23 November 2016

Newsletter 20/2016



Morning Tea with the Principal

Over these last two weeks I have enjoyed the pleasure of the company of:

  • Bonnie PS;  Genevieve PS;  Olivia 4H;  Clemence 5/6R;  Bill 5/6S
  • Hunter PS; Cullen PS;  Madi PS;  Gabby 10;  Lilliana 3G;  Drew 4H;  Edward 4W; Camryn 5/6R;  Sascha 5/6S


Thank you very much to all of our parents and community members for coming along to our Olympic-A-Thon last week. We were very lucky indeed with the beautiful weather on the day! I certainly enjoyed walking around the track a number of times and even went for a brief jog too with the assistance of Hunter in Prep S challenging and encouraging me! It was fabulous to see all of our students active and ‘on-the-move’ the whole time! What great attitudes to keep going! Well done everyone! So far we have raised a little over $3 000!

2017 Prep Tabloid Sports

We had a very exciting mid morning yesterday when our 2017 prep students joined us in a tabloid sports session with this year’s preps, a number of grade 5 helpers, and quite a number of new and current parents as well. A very special thank you to our current parents for arranging tea and coffee and morning tea, as well as the sausage sizzle! Thank you! Could not have done it without you!

2017 Curriculum Days

I noticed that on our Closed Facebook page there have been a few clarifying questions about our planned curriculum days for 2017 that were mentioned in our previous newsletter. I thought I would just publish the dates again with a little more clarifying information.

  • Curriculum Days 1 & 2 – Monday 30th January & Tuesday 31st January.
  • Students Grades 1 – 6 begin Wednesday 1st February. 2017 Preps begin Thursday 2nd February.
  • Curriculum Day 3 – Wednesday 8th March
  • Curriculum Day 4 – Tuesday 1st August


Student Reports

Our end of year student reports will be handed out to students on Friday 16th December. Any reports not collected by the end of term will be posted home to families.

Please also note a slight change to reporting in the Arts. In previous reports Art (Visual Art) and Performing Arts student achievement have been reported on using a ‘merged’ progression point (eg. Teachers give students a progression achievement for each and the system ‘merges’ these to make one achievement such as 2.0). The end of year student reports will see students assessed individually for EACH of these curriculum Arts areas.  Therefore your child’s report will reflect an achievement for Art, and also an achievement for Performing Arts.

We believe that separate achievement levels for each of these Arts areas allows for our school to more accurately reflect students as individuals. This may result in an adjustment to some student’s achievement levels in Art or Performing Arts – if you have any questions in regards to your child’s Arts achievements, or on receiving your child’s school report, please do not hesitate in contacting either Amy Cheers or Danielle Searles who will be able to discuss your child’s individual achievements in these areas with you. If you have any general questions at all please do not hesitate in contacting me through the office.

Last Week’s Disco

What a fabulous night our MPPS disco was! There was a lot of boogying, jumping, singing, and lots and lots of smiles and laughs! A really big thank you to people who helped make the night a huge success for both discos – Mr Hardie for his wonderful DJ work; our amazing PFA’s organisation and behind the scenes work to ensure the sessions ran smoothly – the glow sticks were a huge success! Also to our parent class reps for your assistance throughout the sessions and in set up and clean up. It was a terrific night thanks to everyone! I am very sure our students all went home buzzing with excitement and with lots of fabulous memories!



Chook Update

We have a chook update on blogger under Mentone Park Hatching Hub – Newsletter 2!

2017 Class Structures

Next year we will have 12 classes. Our 2017 class structures will be as below:

  • Prep x 1
  • Prep and Grade 1 composite class x 1
  • Grade 1 and Grade 2 composite class x 3
  • Grade 3 and Grade 4 composite class x 4
  • Grade 5 and Grade 6 composite class - 3

We will also have 4 specialist classes. These will be:

  • Art
  • PE
  • Italian
  • Performing Arts

As a school we are committed to providing the very best education for all of our students emotionally, socially and academically – supporting the ‘whole child’, and have made a very-well considered educational decision to have composite classes at MPPS next year.

Our teachers are very excited to be working in highly effective collegiate professional teaching teams next year – with our P – 2 classes being a united junior school next year, our 3/4 classes working collaboratively within our new open learning classroom space as a 3/4 community (very exciting indeed!), and our 5/6 team continuing their work as a highly effective senior school community.

We know as teachers that ‘there is no such thing as a straight grade’ – this means that even when we have a ‘straight Grade One class’ for example, all of the students within that Grade One class are different socially, emotionally and academically. The range that teachers plan for and cater for is as broad as it is within a composite class – academically, research tells us that there are no discernible differences between composite and straight grade classrooms in terms of academic performance.

There are many benefits of composite classes including younger children within a composite grade generally aspire to emulate older children in their work, and older children enjoy leadership and mentoring opportunities that lift their self-esteem. Composite classrooms also offer a wider range of friendship opportunities and encourage multi-age co-operation and tolerance; therefore benefiting students both socially and emotionally.

One of the things that will not change next year is the quality of our teachers here at MPPS – we have amazing teachers who work hard at knowing all of their students’ strengths and areas to build, socially, emotionally and academically. Our teachers work in collegiate professional teams, and work together tirelessly, providing the best possible learning opportunities and high quality effective teaching they can for all of our students to achieve to their fullest potential, and look forward to continuing this in 2017!

 Parent question and answer session

I would like to offer parents the opportunity for a question and answer session on the topic of composite classes: Thursday 1st December 9am – 10am.  Please RSVP via the Tiqbiz notification titled Intended Attendance for Parent Q & A session regarding Composite Classes

to notify of your intended attendance so we may cater for numbers. Thank you.

Carols Night

Our annual Christmas Carols night is just around the corner – Friday 2nd December, starting at 6pm. We are really excited to be performing our class STOMP dance routines we have been learning over

the last few weeks, as well as a level Christmas carol. So keep the date and time free! Bring along your family members, nibbles, picnic blankets and we look forward to seeing all of our community join us for a very special night.

 Please note – strictly NO alcohol, as per School Council policy where students are present for events, thank you very much in advance.


Sun Smart Policy update

As mentioned in our previous newsletter our Education Sub Committee and School Council have been reviewing some MPPS policies.  One of these policies has been our Sun Smart Policy, triggered from a parent question wondering if our Sun Smart Policy approved students wearing sunglasses.

Please see the following as our up to date Sun Smart Policy – approved recently by School Council.



This Sun Smart policy provides guidelines to:

  • Ensure all students and staff have some UV exposure for vitamin D.
  • Ensure all students and staff are well protected from too much UV exposure by using a combination of sun protection measures during the daily local sun protection times (issued whenever UV levels are 3 and above from Sept to April).
  • Ensure the outdoor environment is sun safe and provides shade for students and staff.
  • Ensure students are encouraged and supported to develop independent sun protection skills to help them be responsible for their own sun protection.
  • Support appropriate OHS strategies to minimise UV risk and associated harms for staff and visitors.


Background Information: a balance of ultraviolet radiation (UV) exposure is important for health. Too much if the sun’s UV can cause sunburn, skin and eye damage and skin cancer. Exposure to the sun’s UV during childhood and adolescence is associated with an increased risk of skin cancer later in life. Too little UV from the sun can lead to low vitamin D levels. Vitamin D is essential for healthy bones and muscles and for general health.

We have adapted the Mentone Park PS Sun Smart Policy from the Sun Smart Cancer Council VicHealth policy (April 2016).


  • To ensure that all students and staff maintain a healthy UV exposure and protection balance.
  • Encourage students and staff to use a combination of sun protection measures whenever UV Index levels reach 3 and above (September to April).
  • To educate students as to suitable sun smart protection strategies.

  • Anti-Cancer Council approved close-weave broad brimmed hats (at least 6cm rigid brim) are a compulsory part of school uniform and our Student Dress Code.
  • School hats will be worn at all times for outdoor activities, including excursions, during Term 1 and Term 4, and when UV rating is 3 or higher from September to April.
  • Staff will act as role models by also wearing broad brimmed hats when outside.
  • Students without broad brimmed hats will be restricted to play in designated shade areas.
  • Whenever possible, outside activities on hot days should be scheduled before 11:00am.
  • The school newsletter and school assemblies will be used to highlight and reinforce the school’s Sun Smart Policy.
  • Sun Smart activities will from part of the Health and Physical Education program at all year levels.
  • To protect eyes from UV radiation, our school recommends and supports students wearing sunglasses that are close-fitting, wrap-around and cover as much of the eye area as possible, meet Australian Standard AS 1067:2003 for sunglasses (lens categories 2, 3 or 4), marked eye protection factor (EPF) 9 or 10 or labelled UV 400.
  • Students are encouraged to come to school wearing water resistant sunscreen during Term 1 and Term 4.
  • The school will supply water resistant sunscreen SPF 30 or higher broad spectrum for staff and student use.
  • Students and staff will be encouraged to apply sunscreen before going outdoors.
  • Where a student has an allergy to the school supplied sunscreen, parents should contact the school and make arrangements to supply their own sun screen for their child’s personal use. This sunscreen cannot be brought into the school without a Material Data Sheet as a part of the school’s OHS chemical compliance.
  • A school approved plan will be implemented when the UV rays or temperatures are extreme.

Please note our school will be supplying sunscreen from Monday.

Thank you


Renee Kennedy
Acting Principal 


Child Safety Standards

Mentone Park Primary School is a child safe environment whereby all members of our community, whether staff, volunteers or contract workers are compliant with the Child Safety Standards - compulsory minimum standards for all Victorian schools, to ensure they are well prepared to protect children from abuse and neglect.

PaThe Victorian Government is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children and young people. As part of the Victorian Government’s commitment to implementing the recommendations of the Betrayal of Trust report, there is a new regulatory landscape surrounding child safety, underpinned by new Child Safety Standards.

To create and maintain a child safe organisation, the following Child Safety Standards apply:

1.       strategies to embed an organisational culture of child safety, including through effective leadership arrangements

2.       a child safe policy or statement of commitment to child safety

3.       a code of conduct that establishes clear expectations for appropriate behaviour with children

4.       screening, supervision, training and other human resources practices that reduce the risk of child abuse by new and existing personnel

5.       processes for responding to and reporting suspected child abuse

6.       strategies to identify and reduce or remove risks of child abuse

7.       strategies to promote the participation and empowerment of children.

Ministerial Order No. 870, which operationalises the Child Safety Standards in all Victorian schools, came into operation on the 1st August this year. The purpose of the Child Safety Standards is not to impose an undue burden on organisations or regulators, and the initial focus of the Government will be on building the capacity of organisations, rather than on regulation and compliance.

MPPS have revised some of its policies and procedures to ensure we are a 100% child safe organisation. These policies and compliance statements can be viewed by clicking on the links below. To read more about the Child Safety Standards, please visit the following web addresses.

Link to DET website – ‘Child Safety Standards’                                

Mentone Park Primary School Child Safety Compliance Documents:
1. Child Safety and Effective Leadership

2. Child Safety Statement and Policy

3. Child Safety Code of Conduct

Working Bee!

Your final opportunity to assist at one of our fun-filled (and dirt-filled!) working bees for the year is upon us! Friday the 25th November a Twilight Working Bee will be held. Volunteers who can make it on this afternoon/evening are invited to attend any time from 3.45pm to 7pm. A Sausage Sizzle with Can of Drink will be supplied for all who attend at the conclusion of the working bee. 

We will be cleaning up the school grounds ready for our Carols Night the following week! If you can make it on this night, for catering purposes, please Tiqbiz or email your intention to be there! 

Alison Lough

Assistant Principal

Prep 2017 Transition – Tabloid Fun and Games

What a fantastic turn out for our Tabloid Fun and Games yesterday! Unfortunately the potential wet weather forced us to set up inside but this did not impede the fun that was had by all. Judging by the happy faces and laughter the kinder children, current prep students and next year’s buddies enjoyed the activities and each other’s company.

A HUGE thank you to the wonderful parents who cooked and served sausages and icy poles to ALL the hungry children. Thank you also for serving tea and coffee in the Kids Café to the parents waiting for their children to complete the activities. So very much appreciated.
Thank you to all the staff who helped the session ran smoothly – helping at the activities, setting up, switching planning times and even giving up their rooms.
Congratulations and thank you to the grade 5 students! What a brilliant job they did helping, supporting and encouraging the kinder children throughout the activities. You will be wonderful school leaders next year.

Jo-Ann Struthers
Prep Transition


Congratulations everyone on another enjoyable Walkathon.
We have raised nearly $3,000 so far, well done!
Please send all sponsorship money and forms to school by Friday 25th November. Payment can also be made via Qkr under School Payments - 2016 School Contributions. Please include Olympic A-Thon in the notes section.

Thank you

Noela Unwin



We are looking for parents with a current Working With Children Check to assist at our House Sports Day and in Kids Cafe on Friday 9th December.

Please click here to volunteer

Please specify HOUSE SPORTS DAY and nominate either Kids Café or Event and Time AM / PM.


Year 5 & 6 Sports Tops are now available in store Retail Price $44.95


Dear Parents,
Below is the class roster for the rest of the school year. Please click here to volunteer for any of the dates below.

The Kids’ Cafe Team

Term 4

November 25th all grades 2 & 3
December 2nd all Grades 4, 5 & 6
9th cleaning - all welcome

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.