the Nor'Wester

23 August 2019
Issue Sixteen
upcoming events
assistant 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

23.08.2019 - Grade 3/4 camp returns

26.08.2019 - Book Week (Monday - Friday) 

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.



assistant principal's message

dear families

Winter has certainly hit hard this year! Unfortunately as has happened with many of our children and staff, I’ve succumbed to the dreaded lurgy, requiring a week with much bed rest and aborted attempts at work!

This will consequently be a brief newsletter article.

Two important things:

  1. Resilience update.

As Deb mentioned when she emailed out the final Tuning Into Teens PowerPoints, we are seeking your input. This year, using substantial funds successfully gained from School Focused Youth Services, Moreland City Council, Equipment boost for Schools, and the school wellbeing budget, we’ve been able to provide the following programs:

  • Tuning Into Kids
  • Tuning Into Teens
  • Resilience workshop with Dr Helen McGrath
  • Restorative Justice family workshop*
  • Dyslexia and literacy learning difficulties workshop

*to be delivered term 4, 2019

So as to best seek relevant funding and to use resources well, we ask you to follow the link below, helping us to:

  • Firstly assess the effectiveness of our 2019 approach, while
  • Secondly, helping us tailor our community programs in 2020 to best suit your needs.  


2. Transition to School

I know that I’m talking to the converted, and that by now all of you have enrolled your 2020 Foundation students, but if you haven’t…please do so ASAP.

For us it is the time of the year where we begin visiting kindergartens, meeting our future foundation students and learning as much as we can so as to help create the smoothest transition process for your child/ren. In effect we are trying to be “School Ready”, to be a school ready to support your child! The following article provides food for thought regarding your child’s school readiness.



Is your child ready for big school?

Are you thinking of enrolling your child into primary school next year? Starting school is a big step for little kids. You might have heard the term ‘school readiness’ – but what does it really mean? Find out all about school readiness and how you can help your child prepare for big school!

What is ‘school readiness’?

‘School readiness’ is a measure of the knowledge, skills and behaviours that enable children to participate and succeed in school. Parents sometimes think that school readiness means being able to read, write and do basic maths before starting school. But this isn’t the case! School readiness is about the development of the whole child – their social and emotional skills, physical skills, communication skills and cognitive skills. Children cannot thrive at school if they haven’t developed the skills to manage things like getting along with other children, following instructions, and communicating their needs.

Research shows that children who start school when developmentally ready to learn tend to do better in school – and it sets them up for further success later in life.

Ready for school – how can you tell?

‘School readiness’ in children includes many different skills and behaviours, such as:

Social skill

Being able to get along with other children, demonstrate basic manners, assert themselves, and being able to play independently as well as with other children.

Emotional maturity

Being able to manage their emotions, cope with minimal adult contact in large groups, focus on tasks, follow directions and instructions from teachers, cope with the stress of the new school environment, and understand the rules.

Language skills

Being able to talk and listen to adults and other children, speak clearly, communicate needs, understand stories, and begin to identify some letters and sounds.

Cognitive Skills

Basic number sense, basic thinking skills, being able to wait and take turns.

Physical health and coordination

Basic health, fine motor skills (such as being able to grip a pencil and turn pages in a book) and physical coordination (being able to run, jump, climb, and play ball).


Basic skills to manage their needs without adult supervision, such as going to the toilet, dressing, unwrapping their lunch and managing their belongings.

If you are not sure whether your child is ready to start big school, talk to your child’s preschool/ kindergarten teacher or early childhood educator – they will be able to help you with assessing your child’s development and readiness for school.

What can you do to help?

While there has been a rise in popularity for commercial ‘school readiness’ programs for preschoolers – these are not usually necessary, and little kids learn best through play! Here are some easy things you can do to help your little one get ready for starting school:

  • Try to arrange play dates with other children starting at the same school. This gives your little one the chance to develop their social skills – and will give them the confidence that they will have a friend to talk to when they start school.
  • Let your child practise drawing with a range of different materials, such as pencils, crayons and textas, to help develop their fine motor skills – and remember to praise their efforts!
  • Encourage your little one to dress and undress themselves, and use the toilet independently.
  • Encourage your little one to have conversations with you – ask them questions, listen to their answers, and encourage them to talk about what they think and feel so they can express themselves with new friends and teachers.
  • Read with your child as often as possible. If your little one has some reading skills already, that’s great! But if not, don’t worry – they will be taught how to read at school. Just enjoying books with you develops early literacy skills and helps encourage a love of reading. When reading with your little one, talk to them about the story, point out new words, and ask questions – this will help with their comprehension, vocabulary and language skills.
  • Help your child develop a basic awareness of numbers by helping out around the house – they could set the table and count the plates, match socks from the washing line, or measure the ingredients for some baking.
  • Play games with your little one – simple board games (like snakes and ladders) and card games (like snap and go fish) are great for practising turn-taking, sharing, waiting and learning to cope with not winning!

Remember, every child develops at their own pace and has their own strengths, interests, temperament and approach to learning – so don’t worry if your child doesn’t demonstrate all of the ‘school readiness’ skills and behaviours described above. If you feel at all concerned with your little one’s development, talk to their teacher/early childhood educator or your GP – they will be able to provide assessment and advice.


In my opinion the above dot points are very practical, and sound advice. If you have any questions about your child’s school readiness, and/or a kindergarten teacher has mentioned their concern to you, please feel free to speak with myself. It is important that we know all key information about your little people so we can be as ready as possible to provide all the support he/she needs.


Wendy White

Assistant Principal

school life


Unit TP has been working on being journalists,  here is our newspaper reporting on Camp.


sustainability corner

Do you follow 

on Instagram? It’s full of positive environmental news, which we all need. There are also lots of posts designed to think more sustainably. 

Some more positive environmental news- according to BBC News, Ethiopia planted over 350 million plants in one day to try and tackle the climate crisis… WOWEEE!! (



Did you know that when paper is laminated, it can’t be recycled? Sad but true… Unless technological advances occur quickly, everything that gets laminated needs to be sent to landfill. 


Keep bringing in your dental waste and old stockings. Drop them off in the containers near the front office. 



Teachers are learners too!

In my first year teaching, I thought that I had to everything and be on top of everything.  I thought I had to know all the strategies to teach and how to fill in any learning gaps all by myself. Thankfully I soon realised that this wasn’t the case and was happy to take on advice and techniques to use in my class from the other amazing teachers around me. Jessie and I now have the privilege to share our knowledge with our amazing staff members and also learn from them as we go!

Last Tuesday we ran one of our many staff PDs and it was really fun (as usual!) The staff are always so eager to take on new ideas and to try new things to help students reach their full potential and to cater to all learning needs. Here is a rundown of what happened Tuesday night!

As the staff walked into the staffroom, they all looked tired and weary. Yes term 3 is the “quiet term” but that still means Foundation and Junior swimming, 5/6 camp and 3/4 camp, Winter Magic Market, Parent teacher interview on top of every day teaching. We started with a meditation (this wasn’t the one we used but smiling mind is a great mindfulness app for kids and adults!) After our meditation we got straight into it with our blast off game.

Here is the game board we used and the wonderful Andrew Lang taught us this game during one of our CAT meetings. The object of the game is to have your rocket ship filled with numbers going from the highest to the lowest. You roll 2 dice, for example if we got 5 and a 4 you could make 54 or 45. You then decide where you are going to put those numbers, keeping in mind you may make a higher or lower number next. If you have no space to put your number then your rocket ship explodes. All the teachers were into this activity and as the game continued we heard disappointed explosions coming from Tim and Ann- they hadn’t planned for a bigger number to be rolled! The staff then had an amazing in depth conversation about how this game could be modified to fit with the topics classes are learning. The Middle team discussed about using it with fractions to tie in with their fractions lessons. It was fabulous to sit back and listen to the conversations teams were having after playing such a seemingly simple place value game! It was also great to see this game adapted for Foundation all the way to grade 6 (something that some teachers have to do within their own grade!)

We sadly had to end the conversations to talk about our lesson plan template. This is a document teachers use to plan weekly lessons in and include warm ups, GRIN groups (more on that in a future article!) as well as the launch of the lessons, the explore part and enablers and extenders. Then Jessie got her teacher voice on and taught us a fun game she learnt during her session with Charles Lovitt.

So, at our winter fair is coming up, all game stalls will be $1 to play. We would like to raise some money for our end of year party so we’re hoping all the parents will play our game which is called Win at the Fair (where people pay to play and we have to pay out their winnings). If you see our game board here, parents have the opportunity to pay $1 and perhaps they might win some money. What amounts might they win? Well, let’s play a few rounds and see.”

Staff started to play win at the fair, a game were you rolled the die and added the numbers together. If it’s the number 2-4 you move to the left, 5-8 straight up and 9-12 to the right.


You will then keep rolling the die and moving across the board and you will ultimately get to one of the hexagon that will have an amount ($5 if you’re lucky or 50 cents if you aren’t!). As staff were playing, Jessie was tallying up the amounts they ended up with.

We then worked out the amount that was reached the most and if we were making a profit on the game or if the parents were winning! The staff had some amazing discussions again about how to use this game and how they could adapt it to fit their year level. The creativity of the staff was inspiring and it made me wish I was back in primary school with one of the staff as my teacher! There was money and number in the Foundation game, in the Junior years there was a multiplication game and in the Middles and Seniors they adapted this game to incorporate data and fraction all from the one board game!

We then gave staff time to debrief and talk about how and when they could incorporate this new game into their weekly activities. There was so much engagement and rich conversations that we didn’t want to stop (this is a regular occurrence at all our maths PDs!) We then asked staff to fill out an exit ticket, which we do after every PD. This allows us to tailor our PDs to what staff want to know more about instead of giving them information and activities that they may not be able to use. The feedback was wonderful and we are excited about where we are going in terms of numeracy at BNWPS!

In other maths news…

 Jessie and I were lucky enough to present again during the other PMSS sessions on Tuesday. It was very fun to talk to other schools about the awesome work we get to do at BNW as well as all the support we get from Leadership and the staff.

I was also excited to see all the responses about what it means to be a great maths teacher and maths learner. I loved reading the responses and seeing what people think about maths learning and teaching. I am going to try another poster, this time talking about how you use maths in real life. I think sometimes we forget how much maths we do in a day without even realising it (I’m thinking about checking the clock in the morning to see how much time I can stay in bed before I need to get up!) I’d love to see what maths you use in everyday life.

Have a wonderful week!

 Jessie and Alice

book week activities 

Get excited, everyone! It’s time for our annual BOOK WEEK celebration!

This is an opportunity for the whole community to share in our love of literacy and reading.

Here are the activities we have planned for the week Monday 26th- Friday 30th August, 2019


Tuesday 27th August- DRESS UP DAY

Please come dressed as your favourite book characters! Mila and Sienna (our illustrious Literacy Leaders) will be coming around to judge the costume competition (one prize for each year level) but really it’s just about the fun of being dressed up and having fun!


Wednesday 28th August- FOUNDIE AND JUNIOR BOOK WEEK TRIVIA (at lunch time)

Based on the shortlisted books from the Children’s Book Week Awards, Mila and Sienna will be running a trivia quiz for Junior and Founder students at lunch time in the library. This is not compulsory, but there will be prizes for winners!

Teachers will be reading the shortlisted books to their students over the next couple of weeks in preparation. 


Thursday 29th August- READING FLASH MOB (morning)

During the morning session, at some point there will be a Reading Flash Mob. What this means is that every person on the school premises (from Hannah through to Kris and any parents enjoying their coffee at Sprout) will pull out a book and read for ten minutes. Music will be played to indicate the start of the Reading Flash Mob and Music will be played to signify when it is over. We would love 100% participation for best effect. Thank you.


Thursday 29th August- YEAR SIX BOOK-BASED TREAT STALL (lunch time)

The Year Sixes will be running a book-based treat stall in the Undercover area at lunch time on the 29th so come along for some fun bookish treats!


That’s all for Book Week, but ALSO: Next Week!

VERY EXCITING! The YOUNG AUTHORS AWARD 2019 Winners will be announced at Assembly on Friday 23rd August (except Year 3 and Year 4, as they’ll still be coming back from camp). We have been overwhelmed by the amount of entries this year and the magnificent quality of writing.  We are looking forward to acknowledging some outstanding works in our school on this day!

oshc & sprout


Wominjeka everyone,

We are very excited to let you know that we have invited Trevor Gallagher, a local elder, next Friday to assist us in our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP). If you would like to know more about the RAP working team please see Bernadetta.


The Talent Show

This student led talent show was wonderfully organised. The judges were a great addition. We had magicians, lip synchers, singers, dancers and violinists. We even had a Taylor Swift impersonator. The audience were respectful and really enjoyed the show. A number of parents also enjoyed the show.


A message from Jackie (Art Therapy and Sewing Club)


“I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with the children this term and sharing my passion for all things art, craft, play and mindfulness.

I studied Transpersonal Art Therapy… which really just means that I learned to facilitate healing, happiness and growth from looking within. So, what have I been doing with your children…

My main aims this term have been to build confidence, create calm spaces, inspire creativity and facilitate conversations. I have listed in brief some of the activities and outcomes below, but please feel free to stop me for a chat if you would like to know more.

Sewing Club (Mondays) – This term the aim has been to make useful pieces that can be completed in one session and taken home and enjoyed. Completing things like pillows and scrunchies builds skills, but most importantly confidence and I “I made that!” excitement.

Art Therapy (Tuesdays) – We started off the term with weaving and finger knitting. The repetitive nature of these activities is very calming therefore, stimulates interesting conversation and promotes a safe space.

My aim is always to create a space where children from all year levels contribute, collaborate and support each other. I also encourage children to always have fun, art should be about the process not just the outcome.” - Jackie


Sewing Club: Making Scrunchies

Science Club


school council




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