Biscuit Day


Did you get the school notice about ‘Biscuit Day’? No, probably not, because it only came home to our house.

The gist of it was this:


Dear Parents and Guardians,


As a response to the increasing number of packed lunches that include too many biscuits, snack foods and foods that are not nutritionally-rich (such as white bread), the school will be implementing a new ‘healthy lunch box’ policy from the beginning of Term 2.

More details will be provided about what can and can’t be included in your child’s ‘healthy lunch box’ later this week, however, in preparation we ask that for the remainder of the term, you implement a strict ‘healthy lunch box’ routine with your child.

It is understandable that the new approach will be met with some resistance. Therefore, we have decided that once a term we will have ‘Biscuit Day’, when children can bring biscuits, snack foods and white bread as part of their lunch.

Thanking you in advance for your cooperation.

biscuit day Continue reading


Community at Kew

My three ‘stand-outs’ for KPS

Claire Tanner has two daughters at KPS, Elise (grade 3), and Tara (grade 1). She loves spending time with family and friends, and regularly enjoys a latte or two at Kew Nursery Cafe, which sometimes doubles as an office. She thinks it’s great to be married to John Mifsud. She enjoys doing voluntary work, working in the Church and as a Relationship Consultant.P1060540

When James asked us to name three positive things about KPS in the recent parent/carer survey the first one came to mind immediately: the great sense of community, followed by the amazing diversity, and the talent – tapped and untapped – of our teacher/parent/student community.

Community vibe or “sense of community” – as one grade five student wrote in her student survey – is, I believe, special to our school. There is a strong sense of community among the teachers/leaders and among parents and students which fosters a willingness to work together to make our school great.

It’s certainly been challenging over the past three years to maintain and nurture our community. We have discovered that community doesn’t mean that we all think the same way, but is based on respect for our diversity. It involves trust, honesty and forgiveness.

This sense of community is demonstrated in lots of practical way throughout the school year. The families who do a great job at our working bees, the parents who organise and support our Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ day events, and the many parents who volunteer in all sorts of different ways. (You can book for our Mothers’ Day lunch here).

This year we have a new Fathers’ Association ( and will be launching our very own Art Show ( as well. Continue reading

The results are in…

Hi everyone and welcome to our blog for this week. In this edition I unpack the results of the parent survey that was completed in the first few weeks of term. This survey has been very useful as I continue to build my knowledge of our school. The data – along with the student voice surveys and the meetings I’ve had with individual staff members – has helped to inform our direction for this year. Our school based testing data – including NAPLAN and other assessments – have also helped me to highlight where we need to target our teaching, and where we need to implement specific strategies.

Overall, 55 responses were gathered which statistically provide a very strong level of reliability.  Over half the survey sample was made up of parents who have been at Kew between 1 & 4 years. Nearly 40% of the survey replies came from families who have been at the school for more than 5 years.

The survey highlights that we have lots to be proud of, and that there’s still lots of work to do. I believe that with a consistent and focused effort, working together towards common goals and strengthening what we do well, we will start to see significant improvements across our school. Some of these improvements will be immediate and others will take more time. Continous improvement is an on-going process.P1060865 Continue reading

Working with…chickens?

Our first Kew Primary Working Bee for 2014 is coming up this weekend!  We have quite a list of jobs so we hope we’ll see lots of families up at school on Sunday, starting at 9.00 am with a break for morning tea (Jayne Campbell’s scones – YUM!) and finishing around 1.00 pm.

Jack  with Commando...or Waffles

Jack with Commando…or Waffles

Our Working Bees are organised by the school’s Building and Grounds Subcommittee each term.  The Subcommittee also gets involved in planning and organising longer term projects that help to improve the physical aspects of the school. They work closely with the Fundraising, Marketing and Communications Subcommittee, the PTA, School Council, and with Robin and James, on prioritising projects and raising money to fund them. Rather than waiting to hear about projects in the newsletter, have a think about getting involved with Building and Grounds! If you are interested, have time for a monthly meeting and / or have particular skills to offer, please do get in touch with James ( Many hands make…well, you know the drill! Continue reading

It’s your School Council!

Our recent newsletter had a terrific introduction to School Council by James Penson and I thought it might be a good time to get some insights into how the Council works.

Last year Emma Rush introduced the School Council to us in her blog, A day in the life of a school councillor. I caught up with Nikki Schwarz, 2013 School Council President, and James to find out more.

Nikki, can you summarise the roles of the executive and members?

As the President, I set the agenda and then run the monthly School Council meetings, following up on any high level issues raised.  Over the last two years we’ve been involved in the school’s Self-Evaluation Report, the School Review and the School’s Strategic Plan.  I also have input into the various school plans, like the Strategic Plan before they go to School Council.

The Vice President supports the President and is a great sounding board for ideas. The Secretary takes and distributes the minutes and the Treasurer provides updates on what has been spent and how we are tracking to our budget. The Treasurer is the convenor of the school’s Finance Committee and has a close working relationship with Faye Pattie, the school’s Business Manager.SC1 Continue reading

Kew Primary School Fathers’ Association

For more than 12 months now Michael Senyard and I have been thinking about setting up a Fathers’ Association at Kew Primary. The idea came from a friend who runs a similar association at his children’s school. When I discussed the idea with different groups and individuals within the school community – and people outside – they all thought it would be a great benefit to the school. The Association will be open to all fathers, grandfathers and carers.Rodney 2

The aim of the Fathers’ Association is to bring people together socially, to support the school in its various activities, and help with fund raising. It will also provide an opportunity for social and business networking. And I want our children to see the benefits of Dads supporting each other.

Other schools with this type of association have guest speakers, activities with the kids, working bees and fund raising events. For now, we are focused on our first event which will be barefoot lawn bowls at the Richmond Union Bowling Club on the 27th of Feb at 7pm.

Our new Principal, James Penson, will also be joining us. To register your attendance, please sign in here: It will be helpful if we can have numbers in advance, but you’re welcome to turn up on the day as well. Continue reading

Shelley for Gold!

A week ago I heard a delicious rumour wafting around the playground. One of our teachers, Shelley Ware, had been nominated for a Logie! A quick Google search when I got home revealed the details. Marngrook nominated for

Shelley is a Yankunytjatjara and Wirangu Aboriginal woman from South Australia and teaches the Literacy Intervention Reading program across the school and Grade 6 one day a week.

But in her other life she is a presenter on the Indigenous footy show, Marngrook, which airs live on NITV and again SBS on Thursdays at 7.30-9.00.

I had to find out more.

Jacqui: So tell me about Marngrook and being on the telly.

Shelley: Marngrook is a family footy show where we talk all things football from an Indigenous perspective. Our main hosts are Grant Hansen and Gilbert McAdam who are hysterical and very insightful about football Continue reading