Principal's Report

Principal Announcement and Staffing Update for 2023

I’m delighted to be able to begin this week’s newsletter with the announcement that Richard Buckingham has been provisionally appointed as our school’s new Principal. Richard is currently the Principal of Queenscliff Primary School. I’ve had the pleasure of working with Richard during his time at Newport Gardens PS and I’m thrilled that someone of Richard’s caliber will be taking over the reins at Willy North. I look forward to introducing Richard to the school community prior to the end of the year – stay tuned for further information here! Here is a short introduction of Richard.

Richard Buckingham

Richard has many years of experience in education, predominantly within the Western Suburbs of Melbourne and the Bellarine Peninsula. He began his career at Sunshine Primary School and then went on to teach both primary and secondary year levels at Caroline Springs College. He commenced his journey into educational leadership at Creekside College as a Leading teacher for several years and then became the Assistant Principal of Newport Gardens Primary School. In 2016, Richard became the principal of Queenscliff Primary School and set about re-establishing the school within its community. During his time at Queenscliff, he has led significant change in curriculum, assessment, community engagement and staff development. Queenscliff Primary School has become a leading school on Bellarine Peninsula and experienced significant enrolment growth, improved learning outcomes and outstanding opportunities for community involvement. Richard has worked closely with both Jim and Wendy during his time in the Hobsons Bay network and is sincerely looking forward to leading Williamstown North Primary School in 2023 and beyond. In his personal life, Richard has a passion for animals, old British cars and tending to his garden.

Further selection processes for next year are almost complete, as we begin to anticipate our new teaching teams for 2023. We hope to be able to confirm these for all year levels in early December.

In the interim, we confirm some of staffing news that has unfolded over the last few weeks. Two of our long standing teachers, Wendy Drayton & Fran McCormick have both made the very difficult decision to retire at the end of this year. What a collective contribution these two ladies have made to Willy North over the years! More news to come on this shortly.

We send our good wishes to Katherine (Kitty) Black, who won’t be with us next year as baby number two gets closer to arrival. Fortunately, Kitty will see most of this year out which is great news for her Year 5 students.

We congratulate Belinda Chandler on her recent promotion to Bayside Secondary College as a Leading Teacher from next year onwards. We’re all thrilled for the opportunities that now lay ahead for Belinda in her new role.

After last week’s interview processes, we’re also delighted to confirm the appointments of the following Education Support Staff for 2023 – Ruth Harrap, Cara Pepe, Declan Caiger and Alice Walter.

Aladdin – What a Show!

I would like to begin by thanking everyone who was involved in last week’s amazing production of Aladdin. I was very disappointed that I was unable to attend due to illness, however I have been delighted to hear how much everyone enjoyed the show and how smoothly everything unfolded. Once again, our students did a great job on stage, stepping up to the performance challenge with admirable enthusiasm and skill. Congratulations to all of the semester 2 performing arts students from the following classes who all shone through their various roles: Year 6P, 6J, 6K, 5C, 5H, 4S, 4R & 3Mc. Bouquets to Michelle Barnes (Performing Arts teacher), who was the driving force behind the production. How incredibly fortunate we have been as a school to be part of two such wonderful shows this year!

Aladdin photo

Community Carols

Pending Melbourne’s very unpredictable weather at the moment, we are looking forward to hosting our annual Community Carols on Tuesday 13th December (7:00pm).

This event is a wonderful opportunity for our school community to come together and to celebrate the upcoming festive season. Classes will pair up to sing a number of carols and Christmas songs, with the event being held at school, with a staged area in front of the athletics track (Tasmania).

All you need to do is bring along a picnic rug to sit on and your singing voices. Families will have the option of bringing along a picnic dinner from 6:30pm onwards, with the show starting at 7:00pm. We anticipate the performances to last for about 60 – 75 minutes in total.

Our Carols are always a lot of fun, so please be sure to lock this date in your phone calendar straight away!

Foundation 2023 Information Evening

We very much look forward to meeting with new and existing parents next Monday 28th November at 7:00pm for our Foundation 2023 Information Evening. This will be a valuable opportunity for parents of next year’s Foundation cohort to prepare for the exciting start to school next January, as well as finding out a bit more about the routines and learning programs that are central to the first year of schooling. We anticipate this session will conclude at approximately 8:00pm.

This session is also a great opportunity for new Foundation parents to meet and to begin forging important networks that we hope will endure for the many school years ahead.

Enjoy the rest of the Week

Jim Cahill—Principal

Loud Shirt & Crazy Hair Day

Willy North Primary School will be having a ‘Loud Shirt & Crazy Hair Day!’

We may even have a parade of who has the craziest hair and loudest shirt! You could even spray hair, but that’s optional.

It is essential to wear a ‘loud shirt’. This event will take place on Friday 2nd December.

Students will need to bring a gold coin donation. The donations will support NextSense who support children with hearing loss reach their full potential.

By Sam C & Patrick B—JSC Representatives.

Health Hub News

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Thunderstorm asthma can be very serious for people with asthma.

Thunderstorm asthma events are thought to be triggered by an unusual mix of high levels of grass pollen and a certain type of thunderstorm. During these storms tiny pollen grains from grasses can be swept up in the wind and carried long distances.

Thunderstorm asthma is also known as ‘epidemic thunderstorm asthma’. This means that many people develop asthma symptoms over a short period of time as a result of a thunderstorm.

Since 1984, over 10 thunderstorm asthma events have occurred in Australia. In 2016, a thunderstorm asthma event occurred in Melbourne, which claimed the lives of 10 people.

For more information, visit Asthma Australia:

Thunderstorm Asthma

Rippon Lea Excursion

By Olive 2I

On Wednesday our class went to Rippon Lea.

Rippon Lea is an ancient mansion. Mr. Sargood built it and named it Rippon Lea. Mr. Sargood was married to Mrs. Sargood, they were very, very wealthy. They had 10 Kids and they even had two poodles. They built their mansion in 1862 and did you know that the kids weren’t allowed to speak to their parents without permission.

My group started with playing old fashioned games. We played sack race which is where you race in a sack! We also played skittles, croquet, quoits, drop the hanky, hot potato, egg and spoon race, orange and lemons and tug-of-war. All of these games were played in the 1860s.

Then we went in the mansion! I know! Right! We went into the actual Sargood family mansion! Inside the mansion the wall paper was made of real gold. It was probably three quarters of the thickness of just one piece of paper!

Inside the mansion my eyes started to melt at the sight of the beautiful and fancy decorations. There were grandfather clocks, golden clocks, marble fireplaces, mirrors and many more posh and fancy items.

My group was allowed to go up the grand staircase where there were mainly rooms. We saw the night nursery where the younger kids slept but we didn’t get to see the day nursery where the kids would get taught because the very rich people would make their children do school from home. We also got to see the oldest girl’s room. It was so big and she had the whole room to herself, it was probably double the size of my parent’s room and they share a room!

Then it was off to do the scavenger hunt. We had to find out the names of Mrs Sargood’s pet poodles. On the way we saw beautiful lawns, plants, shrubs, a pond, a tree house and a pool. The names of the poodles ended up being Mimi and Jane. Finally, we got to know how it would feel to be a servant.

We learnt that girls would get a job as a servant at the age of nine and their first job would be emptying the chamber pots and the boys first job would be to clean the horse poo. They even had to sleep in the stable with the horses. They also had to do the washing.

The steps to do olden day washing is quite simple 1. Use the agitator to push and twist the clothes in a tub of soap. 2. Get a tub of clean water and use a stick to move it around. 3. Use the mangler and make sure your fingers don’t fall off. 4. Hang them on the washing line.

And that’s what we did at Rippon Lea. It was fantastic!

Semester Two 2022—(Term 4) Assembly Rotations

Term 3 – 4th October to 20th December

Week 9

Monday 28th November


Week 10

Monday 5th December


Week 11

Monday 12th December


Week 12

Tuesday 20th December

Early Finish Final Assembly at 1.15pm