Winters Flat Primary School
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3 Roberts Ave
Castlemaine VIC 3450

Phone: 03 5472 1522

FLAT CHAT | 15th September 2021

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FLAT CHAT | 15th September 2021


We were thrilled to see the return of just under half the school last Friday. For those students still at home participating in remote and flexible learning, we send our best wishes and thanks for your perseverance. Term 3 ends this Friday at the early time of 2:30pm. Once again I thank all staff for adapting to the changes of student attendance and having the flexibility and professionalism to provide a meaningful program in a range of circumstances.

The news about how we commence next term will be communicated to families via XUNO and email as soon as we know.



Following numerous postponements of our excursion to the Melbourne Museum we are now hoping to take the school to the Ballarat Wildlife Park on Wednesday 13th October (Week 2). Details have been put onto XUNO today. Please see the office section of this newsletter for further information.



The swimming program will commence in Term 4 at the Kyneton Toyota Sports & Aquatic Centre. More information to come via XUNO next term.

  • 25th – 29th October - Year 1- Year 3  (Week 4)
  • 8th – 12th November- Year 4 – Year 6 (Week 6)



The SWPBS universal reward system is almost ready to launch. Next term, the Crows Nest will open where children can cash in their Class Dojo and Golden Feathers for tangible objects, healthy edible treats, experiences and activities.

Watch this space once school resumes and we roll out the rewards acknowledging positive behaviour in all aspects of school life.



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



Harry–in the third week of September

Felix – 12 in the third week of September

Karen - in the third week of September

Hermione – 6 in the fourth week of September

Lily – 9 in the fourth week of September

Hip Hip:  Hooray

Hip Hip:  Hooray

Hooray: Hip Hip

Suzanne Kinnersly


School Calendar

Friday September 17th- Last Day of Term 3. 2:30pm finish.

Monday 4th October- First Day of Term 4.

Wednesday 13th October- Ballarat Wildlife Park whole school excursion.


Whole-school excursion

As mentioned in Suzanne's article, we are now planning for the whole-school excursion to be the Ballarat Wildlife park instead of the Museum/IMAX.

Please see the event on XUNO for approval/payment.

Credits from the Museum/IMAX excursion have been applied, however please note that the cost is slightly higher ($38 instead of $36), than the Museum/IMAX excursion and therefore some parents/carers may see an extra charge of $2 even if they have already paid.

For any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us in the office.



A reminder that it is compulsory for hats to be worn next term, until the end of May next year. We keep a supply of hats at the office to purchase for $14 each.


Karen Mahoney & Renae Irwin


Well done on our P-2 students for their swift return to school!

See below for some photos of P/1J's activities this week!


P/1 J | All of P/1J

For showing Care for Self and Others with an awesome effort in the kitchen with Rosie. Fantastic cooking, cleaning, helping and eating!


2/3 A | Athene G

For showing Care for Environment by participating in the 'Threatened Species Bake Off'. Good luck with your gorgeous cake Athene!


2/3 A | Peggy M-K

For showing Care for Self by completing so many Home Learning activities. What a great effort Peggs!


3/4 W | Freya B, Lucinda K-G, Ava M

For showing Care for Self by showing amazing comittment to your learning, by always listening attentively and participating fully in Webex sessions. Your enthusiasm and effort to complete tasks has been outstanding. Well done girls.


P/1J were treated to a cooking session!

Pesto pasta

Seasonal garden salad

Potato, leek, and chive soup

Seasonal fruit muffins


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...



Salad greens

Bay leaf


Rosie & Terry
Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden

Hello families and friends of Winters Flat Primary School.

It has been so lovely this week walking around the school and hearing students and teachers working and playing in the classrooms and out in the yard. It is certainly time to appreciate the simple things like being able to come to school (for our preps, ones and twos) and having warmer and sunnier days.

It has been disappointing on some level though, that some students and siblings are needing to continue remote learning. We can only hope that Term 4 will be less disrupted and that we as families can experience a sense of routine that resembles a bit of normality and togetherness.

Perhaps some families are noticing increased anxiety in their children as they return to school. I’ve put together a brief list of pointers for families on helping ease children into the new normal and support them in coping with anxieties that we think may become more prevalent over the coming months:

  1. Validate their feelings

It’s worrisome when kids are clingy or fearful about separating from you, but it’s important for parents to stay calm and stay positive. If a child is struggling, or they say they miss you, that’s okay. You want to say, “I miss you too, and I’m so proud of you for going to school.”

  1. Set the tone

If you lead with your own anxiety, you may fuel your child’s anxiety without realising it. Try not to ask leading questions such as, “Are you nervous about going back to school?” which can indicate to your child that there really is something to worry about. If children have questions you can’t answer, you can say, “That’s a really good question. I am not sure, but I can find out the answer to that question.”

  1. Help them to think positive

One way to help kids focus on positive things is to try to get them to talk about the good things about school. What are they looking forward to? What did they enjoy most in the past? For younger kids with separation issues, transitional objects can help them feel comfortable. A transitional object can be anything that helps your child feel connected to you when you’re apart — a button, a handkerchief, a stone you found together.

  1. Emphasize safety measures

We can’t promise our kids that we won’t get sick, but we can express confidence in public health efforts like vaccination and in the schools who have done months of planning to minimize risk and keep everyone safe. Older children can understand the concept of acceptable risk — that sometimes we have to take small risks to do important things.

  1. Practice separating

For children who are anxious about being apart, experts suggest practicing separation, starting in small ways and building tolerance for more and more independence. This can be as simple as children playing in their room by themselves or staying with another caregiver while a parent goes out.

  1. Have a routine

Making sure that your child has a predictable routine leading up to school can help kids, especially younger ones, feel more secure. And if your routine and practicing separation still don’t prevent a child clinging to you at drop-off, it helps to have coordinated a plan with the teacher, so you know that when the teacher steps up to engage your child, and your child is even tentatively engaged, it’s the cue for you to go. Many kids feel better as soon as they get into the swing of the school day, so drawing out your goodbyes usually doesn’t help.

  1. Encourage flexibility

We can’t be 100% sure that another lockdown won’t occur in Term 4. That includes the possibility students may be expected to switch back to remote learning. It’s helpful for kids to know that you’re prepared for changes that may occur. Let your child know that the whole family is going to have to be flexible.

  1. When should you get help?

Kids who have trouble separating often just need time, and support from parents and teachers, to adjust. But if your child is having severe meltdowns at drop-off time for more than two or three weeks, and is unable to recover or even stay at school, for more than three or four weeks, then seeking help can make a big difference. Similarly, if your child’s other school-related worries are causing repeated headaches and stomachaches and/or refusal to go to school, they may need some help from a mental health professional to deal with fears in a healthy way.

A Mental Health Treatment Plan (previously known as a ‘mental health care plan’) can be accessed by making an appointment with your GP. They will do a brief assessment, usually via a friendly conversation and then refer your child to a local Child Psychologist. If you have a Mental Health Treatment Plan, you will be entitled to Medicare rebates for up to 20 individual psychological appointments per calendar year until 30 June 2022. This gives you access - subsidised by Medicare - to certain psychologists, occupational therapists and social workers.

The Mental Health Treatment Plan is part of the Better Access to Psychiatrists, Psychologists and General Practitioners through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (Better Access) initiative. This initiative aims to improve outcomes for people with a clinically diagnosed mental health disorder.

Remember, if you are concerned about the wellbeing of your child for any reason please let the school know so we can support you and your family. Reasons can included changes to your family or living arrangements, emotionally intense events or experiences, mental health concerns such as anxiety and peer related challenges at school or home.

If you or anyone you know needs support call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636. Raising Children is also an excellent resource for families:

CHIRP also provide counselling options. 

Children’s counsellor for under 12s available bulk billed with a GP Mental Health Care Plan.

General counselling for adults 18+ no Mental Health Care Plan needed.

Ph. 5479 1000

Stay well and stay connected.

Hannah O'Keefe

Wellbeing OfficerWinters Flat Primary School

(Tuesdays and Fridays 9:30-2:30)



*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. 


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