The REAL News

15 November 2019
Issue Three

School Values: Tolerance, Respect, Integrity, Care & Support

From the Principal
Learning for Life
Christine's Corner 
TheirCare OSHC
Upcoming Events
Community Events
Yarrabah School
(03) 9580 0384
23 Mill Street
Aspendale, Victoria, 3195

From the Principal

Dear families, carers and friends of Yarrabah School,

This term staff will be engaged in the evaluation of programs, student learning, goals and preparing reports to be sent home at the end of the year. We have a number of graduations coming up, students have participated in or are getting ready to have a day out with their sections and we are all looking forward to the school Christmas Picnic.


Students and staff remain engaged in learning programs. Programs will continue until the end of the year, regardless of reporting against goals. Students will maintain a timetable of programs, working hard to achieve their personal best.


Teachers are evaluating outcomes. As part of this evaluation, the school undertakes a review of its annual targets and improvement strategies.


In this newsletter I’d like to share my reflections on the work in two areas:


English / Communication

Over the past year the whole school has engaged in an aligned communication focus. During this period, all students have been plotted on data walls, identifying progress in communication. Each student in each section is located on a data wall. The goals for each student correspond to the category that students are in.

These categories include:

  • The communication discoverers
  • The communication emerges
  • The communication learners
  • The communication encourages
  • The communication socialisers

These have been referred to regularly during teacher and therapist Professional Learning Community (PLC) meetings. The conversations typically relate to strategies and supports required to achieve individual communication needs.


This year all staff undertook communication training. Training was compulsory and was held during the school’s curriculum days and during staff meetings. Some staff also elected to undertake additional training in Auslan Lv 2.


Training was also conducted in sections and PLC meetings. The training was specific to individual students and the programs being offered. Classroom staff were also supported to learn about each device and system. All students at Yarrabah now have a preferred and recommended communication system. Every teacher knows the system being used to work towards specific goals.


Each classroom, specialist area and common room have core boards on display. These are in constant use, with staff modelling how to use the systems. Yesterday, I sat down with a student to make a floor puzzle of Australia and he was using his communication device to tell me all the animals pictured in the puzzle. It was fantastic to watch this child competently and autonomously using his communication device.



The school will develop personal communication pages for each 'learner' in the school. This communication page will be added to the students profile and on display in each of the students homerooms and staff areas.


The school will invest in a subscription to ROCC (Roadmap of Communication Competence) for assessment and training purposes. This will progress understanding in the 10 domains of communication. It will also support teachers to understand the communication competencies required to move from level to level.


Speech Therapists will continue to provide ongoing training that is compulsory for all staff during the year.


Large playground and courtyard core boards will be designed and then printed. These will be located in the following areas: primary playground, primary courtyard, EEP playground and front courtyard.


Staff will be provided slap bands, t-shirts, hats or hoodies that include different slogans related to a "wear your words" campaign.


Life Skills

Yarrabah has also developed a clear focus for delivering improved outcomes for all children across the curriculum in personal and Social Capabilities. The teaching of life skills throughout each day at times relevant and in context for each child is adopted at Yarrabah. The program is purposeful and timetabled on a daily basis over multiple times in the day.


OTs have provided ongoing training to staff in sections and during PLC meetings. These have been scheduled throughout the year.


Each classroom, common area and bathroom have visual timetables and supports that scaffold the teaching of life skills which relate specifically to Personal and Social Capabilities, Health and Physical Education, Science and  English curriculum.


There is evidence in each room of:

  • life skill visual scripts and scaffolds
  • a range of environmental set ups e.g.: mirror in bathrooms, dressing areas, food preparation spaces
  • Personalised grooming bags
  • Classroom life skills chart "I am working on....'
  • specialised equipment as required for individual students e.g. manoy plates, spreading boards etc.

Every student in the school has a GANTT chart, representing the task analysis of student skill levels.


A prompting hierarchy was further refined and updated this year (see Explicitness). This was presented during a staff meeting and each step of prompting was highlighted using cases from each section. All staff have an updated copy and have been requested to put it up in the classrooms. 


The result has been a generalised improvement of life skills across the school.



Staff will be provided more time and training for students to practice life skills.


OTs will create 2020 groupings based on GANTT.


Prompting hierarchy will be visible in each room with all staff referring to it when supporting students.


Alert program implementation. We will set up programs for individual sections, ensure all sections have relevant Alert visuals. Ensure all sections have equipment. A staff survey will be conducted.


Learn to Play implementation. Set up weekly learn to play sessions across all sections. Use the SIP-DC data collection.


Implement and maintain Social Safety and Social Thinking programs. We will pilot the program based on the principles of Michelle Garcia Winner. Yarrabah staff will create resources and activities to support implementation. Yarrabah staff will ensure Social Safety program is maintained across the secondary sections.


We need to maintain the excellent 'support services' opinion survey results shown in the last newsletter by offering regular parent and friend sessions, email, newsletter, Seesaw and Facebook posts about Life Skills.




Thank you to Woodlands Golf Club Women's Committee

We would like to recognise and thank the Woodlands Golf Club Women's Committee for choosing Yarrabah School as the beneficiary of funds raised from their 2019 Woodlands Women's Open/Charity Day. Their ongoing support and generosity is greatly appreciated.


Group Stepping Stones Triple P Program (SSTP)

Lauri and Anna have been running the Stepping Stones Triple P program for the last 4 weeks with families within the school. Stepping Stones Triple P is a specially tailored program for parents of children with special needs and is part of the Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, one of the world’s most effective parenting programs.


Stepping Stones gives parents the skills to raise happy, confident children and build stronger family relationships. It also helps parents manage problem behaviour and developmental issues common in children with disabilities.


The parents within this current group will finish up their training on Friday 13th of December, with a celebration of their commitment to the program. Parents have reported success with the strategies they have implemented over the weeks.


Ladies Day Oaks Day Function

A wonderful, fun day was had by all at the Mordialloc Motor Yacht Club last week. There was much laughter and even some karaoke and dancing by the 75 women who attended to support our school. The Yarrabah Choir sang at the function and were a highlight.


Thank you to everyone for coming along. Due to the generosity of the group, $6318 was raised. A huge thank you to the Deegan family for their ongoing generosity.

Can't wait for next year.




Last newsletter I discussed the importance of our environment at Yarrabah. Our physical environments (building) have been in development for what seems like forever. It’s the new environments, an alignment of vision and supports and people in the environment that really count. Our school uses the ‘environmental checklist’ to ensure our physical classroom environments are consistent across the school and these were discussed in REAL News 1.


E5. Explicit Instruction relies on an environment that scaffolds and supports student achievement.


Scaffolded learning is not the same as differentiated instruction. Scaffolding the learning is more about breaking the learning up into achievable chunks, then providing a tool, system or structure with each chunk. Yarrabah has a number of ways in which we scaffold student learning. One of the most common is the use of individualised visual supports to support student’s communication, speaking and listening, personal and social growth.


I would like to share with you some of the most common scaffolds we use in each room to support students acquisition of skills in specific learning areas.


A scaffold we use around the school supports students washing hands. This scaffold steps students through the process with the staff member prompting for assistance. This support scaffolds the learning for students at all levels. Using the prompting hierarchy, staff are able to support each student to develop independence.


Using the prompting hierarchy and the shoe laces scaffold below, we can support students to become more independent in this life skill. This life skill remains a big focus across our school and in particular the junior levels.



Yarrabah school is very focussed on the communication and transition process. Over the years we have evaluated these processes and looked at other settings to learn from best practice. 

Student Support Groups

This year we have modified Student Support Groups (SSG) and the transition process. The student support group is just that, a group of people that meet regularly to discuss the goals and outcomes of the student. This year our SSG format included a 20-minute meeting in Terms 1 and 3, occurring within a two week period between the teacher and support staff. We also trialled a SSG day/evening that could be booked for 20 minutes with most of the section and learning team. This format proved very popular.


The Term 4 SSG booking information and preference sheet will be sent to you in hard copy format next week and is also attached below. You will be able to book a time with many of the teachers and therapists supporting your child’s program. The format will entail 20-minute meetings occurring between 12pm and 8pm on December 4th. Please return your preference sheet promptly to assist with the appointment scheduling process.


Student Transition

Transition to the new class occurs over the final three weeks of term. You and your child will receive a social story on the 13th of December identifying the final list of students in each class. Students will transition to their new 2020 classroom environments over three days. Transition days run between 10.00am and 2.00pm. The days for transition are: Dec 2nd, Dec 10th and Dec 18th. We are attempting to get all new teachers and support staff into the rooms to begin establishing relationships with the new class.


Transition of Student information

Teachers are also involved in transition. The exchange of information between staff is critical to success. We have designed a whole week of transition between teams to share information about your child between the 18th and 22nd of November. We will also be sending out invitations to meet with you on the 29th of January. This meeting will be yet another opportunity to check in before your child returns to school.

Yarrabah School Strategic Plan 2018-2021


Learning for Life

Maths in Inters

Kath’s Math learning group has been learning about money through table top activities and interactive games. We have been looking at the coins and notes and their shape and design. Students are learning to identify the coin value and “how much” everyday items cost. Some students are helping with the shopping at Woolworths for the Inters Café and learning to exchange money for goods when buying items. The students help to count out the correct value of money to give to the shop assistant. All students have been working hard.



Inters Programs 

Students from the section participate in programs such as: recycle collection, travel training, shopping and cooking for Inters café and work skills.



Upper Junior Halloween

It was a scary All Hallow’s eve, so frightening, some wanted to leave.

There were witches in the air and a grim reaper rocking in his chair.
Zombies and monsters were roaming our halls and spiders were crawling all over the walls.
The Upper Junior team had a wicked intent. They planned and transformed their curriculum content.
What a fun day of schooling and a fun way of learning…
About celebrations of countries afar while enjoying the occasional chocolate bar.
We read Pete the cat’s tale to mark this date and counted his five pumpkins sitting on a gate.
Snakes, ghosts, a mummy and a rat, were part of our spooky “alpha-bat”!
In Science, we stayed in the supernatural groove, finding cobwebs and skeletons on the move.
Then after lunch, this ghoulish crew, armed with jelly bits and ghastly green goo…
gathered to make creepy cookies to eat, ending our day with the perfect treat!


Upper Junior Arts Centre Excursion

On Friday 25th October, Upper Junior students caught the train from Mordialloc Station to the city to visit the Arts Centre Melbourne. This was an opportunity provided to us by Yarrabah Speech Therapist, Amanda, who works at the facility on Friday’s and organised a tour for staff and students. Our excursion included getting a sneaky peek at an upcoming production at Hamer Hall, dressing up in different costumes, viewing the State Theatre stage (which is the 3rd largest in the world!), putting on a play of our own and exploring the Arts Centre facilities! We also ate our lunch and had a chance to relax at a lovely private foyer in Hamer Hall, organised by staff at the centre.


Through this daytrip we consolidated the skills that we have been practicing during the year in our community access sessions- including walking to the train station and catching public transport. Students also consistently displayed our school rule of ‘I will be safe’ during the day by following the visual schedules prepared by the speech team at Yarrabah and staying with the group.


It was a fun day enjoyed by all that we were very lucky to experience!  



Community Access in Lower Junior

Community access is an important program for students of all ages to take part in. It is an important step in helping students learn essential life skills and helps them understand how to be safe. By taking part in community access students practice walking to different social environments and how to interact in a safe and positive way. Students practice and learn how to walk safely, understand road safety, work on communicating where/when/why we are going places and how to take part in the community. As a section we are working hard to ensure all students have the opportunity to take part in the local environment and further develop their social skills.



Lower Junior Learn to Play

“Home Corner” is this term’s focus in Learn to Play. Students have been learning play skills related to cooking, sweeping, washing, ironing, mopping, vacuuming, wiping and dusting. All of which are useful and can be experienced in real life context both at home and school. These true life experiences from acting out these roles allows students to explore imaginative play and develop their social skills. Everyone is enjoying being able to choose from a variety of things to do each session as they are already such great helpers around the classroom.



Yarrabah Christmas Picnic - November 26th

  • The Christmas Picnic will be held outside of the admin building and flow through to the two playgrounds. Entry is via the Browns Lane pedestrian entrance gate. 
  • We are excited to announce that Food Trucks will be operating on the night, in the staff car park, for guests to purchase food from. Options will include: pizza, coffee, calamari, hot chips and Dippin' dots.
  • Entertainment will run from 6-7pm. Performances will include musical items from staff and Paul Jamieson. We are also expecting a visit from Santa on the night.
  • The Christmas Corridor walk will be held from 7-8pm. During this time, guests are welcome to walk through and view the new Primary School Building.
  • BYO food and drink, picnic rugs, etc.
  • A sausage sizzle will be running and selling sausages in bread and cans of drink.
  • Gates will remain open throughout the evening to enable access. 
  • It is a non staff supervised event. Children will be in the care of parents/carers.
  • Pet free event.
  • No smoking on school grounds.

Tickets are free and available by clicking on the following link:



2019 Seniors Graduation - Tickets now available!

We would like to invite parents, family and friends, staff members past and present, and members of the greater Yarrabah community, to attend the celebration of our 2019 graduating students. Student tickets are at not cost. All other tickets are available to purchase from the Yarrabah office for $20 each. 




Canteen Orders

The Yarrabah Canteen operates each Friday and is run by our Senior students. We request that orders are placed by the Thursday to assist with purchasing of supplies. 


Christine's Corner 

Parent/Carers Support Group

Are you new to the Yarrabah community?


Are you looking for a place to connect and explore your journey?


Are you looking for a safe place to be heard and understood?


We are currently running a support group to support parent/carers in their journey.



When: Tuesday’s 1:00-2:30pm

Where: EEP Building Mill Street


Christine Battams 

Wellbeing Officer/Yarrabah Chaplain (Tuesday and Friday)




TheirCare OSHC

New Turf

TheirCare staff and our OSHC coordinator volunteered their time last Saturday to lay turf in front of our new OSHC building. We are looking forward to using the new area once the turf has settled in. Thanks to the team for giving up their time to make our school playgrounds great places to be.



Yarrabah School Out of School Hours Care News

You may have noticed the Senior’s building has been relocated across the school between the new Primary building and the existing portables. Through the Victorian Department of Education’s OSHC Demonstration Program we have been lucky enough to secure this building as the new home for after school care and holiday program. This provides an amazing activity space for our expanding program and lots of room for the OSHC children.

This means the pickup location for after school care has changed. Please enter the school through the main school gate at the carpark off Browns Lane and walk through to the new Primary building. Our OSHC building is on the left before the new building, please walk up the ramp and sign your child out on the tablet inside. If the main gate is unattended at the time of arrival, please call the TheirCare service mobile on 0476 004 524.

Don’t hesitate to call Lucy on 0459 868 746 (Yarrabah OSHC Coordinator) or Rebekah (TheirCare OSHC Educator) on 0476 004 524 if you have any questions regarding the move.

Term 4 School Holiday Bookings Now Open


School Holiday Reflection

The Term 3 spring holidays were a great time for those who attended TheirCare’s School Holiday Program. The sun was shining nearly every day!


Children enjoyed in house activities such as painting, making clay sculptures, baking and building. They had an incursion visit from Proactivity, with the quest of teaching the students AFL skills, including throwing, kicking, tackling and hand eye coordination.


Excursions were a hit! The students loved bowling at Strike, walking around the Cranbourne Botanical Gardens and visiting Southland Village Cinemas to see Abominable. Kid Factory was also very popular, with students jumping on trampolines, playing on the indoor playground and zooming down the slide.


For casual bookings, please contact Rebekah (TheirCare Educational Leader) on 0476 004 524. Please provide 24 hours notification to ensure adequate staffing levels to effectively care for your child.


If you are making an on the day booking cancellation (e.g. your child is sick or there is a change of pick up arrangement) please notify Lucy (Yarrabah OSHC coordinator) on 0459 868 746, Lucy will then update the school office, classroom teachers and TheirCare.

Upcoming Events

Term Dates


Term 1: January 31st - April 5th

Term 2: April 23rd - June 28th

Term 3: July 16th - September 21st

Term 4: October 7th - December 20th



Term 1: January 30th - March 27th

Term 2: April 14th - June 26th

Term 3: July 13th - September 18th

Term 4: October 5th - December 18th

Special Days

Tuesday, November 26th - Yarrabah School Christmas Picnic from 5:30pm - 8pm

Wednesday, November 27th - Friday, November 29th - Camp with Mentone Grammar

Monday, December 2nd - Transition Day P-12

Wednesday, December 4th - EEP Christmas Party

Friday, December 6th - Middles Graduation

Tuesday, December 10th - Transition Day P-12

Wednesday, December 11th - Friday, December, 13th - Seniors Camp at Manyung

Friday, December 13th - EEP Finish

Monday, December 16th - Seniors Graduation Afternoon Tea from 1:30pm - 3pm
(Woodlands Golf Club, White Street, Mordialloc - Tickets on sale now)

Wednesday, December 18th - Transition Day P-12

Friday, December 20th - Carnival Day 

Friday, December 20th - Last day of Term 4 (12pm finish)

School Council Meetings

Monday, November 18th - 7pm

Stepping Stones Triple P Sessions

Session 4 - Friday, November 15th from 12pm - 2:30pm


Yarrabah School uniform

Our uniforms can be purchased directly from Online Uniforms. Orders incur a flat delivery fee of $10 and are delivered to your home. 

Basics such as track pants and shorts can be purchased at department stores such as: Target, Kmart, Big W and Best & Less. Our uniform colours are navy and yellow for Primary students and navy and red for Senior students.

Photo Gallery





Community Events

Activities for Carers


Activities for Students and Carers


The REAL News
Yarrabah School (5142) 2018 2021 School Strategic Plan.pdf
Transtion 2020 letter.pdf
Student Support Group meeting times - 2019.pdf
Canteen 2019.pdf
Graduation Invitation