November 18th 2022

Issue 13

Principal's Message

Hello families,
COVID has certainly returned with a fourth wave that has hit our school community. As you will have read in our compass posts, we have 6 staff currently out, including three members of the leadership team. We encourage all members of our school community to undertake regular RATs and consider wearing masks when at school. Staff will continue to take extra precautions such as returning to remote meetings, reducing student gatherings, and increasing ventilation and outdoor learning wherever possible. Air purifiers, masks, and sanitiser are in all learning and shared spaces. Please remember to notify the office if your child tests positive for COVID.
Thank you for your ongoing support as we tackle the challenging final leg of the capital works. We know that it is confusing when we communicate one thing and then a change occurs, like the recent change to dividing the school. We will continue to keep the students at the centre and if we can successfully negotiate ways to keep our children as connected as possible across the school, even if it comes in the final minutes, we will always take that over an inconvenience for us.
Last weekend, I attended the FPS Trivia Night with a team of FPS staff. We performed dismally on the trivia, and we are blaming the fact that half our team were babies in the nineties, ha ha ha. The night was fabulous and we haven’t stopped talking about how much fun we had. Kathy and I commented that it felt like a mini holiday, an escape back to the carefree 90s full of dancing and singing, and surrounded by the most wonderful company. The music was phenomenal and we can’t thank the Raiders of the Lost Property and DJ Sunny Gavran enough for giving up their time to entertain us all. It was great to see a mix of families on the night also, with a balance of those families who have been supporting FPS for many years and a whole lot of our newest families attending one of the first in person events since they arrived at FPS. It was a truly special evening and we owe much gratitude to the FPS Social Club for their organisation of the event. Already looking forward to the 2023 Trivia.
Last week, I had the privilege of presenting at the Western Melbourne Area Principal’s Forum on the importance of Principal Health and Wellbeing. I am comfortable speaking to large crowds generally, but this time I was in front of a lot of important people talking quite openly about my personal and professional challenges and the strategies I employ to stay resilient and upbeat. It was a little confronting! One of the things I spoke to was the support and positive feedback we receive from the FPS community. Sending lovely emails to our staff is an embedded part of my practice and I am fortunate to also receive an abundance of lovely emails from staff and from our community. I store them in a mail folder unsurprisingly called ‘lovely emails’ and I look back at them when things become challenging. I am reminded to share this because this week I have been on the receiving end of many emails from community who have reached out with positive wishes for me after my COVID announcement. I am on the mend and look forward to being back on deck next week.

Thank you.

Semester 2 Parent-Teacher Conferences 

This semester our parent-teacher conferences will run a little differently. There are a number of factors contributing to this decision - the extensive capital works across our grounds, the most recent Covid wave, and a very short final week of school. 

We will be holding our parent-teacher conferences in Week 10, which is one week prior to semester reports being published in Week 11. As our final week is only two days, we wanted to allow teachers enough time to teach, gather data and write reports by Week 11. Week 11 is already jam-packed with Year 6 Graduation, Year 5/6 Water Safety Program, Foundation breakfast, and School-wide Step Up Day.

Families will meet with their child’s homeroom teacher before reports are published. During the 10 minute conferences, families will hear about their child’s academic and wellbeing strengths, their areas for growth in 2023, and can also contribute information that they would like to be passed on to their child’s 2023 teacher.  

In light of the 4th Covid wave, all conferences will take place via Webex, and this time families of F-2 students will only meet with their homeroom teachers. Italian and English teachers work and plan collaboratively and will connect before-hand. They are also available to talk to parents at other times if required.

If you have a particular question about your child’s learning in Semester 2 please forward this to your child’s teacher ahead of time so that they can be prepared.  

The conferences will be held between 10am – 6pm throughout the week.  

 Monday 5th December  Year 1/2 conferences 
 Wednesday 7th December  Year 5/6 conferences 
 Thursday 8th December  Foundation conferences 
 Friday 9th December  Year 3/4 conferences 

More details about the conference times and booking information will be coming next week.  

Staffing Update

My most humble apologies for forgetting to include to wonderful Ariane in the staff update I sent out recently. We love Ariane to bits and she returned to us this year to help us out part-time with teacher release. Ariane has picked up a part-time contract at a Catholic school close to her home for 2023 and we are glad she will get to spend more time with the gorgeous Hugo and hopefully find time to pop in and visit us too.

Staff Survey

We have just received our data from the annual DET School Staff Survey and we are pleased to share that we have continued our upward trend in positive endorsement in all modules of the survey and performed higher than similar schools in all areas. We have worked hard over the last three years to build a culture of respect, safety, professional learning, and collaboration and even in the most challenging of years this data reflects our success. When our staff are engaged and happy this leads to continued improvement in practice and student learning. I have shared some of the module results with you below for the previous 5 years, with some modules only commencing in recent years.

Staff Survey 1
Staff Survey 2
Staff Survey 3

Staff Survey 4

2023 Foundation Transition – Student and Family Sessions

We are so excited to have you and your child/ren joining our Footscray Primary School community in 2023. As our primary school transition sessions draw closer, we wanted to provide some further detail about what’s on offer for both students and parents/carers. The below table unpacks our four Foundation transition sessions. We strongly encourage attendance at all sessions wherever possible. 

  Date Family Session Student Session 
 Tuesday November 22

Time: 9:40 – 10:25am 

Starting school - what you need to know 

Meet other parents/carers in your child’s cohort, learn about Out of Hours School Care, uniform, our school management app ‘Compass’, and more. 

Time: 9:30 – 10:30am 

Play-Based Learning 

Students will get to explore a typical Foundation classroom, meet new friends, and say hello to some of their 2023 Foundation teachers! 

 Tuesday November 29

Time: 9:40 – 10:25am 

Student support, wellbeing, and inclusion 

Hear about the programs and supports implemented by our school to promote student wellbeing and a positive learning environment. 

Time: 9:30 – 10:30am 

Literacy Experience 

Students will engage in literacy-based learning experiences across both the English and Italian classrooms. 

 Tuesday December 6

Time: 9:40 – 10:25am 

How we learn at Footscray Primary 

Spend a session walking in your child’s shoes, exploring how our young people learn through inquiry within our Italian Bilingual program. 

Time: 9:30 – 10:30am 

Numeracy Experience 

Students will engage in numeracy-based learning experiences across both the English and Italian classrooms. 

 Tuesday December 13

Time: 9:40 – 10:25am 

2023 Foundation families morning tea 

While your child has a blast at their step-up day, connect with other Foundation families with some light refreshments.

Time: 9:30 – 10:30am 

Step-up day - meet your 2023 teacher! 

The big day is here! Students will spend the morning in their 2023 class, learning all about what it takes to be a primary schooler.

Our transition sessions will also provide you with a chance to cast your eyes over our state-of-the-art school upgrade, including a brand new 12-classroom general learning building, covered outdoor learning area, community garden, landscaping, and three new purpose-built play spaces. 

On transition mornings, please arrive at 9:15am through our Geelong Road pedestrian gates at the front of the school. You will be greeted by our Year Six student leaders who will support you with signing-in and directions to the Foundation classrooms. 

We can’t wait to see you soon! 

Library Update

Hi FPS families,
we currently have a lot of library books that are overdue.  To help ensure that we have all loans returned before the end of term, I will be sending out overdue notices over the next few weeks.  It would be really appreciated if you could please take a look around at home and return any FPS library books as soon as possible.  
Thanks and happy reading,
FPS Library

Important Dates to Remember

 Tuesday 20th December 2022 Last day of term 4 (early finish 1.30pm)

Parenting in Maribyrnong sessions coming up in November 2022