St Leonards Primary School

Newsletter 15, 18 September 2020

From the Leadership

As we approach the end of Term 3, we would like to reflect on what has been a successful term in a very challenging year.  We encourage you all to spend some quality time with yourselves and your families.

Covid has had significant impact on many events around our country during 2020. This has also caused us to adjust what we are doing for the remainder of the year.

Sports Day: Is being held on Friday 23 October in Week 2, Term 4.  No parents or caregivers will be allowed on site.  The only exception would be registered volunteers who have been asked by teachers to assist on the day.

Celebration Night: Will be a daytime event with no parents or caregivers on site.  We will video and distribute the event to our school community.

Graduation: Our Year 7 Graduation will proceed, however learners will be limited to two tickets per student.

We hope you understand.  We are as disappointed as you are.

Term 3 Major Assessments

Assessment of student learning is integral to our teaching and learning processes, and there are various forms of assessment that we use for different purposes.

Part of our regular assessment cycle is to administer PAT (Progressive Assessment Tests) in Weeks 7-8 of Term 3 to every child from Year 2-7. These are standardised tests developed by ACER (Australian Council for Education Research) and provide us with objective, norm-referenced information about students’ skills and understandings in the areas of Reading Comprehension and Mathematics. The information we gather can be used by teachers to establish individual learning goals and design learning programs to meet the needs of their students. At a whole school level, we use this information to determine priorities on out School Improvement Plan (SIP). Because this is a standardised test, we are able to reference student achievement against benchmarks known as the Standard for Educational Achievement (SEA) to identify which children need support to ‘catch up’ in some areas and which ones need to be ‘stretched’ in their learning.

Term 3 is also when we administer the Year 1 Phonics Screening Check. Sometimes the media provides a narrative on this assessment, which essentially checks how consistently children are able to decode (read) 40 real and pseudo words. It is conducted for every Year 1 in South Australia, with teachers being given additional training each year to deepen their knowledge of how to use this assessment to move learning forward for each child. Improving our achievement in this area has been a significant focus since 2018 and we are pleased to see evidence of significant growth since then, thanks to a focus on current evidence-based teaching practices. For more information, visit

You may be aware that Writing is a major focus on our SIP. Over the course of the year we have used an evidence-based assessment tool called Brightpath to identify learning needs and develop effective teaching strategies for those specific needs. Every student from R-7 produced a narrative text in Term 3 to the theme of ‘A Surprise’. In Term 4, every child will have a writing goal and teachers will be employing strategies to support them to meet this goal by the end of the term.

If you’d like to know the goals identified from your child/ren’s PAT tests, Year 1 Phonics Screening Check or Brightpath narrative writing, you are welcome to contact their teacher for this information.


Dave Henty-Smith - Principal

Jo Meredith - Deputy Principal

Kathy Baker - Inclusive Education Coordinator


Diary Dates

Week 10

  •  Festival Sing 2020 - Wednesday 23 September
  • Choral Workshop - Thursday 24 September
  • Casual Clothes Day (Footy/Sports Team Colours with a gold coin donation) - Friday 25 September
  • 2:05pm Early Dismissal- Friday 25 September

Week 1 Term 4 

Hats on for outside play

  •  Pupil Free Day - Monday 12 October
  • First Day Back at School for Term 4 - Tuesday 13 October
  • Move & Groove - Wednesday 14 Ocotber

Advance Notice: School Closure Day - Friday 6 November

Admin Matters

2021 Enrolment Survey

We are beginning to look at class structures for 2021. This is a long process that requires us to have accurate numbers of students who will be attending in 2021. You may have seen the survey in Skoolbag, please take a moment to complete this.

If you do not have access to Skoolbag (app can be downloaded on both Apple and Android phones or tablets) you can email Mel or phone the Office to let us know. You do not need to complete the survey for Year 7 students. 

Mel Worden, Enrolment Officer 

Casual Day - Footy Colours Day

On the last day of Term, Friday 25 September,  we are having a Footy Colours day.

For a gold coin donation come in your favourite teams' colours and help raise funds for our new playground equipment,

Please make sure that clothing is appropriate and sun safe. 


Bits and bobs recycling is now happening at SLPS

Next to the community pantry there is now a set of trays to recycle even more everyday items. These will be recycled through a variety of companies that aim to recycle and re-use as much as possible.

Compostable zip lock bags are flying out the door.

If you would like to get your hands on some before the school holidays, be sure to place your order on QKR! before 3pm Thursday (for delivery Friday)   

Clean Up the World Weekend

For a lot of us, this weekend means the end of sport seasons, or time to relax. For all of us around the world, it’s also Clean Up the World Weekend.

Clean Up the World is one of the largest community-based environmental programs in the world, uniting community groups, schools, businesses, and local governments to carry out activities that address local environmental issues. 

Usually, large groups would get together and pick up rubbish, or plant trees, or both! This year will look a little different. Make sure you keep it small, and follow all the COVID-restrictions. You can also help in so many other ways, like reducing, reusing or recycling waste and making an effort to educate others. 

Kathleen Rollings and Natalie Baggio - Sustainability Team

Sports Day T-Shirts

Sports Day T-shirts can be pre-ordered via Qkr! (preferred method) for $15.

Go to the Uniform menu and select the Sports Day section. 

Select your child's team and the size they need. You will need to order one per student. 

If you do not know your child's team please ask the class teacher or contact the Office on 82949811 and they can help you out. 

All orders must be made by Thursday 24 September.

T-shirts will be printed over the school holidays and delivered to students via class boxes prior to Sports Day in Term 4.

If you do not have access to Qkr! please order via the Cash Office.

The Qkr! app can be downloaded onto Apple and Android phones.

Vacation Care

Vacation care booking sheet and information.

Absences, Late Arrivals and Early Leaving

The SMS number 0427 016 460 is our preferred method for letting us know about any absences.

Messages should include name, room number and reason for absence eg illness or family.

Alternatively, please call the Office on 8294 9811 to leave a message with office staff.

Please note that the SMS number will be changing early in Term 4. We will keep you updated once the change over date is set.


Children's University 2020 Graduation

Due to COVID-19 restrictions the 2020 Children’s University graduation will take place on site at St Leonards. Whilst we realise that will be a disappointment to many, rest assured, we will make it just as special.

In order to attend the celebration of learning, all students must have accumulated enough hours since beginning the program or since the 2019 Graduation (which ever applies).

The passport is a valuable document and stays with your child for the entire time that he/she participates in CU (up to 14 years of age). Your child collects stamps when activities and workshops are attended.

Workshops are run at lunchtimes at school in Weeks 3, 6 and 9 plus we sometimes hold special activities after school and during holidays (however these require parental supervision). Children can also count out-of-school clubs such as Scouts, swimming, dancing etc. to go towards their hours.

In order to graduate for the 2020 year we need to count final hours for the year to determine eligibility. Please give your passport to Heather by Tuesday 12 October (first day of Term 4).

The celebration of learning will be attended by representatives from Children’s University Australia. Graduating students will receive a certificate and tassel in recognition of their hard work. The graduation for 2020 will be during school hours and parents are unable to attend, however a professional photographer will be present and the images will be emailed to you after the event.

We thank you for your understanding during these difficult circumstances. Please don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Heather Pronk , Kathleen Rollings, Nicola Ross  

SLPS Children’s University Co-ordinators                                      


In Term 4 all students must wear a hat when outside for Recess, Lunch and PE.

Students without a hat will be directed to play under shaded areas only. 

If you can not find your hat they can be purchased via Qkr! or pop by the Cash Office and pick one up.

What's Been Happening at St Leonards

Premier's Reading Challenge


The Premier's Reading Challenge is over for another year. Congratulations to all who completed and handed in their forms. Certificates and medals will be presented later in Term 4. 

As a school 95% of students (399) completed the challenge. Ten classes achieved 100% participation and two classes reached over 90%. That is a fantastic effort.

I hope you discovered a new favourite book or author during the challenge and continue your reading journey.

Happy Reading

Kelly Peterson, Library Manager

Garden News

It is hard to believe but our Kitchen Garden is turning three years old! Prior to being a lush, colourful, productive oasis, it was a few straggly trees and some ragged bark chips. With a huge effort from our Grounds Committee, an injection of funds from Governing Council to match grant funds from the Holdfast Bay Council and the support of our amazing school community we have a Kitchen Garden that we can all be proud of.  

In the beginning we asked the students want they wanted to have in their garden. Besides the fruit trees, vines, and vegetables, the addition of chickens was a very popular idea.  We haven't managed to get all the necessary boxes ticked to keep chickens onsite, but we have come up with a viable alternative.  

The Glenelg North Community Garden has asked if we would like to contribute to the care of chickens at their garden.  This would occur under the guidance of experienced chicken keepers and in exchange we would be able to have a steady supply of eggs, as well as, the opportunity to have chickens almost onsite.  We would need families to volunteer to help on a roster basis.  Any families interested please contact me at

Nicola Ross, Garden Specialist

Around the School

Karen's Corner

Hi Everyone,

Or should that be goodbye?  Goodbye to the end of Term 3 (well almost!)  With just one week to go, we’re heading very quickly to the last week!  How are you going?  Are you coping with the change in weather?  I’d like to suggest it’s a good change actually and even though spring weather can cause hayfever and other such allergies to be problematic to some, it’s nice to have some warmer weather and the hope of more of the same!  For me, not too hot, not too cold, but like Goldilocks … just right is my kind of weather!! 

I wanted to share a story of resilience as experienced first hand … if you’ll humour me for a moment!  I have the privilege of spending some time with one of the classes working on little activities to promote teamwork, sharing, resilience etc.  on a regular basis.  The activity was to be based on teamwork … what it is to be part of a team, how every has a part to play to succeed and that teamwork when done well can lead to positive conclusions … well that was the ‘plan’.  To say the lesson didn’t quite go according to plan might be an understatement and whilst the children worked really well to endeavour to get the hoped for result, it wasn’t to be and instead (insert plot twist!) we learnt about what it is to be resilient when things aren’t successful and how different attempts to problem solve should always be embraced as part of the learning curve!!  The children were resilient, optimistic, empathetic and great sports … super proud of each and every one of them!  I completely understand the saying about not working with children (just joking obviously!!) animals and now I need to add another … bubbles!!  Let’s just say the activity didn’t end as I’d envisaged (even though I tested it before the presentation!) but if your children came home from school on Friday with incredibly clean hands well, I’ll just say, ‘you’re welcome!!’

The ‘failed’ exercise (or should we say the exercise that didn’t go according to plan) got me thinking … how do you handle failure or challenges associated when things don’t go the way you imagine they will?  Are you flexible in your thinking?  Are you able to move quickly and easily to plan ‘B’?  Do you try to find new solutions or do you admit defeat and become dejected and worse still, take on the lack of success as something too hard to move past, with negative self talk (of course it wouldn’t work, I’m a failure, what was I thinking?! And probably even worse?)   If you could see the children as we attempted over and over to make the bubble experiment work, you would have been so very proud as they worked hard together (teamwork!!) to try to achieve success … they were resilient, hopeful, encouraging, optimistic (until the last moment!) and amazingly positive (although some children were slightly cynical as to the outcome!) and I was so impressed by how they handled (my) failure!  One of our very important school values (resilience) is being practised in many different ways, every day here St. Leonards, of that you can be sure!  So to finish, please watch how you speak to your children about failure (and success too!) and just as importantly or even more so, please, please watch how you speak to yourself about such things!  We are all experiencing so many emotions with things as they are in the world at the moment, the last thing we need is to be too hard on ourselves and those we love and care for.  Be gentle with yourself, your children, your family, friends, acquaintances and colleagues and even more so, with strangers you meet …. Kindness goes such a long way, the impact of which can be far reaching and beyond measurement.

Hope you all have a wonderful last week of Term … hope you can find moments to relax, be with those you love, recharge your batteries, make some new, happy memories and find opportunities to practice kindness wherever you go and whatever you do!  Your children are watching always … be the reason they are kind to others in life, everyday!

Look forward to seeing you all again next term … until then, let kindness be your universal language … use words, speak kindness and love over the lives of your children and family, but know that many times, actions will transcend words and conversations … may your actions speak kindness and love, always!

Karen Marks, Pastoral Care Worker

Community News

Community Garden

School Signage

We are excited to announce that we are now offering signage on our school’s fence line in Glenelg North.

This is an opportunity for SLPS to partner with the community and help with promoting local businesses.

You can benefit by purchasing your space and gain invaluable exposure to families, passing motorists and locals as well as showing your support for our school community. 

 There is a limited number of signs so get in before they are all gone.  

 If you are interested or know of someone that might benefit from advertising to our local community please contact  

 Michael on 0414 350 225 or

School Holidays

St Leonards Primary School

Learning Together

Respect, Resilience, Readiness

"Building a community that inspires curious, creative and innovative thinkers."

Principal: Dave Henty-Smith

Deputy: Jo Meredith

Inclusive Education Coordinator: Kathy Baker

Enrolment Officer: Mel Worden