11 November 2015

Newsletter 19/2015


Dear Parents and Friends
The year is slipping by!  This week marks exactly half way though the term - "hump" week!  I am sure you are all like us and thinking of all the things we have to get done before Christmas.


Teachers have been busy conducting end of year assessments to prepare your child/ren's December reports.  This is a rigorous process which involves a myriad of assessment tools to arrive at the final AusVELS outcome.  For the key areas of Reading, Writing and Mathematics, teachers employ a process of "triangulation", whereby 3 pieces of evidence are used to decide on a student's final mark. Some of the assessment tools and evidence we use includes:

  • On-line Standardised testing (Maths and Reading)
  • Essential Assessment mathematics tests
  • Progressive Achievement Tasks - Maths and English - an Australian, nationally normed series of tests
  • Whole school writing task
  • Running Records and Bench-marking Systems (Reading)
  • Classroom work and teacher judgements
As you can see this is a very detailed assessment schedule and through the results of the standardised tests, combined with teacher expertise and knowledge of their students and the curriculum, your child's level of achievement is determined.  The reports you receive then provide you with your child's progress against the standard curriculum.  This year December Reports will be coming home on Tuesday 15th December.


As Principal it is my role to ensure the safety, security, health and wellbeing of all of our staff and students. At Mentone Park we are committed to ensuring that everyone is treated with respect, fairness and dignity. We expect all employees, students, parents and visitors in the school to act accordingly.  To support this, we have our school values and our Community Code of Conduct. In addition to these local policies, the Department of Education and Training has a Dignity and Respect Statement which provides that discrimination, harassment, bullying, violence and threatening behaviour in Victorian Government schools is unacceptable.  All employees, students, parents and visitors in the school are expected to act accordingly. 
Many people do not realise that schools are not public places.  It is at the discretion of the principal, as occupier of the premises, to permit or deny entrance onto school grounds.  
Our school values determine the way we interact with each other and all staff, students, parents and visitors are reminded to adhere to these values during all interactions.  
As parents I am sure you all appreciate that sometimes children have disagreements.  At Mentone Park we take an active role in helping students work through their disagreements in a restorative way, thereby not damaging relationships but repairing them - just as we do as adults!  If your child has an issue at school with their friends that manifests itself at school, we ask that you refer the situation to the school.  This way, we can ensure a supportive and fair resolution to problems for all children involved.  As I have said recently, there is always 3 sides to every story - yours, theirs and somewhere in the middle - the truth!  We work very hard, and take it very seriously, to get to the truth in all situations.  We thank all our parents who support us in the hard work we do to care for the wellbeing of all our students.


Planning for 2016 is well underway.  Every year we look at the needs of our school and our students and aim to construct the best learning conditions for all.  We always want what is best for our students and to create the optimal learning environment for them.  Keeping this in mind, we put a lot of effort into considering class configurations and size and allocating teachers.  Teachers use their very extensive knowledge of how your children learn and operate at school to also determine their class placements.  
If you believe you have knowledge pertinent to the placement of your child in 2016, directly relating to education, behavioural or social issues, that class teachers may not be aware of and that may impact on their class placement, please put this in writing and address it to me for consideration.  As always, please note that requests concerning specific teachers are not invited.

PFA Meeting agenda
Our next Parents and Friends' Association meeting is scheduled for Thursday 26th November, prior to the Prep 2016 Tabloid Sports morning.  We welcome all parents and friends to attend the meeting which will be held at Seed Café in Mordialloc at 9:30am.  Come along and hear about the work we are doing at MPPS and meet other parents.  Bring a friend or come as a group.  The agenda will include an update on the Education State, the Government's new policy and direction for education, as well as an update on the building works proposed for 2016 and the junior playground update, funded by your wonderful fundraising efforts this year.  Hope to see you all there!

Kendra Parker


RUDE, MEAN, BULLYING - What’s the difference?

Throughout the course of the year at Mentone Park, students are immersed in our many wellbeing initiatives – Bully Prevention, Bounce Back and Restorative Practices among others. These approaches are designed to make children feel safe, comfortable, supported and confident whilst at school, as well as giving them essential life skills to translate into their outside school lives.
There is a myriad of information, anecdotes and stories about bullying that surround us – in newspapers, social media, on the news and in general conversation. The majority of us can watch or read these articles and immediately relate to the examples of bullying that are discussed. Without doubt, many of the stories of bullying that are shared are horrifying and some are unspeakably cruel. Unfortunately, sometimes stories that are bandied around in the media are not always cases of bullying. Obviously, students who have caused any kind of hurt to another, be it physical or emotional, need to understand how their actions have affected the victim and work towards repairing that relationship (restorative practices).
Part of our role as parents and educators, is to determine the extent to which a situation is incidental (mean or rude), or if it is ongoing, deliberate and targeted (characteristics of bullying).   Bestselling children's author, Trudy Ludwig, talk about these distinguishing terms:
Rude = Inadvertently saying or doing something that hurts someone else.
From kids, rudeness might look more like burping in someone's face, jumping ahead in line, bragging about achieving the highest grade or even throwing a crushed up pile of leaves in someone's face. On their own, any of these behaviours could appear as elements of bullying, but when looked at in context, incidents of rudeness are usually spontaneous, unplanned inconsideration, based on thoughtlessness, poor manners or narcissism, but not meant to actually hurt someone.

Mean = Purposefully saying or doing something to hurt someone once (or maybe twice).
The main distinction between "rude" and "mean" behaviour has to do with intention; while rudeness is often unintentional, mean behaviour very much aims to hurt or depreciate someone. Kids are mean to each other when they criticise clothing, appearance, intelligence, coolness or just about anything else they can find to denigrate. Meanness also sounds like words spoken in anger -- impulsive cruelty that is often regretted in short order. Very often, mean behaviour in kids is motivated by angry feelings and/or the misguided goal of propping themselves up in comparison to the person they are putting down. Commonly, meanness in kids sounds an awful lot like:
• "Are you seriously wearing that sweater again? Didn't you just wear it, like, last week? Get a life."
• "You are so fat/ugly/stupid/gay."
• "I hate you!"
Make no mistake; mean behaviours can wound deeply and adults can make a huge difference in the lives of young people when they hold kids accountable for being mean. Yet, meanness is different from bullying in important ways that should be understood and differentiated when it comes to intervention.
Bullying = Intentionally aggressive behaviour, repeated over time, that involves an imbalance of power. 
Experts agree that bullying entails
 three key elements: an intent to harm, a power imbalance and repeated acts or threats of aggressive behaviours. Kids who bully say or do something intentionally hurtful to others and they keep doing it, with no sense of regret or remorse - even when targets of bullying show or express their hurt or tell the aggressors to stop.
Bullying may be physical, verbal, relational or carried out via technology:
Physical aggression was once the gold standard of bullying-- the "sticks and stones" that made adults in charge stand up and take notice. This kind of bullying includes hitting, punching, kicking, spitting, tripping, hair pulling, pushing and a range of other behaviours that involve physical aggression.
Verbal aggression is what our parents used to advise us to "just ignore." We now know that despite the old adage, words and threats can, indeed, hurt and can even cause profound, lasting harm.
Relational aggression is a form of bullying in which kids use their friendship - or the threat of taking their friendship away - to hurt someone. Social exclusion, shunning, hazing, and rumour spreading are all forms of this pervasive type of bullying that can be especially beguiling and crushing to kids.
Cyberbullying is a specific form of bullying that involves technology. Cyberbullying is wilful and repeated harm inflicted through the use of computers, mobile phones, and other electronic devices. Notably, the likelihood of repeated harm is especially high with cyberbullying because electronic messages can be accessed by multiple parties, resulting in repeated exposure and repeated harm.

So, why is it so important to make the distinction between rude, mean and bullying?
Here's the thing; in our culture of 24/7 news cycles and social media, we have a better opportunity than ever before to bring attention to important issues. In the last few years, the issue of bullying has been broadcast like never before; millions of school children have been given a voice,  anti-bullying legislation has been set in place, and thousands of adults have been trained in important strategies to keep kids safe and dignified in schools and communities. These are significant achievements.

At the same time however, gratuitous references to bullying are creating a bit of a "boy who cried wolf" phenomena. In other words, if kids and parents improperly classify rudeness and mean behaviour as bullying - whether to simply make conversation or to bring attention to their short-term discomfort - we all run the risk of becoming so sick and tired of hearing the word that this actual life-and-death issue among young people loses its urgency as quickly as it rose to prominence.
It is important to distinguish between rude, mean and bullying so that parents, teachers and kids all know what to pay attention to and when to intervene. As we have heard too often in the news, a child's future may depend on a non-jaded adult's ability to discern between rudeness at the bus stop and life-altering bullying.
This information has been taken from the work of Signe Whitson, a licensed therapist, educator on bullying in the U.S. and author of three books including ‘Friendship and Other weapons: Group Activities to Help Young Girls Cope with Bullying’.
For more information about bullying and bully prevention, follow these links:




Congratulations to our students who received certificates celebrating academic achievements last week! Well done and keep up the great work!

Alison Lough


On the 11th of November at 9.30am, Grade 2 students walked to the Mentone RSL to represent Mentone Park PS at the Remembrance Day service. It was a beautiful 40 minute walk and when we arrived we sat in rows at the front waiting for the service to start.

We listened to Tony Wilson, vice-president of the RSL, who delivered the service and we listened to students from Kilbreda sing the National Anthem. Then we were invited to lay our poppies and school wreath before joining guests inside for refreshments. Then we all walked back to school, but of course saying a big THANK YOU before we left!!!

Anni, Kate and Anton

Grade 2



Here is the calendar of events for this term. It will be updated fortnightly.

Last week we taste tested a new muffin flavour – apple and cinnamon.  These were given a resounding thumbs up by those who tried them so we will be adding these to the menu from this week.  A big thank you to Eve Kelly (mum of Elyse in 3/4O and Abby in 2R) who has very kindly donated the muffin mix for these.  Eve has a business which specialises in all natural, healthy baking mixes (www.evesbetterbake.com.au). 
Please note that the muffins we will be selling in the Kids Café are NOT gluten free.
Also you will only be able to order freshly popped popcorn as our packaged popcorn is not available due to supplier shortage.

It’s hard to believe we only have 4 more cooking weeks left for the year! 
As always we’d love some extra help if you can spare the time.
The roster for the remainder of the term is:
13th – 2R& 5D
20th – 1/2U& 6W
27th – Prep to 2
4th – Grades 3 – 6
11th – clean up – all welcome
Many thanks
The Kids Café Team

Casual Dress Day

Friday 20th November

Gold Coin Donation

In support of the Grade 6 Graduation Activities


Dear Parents,
We hope you all had a great long weekend, we had a fantastic long weekend with smiles all round. This week at OSCH the children enjoyed their arts and crafts for Halloween. Making masks and everything scary; we even practised our famous dance moves for the school disco.
We have had fun playing house games. Music and movement chain tiggy were our favourites to play we have had so much to do in the last 2 weeks we are all smiling and laughing as we speak.
We hope your enjoying your week.
From the OSHC 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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