Gorokan Public School Newsletter - Week 6, Term 4, 2020

Principal's Report

At Gorokan Public School we believe that teaching and learning should be sustained until the very last day of the school year. With the Christmas holidays being such a long break, it is critical that students remain in their learning routines, particularly in the areas of English and mathematics for as long as possible and that students read regularly over the holiday break to maintain current levels of competence for the new school year.

The school has subscribed to a number of educational programs to support students quality to maintain and build on their knowledge and skills which would be ideal for use over the long Christmas holiday break. Our students can access, free of charge, the following programs; PM eCollection and Reading Eggs for reading and comprehension, Sound Waves for phonics and spelling, and Mathletics.

Student Reports

Semester Two student progress reports will be sent home on Friday 11th December. These reports aim to outline student performance over the past two school terms and capture the strengths the students have displayed in their learning and in their progress. I’m looking forward to reading the students’ reports in the coming weeks.

Term 4 COVID-19 Update

Thanks for your support and acceptance of the current COVID-19 restrictions. Whilst there have been some minor changes announced recently in relation to parent attendance at school events, apart from the face-to-face Kindergarten orientation program, we cannot safely apply the safety restrictions associated with other events given the size of our school facilities. Our school will continue to record and share all major school events for our community to experience and celebrate in the comfort and safety of your own homes.

Remembrance Day

Last Wednesday, we commemorated Remembrance Day at school with a one minute’s silence at 11:00am in memory of the brave servicemen and women who died or suffered in all wars and armed conflicts. The Australian flag was also flown at half-mast for part of the day as a mark of respect. Special thanks are extended to Noah M from 4W, our war history enthusiast, who joined me at the microphone on the day to recite The Ode to mark the end of the minute silence.


NAIDOC Week was held last week. It was a time to explore this year’s theme - Always Was, Always Will Be and to celebrate Australia’s First Nations Peoples’ rich history, culture and achievements and an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our school, community and country.

Over the week, the students enjoyed a variety of activities including:

• Aboriginal art themed lessons - currently on display in the school hallways.

• Bush Tucker cooking lessons - all students, from Kindergarten to Year 6 participated in a bush tucker cooking class with Mrs King and their teacher in the school’s kitchen garden. The students loved this experience and made lemon myrtle pikelets with rosella syrup and wattle seed cream as well as flat bread with native dukkha.

• Indigenous games were played for PE and Sport.

• Aboriginal stories were the focus for literacy lessons in Week 5.

• Craft - braided wool wrist bands were made by all students, and

• An Aboriginal flag was made by each student and students were taught about the flag’s history and what it represents.

Our whole school assembly this week will showcase our 2020 NAIDOC Week celebrations and learning activities.

Kindergarten Orientation

It was an absolute pleasure to welcome our 2021 Kindergarten students to big school over the past weeks. Despite the COVID restrictions, we were able to make the most of the time that the children were in attendance and it was wonderful meeting the parents and carers in person. The children were amazing at how well they appeared to adjust to being at the school and in separating from their loved ones with very little fuss.

The following podcasts could assist further with transition to school:

• Gorokan Public School virtual tour

• Meet the kindergarten teachers

• Current Kindergarten students sharing their Kindergarten experiences

2021 Student Leadership

Congratulations to our Year 5 students who are currently running for student leadership positions for 2021. The students have worked hard to be eligible for consideration and put thought, care and effort into the preparation of their school leadership speeches over the past weeks.

Congratulations to the following students who have been successful in securing a position within the student leadership team: Ruby S, Lily B, Elissa N, Chloe L, Lincloln D, Riley C, Dom M and Tyler B.

These talented students presented their final speeches live to members of staff and the other Year 5 students. The speeches were recorded and then broadcasted to our students in Years 3-6 before voting took place.

The official order of the 2021 student leadership team including Captains, Vice Captains and Prefects, will be announced at the Presentation Day Ceremony which will be broadcast to the community on Tuesday 8th December. Good luck to all involved.

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 previously, we are currently organising classes for next year and I would like to invite parents and carers to write to me if they feel there are special needs that need to 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.

2021 Student Enrolments

If you have a child who will not be returning to our school next year (excluding Year 6) could you please inform the office/ The number of students we have plays a vital role in our planning of class structures. As in previous years our classes will commence the new year with the students returning to their 2020 class, where they will remain for the shortest time possible until our final student numbers are confirmed. We have found this to be the best practice to ensure a smooth transition for the students. Please be reassured that all students will commence the new year being engaged in their grade appropriate work.

Emergency Drill

Emergency procedures will be completed in Week 7. Please be advised that this is a Department of Education Work Health and Safety requirement to ensure that the school is prepared in the unlikely event of a real emergency.

Together we can make a difference.

Dates to Remember

  • Wednesday 18th November  Opportunity Class (Stage 2)
  • 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
  • Friday 11th December Reports sent home
  • Tuesday 15th December Year 6 Farewell
  • Wednesday 16th December Last day of Term s

Early Stage One

Current Learning

We have had a wonderful fortnight of learning about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander culture. During NAIDOC Week, the students were immersed in cultural texts, artwork, and cooking opportunities

Photo - Students participating in the Indigenous games
Photo - Enjoying the Indigenous games
Photo - The students enjoyed Aboriginal stories
Photo - Student writing responses to Aboriginal stories
Photo - Bush tucker cooking
Photo - Bush tucker cooking
Photo - Bush tucker cooking
Photo - Braiding using Aboriginal colours
Photo - Children enjoyed making Aboriginal flags

We enjoyed meeting the new Kindergarten students for 2021 at the transition sessions and welcome the new families to Gorokan Public School.


Please 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

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

KC – Rose, Jackson, Elliot and Felicity

KDT – Emma, Annabelle, Oliver and Willow

KFL – Evie, Phoenix, Fine'eve and Byron

KL – Gavin, Reilly, Annabelle and Aayliah

KJ – Sophie, Lincoln, Rozie and Noah

Mrs D Jeanpierre - ES1 Assistant Principal

Stage One

Current Learning

Home Reading

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

Year One and Two students are learning to be persuasive in their writing. In mathematics, we are learning to measure and compare the capacities of pairs of objects. Students have been learning more about Indigenous culture through cooking, art, sport and story sharing during NAIDOC Week.


We are encouraging all students to use the PM eCollection for home reading. If you misplaced your child's log in information, please contact their teacher. Daily reading at home makes a positive difference in your child’s education.

Celebration of Learning

Students in 1/2C have created colourful artworks of Uluru and are learning about neighbouring countries in geography.

Photo - Students learning about famous people and other locations
Photo - Stage 1 students displaying their artwork of Uluru and neighbouring countries
Photo - Students enjoyed learning about food and landmarks from neighbouring countries
Photo - Stage 1 students displaying their artwork of Uluru and neighbouring countries

Mr R Johnson - Relieving S1 Assistant Principal

Stage Two

Current Learning

In Stage 2 we have moved on from our poetry unit and are now focusing on reading and writing procedure texts, using the correct structure and language features. Prepare to hear about some exciting games and foods being made that require an accompanying written procedure.

We are enjoying our sporting activities this term. The weather has been wonderful and we have been able to make full use of the vast open spaces our school has. We are enjoying basketball, newcomb ball, oztag, dodgeball and netball.


Thank you to those students who are remembering to wear full school uniform each day. It really does make a difference! We are all part of the Gorokan team and wearing our uniform proudly reinforces this. Well done everyone!

Celebration of Learning

Congratulations to those students who sat the Opportunity Test this week. We wish you the best of luck.

Last week Stage 2 students celebrated the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people by engaging in a variety of NAIDOC Week activities. Students enjoyed cooking traditional bush tucker, engaging with Aboriginal artworks, viewing traditional Aboriginal stories and writing acrostic poems.

Photo - Letters from the trenches
Photo- Students celebrating NAIDOC Week
Photo - Students cooking bush tucker food in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden

As part of Remembrance Day commemorations, students respectfully observed a minutes silence to remember all those who fought and died in the line of duty. Students wrote letters from the trenches, outlining the treatment experienced by soldiers during the war.​

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. We welcome Miss Fowler (a 3rd year pre-service teacher) to 5R for her practicum experience until the end of Week 8.

We thoroughly enjoyed celebrating NAIDOC Week in our Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden, where we learnt how to cook, and got to experience, Aboriginal Bush Tucker food. A huge thank you to all our staff who were involved in this organisation. All our Stage 3 classes thoroughly enjoyed this experience!

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.

Year 5 Election of School Leaders for 2021

A huge congratulations to our Year 5 school leader finalists. You all delivered wonderful speeches and it was a very difficult task choosing our eight finalists. Voting has now taken place and our winners will be announced at our Presentation Day awards assembly. Unfortunately, current COVID-19 restrictions prevent parents from attending this assembly in person.

Year 6 Farewell

The Year 6 Farewell will be held on Tuesday 15th December, 2020 at Gorokan Public School. The farewell will be a little different this year as we still need to ensure we are following COVID-19 restriction guidelines. Meal options have been given to students 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.

Year 6 Transition to High School (Gorokan HS)

Our Year 6 to 7 transition to high school program will go ahead. We’ve been informed that our Year 6 students will be attending a Taster Day on Monday 7th December. Students are to travel with Gorokan Public School staff - both to and from Gorokan High School. No students are to travel independently to or from GHS.

GHS will hold a transition day for selected students this week. Information about has gone out to those students invited to extra transition.

On Tuesday 1st December an Aboriginal Student Breakfast will be held at GHS before their Orientation Day to follow. No students are to travel independently to or from GHS.

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.

Intention to apply for Year 7 placement in a selective high school in 2022

Final Reminder: 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 letter 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 11 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 see letter sent home.

Celebration of Learning

We look forward to our rewards day on Tuesday. A huge congratulations to all our students who have made it to another reward day! We also look forward to our whole school online assembly this Friday.

If you have any questions or concerns please phone your child’s class teacher.

Have a wonderful fortnight.

Mrs K Day - S3 Assistant Principal

Special Education

Current Learning

We had a lovely time celebrating NAIDOC Week. Our students loved participating in all of the activities especially the cooking in the Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden and creative arts activities.

Photo - Students NAIDOC Week artwork
Photo - Students enjoying creative arts activities during NAIDOC Week


Morning Supervision

Just a quick reminder that staff are not on duty and the gates are not open until 8:30am each morning. Please do not drop your children at school before this time as there will not be supervision outside the gate.

Toys from Home

If your child brings a toy to school from home, it is their responsibility to look after it and keep it safe. If the toy is not being used in a safe manner or is causing difficulties amongst the other children, the teacher will put it away and return it at the end of the day.

Celebration of Learning

Congratulations to all of the students who celebrated their Silver and Gold awards last week. The children enjoyed watching movies and playing on their electronic devices.

During Grade Gathering this week, we had many students receive rewards for their great behaviour and learning. They are: Amelia, Leo, Jarvis and Jackson.

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.

Transition to School Sessions are held on Wednesdays at 11:00am

  • Transition to School Session Four
  • Let's talk language, screen-time & routines!

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

  • 28th September: Building Resilience in Children
  • 5th October: Self-care for Parents

SaCC Term 3 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

The power of sorry

by Maggie Dent

Our boys tend to get into trouble more than our girls. There are lots of cultural and biological reasons for this but much of it boils down to the fact that boys are still soft-wired to be ‘mammoth hunters’, ready to react to any threat.

Generally, boys have more muscle than girls and, with that, a physicality that gets them in strife. There’s also brain research that shows that, while females tend to quickly shift emotions from the brain’s limbic system to the word centres of the brain, males tend to shift them into their bodies.

This is more obvious as our boys become teens as they can be as big and strong as men, but their brains are under construction and their bodies are flooded with testosterone.

Author and counsellor Michael Gurian writes that boys tend to seek external measures of success to feel good about themselves. It is critical they maintain credibility and status in the eyes of the ‘tribe’… that’s their peers, not you.

Inevitably, all this means your son will probably make many mistakes; or hurt himself; hurt someone else; or make a very poor, thoughtless, seemingly stupid or cruel choice.

React with compassion not shame

How you react as a parent can significantly impact how your son recovers from mucking up. Your first reactions may be anger, disappointment or the urge to discipline harshly. However, there are other ways of reacting that can strengthen your bond with your son and ensure he learns from the experience through growth rather than shame.

Listen to him, guide him to see the impact of his poor choice, help him make it right, forgive him and ask him what he might do next time he’s in the same situation.

Break down the old male-code

This code told us that men don’t apologise as it’s a sign of weakness. One of the most powerful things we can teach our boys is that when we make mistakes, we own up to them and we apologise if need be. Teach your boys that saying sorry when they really mean it is a sign of courage and strength, not the opposite. It is also about taking responsibility for your actions, which is important for boys to learn. They need to see the men in their lives – particularly dads – apologise.

Don’t force an apology

Forcing a boy to apologise can be problematic. A genuine apology is very different to a forced apology. A genuine apology has a real sense of remorse attached to it. Coach your son to see the situation through the other person’s eyes. If someone has been impacted, he needs to apologise and make amends even if he didn’t intend for the consequences of his poor choice to happen. It doesn’t mean he’s wrong. It just means his choice affected someone.

Embrace failure

To help your son better learn about failure, have conversations about things you hear in the media where boys and men have experienced failure and recovered. Steve Smith, the former captain of the Australian cricket team who was involved in a ball-tampering scandal, is a great example. He owned his mistake, publicly apologised and he went on to have a very successful return to cricket.

Your son is going to make poor decisions repeatedly until he has enough myelin in his brain to be more mindful of the choices he makes. That is just a fact of life. As parents, your job is to, day-by-day, help your son learn a culture of accountability without a need for severe punishment, shaming or ridicule.

Maggie Dent

Commonly known as the ‘queen of common sense’, Maggie Dent has become one of Australia’s favourite parenting authors and educators, with a particular interest in the early years, adolescence and resilience. She has written seven major books including the bestselling Mothering Our Boys and her 2020 release, From Boys to Men. Maggie is host of the ABC podcast, Parental As Anything. For further details visit maggiedent.com