Yum, yum, yum.

As a seven year old I clearly remember the excitement of lining up on canteen days and waiting and waiting (it would feel like forever) to buy two pieces of delicious raisin toast for 5 cents! Even now that golden butter smell wafting off the toast still brings back happy memories…memories of when I was a little girl at primary school. Diamanto Pantazis Continue reading

Our treasured library and our valuable librarian

library-6Many things come to mind when I think about my primary school librarian – she was the first port of call when we had a project to do; she was recommender of new books that I might like (hello Judy Blume); she was maker of amazing displays (I never knew I wanted to learn so much about the solar system until I saw her arrangement of books, foam balls hanging from the ceiling to represent the planets and a paper black hole); she was auditor of the MS Read-a-thon; she was driver of the microfiche; and she was also keeper of Where Did I Come From? (a book that only the grade six students were allowed free access to!). Continue reading

It’s kick-off time for the new oval!

We’ve watched our oval take its new shape over the past few months. James Penson tells the story in full –

oval-5You may have noticed that across the other side of the globe, there has been much talk about who will win the race into the Oval Office. However much closer to home, there has been even more talk and excitement about our own oval! Continue reading

Look up, it’s our beloved Peppercorn tree

This week’s blog is written by Bonnie Savage who was a student at KPS from 1991 to 1994. After graduating from KPS she went onto Loreto Mandeville Hall and is now working as a freelance photographer here in Melbourne. She photographs a range of subjects from food for cookbooks to portraits for advertisements or magazines.

KPS_Bonnie3Most of you picking up and dropping of your kids at school each day probably don’t look up and admire or even notice the wind vane on top of the pavilion shelter.

Continue reading

PlanetSavers come to Kew Primary School

planetsavers-4As part of our $10,000 Energy Efficiency Grant for Victorian Schools, Mark Smith from PlanetSavers Australia came to Kew Primary School to complete an audit. This audit is the first step in identifying energy waste and it also provided a list of costed recommendations that could see our school reduce energy waste by over 25%.
Sounds like a good idea? Well even better was the way PlanetSavers engaged with student leaders to first assist with the audit itself and then develop strategies and processes for the school to act. Continue reading

Healthy and thriving: Our KPS Canteen

This week, Alex St Claire shares some thoughts on the school canteen (and how lucky Kew Primary is to have one).

canteen-1

Despite many Australian schools shutting down canteens – and even outsourcing to local fast food outlets – due to a lack of volunteers, Kew Primary’s canteen is a thriving hub of parent helpers.

Current government policy sets nutritional standards for school canteens, which have proven too expensive for many schools to maintain without parent support. At KPS, we are lucky enough to have the parent support to offer a range of healthy and wholesome food Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Continue reading

Building the Positive Play project

When my kids were at kindergarten, the busiest corner of the kinder room was where the ‘construction’ took place – boxes, hundreds of metres of tape, bits of foam, milk bottle lids and string were the starting point of some marvelous creations. Take that same ‘the-sky’s-the-limit’ concept and scale it up. And then take it outside. That’s what KPS’s Positive Play project is all about.

The Grade Six team behind the Positive Play Project

The Grade Six team behind the Positive Play Project

Grade One teacher, Melissa Hayes, and a group of Grade Six students (Katherine, Lucy, Stella, Nathan, Daniel, Maya, Daichi, Genna and Ebony) have been investigating ways of making recess and lunchtime a little more ‘creative’. Their project is called Positive Play and is inspired by programs such as Play for Life, that focus on creating opportunities for rich, open-ended and self directed play in the playground. Continue reading

Let’s talk ovals – Part two (the grassy edition)

The open forum on the ‘School Oval Redevelopment Master Plan’ is just a week away (Wednesday 11th June at 7pm, at the school) – hopefully you’ve had an opportunity to look at the discussion paper or the information posted on the notice boards next to the library.

The Buildings & Grounds sub-committee (B&G) have investigated a range of options for the management of the school oval and will present research undertaken for the three most relevant options at this stage (ranging from ‘do nothing’ to new synthetic or grass surfaces). B&G are open to other options which may end up warranting a similar level of investigation and all options are being considered in relation to broader school priorities, fundraising and a long-term, holistic plan for the oval.

Last week, convener of the Buildings & Grounds sub-committee (B&G), Stewart Waters, gave us his thoughts on synthetic surfaces. This week, I welcome Kath Phelan, a parent member of the B&G sub-committee and mother of Oskar in grade three and Moritz in grade one, to provide some information on grass ovals.   Continue reading

Let’s talk ovals

Testing the track at a Doncaster primary school

Testing the track at a Doncaster primary school

Last week you would have received a notice about an open forum to discuss the ‘School Oval Redevelopment Master Plan’ on Wednesday 11th June at 7pm, at the school.

The Buildings & Grounds sub-committee (B&G) have investigated a range of options for the management of the school oval and will present research undertaken for the three most relevant options at this stage (ranging from ‘do nothing’ to new synthetic or grass surfaces). B&G are open to other options which may end up warranting a similar level of investigation and all options are being considered in relation to broader school priorities, fundraising and a long-term, holistic plan for the oval

I asked the B&G sub-committee to give us a little more information about some of the options being considered for the oval. This week, Stewart Waters, convener of the B&G sub-committee and dad to Tom in grade three and Freddy in grade two, gives us his thoughts on synthetic surfaces. Continue reading

Wish Lists (usually long and expensive but very important)

http://exploringtheoutdoorclassroom.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/science-lab.html

During the time that I was involved with the committee that managed kindergartens in Kew, we made a change to the meeting structure. Instead of holding meetings at the Association President’s kindergarten, we rotated them between the five Kew kinders – because everyone likes a sticky-beak. It was great to see what other kinders were doing with their space and pinch the odd idea. After all, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

I was reminded of this ‘approach to flattery’ during the holidays when my family visited Whittfield, a tiny town in Victoria’s King Valley. Whittfield Primary School was next door to where we were staying and the kids headed there to make use of the school’s extremely lush oval (“With goal posts at both ends, Mum!”). While the kids kicked the footy, I took in my surrounds. Wow! As well as a superb kitchen garden, the school had what appeared to be an outdoor science lab – a compact but well set up undercover area, secured by clear plastic roller doors on each side and complete with taps, sinks and benches at the right height for children to stand at. It was a simple, accessible space and one that would be enormously useful for all sorts of messy activities.

I was a bit jealous – I’d like something like that for KPS. That thought, combined with the appeal from the Building & Grounds sub-committee in last week’s newsletter for parents and carers to help with some specific projects, got me thinking about wish lists.

Wish lists are rarely realistic and are usually long and filled with wildly expensive items (which is why they are fun to write). However, wish lists are also useful tools for driving planning, seeking grants, fundraising and thinking about new or different opportunities. They really help you to ‘think big’. With this in mind, I asked Patricia Incerti’s Grade 3 class to create a wish list for the school. No idea was a ‘bad idea’ and the list that they gave me is brilliant (I couldn’t leave any of their fabulous suggestions out) – Continue reading