10 December 2015

Newsletter 21/2015


Dear Parents and Friends,

What an exciting two weeks we've had with level 1 and Level 2 excursions, level 2 and 3 Curiouser and Curiouser celebrations, 2016 Prep information night, grade 5 leadership speeches and grade 6 graduation preparations!  On Wednesday students met their new grade and teacher for 2016.  There was certainly a buzz around the school during the afternoon.  It is a very exciting time as we begin to think about moving on and growing up!
As always, much thought has gone into class placements for 2016 and we have attempted for students to have at least one of their requested friends.  Our process is long and involved and we believe that we have come up with the best solution for students with all relevant information being considered.  The most important aspect is to create a learning environment which is optimal for each child’s learning needs.

Throughout 2016 we will see the introduction of the new Victorian Curriculum, which is structured as a continuum across levels of learning achievement, not years of schooling. This enables the development of targeted learning programs for all students, where the curriculum is used to plan in relation to the actual learning level of each student rather than their assumed level of learning based on age.
Each curriculum area includes content descriptions explaining what is to be taught and achievement standards describing what students are able to understand and do. The achievement standards are provided at each year level for English and Mathematics and in bands of 2 years for all the other learning areas and capabilities.
At Mentone Park we work in teaching teams to deliver a comprehensive and consistent learning program to all students in each area:
  • Level 1 - Foundation
  • Level 2 – Years 1 & 2
  • Level 3 – Years 3 & 4
  • Level 4 – Years 5 & 6
Teachers collaborate to share responsibility for the learning of all students and to meet the needs of individuals in their level.  Our pedagogical approach to learning allows for students to establish relationships with teachers and students across the whole cohort and not just in their individual home class.
Specialist programs in 2016 will again include Visual and Performing Arts, Italian and PE.  These programs will be supported by an additional program supporting Sustainability and Science.  We will also continue to provide intervention and support for students in the area of Literacy in Foundation – Year 2 with a Literacy Intervention teacher.
Don't forget to read through the information that was sent home regarding Class Representatives for 2016.  We would love to get this up and running early so our Class Rep program becomes an active and vibrant role in the school as part of the Parents and Friends' Association.
Wishing all our families a safe and happy Christmas and Holiday period.  We look forward to your continued support of our school and learning programs in 2016.

Kendra Parker


Marine Ambassadors

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the first workshop with our 2016 I sea I care Marine Ambassadors - the Dolphin Swim. I was so impressed with the way Hayley, Abbey, Declan, Fiona and Amy conducted themselves and represented Mentone Park as responsible and caring students. Despite the cold weather on the day, we all managed to don our wetsuits and jump into the water where we were treated to some very playful dolphins swimming around and underneath us. It is an experience I know none of us will ever forget.

Hayley, Abbey, Fiona, Declan and Amy getting ready for their big adventure! 

Parent Information Sessions 2016

Thank you to those parents who have responded to the education Committee's survey regarding areas of interest for information sessions next year.

Results will be analysed and information sessions organised at the first meeting of the Education Committee in 2016. In the mean time if you haven't yet completed this survey here is the link:

1 minute parent survey

Summer Holidays!

Parenting is a hard job at the best of times. The everyday responsibilities of parenting can sometimes feel endless. Considering all the extra demands placed on you during the school holidays and festive season, you may feel more stressed than usual. Holiday stress may be caused by having to change work routines or child care arrangements, stretching the budget to meet the costs of the festive season, entertaining children or dealing with older children staying home alone. Although we cling to the idea that the family will spend the holidays together and everyone will get along, it can be a difficult time. When you are stressed it seems as though you have to sacrifice the things you enjoy. But often the things you give up, such as keeping fit and spending time with friends, are activities that can help you manage stress or keep you from becoming frustrated with your children. It’s also important to remember that grief can be particularly heightened at this time of year. The loss of a family member, a divorce, the loss of a job or being separated from family and friends can be particularly stressful. By taking some steps now, you can help to minimise stress later. The key is to recognise the triggers. Do what you can to avoid or lessen their impact and learn some techniques to help you relax should you start to feel the tension rising. Here are some simple tips to keep you healthy and manage stress. By looking after yourself you will be in a better position to care for your children.

• Set priorities: learn to say “no” to some things - choose quality over quantity. Your main priority may simply be spending time with your children and enjoying each other’s company.

• Plan ahead: take charge of your holidays in advance by making lists of things to do and setting aside some time each day for them - nothing creates more stress than last minute shopping and preparations. When entertaining children, one different activity each day will keep them excited.

• Stay in budget: draw up a budget to make sure you don’t overspend over the festive season. Choose simple, thoughtful or useful gifts over elaborate, expensive surprises - even Santa Claus has limited funds.

• Delegate: you don’t have to do it all yourself - there is only so much time and people generally appreciate the opportunity to help out. If you are having a family get together, it might be a good idea to ask everyone to bring along some food rather than preparing it all yourself.

• Have realistic expectations: if there is tension within your family it is more than likely that this will only escalate during the holiday period. You might consider visiting your relatives separately if they do not get on well or keeping them occupied when together. When making new year’s resolutions, think positively about what you can really achieve. Unrealistic goals can cause disappointment.

• Look after yourself: to take care of others you need to first take care of yourself. A healthy diet, regular exercise, learning to relax and getting enough sleep will also help to reduce stress.

• Exercise: research shows that exercising several times a week (even just a walk) can reduce stress and tension and improve your mood.

• Deep breathing: spend five to ten minutes several times a day practising the art of deep breathing. It helps to raise your energy levels.

• Positive attitude: try to think positive thoughts. Your thoughts influence your feelings - if you dwell on unhappy thoughts, you start to feel unhappy. Your attitude can be transferred to others and this is not helpful with children at home.

• Talk to others: if you are feeling stressed it can help to speak with people who can understand the position you are in, such as friends or family members.

• Laughter: nothing reduces stress as quickly or as effectively as a good laugh!

More information:



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

Alison Lough


Every year we collect gifts at Christmas time for families and children. We are now collecting new
toys for the children and food items for families. (Please check food items are in date) PLEASE place your donations under the Christmas tree near the office before Friday December the 11th.

Thank you for your support.


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


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.


Poco Music is taking enrolments for private instrumental music lessons during school hours at Mentone Park Primary.
Instruments offered: strings, Brass, Woodwind, Drum kit, Bass guitar and singing.
If you would like your child to commence lessons fill out an enrolment form online at:
Or for more information email us at admin@pocomusic.com.au.


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