Winters Flat Primary School
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3 Roberts Ave
Castlemaine VIC 3450

Phone: 03 5472 1522

FLAT CHAT | 9th June 2021

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FLAT CHAT | 9th June 2021


Congratulations to all our teachers and families for adjusting so quickly to the Remote and Flexible Learning option last week. Now that we’re back we still have some requirements and restrictions. Masks need to worn when visiting the school and the QR/sign-in book to be completed in the office regardless of how short your stay. Programs such as Just Brass, Chess and Golf are still unable to proceed for now.



If you have a child enrolling for Prep next year, please come and collect an enrolment pack from the office as soon as possible. We are having many inquiries for 2022 and we are keen to secure places for families already here at school.



Families who ordered photos should have received them last Friday. We are seeking your feedback on the new company ‘The School Photographer’. If you would like to order photos or let us know what you think of the new style please email:



Yesterday I met with the student leadership teams. The student leaders each represent their class in the four groups listed below. Following their meeting they are encouraged to share the information with their home group and get feedback to bring to the next meeting. Each team was asked to come up with five ways to help their peers:

Care for Self

  • Promote healthy eating and exercise as a way of teaching students to take care of themselves
  • Promote good mental health-having a positive attitude and mindset
  • Encouraging people to stick up for themselves and develop their resilience
  • Promote strategies to deal with situations that can be uncomfortable
  • Encouraging people to take control of their own emotions and actions

The teams were also asked who we could seek help from outside the school

  • Parents – more volunteers in classroom programs, camps & excursions, art lessons, PE, Specialist subjects
  • Nutritionist – for healthy eating
  • Sports experts
  • Politicians
  • Mental health experts

Care for Others

  • See what can be done or tweaked to improve levels of care for others
  • Survey our classes to ask what needs to change at Winters Flat to improve others feeling good about themselves
  • Inspirational activities to promote caring for others
  • More kids’ club options e.g. School hours clubs like marimba, ukulele, craft, bushwalking, dance etc.
  • Establishing rules for 4 square, Gaga and other games played – encourage more Basketball and games like Hyaki (Forty Forty)

Help from outside the school

  • More parents/experts to run kids’ club activities
  • Invite sport coaches
  • People with game skills

Care for the Environment

  • Making sure everyone dresses for the weather conditions instead of turning on heaters/coolers
  • Class jobs – to manage classroom waste and resources
  • Manage Care for Area – keep clean and tidy
  • Seeking advice and help from other students in the school
  • Promote Nude Food better

Help from outside the school

  • Parent experts
  • Local experts
  • Guest speakers for assembly (e.g. climate strike organizers)

SWPBS Junior Implementation Team

  • Golden Feather system – acknowledging good behaviour
  • Anonymous rewards for good deeds
  • Promote the idea that good behaviour isn’t just for when people are watching
  • Have spotters in the playground and the classroom spying on good behaviour to report
  • Organise fundraising activities and social events for SWPBS

Help from outside the school

  • Student speakers from another SWPBS school
  • School swaps – student exchange with schools who are already SWPBS schools
  • Guest speakers at assembly

Many of the students identified parents as people who could help by bringing their experience and expertise into the school to share.

If you can see yourself helping out in any of these areas please contact us:



Georgie - 10 in the second week of June

Sullivan – 10 in the second week of June

Aurelia – 9 in the second week of June

Xzavier – 10 in the third week of June

Hip Hip:  Hooray

Hip Hip:  Hooray

Hooray: Hip Hip

Suzanne Kinnersly


School Calendar

Monday 14th June
Queen's Birthday Public Holiday.
Friday 25th June
Last day of Term. 2:30pm finish.

Current restrictions

A reminder that due to current COVID restrictions, please only enter the school grounds if necessary. If you do need to come onto the school grounds, you must sign in at the office first.

If your child arrives late, please remind them to sign in at the office.

We thank you for your understanding.



Reports will be available on XUNO on Thursday 24th June. If you specifically require an email copy or paper copy please contact the office:


Camps, Sports and Excursion Fund Applications

The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund helps eligible families to cover the costs of school trips, camps and sporting activities.

If you have a valid means-tested concession card, such as a Veterans Affairs Gold Card, Centrelink Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card, or are a temporary foster parent, you may be eligible. There is also a special consideration category for asylum seeker and refugee families.

Payment amounts this year are $125 for eligible primary school students. Payments are made direct to the school to use towards expenses relating to camps, excursions and sporting activities for the benefit of your child.

If you applied for CSEF through our school last year, you do not need to complete an application form this year, unless there has been a change in your family circumstances.

If you would like to apply for the first time, you can download the form here. Forms are also available at the office.

You can also download the form, and find out more about the program and eligibility, on the Department of Education and Training’s Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund web page.

Please return completed forms to the office as soon as possible.


Karen Mahoney & Renae Wilson


I would like to take this opportunity to thank students, staff, teachers, parents, and carers for your cooperation during this period of increased COVID-19 restrictions in Victoria.

As all students in regional Victoria and year 11 and 12 students in metropolitan Melbourne return to on site learning, students and staff should feel reassured that, with the additional health and safety controls currently in place, it is safe for them to return and enjoy the important benefits of doing so.

Throughout the pandemic, Victorian schools have rapidly and successfully adapted to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, using COVIDSafe principles by reinforcing good behaviours, creating safe environments, modifying activities, and responding quickly to COVID-19 risk.

I am confident that with COVIDSafe plans in place, alongside our ability to quickly identify and respond to cases, eligible students and staff can return safely to school premises. 

It is crucial, however, for everyone to remain vigilant by always staying home when unwell, wearing a face mask, performing regular hand hygiene, and maintaining physical distancing from others when practical.

The school community continues to have an important role to promote COVID-19 testing when a student or staff member has any symptoms, no matter how mild, and ensuring they remain home until they are well.

Getting tested and staying home until results are known is critical to limiting community transmission.

School communities should continue to check Victorian locations where there is a risk of exposure to COVID-19 and take the required public health actions. The list of current exposure sites can be found on case alerts - public exposure sites.

We encourage all members of the school community to get vaccinated if eligible. Further information on vaccinations and eligibility can be found on COVID-19 vaccines.

Adj. Clinical Prof. Brett Sutton
Victorian Chief Health Officer

When children participate in regular physical activity, it boosts their physical and mental health and improves academic performance.

Physical activity throughout the day also improves concentration, and the ability to retain information and solve problems.

There are many benefits to being active and getting your move on, but a lot of children aren’t moving enough, particularly while learning from home.

15 minutes 4 times a day is all it takes.

To help support your children to stay active while learning from home, families can access a range of free COVIDSafe ideas to stay active and games through Get Active Victoria.

Families should remember that whatever gets children moving, gets them active.



P/1 J | Raph P

For showing Care for Others by playing fairly and being helpful in the classroom. Great effort!


P/1 J | Jaya N

For showing Care for Self by striving to do his best and writing his narrative. Huge effort Jaya!


2/3 A | Peggy M

For showing Care for Others by being a kind, patient and inclusive friend. Thank you Peggy!

2/3 A | Roza M

For showing Care for Self by being really confident, and particpating enthusiastically in our Webexes last week. Great effort Roza!


4/5L | Zeno D and Nerri G

For showing Care for Self by having a positive mindset and being their best self. Well done!


5/6B | Ben C

For showing Care for Self. Congratulations Ben on your wonderful attitude. You are working hard in the classroom and are a wonderful help during Maths groups, sharing your great knowledge with other students. Well done also on your positive and proactive attitude working in the Kitchen, a well desrved 'Chef of the day' from Rosie this week. Keep powering on.


5/6B | Chilli H

For showing Care for Self and Others. Thank you Chilli for everything that you bring to our classroom. You display such an inituitive, caring and positive manner towards your friends, classmates, your work tasks and a deep care for ther environment. You have developed excellent leadership skills and are a great role model to others. Awesome work.



The class with the best school attendance for the past fortnight is: 5/6B.


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

Tartar Sauce

Spicy Red Lentil Soup

Basic Bread

Carrot and Zucchini Croquettes

Banana Bread


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...



Spring onions



Rosie & Terry
Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden

Hello Winters Flat Community,

The ever-changing landscape of the COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many people experiencing heightened levels of anxiety, increased depression and concern that this state of constant change has become our new normal. The information below highlights some strategies to help you cope with change, deal with uncertainty and boost your resilience as we look to a future beyond the COVID-19 crisis (taken from the Australian Psychological Society).

Be aware of what you can (and can’t) control

COVID-19 has resulted in significant changes to the way people live, work and socialise. For most people these changes have resulted from factors outside of their control (e.g., government imposed restrictions), which has led to feelings of uncertainty about a range of issues, including financial security, employment, relationships, and their physical and mental health. Feelings of uncertainty can cause us to feel stressed and anxious. Rather than dwelling on things outside of your control, increase your sense of security and stability by focusing on what you can do to improve your situation. Strategies you may have used at the beginning of the pandemic to manage your stress and anxiety will continue to be of benefit. These include:

  • Taking reasonable precautions to prevent transmission, for example, practise good hand hygiene, keep 1.5 meters apart from others where possible, wear a face mask, get tested as soon as you develop any symptoms, and stay at home if unwell.
  • Keeping up-to-date with factual information about COVID-19 from reliable sources such as the Australian Government’s health alert or updates from other trusted organisations such as the World Health Organization.
  • Limit your media exposure so you are able to stay informed but not alarmed. Recognise when you are feeling vulnerable or overwhelmed and limit your exposure to the news at these times.
  • Practise self-care to help develop a positive frame of mind. This may involve keeping in regular contact with family and friends (e.g., via telephone or videoconference), maintaining a balanced and healthy lifestyle, and/or practising relaxation, meditation or mindfulness. Reframe your thoughts It is easy to focus on the negatives when change is forced upon you and many decisions are out of your control. It is important, however, that you challenge these negative thoughts and develop more helpful and constructive ways of thinking.


COVID-19 has no end-date and it may be something we have to learn to live with for now. Problem-solving techniques can help us work through the ongoing challenges we face as part of our ‘new normal’. Structured problem-solving involves identifying the problem, developing a range of potential solutions and selecting one that is consistent with your personal values and needs. For example, you may be concerned about some of the following issues:

  • Staying connected with friends and family: Current recommendations advise practising social distancing in order to prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19. It is important to realise, however, that social distancing does not mean social disconnection. If you are unable to see loved ones in person, find new ways to stay connected such as virtual catch-ups.
  • Not being able to follow normal routines: Some restrictions may mean that you are unable to engage in activities you previously enjoyed, such as going to the gym or attending a sporting event. Get creative so you can continue to engage in these activities (e.g., enrol in online classes) and incorporate them into your weekly routine.
  • Anxiety about life after lockdown: Returning to life after lockdown may bring a sense of relief but also a feeling of apprehension. People may worry about their risk of catching COVID-19 but also feel anxious about whether they will be able to go back to ‘normal’. Take your time readjusting to post-lockdown life and focus on rebuilding relationships. You may find it helpful to weigh up the pros and cons of re-establishing old routines such as catching public transport or eating in restaurants. The constantly evolving nature of COVID-19 also means you should be prepared for another phase of lockdown should the situation worsen.

Allow yourself to grieve the ‘old normal’

People are beginning to miss the pleasures of their old way of life and are grieving the loss of safety and predictability that has resulted from COVID-19. Grief is a natural reaction to loss or change of any kind and it is important to give yourself time to adjust to new routines and activities. Dealing with feelings of sadness and loss can make us feel like we are ‘on an emotional roller coaster’ which can cause our behaviour to be unpredictable. This can lead to tensions and conflicts with the people we live with and they may not know how to best support us. Being able to communicate honestly about how you are feeling and how you can support each other may reduce or avoid potential conflict. Remember, many people will be sharing a similar experience to you so don’t be afraid to share your feelings and be open to accepting help and support from others if needed.

Seek additional support when needed

If you feel that the stress or anxiety you or your family members are experiencing as a result of COVID-19 is getting too much, a psychologist may be able to help. Psychologists are highly trained and qualified professionals skilled in providing effective interventions for a range of mental health concerns, including stress. A psychologist can help you manage your stress and anxiety using techniques based on the best available research. If you are referred to a psychologist by your GP, you might be eligible for a Medicare rebate. You may also be eligible to receive psychology services via telehealth so that you do not need to travel to see a psychologist. Ask your psychologist or GP for details.

There are number of ways to access a psychologist.

You can:

  • use the Australia-wide Find a PsychologistTM service. Go to or call 1800 333 497
  • ask your GP or another health professional to refer you.
  • Investigate other mental health services, including domestic violence services via the link:

If you are having trouble accessing any services please contact me on I am available for a chat/meeting on Tuesdays and Fridays between 9:30 and 2:30.


Hannah O'Keefe

Wellbeing Officer


*If you wish for your child/ren to participate in sessions with Hannah, please ensure you provide permission on XUNO or sign a hard copy of the permission form available at the office. 






In 2021 the Mount Alexander Shire awarded the Chalice Foundation a Community Grant to run two Celebration Day for Girls workshops and two Fathers Celebrating Daughters workshops within the Shire during 2021. These workshops are free to participants (usually $165 and $45 respectively).

Celebration Day for Girls

Tuesday 15th June, 7 to 9pm  – Mothers Session

Sunday 20th June, 9.45am to 4pm – Celebration Day for Girls

Fathers Celebrating Daughters

Tuesday 6th July, 7 to 9.30pm

Celebration Day for Girls

Tuesday 27th July, 7 to 9pm  – Mothers Session

Sunday 1st August, 9.45am to 4pm – Celebration Day for Girls

Fathers Celebrating Daughters

Tuesday 17th August, 7 to 9.30pm

Venue: Castlemaine Community House, 30 Templeton Street, Castlemaine

Celebration Day for Girls was created in Castlemaine and has been offering girls a confident and informed passage through puberty since 2000. This workshop is now available in all Australian states and territories, and thirty countries worldwide. Facilitators are trained by Mt Alexander Shire local, Jane Bennett, and the Chalice Foundation team of trainers.

Celebration Day for Girls is a programme for girls 10-12 years old with their mother or female carer. Fathers Celebrating Daughters is for fathers of daughters. Please note the maximum participants are 12 girl/mother pairs for Celebration Day for Girls and 20 men/fathers for Fathers Celebrating Daughters . For more information go to, and for more about the Chalice Foundation go to

To book or enquire about these free to participants workshops supported by Mt Alexander shire please contact Rachel Pilgrim at and 0430 450 967. Rachel is an experienced facilitator of both workshops and trains new facilitators internationally (online through 2020 and 2021).