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Vol. 5 • No. 2 • Mar/Apr 2 013


Help! My Teen is a Couch Potato Exercise & Memory Training Exercise & Brain Function Adventure Writing, Reading & Hiking the Appalachian Trail

An Interview with

Tiffiny Hall it on

a c u d E ial l a ec c i s Sp y h

March/April 2013 Subscription $6.60 AUD INC GST 02





Mar/Apr 2013


This Month’s





Editorial Your Letters


Spotlight An Interview with Tiffiny Hall

An Interview with Tiffiny Hall Photo Courtesy of Marina Oliphant.

Giveaways 5

Razor E100 Electric Scooter Pack Giveaway


Elmo’s World Tour Family Passes Giveaway


NAPLAN Books Giveaway


Taronga Zoo Family Passes Giveaway


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

Physical Education 10

Help! My Teen is a Couch Potato


Exercise & Memory Training


Adventure Writing, Reading & Hiking the Appalachian Trail


Exercise & Brain Function Health


Smile - Dinner is Ready


Physical Exercise & Your Body


Functional Participation - The Importance of Being Able to Join In News


NGS Gains 103 Credits for 96 Students for 2012 HSC!


Go4Fun - 10 Week Health Program


Annual Concert Spectacular


Virtual Page Turner at Newcastle Library


Congratulations to Prolific Author




Advertisers Index


Activity Zone

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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.



Author, TV presenter and Taekwondo Black Belt, Tiffiny Hall provides an engaging interview in this issue of Get Ahead Kids. She has packed more action in her 28 years than most people do in a lifetime. The Physical Education issue features interesting and motivating articles; Michelle Mitchell provides invaluable advice on how to get teens off the couch and become physically active. The international medical charity, Medikidz provides informed advice

I enjoyed ‘Strategies to Prevent School Bullying’ as I think this is a very important issue in schools that affects children later in life. I think that more children would stay in school, be happier and perform better if school was a more supportive and happy place to attend. I think that parents can play a huge role in helping both the bullies and the bullied and this article highlights some strategies to do so.



FOR PARENTS WITH BABIES Every Wednesday morning you can relax & enjoy a movie. We keep the lights dimmed so you can feed & monitor your children with ease. Tickets are cheap. Under 5 are FREE!*

J. Jean-Pierre, Narre Warren Sth VIC

See in cinemas or website for more info WWW.READINGCINEMAS.COM.AU


My gorgeous daughter started kindergarten this year and it has been a time of nervousness and anxiety. The ‘School Readiness’ article allowed me to tick off all the areas and made me feel more comfortable that she is indeed ready for school. It also helped me with planning her after school activities e.g limiting and allowing to let off steam. Thank you for providing me with some calming advice. C. Parker, Cardiff NSW

Maria Charlton Managing Editor P: 02 4929 7766

Both our littlies are now in care and we were stuck in the guilt cycle of not saying no. We seemed to give in because we felt guilty that we haven’t seen them all day and didn’t want to ruin the precious family time we did have by fighting. Thank you so much for the ‘Get Connected with Your Children!’ article. After reading it, I went online and ordered my own copy of Raising Competent Children which I’m eagerly awaiting the delivery of!

After reading ‘Family Stories Matter’, my partner and I made 2 keepsake boxes for our boys so we could put their treasures/memories in them for when they are older. Being only 1 & 2 years old it was good to start early, as already they have a few items! Thank you Get Ahead Kids! E. Scott, Bolwarra NSW

Please send letters and stories with your name and contact details to

I loved the interview with Jessica Watson, what an inspirational young lady. She is such a great role model to all young ones, showing that you can follow your dreams. K. McDermid, Idalia QLD

Get Ahead Kids® Mar/Apr 13

Don’t forget to check out the great giveaways on offer in this issue including an electric scooter from Razor, Taronga Zoo family passes, Ninja Turtles Blu-rays and NAPLAN inspired workbooks, and family passes to Sesame Street Presents Elmo’s World Tour!

A. Griffiths, Lower Templestowe VIC

Offer does not run during school holidays or on public holidays.

READING CINEMAS CHARLESTOWN 49/30 Pearson St, Charlestown NSW PH: O2 4032 1150

on the benefits of physical exercise in an engaging cartoon format.

Get Ahead Kids® Villa Franca, 2 Scott St. Newcastle NSW 2300 F: 02 4929 7827

G Re ive ad aw er ay

It’s Electric!

Who doesn’t like a little extra kick in a scooter? Razor applied its knowledge of what goes into the world’s best scooters and added electric power to give riders supercharged eco-friendly thrills.

Travelling up to 14km/h, the environmentally friendly electric power engages a super quiet, high-torque, chain-driven motor applauded by neighbours everywhere.

Equipped with twist grip throttles, chain-driven motors, and pneumatic tyres to ensure a smooth ride, Razor kept quality materials and affordability top of mind. Wherever you ride, it’s all about rechargeable fun that goes the distance.

The twist-grip acceleration control will get you going and the 20cm pneumatic front tyre and 125mm urethane rear wheel will ensure a smooth ride. You’ll get up to 40 minutes of continuous use before you need to recharge.

There are a range of Razor electric scooters for ages eight to adult - just match your age and weight to feel the thrill and power of the ride.

Don’t forget to always ride safe on your Razor Scooter - grab your helmet, knee and elbow pads for a safer ride and use common sense about where you choose to ride.

With the Razor E100 the thrill of power meets the latest technology and high-quality materials that Razor is known for.

More Information

0 r E10 oter o z Ra Sco c i r t Elec Pack to y! wa a e v Gi With special thanks to Razor, Get Ahead Kids has one Razor E100 Electric Scooter, Razor helmet, and Razor knee, elbow and wrist pads valued at approx. $234.90 to giveaway! To take home this great prize simply search the pages of Get Ahead Kids magazine for the razor icon (shown right), note the page the icon appears and fill in the entry form found at *Important note: Due to the size and weight of the giveaway, prize pickup must be arranged from MAP Marketing, Villa Franca, 2 Scott St, Newcastle East NSW 2300.


Photos Courtesy of Marina Oliphant.


An Interview with Tiffiny Hall When did you realise you had an interest in writing novels?

How did you become involved in writing?

Where did the idea for the Roxy Ran series come from?

My interest in writing was sparked the first time I told my sister a story and she liked it. Then as soon as I could put pen to paper, I would write my friends and family a story for their birthdays.

I loved English at school; I devoured books and had awesome English teachers. Telling stories, hearing stories, collecting words and reading weren’t just hobbies for me but oxygen. I’m not sure any writer can become ‘involved’ in writing so much as they are born writers. If I don’t write every day, I’m in a bad mood. I find it therapeutic - it’s not just what I do for a job but a need, an urgency.

I wanted to read a book about a strong heroine who kicked butt, who was a ninja but also really girly. Often boys seem to be the protagonists in adventure books. So as Toni Morrison says, “If there’s a book you really want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.” That’s how I felt.

In year five, John Marsden, author of Tomorrow, When the War Began started teaching at my school.

Learning creative writing from him sparked my passion for writing in junior I studied journalism, creative writing school. I won a few creative writing and professional writing at Melbourne awards including the ‘John Marsden University and published my first Award for Creative Writing’. health book in 2008. Every time I was asked, ‘what do you Four health books later I was ecstatic want to be when you grow up?’ my to have my fiction published. The Roxy answer was concrete and clear: a Ran series is only the beginning kids’ author. Children’s authors were I also write for teens and have a the rock stars of my childhood and I young adult novel coming out next wanted to join the gang. year.


Get Ahead Kids® Mar/Apr 13

I grew up ninja with parents who are black belts and run martial arts schools. My father was an Olympic coach for the sport of Taekwondo and mum was one of the first women to earn her black belt in Australia. I’m a 5th Dan black belt and have studied martial arts for over 25 years. As a child I was obsessed with ninjas and samurai, martial arts movies, weapons and the legends and philosophies of martial arts.


Do you prefer writing recipe and health books, or children’s novels?

better choices for yourself and your future.

I’m so lucky to have two passions: health and fitness, and writing fiction. While my adult health books are important to me, nothing in my life compares to the escapism of writing stories for kids. It’s a wild adventure without leaving my chair. I’m addicted to it. It’s a process of discovery; I can’t wait to get to work each day.

Where is your favourite holiday destination and why?

Why do you think it is important for kids to be interested in, and enjoy reading? Reading helps sprout the seeds of imagination and creativity. It’s important for kids to exercise their imagination because it helps them to see possibility in their lives, to be adventurous and to forge dreams. Reading is also imperative for learning, improvements in speech and communication skills, academic excellence, acclimation to new experiences, learning to break through stereotypes as well as to improve concentration. What has been your most rewarding career experience? The publication of my debut novel White Ninja, and receiving an endorsement from the renowned author John Marsden, were highlights. What helps you stay motivated to reach your fitness goals? Health and wellness - when I’m healthy, I have clarity of mind to focus better on my writing. When you exercise, you increase oxygen to the brain and endorphins, so I exercise in the morning as a mindgym workout to make sure my brain is chemically balanced to write. When I am healthy, everything around me becomes healthier; my imagination, my relationships, my career, my family. That’s the greatest motivation. You feel great when you are healthy and therefore you make

Paris - I have a French degree and I loved studying there. Whilst my French may be slipping, my love for the city of Paris never will! What do you enjoy doing in your spare time? Practising Taekwondo, playing the piano, reading, hanging out with friends, movie marathons, walking my dog, more Taekwondo, surfing, visiting kids at schools to talk about books and running anti-bullying workshops. What are your top five tips for aspiring authors? 1. Another author once told me to think of my writing as a muscle that needs to be exercised to get stronger. Think of your words as repetitions, your paragraphs as sets & your pages as daily training sessions. It doesn’t matter if you write a little or a whole lot, what matters is that you are training. It takes a lot of practice, dedication & training to write well. You don’t win everyday. 2. Read. The greatest advice I ever received as an emerging writer was to never write more than you read. Books will teach you your craft. Be a book ninja! Attack! Devour! 3. Double trouble. A great story is full of characters getting into trouble. My editor is always asking me how Roxy Ran can get herself into more trouble, make more mistakes & cause more conflict and tension. 4. Chill out. Have fun writing! If you have fun writing, then people will have fun reading your work! If you entertain yourself, you will entertain your readers.  5. Believe in your dream. My dream has always been to publish a novel. This was not my first attempt. I wrote my first novel at the age of 14. I have had a lot of rejection &

learned a lot along the way. It took a lot of training! Writing is 80% grit & determination. Whatever your dream is, believe in it & don’t give up on it. What are your top tips for leading an active and healthy lifestyle?  1. The biggest secret I’ve learnt is the best bodies are cooked up in the kitchen not the gym. 95% of weight loss is food. If you just concentrate on your nutrition you will get better results than someone who does three hours of exercise a day. 2. Stick to one rule with food: eat naked. Don’t eat junk in packages & cook most of your meals so you know what you are consuming. Forget fads & diets. It’s not about deprivation. In my cookbook, Lighten Up, I’ve included favourite foods such as ice-cream, hamburgers, meringues & pizzas but I’ve created healthier versions. There is ice-cream for less than 20 calories per bowl. 3. Set food rules such as never eating whilst standing up in the pantry, or stocking your cupboard with nuts rather than biscuits, or not eating unconsciously in front of the TV. Most importantly, become aware of your cravings, & when you do eat, eat mindfully.  4. Don’t train hard; train smart. Add intervals to your training. You can add 30 second interval sprints to any work out on the bike, treadmill, stepper, rower, boxing or simply sprinting up hills at the park. Interval training boosts the metabolism.  5. Exercise your ‘NO’ muscle. If you think a sneaky biscuit here & there won’t hurt, remind yourself that two cream biscuits at morning tea & two in an office meeting can deliver up to a meal’s worth of calories: 420 calories & 12.5 grams of fat! There are 7000 calories in a kilo of body fat, so if you snacked this way for two months, you will gain a kilo. Harsh but true.  Cont. Page 8



Photos Courtesy of Marina Oliphant.

6. Keep it simple. Go for a half hour walk. It costs nothing to go for a walk or a light jog. Even if you only have five minutes to exercise, go for a run. You may only burn 150 calories but you’ll burn a further 200 calories from the metabolic boost and after burn.

Her debut novel White Ninja is endorsed by John Marsden and was picked as one of the Get Reading campaign’s ‘50 Books You Can’t Put Down’ for 2012.

More Information

About Tiffiny Hall Tiffiny Hall has a varied and exciting career to date; Fifth Dan Taekwondo black belt, athlete, Logie-nominated television personality and former trainer on Channel Ten’s The Biggest Loser. She can now be seen on Channel Nine’s Mornings program as the resident Health Ninja. Tiffiny has a Bachelor of Arts/ Media and Communications and a Diploma of Modern Languages in French from the University of Melbourne. Her health books include: Weightloss Warrior, Fatloss for Good - the secret weapon and The Lighten Up Cookbook. Tiffiny is also the author of the popular Roxy Ran series for younger readers.


Get Ahead Kids® Mar/Apr 13

Red Samurai Author: Tiffiny Hall Roxy Ran is the White Warrior. She has released the powers of the Tiger Scrolls and now the Samurai are after her. In between her Ninja training and secret missions, Roxy has to put up with her moody older sister Elecktra and her increasingly strange behaviour, Hero the school bully and mixed messages from her crush. This is the second book in the Roxy Ran series and it offers readers adventure and intrigue. It’s an ideal balance between reality and fantasy and its cliff hanger ending will leave readers eager for the next installment!

Age Guide: 12+ Years Extent: 208 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9780732294540 Price: AU $14.99 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Australia P: 1300 551 721

G Re ive ad aw er ay

rve e s e R es 3 x Aily Pass Fam to ay! w a Give

Sesame Street Presents Elmo’s World Tour The Sesame Street gang toured the globe and now bring their popular musical show back to Newcastle by popular demand! Abby Cadabby, Big Bird, Grover, Zoe, Cookie Monster and Elmo use the letters of the alphabet to navigate a voyage through imagination that sees them visiting China, Zambia, France, India and Australia! Elmo and his friends have fun learning how people sing and dance and say hello in different places, but things don’t go to plan when Cookie Monster eats a letter of the alphabet.

Can Abby Cadabby find the right spell to help? Along the way, audiences will also delight in hearing a sensational tale from The Count and help some travelling rubberduckies find a place to stay with Bert and Ernie. Featuring a bunch of classic Sesame Street songs alongside catchy new tunes, Sesame Street Presents Elmo’s World Tour is sure to delight fans of all ages. Time: 10:00am Date: Wednesday 26 June 2013 Venue: Newcastle Civic Theatre

More Information

With special thanks to Life Like Touring, Get Ahead Kids has 3 x A Reserve family passes to Sesame Street Presents Elmo’s World Tour valued at approx $120 each to giveaway!

Tickets are valid for 4 people (adults or children, children under 1 are free) to the 26 June show. Visit and click the giveaways link for a chance to win a pass to Sesame Street Presents Elmo’s World Tour.

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

02 4951 8886


Physical Education


My Teen is a Couch Potato

If you answer “yes” to these questions this article is for you... • Does television & internet time interfere with your teen’s physical activity? • Does your teen say “I couldn’t be bothered” when they are asked to join in with physical activity? • Is it easier to feed your teen junk food instead of fruit & vegetables? • Has your own physical activity gone by the wayside? As our children get older, the amount they exercise usually declines. Teenagers typically drop out of team sports at age 13 for girls and 15 for boys. That’s why the teenage years could possibly be the most vital time to keep kids moving. If they settle onto the couch it can become difficult to move them. Let’s ensure that their ‘drop’ in activity doesn’t become a ‘standstill’ by remembering these five key points. 1. Anything is Better Than Nothing 60 minutes of physical activity per day is critical for anyone’s health and provides some benefits including reduced stress, a stronger immune system and more stable sleep patterns. However, if your teenager is at a ‘dead stop’, anything is better than nothing. Praise any attempt they make to get off the couch! 2. Keep the Right Focus Anything that involves movement can provide health benefits. Try to think outside of the box and realise that team sports are only one way to skin a cat. Mountain climbing, self defence, dancing, ice-skating, skate boarding, walking the dog, riding a bike or even gardening can all count as physical activity.

10 Get Ahead Kids® Mar/Apr 13

By Michelle Mitchell 3. Move With Them Physical exercise isn’t fun for all kids. Some kids dread it! For those who don’t have good hand eye co-ordination or can’t move quickly, correlate movement with getting teased or being bored. These teenagers may need someone to exercise with. Consider making a habit of walking the dog, going to yoga, or playing sport with your teenager. They may thank you for the rest of their lives.

To book Michelle at your school or community organisation please visit her website.

More Information Michelle Mitchell Founder of Youth Excel

4. Turn Electronics Off Movement is unlikely to happen while teenagers are glued to their mobile phones. Getting teenagers off social media or gaming will be no small feat. I don’t think there is anything wrong with using electronics as a bargaining chip if your teenager is at an unhealthy ‘dead stop’. Adopt the priorities “phone time comes after exercise.”

Author of ‘What Teenage Girls Don’t Tell their Parents’

5. Don’t Enable their Poor Choices If your teenager is sitting on the couch every afternoon eating chips and watching TV it is important you don’t enable them by buying junk and allowing them to have unlimited television and internet time. Don’t make excuses for them and don’t support unhealthy choices. Put their health first. If they need to get moving this year don’t take “no” for an answer.

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.

What Teenage Girls Don’t Tell their Parents Author: Michelle Mitchell Extent: 192 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781921513770 Price: AU $24.95 Publisher: Australian Academic Press

Physical Education

Exercise & Memory Training By Amanda Tocci

Have you ever been introduced to a person only to forget their name two seconds later and end up spending an entire evening calling them love or mate? Or what about going to the grocery store with a list you’ve remembered of just a few items, to arrive and totally forget what you were meant to buy? Then there’s the classic “where did I leave my keys” and wallet or “are the iron and stove off?” We have all experienced these embarrassing and frustrating situations and worry whether our memory is going or if we’ve hit that time when rocking chairs under sunlit windows become our new best friends. Memory is marvellous when it functions smoothly, when names are remembered, when the correct groceries are bought and when you can grab your keys at an instant. However, our memory sometimes fails to deliver or delivers the wrong item, sometimes we are left blank faced and staring off into the abyss, with a... “What was I...?” Since Olivia Newton John introduced us to brain training, those infatuated with Olivia in a pair of tight black pants in “Grease” have begun to focus not only on exercising their physical selves but on the brain. Unfortunately, Olivia playing a brain training game sitting down on her plush white leather sofa is not the most ideal way to train our memory. The maintenance of memory requires oxygen through blood supply…yep good ole physical exercise, vitamins and antioxidants… yep, good ole fruit and vegetables and sleep…yep now I’m liking this memory training!

In order to improve our memory capabilities we must move and move quickly. That is, getting off our version of Olivia’s plush white leather sofa and moving and eating well. By exercising that jelly like mass we call a brain we can begin to experience the world with greater confidence knowing that we will be able to find the keys to drive to the supermarket to purchase the groceries with our wallet and know that the iron and stove are off. And maybe, just maybe we may be able to recall the name of the checkout operator who serves us each and every week. Research has shown that intense aerobic activity actually grows new brain cells in the hippocampus. The hippocampus is one part of the brain responsible for - you guessed it - memory. Aerobic exercises may include: ❑❑ Jogging ❑❑ Running ❑❑ Vigorous hiking/walking ❑❑ Basketball ❑❑ Tennis ❑❑ Cross country skiing ❑❑ Cycling ❑❑ High impact aerobics ❑❑ Vigorous push-ups

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.

More Information

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

Full Reading Checklist

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


Adventure Writing, Reading & Hiking the Appalachian Trail By Hazel Edwards

Students admire heroes who have mastered physical challenges. Adventure writing is one way of enticing reluctant readers. It’s ‘real’ stuff and can inspire them to have personal endurance goals, beyond school and to write about their own physical challenges. Trevelyan Edwards (Walkabout) was one of only two Australians who completed the 3219km Appalachian Trail walk in 2012. Trevelyan inspired the classic picture book ‘There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake’, Trevelyan has also written ‘Cycling Solo: Ireland to Istanbul’. So, in what way is hiking the Appalachian Trail, located in east coast USA, of interest to Australian students and how does it link to the curriculum? It relates to: ❑❑ Physical education & health ❑❑ Problem-solving & goal setting ❑❑ Geography

12 Get Ahead Kids® Mar/Apr 13

The 3219km Appalachian Trail takes 6 ❑❑ Read Blazes months but there is the option of doing For navigation, a blaze is painted just a section. on a tree, post or rock. The trail is extremely well trodden and Walkabout’s Handy Hints for Hiking marked by mainly white blazes. ❑❑ Be Good to Your Feet Double white blazing means Breaking in your walking shoes there’s something of interest before the trip is essential; the last coming up, usually an thing you need is blisters early on intersection, switchback or so keep your feet dry and as soon change of direction. Blazing is as you feel rubbing, medically tape also a term to distinguish what them - band aids quickly rub off. type of hike you are walking. Your feet will get sore from all the ❑❑ Nothing is Essential rocks and roots you walk on, so give Minimalism is the way to go. Shed them a rub every now and then. unnecessary gear to lighten your ❑❑ Choose a Trail Name pack. There are ‘hiker boxes’ When completing a long hike along the trail at hostels littered like the Appalachian Trail; trail with expensive clothing and other names are a great ice breaker hiking paraphernalia that hikers and more identifying (and easier realise they don’t need and end to remember) when you’re talking up ditching. about other hikers. ❑❑ Embrace your Foreignness ❑❑ Experience Trail Magic Trail Magic is when you come across people that want to help hikers in any way they can; people set up a BBQ at a road-trail intersection and feed the hikers as they come past.

When overseas, embrace your inner Ocker; words such as Hey, Hello or Hi shall never pass your lips. Instead they are universally replaced by G’day. Vegemite is your condiment of choice.

Physical Education

❑❑ Trail Food Syndrome The RDI (regular daily intake) for an adult is 2000 calories. When hiking, the more kilos you carry, the slower you go, the greater your exertion and the more food you need. This usually involves eating a lot of processed food as it is generally light and keeps well rather than water inundated fresh food. As a bonus you will lose weight as a side effect of the trail and this is whilst eating anything you want. ❑❑ The American Way Despite acknowledging that metric is simpler, they still use the imperial system; no-one can work out what the temperature converts to in centigrade which can catch you out if you don’t realise that a 20°F night means it’s going to be below freezing.

More Information

Hazel Edwards National Reading Ambassador Australian Society of Authors: Board of Directors.

New ! Store

newborn to teen

❑❑ The Hiker Grapevine News travels quickly along the trail via technology. Combined with trail names and hiker logs, this means it isn’t uncommon for people to have heard about you before you’ve even met them. ‘Ahh so you’re that Aussie ‘Walkabout’ hmm.’

Cycling Solo: Ireland to Istanbul Author: Hazel Edwards & Trevelyan Quest Edwards This is an interesting and humorous book, adapted from the blog entries of Trevelyan Edwards as he embarked on a solo cycling trip from Ireland to Istanbul. Enduring all kinds of weather, and strange looks from locals, Trevelyan made the trip with a minimal budget, a compass and often misleading tourist maps.

This is a great book for adventure and travel enthusiasts. Age Guide: 14+ Years Extent: 184 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781920785925 Price: AU $10.00 (plus p&h) item/cycling-solo-from-ireland-toistanbul

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 |


Physical Education

n io t c n u F in ra B & Exercise By Dorte Bladt D.C.

Would you like your child to perform better in school; to get better grades and concentrate for longer? Really, who wouldn’t? How much would that be worth to you? $20-$50-$100 per week? What would you be willing to do to get this for your child? Get a tutor, get a computer program, or fight every night to get the hours of homework done? Sweet talk, or speak seriously to the teacher to make sure your child gets what they need? What if I told you there is a free, easy, fun, family-oriented way for kids to get better at school? Wait - there is more - you also get more energy, lose weight, reduce your family’s risk of diabetes, cancer, stroke and heart disease. It also decreases the symptoms of depression, dementia, ADHD and autism.

14 Get Ahead Kids® Mar/Apr 13

That sounds fantastic, doesn’t it? Give me some of that! You guessed it: the best way to get your brain and body working is with exercise, movement, physical activity!!! In a 2001 study of 279,000 Californian 9th graders, it was found that fit kids score twice as well as unfit kids in standard academic tests. The California Department of Education correlated information from a statewide physical assessment program called FitnessGram, in which kids were measured for aerobic fitness, body fat percentage, abdominal strength and endurance, trunk strength and flexibility, upper body strength and overall flexibility and their performance at standard reading, writing and math tests.

The type of exercise is less important than the daily participation in it. For children over two years old it is recommended to exercise a minimum of one hour per day. Exercise could be: going to the playground, playing tips, walking, running, team sport, swimming, dancing, skating, skiing, surfing, gym, pilates, gross motor activities, cycling and even vacuuming, mopping and cleaning windows. Exercise is anything and everything that increases the heart rate. The one hour can also be broken up into smaller time frames, particularly for little ones. There are many theories to how exercise works to help cognitive function such as reading and maths:

Physical Education

Exercise increases the blood flow around the body, including to the brain, which results in more oxygen and glucose which the brain needs to function, think and concentrate. Exercise increases the body’s production of a substance called Brain Derived Neurotrophic Factor (BDNF) which helps make new brain cells and to protect the ones you’ve got, as well as speeding up transmission of messages between nerve cells. Movement stimulates the pathways in the brain where cognition takes place, so you actually increase your ability to think and concentrate by running or doing other exercise. 90% of stimulation to the brain comes from movement of the spine. If you or your children have misalignments in the spine, those bones will not move properly and there will be a decrease in nerve flow to the brain. Your chiropractor is a specialist in assessing the health of your spine and nerve system and can detect if there are areas where the vertebrae don’t move properly. They can gently and safely remove the misalignment and induce proper movement, ensuring proper function and stimulation of your brain and nerve system. So get your child’s spine checked!

Exercise: ❑❑ Fosters neuroplasticity-the capacity of the brain to modify its structure & function as a result of the interaction with the environment

❑❑ Improves information acquisition, processing, association, memory & usage ❑❑ Gets oxygen & glucose to the brain faster to function effectively ❑❑ Strengthens the cardiovascular system ❑❑ Improves mood & elevates stress threshold

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.


ll Adj usted Kids

Safe, simple and effective methods for optimal functioning and wellbeing for the whole family. P: 02 4942 4842 2 Lincoln Street, Charlestown

Family Chiropractic Centre Charlestown

Our Family Cares for Your Family

More Information

Dorte Bladt Doctor of Chiropractic Family Chiropractic Centre Charlestown 2 Lincoln St, Charlestown NSW 2290 P: 02 4942 4842

Does Your Child Lack Concentration at School? Glasses or vision therapy may be the answer. Behavioural Optometry Vision Therapy • Ortho-K Contact Lenses

specialeyes OPTOMETRISTS Susan K Walton B Optom FACB

245 King St, Newcastle NSW 2300 Appointments 02 4926 4799



Smile - Dinner is Ready

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

The food we eat is obviously important because of its nutritional content. In terms of our physical survival it does not really matter how we eat it, with whom or under which circumstances. We need food to live!

❑❑ Who has not eaten much the last few days? How are they going? Do they feel there is some friction between the adults who really need to talk? Do they feel neglected compared to the older brother or sister?

Shared meals can be an important psychological and emotional event within the family:

❑❑ Is anyone constantly negative & creating conflict? How might they feel at the moment? Are they just ringing alarm bells signalling that there are conflicts, which they hope someone will take responsibility for?

❑❑ Sharing family meals has an important psychological impact which cannot be achieved by serving take-away pizza or pie heated in the microwave. ❑❑ We know the psychological importance of food from the fear we experience when our baby does not eat. ❑❑ We also know the psychological importance when older children become ill. If they would just eat a little bit, we would immediately feel less helpless - because then we are able to do something. Subconsciously, children will often use a meal as the means of announcing how they are coping. Their appetite changes more than usual no matter what is for dinner. Shared meals are a concrete demonstration of how the individual is feeling and how the family as a whole is thriving. If either is in chaos there will be chaos around the table. If there are hidden conflicts between two of the family members these will either become open conflicts or lay a depressed mood around the table. Therefore, it is a good idea not to spend much effort on criticising and correcting. “Eat properly!”, “We have to enjoy ourselves!” and similar comments are fruitless.

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Dad in the Kitchen Unfortunately, the gender role debate during the past 30 years has reduced cleaning, laundry and cooking to practical tasks. This is unfortunate because one of the most important aspects of these activities is that they create an “atmosphere”. Many homeworking housewives have rightly felt reduced to cleaning ladies or cooks. Often both adults work outside the home and children are therefore at an institution. This makes it difficult to create an atmosphere in the home. It is important that these so-called practical tasks regain their recognition as atmosphere creating activities. Shopping and cooking are some of the key atmosphere creators. Women are often more focussed on the atmosphere than men are. At times men get into situations where their contributions are on the shallow side. They will then lose the feeling of being valuable contributors to the family. It is not about ticking a list of duties or about an equal split of the tasks. Many people complete plenty of tasks without actually contributing to the atmosphere. It is more about how we carry them out.

I would therefore like to suggest that men become the ones who are primarily responsible for shopping and cooking. This is a unique opportunity to make a key contribution to the family atmosphere and its wellbeing, and thus to their own wellbeing. Why is this so? ❑❑ Because the kitchen is the “heart” of the home. It is also the “control room”. It is here you will be able to get in contact with every family member while completing a meaningful function. ❑❑ Because it is a very practical, action-oriented (masculine) way to give the family something nutritious & useful. It is an almost stereotypical masculine way to deliver a typically feminine contribution. ❑❑ Because it is a way of practising how to assume responsibility for the community. Something that many men find it difficult. What happens then if you as a man do not like shopping or cooking? Well... do it anyway, and try doing it with the above in mind. Try to see the meaningfulness of responsibility instead of seeing a stressful duty. Cooking is one of the most effective “stress releasers” when done with love and care. What happens if the others are not helping at all? It would be good if they did, but do not assign fixed duties. The more you enjoy being in the kitchen, the more it becomes a magnet, which others will feel attracted to. The assistance will come if you can create the atmosphere. What happens if we both work and arrive home late? This is a difficult argument but consider what you

Health want to do with the time you save by getting take-away or using the microwave. You may come to the conclusion that your time is better spent creating good food and good atmosphere. The children do not care - do they? They do! They might not line up wanting to praise you. Nevertheless, you will be giving them something highly valuable. They will appreciate it when their time comes. Give it a go! Give yourself 12 months and you will end up agreeing with the man who wrote the book “Women out of the kitchen!”

Myths about Children & Food Food and sharing a meal is very important. Perhaps this is why it is also one of the areas where we find many old prejudices and outdated rules. Some are so old and so meaningless that a thorough cleanup is well overdue. Experience has taught us that this is a very sensitive area for many parents. Let us look at some of the most common statements: “You must eat up!” The responsibility for our own appetite and digestion is one of the things that is taken away from us at a very young age. Why is that? Wellnourished children are considered to be healthy children - who therefore must have good parents. There is no limit to our imagination when our children are not hungry or not as hungry as we would like them to be. We are ready to try anything from: “Come on darling... just a little bite more!” to “Brooom... look here comes the airplane”. Later this changes to: “Eat up... otherwise you will never grow big and strong!”, “You were the one who served up, so just get started!” or “No dessert until you have eaten what’s on your plate!” No wonder so many of us are overweight. Children try to protest but they end up pleasing their parents who have a need to feel like

successful parents. Ultimately, the children’s integrity is violated and they learn to be hungry when it is time to eat, they learn to eat well, eat up and eat things they do not like or maybe even make them feel sick. Just so that the parents can enjoy their success as parents without realising how dearly the children will be paying for it later on. Some parents use “finance” as the argument: “It is too expensive to throw away food!” Yes, this is true but it can so easily be prevented. Serve about half of what you think children can eat. When they begin to serve themselves, guide them gently and be aware that it takes some years to learn. It is with food as with so many other things: the less the adults interfere, the sooner the child learns to do the right thing. Some will say: “This might be true, but what happens when they eat out? They will be frowned upon if they don’t eat up!”. Children can easily handle two different realities one domestic and one social. The more we can give them a feeling of being all right the way they are, the more confidence they get and the better they “behave” when they are out. This also works the other way. The more we criticise them at home, the more inappropriately they will behave when they are with strangers. The appetites of children fluctuate as much and as frequently as adult’s appetites do - and perhaps even more. Your child might sit and only nibble at whatever you serve for dinner. Then they might howl down two big bowls of corn flakes later that night. Try not to take it personally - it is not meant as a comment about your cooking. The alternative is not good: “You have to eat what is on the table! You don’t live in a hotel!” It is tempting but we would not say that to friends. Cont. Page 18

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Health Children have a well developed sense of what is good for them at different stages as they grow. We mistakenly think that they would like to eat corn flakes eight times a day for years on end if they were allowed. It is true that children might eat only a few things for a period of time but if they are not criticised for doing it these periods will rarely last for more than a few days.

Remember, a good atmosphere also leaves room for meaningful conflicts. There is no point in saying or demanding: “This is the time we must to enjoy ourselves!” If you yourself eat “nicely”, eat healthy and varied food, appreciate the chef’s efforts and like to be with your family - then the children will most likely do the same.

No child has ever been permanently damaged - neither in their body or soul - from eating corn flakes, bananas, spaghetti or honey sandwiches for a month or two. As parents, we do not need to do much about it. We are in control of what we buy and put into the pantry. Use your energy on cooking food, which is varied, taste well and looks nice.

children must experiment:

It is with food, as with so many other things in the family, there is no need for parents to go through too much trouble to constantly try to “educate” their children. It is far more effective - and more peaceful - if you quietly set a good example and focus on your own behaviour and thereby create a good atmosphere.

Jesper Juul FamilyLab

Of course, every now and then your ❑❑ They must try what it is like to eat in front of the television ❑❑ They must try to survive on corn flakes, chips and/or burgers, etc ❑❑ They must try to eat very slowly, just like they must try to howl it all down in no time at all Relax! Enjoy the food, each other and your children! There is not better way of educating them.

About Jesper Juul Jesper Juul is a family therapist and the founder of FamilyLab International. He is a renowned author and sought-after international speaker. Jesper Juul’s international best-seller and must-have book for parents and educators is now available in an Australian/New Zealand edition.

18 Get Ahead Kids® Mar/Apr 13

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Raising Competent Children Author: Jesper Juul This is a serious parenting book that covers essential child raising issues such as family values, self esteem and confidence, responsibility, and social behaviour. It uses relatable methodologies that include examples, case studies, conversation clips and explanations. Age Guide: Adults Extent: 260 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781921878763 Price: AU $24.95 Publisher: Rockpool Publishing P: 02 9327 7150

Physical Exercise & Your Body By Columba Quigley (MD)

We are always encouraged to be physically active. There are very good reasons why your body needs exercise on a regular basis, and why having it as a daily routine helps keep you healthy and well. First, let’s see what happens in your body when you exercise: • Your muscles All exercise gets your muscles moving. This means that your muscle cells need to work harder. The powerhouses of the cells are the mitochondria. They do all the heavy-duty stuff to keep your muscles moving. With more exercise, your muscle cells make more mitochondria. More mitochondria means more powerful muscles.

• Your fat cells When you exercise, your body needs more energy to do the extra work. It gets this from your fat cells. They release fat into your bloodstream, and this becomes the energy your hard working muscle cells need. As your fat cells shrink, your body finds it easier to maintain a healthy weight. • Your heart Your heart is a muscle too. When you exercise, it pumps blood all around your body. The blood has oxygen that your cells need to do their jobs properly. The more you exercise, the stronger your heart becomes. This means that more oxygen gets to your cells, so they can do all their jobs better.

• Your brain Your brain is made up of billions of cells, called neurons. When you exercise, your brain makes new neurons. These neurons are mainly in a part of your brain called the hippocampus. The hippocampus is your brain’s centre for learning and memory. This means that regular exercise boosts your concentration and memory, so you do better at school! • Feeling good When you exercise, your brain releases more chemicals, like serotonin and dopamine. These chemicals improve your mood, and make you happier and less stressed! You also get to spend time with your friends when exercising together.


Health Now, let’s see what can happen to your body later on if you don’t exercise regularly throughout your life: • Your heart might not work so well This means that your blood doesn’t flow properly and pushes harder against the sides of your blood vessels. After a while, this damages your blood vessels. Eventually, even your heart can get damaged. • There may be too much fat in your blood The name for this type of fat is cholesterol. If you have too much, it can leave fatty lumps along the sides of your blood vessels. This means that your blood cannot flow properly and your blood vessels may become blocked.

Not enough oxygen gets to your cells, so they can’t do all the jobs they normally do. When this happens, parts of your body, like your heart and your brain, can get damaged.

• You may have weak bones Some people get osteoporosis when they are older. This means their bones are weak and thin. Weak bones break more easily. Regular exercise makes your bones strong, so you are less likely to get osteoporosis later on.

• You might be at a higher risk of developing diabetes Regular exercise means you are less likely to develop Type 2 Diabetes. With diabetes, the glucose in your blood cannot get into your cells, so it builds up in your blood and is swept around your body. If your blood glucose is high over a long time, it can cause kidney problems, and can also damage your heart and brain.

Although regular exercise does not always stop these things happening, it does make them less likely, and helps keep you healthy and well. You need to do three different types of exercise every week: • Aerobic • Muscle strengthening • Bone strengthening

Aerobic Exercise Like all muscles, your heart likes a good workout too! It gets this with aerobic exercise, which makes your heart pump faster. With regular aerobic exercise, your heart gets stronger. This means it gets better at pumping blood and oxygen all round your body. Aerobic exercise is when you: • • • • • •

Ride your bike Skateboard Run Dance Play football Swim

Muscle Strengthening Exercise With regular workouts, your muscles get stronger. This means they can keep going for longer without getting tired. Strong muscles protect your joints too, so you’re less likely to get injured. Different exercises use different muscles: • Push-ups & tugs of war build strong arms • Running & biking build strong legs

20 Get Ahead Kids® Mar/Apr 13

Health Bone Strengthening Exercise


These help bone growth. Skipping, jumping, playing hopscotch, running and gymnastics keep your bones healthy and strong.

❑❑ Is good for you & makes you feel good ❑❑ Gives you more energy & makes you fit & strong ❑❑ Helps you keep a healthy body weight & boosts your brain & mood

To stay healthy, you need one hour of aerobic exercise a day and muscle and bone-strengthening exercises three times a week. There are also some other simple things you can do every day: • Getting off the bus one stop earlier • Using the stairs • Playing fun games with your friends

If you don’t exercise, it can cause problems for your body later on. To stay healthy, you need to do three types of exercise regularly: aerobic, muscle strengthening & bone strengthening.

About Dr. Columba Quigley (MD) Dr. Columba Quigley is Managing Editor at Medikidz, a charity that provides children and teenagers with informative, accessible and fun comic books to help them understand their bodies and illness.


MAITLAND CHRISTIAN SCHOOL SCHOOL Do all God’s glory Do all forforGod’s glory

Maitland Christian School, nestled away in the middle of Metford, is a great place to educate your children. With 550 students from Kinder through to Year 12, at Maitland Christian School you won’t get lost in the crowd! The school’s mission is to work in partnership with families and churches by offering a sound Christ-centred education which encourages the fullest possible development of the spiritual, academic, physical and social characteristics of each child. Ph: (02) 4933 7633

Maitland Christian School

75-81 Chelmsford Drive Metford NSW 2323

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With the help of the Medikidz super heroes, Jen finds out what happens during the night that disrupts her sleep and makes her feel tired during the day.

What’s Up With Jen? Medikidz Explain OSA Authors: Dr. Kim Chilman-Blair & Shawn deLoache At school, Jen is distracted, tired and falls into a daydream state during which she is unaware of what is happening around her. The Medikidz super-heroes are on Mediland watching Jen and quickly take action to collect Jen and teach her about her condition Obstructive Sleep Apnoea (OSA).

Jen also becomes aware of a variety of treatment paths, the importance of losing weight, healthy diet and exercises, tonsil fat that narrows the airways and the CPAP masks! This comic book is an adventurous, light hearted and informative exposé on Obstructive Sleep Apnoea. Age Guide: 9+ Years Extent: 32 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781906935306 Price: AU $19.99 Publisher: Medikidz Limited P: +44 207 960 6166



Functional Participation The Importance of Being Able to Join In By Adam Glascock

With easy access to so many forms of sport, physical and social activities, it’s hard to come to terms with reasons for the non participation of children gauged purely on availability. In my experience, schools have changed the model under which these activities take place with more focus on motor skills than purely physical education, hence allowing a more inclusive environment. Inclusivity allows children to move away from physical integration to the integration of people’s experiences, knowledge and perspectives. With the rapid embrace of new technologies especially “screen technologies”, children are becoming more sedentary, and that increases the urgency for participation in physical education programs.

22 Get Ahead Kids® Mar/Apr 13

Some children may not want to participate in physical education programs for various reasons. One of the overriding factors I have seen is poor lower limb function and gross motor skills making children who are less stable in their running, walking and playing less likely to join in. Children may find it hard to run due to a flattened foot type or internally rotated hip position. These children may be slower in a running race or less able to catch and pass a ball. An added issue may be obesity, which is due to lack of physical activity or poor diet or both. Most children want to participate in physical activities to: ❑❑ Excel in organised competitive sport ❑❑ Enjoy casual recreational sport ❑❑ Achieve in active non-competitive sport

Through functional participation in organised physical activities, children should have the opportunity to: ❑❑ Develop & implement strategic play ❑❑ Participate in sport activities appropriate to their stage of development ❑❑ Share in the planning & administration of the sport ❑❑ Develop leadership skills ❑❑ Cooperate with a group towards common goals In order to achieve within an organised sports environment, children may need appropriate help and equipment. Poor muscle tone (hypotonia), flexibility (hypermobility) and poor biomechanics may decrease functional participation. These may contribute to children taking up “screen technologies” and becoming more sedentary.


About Adam Glascock At Newcastle Podiatry, Adam ensures that children are comfortable in their play and sport by optimising lower limb function. Not every child needs an orthotic to do this. Adam focuses on practice hip, core and lower limb rehabilitation as a physical therapy to help children to increase their enjoyment of physical activity. An appropriate podiatric approach and a broad range of experience with biomechanics are important to make this happen.

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Adam Glascock Principal Podiatrist Newcastle Family and Sports Podiatry 51 Denison St, Hamilton East NSW 2303 P: 02 4961 4411

treating foot & lower limb conditions for your kids & you



Left to right: William Ryan, Olivia Barfield, Lucy Clifton and Patrick Ryan.

NGS Gains 103 Credits for 96 Students for 2012 HSC! Newcastle Grammar School has continued its stellar academic tradition with its 96 students who sat the 2012 HSC, gaining a total of 103 credits-calculated on the number of instances where a student achieved a score of 90 or more in a subject.

Other achievements by the students in 2012 included:

Newcastle Grammar School was placed 59th in NSW and it is the fourth consecutive year the School has been placed in the Top 60 NSW Schools.

❑❑ 95% of students received an ATAR over 60 and are eligible for entrance to University

❑❑ 5 students included on the All Round Achievers list (achieving 90 or more in 10 units) ❑❑ 35% of students received an ATAR over 90

❑❑ Top ATAR of 99.7 Students were also nominated for: ❑❑ Encore 2013

Newcastle Grammar School is a leading non-selective School in the region. The School has maintained a passion for teaching and learning for more than 150 years. Both parents and students value its supportive, nurturing and inclusive community that exists well beyond the years of School.

More Information Michelle O’Toole Communications Manager

❑❑ 2013 ArtExpress Exhibitions ❑❑ 2013 DesignTECH ❑❑ OnSTAGE 2013


We value each child as the unique individual they are. Our small class sizes ensures individual attention is paid to each and every student.

Visit the website to book online. PARK CAMPUS PRE-SCHOOL - YEAR 4 HILL CAMPUS YEAR 5 - YEAR 12

Today 24 Get Ahead Kids® Mar/Apr 13

Newcastle Grammar School p: (02) 4929 5811



Free 10 Week Health Program As the New Year starts, many families might be looking to make positive changes to improve their health and fitness. Go4Fun is a FREE family based healthy lifestyle program for children aged 7-13 years who are above their healthy weight. Families living across Newcastle, Central Coast, Maitland and Lake Macquarie have the opportunity to join a FREE program to learn the skills and knowledge to support them in making healthy lifestyle changes.

It is delivered by health professionals including dietitians and physiotherapists and uses a fun and interactive approach to support families to make sustained improvements in diet and fitness levels. Go4Fun includes the three essential elements required for safe and effective weight management and lifestyle change: exercise, nutrition and behavioral change. The program focuses on learning to enjoy, prepare and eat healthy foods and includes a regular physical activity component that incorporates fun games and activities that kids love.

Go4Fun is an initiative funded by NSW Health, run locally through Kaleidoscope in partnership with Population Health. The Program runs two afternoons a week, for 10 weeks across a school term. Registrations for Term 2 are now being taken. GPs, Paediatricians or Allied Health can refer families to the Program, or families themselves can self-register.

More Information P: 1800 780 900

Hea lthy • Active • Happy • Kids

FREE fun program for kids to become fitter, healthier & happier! The Go4Fun Program is an established healthy lifestyle program to improve health, fitness, self esteem and confidence in children aged 7-13 who are above their healthy weight.

what? • Fun games, activities & swimming for kids. • Easy, effective ways to improve your child’s self esteem & confidence. • Demonstrations, games & tips on healthy foods, label reading & portion sizes. • A fun supermarket tour & a chance to try delicious new foods!

where? Various locations around Newcastle, Central Coast, Lake Macquarie and Maitland.

when? Each program runs over a 10 week school term with two sessions a week after school. The next program begins Term 2, 2013. A parent or carer must accompany child to every session.

Call today to register on 1800 780 900 SMS 0409 745 645 for a call back or visit



Annual Concert Spectacular Saturday 8 December 2012 Civic Theatre Baby Ballerinas & Co, and dancers from the Central School of Dance, took the audience on a journey of dance around the world from gorgeous tiny tots in China to the beautiful neo-classical statues of the Italian theatre. Each ‘stop-over’ visited another exciting city before arriving home to the best place in the world, Australia! Throughout the Baby Ballerinas & Co Concert “It’s a Small World” the audience was delighted to watch the children in a production that celebrated world culture in the universal art-form of dance. The students displayed a truly wonderful theatrical version of how dance can capture and express so many emotions of the past and present world. The concert also displayed commitment, determination and hard work mixed with the love and fun of dance.

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Photos Courtesy of Baby Ballerinas & Co.

26 Get Ahead Kids® Mar/Apr 13




Virtual Page Turner at

Newcastle Library Newcastle region libraries have installed a new digital media library and e-reading software that allows members to borrow books online and read them on e-readers and other mobile devices.

A feature of the new system is the Axis 360 Magic Wall which makes locating books of interest easy via Browse by Subject pages, as well as guidance provided via book reviews and recommendations for further reading.

Library members now have access to approximately 3,000 e-books that can be accessed via the library’s website.

Cloud-based delivery greatly simplifies the process of downloading what patrons want to read onto the devices they prefer to use, including iOS, Android and Windows tablets and smartphones.

The system was switched on at the end of January and the first few weeks are proving popular. Newcastle libraries are using a revolutionary digital media platform called Baker & Taylor’s Axis 360 and the Blio ground-breaking e-reading software, which uses the latest web technologies and cloud-based delivery to mobile devices.

28 Get Ahead Kids® Mar/Apr 13

This is a great example of how libraries are able to keep up with advances in technology and the changing demands of patrons.

There will always be a place for the physical building and the actual books but e-readers and e-books are an increasingly popular way to enjoy a good story. Library staff can help people sign up to the new collection and start downloading titles.

More Information and search for e-books

Su G bs ive c awribe ay r

Getting Kids into the School Zone & NAPLAN - Ready! Give your kids a fun head start to the school year with these brand new NAPLAN-style* workbooks and tests from School Zone®. This clever new range of School Zone titles meet the NAPLAN standards and are specifically created to help children prepare for NAPLAN testing. Each workbook is packed with NAPLAN-style* exercises and practice tests that make learning fun and easy! With School Zone® NAPLAN-style* Workbooks and Tests kids can improve their skills as they work through beginner, medium and advanced levels, so their progress is ongoing and supported, assisting them to get their best possible NAPLAN results. Zone®

Each School NAPLAN-style* book contains practice tests and fully explained answers to each and every test question. All School Zone®

workbooks are bright, cheerful and affordable; books children will actually enjoy learning with! With School Zone® NAPLAN-style* Workbooks and Tests, everyone can be ready for NAPLAN! School Zone NAPLAN-style* individual Workbooks and Tests for Year 3 and 5 $9.99 ea School Zone NAPLAN-style* Complete Workbooks and Tests for Year 3 and 5 $19.99 ea *The School Zone® NAPLANstyle* Workbooks and Tests have been produced by Hinkler independently of Australian Governments and are not an officially endorsed publication of the NAPLAN program.

tal Digi ibers scr Sub nly! O With special thanks to Hinkler Books, Get Ahead Kids has one NAPLANstyle bookpack valued at $69.93 to giveaway! Visit follow the subscribe link and sign up to the free digital magazine (must be subscribed by 12 April 2013 to be eligible). Subscribers will receive a special link via email for entry to the giveaway.

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People often ask us, what does a foster carer look like?

This could be you ...


k o o ay b e aw c Fa ive G

See Taronga’s Newest Bird Show Star This Easter This Easter school holidays, Konira the Andean Condor, will be soaring and showing off her three-metre wingspan as she debuts at Taronga’s QBE Free Flight Bird Show.

In between watching animal shows, keeper talks and exploring the Zoo, visitors can enjoy the newlyrenovated farm playground in the Backyard to Bush exhibit.

for free. With over 30 tracks, this interactive app contains information on various animals, and includes a map as well as a day planner of keeper talks and shows.

The one-year-old vulture flies 12 metres from the Condor Lawns just above the visitors’ heads before landing on the stage, giving the audience a chance to take a closer look at her.

The new play area is designed to encourage kids to connect with their environment and features water splashing sandstone frog sculpture, wooden animal-themed seats as well as netted bridge and towers.

The Taronga Zoo: Audio Tour app can be downloaded from iTunes at and

Joining Konira in the Bird Show is Fitzroy, a Sulphur-crested Cockatoo that has learned a new routine from keepers. At the show’s conclusion, Fitzroy flies to the stage, picks up a piece of rubbish and flies over a bin to drop the item, reminding humans how little deeds can help save wildlife and the environment.

For a more fun and enjoyable day at the Zoo, visitors can download the new Taronga Zoo: Audio Tour

Guests this school holidays will also be able to glimpse Taronga’s newest youngsters, three Fennec Fox kits that have just started to emerge from their nest box and explore their surroundings.

30 Get Ahead Kids® Mar/Apr 13

Google Play.

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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 Taronga Zoo Family Passes valued at approx. $112.20 each to giveaway! 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 and click the like button for a chance to win.


Congratulations to Prolific Author Australian children’s author Aleesah Darlison has just had her 15th book in 2 years published.

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Mother-of-three, Aleesah grew up in a small village on the mid north coast of NSW and her upbringing serves her with inspiration for her writing. Aleesah’s newest book “Totally Twins 4: Birthday Bonanza” sees Perse and her twin Portia preparing for their 11th birthday.

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Perse and her twin Portia are about to turn 11 and are preparing for a birthday party, but will the girls see eye to eye on the guest list, theme and party preparations? The Totally Twins series are great books for young girls and they deal with issues such as friendship, family and school.

Totally Twins: Birthday Bonanza Author: Aleesah Darlison Illustrator: Serena Geddes

Age Guide: 7+ Years Extent: 154 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781921928208 Price: AU $14.95 Publisher: New Frontier Publishing P: 02 9453 1525

Child With lems? Reading Prob As a parent you need to ask 3 questions: 1. Why isn’t my child learning?

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Adventures! Easter the Hunter Wetlands at Lots of Fun & Games, Craft & Easter Hunt 9.30 -12.30pm Easter Saturday March 30th 2013 Now Open Off the roundabout, 412 Sandgate Rd, Shortland NSW 2307 P: 02 4951 6466

• Literacy Assessments • Reading Programmes & Tuition • Auditory Training • Sensory Integration Packages Targeting Gross Motor & Fine Motor Skills

2. What is their learning style? 3. What can be done to help them?

At Learning Tactics we can assess your child within a week of your call. Don’t wait. Help your child today. 02 4952 2444


Gracie and Josh Author: Susanne Gervay Illustrator: Serena Geddes Josh is making a movie, with his sister Gracie as the star. Their film is not only a celebration of their relationship but everyday life. Josh is fighting cancer and faces a long challenging road to recovery, but with his sister by his side the bad days are made a bit easier. Susanne Gervay has written a powerful story showing the bond and support between a brother and sister through tough times. Age Guide: 5+ Years Extent: 32 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781921665851 Price: AU $16.95 Publisher: Ford Street Publishing P: 03 9481 1120

French Parents Don’t Give In

The Creative Seed

Author: Pamela Druckerman

The Creative Seed is a comprehensive guidebook for readers who are interested in exploring new dimensions in music, singing, writing, art, craft or any other form of creativeness.

This is an entertaining and alternative parenting book. The information is presented in an easy to read format and the author effectively communicates helpful parenting tips throughout the book. This book explains how French parents get their babies to sleep through the night, teach them to be well mannered and patient and to ensure they have a wide variety of food in their diets. Age Guide: Adults Extent: 184 Pages (Hardback) ISBN: 9780857521637 Price: AU $27.95 Publisher: Doubleday (an imprint of Transworld Publishers) P: 1800 222 444

While grieving the loss of her mum, Andie stumbles through life in LA, and through a series of unfortunate circumstances she reluctantly finds herself stuck as the personal assistant to James Hawthorn - Hollywood’s ‘it’ boy.

Smitten: Unlucky Break Author: Kate Forster Andie is having a rough time; fresh out of high school with no plans, her mum just died of cancer, and she found her boyfriend in bed with her best friend. Packing her Melbourne life into a rucksack, Andie heads for Los Angeles to live with her estranged Aunt Cece, who happens to be a Hollywood star.

This is a fresh teen novel, offering readers a chance to become absorbed in the creative storyline and themes of love, betrayal and family. Age Guide: 14+ Years Extent: 284 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781742972527 Price: AU $16.95 Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont P: 03 8520 6444

Author: Lilian Wissink

Written in two parts the book targets firstly novices who want to identify their creative direction and secondly addresses how to overcome anxiety, low selfconfidence and procrastination that may prevent the development of their chosen creative pursuits. Wissink tags the creative process the SEED approach - an acronym that stands for Skills, Experimentation, Evaluation and Discovery. The book challenges and asks readers to become aware of, and develop their creativity through in-depth questioning, meditation, journal writing, histories and exercises. This is an excellent book for older children and parents who want to nurture their creative expression. Age Guide: Open Extent: 240 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781921966255 Price: AU $24.99 Publisher: Exisle Publishing P: 02 4998 3327

For more great reviews visit 32 Get Ahead Kids® Mar/Apr 13


Flavours of Urban Melbourne

Two Little Bugs

Author: Jonette George

Authors: Mark & Rowan Sommerset

This is a comprehensive guide that showcases Melbourne’s thriving urban food scene that is accompanied by history, cafes and restaurants, recipes and product information.

This is a creative and lighthearted rhyming story for young children about two little bugs living on the same leaf – one on the topside and one underneath.

It is a weighty coffee table book that has numerous images and recipes that display the multicultural nature of this

As one bug eats his way through the leaf, parts of the book pages go missing, a nice effect that embellishes the storyline.

cosmopolitan city. Age Guide: Open Extent: 392 Pages (Hardback) ISBN: 9780980789195 Price: AU $70.00 Publisher: Smudge Publishing P: 03 9525 1112

Get Ahead Kids® Partners

Age Guide: 2+ Years Extent: 36 Pages (Hardback) ISBN: 9780732296599 Price: AU $19.99 Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers Australia P: 1300 551 721

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There Was an Old Bloke Who Swallowed a Bunny!

The Holiday Creativity Book

Author: P. Crumble Illustrator: Louis Shea

Author: Mandy Archer

Following the format of the classic rhyme, an old bloke is looking for his next tasty meal on the farm. The story features colourful imagery with lots of fun elements, including a little worm that appears on every page for readers to find. This is an ideal book to read out loud with young children. Age Guide: 4+ Years Extent: 24 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781742831602 Price: AU $13.99 Publisher: Scholastic Australia P: 02 4328 3555

Filled with puzzles, games, colouring pages and stickers, this is a great activity book to keep young minds active and busy during the holidays or on rainy days. The activities encourage creativity and active thinking amongst young minds. This book would make a great gift. Age Guide: 6+ Years Extent: 80 Pages (Paperback) ISBN: 9781922077394 Price: AU $19.95 Publisher: Walker Books P: 02 9517 9577



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Get Ahead Kids Magazine Vol. 5. No. 2. Mar/Apr 2013  

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