Newsletter Number 16 • Wednesday 16th September 2020

From the Principal

Two weeks ago our school was visited by the Education Standards Board (ESB) for a scheduled site review as part of our renewal of our school registration. 

It is an ongoing obligation of all registered schools to meet the Education  Standards which are outlined in the Education and Early Childhood Services Act 2011. A school’s registration must be reviewed at least once every five years. There are two types of registration reviews in South Australia:  one process is a self review and verification process which the majority of schools participate in and the other review process is a validation review.  The validation review (which is what we have just participated in) requires a representative sample of established schools randomly selected each year to participate in a more thorough process conducted by the ESB.

As part of the validation review, schools need to submit evidence against the three Education Standards and twenty six criteria. In addition to submitting evidence the school participates in a school visit.

Comprehensive documentation was submitted as evidence that we are meeting the Education Standards and was cross referenced to the Standards and criteria.  The ESB members met with myself and the leadership team and talked to us about the Student Learning and Assessment program offered at our school, processes in place regarding Student Safety, Health and Welfare and School Governance.  

A great deal of preparatory work was involved  prior to the visit and I would like to thank Susan Harris Evans, Pippa Milroy and the rest of the staff for their hard work and assisting in making it such a successful visit. We received very positive feedback on the day and the ESB members will now make a recommendation to the Education Standards Board to re-register our school for another five years and then a written report of their visit will be forwarded to the school. 

It was our opportunity to showcase all that we do in our school and at the end of the visit I was told that what we offer is impressive and we should feel very proud. 

Cathy France


Farewell Rosi

It is with sadness that I announce to the school community that one of our longest serving staff members, Rosi Hardy will be retiring from her teaching position in the school at the end of this year.  Rosi has worked in the school for 28 years.  Over the years she has taught hundreds of children.  Rosi is a valued staff member and I thank her for the care and devotion she has shown to all of her students and I greatly appreciate the commitment she has shown to our school.  Rosi has made a significant contribution over the years and will be sorely missed by staff, students and parents. I know you will all join me in wishing Rosi happiness and good health as she transitions into her retirement in 2021.

Up Close and Personal with Rosi...

What is it about the school that has made you want to stay here and work here for so long? 

I started at the HMS as a parent in 1988 with my son at the Aldgate campus.

Eventually all of my three children came here. I started teaching here in 1993 on a part time basis, working in the preschool. I eventually moved to being a class teacher in the Primary school.

I have always been amazed at the respect and consideration which is shown towards all children and staff at this school. Working here with such committed and dedicated fellow teachers has been the main reason for staying so long. They have always been encouraging and supportive as well as full of fun and good humour.

What will you miss about The Hills Montessori School?   

I know I will miss the amazing children here. I will miss their humour, their insights, their kindness and their laughter. Of course, I will miss the staff and I will miss the intellectual challenge of working in such a stimulating Montessori environment.

What will you do in your retirement?   

I intend to spend more time with my two grandsons, spend more time on my boat and spend lots of time enjoying my vegie garden and orchard. I may even relax a little, although I’ll probably still get up early every day.

Parting words 

I feel very blessed to have been able to work in such a special school.  I have seen many changes over the years and I am proud to have been associated with the incredible achievements this school has made. Special thanks must go to Cathy and Susan for the outstanding efforts they have made over the years to contribute to these changes.

Hope to see you all around the place next year!

Quiz Night

Our first ever online Quiz Night was a huge success! Just over 80 parents, staff and friends participated in the night.  Using the  app Kahoot! for the questions and answers worked out extremely well and each team 'Zoomed' in to be able to interact with our Quiz Master Pete Monaghan and the other teams.  There were lots of games, prizes and loads of laughs and fun!  Thanks for the terrific support on the night to all of those who attended.  In particular, thank you to Georgia Richmond (Fundraising Chair) and the Fundraising Committee for all of their preparatory work gathering prizes and organising the event.  Thanks also to our sponsors and school families who provided prizes or donated amazing offerings for the silent auction.

Pete, our Quiz Master, had his 'work cut out for him' but in true 'Pete style' he rose to the occasion expertly 'wrangling' the teams and adding his witty banter and sense of fun to the night.  Thanks to Pete for also writing the questions for the night.

Congratulations to the 'Gold mArias' team who won on the night!

The Silent Auction added to our fundraising efforts and enabled families who were unable to attend the Quiz Night to also get involved.

This year we raised $4060 which is just fantastic considering the 'compromised' program.  This wonderful fundraising effort will go towards our fundraising goals for 2020/21.

Quiz Night Fun!

Thank you to our Quiz Night Sponsors

The Zahra family

The Bedson family

Riposte wines

The Rooney family

CIBO Stirling

Pete Monaghan


The Richmond family 

Red Cacao Chocolatier

The Worth-Sierp family

The Clark-Prance family

Jimmies Restaurant

Aurelia's grandpa

Board Communique

At our recent Board meeting the Board was updated by each Committee Chair on its Operational Plan progress so far this year. This is a great way for each committee to reflect on their progress and identify actions to still be completed.

Cathy discussed the recent visit from the Education Standards Board for our registration renewal review and the time spent by the staff in putting together the documentation for this. The Board appreciates the efforts made by Cathy to ensure the visit went smoothly and our School is remaining compliant with the Education Standards.

Jade Crathern

Board President

CELEBRATE the giving of service

Being of service to something — a person, a group, a community, a cause or a belief — means that you've chosen to engage without expectation of reciprocation.  A somewhat whimsical and naive view perhaps, but giving without expectation of receiving is the truest definition of being of service.

Helping others is not only good for them and a good thing to do, it also makes us happier and healthier too. Giving also connects us to others, creating stronger communities and helping to build a happier society for everyone. It's not all about money - we can also give our time, ideas and energy.

For the last 10 years Cycle 3 has been participating in a values program called 'Service Learning'. The program focuses on giving service.  The Cycle 3 students have run lunchtime activities for three or more weeks for small groups of Cycle 1 or 2 students. During this program, Cycle 3 students practice an extensive amount of virtues, such as cooperation, organisation, patience, teamwork, resilience and of course giving service. Some of the sessions being offered this year have been: cooking, making bird feeders, sport clinics, stop motion animation, dance classes  &  IT tutorials.

Instilling the value of 'giving service' in our students is a strong principle within the Montessori philosophy.  We thank the Cycle 3 students for giving their time and expertise without wanting anything in return.  By all accounts the Cycle 1 & 2 students loved the service learning activities that they were involved in!

Cycle News

Infant Program

Grating soap then whisking the soap into bubbles is a practical life activity for the Infant Program children to practice hand strength, dexterity, control, coordination, concentration and in this case, imagination and working as a team. Ollie and Frankie have extended the activity by making 'bubble cookies'.


To follow on from our learning about colour we have been investigating what ‘shading’ is. We have learnt that if you add white to a colour the colour becomes lighter and if you add black the colour becomes darker. The children have been using paint to make different shades of red. They have also been working with the colour box 3 to grade nine colours from darkest to lightest.

Cycle 1

Currently in the Correa classroom the children are exploring the properties of magnetism and electricity. They have been conducting experiments; posing hypotheses, testing their hypotheses, and reporting their results. The children have been enthusiastic about their discoveries, reporting that the invisible magnetic field travels through tables, plastic boards and even through their hands! The children have been introduced to and are using words such as the magnetic field, north and south poles, current, conductor and insulator. This photo shows the excitement of experimenting with static electricity.

Cycle 2

This term in Language, we have had a particular focus on editing and making our writing more interesting.  We have practiced reviewing our work and checking for things like capital letters and correct punctuation.  We have brainstormed different adjectives for our nouns and have done the same to come up with more interesting verbs than words like ‘went’.  The students have especially enjoyed creating ‘Who am I?’ cards, which involved composing an interesting and detailed written description of an animal and seeing if their peers can guess the answer.    


In Cultural Studies, we have continued our work on South America.  As we approach the end of the term, the students have started to use their knowledge to create board games.  This has been a great opportunity to reflect on all the different countries we have investigated.  Here are some of the things we have learned:

"Most of South America's borders are oceans: the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean." - Hazel

"The Amazon River is the second longest river in the world." - Ollie M.

"Brazil is the largest country in South America." - Sadie

"Black Caimans live in South America." - Mason

"Anacondas live in South America." - Dusty

"The capital of Brazil is Brasilia." - Jak

Cycle 3

This term in Cycle 3 the students have been undertaking a history unit focusing on the Civil Rights Movement in America. They have investigated famous activists such as Martin Luther King and Rosa Parks. In groups the students collaborated to create pieces of work to showcase which part of the unit impacted them the most. Each group did an exceptional job and the creativity of the students was evident! Some of the pieces created were posters, dioramas, a written biography, a song featuring famous quotes from civil rights activists and a filmed recreation of the moment when Rosa Parks was asked to give up her seat on a bus.

Cycle 3 Civil Rights work

Cycle 4

Following up on Occupations Day Wairoa students have been back on the road. Last week they wound up their Astro-con astronomy event with a trip to the Planetarium at Mawson Lakes, and visited the Migration Museum to enrich Humanities studies around Sustainable Cities. As the term winds up the big work for everybody is putting together the Coffeehouse Cabaret.

Occupations Day - Cycle 4

Coffeehouse Cabaret

Because of the delay, you’d think we wouldn’t host a cabaret? No way! The students of Wairoa are currently preparing for the Coffeehouse Cabaret! They’re designing sets, props and costumes; setting up tech equipment; learning lines, practising poetry, dancing, playing music and planning catering, despite Covid-19. The night shall be one of variety, showcasing a play, comedy, poetry, dancing and musicians. There’ll also be some lovely food prepared by our caterers! It will be a fabulous night, so come along and enjoy!*

Tuesday 22nd and Wednesday 23rd September.

(Doors open at 6pm for a 6:30pm start.)

*Ticket sales are open now for Wairoa families.

PE with Attila

It has been all about badminton this term. The Preschoolers through to Cycle 3 have been developing their badminton skills. We’ve got new racquets, new shuttles and new nets thanks to the Sporting Schools grant money. We’ve had coach Jack from Badminton SA in on Wednesday afternoons working with the Cycle 3 students.


Cycle 4’s have participated in learning the art of map reading and navigation through the sport of orienteering. Each week students set out on different courses around the Wairoa property.  The second half of the term has seen students working hard to bring together a dance performance for the upcoming Cabaret!



On Monday the year 3’s and 4’s participated in the ANZTHS hotshots tennis district carnival. The day was focused on giving everyone a go and experiencing representing the school. 

Tennis across the cycles

Montichef Winner

Congratulations to Jarrah Ferguson who is the winner of the recent Montichef competition. Jarrah is passionate about cooking and cooked salmon as his "comfort food".  

Thank you to Blackwood Books who generously donated the winning prize voucher.

OSHC in the Yultiwirra Common Room for Weeks 9 & 10

OSHC (both before and after school care) will be in the Yultiwirra Common Room for Week 9 & Week 10 of this term. 

Due to COVID restrictions on social distancing, our Adolescent Program will be holding their Cabaret season in the Yultiwirra Hall during Week 10 and will be setting up the hall in Week 9 and rehearsing leading up to the performances. 

Vacation Care Program

The Vacation Care Program will operate each day during the coming holidays from 7.30am to 6pm.  The program will also operate on Monday 12th October (pupil free day in Week 1 of Term 4).   The program has been sent out to all families via Skoolbag.

If you are interested in your child attending Vacation Care and have not already completed the booking form, please make sure you do this ASAP and hand into the office or directly to Megan.   This will assist us with finalising staffing arrangements.

School Photos

School Photos will be taken in Week 3 of Term 4 on Wednesday 28th October for most classes and Thursday 29th October.  We are using the same photographer that we have used in previous years, and you can order & pay online.

Further information will sent out via the Skoolbag app shortly. 

We are a Sun Smart School

We are a Sun Smart School and we have updated our Sun Protection Policy (following recommendations from the Cancer Council) to require all students to wear a broad brimmed hat and appropriate clothing from 1 August (previously 1 September) to 30 April and when the UV radiation level is 3 and above at other times, when going outside for any activity.

Broad brimmed, legionnaire or bucket style hats (bucket hats must have a deep crown and 6cm brim) are required.  Baseball caps are not acceptable.

Clothing made of closely woven material including tops with collars and long sleeves and longer style skirts, dresses and shorts are recommended.

The Cancer Council recommends that students are encouraged to apply SPF 30 or higher, broad spectrum, water resistant sunscreen before coming to school.  Preschool staff will reapply sunscreen prior to outdoor activity at lunchtime and Primary students are encouraged to do the same.

Please ensure your child wears appropriate clothing and has a named sunhat that can be kept in his/her bag or at school during these times.  School hats can be purchased from the office for $15.

New fundraising idea: Shared Know-How

Don't Forget!

The last day of Term 3, Friday  25th September, school finishes at 2pm.

Diary Dates

Thursday 17 September

Policy meeting 4.00pm

Friday 18 September

Fundraising meeting 9.30am

Tuesday 22 September & Wednesday 23 September

Cycle 4 Cabaret

Wednesday 23 September - Friday 25 September

Life Education for Yultiwirra students

Friday 25 September

Term 3 ends - 2pm

Sunday 4 October

Day Light Savings begins

Monday 28 September - Monday 12 October

Vacation Care program

Monday 5 October

Labour Day Public Holiday

Monday 12 October

Pupil Free day

Tuesday 13 October

Term 4 begins

2021 School term dates

The 2021 School term dates are listed below. 

Please Note:  The 2021 school year will start on Wednesday 27th January as Monday 25th January will be a pupil free day and Tuesday 26th January is a public holiday.

Term 3 pupil free day will be held on Friday 13th August rather than the start of the term.

Term 1 - Wed 27th Jan - Fri 9th April

(Term 1 Pupil free day = Monday 25th Jan)

Term 2 - Tues 27th April - Fri 2nd July

(Term 2 Pupil free day = Monday 26th April)

Term 3 - Mon 26th July - Fri 24th September

(Term 3 Pupil Free Day = Friday 13th August)

Term 4 - Tues 12th October - Wed 8th December

(Term 4 Pupil free day = Monday 11th October)


“The unknown energy that can help humanity is that

which lies hidden in the child.”

Maria Montessori


Term 1:  29 January – 9 April
Term 2: 28 April – 26 June
Term 3: 20 July – 25 September
Term 4: 13 October – 9 December