September 15th 2023

Issue 9

Important Dates to Remember

 Term 4 
 October 16 - 20Diversity and inclusion week
 October 23 - 27Body safety and bullying prevention week
 Monday 6th NovemberPupil Free Professional Practice Day
 Tuesday 7th NovemberMelbourne Cup public holiday
 Tuesday 21st November2024 Foundation transition Session 1
 Tuesday 28th November2024 Foundation transition Session 2
 Friday 1st DecemberCelebrations of Learning
 Friday 1st DecemberStudent reports published via Compass
 Week beginning Monday 4th DecemberYear 3 and Year 4 parent-teacher conferences
 Tuesday 5th December2024 Foundation transition Session 3
 Wednesday 6th - Friday 8th DecemberYear 5/6 camp
 Week beginning Monday 11th DecemberFoundation - Year 2 and Year 5/6 parent-teacher conferences
 Tuesday 12th DecemberState-wide Year 6-Year 7 transition day and FPS F-6 2024  step-up day
 Tuesday 12th December2024 Foundation transition Session 4
 Wednesday 13th December - Friday   15th DecemberYear 3/4 Camp 
 Monday 18th DecemberYear 6 Exhibition and Graduation
 Wednesday 20th DecemberLast day of school for 2023 - early finish

Principal's Message

Here we are at the end of another term and we are all tired for a reason! Our young people have had a fabulous term with so many events like Science Week, Year 2 sleepover, Student-led Art Competition, Swimming, Concert, Disco, Book Week, Market Day and Celebrations of Learning earlier this week. I’ve enjoyed hearing about lots of wonderful holiday plans as I chat with students before and after school and I look forward to hearing more when we return in Term Four.

Over the term break the oval will remain fenced and this is on schedule to be reopened for the start of Term Four. The builders need to do some sewer works beneath the Agora asphalt so the surface will be dug up over the break and re-covered in time for Term Four. We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause.

I would like to offer a very big and sincere thank you to the 110 families who completed the Parent and Caregiver Opinion Survey. That is a whopping 40% of our families represented which the highest response rate we have ever received and will make my Principal colleagues green with envy. You lot are the best! I will share some insights from that data across Term Four. Thank you again.

Have a happy and safe holiday everyone and we will see you all back on Monday, October 2.

Public Reporting Meeting

Earlier this week, I presented our 2022 Annual Report and accompanying data at our Public Reporting Meeting. You can view the annual report on our website if you would like to read through our 2022 achievements and data sets. The public reporting meeting is great forum to bring those data sets to life through sharing the stories that sit behind them, and unpacking the trends and patterns in achievement and wellbeing and how we use those data sets to influence the school strategic plan. Thank you to everyone who came along and for the rich question and insights you shared with the group.

Public Reporting Meeting

Workforce Planning in Government Schools

Each year around this time, I share a brief overview of how our system works. Many of our teachers are employed as ongoing staff members which means they remain on staff here at FPS until they choose to take on another life adventure. If they decide to work elsewhere, travel, start a family, and so on, they are granted leave and they hold on to their ongoing position at Footscray Primary School. While on leave, we backfill those ongoing positions with fixed term contracts. We cannot put the school into a position where we will have more ongoing staff than we can fund, and this is a really difficult balance for school leadership and significantly more difficult for staff who often have to apply for a short term contract each year. When an ongoing position becomes available we conduct an internal merit-based process which is also stressful and time consuming for our teachers.

We are proud to say that FPS is a really wonderful place to work and our staff are a tight knit group. We often have less contract positions than we have contract staff and this means they are left competing for jobs against their colleagues and friends. Often families with the absolute best intentions ask our staff if they will be at FPS next year or what year level they will be teaching. This can be a really hard question to answer repeatedly for staff who are still unsure whether a contract will be available for the next year. In relation to year levels, all of our teachers can be placed in any year level or specialist role based on the needs of the workforce plan so it is helpful to not assume that certain teachers will be in certain year levels until we share that news with the community. As most of you know, I try to be as transparent as possible about these things and share as early as I can.

Staffing Update

Last week we conducted the recruitment process for two ongoing Italian positions commencing 2024, and a part time fixed term Italian contract. We congratulate Suzi, current FC classroom teacher, on her successful re-appointment to the Italian teaching team. We were also fortunate to have a large number of Italian applicants as we become known in the sector for our bilingual program. In 2024, we will welcome Ida and Sarah to our Italian teaching team. Ida comes to us with a number of years teaching experience in generalist primary teaching, as well as teaching in the Arts. Sarah joins us after many years of classroom and language teaching and has introduced herself below. 

Ciao! Mi chiamo Sarah! I am very excited to be joining the Footscray Primary School community in 2024. I love Italian language, culture and food. In my spare time, I love baking, spending time with my family and listening to Italian music. I look forward to getting to know you all. A presto!’ 

In some happy-sad news, our superstar Business manager, Rowena, will be taking a year of leave to spend time working in a new field, continuing her training and enjoying some time with her family in sunny Queensland. Rowena and I work in close partnership and I am so sad to think about the year ahead without her guidance and knowledge. However, I am thrilled for her to be taking this big step and I should also share that last weekend while I was lazing about on my couch, Rowena and her team took out the win in the Half Ironman on the Sunshine Coast. What a champ!! We appointed Sharon Jones to take on the Business Manager role next year. Sharon (and her trained therapy dog, Lexi!) will be coming to us with years of school office experience and she is very excited to join the FPS community, already sinking her teeth into some professional learning to get ready! 

We have had a number of staff on extended leave who will be officially leaving our FPS staff group next year. 

Jessie Brown has worked for FPS for many years in a number of roles. Most of you would know Jessie from her friendly face in the office and her familiarity with your families and circumstances. She held a lot of community and technical knowledge that we will definitely miss. Jessie has spent this year starting an apprenticeship where she has been working on the new Footscray hospital. It was a very hard decision for her to leave FPS officially but she has decided to throw herself completely into her apprenticeship and we are really happy for her. 

Rhiannon has been permanently transferred to the office admin team at Melton Primary. This is a sad outcome for us but a great one for Rhiannon as it is close to home and her daughter attends the school also. Janine Bell has been on long service leave since the end of 2021 and has now confirmed that she will be officially retiring from the Department of Education. Evelyn has been on extended leave working in her family juice company and dedicating time to her commitment to community service. She has now resigned from the department of education and FPS to pursue her work in these areas. With Virginia retiring last year also, we hope to invite them all back for a special farewell assembly in Term 4 to thank them for their invaluable service to our department and our school. We know many of you, like us, would like to say goodbye properly!

Consent and Payment Deadlines

We know that keeping on top of life administration can be really challenging and we have always been very happy to help with frequent reminders and phone calls or emails when we are missing consent or payment for events. Unfortunately, the increasing number of families providing consent and payment after the closing date for events was having an enormous impact on the workload of our teaching and administrative staff, and also increasing our risk factors when leading events due to things like incorrect participant rolls and medication lists.

A reminder that with the current shortages and staff illness still impacting significantly on school operations and increased staff workload, we are unable to accept consent after the published closing date for events.

Our community generously donate to All Aboard to ensure that all children can attend events, regardless of their socio-economic status. If you are experiencing financial hardship, please contact the office to learn more about how to request All Aboard payment for any school event.

Our SWPBS journey so far

SWPBS stands for School-Wide Positive Behaviour Support. It is an evidence-based approach to creating a positive school environment that supports the social, emotional, and behavioural well-being of all students. SWPBS aims to improve overall school culture and reduce behavioural problems through a combination of evidence-based practices, data-driven decision-making, and collaboration among school staff, students, and families.
Last year, we introduced a behaviour matrix and a rewards mechanism that employs tokens to reinforce positive conduct in students, aligning with our school's standards. Following its launch, our SWPBS team has been continuously evaluating the efficacy of the approach and brainstorming ways to advance it. Our goal this year was to tailor the positive behaviour matrix to suit our bilingual context. The positive behaviour matrix explicitly states the expected behaviours we commit to at Footscray Primary School. Last week, our SWPBS team shared a preliminary version of the updated matrix with the staff to garner feedback.
We are looking forward to sharing our new improved matrix with you soon!

Engagement Program update

This term the students in our gardening group have been working hard and are beginning to see the fruits (or vegetables) of their labour. They've been growing different plants from seeds, such as sunflowers as well as growing various vegetables including potatoes. Students have been demonstrating a lot of dedication and patience as they have been looking after their plants. This wonderful group of students are not just growing plants, they also help each other and care about the environment, making Footscray Primary School a better and more connected place for everyone.

Gardening Group

School Council update

Hello FPS community. I’m Alex with an update on the work of the school council. My daughter Matilda started in Foundation this year and I’ve had the privilege of joining the school council.

As another term draws to a close, I want to acknowledge all the amazing work of the FPS teaching and support staff. It has been a busy term; alongside the great work in the classroom we’ve had intensive swimming, 100 days of school celebration, the school concert performances, a trip to the zoo, and book week. The recent school disco emphasised the community feel, that as foundation parents we are grateful to have joined.

At our most recent school council meeting we discussed a range of issues including:
  • Before and after school care
  • School uniform
  • Teaching and learning update
  • Reporting plans for 2024
  • Planning for 2024
  • Work of the sub-committees including building and grounds, community engagement and school wide positive behaviour

We also undertook a self-review using a comprehensive tool provided by the Victorian Department of Education (formerly the Department of Education and Training) and discussed how this might inform our future work.

Enjoy the impending school holidays and the gradually improving weather!

Alex Fox

Market Day

On Tuesday the 12th of September the 5/6s held their Market Day. This was a day to raise money for the Year 6 graduation and end of year fun day. Everything that was sold on the day was made by students or run by the students. We enjoyed using our skills and talents and working in small groups to make the day a success. It linked to our unit of inquiry about giving all people equal opportunities. We are very proud to announce that we raised $2000, this far exceeded our goal and shows what a fantastic community we are a part of. Have a great school free 2 weeks!  From Ari and Josie .

Term 4 means hats are back!

Just a reminder that in term 4 all children are required to wear hats when they are outside so it’s time to dig under beds and in the back of wardrobes to find that FPS approved hat. The hat needs to be broad brimmed or Legionnaire style to ensure adequate coverage of not only your child’s face but also their ears and neck. We know that sometimes kids don’t like wearing hats because they are not seen as ‘cool’ but limiting sun damage is so important. We are hoping to partner with you in making sure your child has a hat in their bag every day and encourage you to have a conversation with them about the importance of wearing hats. 

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