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Book Week

I can remember my early primary school years quite vividly, especially the books I read at school and with my mum and dad. I grew up with a so many amazing Australian picture story books that still hold a place in my heart to this day. Books like “Possum Magic” by Mem Fox, “Wombat Stew” by Marcia K. Vaughn and “The Very Hungry Caterpillar” by Eric Carle are etched in my memory and always remind me of my childhood, growing up with books around me. That’s what good books do – they evoke memories of places, people and times in our lives where we can escape to other worlds and embody characters that have extraordinary experiences. As I got older, I found my love of reading expand into books written by Roald Dahl, Paul Jennings, J. K. Rowling, R. L. Stine, J. R. R. Tolkien and eventually (in my teenage years), Stephen King. Right now, there is a Stephen King novel sitting on my beside table which I always read before going to sleep.

The reason I love Book Week every year is because it celebrates the love of books and all things literature. The theme for this year is, ”Read, Grow, Inspire” and I think it’s perfect for what makes reading for me so enjoyable. At Boronia Heights, our library technician Leanne Bentley ensures we have a very well resourced and managed school library that contains new release books and classics. She has recently purchased CBCA Book of the Year award winning books such as “Runt” by Craig Silvey, “The Raven’s Song” by Zara Fraillon & Bren MacDibble, “Where the Lyrebird Lives” by Vikki Conley & Max Hamilton (ill.) , and “Wild Australian Life” by Leonard Cronin & Chris Nixon (ill.).

I’d like to thank Mrs Bentley for all her work in preparing for Book Week celebrations, including the parade and Book Fair. She also organised the visit by author Ailsa Wild who ran a workshop with the kids on Friday so they can become enthusiastic writers and story tellers. Ailsa is the author of many books whose audience includes young children with the picture story book “Zobi and the Zoox”, junior fiction with the “Squishy Taylor” series, young adult fiction with the graphic novel “The Invisible War”, and her most recent, an adult non-fiction book called “You’ll be a Wonderful Dad”. I’d like to thank Ailsa Wild for visiting our school and imparting her expertise to teachers and students.

Also, a very special mention to our amazing parent volunteers who have helped in the Lamont Book Fair this week. We are very thankful for their time and support to our school. We couldn’t do it without them!

Year 5 Camp to Sovereign Hill

The Year 5 kids and staff had a wonderful time at the Sovereign Hill Camp in Ballarat earlier this week. The feedback I received from the teachers was the kids were engaged, polite to members of the public and other schools, extremely well behaved and, importantly, respectful to others at all times. They enjoyed panning for gold, candle making, learning about life as a prospector in the 1800s, and eating toffee apples! I’m sure this camp will be a memorable experience for everyone.

Little Angler Kits for Grade 5 students

The Victorian Government is investing $1.5 million from the Recreational Fishing Licence Trust Fund to provide up to 95,000 Little Angler Kits to primary school aged children in Victoria.

The free kits provide a wonderful school holiday activity for children with their families and help ease the cost of living, providing a fun activity close to home.

Grade 5 students at all Victorian schools, including ours, will be offered the opportunity to receive a FREE Little Angler Kit. Grade 5 students have been selected based on the Victorian Curriculum focus, movement and motor development, and safety considerations.

The program is entirely voluntary. Schools were provided with the option to opt out of the program. Our school has opted to stay in the program so that parents can decide whether they want their child(ren) to receive a free fishing kit.

Parents of Grade 5 students can advise the school if they do not wish their child(ren) to participate for any reason whatsoever. We support parents in making decisions that align with their family values and beliefs.

The roll out of kits will occur through the second half of 2023 (16 October – 4 December) so that all participating children will have a kit in time for the summer school holidays.

The kits include a rod, reel with line, tackle tray, some tackle and information on how to use them to catch a fish. Please note that the tackle tray includes fishing hooks. The tackle tray will be wrapped in cardboard and placed inside a pocket inside the fishing kit bag, which will be sealed with a cable tie to discourage students from opening their kits until they are with a parent or carer.

Kits will be handed out to students to take home with them as soon as the school receives them. Teachers will tell students not to open the kits until they are safely at home with a parent or carer, however parents can contact the school and request to collect their kit from the school themselves if they prefer.

The Victorian Fisheries Authority will create a Little Angler hub on their website, which will be live when the kits start being distributed. It will have useful information, instructional videos and online resources about where and how to fish linking to existing resources from Fishcare and new resources to be produced just for the Little Angler Kits program.

This initiative aims to grow recreational fishing participation in Victoria by actively encouraging primary school aged children to learn how to fish, as well as learning more about marine life and the natural environment.

School Assemblies and Multi-age activities in Term 4

Throughout the course of the school review process, we have listened to feedback from students, staff and the school community. One aspect of the school that people wanted to see changed was to bring back face to face assemblies. So, in response to feedback, from Term 4 onwards school assemblies will take place each fortnight in the gymnasium. There will no longer be Virtual Assemblies posted to YouTube – all assemblies will be face to face on Friday afternoons at 2:40pm with parents and community members welcome to attend.

On the Friday afternoons of non-assembly weeks, we are introducing a new multi-age activity sessions where kids will be re-grouped with children from other year levels, with a focus on student wellbeing and connectedness. These will be fun sessions organised by the Wellbeing Curriculum Action Team. We are very keen to see the impact this will have on student voice and agency so that kids enjoy being at school.

Have a great week.

Mat Anderton
Acting Principal

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