Healesville Primary School


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Thursday 23rd February, 2023

From the Principal's Desk…

Dear Parents and Carers,

What a wonderful night we had on Wednesday with our Amazing Race. Ali and our teachers had families covering all areas of the school with activities that challenged and were fun. It was a little warm but the icy poles were a hit as were all of our grade six leaders who assisted so well. It was terrific to see so many of our families enjoying themselves.

Thank you to the community for coming to celebrate an afternoon of fun, thank you to our amazing staff for creating such an enjoyable event! Thank you also to our grade six leaders for doing such an awesome job of assisting with the activities.

Ali has also been very busy organising all of the term one sporting events – it really is an action-packed term. This week many of our students will be competing at the district swimming sports – good luck and we hope you have a great day. Later this term it will be time for athletics and cross country.

This week you will be receiving information for our major fundraiser – The Colour Fun Run. We are raising funds for a new playground. Our large playground on the asphalt needs significant repair and we have opted for a new one to go under the new shade sails. Any assistance you could provide for the day would be greatly appreciated. Our PACH team will be working with our staff to organise and drive the support for this event. Our Colour Fun Run will be held on Thursday 30th March starting at 2:30pm. There will be lots more information coming home over the next few weeks.

Unfortunately, we still have some of our parents and students crossing the roads surrounding our school and not using the crossings. The school crossings are the safest place for our students and parents to cross. The roads surrounding are school are very busy at drop off and pick up times, not just with our parents but with families at St Brigid’s. Please think of your child’s safety and ask them to always use the crossings.

We also have a few students who are Anaphylactic to nuts, therefore we encourage you not to send nut products in your child's lunchbox.

You may have noticed that finally all our shade sails have been installed. Now all our playgrounds have shade sails which makes a big difference over term one and four. We also have new shade sails in the ruins, one over the sand pit and another adjacent to that so we have another outdoor learning space.

We will also be holding a working bee later on this term. We have lots of jobs that need doing – mulch for our garden beds from our tree work that was completed over the holidays, more tanbark to go under our playgrounds. Some of the retaining sleepers need replacing around the junior playground, lots of sweeping and pressure washing of the pathways and asphalt, new sand for the sand pit. That’s just some of the work that needs doing around the school. School council has chosen Sunday 19th March, we will also have a sausage sizzle to add a bit of fun to the morning. There will be more information regarding this coming home soon.

Further on in the newsletter you will see that we have some of our staff introducing themselves, and information regarding our curriculum areas – thank you to Brooke Wandin for explaining our Cultural Education Program. Our House Captains have also introduced themselves in this week’s newsletter.



Please note all dates/events are subject to change.

Friday 24th February - District Swimming

Thursday 2nd March - House Athletics Day

Thursday 9th March - Division Swimming

Monday 13th March - Labour Day - Public Holiday

Wednesday 22nd March - School Photo Day

Wednesday 15th March - Friday 24th March - NAPLAN

Tuesday 21st March - Parent Teacher Interviews

Thursday 30th March - Colour Fun Run

Friday 31st March - Curriculum Day

Monday 3rd April - House Cross Country (CHANGE OF DATE)

Thursday 6th April - Final Day of term 1 - 2:30pm finish

Friday 7th April - Good Friday Public Holiday

Monday 24th April - Curriculum Day

Tuesday 25th April - ANZAC Day (Public Holiday)

Wednesday 26th April - Students start first day of Term 2.

Student Awards


Lily Z – Confidence Award – Being very brave and building her confidence during work time.

Fletcher M – Learning Award – Fantastic job sounding out words. I’m very proud of you.


Bella R- Respect Award- Following our school rules and showing fantastic active listening.

Luna W- Respect Award- Always following instructions and showing active listening.


Charlie S- Confidence Award- For your willingness to share your ideas during class discussions.

Willow P – For always taking great pride in her work.


Hudson B – Learning Award- Staying focused and completing activities.

Jedah E – Confidence Award- Coming to class with a smile and a big voice.


Sienna H – Respect Award- Always showing respect towards herself, others and the classroom. Well done Sienna.

Hudson M- Community Award- Being super helpful in the classroom and always making it a happy place to be! Thanks Hudson.


Oliver L- Confidence Award- Showing confidence at the school swimming sports! I am so proud of you Oliver, what a STAR you are!

Macey N- Learning Award- Making terrific progress in her reading. Macey you have shown an amazing commitment to your learning!


Bee M- Learning Award- Producing interesting and thoughtful ideas in the Writer’s Workshop.

Max M- Respect Award- Listening carefully to what his peers have to say.


Linden D- Community Award- For his positive attitude and consistent effort that he puts into all classroom activities. Well done!

Emmy M- Respect Award- For her positive, enthusiastic and mature approach to all set tasks. Emmy puts 100% into all her work!


Kasey S- Community Award- Taking the initiative to always help her peers.

Jordan M- Community Award- For being enthusiastic and engaged by helping out in the school community.


Riley WS - Trying his best with his school work and being respectful towards his friends.


Evan S - 5/6W – For his positive attitude and the consistent effort in our Maths tasks!

Emma N - 1/2S – For an excellent response to our Maths task in class. Your focus and determination was outstanding! Keep it up!


Zeke L - For his fabulous whirly line design art work.

Shanyu T - For outstanding line design art work.


Prep B - Great job guys!


Yarra – Kevin C – For helping and encouraging fellow students during swimming sports.

Watts – Ty H – For his bravery and perseverance to keep going in his events in the swimming sports.

Chum – Blake D – For always trying his best at swimming sports and never giving up.

Myer – Charlotte K – For having confidence and showing bravery by giving all her events in the swimming sports a go.

Teacher - Sharyn Borg

Hi everyone. I’m Sharyn Borg and I have the pleasure of teaching our beautiful Preps. I have been at HPS for 7 years & have taught Prep(going into my 6th year) grade 2 & 3/4.

I love teaching Prep as they have so much growth in their first year of school & are always so enthusiastic about their learning. They also believe anything I tell them, like my age being 21!!!

I am also the co-ordinator of our School Wide Positive Behaviour program.

I am the proud mum of two adult children Jorja and Tyler and two fur babies Minnie and Raphie.

I am a passionate Collingwood supporter and support Essendon in the AFLW as my daughter plays for them.

I enjoy reading, walking, spending time with my wonderful friends, children and family, and spending time at my van at the beach. I also have a bit of a clothes shopping addiction!!

I come from a large family and grew up in the country.

I am thankful to be part of such a wonderful school community.

Teacher - Kelly Laidlaw

Hello everyone! My name is Kelly Laidlaw and I have been teaching at Healesville PS since 2018 starting as a CRT. I have been lucky to teach in different areas including PE and Performing Arts. This year I am excited to be teaching grade 5/6 and leading numeracy.

I am a lucky mum of two beautiful boys. We love our sports and unfortunately, I am the only one in our family that barracks for the mighty Pies. The boys and their dad are mad Demon supporters. We have a very energetic French bulldog Josie. She loves cuddles and going for walks. Our favourite place to go is our caravan where we live at the beach and enjoy the sun and sand 😊

Looking forward to a wonderful year at Healesville Primary School.

Teacher - Bek Clarke

Hi, I’m Bek Clarke, and I have been lucky enough to be at Healesville PS since 2009 (on and off having babies in between). Those babies are now 4 and 6 years old, and we also have a little puppy at home. I love getting to work with students, staff and families. I have a particular interest in literacy and love words.

I love getting away on holiday - Apollo Bay is a favourite spot, I have been going since I was a kid. I’m also a keen reader, enjoy café-ing (is that a word?), running and following the Bombers (fingers crossed for a better year!).

Teacher - Fenna Hogg

As a small child, in England where I was born, I played at being a teacher. I used to get all the children in the street to be the pupils and I would teach them all using a little blackboard and chalk. Perhaps this is where my love of teaching began. I have been a teacher since 1973 and am still passionate about my job. I tell the children I am old and therefor very wise – and they believe me! I have taught in both Primary and Secondary schools and in both Government and Private schools.

I am married to a music teacher who is also a composer, conductor of orchestras, and jazz trumpet player. We are both still teaching Creative Arts in schools.

My two children are grown up with children of their own and so we are proud grandparents. Our two cavoodles are now our ‘children’ and are far easier to train than our human children. I have many joys but perhaps my favourite is painting big canvases in the studio my husband built for me. I also enjoy, gardening, reading, restaurant dinners, travelling overseas and jigsaw puzzles. Art galleries and museums are high on my list and a yearly visit to the zoo to visit my darling meercats.

Coming to work to spend time with your special ones makes getting up early each day a pleasure, I especially love when they bring me pictures they have made at home and share their stories about their families with me.

One day I may retire…….I may…….not yet!

Office - Business Manager - Krystal Winter

Hi all, my name is Krystal. I am new to Healesville Primary School, commencing at the end of last year as the Business Manager, working alongside Linda in the office. I grew up in Healesville and now live here with my partner and two children. My eldest started Prep this year and although exhausted is loving the transition to ‘big school’. We have three dogs, Odin, Roxy and Bella and are welcoming a baby blue tongue lizard this weekend which we are all very excited about. Our family loves to travel and will take any opportunity to get away. We visited Cape York a couple of years ago which was amazing. Our goal is to see as much of Australia as possible. We have property near Ballarat and if we aren’t away will be there exploring while the kids ride their motorbikes. I am loving getting to know all the children at Healesville PS and look forward to meeting you all.

Watts House Captain - Alyssa M

Hi, I’m Alyssa, Watts House Captain. Outside school I do things like acrobatics, basketball and I walk my dogs a lot. I really like doing acrobatics. You learn skills working with a partner such as how to hold people in the air and balancing on each other’s thighs. You also have lots of fun doing tricks. In basketball I play for the Healesville Hornets. It’s great being part of a team. Along with dogs as pets I have a blue tongue lizard called Freddy who lives in an enclosure where we created an environment that suits her. Yes, Freddy is a girl. She loves to lay in the sun and eat dog food. My dogs get lots of exercise when I walk them up at the Complex. In the future I see myself having dogs like a Greyhound, Labrador or Pomeranian and maybe working with animals in an animal shelter or doggie day care.

Myer House Captain - Ava K

Hi, I’m Ava and I’m this year’s Myer House Captain. I have six people in my family including me, a Labradoodle dog called Penny and Billy the guinea pig. I spend nine hours a week doing acrobatics so you can see I really love this. I went to Queensland last year with our acrobatics club to compete in a National Clubs Competition. I do two floor routines called ‘Balance’ and ‘Dynamics’. I like the ‘Dynamics’, working as a trio, where you throw one of the team members in the air. When we were in Queensland, we had fun going to Movie World as well. I love camping in different places and going fishing, though I’m not always successful. In the future I would like to go on camping trips around Australia with my friends visiting the Great Barrier Reef and Alice Springs.

Yarra House Captain - Nate D

Hello, I’m Nate the Yarra House Captain. I have five people in my family. I like to ride my dirt bike which is a small motor bike made for dirt tracks and the bush. I ride around the Complex as well as at my uncle’s place where we’ve made a whole lot of tracks to ride on. I also really like to ride my mountain bike and will sometimes go to the bike track in Healesville. I love to go camping with family and friends, especially up the Murray. When we’re up the Murray I ride my bike, go swimming and fishing. I play footy for the Healesville Bloods. It’s good being in a team with my friends. Something I would like to do in the future is to travel around Australia and of course I’d take my dirt bike.

Chum House Captain - Isla C

Hello, I’m the Chum House Captain. To start off I have six people in my family. Half of my extended family are from Northern Ireland. Our family travelled there recently. On our travels we also went to London and stopped off at Dubai on the way home. Some of my hobbies are drawing, painting, futsal and soccer. I like to draw objects, animals, landscapes and sometimes people. I play futsal for the ‘Bears’ futsal club at the high school. I love playing in a team with lots of friends. I play outdoor soccer for Healesville Soccer Club in a forward position. We travel to play against other teams on weekends. In the future I see myself being a professional soccer player, perhaps playing for the 'Matildas' and the women’s Manchester United Club which is in the UK.


At Healesville Primary School we love Maths. We love when the students excitedly share their thinking and clarifying, as well as defending their ideas when challenged by peers. By practicing these skills, they push through confusion and make sense of the world. A satisfied buzz surrounds the class as they solve what they thought they couldn’t at the beginning of the lesson. They feel successful as they finish each session.

I have been lucky enough to be able to head into each class every Wednesday where we have been investigating different open-ended tasks. This encourages the students to explore a range of different problem-solving strategies and the use of concrete materials to demonstrate and justify their thinking. We strongly believe in the importance of supporting students in the development of mathematical knowledge and skills they will draw on in their future lives.


In literacy this term the whole school is focusing on reading and writing imaginative texts. Students will explore characters, setting and plot. Starting with sentence level work in junior school, progressing to detailed and extended pieces in the upper school. Students are working towards analysing themes and messages in texts. There is a strong focus on building vocabulary and background knowledge to allow students to comprehend at a deep level.

The preps are developing foundational literacy skills, learning letter sounds and learning to blend and segment to read and write.

We are implementing a new spelling program across the school, with a focus on phonology in junior school, and morphology and etymology in senior years.

The year 3 and 5 students will be sitting NAPLAN tests from March 15, which will provide a snapshot of student achievement.

We are continuing to provide literacy intervention and extension programs across the school.

We encourage you to support your child’s progress through the home reading program, and volunteering in the classroom. Another great way to support literacy development is through lots of discussion using interesting vocabulary and explaining things, and talking about events happening in the world.

Cultural Education

Wa wa HPS families,

After being away for Term 4 last year, due to a research fellowship, the students have made a brilliant start to Cultural Education for 2023. I will be in the classroom for a 6 week block in the middle of each term. This term I will revise previous years topics, particularly looking at Wurundjeri Country, and the Kulin Nation for the senior students. I aim to align with themes being explored during Inqury unit at each level, but do enjoy adding a point of interest too. Ask your children if they can remember the Woiwurrung name for platypus??

Cough, it’s dulaiwurrung!

Brooke Wandin

Veggie Garden Help Needed

Hello all you earthy green thumbs out there!

We would love to prepare our sad unloved veggie gardens ready for some winter planting.

If you have some spare time on Wednesday afternoons between 2.30-3.30 or any other time that you would be happy to help us. Come along with your spade, gloves and gardening tools and help us get these gardens up and ready.

Please contact Rosie House.

Cheers Mia B (Sustainability Captain)


Yarra Ranges Special Development School

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Community Notices

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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.