3 February 2016

Newsletter 01/2016


Dear Parents and Friends
Welcome to the 2016 school year. I trust that you all enjoyed a safe and happy holiday and new year period. My holiday was consumed mostly with settling in our new 10 month old chocolate Labrador named Odie.  He is hopefully going to be a friend to our white lab DJ - though at the moment his young puppy antics just seem to be a source of annoyance for him!

Staff all had a lovely break and are ready for another exciting year of learning together. I am very excited to be back too and to start implementing all the wonderful things we have in stall for 2016 - starting with our new Strategic Plan and the exciting opportunities it has given us.

Emergency Management

You may have seen in the news recently that there have been some hoax calls to schools that have caused the evacuation of students. We have not received these calls at Mentone Park but should anything like this occur here, our Emergency Management plan would be immediately put into action. Any threat to the safety of our students is taken seriously and takes highest priority. Next week we will be enacting our first evacuation drill for the year. These drills occur once a term and students learn the procedure to follow in the event of fire, extreme weather, lockdown scenario or off-site evacuation. Some children may become anxious in the event of an emergency drill so it is worth discussing with your children the importance of these drills so they are prepared for when it happens.

Classes and Staffing

Congratulations to our wonderful students who have settled back into the routines of school so well. Classes are already running smoothly and some wonderful learning around our Kids' Connect program is already evident.
Our new teachers, Miss Arentz (Year 1), Mrs Barratt (Year 3), Mrs Sampieri (Year 5/6), Miss Liddington (Year 5/6) and Mrs Cheers (Performing Arts) have already made a wonderful impact on students, all starting the year with positive experiences and building terrific relationships with their students.

School Leadership

Congratulations to our newly elected school leaders for 2016, which were announced at assembly on Monday. Mr Simon Hamilton, Senior Education Improvement Leader for Kingston Network, and Mr Andrew Davis, School Council President, attended our special assembly to present our new leaders with their badges.
I look forward to working with this year's leaders on a range of school activities.

2016 Student Leaders

George Botsiolis Julian Blainey
Daisy Farr Clemence Neylan
Kingsford Smith
Captains Vice
Willow Shepherd Jett Towne
Riley Hemphill
Captains Vice
Mia Jackson Natalia Borek
Alex Stefanec
Captains Vice
Nathan Giofkou Bill Barden
Captains Vice
Joshua Aylen Jake Palmer
Artemis Baxas
Morne Nel
James Commerford
Yasmin Merhi
Taite McKenzie
Olivia Kuntha
Rory Walker


The Parents and Friends' Association is a wonderful part of our school community. This group of parents works hard to support our children at school by running school activities and fundraising, supporting school activities such as Italian Day and the Prep Transition, as well as building and maintaining community relationships through social activities. One such activity is scheduled for this Friday and we look forward to seeing as many families as possible at the Welcome BBQ, from 3:30pm tomorrow on the asphalt area.


Another event the PFA is running to celebrate the start of the year is the Drive-In Movie Night, on Saturday February 20th. This is a wonderful family night as well as a fundraiser for the school. Although a "drive-in" movie, families can set up outdoor picnics, bean bags, chairs, etc to make yourself comfortable and enjoy the large screen showing of "Oddball". Tickets for this event are available on Qkr.
Flyers for both of these events have been sent home recently.
The first PFA meeting of 2016 will be held at 3:30pm in the Conference Room on Thursday 18th February.  We'd love to see some new faces - come along and see what it is all about!

School Forms & Parent Payments

This week your child will have bought home some school forms for you to complete and return to school.  This included permission forms as well as your family details.  It is important to ensure that your current details are correctly recorded at school.  Please complete these forms ASAP and return to school.
Thank you to those parents who have already paid their parent payments.  Statements will be sent home next week for all families.  Please remember to return your payment forms if you pay on Qkr or BPay so that we can reconcile statements against payments.  Please ensure excursion fund is paid ASAP as some events (such as tri-skills) are scheduled in the coming weeks.

School Improvement

Teachers started back at school on Wednesday 27th January with a Professional  Learning day focused on the school improvement framework "Curiosity and Powerful Learning".  This is a whole school framework for learning and teaching that we are implementing in our school over the next 3 years.  The framework has been developed by Wayne Craig, a former Regional Director for the Department of Education, David Hopkins, a UK expert on education and educational leadership, and McRel International, an education research and consultancy firm.  We are very excited to be involved in this project, which also sees us partnering with Monash University to ensure the professional development of pre-service teachers.  
Staff enjoyed a day of learning in the
Dandenong Ranges to start the school year.

Our focus for this term in building this framework into our school, is on High Expectations & Authentic Relationships, as well as developing Teaching and Learner Protocols.  I will keep you updated regularly about our work in these areas and at times, will ask for your input.
Your first opportunity to find out more is next week, at the parent forums scheduled to follow the Information Nights.  I hope you can stay for one of these informative sessions.
There will also be a parent information night held at Mentone Primary School on Thursday 17th March.  More information to come.
Our second professional learning day was to learn about a writing program that will complement our Writer's Workshop. The program, VCOP, focuses on the explicit teaching of Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation. 
Parent Events
There are already 2 events scheduled to support the home-school partnership.  The first is our Information Nights, which are being held next Tuesday (Jnr and Snr) and Wednesday (Foundation & Middle) from 6-7pm.  Following these Mrs Lough and I will run a parent forum session.  This will include information on:
  • Our new Strategic Plan
  • The Education State
  • Curiosity and Powerful Learning
  • Question and discussion time
The following week, we will conduct our "Meet the Teacher" sessions, a chance for you to come and meet your child's teacher and provide them with information about your child to help them get to know them better and allow them to form positive, authentic relationships with them.  A notice will be sent home with online booking details shortly.

I look forward to another wonderful year of learning at MPPS.  Please feel free throughout the year to speak with Mrs Lough or myself about any school issues that you would like to discuss - either concerns or praise!
Have a great year,
Kendra Parker


I am so happy to be back! My children were itching to get back to school, as I'm sure many of yours were also. This year, my daughter Sarah is in Grade 3 and my son, Nicholas has started Prep. He was very excited to put his Mentone Park uniform on and take that first step into 'big school'!
Welcome to all of our new Prep students as well as those who have joined us from other schools and from other countries! We are so pleased to have you at Mentone Park.

A large part of my role is student wellbeing and throughout the year, I will put articles and information into the newsletter relating to wellbeing issues. If you would like to talk about any of these issues or have a wellbeing related question, please feel free to drop by and see me or make an appointment with the office - I would love to chat with you.


You may be aware that we have various means of communication between school and home at Mentone Park. It is important to us that we are able to keep parents and carers informed of  what is happening at school and let you know of upcoming events. Tiqbiz is the most efficient and our preferred way of doing this. Please ensure you follow these steps:
  • Download the tiqbiz app onto your smartphone, tablet, iPad or computer
  • Search for Mentone Park
  • Tick the box that says whole school
  • Tick the box for your child's class 
  • Tick the PE, Italian, Music and Art boxes
  • For parents already using tiqbiz, as some of the classes have the same name as last year (eg 5/6S, Prep B, 1O) you will need to untick those boxes. 
Once you have tiqbiz on your device, you will see once you open the app that you have a list of the boxes you selected. Each box has a newsfeed where you will find the latest notifications and newsletters. There will be a red circle with a white number telling you how many new notifications there are for each box.
When you go into the whole school box you will see you have more choices. the absence box means that if your child is away you can lodge it through tiqbiz and sign electronically. There is no need for you to phone or write an absence note if you use this simple method. You can also view the school calendar of events, send a message to the school email address, access qkr and view the school website.
This year teachers will be using tiqbiz to communicate with parents, via the one2one option. If your child's teacher has a message for you, they can quickly send you a message via tiqbiz. If the teacher requires a response from you, you will notice a message box under their message which will enable you to reply instantly.

Alison Lough

House Swimming Carnival 

Grade 3-6 House Swimming Carnival on Friday 12th February at Mentone Grammar Indoor Pool from 11am-2:30pm. 
Students will need to bring:
  • Goggles 
  • Swimming cap / School Hat 
  • sunscreen 
  • 2x towels 
  • lunch 
  • Drink bottle 
  • And MOST importantly their BATHERS!! 
Students are encouraged to wear their House Colours on the day! 
Buses will pick the students up at 10:30am and then return to school by 3pm.

***Any parents able to help out on the day would be amazing. If they could please let Miss L know by Friday that would be greatly appreciated!! Also any parents wanting to compete in a student v teacher/parent race please come see Miss L as well!! 
Thank you
Hope Laycock
P.E Teacher

For those that haven’t been before, the welcome BBQ is held at the start of the school year to welcome the New Year with everyone in the Mentone Park community. It’s a great chance to meet for a chat with new and current families. The children can show you around their school, have a kick of the footy or a play on the equipment.
It is a free event for the whole school, sponsored by the Parents & Friends Association (PFA).

Please come along and join us for this wonderful community event.
From 3:30pm
Can you help?
Are you able to assist with the BBQ?  This activity is a great opportunity for those families that work throughout the day to help out as it’s a later in the day school event. None of the jobs are too big, but as always, many hands make light work!
If you are able to help for approximately half an hour to an hour with set up, BBQ cooking, serving or clean up please contact:
Jodi O’Sullivan by Thursday 4th February 2016
Jodi_burl@icloud.com or 0407651691
Thank you in advance for helping out the children and our school community.
Set up:             1:30 till 2:00pm
BBQ Start Cooking:  2:30pm
Cooking/Serving:    Anytime from 3:30pm
Clean up/Pack up:   From 5:00pm

Piano lessons are available for Grade 2-6 students during school time.
If you are interested, please contact Mrs Jocelyn Millard on 0418 629 586 or 9583 6172.


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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