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Vol. 3 • No. 3 • May/Jun 2 011


Languages & Communications Special Average Intelligence Below Average Reading The Fun Way to Learn a Language Vision Impacts on Language How Books Can Help When Your Child Starts School

An Interview with

George s i r a b m o l Ca

May/Jun 2011


This Month’s



® 4

Editorial Your Letters


Giveaway ‘Teach Your Children Tables/Speed Maths for Kids’ Giveaway


Spotlight An Interview with George Calombaris

An Interview with George Calombaris Get Ahead Kids® © MAP Marketing 2010 Publisher MAP Marketing ABN 38 003 493 007 Villa Franca, 2 Scott St. Newcastle NSW 2300 P: 02 4929 7766 Managing Editor Maria Charlton MAP Marketing ABN 38 003 493 007 Villa Franca, 2 Scott St. Newcastle NSW 2300 P: 02 4929 7766 Graphic Design Katie Hurst MAP Marketing P: 02 4929 7766 Advertising Maria Charlton MAP Marketing ABN 38 003 493 007 Villa Franca, 2 Scott St. Newcastle NSW 2300 P: 02 4929 7766

Languages & Communications 8

Average Intelligence - Below Average Reading


The Fun Way to Learn a Language


Speech Pathology Enhancing Your Child’s Learning, Communication & Social Skills


How Books Can Help When Your Child Starts School


Value of Writing as a Form of Communication & Expression


Vision Impacts on Language Health


Food Allergies


Let’s Talk About Food News


Star Struck Aims to “Capture the Moment”


New Faces at Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College


Rowing Successes for Newcastle Grammar Giveaway


Taronga Zoo Family Passes Giveaway Activity Zone


10 Fun Questions Kids Can Answer using


Book Reviews


Advertisers Index


Activity Zone Worldwide Hello

Get Ahead Kids® is published by Marketing Advisers for Professionals Pty Ltd T/A MAP Marketing. The views expressed in this publication are not necessarily those of the publisher. The publisher does not accept responsibility for the opinions, errors or omissions.


Editorial George Calombaris was a fascinating person to interview. So accomplished at such a young age! Thank you for providing our readers with the Kotopoulo Avgolemono recipe. I have already used it - a tangy and tasty treat! Bill Handley’s article on how to learn a second language is not to be missed. His book ‘Fast Easy Way to Learn a Language’ is an essential reference for readers interested in this topic. Renowned author June Alexander has written an insightful article on

I enjoyed the interview with Shannan Ponton as I find him to be such an enthusiastic advocate for good health and fitness which is one of my main interests too. K. Smith, Eleebana NSW

Please send letters and stories with your name and contact details to: Get Ahead Kids® Villa Franca, 2 Scott St. Newcastle NSW 2300 F: 02 4929 7827

I enjoyed reading ‘Does your Child Have Difficulty Catching a Ball on the Full?’ as I have a 7 year old son who has recently been assessed by a behavioural optometrist. It was discovered that he needed glasses for a large stigmatism in his left eye which is extremely lazy. I agree that having your child’s eyes looked at early on may improve their learning if indeed they require glasses. R. Cook, Ingleburn NSW

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Get Ahead Kids® May/Jun 11

how to encourage and reveal the writer within. I have learned more about maths and tables from Bill Handley’s book than from a lifetime in the classroom. Get Ahead Kids readers have the chance to win 1 of 5 of his book. With thanks to Taronga Park Zoo, we also have 5 family passes to giveaway! Maria Charlton Managing Editor P: 02 4929 7766

I have young children and found the checklist in the ‘Feet Fit for Physical Activity’ article very helpful in ensuring we are doing the best things for our kids development. I have been told by many people lately my 11 month old should be wearing shoes, but I am just looking at starting him in soft soled shoes, so this article let me know I am on the right track. M. Barton, Black Hill NSW

I enjoyed the article ‘Optimising Kids’ Health’. It’s hard to find information like that from any magazine and takes a long time to find it online. I found the article very informative and direct. H. Pollard, Hamilton South

I suffered from asthma as a child and didn’t have a good understanding of it. My 4 year old son has respiratory problems and the doctor has mentioned asthma. The ‘Asthma’ article has helped me to realise his symptoms do sound like asthma and I am now aware of the potential seriousness of his condition. Thanks. L. Punton, Maryland NSW

I enjoyed the ‘Physical Activity & Eating Disorders’ article. This is something we all need to be aware of. As an OOSH Co-Ordinator and working with young children, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms of this disorder and making parents more aware. L. McGrath, Scone NSW

5 to

‘Teach Your Children Tables/ Speed Maths for Kids’


Va veaw ay! $29 lued a .95 ea t ch

Giveaway Teach Your Children Tables/Speed Maths for Kids [Special Edition]

This is a great book to have at home to help your child develop those fundamental mathematical skills.

Author: Bill Handley

It teaches maths in a way that makes it fun and easy.

‘Speed Maths for Kids’ teaches simple methods that will enable you to make lightning fast calculations - multiplication, division, addition and subtraction, dealing with fractions, squaring numbers and extracting square as well as cube roots. Schools the world over use Bill Handley’s innovative ‘speed maths’ approach in the classroom and, with these two classic books at their disposal, you and your kids will: • Be able to perform lightning-quick calculations in their heads • Master the ‘times tables’ in less than half an hour • Learn the basic principles of maths • Have fun with numbers

It’s an essential reference for parents, students and teachers. Age Guide: Open Extent: 432 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9780730375449 Price: AU$29.95 Publisher: Wrightbooks P: 1800 777 474

With special thanks to Bill Handley and Wrightbooks, Get Ahead Kids® has 5 copies of ‘Teach Your Children Tables/Speed Maths for Kids’ valued at $29.95 each to giveaway!

Visit and follow the giveaway link for your chance to win.

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An Interview with

George Calombaris

How did you first become involved in the hospitality industry? My first job was when I was 16 years of age. I worked at my local pasta restaurant washing pots and pans. What quick and easy recipe do you recommend for parents on the go? Fresh eggs are a great ingredient to have in your pantry. A simple omelette with fresh herbs and parmesan with some toasted sourdough, and you have a great meal. What is your favourite family recipe? My mum’s egg and lemon soup is full of flavour and soul! See recipe on opposite page. Where do you get your recipe inspirations from? I am inspired by lots of things including nostalgia as well as family, travel, the earth, my staff and my colleagues.


Get Ahead Kids® May/Jun 11

What have you learnt from working with both the adult and junior contestants from Masterchef?

You have cooked in some amazing places. Can you tell us about your favourite?

The kids listen and follow processes. The adults like to do what they want at times.

I have had an amazing life so far. My job has taken me all over the world cooking - from an Indian castle, to Valentino’s Yacht in Venice. I have cooked on the river banks in Germany and in a two star Michelin in Athens. I don’t have a favourite; all my experiences have touched my heart and will be part of my life diary forever. I AM VERY LUCKY AND GRATEFUL EVERYDAY! 

What are your top 10 tips for aspiring chefs? 1. You must first love to cook 2. You must cook from only one place, the heart 3. Commitment & dedication 4. Respect for yourself & others 5. Respect your craft & where the produce comes from 6. Punctual & on time 7. Be a leader not a follower 8. Don’t copy, but do use influences & when you do, pay homage to where these came from 9. Tasting is the most important lesson when cooking 10. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes - be afraid if you don’t learn from them

Have you ever experienced a cooking disaster? Please tell us about it. Ahhh. We had just opened The Press Club in 2006 and I was running the fish section. Back then we only had seven chefs; now we have around 25. So we were in the middle of service and I went to carve some salmon and didn’t realise there was a power cord plugged in on my bench. I cut through it and zapped myself onto the ground. Looking back, very funny!

Spotlight What benefits are there for exposing children to culinary activities?

What is your most unforgettable personal experience?

Understanding where food comes from and how it grows, including how to cook and taste everything is so important to their social upbringing. “FOOD IS FAMILY, FAMILY IS LIFE, LIFE IS EVERYTHING”

When I found out that Natalie and I were going to become parents. OMG!

How can involving kids in the kitchen develop their communication skills?

Greece - I am inspired by the whole country but at the end of the day I am a very proud Aussie and I love home.

It all starts in the home. Parents, like mine did, need to unite family through food. Doesn’t matter if it’s baking bread, it’s about understanding what happens when you add yeast to flour and then the celebration of breaking the bread with you family. Do you believe there is a connection between healthy eating and educational achievement? Yes What are the top 5 ways for encouraging kids into the kitchen? It all starts in the home and with the parents: 1. Don’t be afraid of them using a knife, just make sure you supervise them 2. Give them a weekly task e.g. they can cook a different style of eggs every Saturday morning for the family 3. Get them to grow their own herbs & vegetables - from there let them cook them 4. Taste is so important - get them to taste everything you cook 5. Fresh is best - teach them that only fresh is best  Please tell us about your family Big, crazy, loud and we love food and life. What are your hobbies? Food is my hobby. I love to cook, eat, talk and read about food.

What are your favourite holiday destinations and why?

He has published two cookbooks “The Press Club” and his second cookbook “Hellenic Republic: Greek Cooking from The Hellenic Heart”. George is a familiar face on household television. He is one of the three judges in Channel Ten’s reality TV show Masterchef Australia.

More Information

Biography George completed his apprenticeship under Raymond Capaldi at Hotel Sofitel, Melbourne. Later he was part of a team who opened Fenix. He entered one of the Moffat sponsored culinary competitions, the Bocuse d’Or in Lyon, France, achieving a best ever result for an Australian representative. He spent two years working at Reserve, in Melbourne’s Federation Square. At the age of 24, he won Young Chef of the Year, Best New Restaurant and two chef’s hats in The Age Good Food Guide.

Kotopoulo Avgolemono Georgaeris y b Serves 4 Calomb Ingredients • • • • • •

1 whole small chicken, washed well Water, to cover ½ cup Arborio rice 1 egg – per litre Lemon juice, as needed Salt, to season


In 2004, the Global Food and Wine Magazine voted him as one of the Top 40 chefs of influence in the world.

1. Place chicken in a large pot, cover with water and simmer gently for 1½ hours

In 2006 Calombaris opened his own restaurant in Melbourne, The Press Club. In 2008, he opened 2 other restaurants in Melbourne, Maha Bar and Grill and Hellenic Republic.

3. Bring stock to the boil and reduce until flavour is intense

The Press Club, was awarded The Age Good Food Guide “Best New Restaurant 2008” with Calombaris named “Chef of the Year 2008”.  In 2008, he opened his first international restaurant, Belvedere, in a hotel on the Greek island of Mykonos.

2. Remove chicken from stock and once cool, remove skin and shred

4. Boil rice until tender, strain and allow cooling on a tray 5. To serve, place some chicken and rice into the base of a bowl 6. Whisk egg with hand blender whilst pouring in hot stock 7. Season with lemon juice and salt



Languages & Communications Research conducted by Watson and Bandenhop (1992) suggests that persistent failure to learn can lead to a sense of helplessness in which the person acts as if there is no point in trying because they can’t do it anyway. This undermines confidence and has a debilitating impact. Clay (1993) suggests that such children learn to be learning disabled. For over a century researchers have examined the difficulties faced by students with average intelligence that also have specific difficulties in regards to reading acquisition. The concept of unexpected underachievement has been reported in both medical and psychological literature since the early 19th century. In 1896 Pringle Morgan reported the case of a 14 year old boy, who despite normal intelligence, educational opportunity and desire appeared to have serious trouble learning to read.

Average Intelligence Below Average Reading I hear comments each day from parents and teachers such as, “my child is smart, he can pull apart a machine and put it back together again but doesn’t get reading.” Or, “my child is excellent at math but for some reason cannot read” and “He seems to get everything else however he just doesn’t seem to get reading.”


Get Ahead Kids® May/Jun 11

By Amanda Tocci For many children, school is a never ending cycle of special reading programs, where a sense of failure is nurtured through a constant failure to improve in reading. Why is it that year after year the same children participate in reading programs where irrespective of the intervention they still struggle with reading?

There are many reasons as to why a child may not be reading despite average intelligence including psychological deficits, ineffective programming, biological deficits and family situations etc. What is essential in assisting children with reading difficulties is successful and appropriate assessment, planning and intervention based on solid, established and current research. There are many ways to teach a child how to read and unfortunately many reading programs have been taught in our schools for decades without appropriate research being applied.

Languages & Communications Knowledge of effective reading instructions for children experiencing difficulties has been refined over the past 20 years however classroom practice has not kept pace with this knowledge base. Shaywitz and Shaywitz (1996) estimated that 74% of children who are poor readers at the end of third grade will likely be poor readers at the end of the ninth grade.

sounds, provide the best pictures and guarantee success without any effort. Success without any effort is no success at all.

Research also indicates that if children’s reading skills haven’t improved by the end of the third grade, these children will have considerable difficulty overcoming their slow and unsuccessful start to reading.

Amanda is a literacy specialist at the Australian Literacy Clinic. She aims to allow children to become competent readers in any given situation. Her firm beliefs are that children are capable of amazing things and it is the job of parents and educators to allow them to soar.

The purpose of this article is to get you considering your child, a friend’s child, a relative or a student in your class. Does the child seem only to have difficulties with reading? Is the child failing to progress in reading despite constant intervention? Are tears and fights the norm during home reading time? Does the child exhibit normal intelligence but struggles only with reading? Answering yes to these questions may indicate that specialist literacy intervention is required. A word of warning however, be wary of programs that have all of the bells and whistles, that flash, make

If you would like a Reading Checklist then please visit if you would like to post a comment then please do so via email Biography

More Information

Australian Literacy Clinic Pty Ltd Assessment, Planning & Intervention for Children with Reading Difficulties. Specialist Clinics Located in Maitland & Newcastle

P: 1300 869 905 ACN: 147 916 676

Amanda Tocci MAEdst, BA, GradDipEd, GradCertTESOL Managing Director & Literacy Specialist Australian Literacy Clinic Pty Ltd. P: 1300 869 905


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Languages & Communications

The Fun Way to

Learn a Language By Bill Handley

I have always been intrigued by the idea of learning another language. Long before I ever went to school I wanted to be able to speak in a language that none of my friends or family could understand. I saw it as a means of secret communication. When I discovered that the girls who lived next door learnt French at school I begged them to teach me French. They were only too happy to “play” school in the back yard and give me lessons. They wrote the lessons on a blackboard and gave me written notes although I was too young to read. I retained what they had taught me up until the time I started high school and took my own French classes. Since I left school I have learnt more at night classes and with home study courses than I ever did at school. I have come to the conclusion that I could have learnt the equivalent of six years’ school French in just six months by myself. I would have probably spent less time per day studying the language than I did in high school. Since leaving school I have learnt some 15 or more languages by myself.

Tips for Teaching a Language or Learning At Home ❑❑ Buy an audio course I like Assimil The Language Expert courses because they teach the spoken language, the audio is entirely in the language you are learning, and the course is broken up into small bite-size lessons you can easily complete in one day. The lessons are written with humour and they give insight to the culture. ❑❑ Buy a computer program like KidSpeak courses I bought the KidSpeak program for learning ten languages. It offers games that teach the language and children enjoy it as fun rather than “language work”. It is a fun way to practise. ❑❑ Internet Print pages in the target language from the Internet that will interest your child. You can download a translation of the page using Google or Alta Vista. The translation won’t be accurate but it will save a lot of work. Try the Languages on the Web page at It has material in just about any language you are likely to learn and simple stories written side by side with the English translation. It has links to many other sites as well.

10 Get Ahead Kids® May/Jun 11

It is possible to download or complete an entire language course on the Internet. You can download an entire language course at Another resource is which has links to courses in most languages. ❑❑ DVDs Buy or rent DVDs that your child will enjoy that have a soundtrack in the target language. You can listen in the target language with English subtitles or you can listen in English and have subtitles in the target language. ❑❑ Comics Buy comics in the target language. Tintin comics are always popular and can be bought in most languages as well as English. Buy the same comic in the target language and English so the child can see the translation or how the same thought is expressed. ❑❑ Vocabulary Play with vocabulary. How can we remember that “boleh” means “to be able” in Indonesian? What is an English word that sounds like boleh? How about ballet? Then join it to the meaning. I am able to dance ballet. Krank means sick in German. When you are sick you get kranky. This is probably where the word came from.

Languages & Communications ❑❑ Music Buy music your child enjoys sung in the target language. Download the lyrics from the Internet to help with understanding. ❑❑ Intensive language days Choose a day or half day every so often for intensive language study. This is a time for reading, singing, listening and speaking only in the target language. It may just consist of playing through all the language lessons you have learnt and reading them through afterwards to check on anything you didn’t understand. Is there anyone your child can speak with? Can you join an organisation where the language is spoken? How about a church or social club? ❑❑ Writing Have your child keep a diary or journal in the target language. Have your child complete written exercises from the lessons and, if possible, find a friend to write to in the language.

❑❑ Add excitement Dr. Blair has language programs where you pretend you are a secret agent and you play or act out a part. Mission Europe is an Internet program that follows an exciting adventure as you learn a language.

Learning is Worthwhile Learning a language can broaden your child’s outlook and interest in the rest of the world. It can be exciting to read documents in the original rather than a translation. For me, learning a language is a way to really get to know a people. I enjoy sitting on a bus in a foreign country conversing in their language. I am part of their environment. I am not just an observer. I remember sitting in a streetcar in Poland discussing politics with my fellow travellers and thinking I am getting first hand insight into the way the people think. Sitting at the table with families in East Germany discussing religion and politics are some of my great memories of the

Fast Easy Way to Learn a Language Author: Bill Handley For those people that have labored over learning a new language, this book can help you to speak a new language in record time. It explores all the important topics in learning a language and includes special advice for school and university students. This is the fun way to learn a language. Fast Easy Way to Learn a Language Includes: • Learning a different alphabet • Building your vocabulary in record time

country. I think of the times I was invited to picnics and spending time with families while we lived in Europe and I realise that this could never have happened if we didn’t speak the language of our host country Learning someone’s language is an act of friendship. It gives you insight into how they think. There is a thrill that comes with your first successful attempt to converse with someone in their language, when you first discover you are thinking in their language.

Biography Bill Handley is an inspirational teacher, educational adviser and published author of children’s books including ‘Speed Mathematics’, ‘Speed Maths for Kids: Helping Children Achieve Their Full Potential’ and ‘Teach Your Children Tables’.

More Information

• Coming to grips with grammar • Using ‘lost time’ to learn faster • Getting the most from the Internet • Enjoying learning with comic books This is a highly engaging book that is simple to read. It contains easy to use instructions, advice, checklists, summaries and practice exercises. Age Guide: 12+ Years Extent: 218 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9780731403356 Price: AU$22.95 Publisher: Wrightbooks P: 1800 777 474


Languages & Communications

Speech Pathology

Enhancing Your Child’s Learning, Communication & Social Skills

Children often encounter communication and language difficulties that in turn impacts upon their learning and socialisation. An important source of help is available through communication and language specialists, namely, the Speech Pathologists. They are able to help with the understanding and use of language, speech sounds, oral speech, the social use of language and the development of literacy skills in general. Michelle Santarelli and Amy Pollitt from EDUCARE Specialist Services have provided answers to some of the most frequently asked questions. Q: My son is in year one and seems to be behind in his reading, what can be done? First of all it is important to figure out where there is a breakdown with his literacy skills. Some children have difficulty reading because: • They are struggling to learn the letter/sound combination • They may have difficulty with working memory so they have trouble remembering & building on their sight words

By Amy Pollitt & Michelle Santarelli

• There could be an underlying language disorder which may be impacting their ability to comprehend & process what they are reading • There may be a breakdown with their phonemic awareness skills in which they have difficulty hearing & manipulating sounds. Listen to your child read every day. It’s really important to be patient with your children when they are learning to read. They need opportunities to practice their reading skills so they can become independent readers. They may need explicit instructions in any of the above areas by a speech pathologist to help further develop their skills.

have trouble hearing the sounds when learning to read. All children have some articulation errors when learning to talk. If these errors persist beyond the age of four they could have an articulation or phonological disorder and require assessment and intervention by a speech pathologist. It’s always a good idea to get your child’s hearing checked if you are concerned. They may not be hearing the sounds. Q: My child has been diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome. He has difficulty socialising and has been the subject of bulling at school. How can I help him navigate the social world? Speech pathologists who have specialised in Autism Spectrum

Q: My child is about to start school but still can’t say some sounds clearly. She is saying “tat” for cat. I know what she’s saying but sometimes other people don’t. How can this be treated?

Disorders can help with developing

Children who are still having difficulty producing sounds at Kindergarten need intervention. Not being able to produce correct sounds puts them at risk of being delayed in their literacy skills. Often children who are having difficulty with some persistent articulation patterns will

therapy. Such an approach creates

children’s social understanding and social language. In addition to individual therapy sessions with children, one of the better approaches includes social group a wonderful opportunity for the children to learn and practice their skills with peers who are at a similar age and skill level. We have developed such a program at EDUCARE for this specific purpose and have found children readily adapting such skills at school.

12 Get Ahead Kids® May/Jun 11

Languages & Communications Q: Do I need a referral to see a Speech Pathologist and are there sources of funding for treatment? Teachers, doctors and other health workers may suggest that your child would benefit by seeing a speech pathologist but you do not need a referral letter from them to make an appointment. You can do so directly yourself. However, your child may be eligible for support under medicare with a referral from a Doctor. Private Health Funds may also provide limited financial support; and the Commonwealth Government (FaHCSIA) provides funding for early intervention treatment of children under six years who have been diagnosed with an Autism Spectrum Disorder.


and very experienced speech pathologists. Their experience includes working with children who have language difficulties – spelling, writing, comprehension and oral communication, Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD and cognitive impairments. They use a variety of evidence based techniques and therapy approaches and work directly with parents, teachers and other professionals.

About EDUCARE EDUCARE has an interdisciplinary

Rejoice in Your Kid’s Smile Providing specialist dental care for infants, children, adolescents and those with specialist needs.

team of clinical, educational and developmental psychologists, speech-language pathologists, paediatric occupational therapists, dietition and specialist teachers who support children’s learning and


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More Information

Michelle Santarelli Michelle Santarelli is the Coordinator of Early Childhood Intervention Services at EDUCARE Specialist Services, Charlestown. Both Michelle and Amy Pollitt are highly trained


Languages & Communications

How Books Can Help When Your Child Starts School By Hazel Edwards

Q. My child is starting school soon. How can reading a book help a child prepare for first day at school? Reading-sharing is a great way to prepare a child for school. First timers are always a bit worried about going to a new place like school or kindergarten. So are parents. That’s why I wrote this when my children were small and ‘playground’ was used in the title to cover school and kindergarten. Not having a friend is the BIG worry. Not knowing what to do is another. The cake-eating hippo is a big friend who has all the answers. That’s reassuring. Many children have imaginary friends as ways of coping with new situations. School routines like uniforms, when are the breaks, what do you eat and MAKING FRIENDS are important. It helps to know what might happen. At a time when parents are worried about their children learning to read and write, children’s authors receive wonderful fan letters from very young readers as evidence that specific books have really mattered in a child’s life.

14 Get Ahead Kids® May/Jun 11

Q. How should I read it? Snuggle up and make the experience pleasurable. Re-read and use the pictures as prompts to talk about what happens in a school day. Getting dressed. Packing school lunch. Having a peg for your belongings. Going out to play. Using the play equipment. Listening to the teacher tell a story. Which is a favourite page? Why? Do funny voices. The mischievous hippo openly disregards a few rules, but it always knows what to do. My favourite is playing hide-andseek where he is a bit too big to fit behind the tree. Bibliotherapy is the fancy name for reading books that help you deal with problems. Starting school can be fun, not a problem. You just need a sense of humour and a character like the rooftop-cake eating hippo. In the Year of the Potato, the hippo took potato cake as his special cake to school.

How to Read With Your Kids Checklist ❑❑ Choose books YOU like ❑❑ Have a big enough bag to carry the book with you ❑❑ Use audio books in the car if you travel a lot, or spend much time chauffeuring ❑❑ Try e-books on screen ❑❑ Practice holding the book at an angle they can see ❑❑ Look at the illustrations too. They are clues to the story. ❑❑ Involve them by asking questions e.g. ‘What sort of exercise do you think he was doing in the picture? ❑❑ Accept all answers. Don’t say ‘No’ or ‘That’s wrong.’ Add, ‘And why do you think that?’ Remember that the book belongs to the reader’s imagination too, as well as the creator. ❑❑ Sub-text is what goes on underneath the story. Some kids ‘get’ it. Others do later. ❑❑ ‘Why?’, ‘How?’ and ‘What do you think happened after the end of the story?’ is a good start ❑❑ If you have mixed aged children, start a family serial using a junior chapter book ❑❑ Read a page turnabout, even if the interest level is a little low for the older children ❑❑ Encourage funny voices for the dialogue.

Literacy & Numeracy Activity Ideas ❑❑ Eat Your Words: bring a plate of food to share that is based on the title of a book (or a paper plate with the food drawn on it if any allergy problems) e.g. Icy poles or meringue for ‘Antarctic Dad’. ❑❑ Adopt a character with your name! Review a book where a character has your name and send the review to the author. E.g. Jack in Susanne Gervay’s ‘I am Jack’, ‘Zoe’ in ‘Muscles’ or Zanzibar from ‘Plato the Platypus Plumber (part-time)’ ❑❑ Book-finger puppets just_for_kids.html ❑❑ T for Title Story: Link up lots of/ all the titles of one author into a story. Count how many you can include. ❑❑ Be a TV interviewer and prepare five questions to ask your favourite character from your favourite book. Become your character and answer them. ❑❑ Made a model from a story. For free downloadable polar ice ship model to make in connection with picture book ‘Antarctic Dad’ just_for_kids.html ❑❑ Create a Compliments Jar as a gift. Write personal compliments on sticker and wrap around lolly or fruit e.g. You are a good reader. Put all compliments in a decorated jar. ❑❑ Try reading a Braille picture book with your fingers ❑❑ Check out an Auslan signed DVD for deaf kids, which has signed stories ❑❑ Make up your own story from just pictures

Biography Hazel Edwards is an authoreducator who is passionate about encouraging children to read as a way of increasing their confidence and skills. She is an ambassador for literacy and for literature.

But an author’s perspective is a little different from a parent, teacher or grandparent, because the picture book needs to be crafted in a way which appeals to a beginning reader or a child just starting school. You just need a sense of humour and a character like the rooftopcake eating hippo. There’s a Hippopotamus in the Playground Eating Cake by Hazel Edwards Illustrated by Deborah Niland is available from Penguin Books.

VIDA4029 Photograph: C.Hensel

Languages & Communications

• School holiday program • Picnic/BBQ • Playground • Canoes • Feeding Talks • Café Nourish and much more… Off the roundabout, Sandgate Rd, SHORTLAND Phone 02 4951 6466 Email Web




More Information Hazel Edwards 2009 ASA Medal 2012 National Year of Reading Ambassador

Hooray! There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Having a Birthday Party Author: Hazel Edwards Illustrator: Deborah Niland The hippo is back to celebrate his 30th birthday and a jungle-inspired celebration full of jungle costumes and jungle treats are planned. Families can download all the things you need for your very own Hippo birthday party from This is fun, joyful story that all young children will relate to. The book is splashed with large illustration that will captivate young readers and their parents. It’s a great book for reading out loud in the home and its colourful illustrations are bound to encourage first readers to have fun while reading.

Hippopotamus on Our Roof Having Birthday Party’ was listed as a 2011 CBC Notable Book. Age Guide: 5-7 Years Extent: 36 Pages (Hardback) ISBN: 9780670072637 Price: AU$24.95 Publisher: Penguin Australia P: 03 9811 2400


Languages & Communications

V alue of Writing as a

Form of Communication & Expression By June Alexander Besides providing pleasure and fulfilment, the written word can be a companion and a therapy. At every age, it can help make sense of our thoughts when we feel misunderstood, and fill us with a gratifying sense of accomplishment.

from others. Low self-esteem meant I had difficulty expressing myself verbally. My diary was a trusted friend, providing a vital link with at times a tiny thread of self. The written word provided assurance that a part of me was okay.

My love of the written word began when I was three. My earliest memory is of sitting cross-legged on the linoleum-covered kitchen floor of my parents’ farmhouse, turning the pages of the daily newspaper and thinking: ‘When I grow up I will read every word on every page’. Even the tiny print in the Birth and Death columns.

Initially, entries were mostly matterof-fact observations. I collected 10 eggs from the chooks, and got nine out of 10 for an English test. Expression of emotion – happy or sad – was rare. As I entered adolescence, observations and reflections began to reflect my feelings. The word ‘depression’ was entered at age 15.

Words were fascinating. They were full of promise and possibilities. They could describe and express, reveal and reflect. Their shape, their look, big words, little words, the way they could mix and match to mean and convey different things – was mesmerising. They were friendly. They were also an escape and helped me make sense of a sometimesconfusing world.

Many years on, when I summoned the courage to read my journals and write my memoir, A Girl Called Tim, I was rewarded with a heightened understanding of self, of the influences and environment that shaped my childhood. This was liberating in moving forward with my present. For decades my life had seemed like a jigsaw puzzle – there were pieces missing. My diary contained clues to help heal and fill those gaps.

They connected with me and when I wrote them, they belonged to me. When given a small, soft-covered diary for my 12th birthday, this little book with blank pages quickly became my best friend. I have kept a diary every year since – and I am a grandmother now. The process of setting aside time each day to write was important for, although not aware of this at the time, it helped me stay alive. I experienced mental illness from childhood and often felt isolated

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workshops for senior citizens in parts of Victoria ravaged by the 2009 Black Saturday bushfires has been particularly enlightening and rewarding. Nancy celebrated her 85th birthday by coming along to the first day of an ‘I Remember When…’ workshop. June, a great grandmother aged 84, caught a bus - she was not going to miss the class for the world. Sons and daughters of WWI soldiers explore their childhoods, ‘of when dad comes home from the war’. There is Norma, whose house was burnt to the ground in the bushfires. She had been a school teacher and loved to write. On Black Saturday, all her written works, together with photographs, were turned to ash. Heroically, two years later, at the age of 80, she has picked up a pen and is writing afresh.

At any age, writing is rewarding. A diary or a journal makes an excellent gift. Sometimes if I forget to pack my diary, I write on anything at hand – a serviette, a coaster or piece of scrap paper. It doesn’t matter what we write on, or how we write, the main thing is to write.

John starts his story at the age of 10 when his dad heard him tapping in time to the music and said: ‘I think we have a drummer here’. John describes how his dad made his first drum set, resourcefully using items from around the house. After all, it was during the Great Depression. Fifty years later, John was still playing the drums and giving joy to many people. His descendants, when they pick up his drumsticks one day, won’t have to wonder about the man who tapped those sticks. They will be able to read his story.

Writing about one’s life is like picking up a stone on a dusty gravel road and shining it to reveal the gem within. I enjoy helping people discover their gems. Holding writing

Sometimes men and women come along to a writing class quite sure they won’t write so much as one sentence. ‘We haven’t done anything special in our life,’ they say.

Languages & Communications Everyone Has a Story to Tell Checklist

Imagine a Christmas tree before it is decorated with glittering streamers, baubles and twinkling lights. Such is the transformation of 70 and 80 year olds as they share memories, each seemingly sparking a long suppressed but equally exciting memory in the other. They become animated and excited as they relive moment after moment of their childhoods. Our elderly citizens are a treasure trove of social history at its best.

Reflect and create a pen picture of your life. All you need is a pen and paper. Here are some questions to help write your story:

Some of these senior writers left school at age 14 to work on the farm or in a shop. Times were tough back then and they have done little writing since. But with a little encouragement, away they go. They are amazed at the result, as they hold their story and proudly read it to the class. ‘I always wanted to do this. I didn’t think I could, and now I have.’ Their great grand children will be pleased.

A Girl Called Tim? Escape from an Eating Disorder Hell Author: June Alexander This is June’s memoir of a 40 year journey with two eating disorders anorexia and bulimia. These memoirs are written almost entirely from her diaries, which began at the age of 12. Isolated by her illness, June’s diary was frequently her only friend and a linchpin with sanity.

❑❑ Where were you born & where did you spend your childhood? ❑❑ What is your favourite childhood memory? ❑❑ Describe your favourite belonging & explain why it is special. ❑❑ What path did your adult life take (marriage, family, career, sport, hobby, health or community organisations)? ❑❑ Describe an event that had a major influence on your life journey. ❑❑ Describe a person who had a major influence on your life journey - what did you do as a result of this influence? ❑❑ What has brought you the greatest happiness in life? ❑❑ Why do you live where you live today? ❑❑ What do you enjoy most about this current stage of your life? ❑❑ What wisdom would you like to share with the next generation?

June is a tomboy farm child who is intelligent, sociable and hard working, but sick with anorexia. As June grows into an adult, she hides her sickness in a bid to be loved. She overcomes family rejection to win the love and respect of her four children and make a huge impact into the live of other eating disorder sufferers through her writings and active support of education and support groups. This is a hard to put down book of a struggle to survive, hope, gruelling hard work, educational and career achievements, family relationships,

Biography June Alexander writes about the value of writing as a form of communication and expression for everyone from age 5 - 95 years.

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r Holiday Spo


Oh yes, they have, and their stories are often the most amazing.

motherhood and ultimate triumph. Although the book is one of despair, rejection and illness, it’s positive because June was determined to overcome her illness and succeed in her career and personal life. Age Guide: Open Extent: 255 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781742570792 Price: AU$29.95 Publisher: New Holland Publishers Australia P: 02 8986 4700


Vision Impacts on


If your child has already been diagnosed with some type of language disorder, or if you are simply noticing at home that their speech development is slower and starting to make you ask questions and wonder if something is wrong, then it may be important for you to consider getting their eyes checked. In fact all our senses (eyes, ears and touch) are required as well developed functions which is then integrate (or work well together) for our kids to reach their full potential in school and then in life. Vision helps in language development by identifying objects and people for naming, and allows a child to copy lip and mouth movements to form sounds and learn speech. A picture is worth a thousand words. A child’s mind that learns to utilise vision can learn non-phonetic spelling of words through visual memory, rather than using spelling rules and verbal/ auditory memory. Higher levels of visual processing include the ability to create visual pictures in the mind’s eye such as seeing a movie play in your mind while reading words in a book, which is important for reading comprehension.

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Many children with poor eye movement skills and lack of visual dominance have trouble with complicated verbal instructions and express themselves poorly verbally. They are then often diagnosed with receptive and/or expressive language problems. Poorly developed visual thinking skills are often the cause of these language problems. These children attempt to remember spoken words in sequence rather than the more efficient visual thinking process of converting what they hear into imagery so that they can store the information and retrieve it when they need it. Vision is important for social and emotional skills: smiling, eye contact, as well as reading facial expressions and body language. Many children may be already diagnosed with disorders such as developmental delays, ADD/ADHD and autistic spectrum disorder have visual skills problems and sensory integration problems as part of their difficulties functioning in school and life.

By Susan K Walton

Firstly a behavioural eye examination is needed to look at ability to see clearly, focus eyes well and use the two eyes together, giving good binocular vision and good eye movement control. If any problems are found, then spectacles may be an option either for full time wear or only during visually concentrated tasks such as all school work and computer use. Many children can also benefit from a program of vision therapy, which is a progressive method of retraining how the brain, eyes and body work together. Therapy is individually programmed and delivered, and is designed to target specific areas of visual dysfunction. Vision Therapy may be used to improve: eye movements (tracking or following with the eyes); visual attention (fixation and use of peripheral vision), eye teaming (ability to point both eyes accurately at the same time), focusing (ability to change focus from far to close) and visual processing, and the integration of visual information with auditory and language information as well as tactile and body information. A child’s emotions, confidence and behaviour can become more stable

Languages & Communications

through vision therapy. Vision therapy teaches a child to become more flexible and allows them to learn to adapt to new and different situations. Failure to acquire good visual processing skills is a reliable predictor of future academic performance. This is because vision is the dominant sensory process. Even a phonetic or phonic approach to reading requires the ability to hold visual attention (look at things), move the eyes quickly and easily and visually recognise letters and words. Fatigue of the eye muscles that hold visual attention is the reason why some children start out reading well in the early grades, only to start failing after grade two or three. The application of spectacles and/or a program of vision therapy can assist. Our trained Vision Therapist works one-on-one with children once a week in our specially equipped vision therapy room for blocks of ten weeks at a time. However the key to success comes with the home practice sessions (five other days a week for half an hour) under the supervision of parents. Let me say that again – practice... practice... practice. A tip for parents to encourage links between vision and language... At the end of the day before bed, have your child tell you about his/her day and see if they can get a mental image in detail of what they experienced for the day. For example, what the child ate for lunch or the clothes that they wore. This builds visual memory and visualisation.

So vision therapy is actually hard work to implement and complete in our busy family lives, but there are many families out there who can testify to the benefits for their kids. The improvements are obviously in the kids looking skills, but commonly the results include happier and more confident kids with improved eye contact, social skills and language abilities.

Biography Susan has been an Optometrist for over 30 years and in her own practice in the Newcastle CBD for 25 years. She became a Fellow of the Australasian College of Behavioural Optometrists in 1988 and specialises in behavioural optometry working with children with learning difficulties, people with special needs and sports vision, as well as general optometry. She is the Australian Director for the Special Olympics Opening Eyes program, volunteering both here and overseas since 1995. Susan is also the Sports Vision Consultant to the Hunter Academy of Sport. Her daughter Hannah has just joined her and is in training as a Vision Therapist so they can work together on programs for children (and adults) to remediate visual function difficulties (like eye movements and convergence) as well as visual perception and sensory integration problems.

More Information Susan Walton B Optom FABCO 245 King St. Newcastle NSW 2300 P: 02 4926 4799

Doctor Home Visit Service Open 365 days a year CALL 4943 6666 HOME VISITS 8pm-7am (Mon to Fri) • 1pm - 7am (Sat to Mon) incl. 24 hrs during public holidays!

Newcastle After Hours Surgery (located at Broadmeadow Medical Centre) Accessible Week Nights 6pm-9.30pm Saturday 12 noon-9.30pm Sunday and Public holidays 9am-9.30pm

Call 4957 7778





By Dr. James Hogg

Have you ever owned a cat? If you have, have you ever found it has brought you little presents? Like a dead bird or mouse, lovingly left on your pillow? Your cat might mean well, but you won’t thank it for trying. That’s sort of like the way your body’s immune system works if you have a food allergy. It’s thinks it’s helping you out, but it’s not.

How does the immune system normally work? Your body is protected by your immune system. It’s made up of many different kinds of white blood cells. Each guards you from attack in a different way. Normally, these cells patrol every part of you, on the look out for invaders like viruses, bacteria or parasites. All cells in your body carry antigens. These are like ID cards for each cell. The immune system checks these antigens, so it knows who belongs in the body and who doesn’t. Invaders have antigens too, but they’re not right for your body. The immune system can tell they don’t fit in. When a white blood cell spots an invader, it sounds the alarm. This alarm is something called histamine. That’s a chemical that makes your arteries get bigger and summons more immune cells. The new arrivals spray histamine too, creating a chain reaction and a louder alarm. Normally, this would be great! An invading germ would get surrounded by angry immune system cells. They’d wipe out the bug and the alarm would die away. But in a food allergy, or any allergy, your immune system gets confused.

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What happens in a food allergy? Food has antigens too. In a food allergy, your immune system gets confused. It mistakes a food for an invader and overreacts. The antigen on the food triggers release histamine release and starts the immune chain going. That’s an allergic reaction. Histamine can affect your whole body. It can make your heart race and your skin break out in a bumpy rash. Your lungs may get tight, which makes it hard to breathe. Your nose and eyes can start running. It can make you throw up. All of this might be helpful, if you were under attack by a germ. It would help flush the germ out. But it’s no help at all against food. If the histamine alarm is big enough, or goes on long enough, it can cause your body to go into shock. Shock caused by an allergy is called anaphylactic shock. Basically, your body can’t keep up with the demands the alarm puts on it. Some people are severely allergic to their trigger antigen. Even a tiny piece of food containing the antigen causes a huge overreaction. It can start very quickly, so it’s important to have the right medicines handy to keep your immune system calm.

How to deal with a food allergy For mild allergies, you can use antihistamines. You can take these as tablets. They stop the alarm going off in the first place, or calm it down if it’s already going. No alarm means no allergic reaction.

For severely allergic people, antihistamines aren’t enough. They need adrenaline, which quickly reverses the effects of histamine. It relaxes the lungs and shrinks your arteries back to their normal size. That’s why some people carry an Epi-pen with them. If something triggers their allergy, it contains a quick injection of adrenaline. Adrenaline is called Epinephrine in America, where the first Epi-pens were made. Many other brand names of adrenaline pens exist now, but people often refer to them all as Epi-pens. The best way of avoiding the allergic reaction is to avoid the antigen. Usually, you won’t know you have a food allergy until the first time it happens. But after that, doctors can run tests to see exactly what triggers your attacks. Once you know what your trigger is, you must avoid it. It’s vital you don’t eat any food containing the trigger. Let your friends and family know, so they can help you. Wear a medi-bracelet. That’s a bracelet with information written on it about what you’re allergic to. Somewhere between 2-5% of people have some kind of food allergy. The most common ones are peanuts, shellfish, soy, other nuts, milk, eggs, wheat and fish. The allergies you have when you’re young often disappear as you get older. But adults can sometimes develop a new allergy later in life. All this can make allergies seem frightening. And it can be a real pain to have to check your food all the time. But it can save your life! Once you know about your allergy, there’s nothing to stop you eating out, or enjoying your food, as long as you’re careful.

Health Here Are Some Tips: • ALWAYS wear your medi-bracelet • ALWAYS tell people about your allergy • ALWAYS carry your Epi-pen • ALWAYS know what is in your food

Eating out If you have food allergies, follow these simple steps when eating out to avoid an allergic reaction. • Tell the waiter you have a food allergy • Talk to the waiter to help you choose something without the trigger food • If the restaurant serves the trigger food explain to the waiter or chef your food needs to be made separately • If you have severe allergies request your plate be bought out individually

Biography Dr. James Hogg is one of the team of medical writers working for Medikidz, a charity that produces comic books that tell children in simple, informative terms the details of their diagnosis.

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What’s Up with Paulina? Medikidz Explain Food Allergy Authors: Dr. Kim Chilman-Blair & John Taddeo Illustrator: Liquid Comics The number of children suffering from food allergies has increased by 200% in the last decade and growth in the number of children suffering severe allergies, like nut and other food allergies has also accelerated. This is such a concern that school canteens and many schools have barred nuts and nut additives from the school premises. In the book “What’s up with Paulina?” Medikidz explains Food Allergy in a way that most school age children will read and enjoy. The five Medikidz Superheroes take Paulina on a trip around Mediland - a planet shaped like the human body - to explain the cause of an allergic reaction, as well as how medicines can help to calm and control it. Similar to the other highly engaging Medikidz comic books, this book reassures kids, parents and friends that a food allergy

is quite common and what the precautions they need to take are. The 26 Medikidz books are a must for all school libraries, doctors surgeries and as a family reference. To ensure accurate and appropriate medical advice, this book has been peer reviewed by two specialists in the field: Professor John O Warner (MD, FRCP, FRCHCH, F Med Sci, Imperial College London), and Dr Anna Nowak-Wegrzyn (MD, Mount Sinai Medical Center, USA). Age Guide: 10+ Years Extent: 32 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781906935061 Price: AU$14.99 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers P: 1300 551 721

Has your child experienced the KU difference? KU is Australia’s leading provider of community-based, not for profit early childhood education and care. With over 100 years experience in the Hunter region, we are committed to providing high quality, affordable preschool and long day care. Visit to find your nearest centre, and experience the KU difference for yourself! KU is proudly a not for profit organisation



Let’s Talk About By Dorte Bladt

The sun is bright, the sky as high and blue as it can be. The birds are performing acrobatics, enjoying the light breeze. The waves are rolling gently, making a calm rumble as they meet the white sand. What a beautiful day! Let’s get outside and enjoy it. Like everyone, our family loves going for picnics on the beach on days like this. The feeling of wind in the hair, the sun on your back, the fresh smell of salt water and the kids’ happy squeals in the water. A most special time to enjoy! When my kids were little, we used to have a lovely routine for outings on days like these. We would bring our little picnic rug, and purchase some prawns, a ripe avocado, cherry tomatoes, a french stick and some vegemite. What a treat! We would tell the kids that the prawns were yucky, fishy, and full of prawn brain and prawn poo that would make their fingers smelly and try to convince them that they should eat the bread with avocado and tomatoes or the vegemite, and leave the prawns to the parents. It worked for a while. A very short while!

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The kids observed us savouring and enjoying the prawns; they could see that this was a special treat, and although they heard our words, they did not care, but wanted some too. Good for them! We still have this special picnic routine, now we just buy more prawns. There is nothing new about the knowledge of the difference in what is being said and what is being understood or heard by the other person. As early as in the 1950’s, Albert Mehrabian, an early researcher of body language, found that the total impact of a message is about 7% from the words used, 38% vocal, such as tone of voice, pitch, speed and inflection and a whopping 55% nonverbal – the way we stand, use our hands, facial expressions, etc. My kids picked up on that pretty quickly, yours most likely have too. And not just in this positive way. Think of the message received when the kids see us come home tired from work or shopping, and we plop ourselves down in front of the TV with a bag of chips, or with the feet up with a cup of tea and a biscuit... Aha, this is what you do when you want to relax!

And think of the other inferred messages we associate with food: desserts after dinner if we eat everything on the plate. A special dinner for special occasions such as birthdays and Christmas, take-always after busy, physically challenging days, chocolate treats when we are feeling down, ice-cream or lollies after listening well at swimming lessons. There are lots of rewards and good feelings attached to food. Is that really what we want the kids to understand about food? According to the Australian Government ( • About 20-25% of Australian children are overweight or obese. • Between 1985 and 1997 obesity levels increased 2-4 times • If weight gain trends continue, by the year 2020 80% of all Australian adults & a third of all children will be overweight or obese. Obesity aside, there are also long term health risks-heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, cancer, gallbladder disease and gallstones, breathing problems and arthritis. All things we do not wish for our children or anyone else.


These are avoidable. Eat less, choose healthier foods and exercise regularly. Eat at least 3 fruits and 5 vegetables per day and keep processed food to a minimum. We know this, everyone of us. How come, no matter how many times we tell our children, they still choose the less healthy option? Could it have something to do with them observing us, and seeing hat we are saying with everything but our words?

Tips for Parents ❑❑ Be aware of your body language at meal times. Make sure you are open, relaxed & smiling when you dish up the family meal. Expect everyone to love your creation, & don’t worry if they don’t. ❑❑ Smile, savour & enjoy what is on your own plate – the “Do as I say, not what I do” does not work. ❑❑ Use events as treats & rewards: reading a special book together, going for a walk to the park, inviting a friend over to sleep or building a Lego tower together. ❑❑ Make meal time family time, each person helping according to ability. Even little ones can help cut a cucumber or some fresh beans with a butter knife. ❑❑ Take the time at dinner to enjoy a chat about the day’s events. Be prepared to tell your own funny tale. Ask open-ended questions with a keen interest in the answer. ❑❑ Babies & toddlers are hardwired to enjoy sweet things, & their taste buds take time to mature to other tastes. Be prepared to serve a new food up to 20 times before it gets accepted as something suitable for eating. We don’t like throwing food away, but just because your child does not eat the vegetable does not mean he/she does not like it, yet.

❑❑ Have a rule about everyone having to try at least one bite of everything. That includes parents. ❑❑ Eat 3 raw foods every day: apple, carrot, cucumber, pear, celery or whatever you like. Make sure your child sees you eat it. Savour it, enjoy it, take the time to actually taste it, to savour the texture in your mouth. Visualise the amazing benefits this particular food has for your health & well-being; that your body can heal & make new tissue from this fresh item you are enjoying at this very moment. ❑❑ Choose healthier treats: a punnet of blueberries, a box of sultanas, dried mango, frozen banana, watermelon or orange segments, icy poles made of frozen pureed fruit. Also: • Make a food sculpture out of fruits & veggies. • Have a picnic on the beach, or in the back yard, or on the living room floor. • Have fun, enjoy, laugh, slow down; life is short, make the most of it!

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Family Chiropractic Centre Charlestown

Perform at your Peak

DOES YOUR CHILD HAVE DIFFICULTY WITH READING? Some children experience reading and learning difficulties as a result of visual perceptual problems caused by

IRLEN SYNDROME Irlen Syndrome can cause Dyslexia and difficulties with Spelling, Writing, Comprehension Concentration

Dorte Bladt Doctor of Chiropractic Family Chiropractic Charlestown 2 Lincoln St, Charlestown P: 02 4942 4842

IRLEN DIAGNOSTIC CLINIC Suite 2/136 Nelson Street WALLSEND 2287 Ph: 4955 6904 Email:



Star Struck Aims to “Capture the Moment” Observe parents watching their children under the lights in Star Struck at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre and you see the pride in their eyes. Star Struck is an annual performance involving more than 3,500 Kindergarten to Year 12 students from Hunter Central Coast government schools. In its 19th consecutive year, Star Struck is growing in quality and variety, with all performers auditioned and soloists going through a rigorous multistage selection. School groups, singers and musicians will follow this year’s theme ‘Capture the Moment’ in the region’s biggest variety show - a three-hour production of live music, dance, movement and drama - performed four times over three days - 16-18 June 2011. The music is live, courtesy of the Star Struck Orchestra, involving professional musicians mentoring student instrumentalists, rock bands and featured musicians. Specialised performing groups include the Hunter Signing Choir, and a full range of dance styles from classical ballet to hip-hop, not to mention the special effects, giant props and unique dancing puppets. The June performance is expected to attract an audience of more than 14,000.

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Photos courtesy of Newcastle School Portraits

24 Get Ahead Kids® May/Jun 11

Star Struck PO Box 1016, Hamilton 2303 P: 02 4962 1413


New Faces at Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College He holds a Bachelor of Education, Master of Education and is currently writing his doctorate in Education, with a focus on leadership and the spirituality of adolescents. Coupled with his musical talents, he has also coached the NSW under 17 and under 19 years school boy cricket teams.

Mrs. Lisa Hunt Mrs. Lisa Hunt has accepted the position of Coordinator of Special Education. Mrs. Hunt was previously Head of Special Education at James Sheehan Catholic High School. She holds a Bachelor of Arts, Diploma in Education, Certificates in Special Education and Gifted Education as well as a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

Mr. Bruce Rixon Mr. Bruce Rixon has accepted the position of Head of Campus, commencing 1 January 2011. He has returned to the Eastern seaboard after four years as Principal of Georgiana Molloy Anglican School in Brusselton, WA. His previous roles included Director of Activities at Shore, North Sydney as well as Director of Music at Saint Ignatius’ College, Riverview and St Andrew’s Cathedral School.


OPEN DAY 3 AUGUST 2011 9.00am to 11.00am

Tours of the College All welcome 256 Minmi Rd, Fletcher 2287 ph: (02) 4979 8484 www

Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College

More Information Michelle O’Toole


tional Chil d Care College

• Leading distance education provider

• Flexible training options

• Specialist training with high completion rates

• Early years learning frameworks workshops

• Award winning resources used Australia wide • Customised workshops delivered on site • Certificate III & Diploma in Children’s Services

• Expert service & support in traineeship & other funded training

High level of student support to ensure quality outcomes 1300 660 063 • •



Rowing Successes for

Newcastle Grammar

Thirteen students from the School competed at the National Rowing Championships held in West Lakes, South Australia from the 7th to 13th March, 2011 with eleven crews competing in varying categories. Final results included:

• GOLD - U17 Men’s Coxed Quad Scull - Nick Minch, Ben Robinson, Sam Hall, Oliver Kleyn, Emily Matheson - A Final • SILVER - U17 Women’s Coxed Quad - Camille Moore coxing a Lower Clarence crew - A Final - SILVER

• U19 Women’s Quad Scull - Sian Brown, Angela Collins, Sydney Uni - A Final - 4th • U19 Men’s Quad Scull - Matt Filmer, Qld Uni - A Final - 4th • Schoolboy Quad Scull - Nick Minch, Ben Robinson, Sam Hall, Will Rodgers, Emily Matheson A Final - 5th

The squad had significant success at the Independent Schools Rowing Association (ISRA) Regatta, held at Lake Burley Griffin over the weekend of 26th and 27th February, 2011 taking home two Gold medals, eight Silver medals and four Bronze medals.


These results come on the back of an extremely successful season to date with the squad taking out six Gold, five Silver and seven Bronze at the CDRA Championship Regatta on the Manning River on the 19th and 20th February, 2011. The group also brought home five Gold, one Silver and two Bronze medals at the NSW Rowing Championships over the weekend of the 12th and 13th February, 2011.

More Information Michelle O’Toole


Children thrive in a happy, safe and secure environment – that’s why Newcastle Grammar School’s Junior Campus allows its Students to feel secure in their early years of primary education. The School provides the structure and discipline required for young children to develop both socially and academically.

TOURS Individual tours of both Park Campus (Pre-school to Year 4) and Hill Campus (Years 5 to 12) can be pre-arranged by phoning 4929 5811.


ENROLMENTS FOR 2012 & BEYOND Newcastle Grammar School p: (02) 4929 5811

26 Get Ahead Kids® May/Jun 11


5 to

Giv e Va Reviews lue away $10 d ! 9 e at ac h

Taronga Zoo Family Passes

Giveaway New at Taronga Zoo is an endangered, bright organe Francois Leaf - eating Monkey baby, the first to be raised by its mother in Australia. The little male was born to mother, ‘Saigon’, and father, ‘Hanoi’, and discovered cradled in its mother’s arms one late January morning by zoo keepers in the monkey’s exhibit in the Zoo’s Rainforest Trail Taronga’s gorilla family has also recently increased with the birth of female ‘kipenzi’, in late January. The infant is still clutching tightly to experienced mother ‘Kriba’. Kipenzi is Kriba’s 5th baby and the 8th born at Taronga since the group arrived from Holland in 1996.

Taronga’s Reptile World is home to hundreds of reptiles and amphibians including the eye-catching but threatened Rhinoceros lguanna. Reaching up to 4.5 feet in length, the breeding pair has produced many clutches of young providing hope for the conservation of their species.

More Information Taronga Zoo P: 02 9969 2777

With a special thanks to Taronga Zoo, Get Ahead Kids® has 5 Family Passes valued at approx. $109 each to giveaway! Each pass allows a family of 2 adults and 2 children a wildlife experience at either Taronga Zoo Sydney or Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Visit and click the giveaways link for a chance to win one of these fantastic passes.


Activity Zone

Fun Questions Kids Can Answer Using By the Wolfram | Alpha Team Here at Wolfram|Alpha we’re always asking questions and seeking answers in an effort to make all of the world’s knowledge computable and understandable by everyone (big or small). We’ve put together a short list of common questions asked by preschool and kindergarten aged children that can be answered with Wolfram|Alpha. We hope these examples inspire your child to dream up more! 1. Is the Moon bigger than the Earth? Ask Wolfram|Alpha to compare “size of earth, size of moon”, and you’ll discover numerical and graphic size comparisons showing that the Earth is indeed larger than the Moon. 2. Chances are your little artists will discover the answer to this question on their own, but they

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can try asking Wolfram|Alpha what color they get when they “mix red and blue”? 3. Whether it’s because they’re excited about the party or just turning a year older, the birthday countdown is always on! Simply ask Wolfram|Alpha about the date of the child’s upcoming birthday, such as “October 8 2010”, to learn the number of days, weeks, or months until the big day. 4. Are there other people who have my name? Simply enter your child’s name, for example, “Jacob“, in Wolfram|Alpha and learn how the name ranks in popularity among children born in the United States along with the number of people born with that name each year, the estimated number and the most common age of people with that name alive today, and much more.

5. Help your child learn shapes by asking Wolfram|Alpha questions such as “How many sides does a triangle have?”. In return, Wolfram|Alpha will provide an answer and a visual representation. 6. Working on number recognition or basic addition and subtraction? Ask Wolfram|Alpha to answer “What’s 10 plus 4” to get a result a result in words, numbers, and pictures. 7. Does your little archaeologist stop a bedtime story about dinosaurs to ask questions such as “Is a brachiosaurus taller than a triceratops?” Answer this question and more when you ask Wolfram|Alpha to “compare a brachiosaurus and a triceratops”.

Activity Zone 8. “When I grow up, will I be as tall as you?” Enter your child’s gender, age, and height into Wolfram|Alpha and you’ll discover a projected growth chart along with distribution plots showing how your child’s height and weight compare to other children of the same age. For example, enter “growth chart male, 7 yrs, 4’2”. 9. It doesn’t take long for young ones to start building up their vocabulary. They can have fun learning new words by exploring rhyming words in Wolfram|Alpha. For example, ask Wolfram|Alpha for “words that rhyme with bear”. 10. Has the tooth fairy been making frequent trips to your house? Do your children wonder when they will get their two front teeth? By

asking Wolfram|Alpha about a tooth, such as “lower right first baby molar”, you can see a visual representation of the tooth, learn about its function, and find out at what age the permanent tooth is expected to arrive. These are just a few fun questions kids can answer with Wolfram|Alpha. We hope these examples inspired you and your child to dream up more! Did your youngster ask Wolfram|Alpha a great question?

More Information

“It does not cost any more to help our environment at NCP Printing.”

17 Arnott Street Newcastle West NSW 2302 Tel: 02 4926 1300 Fax: 02 4926 5557 Email: Web:

Reprinted with permission Stephen Wolfram August 5, 2010

Cert no. SGS-COC-005911

Get ahead with an awesome smile Prevent malocclusions, crowding and associated speech problems in your child. Your initial appointment, including consultation with Dr Edward Kosy, photos and x-rays required for orthodontic diagnosis and treatment planning is charged at health fund rebate only with no out-of-pocket expense. Dr Edward Kosy Specialist Orthodontist

Phone 1300 794 797

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Bindi Wildlife Adventures #6: Roar!

Bindi Wildlife Adventures #9: Lost!

Author: Jess Black

Author: Jess Black

Bindi, Robert and Terri Irwin are on their way to Sumatra to collect three tiger cubs to bring back to Australia Zoo. Bindi and her new friend Madi get involved in an adventure of tracking a gang poaching the endangered Sumatran Tiger.

Bindi and her Aboriginal friend DJ search Kakadu National Park for a lost tourist with the help of a sulphurcrested cockatoo.

A very readable tale that will captivate young readers with its proven formula of villains, heroes and wildlife. Age Guide: 6-12 Years Extent: 88 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781864718515 Price: AU $9.95 Publisher: Random House Australia P: 1800 222 444

Sophie wants a dog for Christmas. When her neighbour becomes ill and unable to look after her dog Boris, Sarah and her family adopt the dog. However Boris is not the Australian Kelpie that she wanted.

Aussie Dog Author: Eleanor Nilsson Illustrator: Beth Norling

30 Get Ahead KidsÂŽ May/Jun 11

After time Sophie realises that owning and caring for a dog is hard work. She also discovers that we don’t always necessarily get what we want, although what we do get is sometimes better, If we are open to give it a chance.

A simple tale that is well written! It will appeal to both girls and boys as the author cleverly includes a boy companion for Bindi for her nature and wildlife treks Age Guide: 6-12 Years Extent: 88 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781864718546 Price: AU $9.95 Publisher: Random House Australia P: 1800 222 444

The easy to read chapters and colourful illustrations, make this book perfect for young readers. Age Guide: 8+ Years Series: Great Aussie Yarns - Mates Extent: 64 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781862918689 Price: AU$11.99 Publisher: Omnibus Books for Scholastic Australia P: 02 4328 3555


Alpha Monsters Author & Illustrator: Chris Kennett This book covers Freddy Jackson’s fun and educational journey to an adventurous world filled with alphabet monsters. It is an extremely clever rhyming book that is both complex and simple. The cheerful illustrations and great verse makes it a joy for parents to read and for children to listen to Age Guide: 4+ Years Extent: 32 Pages (Hardcover) ISBN: 9781741697612 Price: AU $16.99 Publisher: Scholastic Australia P: 02 4328 3555

Casper Candlewacks in Death by Pigeon Author: Ivan Brett Illustrator: Hannah Shaw

Hopscotch and Honey Joys: Food For Your Family and Friends

My Mum’s the Best

Author: Lisa McCune with Di Thomas

‘My Mum’s the Best‘ captures the fun-loving bond between mother and child though the use of colourful whole page illustrations of bears, bulldogs, penguins, goldfish, orangutans, seals, cockatoos and frogs.

This scrap book style cookbook is full of wonderful family tips and secrets on things such as family road trips, planting herbs, ideas for birthday parties, games to play, and even has ways to encourage kids to help around the house. This is a wonderful family addition to the home library that everyone can enjoy. Age Guide: Open Reading Extent: 225 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781742374154 Price: AU $39.99 Publisher: Allen & Unwin P: 02 8425 0100 www.allenandunwin

The village of Corne-on-the-Kobb has hundreds of idiots apart from Casper Candlewacks, a bright boy with scruffy blonde hair and a dysfunctional family. When famous an Italian magician ‘The Great Tiramisu’ who has a with a coriander allergy, curses the village, Casper’s father is held responsible and sentenced to death-by-pigeon. Will Casper and best friend Lamp Flannigan save the day?

Authors: Rosie Smith Illustrator: Bruce Whatley

Age Guide: 2+ Years Extent: 32 pages (Hardback) ISBN: 9781741698435 Price: AU$16.99 Publisher: Scholastic Press P: 02 4328 3555

This is quirky tale with numerous funny events, twists and turns. It’s great for chapter reading and reading out aloud in the classroom! Age Guide: 9+ Years Extent: 206 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9780007411559 Price: AU$12.99 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers P: 02 9952 5020



Hattie and the Fox Author: Mem Fox Illustrator: Patricia Mullins A family favourite farm house tale that tells a story of a chicken who sees some strange objects and her friends that help her work out that they are. A perfect first reader that can be used to have a lot of fun pretending to be different animals. Age Guide: 3+ Years Extent: 32 pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781741698206 Price: AU $15.99 Publisher: Scholastic Press P: 02 4328 3555

Terry: Adventures of a Terek Sandpiper Author: Anne Hamilton Illustrator: Sandra Temple This is a heartwarming tale that describes the migration of a Terek Sandpiper from Siberia to Australiathe Hunter Valley also rates a mention. It portrays the growth cycle and the survival tactics of young Terry whilst flying half way around the world at two weeks old. There is also an environmental theme that is subtle and adds to the story. The whole page illustrations are stunning! Age Guide: 6+ Years Extent: 32 Pages (Hardback) ISBN: 9781921633300 Price: AU$21.95 Publisher: Wombat Books P: 07 3245 1938

My Little World Author: Julia Cooke Illustrator: Marjorie Crosby-Fairall My Little World covers a child’s discovery of a new world of tiny plants and animals level eye to the child. A fascinating journey into nature that is excellent for reading out aloud to young children. Age Guide: 4+ Years Extent: 24 Pages (Hardback) ISBN: 9781862917903 Price: AU $26.99 Publisher: Omnibus Books for Scholastic Press P: 02 4328 3555

More great book reviews at

This is not your average book it is part story, part game. Armed with only a dice, pencil and eraser, you become the main character embarking on a hunting expedition with your trained falcon Huntress. All the power lies with the reader in this story, as their decisions will ultimately determine whether your falcon will be successful in navigating the unexpected events.

The Wounded Falcon Author: J.P. Barnett

32 Get Ahead Kids® May/Jun 11

The ‘Wounded Falcon’ is an entertaining reading experience. Your adventure may last minutes or

hours. The good thing about it is that you can always go back to the start and see what will happen if you choose another option. Age Guide: 10+ Years Series: Choice #1 Extent: 106 pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781921633263 Price: AU$12.95 Publisher: Wombat Books P: 07 3245 1938


Get Ahead Kids® Partners

Aussie Heroes: Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop Author: Hazel Edwards Illustrator: Pat Reynolds Born Ernie Dunlop in Melbourne in 1907, Weary became a respected doctor, sportsman and war hero. Known worldwide for his leadership, compassion and expertise. He was honoured with numerous medals and was knighted in 1969. Book two in the Aussie Heroes series, ‘Sir Edward ‘ Weary’ Dunlop’ is a great way to introduce readers to a remarkable man who helped others in need and shaped Australian history. Age Guide: 9+ Years Series: Aussie Hereos Extent: 89 pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781921042706 Price: AU $14.95 Publisher: New Frontier Publishing P: 02 9453 1525

Rule the World: 119 Shortcuts To Total World Domination Author: Editors of Klutz This is an extraordinary mix of shortcuts, tips, tricks and activities to ensure that the readers gain world domination - in their minds at least.

Over 30,000 Aussie mums, dads, babies and children enjoy Gymbaroo every week.

In a world that makes kids feels small, this is a book that will definitely provide advice on how they can feel big and powerful. A perfect book to give your kids a journey to escapism and indulgence! Age Guide: 8+ Years Extent: 118 Pages (Hardback) ISBN: 9781591748496 Price: AU$29.99 Publisher: Klutz for Scholastic P: 02 4328 3555


Fancy Nancy Fashionista: A Colouring and Activity Book Author: Jane O’Connor Illustrator: Robin Preiss Glasser A fun filled activity book for little girls that love fashion from accessories, clothing and hairdos. The book comes with 3 crayons and contains colouring pages, mazes, connect-the-dots and more.

Pilates, Brass Band, Choir, Chess, Table Tennis, Judo, Akido Kickboxing Boxing, Gymnastics, Circus, Dancing, Fencing

P: 4961 4493 | Age Guide: 3+ Years Extent: 32 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9780061882661 Price: AU $8.99 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers P: 02 9952 5020



Article Themes 2011 January/February

Advertisers Index

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Learning Innovations & Technology -

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Editorial Deadline Jun 10, 2011

KU Children’s Services


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NCP Printing


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September/October Study & Assessment - Mark Bouris Ad Booking Deadline Aug 12, 2011 Editorial Deadline Aug 19, 2011

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Celebrity Spotlight Dr. Chris Brown Host & vet on ‘Bondi Vet’ Learning Innovations & Technology Issue out

JULY 2011 34 Get Ahead Kids® May/Jun 2011

Advertisers media kit & booking form at

Activity Zone



There are over 6,000 recognised languages spoken worldwide. Listed to the right are 10 ways to say hello in different languages. Can you match the language to the correct hello greeting?








Ni Hao













Can you find the countries where the languages above are spoken? France • Germany • Spain • Sweden • Greece • Hawaii • Italy • Japan • China • Fiji



Toddlers (1-3 years)

• Research based programs • Professional qualified instructors • Parent information & home activities • Movement, music & specially designed equipment • Encourage critical skills for early learning & literacy

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Get Ahead Kids Magazine Vol 3. No 3. May/June 2011  

Get Ahead Kids is an educational magazine for kids from 0-25 and their families. Full of quality educational articles and activities, design...

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