14 December 2017



Dear Parents,

No doubt many of you will be looking forward to tonight’s Christmas Carols, with special performances from all classes. I have had the pleasure of numerous Middle School rehearsals on the other side of my office wall and I have no doubt I will remember all of the words as the students proudly sing. Students will also present their STOMP performances, which I know they are excited about.
Please arrive any time from 5 pm with a picnic and we will get underway at 5:30pm. I also spoke to Santa on Monday and he will be making a special appearance during the night.
Next week promises to be a combination of fun and exciting events. On Monday afternoon students will visit their new classroom, meet their teacher and discover who they will be sharing their learning journey with for the next 12 months. Student reports will be sent home on Wednesday. Congratulations to all students for their hard work and dedication this year. I have read your reports and it is very clear to see that we are very lucky at Mentone Park to have such diligent, motivated and beautiful students.
Thank you also to the staff who have spent countless hours planning and assessing in preparation for these reports and then committing hours of personal time to writing an individual account of each child’s progress this year. 

As we bring a very eventful and action packed 2017 to a close I would like to acknowledge some of our staff who will be leaving us at the end of the year. There will also be an opportunity to farewell these staff at assembly next week. Some staff are also returning from Family Leave or changing their roles, with some exciting new programs to hit Mentone Park Primary School in 2018.
  • Congratulations to Cameron Riley who will leave us after more than 10 years of commitment to take up a position at Mentone Grammar. Cameron will be returning to the home of his secondary education and whilst he is excited at the opportunity it is mixed with sadness as he has truly loved working with all of our families over such a long period of time. 
  • Best wishes to Mary Sampieri as she embarks on the next chapter of her life. Mary has been a senior school teacher for a number of years as well as a member of our school council.
  • Thank you to Elijah Roberts who will leave us after replacing Hope for Physical Ed this year. Thank you Elijah for not only filling this role but also a number of classroom positions as a casual replacement teacher.
  • In order to provide a variety of specialist programs for our students, Italian classes will be reduced to 30 minute cultural lessons and Performing Arts will be reintroduced to give all students the opportunity to shine across a variety of programs. Sue Beer will continue with Italian and Gillian O’Connor will return to her role in Performing Arts. Combined with PE and Visual Arts this will give the students 3 hours of specialist classes per week.
  • Next year we welcome back new mums Hope Laycock and Maddie Oates, who will return on a part time basis as they balance motherhood, home and school. I know the students will be very excited for these popular staff members to return.  
  • Sarah Ashcroft has been a wonderful addition to our staff this year and has brought a wealth of knowledge to her Education Support role with individual students. Next year she will work in the Foundation classroom providing a number of high quality programs to enhance the learning of all students in that class.
  • Christine Smith, Jo Bon, Sarah Ashcroft and Maddie Oates will work together to provide support to students, initially in the Junior School and then also look to extend their programs into the Middle School. This model, in part, is based on some our professional learnings from the school visits during our last curriculum day.
  • Yesterday we appointed 2 new staff and they will be introduced to the students on Monday. It was a difficult process, with a number of high quality applicants. We are very excited to welcome them to Mentone Park next year.

Our structure for 2018 is as follows

Foundation: Jo-Ann Struthers, Kate Drummond and Sarah Ashcroft

Junior School: Justine Arentz, Monica Smith, new staff member

Middle School: Nick Wilton, Jess McDonald, Nikki McCallum and Jayne O’Neill

Senior School: Alice Windley, Matt Hardie, new staff member

Next Tuesday night we will celebrate our Grade 6 students with their Graduation Ceremony. It promises to be both exciting and sad as we look back through the years. For some families this will be then end of their time here at Mentone Park and they will be recognized next week.

The new air conditioners were installed in the hall yesterday and the contractors will be returning this morning for final electrical work and hand over. OSHClub will be the first to feel the difference, with tomorrow’s assembly then being held in cool and relaxing comfort.

School Council via the Education Subcommittee have ratified the new MPPS Uniform Policy, which has been attached to this newsletter. Thank you to the 100 people who submitted a response to the question of appropriate school shoes, with the overwhelming majority (60%) selecting comfortable runners, allowing the students to be active in the yard and safe from slipping, especially on asphalt.


Don’t forget that school finishes up next Friday December 22 at 1:30pm. There will be a small assembly before students and families embark on their well deserved holiday break.
Whilst I will see many of you tomorrow night I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a relaxing new year. Please enjoy your family time together, stay safe and we look forward to seeing you all again in 2018 for what promises to be another exciting year at Mentone Park Primary School.

Merry Christmas and Best wishes

Cameron Agars


(an excerpt from Children Aren’t Made Of China by Wilson McCaskill) 
Interest - Invest – Identify - Inspired
INTEREST  - We must show and action our deep interest in children.  It is important to be observant of them and to notice their successes, failures, strengths, weaknesses, problems, concerns and improvements.  Being interested in them helps them to be interested in themselves.  Often the hardest thing is to listen.  To listen to more than the things they say, but to the things they don’t say, won’t say, or can’t say.  Make your children your subject of greatest interest.  Be informed about them through all the different stages of their lives.
INVEST – We must invest time in our children.  They mustn’t rule the timetable of our lives and they must learn to wait and be patient.  However, our lives must have sufficient time for them and their needs.  There must be the time to sit with them, either at the table, in the garden, the car, or end of the bed at night and just enjoy their company.  They need to feel that we have the power to stop the world and give them our undivided attention.  Be it to look at a picture they’ve painted, or to listen to a story streaming out of their imagination, or a lengthy explanation of why they think ants would make good pets, giving them the time is giving them the message that they are important to us.
IDENTIFY – We must see things from their point of view.  To empathise and connect with them can be difficult.  Often we are too busy trying to convert and control them and have no time to look at the world through their eyes.   Shifting their perceptions and attitudes is often easier if we can first see why they have them in the first place.  Using, “When I was a kid etc…” as a way of changing their thinking only creates resentment.  They want us to understand what it’s like to be a kid now, in this place, at this school, at this time.  Respect their point of view and work with them to create beneficial changes.
INSPIRED – We must be inspired by them.  Their actions, ideas, outcomes and above all, effort, must inspire us.  Children need to know that their existence and example as children inspire us to be better adults.  This does not mean we need to act out great exuberance and enthusiasm for every thing they try or achieve.  To do so, would only weaken them by removing their self- motivation.  What it means is that we should be on the look out for those things, large or small, that happened because of a special effort, awareness or concern.  Such as getting 4 out of 10 for spelling after trying very hard, or helping a friend who was being teased, or quietly playing when you had a lot on your mind, or winning the race and congratulating those who didn’t etc.  Being inspired by these things is to do more than just mention them to the child.  It’s to convey a sense of pride and to let the child see how your spirits have been elevated.  In other words, for them to see they have helped to make your day.


Presidents report 2017

Following on from the tumultuous 2016 we again entered a period of uncertainty with the principal’s Position not filled and this was felt by the whole school community.

Thankfully in term 2 we officially welcome Cameron Agars to the Role of Principal and with that the unenviable task of bringing the school and community back together, a role that I know he is relishing in and we hope to see some big things for MPPS in the coming years – no Pressure here Cameron.

We also welcomed a new Business Manager Patti Lombard. Who I know Is enjoying her time here.
Major Fundraising for the year being the Fete, months of organising by the 3 members of the committee and Alison, who took a dog bite for the School. whilst numbers were down due to conflicting fetes in the area it was still a great success and raised over $18000 in profit.

The Hair-raising Royal Children’s hospital crazy hair day was a fantastic event, supported by the community and staff of MPPS.

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. Your support never waivered and our children are the better for it.

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, Trivia Night ,Assisting with Prep Transitions, Italian Day, Book Fair, just to name a few. 

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.
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.  A very special mention to Frank who has done an amazing job this year in keeping the grounds in ship shape order.

To all students who have represented MPPS in any extra-curricular activities including Junior Mayor Representative, 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.  A special Mention to outgoing Treasurer and last year’s President Fiona Longmuir we thank you for your involvement with the school and the selection panel for Principal.  Timing is everything as they say. No wonder you took a terms off to travel. We wish you and your family all the best for the future,

It’s a thankless job to volunteer, but without the families of MPPS doing such a great job we wouldn’t be in the position we are today.
To everyone who assisted with any activity throughout the year at the school we thank you, it’s for the children  and there ongoing development and education at MPPS that we do it for.

Mentone Park has always been known as the Hidden Gem, it might be slightly tarnished at the moment but I am sure with a steady Leadership Team of Cameron, Alison and Leading teachers as well as a committed School council and community will turn into a sparkling Gem and be the envy of other schools locally.

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 2018.

Best Regards

Andrew Davis
School Council President MPPS 2017


Dear Parents,

Thank you to the families who have returned their payment summary sheets for 2018.
The information on these sheets, confirms your child's order for stationery and supports our planning for 2018.

If you have chosen Option A for payment, could you please organise payment as soon as possible.
If you have not returned your form, please do so as soon as possible, final return date is Monday December 18th.

Please contact the office if you have any questions regarding your payments.

We have a large amount of lost property at the moment including lunch containers, drink bottles, jackets and jumpers. Please check the classroom next to Performing Arts for any lost property.

Thank you,

Patti, Jane and Trish
Administration Team


This week the theme is Summer, with the student's focusing on anything related. From Cricket to Sun painting and Summer Posters to Icy poles for afternoon snack.
On Wednesday December 13th air conditioning was installed in the school hall.

Next Week (18th Dec – 22nd Dec )

Our final week of the school year is all about the Summer Holidays and Christmas time. With the group being involved in various Christmas arts and craft activities.

Friday December 22nd OSHClub runs from 1.00pm to facilitate the 1.30pm school finish time.

Finally, a reminder to book online for the Holiday Program beginning January 8th and ending January 30th.

David Quinn
OSHClub Co-ordinator


This is the last week for school banking.

Thank you to Huia Ginty for volunteering her time this year as our School Banking


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.


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.