Willunga Primary School Newsletter

Term 1 Week 3

What does Nature have to do with Learning?

It has been so exciting seeing the children interact with our new natural play space (or free range play as we like to call it!).  This is a very different type of environment for them to be in and not one that we usually associate with school.  So why did we consider it important to have a natural play space at school?

Many of our play spaces are set up with a clear learning intention, swing here, climb there, build this.  Many of our toys and playgrounds follow this rule, so where is the space for problem solving, collaboration and creativity? In our nature play space of course!  This natural space has been set up based on ideas children had for how they would like to interact in the space.  Nothing within the space has a clear guideline or expectation and hence, children need to work it out for themselves!

It has been incredible watching them negotiate this space.  They spent the first few days wandering through it without interacting with it!  By week 2 this had changed completely as they started to manipulate the space to suit their ideas.  We have seen much witches brewing, cement making and stick stacking in the last few days!

And during all of this busy movement and making comes HUGE opportunities for LEARNING.  Communicating ideas to a friend as to how to get a stick to stand in a space (apparently mixing a mud slurry to 'cement' it in helps), or as to what 'ingredients' are needed next in the potion pot (mulch = chocolate) there are so many opportunities to collaborate, communicate and problem solve together, all while learning some incredible scientific principles along the way!

Within the free range space all students will find a sense of mastery at a level they are comfortable with. They are challenged by the uncertainty and unpredictability of natural elements, therefore have to make decisions and judgements. This means they are experiencing graduated risk, again at a level they are comfortable with. Consider what this will do for their confidence!

How can you help them extend this learning at home?

- Cooking with them - what melts, what dissolves, how do you bind a mix together, what can return to its original form, what cannot.....

- Take a walk around your yard or streets collecting different natural items. Use these to create a picture or mobile.  What patterns can you find, how many points on a leaf / petal / pine cone?

- Unstructured play time - off of the screens and into the yard.  And if they are not eager to do that... just add water!

Alison Colbeck



Student Free Days and School Closure 2020

As part of our Site Improvement Planning, we considered our student free days in 2020 to ensure they will continue to move our learning ahead.  At our final Governing Council meeting for 2019 these were approved.

Student Free Days

Term 1 week 3: FRIDAY 14th February – Math and Reading data day

Term 1 week 10: WEDNESDAY 1st April– Reading Comprehension with Sheena Cameron

Term 2 week 6: FRIDAY 5th June – SIP focus: High Impact Teaching

Term 3 week 8: MONDAY 7th September – Writing focus

School Closure day 2020

Term 4 week 7: FRIDAY 27th November – after Twilight Picnic 

Student Free Day

This Friday, 14th February is a Student Free Day. 

OSHC is available.

Bookings can be made direct to OSHC or call to book on 0438 761 656.

From the Principal

We are so pleased to be back for another exciting year of learning!  What a wonderful start for the children to arrive and see the changes to our play spaces.  Or as one student said to me, "You took a space that was nothing and made it into something wonderful."  I think he might be right!

Moving into 2020 has been quite smooth for us with limited changes to staff or our learning vision for the school.  Our focus remains on student involvement and collaborative learning and you would have seen many of our classrooms embracing this through flexible furniture arrangements.  I am thrilled to see how welcoming the classes looked for the students this year and acknowledge and thank the staff for their work to ensure this.

We have worked with staff and students to update our SIte Improvement Plan goals for reading, numeracy and writing to develop:

- oral language opportunities to clarify , refine and extend thinking

- formative assessment strategies to enable learning interventions

- opportunity for teachers to develop deep content knowledge in all curriculum areas.

Another busy year ahead, but a great opportunity to continue to increase the learning outcomes for students at Willunga. 

Welcome for 2020:

Jess Mason - won the Student Wellbeing Leader role

Hayley Rochford - teaching Health and managing the vegetable garden

Susan McKenzie  and Holly Hays - School Service Officers

Important Dates Term 1

  • 13th February - Assembly
  • 14th February - STUDENT FREE DAY (OSHC available)
  • 18th February - Governing Council 6:30pm (new members), 7pm start
  • 24th February - Interschool swim trials
  • 25th February - Special Lunch
  • 28th February - Schools Clean Up Day 

The SMS absence line: Text only 0429 632 559. Must include name, date, reason and class. Please check you are sending SMS to this number for absences

Volunteering at Willunga Primary

Volunteers make an important contribution to supporting the engagement, achievement and wellbeing of all children and students. Volunteers are welcome at Willunga Primary School to help on excursions, as classroom assistants, listening to reading, helping in the library or in the school canteen.

We value volunteers at Willunga Primary and if you would like to volunteer you just need to drop in to see Carmen in the front office for a volunteer booklet. 

This booklet clearly shows the process and online courses that need to be undertaken.  Carmen will also arrange a meeting with Karen Matthews at a convenient time for an induction. 

A reminder that anyone on site after 9.00am, must be signed in through the Front Office and have completed the volunteer process. 

WPS is a NDA (National Day of Action) against bullying and violence school

Wave 2 Interventions

We run a number of programs which provide targeted intervention at key developmental stages. These programs are in addition to the support provided to students with identified learning difficulties. A range of whole school testing is used to identify participants in conjunction with teacher consultation. Some of these students may be behind in their learning, but many will be achieving at standard. If your child is nominated to participate in a program you will receive a letter detailing the content and skills they  will be developing. Participation is a wonderful opportunity to consolidate and embed learning.

Phonics Fun - Year 1 & 2 - phonics and reading fluency

Toosmart - Year 2 - early number facts and place value

MultiLit  - Year 3 & 4 - decoding, accuracy, fluency and comprehension

Quicksmart  - Year 4 & 5 - all operations and number fluency

If you have any questions about these programs please contact Lisa Gray

'Top Tip' for helping your child learn

Encourage your children to participate in lots of conversations and introduce them to tricky vocabulary. If a child can not say a word, it is unlikely that they will be able to read it or understand what it means. 

School Sport SA (SAPSASA)

Willunga Primary has a strong tradition of participating in various sporting competitions organised by School Sport SA. As well as this, individuals trial for a place in the Onkapringa South District Teams or are selected at carnivlas. There have also been many who have gone on to represent the state! Term 1 provides three opportunities for our students born between 2007 and 2010.


Monday February 24 at Marion Outdoor Swim Centre

Students have nominated in one or more events in their age group: freestyle, backstroke, breast-stroke and butterfly. Winners of events will be selected for the District team competing in March.

Family members are always welcome to support us on the day!


Tuesday March 24 at Tatachilla College

Over the next few weeks students will be learning, practising and 'trialling' for selection in the school team during PE lessons. If necessary we will run a final selection process of a shortlist. Field events: high jump, long jump, shotput & discus. Track events: 100m, 200m, 400m and 800m.

Any family members who would like to support the team for selection, training or supporting on the day can leave their information at the Front Office.


Thursday April 2 at Noarlunga Downs Primary School 

Later in the term students will be asked to nominate for this event. Students in the 10 year old age group (2010) run 2km, while the other age groups run 3km.

Again, any family members who would like to be involved in selection, training and support on the day can leave their details at the Front Office.


The following sports have selection information and nominating details available online.  A list of all interstate teams including the nomination process is available on the website. For specific sport selection information see the sport page.

Age Group


Nominations Due

12 and under

Football (soccer) - girls

Wednesday 26 February

12 and under

Cricket - girls

Wednesday 11 March

12 and under

Cricket - boys

Wednesday 18 March

12 and under

Softball - boys

Wednesday 25 March

12 and under

Swimming inc Multiclass

Friday 3 April

12 and under

Football (soccer) - boys

Wednesday 8 April

As more selection information is available this will be posted on the website and advertised on the Facebook and Instagram pages.

Sue Camac - Pastoral Support News

Welcome to Willunga Primary all our new families and welcome back to all our established families!   

For those who are new to the school, I am the Pastoral Support Worker at the school, as well as working as an SSO.   I have a Cert IV in Youth Work, which is a requirement of my role and am also a qualified Disaster and Recovery Chaplain.  Our role is described as ‘An Ambulance on the way to Hospital’. Mostly students can be helped at our site but at other times, we need to refer to other agencies. My role at the school involves a number of things within the school, as well as outside of the school with local churches and community groups.  Through this link, I have been able to gain financial support for some families along with organising meals for those who are struggling for a variety of reasons.  If you feel that you or someone else may need a helping hand, come in and have a chat and we will certainly help where we can. I also have a number of resources on a variety of topics. I am at the school from Monday-Thursday and you can leave a message at the Front Office, catch me in the yard, see me at parent morning tea or in the room between Mrs Rumball’s & Mrs Bulger’s class. 

Aim to be a 2% er! One of my husband’s work mates coined this phrase and it’s a good one to remember.  It means doing those little things that only the ‘2%’  would see. Years ago when my husband was planning an overnight hiking trip with his brother, he said, "I love an icy cold can of coke when I’ve finished a day’s hike." So after the first day of hiking his brother asked him to go back as he’d left something by the icy stream (this was Tasmania) and there, sitting in the stream was a can of coke! His brother had remembered the conversation, packed a can of coke and then planned to hide it for him. This was being a 2%er!  During the holidays, I was the Recovery Centre at Lobethal a couple of times in my role as a Chaplain.  It was amazing to see all the services come and work together to help those in need, but also seeing some  2%ers in action.  Ikea brought in lounge chairs and nice cushions for people who were waiting; some locals brought in some art work for the walls and others brought in fresh flowers to put in vases every day.   These items definitely weren’t essential to the operation, but it made an empty hall so much more inviting and comforting to people who were already very distressed.

Parent Morning Tea is on every Tuesday!

Come to the OSHC room after dropping off your children for a coffee and a chat.  This is a great time for parents to connect and get to know each other.

Finance News

SCHOOL CARD:  Applications for those who believe they are eligible for the School Card Scheme are available at the Finance Office or can be completed online www.sa.gov.au

SCHOOL FEES:  Thank you to all families who have completed payment of School Fees for 2020.  There is a variety of payment methods available; Cash or Cheque; Eftpos (Visa/Mastercard) or Savings, Direct Deposit or via the QKR APP.

Upcoming Excursions:

·         Year R-2 Swimming – 10th March 2020 – 13th March 2020

·         Year 5/6/7 Aquatics – 10th March 2020 – 13th March 2020

What 25E have done to help our wildlife

Dear Families,

Mrs Bradley has been busy helping our class sew pouches for the injured wildlife in the recent bushfires. We have all finished a pouch and letter which are now ready to post to where they are needed. We are just waiting for WIRES to inform us where to send them.

Thank you Mrs Bradley

Regards, Julie Giffen 


The nature play is a great new addition to our school. All the kids absolutely love playing there. They have so much fun.  We have three spaces now and they are made of sticks and logs, rock piles, water sand pits and movable nature objects to play with. The kids love building tee pees and cubbies, digging and using their imaginations. We are even getting some of the older kids to make models so the kids can have building competitions.

 It’s all looking great but we are still looking for new additions for it. We were hoping that parents could bring things like sticks, logs, leaves, feathers and pine cones to make it even better. If you have any of these things please contact the school or bring them in to the front office and we will be very grateful.

 Holly, Acacia, Jude and Gus 2C

Reminder - The schoolyard is NOT supervised before 8.30am or after 3.20pm. OSHC has exclusive use of the grounds outside of these times.

2020 Staff

 Here is your Willinga Primary School team for 2020.


Ali Colbeck


Karen Matthews

 Deputy Principal 

Lisa Gray

 Assistant Principal

Jess Mason

 Inclusion and Wellbeing Leader

Classroom teachers

Ineke Rumball

1A   Reception

Nicki Bulger

1B   Reception

Sandy Graham

23A   Yr 1/2

Lyndsay Sanders

25A   Yr 1/2

Bianca Lally

25B   Yr 1/2 and Anna Raff (Wednesday)

Bianca Schultz

25D   Yr 1/2

Julie Giffen

25E   Yr 2/3

Brooke Heath

23B   Yr 3/4

Kristen Hunt

23C   Yr 3/4 and Anna Raff (Friday)

Lisa Hunt

19     Yr 4/5

Pete Murphy

21B   Yr 4/5

Jo Beazley

20     Yr 5/6

Julie Brown

21A   Yr 5/6

Andrew Bentley

2C     Yr 6 and Shane Ritchie (Wednesday)

Kate Schipper

2A   Yr 6/7

Trevor Gobbett

2D   Yr 6/7

Specialist Teachers

Nicole Demmrich

Arts room

Hayley Rochford


Helen Lindquist


Mogann Nair

Gym / oval

Judy James


School Support Staff (SSO)

Michelle Collins  

 Finance Office

Lynda Gregory

 Front Office

Carmen Schapel     

 Front Office

Jodie Cornelius


Alyse Miller

Smith Office

Tanya Jackson


Wendy Graham


Sharon Coe


Sue Camac

Smith Office

Sarita De Lange


Susan McKenzie


Holly Hays


John Chapman


Belinda Filkin


Jackie McCance


Do you have our apps? Skoolbag, Seesaw and Qkr

Have you got Seesaw?

Stay Connected to the Classroom with SeesawSeesaw is a simple way for teachers and students to record and share what's happening in the classroom.

 Seesaw gives students a place to document their learning, be creative and learn how to use technology.

 Each student gets their own journal and will add things to it, like photos, videos, drawings, or notes.

When there are new Seesaw posts, families can be notified via app notification, email or SMS.

Parents are only notified about their own child’s work, and all data is safe and secure.

Invitation to join is via a QR code that teachers have given to each new student. Students details roll over from their previous class, so connect to view their latest work. 


Now we are back into the new year, the new OSHC students are settling in very well. Part of our program and focus at the moment is for the new students to feel welcome and belong in the OSHC environment and to be familiar with the routines and guidelines. The older and more regular students have been helping with this by assisting the new students, showing them what to do and how we do things in OSHC and including them in their activities and games.



Please bring a hat everyday for OSHC. We do not have spares!

(Some children have to leave their school hat in their classroom tray so we advise for you to leave a spare hat in your child’s bag for OSHC.)


We require 2 weeks notice for any cancellations during school term time.

For Vacation care, any cancelled days will still be charged if you cancel during the school holidays.

The cancellation fee can be waived if a medical certificate is provided by the end of that week.

This policy is on the booking forms, on the front page of the Vacation Care forms and is displayed in the OSHC room for families' awareness.


OSHC is available if you require care for the day. Pop into the OSHC room or contact us to put your child’s name on the list.

Belinda Filkin, Director

2020 bookings


Playgroup is run every Wednesday 9:15am to 11:15am in the OSHC building.

Playgroup provides a safe, inclusive, welcoming, caring and supportive environment and encourages social interaction between children through various play based experiences.

Willunga Primary School Playgroup welcomes anyone with children ages 0-5 years.

More information is available at the front office or via the Playgroup Coordinator, Janet Steegh.

News from 25A and 25D

In 25A and 25D, we have been using the Kimochis and their ‘Keys to Communication’ to help us learn how to navigate different social interactions.

We read about each Kimochis character and their personalities. We also identified if we had similar characteristics to them. 

We then looked at each of the 7 keys and practised acting out each one in different social situations. 

We are continuing to work on these keys to help us become competent and confident in using them when interacting with others.  

Community Notices

Term 1 Planner