Winters Flat Primary School
PDF Details

Newsletter QR Code

3 Roberts Ave
Castlemaine VIC 3450

Phone: 03 5472 1522

FLAT CHAT | 10th November 2021

Filter Content

FLAT CHAT | 10th November 2021


Last Friday we had our first whole school tabloid sport afternoon. This was an initiative of the Care for Others student leadership group, and the weather was perfect for being outside and enjoying the fun. Students rotated through three 20-minute activities and the reflections at the end of the day were very positive. We hope to do more before the end of term.



Please refer to the News from the Office section of today’s newsletter which details the requirements and expectations of workers, volunteers and visitors to the school.



This wet spring weather has been fabulous for growing the things we want to grow but the weeds are getting out of control! It’s been a while since we had one of our gardening sessions but we would appreciate any and all help you can give us on Sunday 21st November from 9:30am -11:30am. Bring your tools, gloves, sun hats and kids and we’ll put on a spread for morning tea. Fill out the form here if you can come along. Social distancing and being outside will be prioritised.



Ash – 9 in the second week of November

Levi – 11 in the second week of November

Atticus AK – 7 in the second week of November

Faith – 11 in the fourth week of November

Jaya – 7 in the fourth week of November

Karen B - in the fourth week of November


Hip Hip:  Hooray

Hip Hip:  Hooray

Hooray: Hip Hip

Suzanne Kinnersly


School Calendar

Tuesday 16th November: 2022 Preps transition 

Tuesday 23rd November: 2022 Preps transition 

Friday 26th November:

-Grade 6 Graduation Owls/Soccer Ball Orders Due (notes have been handed out to Grade 6 students)

-Grade 6 2022 T-shirt/payments due (notes have been handed out to Grade 5 students today)

Tuesday 30th November: 2022 Preps transition 

Tuesday 7th December: State-wide Transition Day (10am-12pm- all students will be in their 2022 class during these times)

Tuesday 14th December: Year 6 Graduation (more information to come)


Parents/carers on school grounds and volunteers

Please make note of the following updates:

-Parents/carers are now allowed to come onto school grounds for drop off/pick up, but please only drop your child/ren off at the door of the buildings and do not enter.

-If you come into the office, please make sure you use the QR code before entering.

We are now allowed volunteers again! Please note that we are only allowed double vaxxed parents/carers volunteering on site, and you must contact us in the office prior to attending and send us proof of vaccination for our records.

On arrival, you will need to come to the office and sign in with both the QR code and on the tablet, and then come back to the office and sign out when you leave. 

Any questions/queries about any of this, please contact us in the office on 5472 1522.


Cancellation of Swimming Program

Due to circumstances beyond our control, we were unable to offer the swimming program that we had booked this term and was due to commence this week for the senior students.

While we are disappointed that this cannot go ahead, we have booked in the Swimming Program for Term 1 next year at a new venue in Kangaroo Flat called Gurri Wanyarra for the week commencing 21st – 25th March 2022. Please mark this date in your calendar.   


Grade 6 Swim Lesson Vouchers

As our swim program was cancelled in 2020 and 2021, we are offering your Grade 6 child the opportunity to refresh their skills with a 5 day lesson voucher.  The swim school we are using for these vouchers is Gurri Wanyarra which is located in Kangaroo Flat.  Gurri Wanyarra has informed us that they are offering an intensive week of swimming in the week commencing the 10th January 2022.  This would be a great opportunity if you are able to do this at this time.  Otherwise you can elect another time.  Please look out for the letter being sent home with your child today.  This offer is not compulsory but an opportunity for your child to be a more confident swimmer.  Please return the letter of acceptance to the office by the 3rd December.


Sushi orders

Please read the below message from Lunchbox Sushi:

'As we are heading to our busy season, we are no longer accepting late orders on the lunch day (no phone, text or walk-in orders in the morning).'

Please make sure all Sushi orders are made on by 5pm on Thursday.


Volunteers needed

We have some library books/readers that require contacting. If you are able to help please contact the office on 5472 1522.


Unexplained absences

Parents/carers whose child/ren have unexplained absences recorded on XUNO, have been sent an email today. If you have received this email, please log onto XUNO and action these absences at your earliest convenience.


Weeding Wednesday- Weed while you wait!

Each Wednesday afternoon, we will have some gardening tools available out the front of the school, and we would love if some parents/carers joined in on helping keep our gardens looking lovely!



A reminder that is mandatory for 3-6 students to bring a mask to wear to school. It is also recommended that P-2 students wear them.


We want to hear from you!

We want your ideas!!  The Community Engagement Sub-Committee for Winters Flat Primary School would like to know your ideas for social events for our whole school community for 2022 (in the hope that we will be able to gather in person together during the new year ahead). Please visit the link below and fill out the form.

Thank you in advance.


Book Club

Issue 8 of Book Club out now!

Orders can be made online through Loop

Orders due to the office by Wednesday 1st December.


Karen Mahoney & Renae Irwin


Dear parents and carers,

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) approved the use of rapid antigen testing for home use from Monday 1 November.

The Department of Education and Training is currently working with the Department of Health to roll-out a state-wide program for any new COVID-19 exposures on school sites from Monday 15 November.  This program will help unvaccinated or partially vaccinated students to return to school as quickly as possible after being identified as a primary close contact (PCC) after a seven-day quarantine, instead of a 14-day quarantine.

We will have more information for parents and carers ahead of the statewide roll-out, including factsheets, web copy, video content and other materials to assist with the program.

How the rapid antigen testing program will work

The at-home rapid antigen testing program is an opt-in program for unvaccinated, or partially vaccinated, students. Our school will provide you with rapid antigen test kits. You do not need to buy these test kits.

Following an exposure at our school, you will be notified that your child (who is unvaccinated, or partially vaccinated) has been identified as primary close contact (PCC) of a confirmed COVID-19 case.

If you want to take part in the at-home rapid antigen testing program, your child must quarantine at home for seven days. On day six of quarantine, your child must get a standard (PCR) test at your local COVID-19 testing site. If the test is negative, you must provide the results to your child’s school, and your child can then return to school on day eight.

Students will then be required to return a negative rapid antigen test result each morning from days eight to 14 on school days, which must be reported to the school by 8:30am before they arrive at school.

Parents should continue to follow current school policy and public health advice. If your child is unwell, even with the mildest of symptoms, they must stay at home and get tested for COVID-19 with a standard (PCR) test, regardless of a negative rapid antigen test result.  

Our school will communicate with you as soon as we are aware that we have a confirmed COVID-19 case, including with instructions on how to conduct these tests, how to report the results, and support available if needed.

This pilot, and later statewide roll-out of rapid antigen testing is one of many strategies currently in place to support schools during the COVID-19 pandemic. For more information about what strategies are in place, please visit the department's website or call the department’s COVID-19 hotline on 1800 338 663.

Kind regards,

Suzanne Kinnersly

Support for your kids to get active

Does your child love sport and being active? Does your family have a Health Care Card or Pensioner Concession Card? You may be eligible for up to $200 to put towards the cost of your child’s participation in physical activities.

As children return to sport over the coming months, the Get Active Kids Voucher Program helps eligible families get their kids involved in organised sport and active recreation activities.

Under the program, children may be eligible to receive up to $200 to help with the cost of membership and registration fees, uniforms, and equipment.

The program also provides a special consideration stream to support children residing in care services as well as temporary or provisional visa holders, undocumented migrants or international students.

Applications for vouchers in round three of the program close at 5pm Tuesday 30 November.

For eligibility requirements and to apply, visit the Get Active Victoria website







Hello Winters Flat Primary School families and friends,

I have just returned to work after three weeks caring for my daughter who broke her femur at the park - she is on the mend and not long now until she is walking again. I will now be working on Wednesdays and will add another day in the near future.

Hopefully, Term 4 is feeling more predictable for you and your family. This may mean that you are seeing loved ones after a long time, resuming activities and hobbies, spending more time with friends, etc. For many of us, however, the fallout from two years of instability, financial stress, social isolation and many other pressures is still to be felt.

One of the common patterns seen in previous disasters and pandemics is that once the immediate threat has passed, governments and agencies often neglect the longer-term mental health toll. Now is the time to plan for the delivery of sustainable, evidence-based mental health programs. This is crucial for our children and young people.

At Winters Flat teachers and other staff continue to focus on Wellbeing in the classroom and school yard. The Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships program is being taught weekly and many efforts are being made to support students to foster and nurture relationships with each other and the staff after almost two years of upheaval.

What we are aiming for is to have as many children at school experiencing ‘good mental health’. Children with good mental health:

  • feel happy and positive about themselves most of the time
  • are kind to themselves during tough times or when things don’t go the way they expect
  • enjoy life
  • learn well
  • get along well with family and friends
  • can manage sad, worrying or angry feelings
  • can bounce back from tough times
  • are prepared to try new or challenging things.

As educational staff, we are trained to notice when a child is not experiencing good mental health and will put in place measures to support a child at school. Parents and families play such a crucial role in supporting the child in a holistic, and ultimately, more successful way. As well as in-school Wellbeing measures (coordinated by the principal, your child’s teacher and the Wellbeing Officer) there are various professional support options, including:

  • your GP
  • a psychologist who is trained to work with children and families
  • a mental health social worker
  • your local community health centre (CHIRP - Castlemaine District Community Health)
  • your local mental health service (part of CHIRP)

If your child is aged five years or older, they can also talk with a Kids Helpline counsellor by calling 1800 551 800 or using the Kids Helpline email counselling service or the Kids Helpline web counselling service.

If you don’t know where to find the most appropriate services for your family, your GP is a good place to start.

If you or anyone you know needs support call Lifeline on 131 114 or Beyond Blue 1300 22 4636.

The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) 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

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.

Stay well and stay connected.

Hannah O'Keefe

Wellbeing OfficerWinters Flat Primary School

(Wednesdays 9:30-2:30)



Here are some more good services with integrated support for children, young people and families

Australian Psychological Society

This is a professional association representing psychologists in Australia. The website can help you find a psychologist near you.

Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue works to increase community awareness of depression, anxiety and related substance misuse disorders. The website has an extensive collection of downloadable resources. Beyond Blue’s information line can refer you to relevant services – phone 1300 224 636.

Black Dog Institute

The Black Dog Institute raises awareness about depression and bipolar disorder. It works to improve diagnosis, treatment and community understanding of these conditions. The website has professional support and services for clinicians.

Centre of Perinatal Excellence (COPE)

This non-profit organisation works to improve the emotional wellbeing of parents. The website has evidence-based articles about emotional wellbeing in pregnancy and early parenthood for parents, family members and friends.

Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI)

This organisation helps children whose parents have a mental illness. The website has resources for professionals working with these children and for family members. It also has links to other mental health services for adults and children.

Head to Health

This website provides access to trusted, relevant mental health care services, online programs and resources. Whether you want to improve your overall sense of wellbeing or you need help with something that’s concerning you, Head to Health can help you find the support that most suits your needs.


Headspace is the National Youth Mental Health Foundation. It has centres throughout Australia providing support, information and advice to young people aged 12-25 years.


PANDA has a helpline providing information and support for people affected by postnatal and antenatal depression. The number is 1300 726 306 (Monday-Friday, 9am-7.30pm AEST/AEDT). The website also has a range of resources including perinatal anxiety and depression fact sheets to help people understand and cope with these conditions.

SANE Australia

SANE Australia runs education and other programs to improve the lives of people living with mental illness, their family and friends. The website has information on a range of mental health topics. Support is available through online chat or by calling the helpline – 1800 18 SANE (7263). There are also discussion forums where you can connect with others in a safe, anonymous environment.


THIS WAY UP provides evidence-based, online treatment programs for anxiety and depression. The programs are based on cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT) principles and include courses on pregnancy, postnatal mental health, mindfulness, insomnia, worry, stress, depression, chronic pain and wellbeing. All THIS WAY UP courses are free when prescribed by a health professional. The site also features a range of free coping and resilience tools to tackle feelings of stress, anxiety, and low mood.

Youth Beyond Blue

This is a national initiative focusing on depression in youth. It provides useful information for young people and their parents and carers, including how to get help and several fact sheets on anxiety and stress.


*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. 


Basic bread rolls

Broad Bean dip

Herb Pilaf

Lentil and chickpea burgers

Tiganites with lemon curd, yoghurt, and seasonal fruit


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...

Snow peas
Broad beans
Salad greens
Lots of herbs

Volunteers please

Please contact the office if you are able to help with the watering and/or looking after the Chooks over the School Holiday period (18th December-27th January). 


Rosie & Terry
Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden

P/1 J | Eddie B

For showing Care for Self by participating in reading group activities and having a positive attitude.


P/1 J | Raphael P

For showing Care for Self by working hard to complete his recount writing. Superb effort!


2/3 A | Gabriel G-D

For showing Care for Self by making a fantastic start back at Winters Flat. It's so lovely to have you back Gabe!


2/3 A | Archie S-M

For showing Care for Environment by actively looking for ways to help and clean up in the kitchen. Great effort Archie!


3/4 W| Indiana B

For showing Care for Self by showing maturity during a very difficult time.


3/4 W | Frankie G

For showing Care for Others by always working quietly on tasks and not distracting or disturbing others.


4/5 L | Sam G

For showing Care for Self by doing a great job to have a positive mindset and give things a go. Well done on having a growth mindset.


4/5 L | Daisy G-D

For showing Care for Self by doing a great job to have a positive mindset and give things a go. Well done on having a growth mindset.


5/6 B | Jem J

For showing Care for Self and Others. Thank you Jem for the mature, caring, empathetic and methodical way you worked with your collaborative Research team to edit and prood read the finished slide show. You shower wonderful leadership skills in a very respectful manner. Great work Jem.


5/6 B | Tully S

For showing Care for Self. Thank you Tully for your 'no-nonsense, give everything a go with a smile, help out anyone who needs it, get on and get the job done, and quietly and calmly self-umpire to make the most of every moment of your day', kind of attitude you demonstrate at all times! You are awesome!


5/6 B | Gardeners of the day- Malakai C and Xander K-M

For the focused harvesting of the 4kg of broad beans.


5/6 B | Cooks of the day- Malakai C and Lincon V

For their co-operative and 'on task' efforts in the kitchen.



Sunbury and Cobaw Community Health’s WayOut program is pleased to hold a second Planet GAGA session this month for your primary school aged transgender, gender diverse and non-binary young people.

When: Saturday 20 November 10am – 12pm

Where: Bug-a-lugs Playcentre, 3 Hoyle Ct, Kyneton

This is a free event.

A parent/carer is encouraged to stay for Planet GAGA. WayOut is just waiting to hear back from the venue as to their requirements re: vaccination status of accompanying adults.

Please rsvp to Rhani and Mez at WayOut by Tuesday 16 November on 5421 1666 /


Dear community member,

Maldon Hospital and Castlemaine Health have worked together for 42 years to deliver complete healthcare and wellbeing services across the communities of Mount Alexander. We share a CEO, workforce and many services and are always looking for other ways we can collaborate for the benefit of all.

Over the last few months, we have started making changes to the way we deliver healthcare in this region. We believe that together we can deliver better healthcare, closer to home and enhance services in our region, now and into the future. With strong support from hospital staff, we changed the way we deliver urgent care at Maldon Hospital. CHIRP Community Health also integrated with Castlemaine Health, which will ensure more equitable access to community health and wellbeing programs to the communities of Mount Alexander.

We now want to make sure Maldon Hospital can continue to build on its proud 161-year history of care in Maldon, with the same name, same historic building and connection to the community. It’s time to build on this collaboration – in fact, it’s overdue. We are acting to make our health resources work better for everyone and building on our long history of close cooperation. Now is the time to build on the collaboration of these two health services to:

  • provide more training and development opportunities for our staff
  • redirect resources and use them in different ways in areas that need it most
  • enhance Maldon Hospital’s provision of allied health, primary care and aged care
  • add services requested by the community and local medical staff.

We have an idea of what a new unified service could look like, but we need to hear from the communities of Mount Alexander so we can respond and plan for a shared future. Change will only happen if the boards are in agreement, if community benefit is assured, and if the State Government accepts the boards’ recommendations. We believe it’s important to work together now, to involve staff, patients, stakeholders and communities in planning for better regional health and wellbeing in the communities of Mount Alexander.

Community survey - now open

To have your say about a unified future for Maldon Hospital and Castlemaine Health, please fill out the community survey available on our website. You'll also find more information and background to this consultation at

From the team at Maldon Hospital