May 17th 2023

Issue 4

Important Dates to Remember

Important dates to remember:

 Term 2 
 Thursday 18th May 2023Whole School Athletics
 Wednesday 24th May 2023Soiree
 Monday 29th May 2023Pupil Free Curriculum Day (Report Writing)
 Tuesday 6th June 2023Foundation 2024 Information Night
 Monday 12th June 2023Monarch's Birthday Public Holiday
 Wednesday 14th June 2023Pupil Free Curriculum Day (Writing)
 Thursday 15th June 20233.00pm Celebration of Learning
 Thursday 15th June 20233.30pm Public Reporting Meeting
 Friday 23rd June 2023 2.30pm Finish - Last day of Term 2
 Term 3 
 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)
 Friday 15th September 20232.30pm Finish - Last day of Term 3
 Term 4 
 Monday 6th November 2023 Pupil Free Professional Practice Day
 Tuesday 7th November 2023Public Holiday
 Wednesday 6th December - Friday 8th December 2023Year 5/6 Portsea Camp 
(Wednesday to Friday)
 Wednesday 13th December - Friday 15th December 2023 Year 3/4 Camp Rumbug
Wednesday to Friday)
 Wednesday 20th December 20231.30pm Finish - Last day of Term 4

Principal's Message

Hello everyone and welcome to the first newsletter of Term Two. As you will have seen on compass, our operations are being impacted by staff illness and a shortage of casual relief staff. Where possible, we are covering classes with internal staff and this is impacting considerably on the administrative and operational tasks that are normally carried by leaders. We do apologise for the lateness of this newsletter and the delayed response time to emails from teachers and leadership while we work to prioritise teaching and learning for your children. We do ask you kindly to please keep your children at home if they display any signs of illness to help us through the winter months with a strong and healthy staff group. 

We are proud to share that our Leading Teacher for Inclusion and Engagement, Chris Wilson, has been successful in his application to the Graduate Certificate in Education (Learning Difficulties) at the University of Melbourne. The certificate is funded through the Victorian Government’s Disability Inclusion reforms and aims to enhance how teachers meet and champion the needs of students with learning difficulties, including dyslexia and dyscalculia. Congratulations, Chris, we look forward to sharing in the learning. 

A Day in May Fundraiser

Last week, we all came to school dressed as our favourite musician or with a splash of yellow. We danced the day away during a spontaneous lunchtime disco and as a community we raised $610 for Challenge. Challenge is a non-profit organisation providing daily support for children and families with cancer. A Day in May campaign raises funds for Challenge’s Musical Moments Trust. This scholarship provides pre, and primary-school-aged cancer patients access to a music therapist or group music sessions, funding to attend a music program, or purchase a musical instrument.
Thank you Footscray Primary School!

Upcoming Pupil-Free Days

As part of the Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2022, schools are entitled to four curriculum days each year. One of those takes place state-wide on the first day of the school year, and one of the remaining four must focus on assessment and reporting. 

To provide support for teachers during report writing season, our curriculum day for assessment and reporting will be taking place on Monday, May 29. 

We also have a curriculum day on Wednesday, June 14. With a public holiday on the Monday, this may be a frustrating set up for families to have one day back at school and then a day off and we apologise for any inconvenience. When we plan school-run curriculum days we always prioritise the needs of our families, however, this day is with our Literacy Consultant, Terri Campbell, and there is very limited flexibility in her busy schedule. 

Public Reporting Meeting & Celebration of Learning - Change of Date!

Thank you to all our families who attended the Term 1 Celebrations of Learning across the school. We received feedback from staff, students and families and have made a change for the Term Two Celebrations. Due to our school schedule, we have had to change the date to Thursday, June 15, and based on feedback from the students we will be shortening the time so the event starts at 3pm. We will send further information closer to the date to remind you but lock in that early finish at work if you can!

We will be using this opportunity to invite you all to stay on afterwards and attend our Annual Public Reporting Meeting where we will share some data sets and highlights from 2022 and provide an update on our 2023 Annual Implementation Plan. More information coming soon!

Staff Update

We would like to thank Chris Robinson for his contributions to Footscray Primary School. Chris has been on leave since last year doing casual relief teaching and seeking permanent employment closer to his coastal home and he has recently been offered ongoing employment at a school in Truganina. Whilst it isn’t quite as close to home as he had hoped, it is closer than Footscray, and we congratulate Chris on this appointment. 

We say farewell to Brigid Blakeney, classroom teacher of Foundation C, who has taken personal leave for the remainder of the year and we welcome Suzi D’Argenio and Kylie Doust to the Foundation team. 

We also shared news this week with Year 3 families, that Claudia has made the difficult decision to leave FPS. As you may know, Claudia relocated to Melbourne earlier this year from Canberra and has decided to leave teaching for a while to find a greater balance in supporting her family across two states. Claudia will remain with us across this term while we undertake a recruitment process. The position is advertised now on Recruitment Online and we encourage you to share this with your networks if relevant. 

We worked flexibly with our recent recruitment to appoint Italian applicants from the Language and Art vacancies to the Foundation classroom role to prioritise the day to day teaching and learning of FC. We have re-advertised the Art role and Language roles and hope to appoint staff soon. 

We welcome Kate Hamlet to the ES team from next week. Kate comes to us from a special setting where she has enjoyed supporting students with complex needs and using her permaculture training to support students through work in the school garden. We look forward to working with Kate across the year. 

African Drumming

African Drumming has been a highly valued offering at Footscray Primary School for many, many years. The benefits are extensive including rhythm and musicality, collaboration and resilience, and cultural awareness and understanding. Due to declining participation, we were unable to continue with the model we have run in previous years and this year we reduced the program to one intensive term for each year level, culminating in a drumming performance for families at the end of the term. 

Tutor Learning Initiative (what is it?)

Each term the FPS leadership team in collaboration with our Tutor Learning Initiative (TLI) leader, Jos, collate and analyse our whole-school literacy and numeracy data to determine where to focus our energies for the term. The students who are identified to participate in the termly TLI program will come home with a letter informing their families that their child has been selected to receive additional tutoring support in either Reading or Maths.

We have received a couple of questions regarding the criteria for participating in the program and have been advised by the Department of Education TLI implementation team that the program is designed for those students who are 3-6 months behind and have some identified gaps in either their literacy or maths learning.

If you have further questions about the TLI program at Footscray PS please contact Kathy Winton on

School Council Update

Last term, our new School Council came together for the first time, welcoming our new parent representatives Alexander Fox and Emma Cashen, and new staff representative Hannah Clarke.

What does School Council do?

School Council meets twice a term to develop the broad direction and vision of the school within the school’s community. Some of the functions of SC include raising funds for school related purposes, exercising general oversight of the school buildings and grounds, ensuring that finances are expended for assigned school-related purposes, to make informed decisions, and to inform the community, regarding the school and its students, and to generally stimulate interest in the school in the wider community.

At the commencement of every school year, new Office Bearers are appointed to SC. The following positions were approved for the 2023 School Council:

- School Council President: Raylene Varone (re-elected)

- Vice President: Emma Cashen (new)

- Treasurer: Anson Le (new)

- Secretary: Emily Roberts (re-elected)

We congratulate all of the above on their appointment to the 2023 SC positions.

Canteen working party

SC will be creating a working party to partner with Vinh in meeting the healthy eating criteria for Victorian school canteens. This will involve liaising with Vinh as well as the dietician contracted to support Vinh in keeping the menu updated to School Council for approval. The working party will establish regular check-in points each term with Vinh before SC meetings, where she can submit new menu items for approval.

If you are interested in being involved in this working party please email

Community Day fundraising

After the huge success in raising $4325.91 from our community day, it was confirmed that all costs relating to the mounting of the FPS Community Mosaic, curated by parent Meredith Jones, will be taken from the Building Fund. As previously confirmed by SC in 2022, this is where all profits from the Community Day will be directed.

Social Club

Last term’s Friday Fun Day was a big hit thanks to Elise West, Zoe Alnutt and Clare Green. Members of the social club have discussed the possibility of future events such as a school disco, the hugely successful trivia night, and many more plans for 2023. If you are interested in joining the social club with some more ideas please contact
Our AGM will be held on Tuesday 30th May at 4.45pm, with the election of office bearer roles occurring at this time. 

Foundation Enrolments 2024

Enrolments are now open for Foundation 2024 and we have had great attendance at our recent tours and parent information session. There is another tour and a repeat information session coming up next month and we encourage you to share this with friends, family, neighbours who have children starting school at FPS next year. To find out more about the new enrolment processes and timeline visit our website -

To register for a tour or information session please visit this link -

Tours and Information Sessions

The story of our Rainbow Pole

With our school participating in ‘A Day in May’, it’s a good time to highlight a special part of school that some of you may not know about.

The Rainbow Pole was installed at the front of Footscray Primary in 2020 in memory of a boy named Patrick Gordon-Martinez. He was a student from Foundation to Grade 3. Many families remember Patrick and the smiley, cheeky, curious and gentle soul that he was. He tragically contracted a rare form of brain cancer and passed away in 2019. This year, Patrick would have been in Year 8. 

Near the pole (look from the pole towards the intersection) is a lemon-scented gum that was planted the same year. Some of Patrick’s ashes were scattered in the hole. Less than three years on, this tree has well and truly outgrown its stakes and is reaching for the sky! 

In the words of Patrick’s family, the Rainbow Pole and Memory Tree ‘honour the depth and richness of children’s experience, their friendships and their care for each other. These landmarks are for all the children of Footscray Primary School. They offer a place to remember and to reconnect with what we care about and those we love. We hope you will enjoy them and make them yours.’ 

The quote on the pole – ‘A person’s a person, no matter how small’ – comes from Dr. Suess. During the last summer break, the rainbow pole was rejuvenated with new sturdy metal spinners, so be sure to look up and admire them.

It makes Patrick’s family very happy to imagine children playing around the pole and inventing games, and if you have any small moments to share about how your kids use the pole, maybe you could take the time to jot them down in a quick email and send it to the school office. Messages will be passed on to the family. 

Kelly Sports - Term 2

Kely Sports Term 2

Chess Coaching - Term 2

Chess Coaching Term 2

Community Information

Maribyrnong City Council

Please click the link below for more information:
Early Years - Parenting In Maribyrnong Sessions coming up in May / June