Newsletter Number 6 • Thursday 19th May 2022

From the Principal

Last week our Cycle 4 students held their annual Market Day at Wairoa where students offered a variety of goods and services.  It was a fantastic example of Montessori adolescent education and rich, interdisciplinary, meaningful work.  Stalls included a succulent and herb nursery; baked goods; printed tote bags, caps, aprons, pots, masks; and an eco-friendly drink trays and coasters' stall. 

The Occupation for older students in Term 1 was Production and Exchange.  As well as studying the principles of economics, they brainstormed, designed, and delivered their pop-up business ideas, considering saleability, deliverability and environmental sustainability.  There was a great turn out of parents, family and friends at the twilight autumn Market which was held alfresco style at Wairoa. 

In addition, the Year 7 students offered a large variety of food stalls which was the culminating event for their Term 1 Occupation, Feeding the Community.  A huge variety of food from around the world was on offer including food from Southern Africa, Italy, Thailand, Afghanistan and Vietnam. 

Dr Maria Montessori wrote about the importance of acknowledging and recognising students' work and particularly wrote about this in regard to the adolescent years.  Maria Montessori observed that young adolescents have a drive to work not only for the sake of the activity or the immediate outcome, but for external social recognition—Dr Montessori used the term ‘valorisation’ to describe the sense of worth one feels when one’s work has provided a recognised service to the community.  Adolescents not only want to know what they are good at, but what they are good for within the context of community appreciation.

Everyone likes recognition and acknowledgement when they have put in effort or when they achieve or learn something new.  It is important to provide encouragement and affirmation to students.  This should not be confused with rewards.  Dr Montessori believed that using rewards and punishment inhibits the development of self-discipline.  Rewards and punishment deny the young person the opportunity to make decisions and to be responsible for their own behaviour.  Rather than learning how to analyse a situation and make wise decisions, a young person may make decisions based on what an adult might do to 'punish' or 'reward' them.

Congratulations to all Wairoa students for showcasing their learning in such a real and relevant manner.  We certainly know that student learning is strengthened when connections to the real world are apparent.                                                                                                           

Cathy France 


Adolescent Program - Twilight Markets

2022 Theme - 'Appreciation'

We appreciate our Mums!

Hoping all the mums, carers, grandmothers, and the special dads who do the job of both Mum and Dad, enjoyed their special day on Sunday 8th May. We salute you all!

Students always put so much thought and care into Mother's Day craft activities, we hope the handmade gifts and beautiful messages made it home to you. 

Appreciating our Mums ❤️

Board Communique

At the recent Board meeting, we were presented with and ratified the Strategic Plan 2022-2027. I'd like to thank Meg Barker and the committee for all their hard work on this plan.

The upcoming AGM, Board nominations and a review of the operational risks were also discussed.

Jade Crathern

Board President

2021 Annual Report

This week the 2021 Annual Report will be distributed to our school community to read and share, it is a detailed overview of the 2021 school year.  We hope you enjoy reading all of the wonderful learning activities students, staff and families were engaged in throughout last year.  The Annual Report also details the general school operations highlighting the progress and growth that has been made in the twelve month period.  

 The Annual Report document can also be used to promote our school so please feel free to share the report with family, friends or anyone you know who is seeking more information about our school as a prospective family.  If you didn’t receive a copy please contact the school office.

The 2021 financial statements are not included in the annual report, however if any school community members would like to peruse the financial statements they are available at the office.

An abundance of thanks to Nicki Stewart (parent) for the many hours she has spent designing and curating the document. Thank you to Anthea Hagar for her input on the design, layout and content. Thanks also to Pete Kupniewski (parent) for his time in editing the document. We very much appreciate all of you generously sharing your skills.  

Welcome David!

We're pleased to welcome David Simpfendorfer to the school as our new Performing Arts teacher. David has traded sunny Queensland for the 'crisp' Adelaide Hills, moving from the Sunshine Coast to Adelaide to join us at the primary school. 

David will be working with our Preschool and Primary students two days a week teaching music, movement, drama and singing.  If you see him around, please make him feel welcome (and feel free to pass on your tips for best winter coats and thermal options!). 

Reconciliation Action Plan - please join us!

We are calling for members of our school community to join us in developing our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) aimed at developing an educational environment that fosters higher levels of knowledge and pride in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander histories, cultures and contributions. Through our RAP we will commit to strengthening relationships, respect, opportunities in the classroom and around the school, and with the wider community. 

Within our school community, there is unique knowledge and valuable experience that we would love to see reflected in the Actions that we commit to in our RAP. If you would like to be involved in any way with the development and ongoing implementation of our RAP, including being part of the RAP Working Group, please get in touch with Nat Costello via email:

To learn more about Reconciliation Australia’s Narragunnawali program and RAP development process, you may also like to visit: 

Parent Discussion Group - Managing Anxiety in Young People

Join Katy our Student Wellbeing Worker on Friday 10 June at 9.15am for a Parent Discussion Group around Managing Anxiety in Young People.  

Helping our kids through anxiety is challenging and finding strategies that work can feel overwhelming. Come along to discuss key strategies designed to help our young people, as well as connect with others who are parenting children who struggle with anxiety. 

The discussion group will take place in the Common Room at Yultiwirra. A booking form will be sent via Skoolbag closer to the time. Please ensure you wear a mask. 

SAPSASA Swimming State Championships

Congratulations to Sid, one of our Cycle 4 students who represented the school in the Adelaide Hills team, as part of the SAPSASA Swimming State Championships held at Marion Aquatic Centre recently. Sid competed in the 50 metre freestyle relay, he swam first in the relay getting his team off to a fantastic start and took three-seconds off his personal best time. The relay team came away with a silver medal, a brilliant result! Well done Sid. 

Cycle News

Infant Program

We have welcomed back many new and existing families to the Infant Program after the school break. The children have been excited to get involved again in familiar activities, with a particular focus on strengthening and developing hand skills. 

Cycle 1 Preschool

This week the Extended Program children had a lesson on how to put together a floral arrangement. They were shown how to safely use secateurs to cut the stems of the flowers and foliage to the correct length, how to take the lower leaves off the stems, how to arrange the flower and foliage and then how to tie string to securely keep the arrangement together. They also learnt the names of the plants that were used in the floral arrangement; protea, wattle and blue gum. Each child made their own floral arrangement to take home to their families. As an act of kindness, we then decided to make flower arrangements for the staff who work in the office. It was a lovely to see the smiles on the faces of the recipients and experience the gift of giving.

Cycle 1 Primary

This week in Cycle 1 we have been reviewing what we have learned about arthropods.  We talked about the four different groups: insects, arachnids, crustaceans and myriapods, and focused on their similarities and differences.

  • "Millipedes have lots and lots of legs!" Scarlett
  • "Insects have six legs." Indie
  • "The eight leg ones are spiders." Riley
  • "They are the same on each side [symmetrical]" Anouk

We each chose a type of arthropod to make out of recycled materials and identified the body parts it might need, including the number of legs, antennae and body segments.  The students worked hard on their creations and were very happy with the results!

Cycle 2

In wellbeing lessons we have been focusing on friendships and strategies for keeping safe. 

We have been learning friendship skills such as how to join others in play, developing a safety and trust network as well as learning practical safety information if faced with an emergency. This has included defining an emergency, what happens when you ring 000 and knowing personal details like your full name, address and parent details. 

Quotes from students: 

"You can be brave and say stop if you don’t like what someone does or says to you." Amber

"When people are in trouble you can tell an adult or notice if someone is sad and ask them to play.Ruby

"I learnt about being safe and saying “can I play” if I would like to join in a game with others." Soraya

"If someone does something kind we write it down on our kindness tree." Xavier

"If something went wrong you can ring 000, they will ask if you need police, ambulance or fire help.Seph

"You can use an assertive voice and say I don’t like it if someone is not being nice.Zohair

"We learned who we can trust."  Mae

Cycle 3

This year we have been looking into Environmental science.  With inspiration from Clean Up Australia, we have selected an area of interest which is an issue in society which is impacting our environment.  We have explored the issue and become familiar with facts and statistics about the topic and looked at the ways in which it is affecting the environment.  Each group made a poster to share facts and raise awareness on their chosen issue.  We also created an action plan to make positive change in our class community, school community and hopefully the wider community.  Each group presented to the class to share their knowledge about their learning.  Please watch out for information in the coming weeks about different recycling initiatives which we hope to implement.

Food waste group - Matilda C, Sadie, Arana, Jet, Lachlan, Joe.

Did you know that over 7.3 million tonnes of food is wasted in Australia every year.  That is approximately 300kg per person. Food waste is bad waste!  Action Plan - We intend to review the green waste disposal at our school.  We would like every class to have a compost bin and for green bins to be better identified and labelled.

Fast fashion group - India, Sophia, Olivia, Aurelia  

Fast fashion is when people buy cheap, disposable clothes that they don’t wear and then throw out.  Don't shop for clothing every week.  Use Op shops.  Action Plan - Use old clothes to make other items.  Buy what you need.

E-waste group - Ayaan, Ashlee, Avi, Amelia

About 98 percent of the components of a laptop can be fully recycled.  Action Plan - We hope to conduct a mobile muster so that our school community can correctly dispose of their unused/old mobile phones.

Balloons group - Bella, Amber, Matilda V, Ollie, Oliver, Indigo

Did you know that balloons are a threat to our natural environment, especially marine life.  They do not break down!!  In some states releasing balloons is against the law.  Action Plan - write to our local member and the local council to ask why SA doesn't have a law against releasing balloons.

Batteries group - Maddie, Emily, Pearl, Oscar, Lukas 

Batteries should never be put in your household recycling or garbage bin. Instead, you should place sticky tape around the batteries too and then drop it off at one of the many recycling locations across Australia e.g. IKEA, Bunnings, Officeworks and many more!  Action Plan - set up a batteries disposal tub at school and take them to an outlet listed.

Cycle 4

Woodhouse Camp 2022 was postponed more than once, and so we finally set off on the second day back at school after the holidays. This of course took us into the coldest weather by far this year, but meant that a highlight was our continually burning campfire.

The hike to Woodhouse was a “Choose Your Own Adventure” including the choices: Social Nature Ramble, Puzzle Hunt and Action Miles. As the Wairoa tent village took shape on the green, it felt as though we had really got away from our usual setting.

On the first afternoon and evening, older Wairoa students ran lots of get-to-know-you games and prepared and hosted a beautiful welcome dinner of burrito bowls. This theme of welcome continued throughout camp with older students taking on the majority of meal prep and clean up, and strengthening new connections.

Thursday morning revolved around Advisory Groups - tackling Challenge Hill together and considering ourselves as young adolescents who are moving on from childhood. Both afternoons offered a diverse range of activities, both fun and physical, to choose from. Friday morning brought a new challenge as small groups worked together to safely support and lower one another on a series of ropes challenges - very high up in the pine forest. This experience very much built on one of the other themes - how trying and failing provides incentive for learning and growth.

The evenings were great - with the delicious food (a great barbie on the second night) and the wonderful fire. Each night had a high-energy feature - Spotlight in the forest and the legendary Night Maze Running - or the option of hot drinks and stories back by the fire. 

Overall it was a brilliant camp, especially since so much of it involved rain-dodging (or just putting your coat on and getting out into it). Some tents leaked, people were cold at times and we had our share of problems to solve. There were so many instances of kind, supportive and collaborative actions, and the reflections on the final afternoon were incredibly rich and varied.

Wairoa staff were brilliant, with all of the advisor guides sleeping at camp and daytime involvement from every single adult who works with our adolescent community. Woodhouse Camp 2022 really was a community building experience.

What students thought about camp:

"It was very fun!" Harper 

"I really liked walking back to basecamp from night activities in the dark." Lucy 

"I didn't like that it was very wet." Luca 

"The high ropes were really enjoyable."  Billy 

"Our tent leaked, so that wasn't very fun." Catlyn 

PE with Attila - Netball 🏐

As a part of our PE curriculum, students spent 5 weeks in Term 1 focusing on the game of netball and developing the skills required to play.

Netball provides many benefits in PE. It is a team-orientated sport with a wide range of positions to suit different ability levels. The skills associated with netball enhance hand-eye coordination, teach space awareness and body control while also encouraging teamwork. We were fortunate to have Kylie Pedlar from Netball SA share her expert knowledge of the game with students in Cycles 1, 2 and 3.

Younger students started sessions with NYDA moon balls, an ultralite ball which is ideal for throwing and catching activities, before children transitioned to a standard weight ball.

As the weeks progressed, all students were playing netball games and trying different positions across the court. It was fantastic to watch the improvement and the developing love of the game across the 5 weeks.

Annual General Meeting

Date and Time

From Tuesday, May. 24th, 6:00 pm to Tuesday, May. 24th, 7:00 pm


Via ZoomGet Directions


Our AGM will be held next week on Tuesday 24th May at 6.00pm via Zoom and all school families are welcome to attend. An online link will be distributed via Skoolbag to our school community closer to the time.  

Board nomination forms were distributed via Skoolbag and nominations for Board members have now closed. We thank those in our school community who have lodged a nomination.  

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.

To acknowledge Reconciliation Week (27 May-3 June) the Cultural Understanding Committee would like to organise a special event for our students to participate in on Friday 27th May. We would like to create an image of the Aboriginal Flag formed by staff and students wearing colours that correspond with the flag. In the Hall, we will arrange ourselves in the shape of the flag to be photographed from above. 

To facilitate this, we are asking the Cycles to dress in colours of the Aboriginal flag, please see below:

Cycle 1 Preschool and Primary to dress in yellow

Cycle 2 to dress in black

Cycle 3 to dress in red  

We thank you in advance for your support with this endeavour!


A current Cycle 3 family are looking for interested families amongst our school community to carpool from Mt Barker. Please send an email to Debbie at if you are interested.

Diary Dates for Term 2

Term 2 2022

Tuesday 24 May 

AGM - 6.00PM-7.00PM (online link distributed via Zoom)

Wednesday 25 May

Policy Meeting 4.00pm

Friday 27 May - Friday 3 June

Reconciliation Week

Friday 27 May

Reconciliation School Activity - Student Aboriginal flag - please refer to Cultural Connection Zone (above) 

Monday 30 May - Thursday 2 June

Life Education Van  - Programs for Cycle 1 Preschool - Cycle 4

Tuesday 7 June

I & PC meeting 8.00am via Zoom

Yulitiwirra Open Day - 10am-12pm. Tours of Infant Program, Preschool, Primary classes.  BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL

Marketing meeting 4.00pm

Friday 10 June

Fundraising meeting - 9.15am via Zoom

Parent Discussion Group - 9.15am. Managing Anxiety in Young People. BOOKINGS ESSENTIAL

Monday 13 June

Queen's Birthday Public Holiday

Tuesday 14 June

Finance meeting - 6.00pm via Zoom

Wednesday 15 June

WHS meeting - 4.00pm

Student Wellbeing committee meeting - 4.00pm

Thursday 16  June

Cultural Understandings committee meeting - 4.00pm

Week 8

Monday 20 June - Friday 24 June

Yultiwirra Collaborative Interview

Week 9

Tuesday 28, Wednesday 29, Thursday 30 June

Coffeehouse Cabaret, Cycle 4 - more information to follow. 


Term 2:  3 May – 1 July

Term 3:  26 July – 30 September 

Term 4:  18 October – 14 December

“Only in the child do we see reflected the majesty of nature which, in giving freedom and independence, gives life itself.” 

Maria Montessori