and cutlery so we can be zero waste
  • Bring gold coins for the coin toss (fancy wine, beer or chocolate prizes)
  • Prizes on the night including vouchers and goods from Postmistress, GoClimb, Miinot, Moondog Brewery, Noisy Ritual Winery, Prince Wine Store, Ratio Cocoa Roasters, Wood & Co Coffee, Hope Street Store and more!


See the sign-up sheets near the school office. We need your help!


federal election day sausage sizzle

May 18th will be a busy day for the BNW community and beyond! Thank you to all the families members who have volunteered for our Election Day BBQ. Please note that the sausage sizzle will be closing approximately 3pm, so make sure you vote early enough to grab a snag!

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

2019 goals

Each year, every government school is asked to form a plan - an Annual Implementation Plan. This plan outlines the school’s goals for the year and strategies on how we hope to achieve these goals. This year our school is working on two main goals:

  • increasing the consistency and efficacy of our teaching to cater for all students and their needs;

  • building student voice to improve our student safety and engagement data.

Both of these goals came as a result of analysing school data. Analysis of our academic data shows that whilst our students are often achieving results that are above the state average, they are not learning to their full capacity - especially in the area of numeracy. Analysis of our student voice data (which was unpacked with and by our students) indicated that they wanted more say in what they are learning about and more (gender and grade-level) equity in our practices - especially in the yard. We are incredibly excited about the strategies and approaches we are taking to address these areas of growth across the school and I will be talking about them as the year goes on.

BNW's academic goals

As you have likely noticed, Alice Hamilton and Jessie Meade are two of our incredibly talented and passionate teachers and also our numeracy coordinators! Alice & Jessie (as well as BNW) are lucky to be part of a wonderful DET initiative to support Numeracy Leaders in creating whole-school change. If you haven’t yet noticed these names or faces popping up, you soon will. Alice and Jessie are inspiring and coaching our teachers and soon they will be inspiring and coaching you! Later this term a numeracy family information evening is planned, so keep an eye out for more details on this night as it is sure to be filled with fun and learning!

Another tremendously exciting initiative we are working on is called Professional Learning Communities (or PLCs). Five of our teaching staff, as well as school leadership, have been trained as instructional leaders to support an inquiry approach to digging deeper into teacher practice. This model of inquiry will provide teaching teams with the time, resources and support to deeply analyse student data, behaviours and work samples, to set goals and develop plans for instruction, to implement the plan and monitor the impact before re-evaluating. The shift here can seem subtle but is strong. We are not exploring if our students have learned something, but how they learned something; what helps them understand new concepts and keep hold of their new knowledge? what helps them demonstrate, apply and build on this new knowledge? While we are at early stages of this work, it has been both a highly motivating and extremely moving experience, that I am excited to share with you as we continue our journey.

BNW's social-emotional goals

In response to the results found through our student voice data, we are exploring ways to increase student agency in their learning. We are learning (through our professional learning teams) to maintain academic rigor and value explicit teaching, whilst allowing students to communicate what they are interested in learning about and to explore in a way that makes sense to them. This work started last year included a review of our approach to inquiry learning, an increase in metacognitive tasks in the classroom and increased agency through co-planning units of work. Our work last year saw significant and positive shifts in our student voice data, but we intend to take this further in 2019 and beyond!

In regards to student safety in the yard, you may have noticed a number of resources, lessons, events, and initiatives that were trialed last year. We took feedback from students, families, and teachers and continue to refine our response. One strategy for building equity in our yard is particularly interesting as there are very few schools or organisations that have completed this work! Therefore we are connecting with expert organisations in a partnership that will (hopefully) not only benefit our students and school community but all schools and children in the future.

Body Safety Australia

Over a number of weeks, our students conducted investigations, interviews and analysed data before presenting their findings to Wendy and me. Our student body was able to articulate that our yard is mostly equitable for students in F-2, but from grade 3 onwards there are distinct areas of the school that some students feel a strong sense of ownership to, whilst other students feel a level of exclusion in those same spaces. In response to this, we have partnered with Lauren French of Body Safety Australia to facilitate an equity project that is driven by our students’ voices. Lauren and Deanne presented on Wednesday this week to discuss the project and the opportunities for taking this initiative further. As we are approaching this from a research base, we are seeking information from our parents and carers about your own experiences as a child playing. We would greatly appreciate grown-ups taking the time to complete this survey, as it will form an important element of our project and to report on the impact of the project. The survey is brief (and you can even skip the questions you don’t have answers for), it will be open for a week and can be completed here.

tax time!

It is that time again - the end of the financial year is not that far away, giving you the opportunity to make 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.

Making a donation to our building fund will reduce your taxable income and may increase the amount you receive in your tax return. Your donation will assist to complete essential building and maintenance projects.

Contributions to the building fund can be made by EFT, credit card or 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 - Smith’. Please note, the minimum deductible amount is $2.00 and a tax receipt will be issued to contributors.

Sentral updates

We are pleased to let you know that there have been several updates recently to Sentral, including the messaging and notification functions on the Parent Portal mobile app! Please make sure you update the app on your mobile device.

flu shot

The end of last term saw a lot of people falling ill both within BNW and across the state. As we enter the colder months there is certainly an expectation that we will see (or hear) a few more sniffles, but I hope many of us are able to avoid the flu! Influenza is not pleasant for anyone, but school communities often have members who are at a higher risk of complications from the flu, which can result in days lost from school, medical conditions increasing in severity or in the worst cases, hospitalisation or death.

I am sure that many of you are aware of the factors that increase our risk: age, pregnancy and medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes or anything that impacts on our immunity. What you may not be aware of is that most of the people who are in these higher-risk categories are eligible for a free vaccination from their local GP.

Please remember, if your child is sick, the best place for them is at home so they can recuperate and return to their learning as soon as possible!

school life

From the Art Studio

Grade 3/4 are currently studying Josef Sudek, the Czech photographer who is famous for his dramatic black and white images of still life. Our students have done an impressive job of representing his inspiration in their own works. We have prints on display in the corridor, but for those of you who can't come and see them in person, here are digital images produced by our Middle School. One of these images is by Josef Sudek himself! Can you pick it?


BNWP Maths News

Jessie, Hannah and I ventured out of our BNW comfort zone into the CBD to learn more amazing maths ideas to bring back to the school last Monday and Tuesday. Our day was filled with assessment talk with Doug Clarke, exciting lesson ideas with Charles Lovitt and the importance of reasoning during maths lessons with Jill Brown. Our heads were filled with new ideas and things we wanted to bring back to our amazing teaching community.  The highlight for Jessie and I was hearing Charles Lovitt speak. He gave us some amazing ideas and games to play, and you could tell he was passionate about having maths as interactive as possible. He also talked about the importance of story when teaching maths. After all, listening to a list of sums is nowhere near as exciting as asking the kids to help Hannah solve a maths problem!

Whilst most of the time was spent being inspired, playing maths games and talking to other passionate teachers, there was a moment when I fell head first into the learning pit. Doug Clarke asked us to do a Fermi question and I was stumped! I immediately felt tight in the chest and unsure where to start. I have no doubt this is how half or more of the students feel when they look at a maths question. I tried to take a deep breath and tried to work out how to start when Hannah told me the magic of Fermi questions; there is no definite answer! That immediately took the pressure off me because there was no right and wrong, you just had to be able to explain your answer. I started to climb out of the learning pit, I knew I could manage and figure out an answer that made sense to me instead of making sure I was correct, so I didn’t feel embarrassed for getting it wrong.

Fermi questions are questions that require learners to use estimation skills and make justified guesses. They are interesting and intriguing and really get you to use maths in a problem solving, real life way. They also allow you to let go of the worry of getting it right, and encourage you to think outside the square.

Below are some Fermi questions that you could try and home! They really encourage discussion and problem solving and feel satisfying when you have an answer (as long as you can explain how you got your answer!)

  • How many jelly beans fill a bucket?
  • How many bricks are there in the Brunswick North West school building?
  • How many kernels of popcorn would it take to fill your bedroom?
  • If all the people in Australia joined hands and stretched themselves out in a straight line, how long would it reach?  

We would love to hear about the questions you tried at home and how you worked out the solution.

Juniors Learning Activities 

Year 1/2 has been learning about the structure of ‘information reports’. 

This week students from 1/2A wrote information reports about our school. 



oshc & sprout

OSHC Newsletter – Term2 Week3

Wominjeka everyone,

What a busy week we had in OSHC in the last week:

  • Children were asked to produce an original superhero or supervillain, and produced a startling variety of results ranging from a girl who uses laser beams to make her adversaries go bald to a time travelling girl who can do anything,  to an amped-up pug who fights against cruelty to animals. This activity encouraged children to discuss topics they feel strongly about. Female empowerment and animal welfare were strong themes, but also hamburgers and pompoms.
  • Children have been busy in making new creations out of recycling tins and decorating them with different colourful fabric – a thought for Mother’s Day. On Friday, children will be involved in making pop up cards using their creativity…. Shhh it’s a surprise for the mums!
  • Science experiment with light: Children explored light in all kinds of ways. Children looked through a plastic pin hold and saw how light creates the colours we see. Next, they used torches on coloured pieces of paper and observed the new colour that was created..

Students also observed how water bends light and effects what we see. This was done by pouring water into a cup and watching the dot move. Finally children created a gallery of invisible pictures. Which were illuminated by UV light.


Reminders and Important notes:


1. Casual Booking: just a reminder for the casual bookings on MFL – please make sure to select the right roll for your child. For example, if your child is grade 1 you will need to select After School Jr (Grade1&2).

These are the following roll in MFL:

Before School Care – for all students from foundation to grade 6.

After School Foundies – for the foundation students only;

After School Jr (Grade1&2) – for Grade 1 and Grade 2 Students;

After School Mddle&Sr (Grade 3-6) for all students from grade 3 to grade 6


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.


2. Science Incursions: our next Science Incursion (second last one) will be on Thursday on the 16th of May and topic will be on Reactions, explosions and Magical Rising Water.

If your child does attend at the program you don’t need to make any extra booking. If your child would like to attend but they do not attend OSHC on Thursday, please make a casual booking through MFL.


3. CCS eligibility: to be eligible for Child Care Subsidy please make sure that you have provided CRN for parent/guardian 1 and your child. Also, make sure that you have confirmed our service in


OSHC Team.

school council

important news from our school council and sub committees



BNW French Club Term 2 

Parents of OSHCP children, why not come along and try French Club? It’s a fun and effective way to use an hour of your child’s afternoon. Watch your kids feel positive about learning another language. Children of all ages and experience welcome - Wednesdays at 3.45-4.45pm .

Please note, we only have limited places.

 Contact Jim

 0432 719 034

Community compost:

Families are invited to use the community compost located in the productive garden. Leave your fruit and vegetable scraps (a small amount of meat is acceptable), paper shreddings, vacuum dust, dry leaves and straw from rabbits and guinea pigs in the bin next to the garden gate. It will then be transferred to the compost bays to make beautiful compost for our gardens! 

Swimming for Middle & Seniors Term 2 

Please be aware that in week 3 swimming will commence for all year 3, 4, 5, & 6 students at the Elite Pasco Vale Swimming Centre  Address: 8 Attercliffe Ave, Pascoe Vale VIC 3044. 

Dates will be from the 6th - 9th and also 13th - 16th May. 

A timetable of when each class will be attending will be available at the school office. 

Please log on to Sentral to give permission for your child to attend by the 3rd May. 

Please ensure your child has a towel, bathers, goggles and warm clothing to wear back to school. 


Explore & Grow playgroup - Elizabeth Harper

A garden playgroup for children and their carers. Each week there will be an activity for children, nature play and a little gardening for adults. Most activities are aimed at children aged 2-5 but younger children are welcome. Each session will conclude with a story, BYO snack.



Sussex NH support group for carers with children on the autism spectrum
(Northern Suburbs)


1st Thursday of the month
Time: 10am-12pm
Gold coin donation

A support group for parents and carers of school age
children on the autism spectrum. Our have a guest speaker
to address relevant issues we face in the autism
For parents and carers serving the Moonee Valley,
Moreland, and surrounding northern municipalities.

at the Pascoe Vale Community Centre
7 Prospect St. Pascoe Vale ph 9354 2210

Wondering how to teach and talk about climate change without scaring our kids?

An open letter to teachers and parents.

Climate change discussions are now becoming much more mainstream and so it is likely your children/students will have come across the issue. When they ask you about it, acknowledge that it is a phenomenon (it is happening, and it is caused by human behaviour) but err on the side of caution in how far you go. If in doubt, consult someone who knows more.

For example, the Foodweb Education program (which is taught at our school) approaches teaching climate change through ecoliteracy – an ecological understanding of how the Earth works. In this way, teaching climate change is in context, age-appropriate, engaging, hands-on, applied and empowering.

In instances where climate change is taught quickly or out of context, children are often left with more questions, concerns and even ongoing anxiety about the state of the planet. This is a natural response – it is the children of today who will inherit the ramifications of our nation-wide inaction on climate change.

But we don’t want to leave children with fear when we could empower them to engage with the world in exciting new ways through –

  • scientific knowledge
  • hands-on skills like gardening, and
  • the capacity to communicate this knowledge with others.

If you don’t know much about climate change, you could research it with your children/students – learning alongside them shows your children that you are still learning and engaged in new ideas.

Then plan a project that you can do together that will actually make a difference and make you feel like you’re taking part in positive change. It could be a commitment to compost 100% of your food waste, to take public transport or walk to school at least 50% of the time, learn how to repair broken appliances rather than replacing them…

There are a thousand or more project ideas and ways to reduce your impact on the world online and in books. But beware of the suggestions that entail buying new stuff – reducing our impact should cost almost no money and in many cases, reduce the cost of living.

Remember, there are no single solutions and be sure not to ‘carry the world on your shoulders’. No single person, school or family can do enough to counter the widespread inaction by governments around the world, but together we can seriously engage with more thoughtful, caring and sustainable ways of living together at this time.

  • If you would like to organise a PD with Foodweb or ask about other resources, please get in touch

Here are some helpful links to take it further –

> PD event for Teachers - May 24th:

the Nor'Wester