17 September 2015

Newsletter 16/2015


Dear Parents and Friends,

What a busy term of activities, learning and fun we have had at Mentone Park! I have thoroughly enjoyed being able to share in the excitement of the many and varied units of study and special events that have taken place such as:

· Book Week activities

· Book character parade
· Scholastic Book Fair
· Year 6 Camp
· Year 3/4 Camp
· Somers Camp
· Maths Olympiad
· Satellite Club
· Marine Ambassador dress-up day
· Level 3 Museum excursion
· Tree planting day
· Introduction of new spelling program - SMART Spelling
· Green Gang - Big Green Schools Conference
· District athletics
· House athletics
· The NED Show
· NRL team playing at AAMI Stadium
· Basketball clinics
· AFL clinics
· Marine Ambassador workshops
· Book week performance for P-2
· Year 5/6 Sovereign Hill excursion
· Grandparents Day for Prep
· Level 2 cultural celebrations
· Level 3 Step Back in Time day
· Level 4 Colonial Times celebration day
· Father's Day breakfast
· Year 5 visits to Acacia Kindergarten
· Swimming
· Footy week activities
· Footy colours dress-up day (tomorrow)
· Footy lunch day (tomorrow) 

Phew! I'm sure, like me, the students are looking forward to their well earned rest after such a whirlwind of events these past few weeks. I went along to swimming with the Year 2s for the final session today and was pleased to see them having such fun to celebrate the culmination of their learning over the past 2 weeks. They enjoyed racing along the giant inflatable while being soaked with water tossed from buckets by their teachers. I'm not sure who was having more fun - the teachers throwing the water or the students dodging it!


As you know, every four years, schools have a review that guides the School's Strategic Plan - an important document that outlines school priorities for the coming years. After our School Self-Evaluation, comprising input from parents, students and staff, we held a Review Day, which involved a panel made up of teachers, school leaders, Principals from local schools, members of our parent community and an external reviewer. It was a great day with lots of important discussion around the journey Mentone Park has been on over the past 4 years, and ways in which we could improve.

This is a short excerpt from the reviewer that I would like to share with you:

A highlight of student learning outcomes at MPPS has been the improved outcomes at Year 3 on the NAPLAN.  This was evident in both Reading and Numeracy. 

MPPS has focussed throughout the period under review, on putting into place well researched, whole school approaches to Teaching and Learning. The areas of Writing, Reading and Mathematics have been targeted.  

Mentone Park PS has a staff of highly skilled teachers who are committed to their students and who consistently seek ways to improve outcomes. It will be important for staff to unite behind the strategic vision to embed the many excellent practices school wide. A building upgrade scheduled for 2016 creates the opportunity to further develop contemporary approaches to Teaching and Learning. 


Thanks to everyone for a terrific term. I have enjoyed being the Acting Principal these past 5 weeks whilst Ms Parker has been travelling all over Turkey and Cruising her way around the Mediterranean! I am very much looking forward to her return however and will be more than happy to return to my Assistant Principal's chair. I would like to thank the staff and in particular Mrs Grisdale for their support in keeping the school running so smoothly!

Here are a few photos that Ms Parker sent just to make us all a little jealous:

Have a great holiday! Stay safe and see you all next term.

Alison Lough



The Satellite Club – Grades 3 and 4

Attention! In Term 3 a new phenomenon has been observed in the vicinity of Mentone Park PS.  I am happy to report it was the newly formed Satellite Club!

Year 3 and 4 students have been developing their higher order thinking skills. Each week, I have been working with a group of 16 students on tasks which have challenged them beyond the traditional curriculum. Students have learnt about de Bono’s Thinking Hats. The Thinking Hats were developed to identify specific ways of thinking. This term we have looked at the Red, Yellow and Black Hat. Did you know that the Black Hat relates to critical thinking?  The word critical comes from the Greek word kritikos which means to judge. Some of the situations we used our Thinking Hats for included responding to problems and situations from Black Hat and White Hat perspectives and using our Red Hat (emotions) thinking to respond to artwork by Salvador Dali.

A selection of Greek myths and legends were used as the context for challenging and extending the students’ learning. Some of the activities included -  

  1. Researching to identify the features and characters from myths.
  2. Giving human qualities to express emotions. Selecting an emotion. Drawing/ making and writing about their characters.  Justifying and explaining their creations and their characteristics. (imagery)
  3. Using mind maps to organise their ideas about Pandora’s Box.
  4. Creating a winged creature that when dropped from a height of three metres, falls at a rate between three to five seconds – using Daedalus and Icarus as the prompt. (physics)
  5. Developing metacognition – thinking about our thinking through self reflection tasks such as see/do, think, wonder.
The buzz of excitement about learning is contagious. Catch it with us. Stay tuned for more details about Term 4’s Satellite Club.


 Curiouser and Curiouser   -  Term Four Unit of Study      

Next term all grades will have an explicit focus on thinking and the teaching of thinking to develop students’ thinking to a qualitatively higher level. Students need to be supported to move beyond the lower-order cognitive skills of recall and comprehension to the development of higher-order processes required for creative problem solving, decision making and conceptualising. In addition, they need to develop the capacity for metacognition – the capacity to reflect on and manage their own thinking. This can only happen when the school and classroom culture values and promotes thinking and students are provided with sufficient time to think, reflect and engage in sustained discussion, deliberation and inquiry. Students need challenging tasks which stimulate, encourage and support skillful and effective thinking- and this is what we have planned for our Term Four Unit of Study.

Thank you to everyone in the school community for your involvement and support of our school activities this term. The school is the sum of all its parts: the students, parents and friends, and staff. The students and their growth and development is central to everything we do.

Enjoy the holidays!

Sue Grisdale


On behalf of PFA I would like to thank the following people for helping with the Father's Day Breakfast.  (Sorry for the very early start).
Jodi O’Sullivan, Andrew Davis, Peter Dixon, Michelle Sampieri, Lilian Vrionis, Sue Curtis, Cheryl Nancarrow, Anna Petty & Jenny Olechnowicz.  Also to Frank Sampieri for making sure our BBQs and tables were ready to go at 6.00am.
Thank you to everyone that came to breakfast.  We hope all the Fathers, Grandparents and Special Friends enjoyed their breakfast with the kids and also had a wonderful day on Sunday.
A big thank you to all the parents that also helped with the Father’s Day Stall.  Thank you to Louise Cook for the purchasing of gift items for the children to choose something special for their Father, Grandfather/Special Friend.  I hope you all enjoyed the delightful gifts you received.
Wendy Davis
PFA President


The Woolworths Earn and Learn program has now finished.  If you have any stickers or half filled sheets could you please send them to the Office by tomorrow (Friday 18th September).  Thank you to all our families and friends who have supported MPPS through this program.  We look forward to the new resources earned for the school.



Hello to all our OSCH parents.
Well where to begin? We are happy to welcome back Jo from her holidays. Also we have had a fantastic term 3 but sadly it is coming to an end. This term finishes this Friday 18th at 2:30 pm. If you haven’t booked for the holiday program please remember to do so asap online or come in and speak to one of our friendly staff.
From Anicca and the OSCH team       


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.

2 September 2015

Newsletter 15/2015


Dear Parents and Friends,


What a success the Father's Day breakfast was this morning! Thank you to our wonderful parent helpers and to all those dads and grandpas (and mums too of course) who were able to come and enjoy an egg and bacon roll with the children before heading off to work.

We wish all dads a very happy Father's Day for Sunday! We hope you like your gifts, lovingly selected from our Father's Day Stall! Thanks to the Parents and Friends Association for organising such a wonderful array of goodies to select from.


It was a dream come true for some of our grade 5 and 6 boys who were able to experience the feeling of running out onto the ground at AAMI Stadium to participate in an NRL match against a team from the western suburbs. What an achievement! The boys did us proud and represented not only Mentone Park Primary School, but the entire Kingston District. Well done. Thank you to our PE teacher Miss Laycock for organising the event.


How exciting it was last Monday morning when the students and teachers dressed as characters from some of their favourite books! It was lovely to see such a variety of costumes based on characters of old and new! From the "Giraffe who can't dance" to "Where's Wally" to "Lord of the Rings" it was all very colourful and fun. The students enjoyed multi-age activities during the morning where they were able to work through a variety of storybook related activities.


As we come to the end of our Units of Study around History this term, each level has had a celebration of their learning by showcasing some of the wonderful things they have discovered and produced. On Wednesday the Prep classes had a lovely Grandparents afternoon. The Grade 1 and 2 classes dressed up in traditional clothes based on their families country of origin and ancestry and brought in some lovely foods from around the world to share with their classmates. Today the Grade 3 and 4 Students stepped back in time to experience what it was like "in the olden days" as a school student! They had to march, wear olden day clothes and play with marbles and elastics!  I enjoyed roaming through the classrooms this morning looking at their amazing history projects. The Grade 5 and 6 students will be having their "Step Back in Time" morning in the last week of school. Well done to all students on their hard work and dedication to learning about Australian history! 


Don't forget swimming starts tomorrow at the Don Tatnell Leisure Centre for students in Prep - Grade 4.  Make sure children come to school prepared with labelled bathers, towel and underwear! A labelled plastic bag is a good idea for wet bathers and towels. If you would like to watch your child's lesson, you are welcome to meet them at the swimming pool. Please note, all students will be leaving and returning to school on the bus unless prior arrangements have been made. 

Here are the times each grade will be in the pool:
9.30 to 10am - Prep S
10 to 10.30am - Prep B
10.30 to 11am - 3/4G
11 to 11.30am - 3/4H
12 to 12.30pm - 3/4S
12.30 to 1pm - 3/4O
1 to 1.30pm - 1O
1.30 to 2pm - 1B
2 to 2.30pm - 1/2U
2.30 to 3pm - 2O & 2R

Alison Lough


Logical Thinking Challenge- Exercise Your Brain

Our school has elected to participate in the Logical Thinking Challenge, an individual online quiz which has been developed by the University of Melbourne to challenge logical thinking and problem solving skills.
Students from years 3-6 will complete the quiz in class time under teacher supervision. They will answer 24 questions within an allocated time frame. The quiz will be administered in the week beginning September 14th.
We look forward to our students taking the learning challenge!

Indigenous Literacy Day

This year Indigenous Literacy Day is on Wednesday 2nd September.
On ILD the Indigenous Literacy Foundation aims to spread the word about improving literacy levels – and opportunities – for Indigenous children living in some of the most remote and isolated parts of our country. The funds raised on ILD buy books and other literacy resources for these communities.
What can you do to help on ILD in 2015?
· Buy a book from a participating bookseller.
· Make a donation online or at your nearest bookshop.
· Help organise an ILD event (like a book exchange or morning tea) at your workplace, social or sports club, reading group or home.
· Like the ILF on Facebook and Twitter.
For more information visit the ILF website:

Level 3 Angahook Camp

If you happened to be venturing past the school last Wednesday morning you would have seen and heard the excitement of parents, students and staff as 82 students and 9 adults were preparing to board the bus to attend the Grade 3 and 4 Angahook Camp at Aireys Inlet. For some students, this was the longest time they had been away from home so we knew that something special was about to happen!

Camp is an important activity in students’ lives with many positive benefits. As teachers, we are privileged to see how students rise to the many opportunities camp has to offer. Life skills such as organisation of belongings (now where was that torch I packed?), following timetables (duty groups, activity rotations) and independence (yes I did remember to brush my teeth before bedtime and I was able to choose appropriate activities during free time) are all evidenced on camp. Personal skills such as cooperation and consideration for others (important when ‘bunking together’ or communal dining times), confidence (to attempt new activities and move out of our comfort zones), building positive relationships (between students and staff - to foster engagement and connection) and the opportunities to ‘shine’ in many ways which may not always be evident at school all contribute to the value of camp.

Much preparation goes to ensuring that the camp runs smoothly and I must firstly thank Miss Oates who as the camp coordinator did a stellar job of ensuring everything ran to plan. As camp coordinator her duties included such tasks as regular communications with the camp regarding activities, sleeping arrangements and dietary requirements, organisation of the buses, Departmental documentation completed and submitted according to regulations, medication forms distributed, information collated, medication administered, timetables and activities organised for the duration of the camp and camp booklet produced - and that was before we even got to camp.

For the staff who attended- thank you for your care and commitment to the safety and care of all students on camp. It was great to see how everyone took collective responsibility for all students. On camp staff are on call from the moment students line up to board the bus until the last student is collected when we return to school. Judging from the laughter and smiles throughout the camp – it was a huge success.

Stay tuned for more information about camp in next week’s newsletter.

Enjoy the first week of Spring.

Sue Grisdale


Here is the calendar of events for this term. It will be updated fortnightly.
Term 3 Calendar



Wow, what a wonderful week last week, with Book Week parade and Book Fair on. 
A huge thank you to all our parents and friends supporting the school by purchasing some lovely books and resources for your children. We have raised a huge total of $1500 in books for our school. We have already purchased over $300 in titles to be placed in the library and will be looking at adding additional reading sets and senior reading books to our collections soon. Without parent/friends support these wonderful gifts for our school would not be possible, so thanks again for making the time to visit the Book Fair this year. 
Danielle Searles
Art/Library Teacher


Ciao a tutti! What an exciting term it has been in the Italian room! 
Preps- Enjoyed learning about different forms of transport as they continued to sing and dance to a fun variety of Italian tunes. Games to remember colour and numbers and sequential activity sheets have helped them reinforce their ever-widening vocabulary. 
Grades 1&2- Have been excited learning about ‘Gli animali’ (Animals) – concentrating on Australian animals in particular. They have been reading and writing about these and finding out how their names sometimes sound almost the same in Italian.
Grades 3&4 –Have started finding out about ‘I vestiti’ (Clothing) and are going to be begin designing their own stylish wardrobes ahead of a Fashion Shoot in Milano! They have played ‘Tombola-Bingo’ to aid their learning of this new vocabulary.
Grades 5&6- Continued to explore ‘Gli Dei-The Gods’ concentrating on one or two in depth. They have constructed models to support their understandings during the term. Every third week, if possible, they continued to work through languagesonline- an online teaching tool to aid their Italian. Children are encouraged to work online at home to improve the areas they have difficulty with. www.education.vic.gov.au/languagesonline & scroll down to Italian. Parents could also enjoy the fun activities.
I have been really impressed by all students involvement and enthusiasm during the term and look forward to an even more enjoyable last term!
A prego, Signora Beer


The PFA need helpers for the following events:
Footy Day Lunch on 18th September;
Art Show on 14th October;

School Disco on 29th October.
If you are available to help at these events please write your name on the sign-up sheets on the Community Notice Board.


We still have one Entertainment Book at $65.00 for sale.  If you would like to purchase it, please contact the Office.


We are currently collecting the Woolworths Earn and Learn Stickers.  Families, please can you ask for the stickers when you shop at Woolworths?   If you shop at the Thrift Park store we have a collection box there.  You can also deposit stickers in the box near the office at school.
The stickers will be redeemed for equipment to support our programmes here at Mentone Park.
Kerry McKenna

We have had some very busy weeks in the Kids Cafe and I am very grateful to the fabulous team of regulars and class volunteers who come to help out. We have been a bit short on rostered class helpers over the last couple of months, so please could you check the roster below and try to come on your class’ day. We love the help but the kids love it more! This is the roster for the rest of this term.
Sept 4th - prep to 2
11th - grades 3 to 6
17th - clean up - all welcome
You may have heard rumours that pizzas are coming back on the menu…this is true, we are thinking about bringing them back for term 4 BUT ONLY if we can find volunteers to make the pizza bases! I currently have two mums who are willing to come in once a fortnight and I need at least two more to alternate with them. It’s a job that can be done on any day that suits (but obviously not Friday) and takes a couple of hours. Please contact me (0413 009493) if you are interested. 
We need to make a few alterations to the ovens and benches in the cafe and I’m putting the call out to any builder parents who might be interested. I’d love to get this done in the next holidays so please contact me asap as I will need to find someone outside of the school community if no one is interested.
Thank you
Liz & the Kids Cafe Team


If you would like your child in Grade 2-6 to learn the piano in school hours at Mentone Park Primary School please contact Mrs Millard (B.MUS. Ed) on 9583 6172 or mob. 0418 629 586.


This week at OSHC the children have enjoyed making sand-play creations, sand castles and digging deep was one of their favourites. A few children discovered some old coins which they used in the sand to make patterns. Others enjoyed Loom bands/dramatic play i.e. Mums and Dads. The children also actively participated in a game of indoor soccer. We played spotted with a difference and boggle. The children enjoyed playing various group games such as musical statues, musical chairs, coloured squares and charades and Tepees and Indians.
To all the parents just to let you know that the Vacation care program should be available this week please check online or speak to Anicca for more information regarding it.
We are enjoying our week and hope you are too .
From Anicca and the OSCH team       


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.