Principal News Post

Dear Parents and Carers, as usual there is much happening at Craigburn. We have enjoyed mostly pleasant weather conditions in May where students and classes have been able to make the most of being outdoors. This coming week marks the last fews day of Autumn with wintery conditions expected.

Winter School Sport has started and it is pleasing to see so many students and parents taking great pride in representing Craigburn – whether it be for netball, soccer or basketball. Thank you to all parents who are coaching and managing teams. Best wishes for the season ahead.

The Year 7 Canberra Camp is just one week away, with just over 40 students and teachers attending, along with our Governing Council Chairperson Kerrin Burrow. As part of their annual study of Civics and Citizenship, the Craigburn group will visit many of Canberra’s iconic institutions and well known places including the War Memorial, Parliament House, the Governor General’s residence, the Royal Australian Mint, The High Court, The National Portrait Gallery, Questacon, The Deep Space Centre and more. We will be sharing their adventures on our school Facebook Page.

Staffing Update

We say farewell to Ros Williams who has worked at Craigburn over the last few years as a relieving and contract teacher. Ros has covered a multitude of teaching roles, more recently as a specialist science teacher and teacher librarian. We thank Ros for her excellent support and service to the learning programs at Craigburn and wish her all the very best with her family business and future.

As Ros departs, we welcome Mrs Sue Jones who joins us at Craigburn for the remainder of 2018. Sue will be taking on the teacher librarian role for two days each week (Thursday / Fridays) and will also be part of our leadership team, having worked previously in leadership roles in several schools.

Kerry Rayner, who has been on leave for the first two terms, has announced her retirement from teaching. Kerry has been a long standing and valued staff member at Craigburn over the last 20 years, leading the Performing Arts program with great success. We have ear-marked Friday in Week 9 as an opportunity for the school community to gather and farwell Kerry at a whole school assembly. Elizabeth McDonald will continue in the role as Performing Arts Teacher for the remainder of 2018.

We congratulate Kate Washington, our garden specialist educator, who with her partner) are expecting their first child later this year. In Kate’s absence (likely to be in the latter Term 3) we will be employing a suitable garden specialist to continue with the garden program.

We are fortunate to be able to access the services a group of relieving teachers who are familiar with students and the learning programs at Craigburn. Relief teachers are commonly employed when teachers are away on sick / personal leave or when they are participating / undertaking professional learning. Additionally, many teachers are entitled to planning time, which mostly occurs when students participate in specialist teacher lessons. Many teachers ‘bank 50 minutes’ of their weekly entitlement, which is then used as half or full days to support work such as team planning and student assessments.

Student Free Day

The Governing Council has approved Friday 6th July, being the last day of Term 2, as a Pupil Free Day (Please refer to separate news post). On this day, teachers and support staff will be undertaking professional learning in the area of STEM and the Digital Technologies curriculum. OSHC will be open for bookings.

New Department Name

On Thursday 17 May 2018, His Excellency the Governor confirmed the new official name for the education department as the ‘Department for Education’ replacing the former ‘Department of Education and Child Development.’ The Government ask us, in support of their plain English approach, to please use ‘the department’ or ‘the education department’ as shorthand references rather than an acronym. The department’s website has a new URL to reflect the name change, being

Year 7 Transition Planning Underway

Planning for the transition of year 7 from primary school to high school is now underway which will bring South Australia in line with the other states. The Education Minister, John Gardner, expects the transition to be mostly rolled out across the state by 2022.

Part of the work involved will be developing a statewide implementation plan and individual plans for each school. School leaders, parents, students, staff and other stakeholders will be consulted during the transition process. There are many issues to be considered including staffing, leadership, building works as part of the staged implementation process.

Further details about the program will be communicated as more information becomes available.

2018 Public Education Awards

We encourage parents and community members to nominate, celebrate and recognise an outstanding educator in the 2018 Public Education Awards.

This week is your last chance. Get involved and say thank you to a principal, teacher or support staff member making a significant difference to the lives of their students and their communities. An educator’s influence continues beyond the classroom and supports children and young people to reach their full potential in life. We all remember a teacher who inspired and motivated us to enjoy learning, and the awards honour the dedication and passion of individuals who deliver the best possible outcomes for young people and their families. Visit to nominate and find out more about the awards

Space School Visit

On Tuesday, we welcome STEM leader, Caroline Johnstone, from Hamilton Secondary School’s Space School Program, who will be speaking to our Year 6/7 students, sharing information about the newly opened Space Education Centre, which was officially opened at Hamilton Secondary College in 2017. We are hoping to be the first primary school to visit the Space School Program (later in the term), taking a small group of interested students to the Space Centre, to experience their immersive, hands-on learning experience – Mission to Mars.


The Australian Early Development Census (AEDC) is a nationwide census of early childhood development that measures the progress of children as they start their first year of full-time school. Census data is used by early childhood educators, health services, local councils, schools and governments to plan and allocate services, resources and support for communities. Our team of reception teachers will be undertaking this data collection process – to be finalised by August.

Learning Improvement Plan

A major focus of our learning improvement plan, building on from 2017, is the Department’s Literacy and Numeracy First initiative and the STEM 500 program.  As part our ongoing professional learning and growth, all teaching staff at participate in one of three lead learning teams in the areas of:

  • Professional Learning Communities – Literacy / Numeracy focus
  • Innovations – STEM, Digital Learning
  • Learning Support and Wellbeing

Teachers in their lead teams, meet together to review and discuss existing practices and focus on developing effective strategies and programs to improve learning outcomes for all students.

Currently, the teams are focusing on Reading, STEM and Intervention. In Reading, one of our aims is to ensure consistency of the teaching / learning of reading in what we call The Big Six (Oral Language; Phonological Awareness; Phonics; Vocabulary; Fluency; Comprehension). Teachers across R-7 are currently undertaking training / review of Running Records.

STEM 500 Project

Senior Leader / Year 6/7 Teacher Hazel Robertson and Year 2 Teacher Lisa Sporn are involved in the department’s STEM 500 Primary Schools Project, focussing on learning design, assessment and moderation in the area of Science. Hazel and Lisa are working with other teachers from local schools to improve their teaching practice including designing learning, knowledge in Science. The STEM 500 project continues over an 18 month period involving primary educators from across the state. We are looking forward to Hazel and Lisa sharing their learning.

NAPLAN Online 2019

Our school has been identified to move to NAPLAN Online in 2019. This decision has been made in consultation with the department and our education director. This means that this year is expected to be the last year our students will sit paper‐based NAPLAN tests.

Up to 100 South Australian government schools are undertaking NAPLAN Online this year with the remainder to transition over the next 2 years. The NAPLAN Online team will support and work closely with us as we prepare for the move to online testing.

NAPLAN Online is intended to provide better assessment and more precise results through the use of ‘tailored testing’. This means students answer questions that are more suited to their ability. This provides teachers and schools with more targeted and detailed information on students’ performance on the tests.

In terms 2 and 3 we will be involved in readiness activities to prepare for the move to NAPLAN Online, with final confirmation of our school’s move to online testing in 2019 to be made once all readiness activities have been completed.

Year 1 Phonics Screening Check

After a successful trial in 2017, all DECD year 1 students will undertake a phonics screening check in 2018. The phonics screening check takes between 7 to 10 minutes per child and assesses a child’s ability to match letters to sounds and then blend them together to form words.

Fifty-six primary schools took part in the 2017 trial, with feedback indicating that the check was straightforward and non-intrusive. Feedback also described the check as useful in helping teachers to identify students who need additional help with their phonics skills, and helped them to inform their own judgement on what approaches to take with individual students to help them progress. It was also reported that students enjoyed the check and appreciated the one-on-one time with their teacher.

In order to carry out the checks, year 1 teachers will be provided with time for extra training and preparation, and to administer and analyse the result of the check and plan the next steps in their teaching of phonics. Training for our year 1 teachers takes place in late june.

The check forms part of the department’s Literacy and Numeracy First initiative, and will take place in term 3 this year.



Paul Luke    


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