the Nor'Wester

17 May 2019
Issue Four
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 2, 2019

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)

19.06.2019 - Maths Information Night (BNWP 6pm - 7.30pm)

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)



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

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






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. Only a couple tables left so get in quick! 

  • 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.


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.



assistant principal's message

Learning Pit – One classroom’s journey!

On Wednesday I had the delightful experience of visiting Unit LK. I had been hearing wonderful things about the risks that the students were taking in their learning. Given our school project, focusing on resilience, and the importance of being able to cope with life’s challenges, I was excited to see what was happening…


While speaking to Lori, she explained that she first heard about the Learning Pit while on recent professional learning when discussing, with a team of teachers, improvements she would like to see in her classroom.  Lori had noticed that some students in her class had put up a wall when faced with challenges in their learning. Lori observed these students using avoidance tactics when they found work challenging, especially advanced learners. 

When Lori introduced this lesson about the learning pit to her students, she also used the vocabulary of the wobble zone. This idea comes from learning to ride a bike, you need to wobble to get better. She used this image as a way to talk about entering the learning pit or the wobble zone, which is positive because you come out the other end as a stronger learner. The grade discussed that students sometimes mistake this feeling for anxiety but we need to start just observing our discomfort in trying things that are difficult. 


The grade used the visual poster that she created and brainstormed emotions that arise when entering the learning pit. That you could feel scared, angry, nervous and annoyed with your teacher and so on...  Also they discussed that often students want to go to the toilet or distract themselves with chatting or playing with objects to avoid going into the pit. The students were really honest about this and they were surprised that Lori could see that is what they were doing. Some students then designed their own drawings of the learning pit and notations about how they experience this. 

Lori has been discussing the learning pit regularly and rewarding students with praise when they are entering the learning pit and finding work challenging and giving it their best. Trying to undo their feeling that something is wrong with this, that they are finding something hard. 

The Learning pit comes from The Learning Challenge a book by James Nottingham (see link


Learning Pit – Student Voice

Following are student comments, I hope you find them as revealing as I did!


The learning pit helps me to get better at my work

When I am in the learning pit:

  • I feel challenged, nervous sometimes annoyed and yucky
  • I try not to get distracted

An example is in my writing when it was hard for the tension to build up. With a lot of work, I made sure it now has built up and resolved at the end.

I now feel happy, and would like to share it with my friends.



The learning pit is important to go into – it is good to learn new things. Good to find something tricky and ask for help. You can ask peers, or the teacher for help if you get stuck.

When things are tricky, I ‘chip’ away at it.

I am going into the learning pit more now. This is good, e.g. decimals.



I feel that I am at the right level of challenge.

Learning is like a train on a train track. You don’t want to go off the track, because if you do you won’t get your work done. Information is like the carriages, I pick up passengers which is like my work. Being in the learning pit can feel like I am in a tunnel. It is dark and hard to see, I don’t always know what to do and I can feel like I’m going to crash. I battle through this.


If I am in the learning pit, I say things to myself like, “It’s okay Javier, don’t cry.”

I also don’t fiddle with my stuff. I just think about what I should be doing and what I will do. I stay calm and focused so that I can learn.

I think that I am an independent learner.



The learning pit can be uncomfortable, e.g. maths can be super hard sometimes. When in the learning pit, I can feel anxious, nervous and upset.


So that I don’t feel like that I sometimes play with a rubber or doddle – this can help me calm down, but it also distracts others. They tell me this and I try not to accidently distract others.


When you are deeply in the learning pit, it seems really hard, you know that you might get it wrong. Sometimes I want to avoid those feelings.


Sometimes I ask teachers to help me, sometimes I get too nervous to ask, I see that they are busy and that other people are waiting. At times I feel pressured not to ask and waste their time.


If I’m getting too upset I take a break. I struggle the most in maths. Depending on how stuck I am and if I’m getting upset. If I am only a little bit stuck, I try myself. This is important.


I know it is normal to feel like that, you have to push yourself to figure out what you’re doing. That’s when you’ll learn.


While I don’t like the learning pit and the feelings, now I understand it more, I stick with it more.

If I see someone distracted, I’d tell them that they need to do their work and that they’d feel better later.



The learning pit is when you are struggling with work. Sometimes I feel angry, distracted and sad and other emotions. Sometimes I feel that I am the only one who doesn’t understand, that everyone is finishing before me.


When I am in the learning pit:

  • I try to think about what I can do to figure out the problem,
  • I try to calm myself down, and
  • I have a go.

These things help me go deeper into my learning.

Every day I go into the learning pit. If I give up, I feel bad.


If I see a friend in the learning pit, I help them. I explain about the learning pit and the task. I don’t do the work for them, but I’ll help them depending on their learning style, e.g. if they are a visual learner of a doing learning, I would show and do with them. It feels good when you do this.



I don’t want to go into the learning pit a lot of the time.

I get stronger when I come out of it, even though it is a bit uncomfortable. It feels good when I know that I am learning.


I go into the pit probably twice a day – this is a good amount, not too much but normal.

When I am in the learning pit, I stick at it. If I get too stuck, eventually I will ask for help. I work hard to get out of the learning pit.



Sometimes you can get stuck in the learning pit – if you’ve tried as hard as you can, and you can’t get out, you are officially in the learning pit.


To get out I ask a teacher or a class mate for help. This happens mostly in maths.

The first time I was in the learning pit, I panicked, I asked for help. In the moment you can feel a bit panicked, but once you do it right, you feel proud of yourself and excited. I told my dad when I did this.


I felt proud because I didn’t avoid it, I did something. I know I have the strength to get out of it. I feel brave as I did something helpful.


To help in the learning pit, I don’t distract myself, I think about it. I try different strategies before I ask for help. It tells me what sort of learner that I am.


A friend got stuck in the learning pit. She came and asked me, “I’ve tried to do this but I don’t understand.’ I felt proud that I could help someone. This is the same feeling that I feel when I get myself out of the learning pit. I felt proud helping someone else. This is a win-win and everyone is happy.


With friendships, it is similar to the learning pit. You can get help from a teacher or a friend and like the learning pit, you feel proud when you solve the problem.



The learning pit is a state where you don’t get anything but you come out stronger. You feel frustrated and happy, e.g. maths when I don’t get a question.

When I am in the learning pit I

  • Ask for help
  • Skip the question, moving onto another one and come back later. This way I don’t get stressed.
  • If I still don’t get it, I ask a teacher for help
  • I will also try a different strategy.

I am in the learning pit the right amount. I am feeling challenged enough.

If I see a friend in the learning pit, I ask if they need my help. I don’t tell them the answer

It is similar with friendships, they have ups and downs and sometimes you need a teacher’s help.

A very big thank you to Unit LK and to Lori, it is truly exciting to see teachers making such impact with their students (I’m sure like me you can hear Lori’s voice in the student’s comments – and maybe even your own!).


Feel free to discuss the learning pit with your child’s teacher. We know that for children and adults to learn, we need to feel a level of ‘discomfort’!


Join us on the ‘train ride’ of learning.



school life

BNWP Maths News

Would you like to have a better understanding of what is happening with numeracy at BNWPS? Would you like to learn how to support your child in numeracy? Would you like to know how having a growth mindset helps students in numeracy? Would you like to see some amazing games and activities we do during our maths lessons? Well, we have great news for you!  

We hear lots of families say when they ask their child what they learned today, the typical response is “I don’t remember” or “nothing much”, which can be frustrating. After all, how can you help when you’re not sure what they’re learning? To continue to strengthen the connection between school and home, we will be running a maths information night to all parents on Wednesday 19th June from 6-7:30pm.  

We will be covering our role at school, open ended tasks and the joy of exploration, our maths values, how to have a marvellous maths mind and show you some of our favourite games that you can play at home.  

There will be child care provided and we will be making some special take home packs that you can purchase to continue to foster the love of maths at home.

If you would like to attend, it is essential that you fill in our form so we have attendee numbers, how many people want to purchase our amazing resource pack and who needs child care. Please note we will only be making packs for people who respond, so we don’t over purchase! If you want to attend, you must respond by 7th June.


Also, on May 20th is World Bee Day, so to celebrate those wonderful creatures, here is a Fermi maths question about the bee family tree!


Happy weekend!

Jessie and Alice

oshc & sprout

OSHC Newsletter – Term2 Week4

Wominjeka everyone,

It’s been another busy week at OSHC:

  • Children were excited about creating boats out of simple materials but found building in three dimensions challenging, preferring generally to make flat rafts. After floating their boats at the Testing Station, some children discovered their creations were not so seaworthy. This led to experimentation and modifications - a scientific process similar to real-life boat building.


  • In cooking club the children collected a selection of herbs from the garden to use for our fritters. They made sure to pick the best and freshest produce to ensure their cooking was full of flavour. Lots of team work: the senior children were in charge of the knives while the junior children picked and prepared the herbs, as well as drained the corn cans.

The group then split into pairs to mix the ingredients together before frying. Everyone carefully added the spelt whole meal flour, egg replacer and rice milk into the bowl which meant the fritters were vegan and gluten free!

Children thoroughly enjoyed the meal, even sharing some with their parents who arrived while they were eating!



  • Domino run with Planks was one of the popular activity this week: students loved it as  it was challenging to stand up the planks because the planks are narrow and tall. However even though students often knocked over their own ‘runs’ they persevered and re-built them.

Important notes:

  1. Science Incursions: our next Science Incursion (last one) will be on Thursday on the 23rd of May and topic will be Bubble & Slime!

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.


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 marshmallow (shhhhh don’t say anything to the children!!!). Families and friends are welcome to attend the event – if you wish to join in with some new activities please come and talk to us.



3. 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.


4. 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



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! 

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

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