Gorokan Public School Newsletter - Week 8 Term 3, 2023

Principal's Report

Dear Gorokan Public School Community,

As we approach the final stages of Term 3, I am very proud of our dedicated students and grateful for our exceptional staff. Their unwavering commitment to excellence has defined this term, and I commend their collective achievements. With a few weeks remaining, I encourage everyone to use this time to consolidate learning and to set sights on future goals. Our school calendar is brimming with exciting events for the term ahead that will not only foster a positive school spirit but also provide students with opportunities to shine.

SASS Recognition Week

This week is School Administrative and Support Staff (SASS) Recognition Week, a time to acknowledge and thank the often unsung heroes in our public schools. At Gorokan Public School we appreciate and acknowledge the range of skills and expertise that our SASS have and know that our school, like all other schools, could not function effectively without these dedicated people. These individuals, including administrative staff, teachers' aides, general assistants, library support and the school nurse, are essential to the school's smooth operation. They are often the first people you see when you enter a school and are essential to maintaining positive relationships with students, parents and the community. Please join us in celebrating these talented individuals.

Explicit Instruction

The school celebrated its third year of implementing Explicit Instruction (EI) last week. Distinguished guests, including EI coach and mentor John Fleming and Meg Avery, Director of Educational Leadership for the Tuggerah Lakes Network, were in attendance, along with visiting teachers from local schools. Teachers and students provided observation lessons in reading, writing, and mathematics instruction, receiving high praise from John Fleming, who described the teaching as "elite" and a global best practice example. The event showcased the school's dedication to excellence in education, with special thanks to Ms Henderson and Mr Fitzpatrick for their organising efforts and support for the staff in their EI journey. Congratulations to the dedicated teachers and students who provided the observation lessons on the day - Mrs. Stewart and K-6S, Mrs Frew and KTF, Mrs Scott and 2S, Mr James and KC, Ms Bartell and 2B, and Ms Buchholz and 4B. Another proud principal moment.

2S providing an outstanding example of mathematics teaching and learning

Emergency Lockdown Drill

The recent emergency lockdown drill conducted at our school serves as a vital preparedness exercise to equip students, staff, and occupants with the necessary skills and protocols for responding to potential emergencies, whether they involve security threats or severe weather. Conducted with sensitivity to the age and developmental stage of our students, this proactive approach minimises anxiety and ensures that our school is well-prepared to prioritise safety and security in the unlikely event of a real lockdown emergency.

The Colour Fun Run

The sun shone brightly as the students and staff (including myself) had an awesome time at school on Friday participating in the Colour Fun Run. The students followed an intricate obstacle course and were sprayed with colour throughout. The students finished their session with a group photo which will be posted on the school Facebook page. A great day was had by all, and the event proved to be a highly successful fundraiser for our Year 6 students, collecting 40% of the $26 000 raised in sponsorship. Thank you to event co-ordinator, Mrs George, and the Year 6 teachers for their outstanding organisation of this extremely successful event. I am told that the students staff and community really enjoyed the last activity on the day - the sliming of myself, Mrs Duke and Mrs George! Thanks for supporting this event. The money raised will be used to reduce the cost to parents of Year 6 events and the purchasing of the Year 6 gift to the school at the end of the year.

Year 3 students participating in the Gorokan PS Colour Fun Run

Father's Day Gift Stall

Held last Thursday, the Gorokan Public School P&C organised another highly successful Father's Day Stall. The event offered a range of gifts, fostering connections between fathers/significant male role models and their children as they selected items. Alongside these personal moments, the event's fundraising aspect contributed significantly to the school's resources, serving the broader school community. This event underscored the importance of community involvement and highlighted the value of family bonds during Father's Day. We hope the presents purchased from the stall were kept safely until Father’s Day arrived.

Father's Day Breakfast

Dave and Lily’s special moment photo bombed by Mr Zammit

Central Coast Public Schools' Showcase

The Central Coast Schools’ Showcase was a fantastic event held last week at Laycock Street Theatre. It's always wonderful to see students showcase their talents with confidence and enthusiasm. Such events not only highlight the talents of the students but also promote a sense of community pride and support for the school's programs. Well done to the Opera House recorder group and Vienna D from Year 6 who sang solo for their exceptional contributions to the showcase! Another proud moment in the broader community for Gorokan Public School.

Transition to School

Our first transition session for our 2024 Kindergarten students is not far away. If you have a child who is starting Kindergarten next year, please enrol NOW!

Click on the enrolment link below to enrol online or drop into our office to pick up paper enrolment forms. All students need to be enrolled in order to attend the transition sessions. We look forward to meeting our future Kinder students and their families very soon.

Engaging in Social Media

Social media can have several positive outcomes for schools when used effectively and responsibly. Defaming a school on social media can have serious negative consequences both for the school and the individuals involved. Defamation refers to making false statements that harm someone's reputation, and this can apply to schools as institutions, their staff, or students. Thanks are extended to our school community for the ongoing support of the school on social media platforms.

Together, we can make a difference. By continuing working collaboratively, pooling our strengths, and supporting one another, we have the power to create positive change in our school community and beyond.

Jesmond Zammit


School News


Dates to Remember

  • Thursday 7 September - Combined Choral Festival Rehearsal at 9:30am
  • Friday 8 September - Zone Athletics Carnival at 8:00am
  • Wednesday 13 September - Central Coast Public Speaking Competition at 8:30am at Gorokan Public School
  • Wednesday 20 September - Kindergarten Orientation Session 1 at 12:00pm
  • Thursday 21 September - Bilby Bash at 9:00am
  • Friday 22 September - Sporting Colour Mufti Day
  • Friday 22 September - Waru - Journey of the Small Turtle K-2 at the Art House, Wyong at 12:00pm
  • Friday 22 September - Last day of Term 3
  • Monday 9 October - First day of Term 4

Support Unit

The last 2 weeks have been very busy with the John Fleming Celebration Day. As well as, the Father’s Day stall and breakfast!

The students in the Support Unit have been working hard in their classes over the last 2 weeks.

Current Learning

Last Friday K-6S (Turtles) celebrated a visit to their classroom where they were able to demonstrate their outstanding progress to Mr John Fleming, Meg Avery (Director), The Entrance and Northlakes Public Schools and Executive Staff from Gorokan Public School.

Spending time in classrooms two things are perfectly clear:

1. Teachers and staff are committed to providing the best education for your child.

2. The students are hard workers. This tells me one thing – your children are in the right place to be highly successful individuals.

Explicit Teaching is all about setting high standards for children and setting the environment for them to achieve these standards. We do this through a very clear model to ensure learning is scaffolded and to ensure there is a consistent approach across the school. At Gorokan Public School we use the John Fleming Explicit Teaching Model. We use ‘warm-ups’ to move knowledge from our short term to long term memory as well as the ‘I do, We do, You do’ approach to succinctly structure lessons, giving students a step by step approach when learning a new concept.

I mentioned John Fleming in the above paragraph. John is a highly regarded, research driven education consultant who runs professional learning and coaching to schools across Australia. John is very busy and difficult to get….We are very lucky to be able to employ his services every term. John was once asked in an interview, “What makes a good teacher”? His response was the following: “I think a good teacher knows what evidence-based research is; knows what that actually looks like in the classroom, and exactly what activities they are doing in the classroom in terms of curriculum. They measure how the group as a whole are going, how individual students are going, and they have very clear goals set in their mind about what their students should be achieving in reading, writing and maths. But, also, they know they have very clear goals for the kids who need extra support, they know how to deliver that extra support. Basically, they’re not teaching and hoping that the kids do well. They actually know that if they deliver the curriculum in this particular way, that they will get good results and every kid will reach their potential - whatever that is. Also, I think good teachers have really outstanding relationships with their kids, so they make learning fun. “

As I walk around our Support Unit classrooms this is exactly what I’m looking for and exactly what I see:

  • Teachers doing what they do best – teaching!
  • Teachers setting clear goals for each and every child.
  • Teachers giving children individual support where needed.
  • Curriculum being delivered in a deliberate and specific way.
  • And, most importantly, teachers having outstanding relationships with their students

This, in my opinion, is the number 1 priority for all staff!

In the K-6G Frogs classroom we were learning to follow two step instructions.

K-6H - (Echidnas) have taken to the oval for their sports lessons. Austag is the sport of choice at present with the students and Miss Rene running enthusiastically all over the place. This has been a great team building experience.


No Toys at School

We would like to remind everyone about the Support Unit policy regarding toys. As a part of our commitment to providing a focused and productive learning environment, we have a strict “No toys from home in the Support Unit” policy that applies to all students. Please help us enforce this policy by reminding your child that toys, including but not limited to, action figures, trading cards, electronic devices and other personal items, should be left at home.

School Uniform

Our school uniform policy is in place to create a sense of unity, pride and discipline among our students. It is essential that all students adhere to the uniform guidelines consistently. This includes correct footwear, jumpers and hats be worn at all times.

Why Uniform Matters:

  • Promotes a Sense of Belonging - Uniforms create a sense of belonging and equality among students, fostering a positive school culture.
  • Reduces Distractions - Uniforms reduce distractions related to clothing choices and fashion trends, allowing students to focus on learning.


Celebrations of Learning

During Grade Gathering we have been practicing our school song and National Anthem. The students have been singing loud and proud.

Well done to all our Support Unit students for their excellent efforts and determination this fortnight. Congratulations to all our award winners:

Week 7

  • Turtles- Braxtynn F and Johnny C
  • Eaglehawks- Nicole P and Messi N
  • Echidna- Braxton F
  • Frogs- Jax P

Week 8

  • Turtles- Malaqui G and Charlotte D
  • Eaglehawks- Atticus D and Tyson T
  • Echidna- Mallee S
  • Frogs-Owen M

Mrs Shauna Crook

Deputy Principal Support Unit and Wellbeing

Early Stage 1

Current Learning

Kindergarten students have had another huge week of learning fun!

This week we listened to the student speeches about their favourite animal. All of the students who presented did an amazing job. Congratulations to the students that were selected from each class to present their speeches to the grade. We were very impressed with the high standard of speeches this year. Our two amazing winners were Logan M and Mark P, who will present their speech at the next level of the competition. Well done.

We have continued writing compound sentences in English and have been enjoying working out addition and subtraction problems in maths. In visual arts, we have been creating artworks about various zoo animals using a range of materials.

Kindergarten thoroughly enjoyed their visit to the zoo and loved having the opportunity to have an individual photo taken with the lizard. I’m sure they look great on your fridges. Throughout the day students were able to see all of the animals up close and they participated well in the keeper talks. The highlight was definitely seeing their excitement when they got to feed the kangaroos and goats.

Kindergarten also had a great time participating in the GPS Colour Run! Thank you for all of the support with fundraising for the event. The students had a wonderful time participating.


Homework Folders

Thank you for your support with the homework folders. Please return these folders every Friday so we can see how your child is going and swap the reader. Well done to the children that have been reading daily and practising their sight words. Please also continue to log in to Reading Eggs and Mathseeds. These apps are a great way for your child to consolidate the skills learned in the classroom.

Jumpers and Hats

Please clearly label all of your child’s belongings (hat, jumper, drink bottle etc) with their name and class. If there is no name, it is really hard to determine who owns it. Please write names on everything.

Morning Drop Off

Please continue to drop your child at the front or back gate and say goodbye. We have noticed that there are more and more parents coming to the classrooms in the mornings which has been a bit unsettling for some students. It is important that we encourage our students to become more independent as we edge toward the end of Kindergarten so that they are confident and ready for Year 1. If you need to pass on a message or speak to the class teacher, please contact the school office to make an appointment or write your child’s teacher a quick note and they will be in touch with you at their earliest convenience.

Celebrations of Learning

Well done to all Kindergarten students for their amazing effort this fortnight. We would like to congratulate our class award winners:

  • KB - Anahera W, Ella-Rae C, Isabella M and Louis W
  • KC - Mahalia A, Imogen N, Xander C and Maliyah G
  • KJ - Kora I, Harlow L and Axel M
  • KLF - Willow W, Nevaeh G and Johnathan B
  • KTF - Alexis C, Kyla D, Archie G and Emily C

Students receiving Open Road Awards:

  • KB - Myles B, Mason C, Raylee D and Jack D
  • KC - Isabel L, Max W, Emmiley S and Wyatt G
  • KJ - Ava E, Kaden T and Lucas M
  • KLF - Kyah H, Layla W, Evelyn M and Krystal P
  • KTF - Amelia B, Zayden G, Zahra and Monique B

Congratulations to all of our award winners this fortnight.

Kinder fun at the zoo
Kinder fun at the zoo
Kinder fun at the zoo
Kinder fun at the zoo
Kinder fun at the zoo
Kinder fun at the zoo
Kinder fun at the zoo
Kinder fun at the zoo
Kinder fun at the zoo

Mr Johnston will be relieving Assistant Principal for Kindergarten while Mrs Duke is on leave over the next 2 weeks.

Mrs Alicia Duke & Mr Richard Johnston

Assistant Principal Early Stage 1

Stage 1

Current Learning

Home Reading

As Year 1 Home Reading kicks off, a massive WELL DONE to all parents and students who have shown such initiative in making sure that books are being read, titles recorded on the reading log, and books are being returned to school ready for a new one. The children are so excited to advance their reading levels and improve their abilities and have been encouraged to read and re-read their books-to their parent or carer, their toys or their siblings! A helpful reminder we give our students is - Home Reading books live inside your school bag and are only taken out to read and then returned to your school bag. This minimizes the chance of them getting lost in the house!


Wonderful effort to everyone on the informative and carefully rehearsed speeches this week! Two students from every class were selected as finalists and these brave presenters gave their speeches during Grade Gathering. Congratulations to all of our participants who showed how much learning had happened throughout the term.

Quiet and Respectful Lines - What do they look and sound like?

This term, across our school, all students at Gorokan Public School are being asked to demonstrate a quiet and repectful line as their class moves around our school or waits patiently for their turn. Try asking your child what they should look and sound like in a line at school and see if they can show you! You may be impressed!

Celebrations of Learning

Get Happier-Negotiating Road

Our school's current focus is travelling on the Negotiating road. This week, James from 1L was overheard saying to himself, "I can solve this problem", as he quietly got up from the carpet during a numeracy lesson to exchange his marker for one that worked. What a wonderful example of using positive self-talk! Travelling on the negotiating road and exhibiting the confidence to solve small problems independently is such a happy place to be!

Mrs Jo Lee

Assistant Principal - Year 1

Mr Mitchell Gibbs

Assistant Principal Aboriginal Education - Year 2

Stage 2

Current Learning

We have had a busy fortnight in Stage 2. It was lovely to see many fathers and special people in our student’s lives at school on Friday. We hope you enjoyed the breakfast prepared for you and we hope you had a lovely day on Sunday.

We celebrated a day of learning with our guest visitor, Mr John Fleming on Friday. A number of teachers demonstrated Explicit Instruction lessons with their students and I congratulate 4B for being part of this day. It is wonderful to see the progress students are making in English and Mathematics through Explicit Instruction (EI) lessons.

Pen Licence

Year 4 students are currently working towards receiving a pen licence. This week during grade gathering, some of our Year 4 students will receive their pen licence which can be used in every lesson except mathematics. Keep up the hard work Year 4!


  • Please keep communicating with your child’s teacher any absent days your child may have from school. You can reply to the SMS, send a note or contact the office. It is a legal requirement to explain your child’s absence.
  • Please keep up the great work in labelling your child’s clothing and personal belongings. If your child is missing any items please look through the lost property pile behind the hall.
  • Please remind yourself to send in a set of headphones for your child to use during technology lessons.
  • Your child’s classroom teacher is your first point of call if you have any concerns or queries, they may be contacted by phone or email through the school office. Regular communication is encouraged.

Important Dates

  • Friday 8 September - Zone Athletics Carnival
  • Wednesday 13 September - Central Coast Public Speaking Competition
  • Wednesday 20 September - Kindergarten Orientation
  • Thursday 21 September - Bilby Bash
  • Friday 22 September - Last Day Term 3

Celebrations of Learning

The students have worked hard this fortnight to plan and present a public speaking speech of their choice to their class. We congratulate the following students for being class finalists; Tyler T, Nalah H, Oliver W, Jasmine L, Nevada U, Trevor M, Adrian T, Oliver V, Felicity G, Rozie D, Sophie C, Elliot B and Byron N.

We congratulate our Year 3 winner Lucas H and Year 4 winner Shanae P. These students will compete in the Central Coast Public Speaking Competition to be held at our school on Wednesday 13 September. We wish them good luck.

Get Happier Project

Our in-depth focus this fortnight is the Negotiating Road. In the Get Happier lessons, students have discussed how we can work together and help each other to solve problems. We have explored and discussed different scenarios and strategies students can use to further support their social and emotional learning. Thank you for all of your support with reminding the students to be safe, respectful, successful learners.

Mrs Di Jeanpierre

Assistant Principal Stage 2

Stage 3

Current Learning

Wow! Week 8 already and this term is flying by! Last week Year 6 attended Gorokan High School Sports Day as part of their transition process. It was fantastic for Year 6 to have this opportunity to meet and mingle with future high school peers and staff.

All Stage 3 students had a meeting last week addressing Gorokan Public School’s behaviour expectations and NSW DoE Behaviour Code to remind and ensure students are remaining safe and respectful learners at all times. We appreciate your ongoing support with this.


  • All Stage 3 students are reminded they are to wear their correct school uniform everyday with correct school jumpers and school hats clearly labelled with their name and class.
  • Year 5 ZooSnooz Overnight Excursion to Taronga Zoo - notes and more details will be coming out this week.
  • A quick reminder - some Stage 3 students are arriving late to school and we encourage all our students to be on time and ready to learn each and every single day as every day counts and matters. All students who are late must be accompanied to the office by an adult to be signed in with a valid reason for being late. We thank you for your support with this.

Year 6 Farewell - Save the Date!

Our Year 6 Farewell 2023 will be on Monday 11 December, 2023 with more details to come in Term 4! Please save this date to your calendars!

Celebrations of Learning

Thank you to all Stage 3 students, both Years 5 and 6 for your efforts in presenting your speeches in class. We had a wonderful time listening to our Stage 3 finalists for our Central Coast Public Speaking competition last week. A big CONGRATULATIONS goes to our two Stage 3 winners - Elijah G in 6P and Ruby M in 5/6G. These two students will progress to the next level. Another big congratulations goes to Vienna in 5/6G for coming third (who was given a reserve placing).

As always, if you have any questions or concerns please phone your child’s class teacher as your first point of contact. Wishing you all a wonderful fortnight! 🙂

Mrs Kate Day

Stage 3 Assistant Principal

Parenting Ideas


Written by Dr Justin Coulson

Dads of all kinds are important contributors to families. Biological fathers, step-fathers, legal guardians, foster-fathers, grandfathers, even close family friends acting as faux fathers can all perform important roles in families. There is even a YouTuber who acts as “Dad” to 4.6 million subscribers, who turn to him for “Dadvice” about everything from how to shave a beard to how to inflate a tubeless wheelbarrow tire.

However, the benefits of having a present and involved dad go far beyond having someone around to teach wheelbarrow maintenance. In fact, Harvard family scholars Marc Grau Grau and Hannah Riley Bowles state that, “The importance of engaged fatherhood is now undismissable in ways it was not in earlier decades.”

Fathers are not like mothers. Fathers parent in unique ways, which offers unique and important benefits to their families and children.

Here’s a few things dads can do to be uniquely helpful:

Take paternity leave

Fathers who take paternity leave, especially if they take at least two weeks, are significantly more likely to dedicate their time to childcare and housework, not only during their leave period, but at least until the child is two to three years old!

Be present

It seems simple, but remember that having a present father in the home is a protective factor for reducing antisocial behaviour in boys, and reducing teen pregnancy, depression, and early sexual activity in girls.

Share the load

It’s highly likely that the distribution of childcare and housework tasks isn’t as even as you might like to believe it is. By stepping up and sharing the load, fathers can help close the gender gap even further, model for their children how healthy relationships function, and set expectations for their children’s future relationships.


Dads play in unique ways, particularly by encouraging risk taking and exploration. The sort of vigorous, stimulating rough-housing play that dads are so great at predicts enhanced social competence, while decreasing externalising and internalising behaviour problems.

Read to the kids

Reading books together, telling stories, and singing songs to the kids are all important forms of cognitive stimulation which have established benefits for improving literacy outcomes in children. Interestingly, these benefits are more pronounced when dad does the storytelling.

Talk with the kids

Dads also engage in a unique communication style with their kids. Fathers seem more likely to use bigger words when they speak to their children. Mums keep it simple. Both forms of communication are valuable for kids, but this report from the American Academy of Pediatrics points out data showing that “at 3 years of age, father-child communication was a significant and unique predictor of advanced language development in the child but mother-child communication was not.”

Engage in discipline

To discipline means to instruct, teach, and guide. Parents can effectively discipline their kids by setting limits in a way that explores what’s going on, explains our reasoning for desired behaviour, and empowers kids to problem solve and come up with reasonable ways forward. Fathers are typically more authoritarian than mothers, so may need to work harder to move away from coercive and punitive discipline methods.

There’s so many other things dads can do to be excellent fathers. But… here’s the vital thing:

Fatherhood matters. Period. Even if dad is not in the family home. Even if dad is not married or together with mum. Even when it’s not part of the ‘package’ deal. (Which is, by the way, ideal… but the world is far from perfect.)

In Australia, there are more than 1 million single parent families, and 86% of those families are mother-led. Additionally, data from the US suggests that 27% of non-resident fathers don’t see their kids at all. That is a lot of kids who are growing up with absent fathers.

Living away from the kids does not mean that a father can’t provide them with the benefits of being involved. This meta-analysis of 52 studies finds clear support that non-resident fathers can still have a positive impact on their children’s academic achievement, behavioural adjustment, and emotional well-being. Being involved matters. Having a positive father-child relationship matters. Taking an interest in child related activities matters. Spending time with the kids matters.

Mothers are not fathers. Mothers can’t fill in for absent fathers; they can’t provide their children with all the benefits that come from having involved and present fathers in their lives.

And fathers are not mothers. They don’t parent in the same way. Instead, they provide unique, important contributions to their families; contributions that should not be dismissed or devalued.