17 February 2016

Newsletter 02/2016


Dear Parents and Friends

Drive-In Movie Night - this Saturday.  If you haven't ordered your tickets yet, don't forget you can come along and
pay at the gate.

What a wonderful year we are already having at Mentone Park!  In the last week students have enjoyed House Swimming, Beach Swimming (Senior School), Tri-Skills and the Welcome BBQ and Play Date.  We are so lucky to have such dedicated teachers and parents to support the running of such great programs and activities.
Last week we ran very successful information nights, followed by our parent forums; and this week we had our "Meet the Teacher" sessions.  All of these events were well attended and I have received some excellent feedback from parents about how useful and interesting these were.  Remember, if you have any questions about school life, you can look in our Parent Handbook, which is on our website.
Also, you do not have to wait for an invitation to see your child's teacher.  If you would like to have a meeting to discuss your child's learning or any other relevant issues, you can contact the school to make an appointment.

School Improvement

Our work on "Curiosity and Powerful Learning" is developing momentum, with parent and student input into what High Expectations looks like at MPPS, as well as in developing our Learner Profile. Last week Mrs Lough and I met with the Student Voice Council to talk to them about these 2 aspects of our school.  We were super-impressed with the responses they gave us and are incorporating them into our whole school approach.  Some of their ideas around High Expectations included:

  • Obey the school rules
  • Display the school values
  • Good behaviour
  • Do neat work – your best all the time – high quality
  • Meet the expected standards of work and challenge yourself sometimes
  • Teachers should help us learn and grow
  • They should set an example and learn with us
  • Be fair but firm
  • Work hard – be organised, correct our work, plan good learning experiences, challenge us
  • Reward us and celebrate when we do something good
When asked what skills and attitudes they thought students needed to have to be good learners, they suggested:
  • Listen and pay attention – stay focused
  • Ask questions – be CURIOUS!
  • Do your best.
  • Give things a go.
  • Be creative.
  • Participate.
  • Be intrepid – adventurous and fearless.
  • Positive and optimistic.
  • Think outside the box.
  • Never give up – be persistent!
  • BELIEVE in yourself
You can see why we were so impressed!  I hope you have the opportunity to talk about these ideas with your children at home.
During our work on High Expectations, we are also introducing the children (and parents!) to the concept of having a "growth mindset".  If we have a growth mindset, we believe that we can develop our intelligence, creativity and character through dedication and hard work.  Students who have a growth mindset can focus on improvement instead of worrying about how smart they are. They work hard to learn more and get smarter. Research in this area shows that  students who learn this mindset show greater motivation in school, better grades, and higher test scores.
You can learn more about growth mindsets from many sources on the Internet, here is one as a starting point:  The Science of Growth Mindsets
In classrooms we are teaching children to develop a growth mindset by changing their thinking. Examples of this which we are using can be found on the link below.  Print off a copy and keep it handy - how can you use these ideas to help develop your child's growth mindset.

If you would like to find out more about Curiosity and Powerful Learning, there is a parent session being held at Mentone Primary School on Thursday 17th March, from 7:30 - 8:30pm.  This event is open to all parents of schools in Kingston involved in this work.  The presentation will be delivered by Wayne Craig, former Regional Director in the Education Department, who developed the Powerful Learning and Teaching framework.  Wayne is a wonderful, passionate speaker and will give you a solid understanding of the framework and how education is changing to meet the needs of our ever-changing world.
To book a place at the information session, follow this link:

PFA Welcome BBQ and Play Date

On Friday 5th February, the Parents and Friends' Association hosted a welcome BBQ after school.  It was lovely to see so many children and families playing after school and re-acquainting with each other after the long holidays.  This is a lovely way to start the new year.  Thank you to Creative Beginnings Day Care Centre for the lend of the BBQ.

Thank you to the following parents for your assistance with this event:
Chris Hulley 
Arlene Davis 
Philippa Murray
Sue Curtis 
Wendy & Andrew Davis 
Lillian Vrionis
Stacey Buchanan 
Helen & Brian Paterson
Scott Martin
Anna Borek 

School Forms & Parent Payments

Don't forget to return your permission forms as well as your family details.  It is important to ensure that your current details are correctly recorded at school.  Please complete these forms ASAP and return to school.  Even if you have no changes, please return so we know that your details are current.
Thank you to those parents who have already paid their parent payments.  Statements were sent home this week for all families.  Please remember to return your payment forms if you pay on QkR or Bpay so that we can reconcile statements against payments.  Please ensure excursion fund is paid ASAP as some events (such as Tri-skills) have already commenced.
Kendra Parker



Congratulations to Miss Laycock on a wonderful House Swimming Sports last Friday. The day ran smoothly and all involved had a great day. Thank you to the wonderful parent helpers who assisted on the day and to our brave parents and teachers who competed in the adult versus student race! It was most entertaining to see the "superheroes" trying all they could to beat the students - but to no avail, the students won! 


On Tuesday afternoon, our wonderful House and Vice House Captains along with our School and Vice School Captains, ran a tabloid sports event for the whole school while teachers met with parents for "meet the teacher" sessions. The student leaders had to come up with the activities, set up the equipment, explain their activity each team and keep score. Congratulations on a wonderful display of leadership from these students! Results from the day will be announced at assembly on Monday with points being added to the yearly House totals.


Mentone Park is proud to be involved again with "Bullying No Way!" The 6th National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence is on Friday the 18th March. This will kick start our activities and conversations around this important topic prior to our students participating in the bully prevention program we will be running in Term 2. 
This annual day is Australia's key anti-bullying event for schools, and encourages all students to 'take a stand together' against bullying and violence in schools, the classroom and beyond.
Our involvement in this day, will help deliver the powerful message that bullying and violence is never okay.
Alison Lough


Please ensure you have returned your envelope or booked your photo pack online. More envelopes are available at the office.


Want to find out more about what your child is learning at school this year?

Need practical tips about what you can do at home to help support your child's education?

Download SchoolMate today! SchoolMate provides you with an overview of what your child is learning at school, and suggests ways that you can get involved in your child's education.

Benefits of SchoolMate:

  • Shows you what your children are learning in school in each subject in every year from Prep to Year 10 according to the Victorian AusVELS curriculum;
  • Provides advice about you can do at home to help your child learn; 
  • Provides ideas for books and apps which you can download, borrow or buy which are related to your child's school work. 
​Developed by the Department for Education and Training, SchoolMate works on iPhone, iPad and Android phones and tablets and is available for free download in the App Store and Google Play.


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

Kids' Café

Dear Parents,
This is the Kids Cafe class roster for Terms 1 and 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.

Feb   19th       Prep B
          26th       Prep S
March 4th        1A
            11th      1O
            18th      cleaning & counter sales, everyone welcome
Term 2
April 15th      2O
         22nd     2UO
         29th      3B

 May  6th      3G
         13th     4H
         20th     4W
          27th    5/6L

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

We are still looking for a volunteer to make pizza bases on a fortnightly basis with another parent. It’s not a difficult job and can be done on any day during the week.
Thank you,
Liz and the Kids' Cafe Team


We love hearing about the achievements of our students both past and present! Ella Grimshaw a previous student - and sister of Daniel Grimshaw (5/6R) - has been invited, along with her sailing partner, Laura Harding, to Italy for the 420 World Championships. 

Ella's mum Jane writes:
Eleanor Grimshaw - who attended Mentone Park Primary School - and Laura Harding have been sailing  a 420 since October last year. They came 8th overall in the 420 Championships, they were the 2nd female team across the finish line.  This gained them a letter from the 420 Assiocation to invite them to the World Championships in Italy, July 2016.

Ella started sailing a Minnow at Parkdale Yacht Club when she was 5 years old.

She has done so very well with alot of hard work involved especially in the last 3-4 months and is very excited to be representing Australia in the 420 class.

Congratulations, Ella! We are all very proud of you and will be cheering you on as you compete in Italy! 

Working With Children Check

All parent/guardian 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

Student Insurance


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.

3 February 2016

Newsletter 01/2016


Dear Parents and Friends
Welcome to the 2016 school year. I trust that you all enjoyed a safe and happy holiday and new year period. My holiday was consumed mostly with settling in our new 10 month old chocolate Labrador named Odie.  He is hopefully going to be a friend to our white lab DJ - though at the moment his young puppy antics just seem to be a source of annoyance for him!

Staff all had a lovely break and are ready for another exciting year of learning together. I am very excited to be back too and to start implementing all the wonderful things we have in stall for 2016 - starting with our new Strategic Plan and the exciting opportunities it has given us.

Emergency Management

You may have seen in the news recently that there have been some hoax calls to schools that have caused the evacuation of students. We have not received these calls at Mentone Park but should anything like this occur here, our Emergency Management plan would be immediately put into action. Any threat to the safety of our students is taken seriously and takes highest priority. Next week we will be enacting our first evacuation drill for the year. These drills occur once a term and students learn the procedure to follow in the event of fire, extreme weather, lockdown scenario or off-site evacuation. Some children may become anxious in the event of an emergency drill so it is worth discussing with your children the importance of these drills so they are prepared for when it happens.

Classes and Staffing

Congratulations to our wonderful students who have settled back into the routines of school so well. Classes are already running smoothly and some wonderful learning around our Kids' Connect program is already evident.
Our new teachers, Miss Arentz (Year 1), Mrs Barratt (Year 3), Mrs Sampieri (Year 5/6), Miss Liddington (Year 5/6) and Mrs Cheers (Performing Arts) have already made a wonderful impact on students, all starting the year with positive experiences and building terrific relationships with their students.

School Leadership

Congratulations to our newly elected school leaders for 2016, which were announced at assembly on Monday. Mr Simon Hamilton, Senior Education Improvement Leader for Kingston Network, and Mr Andrew Davis, School Council President, attended our special assembly to present our new leaders with their badges.
I look forward to working with this year's leaders on a range of school activities.

2016 Student Leaders

George Botsiolis Julian Blainey
Daisy Farr Clemence Neylan
Kingsford Smith
Captains Vice
Willow Shepherd Jett Towne
Riley Hemphill
Captains Vice
Mia Jackson Natalia Borek
Alex Stefanec
Captains Vice
Nathan Giofkou Bill Barden
Captains Vice
Joshua Aylen Jake Palmer
Artemis Baxas
Morne Nel
James Commerford
Yasmin Merhi
Taite McKenzie
Olivia Kuntha
Rory Walker


The Parents and Friends' Association is a wonderful part of our school community. This group of parents works hard to support our children at school by running school activities and fundraising, supporting school activities such as Italian Day and the Prep Transition, as well as building and maintaining community relationships through social activities. One such activity is scheduled for this Friday and we look forward to seeing as many families as possible at the Welcome BBQ, from 3:30pm tomorrow on the asphalt area.


Another event the PFA is running to celebrate the start of the year is the Drive-In Movie Night, on Saturday February 20th. This is a wonderful family night as well as a fundraiser for the school. Although a "drive-in" movie, families can set up outdoor picnics, bean bags, chairs, etc to make yourself comfortable and enjoy the large screen showing of "Oddball". Tickets for this event are available on Qkr.
Flyers for both of these events have been sent home recently.
The first PFA meeting of 2016 will be held at 3:30pm in the Conference Room on Thursday 18th February.  We'd love to see some new faces - come along and see what it is all about!

School Forms & Parent Payments

This week your child will have bought home some school forms for you to complete and return to school.  This included permission forms as well as your family details.  It is important to ensure that your current details are correctly recorded at school.  Please complete these forms ASAP and return to school.
Thank you to those parents who have already paid their parent payments.  Statements will be sent home next week for all families.  Please remember to return your payment forms if you pay on Qkr or BPay so that we can reconcile statements against payments.  Please ensure excursion fund is paid ASAP as some events (such as tri-skills) are scheduled in the coming weeks.

School Improvement

Teachers started back at school on Wednesday 27th January with a Professional  Learning day focused on the school improvement framework "Curiosity and Powerful Learning".  This is a whole school framework for learning and teaching that we are implementing in our school over the next 3 years.  The framework has been developed by Wayne Craig, a former Regional Director for the Department of Education, David Hopkins, a UK expert on education and educational leadership, and McRel International, an education research and consultancy firm.  We are very excited to be involved in this project, which also sees us partnering with Monash University to ensure the professional development of pre-service teachers.  
Staff enjoyed a day of learning in the
Dandenong Ranges to start the school year.

Our focus for this term in building this framework into our school, is on High Expectations & Authentic Relationships, as well as developing Teaching and Learner Protocols.  I will keep you updated regularly about our work in these areas and at times, will ask for your input.
Your first opportunity to find out more is next week, at the parent forums scheduled to follow the Information Nights.  I hope you can stay for one of these informative sessions.
There will also be a parent information night held at Mentone Primary School on Thursday 17th March.  More information to come.
Our second professional learning day was to learn about a writing program that will complement our Writer's Workshop. The program, VCOP, focuses on the explicit teaching of Vocabulary, Connectives, Openers and Punctuation. 
Parent Events
There are already 2 events scheduled to support the home-school partnership.  The first is our Information Nights, which are being held next Tuesday (Jnr and Snr) and Wednesday (Foundation & Middle) from 6-7pm.  Following these Mrs Lough and I will run a parent forum session.  This will include information on:
  • Our new Strategic Plan
  • The Education State
  • Curiosity and Powerful Learning
  • Question and discussion time
The following week, we will conduct our "Meet the Teacher" sessions, a chance for you to come and meet your child's teacher and provide them with information about your child to help them get to know them better and allow them to form positive, authentic relationships with them.  A notice will be sent home with online booking details shortly.

I look forward to another wonderful year of learning at MPPS.  Please feel free throughout the year to speak with Mrs Lough or myself about any school issues that you would like to discuss - either concerns or praise!
Have a great year,
Kendra Parker


I am so happy to be back! My children were itching to get back to school, as I'm sure many of yours were also. This year, my daughter Sarah is in Grade 3 and my son, Nicholas has started Prep. He was very excited to put his Mentone Park uniform on and take that first step into 'big school'!
Welcome to all of our new Prep students as well as those who have joined us from other schools and from other countries! We are so pleased to have you at Mentone Park.

A large part of my role is student wellbeing and throughout the year, I will put articles and information into the newsletter relating to wellbeing issues. If you would like to talk about any of these issues or have a wellbeing related question, please feel free to drop by and see me or make an appointment with the office - I would love to chat with you.


You may be aware that we have various means of communication between school and home at Mentone Park. It is important to us that we are able to keep parents and carers informed of  what is happening at school and let you know of upcoming events. Tiqbiz is the most efficient and our preferred way of doing this. Please ensure you follow these steps:
  • Download the tiqbiz app onto your smartphone, tablet, iPad or computer
  • Search for Mentone Park
  • Tick the box that says whole school
  • Tick the box for your child's class 
  • Tick the PE, Italian, Music and Art boxes
  • For parents already using tiqbiz, as some of the classes have the same name as last year (eg 5/6S, Prep B, 1O) you will need to untick those boxes. 
Once you have tiqbiz on your device, you will see once you open the app that you have a list of the boxes you selected. Each box has a newsfeed where you will find the latest notifications and newsletters. There will be a red circle with a white number telling you how many new notifications there are for each box.
When you go into the whole school box you will see you have more choices. the absence box means that if your child is away you can lodge it through tiqbiz and sign electronically. There is no need for you to phone or write an absence note if you use this simple method. You can also view the school calendar of events, send a message to the school email address, access qkr and view the school website.
This year teachers will be using tiqbiz to communicate with parents, via the one2one option. If your child's teacher has a message for you, they can quickly send you a message via tiqbiz. If the teacher requires a response from you, you will notice a message box under their message which will enable you to reply instantly.

Alison Lough

House Swimming Carnival 

Grade 3-6 House Swimming Carnival on Friday 12th February at Mentone Grammar Indoor Pool from 11am-2:30pm. 
Students will need to bring:
  • Goggles 
  • Swimming cap / School Hat 
  • sunscreen 
  • 2x towels 
  • lunch 
  • Drink bottle 
  • And MOST importantly their BATHERS!! 
Students are encouraged to wear their House Colours on the day! 
Buses will pick the students up at 10:30am and then return to school by 3pm.

***Any parents able to help out on the day would be amazing. If they could please let Miss L know by Friday that would be greatly appreciated!! Also any parents wanting to compete in a student v teacher/parent race please come see Miss L as well!! 
Thank you
Hope Laycock
P.E Teacher

For those that haven’t been before, the welcome BBQ is held at the start of the school year to welcome the New Year with everyone in the Mentone Park community. It’s a great chance to meet for a chat with new and current families. The children can show you around their school, have a kick of the footy or a play on the equipment.
It is a free event for the whole school, sponsored by the Parents & Friends Association (PFA).

Please come along and join us for this wonderful community event.
From 3:30pm
Can you help?
Are you able to assist with the BBQ?  This activity is a great opportunity for those families that work throughout the day to help out as it’s a later in the day school event. None of the jobs are too big, but as always, many hands make light work!
If you are able to help for approximately half an hour to an hour with set up, BBQ cooking, serving or clean up please contact:
Jodi O’Sullivan by Thursday 4th February 2016
Jodi_burl@icloud.com or 0407651691
Thank you in advance for helping out the children and our school community.
Set up:             1:30 till 2:00pm
BBQ Start Cooking:  2:30pm
Cooking/Serving:    Anytime from 3:30pm
Clean up/Pack up:   From 5:00pm

Piano lessons are available for Grade 2-6 students during school time.
If you are interested, please contact Mrs Jocelyn Millard on 0418 629 586 or 9583 6172.


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.