17 December 2015

Newsletter 22/2015


Dear Parents and Friends
Another year is over—and how time flies when you are having fun!  Thank you to all the parents, friends and wider school community who have supported MPPS throughout 2015.  We have had a hugely successful year, with some terrific new programs in place to support our students' learning.  Our unit "Curiouser and Curiouser" was a wonderful addition to our termly studies.  We will start next year with Kids' Connect and People Power as our units of study.
On Tuesday night we celebrated our Year 6 students' graduation from primary school.  It was a wonderful night, enjoyed by all.  Thank you to Cheryl Nancarrow and the graduation committee for organising the dinner and decorations.  Well done to Mr Wilton, Mr Sloan and Mrs Sampieri on organising and running a wonderful ceremony.  All of our year 6 students should be proud of their efforts this year both inside and outside the classroom.  Their leadership skills and modelling of school values has been outstanding and I have enjoyed working with them throughout the year.  Special mention to our School Captains and Vice Captains - Dan, Danny, Bella and Tristan who have shown great initiative and leadership during their year as school leaders.
Congratulations to the following students on receiving the 2014 achievement awards:
Outstanding Student Citizen Award (Tim Richardson award)
Brae McConachy
Community Spirit & Leadership  (Claire O’Neill award)
Bella Missen
School Community Spirit
Danielle Morris & Daniel Harper
Kids' Connect (Values Award)
Anthony Scheiner and Anna Begkli  
Nuria Cabonell Rivela & Cody Lind
Excellence in Sport
Cooper Williamson & Holly Davison
Excellence in Maths
Danielle Morris, Tristan Price & Aaron Nancarrow
Excellence in English
Bella Missen, Brae McConachy & Arthur Watson


2015 has been another year of continued school improvement.  Our Maths Specialists' program continued, albeit in a limited capacity in semester 2 thanks to Mr Wilton taking on the role.  We are very confident that our maths program is going to continue to develop our childrens' maths capabilities as we further embed our new practice in the years ahead.
We have been fortunate to have our literacy support teachers for the past 2 years as well - Mrs Anne Reed and Miss Christine Smith.  A lot of resourcing has gone into this program, both staffing and other.  Mrs Reed is retiring this year (more below) and we are pleased to have Miss Smith continuing in the role in 2016 in the junior grades.  We have also decided to continue with the role in senior classes with Mrs Monica Smith joining Miss Christine Smith (that could get very confusing!) in this specialist role.  We have been investing a substantial amount of our budget into the resources for this program and look forward to the continued benefit from this. 
This year has seen the introduction of our SMART spelling program, which has given great structure to our teaching of spelling and again, we look forward to the benefits of this in the years to come.
Our School Leadership Team undertook a lot of professional learning around the "Curiosity and Powerful Learning" program which we will be implementing across the school over the coming years.  I have written about this often in the newsletter and there will be information sessions early in the new year.  
This time last year, I wrote that "next year will also see our capital works program completed—with new toilets and refurbished Level 3 area, among other smaller things.  We are very excited about this work!" Well....it didn't quite happen so pretend you are reading it for the first time again this year!  Our works are currently on track to commence in term 2 and should take approximately 2 terms.
By now you have all received information re your child's class for 2016.  Unfortunately there were some issues that came to light after the classes were formed.  Please, next year look out for my invitation for requests in relation to your child's learning needs early so that we do not have to move children once grades are formed.  Thank you.
Further staffing news includes:
  • Welcome to Rachel Barrett who will be taking Year 3
  • Mrs Monica Smith will be taking on the role of Literacy Intervention teacher
  • Farewell Mrs Anne Reed - enjoy your retirement!
  • Farewell Miss Hayley Dicker - good luck in your new school, St Kilda Park PS
  • Farewell Miss Tegan Boucher - good luck in  your new school, Cheltenham East PS
  • Farewell Mr Johannes Scherpenhuizen - enjoy your extended role at Sandringham East PS
  • Farewell Mr Adam Sloan - good luck in your new adventures

First day of school is Friday 29th January.
Tea and Tissues - all prep parents are invited to the Kids' Cafe following drop off on the first day.
The PFA will hold a welcome BBQ on Friday 5th February 2015.
Our 2015 prep families are reminded that they are invited to a play date at school on Thursday 21st January at 11:00am, in the junior playground.  Bring a picnic lunch to enjoy and get to know each other before the school year commences.
I would like to say thank you to the school community for your support and commitment to our school in 2015.  Together we have achieved many great things, including events such as the Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day breakfasts, working bees, School Fete, Art Show, Italian Day, Book Parade, Scientist in Schools, Marine Ambassadors, John Monash Science School, Satellite Club, Maths Olympiad, Bike Ed, Yoga, Big Green School's Conference . . . the list goes on!
Your fundraising efforts and support have raised over $20,000 for the school, which will be used in 2016 to upgrade the junior playground - we are currently receiving quotes for this and it will be done early in the new year.  Thank you to Mrs Lough and the JSC who conducted a survey of all students to find out their ideal playground!
Finally, I hope you get to spend lots of time with your loved ones and enjoy the festive spirit that this time of year brings.  I look forward to seeing you back in 2016.
Kendra Parker


This year we farewell a large number of families from Year 6 who have been part of the MPPS community for many years. We thank them for their support over their time here and wish them well as their children continue their educational journey into high school.  We also farewell a number of families who are leaving the neighbourhood:


I would like to thank the school community - students, staff and parents for making me feel so welcomed this year! I have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know you all and look forward to another fun filled year in 2016! 

I'd just like to share a portion of my speech to the Grade 6 students at the Graduation Ceremony. A message for them and for all students. 
·         As you move through to Secondary School, please remember that while your academic achievements and hard work will get you a long way, it is the kind of person you are, that will determine your future and help you succeed in life beyond school. The Mentone Park TIER of values is an acronym well worth remembering for years to come.
o   T for Teamwork: Your ability to work with others, show tolerance, kindness and compassion will ensure that wherever you go, doors will always open and you will be welcomed in.
o   I for Integrity: Being honest and having strong moral principles will make you a trustworthy friend and future employee and enable you to stand up for what you believe in.
o  E for Excellence: Striving to be your personal best regardless of circumstance, persisting when things are difficult and encouraging others to do the same, sets you on a path to personal and professional success.
o   R for Respect: Showing gratitude, complimenting others on their achievements, being sincere and doing the things you say you will do are just some of the ways you can demonstrate respect. If you do these things, you will in turn receive the admiration of others.
·     As you have grown and matured this year, your fellow classmates, teachers, Ms Parker and  myself have admired the way you have upheld these values.

Parent Information Sessions 2016

Thank you to those parents who have responded to the education Committee's survey regarding areas of interest for information sessions next year.
Results will be analysed and information sessions organised at the first meeting of the Education Committee in 2016. In the mean time if you haven't yet completed this survey here is the link:


Congratulations to our students who received certificates celebrating academic achievements this week! Well done and keep up the great work!


Alison Lough


Another year has flown by, far quicker than last, it must be Global Warming.
March saw another successful Fete take place. Well done to the Fete committee for another great job in organising, to the sponsors and those that gave donations or supplied product the school really appreciates all of your efforts and your generosity. To those helpers who worked tirelessly throughout the day, thank you. 
The Bunnings BBQ was very well supported and saw us sell out and purchase more sausages from Woolworths, once again a great effort from all those who helped organise and worked on the day.
This year also saw us participate in a major School Review, which gave us the chance as a School to look at the areas that require more attention and put plans in place to tackle these and other opportunities over the coming years.
The capital works program should hopefully commence in the new year, it’s been a long laborious process to get the works started with a lot of toing and froing from the department and the architect and School. This will give Mentone Park a far better teaching environment once it is finished next year.
Other major Fundraising throughout the year, Mother’s day stall, Father’s day stall, Italian Day, Icy Pole Days, Art Show etc.
We finished the Year with a fantastic Christmas Carols on Friday.
To the Teachers and Support Staff of MPPS, a huge thank you for all your hard work, enthusiasm and contributions above and beyond you give every day, in the on-going education and daily care of our children.
To the Members of the PFA, well done and thank you for all your efforts this year and for your continued success in all that you do throughout next year.  For giving up your own time to give our children special events such as Mother’s Day & Father’s Day Stalls & Breakfasts, Disco, Easter Raffle, Special Morning Tea’s, assisting with Prep Transitions, Italian Day, Book Fair and Uniform Shop, just to name a few. 
Thank you to the Fundraising Committee for all your hard work throughout the year and to the school community for supporting these events. 
Between these two wonderful committees and the school community, they have raised a substantial amount of money in excess of $40,000 for the year.  This is to be congratulated.  These extra funds raised will go towards new junior playground equipment and other vital areas for the school.
The air-conditioners in the BER building are proof that previous monies raised go to aid the students particularly on these hot humid days.
A special mention to Nicky Langhorne for stepping up and overseeing the Finance Committee’s balance sheets and ensuring we report the correct way. Thanks Nicky.
To the Education Committee, thank you for looking into the Schools policies, many of which were updated or amended this year and ensuring these stay up-to-date and for arranging special guest information nights for the school community to keep updated. 
On Behalf of the Building and Grounds committee, a special thank you to all those parents and students who attended any, or all of the Working Bees throughout this year which helps to  maintain a safe and clean school for our children to enjoy.  After 10 years we finally won some movie tickets, persistence pays. J
A very special mention to Frank who has done an amazing job this year in keeping the grounds in ship shape order and play additional roles when we run out of helpers. (Santa that is.)
To Anne Leggett and her assistants in the office. You do a fabulous job being pulled in all directions and continue to smile.  Thank you.  
To all students who have represented MPPS in any extra-curricular activities including  Inter-school sports, Swimming Carnivals, Cross Country Runs, Athletics, etc., Congratulations and well done.  A fantastic achievement.
To the members of this year’s School Council, a big thank you for your commitment and support in attending meetings, convening or sitting on sub-committees and giving up your personal time on top of your own work load and family commitments. This commitment will help keep MPPS heading in the right direction in the years to come.
A great school cannot operate without great leadership.  To Kendra, Alison, and the Leading teachers thank you for your contribution and dedication to our School.  Congratulations and well done for 2015 and looking forward to an even better and bigger 2016.
I’d like to thank everyone who has given up their own time to assist with any of the above.  It is what makes the school a great place for your children to grow and be educated at the highest possible level, in an environment that is safe and modern.
Finally in closing, to all those students and parents who are leaving MPPS this year, we hope that you take away with you some fond memories of the school and the community that you were a part of.  May you all have a very safe and Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy 2016.
A special mention to those that have departed us this year, we hope that you are at peace. We miss you mum/grandma.
Life is short, hug your children/wife/husband as often as you can and don't forget to tell them you love them!!!
Merry Christmas and warmest wishes for 2016.

Andrew Davis
School Council President 2015


Many thanks to all the families who contributed to the Dixon House Christmas Collection.  The donations were very much appreciated. Have a lovely Christmas everyone.


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.


10 December 2015

Newsletter 21/2015


Dear Parents and Friends,

What an exciting two weeks we've had with level 1 and Level 2 excursions, level 2 and 3 Curiouser and Curiouser celebrations, 2016 Prep information night, grade 5 leadership speeches and grade 6 graduation preparations!  On Wednesday students met their new grade and teacher for 2016.  There was certainly a buzz around the school during the afternoon.  It is a very exciting time as we begin to think about moving on and growing up!
As always, much thought has gone into class placements for 2016 and we have attempted for students to have at least one of their requested friends.  Our process is long and involved and we believe that we have come up with the best solution for students with all relevant information being considered.  The most important aspect is to create a learning environment which is optimal for each child’s learning needs.

Throughout 2016 we will see the introduction of the new Victorian Curriculum, which is structured as a continuum across levels of learning achievement, not years of schooling. This enables the development of targeted learning programs for all students, where the curriculum is used to plan in relation to the actual learning level of each student rather than their assumed level of learning based on age.
Each curriculum area includes content descriptions explaining what is to be taught and achievement standards describing what students are able to understand and do. The achievement standards are provided at each year level for English and Mathematics and in bands of 2 years for all the other learning areas and capabilities.
At Mentone Park we work in teaching teams to deliver a comprehensive and consistent learning program to all students in each area:
  • Level 1 - Foundation
  • Level 2 – Years 1 & 2
  • Level 3 – Years 3 & 4
  • Level 4 – Years 5 & 6
Teachers collaborate to share responsibility for the learning of all students and to meet the needs of individuals in their level.  Our pedagogical approach to learning allows for students to establish relationships with teachers and students across the whole cohort and not just in their individual home class.
Specialist programs in 2016 will again include Visual and Performing Arts, Italian and PE.  These programs will be supported by an additional program supporting Sustainability and Science.  We will also continue to provide intervention and support for students in the area of Literacy in Foundation – Year 2 with a Literacy Intervention teacher.
Don't forget to read through the information that was sent home regarding Class Representatives for 2016.  We would love to get this up and running early so our Class Rep program becomes an active and vibrant role in the school as part of the Parents and Friends' Association.
Wishing all our families a safe and happy Christmas and Holiday period.  We look forward to your continued support of our school and learning programs in 2016.

Kendra Parker


Marine Ambassadors

Last week I was lucky enough to attend the first workshop with our 2016 I sea I care Marine Ambassadors - the Dolphin Swim. I was so impressed with the way Hayley, Abbey, Declan, Fiona and Amy conducted themselves and represented Mentone Park as responsible and caring students. Despite the cold weather on the day, we all managed to don our wetsuits and jump into the water where we were treated to some very playful dolphins swimming around and underneath us. It is an experience I know none of us will ever forget.

Hayley, Abbey, Fiona, Declan and Amy getting ready for their big adventure! 

Parent Information Sessions 2016

Thank you to those parents who have responded to the education Committee's survey regarding areas of interest for information sessions next year.

Results will be analysed and information sessions organised at the first meeting of the Education Committee in 2016. In the mean time if you haven't yet completed this survey here is the link:

1 minute parent survey

Summer Holidays!

Parenting is a hard job at the best of times. The everyday responsibilities of parenting can sometimes feel endless. Considering all the extra demands placed on you during the school holidays and festive season, you may feel more stressed than usual. Holiday stress may be caused by having to change work routines or child care arrangements, stretching the budget to meet the costs of the festive season, entertaining children or dealing with older children staying home alone. Although we cling to the idea that the family will spend the holidays together and everyone will get along, it can be a difficult time. When you are stressed it seems as though you have to sacrifice the things you enjoy. But often the things you give up, such as keeping fit and spending time with friends, are activities that can help you manage stress or keep you from becoming frustrated with your children. It’s also important to remember that grief can be particularly heightened at this time of year. The loss of a family member, a divorce, the loss of a job or being separated from family and friends can be particularly stressful. By taking some steps now, you can help to minimise stress later. The key is to recognise the triggers. Do what you can to avoid or lessen their impact and learn some techniques to help you relax should you start to feel the tension rising. Here are some simple tips to keep you healthy and manage stress. By looking after yourself you will be in a better position to care for your children.

• Set priorities: learn to say “no” to some things - choose quality over quantity. Your main priority may simply be spending time with your children and enjoying each other’s company.

• Plan ahead: take charge of your holidays in advance by making lists of things to do and setting aside some time each day for them - nothing creates more stress than last minute shopping and preparations. When entertaining children, one different activity each day will keep them excited.

• Stay in budget: draw up a budget to make sure you don’t overspend over the festive season. Choose simple, thoughtful or useful gifts over elaborate, expensive surprises - even Santa Claus has limited funds.

• Delegate: you don’t have to do it all yourself - there is only so much time and people generally appreciate the opportunity to help out. If you are having a family get together, it might be a good idea to ask everyone to bring along some food rather than preparing it all yourself.

• Have realistic expectations: if there is tension within your family it is more than likely that this will only escalate during the holiday period. You might consider visiting your relatives separately if they do not get on well or keeping them occupied when together. When making new year’s resolutions, think positively about what you can really achieve. Unrealistic goals can cause disappointment.

• Look after yourself: to take care of others you need to first take care of yourself. A healthy diet, regular exercise, learning to relax and getting enough sleep will also help to reduce stress.

• Exercise: research shows that exercising several times a week (even just a walk) can reduce stress and tension and improve your mood.

• Deep breathing: spend five to ten minutes several times a day practising the art of deep breathing. It helps to raise your energy levels.

• Positive attitude: try to think positive thoughts. Your thoughts influence your feelings - if you dwell on unhappy thoughts, you start to feel unhappy. Your attitude can be transferred to others and this is not helpful with children at home.

• Talk to others: if you are feeling stressed it can help to speak with people who can understand the position you are in, such as friends or family members.

• Laughter: nothing reduces stress as quickly or as effectively as a good laugh!

More information:



Congratulations to our students who received certificates celebrating academic achievements this week! Well done and keep up the great work!

Alison Lough


Every year we collect gifts at Christmas time for families and children. We are now collecting new
toys for the children and food items for families. (Please check food items are in date) PLEASE place your donations under the Christmas tree near the office before Friday December the 11th.

Thank you for your support.


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


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.


Poco Music is taking enrolments for private instrumental music lessons during school hours at Mentone Park Primary.
Instruments offered: strings, Brass, Woodwind, Drum kit, Bass guitar and singing.
If you would like your child to commence lessons fill out an enrolment form online at:
Or for more information email us at admin@pocomusic.com.au.