Newman News Term 3 Week 6: From the Leader of Primary

Last week I had the pleasure of attending the Lavalla Music Night as well as the performance of the Lavalla Dance Troupe, and it was so great to see these events so well supported not just by families, but also by other students who came along in support of their friends. The Arts had a real impact on me as a child. My music teacher – Dr Robert Braham – was one of the best teachers I encountered while at school, and he was someone who became an inspiration to me in my own journey into education. He taught me the values of hard work, discipline, dedication, but also the importance of how a quality relationship can impact the learning of students. I also enjoyed the many friendships I made during these experiences, and the appreciation I have now for all things music and theatre. Sometimes, people see the Arts as an add-on to education, when in fact I strongly believe it is an essential part of any well-rounded school experience.

One of my personal highlights from the Music night came from two of our Year 6 students. Nikita had just finished singing her solo to the audience (talk about courage!) and was coming off stage as Clancy was coming on to perform hers. I’m not sure if families in the audience noticed it, but just as Nikita was coming off, Clancy held up her hand and gave her a little high five to congratulate her on her performance. I thought it was amazing that even in the midst of preparing to perform herself in just a few seconds and all the nerves and anticipation that must come with this, Clancy had room in her mind (and her heart!), to congratulate her friend who has just gone before her. These are the little moments that I live for as an educator – those small but so important occasions where we see students thinking outside of themselves, and for the good of others. It certainly left me with a very warm and proud feeling in my heart.

Highlights from Past Two Weeks


Last Friday we were treated to an awesome assembly item from 3 Red who taught us all about the planets and their location from the sun. Students shared some interesting facts about each of the planets and topped it off with a great song to help us all remember the order of the planets using the mnemonic: My Very Excellent Monkey Just Served Unicorn Noodles. Well done to all students from 3 Red for their efforts and to Mrs Young for all the hard work and preparation she put into preparing students. We also acknowledged the efforts of several students who were awarded Merit Certificates for their fine efforts in class. Well done to all our students this week!


This week has been a very special week in the calendar – book week! Reading is so important to the success of our students, and we are so glad to be able to celebrate all things reading this week. On Wednesday students received a visit from Mark GreenWood, author of several books including The Legend of MoonDyne Joe and Simpson and his Donkey. Mark spoke with students about the writing process and shared his journey as an author and in some of the stories he has written. We also celebrated our annual Book week Dress up day on Friday. It was wonderful to see so many students dress so enthusiastically for the day and take part in the excitement of the day. I would like to thank Mrs Le Dan, Mrs Bailey, and Miss Hall for all of their contributions and hard work to our Book Week celebrations this week!

Lavalla Music Night 

Last Tuesday night we gathered in the Marist Auditorium to celebrate the talents and efforts of our Music students at Lavalla. The night began in true rock n roll style with our drummers, before we heard from a number or soloists and ensemble groups, including our choir. It was wonderful to hear the many pieces of music prepared by our students in collaboration with their music teachers and tutors. We are especially grateful to Marg Goldsmith and the Arts team for the opportunities and experiences they are affording our students, and to all the families and students who attended on the night in support of our performers.

Lavalla Dance Troupe 

It has been a busy few weeks for our Lavalla Dance Troupe under the guidance of Mrs Amy Raveendrakumar. After performing at the Wakakirri concert two weeks ago, our students were again performing a different dance this week at the Catholic Performing Arts Festival. Running over three nights, our students took part in the dance program on Tuesday evening, delivering a beautiful piece of emotive and well-choreographed movement which was very well received by the audience. We are very grateful to Mrs Raveendrakumar for her guidance and coaching in the lead up to the festival, as well as Miss Sankar and Miss De Gois who assisted on the night. I would also like to thank those parents who have been so supportive of the dance program this year.

Year 6 Leadership Camp 

On Thursday and Friday last week, our Year 6 and Year 7 student leaders took part in a very special leadership camp. The camp was organised by our Year 12 ATAR Outdoor Education students and gave the opportunity for students to try their hand several different activities designed to challenge them in different ways, as well as improve the way they work as a team. The camp took place at the Manjedal Activity Centre which is not far from Serpentine. Mrs Short accompanied students and by all account’s students had a wonderful time despite the odd shower and sleeping in tents! We owe a big thanks to Mr Mike Van Der Heever for the invitation to attend and to his Year 12 ATAR students for their professionalism and assistance in helping everything run smoothly.

IPSHA Cross Country Carnival 

As we reported in our last newsletter, two weeks ago 62 students across Years 3-6 took the trip down to Bunbury to take part in the IPSHA Interschool Cross Country Carnival. All of our students raced with great energy and enthusiasm and did a fine job of representing our school with pride. At the time of publishing our last newsletter we did not have all the details of the results, but we can now reveal the fantastic results of several students in particular:

Year 3 Girls 

  • 1st: Amelie Santoro
  • 6th: Vienna Crisona

Year 3 Boys 

  • 6th: Jonah Durlik
  • 8th: Julian Cameron
  • 9th: Hunter Bailey

Year 4 Girls 

  • 2nd: Allegra Clark
  • 3rd: Jessica Avins
  • 6th: Isla Kalebic
  • 10th: Layla Bornmann

Year 4 Boys 

  • 2nd: Stefan Moschopoulos

Year 5 Girls 

  • 5th: Annabelle Adamini
  • 7th: Livia Bogdanov

Year 5 Boys  

  • 7th: Luke Rombouts

Year 6 Girls 

  • 10th: Clancy Boss

Year 6 Boys 

  • 5th: Jaspar Martin-Booth

We are very proud of all our students for their efforts, and for the great way Mrs Richards and Lenny trained and led our team. Roll on the Athletics Carnival!

‘Wild Places Elsewhere’ workshop 

On Wednesday, several Performing Arts students across Year 5 and 6 were able to take part in a workshop entitled ‘Wild Places Elsewhere’. The focus of the workshop was on how students experience the natural world. Students were able to create props which were then used later in a theatre show presented by our guest performers. Students had a great time engaging in this unique opportunity, and we are very grateful to the Arts team for working hard to provide us with this opportunity.

Gardening Club 

This week, Mrs Gray, along with some of our younger students across the campus, created a new initiative across our campus – a gardening club. Mrs Gary is using the gardens around the back of our hall as a way to engage some of our students in some real-world collaboration and problem solving, as they seek to rebuild our class gardens.

Students were very excited to be a part of it all, and Mrs Gray will be speaking to students on Monday to canvas interest from other students who would like to take part in some way. A big thank you to Mrs Gray and to her first group of students for their enthusiasm and sense of ‘doing for others’, as well as Mr David Marshall (Chief grounds person and all-round good guy) who will be supporting the Gardening Club also.

Artist in Residence 

On Wednesday, students from our Art extension program in Year 5 and Year 6 took part in the Artist in Residence program. Students were invited to the Marcellin campus with artists Emily Rose and Bethwyn Legg. Students listened to and worked alongside the artists to create some very interesting and artistic cushion designs.  I am sure they are looking forward to finishing these off over the coming weeks. A big thankyou again must go to our Arts team for all their hard work and effort in preparing this experience for our students.

Lavalla Choir 

Yesterday, it was great to see our Lavalla Choir take part in the Catholic Performing Arts Festival. The choir has been working very hard all year to prepare two beautiful pieces, giving up their lunchtimes each week to rehearse. We are very grateful for the dedication and support of Mrs Annette Grayden, and to our students who took part. You all sounded beautiful!

Write a Book in a Day 

This week a number of our Year 5 and 6 students took part in the ‘Write a Book in a Day’ program. The program began in 2002 and last year there were more than 1000 teams across Australia getting involved. Write a Book in a Day is a fun, creative and collaborative competition for students in years 5 to 12 and adult writing groups. Teams of up to ten have just one day to write and illustrate a book from start to finish, making sure to include some unique parameters in their story. We can’t wait to have these published and placed in the library soon!

Have Sum Fun Maths Competition 

Over the past three weeks, the year 3 to 6 students have been competing in the “Sum Maths Fun competition” conducted by the Mathematical Association of Western Australia. The competition consists of three rounds of ten questions and is a maths quiz of NAPLAN-type problems designed to foster mathematical problem-solving. Teams of four students have one hour to complete each round which they access online. The students at Lavalla have been thoroughly enjoying the competition, with pleasing results. It has been an excellent activity to encourage collaboration amongst students while at the same time challenging their thinking – Miss Katya Anderson (Leader of Learning K-6)

School Drop Off 

Just a reminder to all families that students cannot be dropped off at school before 8.00am in the morning unless they are taking part in sports training, or another pre-organised College events. Staff have been noticing several children being dropped off early, some as early as 7.30am. We just want to keep all our children safe, but we cannot do this if children are unsupervised. Thank you to all those families who are supportive with this.

No hat No Play 

As the warmer months will soon be upon us, it is a good time to remind all students of our ‘no hat no play’ policy at the school. Students must wear a hat if they wish to play outdoors, otherwise they will need to stay seated in the undercover area or in the library at lunch. Schools have these policies for the protection of children and to keep them safe from harmful UV rays. If your child doesn’t have a hat, they can purchase one from the Uniform Shop or from the Lavalla office.

Important Information For The Next Two Weeks

There are so many events coming up over the next two weeks. Make sure you mark these down in your calendar!

  • Mon 30 Aug – Speak Up Award Semi Finals (Good luck Isabella in Year 6!)
  • Fri 3 Sep – Lavalla Assembly (4 Blue)
  • Mon 6 Sep – Year 5 First Aid Incursion
  • Mon 6 Sep – Lavalla Prayer Assembly (Father’s Day theme)
  • Mon 6 Sep – Newman Parents Jade Lewis Presentation (7pm in Auditorium)
  • Thurs 9 Sep – R U OK Day
  • Fri 10 Sep – P-6 Athletics Carnival
    Please click here to access the letter and program (scroll down to the bottom of the page)