July 21st 2023

Issue 6

Important Dates to Remember

 Term 2 
 Friday 23rd June2.30pm Finish - Last day of Term 2
 Term 3 
 Monday 10th JulyFirst Day of Term 3
 Monday 24th July - Friday 4th AugustFoundation - Year 4 Intensive Swimming Program (Daily for 2 weeks)
 Friday 28th JulyAssembly - 3pm
 Wednesday 16th AugustYear F-3 Music Concert - 2.30pm
 Friday 18th AugustYear 4-6 Music Concert - 2pm
Assembly - 3pm
 Wednesday 23rd AugustBook Week Celebrations
 Friday 8th SeptemberAssembly - 3pm
 Tuesday 12th SeptemberCelebration of Learning - 3pm
 Friday 15th SeptemberFooty Colours Day 
2.30pm Finish - Last day of Term 3
 Term 4 
 Monday 6th NovemberPupil Free Professional Practice Day
 Tuesday 7th NovemberPublic Holiday
 Wednesday 6th December - Friday 8th DecemberYear 5/6 Portsea Camp 
(Wednesday to Friday)
 Wednesday 13th December - Friday 15th DecemberYear 3/4 Camp Rumbug
(Wednesday to Friday)
 Wednesday 20th December1.30pm Finish - Last day of Term 4

Principal's Message

It has been an incredibly smooth start to our second semester with additional landscaping works further enhancing the grounds and some rare winter sunshine easing the chill. 

Earlier this week, we received the first release of the NAPLAN results. Whilst NAPLAN is only one measure of achievement, we use the data to identify trends and gaps in learning and to help refine our whole school professional learning focus and practices. Over the next few newsletters I will share our data from each of the NAPLAN strands (Reading, Writing, Numeracy, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation) with a brief explanation. Normally we would look at changes over time, however, the reporting system for NAPLAN has changed significantly so our capacity to review trends is slightly limited in 2023. The changes are explained further on in the newsletter. 

I would like to start by sharing our data in Reading through the pictured charts. The yellow number represents the percentage of FPS students to achieve in the Strong and Exceeding categories, the purple number shows the results of schools similar to ours in relation to size, school type, cultural diversity, and socio-economic status, and the blue number shows the results across our network.  

In Year 3, 92% of our students achieved in the Strong or Exceeding categories. When compared to similar and network schools, our students performed significantly higher. This is our first Italian bilingual cohort to participate in NAPLAN and it affirms our school-based data that bilingual education enhances English Literacy as well as developing literacy in the target language. In Year 5, 90% of FPS students achieved in the Strong or Exceeding categories, again achieving greater results than similar and network schools. 

 These results were not surprising for us. We work hard to deliver a strong reading program in both English and Italian and we are proud of the very low number of students achieving in the ‘Needs Additional Support’ category. This is strong evidence of the impact our educators and families continue to have in our productive partnership to build a community of readers.
Thank you. 

NAPLAN Year 3 Reading

NAPLAN Year 5 Reading

As shared in our previous newsletter, we worked across the first semester to build our collective capacity to deliver a strong writing curriculum where our learners write for purpose with powerful language and author craft. A small group of staff will continue to capture this learning and build resources and teams will continue to strengthen and apply their learning through collaborative team planning. Last week, we launched our new professional inquiry focussed on the Big Ideas in Number. Many of you already know that prior to my role here I spent many years working in maths leadership and I am so excited to share and build upon my knowledge with this extraordinary bunch of educators. If you would like to hear a little about the Big Ideas in Number you can watch this short video - https://youtu.be/nPLWAzK0QSQ

New NAPLAN reporting format

As shared through the Principal’s message, results for the 2023 National Assessment Program - Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) test were released this week. Some families may already be aware of the changes to the NAPLAN reporting system which have been introduced nationally by the Australian Curriculum Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA).

So what’s new?

The most significant difference to the NAPLAN reports are that each learning area is assessed and represented according to the following 4 proficiency levels. These will replace the previous 10 numerical bands and national minimum standard used in previous years’ reporting:

  • Exceeding: the student’s result exceeds expectations at the time of testing.
  • Strong: the student’s result meets challenging but reasonable expectations at the time of testing.
  • Developing: the student’s result indicates that they are working towards expectations at the time of testing.
  • Needs additional support: the student’s result indicates that they are not achieving the learning outcomes expected at the time of testing. They are likely to need additional support to progress satisfactorily.

So what’s the same?

The NAPLAN assessment continues to measure student achievement in numeracy, reading, writing, spelling, and grammar and punctuation, and will continue to represent students' achievement against their peers. The results will provide an indication of students' skill levels against the national averages and the expected level for their year, and also provide valuable information to their teachers about how we can continue to support your child's growth.

If you are interested to know more about the new reporting format you may be interested in viewing this short informative clip about how to interpret the new features of the individual student report.

New NAPLAN individual student report

We have also attached an information sheet about the new proficiency levels for our Year 3 and Year 5 families.
NAPLAN Information for parents and carers 2023

Should you have any questions about the new NAPLAN reports please contact Kathy Winton on kathy.winton@education.vic.gov.au or 9687 1910.


Parent-teacher Conferences

On Monday and Tuesday of this week our classroom teachers and specialist teachers met with families to share and celebrate their child/ren’s achievements and areas for growth as identified in their Semester 1 reports. The evenings went very smoothly and we would like to thank our teachers for staying back late to meet with families on Monday night. 

Some families chose to meet on Webex while others preferred to attend in-person. We will continue a similar format to this for our Semester 2 conferences as many families enjoyed the opportunity to select which communication method worked best for them.

Compass School Management Platform

Over the course of term 3, we will be transitioning to the primary use of the Compass platform for school communication, event permissions and logging student absences. Families can use this platform via internet browser or the Compass app. Hard copy information regarding this transition was sent home with the eldest child of all families late last week. 

We will be offering a number of supports to families who may experience any difficulties using the Compass platform. One of these supports will be a weekly drop-in session on Thursdays between 3pm and 3:30pm in the library. A staff member will be available to help families navigate any elements of Compass that you are unsure of, or any other technical support needs.

Please find the following parent resources from Compass:

Across the term, we will continue to identify families with exceptional circumstances that prevent the use of Compass and in these cases provide alternate means of communication.

If you have any Compass related questions, please contact footscray.ps@education.vic.gov.au or visit our school office.

Compass Account 1

Compass Account 2

Compass Account 4

Noteworthy News

We congratulate Iggy Strybosch for his continued effort and outstanding commitment to his running which has earned him 16th place in the under 11s at the recent State Cross Country. An FPS alumni, Zeph Golz-McSweeney, also ran an incredible race coming in 9th in the Under 12/13s category. Congratulations Iggy and Zeph!
Cross Country

Many of you will have seen Grace Nguyen’s crochet creations as she gets about the schoolyard making, carrying and wearing her products. They are always impressive and we are so proud to share that Grace’s talents have been acknowledged in the wider community. Grace was recently announced as the winner of the Young Artists Prize - primary aged category in the biennial Footscray Arts Prize. What an accomplishment - Congratulations Grace!

Crotchet Creations

Well done to all our Footscray Primary students who entered: Lu Holzer-Vowles; Alex Vy and Abigail Mitchell.

Please feel free to share achievements with us so we can acknowledge all the great things that our students get up to outside of school.

Thank You

Big thank you to West Footscray Bunnings, for their generous donation to our Student Engagement Program. Using these resources, our students have been learning to take care of our gardens. They have learnt how to identify certain weeds, plant vegetable and flower seedlings and learning more about how to grow different plants.

We are loving our new gloves! Thanks Bunnings!

Student Engagement ProgramStudent Engagement ProgramStudent Engagement Program

Mental Health First Aid

Last week, Jen, Chris, Kathy, Emily, Calum, Ryan, and Rowena completed two days of Mental Health First Aid training. It was a powerful experience and all the participants felt more confident by the end of the two days to identify someone experiencing some mental health challenges and how to approach the person and help them to seek further support. Caroline, Jackie, Jenny, Nick, Sarah and Katie will complete the training later in the year so that each member of our leadership team has the skills required to best support our staff and our young people.

Plastic Free July

Plastic Free July
This July Footscray Primary School is participating in Plastic Free July. Classes are being challenged to reduce their plastic waste, through bring ‘nude’ foods to school and recycling all waste properly.

Starting next week we are also asking classes to collect plastic bottles and cans as part of Victoria’s Container Deposit Scheme. Your returned container will then be given a new lease on life. The material is recycled and remanufactured into a new product, saving it from landfill or littering the environment. Any money raised will be put back into the school gardening program.


Plastic Free July 3


FPS Social Club

The Footscray Primary Social Club has a new treasurer (Danni Flanagan), secretary (Sally Walshe) and president (Pippa Chandler). Thanks to everyone who came on Wednesday to our informal catch-up at West Footscray Wines. We are getting excited about some events in Term 3 and 4 - watch this space. If you have ideas or want to get involved, email us at footscrayprimarysocial@gmail.com