Gorokan Public School Newsletter - Week 4, Term 4, 2020

Principal's Report

At Gorokan Public School, we value and encourage students to cultivate their creativity through visual arts and believe that creativity plays a major role in education.

Mural Competition

Over the past few weeks our students have been designing two new murals for our school. This is the challenge they were set:

The executive staff and I had the pleasure of viewing all of the finalist entries and the extremely difficult task of deciding on the winners. Congratulations to the following students for their winning entries:

Kailee H from KJ – Campfire on the land of the Darkinjung People
Jaime S from 5R – Whose artwork represents an important message of individuals having their own special qualities.

Local artist Ian Bonnar has been commissioned to paint the murals and will commence work on this project in the coming weeks. I look forward to showing you the finished result. Watch this space …

Term 4 COVID-19 Reminders

A community update was released earlier this term outlining the current COVID-19 restrictions. Please take the time to preview the update below:

Key information:

  • Non-essential visitors to schools are not allowed,
  • Our school will remain vigilant in applying infection control and personal hygiene practices,
  • Students and staff who are unwell should stay at home,
  • Students and staff who come to school with cold and flu symptoms will be sent home and will not be able to return to school without a negative COVID test result and no symptoms,
  • Students should continue to bring water bottles from home to fill at water bubblers rather than drink directly from the bubbler, and
  • Staggered afternoon student pick up times remain in place – K-2 and siblings 2:45pm and 3-6 depart school at 3:00pm.

Kindergarten Orientation

Only two more sleeps until we meet our new kindergarten students at the first of the face to face orientation sessions on Friday 6th November. As explained in the Kindergarten Transition Community Update below, due to the lifting of some COVID-19 restrictions, face to face orientation sessions will be held on Friday 6th and 13th November. Two sessions are available on each of these days - either 10:00am to 11:00am or 12:00pm to 1:00pm.

As previously explained, parents and other non-essential adults are still not permitted to enter the school grounds, however the current Department guidelines allow parents and carers to drop off and pick up their children for their orientation session but are restricted to a 10-minute time limit.

Please share the following podcasts with your child to support their smooth transition to school:

Curious Creatures Wild Minds Book Parade

Thanks for your positive response to this school event. The students and staff were able to unleash their creativity in bringing their favourite book characters to life. The current restrictions made for a different experience for the students, with each grade parading separately on the day as captured on our Facebook page. Thank you for the overwhelmingly positive feedback.

Gorokan Public School staff Curious Creatures Wild Minds Book Parade 2020

Whole School Assembly

The student leaders have been doing a brilliant job in presenting the fortnightly virtual whole school assembly to the school. This assembly included the induction of the Term 4 Class Captains and the inclusion of the school choir singing the school song and National Anthem. The assembly can be accessed from the following video:

KFL Students tuned into our recent whole school assembly

Class Captains Term 4

Congratulations to our Term 4 Class Captains!

Public Speaking

Thank you for supporting the students to plan, prepare and present their speeches over the past few weeks. The standard of the speeches presented was excellent. The scores were very close. Congratulations to all the students who participated, it’s not easy getting up in front of others and speaking and the students who did must be congratulated for their courage and skills. The two students with the highest scores from each stage will be announced at the End of Year Presentation.

Year 6 Update

Kate Day, our Year 6 coordinator and I released a community update last week informing parents and carers of the organisation of the Year 6 to 7 transition program activities. Thanks for those who have taken the time to watch this important update. If you missed it, you can access it below.

2021 Classes

We are currently planning for 2021, so if you have a child who will not be returning to our school next year (excluding Year 6) I would encourage you to inform the office staff. The number of students we have plays a vital role in our organisation of class structures.

As mentioned in the previous newsletter, we are currently organising classes for next year. As in previous years, I would like to invite parents and carers to write to me if they feel there are special needs that should be considered when placing students in classes for 2021. The task of forming classes is complex and all requests will be given careful consideration. Requests must be submitted to me in writing by Friday 27th November.

World Teachers’ Day

Internationally, World Teachers' Day is celebrated on the first Friday in October. However, as this is usually during our school holidays, Australia celebrates the day on the last Friday in October of each year (last Friday). Our teachers are amazing and I am constantly receiving positive feedback about their professionalism, kindness and diligent care for their students. If you missed last Friday, it’s never too late to show your appreciation and commemorate World Teachers’ Day by performing random acts of kindness towards our great teachers to show your appreciation.

Together we can make a difference.

Dates to Remember

  • Friday 13th November Face to Face Kindergarten Transition
  • Wednesday 18th November Opportunity Class exam (Stage Two)
  • Monday 1st December Gorokan High School Orientation Day
  • Monday 7th December Year 6 High School Taster Day at Gorokan High School
  • Tuesday 8th December Presentation Day
  • Tuesday 15th December Year 6 Farewell
  • Wednesday 16th December Last day of Term 4

Early Stage One

Current Learning

We have had a wonderful fortnight of learning in Kindergarten with our learning focused on Book Week and mystical creatures. The students have been exploring quality texts and how to include greater detail in their own writing.

Students are learning about safe and unsafe situations and how to seek help when required. They are engaging in role play to identify real life situations where they can be more aware of potential dangers.

Sophie from KJ

The students are enjoying the Sports in School program each Monday and refining their gymnastic skills.

Photo: Kindergarten gymnastics in action

Please continue to access the PM e-collection books at home and contact the school if you require student passwords.


A friendly reminder to send your child to school each day with a hat and drink bottle. The weather has warmed up significantly this term and we encourage good health and safety habits.

Celebration of Learning

Early Stage 1 - Book Week

Well done to all students who dressed up as their favourite book character in Book Week. The students enjoyed sharing their stories and presenting their character costumes with their peers. Congratulations to Haylen, Santino and Willow for receiving book prizes for the best dressed costumes on the day.

Class Awards

Congratulations to the following students for receiving class awards last fortnight:

  • KC – Jaxon, Elliot, Rose and Lailahni
  • KD/T – Oliver, Ishmael, Emma and Willow B
  • KF/L – Blair, Daniel, Braith and Chelsea
  • KL – Oliver, Eric, Lucas and Via
  • KJ – Latalea, Ryan, Oliver and Cooper

Mrs D Jeanpierre - ES1 Assistant Principal

Stage One

Current Learning

Stage One students are busy this week working towards individual, class and grade goals.

Year One and Two are learning to write informative texts and are looking at the grammatical and structural features involved in this. In mathematics, we are learning to represent and solve simple addition and subtraction problems using a range of strategies, including counting on, partitioning and rearranging parts. Our sport unit this semester covers paddle-tennis, t-ball, cricket, hockey, overarm throw, underarm catch and kicking skills.


Absent Notes

If your child has been away from school, please send in a note to your child's teacher on their return to school. It is a legal requirement that notes are received within seven days of a student's absence. The note must state the dates your child was absent and the reason for the absence. If your child will be absent for three days or more, ​a doctor's certificate is required.

Celebration of Learning

1J students use technology and globes to investigate Australia and the neighbouring countries that surround us.

Mr R Johnson - Relieving S1 Assistant Principal

Stage Two

Current Learning

This week, we have been learning to read and write different types of poetry. We have learnt about didactic cinquains, haiku, diamante poems and shape poems. We have also been investigating ways that authors such as Roald Dahl transform well known stories into entertaining poems. We are loving learning how to rhyme and use alliteration in our writing.


Thank you for making sure that your child is in full school uniform everyday. It is wonderful to see our children wearing their uniform so proudly and being part of the Gorokan team.

Celebration of Learning

Congratulations to those students who successfully presented their speeches in class this week. There were some interesting and varied speeches presented and we would like to thank parents for supporting their students in this process. Well done Stage 2.

Stage 2 speakers

Mrs R Ranse - Acting S2 Assistant Principal

Stage Three

Current Learning

Students have been busy over the past fortnight with lots of teaching and learning occurring, as well as completing assessment tasks.

All Stage 3 classes have been revising and implementing our school expectations of being safe, being respectful and being a learner. This has included revisiting our Behaviour Management Plan and we encourage you to speak to your child about our school expectations. Please keep an eye on your child’s Class Dojo points which are updated daily.

Intention to apply for Year 7 placement in a Selective High School in 2022

All Year 5 students have now received a letter regarding Intention to apply for Year 7 placement in a selective high school in 2022. If you are intending to apply for your child please return the slip on the note to Year 5 class teachers as soon as possible.

Selective high schools cater for academically gifted students with high potential who may otherwise be without sufficient classmates at their own academic standard. Selective high schools help these students to learn by grouping them with students of similar ability, and by using specialised teaching methods.

Applications for selective high school placement are considered mainly on the basis of the Selective High School Placement Test results and school assessment scores. The Selective High School Placement Test will be held on Thursday 11th March 2021.

If you would like to have your child considered for Year 7 selective high school entry in 2022, you need to apply on the internet. Please refer to the letter that was sent home last week.

Year 5 Election of School Leaders for 2021

Year 5 student leader nominations for 2021 have now closed. These nominated students will now be asked to prepare and present a speech on why they would make a great student leader. Due to COVID-19 restrictions our student leadership speeches will look a little different this year. We will keep you informed as more information comes to hand.

Year 6 Farewell

The fantastic news is that COVID-19 restrictions have changed and we are now planning to hold the Year 6 farewell on Tuesday 15th December 2020, at Gorokan Public School. Our Year 6 farewell will be a little different this year as we still need to ensure we are following the restriction guidelines. Meal options for the Year 6 farewell have been given out and are due back by Friday 20th November. The finer details are still being finalised and we will let you know more information as soon as possible. We are so excited! 😊

Year 6 Presentation Day Assembly

We are holding a dedicated Year 6 Presentation Day assembly on Tuesday 8th December. Unfortunately, current COVID-19 restrictions prevent parents from attending this assembly in person, but if there are any changes we will let you know.

Year 6 Transition to High School (Gorokan HS)

We have exciting news! Our Year 6 to 7 transition to high school program will go ahead.

Year 6 students have been invited to attend a Taster Day on Monday 7th December at Gorokan High School. Students are to travel with Gorokan Public School staff both to and from the high school. No students are to travel independently to or from Gorokan High School.

Gorokan High Sschool will hold a transition day for selected students in Week 6. More information will be sent out at the end of this week.

On Tuesday 1st December an Aboriginal student breakfast will be held at Gorokan High School before their Orientation Day which follows. No students are to travel independently to or from the high school.

We will keep you updated with more information as it comes to hand.


Please ensure your child brings a drink bottle and their own writing instruments (pens, pencils etc) to school every day.

Celebration of Learning

Wiseberry Heritage Sold Sticker Design Competition

We are delighted for Mileyjay in Year 5 as she has WON the Wiseberry Heritage "Sold" Sticker Design Competition 2020. Wiseberry had over 2000 people voting on the design and she came out with the most votes! Mileyjay won a Treetops voucher and certificate to recognise her achievement.

Gorokan Public Sschool also benefits from Mileyjay’s win! Every property Wiseberry sells in the month of November across their Gorokan and Charmhaven offices, they will donate $50 from every sale to Gorokan Public School. This will tally up and our school will be presented with a cheque on the first week in December 2020. A HUGE CONGRATULATIONS MILEYJAY!

We look forward to a virtual whole school assembly this Friday.

Have a wonderful fortnight.

Mrs K Day - S3 Assistant Principal

Special Education

Current Learning

For Creative Arts this term we have been learning about different artists from around the world and the different techniques and tools they used to create their masterpieces. We recently learnt about Vincent van Gogh and a series of artworks entitled 'Sunflowers'. We then created our own Vincent van Gogh inspired sunflower artworks.



As the weather is getting warmer it would be great to see all students wearing a school bucket hat. If you don’t have one, please send a note to your class teacher and we will give you one.

Student Absences

Please remember, if your child has been away from school please send in a note to their teacher on their return. It is a legal requirement that notes are received within seven days of a student’s absence. The note must state the dates your child was absent and the reason for the absence. If your child will be absent for more than two days please contact the school by phone or via the school app to let us know.

Drink Bottles

It is great to see so many drink bottles coming to school so that the children can access our school bubblers. If possible, please send your child to school with a plastic drink bottle instead of a metal drink bottle. If you have trouble organising a plastic one, please see your child’s teacher and we will organise one for you.

Celebration of Learning

During Grade Gathering this week, we had many students receive awards for their great behaviour and learning. They are as follows:

  • Kaia
  • Sienna
  • Jarvis
  • Mallee
  • Tyson
  • Nicole
  • Claudia

Mrs S Crook - Deputy Principal Student Wellbeing

School and Community Centre News

Central Coast Schools as Community Centres Facebook page CCSaCC Facebook supporting children transitioning to school in 2021. All live sessions are recorded and can be accessed later if you miss the live session.

Yerin Eleanor Duncan Aboriginal Health sessions are held on Wednesdays at 11:30am

  • Yerin Eleanor Duncan Aboriginal Health Transition to School Session Two
  • Health checks and obtaining Immunisation records

Interrelate Live workshops are held on Mondays at 11:00am to hear their expert tips and advice

SaCC Term 4 regular program parenting courses and speech group (all free and online)

  • Monday: Little Learners, Baby Massage;
  • Tuesday: Mother Goose/Baby Play;
  • Wednesday: Kids on the Move, Transition to School, Talkers Storytime (Speech);
  • Thursday: Busy Beats, and
  • Friday: Little Thinkers group, Talkers Play Pals (Speech).

Information: Phone Liz McMinn, SaCC Facilitator Gorokan Public School on 0467760712

Parenting Ideas

A flexible approach to raising kids

This year’s unique challenges have brought a sharper focus on child-rearing styles. Parents who rely one style have often struggled to meet the emotional needs of their children.

Kids who are worried, fearful or fretting about the future initially benefit from a nurturant, empathetic approach. “I get it” is what they want to hear so they feel safe and secure. They also benefit from a firmer approach where an adult communicates “You can cope with this” is something kids need to hear when they experience change, difficulty and disappointment.

This combination of nurturance and firmness is known as an authoritative approach according to Diane Baumrind, a leading researcher on parenting styles. A purely nurturant style is known as a permissive style, while a singularly firm style is known as authoritarian.

Warm cat, firm dog

It’s helpful to use a cat and dog metaphor when discussing the authoritative approach. As dog-owners know these pets are highly relational and respond favorably to attention. The dog style of parenting is empathetic and has an encouraging, relationship-building focus. Cats, on the other hand, are usually self-sufficient and can live happily without you. Continuing the metaphor, the cat style of parenting is more likely to challenge kids, better able to manage poor behaviour and provide solid family leadership.

Body language counts

The dog-cat styles are expressed through our non-verbal language – our tone of voice, posture and heads. A cat speaks in a flat, clipped voice using a minimum of words. Their head is still, its body upright and confident. A cat is calm, quiet and in control. A dog, on the other hand, speaks with lots of inflection in their voice. They’ll smile a great deal and lean in when they speak. It’s a warmer more approachable style suited to conversations and building relationships.

Which style do you identify with?

Most people naturally have a preference for one style over the other. If you defer to one then you may have to work a little harder or more consciously to bring the other side to the fore. Many parents working in partnership with each other will share the dog-cat loads. One parent is firm in approach, while the other uses a warmer, more personal approach. Sometimes parents switch styles according to the gender or personality of their children. This is quite common as boys have a tendency to bring out the firm cat in their fathers and the warmer, protective dog-side in their mothers.

Conversely, fathers often respond to their daughters in dog-like ways and anecdotally, it seems, many mothers are more naturally cat-like with their daughters. Single parents without the luxury of sharing the parenting will generally need to be flexible and move between the two styles.

Avoid mixed messages

Get your cat and dog wrong and you risk being ineffective and failing to meet either a child’s needs or the needs of a particular situation. If your first response to a child’s difficulty is to be distant and unapproachable, then you are probably not meeting their immediate emotional needs. Your child or young person needs you to be approachable or dog-like when they come to you with genuine concerns. Conversely, approach a child or teen whose behaviour isn’t up to standard with a dog-like approach and you’ll be ignored or not taken seriously, leaving you either angry or deflated.

Flexibility is the key

It’s my experience that it’s possible to move seamlessly between the two modes but it takes awareness and practice. If you naturally default to cat mode, then you may have to put some conscious effort into responding with empathy and nurturance when your child or young person struggles. Alternatively, you may practice dog-like behaviours easily but have to work on your cat side to promote independence and manage your child’s behaviour. In time these switches become automatic as your awareness grows enabling you to adopt new ways of parenting. Your effectiveness and satisfaction levels will increase as you move seamlessly between the cat and dog parenting styles.