25 March 2015



Dear Parents and Friends

You will be receiving this newsletter via our new newsletter page.  I hope you find this easier to read and access.  We are also currently updating our website and looking at implementing a school app to make communication and access to information easier. If you would like to provide any feedback on this, or any other changes we have made this year, we would welcome your comments.  Please drop us a line via the school email, or drop a note into the office. 

Wow - there is so much to report on in this newsletter, we have had such a busy and exciting time at MPPS these last few weeks!

The big news of course is the fete.

Congratulations to our wonderful fete committee and all the stall conveners and helpers who supported the Kids' Crazy Carnival last Saturday.  It was a big day, starting with setting up on Friday night and from 7:00am on Saturday to the packing up which finished about 7:00pm.

In between was the fete itself and what a great event it was.  From dodgem cars to face painting, to hunting for lollies and tossing coins at chocolate blocks, it really was a Crazy Kids' Carnival with something for everyone.  We received some lovely feedback from visitors saying what a community atmosphere our fete had and how enjoyable it was for children.  I really think we have a great focus on kids for this event which is what makes it so lovely.

We do not have a final figure yet - but hope to publish this first week of next term.

Enjoy some of the photos of the day below.

On the same day as the fete Miss Manallack got married and didn't she make a beautiful bride?  I am sure you join me in wishing her and Ray a lifetime of happiness together. 

Monday was our whole school celebration day for the end of out "Healthy Body, Healthy Mind, Healthy Soul" inquiry unit.  Well done to Mrs Grisdale who organised this wonderful day.

Thank you to the wonderful parents who came along to the Parents and Friends' Association Annual General Meeting last week, and especially to those who have offered to take on office bearer positions.  See the report further down.

On Monday night we held our School Council Annual General Meeting where i presented our 2014 Annual Report.  This will shortly be available on our website.

Following the AGM we held the first meeting of our new School Councillors.  Congratulations to Nicky Langhorne and Maria Fakitopoulos on their nomination and selection for Council.  Our 2015 School Council consists of:
  • Andrew Davis (President)
  • Martin Walker (Vic-President)
  • Nicky Langhorne (Treasurer)
  • Fiona Longmuir
  • Maria Fakitopoulos
  • Alison Lough (Secretary)
  • Cameron Riley
  • Kendra Parker (Executive Officer)
Please feel free to speak to any of these members regarding School Council issues.

We also farewelled 3 School Council members on Monday night.  Thank you to the following members for their dedication and support to our school:
  • Rob Horrigan - 5 years, with 4 of them as treasurer.  His support and knowledge of our school and its finances will be greatly missed.
  • Tanya Stefanec - 2 years
  • Vincent Clarke - 2 years
Our School Council operates sub-committees for the purpose of assisting the School Council with making decisions.  In 2015 we will have a Finance Committee, Buildings & Grounds Committee and Education Committee.  We would love to see more parents represented on the B&G and Education committees.  If you are interested in getting involved, please come along to our meetings.  You can find the meeting schedule attached here.

It's hard to believe the end of the term is already upon us - they say time flies when you are having fun!

Don't forget our early assembly on Friday at 1:50pm, followed by dismissal at 2:30pm.

Wishing you all a safe and happy holidays,

Kendra Parker


I can’t believe Term One is just about over already! I would really like to thank everyone for making my first term at Mentone Park so enjoyable. I am really looking forward to the rest of the year!

Last week at our staff meeting, we spent time going through all the terrific well-being programs we have at Mentone Park. We looked at the relevance of these programs and how they support our students in their social and emotional learning. It was a great exercise and we will now be looking at how we implement the Department of Education’s new Social and Emotional Learning Curriculum. We will be one of the first Primary Schools to use this new resource.
Last week we participated in The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence along with more than 890,000 students from over 1950 other schools. The theme of this day was ‘taking a stand together’. We aimed to send a clear and powerful message that bullying and violence are not okay at any time. 
Some of the work students completed as a part of this event are on display in classrooms and also near the office. Do log on to the Bullying. No Way! website to find out more information. There is a section specifically for parents and also for students.  
We were proud to play a part in this important, positive initiative and for joining the nationwide movement to say, "Bullying. No Way!"
Have a great holiday and stay safe.

Alison Lough

Parents and Friends Association Update
The PFA AGM was held on Wednesday 18th March and we congratulate the new office bearers: Wendy Davis (President); Natalie Hampson (Vice-President); Wendy Davis & Louise Cook (Fundraising Coordinators); Cheryl Nancarrow (Treasurer) and Fiona Longmuir (Secretary). Thank you to those who attended the meeting and offered their support for the many events that the PFA coordinate.
The aim of PFA is to run fun activities that the kids love and enjoy and also to develop our sense of community by connecting parents with the school. Our activities include: the Welcome BBQ; the Easter Raffle; Mother’s and Father’s Day Breakfasts and Stalls; Italian Day; Book Fairs; Morning Teas; Prep Transition Sports Day; Tea & Tissues (first day of the year only) and the popular Disco. The PFA will need more assistance to be able to manage these activities throughout this year.

If you are interested in helping or being involved with any of these events or just want to know what is happening around the school (you don’t have to be a PFA member) or are interested in joining the PFA - always good to see some new faces (no commitment), please contact a PFA member, or drop a note to the school with your details and someone will contact you. This is a great way to meet new families and the kids love seeing you at school.  There is no pressure.  You can do as little or as much as you choose or simply come by and sit in on a meeting and listen over a coffee. Siblings are most welcome.

So far this year the PFA has run the very successful Welcome BBQ. The popular Easter Raffle will be drawn at the final assembly for the term (Friday 27th March), make sure you’ve got your tickets in! Next term we will be working on celebrations for Mother’s Day and supporting the Italian program by arranging the Italian Day lunch. Don’t forget to let us know if you can help!

We will be trialling alternating meetings this year - one morning and one evening per term.
Our next meeting is Wednesday 6th May at 7.00pm

All Welcome!
The PFA are organising a
Parent Social event - lock the date now into your calendars:
Saturday 8th August
More details to come...

New smoking bans to apply on school grounds and at school entrances
From 13th April 2015, smoking will be banned within four metres of an entrance to all primary and secondary schools in Victoria, and within the school grounds, under an amendment to the Tobacco Act 1987.
Here is the roster for Term 2. Please note the date your child’s class is rostered on in your diary.


17th         2O & 5 / 6 S


24th          2R & 5D


1st            1 / 2 U & 6W


8th          PS & 3/4 G                        


15th        PM & 3 / 4 O


22nd        1O & 3 / 4 S


29th         1B & 3 / 4 H


5th           2O & 5 / 6 S


12th         2R & 5D


19th         1/2 U & 6W                      


25th          cleaning,
                all welcome


26th        closed,
              last day of term

I look forward to seeing you in the café.

Liz & the Kids’ Café Team



Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, Healthy Soul Celebration Day

The day started with an abundance of healthy, delicious food for our bodies.  Jodie O’Sullivan, one of our hard working parents, had organised a scrumptious selection of fruit, breads, buns, gluten free treats, frozen yoghurt and drinks from local suppliers for students and parents to sample on arrival at school.  Harold the Giraffe from Life Education was there to greet the families and remind them of healthy messages we learnt in Life Education.  
A group of parents joined Kylee from Life Skills for a morning yoga session- what an energising and positive way to start the day.
Throughout the day all students worked through a range of activities to promote a Healthy Mind, Body and Soul.  Dr Barb Harper and her assistant Dave reminded us all of ways to keep a healthy heart through a range of investigations and experiments. Lyndall and Kate from Peak Potential talked about the spine health and sugar content in our food.
Students attended their final session of the 5 week yoga program with Kylee from Life Skills .  The air of calm was palpable by the end of each session.  It was great to also have some parents join in with their children during the yoga.
All levels participated in activities for their soul including creating Happiness collages and displays, paper cranes for peace and  goodwill and displays illustrating the activities that make their soul sing and random acts of kindness at school, home and the wider world.
Finally, the students exercised their bodies playing rugby and basketball games and squad activities at lunchtime.
There are many people who contributed to the success of the day so a BIG thank you to:
Jodie O’Sullivan and the breakfast sponsors: Bakers Delight Thrift Park, Soul Fresh, Gluten free 4 U, Sciclunas, Hidden Pantry, Chandler Corner Café.
  • Harold and Grant from Life Education
  • Barb and Dave Harper
  • Kate and Lyndall from Peak Potential
  • Kylee Mason Life Skills
  • Holly – Melbourne Storm NRL
  • Nathan – Sabres Basketball
Did you guess who our surprise guest was?  Clues: he’s tall, yellow and brown and likes eating bananas. (It was Harold!)
Let’s build on the positive messages we learnt through this unit.

Sue Grisdale


Thank you to these companies who donated food for our Healthy Mind, Healthy Body, Healthy Soul Celebration Day.







Things to remember these holidays
Active April begins the 1st April –it’s not too late to sign up! Create your own login in details and then scroll down and “Request to join a team.” Different teams to join:

Team ID: mpps-super-star-students

Team Name: MPPS Super Star Students

Team ID: mpps-super-star-parents

Team Name: MPPS Super Star Parents

Team ID: mpps-super-star-teachers

Team Name: MPPS Super Star Teachers

Jump rope for heart – sponsorship forms have been given out and it’s now time to start fundraising! Our “Jump Off Day” is Thursday 22nd May with lots of fun activities and sport prizes, be sure to keep practising your great skipping skills J

Don’t forget to keep up the great work of being healthy and active these holidays!

Miss L 

Community Announcements & Advertising


12 March 2015




Dear Parents and Friends

The excitement is building as we head into the final week before the “Kids’ Crazy Carnival”. A lot of work has been going on behind the scenes by a dedicated and enthusiastic group of parents, staff and families, and it is all coming together nicely. There will be a final fete newsletter tomorrow with this week’s challenge (block of chocolate and bag of lollies) as well as a request to bake for our cake stall (this was our biggest money earner last time!). Thank you to everyone who is getting behind the fete – whether in preparation or on the day, we know everyone is helping in whatever way they can. Remember, this year’s fete money will be going towards upgrading the junior playground, so we’re looking for another fantastic result, having raised over $30,000 in 2013!

Professional Learning
Mrs Lough and I attended the Inner South Principal’s Conference in Creswick last week, demonstrating that we all have a commitment to life-long learning. It was an informative 3 days with some excellent speakers. The key note presenter was Dr Anthony Muhammod from the United States who spoke about School Culture and Effective Schools, Transformational Leaders and Professional Learning Communities. We are fortunate at MPPS that Mr Kick, Mrs Struthers, Mrs Grisdale and I actually went to a 2 day seminar with Dr Muhammod in 2014 so we are already implementing some of his work.

In talking about school culture, Dr Muhammod had some very strong messages about the need to have the “will” to lead and the “skill” to teach. The “will” represents the cultural beliefs that we must have in order to change and grow, and the “skill” represents the technical and structural aspects needed to make it happen. He linked the need for us all to be intrinsically motivated to learn and to change, and related this to a story about how his mother made him do things he didn’t want to do, which was good because when he got old enough he understood the reasons why and wanted to do them, whereas if she had given him permission not to do them when he wasn’t old enough to understand their importance, he might never have done them as an adult.

His final presentation was about developing Professional Learning Communities (PLC), which is what we strive to be at MPPS. There are 3 big ideas around being a PLC:
  1. ensuring student learning;
  2. developing a collaborative culture;
  3. focusing on results.
By harnessing these 3 ideas, we can ensure improved student outcomes and continuous improvement in our learning and teaching practice. At Mentone Park, we use the PLC model to analyse student data on a fortnightly basis, and use this to inform our planning for individual students.

On Tuesday teachers were at school working with Peter Sullivan, a mathematician, Monash University lecturer and author. The day was focussed on “Dealing with Difference” in the mathematics classroom, and strategies to enable and expand our student learning. Peter explained the need for children to experience a “zone of confusion” when learning and applying new skills, before expecting them to master those skills. In other words, students need to work on tasks that challenge them to move beyond the known to the unknown. We need to encourage our students to become risk-takers and to embrace challenges as an integral part of learning.

On Wednesday afternoon we were honoured to have Tim Richardson, Member for Mordialloc, visit school to see and hear about our wonderful students and programs. He took a tour of our school as well as hearing from School Captains, Vice-Captains, Green-Gang and Kids’ Café Captains about different aspects of being a Mentone Park student. I also had the opportunity to talk with him about the challenges facing schools, particularly around student wellbeing, funding and facilities issues.  

Have a great week,

Kendra Parker
At our school we aim to create a safe and supportive school community for everyone. Sometimes it can be difficult for parents or carers to know what to do when their child talks to them about bullying. You are an important part of our work to prevent bullying and to respond effectively if it happens. Stopping bullying involves everyone.

We are taking part in the 2015 National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence on Friday 20th March.

In the week leading up to this day and the week following, students will be participating a variety of activities to help them learn about bully prevention and what to do if they are ever bullied, or witness acts of bullying. Some students will be presenting some of their work at assembly on Monday 23rd March.

If you are looking for support for yourself to deal with a bullying situation, you will find ideas on the Bullying. No Way! website for parents. 

Click here for the Bullying.  No Way! website

This National Day of Action and the activities students will be undertaking are all supported by our own school approaches to wellbeing—Bounce Back, Restorative Practices and Bully Prevention. 

Alison Lough

Thinking Outside The Box Programs
The staff at Mentone Park Primary are always looking for ways to meet the needs of all our students. One of the areas we are reviewing at present is how we meet the needs of children who have high academic ability.

 As a new initiative, we are planning to offer Thinking Outside the Box Programs (T.O.T.B.) for highly able students. Thinking Outside The Box Programs run innovative programs providing quality education for highly able children. These programs are created and run by Penny Willoughby who has proven success in extending highly able children.

Click Here for more information