11 May 2016

Newsletter 08/2016


Dear Parents and Friends,

It is getting very exciting at MPPS as we head out of NAPLAN week and into Education Week!  Already this week our preps have been on their first excursion to Chesterfield Farm and our Middle School are off to CERES tomorrow. Excursions are a great way to engage children and provide opportunity for them to place their learning from school into real-life contexts.  Next week our Junior School will have their Science excursion to iMax and the Royal Botanical Gardens.
Don't forget if you have not paid your excursion levy yet this may impact on your child's ability to attend.  Please pay at the office ASAP.

Well done to our Year 3 and Year 5 students who participated in NAPLAN testing this week.  The National Assessment Program, NAPLAN, tests the sorts of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life, such as reading, writing, spelling and numeracy. The assessments are undertaken nationwide, every year, in the second full week in May. I am sure our students performed to their best and used their "Growth Mindsets" to help them overcome any worry or negative thoughts they may have around the tests and think of them as an opportunity to be challenged and grow! 

Mrs Lough and I have been very busy with school tours for Foundation 2017.  It is terrific to hear from our potential parents that Mentone Park has such a wonderful reputation in the community (something we already knew!) and that they are so keen to come here.

Don't forget if you have younger siblings beginning at MPPS next year, please collect an enrolment form from the office and complete ASAP.

It is getting very exciting for Mrs O'Connor (2O) who only has 2 more weeks of school until she begins her maternity leave.  We are currently in the process of recruiting a new teacher for the grade and will let you know when this is finalised.

Last week our School Improvement Team attended a full day of professional learning to further our understanding of the CPL program.  It was very re-affirming to hear once again some of the rationale behind the need for a program such as Curiosity and Powerful Learning and teaching children to be curious.
We heard about research which highlights the importance of curiosity on many aspects of our life.  For example, a high level of curiosity:
  • results in higher levels of job performance
  • is a key predictor of academic success
  • helps develop relationships with others
  • assists with well-being
  • is a major differentiator of potential
As well as this, curiosity thinkers:
  • are more likely to achieve academically
  • go deep and wide
  • best equipped for the kind of knowledge-rich, cognitively challenging work required in 21st century
  • most likely to make creative connections between different fields - of the kind that leads to new ideas
  • best suited to working in multi-disciplinary teams
  • have a strong intrinsic desire to learn, solve problems and ask penetrating questions
Our focus this term on challenging tasks and higher order questioning is designed to help stimulate children's curiosity.  By posing questions that require more thought processing, more creative answers and higher order thinking, we hope to stimulate children to be curious about their learning.

How are you fostering curiosity and creativity in your children at home?

"If parents want to give their children a gift,
the best thing they can do is teach their children to:
- love challenges
- be intrigued by mistakes
- enjoy effort
- keep on learning
That way, their children don’t have to be slaves of praise.
They will have a lifelong way to build and repair their own confidence"
Carol Dweck

Have a great week!

Kendra Parker  



I am getting rather excited that there is only one and a bit more weeks before the year 5/6s head off to Canberra, as I am lucky enough to be going along! Students will be given the opportunity to participate in a variety of educational programs with a focus on Australia's history, culture, heritage and democracy.

Unfortunately the students tell me I am not allowed to lead them in several hours of singing The Wheels on the Bus and 99 Bottles during the trip up! I'm sure I'll be able to sneak in a song or two here or there and maybe the occasional travel game or pop quiz! 

The Australian Government recognises the importance of all young Australians being able to visit the national capital as part of their Civics and Citizenship education. To assist families and schools in meeting the cost of the camp, the Australian Government is contributing funding of $30 per student under the Parliament and Civics Education Rebate program towards those costs. The rebate is paid directly to the school upon completion of the camp.


In the last newsletter, I wrote about resilience and making friends. Hopefully you had a chance to read through the information and even visit the links to look at the parent brochures and activities/discussions you could have at home around these important issues. The Social and Emotional Curriculum Program as introduced by the Department of Education is being used to enhance the wellbeing programs we having in place at school. The program covers the following topics in sequence:
  • Emotional Literacy
  • Personal Strengths
  • Positive Coping
  • Problem Solving
  • Stress Management
  • Help Seeking


Throughout their activities and discussions on the topics above, the issue of bullying is addressed in various ways. Bullying is a serious issue for everyone within a school community. As a parent, you want your child to feel safe and to be safe at school. The best way to tackle bullying (including cyberbullying) is for schools, students and parents to work together. 

As you are aware, at Mentone Park, we promote a safe, supportive and respectful learning environment where bullying is not tolerated and positive relationships are actively promoted. If at any time you are concerned your child is being bullied, harassed or physically hurt, talk to your child's teacher or make an appointment to see me at the office. We are here to support all children and ensure they feel safe while at school.

For more information, visit the "I am a Parent" section of Bully Stoppers:
Bully Stoppers  


Congratulations to the achievement award recipients for weeks 3 and 4:

Aussie of the Month - April

Congratulations to our April Aussies' of the Month
Senior Award (Grades 3 - 6):
Ash H - 5/6R
Junior Award (Grades P - 2):
Isla G - Prep B 

Alison Lough

Assistant Principal


The May meeting of the Mentone Park PS School Council was a very productive one as usual and I’d like to inform you of the motions that were passed and other business and issues that were discussed.
The policies for Hiring of Facilities, Extension and Enrichment and Communication were reviewed by the Education Committee last month and the amendments were approved by the Council. These will soon be available on the school website, or by request from the office.
(A reminder that the Homework Policy is
Approval of financial payments and journals for the month of March.
Approval of the Year 5 and 6 camp to Canberra with the seven nominated staff to attend.


Funding issues for ICT and Buildings and Grounds 
Each year the school asks families, as a part of the yearly contributions, to support our ICT (computers etc) and Buildings and Grounds programs. In 2015 the suggested amounts for these contributions, per family, were $60 and $40 respectively and a significant percentage of families contributed. For 2016, the Department of Education and Training made changes to guidelines which has resulted in some confusion, which  has led to a major drop in funds available for these areas. This is of significant concern to the School Council and as it stands will impact on the resources and environment that can be provided for the students.
If you are unsure about your contribution to these funds, please contact the school for clarification.
Building works
The building works for the toilets and Year 3 and 4 classrooms has continued through a very time consuming and tedious DET planning and approvals process but it is hoped that the important phase of going out to tender will happen very soon and that works will begin in term 3. Overall the project is very exciting and the end result will be of huge benefit to the school. However, negotiations with the DET about the removal of the old toilets (those that will be decommissioned at the end of the main building) have been disappointing and school council is drafting a letter to our local state member of parliament, Tim Richardson, to request that these old toilets be removed as soon as possible.
Strengthening partnerships with parents and the community
Involvement of parents and the community in the school is a vital concern for the school council and the staff. As I have reported before, the proven benefits of increased connection between home and school are vast. Our discussion of this issue reflected on the use of technology, including social media and the tiqbiz app to enhance communication. We are investigating the development of a closed Facebook group and running parent forum nights on topics of interest to the community. If you have any comments or suggestions with regard to communication and parent forums please feel free to email them to the school or me ( fiona.longmuir@gmail.com )

School Councilor position
We received notification that Martin Walker has resigned from the School Council. As a result, we will be seeking nomination from the community to fill the vacancy. Please consider this opportunity and contact the school, or any of the school councilors if you would like more information.
We would like to heartily thank Martin for his contribution to School Council over the past three years. He has been an active member of the Buildings and Grounds committee and made significant contribution to the achievements of the council over recent years.

A reminder that you are always welcome at committee meetings and to attend as a visitor/observer at School Council. These are the meeting times and dates for next month:
Monday 30th  May,  9:00am – Parents and Friends Association
Monday 30th May 5:30pm – Buildings and Grounds
Monday 30th May 5:30pm – Education Committee

Monday 6th June 6:00pm – School Council







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

Dear Parents,

Here is the Kids Café class roster for Term 2, please make a note in your diary of your class dates. I will send tiqbiz reminders to individual classes as your week approaches. To make things easier for the class reps, please call or text me on 0413 009 493 to let me know of your availability on your rostered day.

Term 2
May       13th     4H
              20th     4W
               27th    5/6L

June       3rd       5/6R
             10th     5/6S
             17th    Prep B
             24th    cleaning - all welcome
Thank you,

Liz and the Kids' Café Team


Recently at OSHC we have introduced WHEELS DAY once a week which has been a lot of fun for the children to bring their scooters, roller blades or bikes to school.  We will be continuing wheels day for the rest of the term so keep an eye out on the weekly planner for specific days.
We are regularly updating our equipment and materials; we have just purchased some new games for the program with the R2- D2 Bop it and Family Feud which has created some great competition the early favourites. 
This term we have made a conscious effort to get children to have a greater influence on the weekly program with group discussions at the start of each week, we also encourage parents to voice their opinions and share any ideas they may have that we can implement.
The little chiefs at after school care have made some delicious caramel slice and honey joys the past two weeks we are looking forward to what they can cook up next!
The July HOLIDAY program calendar is now available in the OSHC building and we are currently taking bookings.
Anicca & James

Working With Children Check Reminder

All parents/guardians, visitors & volunteers to the school MUST sign in & out of the school and display their WWCC in a lanyard, which is available at the school office.
The Department of Education requires any person involved in an activity where children may be present to have a current WWCC or have supplied proof that they have applied for a WWCC with the Department of Justice. All schools are required to comply with the Working with Children Act 2005.
Volunteers are expected to carry the WWCC card on their person at all times when working or volunteering at the school or during school related activities.
There is no fee for this check. Apply now by visiting: www.workingwithchildren.vic.gov.au


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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