Newsletter 6 – Week 6 19th August 2021

Positive Climate for Learning

Jo Kelly, PCL Leader

Thank you all for your continued flexibility and support during remote learning.  SSDS will continue to keep you updated via SeeSaw and School Stream during the extended lockdown.  I have attached some additional resources for families to link into if required.  We also want to thank you all for your support during this pandemic in continuing to help us keep safe.   We look forward to hopefully seeing you all back onsite in two weeks.

 Community and Transition

 Department of Education and Training in partnership with Brimbank and Melton City Councils brings you the Workability Live and Free Webinar Series.

This series of free events highlighting services, resources and information in the area of young people with diverse abilities.  All Sessions are from 5:30 pm to 6:30 pm.

  • August 18 2021: What is the NDIS and Supports for Leaving School – Facilitated by the Brotherhood of St. Laurence (BSL) National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Local Area Coordinator (LAC) Team
  • August 25 2021: Exploring your career interests and skills – Facilitated by Future Connect Local Learning Employment Network (LLEN)
  • September 1 2021: Self Advocacy – Facilitated by Department of Education and Training
  • September 8, 2021: Local Youth Programs and opportunities – Facilitated by Brimbank City Council and The City of Melton
  • September 15, 2021: Education and Employment – Facilitated by Department of Education and Training
    You can book in for the sessions here

Community Activities 

Book Week Family Event

We have a special event with author Charlie Golding on Wednesday Aug 25 between 10.30 and 11.30am. Charlie will read from her book “When the World Went Inside” and there will be time for questions and chat. The meeting link is

Charlie’s picture book is a colourful story that explains in simple terms how life is different when we are living through a pandemic. You can check out more here:

Burmese Community

The Burmese Community will be catching up on Wednesday September 1 via webex. The link for that meeting is here: Natasha Godfrey (Chaplain) and an interpreter will be attending. We will talk about our children, home learning, and share ideas.

မြန်မာ့အသိုက်အဝန်းသည် webex မှတဆင့်စက်တင်ဘာ ၁ ရက်ဗုဒ္ဓဟူးနေ့တွင်အမီလိုက်လိမ့်မည်။ အစည်းအဝေးအတွက် link ကဒီမှာပါ။ Natasha Godfrey (Chaplain) နှင့်စကားပြန်တစ် ဦး တို့တက်ရောက်ကြလိမ့်မည်။ ငါတို့ကလေးတွေအကြောင်း၊ အိမ်စာလေ့လာတာ၊ အကြံဥာဏ်တွေဝေမျှမယ်။

Community Garden 

Planning is now underway for our community garden. We’re getting some very helpful input from families as well as support from Rose who works in community engagement at Bunnings Sunshine. Over the next week I’ll be taking expressions of interest for a working group and getting ideas about the kinds of vegetables and herbs that families like to cook with at home. 

Interested families are invited to attend a Brimbank Council kitchen garden webinar that is designed for families and educators involved with community gardening projects. To attend the free webinar, click here: From the Garden to the Kitchen Tickets, Tue 31/08/2021 at 4:00 pm | Eventbrite 

Father’s Day Event 

We’ll have an online Father’s Day Trivia Quiz morning on Thursday September 2 at 10am. Mark it in your diaries! 

School Nurse

All efforts are being made to facilitate a dental van service for our school through the Smile Squad program, as I am sure that many of you are concerned about the dental health of our students. We will inform the school community once this program is implemented. Unfortunately, due to the current lockdowns, this program has been delayed. In the meantime, a sample dental pack will be given to each student to take home which includes a toothbrush and toothpaste. A social story at the end of this information may be useful for our students. Please facilitate these options if required.

In the meantime, students can access care through the following options:

  1. The local community dental agency, locations available at
  2. Referral to the Paediatric Dentistry Unit at Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne
  3. Private general dentist (family are recommended to discuss how comfortable the dentist is with special needs children before appointment)
  4. Private paediatric dentist

Let’s work together to unlock your child’s bright smile!

 Did you know that children who attend a special school or special developmental school in Victoria can receive free dental care every one or two years?

For Dental treatment in a hospital setting: Special Needs Care Unit at the Royal Dental Hospital of Melbourne.  The Special Care Unit provides dental care to patients with special needs who need dental treatment in a hospital setting. You will need a referral for treatment at this unit.

Mobile Dental Treatment: Mobile special school and special development schools dental van service

Dental Health Services Victoria have two special needs vehicles. These vehicles travel to special schools and special development schools in Victoria. They provide general dental care to children with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Ways we can support our students:

  • Daily Mouth Care: By supporting daily care of teeth and gums you can help a person keep their mouth and body healthy.
  • Healthy Diet: By encouraging healthy food and drink choices, you can help reduce the risk of tooth decay.
  • Regular Dental Check-ups: Regular check-ups are important not just for treatment but also to get advice and support to help prevent oral disease.

Impacts of poor oral health:

Poor oral health can stop people from living life to the full due to:

  • pain
  • problems with speaking, eating and sleeping
  • bleeding gums
  • bad breath
  • low self-esteem
  • changes in behaviour (aggression, not wanting to do things they used to enjoy doing)
  • difficulty chewing and swallowing

Oral health and general health:

There are links between the health of the mouth and the health of the rest of the body. Oral diseases share common risk factors with a number of other diseases such as:

  • heart disease
  • respiratory illness
  • cancer
  • stroke
  • Poor oral health can increase the risk of infections in the lungs and heart and long term gum disease can make it harder for people with diabetes to manage their blood sugar levels.

Compared to the general population, people with an intellectual disability have:

  • poorer oral hygiene
  • higher plaque levels
  • more severe gum disease
  • higher rates of untreated tooth decay
  • higher numbers of teeth removed
  • fewer natural teeth

Good oral health means looking after the whole mouth:

  • teeth
  • gums
  • tongue
  • lips
  • the insides of the cheek

 Types of gum disease:

There are two main types of gum disease:

  • Gingivitis – early-stage gum disease affecting the surface layers of the gum
  • Periodontitis – more advanced gum disease affecting the deeper layers of gums, teeth and bone

How it happens: When plaque builds up on the gum line, it makes the perfect conditions for the type of bacteria that causes gum disease. The gum becomes inflamed and may look red or swollen around the tooth. If not treated, the inflammation can destroy the tissue fibres and bone that hold the teeth in place, leading to tooth loss. See an oral health professional if you suspect gum disease. Early treatment can save teeth at risk!

The risk of oral disease increases when a person has multiple disabilities or complex health issues. People with an intellectual disability are more likely to report their oral health as fair or poor, compared to the general population. Staff, families, healthcare workers and other visitors to supported living facilities often recognise oral health as an area of concern for disability service users.

Social Story: Brushing Teeth


This visual comes from a resource pack about navigating life during the pandemic for families of autistic children. It is an American resource; however, the content easily transfers across.

Whole School Celebrations

Science Week – Food by Design, 16th -20th August POSTPONED
We are all set to go and now very sadly we will be looking for another week to enjoy all the great learning experiences created by our team.  When we return we’ll be Learning about Food through Food journeys and Food Groups and Having fun with Food through five experiments:  Magic Potions, Dancing Raisins, Rainbow Skittles, Shaky Shaky Icecream and Making Butter.

Anshu, Sonia, Rebecca, Neelam, Saide

Book Week – Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds, 23rd-27th August

One week to go and we won’t know until next week if we can go ahead.  Our students will be exploring the themes with a collaborative illustration project and reading activities in the classroom.  We are looking forward to welcoming Charlie Golding to share her story ‘When the World went inside’.  Look out for details of an online event for parents and carers.
Carolyn, Suzie, Neha, Saide, Natasha (chaplain)

Performing Arts Concert, Thursday 18th NovemberThe places we can go
The concert team will be working closely with our Year 11 & 12 students to give them the opportunity to take lead roles in hosting our concert this year.  We are looking forward to filling up the hall with fun, laughter and entertainment.

Maree, Nikki, Robyn P, Mischa, Neelam, Natasha (chaplain), Saide

 Celebration Day, Friday 10th December
Reminder:  Go Wild – Let’s Celebrate is the theme for Celebration Day.  Starting thinking about what you will wear on the day – spot prizes for great costumes will be awarded.  The day will offer a mix of much loved and familiar along with some new entertainment and activities.  We’ll be providing a three-week, seven-day countdown leading up to this big day.
Saide, Debbie, Robyn P, Nikki, Winnie, Alaura, Natasha (chaplain)

 Saide Cameron, Whole School Events Coordinator

Take care and keep safe!

Jo Kelly

Positive Climate for Learning Leader


Important Dates – Term 3

 Monday 13th – Friday 17th September – Phone Parent Teacher Interviews (SSG’s)

Friday 17th September – Last Day of Term – 1pm Dismissal

Monday 4th October – 1st Day Term 4