Winters Flat Primary School
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3 Roberts Ave
Castlemaine VIC 3450

Phone: 03 5472 1522

FLAT CHAT | 1st September 2021

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FLAT CHAT | 1st September 2021


In our last Newsletter I was predicting an incredibly busy week that was quickly impacted by the lockdown we are currently in. Plans were changed and we were once again impressed by how quickly students and staff adapted. We send our best wishes to families who are participating in remote and flexible learning and remind everyone to call us here at school or email teachers if you have any concerns.

Wellbeing is still our number one priority and we will continue to provide shared resources about maintaining wellbeing and supporting mental health as they become available. Hannah has again shared some helpful resources and guidance in this Newsletter. We have also shared many items on our Facebook page. Rhani's article in last week’s Castlemaine Mail highlighted our wellbeing focus.

Today's announcement confirms all schools in Victorian will continue with the current Remote, Flexible and On-site arrangements until the end of term. This announcement brings clarity and certainty for the following two weeks.



Year 3 and Year 5 students who participated in the NAPLAN tests this year should receive their results in the next drop off of learning materials. Winters Flat has achieved some really strong growth in Reading and Writing since 2019, which is cause for celebration, particularly considering the challenges of this year and last year. With our focus on teaching and learning Mathematics, we look forward to similar gains in Numeracy.



If you know anyone who is considering their choice of school for 2022 tell them to email us for an invitation to our vitual tour happening today at 5:30pm. Staff and some students will be online to host this event and we will record it. 



Make sure you check out Rosie’s new video and recipes to make lasagne. It’s in the SAKG section of our website. This video contains many cooking tips and encourages collaboration to prepare. Also designed to pause between steps. Recipes included. Bon appetit!



Many parents and carers were invited to participate in the Parent Opinion Survey. The survey closes tomorrow! The feedback is very specific to our school (as opposed to the wider Department of Education) and we take the feedback very seriously. It informs school procedures and policies and shapes our strategic plan.


R U OK? DAY 2021

The celebration of this national day on Thursday 9th September feels more important than ever during a lockdown. We will be having school-based activities whether remote or onsite. The R U OK? website: has some great resources about sharing the message.



Castlemaine Mail

Sports Star of the Week


Fionna Allan from MAIN fm is putting together a Kids Lockdown Special - a show dedicated to and programmed by the kids of Mount Alexander Shire - and quite possibly beyond.

It will be a two hour special, featuring songs, poetry & jokes chosen by kids - as well as shout outs to each other on air. The kids might not be able to get together in person, but they can send each other messages on air, and connect with kids from other schools as well as their own.

Fionna is asking kids to get in touch via this Facebook event ( via the email below, and is asking for:

- song requests & dedications (artists, name of song, why they chose it & if they've chosen it for someone)

- jokes or riddles

- poems

- interesting facts

If the kids are able to record their contributions (a voice note on your phone emailed to Fionna is fine), that would be great. Otherwise we can read them out on air for you. Elin, who is in Grade 5 at Castlemaine Primary School, will be co-hosting the show.

The MAINfm Kids Lockdown Special will go to air 9-11:00am on Friday 27 August, and we ask that kids get contributions by 3pm on Thursday (tomorrow) afternoon at the very latest.


We can also accept requests on the day via the MAINfm text line: 0488 863 186.

No Disney allowed!!

COscars Youth Film Competition – deadline extended

Due to the current COVID lockdown, the deadline for entries to the COscars Youth Film Competition has been extended to midnight on Sunday 3 October.

Winners and selected entries will be presented at an outdoor film festival which has been rescheduled to Friday 15th October at the Village Square, Castlemaine.

Prizes will be given to the winning film in each category:


8-13 years                   $50 cash

14-18 years                 $50 cash

18-25 years                 $50 cash


8-13 years                   $100 cash

14-18 years                 $100 cash

18-25 years                 $100 cash

Short Film (8-25 years):  $150 cash

The film competition entry form and rules can be downloaded at

For more info contact Shannon on 0429 369 894 or



Bron–in the last week of August

Nerri – 11 in the first week of September

Teekah - 12 in the first week of September

Jesse - 11 in the first week of September

Haylee - 9 in the second week of September

Angus – 8 in the second week of September

Terry - in the second week of September


Hip Hip:  Hooray

Hip Hip:  Hooray

Hooray: Hip Hip

Suzanne Kinnersly


School Calendar

Wednesday September 1st- Online Webex Information Evening for prospective families.

Thursday September 9th- R u Ok Day?

Friday September 17th- Last Day of Term 3

Monday 4th October- First Day of Term 4


Remote Learning On-Site Attendance for Week 9 and 10

If you need your child/ren to attend the on-site program over the next two weeks, please fill out this on-site form and send it to, along with your workers permit (if you haven't already sent that).


Remote Learning Photos

Thank you to all those parents/carers who have sent through wonderful photos of our students learning at home! We thank you for your continued support.


Lockdown Craft Activity

In honour of International Dog Day last week, see attached for a great craft activity that can be done at home!


Karen Mahoney & Renae Irwin


P/1 J | Jaya N

For showing Care for Self and Others for an excellent first session in the SAKG program. Well done Jaya on being so cooperative and helpful in the kitchen.


P/1 J | Heidi T (and Rupert!)

For showing Care for Self by participating and listening attentively during our morning Webex and completing learning tasks at home. Keep up the great effort Heidi!


2/3 A | All of 2/3A

For showing Care for Self by doing such a great job of coming along to our class Webexes during Home Learning – we’ve never had so many on the screen! It’s great seeing your smiling faces every morning, please keep it up when you can :)


3/4 W | All of 3/4W

For showing Care for Self by maintining a positive mindset and being resilient during Remote Learning.


4/5L | All of 4/5L

For showing Care for Self by being so resilient and positive during trying circumstances.


5/6B | All of 5/6B

This SOW is awarded to EVERY member of 5/6B.

Guys you continue to amaze me! How resilient you are, attending Webex meetings, Organising your work spaces, organising yourself, completing some fantastic pieces of work, helping each other out through Google Classroom and supporting each other!

The growth and flexibility that you are showing is wonderful!

Thankyou for showing up each day to our Webex meetings and classes, it's just SO great for me to see your faces and is helping us so much in staying connected to each other. 

Keep caring for each other, you are all doing a simply FANTABULOUS job!


Parent Mental Health

Let’s face it, it is not an easy time to be a parent. During these extended lockdowns, families are experiencing life inside what can feel like a pressure cooker. Whether it’s a reduction in personal space, increased stress, boredom or something else entirely, tension within your household may be higher than usual and your relationships may be under greater strain. You may also notice an increase in conflict with other family members.

In general, parents are very enthusiastic when it comes to setting up supports for their children. However, getting support for one’s self as an adult can be a different and more challenging project. These days our children are taught mandated social-emotional concepts and skills within the school curriculum and are the beneficiaries of a shifting culture with reduced stigma around help-seeking in different contexts. In contrast, many adults carry the stigma of previous generations when it comes to seeking help for our mental-health and wellbeing. Beyond Blue and many, many other organisations have done extensive research that reveals that men in particular face both internal and external barriers when it comes to getting mental health support – “Australian men generally have lower rates of mental health literacy, help-seeking behaviour and face numerous barriers to help-seeking, such as stigma. In Australia, men account for 75 per cent of deaths by suicide” (

Knowing the following 9 signs that indicate mental health issues could prompt you to think that a friend or family member (or yourself!) is among the 1 in 5 Australians dealing with a mental health disorder. Often it's not a single change but a combination. The following 9 signs are not to help you diagnose a mental health disorder, but instead to reassure you that there might be good reason to seek more information about your concerns (

  1. Feeling anxious or worried

We all get worried or stressed from time to time. But anxiety could be the sign of a mental health disorder if the worry is constant and interferes all the time. Other symptoms of anxiety may include heart palpitations, shortness of breath, headache, sweating, trembling, feeling dizzy, restlessness, diarrhoea or a racing mind.

  1. Feeling depressed or unhappy

Signs of depression include being sad or irritable for the last few weeks or more, lacking in motivation and energy, losing interest in a hobby or being teary all the time.

  1. Emotional outbursts

Everyone has different moods, but sudden and dramatic changes in mood, such as extreme distress or anger, can be a symptom of mental illness.

  1. Sleep problems

Lasting changes to a person’s sleep patterns could be a symptom of a mental health disorder. For example, insomnia could be a sign of anxiety or substance abuse. Sleeping too much or too little could indicate depression or an sleeping disorder.

  1. Weight or appetite changes

For some people, fluctuating weight or rapid weight loss could be one of the warning signs of a mental health disorder, such as depression or an eating disorder.

  1. Quiet or withdrawn

Withdrawing from life, especially if this is a major change, could indicate a mental health disorder. If a friend or loved one is regularly isolating themselves, they may have depression, bipolar disorder, a psychotic disorder, or another mental health disorder. Refusing to join in social activities may be a sign they need help.

  1. Substance abuse

Using substances to cope, such as alcohol or drugs, can be a sign of mental health conditions. Using substances can also contribute to mental illness.

  1. Feeling guilty or worthless

Thoughts like ‘I’m a failure’, ‘It’s my fault’ or ‘I’m worthless’ are all possible signs of a mental health disorder, such as depression. Your friend or loved one may need help if they’re frequently criticising or blaming themselves. When severe, a person may express a feeling to hurt or kill themselves. This feeling could mean the person is suicidal and urgent help is needed. Call Triple zero (000) for an ambulance immediately.

  1. Changes in behaviour or feelings

A mental health disorder may start out as subtle changes to a person’s feelings, thinking and behaviour. Ongoing and significant changes could be a sign that they have or are developing a mental health disorder. If something doesn’t seem ‘quite right’, it’s important to start the conversation about getting help.

There is help if you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed and at breaking point. The following is a list of places you can contact for support:


The mental health support system is under immense pressure since Covid-19 began last year. 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.

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. 

Check out our website for the awesome demonstration from Rosie on how to make Lasagne at home!

See here for the recipe for the bolognese and here for the sauce.

Make sure to pause as you watch to complete each step.

Parental supervision required.


Rosie & Terry
Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden


01 Sep 2021

5:30 PM to 6:30 PM

Event Info

01 Sep 2021

5:30 PM to 6:30 PM

EVENT | Information evening featured image

Online Webex information session. 

To register, contact the school on 5472 1522 or email

Event Info

01 Sep 2021

5:30 PM to 6:30 PM

Community event