Maitland Area School

Maitland | Yorke Peninsula | South Australia

News, views and information from Tim Tuck, the MAS Primary Coordinator.

Despite inclement weather the night before, our 2017 Cross Country ran in cool, overcast conditions; perfect for a long distance event.

This was our second year on the western Maitland Golf Course and the greens, reservoir and bridges made a perfect backdrop for a competitive field.

Thank you

Thank you to the Sam Holmes, Naomi Davey and the CYS Sports Committee for their guidance and organisation. Thank you to the many parents who acted as marshals this year, directing students around the course and to many staff who gave so freely of their time help.

Thank you also to the Maitland Golf Club who were so accommodating with our use of the course and to Apex who gave us access to toilet facilities at their clubrooms. Supervision and photographic records prepared by teaching staff was also appreciated as was the way our students were encouraged to do their best.



Participation in the event was high with 103 students in Years Reception – 7 from both campuses taking part in running the course. 

After the allocation of place getting and participation points the final scores were Eagles 244 and Sharks 208. Congratulations to the Eagles as the winners of the 2017 Cross Country trophy. Place getters received ribbons and all students received a certificate acknowledging their participation.

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We held our 2017 R-6 Splash Carnival early on Friday March 3 to avoid the hot weather that had been promised for the day.

As always, there was an enthusiastic crowd of parents and grandparents and an eager and energetic pool of competitors.

Classes enjoyed the new events and the competitive races which saw the Sharks - again - beating the Eagles by a substantial 10 points.

Congratulations to all students on their outstanding involvement, sportsmanship and swimming skills.

Thank you to Principal Grant Keleher for opening and compering our event and to Mrs Julie Adams for presenting the cup.

Well done to House Captains  Ollie, Isabel, Aidan and Annabelle for your help and leadership throughout the day.

Wow, what a great time we had at the first MAS Christmas On the Green! We ran the gauntlet of inclement weather to emerge into a warm sunny evening with fantastic entertainment from the Brighton High School Band, the YP Concernt Band, the MAS Festival Choir, the Junior Concert Band and a variety of class acts including the 'Christmas Truce' play from the Year 5/6 class, 'Six White Boomers from the 4/5 class, 'Jingle Bell Rap from the Year 2/3's and 'On Christmas Day' from the R/1's. Thank you to staff, students and families for attending and to the P & F, Governing Council and the Davies family for making the night such a great success.


Our 2016 R-10 musical Bonsai Samurai made its world premiere in the Maitland Area School Performing Arts Centre on Wednesday September 21 and Thursday September 22 to packed houses and enthusiastic audiences.

Telling the story of a short, Samurai obsessed boy called Hiroki (played by Ollie Linke) and his long-suffering sister Shun (played by Emma Rowe), Bonsai Samurai featured ninjas (short and tall), Samurai (blue and red), Imperial Lords (good and bad) and a wide assortment of bandits, villagers, sumo wrestlers, koi fish, shadow puppeteers and ghostly Japanese spirits called Tsukumogami.

But why a historical musical, why Japan and why a short samurai?

Read more: Bonsai Samurai Report

Wow! We only have two weeks (sort of) to go before the world premiere of 'Bonsai Samurai'! As always, students have impressed with their dancing, acting and general stage-confidence. It's been terrific to see older students taking on choreography roles and assisting younger classes. 

Mrs McLean's art students have been busy at the showgrounds painting our Kabuki-style backdrop while Di Bourne and her helpers have been very busy creating the costumes and props. 

Rehearsal/Show Schedule

Most rehearsals this term have been in performing arts lesson times, but as we approach our 'live' shows, we'll be running dress rehearsals across afternoon sessions.

Read more: Bonsai Samurai Update 3

It was a long time coming, but the weather finally made a turn for the better, so on Wednesday, August 17, the Year 4/5 class were able to make their contribution to National Tree Day by planting nearly 100 trees on the north side of the Maitland Cemetery.

Inclement weather

We'd initially planned to plant the trees back in week 1 of term, but the site was washed out with heavy rains over several days. We rescheduled for the following week and then rescheduled again when the site was, once again, flooded. 

The wait until week 4 was definitely worth it, as the day dawned sunny, a little cool, but with no clouds in sight.

Read more: National Tree Day 2016

Our 2016 production, 'Bonsai Samurai' steamed further ahead this week with more scenery, props and costumes appearing in the Performing Arts Centre. Mrs Bourne has been flat out creating Samurai, Sumo and Bandit costumes, Mrs Schwartz has been helping cast members sing up a storm and student, parent and teacher choreographers have been busy trying to get actors' left and right feet sorted out!

We had a number of special packages arrive as well. First was our sumo suit, which you can see featured on the 'big pictures' page. Then our koi kites arrived from China (gorgeous!) and finally some new lighting equipment.

Students -young and old - continue to surprise, delight and entertain as they work through rehearsals and practices. At one point we had children from years 3 through 10 working alongside each on stage. I'm not sure too many schools can boats of that!

A few shout outs to students. To:

  • Our leads Ollie Linke, Emma Rowe and Liam Dodd. Lines learned, yay!
  • Matt Thomson for his leadership by example and fitting into the Sumo Suit.
  • Lochlan Travena for his work with the bamboo swords.
  • To the 4/5 good Tsukumogami - you make me laugh every time we practice!
  • Harrison Geater-Johnson for your enthusiasm and encouragement of others.
  • Ella Davey and Ilea Frensch for your choreography skills.

TI could easily mention a dozen more - suffice to say we have a talented bunch of students!

Tickets and dates

The school notice board has caused a little confusion. Bonsai Samurai is definitely on September 21 & 22. The 9 on the notice board is the week. Sorry about that!

Tickets will go on sale week 7 and be available through the school bookroom. A note will also go home soon detailing some costume requirements (mainly black!).


Our traditional welcome assembly was held on Thursday, August 4, in the PAC.

The building was jam-packed with students, staff, Japanese guests, families, community members as well as the fifty strong Combined Schools Concert Band.

The assembly began with the Australian National Anthem played by the band, the Acknowledgement of Country and the Japanese National Anthem sung by the exchange group.

The Concert Band played it's Balaklava Eisteddfod repertoire which included, appropriately enough, two Japanese pieces.

Principal Grant Keleher talked to the group - in both languages - about the importance and value of the Exchange. The Japanese students were then introduced and each student made a short statement in Japanese.

The students sang a beautiful old Japanese song, accompanied by the piano. Our guests received special gifts then each school group made a presentation about their school and area in Mimasaka.

The YP Combined Schools Concert Band made their annual pilgrimage to Balaklava last Friday, August 5, for the 2016 Balaklava Eisteddfod.

Students, staff and community members travelled from far across the Yorke Peninsula, meeting at the Balaklava Institute for a 4.40pm performance, the last of the day.

Competition structure

The band competition has three divisions: Junior, Senior and Open. The Concert Band is in the open division as our group includes teachers and adult community members. Prizes are awarded in each division and their is an overall winner selected from the three division winners.


In keeping with the Japanese theme of our school production and the ongoing Japanese Exchange, we chose to showcase two Japanese style songs and the make our newly acquired Taiko drums the centrepiece of our performance. The ensemble rose to the challenge of these orientally flavoured pieces and delivered an emotive, dynamic and moving performance. The two Japanese songs were complemented  with a contemporary pop piece, 'Fireflies' which also impressed with its intricate counterpoint and subtle rhythmic qualities.

Read more: Balaklava Eisteddfod 2016

That's it, holidays are over and it's back to school for Term 3 - and what a blockbuster term it is, academically, artistically and community wise! 

Up the big end of the school the senior students are heading towards their last assessments and their first exams. Further down, the Ag crew are preparing for the Royal Adelaide Show.  For R-7 students there's SAPSASA and the Concert Band is heading to Balaklava for the big Eisteddfod. We're all involved in the Japanese Exchange and of course this year's production, 'Bonsai Samurai'.

Production News

Di Bourne has been busy at school fitting students for costumes, classes are rehearsing, learning songs, attempting accents (Jamaican and Japanese!) and we've started work on the scenery. 

Rehearsal Tips

If your child is learning lines for their part in the production, here are some tips to help them out:

  • Highlight all your lines in the script.
  • Read the lines aloud - just like in the show!
  • Have a friend (or family member) help. 
  • Practise, practise, practise!
  • Do a little bit at a time, but do it often.
  • Move around while you are saying your lines. 
  • Learn the cues that lead in to your lines. Don't just read your own!
  • Try reading your part just before going to bed - and again when you wake up.


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