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Vol. 5 • No. 1 • Jan/Feb 2 013


Back to School Special School & Your 5 Year Old Important Questions Starting a New School Year The Importance of Enrolling Kids in School Sports Preparing for High School Strategies in Preventing School Bullying

olo An Interview with S

January/February 2013 Subscription $6.60 AUD INC GST 01





Jessica Watson

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Schools • Group Bookings • Birthday Parties • Corporate Events • Night Adventures

Jan/Feb 2013


This Month’s





Editorial Your Letters


Spotlight An Interview with Jessica Watson

An Interview with Jessica Watson Photo Courtesy of News Ltd. Cover Photo Courtesy of Paramount Pictures Australia. Kids®

Get Ahead © MAP Marketing 2013 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

Giveaways 5

Taronga Zoo Family Pass Giveaway


Australian Reptile Park Family Pass Giveaway


LeapFrog Tag Reading System Giveaway Back to School


Family Stories Matter


School & Your 5 Year Old Important Questions


Get Connected with Your Children!


School Readiness


Starting a New School Year


Strategies in Preventing School Bullying


The Importance of Enrolling Kids in School Sports


Preparing for High School Health


Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) News


Architects of Educational Facilities are Changing Design Rule


Take Your School to The Treetops for an Educational Fun Day!




Advertisers Index


Activity Zone Who Wrote That Book?

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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 Jessica Watson has achieved extraordinary milestones in her life so far. These will be commemorated in an upcoming movie about her solo sailing trip around the world at the age of 16. The back to school issue features an array of thought provoking articles for our readers. For first time school entrants our contributors ask and provide tips on whether your child is ready for school. Susanne Gervay offers useful information on school bullying that will be of interest to all our readers.

‘Is there something wrong with my child?’ article actually made me think this is what I was like at school! My little boy exhibits the same tendencies. I think sometimes a child can just be bored or may just need a bit more attention or lacking something from home. I think there are too many labels for children these days. They are just kids at the end of the day! N. Roberts, Port Macquarie NSW

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Get Ahead Kids® Jan/Feb 13

Michelle Mitchell presents an invaluable reality check about students entering high school. The international medical charity, Medikidz provides informed advice on Growth Hormone Deficiency and how this condition can be treated and managed. Thank you to Taronga Zoo, the Australian Reptile Park and LeapFrog for your great giveaways. Maria Charlton Managing Editor P: 02 4929 7766

‘Rewards Don’t Work’ gave me insight into the method most parents use in getting things done by children. It’s a realistic judgement and theory that has been shown in this process, which will make me think differently when offering rewards to my children when I want things done. S. Baluskas, Eagleby QLD

It just so happens that I have just started taking my children for primitive reflexes treatment. It had an immediate affect on my daughter who was born at 25 weeks and is now 5 years old. I would recommend it to anyone.

I enjoyed all of the articles on Study and Assessment. I am a Primary School teacher so these were very relevant and raised some interesting points about how parents can help their children get through tests. Tests are just a fact of life, as much as I dislike them! Thanks for including such interesting articles!

K. Bollinger, Stockton NSW

S. Turtle, Gordon NSW

As a nanny, I always find Get Ahead Kids fabulous, but this month I liked the article on grief as unfortunately, the kids I care for are about to go through grief as their dog is not doing too well.

Please send letters and stories with

K. Sayer, Oatley NSW

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

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Taronga Zoo New Taronga Zoo Rainforest Heroes App Visitors to Taronga Zoo can now explore the zoo with the launch of the Rainforest Heroes App for iPad. The App was developed to focus on Asian species like the Fishing Cat and the unusual tree-climbing Binturong. Users can locate and learn about these elusive creatures, find out what they eat, give them a virtual feed of the animals’ preferred zoo food and think about everyday actions that can help their conservation in the wild. The Taronga Zoo Learning Centre, in partnership with the NSW Curriculum and Learning Innovation Centre set out to help improve the way visitors engage with and learn about these rainforest animals. When using the Rainforest Heroes App for iPad, visitors can discover additional facts, use digital binoculars, photograph animals, watch short movies and compile their discoveries in a takeaway PDF field report.

Giveaway! Users are guided through Taronga’s Rainforest Trail using GPS along with supporting signs to help them build their report.

The Rainforest Heroes App for iPad is great for families, tourists, students and everyday visitors as well as animal lovers worldwide. Being on location is preferable but not essential. • The Rainforest Heroes App is suitable for Stage 3 & 4 students researching the rainforest ecosystem • The report created can be emailed to users’ specified email address or saved to iBooks • The App includes a timer function that can be set to alert users after a specified time The Rainforest Heroes App is available for free from the App Store on iPad or at

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With special thanks to Taronga Zoo, Get Ahead Kids has 5 Taronga Zoo Family Passes valued at $112.20 each to giveaway to 5 GET AHEAD KIDS DIGITAL SUBSCRIBERS! Each pass allows a family of 2 adults and 2 children (4-15 years, under 4 years free) a wildlife experience at either Taronga Zoo Sydney or Taronga Western Plains Zoo. Visit follow the subscribe link and sign up to the free digital magazine (must be subscribed by 11 February 2013 to be eligible). Subscribers will receive a special link via email for entry to the giveaway.

More Information Taronga Zoo Learning Centre P: 02 9978 4624


Photo Courtesy of News Ltd.

An Interview with

Je ssica Wa tson

How did you first become interested in sailing? I first started sailing aged 8, when my Mum took my brother, sister and I along to the local sailing club. Believe it or not when I first started sailing I was terrified of it. It wasn’t until I got more confident out on the water that I really started enjoying it. How old were you when you decided to sail solo non-stop around the world? When I was 11 Mum read me a bed time story about a young guy who sailed around the world (Jesse Martin) and through his story I realised that Jesse was just an ordinary guy who did something amazing. Who or what is your biggest inspiration and why? I’m inspired by anyone, whether or not they’re famous, by people who stand up and give something a go.

In your book, you wrote about spending much of your childhood on a houseboat with your family, how did this experience shape your love of water and sailing? Growing up on a motor boat with my family was a really special experience, spending so much time exploring deserted beaches, islands and reefs gave me a great sense of adventure. What steps did you take to mentally, physically and emotionally prepare yourself for the trip? Preparing for the voyage took years and years, I did miles and miles of sailing (as many as it took to sail around the world!), learnt to fix every part of Ella’s Pink Lady, first aid, storm survival and navigating by the stars. During your solo journey, how did you stay motivated and focused on the task at hand? Always staying positive was so important when the going got hard, knowing so many people where thinking of me back home helped.


Get Ahead Kids® Jan/Feb 13

How did you manage to stay on top of your school work while away? All my school work came with me but I have to admit I got I little behind so when I got back I had a lot of catching up to do! Where is your favourite holiday destination and why? My favorite holiday destination is North Queensland; it’s such a great place to go for a nice cruise sail! What are your hobbies? I still love sailing whenever I get the spare time but I also love just catching up and hanging out with my family and friends. Please tell us about your involvement as a Youth Representative for the UN’s World Food Programme. I’m very proud to be a representative for the UN’s World Food Programme. They do some amazing work ensuring that kids in less fortunate parts of the world get the food and nutrition they need to be able to concentrate at school. Can you imagine trying to


get your school work done on an empty stomach? I couldn’t do it! I’m so lucky to have had all my dreams come true so it’s nice to able to help other kids achieve their dreams!

and unassisted around the world. During the journey no other person would be allowed to give her anything and she must not moor to any port or other boat.

You have sailed around the world, written a book, released a documentary and competed on Dancing with the Stars, what is next for Jessica Watson?

Nearly seven months later, on 15 May, 2010, after not seeing another person for seven months and having viewed land in the distance on only three occasions during that time, Jessica was greeted by 1,600 support boats and over 100,000 adoring fans on the Sydney Harbour foreshores waiting for her to cross the finish line.

It’s been such a busy few years so right now I’m enjoying being slightly less busy while I get some University study done. And next year life’s going to get busy again as my book is being turned into a movie! It’s very exciting and a little strange to have a movie made about my life! What are 5 tips you would give to aspiring sailors? 1. It’s all about preparation, check the weather forecast & that your boat is properly set up. 2. Lots of sunscreen, sunglasses & a hat are essential. 3. Being able to find the wind direction is critical. The easiest way to do this is to turn your head till you can feel the wind on both your ears, & then you’ll know that your nose is pointing straight at the wind direction. 4. If you’re just starting out & aren’t feeling too confident, don’t go out on windy days; wait till you feel that you can handle the stronger conditions. 5. The most important thing of all in to remember to enjoy it! Particularly while you’re learning, there’s plenty of time to get serious later on.

About Jessica Watson On 18 October 2009, Jessica Watson departed Sydney, aiming to achieve her dream and become the youngest ever to sail solo, non-stop,

Jessica Watson’s story is an inspiring one that ultimately proves that we all have the power to live our dreams - no matter how small or big they are.

True Spirit

In January, she was awarded the prestigious honour of 2011 Young Australian of the Year.

True Spirit is the autobiography of Jessica Watson, who at just 16 years was the youngest personal to sail solo and unassisted around the world.

Jessica recently skippered the youngest crew ever to compete in the 66 year history of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race in December 2011, aboard Ella Bache Another Challenge. The crew boasted an average age of just 19. Jessica won the Jane Tate Trophy for first female skipper to finish and the crew finished 37th overall, recording an incredible 2nd place result in the highly competitive Sydney 38 Division! In January 2012, Jessica was named in the Australia Day Honours list, being awarded the Order of Australia Medal (OAM), for her services to sailing, youth and being a role model for young Australians.

More Information

Author: Jessica Watson

The book details her upbringing of spending time between a houseboat and motor home and how she first got involved and developed a love of sailing. Readers will be fascinated by her meticulous preparation, Jessica’s battle with sleep deprivation, galeforce winds, dangerous seas and natural hazards as well as the struggle of being away from home at such a young age. This is an inspirational book of how a person can achieve their goals through focus and dedication and will appeal to readers of all ages. Age Guide: 12+ Years Extent: 400 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9780733627774 Price: AU $22.99 Publisher: Hachette Australia P: 02 8248 0800


Back to School


Stories Matter By Maggie Hamilton

As summer holidays draw to a close and you prepare to send the kids back to school you may turn attention your home - to the things you have some control over. You may be busy renovating kitchens and bathrooms, and re-doing the garden. In the process, you may throw away possessions that don’t go with the new furniture. The result is that precious items that have been in your families for decades are ending up in junk stores or as landfill. With these possessions go important pieces of your family story, and the opportunity to pass these stories on to your children. When you think about it, there’s an amazing amount of family history contained in everyday objects - in buttons and ribbons, in old scraps of material, pictures and postcards, and in china tea cups, old ties and medals. If you want kids to take an interest in more than Bob the Builder and Dorothy the Dinosaur, and all the crazy celebrities out there, it’s


Get Ahead Kids® Jan/Feb 13

important they get the chance to treasure things closer to home. They need the chance to appreciate the everyday objects around the home and the family stories that go with them. Family stories have always been important, because they give kids important clues about who they are and where they come from. They’re foundation stones on which they can build their own lives. The sharing of family stories now and then helps them see they’re part of something bigger than themselves. It’s precious information, because it’s about their unique story. Most family stories are pretty colourful, but that’s okay because they contain some good life lessons. It helps balance out all the celebrity rubbish, as they get to learn about real people with real lives in real life situations. Sometimes family members did good things. Sometimes they messed up, or failed. Hearing these stories help children learn life is complex, and good choices matter.

Recently while talking with a group of teenage boys at school, we spoke about family stories. When I asked them to tell me their stories, I was blown away by how engaged they were. One boy’s grandad had fled the communists in Europe with just a tiny cardboard suitcase, which he still had. Another told about his grandfather in the Second World War, who still had his medals. Everyone was riveted, because the stories were really exciting! So perhaps it’s time to get out the beautiful old teacups the family doesn’t use any more, and have a family high tea just for fun or celebrate nan’s birthday, and to hear about when and where these lovely cups were used in times past. Or perhaps you’re inspired to hunt out old tins and posters, buttons and photos, and find out a bit more about them. Don’t let a family gathering go past without the chance to hear a few stories of past generations. You won’t regret it!

Back to School Tips on Exploring Your Family Story ❑❑ Put aside a special shelf for precious family objects ❑❑ Spend a wet afternoon sorting out & framing old family photos. ❑❑ Create a collage from family memorabilia, & then frame it ❑❑ Make a quilt from scraps of material worn by different family members

These books look at the 21st century challenges our girls and boys are facing, and the solutions. Maggie’s new book ‘Secret Girls’ Business’, is a fun gift book for teen girls.

More information

About Maggie Hamilton Writer, publisher and social researcher Maggie Hamilton is the author of many books including “What Men Don’t Talk About”, which examines the lives of real men and boys as opposed to the stereotypes, and “What’s Happening to Our Girls?” and now “What’s Happening to Our Boys?”

What’s Happening to Our Girls? Too Much Too

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ld O r a e Y 5 r u o Y & l o o Sch ortant Questions


By Amanda Tocci For many parents the question of whether to send their 5 year old to school or not is a time full of uncertainty and fear. Will my child be socially ready? Will my child be academically ready? These are questions faced by parents each and every year and the solutions are as unclear as the questions themselves. The early development of literacy and numeracy skills is paramount for academic success throughout a child’s life. The skill of reading is a vital component for each and every child, giving them skills in order to function as contributing citizens to their community. Not only does success in reading contribute to the development of emerging citizens it also gives children a sense of worth and develops their self esteem.

10 Get Ahead Kids® Jan/Feb 13

Major Questions in Reading Development Is the brain ready for reading at 5 years of age? Can a child be taught a phoneme (the smallest phonetic unit in the sound system of a language ) at 5 years and then be taught the letter name, understand their relationship, put a vowel and consonant blend together, understand sound families, and decode? Can this all occur and be retained in a given period of time? The simple answer is no. Reading is a process that relies on the brain’s development; it cannot be rushed, pushed, prodded or poked. If the brain is not ready then it does not matter how many times you repeat, rehearse or rehash the material to be learned. Be mindful that expectations do not blur what is cognitively appropriate.

Is my child receiving a research based reading program? There are currently 24 known reading programs in place in NSW primary schools with the majority of these not having a valid research base. The basis of the choice of these reading programs is a mystery to me! With over 5000 NSW 8 year olds currently not meeting reading age criteria the question needs to be asked…are the programs we’re utilising accurate, valid, reliable or research based? Are we giving our kindy kids the best possible start? As we go back to school or start school for the first time ask yourself: 1. Is my child ‘developmentally’ ready? Are my expectations realistic? 2. Is the reading program used at my school based on valid research?

Back to School These are 2 of the most important questions that can be asked because getting it wrong can prove to be detrimental to your child.

More Information

Australian Literacy Clinic Pty Ltd

About Amanda Tocci Amanda Tocci is a Literacy Specialist and Managing Director of the Australian Literacy Clinic Pty Ltd. Amanda is currently undertaking her PhD in Psychology at Newcastle University, investigating appropriate strategy instruction for children with working memory and reading disabilities. The Australian Literacy Clinic Pty Ltd is a specialist centre located in Maitland and Newcastle, working with families and schools in assessment, planning and intervention for children with reading difficulties.

Amanda Tocci Managing Director & Literacy Specialist Australian Literacy Clinic Pty Ltd. P: 1300 869 905

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Back to School

d e t c e n with Your Children! Con


By Jesper Juul - English adaptation by Hayes van der Meer, FamilyLab ANZ

Many parents have noticed that their children are tired around two or three o’clock in the afternoon. Not necessarily physically tired but they feel over-stimulated. Ironically, this is because institutions such as child care centers and schools do what they are meant to do. In addition to caring for our children they stimulate their fine motor skills, intelligence, language, social abilities, emotions and creativity. All that is plenty of work for the carers/teachers and if you are the one being stimulated then it is almost too much to fit in. Most of us have attended child care and been to school. Many of us have fond memories - especially from our early years and thus hold a great deal of respect for our carers and early teachers. Those years were safe and inspiring, full of fun and friendships. Upon reflection, it might not be so good if we see our carers and early teachers as role models. They were probably really good at their jobs, but there are immeasurable differences between institutional pedagogy and home life. One such difference is the fact that carers and teachers are at work - it is their vocation and profession. They, no doubt, cared for us with love and good intentions - but they also got paid. There is a difference in motivation.

12 Get Ahead Kids® Jan/Feb 13

Teach Them about Adult Living

Parents Need to Say “No!”

Childcare centers and schools teach children to be children. They learn to play, sing, draw, and more. These are some of the absolute qualities of these institutions because they add value to childhood.

As parents we are not responsible for entertainment. We must say: “No!” We need to embrace our own needs for connectedness with our children as well as attend to the daily doings of the family.

Whilst this is wonderful it also means that our children are not taught how to be adults or how to live meaningful adult lives. They can only learn this at home. But what happens then, when we as parents see carers and teachers as role models? We try to emulate what they are doing and feel obliged to continue the stimulation after school. We try to inspire and entertain them. This is not surprising, as it might be the only way we know.

Let us be mindful, though, that there is a difference between external stimuli and play. Playing is vital for our children so they must have both time and mental space to do this. Sure, they play at child care and at school but this is something different.

Add to this the dilemma that our children both crave and demand the entertainment. They are hooked on external stimulation and will literally have withdrawal symptoms if they have to go “cold-turkey” at home when they have just had a six or eight hour long fix. This reality emphasises how stressful life can be for our children. When they physically, mentally and emotionally rely on adult directed activities and external stimulation they lose contact with their intrinsic abilities to be - just be. It is certainly also stressful for parents. We cannot possibly live up to the standards of the institutions. We do not have the training, resources, support and facilities. So we feel guilty. Instead of enjoying a few valuable hours after school there is a risk of it all becoming too stressful and full of conflicts.

Playing with us as their mum or dad is their only chance to be with us on their conditions and on equal terms - something their carers obviously cannot do. And remember, playing is one of the best anti-stress therapies for us all. Our children need to learn about what it is like being an adult. They can only do this at home and only by seeing us being adults. We simply need to go for a walk, cook, read a magazine, take a nap, or trim the roses. Do whatever, as long as we do it for our own sake and/or for the family’s sake. When returning home from work we could sink into the couch with our child, take a deep breath and say: “Phew that was a busy day. I need a little time to relax. How do you feel?” Enjoy that time together.

Back to School

Then say: “Now I know what I would like to do. I want to go out and trim the roses. This always calms me down and makes me feel good inside.” By having time off external stimulus, our children will learn the difference between working hours and spare time; between external motivation and intrinsic motivation. We live in a busy world. That is just the way it is. Sometimes it all becomes too much, though, and stress takes over. If it does and things go horribly wrong when the children have to go to bed we can say to them: “I understand. I know that it is difficult for you to calm down when I am so stressed and restless. Come here, sit on my lap and put your hands on my tummy. That makes it easier for me to breathe calmly.” Close your eyes and breathe slowly for a few minutes. You will physically feel how this peace and quiet is transmitted to your child’s body. Before putting them to bed again ask: “I am very relaxed and calm. Do you feel better too?” This is not a new bedtime routine but it is a new way for us to take responsibility for ourselves - and a good way to role model. Give Them What They Want There is no doubt about the fact that children want lots of things and all the time. It is really our responsibility to give them what they want most of all... one or two parents who are, on the whole, happy people - happy to be, happy with themselves and their lives, and happy with each other.

About Jesper Juul Jesper is the founder of Family Lab and author of Raising Competent Children (Rockpool Publishing $24.95). He is a family therapist, renowned author and sought-after international speaker. Raising Competent Children is now available at all good book stores and online at

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s s e in d a e R l o o h c S By Dorte Bladt D.C.

Starting ‘big’ school is an exciting and anxious time for both your youngster and the rest of the family. I remember my daughter’s first day at school - I was trying not to cry as she waved goodbye going into the classroom to start her school life. At the end of the day, I waited impatiently for her by the school gate - I couldn’t wait to see her and hear how her day had gone. Finally she came skipping through the gate and we walked home eagerly chatting about her first day. Then I asked that question; ‘What did you learn at school today?’ And my daughter reflected and answered despondently; ‘Not enough, I have to go back again tomorrow’. In my practice parents often ask about the right time to send their youngsters to “big” school.

14 Get Ahead Kids® Jan/Feb 13

General Guidelines on School Readiness ❑❑ The child has to be in school by their sixth birthday ❑❑ Social maturity is probably the most important factor including social interaction & sharing time, space & toys with other children ❑❑ Pencil grip, tying shoe laces & the alphabet can be taught later Questions Parents Need to Answer with a Yes Does your child: ❑❑ Cope without you? ❑❑ Speak & interact with the other kids? ❑❑ Use the toilet independently? ❑❑ Run, jump & throw things - not at the teacher or the other kids! ❑❑ Dress themself, unpack their lunch & feed themself? ❑❑ Communicate their emotions & exert some control over what they do? ❑❑ Show interest in learning & can concentrate on a task for 10 minutes? ❑❑ Want to hold & scribble with pencils/crayons?

The part of the brain which deals with logic, analytical and small things such as letters and numbers doesn’t start maturing until 7 years of age. Prior to the age of 7 the brain develops through movement, balance, creativity, and singing all of which are pre-requisites for cognitive learning. The ability to control the movement of the eyes close up, as in tracking and holding in place, which we need for reading, doesn’t develop until about 7 years of age. Finland has consistently had the highest literacy rates in OECD over the past many years and youngsters don’t start school until they are 7 years old. Hints for the Journey of Learning ❑❑ Remember that your child spends 6 hours trying to sit still, be quiet and behave. When they come home, they will be tired and ready to let loose. So limit after school plans such as swimming and piano lessons, allow them to run around (outside is best) and burn off some steam.

Back to School

❑❑ 90% of stimulation of the brain actually comes from movement of the spine, most of that from the top part of the neck. So after school it is an excellent idea to take a walk and play at the park or the backyard. If it’s raining, put on a raincoat and gum boots and jump in the puddles or convert the living room into a giant cubby house. Whatever it takes to get some movement of the spine and some stimulation of the brain! Research shows that this will help their mood and behaviour as well as stimulate learning. ❑❑ Be mindful of the time you let your children spend in front of the TV, DVD, computer, X-Box, or PSP. These are all still - sitting activities, with eyes working up close, and do not provide great stimulation for the brain and promote poor posture. The American Academy of Paediatricians recommends avoiding any screen time for under 2’s. It has been shown that the time spent sitting and watching something is actually detrimental to their brain development compared to moving, exploring and stimulation. From 2 years and up: 1-2 hours per day maximum. ❑❑ Another important factor for learning is proper nutrition. What are you feeding your child, what’s in their lunch box? It is easy to buy all those pretty pre-packaged things you can get at the supermarket, and we know the kids will eat them. But do they provide our children’s brains with the best sustenance to think, grow and develop? We all

know what good food is - fresh, wholesome, non-processed, without flavouring, colouring and additives. Chopped fruit and vegetables are colourful, tasty and easy to eat, along with a sandwich on real bread. ❑❑ The brain needs downtime to store and process the information it has learnt through the day. Quiet time looking at a book, chatting with family and playing Lego before an early bedtime is the best way to get ready for the next day.

About Dorte Bladt Dorte specialises in posture and spinal health. She checks your spine to assess if the bones, muscles or ligaments are working properly and will gently, safely and naturally correct it to allow the body and the nervous system to function better. Dorte also provides advice on which exercises would be beneficial as well as which position to sleep, stand and sit in for the best possible posture.


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More Information

Does Your Child Lack Concentration at School? Dorte Bladt Doctor of Chiropractic Family Chiropractic Centre Charlestown 2 Lincoln St, Charlestown NSW 2290 P: 02 4942 4842

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Back to School

Starting a New School Year By Dr. Joan Brien

No matter what their age, students generally look forward to the new school year as it marks another step in their progress through the education process, and gets them closer to that final year when they can graduate to become part of the workforce. Some students are happy with their progress during the year, but others may be aware that there are things that they did not understand in some of their subjects. Unfortunately, in most cases, the opportunity to understand these difficult concepts has been missed, and their new teachers will assume that they already understand these. The result of this misperception on the part of the teacher is that the students will often be left behind and struggling to cope with the new concepts that require a sound understanding of the old concepts. The summer holidays over December and January are an ideal time to make an effort to understand the concepts that were not learnt sufficiently. One way of doing this, is for the student to be tutored, either by a professional tutoring company or an individual who has the skills required to help the student reach the required proficiency in a short time.

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Once the New Year starts, it is often too late to start trying to catch up! For the “littlies”, in Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2, they also can be helped during the holiday period to try to ensure that they start their new year totally prepared for the harder work that they will be presented with over the year. If you think your child is going to need some help over the holidays, no matter what their age, as a parent, you can approach their current teacher and request some resources that you can use over the holiday period to help your child

gain an understanding of any concepts or facts that they may have missed out on during the current year. Once they start back to school, it will be difficult to have the time to help them in the way you can during the holidays. The holidays might be a good opportunity to ensure that all is right with your child’s vision, hearing and visual processing as all of these things can make a difference to how your child copes with the demands of schoolwork.

Back to School Vision can be checked by an optometrist and hearing can be checked by an audiologist and visual processing can be checked by a certified Irlen screener or diagnostician. Irlen Syndrome is a visual processing dysfunction that cannot be detected by any standardised educational tests or optometric assessments, so many children go undetected in the school system.

Holiday Checklist ❑❑ Organise holiday tutoring in problem areas ❑❑ Liaise with teachers for resources for students to use during the school holidays ❑❑ Arrange holiday learning experiences for children ❑❑ Check your children’s vision, hearing & visual processing

More Information

Dr. Joan Brien Certified Irlen Diagnostician Irlen Diagnostic Clinic Suite 3/136 Nelson St. Wallsend NSW 2287 P: 02 4955 6904

Is Your Child Struggling with Learning? Irlen Syndrome can cause visual processing problems that can cause Dyslexia and difficulties with: • Concentration • Reading • Spelling • Writing • Comprehension Irlen Diagnostic Clinic Suite 3/136 Nelson St Wallsend NSW 2287 P: 02 4955 6904 |

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Back to School

Strategies to Prevent

School Bullying

One in six children is bullied at school. As an educator and author, I often ask groups of children - ‘How many of you have seen bullying at school?’ Most students will raise their hand. Then I ask – ‘Have any of you been bullied?’ There can be up to 50% of students raising their hands. The most controversial question is - ‘How many of you have bullied someone else?’ Depending on the trust level they have established with me, more than 30% will raise their hands. The majority of students are exposed to bullying at some level. It may be as a bully, a victim or an onlooker. Often bullying starts as a game that gets out of control. It can be caused by a joke that goes wrong. It can be based on self-protection, ego, peer pressure - any number of personal and social reasons. Unresolved bullying at school can have long term effects with victims taking low self-esteem and depression into adulthood; bullies taking aggression into the workplace and personal life; and bystanders experiencing depression, anger and fear. It creates an unsafe world. How to help your child against school bullying? Isolation and secrecy are keys to bullying. Ensure that communication is open through developing trust. Make special time for your child when you are not preoccupied and the child is the focus. Go for walks together, share a story at night before bed, cook together or an activity that suits your family.

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Parents can make bullying less likely to happen or stop it escalating through: ❑❑ Supporting friendship groups with invitations to play for younger children ❑❑ Making the home available to friends ❑❑ Team activities such as sports, drama groups, community service youth groups such as Life Savers and Cancer Council’s Relay for Life. ❑❑ Being aware of changes in your child’s behaviour such as sick days, drop in school marks, loss of friends ❑❑ Family & child-parent activities ❑❑ Providing safe times to talk ❑❑ Ensuring children have strong social networks ❑❑ Engaging in story journey so children emotionally relate & gain strategies to counter bullying Bullying is about isolating, victimising, and destroying a child’s belief in themself. It is important to realise that good kids can bully others. Many kids will bully at some time. Often bullying occurs because children do not understand the impact on the victim, they are having fun, they are in a group, deflected anger, jealousy, peer group influence, feeling good about their own power, leading in the wrong way. There are many reasons a child bullies. What do you do if you find out that your child is the bully? If your child is the bully, action depends on the severity of the bullying, the child’s personality and relationships in the family and similar factors.

By Susanne Gervay

There should be parent-child chats during normal family activities that emotionally engage the child in the impact of their bullying others. If bullying of another child is severe, then the first priority is to ensure the bullied child is safe and the bullying must be stopped immediately. There can be punishments with withdrawal of privileges. However for your child not be a bully, there needs to be an emotional understanding and belief by the child that bullying of others is wrong and there are consequences for bullying behaviours on the bully. Suggested actions: ❑❑ Do not make excuses, joke or accept your child bullying another ❑❑ Have a serious talk about the bullying & its impact on the victim ❑❑ Negative consequences for bullying such as withdrawal of privileges ❑❑ Work together to find resolutions ❑❑ Reward your child for positive actions such as apologising, inclusive behaviours, getting other kids who bully a child to stop The Power of Story to Change the Culture of Bullying Bullying impacts on not only the bullied and the bully, but all the children. Story journey is a powerful way to emotionally engage school children in the impact of bullying, recognise their own behaviours and determine how they want to act.

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Get a Career

...not just a certificate

advocates. It re-emphasises to teachers the signs of bullying and strategies to counter it. It opens essential communication and establishes that society can work towards a fair and safe school with the support of family, friends, teachers and the children.

About I am Jack ‘I Am Jack’ was written after Susanne’s son was bullied at school. Endorsed by The Alannah & Madeline Foundation, Life Education Australia, Room to Read and many anti school bullying organisations and programmes, it is widely read to empower young people and parents against a culture of bullying. ‘I Am Jack’ offers insight into how bullying develops and strategies to counter it. For students who watch while others are victimised, it empowers them to act. For bullies it challenges them to consider their behaviours. ‘I Am Jack’ supports parents as their children’s

The acclaimed adaptation of ‘I Am Jack’ by Australia’s premiere Monkey Baa Theatre Company will be performed 11-16th March at the Lend Lease Darling Quarter Theatre, Darling Harbour Sydney. P: 02 8624 9341

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• Children’s Services • Business Admin • Tourism • Events • Hairdressing • Beauty Therapy

Enrol Now 4925 3833 Flexible Learning Traineeships & Apprenticeship Pathways 450 Hunter St, Newcastle NSW 2300

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10/34 John St Warners Bay NSW

INDIVIDUAL ATTENTION At Newcastle Grammar School, we value each child as the unique individual they are. Our small class sizes ensure individual attention is paid to each and every student. • Kindergarten to Year 4 - average of 19 students per class • Year 7 to Year 10 - average of 20 students per class • Year 12 - average of 12 students per class * based on 2012 enrolment numbers

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Buying a bicycle for your children isn’t enough. You need to encourage them. In addition parents need to set a good example. It’s heart-warming to see families out for a cycle together.

The Importance of Enrolling Kids in School Sports By Ben Day & Mike Griffin

Organised sports and school sports, are great ways to enhance the development of children. Every year parents are faced with choices and opportunities for their children and opportunities for organised sport and games played at school roll around every year. These can present as a dilemma for any number of reasons including cost, time, and needs. We advocate active participation in sports and games for the long term benefit of children. Our mantra is that; “Kids Love to Play, So Let’s Guide Them!” As with anything, we are often bombarded with negative elements, and sport is no different. We sometimes see the ‘win-at-all costs mentality’ in junior sporting ranks and this can impact a parent’s perception of sport in general. It is essential that in early days, kids learn good technique, and have fun. They have to enjoy the game they are playing.

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A kick in the park with Dad or Mum is often the most fun for a child. But as they grow, the games they play become more serious and structured, as do their lives. Skills learned in early sporting development can influence children’s entire lives. Confidence and fair play, teamwork and team spirit are essential human traits that are all part of the sporting endeavour. Often, parents encourage children to follow in their own sporting history and preferences. For some children it may mean they play the sport their parents played (or still play). For others, that means no sport at all. Parents have an opportunity to encourage their children to have an active and healthy lifestyle. They make choices for their children from the food they eat, to the drinks they drink. But if parents choose for them to play sport and promote an active and healthy lifestyle, they are on a winning streak for life.

Enrolling kids in school sport offers huge long term benefits, including the opportunity to mix in a relaxed and fun way with kids they might not always play with. Plenty of kids will make friends for life from sport and also take these into adulthood, building important networks and social groups, and developing an active lifestyle for the rest of their lives.

About GriffinDay Publishing & Play Valley Kids GriffinDay Publishing founders, Mike Griffin and Ben Day developed the idea of children’s sporting books that use fun, engaging stories combined with basic but expert tips to get child and parent to not only read together but to also encourage play and physical activity. They partnered with leading National Sporting Organisations such as Tennis Australia and Cycling Australia to incorporate basic skill elements into each story. With backgrounds in physical education, junior sports coaching, literature, marketing and of course self-taught parenting, Ben and Mike are using their experiences to help other young parents and children explore the many benefits of participation in sport and physical activity.

More Information Ben Day & Mike Griffin Directors, GriffinDay Publishing

Back to School

Ready Set Go: Harry Goes Cycling & Get Ready: Zoe Plays Tennis Author: B.M Harper Illustrator: Benjamin Sullivan

Age Guide: 3+ Years Extent: 44 Pages (Paperback) The Ready Set Go books see ISBN: Ready Set Go: Harry Goes Harry learning to ride a bike and Cycling - 9780987326706 Zoe learning to play tennis. These Get Ready: Zoe Plays Tennis are great instructional books and 9780987088048 contain useful tips, helpful diagrams, Price: AU $17.95 each and relatable stories. They are a Publisher: GriffinDay Publishing great way to ease young children P: 0409 494 461 into new sports.

Fun Outdoor Soccer & Multi Sports Programs Kids 2-6 Years Old Taster Sessions Are Available For More Information Call

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Preparing for

High School By Michelle Mitchell

Transitioning to high school is a major milestone for primary school students. Watching a 12 year old wear a high school uniform, juggle multiple teachers, learn new subjects and carry an iPad can be an exciting experience that captures the whole family’s attention. But today’s high school student also experiences a huge amount of in-your-face temptation. When teenagers walk through the school gates they are met by the pressures of being cool. Skipping school, experimenting sexually, drinking alcohol, sexting and accessing explicit sites in cyberspace are just some of the pressures they may face. These temptations can be especially prominent in the early years of high school. That is why I believe it is critical for parents to prepare their children for the real pressures of high school before it arrives. Below are 5 things that should be on every family’s “conversation list” this summer holidays. 1. School Attendance & Study: Engagement in school is the best defence against drugs and crime. That’s one big reason why it shouldn’t come in second place to socialising, social media or gaming. A big organisational

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calendar to collate each term’s assignments and exams makes a good start. A spacious desk and a set routine for homework also help. Regular sleeping and eating habits are critical during this stage of life. A Snap Shot of Reality - 50,000 Australian teenagers fail to complete their high school education each year. 2. Social Media: High school students use social media entirely differently than primary school students. Young people need to be prepared to hear and see things on social media that they may have not come across before. Swear words, or the abbreviated versions (wtf), sexting and pornography are more common in high school than in primary school. It is almost impossible to shelter young people from trash on social media, even with the strongest privacy settings set and safety software. A Snap Shot of Reality - Mainly due to the introduction of smart phones and iPads, 75% of young people have seen pornography by the time they are 12 and 100% by the time they are 16.

3. Sexuality: Having a boyfriend or a girlfriend may be something that looks appealing to high school students. I always encourage young people to think carefully before they say “yes” to a relationship, remembering that high school relationships often come with pressure to experiment sexually. If you don’t want the pressure, you may think twice about the relationship. A Snap Shot of Reality - 30% of teenagers say they have had unwanted sex because of either peer pressure or being too drunk or high to say no. Approximately 25% of year 10 students have had sexual intercourse in year 10 and 50% of students in year 12. 78% of young people say they are sexually active in some way. 4. Friendships: High school usually comes with the challenge of making new friends or expanding your group of friends. If there is ever a time to choose your friends carefully it is in high school. Good friends are people who know how to respect themselves and respect others. The best defence against bullying is to choose your friends carefully. Young people who have at least four respectful friends have less chance of getting bullied.

Back to School

A Snap Shot of Reality Between 40 - 60% of teenagers experience bullying at some stage in high school. 5. Support: Confident teenagers have hidden support. Their parents hide in the wings at home! Teenagers don’t tell their friends that they go home each night and talk to an adult about their day, but they do. The young people that cope best have an adult in their life that they trust. Parents can make it easy for teenagers to talk to them by learning to listen more than they speak, validating their teenager’s emotion and not overreacting when they hear something they don’t like! A Snap Shot of Reality - 40% of teenagers still talk to their parents about the challenges they are facing and would talk to their parent if they were in trouble.

About Michelle Mitchell Michelle delivers small group programs, presentations and mentoring to hundreds of teenagers each year through her charity Youth Excel. She regularly appears in the media as a Teenage Expert and speaks on Cyber Safety, Sexual Health, Bullying and Parenting Teens. To book Michelle at your school or community organisation please visit her website.

For More Information

What Teenage Girls Don’t Tell their Parents Author: Michelle Mitchell

Michelle Mitchell Founder of Youth Excel Author of ‘What Teenage Girls Don’t Tell their Parents’

Extent: 192 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781921513770 Price: AU $24.95 Publisher: Australian Academic Press

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Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) By Dr. Maureen Dumba

We commonly associate hormones with emotions, and frequently use terms such as ‘raging hormones’ or ‘being hormonal’. However, hormones actually do much more that just affecting how we feel, as they play a big and important role in our lives and our health. Hormones are chemical messengers that interact with each other to regulate different functions within our bodies. One of these functions is growth. The hormone for growth (called growth hormone!) is produced by a small gland at the base of your brain, called the pituitary gland. Growth hormone deficiency (GHD) occurs when not enough of this hormone is produced. What happens in GHD? Your pituitary does not work alone to stimulate growth. It first gets a message from a part of your brain called the hypothalamus. This sends another chemical messenger, called growth hormone releasing hormone (GHRH), to the pituitary gland, which then releases growth hormone.

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Growth hormone travels around your body, working alongside other hormones to stimulate growth. In GHD, circulating growth hormone levels are low or non-existent. This is either because the pituitary is not getting the message from the hypothalamus to release its stores, or it does get the message, but is unable to release growth hormone. What are the symptoms of GHD? In GHD, growth slows down. As a child, this often means that you are shorter than others your age. You may notice things like looking younger than your friends or carrying a little more fat than usual around your waist. GHD in adults can lead to extra fat around the waist too, as well as tiredness and weakness. It can also affect your mood, making you feel anxious, irritated or sad. How do you know if someone has GHD? If you or your parents are worried about these symptoms, your doctor can arrange some tests. First, they may measure your height and

monitor your growth rate for a little while to see if it is slower than it should be. They may also do blood tests to check your hormone levels. Imaging tests, like x-rays, CT or MRI scans can also help confirm a diagnosis of GHD. What causes GHD? Some people are born with problems with their hypothalamus or pituitary glands. This is called a congenital problem. Others develop problems as they grow up, and this is an acquired condition. Tests may help your doctors figure out the cause, but sometimes nobody knows for sure why you have GHD. Can GHD be treated? Yes! If your doctor confirms you have GHD, you can get growth hormone medicine, called somatropin, to top up your own levels. The medicine comes as a daily injection that goes under your skin. This means it can get into your bloodstream easily and go directly to where it is needed. You cannot take growth hormone as a tablet because the acid in your stomach destroys it.


Sometimes surgery is needed to remove anything that might be stopping growth hormone from being made. Your doctor will discuss this with you in more detail. You will have regular follow up with a doctor who specialises in hormones, called an endocrinologist. They will see how you are progressing and look for signs that the treatment is working, like your growth rate.

Remember! ❑❑ If you are worried about your height, make sure you speak to your family and your doctor. ❑❑ Slow growth should not stop you from doing all the things you enjoy! ❑❑ You are not alone - ask your doctor about local support groups.

More information

Respite, Short Term & Long Term Care


Family Opportunity Support Teamwork Empathy Relationship Individual Nuturing Guidance Allambi Foster Care Team provides professional training & 24 hour support

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What’s Up with Greg? Medikidz Explain Growth Hormone Deficiency (GHD) Authors: Dr. Kim Chilman-Blair & Shawn deLoache Readers are introduced to Greg in an amusement park, where he is unhappy as he is too short to go on rides with his friends. The five Medikidz superheroes come to the rescue! They take Greg to Mediland to teach him all about his condition.

At Mediland, a planet shaped like the human body, Greg discovers that his brain is responsible for growth hormone, and that there are two reasons why he might have growth hormone deficiency, or GHD: he either does not have enough growth hormone in the first place, or the instructions for releasing it into his body are missing. Fortunately, Greg can take medication to stimulate his growth. He learns that it is also important that he exercises regularly and eats healthy meals. This is an informative comic-style publication that explains GHD issues to children and their families in a simple and entertaining way. Age Guide: 9+ Years Extent: 32 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781906935382 Price: AU $19.99 Publisher: Medikidz Limited P: +44 (0) 2073766630

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Architects of Educational Facilities are Changing Design Rules By Emily D’Alterio

Traditionally, architecture for educational facilities like that of other functional, public buildings - has been austere and institutional. While there are examples of aesthetically stunning educational institutions such as Eton in the United Kingdom, the majority of these aesthetically-pleasing schools and universities have incredibly high tuition fees and are highly selective in their intake. The majority of learning institutions of old were unwelcoming, colourless and incredibly stark. Now, however, modern architects are asking the question: how does that relate at all to modern education-based design? Fortunately, there does not appear to be any real reason for austerity in educational facilities, which allows for a welcome change to a city’s built aesthetic. Brookfield Multiplex has just completed the development of the $200 million Academic Building at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology University (RMIT) on the corner of Swanston and A’Beckett Streets in the city’s CBD. Designed by architectural firm Lyons, the 11-storey building, which spans 34,350 square metres, has been designed as a community

26 Get Ahead Kids® Jan/Feb 13

hub and formal learning space that exemplifies modern learning in a metropolitan environment.

ventilation and energy efficient user activated air conditioning and lighting systems.

“The Swanston Academic Building has been designed by Lyons to connect to the city with ‘a sense of openness, transparency and energy,’” says RMIT alumnus and Lyons director Adrian Stanic.

These features have resulted in the building’s first class certification as a 5 Star Green Star - Education Design v1 rated building by the Green Building Council of Australia.

Aesthetically, the building features some truly striking elements. From its subtly-coloured, textured façade to its geometrically bold interior sculptural mouldings, the building offers to stand as a complete contradiction to institutional learning, instead offering a space that is invigorating and inspiring and that fits in neatly with the surrounding urban aesthetic. “In this way we have created a design that not only places the building at the very heart of Melbourne architecturally, but also reflects and embraces the broader architectural legacy of the city,” says Stanic. However, the building is more than just a pretty face. It boasts a number of ESD features including a power linkage to the university’s central system plant, which is expected to strongly reduce energy consumption; solar panels; rainwater and greywater tanks; double glazing; an intelligent façade and passive window shading; natural

Developing educational architecture of this nature is a legacy the developers will continue to pursue and promote due to its relevance in modern society and the positive results it garners. “The education sector has been active for us nationally and we are very excited about the role we can play in shaping education projects,” says Brookfield Multiplex regional managing director of Victoria, Graham Milford-Cottam. Education design is evolving to cater to a much larger group of individuals under the strong guidance of industry leadership and through information regarding what truly effective learning facility design requires. To create educated people who are creative, bold and cutting edge, it stands to reason that the buildings they learn in should also exemplify these qualities.

Reprinted With Permission Brandon Vigon Manager DesignBuild Source


Every school is looking for activities that are educational and fun to enrich their student experiences. TreeTop Adventure Park Newcastle is the perfect place for a unique experience. TreeTop Adventure Park offers a thrilling experience high in the tree tops, where participants slide down Flying Foxes, move from tree to tree on suspension bridges and enjoy many other exciting challenges up to 20 metres above the forest floor! The park caters for people from all ages and all levels of fitness. This experience is carried out at the participant’s own pace with each course designed with different levels of difficulty (from children 3 years old, through to easy, medium, and ‘adventure lover’). Established in Blue Gum Hills Regional Park, only 3 minutes from the F3, the Park offers an ecofriendly adventure activity that’s great for your fitness, exciting to try and gentle on the environment.

The TreeTop Adventure Park courses and their challenges help build self-confidence and encourage team work. TreeTop Adventure Park offers unforgettable experiences for participants, with educational signage and material specifically prepared to address various curriculum and Key Learning Areas set by the NSW government, including activity sheets and teacher aids. It’s very much about learning about the Australian forest from a different perspective! National Parks and Wildlife Service also offers some fantastic discovery activities in Blue Gum Hills Regional Park as well as free BBQ, children playground and more.

More Information Tree Top Adventure Park Newcastle Minmi Rd, Minmi NSW (next to Minmi Cemetery) P: 02 4026 7617


P: (02) 4372 1170

Under New Management Long Day Care Service 7:30am-5:30pm 5 days Indoor & Outdoor Activities Experienced & Qualified Staff Childcare Benefit Available Accredited with NCAC West Wallsend Locations 0-3 Yrs P: 02 4953 1860 3-6 Yrs P: 02 4953 1865


Take Your School to The Treetops for an Educational Fun Day!


k o o ay b e aw c Fa ive G

rk a P e l i t n Rep


s y a w a e v i G

With so many resident monsters, the Australian Reptile Park has created Monster Month that starts on 27 December 2012. The star of Monster Month is Elvis, a 5 metre long croc who weighs over 500 kilos – he is the monster of all monsters! He’s the crankiest croc in Australia but you will love him all the same. Elvis is fed at 1.30pm every day of the school holidays and one lucky visitor will be chosen each day to feed him. Hugo the giant Galapagos tortoise and his daily walk through the Park is very popular with the entire family, as is the 30 breeding alligators. The Australian Reptile Park cannot mention monsters without including Atomic Betty, the reticulated python that’s over six metres long. Her annual weigh-in will take place these school holidays and it is a real sight to see five keepers carrying her through the Park!

28 Get Ahead Kids® Jan/Feb 13

The only King Cobra in Australia, 5 metres in length, is on display! The huge cassowaries, the second largest birds in the world are a sight to behold. Enter Tarantula-ville to see the biggest collection of exotic tarantula’s in the country and marvel at the size of the African bullfrog that is a whopping 2 kilos the biggest frog in Australia! Watch the deadly funnel web spider being milked to produce lifesaving anti venom, see the Gilla Monster,

one of only two venomous lizards in the world and enjoy the monster collection of Tasmanian devils who are part of the Devil Ark breeding program of 120 devils to help fight extinction of the iconic Tassie devil. The Australian Reptile Park is closed on Christmas Day, but is open every other day of the holidays from 9am – 5pm.

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Like Get Ahead Kids on Facebook to Win! With special thanks to the Australian Reptile Park, Get Ahead Kids® has 5 Australian Reptile Park Family Passes valued at approx. $68.00 each to giveaway! Each pass allows a family of 2 adults and 2 children (3 - 15 years) a wildlife experience at the Australian Reptile Park. Visit and click the like button for a chance to win.

G Re ive ad aw er ay

Back to School with the LeapFrog Tag Reading System Did you know that LeapFrog was founded by a father who was struggling to help his son learn to read? As your kids head back to school, consider the Tag Reading System, for ages 4-8, to offer your little learners support as their knowledge and reading skills develop. The Tag Reading System brings books and maps to life. With just one touch, Tag makes words talk and pictures sing. Designed to capture the imagination of children and help them discover the joy of reading. The Tag library offers an extensive collection of creative educational content, including:

Human Body Exploration Pack Learn how the human body works. Kids can discover more than 40 activities with the Human Body Exploration Pack. As they explore with their Tag stylus, children learn body parts, muscles, human biology and nutrition plus building their vocabulary. Tag Solar System Adventure Pack Kids can take an out-of-this-world adventure with the interactive Solar System Adventure Pack. Together with the Tag stylus, the Solar System Adventure Pack brings the solar system to life. As children explore the map with their Tag, they’ll learn

solar system terms and planetary facts, and can even play a planethopping board game.

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With special thanks to LeapFrog, Get Ahead Kids has one Tag Reading System, Human Body Exploration Pack and Solar System Adventure Pack valued at approx. $129.97 to giveaway! Visit and click the giveaways link for a chance to win this fantastic giveaway.


Mary MacKillop Author: Gabiann Marin Illustrator: Angela Grzegrzolka This is a fascinating snapshot of an inspirational Australian. Mary MacKillop, Australia’s first saint, inspired a nation with her passionate beliefs in education and equality. The ‘Aussie Heroes’ series introduce readers to great Australians that have helped others and in turn shaped Australian society. The easy to follow, well written books are ideal for primary aged children. Age Guide: 7+ Years Extent: 112 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781921928192 Price: AU $14.95 Publisher: New Frontier Publishing P: 02 9453 1531

Tiffiny’s Lighten Up Cookbook Author: Tiffiny Hall This is the perfect cookbook for those wanting healthy and quick recipes that the whole family will enjoy. The recipe ingredients are inexpensive and easy to source as well as being straightforward to prepare. This is an ideal cookbook for parents seeking delicious and healthy snacks and meals for their families. Age Guide: Open Extent: 192 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781742704531 Price: AU $29.95 Publisher: Hardie Grant Books P: 03 8520 6444

Phil works together with his friend Oliver and his Dad’s eccentric detective friend Turpin to compile evidence and narrow down a list of suspects.

Author: L.D Taylor

This is a fast paced, high tech murder mystery, with an entertaining plot which will keep readers drawn in until the end. It is a great book for lovers of gaming technology.

Convinced his father’s death wasn’t an accident, Phil Roland has a plan to join his father’s old company, Motive Games and prove his father was in fact murdered and ultimately find peace about his death.

Age Guide: 10+ Years Extent: 186 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781921632259 Price: AU $16.95 Publisher: Wombat Books P: 07 3245 1938

Motive Games

LOLs: Best Jokes for Kids Author: June Factor Illustrator: Mic Looby A whole collection of Australian jokes, riddles, rhymes and sayings that will delight kids of all ages. It is highly recommended for young school aged kids as it encourages incidental reading. Age Guide: 7+ Years Extent: 114 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781743312568 Price: AU $9.99 Publisher: Allen & Unwin P: 02 8425 0100

Dinosaur Zoom! Author: Penny Dale Dinosaur Zoom is a colourful fun book that can teach kids about dinosaurs as well as the names of vehicles. The illustrations are extraordinary in colour, movement and depth. Age Guide: 4+ Years Extent: 28 Pages (Hardback) ISBN: 9780857630803 Price: AU $24.99 Publisher: Allen & Unwin P: 02 8425 0100

For more great reviews visit 30 Get Ahead Kids® Jan/Feb 13

Annabel Langbein the Free Range Cook: Simple Pleasures

Coming Home

Author: Annabel Langbein

Gemma wonders why her Dad doesn’t want to play anymore, instead he sits alone in his garden. Gemma’s father is suffering from depression and although she doesn’t fully understand, reassurance from her mother helps her realise she is not the cause of his illness.

This bright and colourful cookbook is sure to provide inspiration in the kitchen! The book is comprised of a variety of recipes including Asian, Mexican and Mediterranean meals as well as dinner party, dessert and snack ideas. With more than 150 recipes that are easy to cook in the home kitchen, readers are sure to find the perfect meal to prepare for the family. Age Guide: Open Extent: 322 Pages (Hardback) ISBN: 9780733331336 Price: AU $49.99 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Australia P: 02 9952 5020

Author: Sharon McGuinness Illustrator: Shannon Melville

The illustrations reflect the mood portrayed in the story, initially in black and white with more colour added as Dad recovers from his depressive state. This sensitive story helps readers recognise depression and how to offer support to assist recovery.

Surviving High School Author: Sharon Witt This is an essential book for parents and high school students. It’s filled with great advice, checklists, case studies, quotes and cartoons all combined in an easy to read, reader friendly format. Its variety of layout formats and short chapters make it extraordinary for snap communication and instruction. Age Guide: 12+ Years Extent: 174 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9780980389548 Price: AU $17.95 Publisher: Collective Wisdom Publication

Age Guide: 6+ Years Extent: 32 Pages (Hardback) ISBN: 9781921633775 Price: AU $24.95 Publisher: Wombat Books P: 07 3245 1938

Inspirational Peace/ Inspirational Joy Photographer: Ken Duncan

Tell Me about Your Day Today Author: Mem Fox Illustrator: Lauren Stringer The little boy loved bedtime and always asked his stuffed animals to share their daily activities. It features rhyming verse and is a charming tale to read out aloud

to young children in the evening. The illustrations are large, playful and splashed with colours.

A visual delight of images and timeless wisdom to bring peace and joy into your life.

Age Guide: 1+ Years Extent: 36 Pages (Hardback) ISBN: 9781742835785 Price: AU $24.99 Publisher: Scholastic Australia P: 02 4328 3555

Age Guide: Open Extent: 52 Pages (Hardback) ISBN: Inspirational Peace: 9780987295828, Inspirational Joy: 9780987295835 Price: AU $12.95 Each Publisher: Panographs Publishing P: 02 4367 6777


Omega Squad #2: History Hackers Author: Charlie Carter The author of the Battle Boy series has created an exciting new adventure series. Napoleon Augustus Smythe (Battle Boy 005) is now a qualified Battle Agent (BA005) and together with BA004, BA009 and super solider TEX, form the Omega Squad. The Battle Books have been mysteriously hacked, robbing the historical battles of their historical key figure. Past generals, kings and queens are being stolen and it is up to the Omega squad to solve the high-tech body

snatching mystery before the battle books are destroyed. These books are a great way to introduce and encourage younger readers to explore history. Readers are not overloaded with countless historical facts, instead just a few key events with significant figures featured in each book in an entertaining way. ‘History Hackers’ is an ideal book for young readers fascinated with history and time travel. Age Guide: 8+ Years Extent:146 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781742611648 Price: AU $12.99 Publisher: Pan Macmillan Australia P: 02 9285 9115

Ruby Learns to Swim Author: Phillip Gwynne Illustrator: Tamsin Ainslie Learning to swim can be tricky, but it’s really fun once you get the hang of it! This is a useful book to encourage young children learning to swim. The simple words and use of repetition will help children to memorise the book. Age Guide: 3+ Years Extent: 32 Pages (Hardback) ISBN: 9781742377506 Price: AU $24.99 Publisher: Allen & Unwin P: 02 8425 0100

desperate to make it into the popular group.

A Year in Girl Hell Author: Meredith Costain Lexi, Mia and Alysha have been best friends since kindergarten and thought their friendship was unbreakable. But now, as they enter the unknown territory of high school everything is changing! Lexi is struggling to make new friends and is feeling left behind, meanwhile Mia is fitting in but feels like nobody actually cares about her problems and Alysha is

32 Get Ahead Kids® Jan/Feb 13

Each of the four chapters represent each school term and are told from a different characters perspective, allowing readers to gain an overall outlook of the emotions and feelings the girls are experiencing and why they behave the way they do. The book includes relevant topics for young girls such as bullying, crushes, changes of friendship and body image, all of which are issues they will face when starting high school. Age Guide: 10+ Years Extent: 592 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781921759482 Price: AU $24.95 Publisher: Hardie Grant P: 03 8520 6444

Delicious. Home Cooking Author: Valli Little Split into seasonal sections this cookbook provides inspiration to cooks of all levels. The summer, autumn, winter and spring sections comprise of starts, mains, desserts and menu ideas ideal for dinner parties and special occasions. The inviting photography and layout of the book makes it an ideal gift for someone who enjoys entertaining. Age Guide: Open Extent: 258 Pages (Hardback) ISBN: 9780733331343 Price: AU $49.99 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers P: 02 9952 5020


Australia’s Greatest Inventions & Innovations


Authors: Christopher Cheng and Lindsay Knight in association with The Powerhouse Museum

Bill Granger provides easy and relaxed recipes for families to enjoy in his latest cookbook. This book shows simple ideas using everyday ingredients being turned into delicious family feasts.

In conjunction with the Powerhouse Museum comes this comprehensive guide to Australia’s most innovative inventions including wi-fi, the cochlear implant and spray on skin for burn victims. This is a stunning book in presentation, imagery and copy. It straddles all age groups and is ideal for reading out loud. Age Guide: Open Extent: 184 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781742755649 Price: AU $24.95 Publisher: Random House P: 03 9753 4511

Author: Bill Granger

With 100 achievable recipes in the one book, it is a great addition to any cookbook collection. Age Guide: Open Extent: 258 Pages (Hardback) ISBN: 9780732294816 Price: AU $49.99 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers P: 02 9952 5020 hey dee ho music runs music programs for 1- 5 year olds. There are franchise opportunities in the inner Sydney suburbs & the northern suburbs of Adelaide.

Recruited by the secret Historian society Dak, Sera and Hystorian-intraining Riq use the ring to travel back in time to fix the Great Breaks in history by correcting the historical events. Their first mission is to stop the mutiny against Christopher Columbus in Spain 1942.

Infinity Ring #1: Mutiny in Time Author: James Dashner When friends Dak Symth and Sera Froste take a look in Dak’s parent’s private laboratory, they discover a hand-held time travel device known as the Infinity Ring. This discovery immediately involves the pair in a secret war for the fate of mankind.

Get Ahead Kids® Partners

Franchise Enquiries: (03) 9786 3104 |

The Infinity Ring series is a multiplatform action adventure. After reading the book, readers are able to use the included strategy guide to help fix the next great break in the online game at This is an entertaining innovation, great for kids interested in sci-fi and history. Age Guide: 10+ Years Extent: 192 Pages (Hardback) ISBN: 9780545386968 Price: AU $14.99 Publisher: Scholastic Inc P: 02 4328 3555



Article Themes 2013 January/February Back to School - Jessica Watson Ad Booking Deadline Nov 9, 2012 Editorial Deadline Nov 16, 2012

Advertisers Index Advanced Careers College AIE Optical

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Allambi Youth Services Inc.


Andrew Smith Timber Creations


Physical Education - Tiffiny Hall

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Choice Chiropractic


Family Chiropractic Centre Charlestown



hey dee ho music 33


Languages & Communications David Koch

Hunter Development Corporation


Hunter Food & Wine


Hunter Wetlands Centre 13

Ad Booking Deadline Apr 5, 2013

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Editorial Deadline Apr 12, 2013

INParenting 33 Irlen Diagnostic Clinic


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Learning Innovations & Technology Ian Thorpe Ad Booking Deadline Jun 7, 2013 Editorial Deadline Jun 14, 2013


KidsSmile 25 Mine Subsidence Board


NCP Printing 13 Newcastle Family and Sports Podiatry


Newcastle Grammar School


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Study & Assessment - Kate Ceberano 33

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® Vol. 5 • No. 2

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Celebrity Spotlight Tiffiny Hall ‘The Biggest Loser’ Trainer Physical Education Issue out

March 2013 34 Get Ahead Kids® Jan/Feb 13


Who Wrote That Book?



1. Where the Wild Things Are

Arthur Conan Doyle

2. Green Eggs and Ham

Beatrix Potter

3. The Very Hungry Caterpillar

Bryce Courtenay

4. The Tale of Peter Rabbit

Charles Dickens

5. Eleventh Hour

Dr. Seuss

6. Moby Dick

E.B. White

7. Charlotte’s Webb

Eric Carle

8. Pride and Prejudice

Graeme Base

9. Olive Twist

Herman Melville

10. Frankenstein

Jane Austen

11. Lord of The Rings

J.K Rowling

12. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

J.R.R Tolkien

13. Romeo and Juliet

Lewis Carroll

14. Treasure Island

Mary Shelley

15. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

Maurice Sendak

16. The Magic Pudding

Mem Fox

17. The Power of One

Norman Lindsay

18. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Roald Dahl

19. Possum Magic

Robert Louis Stevenson

20. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory









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Get Ahead Kids Magazine Vol. 5. No. 1. Jan/Feb 2013  

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

Get Ahead Kids Magazine Vol. 5. No. 1. Jan/Feb 2013  

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