Curtin Primary School Newsletter

Week 7 Term 3 2019

We at Curtin Primary acknowledge the Ngunnawal people, past, present and future.

We would like to thank the traditional custodians for nurturing this precious land where we live, learn and play.

We promise to protect plants, animals, earth, water and sky and care for everyone in our community.

Principal - Merryn O'DeaOUT OF SCHOOL HOURS CARE
Deputy Principal - Maryanne HayesJuniors - 0476 846 570
Board Chair - Alistair James - 0428 776 626Seniors - 0472 820 865
P&C President - Megan Moore - megankm4@gmail.comBefore school - 0472 820 865
If your child is absent please notify the school via email - - or via the Skoolbag appBookings - 02 6147 3318

Welcome to this week’s newsletter

Dear Curtin families,

Many of you will have noticed my recent absence from school. I have had to take some personal leave to support my recovery from a recent car accident. Thank you to everyone who has inquired after my wellbeing, and I look forward to returning to school in the next week or so. Maryanne Hayes, along with our executive teachers have each taken on additional workloads to ensure the smooth running of the school and ongoing learning success for students. I thank each of them for their contributions both within the school day and behind the scenes.

At this time of year, it is difficult to ensure relief teachers every time a staff member is away, and across the school our teachers have all worked hard to support students and take on additional playground duties as required to ensure the school day is safe and productive for your children. If your child is experiencing symptoms of an end of winter illness, please give them time to rest and get better at home to ensure we stay as healthy as possible at school.

This week is Child Protection Week. Recently at Curtin, our focus has been on children’s safety online. In this newsletter, I am taking the opportunity to share a position on the use of social media in primary school. Throughout the learning program, students are gradually introduced to online interaction through creating collaborative pieces of work, and brainstorming or giving feedback in a more ‘chat’ style format. We are also exploring platforms for sharing and commenting on work with families. It is our position that the learning program provides opportunities for students to learn the skills required to use these communication modes, whilst supporting wellbeing. They also have the privacy and supervision to ensure that if they make mistakes, they have the opportunity to repair them.

As primary school age children are learning technical and personal skills, they do not have fully developed resilience, maturity or critical reading skills. When using media beyond school, we understand students face risks and can be exposed to inappropriate messages. We recommend that each family take a closer look at their child’s social media accounts and consider removing access to apps such as Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Discord and WhatsApp. This can be done by changing their password then deleting the apps. I also advise families to close gmail accounts and ensure students only use their school accounts when required to be online.

We are also aware that some families believe their children are not online through their mobile phones as they do not have data access, but that their children access apps through wifi and do not tell adults they are online. Many parents also feel they should allow access to ensure their children are not excluded socially. Having a school position is an attempt to support parents in keeping children safe. There is also sometimes confusion about whether online interaction is a school matter. When Curtin students are involved, we advise always sharing screenshots and talking with teachers so we can manage impacts on school relationships and personal wellbeing.

This needs to be accompanied with conversations about why social media use is exposing children to risk and hurting wellbeing, and regular checking of their devices. There is support available for parents through resources such as ThinkUKnow and the Safety Commissioner. Further resources will be shared by the school next week. It is not our intention to be punitive, but to act protectively of the wellbeing and safety of our students now and into their adult lives.  

If you have questions or concerns, please always contact myself, an executive teacher or your child’s teacher.

Thank you,

Merryn O’Dea

Tournament of Minds

Last Saturday and Sunday Curtin Primary’s eight Tournament of Minds (TOMs) teams participated in the ACT Branch Finals at Campbell High School. Tournament of Minds offers students the opportunity to solve authentic, open-ended challenges that foster creative, divergent thinking whilst developing collaborative enterprise, excellence and teamwork. TOMs began in Victoria in the early 1990s and is now enthusiastically supported by schools in all Australian states and territories and a growing number of international schools.

Each Curtin team was made up of seven year 5 and 6 students who committed to working on a long term (six week) challenge during this term’s Passion Project sessions, lunchtimes, after school and on some weekends. The teams chose the category that they wished to compete in from STEM, Language Literature, Social Sciences and the Arts.  Each team collaborated (sometimes frustratingly) on the solution to their problem, wrote a script, created costumes and backdrops; all without any adult assistance. They then performed in front of a panel of judges and an audience on the day. As well, each team had to participate in solving an unseen five minute Spontaneous Challenge in front of two judges. This required brainstorming, creative and original thinking as well as clear, inclusive and positive thinking.

We are all thrilled that five of our eight teams have qualified for the ACT Finals which will be held on Sunday 15 September. Two STEM teams, one Language Literature, one Social Sciences and one Arts team will participate. During this round, each team will be required to work on an unseen three hour challenge at Campbell HS using the same thinking and collaborative skills to come up with a solution, script and presentation/performance to again present in front of a panel of judges and audience. They will also be given a new Spontaneous Challenge to solve during the three hour preparation period.

There are huge highs and many lows during the six week journey, but the sense of achievement at the end is incredible. The team work, tolerance, understanding, respect, compromise, accepting others and a whole lot of hard work are lessons that will stay with the students, not to mention the new friendships that have formed along the way.

We are especially proud of all our Curtin TOMs teams because our school makes it inclusive to all students. Any student who wants to be involved has the opportunity, whereas many other schools hold auditions, select certain students or have a limited number of teams so many others don’t get the opportunity. Finally, a huge thank you to the parents who supported the students this term, including volunteering last weekend at Campbell HS. TOMs could not exist without teacher, parent and student volunteers.

Enjoy the warmer weather,

Deborah Fitzgerald

An important reminder that our school is a nut free zone. Please ensure that your child does not bring any nut products to school.

Class planning 2020

If your child is not returning to Curtin Primary School in 2020 please advise by email


Events may be viewed and added to your personal calendar on the Skoolbag app

Year 6 SHFPACT parent information night4 September
Kindergarten Health Check5 & 6 September
P&C meeting5 September
Assembly - Year 113 September
Blue Emus excursion to Birrigai13 September
Yellow Possums & Red Wombats excursion to Birrigai17 September
Year 2 Culminating Event18 September
Christian Education19 September
Year 3 Culminating Event20 September

Notes to be returned

Notes may be downloaded from links found below

Date Due
Year 4 excursion to Green Shed5 September
Year 3 excursion to Warrambui8 November

Year 4 excursion to Green Shed


Year 3 excursion to Warrambui


This week’s focus is cyber-safety

Online safety is becoming more and more important in children’s lives. As technology progresses, our understanding on how to be safe in the online community must increase as well.

Below are two fantastic links with information to help you support your children to be safe and resilient online.



Year 2 ONLY - Monday 2 December – Friday 6 December (Term 4, Week 8)

Curtin Primary School is excited to be offering Year 2 students the opportunity to acquire essential life skills in water safety and survival through Royal Life Saving ACT.

It is our aim to have 100% participation.

The ACT Education and Training Directorate provides substantial funding for Year 2 students in ACT Public Schools to participate in the Royal Life Saving ACT Aqua Safe program – a series of 10 practical and 5 theory lessons focused on general water safety and personal aquatic survival skills. This targeted approach will ensure every participating student has the opportunity to access structured aquatic activities during primary school.  These lessons will be held over a 1 hour (2 sessions per day) 1 week program.

PLEASE NOTE:  These are not ‘swimming lessons’ they are survival skills

Notes will be coming home today. The medical note that you return to school IS NOT the enrolment note. You MUST enrol and pay online.

School Athletics Festival

SAVE THE DATE - Friday 18 October (Term 4, Week 1)



Congratulations to the following students who have qualified to represent the South Weston Region at the ACT Athletics carnival on 10 September:

·         Isla D – Long Jump, Shot Put, High Jump, 200m

·         Erika Y – 100m

·         Adelaide C – Shot Put

·         Violet L – Shot Put

·         Felix P – 1500m 


Reminder - Chief Minister's Reading Challenge 2019

A reminder that the Chief Minister’s reading challenge finishes on the 7th Sep.

Could all students please bring forms back as soon as possible?

Jane Steinback, Library Assistant.


Postponed - Curtin P&C meeting: now on Thursday 12th September, 6.30 for 7pm

The next P&C meeting will be held on Thursday 12th September in the staff room. Light refreshment from 6.30pm, meeting start from 7pm. All parents and carers are welcome to attend!

Thank you!

A HUGE thank you to Ken Mansell and all the volunteers that helped to make Daddy Drop Off such a great success and to all those that came along to enjoy and support it. All P&C events raise funds that go towards playground equipment, creative arts programs and a range of other initiatives to support and enhance our students and school community.

Trivia Night Booking Form


Uniform Shop

The uniform shop is located opposite the canteen and is open from 8.30am until 9.30am each Wednesday. 

2019 Curtin Primary School Uniform order form



HOT DOG DAY - Thursday 26 September 2019

Wow! Can you believe it we are nearing the end of third term? How this year has flown!

As we do every term, the canteen will be closed on the last day of term, Friday 27th September.

We will be having a hot dog day on Thursday of week 10, 26 September.

You can find the order form attached. No other orders will be available only the pre-ordered hot dogs.

The canteen will be running  stock down towards the end of term so your child may not be able to order everything on the menu but an alternative will be offered .

Cheers, Lizzy.

Hot Dog Day order form


Canteen closed last day of term - Friday 27 September 2019


The canteen is open from 8.45am until 1.45pm. If you have any canteen queries, Lizzy can be contacted on 6142 2581 during these hours.

2019 Canteen Menu


School Holiday Program

Please find attached Woden Community Service's upcoming School Holiday Program for October 2019.

WCS School Holiday Program October 2019