Home' Phillip Island and San Remo Advertiser : November 25 2015 Contents THE ADVERTISER, WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 25, 2015 - PAGE 17
WHEN Bhivani Rooks turned 50 in June
this year, she had no idea her birthday
would be celebrated for so long or in so
"It's a gift that keeps on giving," she said
in almost disbelief.
Bhavani's birthday party was definitely
As a self-confessed nature lover, Bhavani
requested that her special birthday take the
form of a working bee within the sanctuary
of the Cowes Primary School.
Along with her husband David and
daughters Jasmine and Isabel, Bhavani in-
vited a group of 50 friends to come along
armed with gardening tools and outdoor
It was a 'hard gardening' morning but
was undertaken by all with enthusiasm, en-
ergy and a satisfying sense of achievement.
"We spent the morning pulling out weeds,
clearing away undergrowth and making
headway in uncovering the walkway that
loops around the sanctuary," Bhavani said.
As a way of saying 'thank-you', these
guests were then treated to a delicious
home cooked morning tea served around
backyard camp fires.
In Bhavani's eyes, it was a perfect gift
wrapped up in a perfect morning.
Bhavani's interest in this sanctuary has
been heightened in the past few years since
the family moved house to this part of town.
Their backyard looks over the school
sanctuary. Up until her birthday, this view
was blurred by a mass of dense foliage and
The school sanctuary had once been a fa-
vourite outdoor area for class room activi-
ties and play time recreation.
As Bhavani explains, it was not too long
ago that children like her young daughters
used to run free and laugh out loud.
"When my daughters (now in Years 8 and
6) first started at school, they used to use
this sanctuary a lot. But over time it has be-
"I wanted to do something about it and
for school children to once more have
the chance to use and enjoy this beautiful
place," she said.
"I thought what better time to do this than
on my birthday?" she said with a smile.
The result of all this hard work has been
ongoing, both at home and in the wider
community. It now sees the Rooks fam-
ily heading to the sanctuary whenever they
They are busy revegetating the area with
native species as well as keeping a watchful
eye for weeds and any unwanted growth.
To date they have planted over 400 in-
digenous plants, and with many more to
Their efforts have been acknowledged in
recent weeks by Phillip Island Landcare,
which handed Bhavani a Mammoth Effort
Bhavani's best reward however is the im-
provement that has occurred.
"I get to look at the sanctuary and think,
"Along with the sound of the birds that
have now made their home in the sanctuary
(the kookaburras, honey eaters and wattle
birds), I can hear the kids laughing and
playing during the day and in after school
care," she said.
Such is their inspiration that the Cowes
Primary School has now taken this area on
board and is using it as a centre for learn-
School environmental group
Since last year, and with the arrival of
class teacher Emma Moore, students from
Grades 3 to 6 now have the chance to be-
long to an environmental group.
It is a representative group with one
member from each of the 14 classes. It is
a mix of boys and girls and they meet regu-
larly, usually on a weekly basis, to discuss
and plan forthcoming projects.
To date they have been a very busy group
in a variety of tasks such as cleaning up
the foreshore, learning about indigenous
plants and birds and caring for the school
Since the middle of the year they have be-
come more involved in helping to maintain
the school sanctuary. They are mainly con-
cerned with weeding and mulching and any
other hands-on job that needs to be done.
"The children love it!" said Grade 3/4
teacher Emma Moore.
"They are prepared to do any sort of job,
and the boys especially love to do the weed-
ing. I am surprised how keen they are and
how the boys often ask to do this," she said.
None of these young and enthusiastic en-
vironmentalists resent giving up their play
time to get down and get dirty.
They take their responsibility seriously
and revel in the opportunity to be outdoors
and be up close to nature.
Their enthusiasm is now being shared by
other classes throughout the school.
The sanctuary is becoming a favourite
place for children to use with some finding
the ambience a perfect place to sit and write
poetry, to do some quiet reading or to learn
more about nature from their young envi-
The bush track will also be included in
the school's cross-country runs next year.
The wider community interest is being
further extended with the Phillip Island
Landcare now coming on board.
It is a partnership that will see Landcare
volunteers and these young students con-
tinue to look after and maintain this plot of
land that provides a glimpse of what Phillip
Island once looked like.
"I am very happy and excited that the
school is becoming involved in this project.
It was my underlying wish for this to hap-
pen, and I can't think of a better birthday
present than this.
"I am so glad I turned 50!" said a delight-
The good work begun this year by Bhavani Rooks (left) and her family in
the Cowes Community Sanctuary is now being taken up by students in the
school environmental group, from left, Sylvie Johnson, Alia Schoenberg, Mil-
lie Marshall, Sarah Kennedy, Stephanie Liberman, Danniella Mascaros, Niamh
Moore, Poppy Marshall, Jorja Newman, Ella McPhee, Catherine Taylor and Isa-
bel Rooks. Bhavani is pictured holding her family's recent Mammoth Effort
award presented by the Phillip Island Landcare.
A gift that keeps on giving
Year 5 environmental students, from left, Poppy Marshall, Sylvie Johnston,
Danniella Mascaros and Millie Marshall spend some of their lunch time in tend-
ing to the community sanctuary in the grounds of Cowes Primary School.
have begun for students
from Foundation (Prep) to
Grade 4 who will be start-
ing at the new Phillip Island
Village School in January
Phillip Island Village
School is a new local pri-
mary school, with an in-
dependent learning focus,
located on 4.7 acres of
semi-rural land on Berry's
Beach Road in Ventnor.
Fiona McKenzie, outlined
a school focus with a differ-
ence, this week.
"The Village School's ap-
proach to learning is to
support the development
of independence, decision-
making and self-regula-
tion," Fiona said.
"Children are given lots
of choices in their learn-
ing," she said this week.
"And they are supported
in the development of criti-
cal thinking skills."
The School Board has
recently announced the ap-
pointment of two new Key
Mentors (teachers) who
will lead the teaching and
learning team for PI Village
Anthony Collins, Whole
School Leader of Teaching
and Learning and Older
Years Mentor, and Kiri Rat-
cliffe, Younger Years Mentor
are both passionate teach-
ers who bring diverse ex-
perience to their new roles,
A small new school com-
munity is now emerging
as families get together
regularly for events includ-
ing working bees, regular
catch-ups' and transition
At a recent school work-
ing bee, families joined
Fiona, Anthony, Kiri and
Assistant Mentor Dinah
Brownfield to begin to
transform the former Wool
Shed restaurant space
into a warm and inspiring
place for learning. "Stu-
dents were very enthused
at the working bee and
were keen to explore their
new space," Anthony ex-
Both teachers were
pleased at how well this
week's transition sessions
went, they said.
"All children that at-
tended transition got along
extremely well and shared
their hopes and aspira-
tions for the year coming,"
"The children were quick
to come out of their shells
and gel as a group."
were inspired by the semi-
rural outdoor spaces of the
The older children also
included a visit to nearby
Phillip Island Village
School (PIVS) will be a sis-
ter school to Koonwarra
Village School (KVS) and
shares similar approaches
to teaching and learning.
KVS opened in February
2012 in Koala Drive, Koon-
Programs for 2016 are
taking shape, and will in-
clude regular interactions
for Phillip Island students
New island school to open in 2016
Terms and Conditions. Simonds Homes reserves the right to substitute similar products to those referred to in this promotion should an item not be available. Limits apply for some promotional lines. Floor
plans, facade images and photographs have been used for illustrative purposes only, and may not represent the final product as shown. Furniture, accessories, landscaping and decks are not supplied
by Simonds. Some facade inclusions shown may not be included in our standard, and may be for display purposes only. Purchasers should refer to their new home sales consultant for more information.
14 week build time guarantee (Classic Specification) and 18 week build time (Premium and Elite Specification) is considered from site start to practical completion inspection (PCI) appointment. Subject
to purchaser fulfilling their contractual requirements. Land must be titled and in approved greenfield sites. Only available to clients who purchase a Simonds home from a Simonds display centre or office.
BUILT IN 14 WEEKS
LOT 76 GOODWOOD DRIVE
SHOALHAVEN ESTATE, COWES
Fixed Package, Classic Spec
INCLUDES A COLORBOND®
STEEL ROOF UPGRADE
PLUS purchase before 29th February &
you could win $100k in the COLORBOND®
steel GEN-U-WINTM promotion.
WONTHAGGI OFFICE - 110 Graham Street
*ENDS 11.59pm AEDST 29 February 2016. Open to Aust. resident homeowners 18+ who spend min. $200 on COLORBOND® steel product/s for residential property
they own b/w 1/5/15 - 29/2/16. Strict elgibility req. apply for purchase/s incl. roof purchases, see T&Cs. Keep receipt/s. Max 1 entry/ person. Draws at 2pm, B6, 41 - 43
Bourke Rd, Alexandria, NSW 2015. Major Draw: 1/3/16. Major Draw Prize - $100K. 1 draw for each State/Territory (8 total) each promo. mth ("State Mthly Draws"). State
Mthly Draws: 1st Tues. each month Oct '15 - Mar '16. State Mthly Draw Prize (1 per draw): $2K. Winners in The Australian 11/3/16 (Major Draw winners); & 3rd Friday
after each State Mthly Draw (State Mthly Draw Winners). Full terms at COLORBOND.COM/GENUWIN/TERMS. ® are registered trademarks of BlueScope Steel Limited.
TM marks are trademarks of BlueScope Steel Limited. © 2015 BlueScope Steel Limited ABN 16 000 011 058. All rights reserved.
Brad Martindale 0438 889 929
Why not buy a brand new holiday home this summer?
Simonds Homes Package of the week
FAMILY INFORMATION SESSION
For further informaton contact:
School Coordinator, Fiona McKenzie
Wednesday, November 25, 7.30pm
Phillip Island Village School site,
483 Berry’s Beach Road, Ventnor
Find out about the school’s approach to teaching and learning.
Meet teachers from PI Village School
and Koonwarra Village School
Fiona and the older years kids visiting Berrys
Beach as part of their recent transition activities.
Opening in January 2016, Phillip Island Village
School is a new primary school with an independent
learning focus. The school has announced two new
Key Mentors (teachers).
Links Archive November 18 2015 December 2 2015 Navigation Previous Page Next Page