August 18th 2023

Issue 8

Important Dates to Remember

 Term 3 
 Wednesday 23rd AugustBook Week Parade - 9.30am
 Wednesday 30th AugustYear 3 Sustainability Walk
 Thursday 31st AugustFoundation Zoo visit
 Friday 1st SeptemberSchool Disco
1.  4-5.30pm for Foundation to Year 2
2.  5.45-7pm for Years 3 to 6
 Thursday 7th SeptemberYear 2 Sleepover
 Friday 8th SeptemberAssembly - 3pm
 Tuesday 12th SeptemberCelebration of Learning - 3pm
 Friday 15th September2.30pm 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’s been an exciting fortnight with our school music concerts, Science Week activities in Bec’s Science and Design classes, and our Book/Costume Swap for the Indigenous Literacy Foundation in preparation for Book Week next Wednesday 23rd August.

I would like to extend a huge thank you to our wonderful music teachers, Sarah Mildner and Bryce Turcato. It has been their calm and supportive approach towards rehearsals and preparation for the concert that has enabled our young people to feel confident and proud to stand up on the stage and share their joy for music and musical talents in front of peers and families. Contrary to popular opinion, not all children love to be the centre of attention, and many of our young people were initially a bit anxious and overwhelmed by the idea of performing in front of an audience. Over these last two weeks I have witnessed a significant shift in many of our students as they were gently supported to step out of their comfort zone and into a new and sometimes challenging space. I would like to congratulate all of our young people in this huge achievement.

Thank you Sarah, Bryce, and all of our teachers and Education Support staff who provided the supportive nudge at just the right time. Thank you to our families for your support in encouraging your children in their home practice and participation in the performances. Thank you to our student music leaders, who were helping Sarah and Bryce every step of the way in the preparation, communication and logistics for the concert. 

FPS Concert August 2023

Alongside concert week this week, we were privileged to be involved in National Science Week activities. Footscray PS were invited to participate in the Footscray Learning Precinct’s partnership collaboration with the New Footscray Hospital Project and SciencePlayKids (a locally-based STEAM learning organisation). Plenary Health are delivering the New Footscray Hospital Project in partnership with the Victorian State Government and Western Health. Yesterday Plenary Health sent a videographer to attend Bec’s Science and Design classes as they designed and constructed their own versions of the new Footscray Hospital. Our very own Dr Loz (FPS parent and founder of SciencePlayKids) has been working closely with Bec to build our science program and we were very excited to collaborate with Dr Loz and share how this work is contributing to the Precinct through our inquiry-based Science and Design specialist subject.

Hospital Project

I would also like to extend a huge thank you to our wonderful Science and Design teacher, Bec, who pulled all of these pieces together to create an exciting week of engaging and stimulating learning experiences within the context of an authentic and real-world inquiry. We already do this so well at Footscray PS, and this project has shone a spotlight on our wonderful educators. Bec spent some time yesterday with the Department of Education Regional Director, Chris Thompson, and Area Executive Director, Silvana Sena, and I couldn't have been prouder watching her share this fantastic program.

This fortnight’s 2023 NAPLAN data update is our Numeracy outcomes.
As shared in previous newsletters, Numeracy has not been an Annual Implementation Plan focus for some time and we are so excited to sink our teeth in this semester. In our professional learning sessions across this semester we are inquiring into the big ideas in number in primary school - Trusting the count, Place Value, Multiplicative thinking and Partitioning.
Much of this learning has been driven through the research of Emeritus Professor of Mathematics Education, Di Siemon, from RMIT. A number of our staff, including our Principal, Jen, have worked closely with Di Siemon and we are very fortunate to draw on her knowledge and pedagogy as we strengthen mathematics across the school.

More information about Di Siemon and the Big Ideas in Number can be found here:

NAPLAN 2023 Numeracy Data

This week our teachers spent some time unpacking the 2023 NAPLAN data. We analysed data sets for our Year 3 and Year 5 students in Writing, Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation, Reading and Mathematics. Some of the discussions uncovered whole school trends and patterns, while other data inquiries involved deep dives into the cohort level, class level and individual student data.

Teachers compared these data sets with other assessments that we conduct at Footscray PS, both quantitative and qualitative, to further inform our teaching and learning.

NAPLAN Teachers

Thank you!

Attendance Matters

Last week, Emily, Ryan, Jenny, and Chris were invited to be part of a research project run by the University of Melbourne, focusing on school attendance.
The project is based on data suggesting that school attendance problems (SAPs) are increasing in Australian education system with existing problems magnified by the Covid-19 pandemic. It proposes that utilising Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) framework that enables educational systems and school settings to target support at the level of need with a particular focus on prevention and early intervention. This project will pilot MTSS for SAPs in Australian schools for the first time, with the overall aim of determining to what extent it is feasible to implement the Multiple Tiered System of Support framework to improve school attendance in the Australia school context.
As part of our work, we looked at Footscray Primary’s current attendance data, noticing a significant decrease in attendance since Covid-19.
Our recent data shows:

Student Absent Days

It showed us that 40% of our students have missed over 10 days of school this year while 27% of our students have missed over 20 days.
School attendance significantly impacts a student's educational outcomes as consistent attendance is crucial for students to fully benefit from learning opportunities, as well as support their emotional wellbeing due to the social connections that are made.
We would like to work in partnership with families to support attendance issues such as school reluctance and refusal. Please reach out to Jenny Campbell or Chris to have a chat if your child is showing signs that they are reluctant to attend school.
For more strategies please visit . These guidelines are intended for parents who are worried about their child’s engagement with school and those whose child is already experiencing school reluctance or refusal.

Camps, Excursions, Incursions and other events - available support for families

While staff make every effort to keep school excursions, incursions and events as affordable as possible, we are also aware these additional costs can add up quickly, particularly for families with multiple children across year levels. We have added some frequently asked questions and further financial support information below for your reference.

How are the costs for events confirmed?
All staff follow our excursions and incursions planning process when organising events. As part of this process, staff carefully calculate the required costs to safely run the event. This could include transport (bus) charges, entry fees or provider fees. The total cost of the event is divided by the number of participating students, giving an amount required to cover the costs of running the event. The finances of all events are overseen by our Business Manager, with some additionally taken to School Council. It is important to note schools do not make profit from the running of any excursions or incursions.

What is the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF)?
This fund provides money to eligible families to assist in covering the costs of school-related events. Submissions for this fund have now closed for 2023, however, a number of families may still have available funds in their CSEF allocation. For reference in future years, information about CSEF and eligibility criteria can be found here.

How can the school support me financially?
It is important to us that all students can participate equally and fully in school-related events. We have several ways in which we can help families financially when managing the costs of excursions, incursions or other events.
• All Aboard fund - Footscray Primary are extremely proud of this long standing support mechanism, which is funded by ongoing donations and fundraising from within the Footscray Primary community. This fund is managed locally by the school and can cover part-payment or payment of school events. To talk more about All Aboard or make an application, please visit our school office.
• Payment plans - Where possible, the school is happy to work with families to arrange extended payment plans or adjust payment due dates for events. If you’d like to discuss this, please visit the school office.

Staff Professional Learning - Prevent Teach Reinforce

Over the past term, staff have been engaging in a professional learning sequence about positive behaviour support. As part of this professional learning, staff have been completing the Department of Education’s recognised behaviour support training, called Prevent Teach Reinforce. This evidence-based training adapts the principles of functional behaviour assessment into a school setting. Staff have been learning how to look for and identify the function of a behaviour, and implement targeted strategies that meet the need of this function in a more positive manner. This learning complements our School-wide Positive Behaviour Support (SWPBS) initiative that continues to be refined and rolled out across the school. This week, our professional learning sequence concluded with staff engaging with a Behaviour Support Plan, and beginning to develop these for particular areas of student need.


As a parent or carer, please do not be alarmed if a teacher contacts you regarding the benefits your child may experience from an additional level of behaviour support planning. In just the same way as we do for learning outcomes in literacy or numeracy, teachers identify students who may need some additional, focused goals to support a behavioural outcome. A behaviour support plan simply documents the strengths-based strategies being used by the school to ensure consistency across all staff.

Science Week

This week is National Science Week! The theme is Innovation: Powering Future Industries.

In our Science + Design classes this week, FPS students from Foundation to Year 6 have been cooperatively building a model of the new Footscray Hospital. Every class demonstrated great creativity and collaboration as they built wards and patient rooms, operating rooms, roads, multistorey carparks, ambulances, cafes, gardens and even a morgue!

To create their hospital, students have been using cardboard, cardboard connectors, LEGO, coloured paper and felt, straws, plastic wheels and wooden axels. Some of it even works! Students investigated solar and wind power using real (if tiny!) solar panels to power windmills, and then wind power, motors and hand cranks to light up the hospital rooms with LEDs.

The students were so engaged (and disappointed when it was time to pack up at the end of their lessons!) that Bec and Jenny decided to relocate our Friendship Zone to the Science rooms so that students could continue their creative construction during playtimes.

Special thanks to Dr Loz, the Footscray Learning Precinct and to Plenary Health for inspiring our students and giving them the opportunity and resources to participate in this exciting community project.

Here are some photos of our new FPS hospital and our amazing students hard at work building it!

Science Week Image 1
Science Week Image 2
Thank you!

District Athletics Team

Hi to everyone from my couch at home! Thank you for all of your kind wishes. They’re helping my road to recovery. The District Athletics event is on next Thursday 24th August at Essendon Little Athletics Track (where we had ours). Most of the events were decided at our Sports Day, with a few being done during PE lessons, lunchtimes and some were conducted by the amazing Chris while I was at home! Some events were invitational events, which means I could nominate certain individuals to compete in those events.
The Compass post has been sent out to those athletes who have made the athletics team. I will contact each athlete (and/or parents/carers) individually to let them know their events.
We wish the 40 athletes from Year 3-6 good luck and our full support competing next week!
Sadly I won’t be attending the day with you all, but may have some eyes out watching from afar. So from my boring old couch to you all……… I miss you, I wish I was seeing everyone’s smiling faces but I promise you all I’m doing everything I can in Physio rehab to get back to my healthy self soon!

Thank you!

Intensive Swimming Program 2023

Intensive Swimming Program 2023

Some were anxious. Some were eager. Some were keen. Some were unfazed. Some were just okay.

After 10 back to back swimming lessons I can confidently say this:

EVERYONE was awesome. EVERYONE was successful. EVERYONE was challenged. EVERYONE filled my bucket.

Fourteen days ago I sat poolside witnessing our FPS kids nervously walk to their swimming lessons and meet a new friend in their swimming instructor. Some were challenged, had set backs, but they have all proudly completed a successful Intensive Swimming Program. A big part of the program is the support I get from our amazing teachers and ES staff. Teachers who drove home in their lunchbreak to get their student a towel. Teachers who emailed me everyday with their updated volunteer list. Teachers and ES staff who laid down in the water poolside to calm one of their students down. Teachers who brought hair ties so their students could see through their goggles. ES staff who held their students hands when they could predict that they weren’t coping very well. I am lucky to have EVERYONES support.

The support of you all makes the craziness of having 200 students each day dried, changed, bags packed, counted and back on the bus to school so much easier. Thank you to each and every parent, carer, grandparent and friend who sat in the humid, chlorine fuelled conditions and supported us all.

Over the fourteen days, we had over 2000 (that's 200 students per day) swimmers participate! Wow wow wow! You will all witness the intensity and mayhem of a fourteen day swimming program when the weather gets nicer and you see your kids excel in the swimming pool. We witnessed beautiful moments of Foundation friends helping their friends in the changerooms pack their bags. We witnessed Grade 4 friends in a class full of Foundation friends and not care one bit, they were in the pool and that’s all that matters. We witnessed independence. We witnessed success. We witnessed little legends being AWESOME!

I was yelled at ever so enthusiastically by a Foundation friend saying “Nadine the swimming pool is the best.” And it is! The life saving skills that our FPS students have acquired and mastered over the last fourteen days will make everyone’s Summer so much more safer and enjoyable.

I have loved seeing their pool enthusiasm grow (and deplete over the second week). I have loved seeing them and their teachers enjoy the inflatables today. I hope to see this much fun and growth occur in the 2024 Intensive Swimming Program.

Thank you!

Footy Colours Day - Last day of Term 3

Fight Cancer Foundation’s Footy Colours Day is a national fundraising event in September where thousands of Australians come together to show their support for kids with cancer. Students can wear their favourite footy colours for a gold coin donation which will go towards supporting students with cancer.

Community Information

Kelly Sports
Kelly Sports Term 4 2023
Chess Lessons
Chess Term 4

Parenting in Maribyrnong - sessions coming up
Children's Week Celebrations:
Early Years Parenting Postcard Oct 2023
Spring into Summer:
Spring into Summer Timetable

Anglicare Victoria
Anglicare Become a Foster Carer