Gorokan Public School Newsletter - Week 6, Term 3, 2020

Principal's Report

Dear Parents and Carers,

At Gorokan Public School we value teamwork and make every effort to acknowledge the contribution that staff members make towards creating a positive and efficiently run school, where students and staff feel happy, supported and valued. This week, let’s all give thanks to our wonderful support staff for their efforts, commitment and talents.

SASS (School and Support Staff) Recognition Week

This week is School Administrative and Support Staff (SASS) Recognition Week, a time to acknowledge and thank the often unsung heroes in our public schools. At Gorokan Public School we appreciate and acknowledge the range of skills and expertise that our SASS have and know that our school, like all other schools, could not function effectively without these dedicated people. Our SAS staff play an important role. They are often the first people you see when you enter a school and are essential to maintaining positive relationships with students, parents and the community.

Our SAS staff work in the school office, in classrooms (teachers’ aides), the library and maintaining and caring for school grounds and buildings. Our school nurse supports student medical requirements and our canteen manager ensures the efficient running of our school canteen.

Our SASS team includes:

  • Sharon Quodling - School Administration Manager
  • Rebecca Taylor-Smith, Sarah Bond, Sam Barnett, Jay McDonald - School Administration Officers
  • Jessica Raeside - Principal Support
  • Pauline Whaites - School Nurse
  • April Grant, Michelle Watson, Brooke Cranston, Rene Dally, Mel Smith, Patsy Young, Nathan Rumbel, Angela Drury, Tanya James, Jamie Donnelly, Brad Nelson, Deb Searle, Fiona Gallway, Siobhan Flanagan - School Learning Support Officers
  • Colleen Trees - Library Technician
  • Jasmine Daunt - Community Liaison Officer
  • Kellie Heil - Canteen Manager
  • Annemeree Kelly - Canteen Worker
  • Lyn Duncan - Aboriginal Education Officer
  • Greg Harris, John Mountfort and Grace Hull - General Assistants
Gorokan Public School's SASS team

Colour Fun Run

The sun shone brightly as the students and staff (including myself) had an awesome time at school on Friday, participating in the Colour Fun Run. The students followed an intricate obstacle course and were sprayed with colour throughout. The students finished their session with a group photo which will be posted on the school Facebook page. A great day was had by all and the event proved to be a highly successful fundraiser for our Year 6 students, collecting $37,300 in sponsorship. Thank you to event organiser Mrs Carty, and the Year 6 teachers for their outstanding organisation of this extremely successful event.

Students at the finish line of the colour fun run

T4L (Technology for Learning) Recognition - Gorokan Public School will feature on the cover of the NSW Department of Education’s T4L (Technology for Learning) magazine next month for our outstanding use of technology to support remote learning in recent times. Congratulations to our wonderful team of teachers and support staff whose collective efforts resulted in this public acknowledgement.

COVID-19 Update - Thank you for the supportive response to the latest Department of Education COVID-19 guidelines for schools published last week. The key message is “If a student has been absent due to a flu like illness or develops flu like symptoms while at school, they are not to return to school until they have a negative COVID-19 test and are symptom free. The negative COVID-19 test result must be sighted and received by the school before the child returns to school”.

As explained in the recent Community Update and the note that was sent home with the students, if your child presents at school with flu like symptoms, they will be sent to sick bay and parents/carers will be contacted and advised that they are to be picked up immediately. Parents/carers are then required to follow the procedure below:

  1. Have your child COVID-19 tested;
  2. Keep your child at home until they no longer have any cold/flu symptoms, and
  3. The negative COVID-19 test result must be sighted and received by the school before the child returns to school.

For our latest community update visit:

Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment towards keeping our students, staff and community safe.

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program (SAKG) - The SAKG program is in full swing at the school under the guidance of our extremely talented Mrs King, who is the program coordinator. Each week, our senior and special education students and their teachers participate in lessons which promote:

  • positive food habits for life;
  • knowledge building about the natural environment, the seasons, and how to care for gardens;
  • practical skills, from recycling, composting and preserving to budgeting;
  • life skills, such as cooperating, sharing, critical thinking and leadership;
  • enjoyment of learning by doing and having fun (they don’t even realise they’re learning), and
  • student engagement, especially for those who face barriers learning in the traditional classroom environment.

The program incorporates practical skills for growing and preparing fresh, seasonal, delicious food in our vege garden which is then utilised in the kitchen garden to produce tasty food for the students to eat. The school has gone to great expense to provide this valuable opportunity for the students and is well received by both students and staff, providing students with valuable opportunities to develop an understanding of the importance of food systems, food security, sustainability, food preparation and life skills.

Mrs King SAKG program coordinator, making and drying pasta, the smiles tell the story
Gorokan Public School vege garden

Staffing Update - Congratulations to Lauren Greentree who has been permanently appointed to our great school. Mrs Greentree brings a wealth of knowledge to the team and her expertise in teaching in Special Education will be an asset to our school. Please join me in congratulating and welcoming Mrs Greentree.

Congratulations are also extended to Mr Richard Johnston who will relieve as Assistant Principal when Miss Anderson takes Maternity leave.

Kindergarten 2021 - Thank you to the parents who have already completed their enrolment forms for students starting school in 2021. I would urge all parents to get this done as soon as possible so that school planning can occur to best support our new students. As mentioned previously, the Kindergarten Orientation Program will be very different this year for obvious reasons and parents will able to access a series of podcasts to gain information and assist with transition in the weeks to come.

Online Enrolment System (OES) - Online Enrolment is a web-based system which will allow parents to submit an application to enrol a child online. The online form is accessed from the enrolment page on our Gorokan Public School website.

Gorokan Public School online enrolment link:

For further information visit the following link:

Ross Smith - Condolences are extended to the family and friends of Ross Smith, local Aboriginal artist and cultural identity who passed away last week. His artwork will live on in his memory at Gorokan Public School. Ross donated many of his brilliant artworks over the years and he worked with the students to create the Rainbow Serpent which adorns exterior walls of A Block. He will be sadly missed by our community.

Ross Smith Artworks

Finally, congratulations to Miss Stephenson who is getting married this weekend. We trust she will live happily ever after as Mrs Clarke.

Together we can make a difference.

Dates to Remember

  • Friday 25th September Last Day of Term 3
  • Wednesday 18th November Opportunity Class exam (Stage 2)
  • Monday 12th October Term 4 commences

Early Stage One

Current Learning

The teachers will be reading a range of imaginary stories and guiding the students to write creative texts with descriptive detail.

Students will also be exploring the seasons and months of the year and learning how to group and share objects and numbers (multiply and divide).


Important days to remember

Label all clothing items please so that items can be returned to students if lost or misplaced.

Celebration of Learning

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

  • KC - Rose, Jaxon, Felicity and Elliot
  • KD/T - Ethan and Taliah
  • KF/L - Jacob, Emmy, Evie and Phoenix
  • KJ - Maddy, Oliver, Sophie and Tyson
  • KL - Brodie, Isabelle, Lucas and Fletcher

Mrs D Jeanpierre - ES1 Assistant Principal

Stage One

Current Learning

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

Year One and Two students are learning to write imaginative texts and are looking at the grammatical and structural features involved in this. In Maths, we are learning to sort, describe, represent, recognise and classify 3D objects by using their features.

Our science unit this semester is on ‘Water’ and our Stage One students are thoroughly enjoying exploring the movement of water around the planet.


Colour Run - Thank you to all students for your hard work raising money in the colour run. It was a fabulous day shared by our wonderful school. Don’t forget to log on to your online account and press the blue ‘Submit’ button to ensure your child receives their prizes.

Home Reading - We are encouraging all students to use the PM Readers online for home reading. If you do not have an account for your child, please see your child’s teachers. Daily reading at home makes a positive and significant difference in your child’s education.

Class Dojo - Please sign into the Class Dojo app to monitor your child’s behaviour. If you are unsure of how to do this, please contact your child’s teacher.

Drink Bottles - Please ensure your child brings a drink bottle to school daily.

Celebration of Learning

1E students have been writing persuasive texts convincing their parents to get a pet. Look at these wonderful authors who are proudly displaying their letters to their parents.

Lucas D - 1E
Sienna L - 1E
Muhammad I - 1E

Mrs L Anderson - Acting S1 Assistant Principal

Stage Two

Current Learning

English - In keeping with our theme on learning about the wonderful work of renowned author Roald Dahl, this week we start the study of another one of his texts - The Twits. This hilarious story is full of interesting adventures which the students are sure to love and learn from.

Geography - Students have been learning about the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and the effect that plastic in our oceans has on not only the environment, but also the marine life. The Plastiki Expedition​ generated a lot of conversation between students and really got them thinking about the impact of the plastic bottle on the environment and how we can be more sustainable.

Celebration of Learning

Multicultural Speaking - Congratulations to those students who participated in the Multicultural Public Speaking competition this week. There were some outstanding speeches and we look forward to hearing who our winners are when they are announced. Well done on a fantastic effort.

Class Dojo App - We hope that you are enjoying engaging with the Class Dojo app and that you are using it to track how your child's day has been. A reminder that teachers will not respond to messages sent via this app. Please phone the school if you wish to speak to your child's teacher.

Mrs R Ranse - Acting S2 Assistant Principal

Stage Three

Wow! We’re over halfway through this term. Students have been working well over the past fortnight.

Current Learning

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program - Over the past fortnight all Stage Three students have been excitedly participating and thoroughly enjoying our Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program. Students have been learning how to safely use equipment. Students have enjoyed cooking four dishes including Indian flat bread, hummus, snow pea/snap pea and fetta salad and banana and rolled oat muffins.

Students are thoroughly enjoying the experience of preparing, cooking and cleaning up after a meal. There are a lot of skills involved and it is wonderful to see all students progressing with their life long gardening and cooking skills.

Stage Three prepared Indian flat bread, hummus, snow pea/snap pea and fetta salad and banana and rolled oat muffins


Mobile Phones - Students bringing mobile phones to school are strongly discouraged. If essential for safe travel to and from school, students must have Principal approval and be signing their mobile phones in at the office at the beginning of the day where it will be locked away and then signed out at the end of the day. Students are not to use their mobile phones within the school grounds for safety reasons. If you need to communicate and get a message to your child, please phone the office. Please discuss this issue with your child.

Colour Explosion Fun Run - The highly anticipated Colour Explosion Fun Run was, as expected, an enormous success! To see all the smiles on both students’ and staff faces alike was worth every bit of planning and organisation!

Collection of donations has now closed and it’s time to press submit on your prize order!

I know Year 6 students are going to be extremely busy organising and delivering all prizes because of the massive amount of money that our amazing community has raised. Never in our wildest dreams, during this stressful pandemic, did we think that so much money would be pledged to our amazing school. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for supporting us! We are very humbled and exceptionally grateful to announce that you, the Gorokan community raised a grand total of $37,300.00!!

A huge thank you to Mrs Carty who put a lot of time and effort into organising this amazing event with Mrs Farrell, Ms Bates and Year 6 students. Another big THANK YOU and shout out to all our wonderful Gorokan Public School staff who assisted in the set-up, pack up and involvement in spreading colour for students during the day! What an amazing team we have here at Gorokan!!

Celebration of Learning

Multicultural Speeches - We wish our Stage Three finalists who made it through to Stage finals of Multicultural speeches the very best of luck. A big congratulations to the following students who represented their class and made it through to the Stage Three final:

Year 5 - Jacob 5R - Welcome to Australia and Lily 5D - Racism No Way

Year 6 - Aimee 6F - Sports Bring us Together, Hannah 6F - Racism No Way, and Ellyse 6B - Racism No Way

Have a wonderful fortnight!

Mrs K Day - S3 Assistant Principal

Special Education

Current Learning

Science - Mrs Greentree and her students have been learning about pushing and pulling forces in science lessons. They made flying dragons. I wonder how far they flew?

Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden - Our students continue to have a great time participating in our SAKG program with Mrs King. They have had fun cooking over the past two weeks. The pasta and hummus was very tasty. They also love working in the vege garden and collecting eggs from our chooks.


Drink Bottles - It is great to see so many drink bottles coming to school so that the children can access our school bubblers. Please note that metal drink bottles can be dangerous to have in the classroom as they can cause damage to property and hurt other students if they are used in unsafe ways. If possible, I encourage you to send your child to school with a plastic drink bottle instead. If you have trouble organising a plastic one, please see your child’s teacher and we will organise one for you.

School Jumpers - Our winter weather this year has been very unpredictable. Please send your child to school with a jumper even if they don’t want to wear it when leaving home as the temperature can change during the day leaving them cold and uncomfortable. In addition to this, please make sure that the jumper has your child’s name and class clearly written on it.

Celebration of Learning

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

Mrs S Crook - Deputy Principal Student Wellbeing

Schools as Community Centre News

Online Parenting Courses

  • 13th August - 10th September (Five Thursdays in a row) - Triple P Parenting Course: 12:00pm - 2:00pm (2 hours)
  • Click the link below to register for parenting courses.

SaCC Term 3 regular program parenting courses and speech group (all free and online)

  • Monday: Little Learners, Baby Massage;
  • Tuesdays: Mother Goose/Baby Play, 123 Magic parenting;
  • Wednesday: Kids on the Move, Transition to School, Talkers Storytime (Speech);
  • Thursday: Busy Beats, Aboriginal Building Connections for separated parent, and
  • Friday: Little Thinkers group, Talkers Play Pals (Speech).

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

School News

Parenting Ideas


Staying the course in COVID times

COVID-19 continues to test us in ways that were unimaginable at the start of 2020. It’s becoming the defining event of this generation and a reference point for decades to come. We’ve had depression kids, war kids and now we have COVID-19 kids.

The impact of COVID-19 is felt di fferently across the country. Currently, Victoria is in Stage 4 lockdown while other states are on high alert. Not every student is working from home, but most students are COVID conscious, knowing that they’re only a corona cough or virus-filled hug away from remote learning.

Encouraging kids to stay the course when they’ve been denied access to the classroom, peers and community activities is now a common parenting challenge. Denial is generally tolerable in the short term, but the novelty of changed circumstances soon wears off. The following strategies will assist both parents and kids to stay the COVID long course:

Accept difficult emotions

‘There’s nothing so bad that we can’t talk about, but there are behaviours that we won’t accept’ is a mantra that serves families well. It’s okay for children to feel frustrated, annoyed, angry or upset about their change of circumstances due to the pandemic but that doesn’t give them permission to behave disrespectfully, miss school requirements or fail to assist at home. It helps if parents validate how their children feel, then encourage them to focus on fulfilling school and family expectations.

Encourage acceptance

Some children and young people will protest the COVID induced changes that have been imposed upon them. In some respects, it may be admirable for children to push for a better deal, but the severity of the COVID-19 pandemic means that the individual needs to bend toward the greater community good. This is simply a case of accepting and making the best of the situation at hand.

Take it one day and week at a time

On family bush walks my young children would rarely complain when the tracks were windy. The complaint levels rose when paths were long and straight as the finish line seemed such a long way o . In a similar vein during our current times it’s smart to keep kids focused on getting through each day and week rather than look too far ahead. Six weeks of Stage 4 may seem intolerable, so it’s better to focus on getting through each day and week.

Be the hope person

Help children and young people understand that they will get through difficult times. “This too shall pass” is perhaps the most apt meme for our times. If your hope bucket is emptying out, seek out positive friends and relatives who can top it up. Our own resilience needs nurturing if we are to last the distance.

Provided as a part of our school’s Parenting Ideas membership parentingideas.com.au

The internal parenting manual that guides us probably doesn’t include chapters dealing with remote learning, lack of peer interaction and kids’ disappointment. Most of us are treading new parenting ground so it’s best to be open to change, accepting of difficulties and forgiving of inevitable parenting stumbles.

Published by Michael Grose Presentations. All rights reserved. For more ideas, support and advice for all you’re parenting challenges visit: