The Peppercorn – not just a tree

The Peppercorn tree, that dominates the centre of the playground, is not ‘just a tree’. It’s an outdoor learning space (you’ll often see classes enjoying the shade while hard at work); it’s a meeting place (all KPS kids know that ‘under the tree’ refers to our beautiful Peppercorn); it’s play equipment (is there any greater joy for kids than conquering the branches of a big tree?); and it’s symbolic for the school, lending naming rights to both a writing competition and a biannual BBQ.

Alex St.Claire gives the lowdown on the upcoming Peppercorn BBQ, to be held on Friday, February 19th, from 5-7pm.

peppercorn-bbq-4What is the Peppercorn BBQ? Continue reading

Scary but true: the nineties are now considered ‘retro’

nineties-17There was a time when I stood at my wardrobe choosing between a bodysuit and coloured jeans or a long floral dress with Doc Martens; when my Thursday night would be spent at Black Match or Silvers. A time when we all thought Kimberly was a complete nut-bag; when you were either Team Noel or Team Ben*. When Babe made me rethink my relationship with bacon. When people had Magic Eye artwork on their walls and everyone pretended they could see the picture**. When we couldn’t say “Isn’t it ironic?” without bursting into song***. When eleventy-million scrunchies weren’t enough. When pubs suddenly became ‘gastro-pubs’ and goats cheese was the height of sophistication.

You know the time I’m talking about. Yes, the glorious nineties. Continue reading

Our Kewmunity buzz

CT1I love helping out at school swimming because it’s an opportunity for a solid half hour of chatting to other parents – it’s great to catch-up but as Alex St.Claire reveals, there are more ‘formal’ (and informal) social events for parents at KPS – and they’re all good fun.

There’s no doubting our passion for community at Kew Primary School. We even have our own brand for it – Kewmunity. Continue reading

Hurrah for George!

‘Fierce young lady, isn’t she, that Miss Georgina?’ he said. ‘Done this job pretty well.’

(With thanks to Enid Blyton)


About a month ago I had to pop in to school for something during the day. As I walked up Pakington Street I heard the kids laughing and carrying-on over the other side of the fence. As I got closer, I realised the sound was coming from the new sand-pit and when I looked through the fence I saw the entire area was covered in blue. You could not see the sand for the kids!

Later that week the Grade Fives launched a petition to demand a bigger slice of time in the sand-pit. They got a lot of signatures (including one that looked suspiciously like ‘Mr Archibald’) and submitted their petition to Assistant Principal, Ms Grace. Ms Grace, recognising the depth of feeling about the new sand-pit, duly changed the roster to ensure the older kids got more time.

About a week after this I was with George Radcliffe-Smith – the President of the Parent Teacher Association – helping set up the new Prep parents’ welcome evening. I took George aside for a moment and led her to the classroom window that looked out onto the sand-pit. It was after school, but once again the sand-pit was full of kids having a blast. ‘Nice job, George,’ I said.

George growled and grumbled at me under her breath in a way that’s instantly recognisable to anyone who knows her. She doesn’t like taking credit, and she doesn’t like people making a fuss. Oh well, George. Yah boo sucks to that!


George became involved with the PTA as soon as she arrived at Kew Primary back in 2008 and became President at the start of 2011. She would say we got the sand-pit because dozens of different people – over many months – gave up their time and worked really hard to raise enough money to fund it, and she would be right. A huge team of enthusiastic parents cooked sausages, wrapped presents, poured drinks, made salads, sold tickets, advertised events and cleaned up afterwards to make it happen. But all that needs someone to coordinate, organise and agitate, and that someone was George.

In her time as President, George presided over three major fund-raisers: the Bush Dance, Trivia Night and RockKew, as well as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day stalls and Father’s day breakfasts, Peppercorn BBQs, Prep parents’ welcome drinks, an Abba World Record attempt, a Kew Festival BBQ stall, a Zumba night, a movie afternoon and sunscreen and hot-cross bun fundraisers.

She oversaw the selling of (approximately) 1200 icy poles, 500 hamburgers, 400 bacon and egg rolls and almost 2000 sausages, and the PTA raised closed to $45,000.


So George, on behalf of the Kew Primary School community, thank-you for the fantastic contribution you have made to our school; for your time and effort and enthusiasm and your unique style of leadership. We wish you all the best with your move to Tassie and look forward to your dropping by for a catch up now and again. (No blubbing, George – you’re from the country, remember – and no rude words – you’re the wife of a Principal now!).

‘Hurrah for George and thanks awfully!’

 Jacqui Tomlins