the Nor'Wester

19 July 2019
Issue Eleven
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 3, 2019


19.07.2019 - CET Meeting

23.07.2019 - Parent Teacher Interviews evening #1

25.07.2019 - Parent Teacher Interviews evening #2

28.07.2019 - Working Bee

30.07.2019 - Grade 5/6  camp departs

31.07.2019 - Performing and Visual Arts Information Evening (Art Room 6.30-7.30pm)

02.08.2019 - Grade 5/6 camp returns

05.08.2019 - OSHC Committee

                           - B&G Committee

06.08.2019 - Education Committee

10.08.2019 - Winter Magic Market (BNW 90th Birthday Celebration)

                              (please note date change from printed school calendar)

12.08.2019 - F-2 Swimming commences (finishing 22.08.2019)

13.08.2019 - Family Information Evening: preparing for school camp

14.08.2019 - Finance Committee

15.08.2019 - School Council

17.08.2019 - Indonesian Independence Day

20.08.2019 - CET Meeting

21.08.2019 - Grade 3/4  camp departs

23.08.2019 - Grade 3/4 camp returns

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


arts information evening Wed 31st July
6:30pm in the art room

Come along as Andrew and Kate from Visual Arts, and Jack from Performing Arts, will be giving an overview of what’s happening in the Arts for the rest of the year. We’ll be discussing our plans for the next two terms, rustling up a few volunteers and explaining the end of year Arts Festival - this year title ‘Art Attak!’

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

welcome back

Welcome back everyone! I hope you had a wonderful break and have your buckets filled, ready for Term 3! I personally purchased a new camper trailer and managed to get myself stuck in Lerderderg State Park just a few hours after purchase, which resulted in a 6-hour rescue operation, a broken winch, some very muddy clothing and a bucket that is positively overflowing. How lucky we are to have such beautiful (and intimidating) examples of nature so close to the city. It was a shame to see some rubbish left behind, but we took more rubbish out of the campsite than we had brought in, which was another bucket filling experience. What bucket-filling activities did your family get up to this break?


This year NAIDOC week fell within our school holidays, so many classes celebrated the week either at the end of last term or this week! Something we love about NAIDOC week here at BNW is that it is about celebration, not consolation; we are recognising the historical events, inventions, people and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Classes and specialists have each celebrated in different ways and I know this week is one of Tom’s most favoured weeks of the year with games such as Marn Grook being played across the school.

If you were at our Monday morning assembly, you might have heard me read a poem by Oodgeroo Noonuccal called A Song of Hope, which you will find below. 


Look up, my people,

The dawn is breaking

The world is waking

To a bright new day

When none defame us

No restriction tame us

Nor colour shame us

Nor sneer dismay.


Now brood no more

On the years behind you

The hope assigned you

Shall the past replace

When a juster justice

Grown wise and stronger

Points the bone no longer

At a darker race.


So long we waited

Bound and frustrated

Till hate be hated

And caste deposed

Now light shall guide us

No goal denied us

And all doors open

That long were closed.


See plain the promise

Dark freedom-lover!

Night's nearly over

And though long the climb

New rights will greet us

New mateship meet us

And joy complete us

In our new Dream Time.


To our fathers' fathers

The pain, the sorrow;

To our children's children

the glad tomorrow.

national anthem

On Monday I recited A Song of Hope in place of the school singing the National Anthem, which is not just in response to NAIDOC week. This year, our staff and Education Committee are looking at Cultural Safety within our school. Cultural Safety refers to the practices and behaviours demonstrated within a school that ensure all members of the community feel recognised, welcomed, valued and supported no matter their cultural background, language, family structure or skin colour - it is firmly grounded within inclusion. As part of this work, our staff attended a 3-hour training session on Cultural Safety for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples from our Koori Education Support Officers. During this training, we watched a speech by Stan Grant, which can be seen below.

In response to this video, our teachers have put forward a motion to stop playing the National Anthem every Monday, perhaps playing another song of celebration or to only play the anthem on days we recognise as being particularly patriotic. This motion will be taken to School Council, however we want to promote some discussion about this first. Teachers have been discussing this idea with students in age appropriate ways, however many of our students are not clear on what the anthem is and what it means to sing it each week. To ensure all stakeholders get a voice, we would love for you to also consider your feelings about the national anthem, to talk to your kids about how they feel and to share these feelings with a member of School Council to help inform our discussion.

parent opinion survey

The Parent Opinion Survey is an annual survey offered by the Department of Education and Training that is conducted amongst a sample of randomly selected parents. It is designed to assist schools in gaining an understanding of parents’ perceptions of school climate, student behaviour and student engagement. Our school will use the survey results to help inform and direct future school planning and improvement strategies.


Approximately 30% of parents are typically invited to participate in this year’s survey, however this year we are going to aim for more. All responses to the survey are anonymous. This year the Parent Opinion Survey will be conducted from Monday 22rd July to Sunday 11th August.


The survey will be conducted by ORIMA Research Pty Ltd and should only take 10-15 minutes to complete online. The survey can be accessed at any convenient time within the fieldwork period on desktop computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones. The online survey will be available in a range of languages other than English. These include: Arabic, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Hindi, Japanese, Greek, Turkish, Somali and Punjabi.


The survey results will be reported back to the school at the end of September through the newsletter and school council and sub committee meetings. Last year we used the survey results as part of our campaign for building funds and to inform the focus of family information evenings on building resilience. Keep an eye out on your inbox for an email early next week indicating if you are one of the families randomly selected.

lost property & junk pile

I want to say a big thank you to Libby, Tanya, Tamsin and Belinda for helping to clear both the junk pile near the library and our ever-growing lost property pile! A quick reminder that Term 2’s lost property will be taken out of the corridors on Monday, so please check to see if any of the clothing, hats, lunch boxes and books belong to your child before then. A visitor to our school commented on the quality and cost of the clothing that was in lost property yesterday, highlighting the incredible waste this can be, so please remember to label anything and everything you can, as this increases your chances of having the property returned by our student leaders.


school life


This week 1/2A celebrated NAIDOC Week and the culture & achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Necklace making is a traditional part of Aboriginal culture. We made friendship necklaces and bracelets using up-cycled materials.



senior cinema excursion


Tuesday this week the senior school went to see 2040, a movie about our future and how to protect it. It first showed sustainable methods and solutions people all over the world are using to get energy, food, education, and transport. It then showed how these methods could look in 2040.


This movie was important for all of us to see. Although it was thought of as just ‘a boring doco about the environment’ some got a lot out of it. We were told about how our earth ‘would’ look if we drive politicians and put work into the future for my generation. The movie showed hope with actual and efficient solutions. Every single element had been thought out so we know it will work. The movie was very much worth seeing.


This positive perspective of our future was almost completely new to me.

When we talk and learn about climate change we are given facts and predictions that are all negative because of the bad path our earth is on. In the movie, we were taught about energy. We were given information about coal and its effect but it was countered by a brilliant solution of shared energy using grids of solar panels. I feel as though this new positive outlook meant instead of leaving the cinema feeling hopeless of our future, I am driven to help and protect our earth.


By Lucinda Hart.




capital works

Thank you everyone for completing yet another survey for our school, when sharing your thoughts and opinions with the VFM/Capital Works survey. By the closing time we had 153 responses, which is a fantastic hit rate - thank you! The information gathered from students, families, staff and school council has been used to help define a vision for our school’s potential future of amenities and infrastructure. The first phase of this process has almost been completed but before we start the masterplanning with our architects, we need to find architects!

This week three architecture firms visited the school, along with representatives of the VSBA. Each firm met with myself and two members of the school community to discuss the funding campaign, the school’s needs and the possibilities for our futures. These architects are currently designing a brief presentation to share at an interview in order to help us identify which firm will be best suited to our school and our dreams. These interviews are set to occur in August and I will be sure to communicate how they go.


Recognised as an essential skill for the 21st-century workforce, collaboration is a massive focus in our school. On Thursday, with this in mind and as a way to have fun around the theme of collaboration, the Senior School played games, created artwork and practiced mindfulness in the name of teamwork. 


We were joined by Hayley from Half Moon Mindfulness and Meditation who helped us to share our reactions to each other, challenges and opportunities. We spoke about the need to be true to ourselves but still be present in the moment and kind to each other.


We played a game called, “Cross the river of deadly crocodiles while carrying the egg of destiny”. As a team we had to listen to each other and, using only three objects, cross the filthy river of doom without dropping the precious egg. Communication was critical and the biggest part of that in this game was making room for each other’s ideas.


Teamwork with Tim saw us playing games in which we had to decode meaning, take each other’s suggestions on board and be successful as a team. We learned a lot about each others personality and crazy skills!


We used teamwork to paint a collective artwork entitled the Field of Flowers. This artwork will then be displayed in our classrooms.



Last term we had the privilege of running a numeracy family night which was attended by lots of members of our community. After the session, we asked for feedback on what parents want to learn more about and the responses were informative and exciting! Over the coming weeks, we will endeavour to give you more information on different approaches we use at school, as well as some practical activities you can use at home. The first response to the question “next time I’d like to hear more about…” that jumps out at me is ‘underlying research to support this approach’. This has been something Jessie and I have been discussing amongst ourselves and we were discussing how to us, it makes sense, it is exciting and we’ve had the benefit of listening to experts discuss why this is the best practise but just because it makes sense to us and we have a good understanding of the why, doesn’t mean everyone else has!

So, why are we doing this?


What is the productive struggle?

During our info session, Jessie and I were discussing the struggle. That is, exposing students to a task and letting them have a go first before the teacher helps them. This is different to the traditional approaches to teaching where the teacher is up the front explaining the problem and then the students are asked to complete a task. We are asking teachers to start by giving the students a task to do, letting them work on it for a bit and then stopping and discussing what strategies they are using, how they have gotten started, what they might need extra support with and so on. As you can see from those brief descriptions the two structures are quite different but there is research around this approach and why it is best practise.


Why is the struggle so important?

People can be quite lazy, it’s just part of being a human! Think about this: if there is a job we don’t really like doing (we might not be in the mood or it might be too tricky or time consuming) we are going to happily let someone take over that task and do it for us. Sometimes in our incredibly busy lives we just want to sit back and let someone else do it. But what do we get out of it? My dad is king of not letting me struggle (one of the benefits of being an only child!). The other day I asked him to teach me how to start the lawn mower (I know, by 29 this is a skill I should have already mastered!). I wanted to know how to use it so the next time the grass was long, I would be able to mow it. Dad being the caring father that he is instead mowed the grass for me. I was happy that the grass was cut and a chore was ticked off the list, but I still was missing that skill. I wasn’t able to do it myself and have that experience of mowing the backyard and feeling like I’ve achieved something. This is the same as in the classroom. Sure, it would be easier for the student to listen to the teacher (no doubt tuning out when the teacher was talking too much) and then do the activity that was just modelled for them. Or to try something, realise it is too hard and then have the teacher step in and show them how to do it, but where is the learning opportunity or the moment to say AHA! That didn’t make sense before but now that I’ve worked through it I get it. In the article which is linked below ‘Challenging tasks lead to productive struggle’ there is a quote in there that states “teachers need to provide opportunities for productive struggle as it is significant and essential to learning mathematics with understanding”. The philosophy behind this type of learning is the idea that mathematics isn’t just about rote learning, it is about a deep understanding of concepts, persistence, acknowledgement that learning mathematics takes effort and practice, using strategies from past learning, extending themselves, learner resilience and thinking flexibly. Challenging tasks and the struggle isn’t just about numeracy, it is about learner resilience and the understanding that learning can be uncomfortable, tricky and confusing but that is part of the process and it is important not to shy away or protect children from that, it is about exposing them to those feelings and celebrating the initial feeling of confusion that lead to the feeling of success.


What does the struggle look like in the classroom?

Whilst we don’t want to give too much away (the struggle will be the topic at our next info night!), I think this quote sums up the struggle well. Taken from the article, Teachers holding back from telling: A key to student persistence on challenging tasks by Doug Clark and Anne Roche “Sullivan,


Cheeseman, Michels, Mornane, Clarke, Roche and Middleton (2011) characterised challenging tasks as those which require students to:

 • plan their approach, especially sequencing more than one step;

• process multiple pieces of information, with an expectation that they make connections between those pieces, and see concepts in new ways;

 • engage with important mathematical ideas;

 • choose their own strategies, goals, and level of accessing the task;

 • spend time on the task;

• explain their strategies and justify their thinking to the teacher and other students;

 • extend their knowledge and thinking in new ways”

Here are some examples of challenging questions that students could do. These are taken from an amazing book by Peter Sullivan called ‘Open ended maths activities: using good questions to enhance learning in Mathematics” (a sample of this book will be in further readings so you can get a feel for it). This is a book that I discovered a few year ago and it is one I use regularly. They are adaptable and engaging and always hook kids in. For example:

How many different ways can you make 20c?

How many different ways can a square be cut into quarters

What numbers can you make that has a 9 in the ones place and is under 100?

2_6 + _8 = _2_. What might the missing numbers be?

Make a list of some objects that have a mass between 200 g and 500 g.

Using 12 square tiles how many different rectangles can you make?


The struggle is something that we are passionate about and the path we believe teachers should be going in terms of numeracy teaching. Our goal is to help support students to be the best they can be, and part of that is building resilience, independence and helping them challenge themselves.

If you would like to learn more we will be running another parent info session later in the year and feel free to chat to Jessie or I if you see us around the school. 


Further readings

If you are interested in learning more, here are some articles that discuss the productive struggle in numeracy and the benefits.

Also don’t forget to follow our maths twitter to see examples of the struggle in action!



Have a wonderful weekend!

Jessie and Alice

oshc & sprout


Sprout has received a wonderful new makeover.  A huge thank you to the men's shed for their generosity in making these fantastic tables!  



Wominjeka everyone,

Welcome back to Term 3! We hope you had a fantastic break and you are ready for another great Term at OSHC with lots of fun activities and projects!

This Term students will not only enjoy their favourite activities such as, lego, planks and magnet constructions, dramatic play in the home/dress up corner (which, by the way, is very popular across all ages and gender), art & craft and outdoor games, but students will be also involved in lots of fantastic ongoing projects. A couple of these will be for the Winter Magic Market, such as making juggling balls and lots and lots of lemonade!!!

Other projects will be:

  • Sustaining our veggie garden with more native plants, herbs and trees
  • Making cloth handbags for sustainable shopping
  • Learning about personal safety through drama

This term we will offer two ongoing incursions:

Hip Hop Program (Incursions): every Thursday, Natasha and Perri Sharan from Flashdance Performing Arts will teach students some basic hip hop steps and a cool routine!!! Please be aware the incursions occur between 4-5pm, so I would suggest you to come to pick up your children after 5pm to avoid any disappointments. I am guessing this program will be very popular!

Circus Incursions: yes, that’s right, after last year’s success and after lots of requests, circus is coming back later this term, and half of Term 4!!! Days to be confirmed… stay tuned!

This year, to make the most of our fabulous educators, we have been working to deliver ongoing, deeper educational experiences. Our aim is to provide variety and continuity, for the students to develop and improve meaningful skills and most important, have fun! 


This Term, we are very excited to offer the following activity clubs:





Cooking Club – Bush Tucker with Naarah

Students will improve their cooking skills, using our veggie patch and bush tucker.


Sewing Club with Bev and Jackie

Students will develop basic skills in sewing using needles and our new  sewing machines.


Garden Gurus Club with Adam

Students will participate in all aspects of gardening, observe the nature cycle, explore their environment, and learn  practical outdoor skills.


Therapy Art Club with Jackie

Students will relax through a variety of art experiences and sensory play.


Catch Up Club

Students will have the opportunity to catch up with their homework and work on stories and Powerpoint projects


Comic Club with Adam

Students will read and create graphic novels and comic strips.


Coding Club with Eric

Grade 3-6 students will learn and improve basic coding and programming skills.


Cooking Club – Bush Tucker with Carly

As students truly enjoy cooking, more opportunities are offered to cater for all children.


Hip Hop Program with Natasha and Perri Sharan from Flashdance Performing Arts School

Students will learn basic hip hop steps to be able to perform in a simple dance routine, with two wonderful professional dancers! How lucky!


Science Club with Brianna

Students will continue to experiment, tinker, wonder, learn and explore.


Card/Board Games Club with Adam

Students will learn challenging Euro-games and develop new ones.


Drama and Film Club with Steve

Students will learn acting and filming skills through drama games in different scenarios with a focus on safety and wellbeing.


Garden Gurus Club with Bev

Students will learn how to look after our veggie patch though planting native plants, herbs and trees.


1st Hip Hop Incursion with Natasha and Perri:


There were lots of enthusiasm and excitement for the hip hop incursion yesterday! Students truly enjoyed performing their  first dance routine and they can’t wait for the next one! If you would like your children to participate you can make a casual booking via MFL.



Garden Gurus with Bev: Murnong planting and exploring nature

Children planted the Murnong and learnt that Murnong were farmed by the Wurundjeri people and they ate the yam part of the plant. Students found a worm and Sophia observed it was a big worm and said “it was big so it was an old worm”. Lu said “worms eggs look like little beads”. How cute!



Cooking Club with Carly:  Students soaked the vermicelli noodles and cooked some tofu to accompany the various veg and bean sprouts. The students were very patient and developed their rolling skills very quickly - including the juniors. The process required precision and fairness in relation to how much of the ingredients they used so as to not overpack their rolls or unfairly use all the produce. There was then the option to fry their rolls to transform them into spring rolls! Yum!


Comic Club: With copyright permission from Andrew, students at comic club have been exploring classic comic strips from Garfield, Peanuts, and the Far Side. Focussing initially on creating characters, students were encouraged to work their characters into a comic strip or graphic novel. This required not only creativity but patience and a consistent approach. Great work!


Important notes:


  1. Direct Debit Forms are now due.

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 and school office.

All families must complete a Direct Debit form no matter how casually children attend the program. If you have any questions please let Bernadetta know.


2. Payments through Direct Debit commence next week for the weekly transactions and in week 3 for the fortnightly transactions.


IMPORTANT: please check your statement to make sure enough funds are available.

3. Lemons are calling! We are going to make lots and lots of lemonade for the WMM. Please, any spare lemons will be much appreciated!!!


4. Passata bottles: we would also like to recycle any passata bottles for our lemonade


‘Till next time!

OSHC Team.


school council


Start typing your article in here...


winter magic market – August 10th, 2-8pm

Four weeks to go!
Roster is ready and waiting for you - Doing a shift at Winter Magic Market can be a great way to meet new people or have a laugh with a group of mates, all while helping our school. The roster is live on Be Collective. This link below should get you directly there or you can go to Be Collective ( and search Winter Magic Market.
Why 3 hour shifts? Answer: The 3-hour shifts on the day are to make it easier to manage food service without a shift changeover in the middle of the busiest period. Also, all those who have done it before will assure you that the time flies.
Why sign up, I will just be around on the day you can come find me and ask me if you need help?
The event gets very busy and we won’t have time to go find you or even call you to ask if you can fill in a gap that has occurred. It’s a lot less stressful for all the coordinators to have a full roster. Many hands make light work and a great team makes the day really fun for everyone.

Spit Roast coordinator still needed – we will make it as easy as possible for you!
We’ll order the marinated meat, the spit and the coals, we have a group of people ready to help you look after the spit during the morning, chop up the salad, mix the tzatziki, order the Turkish rolls and even serve up when the time comes. We just need someone with a passion for cooking (who may have done it or seen it done before) to get the spit started and oversee the cooking and show the team how to carve and get service started at stall once the meat is cooked.

Decorations around the school - It's the school's 90th Birthday this year, and accordingly, the theme we have chosen for our WMM decorations is 'festivity and celebration'.
To help make our vision a reality, we urgently need donations of the following items from our wonderful community:
- Wool/yarn, in vibrant, solid colours
- Hoola hoops, or smaller hoops of any kind
- Old bike wheels/rims
- Old lampshades or lampshade frames
A box for these items will be placed in the hallway behind the office, next to lost property - look out for the sign!
We will also be preparing 'origami balloon' packs for families to take home over the holidays, for those that would like to help make our massive rainbow of balloons! These packs are available in the front office waiting area.

Art Auction items (Sam Everton, Jane Eckett
Whether painting, drawing, sewing, photography, graphic design or sculpture is your thing we warmly welcome any and all art contributions to the Art Auction. Please drop it off at the school office or contact Sam or Jane to let them know what you are thinking about creating/donating. The schools Art room becomes a gallery showcasing the creative talents of our school community and is a wonderful collaboration.

Books, Books Books – Marie Kondo your bookcase for a good cause
The secondhand book stall is an absolute favourite for so many of the visitors to Winter Magic Market. Take the opportunity to clean out you bookcases and bring along books in good condition for the stall. You can leave the boxes of books in the corridor behind the office (There will be a sign showing you where to drop them off).

Social media – Instagram and Facebook guru (small amount of time each day/evening for three weeks)
We would love someone who has the time to post daily to be our social media coordinator for the Winter Magic Market, if you have a little time each day to upload info, pictures, photo of artworks, advertising for our key sponsors please contact with Tanya ( and Sam Everton (



make bake create donate


french club


the Nor'Wester