Winters Flat Primary School
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3 Roberts Ave
Castlemaine VIC 3450

Phone: 03 5472 1522

FLAT CHAT | 13th October 2021

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FLAT CHAT | 13th October 2021


It’s been lovely to see many of our students in Year 3 & 4 back at school after all these weeks! The Prep–Year 2 students are adjusting to the school routine and Year 5 & 6 will be back on Thursday. The staggered return to school has been Department of Education and Training policy to mitigate the risk during the current outbreak.

In addition, we are ensuring classrooms are well ventilated with a natural flow of air through open windows. Where possible we are moving classes outdoors when the weather allows.

We are so lucky to have many spaces already suited for outdoor learning. We have extensive covered decks and our classrooms are lofty and well ventilated and of course our grounds allow for outdoor learning activities and play.

On Friday we were alerted to the announcement of mandatory mask wearing for students in Years 3- 6 indoors from Monday 18th October. As more information becomes available I will let families know.



Exciting news that our Mango Drive is back – slightly smaller size than usual for 2021. The window for ordering is very short, with all orders due in two weeks - by Friday 29th October. See below for further details.



Our Welfare Coordinator Hannah O’Keefe is on unexpected leave for a few weeks. For any urgent matters please contact me



The Victorian Chief Health Officer has issued directions for required vaccinations for education workers. These directions are specific to education workers and supersede those for other authorised workers.

All staff who work in schools will be required to have a first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine by 18 October 2021 or be able to produce evidence of a vaccination booking within that week.

All staff are required to be fully vaccinated by 29 November 2021 unless a medical exception applies and will be required to show evidence of their vaccination status.

Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect yourself, your colleagues and students and the whole school community. Getting vaccinated will help slow the spread of COVID-19 and prevent future outbreaks in our schools.

The Victorian Government’s coronavirus website has information about COVID-19 vaccines in 63 community languages at Translated information about COVID-19 vaccines.

The Department of Education and Training’s website has frequently asked questions about the vaccine requirement.



Tilly– 6 in the third week of October


Hip Hip:  Hooray

Hip Hip:  Hooray

Hooray: Hip Hip

Suzanne Kinnersly


School Calendar

Tuesday 26th October: All students return to on-site learning.

Thursday 28th October: Free online eSafety session for parents/carers. 

Friday 29th October: Mango Order Forms must be in at the office by this date.

Monday 1st November: Curriculm Day. No students required at school.

Tuesday 2nd November: Melbourne Cup Public Holiday.


Cancellation of whole-school excursion

Unfortunately, we have had to cancel the whole-school excursion due to COVID restrictions still in place.

All payments will be placed as credit on accounts to be used towards the swimming program.


Term 4 Swimming Program

The swimming program is fast approaching and we are still waiting on the Kyneton Acquatic Centre to confirm that we are able to attend.  Swimming is an important part of the curriculum that teaches water safety. 

Grades 1, 2 & 3 were due to commence on the 25th October but we are hoping to push that further into November to give students the time to settle in after lockdown. 

Grades 4, 5 & 6 will commence the week of the 8th November. 

Please look out for the swimming questionnaire/permission being sent home with students this week that needs to be completed and returned to school asap.  We are unable to calculate costs at this time until we know for certain if this will go ahead.  Families that have paid for the other excursions that were cancelled can use this credit towards the swimming program.

Please call us if you have any questions.



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


Book Club


Orders can be made online through Loop:

See the attached document here for how to order as a gift.

Hard copies available at the office. Hard copy orders due to the office by Friday 22nd October.


Thunderstorm Asthma

During grass pollen season, people may notice an increase in asthma and hay fever. Grass pollen season (October through to December) also brings the chance of thunderstorm asthma.

Thunderstorm asthma is thought to be triggered by a unique combination of high amounts of grass pollen in the air and a certain type of thunderstorm. For people who have asthma or hay fever this can trigger severe asthma symptoms.

When a large number of people develop asthma symptoms over a short period of time, related to high grass pollen and a certain type of thunderstorm, it is known as epidemic thunderstorm asthma. To learn more, see the attached brochure.


Free online eSafety session for all parents/carers


Karen Mahoney & Renae Irwin


The Winters Flat Primary School Mango Fundraiser is on again this year! Once again, we will be sourcing our mangoes direct from the grower in QLD, and having them delivered straight to our school as soon as the crop is ready. It doesn't get much fresher than that!

*Please note, that due to crop issues, this year’s tray will be 4.5kg each.

*The family that sells the most trays will receive a $100 book voucher.

*Make sure you complete and return the attached form, together with payment, to Winters Flat Primary School office by Friday 29th October.

*Hard copy order forms available at the office.

*Mangoes should be ready for collection from the school during the week commencing the 7th December, but we will confirm the arrival date in Flat Chat, email and via our social media sites.




Cooking classes will start up again when all students are back on-site.

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


A video created by our students Tully and Amelia has been submitted to appear in an event with gardening expert Costa Georgiadis! See details of the event here:


Our students have started sending off their letters to ban pesky fruit stickers!


Rosie & Terry
Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden

P/1 J | Maeve B-L

For showing Care for Self by challenging yourself to do extra Maths activities. Super effort!


P/1 J | Valentina F

For showing Care for Others by working cooperatively and taking turns fairly when we play games. Thank you!


2/3 A | Tanmay B

For showing Care for Self by working hard on his Maths and using his initiative to complete work in his own time. Great effort Tan!


2/3 A | Ava G

For showing Care for Others by making a real effort to be kind and inclusive to others, and staying positive in the classroom. I'm so impressed Ava!


3/4 W | Whole class

For showing Care for Self for making a great transition back to on-site learning and getting settled back into routine.


4/5 L | Nerri G

Well done Nerri on showing great Care for Self by being so studious and dedicated to your work in remote learning. You have produced  some amazing work over the last few months and you should be proud of your efforts. Well Done!!


4/5 L | Luca V

Well done Luca on showing great Care for Self by being so studious and dedicated to your work in remote learning. You have produced  some amazing work over the last few months and you should be proud of your efforts. Well Done!!


5/6 B | Class Award- Collaborative Research task

Congratulations to all of the Fedora’s, Bowler’s and Pork Pie for your co-operation and organisation on the Collaborative Research Task; Water, Waste, Energy! 

Special mention to Iris, Jacob and Huckle for getting the shared slide shows up and running. 

I can’t wait to see the finished products when we return to full time at school. 

Keep up the great efforts! 


5/6 B | Class Award

Congratulations to every class member this week for your online presence and participation in small group Literacy and Maths Webex sessions. 

It has been wonderful seeing you across the screen and thank you for your persistence in attendance, organisation and the completion of many set tasks. It is awesome seeing your completed work. 

Special mention to the people who have got their carved shrunken heads up and going, they are going to look amazing!! 

Hello families and friends of Winters Flat Primary School.

It is hard to believe that we are not that far from the end of the year! We continue to welcome students back to school during this staggered beginning. We are focussing on reassuring them that friendships can be reignited, rebuilt and deepened, despite such a disruptive year.

We want all students to feel safe and comfortable this term at school. This may not be the case for all students and it is important that if you have any concerns or questions, that you communicate them to your child’s classroom teacher, the Wellbeing Officer (me!) or Suzanne Kinnersly. There are a range of strategies and supports we can put in place to make school and happy and safe place for your child to learn and make friends.

On the home-front a free app has been developed by Raising Children called Child360 that guides parents to track and support the development of their child’s social and emotional wellbeing and identify areas where action can be taken to strengthen resilience. The five key areas the app focuses on are; communication, upport networks, parent-child relationships, routines, and emotions and behaviours. Click here for more information:

This Term the Grade 6s will attend a virtual session called ‘Transition to High School’ run by the Kids Helpline. The session will cover learning intentions such as: sharing and normalising common worries/concerns, knowing how to prepare for High School, reviewing and rehearsing strategies for making friends, and knowing what to expect on your first day. What an exciting time for our Grade 6s! I am sure there are a range of emotions being felt about their transition and it is important that we, at school and at home, give children the space to express these feelings and concerns.

Take care and stay in touch.

Hannah O’Keefe

Wellbeing Officer

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 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:


*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.