Centralian Middle School
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56 Milner Road
Alice Springs NT 0870
Subscribe: https://cms.nt.edu.au/subscribe

Email: Centralian.middle@education.nt.gov.au
Phone: 08 8955 2333

16 February 2018

Newsletter Articles

Important dates

5:00pm Thursday 1st March – Parent session to give us your feedback
Thursday 1st March – Queen’s Baton Relay for the Commonwealth Games
Thursday 6th March – Immunisations for Years 7-9
Thursday 15th to Friday 16th March – Clontarf Year 8 Camp to Rainbow Valley
Tuesday 20th to Wednesday 21st March – Clontarf Year 9 Camp
Monday 26th to Thursday 29th March – Year 9 VET program
Friday 13th April – Health and Wellbeing Expo
Friday 13th April – Last day of Term 1

From the Principal

Dear families

The year has started off really well with our students reconnecting with each other and staff and in most cases settling quickly down to learning. The Year 7s have developed lots of new friendships, helped on by our dinner and sleepover last week. Nevertheless, it defies belief that we have already completed three weeks of school this year!

Over Term 4 last year and the beginning of this year, we spent a lot of time analysing school data and achievement patterns to determine where we are going to focus our improvement efforts this year. We have identified four priority areas:

  • Develop a common approach to learning through the implementation of an Explicit Instructional Model.
    This goal is about ensuring highly effective and evidence based teaching and learning practices are utilised consistently across the school.
  • Increase the proportion of students attending school more than 4 days per week.
    If a student is not at school, they don’t have the chance to learn. Attending school four days or less creates gaps in students’ understandings and it makes it more difficult for a student to grasp complex concepts and master challenging skills. If your young person is not attending on average more than four days a week we will be in contact with you regularly over the year. (If your young person is away due to illness or other appropriate reasons, please call us to let us know.)
  • Increase the time available for learning through continuing to develop our School Wide Positive Behaviour (SWPBS) Framework.
    SWPBS is a research based strategy for improving relationships and behaviour in the school. This includes our expectations, preventative and reactive management strategies, processes for monitoring and problem solving, and the pastoral care homegroup program. We will overview SWPBS this in more detail in our next newsletter.
  • Improve students’ two year gains in NAPLAN writing in Years 7 and 9.
    Writing is typically the weakest area in our students achievement as it is for NT students overall. This goal focuses on improving the growth our students make as writers across their time here. To get started, next week all students will complete a short writing task which will allow us to determine where to focus our teaching.

We will keep you informed on our actions and achievements in our priority areas as the year progresses.

In line with our strategic planning processes, we are fortunate to have three experienced school leaders coming in to the school to review and give us feedback about our practices. We would like to invite all of our families to meet with the reviewers at school in a session at 5.00pm on Thursday 1st March. Please come along and have your say.

At the start of this year, Nicolette (Sissy) Dunn moved across from the CMS Girls Academy program to the Centralian Senior College Girls Academy Program. This allows her to continue to support the young women from CMS as they continue in their learning journeys. I am delighted to announce that Ms Kimberley Taylor-McGuinness is joining the CMS Girls Academy program as the Program Manager from Monday. I know the girls will make her feel welcome!

You will have noticed by now that we have changed our telephone number this year. The new number is 8955 2333. Calls to the old number will still be diverted for a short period of time, but it is easier if you update your records.

Warm regards
Paul van Holsteyn

Mr Paul Van Holsteyn


Seeking your Feedback

Centralian Middle School will be undertaking a review in Week 5. This is an involved process which will help us to continue improving and focusing our improvement efforts. We are fortunate to have three highly experienced educational leaders coming into the school to provide us with feedback and advice.

We would like to give families the opportunity to have input into the review process. There will be a family session at 5.00pm on Thursday 1st March at CMS. Please come along to provide your perspective.

CMS Vaccination

Vaccination forms were distributed to students last week. If you have not received consent forms for your child please contact Kathryn Howitt on 8955 2314 as soon as possible or download and print the PDF form below. The vaccination date for Term 1 is Tuesday 6th March.

Assessment Schedule

Below are links to the schedules for upcoming assessments for Term 1.

Sports Vouchers

Sport Vouchers were distributed to students in Year 8 and 9 last week. Year 7 students and any other students new to the school will need to apply for a voucher online using the link below.


School Updates

CMS Student Leadership News

With a new year come new student leaders. I would like to congratulate all successful applicants from Years 8 and 9 that won positions in the 2018 Student Leadership team.

School Captain applicants participate in a vigorous process in order to be selected. With so many outstanding students at CMS, students are asked to participate in 4 areas of selection with written applications, speeches to their peers, peer and staff voting and an interview with a panel of selectors.

For the 2018 school captain positions, we had 11 applicants. All students demonstrated great leadership strengths and qualities which made it a very tight selection process. Well done to all 11 students who completed the school captain application process.

Our school captains for 2018 are

Jessie Woolford

Tusiga Salei

Our School Vice-Captains

Seraphina Newberry

Tony Nguyen

Our SRC and House Captain positions are also filled with a process similar to that of the school captains.

We had a huge interest in these positions which again demonstrated the eagerness of students to become role models and leaders within our school. Well done to all students who completed the SRC and House Captain process.

Year 8 SRC

Brooke Campbell

Cody Short-Dawson

Kyendrah Dodd

Sarah Rankins

Angus Scrutton

Carly Sgarbossa

Chantel Thorne

Jorja Van Den Akker

Year 9 SRC

Nikita-Jayne Badenoch

Shameka Bosel-Cross

Lauren Boyle

Jamie Campbell

Jailyn Dolman

Jemma Morick

John Rankins

House Captains

Air Captains

Tyler Cawthorne

Liesha Bosel-Cross

Air Vice-Captains

Kahumauku Birkholz

Tyrell Kells

Earth Captains

Marley Ford

Cheyenne Campbell

Earth Vice-Captains

Thomas Train

Laylah Dann

Fire Captains

Jace Moldrich

Paniny Knight

Fire Vice-Captains

Ricky Joseph

Alisha Meyer

Water Captains

Trevinia Wilson

Water Vice-Captains

Jason Peace

Kyanne Campbell

Our Year 7 students now have the opportunity to step up and nominate themselves for a Year 7 SRC position for 2018. Applications are now open and will close on Friday the 23rd of Feb. Students need to ask their teacher or the front office for an application form and hand them into myself or the front office.

This year the Student Leadership team will be run by James Dodd and Kate Axten, and supported by various staff throughout the school. If you have any questions in regards to student leadership please approach James or myself.

We are currently working with the school captains to plan our one night leadership camp which will take place later this term. Unlike previous years, this year we have decided to hold the camp later in Term 1 to allow time for the Year 7’s to settle in before applying for an SRC role.

Finally this year we will endeavor to provide updates in our school newsletter about the happenings of the student leadership group at CMS.

I look forward to working with the great bunch of students we have this year in our leadership group and hope to inspire them to build on their leadership skills and share them with the wider community.

Kate Axten
Student Leadership Coordinator

Staff Photo Sheets

To make it easier to know who is who, attached are photo sheets of the key staff that work in each year level. You can also go to our website where we maintain photos of all staff.

Wellbeing News - #Apology10

#Apology10 is about marking the 10th anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations. The National Apology made in Federal Parliament on 13 February 2008 was a landmark event, as the first formal, national recognition of past atrocities and a first step towards restitution. It was a significant event for members of the Stolen Generations and their families, the wider Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community and other Australians. Many Stolen Generations members felt that their pain and suffering was acknowledged and that the nation understood the need to right the wrongs of the past.

At CMS we have acknowledged the 10 year anniversary of the National Apology to the Stolen Generations through work in our classrooms; we will also have a more formal acknowledgement at next week’s school assembly. We are committed to learning about how we can better support our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities through understanding and acknowledging the wrongs of the past and being committed to creating a stronger future with our students, in our school and in our community.

The design below was created by Leigh Harris as part of the #Apology10 campaign, and hopefully it will stimulate thinking and discussion around this historic event. You can also visit the link below to learn more and read stories and experiences from those who the National Apology touched in meaningful ways.


Designer: Leigh Harris

The design created for the 10th Anniversary of National Apology. ‘Sharing Our Healing’ depicts through it contemporary elements the Healing of Our People through sharing Our Stories, Respecting Our Culture and Healing Our People.

The elements in the central part of the design formulates the overall 10th Anniversary brand is symbolic of healing waters and a smoking ceremony used in both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures in healing and cleansing ceremonies. The central element depicts coolamons which are often used in warming ceremonies to place leaves.

The outer elements depict healing waters and cleansing smoke which are extended throughout the community from the central healing place, to heal our people through knowledge sharing about our culture and country.

The gathering elements throughout the outside of the central point depict our communities, both Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and the diversity of these communities. The background stylised elements are symbolic of our country, culture and non-Indigenous Australia is represented through the meeting places in which we share our stories to illuminate their understanding.

Science 7.2 – Gas Experiment

Students from 7.5 Science were able to demonstrate the presence of unburnt gas by showing how a matchstick held up by a pin remains unlit while the Bunsen burner was in full flame! The picture with beakers shows the results of students’ investigation on the difference between using a yellow and blue flame to boil water.

Before and After Experiment

Living Together Posters

As a way of focusing on the terms ahead, 9-2 has been exploring the concept of living together. In this series, we looked at ‘What living together means ‘,’Who we share this world with’, ‘Why we need each other’ and ‘why sometimes people find it difficult to live together’. We looked at this from a school to a broader world context. The students are now busy representing their ideas in a visual poster. Students are seen below working together on their project. We will be sharing with you the final products.

Wellington Pasi
Year 9 Coordinator

Living Together Posters
Living Together Posters
Click images to enlarge

Polly Farmer Follow the Dream

Polly Farmer Follow the Dream

The Polly Farmer Follow the Dream program is an after school learning program for Aboriginal students. Wendy Cowan headed this program up in 2017. As Ms Cowan is about to go on long service leave to write her PhD, Ms Virginia Morley will be taking over the program this year. Ms Morley worked for many years as the Follow the Dream Co-ordinator prior to the birth of her son.

The Follow the Dream program will start in the second half of this term, to allow everyone to settle in and get started on their learning. Entry to the program is via application although students who have participated previously can continue and students that participated in the Bradshaw or Gillen Learning Clubs or in the Maths and Science Centre of Excellence Program will have automatic entry on a trial basis.

It’s a great program so keep your eye out for the details that will follow!

Clontarf Updates


Week 2 is done and dusted already and a busy one it was. Like always we’ve had a massive amount of engagement with the fellas with activities, from sport, to support in classes, Pizza incentives and sausage sizzles. We’ve had some good teacher support and interaction in the Academy room with the boys; this is something we value highly.

We had two teams head out to Yirara College for the annual Imparja Cup schools division competition. The Schaylen led Masters Blasters team blasted the competition away to take the title from Yirara and the Barkly College teams.

CMS/Yirara/Tenant Creek
Clontarf Academy cricketers
pictured with Hobart
Hurricanes and Australian
Player, Dan Christianson.

New Year 7 student Orlando
Turner giving a red hot
crack at batting training
on Wednesday morning.


School Attendance has been at the forefront at the start of this year once again. With large numbers in the program all boys have been asked to check and track their own attendance when contact times commence. To kick start off the term with our Contact Times we headed off to the Dustbowl for some relaxing fun. The boys certainly displayed some interesting techniques when it came to rolling the ball down alley. Behaviour of the boys was incredible, representing themselves, our school, their families, and Clontarf with pride.


With the Imparja Cup, Big Bash League, and International Cricket on TV and in town recently, the boys were keen to get amongst the “spirit of cricket” and don the wide brim and whites to train together before school this Wednesday. All boys woke up early at 6.00am ready for Clontarf staff to pick them up. Afterwards we finished with a beautiful cooked breakfast with Eggs, Bacon, Mushrooms and Orange Juice.


This week marked our highest amount of achievers over 90% school attendances for the week, with 47 boys earning the right to a special lunch in the Clontarf room. Congratulations boys at a fantastic effort!


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