7 March 2018



Dear Parents,

Thank you to all of the people who had discussions with me regarding the role of school council and the possibility of nominating for 2018/19. At the close of nominations we had 2 parents nominate for 2 vacant positions so with that I would like to congratulate Linda Cheek and Amber Fordham on their selection to the MPPS School Council.
I would also like to pass on my gratitude to Lisa Grimsey and Fiona Longmuir who will not continue in 2018. You have both made invaluable contributions during your time with us, which will be recognized at our AGM on March 26.
Thank you to the parents who assisted us to transport 25 students to the District Swimming carnival yesterday. When the bus failed to arrive (due to a booking issue from their end) everyone jumped into action to get our students to the event. This is just one more example of the amazing community spirit we have here.
When the events got underway all of our students performed admirably against some very tough competition. With such a large field numerous heats were held per event with many of our students winning their heats in some very impressive times. At the end of the meet Katarina from Grade 6 will be moving on to the Regional Trials, however all students can be very proud of their achievements.
Today Christina Savva, Danielle Kruger and Revere Beynon are increasing their professional knowledge with a training session focusing on Play Is The Way. They will work with program developer Wilson McCaskill on effective behavior management techniques.
Nick Wilton is attending a session on Student Reporting run by the Victorian Principals Association. Nick and Justine French also attended a Kingston Numeracy Network meeting last week and have returned with some great ideas in the STEM field. (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics)
Jayne O’Neil and Jess McDonald are members of the Kingston Literacy Network and are currently working with all staff to introduce high level Literacy skills to our teaching practice.
Noela Unwin has just completed a 4 week Mosaics course so stay tuned for more creative expression from our students.
Don’t forget to bring in your Coles Sports Vouchers to help us replenish our sports equipment. School boxes are also present at Coles in Mentone but if family and friends can help you collect and then bring them into school that would be greatly appreciated.
Can I please ask all families with a child starting school in 2019 to collect an enrolment form and return it to the office at your convenience. I am currently conducting a number of personalized tours every week with all parents talking about how positive and encouraging the learning environment is here at Mentone Park Primary School. It may seem early however the year will fly. If you could assist us with your enrolment forms it will help our future planning, especially around our transition programs for new students and their families.

Just a heads up that school finishes on Thursday March 29 with a short assembly and a 2:30pm dismissal.
Best wishes

Cameron Agars




Harmony definition: a combination of parts into a pleasing or orderly whole; congruity.
At Mentone Park we are an inclusive school, promoting tolerance, acceptance and empathy in order to work together in harmonious community with one another. On the 21st March, students will be invited to wear orange to school and will participate in multi-age activities for the morning block, to celebrate the diversity of our school and wider community. Parents and friends are invited to join us on the day. More information about this will be sent home next week and be published in level newsletters. 

For the Past 3 years, we have been involved with the National Day of Action against Bullying (NDAB), putting on whole school events and activities. This year, while we very much support and acknowledge the NDAB, we have decided to switch our focus and celebrate Harmony Day.

Below is an excerpt from an article published by Wilson McCaskill the Play is the Way founder, which helped influence our decision to celebrate and undertake activities for Harmony Day instead of NDAB this year.

By Wilson McCaskill

Soon school principals will receive a letter from the Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull urging them to do more to target bullying and violence in the classroom.  The implication that not enough is being done may raise the ire of many school leaders and their dedicated staff who are constantly trying to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the children in their care.
The recent suicide of Amy “Dolly” Everett after persistent bullying has intensified the spotlight that has always shone on this ever-present aspect of human behaviour. Schools are being called on to join the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence on March 16. Mr Turnbull has written “We believe all students have the right to be safe at school. Bullying and violence has no place in Australia.” Perhaps recent events in America prompted the obviousness of this declaration and his subsequent call to arms; “Together we can reduce the incidence of bullying whether inside the school gate or online, and eliminate it wherever we can” is tacit admission that reduction is likely the best we can do even though the NDA asks schools to “imagine a world free from bullying.”
In so many instances of a crisis in standards of behaviour the nation’s attention turns to schools and pleas are made for leaders to “do more.” Surely this acknowledges the truth that schools are four walls around the future and whatever tomorrow looks like will be substantially shaped by the daily practice within classrooms and schools.
The Victorian educational researcher Ken Rowe said, “What kids bring to school determines where they start, but what happens in that classroom determines how far they get.” This acceptance that teachers can be of significant influence on a child irrespective of his or her background should give us great hope and explains why the nation turns to schools in moments of crisis. We are in a position to repair today while shaping tomorrow.
There are few educators whose hearts are not in the right place and most carry the weight of the nation’s expectations with good grace and humour. However, their effectiveness in any endeavour will depend to a large extent on the tools they use, and of the many tools used to tackle bullying the most effective have been those that actively build and embed empathy in all parties, including those who bully.

Empathy is the central pillar of emotional intelligence and its attainment the ultimate objective of social and emotional learning (SEL). Whilst it’s true that we want students to have self and social awareness and self and social management capabilities, in the knowledge that such capabilities will enable them to, “handle themselves, their relationships and their work effectively and ethically”, we must ensure that the development of empathy is both a stated objective and committed pursuit of SEL practice in schools.
There is every reason to believe that students with elevated personal and social capabilities are likely to be empathetic. However, so necessary is the quality of empathy that its pursuit must be proclaimed boldly and its attainment not left to chance. Our belief is that no single human quality stands above empathy. A great many of the difficult, inappropriate, hurtful, damaging and anti-social behaviour that blights communities is attributable to a lack of empathy. We also believe that empathy can be fostered in children with great success the earlier we start and the longer we sustain the process.
Woven into the fabric of every PLAY IS THE WAY® game or activity is the development of empathy. At times it is more apparent than others but it’s always there. Empathy is much talked about and too often, sadly, we are most conscious of it in its absence. The lack of empathy is most obvious in schools where acts of cruelty, commonly termed bullying, are prevalent.
BULLYING: The intentional abuse of the dignity and rights of another by inflicting emotional and/or physical pain with the cruel intention of crushing his or her spirit.

BYSTANDER: A person who puts aside their virtues and knowingly contributes to the abuse of another’s dignity and rights by taking no action to stop or prevent it.

VICTIMS: People who let the wrongful actions of others make them think less of themselves and allow those wrongful actions to take away their inner strength and the courage to believe in themselves.

Although empathy is a word often used and a trait much admired it is not easy to define. If we want our children to have empathy we must first offer them a clear idea of what it is.
The following definition guides all our work:
An awareness of others.
The ability to see things from another’s point of view.
The ability to identify with the plight state or needs of another.

Empathy is going to be a central message in our Harmony Day activities, which will of course, incorporate our Play is the Way games and concepts.


We are proud to be supporting the work of Aspect (Autism Spectrum Australia) by joining in the Walk for Autism campaign. Several staff are signing on to walk around the school and duck park each lunch time from the 20th March until the end of term to raise awareness and funds for this great cause. We invite any members of our community who wish to join us to sign up to team MPPS, or alternatively to make a donation using the link. Students will be invited to join us on our lunchtime walks.

Thank you to the parents who have already liked or donated to our MPPS-in-it-for-autism fundraising page through the link sent out on the school Facebook page.

SCHOOL PRODUCTIONI am pleased to report that our bi-annual production will be held at the end of Term 3. Once we have had confirmation of dates from Parkdale Secondary School around the hire of their performance space, we will let parents know of the exact date/s. 

This year STOMP Dance Company have come on board to support us with the choreography and overall production and will be working with all grades right throughout Term 3, instead of running the 5 week program in Term 4. This will be a very exciting revelation for our students who have loved being involved with the STOMP program over the past two years.

Have a great week!

Alison Lough
Assistant Principal


Dear Parents,

Spare clothing
Please ensure that you pack extra underwear and clothing for your child/ren.

We are more than happy to assist with showing you how to use Qkr and Flexibuzz.

Please feel free to phone or come into the office if you have any questions.

Thank you,

Patti, Jane and Trish
Administration Team








The goal for this week is to learn about all the different animals. Animal themed games, quizzes and activities to help make this topic fun and entertaining.
Next Week (12th March – 16th March)
Focus will be on recycling and sustainability. The kids will learn about the importance of keeping our environment safe and being sustainable in the way we use our resources. Various activities and arts and crafts are planned to give the group the opportunity to share what we know on the topic with one another.

David Quinn

OSHClub Co-ordinator



Dear Mentone Park Families,

Welcome to another year at school and the beginning of a new issue of Scholastic Book Club catalogues!. Orders can be left with the office or please order via the online ordering system called  “LOOP”  - details are in the catalogue. When ordering there is an option to mark as a gift if you would like your order sent to the office instead of to class for your child to take home.

To families new to our school the Scholastic Book Club generates reward points which we claim back throughout the year as new books and resources for teachers to use in class. Each book club order earns 20% in rewards points – they soon add up! Scholastic often have some great books on special for as little as $2, so look out for their “gold coin books” in the catalogue

If you need any assistance please don’t hesitate to contact me via the school office or call the Scholastic Customer Service number 1800021233.

Best wishes

Jenny O – Book club coordinator


Dear Parents,

If you have any preloved MPPS uniforms please drop these off at the office. If you would like to purchase any items for a very reasonable price, please send a text to Megan or Jess to arrange a meeting time.

We have different items coming in all the time so if we didn't have what you were after last time you checked, it might be worth trying us again.

Thank you

Megan: 0404 228 320
Jess:    0411 031 589


Prospective Parents Information Evening

Date:    Thursday 8 March
Time:    6.00 pm
Place:   Beaumaris Secondary College
            Activity Centre – 117 -136 Reserve Road Beaumaris
Please RSVP attendance to Beaumaris Secondary College on 5869 9200

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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