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News > School Newsletter > Primary News- 2 September 2022

Primary News- 2 September 2022

Last week Primary celebrated Book Week with a visit from author Ellie Laing and Year 6 also had a fabulous time in Canberra. We invite you to the upcoming Book Week Parade!
2 Sep 2022
School Newsletter
Year 6 Canberra Excursion
Year 6 Canberra Excursion

Book Week Visiting Author - Ellie Laing

Rowena Bryce | Teacher Librarian

When Ellie Laing’s young son was just three years old, he began reciting an Acknowledgment of Country at the dinner table one evening. He had clearly heard it so frequently that it was a normal part of his daily routine at preschool. How beautiful is it for our children to grow up in a time where we recognise the distinctiveness and beauty in the language, culture and traditions of the Australian Indigenous people. Many adults will reflect on their own educational experiences like I do and can see just how far we have come in building bridges and restoring relations with the Australian Aboriginal people. It was not so long ago that assemblies, meetings, and community events did not begin with an Acknowledgement of Country, yet now it seems quite wrong when it is missing. Therefore, when Ellie looked for resources to share more about Indigenous Culture with her young family and couldn’t find what she was after, she decided to write her own.

When Ellie visited Loreto Primary during Book Week, she shared this story with Year 5 and 6 students and staff. With a background in journalism, television news and the field of political advisory, she had a wealth of life experience to share with students. She even admitted quite honestly that she felt she was not that good at English whilst at school, yet now she is a published author, having produced the ‘Welcome to Our Country’ series in conjunction with Australian Indigenous athlete, Adam Goodes, with illustrations by David Hardy. Her frankness in describing the writing process to our Primary students was both encouraging and informative. Ellie talked about her passion for educating her readers about traditional aspects of Indigenous Culture, both young and old alike. She hopes that her books can be a means by which young readers just like her own children, can come to understand more about Indigenous people. 

The first book is called ‘Somebody’s Land’ and explains the concept of Terra Nullius in a most beautiful and powerful way. Primary students enjoyed having Ellie read the book to them and were able to see young Indigenous children in the book taking part in activities common to children of all cultures such as collecting shells, painting their faces, and sharing stories. Whilst aimed at a young audience, it communicates the message so powerfully that the reader easily connects with the Indigenous perspective. Older readers may even shed a tear with the emphasis on Indigenous connection to country on the final page.

Given she is a non-indigenous person, it was of enormous value for students to learn how Ellie came to write the ‘Welcome to our Country' series of books. Her drive and motivation both in following her passion as well as overcoming the challenges she faced set a very positive example to students. Ellie’s visit to the Loreto Normanhurst Primary community was a special and memorable experience for us all.

Copies of Ellie's books from this series can be ordered from the Children’s Bookshop using the link here. Orders will be sent directly to the school for distribution.

Dreaming With Eyes Open

Recently during library lessons, primary students were asked to consider what they thought the 2022 Book Week theme ‘Dreaming With Eyes Open’ means to them. Students took to this task with great sincerity, using the opportunity to reflect upon their own personal journey as a reader. Some of these pieces of work will be shared at the Book Week parade next week. There were so many heartfelt expressions of the collective passion for reading in Primary that some are shared here for the community enjoy. 

"I think ‘Dreaming with Eyes Open’ means that when you are reading and imagining the story playing out in front of you, it’s like you are in a dream. Books make you happy and give you emotions when you read them. I think it means that you are really interested in the book and you want to keep reading so the story can keep going. I also think it means that books give you ideas and dreams that you want to do or think about."

By Ella Pattie 5P

"Dreaming with your eyes open is like unlocking a new adventure of dreaming and reading. It’s like going to your own world where your imagination can run wild with zero boundaries. It’s where you create every second, it’s where your voice is heard, and you can be who you want to be and when you're not told what to do all the time. It feels like you are drifting through a space with countless stars and endless light, where your curiosity never ends, and nothing has ever been better. It is like being sucked into a new dimension of reading."

By Octavia Chaaya 5R

"I think dreaming with eyes open means when you’re so deep in love with a book that everything feels like the characters are coming to life. You feel like you are teleported to another dimension and feel you are a part of the book. If you are reading a good book you can feel empathy for a character or characters. You can feel emotions from the book such as happiness and sadness. I remember when I was reading a good book I really felt the emotion and it made me cry out of sadness for the situation that this character was in. For me books open your eyes to see what a book can truly be."

By Chloe Jang 5S

"Dreaming with your eyes open to me means to be free, to be taken into another world but not having to close your eyes. Having to put your imagination to the test and see what happens. To escape into a world where the journey is your own creation. It’s when you can have an adventure, daydream about the journey that you’ll embark on. The story is yours and you can take it anywhere. From the deepest seas to the tallest mountains. You don’t need to close your eyes when your mind is so awake. 

Dreaming with your mind open makes you feel happy, it makes your heart beat fast in a good way. Your brain works a thousand different ways that can’t be contained. You can escape the bad days and grow onto the good days. Dreams only stop when you make them."

By Annabel Taylor 6B

"A world full of colour and infinite possibilities. A magical world with a chance for anything. That’s dreaming with eyes open. Entering another world, made just for you and only you. Customising every little detail to your liking. A daydream so lifelike you just fade away. Opening up a book for me is always opening a door into another realm, where I can escape from reality. Nothing compares, reading a book takes you away from any stress sadness or trouble. Dreaming with eyes open…"

By Lauren Verrall 6J

"To me, dreaming with your eyes open means to daydream, but an exciting daydream, I guess. A daydream that you imagine and are free to do anything you like. It’s like when your dad buys your favourite ice cream at the shops, or your best friend you haven’t seen in a LONG time comes to your house as a surprise. It’s like you are in a book. A book you love."

By Isla Johnston 6S

Year 6 Canberra Excursion

The Australian Government recognises the importance of all young Australians being able to visit the national capital as part of their Civics and Citisenship education. To assist families in meeting the cost of the excursion the Australian Government contributed funding of $30.00 per student under the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program towards the costs.

In Week 5, we went to Canberra for three days and two nights. I will always remember this trip! It was so much fun and we made so many special memories.

On Wednesday, we left super early (we were at school at 6:30AM!) to get to Canberra at a reasonable time. I remember feeling so overwhelmed by the sheer number of things we could do, and the highlights available. Our schedule was jam packed with amazing activities!

One specific highlight for me would be going to New Parliament House. When we arrived, we met some important people like the Honourable Michelle Rowland MP who is the Minister for Communications and Octavia’s mum (in Year 5). She told us about her role in the government.

Afterwards, we got a very special tour of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s office and found out that he is a big fan of the Rabbitohs!

Next, we found Shawn the Prawn, who is a 3-million-year-old fossil buried into the marble floor in the foyer of Parliament House.

Lastly, we did a role play of passing a bill through the Senate. My role was to play the Clerk and Nina was my assistant, and when the others were practicing, Nina and I were joking around and we were pretending that I needed a coffee and a cookie!

I learned that there are many different roles to play in parliament. I also learned that every person plays a very important role in our democracy. Everyone is very important to the role of government. 

It was such a fun time in Canberra from going to Parliament House to having dance battles with friends and teachers. I will always remember this momentous, magical and memorable time.

Pearl Kennedy

Celebration of Student Growth

Every fortnight at our Primary School Assembly, girls are recognised and celebrated for their growth in the areas of Approach to Learning, Displaying a Growth Mindset, House Spirit, Displaying the value of Freedom and Miss Manners.

Congratulations to the following girls;

6B: Miss Ball

Emma Dinca, Aavni Gandhi – for a positive approach to learning

Lucinda Domingues – showing excellent House spirit

6J: Miss Jordan

Nina McGuinness – for a positive approach to learning

Grace Vukasovic – showing excellent House spirit

Alyson Boon – for having a growth mindset

Olivia Seale – for displaying Freedom

6S: Miss Scroope

Sophia Kwak-Fang – for displaying Freedom

Eloise Whitfield – for having a growth mindset

Danielle Tsang – for displaying Freedom

Mahira Hasan – for showing excellent House Spirit

5P: Miss Perkins

Sabrina Whenman, Eloise Hartshorn – for a positive approach to learning

Lucinda Walter – for showing excellent House spirit

Kate Dean – for having a Growth Mindset

5R: Miss Rahme

Sophie Wang, Isabelle Pass, Alisha Stokes – for a positive approach to learning

Murphy Sun – for displaying Freedom

5S: Miss Speter

Lily Bradshaw, Lila Slapp – for displaying Freedom

Chloe Jang, Amy Black – for having a Growth Mindset


Miss Manners – Kate Huang


Hip, hip, hooray and happy birthday to the following girls. We hope you had a wonderful day! 

Mikaylah, Chloe, Alexis, Millie, Sienna, Abigail, Juliet, Aly

Upcoming Events                                           

Thursday, 8 September

Book Week Parade

9.00am – 10.45am

Join us for the Primary Book Week Parade!

We invite Loreto Normanhurst primary families to attend this year's Primary Book Week Parade. The theme for 2022 is 'Dreaming with Eyes Open'. 

Students will parade dressed as their favourite book characters. The parade will be followed by morning tea.

Please RSVP for catering purposes.

RSVP here.

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