Dear Parents and Caregivers,

Last Friday we farewelled our sixteen International students from Taiwan. Our students and staff loved having our visitors here and great friendships were established. They fitted in absolutely seamlessly and the experience was extremely positive for all.  

I’d like to again recognise the generosity of our home stay families that welcomed our visitors into their homes.  I’d also like to thank Shaye Lawerence and Martin O'Callagah for their excellent leadership and management of the  international student program.

Next week we will host 21 visiting International students from China and these students will also be placed in some of our upper school classrooms.  These students will be here from Aug 18-Aug 28.

Student Attendance

End of Semester Report Cards identified the number of days each student was absent in Semester one. Across Queensland the average attendance is about 92% so if your child was absent for eight days over the semester, you were spot on average, under eight days you were above average and over eight days your child had below average attendance.

Our School Target is 96% attendance but we are only achieving about 92% as a school.  I certainly don’t consider Banksia Beach to be an average school, so I don’t believe that we should be satisfied with only average attendance.

Unfortunately, at Banksia Beach State School many students have significantly lower attendance than the Queensland average and this has a detrimental impact upon all outcomes; social, emotional and academic. 

Please give some thought to your individual circumstances. If your child has been unwell, then all absences may be entirely appropriate. If not, please be aware that students are required by law to attend school every day and that parents and carers are required to inform the school and explain the reason for all absences. There can be significant penalties for parents and carers that do not meet their compulsory schooling obligations.

In the next few days I will send out letters to many parents highlighting high levels of nonattendance and offering my support to improve student attendance in semester two, wherever it is possible to do so. I will be requesting meetings with some parents.

The following link provides some valuable information on this important topic. There are some interesting videos that are definitely worth watching.

Dance Competition

Our Advanced Dance troupe, coached by our Specialist dance Instructor Jess Ross, recently competed on the Sunshine Coast in the ‘Evolution Dance Eisteddfod’. The students scored 90 out of a possible 100 which is their nest score ver. They placed a highly commendable third out of a large and competitive field. Awesome work Mrs Ross and the Advanced Dance troupe!

Year 5 Camp

Last week our Year 5 students and staff attended Camp Mapleton and they all returned safe and tired on Wednesday afternoon after a fantastic camp experience.

Year 5 Camp for many students is their first experience away from home and it can be both challenging and rewarding to take these first independent steps. It also provides a great opportunity for the students and school staff to get to know each other a bit better in a different environment.

School Camps require an incredible amount of preparation and planning as we are taking away a very large group of highly precious individuals for three days. Medications, risk assessments, individual needs and requirements, dietary requirements, showering and toileting are just some of the considerations teachers have to take into account. Not all schools actually provide a camping program; it is up to each individual school to develop one or not.

On top of the planning demands, all staff that attend camp do so as volunteers, apart from their normal working hours.  I did have a parent say to me that teachers must enjoy the overtime; but that’s simply not the case. So I’d like to thank our hardworking staff most sincerely for leaving their own families for two nights to take care of our Yr Five students and for providing this great experience for them.

Rugby League Results

Our Senior Rugby League team defeated Earnshaw College 24 - 12 last Friday at Bishop Park at Nundah. It was an extremely hard fought win in wet conditions with several of our players unavailable through other sporting commitments, injury or sickness.  The boys really pulled together and put in a gutsy effort to take out the win. Credit for this level of teamwork goes to our talented players and our highly talented coaches of Mr Rob Barraud and Mr Wayne McInerney. The boys return to Bishop Park tomorrow and I wish them the very best.


Our AFL teams competed yesterday and had an excellent day in a highly competitive environment. Our girls played hard with some mixed results but thoroughly enjoyed themselves, while our boys made the final but were defeated by a better team on the day. Mr Hawthorne has been coaching our teams all year during lunch times and I really appreciate his hard work.  A thank you to Mrs Jo McNeill who was great support person for the teams on the day.


Congratulations to Mr Hobson and his robotic teams who recently competed in 2019 RoboCup Moreton Region Robotics Competition.  Our teams swept all categories including Clearer team, Dance team and Rescue team.  Banksia was named winners of the regional competition. They now qualify to compete at the State Championships. Competiton organisers commented that our students demonstrated amazing team work and manners during the competition. Well done everyone!

Community Concert

During 2018 Banksia undertook an initiative to help foster further relationships and build sustained partnerships within our extended community by way of a concert and morning tea. Retirement villages, nursing homes, University of the Third Age, Grandparents and friends made up the invited guest list. This initiative was extremely well received and our students enjoyed the interaction with community members.  On the back of this success we have scheduled another community concert and morning tea for Thursday August 22 (week 6) in the Performing Arts Hall commencing at 10:30am and concluding at 11:30am

At the conclusion of the concert our performing arts students will serve a prepared morning tea for our invited guests and interact freely with them. Last year it was truly heart-warming to observe ‘tomorrow’s future’ interact with ‘yesterday’s custodians’ and I’m confident it will be the same this year.    

Prep 2020

We are having a ‘Peek at Prep’ morning on Wednesday August 14 from 9am to 10:30am. Parents and children enrolled for 2020 should go to the Hall at 9am where they will meet and listen to key staff and students talk about our school and what it means to be in Prep at Banksia Beach State School. Parents and children will then be invited to tour the school with our student leaders and see our Prep Classes in action. Following this a morning tea will be enjoyed by all in the hall.

Yarning Circle

Hazel Cowburn and Bernadette Kelleher have been working with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and their buddies to paint a design on the concrete floor of what will eventually be a traditional ‘Yarning Circle’ or outdoor classroom that will be accessible to all students. The students have thoroughly enjoyed learning about Aboriginal Art from Hazel and Burnadette and the opportunity to be involved in this school community project.

P&C meeting

Our next P&C meeting is scheduled for Tuesday August 13 at 5pm in the school library conference room and all are most welcome to attend.


Martin Leach


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Last reviewed 09 August 2019
Last updated 09 August 2019