15 December 2016


Final Newsletter

of the Year

End of Year

It is so hard to believe that we are here at the end of the school year! What a fast pace these last 6 months have been!

We had a fabulous Classroom Helper ‘thank you’ morning tea this week on Tuesday, it was terrific to see quite a number of our parent, grandparent and community helpers here for us as a staff to show our gratitude by supplying a special morning tea.

Final Staffing Note

This week a 2017 staffing notice came home with students. Missing on the note was mention of Amy Cheers who has been our amazing Performing Arts teacher this year. Next year Amy will be returning to her ‘base school’. We wish Amy and all of our teachers moving on all the very best!

2017 Timetable

In order to maximise prime learning time where children’s minds are at their freshest, we have extended the two morning sessions next year to enable two solid 2 hour blocks before lunch. This also allows for independent ‘mini breaks’ half way through each learning session where children can access fresh fruit or vegetables and water to fuel their minds and encourage healthy snacking.

Next year’s timetable will run to these times:

Doors Open 8.50am

Morning Session 9 – 11am (with healthy snack at 10am)

Recess 11 – 11.30am

Middle Session 11.30am – 1.30pm (with healthy snack at 12.30pm)

Lunch 1.30 – 2.30pm

Home time dismissal 3.30pm

We believe that these longer sessions for learning and the more regular opportunities for healthy snacking throughout the day will maximise opportunities to increase student outcomes. Quite often students are tired in the afternoon, making this a not so effective prime learning time zone. The change in timetable allows for teachers to maximise optimal learning and teaching time, and results in a reduction in time spent working after lunch when students can have less focus and concentration.


I would like to let community know that I will not be returning to MPPS Term 1 next year.
One of the most special things that I noticed about Mentone Park Primary School when I arrived was how active, supportive and engaged our parent and surrounding community was with the school – it is certainly what gives Mentone Park PS that ‘magic’ feeling when you walk in the door!
Thank you very much to everyone for your warm welcome of me into your school 6 months ago. I have enjoyed getting to know so many of you over this time and working alongside you - either on working bees, through PFA, on school council, through the Kids’ Café, during production, planning grade 6 graduation, or just as I have walked in and out of classrooms or been outside on yard duty – it has been a pleasure and an opportunity that I have thoroughly enjoyed! I certainly take with me warm memories of all the gorgeous children here at MPPS and the support of an amazing community. Thank you!
Happy Holidays!
I would like to wish everyone a very special Christmas and happy holiday period! Relax and enjoy time with your family and friends! Take care of each other, laugh, love and rest up. I am sure 2017 will bring a lot more exciting times for Mentone Park PS!

Warm regards

Renée Kennedy


Dear School Community,

Well we’ve made it to the end of the year and what a year it has been! We’ve had so many amazing things achieved throughout the year and this is all thanks to the fantastic community that we are a part of. We’ve had a few challenges too but with positivity, resilience and keeping the best interests of the students at heart we have learnt a lot and worked through them. School Council is looking forward to working closely with our families to achieve even more in 2017.

Here is a wrap up of some things from our final meeting for the year:

Kinder relocation
As we have advised the community already, we were advised that the grant for the relocation of Acacia Avenue Kindergarten onto the school site was successful. This will be a $2million dollar project and the hope is that it will be completed for the start of the 2019 school year.

We had two representatives from Kingston Council attend our meeting and it was a fantastic opportunity to discuss the project with them. We reflected on the challenges that have occurred with communication and consulting our school community so far and have developed some clear strategies to ensure that our families at school are consulted on all future aspects. This will include the establishment of a working party and a clear timeline of activities. We will make more information about this available in early 2017.

Building works update
The building works are very close to completed. The old toilets will be removed over the holidays. School council approved a budget for the furnishing of the classrooms. This new learning space should be amazing and ready for use on day one next year!

Communication – specifically the closed facebook page.
We again reflected on our strategies for communicating with families and agreed that we have learnt a lot over the year! We are generally pleased that initiatives such as the closed facebook page are enabling positive and useful interactions between community members. We will be trying to keep this closed facebook page focused on positive and supportive posts.

We remind everyone that although it is closed, it is a public forum and that upholding the school values and reputation needs to be a priority. If you are considering a post, please reflect on this first and if in doubt contact the school or anyone on School Council to make sure you have all the information. Recent experience has shown that an actual conversation can make a world of difference to a perspective on a situation!

Also, please remember that this page is not the ‘official’ communication page. It is important to read newsletters, tiqbiz messages etc. to ensure that you are getting all the information. In a complex organisation such as a school it is a big challenge to communicate effectively all the time but we know that everyone has the best intentions. If we all make an effort to be positive and cooperate we will achieve the best results!

Ministers visit and possible outcomes
As Renee has reported already, the Minister for Education visited our school and was extremely impressed by our students and our programs. Our local member Tim Richardson is still working with us to lobby for funding for some future building works and we will continue to focus on this in the new year.

2017 Budgeting
The staff have worked very hard to plan for next year and School Council approved the indicative budgets for 2017. An exciting part of this is that there is a significant commitment to ICT (computers and communication infrastructure). As I have reported before this is an area that needs attention. We are hopeful also that the changes in the parent fee structures for 2017 will see the contributions for ICT greatly improved from this year.

Other bits and pieces
  • Thanks to the community for a great working bee and a fantastic Carols night.
  • Alcohol Policy was approved. This is available on request.
  • Tree works are completed
  • Fencing around the container to be erected any day now
  • Security cameras will be installed hopefully over the holidays

Principal Selection update

School Council was very pleased to have the Extraordinary meeting straight after the usual meeting that enables us to start the Principal Selection process. We were briefed on the process and started discussion of the panel composition.  If you would like more information about the process please talk to a school councillor or have a look at this link: http://www.education.vic.gov.au/hrweb/Documents/Prin_selection_policy.pdf

Grade 6 Graduation
I am really looking forward to attending the Grade 6 Graduation tonight. Congratulations to all the amazing students who are looking to an exciting future as they enter high school. I want to remind them all that they are the pride of Mentone Park Primary School! I hope they take all the curiosity, the passion and the personal attributes that have been nurtured during their time at MPPS into a future where they dream big, work hard and move mountains!

To the families that are saying goodbye to Mentone Park along with their grade six students, or others that are moving along, thank you for your contributions and support over the years and entrusting our school with your beautiful children.

End of year greetings!
Firstly, I would like to thank the school councillors for all that they have contributed this year.

I want to acknowledge and thank Renee Kennedy for her time at Mentone Park Primary School. As we all know, she contributed a great deal to our great school in her short time. We will miss her assembly jokes and her smile! I wish her all the very best for 2017 and beyond.
To everyone else: students, parents and staff, congratulations on all that has been achieved in 2016! We look forward to an amazing 2017 and wish you all a safe, fun and relaxing break and a very Merry Christmas!

Warmest wishes,

Fiona Longmuir

7 December 2016

Newsletter 21/2016


Morning Tea with the Principal
I have enjoyed the pleasure of the company of:
  • Josh PB;  Jack 1A;  Jake PS;  Dillon 5/6S;  Yaz 5/6R; Taite 5/6L
Last Day of Term – Tuesday 20th December

Please note the last day of term is Tuesday 20th December – finish time is 1.30pm.

Carols Night
What a fabulous night our annual Christmas Carols night was! We had so many of our parents

and family members able to attend at such as busy time of the year. Thank you to everyone for coming out and sharing the night with us. We were certainly very lucky with our gorgeous weather for the evening too!
A very big thank you to some special people who made the night such a success:
  • Dave Russell for supplying the sound system and sound engineering for the evening
  • DJ/MC Matt Hardie for his terrific ‘MCing’ for the evening
  • STOMP Dance for their hard work over the last couple of weeks building our students’ dance routines for the night
  • Our committed staff for their hard work over recent weeks preparing our students for their amazing performances and behind the scenes organisation that ensured the night went off without a hitch
  • And of course Santa, for his kind visit to Mentone Park PS! We were one lucky school! 

Minister’s Visit to Mentone Park PS

We were very fortunate last week for the Education Minister, Mr James Merlino, to visit Mentone Park Primary School, and Mr Tim Richardson, our local MP.
The Minister’s tour of our school started with our four school captain student leaders greeting the Minister. The Minister toured our school – through our new 3/4 open learning area and into the new student toilet block area,  then enjoyed a preview of our 5/6 students performing their Christmas Carol Night STOMP dance routine in the hall; he enjoyed a brief tour of our school grounds, travelling into our Kids’ Café area, then through our junior school area and into our Prep classrooms where both Prep grades combined together to sing two songs for the Minister, one being Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, which the Minister and Tim Richardson both found delightful!

It was a wonderful opportunity for the Minister to learn about Mentone Park PS. Our four student leaders conducted the entire tour, sharing and showcasing all of the amazing things about our school.

Our four school captain leaders, Daisy, George, Julian and Clemence were absolutely amazing! With the Education Minister finishing his tour by letting our leaders know their tour was the best tour of a school he has participated in! Can I say that I was not surprised!
Our entire school should be proud – we had students and staff involved in a big tidy and clean up; and all classes were working so hard as we walked around. I was very proud of everyone and I know the Education Minister and Tim Richardson would have walked around very impressed by our hard working and committed school!

It’s a Girl!

We are thrilled for Mrs Jo Bon and husband Ray who welcomed the arrival of their daughter Poppy Ann Bon into their family. Both baby and mum are doing really well!
‘Up Day’ – Intra-school Transition
On Tuesday this week we had our first Up Day – Intra-school Transition session, with all of our students participating in fun, getting to know you activities within next year’s year levels. Our Grade 6 students all participated in a State wide Year 6 – 7 Orientation Day as well. We certainly heard lots of excited stories on Wednesday from all of our Year 6 students about what they are looking forward to doing next year in secondary school.
Next week, Tuesday 13th December, all students will participate in Up Day activities within their 2017 classes and with their 2017 teacher (where possible). At the end of this day students will bring home a note outlining our staffing for 2017. 

Building Works Update

 All of our building works are very nearly completed. The end of this week will see only a few parts of the works be finalised. Very exciting indeed! When we hear we have final building clearance, we would love to open opportunities for our parent and family community to come in for a tour – we are hoping that clearance will occur before the end of this year, if not, we will certainly provide this opportunity at the start of next year!
Please note that our old student toilet block will be demolished this Christmas holiday period and will hopefully be completed by time we arrive back at school for Term One.
Grade 6 Graduation Evening

We are gearing up for a very special annual event – our Grade 6 Graduation. Grade 6 parent graduation group have been busy raising funds and pre-graduation organisation. Teachers have been planning the very special ceremony. We’re all really looking forward to this event next week, Thursday 15th December.
Student Reports
Just a reminder that 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.
I also thought I would just add the below again from our previous newsletter to ensure parents are informed of the slight change in our student Arts achievement for end of year:
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.
Parent Helper Morning Tea

Parent Helper Morning Tea is next Tuesday 13th December 10.40am  in the hall, provided by our wonderful staff. Invitations have gone home with children this week and we hope to see you there! Please RSVP by Friday to assist with catering.
Final Newsletter
 This is the final full newsletter for the year. There will be no Level newsletters next week.
Next Friday there will be a short one page final newsletter of the year before holiday time! I am finding this really hard to believe that the end of the year is so close!
Final Assembly
 Our final assembly is Friday 16th December at 2.45pm. We will try to be outside, hot and cold weather permitting!



Renee Kennedy
Acting Principal 


Satellite Club

Did you hear the buzz of excitement and anticipation last Friday coming from assembly?  Were you one of the many attendees who witnessed the product of weeks of work and creative thinking?

What was the source of this?  Our creative thinkers from the Satellite Club were presenting their new business proposals to the school community at assembly. 

Students had to analyse where a perceived gap in the market was that their business could fill.  For this project they wrote a business proposal which included: an explanation of the purpose of their business, the target audience, marketing strategies, use of technology and income/ finance streams.

Businesses included: Feet in Motion, 30C, Healthy Choice, Bakery Bliss, Home Sweet Home, Webtech, Universal Costumes, RAD, Two Dollar Truck and Raising Money to help Tasmanian Devils. 

Film clips, tasty food samples, quizzes, audience participation, costumes, Power Point presentations and the power of oral presentations were effectively used to engage the audience.

Students were encouraged to: be creative, incorporate technology, create non- traditional businesses, support members of the community and be philanthropic with their profits.

Through their involvement in this program our 23 students from Grades 3-6 were fortunate to work in partnership with Vikki Morris, the Regional Manager of Cisco Systems, our ICT in School’s partner.

To quote one of the presentations- Welcome to Satellite Club where hard thinking turns into fun!


Here at MPPS we are:
  • fostering curiosity and igniting a passion for learning
  • preparing our students for their future as global citizens

Friendship Tree

A recent tradition at MPPS has been for our graduating grade 6 students to present the school with a gift as a 'thank you' for the role it has played in shaping their futures.

Our 2015 graduates decided on a circular seat around a tree in the playground which would be known as the Friendship Tree.

Last weekend the seat was installed in the playground and has already proved to be a great meeting place for students.

Thanks to the students and parents who organised this.

It has been great having the opportunity to work and meet the parents in so many contexts across the past two weeks.

Thank you all for your continued support and involvement in our school. That's what makes our school so great!

Sue Grisdale

Acting Assistant Principal



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


Dear Parents,

Don't forget that Kids' Café is not open for lunches tomorrow.

We have been running down stock to try and make sure that the fridges and freezers are empty over the holidays so don't be disappointed if your favourite thing isn't on the menu, this might be a good opportunity to try something different!

This Friday 9th December is a cleaning day so please feel free to drop in and lend a hand. We will also be selling drinks and frozen items at lunch as it is the school sports day.

I would also like to say a HUGE THANK YOU to the very dedicated team of volunteers that we have had this year in the Kids' Cafe. It's hard work sending out 200 lunch orders every week but we always get there and even have a few laughs along the way! You're an amazing bunch of people!

Have a happy and safe summer holidays.


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.