Home 2017 May Principal’s Pen | ANZAC, Newcomers, Maths & NAPLAN

Principal’s Pen | ANZAC, Newcomers, Maths & NAPLAN

Woman writing with pen

Dear Parents and Families,

Welcome back to Term 2. I hope you all had a lovely holiday break.

ANZAC Ceremony

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I would like to say thank you to all community members who attended our school ANZAC ceremony on Friday 28 April. This included many of our parents and families, members of our School Board and Mrs Jessica Stojkovski, MLA. Our wonderful Community Leaders conducted the ceremony and read some very moving poems and stories about ANZAC Day and our past and present servicemen and women. Our school choir, led by Kerry Hartmann, sang, “Lest We Forget,” by Michael Reynolds. I felt very proud to be involved in such an important part of our school year, well done to everyone who contributed to make this such a respectful and meaningful event.

Welcome Rosie, Sylvia and Spotty


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Last week we welcomed three newcomers to Goollelal Primary; Rosie, Sylvia and Spotty, our new school hens.  Thank you to the Hermans-Kan family for donating these beautiful animals to our school. Our Science teacher, Mr Geoff Rintoul has worked very hard to ensure that correct animal welfare protocols have been carried out. He has also been preparing all students for the introduction of the chickens to the school. This has included talking about health and hygiene issues related to handling animals and the correct way to handle and feed the chickens.

Below is some more information provided by Geoff about our beautiful hens.

“We would like to welcome three new additions to the school. On Tuesday Rosie, Spotty and Sylvia attended their first day of school and it was very calm and successful. The new additions are three beautiful chickens that were kindly donated to the school by Elena Hermans-Kan and her family.

All three chickens are mature egg-laying females ranging from around two years old to five years old. Rosie is a big and beautiful Rhode Island Red. Sylvia is a petite black Australorp and Spotty is a Plymouth Rock Chicken. They are very calm birds that easily adapt to new situations well, so we envisage a very smooth transition from them being family chickens to becoming school pets.

We decided to bring chickens into the school for several reasons. We believe they will be wonderful assets to our school and should play a key part in supporting the goals of our students.

Sharing: Students will have opportunities to use the eggs to make food as a part of Food Science. We will be expecting around a dozen eggs a week so students will have to share in order to make the most of the produce. Students will also have the opportunity to share responsibilities when caring for the pets.

Caring: Humans have a very important duty of care to look after Earth, and this includes caring for plants and animals. Learning to look after animals that are almost completely dependent on human care will provide students with opportunities to develop empathy and responsibility. Already many students have demonstrated wonderful behaviour when interacting with the birds.

Learning: Students will be able to observe and interact with the chickens in a way that will support learning of many scientific concepts. Discussions have already begun regarding life-cycles, food chains, materials and economics. We have also discussed the need to maintain healthy behaviours during and after interaction with the chickens. Hygiene rules will apply at all times and students will be reminded of the need to observe proper levels of cleanliness.  Students will not be allowed to eat food when handling the birds and will be required to hand wash thoroughly with soap and water after any session.

A final word: The chickens will be housed in a closed coop during non-school hours, but will be given opportunities to range semi-free during the day. Students will be fencing off different sections of garden every day to give the chickens a chance to explore a variety of habitats. It also allows us to control where the chickens will be at all times. Some advantages of this include being able to control where the chickens poop so that students don’t have to worry about stepping in manure (they are notorious for providing a lot of manure); students that are not comfortable around the birds will not have to come face to face with them;  all gardens will receive great fertiliser action.

Please feel free to come and visit Rosie, Sylvia and Spotty before school sometime. Also, if you have any scraps (vegetable or fruit) then we would love them for the chickens, the worms or the compost. We hope your children enjoy the experience.” Geoff Rintoul

School Development Day | Maths Professional Learning

On Monday 24 April our Teachers and Education Assistants took part in a thorough investigation of the Number strand of the Mathematics learning area and in particular, mental computation strategies. Katherine Free and Geoff Rintoul led staff through the latest research which reinforces the understanding that strong mental calculation skills lay the foundation for all Mathematics. Together the staff investigated the Western Australian Curriculum to locate mental calculation pointers. We now have a whole school Scope and Sequence document for Maths Strategies and related resources. This supports our business plan aim to reinforce connected practice across the school by emphasising shared language and teaching methods.


This week the National Assessment Program in Literacy and Numeracy will be conducted with our Year 3 and Year 5 students. This can sometimes be a stressful time for parents, students and teachers. Our Year 3 and Year 5 teachers have been ensuring that students are familiar with the testing style and have prepared students well.

It is important to keep this testing in perspective and to remember that it is only one part of the overall assessment program in school. Children always perform better if they see the test as part of their normal learning and are relaxed and comfortable.

I believe that, whilst academic achievement and progress are very important in a school, the capacity to build friendships, develop empathy and strengthen resilience in students is by far the greatest thing we can do to set them up for a successful future.


Lynne Anderson | PRINCIPAL