We have had a great start to the 2019 school year. It has truly been a terrific start. The staff have been working hard to ensure transition back to school life for families has been smooth. We welcome our new staff members: Dr Andrea Truckenbrodt Literacy and EAL Leading Teacher, Mr Andrew Kearl Year Six teacher and Maths Leader and Ms Sally Duggan Foundation teacher and Learning Specialist. We also welcome Rochelle Ballard back this year. We have included in the newsletter a list of all the 2019 staff for your reference.


As part of our welcome back the Parent Club are organising a Welcome BBQ on Friday 22nd February from 5:30-7:30pm on the oval. Please come along and join in the fun.


Thank you to the parents who participated in the Parent Forums this week. This was a great opportunity to celebrate our past successes and to plan for the hopes and dreams of the future. It was wonderful to hear all the highlights from a student, school and community level as well as excitedly planning together for the next four years. Thank you also to the parents who put their ideas in writing and sent them into the school email.


On Tuesday 30th and Wednesday 31st January, the entire McKinnon PS staff participated in two very valuable professional learning days. On Tuesday, our whole staff (around 64) gathered for the very first ‘Circle Time’ of the year. This was not only a wonderful way to reunite and gather again after the break but reminded us all of the importance and power of using Circle Time in the classroom on a daily basis to build connections. This led to further discussions around the importance of our role in building groups and social opportunities for our students. Staff also completed the VIA Character Strengths (a survey our Year 5 and 6 students also utilise) and considered all the strengths they bring to their teams, the school and their students.

On “Wellbeing Wednesday”, (though really wellbeing is critical every day of the week) staff developed a whole school approach to wellbeing centring around the practices of: Growth Mindsets, The Zones of Regulation, Restorative Practices, Gratitude, Circle Time, VIA Character Strengths, Mindfulness, School Wide Expectations and Rights, Resilience and Respectful Relationships. Year Level and Specialist Teams are very keen to share their areas of focus within this whole school approach next week at the Information Nights.


Next week we are holding year level and specialist information nights. This is a result of feedback received from parents and teachers. This is an opportunity for parents to come along and hear from the teachers about the learning programs this year.


Our Information Nights are aimed at parents and teachers working together to meet the needs of our students. The students on the other hand, have been developing their learning community as they begin to build relationships in their new group. All year levels have been engaged in a school-wide mini-unit called Building a Learning Community, using the central idea of ‘A supportive learning community helps us take risks with our learning and achieve our personal best’ using the key concepts of Function- How does it work? And Responsibility- What is our responsibility? to help them. Exploring what a learning community feels like and how it best works to meet the needs of all learners has led to reflections on all of the Learner Profile Attributes and PYP Attitudes. Each homegroup has developed their class essential agreement, which will govern how they treat each other throughout the year. Parts of this unit also see students taking responsibility for their own learning and setting goals for themselves which they will share with you at the upcoming Three-Way Conferences.

Three way conferences are scheduled to be held on Tuesday 26th February.


Personal property is often brought to school by students, staff and visitors. This can include mobile phones, calculators, toys, sporting equipment and cars parked on school premises. Please note that the Department of Education and Training does not hold insurance for personal property brought to schools and it has no capacity to pay for any loss or damage to such property.


The Victorian Government provides assistance for Camps, Sports and Excursions. If you have a concession card you may be eligible to receive $125.00 per annum for each primary school student through the CSEF (Camps, Sports and Excursion Fund). Application forms are available on line. The requirement for parents to complete and submit a new application form each year has been removed. Parents that received CSEF at school in 2018 do not need to complete an application form in 2019, providing there has been no change in your family circumstance. The school will be in contact if we have any difficulty with rolling your application over.


Please be aware there is no supervision in our yard until 8.45am or after 3.45pm. Please make arrangements with Team Kids if you need to drop your child off before or after this time. Their number is 1300 035 000. Please ensure you have organised appropriate supervision for your child. If children are repeatedly early or aren’t picked up by 3.45pm they will be enrolled at Team Kids and costs will apply to families.


As outlined by Department of Education and Training parents and guardians are responsible for paying the cost of medical treatment for injured students, including any transport costs. If you wish for your child to be insured for accidents at school, student accident insurance policies are available from some commercial insurers.


A reminder that we will conduct our whole assembly on the final Monday of each month. Our first whole school assembly will take place on Monday 25th February 2:45pm-3:30pm. All whole school assemblies take place in our gymnasium.


Thanks to those parents who have paid their school fees. If you are yet to submit your payment plans, please do so ASAP as this supports the school in budget provision and to plan appropriately for your child’s participatory program. We have a wonderful learning environment at McKinnon PS and for us to continue to provide the highest quality learning experience we reply upon parent contribution and fundraising. Much of the operational costs including provision of computers (including laptops), high quality school resources, extra sports equipment, library/ICT support and equipment, quality art and science supplies and maintenance, along with the provision of new curriculum initiatives are supported solely from local fundraising, including parent payments.


On days when it is extremely hot the children will remain in classrooms and be supervised as they are on wet days


Have a great weekend

Simone, Ben and Suzanne