Our long awaited 160th, 161st, 162nd, 163rd Anniversary/Community Day finally happened and it was the bucket filling event of the century! Some of the interactions, reunions and stories were so beautiful that they brought a tear to many eyes across the day. For those who follow our official Facebook page and the alumni community page, you will see that past students and staff are still buzzing and sharing their photos and moments from the day. The day wasn’t intended to be a major fundraiser with plans to just cover our costs and make the day about community. However, we are absolutely blown away with the final profit of $4664.33. The funds were approved by School Council last year to cover the incurred expenses and then contribute to the hanging of the Community Mosaic and maintenance of the heritage buildings through the building fund.
I have chosen to include some sections of my speech here and I know for some it will be a repeat, but many of the special people I mentioned were busy working across the school and didn’t get to hear it. Thank you to the huge team of people who have spent their days off and countless late evenings organising this event. All the members of our school council, our President, Ray, who kept us heading in the right direction with her extraordinary organisational skills, Clare and Kathy for their mammoth efforts collating and presenting the historical displays, our designers, promoters, coordinators, set up crew, volunteers, families, students and staff who have generously donated cakes, plants, and precious time.
Thank you to Meredith Jones for bringing to life a magical idea for a community mosaic that is truly magnificent and will beautify our walls for at least the next 163 years! The mosaic was a creation brought about by the hands of a community and we thank all the wonderful contributors and creators.
We gratefully acknowledge the Local History Grants Program, Public Record Office Victoria, Victorian Government’s Community Support Fund for making the “Tell It Like It Was” oral history project and anniversary timeline possible. We also thank Katherine Sheedy and Fiona Poulton from Way Back When Consulting Historians, the FPS alumni who participated in the oral history project and the talented 2021 Year 6 students who conducted the interviews and created the accompanying films.
We thank our treasured Ray Pereira for another fabulous performance by FPS student drummers, Sarah, Bec and Tom for their coordination of the talented FPS choir, Dance Habit for bringing along their dance crew, and Steph and Bec for their time curating the student Art Gallery.
We had a number of sponsors who donated generously to the school. TheirCare sponsored and organised the entire sausage sizzle, providing all the supplies and donating all every cent back to Footscray Primary School. Many of the TheirCare educators and leaders also worked at the BBQ all day. ComItEs coordinated the ice cream truck which came in very handy in the heat. Thank you Ubaldo and Emanuela for your support and coordination.
An enormous thank you to CoAsIt for providing a $1000 sponsorship, setting up a craft corner, running sessions of Italian story time across the day and providing a professional videographer to capture memories of the day. The videographer also attended FPS the day prior to the event to capture footage for a promotional video funded by CoAsIt, we can’t wait to see it and thank all the students, staff, and families who participated. For those who don’t know, CoAsIT also provide our school with two fully subsidised Italian Language Assistants, free Italian language lessons for FPS families and are always happy to help us in any way they can. Thank you Marco & Ferdinando, and the CoAsIt team.
This school was officially opened in 1860 and tens of thousands of people hold special memories of their time within these buildings and grounds. My own Nanna, Alma Arthur, and her siblings once walked the halls of the great Bluestone back in the 1930s and that is such a common feature in the stories shared here at FPS. Our school is a place of connection and community. That sense of community has been passed on through generations of FPS families and still holds true today as one part of what makes this place so unique.
Thank you everyone, we appreciate every moment.
There are a number of outstanding works to be undertaken to complete our capital works project and these will be scheduled across the Term 1 holiday period. The works include;
We have finally had approval from the VSBA to re-establish our oval after the irrigation and ground surface were damaged in the works. The oval in its current state is not suitable for use and whilst we will be sad to lose access in the short term, we have opted for the higher quality finish that will take 2-3 months to complete, rather than a quick fix of reseeding. These works will commence on the school holidays and the area will be enclosed with temporary fencing until the works are complete. Due to the history of asbestos below the oval surface, there will be a trained hygienist on site to appropriately respond to any possible hazardous materials.
TheirCare will be in touch with families shortly to communicate details for the holiday program in relation to the capital works taking place across the school. Our wonderful Buildings and Grounds sub committee are currently seeking quotes to paint the theatrette over the holidays to minimise future impacts on TheirCare after continued disruption due to Capital Works.
We ask for your patience and understanding as we find new ways of working in line with the Victorian Government Schools Agreement (VGSA) 2022. Our teachers are receiving many requests to meet with families and allied health professionals and they are doing their best to schedule those meetings within their limited availability. Teachers are paid to be at work from 8:50am - 3:50pm, with an additional hour three days per week for staff professional learning and other duties. We all know our teachers work far beyond a 38-hour week and the VGSA 2022 aims to protect the mental health of our educators by prioritising a work-life balance. We appreciate your ongoing support as we work with our system to try and prevent further teacher shortages as a result of quality educators burning out and leaving our profession.
Our 2023 School Council will meet for the first time next Wednesday evening. We again congratulate the following people:
We will share any updates in relation to School Council priorities, subcommittees and other interesting news via the newsletter across the year. Thank you to all who nominated and another huge thank you to our departing members, Paul Linke, Leah Supple, and Chris Wilson.
Jessie has been thoroughly enjoying her new adventure and has requested leave for the rest of this year which we are happy to support. We have an administration position currently advertised on Recruitment Online. We have recently welcomed Katrina Gowans to our admin team who has spent the last week learning the ropes with Rowena, Maxie, Katrina F, and Karen. Katrina has slotted in seamlessly and we are sure you will welcome her warmly into the FPS family.
We continue our search for a Vietnamese teacher and have interviews taking place next week. We apologise for the gap in language learning while we complete the recruitment process again. We hope that this cycle results in a Vietnamese teacher for your children and we will update you as soon as we have a successful appointment.
The Department of Education has released a new statewide Foundation enrolment timeline. All government primary schools will follow the new timeline in 2023 to support Foundation enrolments for the 2024 school year. You will be able to apply to enrol your child in Foundation 2024 at Footscray Primary School from 24 April 2023. In the interim, you can book into a tour via the links above and below if you have a child starting school next year at FPS.
What you need to do:
Enrolment applications submitted after 28 July 2023 will be processed by our school as they are received, in accordance with the department’s Placement Policy.
This year Footscray PS will be conducting our own inquiry into our approach to student reporting. For a number of years we have felt that we need to reimagine how we capture student evidence of learning for families in a way that better serves the aspirations of students, families, and educators.
The first step in this journey is to learn from the voices of our students, our teachers, and our families. We will be holding discussion groups with a small number of students from Year 2 – Year 5/6, with some of our teachers, and with a small number of families.
The forums will contribute towards developing a coherent approach to meaningful student reporting that builds on current strengths and identifies changes needed. Our intention is to hear from a diverse range of people, who offer varied views and experiences, and who have not previously had opportunities to share their voice in our school community.
What is involved?
A 30-minute discussion will take place after school hours, onsite at school, between a small number of families, Jen (Principal) and Kathy (Assistant Principal). Should you wish to join the forum online we will be able to accommodate this option. Prompts for the discussion will be forwarded to families in advance and interpreters booked if required.
If you are interested in being involved in one of these discussion forums, please complete the Expression of Interest google form below. If you are a selected family, you will receive an email next week with the details of the discussion times. If you have not been selected and would like to contribute your views, we will create an additional google form with the same question prompts for all who wish to respond.
The Expression of Interest survey will close at 4pm next Wednesday 29th March.
Last week was a big week for our Year 3 and Year 5 students as they conquered their NAPLAN testing for Writing, Reading, Conventions of Language and Numeracy. After discovering that more than half of our iPads were not compatible with the latest NAPLAN locked-down browser app, we were able to divide the remaining devices across the Year 3s and Year 5s on alternate days.
As a result of this discovery we will be seeking advice from Department of Education IT support consultants regarding a long-term investment in the appropriate devices and technology for our school. If you are interested in being involved in this project keep an eye out for upcoming communication about this next term.
We would like to extend a big thank you to the Year 3 and Year 5/6 teachers for supporting our students throughout the NAPLAN experience. We are in no doubt that their calm approach is a large reason why we saw very little anxiety amongst our students. Students were well prepared with using the online platform and approached the tests with an understanding that this is only one snapshot in time. Thank you also to all families for your contribution in supporting your child/ren over the last few weeks in the lead up to NAPLAN.
With the final catch up tests nearly complete, we anticipate that all testing will be finalised this week.
A reminder that school photos are taking place next week on Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th March. Details about which levels will be on which day will be forwarded shortly.
Siblings will be photographed throughout both days. Ordering sibling photos must be submitted by the 24th March 2023.
For any queries about school photos please email email@example.com.
Sabrina Rubini Photography
Nothing like hitting the ground running, in fact sprinting and huffing and puffing!!!
School Swimming competition
The start of the year saw a legendary 198 Year 3-6 children participating in the School Swimming Competition at Sunshine Aquatic Centre. There were personal achievements in the 50 metre events with swimmers receiving ribbons for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. There were amazing efforts in the 25 metre races with swimmers getting themselves to the end of the pool and high fiving myself and Jen with humongous smiles on their faces! There were achievements in cheering on every single swimmer by our ever supportive school community! I saw people challenging themselves by standing at the start line, let alone pushing themselves to their limits by getting themselves to the end of that pool! Wow wow wow! The event finished at 2pm and somehow by 3:27pm I had announced the District Swimming team over the PA system at school.
With less than 18 hours notice, families answered text and calls at night time during dinners, bedtime routines and during their own time! For this I am grateful, because myself and Gab were able to witness a miraculous group of swimmers represent Footscray Primary School at the District Swimming event. Out of 29 phenomenal swimmers, 12 individual swimmers went through to Divisions to compete in 15 events. We shared the bus with FWPS and FNPS to drive out to Oak Park where these legends competed against swimmers from our whole Division. I was so impressed with their efforts in the pool and their inclusive attitudes I witnessed when they cheered on the other two schools in our Division. My bucket was full that day!
Cross country trials
I clearly like to challenge myself, because after a fortnight illness I returned to school to somehow run cross country trials in the rain at Footscray Park for Year 5 and Year 6. Year 3 and 4 teachers were amazing and adapted to my very restricted timetable to get their kids time trialled around the new school grounds. The amazing Year 3 and Year 4 kids ran laps of the Palestra, along the black asphalt area, around the tanbark roundabout, through the silver and yellow poles and around the front basketball court. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! Year 3 and Year 4 were the most enthusiastic cohort and I could only take 6 of them to Districts. So the fastest 6 runners represented FPS at the District Cross Country event at Hansen Reserve, West Footscray. The amount of parents who arrived, cheered, took zoom calls before and after their kids 2km or 3km event, motivated all our other FPS runners and then slipped off back into their work and/or home life was NOTICEABLE! I noticed you all there! And I thank you. We now have a quarter of our Cross Country Team going on to the Division Cross Country event at Brimbank Park on May 31st. I will get the schedule out to all families very soon so that those zoom meetings can be rescheduled to get your runners out to Keilor for their race. Best of luck to everyone running!
What’s coming up in Term 2?
Term 2 welcomes Year 6 Interschool Sport with the leaders of the school playing Soccer, Netball and Tee Ball against local schools. We have the Annual Whole School Sports Day at Aberfeldie Athletics Track on Thursday May 18th. Put it in the calendars everyone, I’ll need loads of helpers for each event!
My Term 1 wrap up message to everyone is: Stay Active – it's great for the mind and the body!
This year we joined partnership with the Community Bike Hub for a bike drive, which saw over 40 bikes donated by our wonderful FPS community.
The Community Bike Hub is made up of the Inner West Community Bike Hub, Surf Coast Bike Hub and the Volunteer Resource Centre. Their mission is to create a safe place where all members of our community can learn about bikes and experience the joys of cycling. They run bike skills workshops, hold volunteer sessions to repair bikes for people in need and sell a range of components, bikes and parts.
The Community Bike Hub has also generously offered to provide bikes to students in our school that currently do not have their own.
We send our thanks and gratitude to the Community Bike Hub, and look forward to joining with them again in the future!
For more information please visit them at
Due to a busy couple of weeks that have included our 160th Celebrations and Ride 2 School, FPS will be celebrating Harmony Day on the last day of term, Thursday 6th of April.
Students will be encouraged to dress in orange or wear their traditional cultural dress. The message of Harmony Week is everyone belongs. It is about inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians, regardless of cultural or linguistic background.
If anyone would like to help us support Harmony Day by sharing their culture through dance, story or in another way please let us know by contacting: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
We are continuing to pinch ourselves as we arrive each morning and take in all the wonderful new facilities, play spaces and community areas that we have as a school. We ask for your support in maintaining the way our shared grounds are used to ensure they benefit our students and wider community for many years to come.
Staff talent was put on display this week, when Year 4 teacher Cat gave former FPS students, teachers and leadership an insight to her ice hockey skills. The stakes were high as Cat and her team, the Red Wolves, battled it out in a nail-biting preliminary final, with a place in the grand final on the line.
The first two periods were tense, with neither team able to break the deadlock. However, early in the third period, the Wolves' persistence paid off when a Wolves player shot the puck on net from the blue line. This brought the goalie out of the net to try and capture the puck. The puck tumbled through his feet and into the crease where Cat was waiting to bury the puck deep into the net. With Cat scoring the first goal of the night, the Wolves had some momentum and were ready to secure the win.
The Wolves won 2-0 and the game finished with Cat in the penalty box. If you are interested in watching a local game of ice hockey, all grand final games for the summer season will be held this weekend. Cat and the Red Wolves will be hitting the ice at 2pm this Saturday the 25th of March at O’Brien Arena in Docklands.
| Wednesday 29th March 2023
Thursday 30th March 2023
|Thursday 6th April 2023 (last day of term)
|Harmony Day celebrations
|Monday 29th May 2023
|Pupil Free Curriculum Day
| Monday 24th July - Friday 28th July 2023
Monday 31st July - Friday 4th August 2023
|Foundation - Year 4 Intensive Swimming Program (Mon-Fri for 2 weeks)
|Monday 6th November 2023
|Pupil Free Professional Practice Day
|Tuesday 7th November 2023
|Wednesday 6th December - Friday 8th December 2023
|Year 5/6 Portsea Camp
(Wednesday to Friday)
|Wednesday 13th December - Friday 15th December 2023
|Year 3/4 Camp Rumbug
Wednesday to Friday)