Things to Know

Important Dates

  • 10 September ACT Track & Field
  • 10 September ICAS Writing Year 3-6
  • 12 September R U OK Day
  • 12 September ICAS Spelling Bee Year 2-6
  • 13 September Senior Assembly
  • 17 September ICAS English Year 2-6
  • 19 September ICAS Math Year 2-6
  • 19 September Grandfriends Day & Learning Expo
  • 20 September Grandfriends Day & Learning Expo

Chris Shaddock


Principal's Address

Dear Kaleen Community,

Happy Father’s Day (for last Sunday) to all our dads in the Kaleen community! We hope you were spoilt rotten and able to spend some quality time with the kids. It has been a busy few weeks here at school with lots of fabulous learning opportunities and achievements. Thank you to the parents who took the time to fill out our school satisfaction surveys, once again we had an impressive number of responses! We have reached our target of an 85% completion rate, which means that all of our students will be able to participate in ‘Wheels Day’ early next term. Your survey feedback has been overwhelmingly positive and we also appreciate your fabulous ideas to help us further enhance our practice. Please read on to hear about some initiatives happening in and around the school.

Literacy & Numeracy Week

This week, we have been celebrating Literacy & Numeracy Week and our students have been participating in a range of engaging activities. On top of our regular literacy and numeracy programs, classes have been reading the book ‘How many Jelly Beans?” by Andrea Menotti. Teachers have also been explicitly teaching estimation skills and children have had the chance to participate in our highly popular Jelly Bean competition! Classes have also been involved in many hands on maths activities and games using Dr Paul Swan and other resources (click here to access some examples). Students have also been exposed to a number of visual texts and writing stimuli to develop their oral language and creative writing. On Wednesday, we celebrated Indigenous Literacy Day and each class was given a special Dreaming Storybook to unwrap and read. We also had ‘The Great Book Swap’ and thank our families for their generous donations, as all monies raised will go towards purchasing books and resources for rural Indigenous communities. It has been an amazing week and I would like to thank our literacy School Improvement Team (SIT) for leading this magnificent school event.

School Improvement Visit

Last week the Director of School Improvement (for Belconnen Schools) and a team of Belconnen Principals came to Kaleen to conduct a School Improvement Visit (SIV). The purpose of the visit was to observe and offer feedback on our three key actions related to the teaching of writing:

1. Establish consistent branding / common writing structures across the school and make learning visible

2. Create writing goals with all students

3. Build a culture of feedback structures across the school

The SIV team were blown away by what they saw and gave us extensive feedback on our focus areas and high level of student engagement. A synthesis of their feedback is outlined below:

Key Strengths identified:

  • Students displayed a strong engagement in learning across the school and clearly knew their roles in the learning process
  • Students could articulate their goals and there was a balance between goals created by teachers and students (student centred practices and student voice were evident)
  • Flexible classroom environments, students had choice in where and how their learning took place
  • Feedback practices were employed to develop deep learning (including teacher and peer feedback - linked to lesson Learning Intentions) and students regularly identified where they could access help
  • Consistent structures across the school (while still maintaining a level of teacher autonomy).

Congratulations everyone on another fantastic achievement for our school!


Last Friday evening, I had the pleasure of attending the Limelight spectacular! Congratulations to Sarah Crawford and our talented Kaleen students on their magnificent performance. The costumes were amazing and it was clear that a lot of time and resources had gone into preparing for the show. Thank you to our fabulous parents and support team for preparing costumes, attending rehearsals and assisting Sarah on the night. In addition to the 32 junior choir students performing, we also had 11 senior students who represented our school in the ACT Primary Concert Choir.

Congratulations all, on a job well done!

To watch the video click the link below

Thank you to all members of the community who dressed up for 'Team Colours Day' today! All money raised will be donated directly to the 'Fight Cancer Foundation'. I look forward to seeing you at our upcoming Grandfriends Day & Learning Expo or in and around the school.

Bye for now,

Chris Shaddock


Family Reading Before School

Our library is opened each morning from 8:30am - 9:00am for ‘Family Reading’ time. This is a valuable time to read with your child before school and to keep out of the cold winter mornings while you wait for the school day to start. All children in the library must be accompanied and supervised by their parent/carer.

Library News

Book in a Jar

As part of the Book Week celebrations, we ran a fun and interactive competition in the Library. See if you can guess the answers.

P.s No books were harmed in the making of this competition

Junior Book in a Jar Clues:

  • This book is written by a famous Australian author
  • Other books written by this author include- 'Josephine wants to dance', 'Too many pears' & 'Pete the sheep'
  • The main character in this book is a nocturnal, Australian animal
  • A quote from this book- "Morning: slept, Afternoon: slept, Evening: ate grass

Senior Book in a Jar Clues:

  • This book is part of a series
  • This particular book is the 8th is the series
  • The 2 main characters in this story have first names that start with A and T
  • Other characters in this book are: Jill, Mr.Big Nose, The Bears and many more
  • This book has jokes at the bottom of each page

The Chief Minister's Reading Challenge

The 2019 Chief Minister's Reading Challenge is coming to a close as the challenge finishes on 13 September. Earlier in the year students were offered to join the challenge to read and record 30 books of their choice. These forms are to be completed and handed to Krissy in the libray where they will be sent off to the Chief Minister. In term 4 students who have completed the challenge will receive a certificate from the Chief Minister him self, acknowledging their efforts.

All forms need to be submitted to the library by 13 September.

The Great Indigenous Book Swap

Thank you to all of the families who donated books for The Great Book Swap and to everyone who came out and donated a gold coin to purchase some books. Together we raised $340! All of this money will go to towards buying books and resources in remote aboriginal communities around Australia.

Lions' Reading Action Program

The Lions' Reading Action Program is worldwide program instigated by the international President of the Lions' organisation in 2012. Since then, each International President has endorsed theis Reading Action Program to encourage a love of reading and improve literacy skills worldwide.

The Lions Club of Canberra Belconnen has supported the program since 2012 by donation books to many Belconnen school libraries each year. Thank you to Beverly who stopped by yesterday to donate 2 new books to our library.

P&C News

Parking around the school

I’d like to issue another reminder to all parents that parking illegally around the school is potentially dangerous for students and you run a very real risk of being issued with an infringement notice. A number of parents have recently received infringement notices for parking illegally near the Bears bar and at other places around the school. The manager of the Bears bar, Jeremy Kidson has reached out to the school and P&C to let us know that the Bears bar did not tip off authorities to illegal parking around the bar. I suspect that any extra infringement notices are a product of either the government’s attempt to make our schools safer or potentially from extra scrutiny of the fledgling (cubling?) Bears bar. In any case if you park legally, you'll be safe from fines and your kids will be safer.

P&C meeting next Tuesday night

Hayfever and illness has plagued the elected P&C committee members this week so we postponed last Tuesday’s meeting until next Tuesday 10 September in the Library. Apologies for the short notice. All community members are welcome to attend and participate. I’ve invited Jeremy Kidson from the Bears bar to attend to speak to the committee and field any questions from the P&C. We’ll bump this to the top of the agenda so that discussion is likely to start close to 7pm.

Bottle recycling

The P&C has set up a bottle recycling account so that any family wishing to donate their 10c per bottle to the school can do so. The account is linked to the P&C bank account and email address but to my personal mobile number. Sometimes the account number is best and sometimes you just need a mobile number. So far we’ve raise $23!

Account number: E010182 (zeros not Os)

Mobile number: 0466 386 377

Ben Peters Jones

P&C President

Literacy & Numeracy Week

There is no better way start a Literacy and Numeracy week than with a Jelly Bean guessing competition. The teachers prepared a lesson around estimation before allowing every child to have a guess. We have 3 jars. One for junior, middle and senior primary. The children can’t believe that they get to take a jar home if they win. We will announce our winners in our next newsletter.

It is incredibly important that children develop a conceptual understanding of Mathematics. Teachers are very much aware of this and we use several resources such as games, dice, dominoes and number cards to teach. Numeracy week is a terrific opportunity for teachers to focus our teaching on hands on opportunities and across our school you could see our children enjoying and learning through a variety of excellent learning opportunities. Check out some of our awesome photos.

Literacy activities have also been buzzing around the school with teacher’s supporting children to make a class book and many children using a picture as a stimulus for writing. Why don’t you try our family writing challenge? We challenge you to write a lipogram about the picture below of the elephant seal. You cannot use the letter i.

A lipogram refers to any text composed of words where the writer omits a certain letter. Lipo means “lacking; without,” and gram comes from gramma, meaning “letter.” Composing a lipogram can prompt the writer to go beyond using ordinary words. For example, a lipogram omitting the letter i and describing the elephant seal could read:

The slothful and cantankerous elephant bull roared at the rookery of elephant seals.

Why don’t you give one a go! If you think you have created a brilliant lipogram – please hand them it into the front office. We would love to read them!

ALEA (Australian Literacy Educators’ Association) has put out a free online guide for parents and carers with many examples of literacy activities and resources to support your child’s learning. We thought that this might be a helpful link for our Kaleen families.

Happy Literacy & Numeracy Week!


Transforming Tyres for this Year’s Floriade

Students from the Green Team were very fortunate to have a fun spray-painting experience during lunch time, last Wednesday. Under the expert supervision of Geoff Filmer, of Graffik Paint, students from Kindy to Year 6, donned air masks and oversized shirts and with spray paint cans in hand, transformed sets of tyres, which will now be planted with flowers and later appear at Floriade.

Kaleen Primary was one of four schools across the ACT invited to take part and we remain indebted to Geoff, head gardener of Floriade, Andrew Foster and Executive Producer of Floriade, Vickii Cotter for allowing us this unique opportunity.

KPS Worm Tea

Over the last two weeks, members of the Green Team have worked with Cid, from Global Worming to officially start producing our very own Worm Tea, made from casting collected from our very own worm farm. Worm Tea is an excellent plant fertilizer and a natural insect repellent. Used in the garden, Worm Tea promotes a healthy plant immune system so plants can produce more hormones, insects find distasteful. This wards away a number of insects, including aphids, parasitic nematodes and eelworms. When sprayed on leaves, Worm Tea stimulates the growth of the leaf cuticle which protects the plant from the elements and wards away leaf munching insects. Worm Tea will also dramatically improve soil quality because worm castings have two times more calcium, five times more nitrogen and seven times more phosphorous than regular soil, making Worm Tea ‘pure gold’ for any garden.

Our first batch of Worm Tea is currently brewing in the Kitchen Garden and will be ready for sale soon. Look for purchasing details in the next school newsletter.

Active Travel, Active Streets Update

Our last update showed the placement of the new footpath that will feed into existing paths and into our school. Transport Canberra and City Services (TCCS) has been busy developing the designs and they are hoping to finalise the entire package (including stencilling on footpaths) in the next couple of weeks. As you would be aware there is a process that needs to be followed, so once the designs are finalised and approved with TCCS, they can begin to engage workers for the construction to begin. TCCS are hoping to have everything in place for the 2020 school year. A very exciting time indeed!

Early Childhood Educators Day

This week at Preschool, we celebrated Early Childhood Educator’s Day. Early Childhood Educators' Day recognises and celebrates the work of Australia's educators in early learning services for their wonderful contribution to young students in their care. Thank you to all the families who left lovely messages of thanks and appreciation for our wonderful Preschool team. We are very lucky to have such dedicated and passionate early childhood educators at our school. Here is a little peek of one of the displays…. They are certainly feeling the love this week!

ICAS 2019

ICAS assessments are an extra-curricular opportunity and this year at Kaleen Primary they will be conducted online at 8:15am on the scheduled day. Please make sure you know which assessments your child/ren are enrolled in to ensure they do not miss their test. Years 5 and 6 students are to meet in 6KT and Years 2, 3 and 4 are to meet in the library resource centre. If you arrive earlier, please wait you’re your child until the teacher arrives. If your child is absent on the day, there will not be any make up sessions unless prior arrangements have been discussed.

Baby Ducks & Chicks

In Kindergarten, students have been learning all about living and non living things in Science. We have been talking about the characteristics of living things and how they eat, breathe, drink and grow. We couldn’t think of a better way to learn about this but through having the hatching chicks program visit! Children had the opportunity to look at the lifecycle of a chicken and make observations of these living creatures. Kindergarten students were very excited to watch the chickens hatch and grow into fluffy chicks!

Sports Section

Woolworths Cricket Blast Cup Gala Day

On Thursday 29 August, I had the pleasure of accompanying two boys cricket teams to Kippax Ovals for the exciting Woolworths Cricket Blast Cup Gala Day. The day was a round-robin style competition, with each game made up of eight overs. Each student took turns bowling, fielding and batting in turn. Our students were outstanding both as competitors and as representatives of Kaleen Primary School, attracting positive comments from other coaches and the event organisers, who praised their fantastic sportsmanship. Although there were no official champions of the day, both our year 6 and year 5 teams competed in their final games of the play-offs against the top two teams from Radford College, essentially placing them 3rd and 4th overall. The real winner of the day was the celebration of cricket and all competitors had a fantastic day. Well done to all our boys who were involved!

-Mr Shapowloff

Footy Team Colours Day

Footy Colours Day is a national fundraising campaign held during the month of September where participants are encouraged to wear their favourite team's colours and host an event at their school, organisation, group or club to raise much needed funds for kids with cancer. Today Kaleen Primary staff and students donned our Footy colours and raised $325! Pictured below are the Team Parliament members Lincoln, Joaz, Ben B, Sachin, Mackensey, Ben I & Paige.

Heroes' Corner

Joe Won Loke participated in the ACT MAG National Championship recently. He received gold for high bar and bronze for pommel.

He came in third and received a bronze medal for his overall performance.

Well done Joe Won!

If you would like to have your child’s achievements acknowledged here, please email a short blurb to


Child360 App for Parents

The development of the Child360 app was a collaborative process across the National Workforce Centre, our child and family partners and health practitioners. Emerging Minds Workforce Development Officer, Sophie Guy, facilitated this collaboration and took some time to chat to us about the app’s development, her favourite features and other ways in which parents can support their children’s social and emotional wellbeing.

Why was the app developed?

The Child360 app was created as a simple guide to help parents to support their child’s social and emotional wellbeing. There is so much information out there about raising children, which can be confusing.

Download it via the app store or Google Play store now!