17 September 2015

Newsletter 16/2015


Dear Parents and Friends,

What a busy term of activities, learning and fun we have had at Mentone Park! I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to share in the excitement of the many and varied units of study and special events that have taken place such as:

· Book Week activities

· Book character parade
· Scholastic Book Fair
· Year 6 Camp
· Year 3/4 Camp
· Somers Camp
· Maths Olympiad
· Satellite Club
· Marine Ambassador dress-up day
· Level 3 Museum excursion
· Tree planting day
· Introduction of new spelling program - SMART Spelling
· Green Gang - Big Green Schools Conference
· District athletics
· House athletics
· The NED Show
· NRL team playing at AAMI Stadium
· Basketball clinics
· AFL clinics
· Marine Ambassador workshops
· Book week performance for P-2
· Year 5/6 Sovereign Hill excursion
· Grandparents Day for Prep
· Level 2 cultural celebrations
· Level 3 Step Back in Time day
· Level 4 Colonial Times celebration day
· Father's Day breakfast
· Year 5 visits to Acacia Kindergarten
· Swimming
· Footy week activities
· Footy colours dress-up day (tomorrow)
· Footy lunch day (tomorrow) 

Phew! I'm sure, like me, the students are looking forward to their well earned rest after such a whirlwind of events these past few weeks. I went along to swimming with the Year 2s for the final session today and was pleased to see them having such fun to celebrate the culmination of their learning over the past 2 weeks. They enjoyed racing along the giant inflatable while being soaked with water tossed from buckets by their teachers. I'm not sure who was having more fun - the teachers throwing the water or the students dodging it!


As you know, every four years, schools have a review that guides the School's Strategic Plan - an important document that outlines school priorities for the coming years. After our School Self-Evaluation, comprising input from parents, students and staff, we held a Review Day, which involved a panel made up of teachers, school leaders, Principals from local schools, members of our parent community and an external reviewer. It was a great day with lots of important discussion around the journey Mentone Park has been on over the past 4 years, and ways in which we could improve.

This is a short excerpt from the reviewer that I would like to share with you:

A highlight of student learning outcomes at MPPS has been the improved outcomes at Year 3 on the NAPLAN.  This was evident in both Reading and Numeracy. 

MPPS has focussed throughout the period under review, on putting into place well researched, whole school approaches to Teaching and Learning. The areas of Writing, Reading and Mathematics have been targeted.  

Mentone Park PS has a staff of highly skilled teachers who are committed to their students and who consistently seek ways to improve outcomes. It will be important for staff to unite behind the strategic vision to embed the many excellent practices school wide. A building upgrade scheduled for 2016 creates the opportunity to further develop contemporary approaches to Teaching and Learning. 


Thanks to everyone for a terrific term. I have enjoyed being the Acting Principal these past 5 weeks whilst Ms Parker has been travelling all over Turkey and Cruising her way around the Mediterranean! I am very much looking forward to her return however and will be more than happy to return to my Assistant Principal's chair. I would like to thank the staff and in particular Mrs Grisdale for their support in keeping the school running so smoothly!

Here are a few photos that Ms Parker sent just to make us all a little jealous:

Have a great holiday! Stay safe and see you all next term.

Alison Lough



The Satellite Club – Grades 3 and 4

Attention! In Term 3 a new phenomenon has been observed in the vicinity of Mentone Park PS.  I am happy to report it was the newly formed Satellite Club!

Year 3 and 4 students have been developing their higher order thinking skills. Each week, I have been working with a group of 16 students on tasks which have challenged them beyond the traditional curriculum. Students have learnt about de Bono’s Thinking Hats. The Thinking Hats were developed to identify specific ways of thinking. This term we have looked at the Red, Yellow and Black Hat. Did you know that the Black Hat relates to critical thinking?  The word critical comes from the Greek word kritikos which means to judge. Some of the situations we used our Thinking Hats for included responding to problems and situations from Black Hat and White Hat perspectives and using our Red Hat (emotions) thinking to respond to artwork by Salvador Dali.

A selection of Greek myths and legends were used as the context for challenging and extending the students’ learning. Some of the activities included -  

  1. Researching to identify the features and characters from myths.
  2. Giving human qualities to express emotions. Selecting an emotion. Drawing/ making and writing about their characters.  Justifying and explaining their creations and their characteristics. (imagery)
  3. Using mind maps to organise their ideas about Pandora’s Box.
  4. Creating a winged creature that when dropped from a height of three metres, falls at a rate between three to five seconds – using Daedalus and Icarus as the prompt. (physics)
  5. Developing metacognition – thinking about our thinking through self reflection tasks such as see/do, think, wonder.
The buzz of excitement about learning is contagious. Catch it with us. Stay tuned for more details about Term 4’s Satellite Club.


 Curiouser and Curiouser   -  Term Four Unit of Study      

Next term all grades will have an explicit focus on thinking and the teaching of thinking to develop students’ thinking to a qualitatively higher level. Students need to be supported to move beyond the lower-order cognitive skills of recall and comprehension to the development of higher-order processes required for creative problem solving, decision making and conceptualising. In addition, they need to develop the capacity for metacognition – the capacity to reflect on and manage their own thinking. This can only happen when the school and classroom culture values and promotes thinking and students are provided with sufficient time to think, reflect and engage in sustained discussion, deliberation and inquiry. Students need challenging tasks which stimulate, encourage and support skillful and effective thinking- and this is what we have planned for our Term Four Unit of Study.

Thank you to everyone in the school community for your involvement and support of our school activities this term. The school is the sum of all its parts: the students, parents and friends, and staff. The students and their growth and development is central to everything we do.

Enjoy the holidays!

Sue Grisdale


On behalf of PFA I would like to thank the following people for helping with the Father's Day Breakfast.  (Sorry for the very early start).
Jodi O’Sullivan, Andrew Davis, Peter Dixon, Michelle Sampieri, Lilian Vrionis, Sue Curtis, Cheryl Nancarrow, Anna Petty & Jenny Olechnowicz.  Also to Frank Sampieri for making sure our BBQs and tables were ready to go at 6.00am.
Thank you to everyone that came to breakfast.  We hope all the Fathers, Grandparents and Special Friends enjoyed their breakfast with the kids and also had a wonderful day on Sunday.
A big thank you to all the parents that also helped with the Father’s Day Stall.  Thank you to Louise Cook for the purchasing of gift items for the children to choose something special for their Father, Grandfather/Special Friend.  I hope you all enjoyed the delightful gifts you received.
Wendy Davis
PFA President


The Woolworths Earn and Learn program has now finished.  If you have any stickers or half filled sheets could you please send them to the Office by tomorrow (Friday 18th September).  Thank you to all our families and friends who have supported MPPS through this program.  We look forward to the new resources earned for the school.



Hello to all our OSCH parents.
Well where to begin? We are happy to welcome back Jo from her holidays. Also we have had a fantastic term 3 but sadly it is coming to an end. This term finishes this Friday 18th at 2:30 pm. If you haven’t booked for the holiday program please remember to do so asap online or come in and speak to one of our friendly staff.
From Anicca and the OSCH team       


The Department of Education & Early Childhood Development and Mentone Park Primary School do not endorse the products or services of any private advertiser. They accept no responsibility for accuracy of information contained in advertisements or claims made by them.

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