Newsletter Number 13 • Wednesday 5th August 2020

From the Principal

As families would be aware, last year the School Board decided to endorse starting the 2020 school year a week earlier (same week as education department schools) and having a three-week holiday in the middle of the year.  This decision was made to accommodate the building work at Wairoa as it was felt that it would somewhat ease the disruption for both staff and students, and the builders.  Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, the building work is yet to start at Wairoa, however we are hoping that this will begin in the next couple of months.


We have all felt the impact and the disruption of COVID-19 this year, and in hindsight the three week holiday in the middle of the year couldn’t have come at a better time and enabled us all to have a well-earned break after a stressful, demanding and unsettled first semester.


The Board again discussed the dates for the 2021 school year at its last meeting. On the whole I have had very positive feedback from staff and parents regarding the three-week break and so the Board decided that we will ‘trial’ another year of a three-week break in the middle of the school year.  We hope that 2021 will not replicate the disrupted year of 2020 and we will be able to truly ascertain whether or not a three week break will be of benefit to staff, students and families and if indeed we wish to permanently change our school calendar to this model moving forward.  This would bring us in line with many other independent schools.

Below are the details of the 2021 school term dates. 

I hope this clarifies future dates and assists with future holiday planning for families.

Cathy France



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)

Board Communique

At the July Board meeting the school term dates for 2021 were discussed and the three-week mid-year break was agreed upon. The compliance certificate and school performance report were presented by Cathy. The new Dogs in School policy were presented and ratified. The reviewed Students with Disabilities, Student Leavers and Medical Conditions policies were presented and ratified.

Iain Whitson

Board Vice President

Dogs in School policy

At the recent Board meeting the new Dogs in School policy was ratified. The school is part of a community where the benefits of pet ownership are valued. However the school’s primary duty of care is to our students, staff and school community. While the school appreciates this inclusion and values pet ownership as an educational experience, it also acknowledges that other children and adults can find contact with dogs stressful.

The school Board and staff have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to ensure that school grounds are safe for all staff, students and visitors. The new policy outlines the responsibilities of dog owners and/or handlers within the school grounds of Yultiwirra, excluding dogs specifically trained to enhance or support learning, mobility or disability.

The new policy states:

Dogs will not be permitted at the Yultiwirra campus on school days.

Dogs are also not permitted on school grounds during out of hours school events.

Dog owners will be requested to remove their dog from the school grounds.

Permission may be granted under the following circumstances:

  • Students requiring an assistance dog to attend school to help them to participate in their educational program.  
  • Students with a disability requiring an assistance dog to attend school with them.
  • Students requesting to bring in their dog for a particular reason such as show and tell, pet days etc
  • Providers that use dogs as part of their educational program for students.

Parents can read the full Dogs in School policy and procedures on Skoolbag or follow this link:

Infant Program

It has been a busy start to the term with the children eager to be back in the Infant Program room. We have been making play dough, lots of gluing and also continuing with our winter focus.  Finnley is proudly showing off his rain cloud which he has made using cotton wool, streamers and glue.


We have started the term feeling incredibly grateful about the development and opening of our new ‘nature play’ playground. The playground blends into our natural environment beautifully while also providing many opportunities for movement and physical activity. Children have enthusiastically worked through a variety of movement challenges which have encouraged them to problem solve and concentrate. We have already noticed a huge shift in children’s abilities and confidence. Thank you to everyone that was involved in making it happen.

I've done it lots of times now! - Piper

This rope is really strong. - Luca

I did it all on my own! - Reggie

I want to stay here forever. It's so fun! - Reggie

It was fun! - Soraya

I like the slide! - Aurora K

Cycle 1 news

Over the next few weeks Cycle 1 students will continue to learn and practice skills to support and develop their friendships. We begin this exploration with self reflections, looking at our own interests and characteristics and drawing portraits of ourselves and the things that represent us. The children continue to develop their sense of self and how they might positively understand and interact with others.

 Amber said, “I like to think of nice things about myself” and Maggie shared, “I like to see how other people draw themselves”.

Cycle 2 news

This term we are studying North America as our continent study, with a focus on the United States of America. The students revisited their knowledge of landforms and then made their own ‘prick map’ of North America. Two of our students had a zoom interview with two children from Nevada, USA. Olivia and Avi prepared their interview questions and found out information about schooling in the US, popular foods, climate and national sports! The children were very surprised to learn that they don’t eat fairy bread in America! This term we are also continuing to focus on growing our understanding and appreciation of Indigenous culture. Some of the children have chosen to enter into the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Children’s Day art competition. The theme is “We are the Elders of tomorrow, hear our voice”. There was much discussion of what the significance of being an Elder is as well as what the class understands about the meaning of the theme. 

Cycle 2

Cycle 3 News

Term 3 is off with a Bang! Suzie and Lauren’s class has started a science unit on Chemistry. The class learned about atoms last week; trying to get their heads around how small atoms are. This is a link to the Ted Talk we watched on atoms: Just how small is an atom? 

This week we have used boiled red cabbage juice as an indicator to investigate if mystery solutions are acids or bases, watching for the colour change in each solution. 

What we learn from this unit of work on Chemistry will be needed for the STEM challenge later in the term.

Cycle 4 news

The glorious weather has been such a wonderful addition to the Cycle 4 occupations over the last couple of weeks. The group pictured here has taken up developing the area behind and around the pizza oven. They are currently clearing the area and journaling possibilities, before they begin the design process. With the big goal of ‘greening-up’ our school the Living Sustainably group is looking at ways we can lessen our impact on the environment, be more aware of consumer choices and make positive changes to day to day practices. The Making Theatre crew is researching the roles and responsibilities of different professions to inform the large project of creating a theatre for cabaret. Our performance evenings will look a bit different this year and so this group is tasked with designing, troubleshooting and creating a play performance.  

Indonesian with Ellis

‘Lompat Tali’ (Jump Rope) is a popular traditional children’s game in Indonesia (I grew up playing this game with my friends throughout my primary years of schooling in Indonesia. Details on how to play ‘Lompat Tali’ can be found by clicking the links below: and

Apart from understanding the rules and knowing how to play the game, students from Preschool, Cycle 1 and Cycle 2 classes learn the key words used in the game by listening to, imitating and saying aloud the words/expressions such as ‘Pegang talinya’ (Hold the rope), ‘Kamu mati!’ (You’re out!), Giliranmu sekarang! (Your turn now). The older students practise giving instructions and extending vocabulary related to body parts and animals such as ‘semata kaki’ (ankle high) up to ‘selangit’ (above head high) and ‘gaya kupu-kupu’ (butterfly style).


Cycle 2 students described the game as fun, tricky, weird, strange, confusing, boring, interesting, good,  excellent, outstanding, enjoyable, mind twister, cool, happy and a bit hard, it was not too hard and not too easy and it’s the best game ever (yay!).


They described the challenging parts of the game as: trying not to get tangled on the rope; remembering the words and how to do it; when you had to twist backwards; the part that the rope starts getting higher then you have to jump higher; when we twisted our arms around the rope; I like doing the butterfly but it is hard.


Students also said:  

✔   In the game I am able: to fly, have fun,  jump over all the rope heights, do the kupu-kupu, get some exercise.

✔   I would play this game with my friends because: you have to work together as a team, I think it would be fun to make the rubber chain and I want to see who wins!


Last Sunday both Maddie and Phoebe Ross competed in the Little Athletics Cross Country Championships. Not only was it wonderful being back at an organised sports event but both girls beat their “PB’s” (personal best).

Phoebe ran 750m and improved on her PB by 23 seconds! Maddie ran 1.5km and improved on her PB by 10 seconds! Congratulations girls!

Walk a Mile

On Friday 7 August, Nikki, Olivia and Molly Green will be Walking a Mile or more to raise funds for the 6000 people experiencing homelessness in South Australia. This year it's a little different due to Covid restrictions.  All funds will go to the Hutt St Centre who has been supporting people for more than 65 years by providing a hearty meal, a hot shower, all in a safe, welcoming space.

Please donate now and together we can help end homelessness.

If any families would like to join Nikki and the girls please meet their 'team'; the 'Winter Walkers' at 8.10am at the Bridgewater Oval.

New Fundraising Idea - Electives for Adults!

Do you have a passion or an interest you would like to share with our school community?

The fundraising committee is gauging expressions of interest from parents/guardians/grandparents for holding a workshop about their specific interest.

Tickets will be sold to your elective workshop and money raised will go to the school fundraising efforts.

Maybe you could share information about winemaking, baking, cooking, creating, making, building, gardening, welding or sewing.... the possibilities are endless!

Please look out for the Skoolbag eForm being sent out soon to indicate your interest in this program.  We look forward to hearing from you!

Video Launch

We are proud to launch our new video promoting our school.  It is a beautiful representation of who we are, what we value and what we believe is important when educating children and young people.  

Thank you to everyone who has been involved in producing these videos and capturing the essence of our school on film.  Particular thanks to Anthea Hagar and Tim Standing.

Thanks also to the students who contributed by recording the voice overs.  Thanks to:

Aurora Keast  - Preschool

Aurora Voges-Standing - Cycle 1

Mila Murphy - Cycle 1

Oscar Were - Cycle 2

Isaac Bonilla-Killey - Cycle 3

Harry Hawking - Cycle 4

The video will 'live' on our school website for prospective families to watch and enjoy and gain insight into our school, our programs and the amazing learning environment we offer.

This the first of a series of videos soon to be launched.

Enjoy viewing!

Here is the link to view the video:

Online Quiz Night - Save the Date

Monti Chef #2

Geocaching Challenge

Diary Dates

Monday August 3– Friday August 14

Collaborative Interviews – Yultiwirra

Thursday 6 August

Adolescent program information session on Zoom for Year 6 parents 1.30pm - Register your interest on Skoolbag to be sent the link

Tuesday 11 August

Finance meeting 6.00pm

Friday 14 August

Year 6 applications to Wairoa due

Tuesday 18 August

I & PC meeting 8.00am @ Yultiwirra

Executive meeting 6.00pm

Board meeting 7.00pm

Thursday August 20

SPTG meeting 9.30am

Online parent/staff Zoom presentation –

‘Positive Parenting’ presented by Madhavi Nawana Parker 4.30pm – 6.00pm


“And such is our duty toward the child; to give a ray of light and to go on our way.”

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