Frequently Asked Questions

Castlemaine North Primary School (CNPS) Frequently Asked Questions 



After School Care

Is there after school care at CNPS?

No, but we do have a YMCA After School Care bus that collects our students for care at Campbells Creek Primary School.  There is also a local Family Day Care option.  New families can access the details for these services in their enrolment pack. 



Finding your way around CNPS

I’m not sure where my child’s classroom is, is there a map?

Please see map below, which shows class buildings.


My child has lost their jumper or lunch container, where is the lost property?

Lost property can be found outside the Parents’ and Carers’ Association room near the staff roomPlease check this area regularly for items that may have been left behind.  Any un-named items left in lost property at the end of each term are donated to the second-hand uniform shop or donated to a local Op-Shop.

What are essential items? Does my child need to bring their own stationery items? 

The school covers all stationery items for students through the Essential Items Contribution ($175 per student – any updates to the amount will be communicated to parents at the end of the previous year, with reminders in newsletters throughout the year).  Students do not need to bring stationery from home.  For more detailed information on the family contributions to school equipment and learning programs, see our Parent Payments policy on the CNPS website.

What are the other costs for school?

Depending on the age of the student, there are other payments apart from the $175 per child.

At Prep-3 level, there is a $30 Readers Levy, to replace and replenish our stocks of take home reading materials.

At Gr 4/5/6 level, there is a laptop lease payment, for students to access devices at school during the year.

There is also a camp each year for students in Grades 2-6, and other excursions/incursions (usually less than $5 per event).

Students also need to be in CNPS uniform - you can purchase this as new from our supplier in town, Beleza, or from our second-hand shop at school.


There are a lot of acronyms, what are some of the common ones I need to know?

·         BQT – Big Question Time (Inquiry Learning)

·         RRRR – Resilience, Rights & Respectful Relationships (usually called Respectful Relationships) - Wellbeing class program.

·         NAPLAN – National Assessments for Literacy and Numeracy

·         STEAM – Science, Technology, Engineering, Art & Maths

·         ES – Educational Support

·         SRC – Student Representative Council

·         CSEF – Camps, Sports and Excursion Fund

·         AIP – Annual Implementation Plan

·         DET – Department of Education and Training


Does the school have a policy on screens and social media? 

Yes we do.  For more information, please visit the Digital Learning Policy here on the website.



What uniform is required and is there any flexibility in what they wear?

The uniform includes:

·         CNPS uniform hat

·         CNPS shirts/jumpers

·         Navy skirt/shorts/pants

·         Blue and White check dress

·         Black school shoes or runners preferred


Please find additional information on the CNPS Uniform Policy here on the website.


What type of shoes should students wear to school?

Most days, students go outside for running games, as well as weekly P.E. sessions.  A sturdy and comfortable shoe, such as traditional “school shoes” or good quality runners are recommended.

Boots, sandals, flat “skate” shoes/Converse or similar are not recommended as they don’t provide adequate support for students’ feet and are not consistent with our uniform colours and presentation.


Please find additional information on the CNPS Uniform Policy here on the website.


Are there secondhand uniforms that I can buy?

Yes! We have parent volunteers to open the second-hand uniform shop once or twice a week (this varies each year – keep an eye on the newsletter for current times, or on the door of the Parents and Carers’ Association (PCA) room near the staff room).  Second-hand uniforms are sold very cheaply – from $2 to $5 for most items.


We also accept donations of pre-loved uniforms from exiting/Grade 6 students, or when people have outgrown their uniform.  These can be left at the Office, or outside the Parents’ and Carers’ room.


Please find additional information on the CNPS Uniform Policy here on the website.


Special School Days

When are the pupil free days?

These days can vary, depending on the planning needs of teachers in any given term or year.  These days are used to engage in professional learning, planning or report writing.  There are 4 pupil free days each year, usually one every term.  Dates for these will vary and the school will provide as much notice as possible to parents via newsletter and the calendar on the Sentral Parent Portal


What are some of the special days at school that we need to prepare for?

We have some regular days you can prepare for:

·         Book Week – late September

·         Easter Hat Parade – last week of Term 1

·         Pasar Sekolah Utara – Indonesian Marketplace Day – varies each year

·         Swimming Sports (Grade 3-6), Cross Country and Athletics - varies each year (students dress in House colours).  More information to be provided before the events.

·         Ride to school Day - October or March

·         Monday before Melbourne Cup (report writing day for teachers) - first Monday in November


Other special days are decided by the Student Representative Council?  (e.g., Crazy Hair Day, Winter Warm up, Rainbow Day).  You will be notified of these days in the School Newsletter.



How do you celebrate birthdays at CNPS (Can you bring a cake)?

At CNPS, we are happy for students to bring cupcakes/cake to share with the class if their birthday falls on a school day.  We ask parents to refrain from providing ice cream, lollies or chocolate.  If your child has dietary requirements (for example, gluten-free), you may like to provide a few pieces of cake/slice that they are able to eat, and we can store them in the freezer at school.



What’s the best way to meet my child’s teacher at the beginning of the year?

-          Introduce yourself to their teacher at the end of the day at pick up

-          Send an email (teachers will email all parents early in the term, so you will have their email addresses).

-          Attend the optional parent teacher meeting in Term 1 – around Week 3 or 4.  Parents will have this date confirmed via newsletter early in the year.


For more information, you can also visit the Communications Policy here on the website.


I think something might be out of date on the website, who do I give this feedback to?

Please fill in a feedback form on the website, or directly email the Principal or school –


I have a concern, a question, or feedback related to school, who do I go to?

Please find the link to the Complaints and Feedback Policy here on the website.


I’d like to find out how my child is doing but the report is still weeks away, how do I do that?

Please email your child’s teacher and ask to set up a meeting with them.

For more information, you can also visit the Communications Policy here on the website.



If I want to contact my child’s teacher what is the best way (Do I just hang around at the end of the day)?

This depends on the preference of your child’s teacher, please ask them what they would prefer. 

For more information, you can also visit the Communications Policy here  on the website.




My child has special requirements, dietary requirements, or special needs, how inclusive is camp?

We are committed to ensuring all students can participate in school life, including camps.  A note is sent home prior to camp, asking parents to notify the school of any dietary requirements for camp.


Other special needs may have already been communicated to the class teacher; if they haven’t, please take the opportunity to do so (e.g., pull-ups for Grade 1 sleepover).  The class teacher will work with parents to make sure the camp experience is accessible and inclusive. 


Please find more information on CNPS camps here on the website.  For more information, you can also visit the Camping Policy here on the website.


How do I meet other parents? 

The most common ways to meet other parents are at drop off and pick up, through participation in the Parents’ and Carers’ Association (PCA), participation in the School Council, volunteering in the classroom, and coming along to school events such as the School Picnic, Easter Hat Parade, morning tea on the first day of school, Working Bees and many others. 


You can also message other parents through the Class Contacts to arrange to play outside of school, social catch ups etc.



How does the CNPS address menstrual health?

In Grade 5 and 6, students have a Preparation 4 Puberty program which includes menstrual health. This is run by Castlemaine Health, also known as CHIRPFor more information about the program, please visit the CHIRP website.


Student Progress

When are parent teacher interviews?

There are two opportunities per year for parent teacher interviews, an academic progress report and a student led conference.  There is also an optional meeting in Term 1 between teachers and parents.


Academic progress reports:

·         Term 2 – usually around Week 6, in the lead-up to mid-year reports


Student Led Conference

·         This is an opportunity for students to share some of their work with parents (teacher is present, but the students take a leading role in these meetings)

·         Usually around Week 3 of Term 3, more information will be provided through Sentral


Extra Curricular Activities

Are there other opportunities outside the classroom for my child?

Yes, there are many opportunities including:

·         inter-school sports teams or intra-school games

·         instrumental music lessons

·         various 'club' activities


The teachers will let the students know what is available and you can find more information in the newsletter. 


For more information, you can visit the Extra Curricular Activities page on the website.


Helping out around the school – formally and informally

How do I join the Parents’ and Carers’ Association (PCA)?

Information will be shared with parents via newsletter and email at the start of each year, inviting parents to come along to our first meetings.  The PCA provide regular updates of their activities in the newsletters, and you are welcome to join at any time during the year.


I’d like to volunteer, what can I do?

There are many things you can do at CNPS.  Keep an eye in the newsletter or for an email from your child’s teacher, for volunteer opportunities, some of which include:

·         Gardening club

·         Working bee

·         Watering roster

·         Reading

·         Camp/Excursion supervision

·         Class Contact


What are Class Contacts and what do they do?

Class Contacts are people who have volunteered to lead a class WhatsApp group with a goal to:

·         improve communication throughout the school community

·         increase participation of volunteers in events such as Working Bees, Kitchen Garden, excursions, fundraisers etc

·         create connections between parents


Class Contact WhatsApp groups do not:

·         replace our wonderful school newsletter, emails and Sentral, so please keep reading them!

·         mean that Class Contacts need to volunteer for everything themselves, rather coordinate volunteers when needed

·         Class contacts do not advocate on educational concerns on behalf of Carers. Class contacts can guide Carers to the appropriate CNPS channels for Carers to provide feedback and concerns about their child’s education progress, such as class teachers, principal, school council members.


Class Contacts aim to send weekly updates (likely on a Sunday night), with some important or last minute reminders coming during the week. They try and keep communication to a minimum, but if you find you're being 'pinged' too much you can choose to turn your notifications off and just check in by opening What'sApp when it suits you.


If you are unsure about sharing something in the group you can send a direct message to your class contact. You can also direct message anyone in the group by scrolling to their contact in the group, tapping on their name and choosing Send Message OR by holding on one of their messages and choosing Reply Privately from the drop down menu.


If you have a school or class issue and you are unsure who to talk to about it you can direct message your class contact and they can help advise you of the best person to speak to.


Food at School

Does the school have a canteen/school lunch? 

No we don’t.  Students are required to bring their own snacks and lunch.  CNPS encourages parents to minimise wrappers and other non-organic waste in lunchboxes.


We do have Sushi Day on Wednesdays all year, and in the hotter months, icy poles on Friday, available for purchase for $0.50.  


How does Sushi Lunch work?

Wednesdays are Sushi days.  Please order at School Lunch Online | Australia's favourite online ordering - School Lunch Online by 5pm on Tuesdays and send your child with an empty container for their sushi on Wednesday.


How do icy poles work?

The newsletter will inform you of when icy poles are available in the hotter months.  If you would like to have your child purchase one, send $0.50 with them on Fridays and they will have the opportunity to do so.  The school purchases fruit juice-based icypoles.  Thay are sold by the SRC.


Excursions and Camps

Excursion Costs and where to pay

From time to time, $1, $2, or $5 will be required at school for incursions and excursions. You can pay the money/drop forms into the collection box outside of Sam C’s office or to the class teacher.  Please include your child’s name, grade and excursion/incursion being paid for on front of envelope.


For more information, you can visit the Excursion Policy here on the website.



What camps do the kids go on?

This of course, depends on the year level.  Please find more information on CNPS camps here on the website.


For more information, you can also visit the Camping Policy here on the website.



Do teachers apply sunscreen to kids?

No, teachers do not apply sunscreen but it is available in each classroom and teachers remind students to apply it prior to going outside.


For more information, please visit the Sun Protection Policy here on the website.


What happens when my child hurts themselves at school?

Your child is encouraged to find the yard duty teacher or go to the staff room if they or a friend is hurt.  The yard duty teachers carry basic first aid supplies and teachers are trained in basic first aid as a minimum. If further care is required students may be taken to first aid room and treated as required.  A treatment/note is written for student to take home/teacher informed.


For any bump to the head - parents are called to inform and/or collect child (depending on severity of injury).


For a serious injury – simultaneous phone calls to Ambulance/parents to notify of injury and action plan of care.  Staff members will stay with the student until the ambulance departs school grounds.


For more information, you can also visit the First Aid Policy here on the website.


What happens on rainy days. Can the kids stay in their classrooms or are they sent outside to sit undercover (in the cold).

Students have a Wet Timetable for rainy days.  This includes participating in alternative indoor activities during recess and lunch.

There are a variety of lunchtime clubs on offer throughout the year - such as Lego Club, Chess, Library time... students have an option to be indoors on most lunchtimes, within the "club", supervised by a teacher.


Scholastic Book Club orders

How do I order?

Catalogues are sent out once a term – you are under no pressure to buy.  Drop off payment to the collection box outside of Sam C’s office, or payment can also be completed online.


How long does it take for delivery to school?

We generally give families 2 weeks to return their orders or place an order online. It will then take 2 to 3 weeks for Book Club to be delivered to the school.  We can also arrange for special occasion/surprise orders.