Winters Flat Primary School
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3 Roberts Ave
Castlemaine VIC 3450

Phone: 03 5472 1522

FLAT CHAT | 21st July 2021

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FLAT CHAT | 21st July 2021


As of yesterday’s announcement the lockdown has now been extended until midnight on Tuesday 27th July so at this stage we are set to resume regular onsite learning on Wednesday 28th July. In the meantime teachers will be checking in daily. Regardless of how your child is learning during the current lockdown, please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s classroom teacher, the school office (someone is in everyday) or me directly if you have any concerns. We are all here to help.



We are continuing our work to acknowledge positive behaviour in all school settings. In support of the Golden Feathers – rewards which reflect effort in the areas of Care for Self, Care for Others and Care for the Environment, we are now using Class Dojo – an online system which gives immediate positive acknowledgement and adds to the tally of Golden Feathers. The feedback from students and teachers about Class Dojo has been very enthusiastic. 



We were able to have the first sessions of brass lessons last Monday, before this latest lockdown. It’s very exciting to have this program available to us – unfortunate that we may face restrictions before we can resume again.



It was great to hear that Daisy in 5L did so well at the next level of Cross Country competition. Representing Winters Flat PS she finished in the top 25, even after stopping for three minutes to assist a fellow runner who had fallen during the race. Congratulations Daisy – an excellent example of ‘Care for Others’.



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 enquiries for 2022 and we are keen to secure places for families already here at school.



Michael Rogan is replacing Sam Milner for PE classes on Thursdays for Term 3 and will resume when on-site learning is back to normal.



Kirah-Jayne - 12 in the second week of July

Xander – 12 in the second week of July

Indiana – 10 in the third week of July

Noah – 10 in the third week of July

Lucinda – 9 in the fourth week of July

Bianca – in the fourth week of July

Sam - in the fifth week of July


Hip Hip:  Hooray

Hip Hip:  Hooray

Hooray: Hip Hip

Suzanne Kinnersly


2021 Parent/Caregiver/Guardian Opinion Survey

Yesterday, a random selection of families were emailed an invitation to participate in the 2021 Parent/Caregiver/Guardian Opinion Survey. Results from this survey are used to inform and direct our future school planning and improvement. 
If you have received this invitation, we ask that you please take the time to complete it. The survey is conducted anonymously and all responses are kept completely confidential. 

Book Club

Issue 5 of Book Club is now available for order.

Orders due August 2nd.



Sushi orders from 16/7

Due to lockdown, Sushi orders from last Friday were refunded to parents/carers School Lunch Online accounts. Contact the office for any enquiries. 


Honey and Coffee for sale

Remember we have some delicious Honey and Coffee for sale in the office.


250ML - $4.00  500ML - $7.00  1KG - $14.00

Castlemaine honey is produced in a simple, natural, age-old beekeeping process also using a modern, HACCP Quality Assurance program.​

All honey is 100% pure and Australian, extracted and packed on site in Castlemaine.



100% Arabica. 
Small batch micro roasted. 
Premium plantation & estate. 
Rainforest alliance. 
Swiss water. 
Roasted right here in Castlemaine, at Coffee Basics.


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 Irwin



What we are cooking in the Kitchen...

Patatas bravas


Soft taco shells

Chilli 'non' carne

Seasonal fruit muffins (lemon and blueberry)

Old fashioned citrus cordial

+ bottling the last of the olives


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...






Rosie & Terry
Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden

Hello everyone.

We had a really positive start to Term 3 before the lockdown was announced. I will update you with a few things happening on the Wellbeing front and provide some useful information for you and your families during this time.


Last Tuesday we had a visit from Bronwyn Grieve and Helen Smith from CHIRP Community Health. They delivered a program to the 3, 4, 5, and 6 classes called ‘Making Friends with Worry’. The program taught students how to listen to their bodies to identify when they are worrying. The psychosomatic symptoms of worry vary greatly from child to child and the students were able to offer the ways their bodies show they are stressed. Some examples were nausea, not wanting to speak, sweaty palms, feeling hot, headaches and many more. The program works on the belief that “worry is our brain’s way of keeping us safe” (Helen Smith, CHIRP) and that we need trusted adults to help us in situations causing worry, stress and anxiety. A big message that we as educators, parents and carers can take away from such a program is that we need to respond to the ways our children communicate worry and stress. One of these things is being willing to stop what you’re doing and listen to your child. Often you can’t predict when your child will start talking about something important to them.

Here are some more tips on ACTIVE LISTENING WITH CHILDREN (Active listening is key to good communication and great for your relationship with your child. That’s because active listening shows your child that you care and are interested in them. It can also help you learn and understand more about what’s going on in your child’s life).

  • Use your body language to show you’re listening. For example, face your child and make eye contact. If your child likes to talk while doing activities, you can show you’re listening by turning to look at your child and getting close to them.
  • Watch your child’s facial expressions and body language. Listening isn’t just about hearing words, but also about trying to understand what’s behind those words.
  • Build on what your child is telling you and show your interest by saying things like ‘Tell me more about ...’, ‘Really!’ and ‘Go on ...’.
  • Repeat or rephrase what your child has said from time to time. This lets your child know you’re listening and helps you check what your child is saying.
  • Try not to jump in, cut your child off, or finish sentences – even when your child says something strange or is having trouble finding words.
  • Don’t rush into problem-solving. Your child might just want you to listen, and to feel that their feelings and point of view matter.
  • Prompt your child to tell you how they feel by describing what you think they’re feeling – for example, ‘It sounds like you felt left out when Felix wanted to play with those other kids at lunch’. Be prepared to get this wrong, and ask your child to help you understand.



On display on the library window sill are a whole lot of picture story books that include themes related to Student Wellbeing – friendship, respect, diversity, body positivity, inclusivity, emotions, and more. These books are of course available children to look at, read, and borrow! In addition, the school has purchased a collection of books by author Jayneen Sanders, who is a strong believer “that  we can do so much more to keep our children safe by teaching them age-appropriate and empowering prevention education”. Please let me know if you wish to have a look at these books and/or borrow them for your family. Find out more about Jayneen Sanders and her publishing company Educate2Empower -



The statistics are coming in thick and fast in relation to how a world in which Covid-19 dominates is impacting the mental health of our children. This time last year as Melbourne and much of Victoria went into an extended hard lockdown, the Kids Helpline experienced an increase in demand for its service by 28%. The top five concerns raised by Victorian children and young people in July were mental health, emotional wellbeing, family relationship issues, suicide-related issues and friend/peer relationships. We can assume much the same is being felt by our children right now.

Interestingly, but not surprisingly, there's increasing evidence to say repeated lockdowns result in cumulative anxiety, creating a group of school refusers we haven’t seen before. Monash Health, Victoria's largest health service, has seen a 40 per cent jump in referrals for children's psychological issues, including school refusal, both in inpatient and outpatient numbers, over the course of the pandemic.

The message for our school community is that we are here if you and your family are experiencing any issues or concerns related to those above. Yes, the services are stretched but there are definitely ways of accessing support. 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.

Crisis support services can be reached 24 hours a day: Lifeline 13 11 14; Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467; Kids Helpline 1800 551 800; MensLine Australia 1300 789 978; Beyond Blue 1300 224 636

A very useful article about how to talk to your child about Covid-19:

By far the best service you can contact if you or your child are experiencing mental health issues is the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS). They have a 24 hour number you can call to talk with someone and access services in the region: 1300 363 788 (

The Loddon Orange Door is also an excellent free service for adults, children and young people.  They can link you in with services. They are available 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday (closed public holidays). Call 1800 512359

The following list is a comprehensive directory of mental health support services, including out of hours support. (If your safety or the safety of others is at risk, contact emergency services on 000)

HeadtoHelp 1800 595 212

Cairnmillar Institute (free telehealth counselling) -

Beyond Blue

1300 22 4636 (24 Hrs)

13 11 14 (24 Hrs)

Suicide Call Back Service
1300 659 467 (24 Hrs)

Kids Helpline
1800 55 1800 (24 Hrs)

Other helplines

Tandem Support and Referral Line information, support, advocacy or referral for family members or friends who are supporting a person with mental health issues. Call 1800 314 325.

Blue Knot Foundation Helpline information, support or referral for adult survivors of childhood trauma and abuse. Call 1300 657 380, 9am-5pm / 7 days a week.

Butterfly Foundation's National Helpline counselling and treatment referral for people with eating disorders, and body image and related issues. Call 1800 33 4673 8am-9pm / 7 days a week.

Child Protection (5pm to 9am Monday to Friday, 24 hours on weekends and public holidays) For children and young people whose safety is at risk Call 13 12 78

eheadspace mental health and wellbeing support, information and services to young people aged 12 to 25 years and their families. Call 1800 650 890.

MensLine Australia telephone and online support and information service for Australian men. Call 1300 78 99 78, 24 hours / 7 days a week.

Men’s Referral Service (8am to 9pm Monday to Friday; 9am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday). For people at risk of using family violence. Free, confidential, expert support for men and their family and friends. Call 1300 766 491

MindSpot Clinic telephone and online service for people with stress, worry, anxiety, low mood or depression. Call 1800 61 44 34 AEST, 8am-8pm (Mon-Fri), 8am-6pm (Sat).

QLife telephone and web-based services to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTQI) people. Call 1800 184 527, 3pm-12am (midnight) / 7 days a week.

PANDA (Perinatal Anxiety & Depression Australia) telephone information, counselling and referral service. Call 1300 726 306, 9am-7:30pm AEST (Mon-Fri).

Brother to Brother, a 24-hour crisis line for Aboriginal men has been set up to provide extra support during the coronavirus pandemic. Call 1800 435 799.

SANE Australia support, training and education enabling those with a mental illness to lead a better life. Call 1800 18 7263, 9am-5pm (Mon-Fri).

Safe Steps (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) For women and children who are victims of family violence. Web chat support service Monday to Friday 9am until midnight. Call 1800 015 188

Sexual Assault Crisis Line (24 hours a day, 7 days a week) For victims of sexual assault. Call 1800 806 292

The Compassionate Friends Victoria information and peer support for families trying to rebuild their lives after the death of a child, sibling or grandchild, from trained volunteers with lived experience. Call 9888 4944 or 1300 064 068 24/7. Siblings (aged 18-30 years) can use the web chat daily, 3pm-12am.

Open Arms (Veterans and Families Counselling) 24/7 free and confidential counselling to anyone who has served at least one day in the ADF, and their families. Call 1800 011 046.

With Respect (5pm to 11pm each Wednesday and 10am to 10pm on Saturday and Sunday) Specialist LGBTIQ family violence service. Call 1800 542 847

Victims of Crime Helpline (8am to 11pm, 7 days a week) For adult male victims of family violence and victims of violent crime. Call 1800 819 817 or text 0427 767 891

Mental Health Foundation Australia National Mental Health Helpline offers emotional and practical support to families, carers and individuals with mental health issues. The response team does not provide counselling but can arrange a call back from a trained Psychologist or Counsellor. Call 1300 643 287. 

If you feel that the stress or anxiety you or your family members are experiencing 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:

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. 





The Castlemaine Billy Cart Challenge is back!

10 October, 2021

New location: Langslow St, Castlemaine

See for details and vehicle guidelines.

Registrations open July 1.

We’d love to see some schools on board this year- please contact us if you’d like some help to get started. 

Camilo ‘Silverado’ Demarco + Jane ‘Fastlane’ Goodrich