Winters Flat Primary School
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3 Roberts Ave
Castlemaine VIC 3450

Phone: 03 5472 1522

FLAT CHAT | 9th December 2020

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FLAT CHAT | 9th December 2020


Next Friday is our last day of school for the year and Jess Davies (Year 6) has proposed we all dress in a Christmas top or Christmas theme and donate a gold coin to Mt Alexander Animal Welfare who get very busy at this time of year. We think it's a great idea too, so get your Christmas gear on Friday 18th December and support our furry friends.

As this is our last Flat Chat for the year, I want to thank all our students, staff and parents once again for the way we all got through this year and like everyone else, I’m looking forward to a better year in 2021.

Have a great Christmas and safe and happy holidays over the summer break.



Don't forget that students return to school on Thursday 28th January. Monday 1st Febuary is a Curriculum Day and therefore no students will be required at school.



Yesterday just before Step Up, we gathered to hear the speeches of the students who nominated for our School Captain and Vice-Captain positions. The following students were elected and I am really looking forward to working with them next year.


Felix M

Chilli H

Vice Captains:

Teekah M

Jacob M

Byron P



Teachers for next year are:

P/1J - Fiona Johnston

2/3A – Bianca Alvarez-Harris

3/4W – Helen Weir

4/5L – Keenan Lucas

5/6BM – Karen Brooks & Sam Milner

French – Katie Kilgour

PE – Sam Milner

Visual Arts – Jennifer Thoma

Performing Arts – Suzanne Kinnersly


Marie Harris will be finishing at the end of this year. We thank her for her time at Winters Flat and we wish her all the best for her future career in teaching.

We also thank Belle for the work she's done with our students in this very challenging year and wish her all the best in her future pursuits. We are currently interviewing for the position of School Chaplain for 2021 & 2022.



We are bidding adieu to Jane who is taking a year off to pursue some work and travel opportunities in 2021.

We welcome Rosie Annear to the Winters Flat staff, who will be running the Kitchen program for 2021.



We have been very lucky to have Scott Buchanan visiting for some of our Performing Arts sessions this term. Scott is a renowned music educator and accomplished musician with more than 30 years teaching experience in a variety of settings. Scott will be team teaching for this week’s sessions where students will have some great opportunities to try new things in our fabulous new hall.  



We’re happy to be able to send off the class of 2020 in a more traditional way than was predicted a few weeks back. Graduation Day will be celebrated next Wednesday 16th December and the appropriate arrangements are underway with planning and collaboration between students and staff to ensure they have a great send off from Winters Flat PS.



As you are aware the Department of Education and Training release regular updates through the Operation Guides on how schools respond to current Covid restrictions. The latest guide means we can now have parents on campus as visitors and volunteers, provided masks are worn.



Frankie M – 7 in the third week

Byron– 11 in the fourth week

Jimmy – 8 in the fourth week

Bo – 10 in the fourth week

Anika – 7 in the fourth week

Abi E – 10 in the fourth week

Sally – 12 in the fifth week

Briscoe - 9 in the fifth week


Hip Hip:  Hooray

Hip Hip:  Hooray

Hooray: Hip Hip



Please contact Terry if you are willing to sign up for the January watering roster. No chooks this summer but some help in keeping the garden watered would be great!

With weeding we mainly need to focus on the teardrop garden, the veggie patch and the beds outside the music room.

We would love families to consider working their own patches here at school after hours in a COVID safe manner with:

  • weeding (byo gloves and tools)
  • brush-cutting (byo brush cutter)
  • sweeping (byo broom/leaf blower)

We’re also looking for expressions of interest in:

  • painting – covering graffiti
  • painting – old building near chook run – this is a big job but with a ‘bit by bit’ approach we can do it (2021)

If you can spare the time and energy for these jobs please contact the B & G coordinator Blair Venn at, Terry, or contact us if you notice something that needs attention.


Suzanne Kinnersly



With a week and a half left of the term, a reminder about fees and camp payments that are overdue. Please contact Karen in the office for any enquiries.


Dogs at School

As is stated in our 'dogs at school policy', our school community is diverse, and includes people that are allergic or uncomfortable around dogs. We are also conscious of the health hazards that may be posed by dogs. We ask that families please leave their pet dogs at home or safely tether them outside school grounds when attending our school or school events.  


Lost Property

We have a large number of items currently in lost property. The tubs will be left out the front at the end of the day until the end of term. Please check if any of it belongs to you. At the end of each term, unclaimed and unnamed items will be donated to local charities.


Key dates

  • Friday 11th December:
    • Grade 6 Bike Hike 2
  • Tuesday 15th December:
    • Mangoes arrive! Those who ordered will be notified on the day when they are ready to be picked up.
  • Wednesday 16th December:
    • Grade 6 Graduation. 
    • Reports available on XUNO (Hard copies on request. Contact us in the office).
  • Friday 18th December
    • Last day of term- 1:30pm finish. (Please note early dismissal)
  • Thursday 28th January
    • Students return to school for 2021.
  • Monday 1st February
    • Curriculum Day. No students required at school.




Karen Mahoney & Renae Wilson


Reaching over a month of no community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) in Victoria, and reaching the next phase of eased restrictions is a significant milestone for Victoria and school communities. It has followed an incredible effort by parents and carers, and by our teachers, staff and students.

Throughout the pandemic, Victorian schools have rapidly and successfully adapted to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission, embedding COVIDSafe principles by reinforcing good behaviours, creating safe spaces, adapting activities and responding quickly to coronavirus (COVID-19) risk.

School communities – students, parents and carers – have shown resilience and adapted to changes when asked. Well done and thank you.

Given the current very low risk of COVID transmission in the community, continued high rates of testing and wastewater monitoring, and continued observance of health and safety measures in schools; those with medical vulnerabilities or their carers can feel reassured that they can safely return to working and learning on school sites, to enjoy the benefits of doing so.

Should cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) increase again in the community, I am confident that with COVIDSafe plans in place, alongside our ability to quickly identify and respond to cases, schools remain safe places for all staff and students. I also continue to be reassured by evidence that children are less impacted by the virus and are less likely to develop severe illness.

With schools now able to largely resume normal activities and welcome parents and other vital members of the school community back onto their grounds, it is crucial everyone remains vigilant and stays home when unwell, performs regular hand hygiene and maintains physical distancing from others when practical. Schools should consider how they can continue to pursue strategies that contribute to reduced transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), such as outdoor learning, into 2021.

Schools and parents continue to have an important role to promote and ensure testing when a child or staff member has any symptoms, no matter how mild, and then stay home.

Getting tested and staying home until results are known, remains critical to maintaining zero community transmission.

Adj Clin Prof Brett Sutton
Victorian Chief Health Officer

The 2020 school year has been an extraordinary and challenging one for every school community.

Many Victorian students spent much of Terms 2 and 3 this year learning remotely and Victorian schools and their communities have made an exceptional effort to provide continuity of teaching and learning to our students during this time.

During Term 4, schools across Victoria have been focused on supporting students’ mental health and wellbeing, in addition to assisting students to readjust to on-site learning. Teachers have also been focusing on assessing student learning, addressing individual learning gaps and identifying those students who need extra support for their learning, using classroom-based observation and assessments.

We know that the remote learning experience was different for every student. While some students thrived, some students may not have engaged as fully with remote learning. For most of our students, regular high-quality teaching in 2021 will be enough to help them progress to the expected level of learning. Some students will benefit from additional intensive learning support in 2021.

As you may be aware, in response to this, the Victorian Government is investing $250 million in the Tutor Learning Initiative to enable schools across Victoria to engage around 4,100 teachers as tutors in 2021 to support students who need extra assistance with their learning. Schools will determine how this initiative is best implemented for their students and will ensure that students will get this support in a way that minimises disruptions to other learning or school activities.

By engaging additional teachers to support children with intensive learning, classroom teachers will have greater capacity to ensure that all other students’ achievement, engagement and wellbeing needs are met, so that all students receive the support they need in 2021.

Further information about the Tutor Learning Initiative, and how it will be implemented for students who need individual learning support in our school, will be issued before students begin tutoring in 2021.

During Term 4, schools will be working with students to understand their experience of remote learning and their return to onsite schooling.

If you are concerned about your child’s engagement in their learning, while learning at home or following their return to school please contact your school.

Transitions and Wellbeing

This term seems to have flown by. With the easing of COVID restrictions, the whole school approach to wellbeing was on supporting the student’s social and emotional health. I have been facilitating the Seasons for Growth program for a group of junior students, which provides children a safe place to come together, to share their experience of change and loss, and to learn about positive ways to cope with difficult feelings.

We have seen many of the students enjoy participating in specialist activities in the new buildings, which promote a fresh and open environment to support learning and wellbeing. Alongside this, the gardens are looking spectacular with abundant and colourful fruit, vegetables, flowers and natives. Watching the students play, laugh and garden in this environment is a delight as their connection to nature, self and others blossoms.

As we come closer to the year ending, excitement fills the air as students talk about summer holidays, celebrations and spending time with family and friends. The Australian Childhood Foundation has developed an A-Z of activities to do at home with the family.  It can also be a stressful time of year, for many different reasons, so it is important to take care of ourselves and families. Remember to reach out and connect if you need help or support. This may involve talking to a trusted friend or family member, hugging a pet, spending time in the garden and nature, exercising or calling a support service. Some support services that may be helpful are;

Parent line                         1300 30 1300

Kids Help line                     1800 55 1800

1800Respect                      1800 737 732

MensLine                           1300 78 99 78

Beyond Blue                      1300 22 4636


Wellbeing support for students over school holidays

Wellbeing support over the school holidays


It has been wonderful to get to know the children, teachers and families at Winters Flat this year. I wish you all the best for the year ahead and it is with hope that 2021 is a better year for us all.

Take care,


Wellbeing Officer

Fundraising this year and next

Thank you to all of the families that supported our Mango and Tea Towel Fundraisers this year. We have raised $2720 towards new shade sails for our play areas.

Our Fundraising committee has made a plan for next year. We are hoping to have a Trivia Night early in Term 1, an official opening of our new buildings in Term 2, a Disco in Term 3 and our traditional Christmas Fair in Term 4.

Please start thinking of fabulous ideas towards any of those events. We are looking forward to a better year next year and hope you can join us at these events.




on behalf of the

The Fundraising Subcommittee


P/1 J | Annabelle B

For showing Care for Self by working to complete tasks during reading groups. Great effort!

P/1 J | Oscar M

For showing Care for Self by having a positive attitude in class and always having a smile!


1/2 A | Bonnie S

For showing Care for Environment by always putting in a huge effort to clean up the classroom and help others tidy their areas. Thank you Bonnie!

1/2A | Ava M

For showing Care for Self by making great connections between our Maths and Cooking activities. Keep up the good work Ava!


2/3W | Lucinda K and Sullivan S

For showing Care for Self and Others by using manners and speaking with care.


2/3W | All 2/3 W students for being so committed to your learning throughout a very challenging year. We are all so proud of you.



Ayden C

Thankyou Ayden, for displaying such a wonderful 'Care for Others Ethic', being a great extra pair of helping hands during the Prep transition, then backing this up with those extra helping hands in the kitchen. Your assistance was greatly appreciated. Great job also, showing fantastic control and focus throughout our science experimentation sessions. You are displaying a wonderful initiative. Congratulations.


Jess D

Congratulations Jess on the initiative you have displayed organising a special 'Christmas Colours' day for our whole school to enjoy. What a great way to bring the Spirit of Joy on the last day of school for the year. Congratulations also on your entry into the Castlemaine Poetry Competition. I love to see the motivation and enjoyment you display when you are writing.What an awesome writer you have become!


Eliza P

Congratulations Eliza on your award winning entry in the Castlemaine Junior Poetry Competition. Your poems create images in the readers mind and have a sensitivty of feeling that speak to emotions in people. You are a wonderful poet. In future years I will keep an eye out for your books full of wonderful poems. Excellent Work.


What we're cooking in the kitchen this week...

Beetroot Raita




Honey Joys


Remember, all our recipes are available on our school website, so you can try them at home.


And what we're harvesting from the garden...

A variety of herbs.


Volunteers please

Please contact the office if you are able to help with the watering over the School Holiday period (19th December-27th January). 

**No chickens are currently at the school.


Jane & Terry
Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden


We wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!



Bookings are now open for the YMCA Summer School Holiday Programs!

The link to the program is:



Shire Council News

Visit the below link to see all the latest news from the Mount Alexander Shire Council. Features:

  • New Council Members
  • Mayor's Message
  • Have your say
  • Local events
  • Key information on surviving the heat and preparing for floods and bushfires









We invite members of the school, parents and friends to review and provide feedback on the Draft Landscape Plan for the Norwood Hill Recreation Reserve.

Norwood Hill Reserve Draft Landscape Plan and Drop-In Session

Have Your Say  

The draft landscape design has been informed by feedback received from community consultation undertaken in May 2020, along with discussions with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) and Dja Dja Wurrung and other First Nations Community Elders.

We have incorporated many great ideas into the design, including accessible paths, an increase in gardens and trees, more seating and picnic areas, and signage with local indigenous cultural heritage information. Proposed play equipment includes a big swing and spinning features, along with equipment for teens such as parkour or skate elements.

The plan includes an upgrade to the surface of the existing courts with additional features such as a rebound wall, basketball and netball hoops and four square lines.

Along with these ideas the draft landscape design includes nature play elements and improved integration between the reserve and the Lawrence Street road reserve. The sandpit will be retained under the plan.

The draft landscape plan can be view by visiting where you will also be able to provide feedback on the draft landscape plan via an online survey or please come along to a drop-in session.

Drop In-Session

Council’s Active Communities Team and landscape architects from Pollen will be available to meet with the community at a COVIDSafe drop-in session.

The session will be held from 3.30pm to 5.30pm on Thursday 10 December at the Norwood Hill Recreation Reserve, Maclise Street, Castlemaine.