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

Email: centralian.middle@ntschools.net
Phone: 08 8955 2333

11 December 2020

Newsletter Articles

Important dates

Monday 14th December – Year 7 & 8 pool excursion
12.00 Tuesday 15th December – Final assembly for the year
Tuesday 15th December – Year 9 Presentation Night
Thursday 17th December – Champs movie excursion
Thursday 17th December – Last school day of 2020
10.00am – 3.00pm Monday 25th-Friday 29th January – school open for uniform sales
1st February – First day of school for 2021

From the Principal

Dear families

This newsletter is our last for the year. No one could have predicted what this year held. Around the world familiar routines and ways of living have been turned upside down. While we are incredibly fortunate in Alice Springs that our lives have been minimally impacted, we have still had to change or cancel many of the things that brings richness to the life of our school – things like camps, assemblies, cross-school events and extra-curricular programs. Nevertheless the school has continued to provide a safe, predictable, learning focussed environment for our students and I thank all of our staff for achieving this.

This newsletter is also the final newsletter for our graduating Year 9 students. They arrived at CMS three years ago as children, and leave at the end of this year as young men and women equipped to continue advancing in their learning by taking advantage of the opportunities that Centralian Senior College provides. We wish them well!

Next week we have our Year 9 Presentation Night celebrating this group of students. This night will be quite different from our past Presentation Nights, in that it is just for our Year 9s and their families and it is a combination of previous presentation nights and formal events. Due to COVID we have limits on the number of attendees we can accommodate, so please read the materials sent home by the Year 9 Team and ensure you have registered so that we know that you are coming. We will also need you to sign in and sanitise on arrival, and maintain distance between family groups.

Next week we also have our final assembly for the year (and our first whole school assembly since March!) We will be awarding our excellence awards to students in Year 7 and 8 in this assembly, and family members are invited to attend. The assembly is at midday on Tuesday. Family members are asked to enter the school through the gym entrance, signing in and sanitising on arrival, then maintaining distance between family groups. We have sent home letters with students who will be receiving awards in this assembly.

Staff at the school are busy finalising reports that will be mailed home next week. We are almost at the printing and photocopying stage. These reports provide carefully considered information about how your young person is progressing in their learning. We encourage you to read them carefully, take pride in the growth and achievement and think about areas where your young person needs to continue applying themselves.

We have a number of people departing the school at the end of the year. To our students and families that are leaving town, thank you for being a part of our school community and we wish you all the best with your next journeys and adventures. We also have a number of staff departing. We farewell Ms Nikki, Mr France, Ms Pav and Mr Fecteau who are moving to Darwin to take up roles there; Ms Huston who is moving to Katherine to take up a role; Mr Cox who is returning to family in Victoria and Ms Webb who is returning to family in Queensland; and, Ms Marni and Mr Owen who will still be in Alice but not continuing at the school. We wish all of our staff the best as they move on to their next opportunity.

This newsletter is also my last as Principal of Centralian Middle School. Over the last four years I have greatly enjoyed the opportunity and challenge of leading this school. I firmly believe that CMS is the most important school in Alice Springs, in that it is where young people from all walks of life in our town come together to learn with, from and about one another. The cohesion that we foster in our school is necessary for our town; one won’t succeed without the other. And yet it is also time for me to take on new learning and challenges, so I am moving to take up the principal role at Centralian Senior College. I am very much looking forward to continue working with our current Year 9s, and previous and future CMS students, as they make their way into the senior years and continue their journey into adulthood. I am also looking forward to realising stronger partnerships between Centralian Middle School and Senior College – I will still be in Alice working to improve educational opportunities available to students in our community!

I am delighted to announce to the school community that Ms Cassie O’Bree has won the principal role at Centralian Middle School for Semester 1. Ms O’Bree knows the school well, as she has worked at CMS as a teacher, instructional coach and Assistant Principal. (She also attended Alice Springs High School as a student!) For the last two years she has been working as a Network Leader in the Department of Education, and she is looking forward to returning to CMS as principal. Ms O’Bree will commence in the role at the beginning of 2021.

The summer and Christmas break is approaching. Whether you are staying in Alice Springs or looking to travel further afield, I hope you have a fabulous time connecting with your family and enjoying your time together. Stay safe and look after each other. I look forward to seeing you again at Centralian Senior College.

School resumes for students at Centralian Middle School and Centralian Senior College on Monday 1st February.

Warm regards
Paul van Holsteyn

School news and updates

Home Economics

Students have been baking Christmas cookies in the CMS kitchen. It’s beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!

Hospitality Vocational Education and Training

On Tuesday this week, students made some terrific looking ginger bread houses. Have a look at the photos, what a work of art!

Year 7

In Science Year 7s have been learning about simple machines. We have made different pulley systems and catapults.

In Maths, Year 7s have been investigating the area of different shapes. Students in 7.7 used 1 cm2 cardboard squares to find the area of larger shapes and joined them together to make composite shapes.


2020 has been busy in Utnenge. Throughout the year, we have learnt to grow flowers and vegetables from seed in our gardening program. We have learnt about composting and how important water and shade is in desert vegetable gardens. We have learnt landscaping techniques such as building raised beds and shade structures. We would like to thank Bunnings Alice Springs and in particular Amber, the activities coordinator for supporting our project with several donations of fertiliser, wheelbarrows, a compost bin and mulch. We look forward to utilising our skills to grow bigger and better vegetables in 2021!

Georgette Morton, Takeena Loy, Kyelah Hodgetts and Keani Kunoth entered the CAAFLU (Central Australian Aboriginal Family Legal Unit) art competition, each making an artwork that promotes healthy family relationships. We were thrilled to find out that our students came third in the competition. On Tuesday CAAFLU visited Utnenge to share morning tea and present prizes and certificates to our students.

Takeena Loy attended several workshops at Watch this Space Gallery to work with professional artist Mimi Catterns. Mimi taught Takeena different printmaking techniques, which resulted in Takeena designing a limited edition T-shirt for the gallery. We have been enjoying seeing people in Alice Springs wearing Takeena’s design. Takeena also modelled the shirts for Watch this Space gallery, which was certainly a new experience for Takeena.

As we wrap up the year we are enjoying creating Christmas art and crafts. Utnenge students have been busy constructing cards and gifts to take home for their families. A highlight was an afternoon decorating gingerbread cookies that we baked together.

Happy holidays from Utnenge.

Clontarf Corner

End of year trip to Darwin

This year for our end of year trip, Centralian Clontarf Academy drove up to Darwin.

After the day and a half drive we partook in an AFL game against the Top End All Stars, who defeated us by eleven points.

The next day we went out for breakfast, had a walk along the beach and visited Dripstone Clontarf Academy where we played them in a fun game of basketball and backboard footy.

Later in the afternoon we hopped aboard a boat that would take us for a harbor cruise with fish and chips and a short stop to a lovely sandbar.

The following day we participated in go-karting, Flip-Out, jumping crocs on the Adelaide River, and had dinner at the sailing club with some specials guests

“From Little Things Big Things Grow”

Centralian Girls Academy News

Girls Academy Room

What a fantastic Term 4 we’ve had with all our amazing girls! The room has been quite busy during the warmer months of summer! We’ve had the opportunity to be involved in so many great activities. All our girls have shown true commitment to themselves, their education and being involved in the Academy, well done to all of you we are extremely proud of all your achievements. The room is vibrant and we have had girls doing painting and jewellery making, decorating the room for Christmas Celebrations and enjoying wholesome healthy food prepared by all the staff on a weekly basis.

Girls Academy lead “On Country”

We have had the honour of being involved in the “On Country” excursions on a term to term basis. In partnership with Bluearth and other Primary Schools from Alice Springs. This has enabled greater connections throughout our schools with young Aboriginal girls coming together to strengthen their bond. We have experienced the soul connectivity through the land and nature and feeling our ancestors. Girls have shared many stories about their journeys thus far which has brought them closer together. Our last excursion was appropriately held at the Telegraph Station were we played games and activities and even splashed around with the staff. We enjoyed a wholesome lunch of vegetable and fruit platters, fresh rolls and salads. We would like to thank all our partners for being involved in this event and we are looking forward to many more next year!

Year 9 Inter Academy Trip to Mataranka

We also had our Year 9 Inter Academy Trip to Mataranka with Development Officer’s Emma and Aunty Michelle driving the girls all the way. Our girls had an amazing 5 day trip together, spending quality time in doing activities, sight-seeing, swimming and having lots of fun. It was very special to come together in meeting our other girls from the Taminmin and Palmerston Academies, we had such an awesome time together.

The girls participated in every event and made some good connections with the other girls. They even had a mini disco dance together, had amazing meals and shopping in Katherine. The Nitmiluk Boat Cruise was spectacular and a special time had by all our girls and staff and our Tour Guide was both knowledgeable and informative. We also visited the Low Level at Katherine so the girls could take some amazing photos.

Girls Academy Luncheon with BMX Champion Saya Sakakibara

Centralian Girls Academy were invited to a special luncheon held by BMX Australia at the Gillen Club with BMX Champion Saya Sakakibara. We had girls from the Senior and Middle Campuses come together to connect and hear about Saya’s journey. A lovely lunch was had by all and it was very inspiring to spend time with Saya and Thea Dunkley. Our girls shared their stories and spoke about Girls Academy, develop a girl change a community.

Contact Time

We have continued to be involved in the Bluearth Program with Katie Thompson and the girls have been developing their skills in team building exercises. It was especially good to see the girls get actively involved in the Boxing Sessions and building their capacity in problem solving. Lots of other activities on a weekly basis, especially the story telling and sharing our family connections.

The girls were challenged in getting over the line just using their wits, they are pretty good in using their brains to work out ways to work together. The yarning circle has been used on a weekly basis to check in and talk about different topics of choice and explore more about each other.

Happy holidays & look forward to see you all next year!

Beck, Aunty Michelle & Emma

CMS Triathlon Team

On Sunday November 29 CMS was represented at the Alice Springs Triathlon club with a team consisting of Michelle, Alex and Luis. At 6:30 Michelle began the race, effortlessly swimming the first leg of 750m, before jumping out of the pool and racing to the bikes, where she high-fived Alex. This signalled the start of the 20km cycle leg. Alex battled tremendous headwinds down the Stuart highway and a loose cassette on their bike, but managed to make it back to the pool where Luis had had a good hour to stretch and prepare himself psychologically. Having his work cut out for him, he galloped like a race horse, making short work of the 5km sprint. Team photographer Linda managed to grab a few media shots before the athletes made their way to epilogue for a well earned breakfast. They may not have been the fastest team, but they ate like champions. With the next triathlon on Feb 7, the team will be carbo loading throughout January.

Community Announcements

Arrernte Community Boxing Academy

Arrernte Community Boxing Academy is holding a 2 week program for free boxing lessons for ages 12-18+. For more details see the poster below

Alice Springs Aquatic & Leisure Centre

Splash Sunday!

This summer Alice Spring town pool will be open late every Sunday from 20 Dec - 24 Jan with FREE entry from 5.30pm - 8.30pm. Come and finish the week with a SPLASH! FREE Entry, FREE Sausage Sizzle, inflatables, waterslides, music + more!

Wet Wednesdays!

Beat the heat this school holidays with FREE entry from 12pm - 4pm every Wednesday from 23 December - 27 January. FREE Sausage Sizzle & Waterslides.


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