Newsletter #11

22nd July 2021


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Principal's Report 22nd July 2021

Welcome Back  
It’s was wonderful to see everyone back last week although short lived. The children made a great start, and we know you are encouraging them to continue working hard at home.  We hope everyone had a lovely break and got some family time in.  Remember to email your teacher if you have any queries.  Term newsletters have come out.  Make sure you put all our dates in your calendars.  The pack coming out tomorrow will have work for the following week in case we are not back on Wednesday.  Remember to keep an eye on Compass.

I was reading an article this morning written by Hugh Van Cuylenburg, the co-founder of The Resilience Project.  His job involves teaching resilience to children and up to CEOs.  He’s written a best selling book, hosts a podcast and speaks to groups widely. He shares messages around evidence based mental health strategies to help people build resilience and happiness.  Below are 6 strategies to think about at this time.

  1. Swap expectations for hope – In a world of snap lockdowns having ‘expectations’, plans can become a source of stress and anxiety. ‘You cannot really have expectations for anything – you can hope to do things.’
  2. Create things to look forward to – when you go to bed at night, think to yourself, “What am I looking forward to most tomorrow?’ If you can’t thing of something, organise something. It might be call a friend, read your favourite book, walk with your kids.
  3. Limit TV News – Overwatching the news can be very negative and demoralising. If you need to turn it off.
  4. Be selective about who you engage with – You are only interacting with a limited number of people so mix with people who are positive. It will have an impact on your mood and outlook. Hang around people who make you feel good.
  5. Be selective about who you follow on social media – Same thing. Look for the positive and unfollow or don’t look at pages that encourage negative emotions.
  6. Do something that’s good for you- Steer your life in a positive direction. Have something you can look back on and say, ‘If it wasn’t for COVID I wouldn’t have done this. And it’s a really good thing.  It might be exercising, see a psychologist, cooking.  In a year’s time when you look back have something where you go ‘that bit, not the whole thing, but that little bit there was good for me.’

So, hang in there! Stay safe, stay home and stay positive.  Find some joy in the small stuff.

Thank you to everyone who has gotten their enrolment forms in.  Enrolments will be confirmed by the 13th August.  If you are not sure about your personal situation, please call me to discuss your needs.  We are working very hard to organise our arrangements for 2022 so you need to get enrolments so that we are able to offer as many places as we can.  If you know of someone who is considering enrolling please prompt them with a reminder.

Jacki Atkinson has made a great start to her time at Ferntree Gully North and is working very well with all classes.

Dental Van
The Dental Van has been postponed.  Information will be posted on Compass when we know more.

House Athletics
House Athletics is scheduled for Friday 30th July.  At this stage it is unclear if we can go ahead. Hopefully, we will be able to.  We will let you know as soon as possible.

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

From the Office

Office Opening Hours

The School Office is staffed between the hours of 8:15am-4:30pm Monday to Friday. For all enquiries please contact us on 9758 1662 or via email

Borrowed Spare Clothing

If your child has come home in spare clothing supplied by the School, please wash and return these items as soon as possible. As you might imagine in these wetter days we can go through our limited supply very quickly!  A spare set of clothing in school bags would be greatly appreciated ‘just in case’.  It’s not just the younger students that might need a change after the breaks.

Late Arrivals

A reminder to all parents that if your child arrives late to school, parents/guardians must come into the office so that students can be signed in to school by the office staff. We need to record the correct data for the absence.

If students arrive unattended there will be an unexplained absence entered in Compass and parents will be required to update with an explanation.

Lost Property 

Just a reminder to ensure all items are clearly named so that if lost can be reunited with students.  If you have received a pre loved item please make sure the name is updated.

We also ask please that you check your child’s uniform from time to time to ensure they haven’t brought home someone else’s clothing by mistake in the excitement of the day.

A Good News Story

A brand new jumper was found in the street by a very considerate community member.  The jumper had the child’s name and contact mobile number on the underside of the label so the parent could be contacted and the child reunited with their brand new jumper!

Yay for kind strangers!  Thank you!

Student of the week Term 3- Week Starting Monday 21st June

PREP CChester TExcellenceFor writing an excellent recount during Big Write of our nature walk experience. Well done!
PREP FHenry BExcellenceFor demonstrating excellence when persisting to learn his high-frequency words. Well done!
1 /2 BNoah GExcellenceFor demonstrating excellence during our Big Write session. Keep up the outstanding work.
1 /2 CZach WExcellenceFor showing excellence in our Big Write session this week. Well done Zach!
1 /2 DIndiana PExcellenceFor demonstrating excellence during our Big Write!
1 /2 NMax AExcellenceExcellence in his writing tasks this week. Keep up the great effort!
3 /4DJohnny BResilienceFor continuing to edit and revise his writing to improve it. Well done.
3 /4BHolly WRespectFor showing respect in all aspects of our classroom. Thank you Holly.
3 /4EEddie DResilienceFor demonstrating resilience in all areas of his learning! Keep it up Eddie
3 /4KSam WExcellenceFor ensuring that the presentation of his work is at an excellent standard
3 /4FWilliam TExcellenceFor excellence in his improved focus and concentration during classtime.
5 /6 OAli ARespectFor consistently demonstrating our school value of 'respect'.
5 /6AEmma TExcellenceFor seeking feedback on her reading goal.
5 /6GCaiah NRespectFor consistently demonstrating our virtue of 'friendliness'.
5/6IHarper BRespectFor always being respectful, helpful and kind to others.
5 /6SJazmin MResilienceFor showing resilience in learning by facing challenges head-on.
MUSICKhloe ARespectFor consistently showing RESPECT and being a positive class member in Music. Great work!
LOTEWilliam TRespectFor listening, following instructions and working independently.
ARTKobe DIntegrityfor always showing integrity when working in the Art Room. Well done!
PHYSICAL EDUCATIONCooper CExcellenceFor excellence in all areas of PE.

Enviro News 22nd July 2021

Mrs Casey, has been very busy working in and around the Enviro Centre.
All will be announced in the next couple of weeks- WATCH THIS SPACE!

Parenting Ideas- Riding the COVID waves

by Michael Grose

The disruption caused by the pandemic continues, with the scale of its impact dependent on geography. Families in the nation’s two most populated states are no strangers to lockdowns and the disturbance they bring to normal life. Regardless of where you live, the sense of the pandemic is always present, ready to disrupt daily life at short notice.

We crave connect and certainty

Human beings crave certainty and human connection, both of which are severely impacted by the current pandemic. Just when life appears to return to normal, COVID case numbers can flare, sparking changes to our daily lives. As demonstrated by the massive increase in people seeking psychological support services over the last 18 months, these are difficult times for us all.

Every family has its own COVID related story consisting of loss, disappointment, hardship, frustration of some kind. While there is no magic bullet that will make living through these uncertain times easy, here are some strategies to help you and your family stay upright while you ride the COVID waves of uncertainty and change.

Model a coping mindset

Let’s start with a coping mindset, the hardest and most important strategy. The leader in any group is the person who remains calm in a crisis, so as parents we need to do all we can to keep our acts together, or at least look like we are in control. Kids of all ages, but especially primary-aged students, take their cues from parents, the most important people in their lives, about how to view events. If catastrophising, anxiety and anger are modelled, then inevitably younger family members will mimic these behaviours. More significantly, these behaviours contribute to their feelings of lack of control. Alternatively, when acceptance, perspective and optimism are on display, kids learn how they can cope with uncertainty and change. This is not to suggest that parents aren’t struggling, and that we shouldn’t show our vulnerability to children. However, children and young people feel safer and more secure when their parents radiate a sense of calm and composure in the face of difficulty. Challenging, but essential.

Act like a middle born

Despite the negative press that middle-borns receive including ‘middle child syndrome’, and ‘middle-child complex’, this cohort is generally very resilient. Their flexibility as a result of fitting into a life pattern set by an elder sibling enables them to more easily adapt to change. Often considered less ambitious and driven than first-borns, middle children generally expect less of themselves, and are more inclined to bide their time, letting the big waves pass before riding the more accessible, easier waves to achieve success. Birth order research reveals that middle children tend to have broader social circles than children born in other positions enabling them to form social connections in many different settings. Their adaptability, lowering of expectations and wonderful approachability are examples of how to survive challenging times.

Embed wellbeing strategies into family life

If ever there was a time to make wellbeing come alive in a family, it’s now. If you have previously believed kids’ wellbeing is less important than homework, music or sports lessons and chores then it’s time for a priority rethink. Mental health practices are most successful when they are embedded into family life, rather than being focused on when life gets hard. While no means limited to these, the most significant wellbeing practices include sticking to daily routines (to maintain feelings of control), taking regular exercise (to get rid of built-up stress and promote feel-good endorphins) and prioritising sleep (to maximise the brain’s capacity to manage stress).

Only sweat the big stuff

If you find that you’re arguing with your child over minor issues such as leaving clothes around the house, then it’s time to let the small stuff go and focus on the bigger issues. You may need to set the parenting bar a little lower, focus less on academics, even relax screen time limits for a time if they are a source of conflict. Expect behaviour blow outs from children who have lost their own bearings – in some cases access to friends, school, and schedule. Give kids space if they regress, rather than reward tantrums with plenty of your attention, which will reward and keep the behaviour going.

Connect with your village

Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What about your kids? It matters because each group reacts differently during lockdowns. Those on the introvert end of the spectrum can feel a little too comfortable being home and away from work or school. Scheduling regular digital catch-ups with friends and family can overcome reluctance to connect. Extroverts, on the other hand, can really struggle being away from friends and need little encouragement to stay in touch, which is vital during times of uncertainty.

There are no hard and fast rules about living through this pandemic. COVID didn’t come with a ‘how to’ manual, so most of us are writing our own rules as we go. Embrace any ideas that work for you and your family and let go of those that aren’t right for you. Be mindful, that the tide will eventually turn, the waves more predictable and our capacity to deal with hardship will have been enhanced by this experience.

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.

Camp Australia- 22nd July 2021

Community News 22nd July 2021