Newsletter - 4 November 2021

Issue 34


Principal's Report

Thanks to the students in grade 1LB, grade teacher Lauren Baker and the parents and carers, who have resolutely managed an extended period of remote learning due to a COVID positive case within the class during the first two days of return to school.  This cautious approach has proven appropriate as there have been consequent cases within the student group.  With the quarantine period concluding, we are all very keen to welcome the children back to class.  Please note (below) some repeated and additional information about how we are endeavouring to manage COVID-19 positive cases at school.

NAPLAN report
An appreciation to senior member of our leadership team, Anne Reciszen whose support of maths learning (amongst many other responsibilities) has been of very significant importance at FWPS for many years.  Following an extensive NAPLAN report for School Council that Anne developed with Learning Specialist teachers, Lisa Peterson and Towela Sinkonde, Anne has prepared a more concise version, included in today’s newsletter.

News and reminders
A reminder that as noted in last week’s newsletter, due to the repairs to our storm water drainage system, access through the main Argyle St entrance will be restricted for the rest of this week.   In the meantime we will continue to access the school crossing gate (re-used since Monday) and temporarily use the Habitat Haven single access gate located to the southern side of the main gate. 

Current COVID management in schools.

  • Remaining healthy and being able to attend school is the main game.
  • We stress that it remains vital not to attend school if there is any evidence of flu like symptoms or likely exposure to COVID-19.
  • If a family member tests positive, the whole family is subject to the 14 day quarantine regime. This is different from when a person is initially deemed a personal close contact (PCC). In such cases, the requirement for the PCC to immediately isolate does not apply to family members living in the same household.  This approach is on the one hand an endeavour to balance family dislocation, with the increased flexibility that widespread vaccination rates have enabled.

Mask wearing
We have an expectation that all students in grades 3 to 6 will wear masks when indoors.  There is no requirement to wear them outdoors.  Students in grades prep to 2 are recommended to wear masks indoors.  All adults are required to wear masks indoors. When communicating to the class and located at an appropriate distance from others, teachers may temporarily remove masks.  We have an expectation that all teachers and educational support staff will wear masks indoors at all other times when in the company of others.

Please ensure your child brings his or her own mask to school daily.  If using a disposable mask, please send a spare as well, as the elastic bands frequently break. 

You may find teaching staff wearing masks on duty at the start and end of the day.  As maintaining a suitable distance from others can be challenging, we are deliberately modelling by using ‘an abundance of caution.’  We appreciate parents and carers attending school at the start and end of the day also applying this mindset.

Class separation
We face the underlying concern that while we would love to be able to combine classes/students for activities such as graduation preparation, Buddies, Junior School Council and Environment Team meetings, we need to actively avoid increasing the likelihood of creating an additional exposure risk, where a positive case affects multiple grades, or an entire cohort. Consequently, should there be any mixing of groups, it will be done with consideration to factors likely to mitigate transmission risk.  One of the simplest ways to do this is to meet outdoors or in exceptionally ventilated indoor environments.  This approach is being taken with Soundgarage and Their Care OSHC groupings.  Graduation practice will be entirely within grade groups to ensure the only time the cohort combines for this purpose will be on the day of the graduation itself.  As you will understand, this is not the way any of us would like to manage our return to onsite learning, but is an inevitable consequence of doing our combined best to keep as many classes operating at school as possible in an environment where the majority of the school population is (currently) ineligible to be vaccinated.

Should your child’s grade have a positive COVID-19 case (Adjusted and repeated from last week)

  • We are very reliant on parents continuing to monitor their children’s health, or be aware they may have experienced 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, 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 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 your 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 prohibits attendance at school or other contacts beyond the household for the entire family for this period.

For students in quarantine who receive negative test results initially and  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 soon as the negative test result is received, please forward a screenshot of this to the school email ( using the subject line ‘COVID Day 13 test results’.  Our school emails will be checked from 8am tomorrow morning. A return email will be sent by our office team confirming that your child is able to attend onsite.  If you receive your child’s negative test after the start of the school day, you are still able to send the result through to the school, and upon the return confirmation email, bring your child to school via the office.

  • 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.

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 Factsheet

Support for students in quarantine - What we will provide: Should a class be placed in quarantine we 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.  This approach has been utilised successfully over the last two weeks for the students in 1LB.

Additional notes

  • *From (last) Monday, 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 currently 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 and subject to being healthy. They will only be able to return to school when 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 children returning to school having recovered from being COVID-19 positive, will initially attend 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.

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.

Over the next week we will collate some learning links and add them to our school website.

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





Coming Events



Wed 24 NovWildlife Exposure Incursion Preps
Mon 13 DecGrade 6 Graduation Ceremony in Gecko
Thur 16 DecLAST DAY OF SCHOOL FOR 2021  -  1:30 PM FINISH
Fri 17 DecCurriculum Day - TheirCare program to operate.

Pupil of the Week






Always shows his kind, considerate and caring nature by helping others especially those at buddy bus stop. This shows a true FWPS spirit!  Keep it Up!



Sharing her knowledge about Australian animals and their classifications. Thank you for also telling your classmates about the threats to each animal. Interesting information!



The effort you apply to all set tasks and the positive way you take on feedback to enhance your learning.



Having a growth mindset and perseverance to complete challenging tasks. Well done Edith!



Being a wonderful role model of the Tribes Agreements. Well done!



For your enthusiasm and great ideas that you add to class discussions. Your contributions are appreciated.



The fabulous way you have returned to onsite learning full of energy and enthusiasm. Keep it up Coco.



The fantastic effort he has applied to his reading. You have shown great progress! Well done.



Making incredible growth in her reading. Aycan has been applying herself and is using her letter-sound knowledge to sound out unfamiliar words. Well done Aycan!



Working hard during our maths session and applying personal best effort. Well done Audrey.



The personal best effort you apply to your writing and using the 5 senses to think carefully about descriptive and interesting word choice.

Sophie T


Applying her personal effort when completing writing tasks using creative  word choices. Lovely effort.



Settling back into school with a positive outlook and for being a kind friend. Well done Izzy!



The amazing information report she wrote about praying mantis.



Being a kind and considerate classmate.  



Being such a great leader of our class. Thank-you for always trying you best and being so positive about online learning, returning to school, and your JSC responsibilities. Keep it up, Aisha!



Returning to school with a positive attitude. Your kindness and respect towards others is something to celebrate! Well done, Nada!



Settling back into face to face learning with a growth mindset. 

Jack H


Settling back into class routines after remote learning and demonstrating a positive attitude. Fantastic, Jack!



Returning to school with such a positive attitude!



Being  supportive classmate. We are so glad that you came to join our class.



Communicating about his learning and for always looking for feedback. Keep up this great attitude to learning!



The growth mindset and positive attitude he has shown this week. Keep it up!



Always being willing to extend and challenge herself in order to further her learning.



For your enthusiastic return to school and for applying your personal best to all tasks. Keep up the fantastic attitude! 



Always following the Tribes Agreements and having a positive attitude.



The amount of effort you have made to improve your mathematical skills throughout the year. Well done!



Being an optimistic, caring and inclusive classmate every single day.



Your positive return to the classroom and your effort with all tasks. Keep it up Eli!

Nathan Chen


Consistent help in the mornings packing up and guidance he shows other children at TheirCare! Thank you Nathan, we appreciate all your efforts.


Congratulations to all our students that sat the NAPLAN tests in 2021.

A report on results was provided at the last School Council meeting on school achievements and an outline of this is provided below.

In what was a very disruptive 2020 and start to this school year, in the year leading up to the implementation of NAPLAN this year, students at Footscray West Primary School spent a total of 115 days in remote learning due to lockdown restrictions or the school being identified as a COVID-19 exposure site.

The majority of tests are now conducted online except for year 3 writing, which remains a pen and paper test. 

A notable difference in the move to the online platform is that the tests are adaptive and develop pathways for students based on their performance.

In literacy, students completed the reading test, which then determined the pathway they would be allocated for conventions of language (spelling and grammar and punctuation).

In 2021, our school data indicates that the overall results for both year 3 and year 5 students were above that of the state in all areas tested:

  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Spelling
  • Grammar and punctuation
  • Numeracy

Results for the last five years (except for 2020, when NAPLAN was not conducted) also indicate that the school was above the state in:

  • Reading
  • Grammar and punctuation
  • Numeracy

While results were at or slightly below the state for writing and spelling.

Our matched cohort data (those that were in the school in 2019 and 2021) which in all assessments, was above 90% of students at the school, indicates that overall growth was close to or above that of the state.

This data is useful to the school, as we are able to utilise it in tracking individual students, identifying areas of need and planning programs.

Anne Reciszen
Leading Teacher











Dear parents, guardians, staff and friends! 

Last week was our last week of staggered classes and we are so thrilled to be able to have all the children back onsite for this week. We can’t wait to end the term on a great note! 

We were able to decorate the room last week for Halloween and the children that came did an amazing job, the room looked creepy and we even scared Mr Millar when he came in one morning! On Friday we saw lots of amazing dress ups at school, we had cats, skeletons and even a rainbow at TheirCare! 


This week and next week will be about welcoming back all children and staff to TheirCare, we have missed you all and can’t wait to see all parents, children, and members of the community in the coming months. 


This week’s TheirCare Star of the week is Nathan Chen from 3JS for consistent help in the mornings packing up and guidance he shows other children at TheirCare! Thank you Nathan, we appreciate all your efforts.  

As some of you may have seen in the newsletters and assembly, TheirCare has begun our food drive for the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre in Footscray. We have already had some items donated which we are thrilled about. If you can all start to look at your pantries and follow this space to see when we will be collecting. There is 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