I hope you all found creative ways to enjoy the weekend, particularly that lovely winter sunshine that Melbourne gifted us yesterday! Apologies for the delay in sending out our newsletter.
The recent lockdown was a little harder to swallow than its predecessors and we saw this reflected in the children as many appeared with sad faces and emojis in their morning Webex sessions on Friday. Of course, our dedicated team of teachers had them all smiling in no time. As each lockdown arrives and moods flatten, our teachers are assigned the task of lifting our young people up and finding new ways of keeping them connected and engaged. It is a big ask and one the FPS team never shy away from. I am in awe of the resilience and positive energy this team of teachers bring to their work each day and the way they support each other, our children and our families.
Of course, to keep others up we need to keep ourselves up. Janine has inspired the staff to get outside by inviting us to share a photo of something that brings us joy on our daily walks and share them with each other via a digital platform. It was great to get a snapshot into our different 5km bubbles and I am looking forward to continuing this with the team. I wonder if you’re connected with any groups in a similar way?
On Friday afternoon, we had a rich professional conversation as a whole staff to reflect on our approach to remote learning and how we can continue to make small improvements to keep children engaged in their learning. We will be meeting again tomorrow after school to continue this conversation and will keep you informed of any new additions to our remote teaching and learning repertoire.
It is critical that all students connect with their teachers daily via Webex and Google Classroom to support us in monitoring student wellbeing and engagement. Our teachers and leaders will be making contact with families when children have not been marked absent or have not connected with their class during the school day. If your child is not participating in remote learning please mark them absent via Compass for that day.
Each year, school council holds a Public Reporting Meeting to present the annual report and share the key activities and achievements from the previous year. Our Public Reporting Meeting will be held following the next school council meeting on Wednesday, September 1 at 7:30pm. All members of the school community are invited to attend. Whilst we would love to hold this meeting in person, it seems likely that it will proceed remotely and we will provide confirmation of these details closer to the date.
Since we opened our doors in 1861, many nationalities, languages and perspectives have connected to make our school special. In our 160th year, we’re creating a special mosaic to celebrate our great school community.
The FPS Community Mosaic will be an outdoor artwork made up of ceramic, glass and recycled materials. Designed by students and put together with the help of parent volunteers, we’d love you to get involved in creating our masterpiece!
Whether you’re a family member, current or former student, teacher or friend of FPS, we invite you to purchase a mosaic tile here - https://www.trybooking.com/events/landing?eid=793605& to be part of the final design. Please also join us for the Big Reveal at the FPS Art Show & 160th Anniversary, on Saturday 20th November!
With 160 tiles purchased so far, our mosaic will soon be taking shape! We have room for everyone’s tile memories in the design, so don’t miss out on being part of the fun!
This year, school council have spent significant time updating our Standing Orders in line with current DET policy and guidelines. One aspect of this work was the development of consistent terms of reference for the way our sub-committees operate. Sub-committees are established to support school council in their work and act as advisory bodies to the council. As shared in a previous newsletter, our 2021 sub-committees are Finance, Buildings and Grounds, Policy, and Inclusion.
Sub-committees are open to members of the school community and consist of at least one school council member and three members overall with a maximum membership of 6 active members. Subcommittee members (excluding school council members), are selected via an expression of interest process managed by the Principal, School Council President and sub-committee Convener and confirmed at a following School Council meeting.
Please find below an overview of the sub-committees and their work for this year, and a Google Form link where you can express your interest for our Buildings and Grounds, Inclusion or Policy sub-committees. We are eager to complement the knowledge and skill sets of our existing sub-committee members with greater representation from our school community.
To allow us to complete the expression of interest process in time for approval at our next school council meeting, we ask that the Google Form is completed by August 20th (Friday Week 6).
Regular meetings are ongoing to progress the designs of our upcoming Capital Works in 2022. We are hopeful that we will be able to share the plans with the community in the coming months.
Throughout 2021, we have developed a partnership with Victoria University and their Social Work undergraduate program. Through this partnership within the Footscray Learning Precinct, we welcome two new students to Footscray Primary School who will be participating in their third-year placement.
Chris and Natasha joined us last week and have already displayed great resilience beginning their placement with us right as we moved into another lockdown. Once we return to onsite learning, Chris and Natasha will be spending time getting to know our wonderful students and applying their theoretical knowledge to a school setting.
We look forward to giving a proper Footscray Primary welcome to Chris and Natasha soon!
Earlier this year, we were fortunate to receive additional funding from the Department of Education as part of their ‘School Focussed Youth Service’ program. This program allows schools to provide small-group intervention programs that promote student engagement and wellbeing. We have directed this funding to a number of students in our Year 5 cohort who are participating in a 10-week Art Therapy program.
Our first session was held last Tuesday, and it was wonderful to see these students connect with each other in a more intimate group setting. The program is facilitated by a wonderful Art Therapist, Cilla, who will join us at Footscray Primary once a week. We look forward to seeing this program grow once we are able to return to onsite learning, and hope to share some art work with you soon!
If you have a child who will be starting Foundation at Footscray PS next year, please submit your enrolment forms by the end of this month. With upcoming capital works and recruitment of Italian teachers to consider, it is critical that we are able to finalise enrolment numbers as early as possible to ensure we have strong structures in place for 2022.