Healesville Primary School


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Thursday 28th July, 2022

From the Principal's Desk…

Dear Parents and Carers,

Already we are experiencing high numbers of absence due to illness – thank you for keeping your children home when they are unwell. There are a number of viruses around at the moment, not just COVID. We have had another delivery of RATs, they will be coming home over the following week. If you do have a family member test positive, other children are able to attend school but there is an expectation that they wear a mask in class. If you do have a positive COVID result for one of our students could you please advise Linda in the office. All staff including myself are encouraging everyone to wear a mask indoors. This follows on from the letter that was sent out from the education department earlier this term.

It was fantastic last week at assembly to have many of our students perform - they did a great job and showed so much confidence performing to a large audience of their peers and the many parents who attended.

Parent helpers – thankyou to those who have already put their hand up to assist in our classrooms. We would still love to see more parents and helpers in the school, assisting with different programs, helping on PACH, covering books or working in the garden. These are just a few ideas of how you can help.

I would like to give a huge thank you to Karen Hanmer who has and is, transforming our library. She has done an amazing job and the library looks fantastic!

We run lunchtime clubs every day. One of these is a board games club on Fridays in our library. Kelly Laidlaw who runs this club was wondering if any families had board games (with all the components) that they no longer want, or need, and would like to donate them to the school for clubs. If you do, we would love to see them dropped off at the office.

In our newsletter this week are two articles. One from Bek Clarke our Literacy Learning Specialist who is explaining what is happening in our classrooms with Literacy. Chris Kent, our Learning Specialist for Numeracy, explains all things Maths. Both Bek and Chris assist the teachers with planning as well as working in the classrooms with our students.

As mentioned in our last newsletter, we are holding an open afternoon on Wednesday 10th August (week 5 of this term) from 2:30pm – 3:30pm. All of our classrooms will be open and we would love to see parents and carers attend. This is an opportunity for you to see the work your child/children have been doing this term. You will be able to see the evidence of them working towards their goals in Literacy and Numeracy. So, please come along and see your child/children at school. All level leaders will send out information via dojo soon.

This week our grade five/six students participated in a workshop focusing on Cyber Safety which is part of our E Smart curriculum. Susan McLean, the presenter, is an expert in this field. She spoke to the students about being safe online. Hopefully all our students came away with knowledge that will help them when using devices on social media.

SPECIAL ASSEMBLY for our Preps – This coming Friday 29th July, we are holding a very special assembly for our prep students to celebrate 100 days of school. They are extremely excited and wish to share their costumes and this achievement with everyone. So, if you would like to celebrate with us, come to the hall at 9:15 on Friday 29th July.

Take care, stay well.



Please note all dates/events are subject to change.

Monday 8th August - Tuesday 16th Aug - Grades 3-4 Swimming Lessons.

Monday 29th August - Curriculum Day.

Monday 12th - Tuesday 13th September - Parent/Teacher Interviews.

Student Awards

Principal Award

Evan H 5/6H - for consistently putting in his best effort, he always follows staff instructions, sets his work out beautifully and is kind & thoughtful to others.

Prep B

Callum S - for trying his hardest to complete all of his work on time.

Prep H

William H - Confidence Award - for joining our class with confidence this term.

Ilyana K - Respect Award - for her fantastic active learning.

1/2 B

Elliot V - Learning Award - great job with his snowman writing.

Maddison O - Learning Award - great effort with learning her words.


Hayden H - Confidence Awards - for settling into our class and giving everything a go.

Toby E - Learning Award - for learning all his hard work in all areas.


Brandon H - Community Award - for a brilliant transition to Healesville, we are loving getting to know you.

Dante N - Confidence Award - for a confident start to term 3, even helping another new student settle in.

Nate A - Learning Award - for fantastic strategies shared in Maths lessons.


Beau D - Respect Award - for always following adult instruction and setting to work quickly and quietly.

Bella H - Respect Award - for being diligent in always following adult instruction and looking after others.


Cooper M - Learning Award - for always trying his best and being aware of what he finds challenging and being proactive in seeking support.

Amy L - Learning Award - for always listening to staff and trying to improve her knowledge & skills.


Jett B – for persevering and mastering single and double digit multiplication.

Kendi L – For her positive attitude and enthusiastic start to Term 3.


Charlotte K - for having a really positive attitude towards her work and trying hard with all that she does.

Numeracy Term 3

The focus in Numeracy going forward is on engaging students in more open ended tasks which promote all students being involved in productive struggle.

What is productive struggle?

· a process of learning that takes a lot of effortful thinking.

· exploring a variety of solutions to problems and accepting that there may be more than one explanation.

· thinking through challenging learning tasks with grit, persistence and resilience.

· not giving up when problems we face stretch our thinking.

I know how I feel when I attempt to learn something new. I need to try it out a few times; I fumble, I pause, I fail and I think of another way to succeed. In our numeracy classrooms we are working hard to build a learning culture that encourages the same, a culture where mistakes are expected and respected and where students are encouraged to try with effort when learning something new.

Below are some suggestions for things we can all do to help (including parents at home) support a culture where productive struggle is valued;

· give children time to struggle with tasks to lead them to need to ask questions.

· feel comfortable with the thought that confusion and mistakes are a part of learning.

· accept that a struggle to learn something new will take time.

· provide suggested strategies for what children can do when they are stuck, but don’t provide the solution.

A Closing Thought

“If parents want to give their children a gift, the best thing they can do is to teach their children to love challenges, be intrigued by mistakes, enjoy effort and keep on learning.” Carol Dweck

Maths Corner

Puzzler of the Fortnight- Middle School Year Prep, 1 & 2

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Maths Tip of the week- Be positive about math. Express confidence in your child’s ability to do math. Don’t stress either your own fear of math or how difficult math is or how much you admire anyone who can do math. Remember, everyone can and does use math all the time.

Each fortnight in the newsletter, 1 level, Junior, Middle or Senior will have a maths puzzle, a prize will be awarded at assembly for a correct entry. Place your entry, make sure you include your name and class in the box outside Mr Kent’s office before the next weeks assembly.


It has been wonderful to see the growth and development of our students in literacy throughout the year. A special highlight has been the prep writing, which is coming along in leaps and bounds.

We have an exciting term of literacy ahead.

The 5/6s are delving into deeper understandings of rich literature using Storm Boy as a mentor text.

The 3/4s are using Fractured Fairytales to explore points of view in literature (get ready for a good laugh with some of the fractured fairytales that students are writing).

The 1/ 2s are looking at imaginary texts, with a focus on characters.

The Preps are establishing reading and writing workshops and information writing about Australian Animals.

In the second half of term the whole school will be exploring poetry.

The junior school looking at reading and creating rhythm and rhyme, and the middle and upper school looking at the author’s craft and reader’s response.

This term there are literacy extension groups running throughout the school.

We are also excited to celebrate book week in week 7, August 22 – 26. Stay tuned for more information.

Here are some samples of our amazing students’ writing from semester 1.

· My heart is pounding out of my chest. Adrenaline fuels my body. “Going in,” weaving through the glorious, desolate mountains.”

· “It was exactly two weeks ago that the great pigeon briefcase attack happened. No one knew what to think but little did everyone know that the pigeon was back for more …”

· The train zoomed on the tracks but next thing they knew, they were off the tracks and in the middle of nowhere; in the middle of the night.”

· Most kids are scared of the dark, or terrified in my best friend's case, but not me. I love it!”

· “Dad!” l yelled. What was dad doing with my stash of lollies? “I can explain” he whispered. Oh, he had a lot of explaining to do …

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Laura Mitchell – Assistant Principal Healesville High School.

I graduated from Healesville Primary School a long time ago! 1994 was the year and I still remember my last day as a primary school student; feeling excited about new beginnings and growing up, but sad to leave behind something I had come to love.

When reflecting on my time as a student at Healesville Primary School, my memories are mostly happy. I know there is a tendency, as we grow older and become nostalgic, to look at things through rose coloured glasses. Well, I do, anyway. Regardless, my formative years at HPS were everything you would want them to be. I experienced a strong sense of belonging, I developed life-long friends and most of all, I left with a love of learning.

HPS is a school servicing the local community. It was, during my time as a student (1988-1994), and it still is, an integral part of the Healesville community. For me, it was my first taste of what it felt like to be part of a community that cared for each other, through the positive times and the challenging times.

When I was a Grade Two student, one of my closest friends passed away after suffering a mystery illness. As you can imagine, this was an absolutely devastating time for the entire school community. Following this, I, and so many others, were cared for in the most perfect way. Teachers supported me, and because many of them knew my mum, they supported her to find the best ways to nurture a young child through the grief associated with such an event. You don’t get that kind of compassion everywhere and it really highlights how special HPS and the wider Healesville community is.

Being part of a close-knit community made me feel like I belonged to something, and this has benefitted my life in so many ways; giving me confidence, helping me support others in my community and feeling a genuine sense of gratitude to be ‘born and bred’ in this town.

My primary school best friends still play an important role in my life. My absolute best-friend was Colleen. We remain super close and although we don’t see each other all the time, we continue to support each other through the very good times and the times that aren’t so good. When we catch up, or we call each other for a chat, nothing has changed and we can be comfortable with each other, of course, with lots of laughter included. We still reminisce about primary school adventures and the things we got up to. She has enriched my life in so many ways and I am thankful that our friendship was able to flourish at HPS. I know I am not alone in this regard, and so many past graduates are still connected to their primary school peers, and they have built wonderful friendships that will last a lifetime. HPS allowed this to happen.

My favourite teacher was Phil O’Brien and I was lucky enough to be in his class for Grade One, Grade Five and Grade Six. He encouraged me to be myself and seemed to appreciate my somewhat cheeky personality. Literacy and creativity was important to him and under his guidance, I built my writing skills and my passion in this area and as a result, I have spent much of my adult life teaching English. Phil was only one of the brilliant teachers I encountered at HPS and later at Healesville High School, but for me, he is the one that inspired me the most.

In terms of my hopes for current HPS students, I hope you are lucky enough to enjoy a positive primary school education, like I was. I hope you leave HPS feeling like you belong to something, and that you will continue to belong once you depart the safety of primary school. I wish for each of you to make a special friend, or friends, that stay with you throughout your life and most of all, I hope when you are older and you look back, you are grateful for the community you are now part of.

-Laura Mitchell (Dennehy)

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Tennis Coaching - Free Trial

Please book in via the contacts below - all ages abilities welcome

WAYNE BROOM - ph - 0437008788 www.classictennis.com.au

Tennis Australia/USPTA Club Professional Coach


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COVID Resources


Emerging Minds COVID-19 translated resources
These COVID-19 resources have been translated into 18 languages and are available for you to share with the parents and families you work with.

Vaccine development: a guide for families | Raising Children Network
This informative guide from Raising Children Network provides clear and reliable information on how the COVID-19 vaccine development and approval process ensures safety, effectiveness and quality.

COVID Testing in Yarra Ranges

Staying informed about COVID expsoure sites
Here you'll find the current list of COVID-19 exposure sites
This website/app provides a handy visual to stay abreast of new exposures - https://covid19nearme.com.au/state/vic

Privacy Collection Notice

Information for students, parents and carers.