Friday 24 September, 2021

Principal's News

Term 3 has been full and successful. I take this moment to acknowledge the agility, commitment and passionate involvement of our parents and caregivers, students and staff during Term 3. Although the ‘lockdown’ seems an eternity ago, it was the beginning of this term! Thank you to all for your ability to ‘flex’ when needed, with the unwavering focus on what’s best for children driving our action during the various times of change we’ve all faced. We appreciate the feedback received in the recent Distance Learning Survey. Overwhelmingly the feedback was positive. It was presented to School Council, deeply analysed by the School’s Leadership and wider Staff Teams. We now have a range of additional strategies, resources, and approaches in place in the event we are required to move to Distance Learning again.

‘Learning By Doing’ is in Annesley’s DNA. Every week our students engage with ‘the world’ beyond the school gate, with rich experiential learning embedded throughout our Program of Inquiry. In the past few weeks alone;

  • Year 1 students have been actively exploring the Adelaide Central Markets as part of their Unit of Inquiry on the workings of the Marketplace. This week’s learning intentions were ‘all things French,’ with our expert French teachers partnering with the class teachers and parent volunteers, guiding rich exploration in the Markets, including ‘French taste testing.’ These inquisitive students have had meaningful, weekly adventures here for the past month.
  • Base 3 students, members of the Adelaide Zoo, were engrossed in their tour of Monarto Zoo. Not only have they been developing their Foundational Skills in Numeracy and Literacy, as well as Science and French around the zoo, they have developed key understandings of various species and habitats. Students have taken action by collecting old phones to be recycled in support of primate conservation in Africa. Students have also been using Minecraft Education to create 3D zoos that by using the School’s Virtual Reality resources, enable people to ‘walk through’ these student created 3D worlds.
  • Base 6 and 7 students have hosted a hugely successful Exhibition, showcasing their learning and skill development in powerful, engaging ways. Gillingham Hall has been host to an array of immersive action projects where our oldest students have hosted the whole school to showcase their skill development across all learning areas. I have ordered a t-shirt from a student business that has sourced sustainable fabrics and processes, learnt specific information about the human impact on the species we share the planet with and been challenged to ensure that as an adult I ensure I meet my own needs without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
  • Base 5 students have served and collected resources for local charity ‘Treasure Boxes.’ Treasure Boxes mandate is to prevent hardship and trauma by providing kids with critical items many of us take for granted. It’s been a meaningful and action focused few weeks, typical of every week in our blessed community.
  • Base 6/7 attended the stage show ‘Amphibian’ at the Space Theatre to enable them to experience the many elements that contribute to theatrical performance.
  • Our Choir have performed a beautiful rendition of ‘What A Wonderful World,’ including Auslan, the language of the deaf community in Australia, as they sang as a collective in historic Gillingham Hall.

I love being a member of the dynamic team at Annesley. It’s a privilege to have my own children as students in our caring and creative community. I feel blessed to be part of our growing and passionate School.

Luke Ritchie

We continue to expand our dynamic, creative, and experienced team at Annesley. This round of recruitment has attracted a very large, experienced field of candidates from across the globe. We are excited to announce the following teachers joining Team Annesley in 2022. We will make further 2022 staffing announcements during Term 4.

Gemma Dupont
Gemma has extensive global teaching experience and is at near native French speaking level after living in France and Germany. She is experienced in teaching and assessing within the Australian Curriculum and the IB Primary Years Program. Gemma has taught and consulted at Collège François Mauriac, Collège Philippe Auguste and École Jeannine Manuel, all located in Paris, France. Most recently, Gemma delivered the French Bilingual Binational Program exclusively in French at Highgate Primary School. Gemma is passionate about inquiry-based learning and making the learning of a language meaningful. She is experienced and holds a post-graduate qualification in Waldorf Steiner Education and extensive knowledge of teaching EAL/D – (English as an Additional Language/Dialect). Gemma will be working in collaboration with Madame Claire Charenton to further develop and implement our French program across our school in 2022.

Matt Eldridge
Matt has had a very successful decade long career as a passionate teacher and leader at St Peter’s Lutheran School in Blackwood and is now bringing his wealth of experience to the team at Annesley. Matt is an experienced IB teacher, committed lifelong learner and has recently undertaken a range of professional learning in IB Approaches to Learning and Restorative Practices. Matt’s extensive experience in independent schools includes roles as Special Events Coordinator, Musical Director, member of the Chapel Band and leading student development research projects. Matt’s previous role as IB PYP Coordinator, a senior leadership role, saw him coordinating whole school approaches to inquiry learning, facilitating team meetings and being heavily involved in the updating of key policies, including implementing a new BYOD policy. In addition to being a qualified Graphic Designer and expert photographer, Matt is an empathetic, warm, creative and dynamic teacher.

Ben Foley
As a teacher in Alberta, Canada in 2020, Ben successfully navigated extended periods of Distance Learning with his students due to the pandemic. As an experienced teacher in the Department of Education, Ben uses student assessment data to inform the planning and implementation of programs of learning. Ben collaboratively worked as a member of the ‘Numeracy Partnership Action Group’ facilitating meetings and providing relevant resources and measurable feedback to teachers of numeracy. Passionate about and experienced in building learning communities based on Restorative Practices, Ben is experienced in leading and coaching students to be highly effective communities of learners. Ben creates and monitors SMART Goals for students to enable student voice to be central to the learning process. As a passionate adventurer in Australia and abroad, experiential learning is at the core of Ben’s approaches to student engagement and inquiry-based learning programs.

Catherine Holdcroft
Catherine has experienced a long and successful career in senior leadership roles in metropolitan and city based Early Learning Centres, most recently as the Lead Teacher at the Family Centre at Indulkana Anangu School on the APY Lands. Most students at Indulkana are bilingual or multilingual and their first language is Pitjantjatjara or Yankunytjatjara. Catherine also successfully led the establishment of the Loreto College Early Learning Centre for children aged six weeks to five years in close collaboration with the Education Standards Board in SA and the College’s staff team. Catherine has created a range of dynamic new Early Years outdoor spaces providing children with rich learning experiences, including sustainability learning through planting, harvesting and eating vegetables, practicing gross motor skills, taking calculated risks and engaging in a multitude of sensory opportunities. Catherine has delivered the whole-class Social Skills program, ‘What’s the Buzz?’, resulting in increased whole-site language around self-regulation for children during play which increases positive play and optimised transition to school. Catherine holds a Bachelor of Arts (Communication) and a Bachelor of Education from the University of South Australia.

Joseph Paton
Joseph joins Annesley as a highly regarded and experienced Primary School teacher and leader. During his successful 7 years at Sydney’s progressive Claremont College, Joseph taught in a highly collaborative and innovative team where teachers plan, teach, and assess together. As Coordinator and Head of Mathematics at Claremont College, Joe was a member of the Executive Leadership Team ensuring consistency in teaching teams across the College, facilitating College events, and leading programs such as implementing Seesaw in Reception to Year 7. Most recently, Joseph has been a key member of the team at Tatachilla College actively personalising the learning for his students, been a key member of the College’s Remote Learning Taskforce, contributing as a passionate sports coach, drummer in the school chapel band, and led an experiential learning expedition with students to the Northern Territory. He is a capable academic, studying abroad at the University of Illinois and completing a Master of Educational Leadership through the University of NSW. Joe is a current Seesaw Ambassador and Certified Educator.

Natalie Whalan
Natalie has spent the last 6 years passionately teaching and leading at highly regarded Independent Schools in Singapore, including Eton House International School and The Winstedt School. Prior to that, Natalie held various teaching, consulting, and leadership roles in the Department of Education in QLD. Highly regarded for her collaborative approach and engaging with industry experts in meaningful ways, Natalie brings a wealth of diverse experience to Annesley and is proven in personalising the learning for students in partnership with parents. Natalie holds a Master’s in Special Education from Griffith University, is an experienced senior teacher, colleague and mentor. In partnership with key stakeholders, Natalie has created a range of student-centred resources to enable all learners to access the Australian Curriculum. This year, Natalie has also successfully delivered Distance Learning in Singapore for a 10-week period.


The 2021 Annesley Exhibition was held on Wednesday night, 22nd of September. The overarching central idea of the Exhibition was ‘Ethical business balances market forces with responsible decision making’. From this central idea, the students constructed their own lines of inquiry to personalise and direct their own learning. The Exhibition also tied in with what the students had been undertaking in Enterprise. They applied their new knowledge gained through the inquiry process to their Enterprise ideas, creating a more ethical product/service as a result. It was wonderful to see the Base 6/7 students engage with their parents and demonstrate their incredible depth of understanding of their own topic.


Peta St Clair is an industry professional that has worked in the marketing space for over 15 years. Base 4-7 were so fortunate on Thursday to have her come in and share her tips and tricks that are quite highly sought after. She spoke to our budding entrepreneurs about: A SWOT analysis, personas, the 4P’s and what makes an engaging advertisement. Peta’s interactive presentation gave our students many takeaways that will make for highly engaging marketing campaigns. Peta has been so kind and has offered to stay in contact with our classes, we have gained a significant contact to industry. For more information about Peta and her business, she can be found at:   

The Quest

This week on The Quest the Year 3 students have expanded their knowledge, understanding and skills as scientific observers of habitats at Monarto Zoo! The Year 5 students visited Glenthorne National Park (South Australia’s newest National Park) where they explored both its history and contributed to its future by weeding and mulching new plants. They were grateful to have time with Minister for Environment and Water, David Speirs MP to hear his vision for the park and ask many wonderings and questions!

Tournament of Minds

On Sunday 12 September, two teams representing Annesley at Flinders University in the Primary Division of the South Australian Tournament of Minds. TOM is a creative problem-solving program for multi-age teams. Teams work together to solve a demanding, open-ended Long-Term Challenge. The aim of TOM is to help develop diverse skills, enterprise, time management, and the discipline to work collaboratively. Teams are given six weeks to formulate a solution and prepare their script, costumes and props. On Tournament Day teams presented their solution to an audience and a panel of judges.

Congratulations to the Seven of Spades: Amélie (Base 3), Logan & Astrid (Base 4), Eamon (Base 5), Nancy, Annika & Ella (Base 6) on their clever performance interviewing historical people on gender equality.

Congratulations also goes to The GOAT Guys: Juliette (Base 3), Freya, Aria, Deakin & William (Base 4), Aakash (Base 5) & Avi (Base 6) on their interpretation and remake of the classic story ‘The Jungle Book’.

After performing their Long-Term Challenge, each team were given a spontaneous challenge to solve. Teams had only given four mins to prepare and one minute to present to the judges their creative, divergent thinking of how best to solve the problem.

We loved working with the teams this year and thoroughly enjoyed watching their creative problem solving approaches and techniques come to fruition.

2021 TOM Facilitators
Steph & Gail

Primary Years' Learning

Year 1 (Sandi) Video News

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French (Manon) Video News

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Thank You from the Library

We are so grateful to the many wonderful book donations that families provide to the Annesley Library and wanted to say thank you.  It is always a joy to see books chosen by your families for all of our students to enjoy.  Thank you! 

Assembly & Chapel

Due to COVID-19 restrictions Assembly & Chapel will continue to be for Students only until further notice.

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