|Wednesday 23rd August
|Book Week Parade - 9.30am
|Wednesday 30th August
|Year 3 Sustainability Walk
|Thursday 31st August
|Foundation Zoo visit
|Friday 1st September
1. 4-5.30pm for Foundation to Year 2
2. 5.45-7pm for Years 3 to 6
|Thursday 7th September
|Year 2 Sleepover
|Friday 8th September
|Assembly - 3pm
|Tuesday 12th September
|Celebration of Learning - 3pm
|Friday 15th September
|2.30pm Finish - Last day of Term 3
|Monday 6th November
|Pupil Free Professional Practice Day
|Tuesday 7th November
|Wednesday 6th December - Friday 8th December
|Year 5/6 Portsea Camp
(Wednesday to Friday)
|Wednesday 13th December - Friday 15th December
|Year 3/4 Camp Rumbug
(Wednesday to Friday)
|Wednesday 20th December
|1.30pm Finish - Last day of Term 4
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.