St Leonards Primary School

Newsletter 3, 28 February 2020

From the Leadership

Russian Pancake Day

On Tuesday, we served something like 700 pancakes to our school community to acknowledge Russian Pancake Day. Why is this significant? There are a couple of key reasons:

We are taking steps to better understand each other.

Did you know that the 421 students enrolled at St Leonards identify with cultures from at least 43 countries around the world? This presents an awesome opportunity to shift beyond acknowledging difference, to better understanding the different customs, beliefs and perspectives that are woven into our collective identity. Dr Stephen Covey suggests that one of the most important principles of interpersonal relations is ‘seek first to understand, then be understood.’ When we intentionally take steps to find out what is important to others, we take great strides toward a truly inclusive and supportive community for all of our children, young people and their families.

On Tuesday, many children discovered that there is a Russian folktale very similar to ‘The Gingerbread Man’, called ‘The Runaway Pancake’. Some discussed the different forms of pancakes across the world, other classes listened to Russian music and a few were lucky enough to hear some Russian language spoken by their peers..

We are fortunate to have committed volunteers. 

Our pancakes were served by a team of volunteers who served every pancake with a smile, and commitment to our kids and community. It can feel challenging to invest time to register as a volunteer but the feedback we are receiving is that the process is becoming quite streamlined and the 2:30 Wednesday workshops in the format of  a ‘drop-in session’ are really helpful for potential volunteers to be guided through the process at their own pace. 

We would love to hear from you about days of cultural significance that could be shared by the St Leonards community.

Road Safety Alert

A member of the public has recently alerted the school of serious concern about the safety of children who are riding and scooting home across the footbridge from David Ave across to Shannon Ave. He observed students on scooters and pushbikes riding at speed straight out onto Shannon Ave without looking and noted that their exit from the footbridge to the road is also hidden from the view of northbound motorists by bushes and compounded even more by a bend just before the footbridge exit.

If your child travels this route, we urge you to practice riding/scooting with them, highlighting potential hazards and how to minimise the risk.

Bikes on School Grounds

Most children and young people are being very considerate when travelling to and from school by dismounting and walking their bikes from the crossing to the bike shed 8:30-8:45 and 3:05-3:20. Please remind your children to always consider safety when riding on school grounds. Even if the final bell has rung, please be aware of toddlers, prams and people still moving about the school if your child is riding at speed.

It would be appreciated if children did not ride their bikes around the buildings as staff are usually on site until at least 4:30pm and do not want to be bowled over a they move across the buildings around the quad area.

Thank you for your support and understanding.

Jo Meredith, Acting Principal

Kathy Baker, Inclusive Education Coordinator

Diary Dates

Week 6

  • CU Lunchtime Workshop - Monday 2 March
  • 11:15am Choir, Cluster Rehearsal - Tuesday 3 March
  • Year 4/5 Growth and Development - Wednesday 4 March
  • 2:30pm Volunteer Workshop - Wednesday 4 March
  • 9:00am Assembly, Thursday 5 March
  • Year 4/5 Lacrosse Carnival - Thursday 5 March
  • Pupil Free Day - Friday 6 March

Week 7

  • Public Holiday, Adelaide Cup Day - Monday 9 March
  • School Banking - Tuesday 10 March
  • Year 6/7 Surf Ed - Tuesday 10 March
  • Year 4/5 Growth and Development - Wednesday 11 March
  • Year 6/7 Surf Ed - Wednesday 11 March
  • 2:30pm Volunteer Workshop - Wednesday 11 March
  • SLPS National Day of Action Against Bullying and Harmony Day - Friday 13 March

Hats on for Term 1


Pupil Free Day - Friday 6 March


PE News

Lacrosse Carnival

Our students have been very lucky to have Glenelg Lacrosse Club deliver free clinics to our Year 4 to 7 students. Junior lacrosse is a non contact sport and the students have had a blast learning new skills. We have had 98 registered for our lightening carnival next week at Glenelg Lacrosse Club, Barratt Res, West Beach.

A reminder that students need to meet at Barratt Reserve in the morning and be picked up from the venue in the afternoon. Not meet at school. Many children have expressed interest in going on to play club lacrosse - Glenelg offers reduced fees and a stick for every child in their first year with the club. 

Triathlon Clinics

This week we started our Year 4 to 7 Sporting School clinics with Tempo Triathlon. The students enjoyed learning new skills and using stationary bikes and swimming simulators. 

SAPSASA District Trials and State Trials 

Please see your SAPSASA and Interschool Sport Letter from Week 1 detailing how to find information regarding trials in your child’s sport. Some sports we are notified about but not all. As there are over 43 sports, it is up to families to seek out this information.

Heidi Bevan, PE

SAPSASA and Interschool Sport


Well done to all the Year 6/7 boys who trialed for SAPSASA Cricket. You all put in a great effort. Congratulations to Mason R and Bailey A who have moved on to the final stage of trials.


On Thursday 20 February Maisy, Ella, Alexander, Lily and Elijah attended the SAPSASA swimming trials. They all put in a fantastic effort. Congratulations to Maisy P and Lily K who have been selected for the South West District Team.


NAPLAN is being run online for 2020 and will be held in Term 2. NAPLAN is for all students in Years 3, 5 and 7.

The attached document is the Privacy Collection Notice.


Henley High School

Henley Sports Academy


Brighton Secondary School

Brighton Special Interest Music

Information Evening for Years 6 & 7


What's Been Happening at St Leonards

Around the School

Community Care Pantry

Dear parents,

You may or may not already be aware that St Leonards has a wonderful initiative for our school community called the St Leonards Community Care Pantry. This provides a small helping hand to those families who may need it and shows are children how we want to care for others. At the end of last year we donated all the left over items to various Christmas appeals to help families in need at that time.

Now – our cupboard is bare and we would like to re-stock it.

We have placed a box in Office and we are looking for donations of any non-perishable food items, personal hygiene products or fruit for the school fruit bowl.

Any donations, big or small would be greatly appreciated to help support our St Leonards Community.

 Emma Allen

Karen's Corner

Hi Everyone,

How are you?  Really …. how are you?  I know the ‘correct’ or ‘easy’ answer is ‘I’m ok thanks’ … in fact we are so programmed to answer in that way that sometimes autopilot kicks in and we might answer ‘I’m ok’ not even hearing but instead, presuming the question. 

Have you ever found yourself in a loop … it goes something like this … ‘Hi, how are you?’ ‘Good thanks, how are you?’ ‘Good thanks how are you?’ oops … or worse still, ‘Hi, how are you’ then not even waiting to hear the answer!  What if the person you are directing your greeting to, pauses a moment to draw breath, perhaps searching desperately to work out whether you are in fact a safe person to share the truth, that they are in fact, not ok right now and they actually need a non-judgmental, listening ear, someone to lean on?  But hey, we’re all so ridiculously busy and sometimes exchanging pleasantries is as far as we’re able to stretch.  True?  What if we took a moment, a moment to really listen to someone’s answer to the question ‘How are you?’  it might not mean much to you, but it could possibly be a game changer for the person you engage with.  Imagine feeling like no-one was listening, that you were invisible to the outside world, that what you said or thought really didn’t matter to anyone?  If you were already feeling isolated and alone …

I had the privilege of spending time with a parent and their precious child last evening, both doing life really tough … at that particular time, with very little support to help with the nightly ‘routine’ … it was absolutely apparent in the shortest time, that this was incredibly challenging for both the parent and child.  Both parties were exhausted as the nightly ‘dance’ began (to be honest it probably never stopped from the moment they woke until the moment, they fell into bed with thoughts that it would all begin again the next morning (if not before!) and the next and the next and …. just like Groundhog day but with a few new challenges and twists thrown in for good measure.  In a ‘quiet’ candid moment the parent looked at me as I asked how they were, how they really were … with a definite pause and tears welling, the admission that they weren’t coping, not at all, that it was really, really hard and they didn’t know what to do, hit me hard.   It took immense courage and bravery to reach out, to admit that things weren’t working, that they needed help.  How often are we conditioned to put on a brave face and just say ‘I’m good thanks’ when nothing, nothing at all could be further than the truth … what absolute courage to reach out and ask, plead for help. 

In our time together, I wasn’t able to do much, although to take over from the negotiations, to attempt to assist with the cajoling, the calming and de-escalating techniques to allow the parent to take breath and check out for a brief moment, hopefully gave the smallest amount of respite.  I know that to be a listening ear, without judgment, to just walk alongside these two amazing humans was a privilege and hopefully, gave hope that they were/are not alone and that they would in fact make it through to ‘fight’ or better still, to survive another day.    I am guessing that you might know a family, parent or caregiver who could very well be the person I’ve just described or it might be you.  I don’t profess to have the answers (there isn’t just one question is there?) but what I do know, is that if you are able to take a few moments out of your busy schedule to check in on that person who always looks to be doing ‘ok’ and seems to be on top of things, to really check in and not only ask how they are going but be 100% present and listen to their answer, without necessarily trying to solve anything, might mean the world to them and might just be the difference, in that moment at least!


The thing is, we never know what goes on ‘behind the scenes’ … lots of people are really good at wearing masks that endeavour to send the message to the world that everything is fine at the very least or even wonderful … how much energy does it take to keep up the pretence?   More than they actually have I would suggest. 

So please, be kind to those around you, they’re quite possibly fighting battles we know nothing about.  And if you are one of those people trying to survive in the trenches, then please, please be kind to yourself. 

If someone genuinely asks you how you are, if you feel safe and trust the person, reach out and tell them, it might be the start of stepping into the freedom of being authentic and heard.

If you would like to talk to either Kathy Baker or myself, please don’t hesitate contacting either of us anytime during school hours.  We can also assist you to access (in house) School Psychology services for your child if you feel this might be helpful.  Listed below are some organisations and resources that might be appropriate for you or someone you know …

Have a wonderful week everyone!

Karen Marks

Pastoral Care Worker


BEYOND BLUE   1300 22 4636 telephone, email, chat online options available, please check out the Beyond Blue website for more information for all areas regarding mental health.

LIFELINE 13 11 14  24 hours, 7 days a week

RELATIONSHIPS AUSTRALIA  telephone 1300 364 277

CAMHS (Child and Adolescent Mental health service)   Young people and parents can make a referral to CAMHS by calling CAMHS Connect on 1300 2 CAMHS (1300 222 647)                                                                                                                         

ANGLICARE refer to website for information of services

SALVATION ARMY many various services available


Also, please be aware your local GP is able to organise a mental health plan in the first instance to enable you to access.

Community Notices

Dental Service

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