Issue 12- 13th August 2020


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Principal's Report

Remote Learning

As we approach the end of the fourth week of remote learning 2.0, we hope we find you well.  We know from feedback that some days are great and some are difficult.  You need to remember to work in ways that support your whole family.  Take into consideration the needs of your child, your work and your whole family.  The tasks for each day/week can be arranged in ways that suit you best.  If you are working on a week day and need to catch something up on the weekend you can.  If your child can’t make a contact group, email your teacher.  You may be able to organise something else.  If you get stuck on an activity go on to something else and go back to it when you can ask your teacher a question if you need to.  Remember, your child generally knows what is expected, particularly if they are in years 2-6 and will probably know what to do.  Your children have fantastic technology skills.  You don’t always need to be the one pressing the keys on a device.

Remember to read the suggested time allocations for each subject each day.  Children will not be working from 9-3.30 each day. Most importantly if you are not sure of something make sure you email your teachers.  They are there to support you. 
Make sure you stay on top of the Compass notifications.  We try to space these out but sometimes we do need to get information to you as it comes out.
Most of all, well done for everyone staying home and helping us all stay safe and getting closer to reducing our restrictions.  We miss everyone very much and we would love everyone to be here but we want a healthy and happy population on your return. 

Beautiful Correspondence

On Monday we received this lovely email to the school email address.  It certainly made my day.  I wanted to share it with you. We have a great community and how thoughtful to share on these difficult days.

‘I live locally and in ISO and due to my own health restrictions struggle walking in the area due to the ups and downs of the landscape.  Today I did my 1 hour walk and walked around my local primary school.  WOW, I haven't been here since before renovations.  Today I wish my 28yr old daughter was primary age.  What a great learning environment.  The nature walk fantastic , the class rooms look like I would want to be there and learn.  I will be recommending to my niece studying to be a teacher.  It's a great school, my two little ones next door in grade 1 and 2 attend and I think they are very fortunate.  Keep up the great work, such an asset to our little local community.  Take care in these challenging times but don't loose the spirit of engagement and learning by experiencing you seem to encourage.  For the parents struggling at home learning, remind them it's not all about completing workbooks and watching videos, find ways at home that achieve the same outcome, eg cooking, reading recipes, measuring. Shopping lists help with maths and can be rolled into menu planning.  Learning is all around us and doesn't need to be structured lessons.’

Student/Parent/Teacher Conferences

Congratulations to all those who have so far attended our online student/parent/teacher conferences that started yesterday.  This is certainly a new adventure for all of us.  Teachers will have some questions they will ask to see how you are going.  Make sure you share with them as well.  Teachers will be following up with parents who have not yet booked times.


Keep an eye out for our assembly each week.  Our student leaders are doing a great job with this.  They are to be congratulated.  For many of our students this is a highlight. Ange, our Chaplain, is doing a fabulous job on her weekly posts.  I am enjoying them and they are a good reminder for all of us to keep our eyes on the right things.

Sue Dean and Priscilla Salter

Help kids to beat COVID induced anxiety

Help kids to beat COVID induced anxiety

11 August 2020

Help kids to beat COVID induced anxiety

by Michael Grose

Since COVID  has entered our lives I’ve had countless conversations with parents and enquiries from schools seeking presentations on how to support kids who with COVID induced anxiety.

It’s wonderful to see how kids’ mental health and wellbeing is being prioritised, and importantly, resourced. However these conversations show we still have some way to go as a community to fully grasp the nature of anxiety.

While the current situation we are all living through is extremely difficult, it does present an opportunity to develop sustained growth and vitality in anxious children and young people.

In Anxious Kids, the book I co-authored with Dr. Jodi Richardson we wrote, “Anxiety doesn’t have to be the shadow that clouds the days of children and young people. Understanding that anxiety is a well understood and manageable condition brings anxious kids such relief.”

We wrote this pre-COVID and nothing since has caused me to change my mind. In fact, experiences of this COVID era have reinforced that the more we know about anxiety the less fearful we are and better equipped to move kids from anxiety to real resilience.

There is no cure for anxiety

Just as there’s no cure for the common cold, and it would appear the coronavirus, there is also no cure for anxiety. We know that anxiety runs in families. Children are born with a predisposition for anxiety. There is every likelihood that an anxious child will have at least one parent who experiences anxiety, maybe not clinically, but one who is familiar with a churn in their stomach, the constant overthinking and the desire to over prepare when they face new or unfamiliar situations.

The impact of anxiety can be minimised

Anxiety may be a constant companion for many children but it’s certainly not their best friend. Often, it’s a demon with which they are locked in a long-running, laborious battle where simple activities such as attending school camp or doing at home learning become something they dread. Alternatively, they can avoid events or situations that make them anxious or bring them discomfort.

It’s better to give an anxious child or young person tools such as mindfulness, checking in and deep breathing with which they can manage their anxiety, rather than allow them to miss out and be miserable, or tackle discomfort full on and be stressed out.

You can build anxiety resistance

While we can’t necessarily tackle anxiety at its source and make the situations that overwhelm a child disappear, we can help them to develop a lifestyle that builds their resistance against the very worst of anxiety. Plenty of sleep, adequate diet, regular exercise and sufficient time in nature are some of the lifestyle factors that builds strength against the psychological ravages of anxiety.

You can help kids reduce their ongoing anxiety

While the world waits and prays that we’ll come up with a coronavirus vaccine, we don’t have to wait to help a child or young person with anxiety. A combination of being nurturing and firm (features of the authoritative parenting style) offers the best protection against ongoing anxiety. A child is best prepared to face difficulties when they have a confident, calm adult in their life who says, “I think you can do this,” encouraging them to face their fears. This approach needs to be supported by an empathetic adult who understands the impact of anxiety and makes sure that kids feel safe and secure.

While parenting an anxious child or young person can feel overwhelming and difficult, I encourage you to think about it differently. We can’t change what is happening right now, and we can’t undo it. Help your anxious child to flourish in this COVID era by building their understanding of anxiety. Give them the tools to help them push anxiety into the background. Promote a lifestyle that will protect them from its affects by ensuring they experience nurturing, firm, brave and hopeful parenting. We hope coronavirus will one day disappear, but your child’s ability to be impacted by difficult events will still be an issue unless you take some preventative action now. The good news is that there is so much you can do to help.

Online Mental Health Resources


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.

Time online – from the eSafety Commissioner

Help your child achieve a healthy balance in their online and offline activities.

How much is too much?

There is no magic figure. The right amount of screen time can depend on a range of factors like your child’s age and maturity, the kind of content they are consuming, their learning needs and your family routine. 

It can be easy to focus only on the clock, but the quality and nature of what they are doing online, and your involvement, are just as important.

Consider your child’s screen use in the context of their overall health and wellbeing. For example, is online time getting in the way of their sleep and exercise? Is it impacting on their face-to-face connections with family and friends? The answers to these questions will guide you and help strike the right balance of online and offline activities for your child.

Signs to watch for

 Signs that your child’s online activity may be having a negative impact on them or on your family include: 

  • less interest in social activities like meeting friends or playing sport
  • not doing so well at school
  • tiredness, sleep disturbance, headaches, eye strain 
  • changes in eating patterns
  • reduced personal hygiene
  • obsession with particular websites or games
  • extreme anger when being asked to take a break from online activity
  • appearing anxious or irritable when away from the computer
  • becoming withdrawn from friends and family

What to do if you are concerned

 Ask questions and listen.

  • Some of the behavioural changes described above are a normal part of growing up but, if you are concerned your child is struggling, try to find out why — there may be underlying issues such as cyberbullying, friendship difficulties or mental health issues. 
  • As part of your conversation, ask your child about how much time they spend online and explain why it is worrying and what they could be missing out on. 
  • Try not to show that you disapprove or they might shut down communication altogether. 
  • Talking to your child’s school may also reveal academic or social issues, and the school may also be able to provide support.
  • Explore underlying issues and seek help if necessary

You can read advice for parents about issues like cyberbullying, gaming, and unwanted contact and grooming.


If necessary, you can get help for your child through a counselling or online support service. 

Help your child manage their online time


Stay engaged and encourage balance

Keep an eye on the games, apps and devices your child uses. Chat with your child regularly and help them stay aware of how much time they are spending on different online and offline activities. 

Include positive things outside the online world in your conversations, such as what they love in life, careers they are interested in and new hobbies.

Join in. Play games together as a family, or explore some joint online projects. Rather than being just a solitary activity, online time can then become another way of strengthening connections as well as building social skills.

Where possible, avoid limiting online time as a punishment as this approach may inflate its importance to children.



Create a plan

Involve your child in creating a family plan for leisure and entertainment time that balances time spent sitting in front of screens — including time online and watching TV — and a variety of offline activities. 

Work out the plan together. Young people are more likely to respond to rules they have contributed to and see as being fair and consistent.

As well as agreed age-based time limits, the plan could include rules about which websites can be visited and online games can be played. It could also include control of access to the internet or devices, perhaps with daily passwords revealed once family time, homework and chores are complete. 

A minor reduction each day or a ‘15-minutes to switch-off’ warning can help the transition to a more balanced use of time. 


Reducing your own screen time also sets a positive example.

You could also consider formalising your plan into a signed written agreement — a family online safety contract. Our advice in online safety basics has some tips on this.

There should be clear consequences for not sticking to the agreement and it is important to follow through with these. 


Use the available technology

Parental controls are software tools that allow you to monitor and limit what your child sees and does online. But be honest and open with your children about why and how you want to use these technologies.

There are also apps and software to measure online time as well as set time limits on device use or internet access.

Find out more information about parental controls in taming the technology.

  • Set boundaries for digital device use in your home
  • Device-free zones and times can help you manage screen time. For example, your family plan could include rules like this:
  • no devices in the bedroom for younger children
  • all screens off in bedrooms after a certain time for older children
  • all screens off at least one hour before planned bedtime
  • all family members switch off at dinner time
  • devices charged overnight in a place your child cannot access


Book Club Issue 6- due Friday 4th September

Hi Everyone,

Issue 6 of the Scholastic Bookclub is now available to order online. Due to current restrictions, book club is available for home delivery only. This means that if you place an order it will be directly sent to your home and a delivery fee of $5.99 will be added onto your order.

Delivery and distribution to Gully North is not an option for Issue 6. 

There are some amazing offers in this online catalogue, please click onto this link to have a look: 

Orders for issue 6 will close on 4th September.  

Please note that if you ordered books from issue 5, collection will be available once restrictions have eased and I am able to sort through the books. I apologise to everyone that placed an order however, this is completely out of our hands. You will get your books just a lot later than anticipated. 


Take care and stay safe


Rachel Mactaggart

Book Club-Coordinator

Kinder Transition to School

Thank you to those families who have chosen our school for prep 2022.  We welcome you, and hope that you are enjoying our online forums and storytime on a Friday.  As we move into term 4 and gain information around transition we will contact you.  If you have any questions please call the office on 9758-1662.

Take a look at our virtual tour which is also on our Facebook page I would encourage parents to give me a call at school to discuss their needs and enrolment forms are available from the office or on our website. If you know of anyone in the area with a prep student for 2021 please encourage them to ring the school and have their questions answered.

Camp Australia

Please click here to make your booking with Camp Australia:

School Values


High expectations of the whole school community


For self and others


Engaging in challenges and learning from mistakes


Choosing a course of action that contributes to the greater good

Community News 13th August 2020