Weekly Newsletter


Thursday 22nd October 2020


Dear Parents and Families,


Our students have continued to engage in their learning in a positive and focused way. Well done! A big thank you to our parents for adhering to the physical distancing guidelines and wearing masks at pick up and drop off times.




It has been delightful to visit classrooms this week and see students engaged in Reading.


Across the school, we are consistently focusing on building knowledge and confidence in:

  • decoding
  • fluency and expression
  • comprehension

Our students are developing reading skills and strategies through Guided Reading/Reciprocal teaching and Independent Reading to build their capacity to become life-long readers. There is nothing better than snuggling up with a good book that you just want to finish. Just ask Chloe in 5/6A who could not put her new book down! 


An important component of our Reading program is Home Reading, which provides many opportunities for children to consolidate the skills and strategies they are using when reading at school. We encourage you to read every night with your child to help them develop a passion for literature.






To ensure the safety of all children, it is important that we have clarity around the processes in place for student collection at the end of the day. All students need to know:

  • which gate they are being picked up from
  • where to wait if there is not an adult to pick them up yet
  • that if they are going home with a friend or classmate, that this is organised with parents and the classroom teacher is aware of these arrangements
  • if they are walking or riding their bike home, it is important they go straight home

Thank you for reinforcing these important messages at home. It is so important that we are promoting the same messages at home and school to ensure consistency in our approach.




A big thank you to all families who are approaching drop off and pick up times using safe practices, both as pedestrians and drivers. 


With the return to school last week and the roads and footpaths being much busier, it is important to ensure everyone in our community is safe. It is imperative that children are dropped off and collected from school in a safe and legal manner.


We are asking all road users and pedestrians to take increased care in and around school zones. If you are dropping off or collecting children please leave yourself adequate time to find a park and safely attend to your children. It is unacceptable to:

  • drop off and pick up children whilst stationary at a school crossing
  • park illegally
  • perform u-turns in front of oncoming traffic
  • block private driveways


Over the coming weeks, Police will be patrolling school zones and will show zero tolerance towards any offences. These offences (and their penalties) include:


  • Speeding ($207 - $826 fine, 1-3 demerit points and up to 12 months loss of licence)
  • Fail to give way to a pedestrian ($289 and 3 demerit points)
  • Fail to stop and remain stationary at children’s crossing ($413 and 3 demerit points)
  • Parking Offences ($33 - $165)

For the welfare and safety of the Avondale community, please take care.



During remote learning and with lockdown procedures in place due to COVID-19, our children have been using the internet and online platforms not only for learning but to communicate with their extended family and friends, which is fantastic.

As children start to navigate the online world and interact with others more independently, they are more likely to be exposed to risks of bullying or unwanted contact, accidentally coming across inappropriate content or racking up bills through in-app purchases.

Your guidance can help them be aware of the risks and u

Understand what is expected of them. And let them know you are always there to support them.

It is for this reason that I bring to your attention a Compass message to all parents this week which contains some important and helpful guidelines for:

  • Staying safe online
  • Appropriate age and use of apps, games and social media platforms
  • Dealing with cyberbullying- including how to block and report

I strongly recommend that all parents read the Compass information and discuss with their child the points mentioned.

Should you wish to investigate further parent/student support and education for safe online use please refer to the e-safety website link https://www.esafety.gov.au/

Carol Broadhurst

Welfare Coordinator





For the safety of children with food allergies we have a “no food sharing” approach at Avondale Primary School.  This includes children NOT bringing in cupcakes and confectionary treats to share with their classmates for celebrating events, including birthdays. Teachers will make students aware of our school’s “no food sharing approach” and discourage students from bringing ‘nut products’ to school. This ensures we are keeping our community safe.

The updated COVID-19 Return to School Policy can be accessed through the school website at https://www.avondaleps.vic.edu.au/



There are important steps that families can take to ensure students are safe during this thunderstorm asthma season.

Grass pollen season occurs between October and December. Families/schools are reminded of an increased risk of seasonal asthma, hay fever and epidemic thunderstorm asthma during this time.

Epidemic thunderstorm asthma events are triggered by an uncommon combination of high grass pollen levels and a certain type of thunderstorm, resulting in large numbers of people developing asthma symptoms over a short period of time.

People with a history of asthma, undiagnosed asthma or hay fever are at an increased risk of epidemic thunderstorm asthma during this time.

This year more than ever its important families/students manage any hay fever or asthma symptoms, as these conditions can produce symptoms that are similar to coronavirus (COVID-19) such as runny nose, cough or shortness of breath.

The best way to reduce and prevent symptoms of asthma or hay fever is to follow an up-to-date asthma action plan or hay fever treatment plan.

Families can download the VicEmergency app and create a “watch zone” for epidemic thunderstorm asthma advice and warnings.


  • Asthma Australia for a free online learning course about thunderstorm asthma
  • Better Health Channel for more about epidemic thunderstorm asthma




Avondale Primary School is currently taking enrolments for 2021. It is essential that parents who intend to send their child to Avondale Primary School enrol their children as soon as possible. It is essential to log on to https://www.findmyschool.vic.gov.au/ to check that your address is in the Avondale Primary School Zone. Please contact the school as soon as possible, on 9318 1755 and our Admin team will support you through the enrolment process.




Following the updated School Operations Guide, we are able to keep our booking on November 18. We will provide further information about this process closer to the scheduled date.



New Build Update


Work on developing the plans for the new school buildings has been progressing and will soon be ready to share with the school community. We have been very fortunate to work with architects that have been willing to work closely with the school to achieve the best possible result.


The building designs will be completed in 2020 ready to go to tender early 2021. We expect construction to be complete by November/December in 2021 ready to use in 2022.


The school is also working closely with the architects on landscaping and playground areas. Staff and student feedback has been provided to the architects and we are expecting some great new play areas as well as outdoor learning areas.





Mrs Jill Benham                                    Principal


Message from the Avondale PS School Council

On behalf of the Avondale Primary School community, I would like to say an extremely heart-felt thank you to our teachers for their hard work and dedication throughout home learning.

Many of us have a new level of respect for you all, as we have realised just how difficult your jobs are teaching our children. We learnt a great deal about them and how they learn in lockdown and can confidently say they learn so much better in a classroom environment!

We know you have all worked many additional hours to keep our kids motivated in their learning and this is very much appreciated. Whether you used humour, creativity, music or just your passion for teaching, the children were kept engaged and focused throughout a very difficult few months.

Adapting to a totally different way of learning was a challenge for everyone – teachers, children and parents included, however, providing everyone with a sense of the “new normal” was essential for our well-being and you achieved this!

We have all moaned and groaned and felt the strain at some point, but we most definitely appreciate you even more for the role you play in educating our children!

Thank you!

Isabelle Sawtell

School Council President


Book Week


Each year across Australia, the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) brings children and books together celebrating Book Week. The CBCA Book Week 2020 theme is ‘Curious Creatures, Wild Minds’. At Avondale Primary School we will be celebrating Book Week in Week 5.


When: Monday the 2nd of November 

Theme: Snuggle up with your favourite book

Wear: Your Pyjamas to school and appropriate footwear

Bring Along: Your favourite book to share in class


On this day we ask that students dress in their pyjamas, with school shoes or runners, and bring along their favourite book to share with their class. As well as sharing our favourite book we will also read/listen to some of the shortlisted books.


Please Note: Due to the current DET COVID-19 Guidelines, there will be no Book Week parade




Last week, we learned about three sea-based organisations. This week, we resurface once more and learn about a local, national and international nature    organisation. Are you ready to find out about three, somewhat similar, protectors of the land?

This week’s local (or at least State) organisation is Trust for Nature.  Trust for Nature is an organisation that works to protect wildlife on private land in Victoria. This means that they work collaboratively with private landowners to achieve their goals. One way they do this is by helping landowners establish something called covenants, which are legal agreements that prevent land from being cleared—even into the future. Trust for Nature believe that local wildlife should be preserved for future generations and they also help raise money to protect endangered species, like the critically endangered Plains-wanderer. They are one of Australia’s oldest conservation organisations and you can learn more about them through here: https://www.trustfornature.org.au/

Today’s national organisation is the Australian Conservation Foundation. The Australian Conservation Foundation, also known as the ACF, believes in protecting the environment and conserving endangered species. Did you know that Australia has one of the worst extinction records on Earth? I certainly didn’t, and I am shocked by this. The ACF is an advocacy group, which means that they speak up for the environment and promote campaigns that aim to protect it. They also encourage people to be involved and have recently been very active in the #StopAdani campaign. The ACF has been around for over 50 years and my grandfather was a member for so long that he was awarded a lifetime membership! This is a committed organisation that is working hard to protect Australia’s unique and beautiful places, including the stunning Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest. Find out more about the ACF here: https://www.acf.org.au/  

Finally, our international organisation is The Nature Conservancy. This organisation works in 79 countries and territories. They work on climate change, protecting land and the oceans, and maintaining sustainable food and water sources. One thing the Nature Conservancy has done in Australia is work with Indigenous people to help manage fires. Australia’s Indigenous people know that you need to fight fire with fire, so to speak. If you let a controlled fire burn in the cooler months, it will help prevent bigger ones in summer, which can help promote sustainable land management. They also actively work to have land and ocean areas set aside for protection. And of course, they’ve done plenty more. To find out what, visit their site here: https://www.nature.org/en-us/

So, in this instalment we’ve learned about three organisations that strive to protect nature from all of its threats and that believe in the wellbeing of the endangered creatures that those locations support. I hope you’ve learned something from all of this and that you will help them make a difference. See you next week for our freshwater organisations!




Friday, 23 October                      Thank You Day/AFL Grandfinal - Public Holiday


Tuesday, 3 November                 Melbourne Cup - Public Holiday 


Friday, 13 November                    Parent Opinion Survey closes


Thursday, 17 December              Student’s last day of school - students will be

                                                    dismissed at 1.15pm



At this stage, canteen restrictions continue to apply, which is reflected in Di managing the canteen and preparing lunch orders on her own. To ensure that Di is able to cope with the number of orders on any particular day, we are continuing to operate with our existing ordering arrangements.


Monday: Prep to 2 students

Thursday: Grade 3/4 students

Friday: Grade 5/6 students


We understand that this is not a perfect arrangement and creates some challenges for siblings. This causes an inconvenience for some families, however, with only one person working in the canteen it is not possible to provide the pre COVID-19 services that our community know. Following Department of Education guidelines, when restrictions ease further and we can return to more regular operations, we will ensure the community is notified. Thank you for your understanding.


Thursday 15th October 2020


Achievement, Confidence & Pride


Dear Parents and Families,


It has been a fantastic week, having our Grades Prep to Six students and staff return to on-site learning this week.


There were many happy faces entering through the gates each day, ready to continue to build friendships and social and personal skills as well as continuing their learning journey. There were also many parents feeling excited and a little sad at the same time with their children returning to school. This was reflected in a recent article in the Age that one of our parents contributed to:


“Ajay Bhargava was also adjusting back to working solo from home now that his two children are back at Avondale Primary School.


"I miss them a bit, to be honest," he said.

"Initially, I felt glad to have the house to myself and maybe 30 minutes to an hour after that it was just dead silence."


For Mr Bhargava, having the kids at home has been good for his productivity.

"Social interaction helps me focus at work," he said. "When you finish a task at work and you just come out and then you've got someone to talk to, it helps you focus a bit."


Our students are so very proud of being back on-site at Avondale PS and were very excited to articulate their thinking with me:


“I loved seeing my friends in person and playing with them and learning new and fun things.” (George – Grade Prep)


“I like being back at school because I like doing lots of maths activities.” (Chanel – Grade 1)


“My favourite part of being back at school is seeing all of my friends and learning lots of new things. I can actually ask my teacher for help if I need it!” (Poppy – Grade 2)


“I love that I can see my friends again now that I am back at school. I also like learning new things such as reading new books and doing challenging maths activities.” (Sina – Grade 3)


“Being back at school is very exciting and entertaining. We can learn more in the classroom and our teacher is there to help us if we need it.” (Arman – Grade 4)


“I love being able to spend more times with my friends now that I am going back to school and doing face to face learning. It is easier to understand new learning with our teacher being able to move around the classroom and help us” (Aysel – Grade 5)


“On-line learning wasn’t great, but I learnt many things. Being back at school, I can see all my friends and play games outdoors. Learning at school is easier because of the supportive environment.” (Alex – Grade 6)

Due to COVID-19 restrictions we have had to adapt our Term 4 Calendar. This is out of our control, however, it is our responsibility to follow the DET guidelines and the advice of the Chief Medical Officer. Following the current restrictions, School Photos are not a permitted COVIDSAFE activity so will not go ahead as planned this term. If and when School Banking resumes this term, we will notify our community.


The updated COVID-19 Return to School Policy can be accessed through the school website at




With an increase in confidence in using ICT throughout this year, many students have connected with their friends and classmates during the pandemic, through a range of social media platforms.

It is timely for us all to revisit the appropriate use of all devices and ensuring our children are accessing appropriate content at home.

The eSaftey Guide provides great research and resources for us to learn about the latest games, apps and social media, including how to protect your information and report inappropriate content. Please access this link https://www.esafety.gov.au/key-issues/esafety-guide to explore this further to ensure the safety of all children.



Avondale Primary School is currently taking enrolments for 2021. It is essential that parents who intend to send their child to Avondale Primary School enrol their children as soon as possible to assist with our planning for next year.


If you know of any families who have young children that they are intending to send to Avondale Primary School, please remind them to call the school as soon as possible, on 9318 1755 and our Admin team will support them through the enrolment process.





The Parent Opinion Survey is an annual survey offered by the Department of Education and Training that is conducted amongst all


parents. It is designed to assist schools in gaining an understanding of parents’ perceptions of school climate, student behaviour, student engagement and experiences of remote and flexible learning. Our school will use the survey results to help inform and direct future school planning and improvement strategies.

All parents will be invited to participate in this year’s survey. All responses to the survey are anonymous. This year, the Parent Opinion Survey is being conducted from Monday 12th October to Friday 13th November.


The survey will be conducted online, only takes 20 minutes to complete and can be accessed at any convenient time within this period on desktop computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones. The online survey will be available in a range of languages other than English. These include: Arabic, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Chin (Hakha), Hindi, Japanese, Somali, Turkish, Punjabi and Greek.


You will receive an email in the coming days with instructions to access and complete the survey.


Mrs Jill Benham                                   Principal


There was a buzz at Avondale Primary School on Monday and not just because our students had returned to school. A swarm of bees had gathered in a tree and on the ground in the corner of the oval. To keep students safe the area was isolated. Expert advice suggested that bees swarm for various reasons and that the swarm would probably move on after a few hours. The next morning, the bees were still there. Fortunately, Mr VanHarmelen, a school dad and an experienced bee-keeper, kindly came to our assistance. 


Dressed in a protective suit and wearing thick gloves, Mr VanHarmelen opened his bee-carrying box and laid a wax frame next to the bee swarm and then a remarkable thing happened. The bees marched happily onto the frame and into the box. Waiting patiently, Mr VanHarmelen then placed the frame, now covered with bees into the box and then laid out another to collect the remaining bees. 

Lets hope the queen bee was among the bees collected so a new hive can be established.  


Mr Joseph Scarfo

Assistant Principal


Saving (Y)our World instalment 24: Ocean Organisations

By: Morrigan Raven


Last week, we learned about three animal organisations. This week, we will move from land into the ocean and learn about a local, national and international organisation that are trying to change our behaviour. Are you ready to find out about the protectors of the ocean?

Our local organisation is Sea Shephard. You might’ve heard of them. Actually, they are an international organisation, but their ships dock in Melbourne so they are well recognised here. Sea Shepherd is a committed organisation dedicated to protecting sea creatures from such things as whaling, commercial fishing and pollution. Sea Shepherd does this by sending out ships that monitor and record when other ships are violating the law. They also try to intervene in activities like whale and seal hunts by doing things that will interfere with the hunts. These include things like shining lasers in the eyes of the whalers. Some people, even those who work in other conservation organisations, dislike the tactics that Sea Shepherd use and they have been taken to court by some governments. So, when you are investigating organisations that you would like to support you need to think about whether you agree with what they are doing. Not long ago, Sea Shepherd helped clear four tonnes of marine debris from a remote turtle nesting site and I like the work that they do. They work really hard and have had many victories but there is still a long way to go when it comes to protecting our oceans. Find out more about Sea Shepherd here: https://www.seashepherd.org.au/

Today’s national organisation is the Australian Marine Conservation Society. They are an organisation that advocates for (or supports) the protection of marine life. There are many campaigns that they organise, like the Fight for our Reef campaign where you got to send an email to the government to ask them to change the laws around global warming to protect coral from bleaching. Although that campaign has now ended, there are many more you could take part in to help make a difference. The Australian Marine Conservation Society is currently working to protect the Great Barrier Reef and keep our oceans plastic free. Visit their website here: https://www.marineconservation.org.au/

The international organisation we will look at is Ocean Conservancy. Their projects include protecting the Arctic, confronting climate change and restoring the Gulf of Mexico. They also work towards trash-free seas. Similar to the Australian Marine Conservation Society, Ocean Conservancy is an advocacy group that works to change attitudes toward our oceans and devise good solutions to protect them. They have many campaigns currently running, each with the option for someone to take action and help out. They want to protect all oceans and all unique wonders of the seas. They also have good news stories on their site to remind us that it’s not all bad news. Visit their site here: https://oceanconservancy.org

So, in this instalment we’ve learned about three organisations that strive to protect the ocean from pollution and believe in the wellbeing of sea creatures but do this differently. I hope you’ve learned something from all of this and that you will help them make a difference. Join me next week to learn about three land/nature protection organisations. See you next week!



Thursday 8th October 2020


Dear Parents and Families,


Welcome to Term 4. We are looking forward to having all students return to on-site learning on Monday 12 October.


On behalf of Avondale PS, I would like to say a huge thank you to all our students, parents and carers for your continued resilience and support throughout this year of remote and flexible learning. With your ongoing support, our students have continued to grow as learners. Our staff are working collaboratively to ensure there are many opportunities to have great conversations with students, gain greater insights into their experiences this year and engage in purposeful learning experiences.


The Victorian Government has determined the following priorities in Term 4 for students and staff:


Mental health and wellbeing

Our highest priority will be the wellbeing, particularly the mental health, of every student and member of staff. This means effectively mobilising all available resources to support our most vulnerable students and enabling staff to access the relevant support services.


Learning and excellence

Some of our students have thrived in the remote and flexible learning environment, others have maintained their learning progress, and some have fallen behind, despite their best efforts and those of their families and teachers. Our priority will be supporting both those who need it to catch up and those who have progressed to continue to extend their learning.



We will make every effort to ensure successful transitions for children moving from kindergarten into Prep, the Grade 6s moving into Year 7.

We know some families are worried that their child may have to repeat a year due to the disruptions of coronavirus (COVID-19). There is little evidence to support the benefits of repeating a year to catch up. Instead, schools will use teaching strategies that draw on the best evidence available to help students meet their learning needs. 

Parents, families and carers can be confident that the best option for almost every child is to stay with their peer group, whether that is moving from kindergarten into Prep, moving from Grade 6 into Year 7 at secondary school, or students moving up any year level in between.

Our school, working with you, has shown it can be flexible and adaptable in responding to the challenges of coronavirus (COVID-19) and will continue to meet student needs as we look towards the end of the 2020 school year and ahead to 2021.

Our Compass Posts will continue to provide important updates for our community, so check in regularly to keep informed. Our start and finish times along with specific Gate entry details have already been provided on Compass.



Message from Isabelle Sawtell, School Council President


The end of last term was Bette's last week as our Acting Principal. After initially only planning to join us for a term, Bette was fortunately able to remain in the post for an additional two terms. This has been an incredibly challenging year for everyone but Bette advocated for our school every day. Coming from a high school background, primary was a very different environment, COVID-19 presented significant challenges as well but Bette has been consistent in her approach learning extremely quickly how the primary sector functions and the contribution she could make at Avondale Primary.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank Bette for her hard work and dedication and wish her the very best of luck at her next school.


New Build Update


We are currently working with the design team and are really close sharing the floorplan with our community, which is very exciting. The architects are continuing to work closely with us to provide  Avondale PS with a quality design to enhance teaching and learning and that will promote our school community in the future.


Term 4 Sun Smart Reminder

Remember to bring your hat to school each day this term.  Term 4 is no hat no play, so please name your school hat and put it in your school bag ready to wear on Monday.    



Re-establishing routines prior to returning to school is an essential ingredient for success.

Have conversations about the routines. It is important to establish:

  • A bed time and wake up time – no more pressing snooze on the alarm. Remember that bed time needs to be consistent during the week and also enables children to have the recommended 9 – 11 hours of sleep a night
  • Some “downtime” in the evening, after which point there are no screens, for example 7.30 -8.30pm before getting ready for bed.
  • the COVID-19 routines your family would like to continue. for example, regular family walks after dinner and family dance or quiz nights – no doubt you have all been very innovative!

Saving (Y)our World instalment 23: Animal Organisations

     by: Morrigan R


Now, we’ve talked a lot about what you can do and what will come later, but what about what others are doing that you can help with? During this term I will talk about organisations and heroes that are changing the world. Today I will share with you three organisations that focus on animal welfare; one local, one national and one international. Are you ready to learn about these organisations and help them change the world?

Edgar’s Mission is a local organisation, a not-for-profit farm sanctuary that seeks to create a humane world for all.  You might be surprised that no cruelty laws protect pigs like they do cats and dogs, even though pigs are thought smarter! Pigs make friends, love their children and desperately try to protect their own lives.  Edgar’s Mission was named after Edgar Allan Pig and has extended its circle to all farm animals, saving them from cruelty. I have been to Edgar’s Mission many times before and my favourite part would be either meeting the pigs, feeding the goats or patting the sheep’s fluffy wool. At Edgar’s Mission, they even make wheelchairs for injured animals like Leon Trotsky, the pig. Edgar’s Mission is home to over 300 rescued animals. You can make a donation here: https://donate.edgarsmission.org.au/Donate/MakeADonation When COVID ends, you can book a tour at https://visit.edgarsmission.org.au/Visit/Tours Take a look at their webpage to learn more https://www.edgarsmission.org.au/#

Animals Australia is a National Organisation that seeks to save all Australian animals. Some of their projects include stopping live animal export, ending commercial kangaroo slaughter and exposing all animal cruelty in Australia. They have many eye-opening videos on their website and articles that help you see what’s really going on. They also support vegan eating and sell cruelty free products. If you love animals, I advise you to watch the videos and read the articles on their website. They encouraged Starbucks to only use cage-free eggs and helped with the area food drop after the bushfires. Visit their site here (maybe get your parents/carers to make sure the videos are suitable for you to watch) https://www.animalsaustralia.org/ or donate at https://secure.animalsaustralia.org/donate/

World Animal Protection is an International organisation. They work on protecting animals from animal abuse for ‘medicine’, entertainment, food, or as exotic pets. They also protect animals in disaster zones and work to protect wild animals and keep them in the wild.  They have branches in Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Denmark, India, Kenya, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Thailand, UK and USA. They believe that wild animals don’t belong to us, they belong in the wild. They try to stop people from illegally trading animals and stop them from being used in exotic dishes. This year, they have convinced the African Union to save the lives of 100 million dogs from rabies with its Animal Health Strategy and they exposed the suffering of more than 3,000 captive dolphins in the multi-billion-dollar entertainment industry with their Fooled by a Smile campaign. Visit their site here https://www.worldanimalprotection.org.au/ and donate here https://donate.worldanimalprotection.org.au/campaigns/general/?ctrk=header_donatebtn_5&_ga=2.213884370.779058746.1601259759-637438547.1601259759#.X3FK82gzaUk

So, in this instalment we’ve learned about three organisations that strive to protect animals from cruelty and believe in kindness for all. I hope you’ve learned something from this information and that you will help them make a difference. Join me next week to learn about three sea/marine protection organisations. See you next week!





Kids Art and Craft online – Maribyrnong Community Centre

We have started an Online Kids Art and Craft class on a Tuesday afternoon from 4 – 5pm. The program is suitable for children 6 – 12 years old.

The sessions to be livestreamed via Zoom and are free (however you may need to purchase some materials depending on what you have at home).

Amanda, our wonderful tutor, is going to get the kids involved in creating small sculptures from recycled materials, paper mache and making 3d objects with cardboard. They’ll also do painting inspired by modern masters, drawing activities and collage.

We have a few vacancies in the program due to start on Tuesday 13 October.

To register your children, please click on the link below.

Register via: https://www.trybooking.com/BLRLR

For further details, please call the Centre on 9032 4305


Tessa from Grade 2 has shared some of her insights into returning to school next week.

What a positive mindset Tessa demonstrates in this writing sample, The Future.




Dear parents

Have a think about how your getting to and from school each day. Will you walk or cycle and explore your local neighbourhood on the way?
For those that are driving to school, please drive safely and adhere to the 40km zones. Please remember that the pink drop off zones are two minute zones only.

You can find more information on the flyer attached or on Moonee Valley City Councils website.


Thursday 17th September 2020


Dear Parents and Families


We have reached the end of term. Well done to everyone for your best efforts during this COVID impacted term.



My time as Acting Principal at Avondale Primary School has come to an end. Initially I was only here for Term 1 but COVID 19 intervened so I stayed for three terms! I would like to thank the staff and students for making me so welcome. This is a terrific school with a great sense of community. You have some of the hardest working and caring teachers looking after your children and providing them with a great educational program.

In preparing the weekly newsletter, I was relieved and pleased to have the contribution from Morrigan. Her articles are a reminder to us all that we can make a difference to the well-being of the planet. She has challenged our thinking and asked us to change our habits. I have really enjoyed reading her weekly contribution. As a community, if there is someone out there who can offer her a work placement that aligns with her commitment to sustainability when she is in Year 10 then please let us know? It may be a way into the future but she can chase you up in 4 years!

It is exciting for the school to have a new Principal. No doubt some things will change but that is a good thing. The new building is also an exciting prospect for the Avondale Heights community. Being able to provide a top quality education in new facilities makes teachers work easier. 

I would also like to thank School Council for their support; there is a great team of parents and teachers leading the school.

Best wishes to all the families at Avondale Primary School. Whatever negative impact the COVID 19 has had on student learning will be quickly caught up next term and during the first few months of next year. The Department of Education is considering extra support but once the students are back amongst their friends and their teachers they will settle back into a good routine.

Farewell to Ros Blake

Best wishes to Ros Blake who retires from the office after many years working at Avondale Primary School.


New Build Update

The architects are working furiously to design the new building as the project is not allowed to go over time. We are at the exciting stage where we can see the classrooms and learning spaces start to take effect.


Friday dismissal time is 2.15


Enjoy the holiday break, stay safe. Hopefully we will be allowed a few more concessions where we can reconnect with family and friends.


Dr Bette Prange                          Acting Principal


Inspirational Quote:

“The struggle you are in today is developing the strength you need for tomorrow.” –   www.daily quotes.co


Farwell message from Ros Blake


Dear Avondale families and staff,

I began working at Avondale Primary School on 6th August 1995. At that time our son Andrew was in grade 3 and daughter Emily in grade Prep.   My part time role as Administration Support Officer (then only 15 hours a week) suited myself and the family. As the school grew the position became almost full time.

Over the 25 years I have made many friendships with both staff and families. Whilst I will miss everyone at APS (especially the kids), I am looking forward to “slowing down” and semi retiring with my husband.

I would like to thank the Principals I have worked with over the years, including Paul Mulroyan and Bette Prange. A special thank you to my office colleagues, Maria and Sue, and all the staff for their support and friendships over the years. 

I wish you all the best for your future at APS and I’m looking forward to seeing the new school when it’s completed.

Best wishes,

Ros Blake


Make a Wish

Through the Royal Children’s Hospital I was granted a wish. On Friday 11 of September I got to meet with my favourite cook, Justine Schofield. We met on Zoom for two hours, but before that I received a list of ingredients to buy. After introductions and a chat we worked through the recipe and baked cookies. We made caramel choc chip and hazelnut cookies. We had so much fun and at the end we got to eat them. I learnt that Justine Schofield is on television sometimes and you can go onto her website Everyday Gourmet.


The time went really fast and I loved working with her, she was lovely and supported me through making the cookies. I had a great time, it was like starting at school time and we finished at ‘snack’ time.

By Poppy Grade 2C.


Term 4 Sunsafe Reminder

Remember to bring your hat to school each day next term.  Term 4 is a no hat no play term so hunt out your school hat and put it in your school bag over the holidays.        


Saving (Y)our World instalment 22: Climate change denial

     by: Morrigan R

Now there is plenty talk of climate change around. But what can you believe? What is the truth and what are lies? Why can’t climate change deniers see the clear evidence? How can you tell the difference between fact and fib? Find out in this week’s instalment of Saving (Y)our World.


First off: What’s the truth and how do you tell it from the lies? The truth is, climate change is a problem that many people ignore because the effects take time. It’s like smoking; no-one really worries about it, because it can take up to forty years to kill you, not just a day. But this is an even bigger problem because it doesn’t just effect one person who knows the risks but does it anyway, it effects thousands--no, millions of innocents who weren’t involved and even people who tried to stop it. But, like smoking, if you stop soon enough the effects will wane--or maybe even die out. We are quickly approaching the time when that will not be a possibility. When the world will get lung cancer and it’ll only be a matter of time. The truth is that we need to do something. The lies tell us that it’s not a problem--or that it doesn’t exist. In fact, it was nicknamed ‘climate change’ to make it sound natural and like it should be happening. This is how the truth is hidden.


Secondly, what is the climate change denial movement? The climate change denial movement is something led by people who would rather make profit than do the right thing. In fact, 97% of all climate scientists agree that climate change exists, and humans are the cause… and the other 3% say that it’s real but that they’re not entirely sure that humans caused it. This means that the climate change denialists have no basis for all their ideas… but they still promote them and pretend that they have facts on their side! These are the lies we are fed. And some people believe them. The truth is, climate change is real and humans are causing it, we are as scientifically sure of this as we are that gravity exists, or that the sky is blue, or that cigarettes cause cancer. Anyone who tells you that they have a different opinion is just being ignorant, you can’t have opinions about scientific facts!!!


Now, if we accept that science is real and that scientists know what they are doing (and if you don’t you need to move into a cave and stop using technology of any kind as all of our technology is based on the same scientific methods as our understanding of climate change), there is absolutely no excuse for failing to take action. To help you understand the facts, and to protect you from all of the lies flying around, there is a great website that uses scientific evidence to expose the lies spouted by the climate change denialists. Visit

https://www.skepticalscience.com/ to see the reasons that deniers are wrong. There are plenty more websites out there for you to discover the truth for yourself. But remember,

science fact is science fact, and the best place to learn that is from the climate scientists themselves!


I hope you now better understand the sometimes-confusing world of climate change. I hope you take my advice and dive further into the world of climate change by yourself. Always remember that what people say isn’t always the truth--sometimes far from it.

So, you have come to the end of this week’s instalment of Saving (Y)our World. Be sure to join me next term for more saving (Y)our World! And I hope you have a great school holiday…


“Adults keep saying: "We owe it to the young people to give them hope."
But I don't want your hope. I don't want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic. I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is.”
― Greta Thunberg



Thursday 10th September 2020


School Council President announcement.


Dear Avondale school community, 


I am pleased to announce that Avondale Primary will have a new principal from term 4 – Jill Benham. We are looking forward to having Jill join our school community and hope everyone will make her feel welcome. 

Jill has kindly provided a little introduction of herself below.                        Isabelle Sawtell


I feel very privileged and excited to have been appointed as Principal at Avondale Primary School. I firmly believe that every student achieves their personal best in a safe, supportive and engaging learning environment, which is what we will promote together.

Professionalism, approachability, passion, optimism, enthusiasm and confidentiality are traits that I consistently demonstrate, alongside living the Avondale values of Respect, Cooperation, Honesty and Integrity every day.


When I am not at school, some of my favourite things to do include spending time with my husband Tony and two daughters, Ellie and Tayla, reading, cooking, doing jigsaw puzzles and walking our family dog, Harper.


I can’t wait to meet all of our students, staff and families and work collaboratively to build strong and supportive relationships with the school community throughout Term 4 and beyond. Getting to know you and your child/ren well is my goal.

I look forward to meeting you all in Term 4 and building great things together J

Stay safe, stay well,


Jill Benham


Avondale Primary School



Today is R U OK? Day. R U OK? Connect with the people around you and start a conversation with anyone who may be struggling with life.

You don't need to be an expert to reach out - just a good friend and a great listener.

Use these four steps and have a conversation that could change a life:

  1. Ask R U OK?
  2. Listen
  3. Encourage action
  4. Check in

In a year like no other it is important to check in with those around you to see how they are going.


New Build Update

During our weekly meeting this week we were able to see the development of the classrooms so we are getting to the exciting bit of the design process. This is really early stage development but things are progressing quickly.


Dr Bette Prange                          Acting Principal


Inspirational Quote:

“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work and learning from failure.” – Colin Powell.


The Art of Isolation – Grade 2


From Einstein to J.R Tolkien, imagination is widely recognised as one of the most powerful tools of the mind. It allows us to dream of possibilities; it takes us places. Great things can happen upon the wings of imagination:

  • we can become inventors, creators, designers,
  • we can solve problems,
  • we can explore situations vicariously and learn about ourselves and others, and
  • we can escape to other realms.

It is for this last reason that Grade 2’s were given the art task of using their imaginations to draw their dream tree house. How better to escape the confines of our walls in lockdown?

The Grade 2 artists rose to the challenge and designed some incredible tree houses. They featured plane landing strips (Jed), laser-protected money trees (Thomas), swimming pools with flying foxes and basketball hoops overhead (Mason), vegie gardens (Jess), ball-pits (Lam), duck ponds (Tanishka) and enough ladders, spiral staircases, suspension bridges, hammocks and swings to make you dizzy.



Moving on from imaginative drawing, the Grade 2’s have been focused on honing their observational drawing skills. Drawing is like any skill: the more we practise, the better we get. The best way to practise is to look, look, look (preferably at real life objects). We need to train our eye to see the outlines and shapes of the objects we’re drawing, and train our drawing hand to create these lines and shapes that we’re seeing. It is about establishing a connection between seeing and drawing.

We have used our art meetings to do quick 2-minute observational drawings of objects, such as mugs and toilet rolls. Students have been encouraged to draw quickly, going over and ‘adjusting their lines’ (but not with a rubber!) until their drawing represents their object more accurately. We have had some fun with missing half drawings and have also been inspired by the drawings of Christoph Niemann, who incorporates everyday objects into his drawings.


Your imaginations are exciting and your drawing skills improving beautifully Grade 2. Keep nurturing these precious skills. 

Mrs Farrell


Art News Grade 5/6

This term students in the senior grades have been learning about zentangles. The zentangle method is a relaxing and fun way to create beautiful images by drawing structure patterns. These structured patterns are called tangles. Tangles are created by using a combination of dots, lines, and simple curved and s curves. These patterns are usually drawn on small pieces of paper called ‘tiles’. They are called tiles because they are then assembled into mosaics.                          Ms Portelli


Here are some of the results by grade 5/6 - 


Saving (Y)our World instalment 21: Other greenhouse gases

     by: Morrigan R


I have been talking a lot about carbon dioxide (CO2) recently, but what about other harmful greenhouse gasses? Today we will explore methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (NO) the 2nd and 3rd most abundant and potentially damaging greenhouse gasses emitted by human activity.

Methane is one of the most well-known greenhouse gasses after carbon dioxide because of its common appearance in the media. Methane is a gas that comes from a variety of sources, including animal (mainly livestock) flatulence. Methane is a bad gas because of its ability to trap heat in the atmosphere, contributing greatly to global warming. The worst livestock emitter of methane is the cow, who we heavily rely on for meat and milk, but the growth in cow numbers globally, as more and more people adopt a “western” diet, has seen the amount of methane from agriculture increase dramatically in the last 20-30 years. Methane can also come from drilling into the ground to reach natural gas, referred to as fugitive emissions. People claim that natural gas is cleaner than other fossil fuels, like oil and coal, all the while ignoring the methane seeping into the atmosphere. Indeed, once these emissions are considered, natural gas can be the dirtiest greenhouse gas emitting fossil fuel of all! So, when the government tells us that natural gas is their preferred technology to help the economy recover after Covid-19, be aware that they are really telling us “we want to lock in climate change”. Large garbage dumps contaminate the atmosphere with methane as well. But in this case, we can trap it and burn it to create energy. While this still warms the atmosphere (the methane turns into carbon dioxide when burned), it’s still an improvement because methane is a stronger greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide. That’s because methane’s ability to trap heat is approximately 84X more powerful than carbon dioxide’s, although methane doesn’t stay in the atmosphere as long, so taking this into account, it’s only about 25X more potent (still a lot!).

Nitrous oxide is lesser known than methane and carbon dioxide, but it is more harmful than both of them. With an effect around 300X more powerful than carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide is something we need to be very careful about. Although there isn’t very much nitrous oxide emitted, the harmful gas stays in the atmosphere for 120 years! That’s a very long time for such a harmful gas to be in our atmosphere. This greenhouse gas can be emitted by agriculture, wastewater management and the burning of fossil fuels. Because we emit a lot less of this gas, we tend not to pay as much attention to it, but because it is so powerful and stays in the atmosphere for so long, it’s really important we work hard to limit emissions of this gas.

I hope you have a better understanding of the complex problem of climate change. While we often talk only about carbon dioxide, there are other gasses we need to think about too. Only when we reduce all of these emissions to “net 0” will we finally stop impacting on Earth’s climate and give the atmosphere a chance to heal.

So, you have come to the end of this week’s instalment of Saving (Y)our World. Be sure to join me next time for instalment 22: climate change denial!

“The gas industry can no longer hide behind burping cows. The gas industry is the cause of mounting methane emissions”  -  Bruce Robertson


@ 2020 Avondale Primary School