Newsletter - 7 October 2021

Issue 30


Principal's Report

While we join our families in acknowledging the stress of continued remote learning, in this first week of term 4, I would like to acknowledge the work of our teaching and education support staff in collaboration with the good grace of parents and carers … and of course our students.  With a plan for a gradual return to onsite learning, starting with the Preps on Monday week (Monday 18th October), we have a really positive goal to look forward to.

In next week’s newsletter we will provide more practical details as to entry and exit expectations for our Prep and Junior school students, as we prepare for their graduated return the following week.

Arrangements for Term 4 Learning at FWPS
For a recently communicated summary of our steps for return to face to face learning at FWPS please select the link:  Term 4 Arrangements

Time in Lieu arrangements for 2021
As many in our community will readily acknowledge, our teaching staff, who are never paid over time, really do deserve some flexibility.  There is one provision within the teaching award that enables the accrual of time in lieu (TIL).  This relates to additional hours spent reporting to parents through Meet the Teacher, Parent/Teacher interviews and Student Led Conferences.  Additional hours accrued (our education staff have a wider scope in which they are also able to accrue TIL) can be reimbursed by providing time in lieu.  To provide TIL for all teaching staff by arranging casual relief teachers would be horrendously expensive. 

For a number of years, we have ‘repaid’ this banked time by providing a TIL day on the Monday prior to the Melbourne Cup.  This has enabled an extended long weekend for the FWPS community on a day that many families already plan to be absent.  Last year due to the timing of COVID lockdowns, accrued TIL fell short of this bench mark.  This year with the necessary time accrued, we were hopeful that we would be able to use the Monday prior to Cup day as a TIL day.  

However, with the extended lockdown and ongoing travel restrictions, followed by the recent news that cohorts would be returning to site in stages, we decided that it would not be appropriate to hold a time in lieu pupil free day on only the second Monday that Preps would be onsite. 

Therefore, following discussions with leaders and our consultative committee, we have decided to ‘create’ a time in lieu day to coincide with Wellbeing Wednesday next week and meet the requirements of the teaching award.  Therefore, next Wednesday, class teachers will post activities but not be available for live classes.  Specialist activities will also be posted, as has been the case with preceding Wellbeing Wednesdays.  To meet the needs of students who require onsite supervision, specialist teachers and classroom-based education support staff will be rostered for one TIL day during the same week.  We hope that our families will understand the reasoning behind this initiative.

Summary - Wellbeing Wednesday TIL Day for Classroom Teachers on 13th October

  • No live WebEx class check in sessions for all classes
  • No videos prepared in advance
  • Students will be provided with the same ‘non-live’ teaching resources as usual, with the addition of an offline activity
  • Specialist’s activities will be posted in the Google Classroom as usual

Final Curriculum Day for this year
In a similar vein to my comment (above) regarding consideration for a Time in Lieu day, it would seem relevant to make comment on the matter of our remaining curriculum day for 2021.  At our most recent School Council meeting late last term we did discuss this matter and in the light of extended lockdowns, I feel it is timely to share our thinking with the school community.  In short, in a normal year (how I look forward to writing this without a sense of irony) schools receive four pupil free curriculum days.  We usually use two consecutively at the beginning of the year (one for a staff day and the second for term 1 planning), we then use one towards the end of term 2 for assessment and report writing and a final one in the second semester for a school strategic priority.  This year that priority is the development of Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships (see Principal’s Report from the final newsletter of last term 

Due to the length of lockdown and remote learning, our school still has one pupil free curriculum day remaining for this year.  While we initially would have considered planning this for late term 3 or early term 4, ideally in a face to face forum, with the extension of lockdown and to reduce the inconvenience for parents and carers we will now ask School Council for their permission to hold the final pupil free curriculum day on the very last day of the school year, Friday 17th December. Should this proceed, we will request Their Care to provide a full day’s curriculum day program on that day.

Grade 5/6 Camp Cancellation

Unfortunately, during Monday’s check in WebEx meetings, our grade 5 and 6 teachers had the unenviable task of informing their students that with the continuation of lockdown and attendant restrictions all camps would be cancelled.  This information was also relayed to parents, including the provision for all families to receive full credit or reimbursement for all money they had contributed to the camp (further details page 3). 

We are pleased that the 5/6 and the 3/4 teaching teams are already working on plans for Camp@School - a one or two day activity program for later in term.

A  message from Soundgarage!

Soundgarage cannot wait to get back to playing music at Footscray West. Families who paid for term 3 fees will have a term's credit added to their account. 

Right now we have some great new fun ways to help you play and learn. All these resources are free to you. You will receive an email next week with an invitation to the Soundgarage website.

Steve will be commencing music lessons for all Soundgarage students as they come back to school. 
Thanks, from everyone at the Soundgarage team!

Birthday treats on return to school
We have had some families enquire of their child’s teachers whether it would be appropriate to send in some treats to acknowledge their child’s birthday that has occurred during remote learning.  Due to ‘an abundance of caution’ as we return to school with so many COVID restrictions in place, any birthday treats will (unfortunately) need to be commercially made, pre-packaged items (such as chocolates, lollies or snacks).  This note reminds me that should your child have an allergy and not be able to enjoy such a treat, please send in some items that the class teacher can keep aside for your child.  We hate kids to feel left out.

Leaving FWPS?

If your family is planning to move to another school for the 2022 school year we require to hear from you as soon as possible in writing.  The complex task of forming class lists is a priority for us over the next few weeks and the earlier we can factor in student changes, the more accurate those lists will be. This does not apply to Grade 6 leavers. Please complete in the following link : Leaving FWPS in 2021

Class Placement for 2022

During Term 4, the teaching teams will spend many hours preparing grades for next year. Throughout this process, the needs of all students are considered from a social, academic and behavioural perspective. 

In limited situations, we may consider requests from families regarding their child's 2022 grade placement.

If you believe that the following listed considerations are relevant to your child's needs, we advise that this form must be completed by the due date. This is the formal communication for this process, so we will not be accepting phone calls or emails on these matters.

All matters will be dealt with sensitively; however, we must stress that requests for specific teachers, classes or friends will not be accommodated. Throughout this process, teachers look for compatible learning partners and encourage the development of new friendships. Requests related to learning, behavioural or social requirements will be considered on merit and in consultation with key staff members.

If after consideration of the above stipulations, you believe your child’s class placement requires special consideration enter your request at:  Grade Placement 2022

If you have made such a request in the past, please note that any previous accommodation or agreement will have been made for that year only.  If the concern is still relevant, a request will again need to be made.

Please note that all communication on this matter will need to be received via this form, no later than Friday, 29th October.

You will receive an automatically generated email acknowledgement after submission. We may seek further discussions or clarification with families.

Considerations for grade placements

Class placement requires the collective efforts of all staff throughout a considerable process. Initially, the teachers meet to consider the relative academic and social abilities of the children and then begin to place them in grades, considering their current friendship groups. Please note that this is based on teachers’ knowledge of the children. The most important consideration however, will always relate to placement with compatible learners.

A range of factors are considered based on some simple principles:-

·         classes need to have a gender balance

·         classes need an academically compatible balance

·         classes need a “social behaviour” balance

·         children need to be placed with familiar faces while at the same time acknowledging that some children work better with certain students than others irrespective of friendships

As a Tribes school we strongly believe it is essential for children to be challenged to make new friends as these opportunities often lead to wonderful new friendships and relationships never before imagined. Additionally, it is unrealistic to expect that we will travel through life with only one set of friends.

Students need opportunities to work through social challenges with care, support and understanding from the adults in their life. Please do not expect that a student with whom a child had an issue with one year will never be in the same grouping with them again. We need to help children learn to adapt and skill themselves up to deal with all kinds of people and most importantly, give relationships a second opportunity to flourish.




Pupil of the Week






The superb effort and commitment you apply to completing ALL learning tasks. Excellent work! 





The effort you put into all of your tasks during online learning. AMAZING! Keep it up poptart.



The great job you have done using different strategies to accurately solve subtraction problems- keep up the great effort.



Completing and applying your personal best to all online tasks. You have shown persistence, enthusiasm, and a growth mindset throughout our online learning. Absolutely excellent effort Mabel. 



The fabulous writing you did about your break which included a matching illustration. Keep it up super star!



His brilliant note taking about dragonflies using a mind map. Well done Jax!



The enthusiastic way you have started Term 4 and the effort you are putting into your online learning tasks. We’re proud of you Levi!



Her creativity and applying her personal best effort during our narrative writing unit. Fantastic!



Returning to Term 4 with a positive attitude and putting in his absolute personal best effort with all learning tasks. Keep up the fantastic work Franklin!



Applying your personal best effort in all the online tasks and participating in WebEx meetings. Well done Willa!



Contributing and sharing your great ideas about what makes a good sportsperson during your reading session. 



Her resilience, creativity, and initiative when completing online tasks. You have embraced remote learning with a positive attitude! Superb effort!

Flynn Barber


Always using his time effectively during small WebEx meetings and sharing his ideas with others. Well done Flynn!

Alex Pola



The great interview he did for Career's Week




Returning to remote learning with a positive attitude and completing set tasks .

Max Martin


Making a great return to online learning this term. Well done on contributing, having a positive attitude and trying your personal best. Keep up the great work!



Applying great effort to make and explain inferences during literature circle activities. Your detail was fantastic. Well done, Zain!



A Growth Mindset and positive attitude, he has shown during remote learning. 



Contributing to class discussions during our Webex meetings and completing online tasks. Keep it up, Archer!



Contributing well to our meetings and being so positive about our picture story book. We look forward to seeing your drawings! 



Your excellent effort in extended multiplication tasks.
What an achievement.

Eli L


Always asking questions, seeking help when he needs it and putting in more time to improve his learning. Great attitude, Eli!



Contributing during our LIVE Webex meetings and completing all tasks. Keep up the great work!



Her participation and effort in settling into a new school this term despite the challenges of remote learning. We love having you in 5KT!



Your consistent efforts during remote learning and for applying a growth mindset during maths sessions. Well done Zeid!



Actively participating in class discussions during remote learning sessions.



Your fantastic illustration in our visualisation activity. Great work!



Your effort and engagement during remote learning.  Your sense of humour keeps us entertained during our meetings. Top job River!



The kindness and joy she brings to those around her each and every day. Thank you for brightening our days Imogen.

Grade 5/6 Camp Update

Dear parents and carers,

Due to ongoing COVID19 concerns and the consequent requirements stipulated in the most recent Department of Education and Training Operations Guide, school camps cannot proceed this term.

While the information that the grade 5/6 camp has been forced to be cancelled for the second year running was a most disappointing one, our teaching team wished to express this decision to the students themselves.  This was addressed during yesterday’s WebEx check in.

This follow-up communication is to ensure that all parents and carers are aware of the situation and are informed that all costs (including the $50 non-refundable deposit) will be returned as either credit, or as a refund, depending on each family’s preference.

If your preference is to receive a refund, please contact our business manager at:  Otherwise the amount each family has paid will be credited to each family’s account.

The grade 5/6 teaching team will work with the students in preparing for a camp@school day later in term.  Should there be a modest associated cost, that information will be shared with parents during the planning for this event.



Hello FWPS parents and carers,

Many children (and parents) have experienced anxiety over this extended Covid 19 lock down.
Here are two opportunities for learning about children's anxiety.

Please contact me if you have any questions or would like to talk more.

Kaye Cameron
Social Worker

Webinar Recording: Understanding Anxiety - Parenting Ideas

When a child experiences anxiety it can be really hard for parents to understand what’s happening and how best to respond. In this webinar, Dr Jodi Richardson helps parents to recognise and understand anxiety, how it affects learning and happiness and practical steps to lessen the impact of anxiety on the child’s and the family’s quality of life.

Parenting Children Who Worry

When: Wednesday 3 November12-1.30pm

Presenter: Drummond Street Services


This informative online session will explore an evidence based approach to helping families where children are anxious. Practical tips will be shared, and free resources provided. There will be time for questions too!


Dear parents, guardians, staff and friends! 

We have just had an incredible holiday program which was filled with engaging activities and incursions and excursions. We were so lucky to have such a great group of children throughout the two week period. During the holidays we were super lucky to have Lisa and Georgia join us from St Vincent’s and University Park as staff members and we also got to welcome back Louise and Eleanor.


Children were able to have a pretty free flowing holiday program with lots of cooking, arts and craft, outside play, camping, and much much more. The children loved the rice paper rolls and Spaghetti that Luke made much to the surprise of all staff and children that Luke was able to cook something not only edible but delicious! We were also able to set up a campsite over the holidays and learn about sustainability and the environmental responsibility we all have within our communities. 


We can’t wait for Summer school holidays where we will hopefully be able to have you all back onsite to play and learn together! 


This week’s TheirCare Star of the week is Imogen Brownhill-Norton, for the kindness and joy she brings to those around her each and every day. Thank you for brightening our days Imogen.

As a part of our community engagement, this week we will be starting a food drive to donate to those in need through the asylum seeker resource centre. If you can all start to look at your pantries and follow this space to see when we will be collecting. They are looking for items with an extended shelf life. Currently the key items they are looking for are Tuna, Honey, Tomato paste, pickled vegetables, peanut butter, sweet and savoury biscuits, laundry power, toothbrushes, disposable razors. 

For other things and a more exact list have a look at;  

For all families, if you have any questions about TheirCare and would like to come and have a chat please 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