Newsletter - 28 October 2021

Issue 33


Principal's Report

Halloween Dress Ups Tomorrow
As foreshadowed in Monday’s Assembly video, a reminder that we are encouraging students to wear something tomorrow that resonates with all the fun associated with Halloween.  We know this will be a remote opportunity for the students in Prep and grades  3 and 4 (not forgetting the students in 1LB who are in isolation) and for the children in grades 1, 2, 5 and 6 an opportunity to attend tomorrow wearing something a little bit scary.

If not, you can come in uniform!

Tomorrow is World Teachers’ Day.  I know many of you will give a big shout out to your child’s class teacher and specialist teachers.  We know the relationship between student and teacher is vital and with the challenges we have battled together throughout the last 20 months perhaps it has never been more important.  Spare our wonderful teaching crew a thought and good wishes for tomorrow.

Along with a few challenges, we had a very successful first week of return to onsite learning last week.  Now all cohorts have been back at school for at least two days, with the ‘last to start back’ crew, the grade 3 and 4 students, attending on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  We are pleased that the day when all students are back to school has been brought forward from Friday of next week, to this coming Monday .  The school week will be punctuated by Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, but then all cohorts are due back on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

Current COVID management in schools

It really is great to be back, but spare a thought for Lauren Baker and the students in 1LB, who after a successful and enjoyable return to class on Thursday and Friday, learnt on Tuesday morning that the grade would be required to go into quarantine and would not be returning to onsite learning at school today with the rest of their cohort. 

Due to the extended time it has taken Department of Health contact tracing to occur, there has been a recent and sensible change in how families are communicated with.  We can now can act more quickly following the protocols that have been established. 

In this recent case, made simpler by the fact that 1LB were on Tuesday still operating remotely, once informed by a 1LB  parent of a COVID positive case being confirmed, working with our Assistant Principal Liz and Business Manager Sandra, we prioritised the steps we needed to put in place to respond effectively.  We immediately began preparing a contact tracing spreadsheet and informed Lauren of the situation.  We contacted the Department of Education's Incident and Security Operations unit and my line manager.  Within 15 minutes of the initial call, we had sent a brief text to all parents of students in the class who had been in attendance on those two days, informing them that their child was deemed a primary close contact, needed to be tested and then remain at home.  We then prepared a follow up detailed email to parents with more specific information.

We do realise that for families receiving this type of news after such a long period of lockdown is very disappointing.  We feel it is important to communicate effectively and to provide clarity regarding return to school. 

Realistically we understand that during this term we may experience multiple situations that will involve a class or classes going into quarantine.

Should your child’s grade have a positive COVID-19 case

  • We are very reliant on parents continuing to monitor their children’s health, or be aware they may have had a COVID-19 exposure by having them tested and remaining at home while awaiting the result.
  • On receipt of a text or call confirming your child has COVID-19 confirmation, please contact the office immediately.
  • Liz or I will have a chat to ascertain some exposure details. Should we not be immediately available, either our Business Manager Sandra, or one of the office team will seek this information.
  • We will promptly inform parents and carers by text. If the children are at school we will ask parents and carers to collect their children immediately. 
  • We will provide contact tracing information to the Department of Education who will forward this onto the Department of Health.
  • We will provide parents and carers with additional information, either as a hard copy or email. This information will ask you to have your child tested and encourage all family members to be tested and then follow stay at home requirements until receipt of a negative test result.  Please note that at this point expectations for the child who is the primary close contact varies from what is required for other family members.
  • Students* who are designated primary close contacts will be required to remain at home until they receive a second negative test taken on day 13 (or later) from the last exposure date.
  • Parents and other family members however who receive an initial negative test result are not subject to these same ‘stay at home’ stipulations and are able to leave home for work or school.
  • Should any time during this quarantine period your child returns a positive COVID-19 test result, please contact the school office.
  • If any one in the family has a confirmed case of COVID-19, the whole family is then considered primary close contacts and should be subject to a 14 day quarantine period from the time that the case was confirmed. That of course requires no attendance at school or other contacts beyond the household for the entire family.

For students in quarantine who receive negative test results initially and or or after day 13:

  • Following receipt of a second negative test taken on day 13 (or later) from the last exposure date your child will be approved to return to school. We are trying to ensure there is no (further) delay with this turnaround.
  • As our class teachers will be almost certainly considered primary close contacts, they will also enter quarantine. The class will then revert to remote learning for the period that the children are in quarantine.  As all our staff are double vaccinated, should the teacher receive a negative COVID-19 test result taken on day 6, on being approved to return to school they will continue to provide remote learning from school.  This will enable them to work with their teaching team and be reintegrated into the yard duty roster.

Additional notes

  • *From Monday, 1st November students who are double vaccinated will be subject to a 7 day quarantine period (receipt of negative test taken on day 6 after exposure). As only people 12 years and older are able to access vaccinations, of course this adjustment will only have effect for our grade 6 students who have turned 12 and have been double vaccinated.
  • Students who have tested positive to COVID-19 will be required to quarantine for a period of 14 days from the date that a positive test result has been received. They will only be able to return to school after they are no longer showing any symptoms, as seeking a negative test is not recommended, as COVID-19 antibodies may lead to false positive results for many weeks after the infection has dissipated.   We are establishing a protocol where the children will return to school for a morning appointment with our school nurse Terry Mason.  Terry will assess the child and discuss their health with their parent or carer prior to the child being approved to return to the classroom.

Being COVID canny - With more cases in the community than any time over the last 20 months, we are expectant that we will continue to have other cases at school.  Being sensible about responding to symptoms will play a part in keeping classes operating onsite.  So any signs of illness that could be COVID related then please stay home, get a test and join us when cleared.  You may find the information in the attached link useful RCH Kids Info Fact Sheet

Support for students in quarantine - What we will provide:
Students at home will revert to remote learning provided by their class teacher as long as the teacher is not unwell.  Along with daily live WebEx lessons and activities posted in the class Google Classroom, the Specialist teachers will provide live WebEx lessons at the time the lesson would have been provided during the regular school day.

Where students were not at class during the period of COVID-19 exposure, when they return to school they will join another class until their classmates are approved to return to the classroom.

Students who have not returned - What we won’t provide:
Where a very small number of families currently have chosen not to return to school it is deemed parent choice - unauthorised absence.  This is consistent with the Department of Education policy.  While we have empathy for families expressing these concerns, this is not something that we are able to actively support.  We will be happy for families to access the online learning that we do have in place and where learning activities are posted to the Google Classroom.  There however will not be feedback on learning provided and the students will be marked as absent.

School Council … met within the now familiar virtual WebEx environment for a supportive and successful meeting. We reviewed business from our previous meeting, considered the minutes from each sub committee meeting and discussed general business relating to NAPLAN, our Solar project and planning for the remainder of this year and plans for the beginning of our next school year …


  • A comprehensive NAPLAN report had been prepared by School staff members on Council, Leading Teachers and Learning Specialists; Anne Reciszen, Lisa Peterson and Towela Sinkonde. With a WebEx blackout for Anne, Lisa stepped in to speak to the report.  A brief version of the report will be shared with parents in next week’s newsletter.


  • We expect the main gate may be blocked Wed - Fri next week for the storm water works to finally start.  We will use the single crossing gate and the Habitat Haven single gate (half way along the Bilby building) for this period.  I think Murphy’s Law may be operating, for in the months we have been waiting for this final part of the project to start, I have somehow been expecting it to occur in the very week that all cohorts are due back onsite.  Oh well, we would all prefer a little inconvenience rather than continuance of remote learning for all!
  • We are delighted to be in the final stage of selecting a contractor to install a substantial solar energy system at our school. This project has been a long time coming.  We were nearly in position to action the project two years ago, but were required to follow some additional compliance steps and then we were, like so many, affected by the pandemic.  We were pleased that a community grant of $20,000  has been able to be extended.  During the second half of this year, School Council has prioritised this project.  With new Council member Jess Elliott (Owen in 2LP) coming on board, we were off to a fantastic second start.  Our Business Manager Sandra and Jess have worked seamlessly in managing the many hoops we have had to negotiate.  We are looking forward to sorting the final details, before signing the contract for a 60+ KW system.  In our best case scenario the installation will occur in January.  I will share some further information with you when the project is finalised.  A very big appreciation to Jess who has driven this project forward over the last three months. 

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
Please note, particularly for some parents who have already responded, that it has been clearly stated that specific requests for friends will not be accommodated. 

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.



Coming Events



Mon 1 NovAll students return to onsite learning
Tue 2 NovCUP DAY - Public Holiday
Wed 3 NovCanteen Lunchbox Returns
Mon 13 DecGrade 6 Graduation Ceremony in Gecko
Thur 16 DecLAST DAY OF SCHOOL FOR 2021  -  1:30 PM FINISH
Fri 17 DecCurriculum Day

Pupil of the Week






His resilience settling back to onsite and his fabulous attitude to learning new skills. Keep up the growth mindset! 



Your amazing effort to independently read. Well done!



Being a kind and inclusive member of our class and for your positive attitude to learning. Keep it up!



The effort you apply to all your work. Well done for making lots of numbers using tens and ones.



Independently attempting tricky words when reading. Awesome work!



Reading just right texts with fluency and sharing her outstanding understanding of what she has read. Fabulous work! 



Effort you put into the story you wrote about the Lady Beetle’s adventure.



Her enthusiastic return back to school and the focus and personal best effort she applied to her writing. Fantastic!



Creating a fantastic life cycle of a spider during our minibeasts lessons. Jovelyn labelled and included information about each stage. Well done!



Settling in well to your new class and routines. 



The kind and supportive appreciations that you give to your peers during cooperative learning.  



Displaying positive energy upon returning to onsite learning, enthusiasm to learn and engaging with classmates in all academic tasks. Superb effort!



Developing his knowledge of how to write an information report and creating some great sentences about earwigs. Well done Terrence. 



The wonderful collage she created to represent the lifecycle of a bee.



Consistently doing your personal best with online learning. Well done!



Being so positive during his 2-week isolation. You have kept your spirits high the whole time and were so mature about missing the first day back at school. We missed you and are so glad you’re back with us now!

Harvey S


Returning to school with a positive mindset! You reconnected with your peers and contributed to maths games with enthusiasm. Well done, Harvey!



Settling back into face to face learning with a smile. Keep it up!



Listening attentively and contributing during group tasks. Keep it up, Jasmine!



Working well with your poetry and coming back to school with such a positive attitude!



Your outstanding effort in all of your remote learning and

your keen contributions to our Webex Meetings. Bravo William!

Jack Harvey


Consistently giving his personal best throughout all of remote learning. You should be so proud of yourself. Well done!



Being a helpful member of our class who uses a growth mindset to complete challenging tasks.



Participating with a growth mindset during remote learning and always taking feedback on board.



Following a growth mindset, embracing challenges and for showing a positive attitude towards your learning. Well done Jordan!



Actively participating in class discussions during remote learning sessions.



For writing some engaging poetry with alliteration and repetition. Great work!



Sharing the independent 3D modelling project he has been working on during remote learning.



Your positive attitude towards your learning. You always show your personal best. Top effort Vicky!

Lydia C


The positivity and humour you share with everyone. You make our mornings super fun!

Preps back On-site!

The preps have been learning to take notes based on their integrated learning about animals. Here are members of PAF sharing their learning. Benjamin has drawn a magnificent giraffe and Metta is a whiz at note taking. Do you ever remember being taught how to take notes?



The Lunchbox Returns

Lunch orders available from Wednesday 3rd November

We are thrilled to be returning to school next week!

We have had to make some small changes to the menu, however have endeavoured to keep as many of your favourite items on the menu. 

We have unfortunately had to remove sushi and fresh fruit cups from the menu for the short term. 

Thank you for your understanding.
Look forward to seeing you next week.

Liz, Fi, Misty, Sally & Lindy

Soundgarage Update

Welcome to the Soundgarage Website! 

This is the new home for resources we use in your children’s Soundgarage lessons - every resource we use at school will be available here (so no more crumpled bits of paper at the bottom of bags!). We have uploaded these, and a range of other resources to keep you busy and playing music at home.

Use the school resources tab to find Footscray West Primary School, and then navigate to the relevant page.

You may be asked to enter a login and password for some of the resources, which is as follows:

Login: MFI
Password:  55GG77

We hope you find this new resource useful! If you have any questions or feedback about the website, please contact John at

The Soundgarage Team



Dear parents, guardians, staff and friends! 

It has been so amazing to see the school filled with laughter and play the last week and a half. We are so thankful for all the tireless work of all the teachers and leadership staff in our school community to make this possible.

Although last week was quiet we have been able to touch base with lots of families and can’t wait to see everyone back as the term continues! Emma and Zoe were the only children in on Friday afternoon and they were able to help Louise decorate the room for Halloween this Friday. We are all excited to see all the creative dress ups from staff and children within the school. 


We would just like to remind all parents and children that hats are now required for children to play outside in term 4, so please remember to bring your hat and if you feel you have lost yours come and check our lost property bucket. 

This week’s TheirCare Star of the week is Lydia Coglin from 1LB for the positivity and humour you share with everyone. You make our mornings super fun! 

As some of you may have seen in the newsletters and assembly, TheirCare will be beginning their food drive for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Footscray next week. If you can all start to look at your pantries and follow this space to see when we will be collecting. There will be a collection box at the front of the office and in the TheirCare room. 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 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