Principals Message

We are nearing the end of 2020 and at this point in time we have completed our recruitment for 2021.

We congratulate Ariane Bradley and Josephine Coad, who have secured ongoing employment at Davis Creek PS. Ariane has worked with us for two years and successfully stepped up this year as the Year 2 Team Leader. Josephine joined us this year and has been an active member of our Reconciliation Action Group and co-ordinated the Year 6-7 transition process. We wish Ariane and Jo all the very best at Davis Creek where we are sure they will continue to make a positive impact on their learners and colleagues.

We were so fortunate to have two talented teachers, Danni Kelly and Katie Lapp, join us mid-year to fill short-term contracts. It is a big ask to step in mid-year, particularly during remote learning, however, Danni and Katie both took on the role seamlessly. Danni will be returning to her ongoing position at Kensington PS and Katie will be returning to casual relief teaching so we hope to see her around often.

Anna Bui has gained employment much closer to home, teaching STEAM at Ormond Primary School. Jerome Ridgeway took leave from his ongoing position at Little River PS to do an incredible job in our Vietnamese STEAM program this year. I have approved Evelyn Ridgeway’s request for a year of leave so that she and Jerome can focus on their volunteer work and building their family business. We thank Jerome, Evelyn and Anna for their work at Footscray PS this year and look forward to welcoming Evelyn back in 2022. Prachi and Aimee will finish their contracts with Footscray PS and embark on new adventures in 2021. We thank them both for their dedication to Footscray Primary School throughout this year.

Our Education Support staff member, Jaxon Every, has recently completed his teaching qualification and will begin his career at Altona PS. We wish Jaxon all the very best with his new career. Arakah joined our education support team on a short-term contract part-way through the year and has been an enormous support. Thank you Arakah! Our Social Worker, Jessie, completes her contract at the end of this year and has relocated to the Bellarine Peninsula. We are working closely with Jessie to develop a flexible plan that would allow us to stay connected in some capacity. We will keep you in the loop!

We congratulate Emily Roberts, Luke Jones, and Chris Brown for being re-appointed for an additional year at Footscray PS. We will be welcoming back Calum Dickson and Chris Wilson from a year of leave. Emma Rudin will continue on with us for an additional year to teach Foundation and Year 1 music. I have approved an additional year of leave to Kathy Winton, Geraldine Woods, and Priyanka Advani.

We welcome Jacquelin Robertson, Sarah Tregonning, Nick Boffa and Brigid Blakeney to the Italian Bilingual team. Jacqueline and Sarah have been co-teaching and leading the Italian program at Coburg North PS, Nick has been leading the Italian LOTE program at Avondale PS, and Brigid has been working in an education support role at Richmond West bilingual school and has just completed her final teaching placement at Brunswick South bilingual school. Stephanie Bragaglia is also joining our team and comes to us from Carlton North Primary School. We are confident we have engaged a teacher to teach the music curriculum through Vietnamese language to Year 2-6 students. We are awaiting final confirmation from the Victorian Institute of Teaching and look forward to sharing the official news shortly. 

2021 Staff Structure
Foundation – Greenwood Building

Jackie Robertson & Sarah Tregonning (Italian)

Caitlin Wood
Brigid Blakeney (Italian & English)

Year 1 – Greenwood Building

Emily Roberts
Nick Boffa (Italian)

Year 2 – Middle Portables

Julia Woods
Joslyn Csobonyei
Chris Brown

Year 3/4 – Edwardian Building

Felicity Maxwell & Chris Wilson
Caroline Donovan
Stephanie Bragaglia
Luke Jones
Arta Redzep

Year 5 – Bluestone Building

Bec Welsford
Hannah Clarke
Janine Bell & Chris Wilson

Year 6 – Back Portables

Andrew Gray
Calum Dickson

Specialist Team

Chris Robinson – Physical Education
Hanh Tran - Vietnamese
Wendy Platt – Visual Art
Emma Rudin – Music (Foundation and Year 1)
TBC – Music & Vietnamese

Education Support
Joyce Aquilina
Carol Moore
Lisa Watson

Tutoring Program
Virginia Gardiner
Betty Lieu

Rowena Harris – Business Manager
Jessie Brown
Rhiannon Long

Katrina Firman

Jen Briggs – Principal
Sally Curmi – Assistant Principal
Janine Bell – Leading Teacher – PYP and Assessment & Reporting
Chris Wilson – Student Wellbeing and Engagement
Julia Woods – Learning Specialist
Jackie Robertson – Learning Specialist

Differentiated Support for School Improvement

I have been informed this week that we have been included in the Differentiated Support for School Improvement program in 2021.  We are fortunate to have been allocated to the Teaching Partners initiative which means we will have two highly skilled leading teachers working with us one day a week throughout next year...for free! They will be working with classroom teachers in a coaching capacity focussed on literacy. Our teaching partners are Odette and Johnny and I am hoping to meet them before the end of term. We look forward to welcoming them into our school community.

School Council 2020

We have now concluded our meetings for School Council 2020. What an extraordinary year it has been with many achievements across the year.

We thank those who attended our public reporting meeting and remind everyone that the Annual Report is available on the website for your reference. Working in partnership with a strong and dedicated School Council significantly increases our capacity to grow and thrive as a school community. The individual members of this year’s council have been an incredible support to me in my first year of Principalship and I thank them enormously for their generosity of time, their professionalism and their commitment to Footscray Primary School. I would like to give an extra special shout out to Raylene Varone who has taken on the Presidency of FPS School Council and masterfully steered our ship through the many successes and challenges of 2020.

Early next year, we will call for nominations for a number of positions on council and we encourage any interested parties to contact us if they would like more information on what being on council involves.

FPS Social Club

Who launches a Social Club during a pandemic year?

We do! And in spite of restrictions and school closures, we still managed to raise money for iPads and accessories in Term 1, hold a very fun virtual trivia night during lockdown to raise funds for All Aboard, and (very recently) launch a Foundation Parents Network.

In 2021 we hope to achieve much more - and we'd love for you to be a part of it.

We are a friendly volunteer team of FPS parents and carers who work to enrich school life by helping with fundraising and other fun social activities, supporting school initiatives, and providing a parent/carer voice.

What’s involved?

As a member of the FPS Social Club you might:

• Work to connect School families, staff and other local groups and businesses.
• Assist with events and projects that support our school and its local community.
• Contribute ideas and expertise to initiatives, activities and events.
• Attend semi-regular (and fun) meetings.
• Connect with other amazing parents and carers from our school community.

Want to find out more?

Email the FPS Social Club on and we’ll be happy to answer any questions, or call you to have a chat.

Want to jump right in?

Please email to register your interest in becoming  a member of the Club. Please include 
your full name, mobile number, email address, child’s name and year level.

Everyone is welcome!



Annual Implementation Plan

We are proud that despite the interruptions to the school year due to COVID-19, we have progressed well towards the annual goals and completed many of the actions.

At this stage, we are waiting for the entire data sets for our Staff, Student and Parent Opinion Surveys. The initial data from the School Staff Survey reflects our collective impact on the professional school climate. 


2020 School Staff Survey




School Climate




Academic Emphasis




Collective Efficacy




Collective Focus on Student Learning




Collective Responsibility




Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum








Staff Trust in Colleagues




Teacher Collaboration




Trust in Students and Parents




Instructional Leadership





Staff Action Teams

Driving school improvement is complex and collaborative. To move forward in some areas with relative speed we created staff action teams to focus on three key projects; transition, induction, and a start-up program. I have provided an overview of each project below.

Transition – Led by Bec Welsford

The Transition Action Team is tasked with developing student-centred inclusive transition processes for students moving between year levels at Footscray Primary School. This includes developing the structures and processes for Step-up Day when students meet their 2021 teachers and classes. A whole school buddy system is being developed and documented and will run at the same time each fortnight with explicit social and emotional learning in the alternative weeks. Foundation students will be matched with a Year 3 student, Year 1 with Year 4, and Year 2 with Year 5. Year 6 students will develop their whole school leadership through a range of projects and teams.

 Induction – Led by Emily Roberts

The Induction Action Team is tasked with co-developing an intensive induction process that guides new staff through a supportive and sequenced induction over the course of their first year at Footscray Primary School. This will include basics like a school tour and HR matters through to coaching in active supervision of the yard, wellbeing check-ins and regular check ins with leadership. The team will also develop an induction process for new students and families joining our school community.

 Start-up Program – Led by Julia Woods, Felicity Maxwell & Andrew Gray

The Start-Up Action Team is tasked with developing a start-up program for each year level to be enacted in Term 1, 2021. Learning sequences for Reading, Writing, Mathematics, and Wellbeing/Learning Environment will each have approximately 10 lessons planned. The program guides teachers through the development of school-wide consistent practices for creating safe and engaging learning environments, routines and structures that build independence and shared responsibility of the learning space, high impact teaching practices and pedagogy, and ongoing informal assessment of learning. Elements of the PYP will be present across all learning sequences. 



Step-Up Day

On Tuesday 8th December, all F – 5 students will meet their 2021 teacher and classmates. Students will participate in a range of activities with their new class, and have a chance to make connections with each other. 2021 Foundation students will also attend Step-Up activities on this day. The incoming foundation students will attend from 9:45 – 10:45am and will be met at the Greenwood gate – this is the same gate, on Commercial Road, that the students entered through for transition sessions.

2021 Foundation Parent Information Session

On Tuesday 8th December, whilst the incoming Foundation students are at their transition session, we will be hosting an information and getting to know you session for parents and carers. From 9:50 – 10:40am we invite you to join myself and Sally for a connect session where we will have an opportunity to get to know each other. During the session we will also gather our collective thoughts about what we would like our children to know, understand, do and be after their time here at Footscray Primary School. The canteen will be open for all of your coffee needs. We hope to see you then!

We would normally host a series of formal information session for families where we share a lot of information and you would ask us a lot of questions, however, Covid has thwarted this plan.  In lieu of that, we have decided to try something a bit different. Please share any wonderings you have in this quick survey and we will create a Fact Sheet/Information Pack that answers all of your questions.

Year 6 Transition to Secondary School Days

Students in Year 6 have received information from their 2021 secondary school about their transition day. Due to COVID, this year each secondary school has made individual transition arrangements based on DET requirements. Parents are responsible for taking their child to, and collecting them from, their secondary school.

If students are at part-day transitions, parents are responsible for ensuring their child has had a break and lunch/ snack before the student returns to school.

Year 6 Graduation

On Friday 11th December our Year 6 students will have their graduation day. The day will be filled with events including a graduation ceremony, Year 6 special lunch, mini-Olympics and an ‘amazing race’.

Parents of Year 6 students are invited to attend the graduation ceremony from 9:00 – 11:00am. Due to COVID restrictions, only two people per student can attend, and we respectfully ask parents to leave before 11:15am when the rest of the school will come outside for their normal lunch play. To ensure we are not exceeding outdoor capacity limits, please rsvp to your child’s classroom teacher by Wednesday 9th December to confirm your attendance. On the day, all attendees will need to fill in an attendance register, as you will be onsite for more than 15 minutes. Please check Compass updates for more information.

Last Day of Term

The last day of term will be the 18th December 2020. All students will be dismissed at 1:30pm. 

If you can not make it at 1:30pm to pick up your child, Theircare will be open for you to book your child in.

FPS Induction Team

The Footscray Primary staff have been working in teams over the last few weeks to develop action plans that support everybody to hit the ground running from the beginning of 2021.

One such team is the Induction Team, who have been focused specifically on ensuring that staff and students new to the Footscray Primary School family are supported to understand the expectations, opportunities and norms in our school - especially as they find their feet through the first term at FPS! This has been an important plan to develop. The more we support new staff and students with a warm welcome into FPS, the stronger a learning community we can build where everyone feels safe, engaged, and ready for learning.

We are all looking forward to rolling the plan out next year and receiving feedback from all involved as the induction plan goes through its first iteration!


Vietnamese News

Dear parents and carers,
During term 4, the grade 5 students have learnt how to make WHO questions in Vietnamese. They have made speaking cards to demonstrate their understanding. I am so proud of them. Here are some samples of their works.

Thank you for your on-going support and best regards,
Cô Hạnh

Koorie Facts

Almost every Australian has seen the face of the Aboriginal man on the $2 coin, but just who was he and why was he chosen to appear on the currency?


Gwoya Jungarai was born about 1895 in the Tanami Desert, approximately 200 kilometres north-west of Alice Springs in the Northern Territory. He was a husband and father, the survivor of one of the last recognised massacres of Aboriginal Australians - the Coniston Massacre of 1928 - and in the middle of last century the face of a tourism campaign.
He was also the first Aboriginal person to appear on a postage stamp and was once so famous international travellers sought his autograph.

3/4 Writers' Group

For the past 4 weeks I have had the pleasure of working with 10 enthusiastic authors from Year 3/4, and this morning they presented their pieces to Jen for feedback.

We have been working together on a piece of persuasive writing, looking at writers' craft choices, for example the use of precise language and author's voice. The students have also fine-tuned their knowledge around the more technical aspects of the genre such as structure and including a counter argument. I've had a lot of fun teaching this group and let me tell you that some of the well-known authors of the future will have started right here at FPS! Here are some of their pieces with more to follow in the next Newsletter.

Dogs are Better than Cats!
By Alice Strybosch, Gr 3/4A

If you think cats are better than dogs then keep reading, because I am 99% sure that this text will convince you that dogs are better than cats.

In the next few minutes you spend reading this you will find out how dogs help humans, how cats break the ecosystem and  how to choose the right dog for your home.

There are many things that dogs can do for humans that make an impact on lots of people in the world. Some things dogs can do to help with are helping navigate on the roads for people who are blind. Dogs even make the world a better and safer place with calming dogs in schools (Footscray High are getting a dog!) and other places like at nursing homes. Other working dogs are police dogs and farm dogs. But this is just a few jobs dogs can do, there are millions of dog jobs around the world.

Some bad things about cats are some of their gruesome hobbies. One of their hobbies is killing birds, including native Australian birds and destroying ecosystems. Cats have been introduced to Australia. When one animal eats another animal that they are not supposed to eat it can ruin a whole life cycle, because if another animal that is supposed to eat that animal(native birds in this case) that another species(cats) ate then they would have no food and die and it goes on and on like that until there are no animals left.

Convinced yet? Yes? No? - If not, I’ve got one more thing for you…

Dogs come in all different shapes and sizes, so you can choose the right dog for your home. You can choose dogs that have certain personalities and sizes and even types of hair! Small dogs require less work and exercise - however, big dogs require a lot of exercise - enough to fill the universe! Joking, only a few hours a day!

So now I’m pretty sure that 99% of you cat lovers are now dog lovers. I hope you enjoyed my short explanation of why ‘Dogs are Better than Cats’ and that you are now a DOG lover!

By Eli Erskine

I worry about the impact of global warming, for example floods and fires.
I would like a world where kids do not have to worry about this global problem.

This problem is caused by overconsumption pollution from oil powered cars and coal powered electricity. 

Overconsumption of meat is a big problem. Why? Because cow’s farts release methane into the atmosphere. This means if we eat more meat we need to breed more cows. So, we need to make room for paddocks and pastures which causes deforestation. This ruins animals' habitat and their food source and more methane is released into the atmosphere every day!

Another major problem is oil powered cars and other oil powered vehicles which all release gas and smoke into the atmosphere This adds to global warming. Some ways to decrease how much we use our vehicles are to ride, walk or get an electric car.

Lastly, there are factory gasses. Factory gasses are gasses that are the remainder of burned coal formed as smoke. But the smoke/gasses gets blown away in the air and pulled down in rain which becomes acid rain that pollutes rivers and waterways.

I hope this piece has made you think about global warming and climate change.

You should use these ways to stop overconsumption, oil powered vehicles and toxic gasses. If we all use these ways to stop global warming we might just stop global warming for GOOD!!!

Horse Racing and Why It’s Bad
By Noah R.B

I think horse racing is a horrible sport because it has the potential to affect our lifestyle and   a part of our thought process in a negative and unhealthy way. It is needlessly cruel and the gambling corrupts our society. If you don’t believe me you should keep reading. Even if you do believe me you should keep reading so you can gather information and make a change too.

Horse racing is a cruel and toxic sport. During the races the horses are beaten and whipped. Horses’ bodies do not have the power to heal fractures and breaks, so injured winners are either killed or if it’s a minor injury they are drugged to not feel any pain (which often leads to them dying more quickly). Injured losers are often shipped off to other countries to be slaughtered. Over 100 horses are killed by horse racing in Australia annually. Because of these problems some horses owned by the racing industry die at just six when they could live to thirty.

Horses racing is also a very unhealthy sport for the humans, the fans and the jockeys. There is more than twice as much horse racing gambling as all the other types of gambling in the entire world combined. Gambling can potentially have an extremely bad impact on you mentally and financially.  Lots of people lose money from gambling, some going bankrupt. Lots of gamblers also suffer from addiction and other mental illnesses. Did you know being around greenery is scientifically proven to relax some parts of the brain and stop stress. If horse racing was banned we could use the space taken up by it to create a park or a reserve to stop some of the mental illnesses. We could use it for other beneficial things as well, like social housing and other sports grounds.                                                                                                                                                                                                          I understand that horse racing has some economic benefits for the people in the industry, but those benefits are outweighed by the number of people who have lost a lot of money from gambling and suffered from gambling addiction combined with the number of horses who have been harmed, injured and even killed in horse racing.              


Animal hunting
by Akira Wolff

I feel passionate about stopping animal hunting. I’m talking about hunting for entertainment and for trophies, where’s the fun in that! And I’m sure you agree. It’s not just the animals who suffer, sometimes the hunters do too! Have you considered culture, let me explain why we should stop it and how we can stop it. Read on and I’m sure you’ll be convinced…

We don’t just hunt for meat we also do it for trophies and for fun. Did you know 125,000 animal’s lives are destroyed for trophies each year and an average of 96 elephants are slaughtered for their ivory each year. Animals have families too and they’re suffering. What if I told you that close to 5 % of the U.S population (13.7 million) hunts. No wonder this has become a problem!

There are lots of hunting accidents that kill the people who are paid to hunt, for example, in 2020 a deer hunter was “accidently” shot dead, and in 2010 a teenager was “accidently” shot dead. Should there be elite training to handle a weapon? This could prevent the 75 deaths a year from hunting accidents.

How is hunting in the western culture different from hunting in the Aboriginal’s way? Well if you’re going to slaughter an animal, cut its head off and then leave the body to rot surely you must stop that. On the other hand, the aboriginals hunt for food to survive. Their culture means that all the animal’s body is used for food, clothing and weapons. So, this is why the Aboriginal’s culture of killing is better than the western way of killing.

125,000 deaths are just too much. Hunting for fun, hunting accidents and the culture of hunting should be changed as I explained in my reasons above. So, for mountains of reasons, I hope you’re persuaded.


2021 Start-Up Pack Action Team

We are excited to begin 2021 by building safe and supportive learning environments with our students.

The Start-Up Pack team have been busily working to create targeted lessons for each year level which will be taught in the first four weeks of school. This will help them to transition smoothly to their new year level and learn what learning looks like at FPS in Literacy, Numeracy, Units of Inquiry and Wellbeing.

We are focussing on ideas like the Zones of Regulation, setting up and packing up routines, and how to keep our learning resources organised, and these will all be taught through hands-on, collaborative approaches. We can’t wait to launch this work with our students next year!                   

Student of the Week 8

Please see below for student of the week for week 8.
Class Student 
FAOliver G & Nayla U
FBHugh P & Karen H
1AMae & Jalena & Lilith W
1BIndi S & Odessa L 
2AParidi L
2BMadi & Omar 
2CJosie B
34APaddy & Momo & Nina 
34BTom M
34CAnna S 
5AEthan D
6AAggie & Charlie 
6CSimon N
PEChelsea T in 34B
ArtMaxwell H-F in 6A

Student of the Week 9

Please see below for student of the week for week 9
Class Student 
FAAce K & Michaela A
FB Joshua B & Dayala A
1AJames & Maeve
1BHadi & Muntaha & Lenny 
1CPrakriti L
2BSakura & Harry 
2CAaron & Max
34ADash & Surya & Jess
34BEva Y
34CAmina & Huy & Tiger 
34DJoseph & Roci
34ECleo H
5AMorgan O
5BCharley & Aelwyn & Sunny & Jimmy 
6ABrandon W
6BNina & Jobe & Melody 
PE Mayo F
Art James H
VietnameseAri in 34B