Principal's Message

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Year 5/6 Camp

As you may have seen on our Facebook page, the Year 5/6s had an absolute blast last week on their Campaspe Downs camp. After a wet start, they were fortunate to have a relatively dry, albeit very cold, camp adventure. Kathy and I were able to take off on an early morning road trip to visit the campers and enjoy a turn on the tandem giant swing. As always, it was a joy to observe the qualities of our young people as they took courageous risks, encouraged each other, and celebrated their successes and efforts. Thank you to our hard-working and committed staff and pre-service teachers who organised and attended the camp. It is a huge and rewarding commitment and we appreciate it! 

Foundation 2023 and Building Works
We had our second Foundation 2023 information evening this week and we encourage all families with students starting at FPS next year to get their enrolment forms in. It has been nice to talk with prospective families about the buildings and grounds we will have next year. The building works are still on schedule. It has been a challenging couple of weeks with wet weather causing a number of issues in our already restricted play spaces. We have also experienced some service disruptions to our water and power. These have been rectified promptly and I again thank our students and staff for their resilience during these interruptions. I have been reporting these back to the project team regularly. The grassed area at the front of the school will be opening this week as the mud has settled and the area is looking much better than it was. If you are at school in the coming weeks, take a walk along the temporary fencing in the centre of the school and enjoy some beautiful artwork designed by FPS students. Much nicer to look at than the mud and even a digger is not as exciting as it used to be!

Cross Country
I’d like to congratulate our divisional cross-country participants, Zeph, Iggy, Samira, Ari, and Juliette who all qualified to compete next week in the Regionals. We wish you all the very best of luck!

Music Soiree 
The fabulous Sarah Mildner brought us a lovely evening of happiness through the Music Soiree recently. The event took place in the theatrette and showcased some of our talented musicians who bravely got up on stage and performed for their families and guests. I was absolutely blown away by their courage, their support of each other, and their impressive talents. We look forward to making this a regular event on the FPS calendar. Thank you to our performers, their families, and to Sarah and the staff who attended on the night. We even got spoilt with a musical piece by Sarah and Wendy. How special!

Cake Stall
Next Wednesday, June 15, we will be having our first cake stall since the pandemic arrived. It is a momentous occasion that should be acknowledged with much eating of cake, slice, and cookies. Vinh will also be sizzling up some sausages to warm your bellies and complement your sweet treats.

Our Year 3/4 families have been asked to bake or donate goodies to sell. We also need helpers to set up, run, and pack up the stall. It is always good fun and a great way to meet other school families. If you are free, please email footscrayprimarysocial@gmail.com – Looking forward to seeing you all there!

Public Reporting Meeting
Following on from the cake stall, we will be hosting our annual Public Reporting Meeting so stick around, bring your cakes, and join us for a presentation of all things 2021 at FPS. We will share a Webex link via Compass closer to the day for those who would like to join us remotely.

Jen

School-wide Positive Behaviour Support - Term 2 update

Despite the challenging conditions of 2022, we are proud of our very successful staff professional learning sequence that was rolled out in Term 1. As part of this professional learning, our staff continued to build their understanding of the School-wide Positive Behaviour Support framework, often referred to as SWPBS. 
 
SWPBS will give our staff, students, and community a consistent and understandable framework that describes how a range of behaviours are responded to. At the heart of the SWPBS philosophy is the understanding that all students arrive at school with a different range of behavioural skills, just as they do with numeracy and literacy, and these gaps in knowledge should be identified and taught in a proactive manner.
 
In Term 2, our Wellbeing data inquiry group has been continuing to develop some of the key components of the SWPBS framework. This group is made up of a staff representative from each year level cohort as well as the specialist team, ensuring this expertise is then filtered back into all collaborative teams across the school.
 
Our Term 2 priorities are to create our school-wide positive behaviour matrix and our minor and major behaviour response flowchart. If you'd like to investigate these resources further, a quick Google search will provide many great examples of these tools in operation in other primary school settings. Once a working draft is complete, our students will get to interact with these first-hand as teachers explore and unpack their use in classrooms across the school.
 
As our SWPBS rollout continues, we look forward to hosting some community information sessions where you can see how this framework supports a safe and orderly school environment. Please keep an eye out for these opportunities in Term 3.

Student Attendance

Following two turbulent years of remote learning, we have refocused our efforts in ensuring students are supported to be at school on time, every day, when they are healthy and well. Student attendance is absolutely critical in ensuring students feel connected to peers, teachers, and our wider school community. Additionally, consistent student attendance supports academic progress, ensuring gaps in learning do not occur following missed content in the classroom.
 
We have recently refined our approach to monitoring and responding to student absence, allowing teachers and administration staff to have an efficient way to communicate with families. Our response to student absence is listed below.
 
Single-day unexplained absence - text message sent via the Compass platform.
 
Two days unexplained absence- wellbeing check-in email sent by child's classroom teacher.
 
Three to five days unexplained absence- daily wellbeing check-in phone call from child's classroom teacher.
 
Ongoing and consistent unexplained absence- referral to the school's Leadership Team, who will facilitate both internal and external supports to allow for improved student attendance.
 
While we appreciate that student attendance can be impacted from time-to-time due to many complex factors, it is important to note that school attendance is compulsory between the ages of 6 to 17, and schools are obliged under the Education and Training Reform Act (2006) to monitor and report student absences. At Footscray Primary, our approach will always be to put in place supports that remove barriers to student attendance.
 
Our agreed school management system, Compass, is the preferred method for logging all absence notes. We do understand that at times student absence cannot be avoided, and in this case parents or carers logging the relevant attendance note notifies the school that your child is accounted for, safe, and well. Should you need support in accessing Compass through computer or mobile device, please get in touch with our friendly office staff.
 
To end with a celebration, 94% of our students have had a total explained attendance above 90% across the last two weeks, (a combination of being present at school with approved and explained absence). We look forward to continuing to maintain and improve these percentages. 
 
Please take a moment to read the fact sheet for students School is better when you're herewhich outlines the importance of school attendance.

Inclusive Classrooms - Student Pronouns

At Footscray Primary School we are always looking to strengthen our school environment in being a safe, supportive, and inclusive place for all students, including those who identify as LGBTIQA+. As part of this action, we continue to build the capacity of our staff in creating these supportive spaces where students feel their identity is heard and valued. As is the case in most communities, we have a number of young learners who identify using gender diverse pronouns such as they/them/their. As staff, our number one priority to these students is to affirm their gender identity and engage with them using language that respects this. We have included a helpful definition below.
 
Gender diverse generally refers to a range of genders expressed in different ways. There are many terms used by gender diverse people to describe themselves. Language in this space is dynamic, particularly among young people, who are more likely to describe themselves as non-binary.
 
We have recently created a system where students wishing to be identified using gender diverse pronouns will be flagged on Compass, meaning all staff have readily accessible information to refer to our young learners correctly. This information is displayed discreetly and is not able to be viewed by students or community members with a parent/carer login.
 
In Term 3, staff are looking forward to engaging in professional learning delivered by Minus18, a youth LGBTIQA+ organisation, to further support our engagement and inclusion of gender diverse students. We will also review the Department's LGBTIQA+ : Student Support policy to inform our school's ongoing approach.
 
Should you wish to discuss the use of pronouns or preferred names of your child, please feel welcome to reach out to your child's classroom teacher.

Cup of Kindness

Recently, the wonderful Ariane introduced a new initiative to our staff group - the Cup of Kindness. This Cup of Kindness is refilled with a range of goodies each week and passed along to a staff member who is recognised for any kind of small or large act that impacts the day of their colleagues in a positive way. After receiving the Cup of Kindness and enjoying the items in it, it is the responsibility of this staff member to then 'pay it forward' by restocking the cup and recognising another colleague the following week.
 
So far this term, the Cup of Kindness has been bestowed upon Wendy, Calum, and Gab for all the great things they contribute to our staff and school.
 
Gift giving and gratitude are two recognised ways to improve your own mood, mental health, and wellbeing. Who in your life might deserve their own 'cup of kindness?'

Reporting to Families

As we near the end of Term 2, our teachers are working hard collating and analysing their evidence of student learning to finalise students’ reports for distribution to families in Week 9.

We will schedule Parent-Teacher Interviews for Week 2, Term 3 and will keep you updated as to the details and booking process for these conversations. 

Year 3/4 Celebration of Learning 'Space Museum'

To celebrate the wonderful learning we have been doing this term in our Unit of Inquiry 'How The World Works' the students and teachers of Year 3/4 would like to invite you along to our Celebration of Learning 'Space Museum'.

The session will be open on Tuesday 14th June from 3pm for parents, carers, families, and the school community to come and visit. As this is still during school hours, you need to sign in via the office.

The 3/4 classrooms and the Art room will be open for you to explore the exhibits.Thank you,The 3/4 students and teachers

Division Cross Country

A 7 degree start to the day didn't hold our Division Cross Country runners back. Five phenomenal runners ran up and down the hills of Brimbank Park in the icy winds and cloudy conditions. 

Each individual runner blew me away, with all of them qualifying for the Regional Competition next Thursday 16th June.

Thank you to all the parents and grandparents who braved the true Melbourne conditions and cheered on our runners. Congratulations to all of our runners!

Iggy came 9th
Juliette came 3rd
Ari came 11th
Zeph came 1st
Samira came 11th

I'm proud of each and every one of you. Go FPS!

Nadine - PE Teacher

Year 5/6 Campaspe Downs Camp

The Year 5/6 camp was a hit last week. Students braved the cold and took on all challenges with an open mind and determination. 

     

Passport to Play

FPS Social Club Cake Stall and Meeting

Cake Stall
Immediately following the school bell on Wednesday, 15 June, the school will be holding our first Cake Stall in a very, very long time. The cake stall is always well received and the kids and oldies just love all the wonderful goodies to choose from.

Our first cake stall back will be hosted by our Year 3/4 cohort. May we ask that students/parents/carers of this cohort prepare and deliver their goodies to school before school next Wednesday, 15 June (details will follow of where exactly to deliver them). All goodies are to have an ingredient list attached to the container. Without the goodies we don't have a cake stall, so we look forward to your support.

We are also looking for adult volunteers from the Year 3/4 cohort to help on the day to man the stall. Cash and kids flow very fast so we need help on the day.

Please email footscrayprimarysocial@gmail.com to let us know if you can help on the day (you don't have to be a parent/carer of the Year 3/4 cohort).

Remember to stay and enjoy the cake stall, and then attend our Annual Public Meeting, where you can hear Jen talk about all the great things at our wonderful school.


Meeting - Wed 15 June at 5.30pm
The FPS Social Club is our school's parents and friends group. We are a friendly volunteer group that works on fundraising, events and community engagement, and we’d love you to be a part of it.

Our first meeting for 2022 will be held on Wednesday 15 June at 5.30pm
Venue: FPS School Library

You can decide to be actively involved as a Registered Member, or you can be a General Member on our mailing list and chip in when and where you can. We are also looking to fill Officer Bearer Positions including Treasurer and Secretary, so if you have an interest and skill set, please get in touch and we can discuss the roles in more detail.

Everyone is welcome at our meetings, we hope to see you there!

Get in touch via footscrayprimarysocial@gmail.com

Thank you
Footscray Primary Social Club

World Refugee Day Monday 20th June

To show our support we will be hosting a food drive during the last week of school, from Monday 20th to Friday 25th June. We will be collecting food donations to go to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC).

The ASRC is a not-for-profit organisation which supports and empowers people seeking asylum who live in our community. Established in 2001 in a gifted space in Footscray, the organisation has grown from an informal foodbank to the largest independent humanitarian organisation in Australia supporting people seeking asylum. The ASRC receives no funding from the federal government, enabling them to maintain an independent voice that advocates for change. They provide over 35 programs including food and material aid, healthcare, education and training, employment pathways, legal aid and detention advocacy.

Here is a list of their most needed items:

Important Dates to Remember

Friday 10 June: Pride Day Celebration

Monday 13 June: Queen's Birthday Public Holiday

Tuesday 14 June: Year 3/4 Celebration of Learning 'Space Museum' - from 3pm

Monday 20 June: World Refugee Day

Friday 24 June: Last day of Term 2

Saturday 25 June to Sunday 10 July: School Holidays

Monday 11 July: First day of Term 3

Free flu and COVID-19 vaccinations

As we approach winter and flu season, reduce the risk of your child becoming very unwell by getting them vaccinated.

Flu
Free influenza (flu) vaccinations are now available to all Victorians aged 6 months and over.

Free flu vaccinations will be provided until Thursday 30 June 2022, to boost vaccination coverage. This will help keep Victorians well over winter.

Please read the Department of Education's letter to parents and carers about free flu vaccinations and how to manage unwell children.

COVID-19
Bookings for children aged 5 to 11 to receive their first or second COVID-19 vaccine dose are available.

Kids who received their first dose 8 or more weeks ago can now get their second dose. A second COVID-19 dose will help maximise your child’s protection against the COVID-19 virus.

Getting kids vaccinated will help:

  • reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community
  • protect them from getting sick from COVID-19
  • reduce disruption to learning, sport and another activities so children can have more face-to-face learning and playtime with their friends.

The vaccine is safe and effective for children. All side effects of vaccination are reported and monitored, to ensure the ongoing safety of vaccination. For more information about vaccination for children, visit: https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccination-information-children-and-teenagers

You can book your child’s vaccination at:

Parenting in Maribyrnong Info Sessions