school life

capital works update

I thank all the students, families and staff who were able to complete our survey in regards to the school facilities. I have been so pleased to see how much interest the VSBA has taken in our particular school setting, demonstrating an understanding of the importance of each school’s community, culture and setting.

I understand some families did not engage with the survey, feeling that this process is not necessary when we have a developed master plan. Whilst I do understand the sentiment of not fixing something that isn’t broken, the latest consultation process is slightly different and meets the various needs of the VSBA. The first phase of the planning process, which we are currently in the middle of, is about our school vision and needs. Phase 2 then starts to take into consideration the Department’s priorities, the (potentially) hidden issues with this beautiful old building (for example, electrical wiring) and the space requirements for a school with 430 students.

I feel it is important to take a moment to state that we will not get our entire masterplan built with $6.23 million. The Strategic Infrastructure Committee (SIC) put an estimated cost of all improvements to be between $15-20 million, so under the best circumstances our $6.23 will cover just one-third of this. It is also important to state that the masterplan SIC developed was predominantly a strategic document, outlining the plausibility of entitled spaces and also a communication/campaign exercise; despite the political funding announcement being for our STELA building, the actual outcome of the Capital Works may differ, as determined by this process.

With this being said, I want to extend another big thank you to all the families engaged in the campaign and in the development of our Strategic Infrastructure Needs statement - this has been an invaluable resource in the early stages of planning.

art news

It has been a great time in the art studio this term. Everyone has learned heaps, the vibe has been productive and calm, and many interesting projects and ideas are percolating as we head into term three.

Cheers Jack

First let me say a huge thank you to Jack and all the other helpers, including students and carers, for putting on a truly memorable evening in The Commotion. It was a collaborative effort with the entire Arts Department getting involved, but the lion’s share of gratitude needs to go to Jack. His enthusiasm and vision will hopefully make this an annual event that will continue to grow and improve over time.

Junior School

The students have really been putting in the hard yards this term. The Junior School has been focussing on colour. What happens when you add white or black? What happens when we mix two colours together? Can we make our own colours? Can we make our own paint? Well, of course we can. The students did just that too and gave them wonderful names like Old Vomit Green, Ferret Brown, Florist Purple and Bum Pink. We also studied many aboriginal artists including Minnie Pwerle, Sally Gabori and Wentja Napaltjarri. Next term we will be focussed on printmaking which always provides many amazing learning opportunities.

Middle School

We are very lucky to have a set of iPads that the students can access at all times when working with specialists. The Middle School embarked on a photography unit this term that was not only fun, but incredibly enlightening. Even though iPads do a lot of the work for us we still need to take into consideration basic photography fundamentals such as focus, composition and lighting. We had a great time with this unit. We dressed up like Cindy Sherman and Gillian Wearing and took intimate still life pictures like Josef Sudek. Next term we will be examining graffiti and street art as we play with stencils and silk screens. It’s going to be wild.

Senior School

Visual and Performing Arts joined forces this term as the students worked towards creating original performance pieces around the theme “Unremarkable Rituals”. Students worked in small groups that were fragmented again into smaller, skill groups titled designers (props), composers (musicians) and performers. The kids developed their own pieces celebrating mundane activities such as getting a glass of water, waking up, and eating takeaway food. The students performed to their peers and then took the show to the entire community at The Commotion. I must commend the students who attended the night by picking up the slack left by students who did not attend. It demonstrated grit and determination as well as teamwork; the driving force behind the project. Next term the students will work on their own personal art projects with the theme Monsters guiding them. Good times ahead.


I have established Seesaw accounts for all of the students that I work with and use it regularly. If you haven’t registered or logged into your kid’s account yet, I recommend getting on to it. It’s the best way of keeping in touch with the art program. I have found it a great tool for sharing and saving artworks as well as setting tasks within the art sessions. It essentially creates digital portfolios. If you can’t find your code, drop me a line and I’ll get another one to you. It’s confidential and it’s free!


Term four sees the return of the Arts Festival, renamed Art Attak! It will run in the last week of the school year. The theme will be Monsters and the Arts Department will be focussing our efforts towards the production of interesting, interactive pieces for you to experience. As we know, it takes a village to raise a child and it takes a community to put on a successful arts experience. If you are interested in helping out in any way imaginable (you don’t need an arts background) please contact Jack or myself. It’s gonna be MONSTROUS!

Arts information evening

Jack and I plan on hosting an arts information evening early on in term three. The purpose of the event is to inform families of what is happening in this part of the school. We will endeavour to answer any questions or queries and will also be drumming up support for the many projects we are proposing. More information regarding dates will be coming your way soon.

Winter Magic Market Art Auction

Winter is upon us and it’s a time for celebration. The annual Art Auction will be running once again and I am looking for a few donations. I’m looking for small pieces of timber. 10x10cm pieces or smaller would be great. I’d also like to add to my already growing pile of tiny toys. I’m looking for small pieces – no bigger than a standard Lego block – to be used in some student works for sale on the day. Screws, washers and bolts would also come in handy as well.

Thanks and have a great holiday,

Andrew in the Art Studio




THANK YOU SO MUCH for all the parents who attended our maths information night and our family maths afternoon. It was such a great turn out and it was so great to see so many faces eager to learn about what is happening in the classroom. We also really appreciated the feedback we got from parents. Staying back after school is well worth it when we get such positive feedback from families.

Lots of parents have said that one of the biggest take away was the struggle! This is fantastic to hear, especially because that can be tough for parents to understand. When we see people we care about struggling our first instinct is to help them but hopefully Jessie and I explained that letting them struggle can help them become more independent learners and feel the success of getting out of the learning pit.

Lots of parents said that they are going to play some games after the session as well as giving kids real life maths opportunities. This is so exciting to hear! One of the parents spoke about how over the holidays they were going to ask their child to help them build something in the backyard which will use maths in real life.

From our feedback, we are hoping to run another info night that shows what happens in the classroom and how we are using enabling and extending prompts.

Another exciting maths event that happened last week was our maths afternoon. I got the chance to visit classrooms and it was fantastic to see so many families playing games with their special BNW people. Lots of teachers have said how much they enjoyed having parents come in and see some games we’ve been playing and to ask questions about our maths program.

Jessie and I have had an amazing first semester in our new role. We are very lucky to work at such a supportive school, with great leadership, amazing students and enthusiastic parents.

Speaking of amazing parents and students! Attached if a maths bingo for you to play over the holidays. There are 10 different activities to have a go at while you are enjoying your break. At the front office there will be instructions for scrumble (a very cool new game that has become a hit at BNW!) as well as some great parent resources with some websites with tips, tricks and activities to try.

Have an amazing 20,160 minute break!


Follow us on twitter  @BnwpsM  to see the amazing maths things we are doing at BNW


Expressions of interest are now open for students to join the BNWPS ensemble who play any instrument except keyboard (1 or 2 by audition or recommendation). Instruments can be triangle, recorder, glockenspiel or all other tuned instruments, ie. violin, viola, cello, flute, clarinet. The time of rehearsals will be confirmed as numbers and room availability are confirmed. 


The cost will be between $7 and $12 per session depending on numbers. 


Please contact Marianne at or 0417 550 924 for further information.