Bubsandbeans | School related

NAPLAN testing? How accurate is it?

by sarah 10. May 2016 12:20

For those of us with children in Grade 3 or 5 this week we would know that we are in the middle of the NAPLAN test. Now the level of stress, anxiety your child is facing can be significant or non existent depending on the schools approach to this test.

For some schools their is a huge emphasis on the test with most of the year focusing solely on the skills required to "ace' the tests, where for other schools they are seen as a small part of the overall learning process.

We are really lucky that our children's school has a balanced approach, the children have gone into the test without anxiety, without pressure.  Sure their teachers want them to do their best however they know that this is not the be all and end all of their education, their grades. It is a small part. They have done a couple of practice tests so they are aware of what it is, but not to the detriment to their other learning.

My friends daughter on the other hand has lived, breathed Naplan all year, she at the age of 8 is under so much pressure to do well, and as a mother it is heartbreaking to see a child (even not your own) feeling stressed and anxious at such a young age.

These huge difference in focus has got me thinking, how accurate are the NAPLAN results. Realistically if a school spends the best part of 5 months focusing solely on skills that will help their children "ace" the Naplan tests, compared to a School that has a more balanced approach to learning. Which school has "better learning results for your child" Yes the first school might get a better results on paper but does that really mean the child knows more than others? Which has the better academic result the school with one focus, or the one with a much rounder education?

Do I want a child who has a great understanding of English and Maths, but has no idea about geography, sports, music. 

Looking at these two schools totally different ways of appraching NAPLAN has made me rethink the way that I choose Primary school, and Secondary College.

Our daughter is in Year 5, so this year we need to choose her secondary College, when I started looking around I was focusing on NAPLAN results, but then realised that depending on the schools focus it on its own is not an accurate result, I now focus on the difference between the Year 7 results and the year 9 results. Is their education growing or staying stagnant? I focus on their programs, what do they offer the children, what classes are available when they hit VCE, Can they do Year 12 classes in year 11, can they do VET courses through school. What does the school 'feel like" are the front desk staff approachable. All of a sudden NAPLAN becomes such a small part in the bigger picture.

What are your thoughts on the NAPLAN testing?

Are your children participating? Do they feel pressure? Did you use it as a tool when choosing primary school. 



It's a Mum's life | School related

The day i was dreading... Lunchtime blues.

by sarah 26. January 2016 19:39

 I knew the day was coming, I had seen the signs, the half finished lunches coming home. The unenthusiastic sighs in the morning, but i had hoped i had more time....

More time.... But no my time had run out at the tender age of 7 and 9 my children had decided they were over eating sandwiches.

Maybe it had been my fault, eating the same food for lunch 6 days a week obviously had got boring.... 

I tried to bluff my way through, turning sandwiches in to works of art, fancy sandwich cutters, intricate fillings, then they wouldn't be boring, they would eat them again.

Now that not only didnt work but did not give me more time, only less, as turning sandwiches into elephants, puzzles and dinosaurs don't give you more time, it is just more work, especially if they return uneaten anyway.

Now some might just say, too bad.... Make them sandwiches anyway, but what's the point if they don't eat it, they can't concentrate without food.


So what do you pack if your children don't like sandwiches...

At first it was cruskits, saladas with cheese. 

And then we got more creative... (Cue even easier)

We started packing a Skip-hop Insualted jar with our leftovers from the night before - whether that was fried rice, beef stroganoff, pasta bake, spaghetti bolognaise, pumpkin soup.

(To find out more about our insulated jars - http://bit.ly/1ZPCjqa )



 The kids loved it, and it made morning so much easier, but then summer came and hot foods started to loose their appeal, leftovers weren't so easy to eat the next day when they were salads and steak off the BBQ, and I didn't feel like cooking an extra hot meal in the 30 plus degree heat.

So the insulated jars were filled with jelly, custard, or sno-cones and I began to dread the lunchtime blues.

Thats when i realised that I didnt have to have the lunchtime blues, their were heaps of no sandwich healthy options for my children and me to eat at lunchtime.



Our Original yumbox came out and here are some of favorite no sandwich lunches.


Flat bread, cheese, cucumber, strawberries, craisins and (a treat) chocolate custard





Rice crackers, Fresh Ham, Carrot, Apple, watermelon and craisins.



Chicken Satay, Cucumber, Lettuce , Carrot, cucumber, mayo (we wrap all the food into the lettuce leaf) and make a Chicken satay sandwich with sandwich with no bread.




Turkey Roll, Watermelon, Kabana, Fresh berry salad, Grapes and Pineapple shaped cheese.




Ham and Cheese skewers, Cucumber, Carrot, Popcorn, Grapes and Mixed berries.





So if your children decide that Sandwiches are so 2015, don't despair there are heaps of no sandwich options you can try, check out www.instagram.com/bubsandbeans for inspiration as I post up photos of our mainly sandwich free lunches. , also search #Yumbox. 











Lunchbox | School related | Yumbox

Top tips for Back to school - It's all about food.

by sarah 16. January 2016 10:57

I don't know about you but I love School holidays, the thought of 6 weeks without the normal crazy rushing around, so you are still in your PJ's at 8am. No worries.

My big kids around to play with my two little ones, awesome.


But now school is fast approaching so I have put together my tips for starting back to School


It's all about Food.

Now you might think that the most important thing about school, is uniforms, learning etc.

No its Food, without the right food your little one won't be able to concentrate and learn.


It's not just about what food you pack, its also what you pack it in.


Now It doesn't matter if you have a fancy lunchbox or a basic container, the most important thing is, Can your child open it and close it themselves. Anytime we get a new lunchbox we trial it repeatedly before we use it. I still remember my Son's first day at kinder




How messy is the Food.

Sounds simple but how messy is the food, will your child be stuck wearing a sticky messy t-shirt all day as you packed them juicy watermelon and oranges and they still struggle to stay clean. Have you packed a chocolate cover biscuit that will melt in the warm climate. Will that Blueberry muffin stain their new Uniform.


Check your school food policy.


Our school is a nude food school, which means - no disposable packaging, yoghurt must be in reusable pouches, lunch boxes need to be bento style as we cant use glad wrap.

Our school is strictly No nuts - what does that mean to you, No peanut Butter or Nutella sandwiches, no nuts in your muesli bars.

Our school allows children to have "Brain Food"  during class in Prep. What is Brain Food? Fruit and Vegetables. Which means packing a separate "Brain Food" only lunchbox.


My Top three tips in the lead up to school.


1 - Don't try to many new foods in the first few weeks of school, for prep students everything is new, so whilst it might look awesome to try the great recipe ideas you see all over facebook, unless you know your child is going to eat it, don't. Start with the foods you know they love. Experiment on the weekends

2 - Practice makes perfect. In the week leading up to school starting pack their lunchbox everyday, that way you can be confident they know how to open their lunchbox, (glad wrap), reusable pouches, drink bottles.

3 -  Relax and enjoy, you are going to be packing lunches for the next 13 plus years depending on how many children you have, so relax, don't put to much expectations and pressure on yourself. If you want to spend hours each week making awesome Bento lunches, go for it, if you want to pack last nights leftovers in an insulated jar, as well as some snacks that's great. If you want to pack a traditional sandwich that's great too. As long as your child has enough healthy food that they will eat. That is all that matters.




To see our full back to school range head-over to the website 

Back to school





Facts | Lunchbox | School related

Starting School guide. - 4 weeks to go - It's all about the Food

by sarah 4. January 2015 00:41


There are only four weeks until excited children and nervous parents start the preparation for the first day of school and kinder and whilst it might still feel like a long time to go, there are some important things you should be doing now to help with the transition.


- It's all about the Food


Food is so important for them when they start school, they need to eat the right food to have energy to get through the day.


Seems simple, but there are a few things you should check now, four weeks out.  Can your child open and close there lunchbox without help. Often kids can open there lunchbox but then struggle to close it unassisted. This means you end up with a great mess in the bottom of the school bag.


Also how long will they have to eat, pack meals accordingly

My son is a very slow eater and in prep he was often coming home with most of his snacks still intact. I worked out that the snacks I was giving him were taking to long for him to eat, so he was coming home tired and hungry. Once we changed a few things, like tub yoghurt to reusable pouches. Cut up fruit over whole fruit he began eating more.



Best way to work this out is to do what we do, we start packing lunches now, 4 weeks before school starts that way I know that the kids can work there new lunchboxes. I know that they can eat the food within their designated eating time, and I work out how long I will need each morning to pack lunches with two toddlers helping.


Nowadays most schools have a strict no nut policy so work with that as well. If your child only likes peanut butter sandwiches start exploring other options now. 


Does it have a nude food policy, if so then what lunchbox are you going to use, do you need to buy reusable pouches.


Drink bottles, do they know how to open them and refill them if required?


To purchase any of the products in our blog head over to www.bubsandbeans.com.au and enter promocode B2S2015 to receive 15% off our full range of Back to School products, (Jan 2015)



School related

The day my world changed.

by sarah 29. May 2014 14:21

Ok slightly dramatic I know, but did I get your attention.


This week my world changed, all of a sudden I realised something exciting but scary all at once, my little girl, is no longer little.


It happened suddenly without warning. The day had started like any other school day the mad rush trying to get my two big kids to school, when my oldest nervously came up to me.


Excuse me mum, she sheepishly looked at me. Can you please just cut my sandwiches normally, as I am getting to old for shapes.


With that my world was crushed. 


You see since my kids were in prep I have been cutting there sandwiches in different shapes, we have had butterfly's, mickeys, dinosaurs, letters, trains and my  favourite  elephants. 



I tried hearts but that didn't go well as my son was in prep and refused to eat his own heart. 



So all of a sudden a tradition started so innocently so many years ago now needs to be adapted, Letter Cookie anyone? 


Life as a Parent | School related