Term 1 Week 1 Update


I wish to acknowledge the traditional owners of the lands on which this is being read – for most of us – the Bunurong- members of the eastern Kulin Nations – and pay my respects to elders past present and emerging. I wish to acknowledge our First Nations people and pay respects to them. I note further that these lands were never ceded and are, and always will be, Aboriginal Lands.

Dear Families.

“Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

I hope that all of our students and families have settled in well to the first week of school and have plenty to celebrate. From our perspective, the transition back to school has been amazing. Our students can be very proud of their efforts to reconnect back with their learning and their peers and our School VALUES of RESPECT, KINDNESS and DETERMINATION have been on display all week.

Our Foundation students commenced this week and they, along with the rest of our student body have coped with the rain and the wind and transitioned back into school brilliantly well. We couldn’t be prouder of their efforts and attitude this week. Some students may fatigue a little quicker than usual for the first few weeks of the school year and this is very normal as they adjust back to school life and build up their stamina to learn.

Our teaching staff and education support staff have spent the week getting to know our students. We have focussed on wellbeing, classroom expectations, our school values and our Instructional model. There has been NO testing – this can come next week – and we’re all set up for another successful year.

Questions you may wish to ask your child straight after school.

I know that with our own children (Sam in Year 1 and Eliza in Foundation at their local school) are already showing signs of fatigue and it is perfectly normal at this time of the year. They can be reticent to engage in conversation about school after a long day so I choose to ask these questions to find out a bit about their days. I still get a few grunts and shrugs of shoulders but I’ll keep persisting 🙂 You may want to try these out with your kids too 🙂

What was the best thing that happened at school today?
Tell me something that made you laugh today.
How did you help somebody today?
How did somebody help you today?
Tell me one thing that you learned today.
When were you happiest today?

Parent representatives

This year, to help create some fun and enjoyable experiences and help keep us all connected, we will be once again running our class representative program. This is a wonderful way to get involved in the school community and help foster greater family connections within the school. We are currently seeking a parent/carer volunteer from each class.

If you are interested in nominating please email our School Council president Nat Firth natfirthy@gmail.com . Our School Councillors are ready and keen to help provide support and guidance for all of our class representatives and ensure this program is as successful as possible – and strengthen ties within our community.

Meet our Teachers Opportunity

We are again providing an opportunity to meet your child’s teacher, either face to face or online, in Week 3. Bookings able to be made via Compass CONFERENCES.

* NB Foundation families will have the opportunity to meet the teachers as part of our Wednesday mandated assessment days

Face to Face meetings are planned for the hour either side of normal pick up (2:30pm – 4:30 pm) and an online option via Webex meetings will be available for families from 4:30 – 7:00 pm approx.) who are unable to make the earlier meetings at school. Each meeting is scheduled for 10 minutes. Booking opportunities will close on Thursday February 9 to allow staff to get confirmation emails to families that book.

To book a time to meet in COMPASS, please:

Click on the Parent Student Teacher Conference tile on your mobile phone home page
Select 2023 Meet the Teacher
Select your preferred meeting time

Reading with children

The start of the school year for our students often takes a little bit of getting used to as they build stamina for learning and socialising. Although tired at the end of each day, we know that reading together at home can be an important part of every child’s routine.

Shared reading is one of the essential literacy experiences that contribute to children becoming good and willing readers. Books contain words, grammar and language structures that are different to conversational language. Shared reading is important for children of all ages. It needn’t stop when they are able to read independently.

There are some great tips listed in the link below and the attached pdf can be used as a guide as well.


Term 1 Canteen Price List  Reading with young children

Student Free days (TBC):

Our preference is to try and ensure that the 4 allocated student free days that our school has, impact as least as possible on the majority of our students’ learning and on parents’ work commitments. Although these dates have yet to be confirmed by our School Council, we ask that you tentatively mark these in your calendars to help with forward planning

Our next Student Free Day will be held in mid Term 3 (August 25) and focus on the wellbeing component of our AIP – in particular our Department’s School Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS) program

Our third Student Free Day, as we did last year, is the Monday before Cup Day- November 6.

Our last Student Free Day for the whole school will be a data handover at the end of the year- December 20

Professional practice days in 2023 x 2 The Victorian Government schools agreement also provides teaching staff with 2 Professional practice days in 2023. The Department of Education and Training (DET) is recommending schools hold one of these professional practice days on the same day for all staff.

This could be used for Assessment and Reporting (as required in the VGSA). The date is yet to be decided upon and as soon as it is locked in, we will let you know

Bike Compound: We love that our students stay active by riding and scooting to school. In the last couple of years and with the improved bike compound, we are seeing more and more students using these modes of transport to get to and from school. The bike compound gates are locked around 9:15 am and reopened at 3:30 pm. Please note that the compound is NOT locked after school or on the weekends and we cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage to the scooters or bikes.

Breakfast Club is up and running again. This service runs from 8:15 -8:45 EVERY morning and is available to ALL students. Brekky Club runs out of the STEM centre and the best gate to access this is opposite the lights on Edithvale Rd. If you would like to get involved and lend a hand, please let us know at school and you can join a great bunch of volunteers who help our students have a great start to the day. A flyer with contact details and the support role will shortly follow.

Timetable for the first 4 weeks: Your child’s Specialist class schedule for February has now been created and we will be running with this for the next few weeks while current Covid restrictions are in place. The schedule allows for every class to have a 50 minute session over the course of the week in Art, French, Physical Education and Science. A fifth Specialist class, either Robotics or French, runs every other week.

Year Level Overviews: An overview of this Term’s Learning and Teaching will be sent home next week. This will include important information specific to your child’s Year level along with details on what and how lessons are delivered. A copy of the Progress Report statements that identify key learning areas that will be a focus over the next 8 weeks will accompany the overviews.

Assembly: Assemblies are scheduled to run every Friday afternoon at 3:00 pm. Wherever possible we will hold these outside so that parents can attend but every now and then when the weather is unkind to us, we will hold these inside – in the Year 3 and 4 building. As our student numbers creep up towards 500, and with the limited space in this building these assemblies will be almost exclusively ‘students only’

Staying safe from mosquitoes

Recent wet and warm weather has increased mosquito breeding. Mosquitoes can carry diseases that may be passed on to people through mosquito bites. A range of mosquito-borne diseases have recently been detected in mosquitoes in northern Victoria. Mosquito-borne diseases can cause serious illness, including infections of the brain, with children particularly at risk.

The best way to prevent mosquito-borne diseases is to avoid mosquito bites.

In line with community health advice , families can protect against mosquito bites by:

  • using insect repellent that contains picaridin or DEET on all exposed skin if outdoors when mosquitoes are observed, from October to March
  • wearing long, loose-fitting clothing outdoors if possible if mosquitoes are around and covering exposed skin as much as possible. Summer school uniforms, including polos and shorts, can continue to be worn, but students should use insect repellent on exposed skin if mosquitoes are active
  • limiting outdoor activity when mosquitoes are active.

Further information

Student accident insurance, ambulance cover arrangements and private property brought to school

Each year we are required to provide the following information to all families:

The Department does not provide personal accident insurance or ambulance cover for students. Parents/carers of students, who do not have student accident insurance/ambulance cover, are responsible for paying the cost of medical treatment for injured students, including the cost of ambulance attendance or transport as well as any other transport costs.

In some circumstances, medical or other expenses will be paid by the Department where it is assessed that it is likely that the Department is liable for negligent acts or omissions of its staff or volunteers. More information about the claims process is available below.

It is the responsibility of parents/carers to look into their preferred insurance options in this regard. The Department cannot provide advice to parents/carers on the purchase of individual student accident policy or ambulance cover.

Private property brought to school by students, staff or visitors is not insured and the Department does not accept any responsibility for any loss or damage.

This can include mobile phones, calculators, toys, sporting equipment and cars parked on school premises. As the Department does not hold insurance for personal property brought to schools and has no capacity to pay for any loss or damage to such property, students and staff should be discouraged from bringing any unnecessary or particularly valuable items to school.

Annual privacy reminder for 2023

Our school collects, uses, discloses and stores student and parent personal information for standard school functions or where permitted by law, as stated in the Schools’ Privacy Policy.

Please take time to remind yourself of our school’s collection notice, found on our website

Term 1 Canteen Price List  Privacy Collection notice

For more information about privacy, refer to: Schools’ Privacy Policy — information for parents.

NO Dogs on School Grounds please A reminder that dogs are not permitted inside the school grounds. We love our four-legged friends but not all of our students are comfortable with them, so for the safety of our community we ask that you please leave them at home or stay with your dog outside the school grounds. Dogs should not be left unattended or tethered to the fence either. Thank you for understanding.

Sunsmart – Throughout terms 1 and 4 we invoke a ‘no hat no play’ policy to help protect our students and staff from damaging UV radiation. We have sunscreen in each classroom for students who may have left theirs at home that day and staff are asked to remind students to apply sunscreen before heading outside. We’d love it if you can remind your child of the importance to do this each day and help them to apply sunscreen in the morning before school starts. In this way we can work together to teach them how to stay safe and protected from the harsh Summer sun.

Sun protection is more than just sunscreen. For the best protection when the UV is 3 and above, use all 5 forms of protection – appropriate clothing, a broad – brim hat, shade, sunglasses AND sunscreen.

A fact sheet from the Sunsmart website is attached and our school’s policy can be seen using the link below

Term 1 Canteen Price List  Sunsmart Policy

Rapid antigen testing

We still have supplies of RATs that have been stored in an air conditioned room over the Summer break. These are approaching their use by dates and available for collection at the office for a short time. Please pop in and see our office staff.

It is recommended that rapid antigen tests (RATs) are used by students and staff:

  • If you have symptoms of COVID-19 infection, no matter how mild
  • If you are a household or close contact of someone who has COVID-19
  • If you are a social contact of someone who has COVID-19.

The Department of Health recommends that all Victorians should report their positive RAT result to the Department of Health online, or by calling 1800 675 398.

Students (or their parents) should also report a positive result to their school, either through the COVID Test portal or by phone or written notification.

Rapid Antigen Test are also available for all Victorians from Council sites. People can get 2 free packs (10 tests) for themselves and 2 free packs (10 tests) for each of their household members.

People with disability and their carers can get up to 4 free packs (20 tests) in line with existing RAT distribution for people with disability.

Students who report a positive result are recommended to isolate for a minimum of 5 days and not attend school until their symptoms have resolved. Students who isolate as a result of a positive COVID-19 test should be supported in the same way as students with an extended absence due to illness or injury, with learning materials provided to support their continued learning

Further information can be obtained at Council Rapid Antigen Test Program.

Have a wonderful weekend,

James Whitla