Principal’s Message

This Wednesday we will celebrate World Teachers’ Day to acknowledge the incredible work that has been undertaken by our educators over the last 18 months. It has been nothing short of extraordinary and they continue to rise to every challenge that 2021 throws at them. We invite you to join us in spoiling them all rotten on Wednesday with kindness and gratitude for all that they do.  

Monday is our curriculum day and it also marks the first day that we will have all of our staff back on site together again. We will start our day learning with the School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS) team, who have been deepening their knowledge of SWPBS across the year. The office will be unattended between 9-11am as our support staff join us in the learning pit. We will then inquire into the big ideas that are common to the parts that make up our whole; including the IB Primary Years Programme,  the Footscray Learning Precinct, the Bilingual Network, and the Australian teaching standards and practice principles. This work will inspire the creation of our new shared vision and pillars. We will spend our afternoon developing 2022 class lists and after our big day of learning, we hope to have enough energy left to set up the Year 2 classrooms in their new location ready for the students on Wednesday!  

Class Structures 2022

Last week, I shared our classroom structures for 2022; Foundation x 2, Year 1/2 x 4-5, Year 3/4 x 5, and Years 5/6 x 4. I had a few parents email me with questions about what that means and how we will manage student learning within a multi-age/composite classroom. I have responded to each email personally, but I thought I would share some snippets from my responses below for anyone who may have had similar wonderings.  

The Victorian Curriculum has been designed as a ‘continuum across levels of learning achievement not years of schooling. This enables the development of targeted learning programs for all students, where the curriculum is used to plan in relation to the actual learning level of each student rather than their assumed level of learning based on age.’ (VCAA, 2021, https://victoriancurriculum.vcaa.vic.edu.au/overview/curriculum-design/standards-and-levels

Back when I was in school, the Year 3s did Year 3 work and the Year 4s did Year 4 work and so on. Thankfully, we have learned a lot as a system since then and that is no longer the way we approach classroom teaching and learning. All children learn at different rates and regardless of year level, research shows us that it is common to find an average of 7 years difference in academic achievement in any classroom. Targeting teaching at a specific year level based on age is problematic and why we have moved away from teaching to the whole, and instead, towards small group teaching, open-ended tasks (low entry points, high ceiling), personal learning goals and individual conferences. With this approach, the composition of the classroom doesn’t impact on the approach to teaching in the same way it did in the past when we delivered fixed curriculum levels.  

Our work as educators for the immediate future will be determining the impact of extended remote learning on each learner and then utilising multiple approaches to teaching and learning to grow each child from their current point of need to the next step on the learning continuum. This will remain a major focus of our professional learning in 2021 and 2022.  

Construction and Roof Repairs Update

You may have noticed our grounds have been a hive of activity over the past few weeks. Last weekend, a second portable was moved into its new location at the rear of the school. These portable relocations form part of upcoming capital works taking place at the school in 2022. It is anticipated that the relocation works will conclude shortly, meaning we will be able to decrease the amount of temporary fencing and play spaces zoned off - yay!

Across Monday and Tuesday, you may have also seen a big blue boom lift at school. This was part of ongoing roof repairs occurring on the Bluestone and Edwardian buildings. The tradespeople reported they ended up replacing 40 tiles! Many of these tiles are cracked or shifted due to people climbing on the roof. As previously communicated, we continue to ask for your support if you notice individuals on the school roof after-hours. Most importantly we are concerned for the safety of these individuals, as well as the financial and time-related costs arranging continuous repairs as a school. If you notice suspicious activity, please phone Footscray Police.
 

Our third portable will remain in its current location for the rest of the year. Builders have been able to preserve the existing deck which will be a great outdoor learning space for the rest of Term 4. 

We hope to be able to share further details and plans related to our 2022 capital works project with you all very soon!

Shade Sail Grant

We have been successful in our application for a DET grant that will allow us to install an additional shade sail to create an outdoor learning area. The sail will shade the area at the rear corner of the Greenwood building to provide a beautiful outdoor extension of the learning space. Thank you to the Buildings and Grounds Subcommittee who will support us in the next stages! 

Enrolments

We are currently finalising our workforce plan for 2022. If you are moving schools and will not be joining us at Footscray Primary School next year, please notify the office via email footscray.ps@education.vic.gov.au as soon as possible. This ensures we are planning staff recruitment and classes that reflect accurate student numbers.

 

2022 Foundation Enrolments

We are excited to have confirmed our Foundation transition sessions for our future 2022 Foundation Students. These will be on Tuesday the 9th, 16th, 23rd and 30th of November. We are awaiting some final approvals from the Department of Education before confirming times. The good news is that we have received confirmation these sessions will be able to occur in-person at school - yay!

COVID-Safe measures at Footscray Primary School

While being able to welcome students back to school is incredibly exciting, we understand it can also bring about worries for families with COVID circulating across the state. As a school we take our COVID-safe measures very seriously. Our staff work very hard to make things look like 'business as usual' for the students, but behind the scenes have many measures in place. We have outlined these for you below:

  • Adherence to the Department of Education's COVID-safe plan.
  • Opening all operational windows and doors to promote natural ventilation in classrooms.
  • Hand sanitiser located in all classrooms and used frequently, including before and after handling food and using the bathroom.
  • Teaching and promoting hand hygiene and correct mask wearing.
  • Taking learning outdoors wherever possible. This is being supported through our recent purchase of outdoor rugs and equipment to ensure students are comfortable.
  • No adults allowed on school grounds (unless essential) to minimise mixing and gathering.
  • Promoting social distancing and density limits in key spaces such as the canteen and toilets.
  • All staff wearing masks.
  • All staff abiding to 'bubble groups', minimising their contact with other adults across the school.
  • Dedicated isolation spaces for any student or staff member that exhibits COVID symptoms while onsite at school.

We hope this outline reinforces the seriousness with which we take the health and safety our students, staff, and wider community. 

Transitions

We are beginning our transition processes with students as they prepare for their new year level in 2022. Our staff spend considerable time working collaboratively to consider student needs and develop class lists that are balanced. Across this week, students will also select up to four friends they would like to be placed in a class with in 2022. Our staff facilitate this process with thoughtful discussions with students, giving them the agency to select peers they believe will support them in their social and academic development. Wherever possible, students will receive at least one of these preferences. As part of this process, staff will also begin identifying students who need additional supports as part of their 2021-22 transition.

Attendance

As a school we are extremely proud of the very high attendance we have maintained across 2021, both during face-to-face learning as well as remote. As we return to full-time learning at school on Wednesday the 3rd of November, we remind families that each day counts. We love seeing your child at school, on time, whenever they are healthy and well. If your child is away with a known absence, please log this through Compass or contact the school so that we know everything is ok. 

As we move to full-time onsite learning, we remind families that remote learning will not be offered to students after Friday the 29th of October.

If you need any support regarding your child's attendance, please contact the school via our email - footscray.ps@education.vic.gov.au

Welcome back to the Library!

As we have not been able to use the school library for some time, could we please ask all families to have a look around at home for any school library books that you may have.  If you could please place them in your students school bag for returning this week, that would be great.

Thank you,
Katrina    

SunSmart

As the weather is now warming up we would like to remind parents and carers that your child/ren must wear a hat while outside. 
We do have many named & un-named hats in our lost property, Please ask your child to look in here if they have misplaced their hat. 
If you need to purchase a new school hat you can do so buy following the link to Noone's website below.
Sun Smart Policy
Noone Website


Foundation First Week Back

The Foundation students have been so excited to get back to school, skipping into the classroom each morning. In both Italiano and English we’re inquiring into How We Express Ourselves through the Central Idea ‘We explore and make sense of our world through the narratives we create’. We’ve been investigating different kinds of story including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander stories through the Little Yarns podcast, songs, nursery rhymes, visual stories like Bluey and Big J and Little Cuz and fairy tales like Goldilocks or Riccioli d’oro in Italiano. We’ve also been creating our own stories using drawing, writing, dress ups and finger puppets. We love being back at school with our friends!

Grade 1 First Week Back

Nick and Emily have been thrilled to welcome Year 1 back to onsite learning over the last two weeks. Students have returned with great enthusiasm and are settling back into school happily. We have been re-establishing routines and reconnecting with one another after our extended time away from school, and have enjoyed being back with our friends. Classes have been spending time outside in the warm weather for reading lessons and maths games, and of course we have loved returning to our investigations sessions! Emily and Nick missed their students over the lockdown, and seeing their sunny smiles in person at the beginning of the school day has been wonderful. 

 

Grade 2 First Week Back

We are so excited to be back and learning together on-site in Year Two! Last week we finished up our Unit of Inquiry by watching "The Year Earth Changed" and noticing how lockdowns have had unexpected benefits for living things around the globe. The students wrote some amazing pieces to explain their thinking about this too- it is wonderful to see how much they've grown as authors who care deeply about the world around them. Well done Year Twos!


Grade 3/4 First Week Back

Welcome back 3/4s! After months of quiet, we enjoyed the excitement and energy the students brought with them back to school. The students were excited to see their friends and teachers, and the staff were impressed with how easily the students settled back into classroom routine and how responsible they have been with wearing their masks. We reflected on the past two years and discussed some of the unexpected positives of Remote Learning, some being: time spent with family, playing board games, the liveliness of parks, movie nights, sleep ins and many more. These kind and happy experiences were reflected through art and poetry on our first day back, which allowed the children to express themselves and their emotions in a creative way.
We cannot explain how happy we are to have them back and to be teaching face-to-face again. We are looking forward to all the fun learning to come for the remainder of Term 4! 
    

 

Grade 5 First Week Back

Please see the next issue for Grade 5's back to school story and pictures.

Grade 6 First Week Back

During Remote Learning, Grade 6 students have completing a history project for the schools 160th anniversary. Students have been interviewing Footscray Primary School (formerly known as Geelong Road State School) Alumni, creating a digital record of student memories of the town and school community. This week Students interviewed Walter Hopkins. The interview was recorded via video and will be shared at the Anniversary event.

Walter Hopkins is currently 97 (born in 1924). Started school in 1929 and left after Grade 8, at age 14. His favourite subject was art (drawing). Walter is a champion of the Footscray community and has an OAM for his work with the YMCA, Scouts and others.

Parenting in Maribyrnong - Sessions coming up in November & December

Baby Makes 3
When: Wednesday 10, 11 & 24 November
Presenter: Baby Makes 3 Facilitators
Book: bookMCH@maribyrnong.vic.gov.au

This program provides an opportunity to talk about the changes since becoming parents, and what it means for your family. Parents are invited to attend this three-session online program.

Centrelink Information for Families
When: Wednesday 15 November, 10 - 10.45am
Presenter: Services Australia
Book:         centrelinkforfamilies.eventbrite.com.au

This session will include information on the Family Tax Benefit, Childcare Subsidy, Additional Childcare Subsidy, Child Dental Scheme, Child Support and Maintenance, and how to estimate family income for Family Tax Benefit. Information will be shared on the Mygov and Express Plus apps, and any Centrelink updates or changes.

The INFANT Program
6 months Tuesday 23 November 2 - 3.00pm
12 months Wednesday 24 November 1.30 - 3.00pm
Presenter: Maternal and Child Health, cohealth
Book: bookMCH@maribyrnong.vic.gov.au

INFANT sessions will help you learn about understanding and responding to your baby’s cues/signs, when and how to introduce solid foods and a sippy cup, active play you can do together, strategies for limiting screens. There will also be an opportunity for parents to share their tips.

Children’s Services Information Session Buổi Phổ biến Thông tin về các Dịch vụ cho Trẻ em
When: Wednesday 8 December, 11.30 – 12.30pm Thứ Tư ngày 8 tháng 12 năm 2021, 11.30 - 12.30 trưa
Bookings: childrenservices.eventbrite.com.au

Are you new to parenting or new to the Maribyrnong area? This online session will provide an overview of Council services and will include information on Maternal and Child Health, Immunisation, Playgroups, and how to navigate the Central Registration System to register for Kindergarten and Child Care. There will also be an opportunity for questions. The session will be presented in Vietnamese by Maribyrnong City Council.

Có phải quý vị mới làm cha mẹ hay mới đến khu vực Maribyrnong không? Buổi phổ biến thông tin trực tuyến này sẽ giới thiệu khái quát các dịch vụ của Hội đồng Thành phố và sẽ bao gồm thông tin về Y tế Mẫu Nhi, Chích ngừa, Thư viện, Nhóm Vui chơi, và cách sử dụng Hệ thống Đăng ký Trung tâm để đăng ký chương trình Mẫu giáo và Giữ trẻ Cả ngày. Cũng sẽ có cơ hội để đặt câu hỏi.

The INFANT Program 
6 months Wednesday 22 December 1.30 - 3.00pm
Presenter: Maternal and Child Health, cohealth
Book: bookMCH@maribyrnong.vic.gov.au

INFANT sessions will help you learn about understanding and responding to your baby’s cues/signs, when and how to introduce solid foods and a sippy cup, active play you can do together, strategies for limiting screens. There will also be an opportunity for parents to share their tips.


Fifth Element Maths Program