June 12

Camp Illawonga 2017

We were busy packing on the weekend. There was a lot to bring to school!

Mickey courtesy of Tumblr

Week six had finally arrived. The day we had been waiting for since we started in grade three.

We were going …. Camping!


Most of Mrs Woolford’s year 3/4 class would be joining our excited campers. We left our families for three days and two nights. Would they survive without us? They would just have to be brave. But it was okay if some parents needed extra hugs good-bye.

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We had a long two hour journey to get to Camp Illawonga in Swan Reach, which would be our new home for the next few days. Thankfully the coach had comfortable seats and seatbelts.

Map from Illawonga home page

The road trip was fabulous, but travelling made us hungry, so we stopped to stretch our legs, have a bite to eat and of course have a little playtime. Angaston was the perfect place.

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Another short ride, well sort of …… and we were soon settled into our dormitories at camp. Our class was on lunch duty so it was straight to work. Yum … Tacos.

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Mark, the Camp Leader, gave us a lot of information and instructions about being safe for our stay and expectations around the camp site. Soon it was back on another bus for a short ride. We were crossing the Murray River on the punt to visit The Murray Aquaculture Centre. This was an interesting place where we learnt about almond farming and yabbies.

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That was fun because we also had a challenge  to see which team would catch the most yabbies. Yabby catching sounded simple enough, but there were some tricks to learn…… patience.

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The girls were Yabby catching heroes, how did they do it!

The sun was going down, and it was getting cooler, but there was still so much to do… more duty groups for tea.

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After our delicious meal, we went into the gym for some outrageously exciting fun. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring the still camera!… But trust us, we worked up an appetite for a yummy supper with twisting and jumping, turning and rolling, hanging and falling…… before it was time to hit the sack. We had a huge day planned so we needed our beauty sleep.

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Some of us slept soundly. Poor little Scarlett.

Up and at em, the next morning was quite eerie. A mysterious fog crept in, it threatened to hide the sun… but we found it.

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Lucky the Sun burnt off the fog by the time we were ready for our river cruise. We needed our floatation devices before we could walk down to the boat.

While we went on the cruise, the other groups went on a caving expedition and a Safari ride. We would all rotate activities throughout the camp. Once again, I left the still camera behind for the cruise… but I remembered it for the ride to the caves.

Those hard hats were fabulous protection, without them I think we would all be a little shorter!

After that adventure we had a short bushwalking to a HUGE river red gum. That tree was so big we just fit around it! We had enormous fun building Tepees with all the twigs and sticks lying around.

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Each time we visited the river, it meant a short but steep 400m walk down a gravel path… naturally we had to walk back up too. That was tiring, luckily Ellen makes us do fitness each week so it was a piece of cake.

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We needed to get back to camp quickly, as we had to get ready for an exciting adventure at Sunny Dale sheep farm.

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What a whip cracking great time we had. We really earned our tea that night. In fact some us sang after supper! Karaoke was so much fun, we have stars in the making. Stay tuned for the videos.

It was a perfect night for a camp fire.. but oh,we forgot to sing a Letter from Camp! Still the planets were smiling for us in the night sky. Then of course the marshmallows needed toasting… yum.

Time for bed, it was a big day indeed and it isn’t over, there’s more to come. To bed!

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Getting up wasn’t that easy, lots to pack and clean up before breakfast and be ready for our last activities. I missed the Safari ride, but I did managed to check out archery. We had some bullseyes. Bravo.

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All too soon we needed to pack the bus and say our goodbyes to Mark and the team. Camp was the best. Three cheers for Illawonga.

We reckon it was sad to leave, but we were glad to get back home to our loving families too. Thanks to our brave Dad, Shane Brow who gave up his time to help with the boys and group C.

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Dear Families,

Apart from a few sore tummies, there were no problems just loads of fun and learning. Thank you so much for allowing me to borrow your precious ones for those few days, we have some wonderful memories. Stay tuned for some great videos the kids will be working on. I might have a go too.

Warm regards, Ellen

April 23

Farewell Mr Potter

Sadly we have had to say goodbye to our beloved sports teacher Mr Trevor Potter. He has decided the time was right to retire.

Many years ago, not long after I began working at Grange, Trevor and I decided to team up together with our respective classes and created what we affectionately called The Eisenpot Unit. We had a great time establishing lots of collaborative practices, many routines and practices which I maintain today, had their beginnings in the Unit.

Now anyone who knows Trevor, knows he likes to talk, that was indeed the case way back then, so to curb his monologues, I would at times perk my own voice up and over do the patronising singsong, happy voice. This irritated him, but achieved our objective in stopping him, so we could get on with things. So when we were asked to send a video message to Trevor, I knew exactly what memorable thing we could do.

Check out our message.. There were no rehearsals, I just asked the kids to answer me based on my questions, and to respond in exactly the same way as I said them.

We had fun.

Trevor’s farewell message from Ellen Eisenkolb on Vimeo.

What would you like to say to Mr Potter?

How do you feel about Mr Potter leaving?

What will you miss most?



April 2

Harmony Day – Everyone Belongs

This year Ellen was at a maths conference and missed celebrating Harmony Day at Grange. But Thankfully Mrs Tunney our relief teacher captured some of the events that our class were involved in.

Traditionally we transform the school by simply changing the colour of our clothes. The colour for Harmony Day is orange, so we could wear orange for the day. If we did, a gold coin was donated which we send to support our World Vision sponsored child.

We had an harmonious assembly where classes shared work about diversity, tolerance and inclusivity. Australia is our home and like our class, there are many nationalities that live together. Harmony then, becomes an important concept to understand and practice.

We all worked hard to write acrostic poems using the ideas from our brainstorm on how to let everyone belong. We were able to decorate and publish them before Mrs Tunney put them up on display.

Giving people compliments and acknowledging the kind and helpful things they do is an important part of showing respect. Lending someone a hand when they need it is a simple act, but very powerful.

The class was asked to trace around their hand and write a message of gratitude  when someone included, helped or supported them.

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Once decorated, they passed their messages on.

I hope you enjoyed the activities on the day. Happy Harmony Day everyone.

Somethings to think about.

What did you think about the events of Harmony Day?

What things have you done to include others?

How has someone helped you out?

Do you think we should celebrate Harmony Day? Why or why not.



December 13

End of Year Celebratory Team Lunch


Tuesday is traditionally Party Day here at Grange Primary School. A time for classes to have their end of year class parties and have a fun day. Given we are a class that works together, thinks together and acts together. This day was not going to be an ordinary class party!

Ellen actually doesn’t do “class parties”, instead this was a chance for teams to get together to organise a festive shared lunch. To be a collaborative effort it meant that there was lots of negotiating, discussing and organising. As our school doesn’t endorse red foods, the menu needed to be healthy and foods that all team members could eat. Mind you as it was also a celebration, one red food per team was permitted (choose wisely).

There was lots of decision making as they realised planning menus can be tough, some members had allergies or were fussy eaters. Now they know the dilemma parents regularly face! This was also not a time to put demands on parents to cater, food needed to be organised or made by the students too.


Being nearly Christmas, they could bring decorative utensils, write up menus, placemats and bring other festive additions. I challenged them to turn our room into a festive restaurant. They were brilliant with their division of jobs and all teams worked well together to assemble a great healthy lunch with a spectacular Christmas theme.


We had won the Golden bin award for keeping our yard area tidy the week before, so we started the day using the sports equipment for some out door fun. But it was a really hot day, so we ended up back in the cool for some of our favourite co operative games.

  • Door Keeper ( that was a new one)
  • Prisoners and Guards
  • Freeze frame
  • The Queen of Hearts is dead!
  • Countries

Oh what fun they are we were in stitches at times. Then it was time to set up. Teams were very busy working collaboratively together. Take a look.

We even asked a neighbouring teacher to judge their efforts and he found it very difficult as the creative spirit was every where. So we decided everyone was a winner today.

After a quick efficient cleanup and our lunch play we settled back to watch the BFG.

Congratulations my lovely elves you did a fabulous job working , thinking and acting together. I am proud of you the best shared lunch by far.

What did you enjoy the most about today.

What would you do differently?

If you could change the movie which one would you pick.

November 22

Medals, medals everywhere.

We read, read, read. and finished our title

 Mr Weatherill must be happy with Room 14 at Grange

We proved to the Premier that we are indeed Super Readers, because we successfully completed our Premier’s Reading Challenge. The year three and four classes got together today to acknowledge all our hard efforts and present the awards for completing this challenge.

First time participants received a certificate. We didn’t have any first timers. However after completing the challenge two years in a row a bronze medal is awarded.


Riley was our Bronze Medalist, doesn’t he look proud.


Finlay completed three years of the challenge and has earned his Silver Medal. Yay Finn.


However most of the class has received their Gold Medals for Four years of commitment.

Well done to – Ty, Hamish, Jack, Kiara, Tyla, Wil, Zahra, Ryan, Maggie, Jessica, Jorja, James Harry, Max, Nelson, Baylee, Lakeisha, Shayla,  Bella.V., Bella.Z., also to Ella, Mica and Pria who were absent .


We had a special Champion Reader in Ruby who has completed the Challenge five times. Way to go girl.

But that’s not all….

Our class doesn’t just take reading seriously, we also take our fitness seriously too. So when were told we could do the Premier’s

 Be fit Challenge we gave it a go.



Ty, Jessica, Jorja, Wil, Tyla, Jack, Ella, Max,Riley, Bella.V., Maggie, and Ruby all received their Bronze Medals for their first go. Whoo hoo.


Lakeisha, Zahra, Finlay, Baylee, James, and Hamish were awarded Silver Medals.  Mica and Pria will get theirs on return from their holiday. Superb effort.


Our two classroom Chipmunks (they always giggle like the Chipmunks from Bugs Bunny) became our Gold Medalists. Now that’s something to smile about .


Fabulous effort everyone. Keep up that positive attitude for next year. I am very proud of you all.

How do you feel about your efforts?

What kept you going when it was a tricky thing to do?

What would you like to say to the ones who didn’t manage to complete their challenge?