Term 3 Week 2 Update


Dear Families

Weekly Update

A huge thanks to our families for your patience and understanding as we deal with significant staffing pressures this week. Up to 7 staff and 90 students have been absent on any given day and our your children have shown great resilience and adaptability to adjust so well to these changes.

To help keep us all safe, we will continue to use the air purifiers that we have, try to keep our classrooms ventilated (yet comfortable) and offer the use of hand sanitiser and masks for students and staff.

To help us manage illness in our community we respectfully ask that any child showing flu like symptoms remain at home and rest up until their symptoms subside. Furthermore, RATs will be distributed late next week to help us stay on top of COVID at school. Every student who is absent due to illness for an extended period of time will have access to learning tasks via SEESAW.

Trivia Night

It was wonderful to see so many families and staff enjoying a night out together last week at the Trivia Night. We were delighted to offer this event, designed to help build connections and we’ll certainly be looking forward to hosting another one next year- only even bigger and even better. If you’d like to get on board and help with the planning of this, please let us know. We’re also hoping to run a few more events in the coming months that help bring people together and support each other after a couple of trying years.

Homeless Awareness Month

On Thursday our Student leaders met with Tim Richardson MP to help launch Homeless Awareness Month. Over the last few years our community has generously donated to local organisations to support families much less fortunate than many of in our community. Our student leaders have identified this cause again and are very keen to promote this. Please watch out for more information shortly, including news about our famous Cupcake Drive and details about our student leaders’ plans to host a ‘Sleep at the E’ fundraiser.

Bunurong Land Council

Next week we will meet with members of the Bunurong Land Council as we continue to take steps towards being the most culturally sensitive and inclusive school that we can be. The purpose of this meeting is to share our students’ plan and ideas for changing our House Colours from their present names to ones that use our traditional owners’ (Bunurong) language. This process will take time to get right and by the end of this year we are hoping to have an assembly dedicated to the launching of the new names and hold a Welcome to Country ceremony.

Enrolment Plan for 2023

This week I was provided with student enrolment guidance, including an Enrolment Management Plan from the Department of Education. In part this included:

“To assist you with ongoing management of enrolment pressure, I am specifying entry criteria for the school under
section 2.2.16 of the Education and Training Reform Act 2006 (Vic). Approved entry criteria for Edithvale Primary
School for the 2023 school year are:

  • Students who live within the school zone (priority 1 of the priority order of placement)
  • Students with a sibling attending the school at the same time (priority 2 of the priority order of placement)
  • Students seeking enrolment on legitimate compassionate grounds.
    Students seeking placement in Prep must meet one of the above criteria to be eligible for enrolment in 2023.”

Essentially this means that our school zone is being enforced and that we will have enough teaching and learning spaces for our project 490 students at school in 2023. To assist us with our planning we’d love to know it if you have a sibling starting with us in 2023 that we don’t yet have an enrolment form for, or if you think you might be moving out of the area and re-enrolling your child at another school.

VALE Norm – our beloved crossing supervisor

It is with great sadness to inform our community that Norm Peachey- our long serving crossing guard who retired from service to our school 4 years ago, passed away on Wednesday this week. Norm seemed to know every family and was a welcoming and supportive member of our broader community for over 30 years.

Reading Tips

In a further series of explanations about how we help students to learn to read, the Five from five team have provided the following information. More details and resources can be found at https://fivefromfive.com.au/parent-resources/
Blending and segmenting are essential phonemic awareness skills for learning to read and spell. Blending and segmenting are critical components of a synthetic phonics approach. Both of these skills are directly related to sounding out words. Segmenting breaks a word up into its component phonemes and blending puts them back into a pronounceable word.

Read the following real words and pay attention to how you read them;

For proficient readers the process of segmenting and blending happens at an almost imperceptible speed until we come across a word that we have never encountered before. For a new and particularly lengthy word the sound by sound analysis process slows down and we become much more aware of the interplay between segmenting and blending.

Oral blending and segmenting

Blending and segmenting games can be played with children before they start school. Blending is the easier of the two skills so it should be introduced first. Oral blending games do not involve letters — they are listening and speaking games. Suggested activities can be found in the Parents Resources section. Phonological and phonemic awareness games can help sensitise children to the constituent sounds of the English language and this will assist them when learning phonics at school.

Because listening skills do not require knowledge of letters or grapheme-phoneme correspondences, they can be introduced on the first day of school. For a description of suggested activities see our phonemic awareness pages.

Blending and segmenting written words

Before a beginning reader can segment and blend a written word they must have some knowledge of grapheme-phoneme correspondences. In a synthetic phonics approach, a small set of grapheme-phoneme correspondences is taught that will allow the learner to begin to blend as soon as possible.

The first words to work on with students should be regular words. Regular words are words that contain grapheme-phoneme correspondences that represent their most common sounds. ‘Dog’ is considered a regular word because each of the letters represents its most common sound, whereas the word ‘gem’ might be introduced later because the g is representing its less common /j/ phoneme.

Once students have been introduced to sufficient grapheme-phoneme correspondences and they can segment and blend, they should begin practicing deletion, substitution and manipulation. Deletion involves removing a grapheme and reading the remaining word eg. in flip, removing /f/, leaving ‘lip’. Substitution involves substituting /sh/ in ship with /ch/, resulting in ‘chip’. Manipulation involves games such as ‘sound swaps’, the example video here involved swapping the middle grapheme, but this should practiced with letters in the beginning and final positions too.

Kind regards,

James Whitla


Key Dates:

  • July 29 – Year 3-6 Athletics Day
  • August 3-5 – Year 4 Positive Start Camp at Lorne
  • August 8-18 – Foundation – Year 2 Swimming Program * please note that Year 3s will now be at a different time
  • August 22 – September 1 – Year 4-6 Swimming program
  • September 2 – District Athletics
  • September 8 – School Concert
  • September 9 – Student free day (TeamKids available) TBC
  • September 12-14 – Year 5 Positive Start Camp at Tallangatta
  • September 14-16 – Year 6 Positive Start Camp at Tallangatta
  • September 16 – Final day of Term 3. Early finish at 2:30pm