Newsletter Number 4 • Wednesday 6th April 2022

From the Principal

I would like to reiterate with parents the importance of following our school value of “respecting others and treating people with dignity and kindness”.  Recently it has come to my attention that some people’s tempers have been frayed while driving through the school car park.  I understand that people are time poor and often in a hurry and sometimes a short, friendly ‘toot’ helps people realise that they may be holding up the flow of the traffic.

Please remember the speed limit in our school car park is 10km per hour as it is a shared zone with children, parents, prams and cars.  I ask that ALL parents AT ALL TIMES observe the speed limit.

The car park has been ear marked as an area that we are seeking input and solutions from the architects that we are working with to develop a new Master Plan for Yultiwirra.  Last week we offered a consultation session on Zoom with parents, and I thank the parent reps and other parents that attended.  This was a perfect opportunity to voice concerns and issues regarding the car park or any other area of the school’s facilities.  The car park was raised in this session and attending parents gave feedback about some of the difficulties experienced at drop off and pick up times.

We are hoping the Master Plan process will address issues raised so that we can subsequently find workable solutions and implement proposed changes. 

In the meantime…..

At drop off time

We ask that parents don’t park in the “No Standing” zone out the front of the Preschool and Yultiwirra hall between 8.30am - 9.30am.  This causes significant difficulties for everyone.  If you need to park to take your child into school to sign them in, please park in the central part of the car park.  We ask that primary school parents ‘drop and kiss’ to reserve car park spaces for preschool families.

At pick up time

We ask that parents drive around the outer car park circuit until their child comes to the gate to be collected.  Remember that Cycle 1 students will be at the gate at 3.20pm and Cycle 2 and 3 students will be dismissed at 3.30pm.

Some parents have got into the habit of parking in front of the staff car park area and waiting until they see their child arrive at the gate.  This is ‘acceptable’ however there can only be FOUR cars lined up here at any one time.  Some people try to ‘poke the nose’ of their car into this waiting zone queue which means that no one else can pass and the whole car park comes to a stand still.  This is where people’s frustrations increase and tempers fray. 

PLEASE use your common sense and DO NOT hold up the flow of the outer car park circuit.

I trust that everyone will be able to adhere to these very simple car park ‘rules’, use common sense, be courteous, be aware of other motorists and keep the car park flowing.

In anticipation, I thank you for your compliance with these requests.

Cathy France


2022 Theme - 'Appreciation'

We appreciate our staff who over the past couple of weeks have really stepped up as COVID cases have risen both at school and in the wider community.  They have shown flexibility in covering for each other if people are unwell or needing to quarrantine, and have demonstrated support, compassion and resilience.  What an awesome team!

Cathy France


“A person who is appreciated will always do more than what is expected of them."  

Board Communique

At our last Board meeting the Life Membership nominations were presented.  The Board also spent considerable time reviewing and discussing the draft Strategic Plan which we are hoping to launch at this years AGM.

Jade Crathern

Board President

Cycle News

Infant Program

The children have enjoyed their practical life skills these past weeks. With special highlights of spreading butter and vegemite on toast and planting broad beans to take home and watch grow over the coming seasons! We continued to talk about Autumn leaves and the changing trees all around the hills, using a magnifying glass to examine the leaves closely. 

Cycle 1 Preschool

This term we have been learning about Australia – our continent, its flora, fauna and geographic features.   We have talked about the First Peoples of our nation, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags, the original custodians of the land on which our school is located and the local Peramangk people including some of their language. 

We have recently begun learning about the colonisation of the country, colonial history and the Australian nation as states.  This includes learning about the state flags and emblems of flora and fauna representing each state.

The children have also worked together to raise the flag each day- choosing which flag they would like to hoist. 

Cycle 1 Primary

Cycle 1 has been exploring the field of Zoology.  We started by talking about the differences between living and non-living things and then moved on to classifying living things.  We investigated the role of the sun and talked about how it gives us light, warmth and helps plants to grow.  This led to much discussion about animals including which ones eat plants, which ones are omnivores and which ones are carnivores.  We have most recently been learning about invertebrates like sponges, molluscs and jellyfish and will start to explore the arthropod family soon. 

“Horses are herbivores!” – Scarlett

“The sun gives us warmth and helps plants grow.” – Sophie

“The sun keeps us warm.” – Anouk

“Rhinos are vegetarian.” – Sunny and Jack

Cycle 1 Photos

Cycle 2

After sharing the First Great Story, Cycle 2 have embarked on various activities to get a sense of our place in the Universe. Lisa and Christine's class have conducted research and participated in science experiments relating to the formation of the earth, volcanoes, our solar system and star constellations. A few highlights include making a plasticine model of the layers of our planet, learning about the sheer scale of our solar system and discovering how old we would be on other planets (based on the amount of days each planet takes to orbit the sun). We look forward to reading the next great story and exploring the evolution of life on Earth.

Cycle 3

This term we have been exploring many cultural studies topics.  With the recent State election, the class has explored the history of democracy in Australia.  To introduce the concept, four students were randomly selected to be the 'decision makers'.  They had to enforce rules - Eg. when and how long for snack, only a few at a time, use your opposite hand with all work for ten minutes, some people were asked to move seats.  This was to demonstrate the opposite of democracy.  Maddie, Amber, Jet and Ashlee were selected and they said, "It felt horrible and strange to make rules for other people".  "Would have preferred to be on the people's side".  "It felt like everyone was angry with us".  Tilly and Joe were 'non-decision makers'.  They said it was "unfair", "It felt annoying and strange".  "It was exciting to find out the rules but annoying to follow them".  The next day the class did a 'mock vote', lined up outside and had their name crossed off the class list and then voted their preferences for Pizza, Fish & chips, salad roll or hamburgers.  Pizza was the overwhelming majority 15/22 votes.  The class our now completing a project about democracy in Australia.

In Geography the class has started a destination box project.  Each week a student is randomly drawn, and they secretly choose a country to research.  The following week they present this to the class.  Each child has a passport, lines up at immigration, and gets their passport stamped after locating the country on a world map.  So far, we have visited Columbia, Italy, Pakistan and France.  There is a 'destination box dance' (conga line) to the tune 'Around the World' by Daft Punk.  Students have presented in poster form, on a slideshow and recently a story book.

Cycle 3 photos

Cycle 4

Recently students in Cycle 4 had the opportunity to attend the theatre during the Adelaide Festival. On Wednesday some students were able to attend an adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray by the Sydney Theatre Company and it did not disappoint. The students and guides were astounded by the production and had us all thinking deeply about image, vanity, and the pursuit of everlasting youth; as seen so much in today’s pop-culture. The following day all of Cycle 4 went to see Wudjang: Not the Past by dance group Bangarra. Students and guides alike commented on its powerful, emotional, and thought provoking storytelling as the dance company sought to relay the story of Australia’s collective history through a truth-telling performance. Two incredibly inspiring and conscious performances and ALL of Cycle 4 felt grateful to have been able to attend these shows.

Cycle 4 Science

Our fresh team of Year 7 students have hit the ground running this year. Not only are they whipping up amazing Tastes of the World food offerings for their Market Day stalls, they are working hard across the range of curriculum areas. Pictured is just a selection of creative representations of cell structure by Year 7 students. Other students used clay or gathered garden treasures to model and explain the functions of cell organelles.

Indonesian with Ellis

Preschoolers, Cycle 1 and 2 students have been practising their literacy skills by reading and writing words and sentences in Indonesian. They begin to identify and pronounce letters in simple words for places such as ‘Australia’ and ‘Indonesia’ and learn other nouns by playing ‘word bingo’ card games. Students listen to stories read aloud in Indonesian to become familiar with the structure of written texts and the use of language conventions such as spelling, capital letters, and punctuation. They build fluency by imitating and reading aloud words, focusing on the vowel sounds e.g., ‘a’, ‘I’, ‘u’, diphthongs e.g.  ‘ai’, ‘au’ and nasal tones such as ‘ng’ and ‘c’ (ch). As students’ ability and confidence grows, their aim is to read narrative texts in Indonesian, independently with accurate intonation and pronunciation.    

Life memberships

At the last Board meeting, three people were nominated for Life Membership of the school.  Our School Constitution and Regulations state that… “a person shall be made a Life Member of the School as a recognition of consistent, long standing and excellent service rendered to the School by that person and such person shall be of good standing in the community and held in high regard by other members of the School.”  Written nominations need to be submitted to the Board by four school members setting out the details of the nominee’s service.  Nominations then need to be displayed for 14 days calling for any further written submissions supporting the nomination prior to the Board voting on the appointment. 

Anne Winter, Maree Clarke and Janine Moses have been nominated for Life Memberships.  It is customary that Life Members are inducted at a formal presentation at the AGM.  If you wish to support this nomination in writing please do so and submit it to the office by Wednesday 6th April.

Anne, Maree and Janine have been nominated as Life Members of The Hills Montessori School in recognition of their long standing and generous service to the school.

Nominated Life Members

Annual General Meeting

Please enter Tuesday, 24th May 6.00pm in your diary as the date of the school’s AGM.   The AGM will be held via Zoom. 

Board Nomination forms and information about the AGM will be sent home next week.  Board Nominations need to be lodged at the school office by Friday 6th May.  If you would like to discuss Board member obligations, please email Cathy.

OSHC Art & Dance classes

Naplan Testing

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) is an annual assessment for students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9.  Students enrolled in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 will be participating in Online Naplan Testing in Term 2  from 10th May – 20th May.  

NAPLAN is made up of tests in the four domains of Reading, Writing, Language Conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and Numeracy.

All students are encouraged to participate in the tests.  Involvement in testing against the National Benchmarks is linked with receipt of Government funding and we are therefore, as a school, obliged to participate.  We view student participation as developing a “life skill” and teachers assist students in their preparation leading up to the testing week.

In previous years we have found that the results confirm what our own testing regime and professional judgment have identified, and thus we use the reports from this National Testing as part of our overall assessment practices.  Results will be posted to the school and we will notify parents when we receive the reports so the results can be interpreted together with your child’s class teacher. 

If your child is in Years 3, 5, 7 or 9 please notify the school if your child will be absent during the NAPLAN testing period. 

All children in these year levels will sit the tests unless an exemption or withdrawal has been arranged prior.

 If you do not wish for your child to sit the NAPLAN tests in May for philosophical or personal reasons, please come to the office to complete and sign a withdrawal form. 

More information is available at


Cultural Connection Zone

The Cultural Connection Zone is a regular spot in the Newsletter highlighting cultural events & information provided by the Cultural Understanding (staff) committee. See items below.

Cultural Awareness: Histories of SA, An Aboriginal Perspective

In 2021, the Hills Montessori teaching staff undertook an engaging and thought-provoking professional development session about South Australia’s history following colonisation through a First Nations’ lens.  It was a highly interactive experience and left an enduring impression on us all. 

In early May, a similar session will be led by members of the Kaurna community at the Living Kaurna Cultural Centre.  This session is aimed towards adults and tickets are available via:

Vacation Care

The Vacation Care Program will operate each day during the coming holidays from 7.30am to 6pm.  The program will also operate on Monday 2nd May (pupil free day in wk 1 of Term 2).  The program was sent home last week.  You can find the program here.

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 Maddy. We are currently trying to finalise staffing and confirm excursion arrangements.

Bunnings Sausage Sizzle

Thank you to the parents who volunteered at our recent fundraising sausage sizzle held at Mount Barker Bunnings.  We raised $625 -  a great effort!  Thanks particularly to Georgia Richmond and the fundraising committee for organising the event.

Community Lottery

We are pleased to announce that the Community Lottery raised $2704 for our school.  This money will be put towards 2022 fundraising priorities.  Thank to everyone who purchased a ticket!

Bulb Fundraiser

“Whoever touches the life of the child touches the most sensitive point

of a whole which has roots in the most distant past

and climbs toward the infinite future.”

Maria Montessori

Diary Dates

Term 1 2022

Thursday 7th April

Foundation Board meeting 6.00pm online

Tuesday 12th April

Finance meeting 6.00pm online

Board meeting 7.30pm online

Thursday 14th April

Term 1 ends 2.00pm finish

Friday 15th April

Good Friday

Monday 18th April

Easter Monday


The 2022 School term dates are listed below. 


Term 1:  1 February  – 14 April

Term 2:  3 May – 1 July

Term 3:  26 July – 30 September 

Term 4:  18 October – 14 December