Newsletter - 18 February 2021

Issue 3


Principal's Report

Today’s newsletter may be a little briefer this week, as with the sudden return to remote learning we thought it best to delay our online assembly and the awarding of Pupil of the Week awards.  The POTW for week 3 will now be presented via our video assembly next Monday.

Appreciations … this week for the manner in which families quickly swung back to support their children’s learning at home with the sudden return to a remote learning situation.  We know for both kids and us grown-ups there may have been some heightened anxiety.  We are of course hopeful that with a swift to return to learning at school, we achieve the level of equilibrium so far evident this term.

Bridging the Digital Divide -  An article in page 6 of today’s newsletter by Leading Teacher, Anne Reciszen, describes how we have put this recently mandated (and grandly titled) Department of Education policy to provide internet enabled devices for all students.

A big appreciation to Anne and Ed Support staff member, Russell Newman for their terrific organisation and expeditious rollout of this project.

A reminder … is included in today’s newsletter about the importance of ensuring asthma, allergy and anaphylaxis plans are current.  Please contact nurse Zowi after 10 am Mon to Fri if this is relevant for your family and you have any concerns with meeting this mandated requirement in a timely manner.

Meet the Teacher – We were keen to maintain what plans we could, as we quickly decided on what our priorities would be, in preparing for a sudden return to remote learning.  I know that there were hundreds of WebEx meetings held on Monday and Wednesday and where there has been a tech or memory glitch there will be repeated efforts to ensure these discussions are held at this early stage of the school year.

An important letter for the Preps will be sent home today – While we are hopeful that we will not return to lockdown, we do need to ensure that our Prep students have access to online classrooms if the need arises. Today, Prep students will receive their unique Google Drive login details, along with some instructions about how to access their online classrooms. We ask parents and carers to log on and leave a comment for the teacher, so that we know that you have been able to access our online platform. Should you not receive this information in your child’s school bag, or have difficulties with logging into the online classroom, please speak to your child’s teacher.

Wallaby Building project – As so often seems to be the case, delays in a complex repair project seem inevitable. Stage 1 – set up and decanting of Wallaby inhabitants into the temporary oval buildings, has been set back by a number of factors, the most recent and obvious being the sudden return to lockdown and a ban on most government building projects from Saturday to Wednesday.  Our most recent advice informs us that we are due to move classes into these classrooms on the week starting 15th March – I know, three weeks later than we were expecting.  Administration is due to move a week later.  While we do not have significant influence over delays, we will continue to insist that our temporary spaces are suitable and functional for students and staff.  In the meantime, we are able to continue learn and work in suitable conditions.

Cross Country Trials at Shorten Reserve – The annual Cross Country Trials will be held tomorrow at Shorten Reserve from 9.00 to 10.40 am.  It is expected that all students in grade 5 and 6 children will participate unless they have injury or are ill. Children in grade 4 are invited to attend if they choose to do so.   For qualifiers, the District Carnival is scheduled for Friday 5th March at Hansen Reserve.  More details are included on page 8.

School Council 2021
Thank you to returning and new nominees for our 2021 School Council.  Our outgoing crew will meet on Monday 1st March and the new Council will meet for the first time on Monday 29th March.   Council meets (in recent times via WebEx) 8 times annually.  In addition, it is regular practice for our sub committes (currently Finance, Facilities, Communications and Policy and Planning) to meet prior to each School Council Meeting, with an expectation that each member actively contributes to at least one sub committee.  At time of writing we are still short of 2 full term vacancies (2 years) and one half term vacancy (1 year).  Pleaes drop me a line if you would like to consider playing your part. 

Assembly - Our captains will be presented with their badges in our video/WebEx assembly on Monday.

Look after ourselves, and look out for others,


Coming Events



Fri Feb 19

Cross Country Trials. Shorten Reserve
Grade 4 - 6 9.30 - 11.30
Mon Feb 22

School Photo Day - 3, 4, 5 & 6 and Family Photos
Mon March 1

School Council Meeting #1 (Outgoing Council)

Mon March 1 to
Friday March 5

Prep Open Sessions - Rescheduled.  Booking information to be provided shortly. 

Mon March 1 to
Fri March 9

Grade 1 / 2 Swimming Program
9.10 – 11.30 am

Wed Mar 3

2021 Western Region Primary Schools Volleyball Championships Grade 5/6
9.30 to 2.30
Wed Mar 3 &
Thur Mar 4
Grade 3/4 excursion to ACMI 
Fri Mar 5

District Cross Country. Hansen Reserve
Grade 4 - 6 9.30 - 12.30
Mon Mar 8

Labour Day Public Holiday
Fri Mar 12

Kanga Cricket Gala Day. Hansen Reserve Grade 5/6 9.30 - 1.30
Wed Mar 17 &
Thur Mar 18
Grade 1 / 2 Artist drawing incursion 
Fri Mar 19

Grade 6 Social 13:50-15:30
Mon Mar 29First Meeting for New School Council members
Thur Apr 1

Mon Apr 19

First day of Term 2

Physical Education and Sport Update

At FWPS we have access to a purpose built gymnasium, local ovals and reserves, outdoor courts and a Prep artificial grass area. Throughout the year, the Physical Education Program utilises these spaces to enhance student physical competencies. As well as offering weekly PE classes for all students, a Sports Program is provided for students in the senior school, which includes Interschool Sport (grade 6), Intra school sport (grade 5) and modified games. During the year Swimming, Cross Country and Athletics trials are conducted for children in Grade 4, 5 & 6, with selected students representing the school in District Carnivals. The school offers a two week Intensive Swimming program at Maribyrnong Aquatic Centre for children in grade Prep to Four. Students also have opportunities throughout the year to gain expertise from specialised sports clinics through the Sporting Schools Program facilitated by various sports associations and supported by classroom teachers. Unfortunately 2020 did not allow us to implement all of the programs as outlined due to Covid19. We hope that in 2021 all students can have access to all scheduled activities as outlined.

Our Physical Education Program

The Physical Education and Sport Education Programs at FWPS provide students with a variety of interesting and challenging experiences. All of these programs incorporate aspects of the Fundamental Motor Skills, which consist of running, kicking, dodging, leaping, throwing, catching, bouncing and hitting. All children from Prep to Grade Six will be involved in activities that encourage the development of fitness, skill proficiency, safety and teamwork.

Physical Education Term 1

  • PREPS will be involved in learning safety rules and routines, as well as the fundamental skills of throwing, catching, dodging and weaving. They will learn that the whistle means ‘STOP’ and ‘GO’ and they will learn how to move systematically between activity stations. Preps will be introduced to turn taking and equipment sharing through participation in simple drills and games. The Community Circle will be introduced for students to reflect on their learning.
  • Junior School 1/2 will be working on the Fundamental Motor Skills of the over and under arm throw using equipment of different size and shape, as well as the ability to dodge and weave. This will be followed by a FMS review through a series of seven rotation activities incorporating throwing, catching, striking, bouncing and dribbling to ascertain their development at this early stage in the year. Intensive Swimming will be conducted during term 1.
  • Middle School 3/4 will be working on the Fundamental Motor Skills of the over and under arm throw using equipment of different size and shape and through a series of minor group games and challenges. They will be developing their fitness through a variety of 14 strength and endurance activities from week six to eight. Each activity is completed twice for one minute and rest for one minute with an increase of 10 seconds in time for each subsequent week. This will also include the Beep test and other strength speed and endurance assessments at the end of the three week cycle.
  • Senior School 5/6 will be working on the Fundamental Motor Skills of the over and under arm throw using equipment of different size and shape and through a series of minor group games and individual challenges. They will be evaluating their fitness levels through the 14 station endurance training program to increase their aerobic capacity and strength. As with the 3/4 students, they will rest for the same duration as they work through the program. With each ensuing week the activity period will increase by 15 seconds culminating in 90 seconds of activity per session by week three. They will also be participating in the Beep test, and other strength, speed and endurance assessments in term 1.
As with all our programs the Tribes agreements and Classroom Instruction that Works are a valued part of Physical Education at Footscray West Primary School.

Music Update

Welcome back to music in 2021! We’re in a new space but will continue belting out the tunes FWPS students know and love!

What’s happening in music this term?

Prep - Preps are having music lessons in their classrooms. We are already having lots of fun and laughter in our music sessions. One of our main focus points is to learn the names of, and how to play, hand percussion instruments. We are applying these to some known songs, and others where you have to play a certain number of times on the beat. It takes great attentive listening and prediction. We are also performing action songs that reinforce musical concepts of sound and silence, fast and slow (tempo) and dynamic (loud and soft)

Grade 1&2 - Students in Grade 1 and 2 have started the year with some intensive ukulele lessons. Using the Musical Futures program E.C.P Ukulele (Everyone Can Play) the grade ones are focusing on strumming A minor, F, C and G chords. Grade twos are the same but also include E minor, A, D and E chords. After this we will apply the chords to a mix of old and new popular songs. At times we will add some basic drumming, keyboard and singing to the tunes. The grade one and two students also have movement and dance songs for fun and reinforcing musical concepts. Lessons also include other elements of different musical styles and musical history.

Grade 3&4 - Students in Grade 3 and 4 will have the opportunity to engage with the music room more than ever before, taking full advantage of all the instruments in the space. We will be reviewing skills on guitar, bass guitar, drums, keyboard, ukulele and singing. Students will have the opportunity to practice these skills at the end of the term by playing as a class band and rotating between instruments to well-known songs. 

Grade 5&6 - Students in Grade 5 and 6 will continue building their skills in the music room this term. We will review riffs and chords on both guitar and keyboard, revise tab for guitar and bass, learn basic drum rhythms and work on correct singing technique with microphones. As with the 3/4s, Grade 5/6s will play some well-known songs this term before launching into songs of their choice in Term 2. 

John and David

Performing Arts Update

The Performing Arts room at FWPS is a dedicated space throughout the school day, and is shared with the Their Care program outside of school hours. We have costumes, props, a set of wall-mounted professional studio mirrors, a sound system and access to a set of iPads for recording students’ work. Access to these facilities allow students who may wish to pursue further education in a performing arts field to learn the correct, respectful and effective way to use these tools. Our performing Arts year is divided into two major foci; Drama and Dance. Historically, every second year, our school has participated in a nationwide dance-drama event called Wakakirri. This provides students with an opportunity to contribute to a grand-scale theatrical event, and a chance to perform in from of live audiences on proper stages. There are often other smaller-scale opportunities to perform or share their work throughout the year, and students gain regular experience with performing for their peers in class exercises. The restrictions surrounding the spread of Covid-19 did not allow us to participate in Wakakirri in 2020 as per our usual cycle, or even to gather for smaller events. We hope that things will turn out differently going forward.

Our Performing Arts Program

The Performing Arts program at FWPS is divided into two main areas of focus; Drama and Dance. Semester 1 is dedicated to learning and developing skills that relate to Drama, such as the use of voice, movement, facial expression, developing and presenting characters, performance skills, and gaining an understanding of theatrical practices and traditions from around the world. Semester 2 focuses on the essential elements of Dance and dance composition, exposure of a variety of styles, traditions and practices relating to dance from many other cultures throughout history. We highlight the different roles that dance serves in society, musicality, learning short choreographed pieces, presentation skills, and some methods for generating original movement and arranging it into short composed sequences.

Performing Arts Term 1

  • PREPS will begin their learning in Drama with a foundational understanding of some basic conventions of drama, an introduction to several elements of drama, such as the use of voice and movement to create and present a character, and experience the use of these new skills through a series of Drama skills training games, often called “theatre sports”. Students will begin to learn how to use their voices, bodies, faces and imaginations to present a character and tell a story, and will have opportunities to begin to perform in front of classmates, as well as learning how to become a positive member of an audience.
  • Junior School 1/2 will continue to build on their voice and movement skills, and will deepen their understanding of the presentation of characters through a brief exploration of character motive and power dynamics, and will develop an understanding of how these can be used to drive the action of a scene. Students will explore the focus needed to perform, and will participate in exercises designed to build spatial awareness and awareness of the movement of others within a space. Students will continue to perform for one another, and will learn about giving, receiving and applying feedback and the critical role of feedback in the rehearsal process.
  • Middle School 3/4 students will continue their work in exploring the elements of drama, extending their knowledge base to include how to build, maintain and break tension, and the impact it can have on maintaining audience interest. Students will begin to use improvisation skills learned through games in the younger grades to construct scenes by creating more psychologically complex characters with motives that drive the action of the scenes. Students will also begin to refine their performance skills through deliberate practice, a more structured pattern of rehearsing, by giving and receiving feedback regularly, and by analysing performances.
  • Senior School 5/6 students will continue to build on their voice and movement, improvisation and performance skills, and will apply their understandings in an increasingly sophisticated way with more choice about structure and modes of presentation. Students will learn about the theatrical convention in improvisation known as “making and accepting offers” and “serving the play”. They will learn to control the mood, atmosphere, focus and tension of a scene and will have opportunities to perform for each other and give, receive and apply feedback.

The Tribes Agreements and Growth Mindset are taught, encouraged and supported throughout all year levels in the Performing Arts program.

Jess Russell-Davies


Bridging the Digital Divide

In the last two days of term 4, 2020 we were asked by the department to ensure that all students that had borrowed devices from schools in 2020, had access to digital devices in the event that remote and flexible learning should occur again.  Little did we know that it would be so early in Term 1, 2021.

We had however started to prepare for this with phone calls made the week prior to all families that borrowed devices to ascertain if students now had their own device on which they could access digital learning at home. Many of our students now have devices with 51 students requiring continued support. 

The support was supplied for students through the departments Bridging the Digital Divide initiative, and under this scheme, these 51 students were supplied with a school iPad to keep at home and set up as their own to ensure that their learning continues should there be a need to return to remote and flexible learning. Many of these families were surprised when the principal Mr. Millar came knocking at their doors on Monday with a delivery.

A big thank you to all at the school that contributed to the quick and timely set up and distribution of these devices.

Spelling It Out PD with Misty Adoniou 

It was with great anticipation that we welcomed Misty Adoniou, Associate Professor in Language and Literacy at the University of Canberra, to our school, to enlighten us with her many words of wisdom. We were joined by staff from Carlton Gardens PS who are also on the spelling journey and looking for ways to deepen teachers’ knowledge about spelling and the best ways of teaching it. 

This professional learning opportunity was first planned way back in 2019 and had to be rescheduled several times due to the unfortunate events of 2020 and almost didn’t happen again. With the lunchtime announcement of a Victorian Lockdown, Misty flew back to Canberra on Friday evening just in the nick of time. Fortuitous timing indeed.

Misty engaged her audience by sharing many valuable pearls about how many words in the English language evolved and how vocabulary building for our students is every teachers’ responsibility.

She encouraged us to discuss morphology, phonology, orthography and etymology with our students to help build and maintain their curiosity with words. Misty discussed how these elements can be explored by using quality books as mentor texts across all areas of the curriculum.  Teachers are looking forward to sharing this knowledge and understanding in their classrooms and a big appreciation to Misty for her flexibility, insight and her enthusiasm for all things word related.

Towela Sinkonde and Lisa Peterson
Learning Specialists 

Cross Country Trials at Shorten Reserve

Following the great news that we are back at school as of tomorrow, the scheduled School Cross Country Trials will be held at Shorten Reserve on Friday 19th February from 9.15 am.

Senior school students will participate as part of their school sports curriculum. Children in grade four are invited to attend and may participate if they choose to do so. Competitors will run in their designated age and gender groups. The distances for each age group and order of events are as follows

9/10 yr Girls 2km

9/10 yr Boys 2km

11yr Girls 3km

11 yr Boys 3km

12yr Girls 3km

12 yr Boys 3km

Competitor participation is important but completion of the race is not expected of all students in each individual race.

Parents are welcome to attend as spectators and we request that they position themselves behind the fence line on the pavilion side of the Reserve and at least 10metres from the competing track in all other parts of Shorten Reserve.

All students will be positioned in front of the cricket nets and club room side of the ground and we ask that it remain a staff and student only area.

Footscray District Swimming Carnival Results 2021

Congratulations to the twenty two members of our swim team on their tremendous effort and representation at the District Swimming Carnival held last Friday at the MAC. Appreciations to Andrew, Silvana, Lauren and Sienna for the assistance in the running of the Carnival. Those that have qualified first or second for the Division Finals to be held later in the term are highlighted in green. First and second placegetters in other races are in non qualifying events.

A Friendly Reminder from your School Nurse

Hello FWPS families,

Just a friendly reminder that all Asthma, Allergy and Anaphylaxis plans are due back at school. These forms were all sent home at the end of last year and were due back the first week of term.
Should you require a replacement please stop by the office to collect what you need.
It is a requirement of the Victorian Department of Education that these medical plans are provided to school along with any required medication.

Please feel free to contact me at school between the hours of 10am and 4pm if you have any questions.

Many Thanks
Zowi Marshall, RN

Covid Update

Dear parents, carers and guardians,

Due to the current COVID-19 climate I thought it was best to run through our current temporary practice for illness at school. 

I would like to pass on my appreciation to families for their cooperation and patience in these not so normal times.  

Whilst we usually endeavour to keep students at school whenever we are able, at the moment we are continuing to change our process if children are unwell at school. We hope these changes are temporary and we will update the school community as the situation evolves. 

Children who are sick are typically encouraged to stay home, however health authorities have taken the view that, amid coronavirus, it’s better to be overly cautious. The current advice from the Department of Education is that anyone who is unwell must not attend school, including, staff, parents and students. Symptoms compatible with coronavirus (COVID-19) include but are not exclusive to:  fever, chills or sweats, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, runny nose, loss of sense of smell.  If a student or staff member attends while unwell, they will be sent home in accordance with the Department’s guidelines and advised to seek further medical review. 

As a working parent myself I appreciate the difficulties that this virus has thrust upon the community and I am grateful for the support families have shown when being contacted to collect their children from school. Should you have any questions or concerns please feel free to make contact via the school office or school email and I will endeavour to contact you at my earliest convenience. 

Reducing the risk, reducing the spread.

Follow these simple steps to help reduce the spread.

CATCH IT: Always use a tissue to catch that cough or sneeze

BIN IT:  Throw the tissue into the nearest bin

WASH IT:  Wash your hands rubbing vigorously with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or the time it takes to sing ‘Happy Birthday” twice.

Footscray West Primary School has a policy that all students are to wear an approved sunhat (legionnaire, broad-brimmed or bucket) from the start of September until the end of April.   Students are to bring along their hats to school every day.   Students without acceptable hats will be restricted to play in designated shaded areas. Parents are reminded to clearly label their child’s hat and to continuously check that the label remains legible.  All students need to have their own water bottle with them every day at school. This bottle will be accessible to the children during class and must only contain water.  Parents are asked to apply sunscreen before school and provide sunscreen in their child’s bag for reapplication throughout the day.

Many Thanks
Zowi Marshall, School Nurse


Hi parents, guardians, staff and friends! 

This year has thrown us our first curveball and we have had very quiet mornings and afternoons this week with the lockdown!  


This week we have had the great opportunity to form close bonds with those children that have attended during lockdown, we’ve been able to play music, make smoothies, help with homework and get to know each other much better. We hope that everyone is safe at home and we thank you all for your ongoing support at TheirCare.


Next week we are were to host Supreme Incursions to FWPS this Thursday the 18th of February, where they were going to be providing us with an amazing Hip Hop workshop free of additional charges. However, due to the lockdown they have had to postpone this till the 18th of March. If your child is interested please book for this amazing opportunity as places will fill fast! For more information around the Hip Hop workshop or Supreme Incursions please follow this link; .


Reminder to all parents, guardians and children, that as it continues to be hot throughout Summer we all need to be wearing our hats and putting on sunscreen. However, some children are still missing hats and they are not able to play outside at before and after school care. Also make sure to come check out the school’s and our lost property as they are both filled with a huge array of hats and other lost items! 

For all families if you have any questions about TheirCare and would like to come and have a chat please come visit us in Emu Corner in the morning or afternoon, alternatively you can contact us on the details provided and we will help you as best we can. 

TheirCare Team:  Luke, Nelly, Louise & Eleanor 

Contact Details: 

Service Phone: 0487004072 
Service Email: 
Head Office: 1300 072 410 


The Lunchbox

How to order
Munchmonitor is our online ordering platform.
Once your child’s class has been assigned, you can set up your account.  

A reminder to update your child’s 2021 classroom.  You will be unable to place an order until you update the classroom.

Head to

To Register
School ID; footscrayWPS
Password; munch3012

To Order
My account
Student profile
Edit Student profile
Class (righthand side of page - make sure you have updated it for 2021)  
Select class and Save profile


The Lunchbox team

Community Notices