What a sensational night it was on Monday night with a record number of families braving the cold weather to come and see what learning is happening at school. This year, Education Week is all about celebrating the arts. The arts contribute to our personal sense of identity and wellbeing and are critical in our young people’s development. There was a diverse range of art forms presented by students from puppets, to art gallery walks and 3D models.


The students and teachers have done an outstanding job setting up the displays of learning across the school. I was also privileged to receive an artwork from the Year Fours based on their learning which I am thrilled to be able to hang in my office. As part of acknowledgement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, the Year Four students have created this collaborative artwork representing all of us coming together. The symbol repeated in this artwork is the Aboriginal symbol for gathering. I am extremely honoured to have this to hang in my office. Thank you to Amy Dove for organising this with the students.



You will have received your photos this week. If you have any issues or questions regarding these please contact SchoolPix directly on 1300 766 055.



From the beginning of Term Three, all Victorian government schools must contact parents/carers as soon as practicable on the same day of an unexplained student absence. This is an initiative DET has implemented to ensure student safety and wellbeing and to improve student attendance rates across the state.


This requirement supports student safety and wellbeing. As a school, we need to know when and why a child is absent, and parents/carers need to know if their child is not at school. We are also hoping to improve our daily school attendance and students arriving on time to school.

As a parent or carer, you must notify the school of your child’s absence as soon as possible on the day of absence using Compass. We are hoping all parents have completed this by 9.15am on the day of the absence. If we haven’t received notification by then an SMS will be sent to the parent.



We have had our first delivery of grass this week and the rolls of grass are beginning to be put into place. Unfortunately due to the weather last week and earlier this week the project is one week behind schedule with a completion date of the first week in June. Hopefully, the days ahead will be sunny and dry.



Due to parent/carer feedback, we have organised a new interface for booking your three way conferences at the end of Term Two. The new system will allow parents/carers to view all available times for their child’s teacher and will prompt you to confirm your booking. When you first enter the new booking system you will also be able to complete a tutorial to assist with making your bookings. You will be notified via Compass when the system will be available to complete your bookings. Three Way Conferences will take place on Tuesday 26the June 2018 between 2:30pm and 7:00pm. Each interview will be ten minutes in duration.



Student reports will be available on Compass on Friday 22nd June. Please contact the office if you require a hard copy.



On Monday night we had our monthly school council meeting. On this night council ratified a number of exciting school events and projects coming up.

  • Possible opportunity for students to visit China in 2019 more information to come this week
  • The wish list for the Parents Club to spend their hard earned fundraising was approved. This is an ongoing list and you can add your ideas to Parents Club
  • Events organised by the Parent Club with the major parent night out being held on Saturday 8th September and the disco scheduled for Thursday 23rd August



Our swimming stars achievements were recognised last week by Tim Wilson, Federal MP. He was very proud of their achievements. Congratulations to the team.


WELLBEING NIGHT – ‘The Resilience Project’

On Tuesday 22nd May, 31 staff from Mckinnon Primary School trekked their way to the Melbourne Convention Centre to listen to a public talk by Hugh van Cuylenburg from ‘The Resilience Project.’ It was more than alarming to be faced with the statistics of the growing mental-health issues in Australia:

  • 1 in 4 adolescents have a mental illness
  • 1 in 7 primary schools kids have a mental illness
  • 1 in 5 adults will experience mental ill-health throughout the year
  • 65% of adolescents do not seek help for mental illness

This certainly increased our sense of urgency and importance around wellbeing and as Hugh explained we all sit somewhere on the mental health scale from -5 ranging up to +5 and all have varying levels of anxiety and depression. So how do we move up this scale? Hugh spoke about three key strategies for improving wellbeing and positive mental health as the increased practising of Gratitude, Empathy and Mindfulness.

The best way to practise gratitude is to ask the simple question to yourself each night:


What are three things that went well today?


If we simply list things in our life we are grateful for this list can look similar each day; e.g. family pets, etc. The trick is to think of specific things that went well throughout our day. This helps us to retrain and rewire our brain to scan for the positive. If you do this for 21 days, you are three times more likely to notice positive experiences throughout your day and after doing this for 42 days, your levels of anxiety and depression decrease, you will be more optimistic, have high energy levels to name just a few effects.

The key aspect about this is to make it a habit. Do it at the same time each night, this could be as you go to bed, around the dinner table or adding it to a little whiteboard at home. We know one family where each member writes three things on a chalkboard then at the end of the week they all sit around the board to have dinner and celebrate their week!

You are never too young to start practising this strategy. Some of Foundation students who are stating their three things as they line up for home time are now thinking of 10+ things that went well! We urge you to try this yourself and with your children for at least 21 days and we would love to hear about any changes you notice.

We would like to say a big thank you to all the staff who organised and attended this session in their own time, the overwhelming number of staff attending reflects the passion for wellbeing at McKinnon. We look forward to sharing more strategies and suggestions around wellbeing with you soon.

Simone, Ben and Suzanne