October 22nd 2021

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Principal's Message

It has been a week of joy, as our little learners charged back into their classrooms. Smiles were beaming and brains were bursting. The playground was filled with squeals of delight as children reconnected with their peers and returned to a sense of normality. We look forward to welcoming back the rest of the staff and students across the week to come and hopefully, in the not too distant future, we can throw open the gates and come together as a community once again. 

Across the staggered return to school, we are simultaneously delivering 3 models of education with some of the school attending on-site each day, others in remote learning, and those attending the on-site remote learning program. This has thrown up a number of challenges and I would like to thank the leadership team for working around the clock and persisting with an extraordinarily complex timetable and staffing model, the staff for managing the workload attached to delivering both on-site and remote learning, and all of you for understanding that certain aspects of the remote program have changed to enable us to adequately staff the different approaches to learning in this time. 

We remind everyone to pack layers of clothing to help children to regulate their temperature with windows and doors remaining open wherever practicable. We have purchased lightweight recycled outdoor mats and travel caddies for each classroom to support the provision of outdoor learning wherever possible. We will share some photos once they arrive next week. Don't forget to pack some sunscreen and a sunsmart hat too!

We are hopeful that Year 3-6 camps will be able to go ahead in the second last week of this term and will communicate with you as soon as DET provide relevant advice. 

We can't thank you enough for the incredible work you have all done to provide continuity of learning for your children over the last two years. Please make sure to carve out some time as the kids return to school to grab a book and a cup of tea and just immerse yourselves in some hard-earned serenity. 

Acting Assistant Principals : October 18 – November 12

Our wonderful Assistant Principal, Sally Curmi, is off to Milgate Primary School, a PYP school in Doncaster, for a 4-week internship as part of her course on principal preparation. Lucky Milgate PS! In Sally’s absence, Chris Wilson and Caroline Donovan will share the role of Assistant Principal. Professional learning experiences such as these are a critical part of strengthening our school system and building leadership expertise within Footscray Primary School. I am sure you will offer your support as Chris and Caroline learn the ropes, whilst also managing much of their existing commitments. The office will be able to support you in finding the right person to talk with if you need anything.

Class Structures 2022

We are in the process of confirming enrolment numbers and creating our budgets and workforce plan for 2022. If you are moving out of the area and will no longer be attending FPS in 2022, please notify the office as soon as possible.  
 
Based on our current enrolment projection, the 2022 structures are below.  
 
Foundation x 2-3 classes, Year 1/2 x 4-5 classes, Year 3/4 x 5 classes, Year 5/6 x 4 classes 
 
The decision to have multi-age classes in Years 1-6 has been guided by enrolment numbers, DET funding and recommended ratios. DET funds schools to maintain 1:26 teacher to student ratio, whilst maintaining a 1:21 ratio in Foundation to Year 2.  
Just like Goldilocks trying to find the right porridge, we have a number of year levels where classes would be too small and others where they would be too large. For example, in a straight year level arrangement, our Year 3s would have 3 classes of 23, whilst our Year 4s would have 2 classes of 29-30. As multi-age classes, the cohort would have 5 classes of 25 students.  
 
In week 4-5, children will be asked to nominate some learning friends that will be considered during class placements. These friends could be from their own year level, or the level they will be joining in the above model. In line with our Class Placement Policy, any parent requests must be emailed to Jen at jenny.briggs@education.vic.gov.au by the end of October to ensure they are considered prior to finalising class lists. You can locate the policy on the school website via the following link.
https://www.footscrayps.vic.edu.au/uploaded_files/media/1634538878class_placement_policy_fps_2020.pdf

Mental Health in Primary Schools Pilot

We are very excited to announce that we will be involved in the Mental Health in Primary Schools Pilot in 2022. The MHiPS Pilot is a Department of Education and Training initiative, designed to promote a whole-school approach to mental health and wellbeing. The Pilot is being delivered in partnership with Murdoch Children’s Research Institute and the Melbourne Graduate School of Education. 

The Pilot provides our school with funding during 2022 to employ a teacher in the role of Mental Health and Wellbeing Coordinator (MHWC) who will lead a whole-school approach to mental health prevention and early intervention approaches that are embedded in the classroom. This will enable us to further deepen our current practices to support our students’ wellbeing.  

The Mental Health and Wellbeing Coordinator will complement the school’s existing wellbeing team, and strengthen our connections with Department of Education and Training regional staff, local community services and other health professionals to engage and build relationships with appropriate mental health and wellbeing supports. 

We will advertise for this position this week and look forward to sharing news of the appointment later this term.  

Breakfast Club – coming soon!

We are excited to have connected with Foodbank Victoria as part of the Victorian School Breakfast Club initiative. Our first food order has been placed, and we anticipate we will be able to launch a COVID-safe club two days per-week midway through Term 4 – right in time for students returning to onsite learning!

As you will understand, planning these sorts of school activities come with some extra requirements as we navigate the safe return to onsite attendance. We are currently confirming which days the program will run to ensure all students have the opportunity to access our breakfast club. Please keep a look out for updates that we will post via Compass confirming this information over the coming weeks.

 

Some frequently asked questions have been included below:

What time will the breakfast club run?

The breakfast club will run from approximately 8:15am – 8:45am. The club will be run two days per week, which are currently being confirmed.

Who is allowed to join the breakfast club?

All Footscray Primary students are welcome!

Where will the breakfast club operate?

At this stage the breakfast club will be run outdoors, underneath our COLA (opposite the netball court).

What foods will be available?

A range of foods will be available to students, including options suitable for those with dietary needs. Foodbank ensures all food options align with Department Healthy Eating guidelines. A confirmed menu will be available in coming weeks.

Do I need to supervise my child/ren at the breakfast club?

Students who attend the breakfast club do not need to be supervised by a parent or carer. Staff and volunteers will supervise students between 8:15am and 8:45am. It is important to note that once arriving for breakfast club, students not be allowed to leave the designated area until 8:45am as this is a duty of care requirement.Moving forward, we are excited to have parents and carers join our breakfast club – we will provide more information about this as COVID-safe restrictions ease in schools.

What safety measures are in place for the breakfast club?

Initially, we will be running an outdoor, COVID-safe model for our breakfast club. This ‘grab and go’ option means students will be able to choose individually packaged options and will not be required to use or share cutlery or crockery. All staff volunteering to support the breakfast club will also have undertaken Food Handling training.

Can I volunteer?

We can’t wait to have parents, carers and friends of the school community support our breakfast club. Due to current COVID restrictions in schools, we anticipate our Term 4 program will be run by staff only.

Enrolments

If you have a child who will be starting Foundation at Footscray PS next year, please submit your enrolment forms as soon as possible. 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.   

FPS Community Mosaic Update

Tile sales are now closed for the FPS Community Mosaic.  With 423 tiles purchased, it’s going to be big and beautiful!  We’re keeping the design a surprise until it’s ready to be revealed to the community, but have attached a sneak peek of some of the work in progress. 

We’ve been reaching out to our community for donations to help create the mosaic, and had a fabulous response!  A treasure trove of ceramics, porcelain, crockery, glass and tiles will now end up being recycled into the artwork – ranging from old porcelain unearthed from the bottom of Lake Wendouree, to colourful left-over bathroom tiles and 80s teapots! 

Students have been busy personalising the mosaic tiles, carefully transcribing names and dates of our current and former students, teachers and family members.  During the term, the tiles will be adhered to one of 8 large mosaic boards by members of each class, helping to create a colourful design.   

Making the mosaic will be a really special collaborative effort, and we’ll keep you informed along the way. 

TheirCare

TheirCare Term 4 Week 1 and 2

Important Dates To Remember

Monday 1st November - Curriculum Day NO students at school 
Tuesday 2nd November - Public Holiday school closed
Monday 13th December - Curriculum Day NO students at school