Newsletter #6

29th April 2021


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Principal's Report 29th April 2021

Beginning of Term
Welcome back to all our students and families.  We have had a great start to the term.  Year 5/6 have already had a Discovery Day at Fairhills High School, year 1/2s visited Healesville Sanctuary on Friday and years 3-6 participated in a short Anzac Commemoration on Monday.  We are very much looking forward to our first on site assembly this Friday.  We know many people are going to attend.  Please enter the school from 3.05 and sign in at the tables by the QR code or the sign in sheet (don’t forget a pen).  Signing in is compulsory. 

It is very exciting to be feeling that we can do more on site events.


A huge thank you to the GNPA workers who have recently organised the sale of leftover uniforms for families.  Uniform is compulsory at Ferntree Gully North.  Please make sure all your items are named so, if lost, they can be returned to your child.  Have a chat to your child/children about how to care for their items.  It is not uncommon for over 10 items to come to the office after each break.  Most of these are named and can be returned but sometimes they aren’t named.  Lost property cupboard is labelled in the area outside the specialist office if you need to check for anything.  From term 3, students who are not in uniform, will receive a reminder slip to wear correct uniform.  If you are not sure please visit the Klad Sports store in Rowville and you have the opportunity to try on all items before purchase. Going forward we will be working out a system where parents will have the opportunity for second hand swapping or purchasing.


‘Big Write’ is a new approach at Ferntree Gully North to teach the skills of writing. It is highly effective for students all the way from Prep to Grade 6, and has an immediate impact on writing standards. The method is based on fast, fun and lively teaching of the ‘writing voice’ through oral communication. It gives students the confidence and understanding to develop control of a higher level writing voice. Before students are given the opportunity to complete their ‘Big Write’ students will be provided with a ‘Home Talk’ stimulus. Families will discuss this at home, which sets the child up for a successful writing session.

This week the whole school completed their first ever ‘Big Write’ and it was a huge success. All students were prepared for this celebration of their writing by an oral language lesson, followed by uninterrupted writing time. All levels were given different topics/experiences to write about based on what they are currently learning in the classroom.  We look forward to continuing our ‘Big Writes’ every fortnight. We have been thrilled already with what we have seen and how engaged students are in this process. Congratulations to all our families supporting their child/children in the Home Talk process.


If you have a child starting prep in 2022 please see the office for an enrolment form.  We encourage families to enrol as soon as possible to assist with our planning.  It seems a long way away but we are already putting measures in place for next year.  If you know anyone in the community who would like a tour, please get them to contact the office to book a time. If parents have had a tour we encourage them to enrol as soon as possible as we are already planning for 2022. This Saturday we have our Open Morning for prep 9-10.30.  We welcome all prospective families to come along.  Children will have some activities and adults can chat with staff and have any questions answered.  This is a great opportunity for parents to come along who might be working during the week and can’t do a tour or perhaps families who have a child in 3 year old kinder.  Hope to see you there.


Naplan will take place on May 11, 12 and 13 for students in years 3 and 5.  This testing is National and covers English and maths.  There will be a fact sheet for parents when it arrives for distribution.  The testing is a snapshot of a child’s abilities but supports teacher judgements.  If you have any questions contact your child’s teacher, Priscilla or me.


Mother’s Day
We wish all our mothers and special people a wonderful family day on Sunday 9th May.  Our traditional Mother’s Day Stall, run by GNPA, is back.  For those new to the school see the flyer in the newsletter for further information.  The stall is a lovely way for students to organise their own gifts well supported by GNPA and their teachers.  Thank you to our GNPA army for their work.

Illness at School
Attached is the current guidelines regarding children who may be unwell at school.  We encourage you to ring the office if you are not sure of what to do. 

Sue Dean and Priscilla Salter

Important Dates to Remember



Thursday 9th December- 3/4 Special Lunch

Monday 13th December- Grade 6 Graduation
Ceremony: 4.15pm-5.45pm at School
Dinner and Disco: Knox Club 6:15pm-9:15pm

Tuesday 14th December- Class Parties

Wednesday 15th December- Colour Run

Thursday 16th December - Last day of Term 4 2:30pm finish

Friday 17th December- Curriculum day No students at school



Friday 28th January-
Curriculum  day

Monday 31st January-Term 1 Students Start at 9:00am-Don't forget your hats.


Saturday 19th Feb 9.30am -11.00pm Save the date- Open Morning for Prep 2023

Prep 2022 Open Morning

Saturday 1st May 2021 9am - 10:30am  Meet the Principal and 2021 Prep teachers

Year 1/2 Excursion to Healesville Sanctuary


As part of our inquiry unit in Term 2 on Biology, the 1/2s visited Healsville Sanctuary on Friday. We had a wonderful day exploring the Sanctuary and discovering the different trails and finding our favourite native Australian animals.
On the main track, we saw a huge variety of reptiles and amphibians in their natural habitats. We were also lucky enough to see some majestic birds of prey and magnificent parrots at the Free Spirits of the Sky Bird Show in the Flight Arena. Kangaroos, koalas, emu’s and more, we continued along to Platypus Track where we discovered the delightful little platypuses in their riverside environment.

Did you know that a baby platypus is called a puggle? What a wonderful day we had! We are so proud of our 1/2’s, for representing Ferntree Gully North so beautifully!

1/2 Teachers

5/6 Excursion at Fairhills High School

On Tuesday the 20th of April the 5/6s went on an excursion to Fairhills High School. We rotated through 3 subjects including PE, food tech, and science. During PE we practiced basketball and played a game called the Hunger Games. We also learnt that the assistant PE coach played against Ben Simmons from the Philadelphia 76s as a kid, and just missed out on an NBA team.

In Food Tech we made delicious low-fat pita crisps. We also learnt about the healthy dose of sugar intake per day. The correct amount is 6 spoonsful of sugar or less. While we were in Science we learnt about bases and acids and we leant about the PH scale and how the 0-6 is an acid and 8-14 is a base, but 7 is a neutral.

To finish the day off we did a quiz about the school and the teachers. Thank you to the staff and students at Fair hills high school and thank you to our wonderful staff for making that day possible!

Written by Dennis House Captains Henry W and Amelia C.    


On Monday the school captains held an ANZAC day service for the Grade 3 to 6 classes.

The purpose of the service was to come together to commemorate the soldiers & nurses who bravely served our wonderful nation and fought for our freedom.

ANZAC stands for the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The soldiers in those forces quickly became known as ANZACs and the pride they took in that name still remains today.

ANZAC Day is one of Australia’s most important national occasions. It marks the anniversary of the first major military action that Australian and New Zealand forces fought in during the First World War in 1915.

Australian soldiers were deployed at the Gallipoli peninsula with New Zealand, British and French troops. The aim of the operation was to capture the Dardanelles Strait and the Turkish capital city.

ANZAC soldiers landed at Gallipoli on the 25th of April 1915.  Throughout the fighting at Gallipoli there were 26 111 Australian casualties, including 8 141 deaths.

We paid our respects to the ANZACs by taking part in a moments silence and listening to the last post. We also read the poem “For the Fallen” by Laurence Binyon. The 3/4s created a wreath and we laid out poppies that the 5/6s made in Art.

Written by Cooper S and Claire P

Student of the Week Term 2- Week starting Monday 19th April 2021

Congratulations to the following students who received Student of the Week:
PREP CElijah SExcellenceFor always being a great role model for his peers and completing this work to the best of his ability.
PREP ARex SExcellenceFor pursuing his personal best in all learning activities by being an active participant in class discussions. Great Job!
1 /2 BLilly TRespectBy being a strong role model by always showing respect to others.
1 /2 CCourtney NExcellenceFor starting Term 2 with a positive attitude and can do mindset. Well done Courtney!
1 /2 DLachlan SRespectFor always showing good manners and respect to his teachers and peers.
1 /2 NJulian MExcellenceGreat work for striving for excellence on researching about crocodiles this week!
3 /4DVasilis MExcellenceFor making a positive transition into term 2! Keep it up
3 /4BIsla CResilience
Showing resilience when faced with a challenging situation in the Enviro Centre. You asked for help and pulled a supportive team of friends around you.
3 /4EDakota EExcellenceFor striving for excellence when writing persuasive text this week! Well done
3 /4KSophie JExcellenceFor striving for excellence when using different strategies in maths this week
3 /4FSierra BRespectBy being a strong role model by always showing respect to others.
5 /6 ONaiima SExcellenceFor always striving for excellence when completing learning tasks
5 /6 ADexter SExcellenceFor being able to successfully articulate why his reading goal is a good fit.
5 /6GCooper BResilienceFor taking charge of his learning and making stronger choices.
5/6IAngus RExcellenceFor working hard to show his understanding of persuasive techniques.
5 /6SCharlie AExcellenceFor enthusiastically sharing his mathematical knowledge with the class.
MUSICJesse AIntegrityFor showing INTEGRITY and maturity when working in Music.
LOTEHarrison McGExcellenceFor excellence in writing his name in hiragana.
ARTDaniel GIntegrityFor showing INTEGRITY and maturity when working in Art.
PHYSICAL EDUCATIONJohn WExcellenceFor excellence in PE (long jump).

Enviro News

The Grade 3/4’s are on Enviro duty this term. They will be growing a variety of plants from seeds and investigating what plants need to grow. They will also need families to volunteer to do Enviro duty on the weekends so if you are interested please let your classroom teacher know.

Our compost bin is nearly full and has attracted many worms which will help break down the organic waste into compost we can use on the garden. Our soft plastic recycling program has been a success in Term 1 with 3 large bags of wrappers going to recycling rather than landfill. This term the Grade 3/4s will be looking at reducing their landfill waste in their classrooms and why it is important to do so.

Mottainai Project – ‘Oh What a Waste!’

Our Grade 5 and 6 students enjoyed learning about Mottainai in LOTE last term and our Enviro Leaders are keen to take this challenge to the whole school by looking at our waste at the end of each term and identifying what we can do better.

Congratulations to Chloe B, Seb P, Chloe S, Brandon H, Gloria L and Kamryn H who have been chosen to be guinea pig carers for two terms. They will support students from all year levels to meet the guinea pigs on Wednesdays at lunchtime, and will take them home on weekends.

Thank you to the families who volunteered to do duty at the Enviro centre over the holidays: the Makin, Sealey, Martins, Sima, Donovan, Neal, Garden, Philip and Whitten families. We could not have animals at the school without the generosity of these families taking time to care for them.

The article  in the Gully News explains about what our school focus will be this year. Students may bring home items in their lunchboxes that can be used again or recycled in their home recycling bin rather than putting them in landfill at school. Together we can reduce our landfill.

To read more:

Mrs Casey


GNPA is very excited to be able to host our first face to face meeting at school this year. Everyone is welcome to attend. Younger siblings can come along too. Please make sure you sign into the office before heading to the meeting.

On the Agenda:

  • Mother's Day Stall
  • Colour Run
  • Family Name Tree
  • Friday Pop Up Fundraisers

Come along and join in the discussion.

Mother's Day Stall coming soon! 

After missing out last year everyone is looking forward to our stall. We will be selling a variety of gifts priced between $1-$6. Students are invited to bring along some spending money & a bag to put their purchases in. All students will attend the stall during school hours.


Parents Garden Club News

The Parents Garden Club is getting back into the groove after recent welcome rainfall and a worldwide pandemic.  If you haven’t heard about us before, we are a group of parents who enjoy working within the school grounds maintaining the garden beds, particularly the Wildlife Walk.   We aim to meet up one or two mornings a week for an hour of two of basic gardening such as weeding, mulching, watering and sometimes planting!  There are many jobs always need doing so if you would like to join us for some fresh air in the mornings, email either Caroline or myself to let us know you are interested.  Cheers, Fiona  or


Parenting Ideas- INSIGHTS

What it means to be an emotionally intelligent parent

by Michael Grose

10 year-old Elle liked to be active, but one weekend things got out of control. A jazz ballet concert, a game of netball, and a family visit to her cousin’s house meant no time to herself. And she let her parents know it with constant moaning, as well as a tantrum or two.

Her father held his tongue for most of the weekend, but couldn’t help but give her some fatherly advice on Sunday night. “You’ve spent the whole weekend moaning about how busy you are. Maybe you need to drop one of your activities, if they are stressing you out so much!”

A tantrum followed…from Elle.

Elle’s mum took a different tack. She had a hunch that something was bothering her daughter. “You sound like something is bothering you big-time. What’s up?”

“I’ve got to give a talk at school on Monday in front of the whole school and I haven’t time to prepare. It’ll be awful and everyone will laugh.”

Her mum replied, “You sound like you might be pretty nervous. That makes sense. Giving a talk in front others can be nerve-wracking.”

Elle dropped her shoulders, smiled and said, “You bet!” She was relieved because her mum understood how she felt. In fact, her mum had unlocked the problem for her and reflected back how she felt.

Elle’s dad focused on her behaviour and responded in kind (with well-meaning advice about her future behaviour), while her mother focused on the feelings that acted as a possible driver to her daughter’s behaviour. She took an emotionally smart approach, which turned out to be the right one in this circumstance.

Emotionally intelligent parents don’t dismiss children’s behaviour and allow kids to do as they please. There are times that we need to focus on a child’s behaviour. A child who is rude in public should be reminded in no uncertain terms that poor manners are inappropriate. However, there are times when smart parents need to look beyond the obvious behaviours to get a good understanding of what’s happening to their child, and to help a child better understand and manage their emotions.

So what does an emotionally intelligent parent look like? And importantly what is the impact on kids, parents and families of this approach?

Emotionally intelligent parents have the following five attributes in common.

Listen more and judge less

There is nothing better than being understood. Parents who operate from an emotionally-smart mindset are more likely to listen to their kids when emotions are high, trying to access what may be going on, rather than clamping down their behaviour or closing them down with well-meaning advice. The impact of this is better, more open relationships.

Accept strong emotions

Anyone who lives with teenagers will know that emotions can run very high. They can say the worst possible things to each other and, at times, to you. Ten minutes after delivering a hateful tirade they can be cuddling up to the person who was the butt of their anger, frustration or anxiety. Emotionally intelligent parents know that feelings need to be expressed rather than bottled up, and allowed to fester. They also believe there is nothing so bad that a child can’t give voice to in a family, however there are behaviours that are not unacceptable. The impact of this is healthy expression of emotions.

Focus on the present

Most parents are rightfully future-focused. We focus on the homework that needs to be handed in tomorrow, the washing that needs to be done, the meal that needs to be cooked. That’s part of everyday life. Children generally focus on the here and now. That of course can be frustrating to a task-oriented future-focused mother or father. However when we lower our gaze we are more likely to pick up how kids are feeling, and importantly help them understand and manage their moods and emotions. The impact of this is happier families and less stress felt at home.

Use rules rather than their moods to determine discipline

Some parents discipline according to their moods. If they feel good then they give children plenty of lenience. If they are feel bad then they pick their kids up on every little thing. It’s better to stick to the family and house rules; that makes you more predictable, which kids really crave. The impact of this is more consistent parenting.

Develop a language around feelings

A family develops a vocabulary around the things that are important to them. Kids in a sport loving family will inevitably have a rich vocabulary around their chosen sport. The same holds for emotional intelligence. Families that truly value building emotional smarts will develop in kids a rich palette of words that will help them describe how they feel. This vocabulary will inevitably stay with them for life. The impact of this is better relationships later in life at work and in their own families.

Michael Grose

Michael Grose, founder of Parenting Ideas, is one of Australia’s leading parenting educators. He’s an award-winning speaker and the author of 12 books for parents including Spoonfed Generation, and the bestselling Why First Borns Rule the World and Last Borns Want to Change It. Michael is a former teacher with 15 years experience, and has 30 years experience in parenting education. He also holds a Master of Educational Studies from Monash University specialising in parenting education.

Ferntree Gully News- Community Newspaper April 2021

Camp Australia Newsletter 29 April 2021

CSEF Application Form

Please see below the link for the CSEF form:
CSEF Application Form 2021

Community News 29th April 2021