Principal’s Message – Administration of Medication

Dear Parents and Carers

I wanted to take the opportunity to share with you some information regarding the administration of medication.

Upon enrolment of a child, parents complete a ‘Student Health Care Summary’ form. The form includes health information such as allergies and any other diagnosed conditions; emergency contact details; parent consent to share health information and what support, if any, the child needs at school. It is essential that these details are updated when there are any changes.

Students who need medical support at school must have a ‘Management and Emergency Response Plan’. Most commonly these plans relate to allergies and asthma, but may also include things like Diabetes and seizures.

Student Medication

  • School staff can administer medication to a student with written approval from a parent or carer. The exception is that parent approval is not required in an emergency such as unexpected anaphylaxis.
  • Long-term medication
    Prescribed or non-prescribed medication that a student is required to take during school hours due to an ongoing medical condition. This will be recorded in the student’s Health Care Plan.
  • Short-term medication
    Parents may request that school staff administer prescribed or non-prescribed medication for students for a short period of time (antibiotics, Panadol etc).  That is, for less than two weeks and/or for a condition that doesn’t require a long-term health care plan. For this to occur, parents must complete an Administration of Medication form, which is available on our website. For medication to be administered to a child at school, medication must be provided in its original packaging with the student’s name and the required dosage.


Best wishes
Elizabeth Blackwell


Assemblies for Term 3

Dear Parents and Carers
We are pleased to announce that assemblies will resume this term. They will however, look slightly different to our ‘normal’ assemblies. We are keen to make sure every class has an opportunity to perform an assembly item, and to welcome parents in to see their children at assemblies. At the same time, we wish to maintain everyone’s safety and some level of social distancing as far as possible.
We will therefore be conducting assemblies in ‘phases of learning’. Only students from PP – Year 2 will attend assemblies performed by those year groups; and only students from Year 3 – Year 6 will attend assemblies performed by those year groups. Due to the reduced timescale, in order to ‘fit in’ all the assemblies before the end of the year, some classes will combine to perform their assembly item.
We are delighted to announce that the first assembly for the term will involve the students from Pre-Primary 1 and Pre-Primary 2!

Term 3 Assembly Schedule
14 August                    PP1 and PP 2
21 August                    2D
4 September               1C and 1T
11 September             4P and 4ZW
18 September             5LJ
24 September             1/2TB    ( Please note this is a THURSDAY.)

Best wishes

Elizabeth Blackwell

Principal’s Message Term 3 return

Dear Families

I hope you have all had a safe, healthy and happy two weeks. We look forward to welcoming everyone back on Monday. A special first time welcome to our six new students and their families.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for responding so promptly to the survey in the last week of Term 2. I will share some more detailed information from the survey with you next week. For the time being however, I wanted to confirm that we will continue the pick-up and drop arrangements that have been in place since Term 2. I have included a copy of the most relevant graph, for your information.

I would like to reassure you that the different pick-up and drop-off arrangements do not reflect a change in the way in which we think about our school community.

Many schools in our state and beyond, manage pick-up and drop-off arrangements in this way (for a range of reasons), and maintain extremely strong relationships with their families and school communities. I have no reason to believe that we would be any different, and the future is in our hands.

While Perth and WA remain in good health, we will move forward with the planning that was in place for Term 3 prior to the COVID-19 measures. With a few tweaks here and there,
we are looking forward to resuming choir, orchestra, athletics club before school, school banking and volunteers in the canteen and classrooms. We will send home more information about
these things early next week. I will also be in touch re assemblies and an opportunity for families to visit classrooms; and we are planning for our regular Faction Athletics Carnival, and
(hopefully) an interschool carnival to follow.  … and I’m confident that the P & C will be ready to roll out one or two cake stalls sooner rather than later 😉

This term we will also celebrate Science Week. Science Week and Book Week occur so closely together on the calendar, that several years ago we decided to alternate which would be
the focus for the year. This year we focus on Science Week, and we are excited about the 2020 theme Deep Blue: innovations for the future of our oceans.

We are incredibly fortunate to be in a position where our students can return to school on Monday. We will continue to hold very high expectations around health and hygiene.
The State Government has extended funding for additional cleaning, and we will continue to prioritise positive health practices for staff and students. Families are asked to continue
to do their part by keeping children at home if they are unwell.

Finally, Mrs Knowles will be on Long Service Leave for the first five weeks of this term. We trust that she will have a wonderful time in the much warmer, northern part of WA.
Mrs Joanne Dixon will undertake the Deputy Principal role in her absence.

Best wishes for the remainder of your weekend. I look forward to seeing you next week.

Elizabeth J

Principal’s Message

Dear Parents and Carers

I must confess, I am wondering where the last ten weeks has gone. Thank you for continuing to work with us throughout this time to keep our school community safe … and to ensure that the learning and wellbeing of Kapinara students has remained our collective priority. Like you, I am incredibly grateful to be living in Western Australia!

Family Survey

This afternoon you will have received an email from me, seeking your perspectives on the impact on your family, of some measures put in place in response to COVID-19. This was followed by an email containing a survey link. The survey should only take a few minutes, and will available until Thursday afternoon.

Semester Reports

As you will be aware from my message in Week 8, the Australian Government, in response to school disruptions, advised that Semester 1 student reports would not require ‘grades’ as they normally would. We have however, for two out of three strands of English and Maths, indicated whether each child is currently achieving at the expected standard, above or below. This is the case for students in Pre-Primary to Year 6. Most other learning areas contain a description of the key learning focuses for Semester 1. Please be assured that while this semester’s reports don’t contain ‘grades’ or indicate levels of achievement on a five point scale as they normally would, teachers have continued to gather and record information pertaining each child’s learning. This information, combined with information that will be gathered throughout Semester 2, will inform the grades your child will receive at the end of the year.

Kindergarten students receive a report based on key outcomes within the Early Years Learning Framework. This is an Australian framework developed for children up to the age of eight years, although most of our schools ‘shift’ to the WA Curriculum to guide teaching and learning when children start Pre-Primary.

It is the intention that semester reports will (under ‘normal‘ circumstances) provide parents with information about their child’s levels of achievement, their efforts and work habits, and their strengths and interests, at two key points in time each year. Please be aware however, that you can seek information about your child and ‘how he/she is going‘ at any point throughout the year. There are several ways to do this – you might simply send a brief email to check in; request a phone call or request a meeting with your child’s teacher. 

The survey sent today also contains a couple of questions about preferred times, if we were to arrange an afternoon/evening visit to classrooms and/or schedule parent-teacher meetings. It would be great to receive a response on behalf of most, if not all families.

My best wishes for a safe and relaxing holiday … close to home? 🙂 

Elizabeth Blackwell

Principal’s Message Week 8

Dear Parents and Carers

Assemblies, Incursions and Excursions

Assemblies, incursions and excursions are able to resume, but must adhere to a maximum of 100 people indoor (which would include the undercover area) and 300 in outdoor settings. However it also remains the case that only 100 parents/carers can be on the school grounds at one time. The one person per 2 square metres also applies. We are currently considering how we might proceed from the beginning of Term 3.

School Board

The School Board met on site last night and have scheduled an open meeting for Monday 17 August 2020 (Week 5). The meeting will be held in the school library at 6:00pm. One of the key focuses will be looking at student performance and wellbeing data from 2019, and On-Entry Assessment data from early 2020. You will receive a reminder about this next term.

P & C

The P & C have continued to work hard, primarily via ZOOM, and are currently running a special fundraiser. You will have seen the notifications in a variety of forums, including the P & C Facebook page. We receive wonderful support from families via the P & C. This year we have been able to purchase the gymnastics equipment used by children from Pre-Primary to Year 6, some Lego to be used in conjunction with robotics, and some furniture that can be used flexibly in the Technologies Room (Room 10) – courtesy of our P & C.

The P & C also contributed $30 000 toward the establishment of the new nature playground on the lower oval … and then another $11 000 to install the slide and tepee components! Most of you will have experienced the wonder of the new playground. The plan for the future is to add some hammocks (for chilling out) and some swings. For those of you who are relatively new to Kapinara, research and planning for the playground included significant input from our students. They identified what sorts of features they wanted; viewed and discussed different images and representations of these features; recorded their preferences etc. It was very much a team effort and an example of what we call ‘student voice’.

It has also been lovely to see families again using the playground on the upper oval after school (please just be mindful that this playground was designed for children in Years 3-6).

The P & C will also return to meeting on the school site when they reconvene next term. They are keen to welcome new faces, even if only for one or two meetings.

Third Parties On Site

Netball, basketball, hockey and tennis training has resumed before/after school. Those responsible are aware of the need for enhanced hygiene practices and physical distancing among adults, who can once again watch their child train.

Semester 1 Reports

The Department of Education recently determined that while the regular Reporting to Parents template will be used for Semester 1 reports, public schools would not be required to report student achievement on a five-point scale (or using A-E grades). This followed a temporary amendment made to legislation by the Australian Government in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Teachers at Kapinara will indicate whether students are currently achieving at the expected standard, above or below, in English and Maths. They will also provide a statement about the focuses for learning throughout Semester 1 in the other learning areas, indicate the level of students’ ‘effort’ in each area, and provide a general comment. I will provide some more information about assessment and reporting in the next two weeks.

Finally, thank you for your extra care and attention at pick-up time each afternoon. Things aren’t perfect but they are certainly a lot better.

Best wishes
Elizabeth Blackwell

Principal’s Message Week 5

Dear Parents and Carers

We enjoyed an incredibly smooth, productive and positive start to Term 2. With a few exceptions – increased cleaning and handwashing; children entering school and managing bags, jumpers and water bottles independently; and delineated play areas at recess and lunchtime –  school almost seems like business as usual. Despite the practical changes, things are certainly more calm and predictable than they were in March and April. For this, and for the cooperation and restraint shown by the Western Australian community throughout the last couple of months, we are all extremely grateful. I wish to sincerely thank you and all members of our dedicated staff for working together to maintain a sense of calm and stability; which is exactly what the children needed everyone to do.

For some children and some families as a whole, the opportunity to be together without the pressures of what had been our ‘normal’ lives, prompted considerable reflection and a commitment to doing some things differently in the future. Families reported playing board games, going for walks and bike rides as a family, building cubbies and doing a lot more baking and gardening. I hope all families were able to find some positives amid the stresses.

For a small number of children, learning at home would remain their preferred option. For some, not only was this a chance to be at home with both Mum and Dad, but it also meant that there was significantly less pressure to concentrate for extended periods of time and to persist with tasks that were particularly challenging. Life under the doona was perfect for some.

We don’t know what lies ahead, and it’s possible that despite the best efforts of the adults around them, individual children may feel unsettled or experience some signs of anxiety at some point in the future. If they do, begin by acknowledging that it’s a ‘normal’ response given that quite a few things have been different (and the constant reference to a global pandemic). If you notice this in your child, please let us know so that we can quietly monitor and support him/her. We can also connect you to our school psychologist for additional advice, if you would like to seek some further support.

I’m also aware that some families’ lives have recently changed with changes in employment and business. If you have concerns around the payment of accounts please don’t hesitate to contact me.

There is little to update in terms of changes at school for now. Schools are unable to conduct assemblies or organise incursions, excursions or camps. Adults must remain off-site throughout the school day, but we are now able to hold a case conference or parent meeting in the office in exceptional circumstances. It is also possible for P & C and School Board meetings to recommence after hours, for numbers below 20 and where physical distancing can be maintained (4sq metres inside).

In the meantime, the P & C are planning a fundraiser (in addition to the Entertainment Books) which you will hear about shortly. It will involve all children from Kindergarten to Year 6 and is likely to trigger some feelings of nostalgia for some.

The Student Councillors are also coordinating a fundraiser, but consistent with our school motto this will be a ‘service for others’. Friday is going to be Crazy Hair Day, with funds going directly to the Go Foundation.  They chose this organisation as this is National Reconciliation Week. Reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians, for the benefit of all Australians. This year’s Reconciliation Week theme is ‘in this Together

Best wishes
Elizabeth Blackwell

Principal’s Message 25th March 2020

Good morning

I hope everyone is travelling okay.
This is a very quick note to check in, and to make a request on behalf of our teachers.

Our teachers are currently teaching, supervising copious amounts of handwashing, and supervising students at recess and lunchtimes. In addition, they are reading information from me, meeting with their year level colleagues, and with Mrs Knowles and me to plan for next week and beyond. We are also doing what we possibly can to minimise the number of people coming on site, and the time people are on site.

I assure you that we are doing all that we can to provide learning focuses and some direction for families at home, and trying to do this as quickly as possible.

I therefore respectfully ask that those families who have children at home, do not come on site to request books/’work packages’ etc. or request individual support via email, particularly today. We will be in touch as soon as possible.

Thank you for your understanding.

Best wishes

Principal’s Message Week 7

Dear Parents and Carers

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day … for yesterday now. One ‘educational’ source claims that Saint Patrick’s Day is celebrated in more countries than any other national day … and the Chicago River is dyed green on this day. A bit of light-hearted trivia can’t really go astray in the current climate of ‘seriousness’ surely.

Swimming Carnival

Congratulations to all our Year 4-6 students who participated in the Faction Swimming Carnival last Friday. Special congratulations go to Strickland, as this year’s competition winners, and to the Champion Boys and Girls and Runner-Up Champion Boys and Girls mentioned elsewhere in this newsletter. Thanks to those family members who have helped out at the swimming carnival and/or Swim Squad sessions.

A few more changes

Apologies, I should have confirmed yesterday evening that choir and orchestra will also be cancelled until further notice. The Allergy Awareness incursion for students from Pre-Primary to Year 3, scheduled for Friday week has also been cancelled. However, Jackie Nevard, who was to present this session has developed an online resource which can be purchased by schools. We will have a look at this in due course. In the meantime you may wish to visit her website   Protective Behaviours sessions with Ali Fisher (PP-Year 2) will continue.

Consistent with the focus on containment, we will regrettably cease to have volunteers/parent helpers until further notice. Similarly, the canteen will be run by Canteen Manager Kirsten Piccinini, only. Our thanks to Kirsten for her willingness to do this!

In the event of a future announcement about keeping children at home (I’d prefer to use this term rather than ‘school closure’ or ‘school shutdown’) –  teachers will put together a list of activities and ideas that you may like to make available to your child/children. There are so many opportunities for learning out of school as well as at school, and we would like you to make decisions about what will work best for your family.

We will assume most of the activities will be done independently, so the tasks suggested by teachers will primarily be about reinforcing learning through practise and developing fluency in areas such as reading, spelling and maths. Teachers will use an online platform called Seesaw to communicate with students and parents. Many of you will already be familiar with this. If you do not already have a 2020 family account, in the next day or two you will receive via email, an invitation to create a Seesaw family account.

This afternoon we have received advice that we are unable to conduct assemblies where 100 people are present. If we were simply to have the choir perform with the children in 3H this would involve just over 100 students. We will therefore postpone the joint choir/3H performance until later in the year, and record the children in 3H sharing information with us about Harmony Day. We will make the recording available on the school website via a secure link; if not on Friday then by Monday. It is still Harmony Day and the children are still encouraged to wear orange!

Children Absent THIS Week

Thank you to those people who have advised us of their child’s absence, and the reason. If your child is at home, and you haven’t yet contacted your child’s teacher or me, I would be grateful if you could email me with a quick explanation. It is just helpful for us to know who is home as a precautionary measure and who is currently unwell – particularly if your child has cold/flu symptoms. Thank you 🙂

Lower Playground

To end on a bright note, the development of the lower playground has been continuing quietly in the background, and we have included a few photos on our website to help you see where we are to date. Thank you for supporting our P & C, who work in tandem with us throughout the year, to make special things like this happen.

Best wishes

Elizabeth Blackwell


Principal’s Message Week 5

Upcoming Events

I trust everyone enjoyed the long weekend. It was lovely to have a change in the weather. I’d like to draw your attention to the assemblies that we have scheduled this term. The first will be held this Friday, to introduce the newly elected Student Councillors and Faction Leaders. I’d like to acknowledge all those who put themselves forward to be considered for these positions, and to thank them for the time and energy they invested in their written application and verbal presentation to their peers and teachers. The voting process was facilitated by an officer from the WA Electoral Commission again this year, and included printed ballot papers prepared by the Commission.

The following assembly, led by the children in 3H on Friday 20 March, will celebrate Harmony Day. They will be joined by the Choir, for their first public performance – having started rehearsing only last week! I hope many of you can join us. The third assembly will be hosted by the students in 4ZW.

In the meantime, students in Years 4-6 will participate in our Faction Swimming Carnival on Friday 13 March, at HBF stadium. The carnival will take the morning only, and all students are expected to return to school as a group, returning to their classes after lunch. Whenever students are involved in group activities off-site, the expectation is that they travel to and from the venue as a group or team. In addition to reinforcing that they are part of a team, it enables us to maximise their safety, which can be problematic when families wish to take one or two children directly from a venue. Occasionally, there will be an exception which can be negotiated in advance, for example if a student is going directly to or from PEAC, but generally we appreciate your support in ensuring children travel as a team/school group.

Supporting Children’s Learning and Development

We have arrange of strategies, both in place and continuing to be developed, to support Kapinara students’ learning and development. Consistent with our strong focus on health and wellbeing, this includes strategies and resources to support personal (emotional) and social learning and development, as well as intellectual learning and development. Our staff were recently joined by Dr Helen Street, who presented a two-hour session focused on wellbeing; particularly what she refers to as ‘contextual wellbeing’. We are also planning to attend a day of the Positive Schools’ conference in May, which will also focus on wellbeing; and more specifically on anxiety in children. But what other sorts of things are in place?

Right from the beginning of school, a community health nurse, screens all students’ vision and hearing. Community Health Nurses, who are partly funded by the Department of Education WA, can also assist with the early detection and referral of children showing mental health risk factors; and referrals to other specialist services such as the Child Development Service. Occasionally we may seek your permission to check the vision or hearing of an older child. In 2020 our community nurse is Kate McGahern. Families of younger children will be advised when she is visiting Kapinara to undertake screenings.

We also have access to School Psychologist Richard Luyke (pronounced Loo-kee), who is with us at Kapinara on Wednesdays. If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child, please mention this to your child’s teacher. Your child’s teacher may suggest passing on your concern to Mrs Knowles, who works collaboratively with teachers and Mr Luyke. At this point, your child’s teacher and Mrs Knowles may speak in general terms with Mr Luyke, to see if his support might be helpful. They will contact parents of a child to offer support if appropriate. This will often involve meeting with at least one parent to chat more specifically about an individual child. There is no stigma whatsoever attached to seeking support for a child, particularly from our Community Health Nurse or School Psychologist. We are very grateful to have access to these valuable resources, and the sooner we can monitor and potentially intervene in a situation that isn’t working as expected, the better.

I appreciate that it can be difficult for parents to know if and when to approach someone at school if things aren’t going smoothly. As you know, children will become more easily upset if they are tired or becoming unwell; and even a single lunchtime without their closest ‘friend’ by their side can be upsetting. You will no doubt have heard the cry ‘She’s not my friend anymore, today she played with ….’. Children are learning how to manage their emotions, ‘read’ the emotions of others and navigate a range of social contexts. They are often completely unaware that something they have said or done has actually upset someone. It is important that we help them to ‘unpack’ those situations. This would normally acknowledge how a child is feeling, assuring him/her that its normal to feel like that, and sometimes offering some alternative ways of looking at things ‘Perhaps Max just didn’t feel like playing soccer today.’

If however, your child continues to be upset, and shows signs of things such as changes in sleep, not wanting to go to school, becoming withdrawn etc then I urge you to speak to your child’s teacher and/or Mrs Knowles or me … sooner rather than later. Supporting children and their families is a priority for us. Further, if something significant is occurring in your family, even your extended family (illness, separation, changes in employment, a death etc) it is really helpful for us to know so that we can simply monitor your child. It can also help explain an out-of-character upset or outburst. Thank you to families who have done this recently.

Best wishes for the next fortnight.

Elizabeth Blackwell


Principal’s Message Week 3

Dear Parents and Carers

Our smooth but busy beginning to the school year has continued. Last week work on our nature playground on the bottom oval commenced, Out of School Hours Care welcomed its first students this week, and last night the P & C held their Annual General Meeting.

Playground on the Lower Oval

The nature playground will become an extension of the current ‘wobbly’ playground. The sandpit will be extended as this was one of the elements identified by the young children as being important. It will also serve as a long jump pit for the small amount of time in the year (Term 3) that long jump pits are required. The long jump pits on the upper oval, which are impacted by the weather and have been difficult to maintain, will become redundant. The nature play area will combine limestone blocks, boulders and wood (including six large ‘retired’ poles made available to us by Western Power), to create a play environment with a range of elements offering opportunities for exploration, creative play and just ‘chilling out’.  The development will primarily be funded by the school and the P & C. In addition however, we were successful in securing some funding through a grant application submitted last year. Through the Australian Government’s ‘Local Schools Community Fund’ we will receive $12 000 towards the playground.  There are several additional elements we plan to add to the playground as more funding becomes available. To this end, we have scheduled a Colour Run for the last day of this term, Thursday 9 April and look forward to sharing more information about this shortly. It should be an exciting way to end the term!

P & C

Last night at the P & C’s AGM, Nic Schmidt’s term as President and Naomi Taylor’s term as Vice-President ended. This very successful partnership has led the P & C since 2016, which included the huge celebration of our 50th Anniversary in 2017. On behalf of all members of our school community I’d like to acknowledge their dedication to these roles, and sincerely thank them for all they have helped us to achieve.

Congratulations to Kate Marquis and Kym Szwedzicki, our new P & C President and Vice-President. Thanks to Anna Larson for her willingness to remain in the role as Treasurer, and to Natasha Brindal and Rebecca Garvey for taking on the shared role of Secretary. Anke Woodland, Felicity Maher and John Scott will be joined by Nic Schmidt as members of the P & C Executive. Thank you too to the following, continuing in several auxillary roles within the

P & C – Kirsten Piccinini, Canteen Manager; Nikki Little with support from Carys Hansen and Gemma Salama, Uniform Shop; and Thanh Tan, School Banking.

The partnership between the school and the P & C is a strong and collaborative one. I urge you to support everything they do, as it all comes back to support Kapinara students and maintain a strong sense of community.

School Board

The Board and P & C have quite separate functions which are legislated, but work collectively to achieve common goals. While the P & C focuses on fundraising and community events, the School Board is involved with governance,  policy and strategic directions for the school. Boards do not play a role in the day to day management of the school, but are intended to promote the school in the community and to take part in reviewing the school’s priorities and general policy directions, and evaluating the school’s achievement of these. Some of the matters that boards may make decisions about include fees and charges, the school dress code and sponsorships. P & C members can be a member of the Board, and where this occurs, can support liaison between the two.

At the end of last year Jen Marschner’s tenure on the Board concluded, as her youngest child finished at Kapinara. We are therefore seeking nominations for a parent/community member to join the Board, commencing as soon as possible. Please find the link to the nomination form below, which can be completed and returned to the front office in an envelope, addressed to me and marked CONFIDENTIAL. Alternatively, once the form is completed, it can be scanned and emailed to me at  Nominations forms should be submitted by 4:00pm next Friday (28 February 2020). If we receive more nominations that places available, nominees will be asked to provide a brief statement to support their nomination, and the community will be asked to vote electronically.

If you would like any additional information about the Board please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can see who else is on the Board at  We value the perspectives and expertise that parents bring to the Board – thank you for giving this your consideration.

New Staff Members

I would like to take this opportunity to warmly welcome Miss Kylie Lund (Year 5) and Mrs Tammy Norton-Smith (Kindergarten and Pre-Primary) to our staff this year. We also have a new school nurse, Kate McGahern, and you will find some information from her in the newsletter.

I trust that all our students have had a smooth start to the school year, and are settling in well. If you have any questions or concerns at any time throughout the year, please don’t hesitate to contact your child’s teacher, Mrs Knowles or myself. Each of our specialist teachers are also happy for you to contact them.

I look forward to seeing many of you at Friday’s Sundowner.

Best wishes

Elizabeth Blackwell


School Board Nomination Form 2020