A Word From The Principal

Welcome to the end of the term!

It’s been a really great term and the children have been productively involved in the classroom, playground and more recently, on the stage! School is a very busy place and I would like to thank our teachers and education support staff for making this term such a success.

Classes for 2015

Over the next few weeks we will be considering the placement of children in classes for next year.

Any special requests about your child’s special needs are to be put in writing and given/sent/emailed to me by no later than Friday,October 24th. The focus of your letters are to be on ‘student needs’. Requests for specific teachers will not be considered. Thank you.

Swimming Program

Our swimming program starts next term. Please let us know if  you can help with supervision. We are still in need of help from dads. A Working With Children Check is necessary to help other people’s children. Thank you for your assistance.

Scrap Metal Challenge

Next term we will be holding a Scrap Metal Fundraiser at Kallista Primary School!

This will be a chance for you to recycle unwanted metal from your garage or shed, and help us to raise some extra dollars for our school. Bins arrive on November 7th, courtesy of Eco Waste Recycle Centre. They will continue to replace the bins as they fill, until the final day on 17th November.

Look out for the flyer later this week, explaining more about the scrap metal collection.

Working Bee on November 8th

Next term we plan to hold our working bee on the same day as Kallista Market!  Along with some working bee jobs, we would love to have help to give out flyers at Kallista Market to inform the public about the scrap metal collection, and we plan to have a stall to sell second-hand furniture and goods. Stay tuned for more information early next term!

Mburameizi Primary School

Children across the school have been writing to the Ugandan children of Mburameizi Primary School in their class take-home books. I look forward to collecting these from teachers next term and sending them to our friends in Uganda. They will love receiving the books, hearing our children’s stories and playing with our Aussie animals. Thanks to everyone for contributing.

Footy Day on Thursday!!!

Come to school dressed in your footy colours this Thursday!

There will be a footy parade and a footy kicking competition!

Don’t forget the extra 15 minutes playtime at recess  for children who have arrived at school on time.

See you on Thursday!

Go PIES!!!! J

Holiday Fun

There are many activities on around town during the holidays. If you are looking for school holiday ideas, visit the Shire of Yarra Ranges and Knox Council School Holiday Program information on the web at:

Yarra Ranges-




Have a great holiday everyone and stay safe!     

Chris Finighan





A Word From The Principal

Hello Everyone!

Yay!!! Production is here! It was launched early this term with the titleBeat the Heat’– perfect title thanks to Hamish- and the kids cooked up a storm yesterday at rehearsal! I was thrilled to see big kids and little kids singing and dancing to the beats of world music! What a hit this will be kids!

It takes many hands, a cast and crew, to get a production such as this up and running, and we have been privileged to have many talented people working on our school production ‘Beat the Heat’. Yesterday’s rehearsal at Burrinja ran like clockwork, thanks to the tireless work of our wonderful production coordinator, Marg Brooks, and the children looked terrific on stage, wearing their colourful ‘Beat the Heat’ t-shirts, designed by Kallista student, Indigo Linde. We love the t-shirts Indigo!

Valanga Khoza’s exciting artistic direction and musical inspiration has been appreciated by everyone across the school this term. He continued with gusto on Monday, ensuring the children put energy and enthusiasm into fine tuning their performances for opening night, which as you know was …. last night!!

It’s also been great to have members of our Kallista families involved in the production. Thanks to former student and Sam Graunke’s son, Mitch, and our drumming mum, Lisa Baird, for providing fabulous live musical accompaniment with Valanga. Music is such a powerful force for good in the world and so special to share in this way at school. Our terrific teachers, Yahiro and Sam enrich the children’s educational experience each week with their love of music and we thank them for taking the production instrumental groups and choir to performance standard over the last few weeks.



There are also people working behind the scenes. Thanks to Michael Meitzke for his continued  support in many ways, including being in the bio box and making sure all the technology goes to plan! Our graphic designer mum, Anthea Heagney, has generously given her time to create the Beat the Heat poster and program. It looks great!

As you would be aware, the teachers have been behind the children’s success all the way. Their reward will be in the children’s smiling faces and the joy that will be shared through their performances. Marg Brooks has been a tower of strength and vision and is the driving force behind ‘Beat the Heat!’ and  we all say a very big “Thank you Marg!“



Education Support Staff- awesome staff, great people!

August was Education Support Staff month at Kallista Primary School and I would just like to acknowledge the wonderful work of all our Education Support Staff in our school. Thanks to our wonderful office ladies, Andrea, Bronwyn, Bernie, and the lovely Sandra who does an amazing job on our Miniscope every fortnight! Thanks also to Kylie in the kitchen, Jennie in the garden and Jayne and Liz at OSCH- always smiling and enriching our students lives at school. And our beautiful teacher aides Kerrie, Sherrin and Robyn who provide care and support in the classrooms. Thanks ladies- our school would not be the same without each and every one of you.

For more news please see our full Miniscope on the Miniscope page.


Important Dates


      Whole School Production

Friday 29th August – whole school dress rehearsal at school.  Class and performing group photographs will be taken.

Monday 1st Septemberwhole school rehearsal at Burrinja

Tuesday 2nd September – 7pm BEAT THE HEAT production at Burrinja

Wednesday 3rd September – 7pm BEAT THE HEAT production at Burrinja

For tickets please contact Burrinja

Beat the heat


A Word From The Principal

Hello everyone!

Production Fever as Beat the Heat begins!

There has been so much excitement at school over the last fortnight! Rehearsals for Beat the Heat are  in full swing and it is all coming together thanks to the brilliant direction of Margaret Brooks. We are so privileged to have the talented and charismatic  Valanga lead us in the songs, dance movement and to give us many chuckles along the way! Of course the production cannot go ahead without the support of all our fantastic teachers and the marvellous enthusiasm and energy of our wonderful Kallista kids. Children all over the school are smiling, laughing and singing. Others who are providing special musical expertise are Lisa Baird, Mitch Graunke and Yahiro, our Japanese-Music teacher. Thanks to everyone for the parts you are playing in this exciting performance extravaganza. I can’t wait for the show to open!

Beat the heat








Working Bee  Sunday 24th August

Working Bee this Sunday…come and join us in improvements to our beautiful school.

Come along to the working bee this Sunday and enjoy time with friends and families beautifying our school. We start at 9am and finish at 1pm, with roast lamb sandwiches at 11am. Vegetarian options available. See details on Tiqbiz. Please advise office if you will be attending to assist with catering.

Transition Morning at Monbulk College

Thanks to Monbulk College for providing our Year 5 students with an enjoyable and educational experience on Tuesday morning this week. Our senior students visited Monbulk College in the morning, taking part in subject lessons such as Science and enjoying some time in the grounds. These excursions to secondary colleges give students a taste of the secondary college environment and are most beneficial to preparing them for the next stage of schooling.


Peacemakers are our Year 5 students who have volunteered to help our Year Prep, 1 and 2 students in the playground at lunchtime. Thanks Peacemakers for helping our school increase our friendliness rating once again!

Playground Development News

We are really happy to have developments underway for our playground. Our playground working party has been meeting to plan and design the exciting new improvements. Thanks to parents Bec Bos, Karen Koolstra, Jenny Abraham, Julie Konda and Sonja Wittman-Lines for meeting with our teacher Kirsten, and getting started with planning.

We have a question for our school community: Does anyone have any knowledge about the history of the pine that is located next to the rocky, river bed – near the back gate. Removing this pine, from this native garden bed is being considered, because in the future, as it becomes very large, it will shed needles that will impact on the native garden beneath. Please see me in the office should you have concerns or objections.

School Council

I just wanted to acknowledge our school councillors Emma Miller, Judi Porter, Ian Bland, Jenny Abraham, Craig Tennant, Rebecca Bos, Helen Whitelaw, Peter Grimes, Karen Koolstra, Julie Konda, Raelene Schafer Evans, Anne Vear, Sonja Winkler and Kirsten Belloni who are working across many fronts through committees and working parties in areas such as fundraising, policy review, facilities, and finance.

Our monthly meetings are always informative, with respectful and thoughtful discussions on matters of importance. Thank you for your dedication to our school and I look forward to working with you in the years to come.

 Facilities Update

Beautifying the breezeway

Julie Konda is going to begin beautifying our breezeway by painting it brick by brick in bright colours.  If anyone has any tins of good quality acrylic paints in pretty, bright, happy colours, we would love to have your left overs.  Please drop them at the office and thank you.

The fence around our school.

We will be having an upgrade to our school fencing. Thanks to Parks Victoria for supporting us with half the cost for our back fence. The works should take place over the holidays.

Tony Twining

You may see a tradesman Tony Twining around our school sometimes over the next few weeks. Tony is working hard around our grounds, assisting with small to medium jobs and general school maintenance. In a past life, Tony was principal of Marlborough P.S. and has a very special understanding of the OHS issues and maintenance concerns in schools, so I am delighted to have him on our Kallista team!

‘Thank yous’

Thank you to Karen Koolstra and her arbourist team for clearing dangerous branches last week from our lower playground, to Hugh Abrahams for plumbing advice and help, and to Guido and Karen K for clearing the old canteen portable of lots of unwanted goods! Wow! I cannot believe the help and enthusiasm we have in our community for so many aspects of school improvement. Many thanks for helping Kallista Primary School ‘shine’!

All the best everyone.

Have a great week of learning!

See you on Sunday !




A word from the Principal:

Hello everyone!

Our lunchtime extra-curricular activities are in full swing, with many children taking the opportunity to enjoy themselves. We were just finishing up our yoga session with some meditation last Friday, when it started to snow! The meditation was abandoned, replaced by squeals of delight as the children leapt to the window to spy the delicate flakes swirling in the air above the oval. Beautiful!

Last Thursday, we were delighted to have the four year old Kallista kindies come to visit. The kindies had a wonderful time planting a variety of fruit trees with our Year Four students. Thank you to one of the Kallista Kindergarden mums, Monique Saunders, who so generously donated these plants. The children had a terrific time together and these trees will be a great addition to our grounds.

Speaking of our grounds, there are exciting plans afoot for playground development at Kallista Primary School. Parents and teachers on the Playground Working Party are researching and developing plans to improve the playground environment. Watch this space!

Working Bee- Sunday 24th August, 9.00am to 1.00pm

If you would like to contribute to improvements to our grounds and facilities in a practical way this month, you might like to attend our next working bee. We plan on having a bit of a clean-out with the help of some ‘skips’ on the property, re-filling the sandpit and some other odd jobs. Look out for the notice coming home this week. This time we will have some roast lamb rolls for morning tea to refuel! Hope to see you there!

Our Year 5 Peacemakers will be receiving their certificates at assembly this week and will be out and about helping the younger children next week. Thank you to the following friendly, caring students, who are pledging to give some regular time to help the young ones, and to make our school a friendly, safe and special place to be.

Friendship Matters at Kallista

Check out the friendship flags that will be appearing around the school and the friendship leaves in the office foyer. Let’s continue to focus on friendliness at school…it really does matter. Your friendly actions and words will make a difference everyday.

IMG_2744 IMG_2745 IMG_2746


Some feedback from:
Mark Wilson – our visiting author/illustrator commented on how well behaved our Kallista children were in his sessions and how much he had enjoyed his day at Kallista. They were well behaved and respectful but also showed real enthusiasm for his ideas!
All the best everyone. Have a great week of learning!

Mrs. Fin

IPad Information night tonight at Kallista P.S!

Hello there,

This evening, starting at 7pm, we will be holding an information session about the Year 5 and 6, 1:1 IPad program at Kallista Primary School.

Our Year 5 and 6 teachers, Sam Graunke and Meagan Street, and our principal, Christine Finighan, will be presenting information about the implementation of this program and its educational benefits to our senior students.

Year 4 parents will benefit from attending this information evening in preparation for their students’ participation next year in Year 5, and parents of Year 3 students, are also most welcome to attend.

Hope to see you there!


A Word From The Principal July 23rd 2014

Welcome to Week 2!

I hope you all had a very safe and happy holiday. I enjoyed wandering from class to class on our first morning back to say ‘hi!’ to everyone. Classes were catching up on holiday news and sharing stories. See Heather’s and Deb’s classes here, using a sharing technique that’s a bit like ‘speed dating’! Everyone gets to share their stories and ideas by rotating around in a circle- a fantastic way to share the holiday excitement and reconnect with friends.

deb 1                     heather Picture3

Volunteer time in the holidays ….

Thanks to Helen and John Whitelaw for washing down some extremely slippery areas of the school in the holidays. The driveway, paths and kitchen garden verandah look brand new! Thanks for making them safe for pedestrians.

Also, many thanks to Shaun Embleton for fixing our fence at the back. This is just fantastic and gives us a little more time to get the support from Parks Victoria to put in our new, higher, stronger fence- coming soon I hope!

Shaun’s repair has increased student safety and it looks so much better also. Thanks Shaun!

And thanks too, to Peter Grimes for his continued efforts to enhance the tidiness and safety of our yard, disposing of leaf litter, weeding and clearing garden refuse.

From the community- a huge thank you!


Staff news – welcomes and appreciation.…

I would like to give a very warm welcome to our three new staff,  Jan Abbott (Year 1 /2- replacing Stef), Meagan Street (Year 5- replacing Jake) and Robyn Durrand working as an aide in the Year 1 /2 with Jan.

Our Kallista staff are a great team, and everyone has been working together to support the transition of the new staff. I would like to acknowledge teachers’ efforts in preparing their classrooms and learning activities,  and our office staff in organising many administrative tasks during the term break. This important background work has ensured a smooth and successful start to the term.

Playtime with the Principal- or ‘Fun-again with Finighan!’

On Monday 21st July, teachers have started to record the children who arrive at school on time. Remember if you are late, go to the office and obtain a late pass so that you can show your teacher that you had a good reason for being late. All children who have been at school on time will join me in the last week of  term, for some extra playtime!

House points and the House Cup!

Talking of fun…by the way, kids… you might have noticed that my hair is no longer pink!

How about you all do your very best to gain as many house points this term as you can, by cleaning the yard, showing your best sportsmanship and teamwork, trying your best in class and using good manners.

If your house wins the House Cup at the end of this year, I, Mrs. Christine Finighan, do solemnly swear, that I will dye my hair the colour of your house- whether it be red, green, blue or gold!

So, let the competition begin!

Term 3 Extra-Curricular Lunchtime Activities

I am pleased to announce this term’s lunch activities

Library- Tuesday and Thursday

Choir-   Thursday in Learning Centre

Drumming Circle-  Wednesday in Library

Chess- $64.00 for 8 sessions

Chess notice went out yesterday- please come to the office if you missed out. We will be holding chess classes on Mondays, starting next Monday 28th July, in the library.

Yoga- $64.00 for 8 sessions

An ‘Expression of Interest’ form went home on Monday. If you missed out, it is available at the office. If we have enough interested people we will start next week. Come and get a notice and hand it in by this Friday! Day for yoga will be advised if we go ahead.

……….to access the rest of Miniscope go to the tab along the top of the page and click on Miniscope!




A Word from The Principal June 25th 2014

Hello everyone!

Here we are in the final week of Term 2. It has been a wonderful term for me and I hope for you also.


I enjoyed reading all the children’s reports over the last fortnight and they should take pride in their concentrated efforts during class time. Remember….work hard and get smart! I am especially delighted when I see wonderful comments about positive behaviours, friendly attitudes and caring actions. We have our school values of honesty, courage, responsibility and respect. It was very pleasing to see so many children had comments from their teachers that reported the children’s positive actions in this respect. If you had such comments on your report, give yourselves a pat on the back! J

Investigations and ERPs

I was very lucky today as I was able to spend the first hour of Wednesday in investigation time with 1 /2S. The children were positively engaged in reading, writing, drawing, experimenting and constructing. What were some of the activities undertaken? Harry was planning his supermarket, Declan was trialling a board game that he had finished last session, Fleur was completing her pet shop and Eleanor had made a wonderful finger puppet. I was having so much fun with the children that I didn’t really want to return to my office!

The 3 /4 students have also been doing investigations in the form of Education Research Projects. This term the projects are linked to biological science. They have been learning about living things and how they adapt to their environments, and the impact of humans on the survival of living things. I have had many visits from 3 /4 children who have shown me their impressive posters. I always love to see the children’s work and discover what they are learning about.

Parent Teacher Interviews

I hope that you will all take the opportunity to come and meet with your child’s class teacher this Thursday and learn about what your child is learning, and to discuss their needs and progress. It is so important that teachers have these conversations with parents. Working together, we can do so much to support each child’s development, and both teachers and parents gain a deeper level of understanding about how to help children learn when they share information.


Thank you to Jenny Abraham and the PFA parents. What a wonderful, energetic team you are. The disco was really marvellous and the children had an absolutely great time! Thank you all so very much for bringing your ideas to life and for organising this fun evening for our students.


Well, it has been such an amazing term for me. Thanks to the teachers for their enthusiasm and professionalism over this term of change. You have kept the ship sailing straight and the children have been a happy crew! I’m looking forward to next term already! Production here we come!

Farewells and Welcomes

Farewell to our Year 5 teacher, Jake, who is travelling to Ireland with his family for the next year. What an

adventure! Welcome to Meagan Street, our new Year 5 teacher, who is really looking forward to joining the Kallista team and teaching our terrific Year 5’s! A warm welcome also to Jan Abbott who is known to many of you. Jan is the replacement teacher for 1/2S. It is also great to have Robyn Durrand to assist in Year 1/2. Welcome aboard!

Have a very safe and happy holiday everyone.

Christine Finighan




School Disco

discoDon’t forget this Friday (20th June) is our school disco! It starts at 5pm.  There will be a professional DJ, games, prizes and much more.  Get out your best dancing threads and come on down for a boogie!