February 10th 2021


Principal's Message

It has been a busy start to the year for us as we launched our Italian Bilingual Program, met with architects to begin the work on our Master Plan, and commenced our School Review process. We have also been attending professional learning provided by DET in relation to the Tutoring Initiative and how that will roll out across the year.

Our students have been busy getting reacquainted, making new friends and adjusting back into school routines and structures. Our Student Leaders did an incredible job facilitating their first assembly last week and we can’t wait for this week’s assembly to celebrate the Lunar New Year.


School Review

Every four years, all government schools undertake a formal review process to reflect on the current School Strategic Plan and create goals and targets to inform the Strategic Plan for the coming four years.

Our independent reviewer, Barry Soraghan, facilitated a great first day this week. We spent time in classrooms observing practices across the school and understanding the student and staff experience of FPS. We reviewed data sets to reflect on the previous strategic plan and what helped us or stood in the way of achieving any targets and goals.

We invited a group of Year 6 students to talk to the panel about their experiences at Footscray PS. They were very brave and represented our school beautifully. They spoke openly and honestly about the great things we are doing and the things we really need to do better. It is pretty overwhelming being interviewed by 14 grown-ups, including 5 Principals, and I was so proud of how our students overcame their nerves. Thank you Jimmy, Sunny, Jackson, Tilly, and Aelwyn.

The next stage of the review process is the Fieldwork Day and it takes place next Tuesday, February 16th. On this day, the reviewer and three external members of the Review Panel, Natalie, Trevor and Danielle, will facilitate a number of focus groups and undertake further observations. Please see the compass post sent earlier this week for details of the Parent Workshop and consider attending to share your insights and reflections on Footscray PS.

A school review is a collaborative, honest, and productive undertaking. A review is also a time-consuming process and I thank all of our staff and the members of our panel below who have generously given their time to partner with us for our review.

Senior Education Improvement Leader (DET)                     Natalie Bakai

School Council President                                                   Raylene Varone

Footscray City PS Principal                                                Jessie Hand

Footscray High Executive Principal                                     Frank Vetere

FLP Acting Project Manager                                               Clare Green

Brunswick South PS Principal                                            Trevor Strolla

Instructional Coaching and Professional Learning

We have established a number of partnerships this year to provide personalised professional learning opportunities for our teachers and leaders.

Ruth Moodie, our Literacy Coach, is working each week with our Foundation team on effective reading practices.

Elena Pirovano, our language consultant, is working with our Year 1 team and our Bilingual Program Leader, Jackie, to develop effective bilingual practices. Elena is experienced in the PYP program and also speaks native Italian.

Johnny Abboud and Odette Hoyne, from the DET Differentiated Support for School Improvement (DSSI) team, are working with us each Thursday to support literacy practices. Johnny is currently working with our Year 3/4 team and Odette is working with our Year 5 team.

All of our Year Level (PLT) Leaders will be participating in a Community of Practice with leaders from Carlton Primary School and Dinjerra Primary School. Two days each term, our PLT leaders will attend Carlton PS to learn from literacy expert, Terri Campbell, and bring back their learning to their teams to ensure a school-wide approach to reading and writing. Terri is an engaging presenter and experienced educator. She inspires educators to move beyond reading and writing for ‘school’, to create confident lovers of reading and engaged authors.

Social Work Placements

We are partnering with Victoria University to host Social Work students at Footscray Primary School across Term 1 and 2. The successful candidates will work with us 4 days per week to deliver quality small group programs that focus on self-regulation, positive behaviours, protective behaviours and bystander behaviour, making friends and keeping friends and many other aspects of social and emotional learning. We look forward to introducing the students to the community shortly.

Let's get the conversation started about.....the PYP!

To our new and ‘not-so-new’ families, welcome to a new and exciting year!

As your new Primary Years Programme (PYP) coordinator, I look forward to ‘sparking’ lots of conversation about the PYP programme and sharing many of our adventures with you. Our school has a long and successful history as a PYP school. Back in 2005, we applied for candidacy and after much rigorous planning, learning and commitment from our school community, we were authorised in 2009. And I was part of it (almost) from the beginning!

And now…the PYP has evolved.
The re imagined curriculum framework now emphasises the central principle of agency - voice, choice and ownership. This is threaded throughout three pillars of the curriculum: the learner, learning and teaching and the learning community. The PYP framework continues to meet its original aims of developing internationally-minded people who recognise their common humanity and shared guardianship of the planet.

Introducing….. the FPS 2021 Programme of Inquiry.

Our Programme of Inquiry is a living document. Teachers and students regularly reflect on levels of engagement and learning achievements.

I have begun our conversation by displaying the central ideas which underpin each of the six transdisciplinary themes. Central ideas are meaningful, transferable, conceptual ideas that offer possibilities for transdisciplinary inquiry.

The matrix displayed here shows only a ‘taste’ of the units that each year level will inquire into during 2021. All will be revealed…by your child!


How can you be involved?

  • As expert speakers, artists, writers – the list is endless
  • Talk to your child about their learning – encourage ‘wonderings’, research, reflection
  • Support your child to bring ‘artifacts’ or connections to their unit of inquiry – objects, photographs, books etc – these will spark further rich conversations.
  • Support your child to demonstrate authentic ‘action’ arising from their learning.

Year level newsletters (which are arriving this week) will give you more information about term one units of inguiry that your child will be exploring. Foundation and year one bilingual teams have delayed their start and will be beginning soon. 

Janine Bell 

Koorie Facts

Did you know that the Bay at the centre of Boon Wurrung, Wurundjeri and Wadawurrung Country is called Narrm Narrm or Nairm? It was called Port Phillip Bay by colonisers.

Kulin people have a deep knowledge of the Bay developed over many 1000's of generations, including its waters, tides, coast and its fish and animals. Boon Wurrung and Wurundjeri people each have stories about a great flood that caused the Bay to form very quickly.

Before this flood occurred, the area where the Bay is now was a dry, grassy plain that was a good hunting ground for emu and kangaroo.


Vietnamese News

Dear parents and carers,

Tết holiday – Vietnamese Lunar New Year or Tết Vietnam is the most significant festival in the S-shaped country. As a result of being calculated by the lunar calendar, the Tết festival often occurs at the end of January or the beginning of February, which is later than New Year’s day. Tết festival 2021 is on February 12th, 2021. Each Lunar New Year will have a symbolic animal. 12 Vietnamese zodiac signs are different from Chinese ones (The fourth zodiac sign in Vietnam is Cat while it is Rabbit in China). Every animal will bring unique luck in its year. Tết holiday 2021 is the year of the Ox. Based on the Zodiac Sign, it said that the Oxen are the hard workers in the background, intelligent and reliable but never demanding praise.

During this week, the Foundation to Year 6 students have inquired about the Vietnamese New Year traditions and its own culture and custom. They have learnt Tết is New Year and Chúc Mừng Năm Má»›i is Happy New Year. Students also have made New Year posters, red lucky envelopes and New Year cards in Vietnamese lessons.

Here are some Tết wishes that students have written on their cards and posters:

Dồi dào sức khoẻ: abudant health

Thịnh vượng: prosperity

Vạn sá»± nhÆ° ý: everything as one wish

Thành công mọi mặt: to be successful in all aspects

Luôn luôn trẻ đẹp: always young and beautiful  for young female

Sống lâu trăm tuổi : to live to 100 years of age

On behalf of the Vietnamese teachers and Footscray Primary staff, I would like to wish families and friends a very Happy Lunar New year. May the New Year bring joy, peace and happiness to all of you and your entire family.

Warm regards and lots of love x.x.x

Cô Hạnh

State Schools' Relief

State Schools' Relief helps families with the cost of new school uniforms, shoes and other essential items for families who are facing hardship. Having the same uniform and quality footwear as other students ensures that all students feel included and valued. It provides everyone, regardless of their background, with the opportunity to participate fully in schooling. Families who are experiencing financial hardship, unemployment, illness, domestic violence can request help SSR assistance. Refugee and indigenous families can also apply.

Please see https://stateschoolsrelief.org.au/ for further details. Please see office staff to request State School Relief assistance.  


Welcome Back TheirCare Families - We have all missed you!
Just a reminder that it is Term 1 and it is a requirement that your child/ren have their own hat and water bottle to bring to the service. We are SUNSMART 😊 Some snapshots of our January Holiday Program 2021:

Keeping Everyone Safe - COVID-19

We have implemented strict infection prevention and control measures to reduce the risk of spreading communicable diseases such as COVID-19. We are guided by the Health & Education Departments in your state, along with advice from professionals.
 Some practices we have implemented into the service:
• Regular cleaning of all high touch areas.
• Sanitizing upon arrival/entering the main OSHC space.
• Everyone will wash their hands at least every 30 minutes.
• Social distancing of adults, including limits to the number of adults in the service.
• Hand sanitiser is available at the sign in desk for families.
• Modifying activities to promote physical distancing.
• We follow the same rules as the classroom teachers in relation to educators wearing masks.

What you require at TheirCare if your child has a Medical Condition:
All children who have been diagnosed with a medical condition, including all allergies, food/chemical intolerances, anaphylaxis, asthma, epilepsy or any other medical condition which may affect the child must have a completed medical management plan with a colour photo in order to attend.

It is a legal requirement under the Education & Care National Regulations and the Term & Conditions for bookings that these are provided, along with any medication listed on the plans where required.

Upcoming Weekly Themes at TheirCare (Term 1, 2021)

  • Week 3: Native Life
  • Week 4: A Trip to Italy
  • Week 5: Sustainability

We are always looking for new ideas, which include activities, food menu items, program themes and other suggestions. Please feel free to provide feedback to any of the staff at the service.

- Vanessa Attard and Jessica Alessi

Book Bingo

The staff of FPS are playing a collective game of Book Bingo. I love this game because it gets people talking about reading, recommending texts and authors and inspires us to expand our reading diet. My kids helped design one for our family too with slightly different rules. It is such a great way to talk about reading at home. I have shared the bingo boards in case we have inspired anyone to do this in their own workplace or at home. I would love to have a giant online version for the whole FPS community to play together, but alas, my technical skills are not at that level – if anyone else is keen and has the know-how – please reach out!

FPS Book Bingo 2021 - Rules of Engagement

  • The game is collaborative – It’s us vs the game.
  • Each box has a reading challenge. To win the square we need two different. people to read two different texts that hit the challenge.
  • Each book you read can only be used in one square.
  • Someone else can read the same book as someone else and use it in a different square.
  • The challenge is for new and current reads – only texts you’ve read this year for the first time
  • If we fill the whole board by the end of the year we win the right to tell everyone how well-read we are 

Footscray Community Arts Centre

Please follow the link for some upcoming exciting drama classes held at Footscray Community Arts Centre. 


Kelly Sports

Kelly Sports will be joinging us again this term. Please see the flyers below for more information.