Important Dates to Remember

2024
 
 Tuesday 13th February 2024Whole school picnic and year level information sessions - 3:45pm - 5:00pm
 Friday 1st March 2024District Cross Country - Hansen Reserve
 Wednesday 13th March - 29th MarchYear 3 and Year 5 NAPLAN
 Tuesday 26th March 2024Celebrations of Learning
 Tuesday 26th and Wednesday 27th   March 2024School photos
 Thursday 28th March 2024Last day of Term 1 – Early Finish 2:30pm


 Term 2 
 Monday 15th April 2024Students resume
 Thursday 25th April 2024ANZAC Day public holiday
 Friday 26th April 2024Year 6 Interschool Sport - ROUND 1
 Friday 3rd May 2024Year 6 Interschool Sport - ROUND 2
 Monday 6th May - Friday 10th May 2024Polyglot Theatre 3- 6
 Friday 10th May 2024Year 6 Interschool Sport - ROUND 3
 Friday 17th May 2024Year 6 Interschool Sport - ROUND 4
 Wednesday 22nd May - Friday 24th May 2024Year 3/4 Anglesea Camp
 Friday 24th May 2024Year 6 Interschool Sport - ROUND 5
 Monday 27th May - Friday 31st May 2024Reconciliation Week
 Wednesday 29th May 2024Division Cross Country - Brimbank Park
 Friday 31st May 2024Year 6 Interschool Sport - ROUND 6
 Friday 7th June 2024Year 6 Interschool Sport - ROUND 7
 Monday 10th June 2024King’s Birthday public holiday
 Friday 14th June 2024GRAND FINALS - Year 6 Interschool Sport
 Friday 28th June 2024Last day of Term 2 – Early Finish 2:30pm


 Term 3 
 Monday 15th July 2024Students resume
 Monday 12th August - Friday 16th August 2024Science Week
 Monday August 12th - Friday 23rd August 2024P-4 Intensive swimming
 Friday 16th August 2024National Day of Action Against Bullying
 Monday 19th August - Friday 23rd August 2024Book Week
 Thursday 22nd August 2024District Athletics - Essendon Little Athletics Track
 Monday 9th September - Wednesday 11th September 2024Year 5/6 Campaspe Downs Camp
 Tuesday 10th September 2024Division Athletics - Keilor Athletics Track
 Friday 20th September 2024Last day of Term 3 – Early Finish 2:30pm


 Term 4 
 Monday 7th October 2024Students resume
 Tuesday 5th November 2024Melbourne Cup public holiday
 Tuesday 19th November 2024Foundation Transition Session 1
 Tuesday 26th November 2024 Foundation Transition Session 2
 Tuesday 3rd December 2024Foundation Transition Session 3
 Tuesday 10th December 2024Statewide Transition Day (Step-Up Day)
 Tuesday 17th December 2024Year 6 Graduation (TBC)
 Friday 20th December 2024Last day of Term 4 – Early Finish 1:30pm


Principal's Message

It has been an incredibly positive start to 2024 at Footscray Primary. We commenced this year with two curriculum days and spent time with our wonderful staff group building clarity and shared responsibility for the actions and outcomes set out in our 2024 Annual Implementation Plan (AIP) This year, the AIP is about consolidating and embedding the work that has been developed over the last couple of years. We will further refine the FPS Learning Model with a particular focus on Writing and Mathematics and re-energise our approach to inquiry-based teaching and learning to lift student agency and engagement. We will continue to strengthen our practices in school wide positive behaviours and respectful relationships and broaden our offerings of tiered academic and wellbeing support for our young people. A major piece of new learning this year is the introduction of student-centred assessment and reporting which will be shared through the Seesaw platform in the form of learning stories, portfolios, and student-led conferences. Thank you to the many parents and carers who attended our information session last week. Of course, all of our work will be viewed and connected through the lens of bilingual education. 

The AIP is available for your reading pleasure on our website - https://www.footscrayps.vic.edu.au/page/245/Strategic-Plans. This is the final year of our current strategic plan and we have achieved so much over the past four years. Entering my fifth year at FPS, I am proud of the improvements we have made and I am greatly looking forward to our school review next year where we will reflect on the last four years and build a vision for the next four!

I congratulate our student leaders, Eva, Vivienne, Peggy, and Patty for leading their first whole school assembly last Friday. It can be easy to underestimate how daunting and nerve-wracking it can be to speak into a microphone in front of 350 people and they absolutely nailed it. Well done team!

I also congratulate the 27 FPS swimmers who competed at the District Swimming last week. Making the district event is already an incredible achievement and Nadine was blown away by their efforts and the way they each represented our school. 11 swimmers will now go on to compete at the next level - congratulations everyone. 



Respectful Parent Behaviour; in person and online

I am a little bit sad to have to be writing this section of the newsletter. It has come to my attention that there have been instances of parents speaking negatively about other people’s children in online social forums. I remind all adults in our community that the expectations we hold for our grown ups are the same as the expectations we hold for our children. We are Respectful, we are Responsible, and we are Kind. I’d like to focus on that last one - All who know me, professionally or personally, will know that I am driven by kindness and I work hard to ‘flip my thinking’ and always consider the perspective or contexts of others before making judgements. Kindness is everything; it can change a person’s day and even save a person’s life; it’s magic and it’s the easiest thing in the world to be!
Every young person is a human like you, trying to find their place in a big, overwhelming world. The beauty of what we have built at FPS is that we are inclusive and we meet people where they are and work together to move forward. Please think before you press send and reflect on whether you’d like what you’re about to type written about your own child and sent out into the world. If you have any concerns or questions about incidents that have occurred at school the only person you should be speaking to are the classroom teacher or a member of the leadership team. Choose kind!

School Council Nominations

This year, we will have a number of positions vacant on our school council and we encourage our parents and carers to consider nominating for these positions Our School Council is made up of a pretty fabulous bunch of humans and our parent members always comment on how great it is to see the other side of school and the things that happen behind the scenes to pull it all together. Stay tuned for more information coming soon via Compass and feel free to come and chat to me (Jen) in the yard before or after school or shoot me an email if you are interested and have any questions.

Whole school picnic and year level information sessions - tomorrow Tuesday 13th February, 3:45pm - 5:00pm

We are very excited to see you all tomorrow for our annual whole school picnic and cohort information sessions. This year all year level information sessions will be taking place on the first floor of the Palazzo in our professional learning space. These sessions are an opportunity for teaching teams to share their Units of Inquiry across the year, as well as their contact availability, specialist timetables and any other organisational information needed for families.
Year level teams will present at the following times:

  • Foundation: 3.45pm - 3.55pm
  • Year 1/2: 4pm - 4.10pm
  • Year 3/4: 4.15pm - 4.25pm
  • Year 5/6: 4.30pm - 4.40pm

The picnic will be held on the oval from 3:30pm - 5:00pm so please come along and enjoy the afternoon meeting your child/ren’s teacher/s, chat with old friends and new families, and bring some nibbles and plenty of fluids - it looks like it’s going to be a scorcher!
The forecast is also predicting rain so we suggest bringing along a cushion or two to set up under the Palestra if needed.
Our specialist team will be hosting games outdoors and are also available for catch ups throughout the afternoon.
While the information sessions and school picnic will officially wrap up at 5pm, please feel free to remain longer with your friends and family to enjoy our grounds.
See you there!




External professionals visiting school site

As a school, we strive to work alongside relevant external allied health professionals to better outcomes for students wherever possible. At times, these professionals wish to engage in student support onsite during school hours. We have provided a summary below that gives clarity to families around what we can and cannot accommodate as a school.

The Department of Education NDIS Funded Therapy in Schools policy outlines the arrangements that families and providers must follow if wishing to engage in onsite therapies. Approval must always be sought for these therapy requests through the Principal, or Principal delegate. In line with the policy above, therapies not engaged through the NDIS are not able to engage in privately sought sessions during school hours on the school site. 

There are several considerations made when approving an NDIS therapy at school, and priority is given to the child’s participation in the school learning program wherever possible. These therapies can only occur in classrooms or directly adjacent to classrooms in viewable, shared spaces, as per Department Child Safe and Duty of Care policies. To ensure appropriate clearances and insurances are held by each provider, therapies are not able to commence until all documentation is provided, agreements are created, and permission is granted to the provider by the school.

We ask for our families' understanding that staff are very busy during the school day catering to the needs of all students in their classes, and providers are not able to request additional debrief time with staff members during learning time, allocated non-face to face teaching time, or during staff breaks. Providers are welcome to collaborate and share therapy information through email or SSG meetings, if applicable. The process linked to facilitating NDIS therapies is comprehensive and we ask for your patience as the relevant staff complete the steps connected to this policy alongside other roles and responsibilities.

If you have any questions regarding NDIS Funded Therapies at School, please contact Chris Wilson via email at chris.wilson3@education.vic.gov.au

Student attendance: every day counts

It has been wonderful to see classrooms full of students across the school in the first weeks of 2024, demonstrating the importance of being at school on time, every day, if healthy and well. Research has found that the attendance patterns of a child in their first month of school can predict the patterns that form in their attendance across the remainder of the year. With this in mind, we will be making extra efforts to highlight and acknowledge strong school attendance in our first weeks of the year.

Being at school on time each day is not just about being marked on a roll, it helps reinforce high expectations around punctuality and responsibility for children as they grow older and become contributing members of the community through further study or employment. Consistent attendance also benefits students through ensuring they receive exposure and explicit teaching of the entire school curriculum, as well as remaining connected and engaged with peers and the wider community setting a school offers.

All schools set strategic goals related to attendance, and in 2024 our goal relates to decreasing the amount of students with 20 or more absent days in the school year.

As a school, we understand that there are times when you and/or your child will have very valid reasons for their absence from class. In these instances, please log an attendance note through Compass or phone the school absence line (9687 1910 and select absence line), and reach out to your child’s classroom teacher if you require any support.

If you are experiencing more substantial concerns around your child and school avoidance or reluctance, please reach out to your child’s classroom teacher as a first contact, who will also be able to refer to relevant members of the school’s leadership team.

School policy update

In 2024, we will be summarising a selection of school policies in each school newsletter. School policies provide very helpful guidance for staff and families to find out more about many different elements of school operations. A wide range of our school policies are listed on our school website, which you can access directly through this link.

Three policies we direct your attention to in this edition of the newsletter are our Child Safety Code of Conduct, Child Safety Policy, and Child Safety Responding and Reporting Obligations. The actions and processes outlined in these policies describe the ways in which we work to ensure a child safe culture at Footscray Primary School. As adult members of our school community, all parents, carers and other community members also have obligations to understand and comply with the acceptable and unacceptable behaviours outlined in these policies. Should Footscray Primary School have any concerns for child welfare, staff have a legal obligation to follow a uniform process, as outlined in the Four Critical Actions for Schools process. These three policies are publicly available on our website, and can be read in more detail using the website policy link included above.

Literacy Intervention

This year, we are excited to be trialling a new literacy intervention as part of our school’s Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) responsive to student academic and wellbeing needs. Our school is using the Decodable Readers Australia resource and implementing this structured synthetic phonics approach with small groups of students who require additional assistance on top of our existing, evidence-based, approach to literacy. At the start of 2024, our Education Support team were trained in this program and have allocated time to work with students from Years 1 - 3. Eligibility for this intervention was determined via the ‘Letters and Sounds’ assessment to target those most in need. Families with a child participating in this intervention will have received a letter late last week detailing the additional intervention being offered.

To further support differentiated classroom instruction, teachers also have access to this resource to utilise within classroom learning programs, as needed, with their cohorts of students. A great feature of the Decodable Readers Australia resource is that the families of students currently accessing the intervention are also able to log in and use these resources at home.

We look forward to monitoring the data that emerges from this first cycle of intervention to refine the best approach in our school setting. As part of this, we are currently tailoring a comparable intervention better suited to students in Years 4-6 with identified needs in reading. Please continue checking in to our school newsletters for further updates regarding our progress embedding this new support. If you have any further questions, please contact Jenny Campbell via email at jenny.campbell@education.vic.gov.au

Tutor Learning Initiative

The Tutor Learning Initiative is a Department of Education initiative designed to target students who benefit from additional support in foundational literacy or maths skills. The small group learning takes place in groups of no more than five, for approximately 45-60 minutes, 2-3 times per week.

Due to funding decreases, our Tutor Learning will take place only two days per week this year with Joslyn Csobonyei. Students eligible for TLI are those who fall within the ‘Needs Assistance’ range in the previous year’s NAPLAN, or are 12 or more months below level according to multiple data sets.

Families of selected students for our Term 1 TLI program will be notified via a letter in their child’s school bag next week.

If you have any questions about TLI and eligibility, please contact Kathy Winton on kathy.winton@education.vic.gov.au or 9687 1910.

Financial support

Each year, we like to remind families of avenues for financial assistance that you can access if needed. With equity one of our school pillars and a key component of the culture we strive for at Footscray Primary School, it is important to us that every student’s access to all school activities is not impacted by financial constraints. We have outlined some financial supports for your reference below. If you wish to discuss financial support further, please contact our office team who are ready to assist you in a sensitive and confidential manner.

State Schools Relief
State Schools Relief are a not-for-profit organisation who support families with uniform items and other learning resource needs. To discuss a State School Relief request, please contact the office. Community members who wish to contribute to this wonderful and longstanding community support can also head to their website to donate.

All Aboard
Footscray Primary School is proud of its internal fundraising support fund, called All Aboard. The aim of this fund is to ensure the school can assist families with the costs of excursions, events, camps, or other school related costs. If you feel you require the support of All Aboard, please get in touch with the office. We fundraise annually for this great initiative through a number of events such as cake stalls, stay tuned for more information in this space.

Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund
The Victorian Government provides funding through their Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) to help eligible families to cover the costs of school excursions including:
School camps or trips
Swimming and other school-organised sports programs
Outdoor education programs
Excursions/incursions
Families holding a valid means-tested concession card or temporary foster parents are eligible to apply. A Special Consideration category also exists for asylum seekers and refugee families. The allowance is paid directly to the school to use towards expenses relating to camps, excursions and sporting activities for the benefit of your child(ren).

If you received CSEF last year and are eligible this year, you will NOT need to reapply.

The application form is attached or can be collected from the office for families who want to apply. The office will need to sight your concession card on receipt of your application.

If you have any further questions or would like to apply for special consideration, please see the office staff.

Please see link for further information:
Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund | vic.gov.au (www.vic.gov.au)

Acceptable Use Agreement for school technology

This year, all classes across the school have been learning about our new Acceptable Use Agreement for school devices. Teachers have introduced students to the new model to ensure that all students understand the expectations and subsequent consequences when these expectations are breached. As part of this new model, all students receive a 'Device Licence' and can lose demerit points from their licence through inappropriate, unsafe, or careless use of school devices. Students have started bringing hard copies of the Acceptable Use Agreement home with them for families to read over with their children and sign. Please note, this agreement must be signed by a parent or carer and the student to enable students to use school technologies in 2024.

Privacy reminder

Every year we collect and use student and parent personal information for standard school functions or where permitted by law, as stated in the Schools’ Privacy Policy and the Schools’ Privacy Collection Notice.
Our Photographing, Filming and Recording Students Policy (attached), describes how we collect and use photographs, video and recordings of students. The policy also explains when parent consent is required and how it can be provided and withdrawn. We ask parents to also review the guidance we provide through our ICT User Agreement on how we use devices and software safely at the school and what parents can do to further protect their child’s information. For more information about privacy, refer to: Schools’ Privacy Policy - information for parents. This information is also available in ten community languages:
* Amharic
* Arabic
* Dari
* Gujarati
* Mandarin
* Somali
* Sudanese
* Turkish
* Urdu
* Vietnamese

District Swimming Team

On Friday 9th we had 27 swimmers represent FPS at the District Swimming Sports. When we got back from MAC my proud bucket was overflowing! Wow wow wow! I saw so many parents and grandparents cheering everyone on from the side of the pool and it worked!!
Whether the swimmers go through to Divisions or not, whether they got a ribbon or not, the fact is that they put themselves forward for the swimming trials and they were fierce in the pool! I adore seeing kids achieve, challenge themselves and get a little out of their comfort zone when it comes to competition. Its good and it's healthy for them to do it. And all 27 swimmers did this!
My socks and runners were completely drenched from picking each swimmer up out of the pool to tell them how phenomenally amazing I thought their effort was! I love what I do and I'm lucky to do it and work alongside these kids every day.
For anyone who came 1st or 2nd in an A race or came 1st or 2nd in the relays (they will get notification about Division through me in the next week). It is on Thursday 7th March at Oak Park Swimming Pool (same as last year). Transport will be organised through school.

A BIG thanks to Ryan who supported me and the team poolside!

Nadine

Avoid congestion around school in 2024



Parking, the road rules and you


Community Information

Kelly Sports Term 1

Kelly Sports Term 1 2024

Chess Term 1
Chess Term 1
Maribyrnong College

Mackillop Family Services
Bringing Up Great Kids parenting course flyer

Maribyrnong City Council - sessions coming up
Early Years - Parenting in Maribyrnong Sessions Flyer
Abilities Unleashed Kids Flyer
Reading Club Flyer

A friendly reminder about key safety messages for you to distribute to families who have received the Victorian Government’s Little Angler kits.

Recreational fishing in Victoria
The Victorian Government is proactive in encouraging all Victorians to fish, specifically focusing on the involvement of women, children, and people from diverse backgrounds. We educate fishers and the community about responsible fishing practices and promote stewardship of our precious aquatic and animal resources via our Marine and Freshwater Discovery Centre, Education and Engagement Unit and funding of Fishcare Victoria Inc.
Recreational fishing offers terrific opportunities for people of all ages, skills, abilities, and backgrounds to enjoy a fun and healthy activity and build social connections. Our aboriginal heritage is also deeply linked to fishing, with thousands of years of indigenous fishing history in Victoria.
The VFA run a range of free community fishing festivals across the State, stock 10 million fish into Victoria’s waterways each year, including a range of threatened species, install fishing and boating infrastructure to improve access, install recreational fishing reefs and improve habitat and undertake important research into Victoria’s many different species of seafood.
For more information about the VFA, recreational fishing opportunities in Victoria and/or a potential future career in natural resource management for your students, please visit www.vfa.vic.gov.au.
Little Anglers Hub
The VFA has created the kid-friendly Little Anglers Hub website (www.vfa.vic.gov.au/littleanglerkit), written specifically for children with useful information, instructional videos about how to safely set up and use the kits, being safe around the water, as well as advice on where to go fishing in Victoria.
There is an electronic copy of the Kids Guide to fishing that was included in the kits available on this site, both in English and five other languages.
Key Safety Messages
Going fishing is awesome and so much fun! When it comes to fishing, it’s important to stay safe, especially around water!
Students can keep their fishing safe by:

  • going with a friend;
  • being careful with hooks and lures;
  • looking behind before casting;
  • handling fish carefully;
  • being conscious of the dangers associated with water;
  • protecting yourself against the elements (sunscreen, drinking water);
  • letting someone know before you go; and
  • washing your hands after handling lead sinkers, especially before eating or drinking.

The link below is to a short safety video that is posted on the Little Anglers hub website, reinforcing the above safety messages to students. https://youtu.be/drPLpKXpC3w

Please note that fishing equipment is not for human consumption. If swallowed, hooks can cause serious harm and lead sinkers can be toxic. Young children and those with some disabilities including pica disorder are especially vulnerable and should be supervised whilst fishing. If a child does swallow a hook or lead sinker, seek medical assistance immediately - don’t wait for it to pass.
Fishcare Flyer