May 20th 2022

Issue 6

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Principal's Message

BBQ Bonanza
Thank you, thank you, thank you to every organiser, volunteer, and community member who supported us at the Bunnings Sausage Sizzle last weekend. We raised over $1000 to purchase more technology for our learners. Our next goal is to purchase another set of laptops for the senior years.

Going Ga-Ga
The new Ga-Ga Pit has been a massive hit as evidenced by the filthy uniforms, flushed cheeks, and sweaty foreheads. The students have already played hard and the pit needs a few repairs. We hope to have it back up and running very soon! Later this term or early Term 3, we would love to have a casual after-school Ga-Ga club for adults so give me a holler if you’re keen to help get that up and running.

Foundation 2023 Information Session
We had a great turn out to our first Foundation 2023 information session on Monday evening and what a privilege it was to be able to host the event in real life! Thank you to Kathy, Chris W, Caroline, Jackie, Sarah, and Caitlin for their efforts preparing for the event and for volunteering their time to present to our prospective families.



Staff Absences
As a sector, we continue to face challenges with replacing staff during times of absence and this is increasing as we head into the cold and flu season. In the current fortnight, we have had 55 staff absences and only 20 have been covered by a relief teacher. Chris Wilson puts in a mammoth effort to keep the daily organisation in check and rotates relief teachers across year levels to minimise split classes where possible. Please continue to be respectful when awaiting an email or phone response from our teaching staff who are managing enormous workloads to maintain a focus on teaching, learning, and wellbeing for every student in their cohort when their colleagues are unwell.   

Education Week – 150 Years of Public Education 
We are looking forward to celebrating 150 years of Public Education by stepping back in time on Tuesday next week. We invite any interested staff and students to come along dressed in attire from another time in public education. Today we had The Herald Sun visit Footscray PS to do an article on Education Week so keep an eye out in next week’s paper for that! 




Cold and Flu Season 
With the return of travel and the arrival of colder weather, cases of influenza (the flu) are increasing throughout Victoria. Our community is at risk of higher rates of students and staff affected by the flu or COVID-19 this season. 

To help keep your child and our school community safe, please take the following steps if your child has any cold or flu-like symptoms:  

  • take a COVID-19 test and follow the current Department of Health isolation requirements if a positive result is shown 
  • keep your child at home until their symptoms pass
  • common flu-like symptoms include a high fever, cough, runny nose, loss of appetite, body aches and feeling extremely weak and tired
  • diagnosis of the flu can only be confirmed by a doctor after a nose or throat swab
  • encourage your child to wash their hands regularly and ask them to cover their nose and mouth when sneezing and coughing. 

Foundation 2023 Enrolments 
If you have a child starting school at FPS next year, we ask that you submit the enrolment forms now to support us in finalising numbers. We are confident that we will have two full Foundation classes in 2023, and if enrolments increase we will need to recruit an Italian teacher for the third class. The earlier we start recruiting, the better the outcome for your young people!  

Staffing update – Music 
I am sharing the news that Xuhi will no longer be working with us at FPS as he focusses on his education studies. I would like to thank Xuhi for his commitment to our school and wish him all the very best in his future education.  

Vietnamese speaking music teachers are hard to come by so if you know anyone who may be qualified and interested in working one day a week, please refer them to Recruitment Online. In the interim, we will engage a casual music teacher (no language requirement) one day a week to continue to deliver our music program – again, if you know anyone suitable please ask them to contact me.  

We are looking at possible models to sustain the two hours of Vietnamese language learning in Year 3-6 while we undertake this recruitment process. We will keep everyone in the loop via Compass once we develop a plan. 

Jen

School Council Update 

Last week we held our third School Council meeting for the year. My name is Leah Supple. I’ve been on School Council for three years and have held the role of Chair of the Finance subcommittee during that time. 

This week School Council set a tentative date of Saturday, 18th March 2023 for our community celebration event (since we missed our 160th Birthday, nearly two years ago). Stay tuned for updates via Facebook. We are also looking to establish a planning committee, so please reach out to ensure this is a great day for our community. 

The annual Public Reporting Meeting is being held on 15th June at 4pm, so please stay around after school and join us. The public reporting meeting is a great opportunity to hear Jen present some really useful numbers and statistics around our school’s ethos, environment, staff and student satisfaction survey. It’s always a good opportunity to ask questions about the education of our children, and Jen loves talking about this stuff. 

We are planning our first cake stall in a long time before the annual meeting, straight after the bell goes. The kids just go mad for a cake stall. Vinh has offered to run a sausage sizzle after school, too.    

The role of the Finance subcommittee is to ensure that the school budget is managed effectively. Part of our income budget is made up of parent contributions. Parent payments are a valuable contribution to enhance the learning opportunities we can provide our children. We recently made the transition to payments via Compass, and we have had a really good response. A description beside each payment shows what this money is put towards. 

The subcommittee budgets on high collection rate and if we don’t achieve these targets then it does detract from the resources we can provide for our children. If you haven’t made your payment and you intend to, I encourage you to do this now. It helps us to plan better if we know we have the money. 

I would like to thank those who have made voluntary contributions/donations to the All Aboard, Building and Library funds. 

As you will know our Building and Grounds subcommittee, headed up by Tim Liston, have been busy organising the GaGa ball pit. The money for this came from our playground fundraising and the subcommittee are always trying to keep our grounds safe for our children. 

For those who volunteered to assist at our Bunnings BBQ fundraiser, thank you. We would also like to thank TheirCare for providing staff to assist on the day and for covering the expenses for all of our supplies. Our social club is going to start running regular meetings now that COVID-19 is no longer restricting us. The family get-together on Sunday afternoon at the Footscray Bowling Club was a fabulous event and we look forward to more of these gatherings across the year.

Thank you 
Leah Supple 
Chair, Finance Subcommittee 

Education Support Week

This week is Education Support Week, where the Footscray PS community acknowledge and appreciate the tireless work that our most-needed support staff give to our school and the broader community.

We believe it is important to highlight the extraordinary contribution that our ES staff make to keep our school running, to support the learning of many young people with such diverse needs, and to support our teachers in (and outside) their classrooms. Our ES staff include the support staff who work with children in classrooms, our Language Assistants, our administration staff and Business Manager.

This week the fabulous FPS teaching team put on a feast for our ES staff, and our ES were also treated to a massage - tucked away in our maths store room, complete with calming music and relaxing aromas!

Thank you Carol, Joyce, Pina, and Christine for the unconditional learning and well-being support you provide daily to our young learners. We learn from you all every day and couldn’t do this without you.

Thank you Gab for your commitment to our school tutoring program and for your boundless positive energy that keeps us all smiling.

Thank you Federica, Giulia, and Kylie for your support in our bilingual classrooms and for bringing a love of language learning to our community. Grazie mille.

Thank you Katrina for creating such a beautiful library space for us all to adventure through literary worlds. Thank you also for your relentless kindness and willingness to jump in whenever and wherever you are needed.

Thank you Jessie, Miranda, and Rhiannon for your friendly faces, creative problem-solving, masterful administrative juggling skills, and for providing a sea of calm even in the midst of an occasional wild storm.

Thank you Rowena for your often unseen but never unappreciated work to keep all the systems thriving and for supporting all of us with your infinite knowledge and wisdom. A huge thanks for your commitment and support both professionally and personally that stretches far beyond your assigned role.

We love you all!!

NAPLAN

Throughout last week, all of our Year 3 and Year 5 students participated in the National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy. The week ran very smoothly with all students sitting one test each morning from 9.30-10.30am.

We were pleased to see that all students were very calm and relaxed whilst participating in the tests, and we commend our teachers and their families for the conversations they had with students about this assessment being only one small snapshot of their knowledge and skills. We all know that how our young people perform on the test represents only a slither of who they are as human beings, and only measures a small portion of their capabilities and potential.

We’d like to congratulate all of our Year 3 and Year 5 students for such a great effort.

Now let’s get back to the good stuff!

Precinct Partnerships - Victoria University and Footscray High School

Victoria University Preservice Teachers
This term we welcomed 5 Preservice teachers from Victoria University. They are part of a pilot program running in partnership with us here at Footscray Primary. The PST’s are onsite every Tuesday for the rest of the year as well as 2, ten day placement blocks, the first of which they are half way through. The idea of the program is to immerse the students into school life, allow them to build relationships with students in a grade and to gain a better understanding of how the life of the school works across the year. Matilda is working in 3/4 with Bec, we have Paula, Jamie and Eilidh in 5/6 with Calum, Andrew and Dan, and Jasmine has joined Hannah in 1/2.  

I spoke with the VU students this week to see whether they thought the program was going to be a success and I received a resounding yes from them all. The common thread from them was that having the time and opportunity to get to know the students was priceless and that when they were ready to take lessons, they felt much more confident and able to teach to the student’s point of need, making their contribution more valuable…also all the other VU students were insanely jealous of this opportunity.

From a staff perspective we are loving having the VU students here, they have thrown themselves into the life of the school, having a go at anything we throw at them, activities like running a lunchtime dance club and some even putting their hands up to go on the upcoming 5/6 camp. We are hoping that this almost apprenticeship style model will continue after this year as the indicators are already showing us that this style of degree will produce far more job ready graduates.

If you see Jamie, Matilda, Jasmine, Paula or Eilidh in the yard please say hello and welcome these teachers of the future into our fabulous community.

Caroline


Footscray High School

This week our Year 5/6 students had the chance to work with the Year 8 students from Footscray High School. This was an amazing opportunity for the Footscray High and Primary students to collaborate and build community across the Footscray Learning Precinct. Our students were interviewed around what they know about sustainability and the Year 8 students will be working back at Footscray High to plan and then conduct science experiment workshops for our 5/6s. We look forward to working with Footscray High School again in a few weeks when they return to deliver their workshops.

   

National Reconciliation Week 2022

National Reconciliation Week is from 27th of May to the 3rd of June, and is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.

This year the theme, “Be Brave. Make Change.” is a challenge to all Australians to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can Make Change for the benefit of all Australians. Each of us has a role to play in reconciliation. We will be asking our students to make changes beginning with brave actions in their daily lives – where they live, work, play and socialise. We hope you will join us!

Knitting Club

A huge thank you from Caitlin and the FPS knitting club for the incredible donations of yarn and needles that have been flowing in. We’d also like to give a huge thank you to Bonnie and Maeve Gunn’s grandmother, Faye, and Andrew and Anna Sardeson’s mum, Anh Thu, for generously volunteering their time to help us!

All ages welcome, Thursday lunchtimes, currently in the Edwardian while the grass area at the front of school is being dug up! Happy knitting!

5/6 Camp

Our 5/6 students will be heading off to Camp Campaspe in Tylden, Victoria on Wednesday 1st until Friday 3rd of June.

Students need to be at school by 8:30am, and ensure they have a small bag with their lunch and water for the first day. Other advice on what to pack has been included in the packing guide. Remember it gets pretty cold at night, so warm clothes are essential!

Some of the wonderful activities they will get to participate in, include: the giant swing; flying fox; orienteering; raft building and archery.

We hope our Year 5/6 students have the best time at camp, and look forward to hearing all about their adventures when they return.

State Schools' Relief

 

Important Dates to Remember

Sunday 22 - Saturday 28 May: Education Week - 150 Years of Public Education

Monday 23 May: Foundation 2023 School Tour - 9.30-10.30am

Tuesday 24 May: Education Week 'Stepping Back in Time' Dress Up Day

Thursday 26 May: National Sorry Day

Friday 27 May - Friday 3 June: National Reconciliation Week

Monday 30 May: Professional Practice Day - Students do not attend school

Wednesday 1 June - Friday 3 June: Year 5/6 Camp

Monday 6 June: Foundation 2023 Information Session - 6.00-7.00pm

Friday 10 June: Pride Day celebration

Monday 13 June: Queen's Birthday Public Holiday

Monday 20 June: World Refugee Day

Friday 24 June: Last day of Term 2