Newsletter Term 2 Week 3 7 May 2014 principal’s prattle

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Newsletter Term 2 Week 3 7 May 2014


Winter appears not far away with the cold air that has reached our doors. It is terrific to see so many students dressed in full school uniform and I commend parents on ensuring students are dressed accordingly. Please remember for winter maroon jumpers and pants are the school uniform. Students will be asked to remove items that do not comply with our uniform policy. Students are also reminded that hoods are not to be worn over the head in class or out of class. Hats are the only acceptable headwear to be worn. Students who have medical conditions regarding their head, are exempt from this policy.

Next week is an extremely important week with the financial audit and NAPLAN testing occurring. Last week in the newsletter, important information was provided regarding NAPLAN. Please read the below information that provides further information about NAPLAN very carefully if you have students in Years 3, 5, 7 & 9.

2014 Test timetable


13 May

Official test date


14 May

Official test date


15 May

Official test date


16 May

Language Conventions

Yr 3: 40 min

Yr 5: 40 min

Yr 7: 45 min

Yr 9: 45 min


Yr 3: 45 min

Yr 5: 50 min

Yr 7: 65 min

Yr 9: 65 min


Yr 3: 45 min

Yr 5: 50 min

Yr 7 (calculator):

40 min

Yr 9 (calculator):

40 min

Catch up tests permitted

20 minute break

20 minute break


Yr 3: 40 min

Yr 5: 40 min

Yr 7: 40 min

Yr 9: 40 min


Yr 7 (non-calc.):

40 min

Yr 9 (non-calc.):

40 min

Catch up tests permitted

Catch up tests permitted

Catch up tests permitted

NAPLAN tests the sorts of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life, such as reading, writing, spelling, grammar and numeracy. It is important to remember that NAPLAN tests are not pass/fail tests. NAPLAN tests provide very valuable information, but there are no consequences for individual students for poor or good performance. At the classroom

level it is one of a number of important tools used by teachers to measure student progress.
How is NAPLAN performance measured?

NAPLAN is not a pass or fail type test, and is designed to illustrate the range of student performance across the country. It is not expected that all students will be able to answer all questions correctly.

Individual student performance is shown on a national achievement scale for each test. The performance of individual students can be compared to the average performance of all students in Australia.

Preparation for NAPLAN

NAPLAN assesses literacy and numeracy skills that students are already learning through the school curriculum. Teachers will ensure that students are familiar with the test formats and will provide appropriate support and guidance. Excessive preparation is not useful and can lead to unnecessary anxiety. If you have any questions about your child's preparation for NAPLAN, you are encouraged to make a time to speak with their teacher.

NAPLAN tests are constructed to give students an opportunity to demonstrate skills they have learned over time through the school curriculum, and NAPLAN test days should be treated as just another routine event on the school calendar. The best way you can help your child prepare for NAPLAN is to reassure them that NAPLAN tests are just one part of their school program, and to urge them to simply do the best they can on the day.

NAPLAN Results

Schools will receive NAPLAN reports for their students by mid-September. The school will notify you when the reports are being sent home. The same report format is used for every student in Australia.

Your child's school is your first point of contact for any questions about their NAPLAN report, including:

  • if you do not receive a report

  • for replacement reports (Please note: ACARA does not have access to individual student reports and cannot organise the reissue of lost student reports)

  • if you want further information about your child's results

Copies of individual student's test papers are not available.

Food And Fluids For NAPLAN

It is extremely important to ensure students have had a healthy and nutritious breakfast on the days of NAPLAN testing. For students in Years 3, 5, 7 & 9 additional breakfast club days will be held next week on Tuesday and Thursday. Breakfast will be open to all students in these year levels on Tuesday and Thursday and to the entire school as per normal on Wednesday.

Please also ensure that students have a healthy lunchbox on the testing days with plenty of protein and fruit. Students need to bring a water bottle with only water in it to take in to the test room.

Helpful Literacy and Numeracy Hints For Parents

In the early years of primary school, students learn to read through rhymes, storytelling and following along with their favourite book. Learning to write begins with scribble and drawings. The activities below will help your child develop these skills.

1. Share rhymes and songs and encourage your child to join in.

2. Save safe cardboard and household items for your child to build with. Ask your child to describe what they are building.

3. Have a dress-up box for your child to use for imaginative play.

4. Listen to your child and respond to their ideas with questions and ask for more information.

5. Write down your child’s stories as they tell you and encourage him or her to read it back to you.

6. Point out and talk about letters and words all around you. For example, on cereal boxes, car number plates, signs.

7. Cook simple things together. Read out the recipe, talk through what you are doing.

8. Join a toy library and choose toys together.

9. Look at junk mail and talk about the things for sale.

10. Provide materials and create a writing/drawing table or area.

11. Talk about family photos and histories.

Star of the Week – Hannah Radel

Good persuasive writing

Star of the Week – Sarah Bust –

Good Contribution in class discussion

Congratulations Year 4 Students – 100% Attendance.

The overall attendance for term two so far is 93.5%, with 92.3% of students attending in Week 2. Our aim for the year is to have an average attendance rate of higher than 96.5% for the entire school. Even though our attendance is greater than last year, our target is still not being met. Please ensure your child attends school each and every day! As you know, every minute of every day, Biggenden State School students are learning and achieving.

Parents are reminded that schools have a legal responsibility to follow up when students are absent from school without explanation. Class rolls are legal documents and teachers are accountable for maintaining
accurate records, including reasons for student absences. Student achievement is affected by absenteeism. Parents are asked to help maximise student potential by ensuring their children are at school on time each day, ready to learn. Please also assist us by providing timely explanation for student absences, either by telephone or a note to the teacher. Members of administration are available to discuss any on-going concerns you may have regarding absences. Absences are recorded on students’ report cards.


Year Level

Week 2

% Attendance

Year to Date % Attendance


































Student of the Week

  • Year 3/4 Isabella McAskill – Strive to Excel


Breakfast Club is very popular with students of all ages. It is held every Wednesday morning from 8.15am in the Home Economics building. All Biggenden State School students can attend this activity.

Next week only on Tuesday and Thursday, Breakfast Club will be held for Year 3, 5, 7 & 9 to assist with their preparation for NAPLAN testing. On Wednesday Breakfast Club will occur for all year levels.


Please give the school a call or visit the office staff to ensure your contact details are correct.

Please remember that our Newsletter is distributed each Thursday but also appears on our school website: Parents are also able to download the QSchools App to receive the newsletter as well.


Biggenden State School is proud to say we are a School Wide Positive Behaviour school. We are Big On: Heart; Responsibility; Respect and Learning.

Week 3 the focus is on setting high expectations. Staff encourage students to strive to excel. Students at Biggenden State School are achieving some fantastic academic results with the data showing the majority of students improving their marks across all subject areas. Students are encouraged to ask for feedback from their teachers on how they can improve and further extend their results.

School Rules

Please remember that Biggenden State School has classroom and school rules. Each week in the newsletter a section will be dedicated to outlining these rules.


We invite parents/guardians and community members to attend our weekly parade that is held at 8:45am each Monday morning. Student awards are given out along with special notices for the entire school. Please feel free to come along and join the students.

Sporting Events

Last week saw students from Biggenden State School attend the North Burnett Cross Country in Gayndah. All students who attended, ran very well and displayed determination to achieve. A huge congratulations to all of our students who attended.

This Thursday and Friday, is the Wide Bay Sporting trials for Under 12 Rugby League, Netball, Tennis and girls and boys Soccer. Students from Biggenden State School have been selected in the North Burnett teams and will travel to Hervey Bay to compete. We wish these students all the very best and look forward to hearing of their successes.

Mrs Carolyn Holmes and I will also be attending this event as manager and coach of the netball team.

Junior Secondary

In 2015 all year 7 students across Queensland will be incorporated in to the Secondary School. Biggenden State School has already made the transition and the Year 7 students work in the Secondary School. The year 6 students are the focus therefore for transition. Students in Year 6 will be working on a variety of programs to prepare them for the move to Secondary School.

As part of our Junior Secondary Action Plan we have introduced the Junior and Secondary uniforms to give students identity. Identity is a very big part of the culture that students experience in this stage of their life. Other key actions include pastoral care lessons focussing on resilience topics; classroom displays and ensuring teacher instruction focuses not only on Explicit Instruction but also caters for individual learning styles.

Reading Award – Ben Pryor, Lilli Pfingst, Madeleine Radel, Ryley Gibbs – 20 books.

Matthew Geissler, Ben Pryor, Thomas Randall – 40 Books


12 – 18 National Volunteers week – 25th Anniversary

13-15 Naplan Week – Yrs 3,5,7,9 Testing

15-21 National Families Week

14 Year 8 & 10 Immunisations

17-18 Biggenden Show

22 Biggest Morning Tea

27 WB Cross Country – Gayndah

27 – 3 June - National Reconciliation Week

29 School Photo’s


9 Queens Birthday Holiday

25 Ajax/Milo 1 /2 day Field & Distance Events

17 Novelty Sports Day

30 – 11 June / July School Holidays


Congratulations to Jessica Hardy, David Geissler, Sharmaine Garcia, Britney Hardy, Kaylee Garrigon, Demoya Barkle, Jaiden Jeynes, Chloe Burt, Tim Geissler and Kalyra Vea Vea for their efforts at the North Burnett Zone Cross Country in Gayndah last Friday. All students ran well, even through the mud and the rain, with many running faster times than at our district carnival.

Thanks also to Darren Geissler for helping out and being a course marshall on very short notice.

Students who attended the North Burnett Zone Cross Country last Friday 2 May.

Photo contributed by Tracey Geissler

Winter Carnival

This Thursday and Friday, Ben Buczma (Rugby League), Samson Wykamp, Britney Hardy and Chloe Burt (soccer) will travel to Hervey Bay to compete in the Wide Bay trials for their respective sports. They will play as part of the North Burnett teams and have shown great commitment in also attending after school training in Gayndah and Mundubbera to help prepare them for this carnival.

Thanks also to the parents who willingly take their children to these training and trial days.

Good Luck!!!!


15th – 21st May

Stronger Families, Stronger Communities.

The bond that links your true family is not only one of blood but of respect and joy in each other. “

Richard Bach author of Illusions.


Students entering/leaving the school grounds must leave via the gates manned by the School Crossing Supervisors and Teacher Aides – this is for their safety.
Continuing over the rest of this term we are expecting a variety of workmen and women working towards improving the schools facilities and appearance.
At times areas of the school including classrooms and toilets will be out of bounds and we encourage parents to speak to their children about obeying rules about entering these areas.
Your co operation is greatly appreciated.


As part of the show entertainment Mr Bob Gammage, Theatre of Life Artist (T.O.L.A.) will be painting. He includes passer-by’s in his work, having them paint themselves into the scene and then builds around them. His aim is to assist country towns and local charities.

To do that, part of Saturday night’s entertainment is the auction of his artwork, with 25% of the proceeds being donated by the Show Society to the Chaplaincy Program.

We thank the Show Society for thinking of us and wish them all the best for their upcoming show.
Lunch time activities this week continue to focus on the Biggenden Show, with students becoming very creative with autumn leaves.
Don’t forget to return your child’s paperwork to enable them to participate in the after school Christian Kids’ Club which I hope to start in Week 5 on Tuesday from 3 to 4.30pm on the school premises.


Each week we will be using a main vegetable for our cooking theme. Last week was Zucchini week and we had fun making all the different recipes with our Zucchinis grown from our gardens.

Char grilled Zucchini and Cherry tomato Pizza

Pizza dough

375ml (1 1/2 cups) warm water

2 teaspoons (7g/1 sachet) dried yeast

Pinch of caster sugar

600g (4 cups) plain flour

1 teaspoon salt

60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil, plus extra for brushing


Cherry tomato sauce

1 large green zucchini, ends trimmed, sliced lengthways

1 large yellow zucchini, ends trimmed, sliced lengthways

1 tablespoon olive oil, plus extra for brushing

100g (1 cup) grated mozzarella

250g fresh mozzarella grated cheese

1/4 cup fresh rosemary sprigs

Combine the water, yeast and sugar in a small bowl. Set aside for 5 minutes or until foamy. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Add the yeast mixture and oil. Use a round-bladed knife in a cutting motion to mix until the mixture is combined. Use your hands to bring the dough together in the bowl.

Brush a bowl lightly with oil. Turn the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knead for 10 minutes or until smooth and elastic. Place in the prepared bowl and turn to coat in oil. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside in a warm, draught-free place to rise for 30 minutes or until dough doubles in size.

Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Preheat a chargrill pan on high. Brush the zucchini with half the oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook one-quarter of the zucchini for 1-2 minutes each side or until lightly browned. Transfer to a plate. Repeat in 3 more batches with remaining zucchini.

Brush a baking tray with oil. Roll out a dough and place on tray. Spread the cherry tomato over the base of pizza dough. Sprinkle over the mozzarella. Arrange the zucchini slices, in a criss-cross pattern, over the base. Sprinkle with the rosemary and drizzle with the remaining oil. Season with pepper.
Bake for 12-15 minutes or until golden brown. Cut into wedges to serve.
Sweetcorn Fritters with Avocado Salsa


  • 400g sweetcorn

  • 1/2 cup Self raising flour

  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten

  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh chives/shallots/onion

  • 2 green onions, finely sliced

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Avocado salsa

  • 1 avocado, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice

  • 1/2 red capsicum, finely chopped

  • 1/2 small red onion, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh coriander leaves

  • 1 tablespoon sweet chilli sauce


  1. Combine corn, flour, eggs, chives and onion in a bowl.

  2. Heat oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Using 1 tablespoon mixture per fritter, cook 8 fritters for 4 minutes each side or until golden and cooked through. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel. Repeat with remaining mixture to make 16 fritters. Cool. Place in an airtight container. Cover. Refrigerate.

Make Avocado salsa: Combine avocado and lemon juice in an airtight container. Refrigerate. Place capsicum, onion, coriander and sweet chilli sauce in a bowl. Stir to combine. Transfer to a separate airtight container. Refrigerate.
Zucchini and Walnut Muffins


2 1/4 cups (340g) plain flour

1 cup (220g) white sugar

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt

115g butter

1/4 cup (60ml) milk

2 eggs, lightly whisked

1 1/2 cups grated zucchini

1 teaspoon vanilla essence

1/2 cup chopped walnuts

1/4 cup (50g) brown sugar

Preheat oven to 180 degrees C. Grease and flour a muffin tray or use muffin cases.

In a large bowl combine flour and sugar. Stir in baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt.
Bake in the preheated oven for 15 to 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Allow to cool.
Cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Make a well in the centre and pour in milk, eggs, zucchini and vanilla. Stir until well combined. Fold in walnuts.
Fill muffin cups 2/3 to 3/4 full. Sprinkle tops with brown sugar
Bake 20 minutes in oven, check after 5 minutes

Fun not Fuss with Food

Learn how to improve your child’s fussy eating behaviour.

Do you want to prevent your child from developing fussy eating behaviours?

Is your child aged between 2 and 10 years?

If you answered YES to the above questions, then the Fun not Fuss with Food Program is for you!

Come along to this FREE 1 ½ hour workshop and learn:

Why children become fussy eaters

What children need for healthy growth and development

Practical strategies to make healthy food fun and delicious!

Wednesday 11 June 2014 – 10.00am – 11.30am

Uniting Church Hall George Street Biggenden

Phone Berneice Hilly Accredited Nutritionist

Phone 4162 5230 or Mobile 0417 613 596

Big on Heart – Respect – Responsibility – Learning. While Striving to Excel

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