February 23rd 2024

Issue 2

Important Dates to Remember

 Friday 1st March 2024District Cross Country - Hansen Reserve
 Wednesday 13th March - Monday 22nd 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 5/6 Campaspe Downs 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 3/4 Anglesea 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

We have welcomed a number of new students in the last couple of weeks and when I have checked in with them to see how they are settling in, they have all answered with big smiles and described how much they are enjoying themselves. FPS students are such great little humans, they are always excited to take new students under their wing and help them become a part of the school community. Thank you to all those who have helped our newest community members feel included and safe as they transition into a new school.

We have also welcomed to new babies to the FPS community in recent weeks. Earlier this month, Katie and her partner, Ben welcomed their baby girl, Zoe, and early this week Bec and her partner, Matt, welcomed their baby girl, Hazel. We love them both to bits already!!!

We had our first buddy session last Friday and it has been an absolute delight to see so many Year 3 and 4 students joining their Foundation buddies in the yard across this week. From all reports, the session was a huge success with games, drawing, and laughs as students connected in their multi-age groups.

Congratulations to Emily Roberts, Foundation Team Leader, on her commencement in the Teaching Excellence Program. Emily was accepted after successfully undertaking a rigorous application and selection process. She will attend the Victorian Academy of Teaching and Leadership with highly-skilled teacher colleagues to engage in 10 days of professional learning to further enhance her teaching practice.

I would like to thank you for supporting your children to attend school each day and for accurately recording their absence when they are unable to attend. 303 of our 344 students have either been at school or had their absence explained every day this term. Of those 303, 117 students have been at school every day this year. Thank you everyone, when it comes to school attendance, every day really does make a difference to the social, emotional and academic learning outcomes for our young people and we appreciate your support.

Despite the untimely thunderstorm, we had a good turn out to our family picnic and a great number of attendees at all the year level information sessions. We did a quick turn around to offer an online option for the sessions which was valued by many. We did offer an online option for our assessment and reporting session also and we will endeavour to do this at future sessions. The main challenge is that we don’t have the technical equipment to support quality hybrid presentations. It is unlikely that we will record sessions for the same reason, as well as publishing permissions from staff and participants.

The teaching profession is facing a significant crisis and to ensure we can sustain a strong teaching workforce we must ensure that our teachers are supported to have their own lives outside of work. A majority of our events moving forward will take place during the 38 hour week in which teachers are paid to be at work. Like all professionals with limited working hours, we know this can be inconvenient and we ask you to remember that any time offered outside of these hours is taken from the personal and family time of our teachers and is generally unpaid work. We thank you for your understanding and flexibility.

Compost Fundraiser Outcome

You might remember Wear it Green Day last year. A message from Abbie and Ana has been written below to jog your memory. We have been waiting a long time to have somewhere we could put our compost and now we finally have things up and running. Stay tuned for updates on our compost system and new worm farm!

Wear It Green Day

Foundation 2025

We have scheduled our first information session and school tour for Foundation 2025 families on the morning of Monday, March 18. If you have any friends or family with children starting school next year please share this information with them also. Bookings can be made online via this link or the QR code - https://forms.gle/vZGLSRHYvinbwtat8 - or by calling our friendly office team. As per the department timeline, we will accept enrolments from the first day of Term 2.

Foundation 2025 Tours and Information

Mathletics and Reading Eggs

All students at Footscray Primary School have access to Mathletics and Reading Eggs to be used at home. By the end of this week, your child should have been given their login details and you can contact the classroom teacher if for some reason your child doesn’t have theirs as yet. These tools are great platforms for increasing fluency and gaining mastery over some foundational literacy and numeracy skills.

Parent Payments and Voluntary Contribution

At this stage, 40% of Foundation families, and 20% of Year 1 - 6 families have processed their parent payments. As a government school, we provide equitable access to high quality education for all students and the contributions we receive via the parent payments play a huge role in our capacity to improve our offerings and support. Averaged out, our suggested parent payment amount works out to be less than $10 for each week of teaching, learning, wellbeing support, first aid, technology and all school resources and equipment. If you are in a position to make additional voluntary contributions to our building, library or All Aboard funds they also go an incredibly long way to improve the facilities and supports we provide to our young people.

Thank you.

School Council Nominations

As you will have seen on Compass, it is that time of year where we seek nominations for the FPS School Council. This year we have three parent vacancies and two staff vacancies.

School Councils play a key role in Victorian Government Schools, and being a member of the school council is a great way to become involved with the school. We would love to see the diversity of our community represented on council and encourage all interested parties to consider nominating.

Forms will be available from the office on Tuesday 20th February 2024 and must be lodged to the office by 4pm Tuesday 27th February 2024.

If you have any questions about the experience of being a school councillor you can reach out to our current school council members, listed below:

Parent Members
Alexander Fox
Anson Le
Clare Green
Emma Cashen
Meredith Jones
Raylene Varone
Tim Liston

DET Employee Members
Emily Roberts
Hannah Clarke
Jen Briggs
Kathy Winton

National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN)

Between Wednesday 13th March and Monday 22nd March, our Year 3 and Year 5 students will undertake the National Assessment Program for Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN). This assessment is the only national assessment that all Australian students have the opportunity to undertake.
The purpose of NAPLAN is to check in on how well students are learning the essential skills of reading, writing and numeracy. It is also a chance for parents/carers to see how their child/ren are progressing against national standards over time.
While we know that NAPLAN will provide us with valuable information about our students’ learning, we also understand that the assessment is only one snapshot of their growth and progress in knowledge building, conceptual understandings and skill development. It does not replace the value of our ongoing, every-day assessments throughout the year.
How is NAPLAN conducted?
All NAPLAN assessments, except for Year 3 Writing, are conducted online. Some benefits of the computer-based assessment are that the test is now adaptive based on students’ responses, and it has also allowed for results to be forwarded to schools earlier than previously.
What if my child has a disability and requires support in the classroom?
Adjustments are available for students with disability who have diverse functional abilities and needs. Your child/ren’s teacher will work with you to identify which students may require adjustments. These adjustments should reflect the support normally provided for classroom assessments.
What if my child is absent from school on NAPLAN days?
The testing window remains open for an extra week after Friday 22nd March. This will ensure that any students who were absent between 15th-22nd March have an opportunity to complete the assessments.
How is my child’s performance reported?
Individual student performance is shown on a national achievement scale for each assessment. This scale indicates whether the student is meeting expectations for the literacy and numeracy skills needed to participate fully in that year level. We will send home your child/ren’s NAPLAN individual student report later in the year.
How are NAPLAN results used?
At Footscray PS our teachers use results to help identify students who need greater challenges or extra support. We use the data to identify strengths and areas of need in our teaching program, and to set goals in literacy and numeracy.
What is the difference between withdrawals and exemptions?
Participation by all students is expected, however, in certain circumstances students may be withdrawn from the testing program by their parent/carer. Ultimately, this is a decision for parents/carers, but is best done in collaboration with us. A formal application must be received by the principal prior to the testing.
If you wish to withdraw your child from NAPLAN this year please contact Kathy Winton on Kathy.winton@education.vic.gov.au before Wednesday 21st February.

While a range of adjustments are available for students with disability, exemption may be suitable for some students with disability, and for some students with a language background other than English. In both cases, schools need to discuss the proposed exemption with the student’s parent/carer and gain their permission prior to testing.
If you wish to exempt your child from NAPLAN this year please contact Kathy Winton on Kathy.winton@education.vic.gov.au before Wednesday 21st February.

How are my students preparing for NAPLAN?
At school over the coming weeks, all of our Year 3 and Year 5 teachers are providing practice opportunities using the online testing platform through the Public Demonstration Site. We encourage families to do the same at home with their children.

In Week 6 we will be conducting a Year 3 and Year 5 coordinated practice assessment. This will take no more than one hour as it will be an opportunity for students to experience the assessment under test conditions, for test administrators to practice administering the test, and to monitor the internet connectivity during the testing period

The NAPLAN timetable will be communicated early next week.

If you have any questions about any of the above please do not hesitate to contact Kathy Winton at Kathy.winton@education.vic.gov.au or 9687 1910.

Communication to teachers

We would like to provide a friendly reminder to our families regarding the availability of teaching staff to respond to emails and requests for phone calls. Teachers spend the majority of their working hours in classrooms with students doing what they do best. Outside of this teaching load, staff have a small amount of time to complete professional learning, plan and develop learning programs, undertake yard duties and other roles and responsibilities assigned by the school. We want our teachers bringing their best to students in classrooms each day, and to prioritise this we focus on preserving their work-life balance.

With this in mind, we ask for your patience if awaiting a reply or returned phone call. Staff will endeavour to get back to you as soon as possible. Please also be aware that our teachers receive many emails throughout the day from colleagues as well as other families. Our teachers in F-4 are also teaching two classes which can lead to a rather overwhelming number of emails. If you are providing information about your child that does not require further unpacking, you will receive a brief reply to acknowledge receipt of the email. We ask that the information is concise and perhaps in dot points for ease of reading.

If you are concerned an email or phone call you made to us has been missed, please contact our school office via email at footscray.ps@education.vic.gov.au or phone 9687 1910. Our office staff can then ensure your contact is directed to the relevant staff member.

We also remind families that between the hours of 9am and 3:30pm, teaching staff are delivering learning programs and have a duty of care to the students they supervise. We ask that parents and carers do not engage in in-depth conversations during this time with staff which takes them away from their classes.

School reluctance and morning drop-offs

As is being experienced across all school systems, we are aware there is a small cohort of students who experience additional distress or difficulties during school drop-off each day. In these situations, we work alongside families to trial different strategies to make the morning as positive as possible for both the student as well as their grown ups. At the beginning of each school day, teachers are preparing the class for their day at school by unpacking visual timetables and launching the learning of their first lesson. With this in mind, we ask for your understanding that teachers cannot leave their classroom to attend to students in other spaces who will not enter the classroom. This creates a duty of care concern, as teachers must have supervision of their entire class group.
If you have a child experiencing school reluctance or would like to discuss additional support with morning drop-offs, please contact Chris Wilson via email at chris.wilson3@education.vic.gov.au

Community Pantry

Community PantryDo you ever find it hard to keep your pantry stocked? Why don’t you come and take what you need from the Footscray Primary School Community Pantry? It’s near the office area and you are welcome to visit every week!

This term we are focussing on breakfast.

Research shows that children who eat breakfast are better able to concentrate, self-regulate and learn[i]. Regularly eating breakfast boosts energy levels and is linked to better academic outcomes[ii].

Better Health Channel has some healthy breakfast ideas and strategies to help you and your child become a regular breakfast-eater, if you are not already: https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/breakfast

What do you like to eat for breakfast? If you find you have the means, next time you are doing your grocery shop would you consider purchasing a couple of extra non-perishable breakfast items to donate to the Community Pantry? We acknowledge that financial security can be fluid; perhaps one month you’ll be donating to the pantry and the next month you’ll be bringing items home to get you through the week. Please feel comfortable to use the pantry in the way that you need.

Fresh food is so healthy, but the Community Pantry can only accept non-perishable items; that is, packaged food off the shelf (nothing fresh or from the fridge, or that has a short used-by date). With a focus on breakfast this term and acknowledging that breakfast can look different across cultures and households, here is a list of ideas for donations:

  • Whole grain breakfast cereals
  • Long life milk (all varieties and sizes)
  • Nutritious spreads (for putting on toast)
  • Flour – all types
  • Rice
  • Chickpeas – dried or ground
  • Sesame seeds
  • Wholesome breakfast bars (for those days when you’re in a rush!)

How to donate:

Bring your food items to the office; you can pop them on the shelves of the Community Pantry yourself (located just outside the library) or hand them over to our lovely admin staff in the office.

Thank you!

[i] https://www.vic.gov.au/school-breakfast-clubs-program

[ii] https://www.betterhealth.vic.gov.au/health/healthyliving/breakfast

Community News 1

Maribyrnong City Council - sessions coming up
Early Years - Parenting in Maribyrnong Sessions Flyer
Reading Club Flyer
Early Years - Feeding Fussy Eaters
Early Years - Triple T : Tips for Toilet Training

FPS Community Pantry
Do you ever find it hard to keep your pantry stocked? Why don’t you come and take what you need from the Footscray Primary School Community Pantry? It’s near the office area and you are welcome to visit every week!

This term we are focussing on breakfast.

How to donate: Bring your food items to the office; you can pop them on the shelves of the Community Pantry yourself (located just outside the library) or hand them over to our lovely admin staff in the office.

Thank you!