Welcome to our first school newsletter for the year. Our newsletters at McKinnon are shared fortnightly on Fridays via Compass. They are packed full of celebrations and news from around the school and are an important communication link for our school.

Our start this year has been extremely smooth and the students are very settled going straight into class in the morning, even our gorgeous Foundation students have settled in seamlessly to their new context. The beginning of the year is always a special time watching our Foundation students begin their school journey. There were more smiles than tears as they strode into their classrooms with confidence.

Along with our new students we have had new staff beginning and several staff have returned: We would like to extend a warm welcome to David Zuker (Assistant Principal), Diane Murphy (Year Six Teacher) and Maggie Vriends (support) as well as welcome back Claire Brooks, Aaron Smith, Sally Duggan, Liz King (Nee Walker), Hannah Macklow and Robert Minshull who returned to onsite teaching this year as well. Finally a big warm welcome to all of our new students and families.


Thank you to everyone for their enormous cooperation with the pick-up and drop-offs. They seem to be running a lot more smoothly now after a busier start in some areas. Thank you to everyone who has parked away from the Kiss and Go area and walked up to school. It makes for a much smoother Kiss and Go system if no one stays longer than two minutes in the area. This helps with the flow of traffic all around the school and also ensures you don’t receive a fine. It is terrific to see students continuing to develop their confidence and independence across the school as they make their way to their classrooms independently and get strated with their learning. The staff have been so impressed.


If students are late to school (after the gates are locked at 9am), you need to bring them into the office and sign them in using the Compass Kiosk. Students are not allowed to sign themselves into the school, they must be accompanied by a guardian. The student takes a red late pass tag from the office and hands it to the teacher, this shows they have signed in at the office.

Rolls are marked promptly at 9:00am by teachers, so even if you are only a couple of minutes late, you need to follow this procedure.

Text messages are sent out at 9:30am to all families with students marked absent.


If your child is going to be away for a whole day, please update Compass as soon as you know your child will be absent. This stops you receiving the absence text message. If you have received a text message, please log into Compass to update the reason for the absence. If they will be at school, but have an appointment, this will be automatically recorded when you drop them off or pick them up.


If you need to pick your child up early from school, please let the teacher know what time they will need to be at the office for collection. When it is time for them to leave the classroom, the teacher will send your child to the office, with two buddies who will return to class. You will then need to sign your child out of school using the Compass Kiosk.

Due to the size of the school and the variety of activities, it can become very difficult to track down a child at the last minute (particularly at break time or the end of the day). Prior notice is appreciated to minimise interruptions and unexpected delays.

Parents of Year Three students also need to come to the office to sign a child out using the Compass Kiosk and to check with the office staff that the child is not on the main site with a specialist class. The office staff can then notify the teacher across the road that the parent will be waiting at the gate to collect their child and they have been signed out.


Next week we are holding Year Level and Specialist Information Nights. These evenings will be via Zoom this year. They will also be recorded to support any parents who cannot make the time, we will release the link for parents to view soon after. Links for the session were posted on Tuesday via Compass. The information nights are evenings where you will hear about the organisation and process and procedures for the specific year level as well as an outline of the curriculum. Please find timetable below.

Date Time Team Location
Monday 8th February     4.30-5.15pm Year 1 On Zoom
5.30 – 6.15pm Year 2 On Zoom
6.30– 7.15pm Year 3 On Zoom
Tuesday 9th February     4.30-5.15pm Year 4 On Zoom
5.30 – 6.15pm Year 5 On Zoom
6.30– 7.15pm Year 6 On Zoom
Wednesday 10th February 4.30 pm – 5.15pm Foundation On Zoom
  5.30pm – 6.15pm Specialist Team On Zoom


The students and teachers have been developing their learning community as they begin to build relationships in their new classes. 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?

Responsibility- What is our responsibility? .

The students have been exploring what a learning community feels like and how it best works to meet the needs of all learners and this has led to reflections on all learner profile attributes and PYP attitudes. Each homegroup has developed its class essential agreement, which will govern how they treat each other throughout the year. Part of this unit also sees students taking responsibility for their 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 16th February. Please access Compass to book in a time for you and your child to attend the 3-way conferences. Compass will be available from Monday for bookings.


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 online

https://www.education.vic.gov.au/about/programs/Pages/csef.aspx?Redirect=1 through the Department of Education and Training Website or from the school office. We need a copy of your concession card. Parents that received CSEF at school in 2020 do not need to complete an application form in 2021, 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.


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. Please ensure all personal items, including uniform are clearly named.


As outlined by the 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.


We are planning a special assembly for the presentation of the SRC and Year Six leadership badges and will notify families involved when confirmed. To ensure we are compliant with COVID restrictions, all students will watch the special assembly from their classrooms and students receiving badges and their parents will be invited to the hall for the special occasion. This ensures we are compliant with the number of people allowed in the gym. Parents attending will need to register on arrival.


Thanks to those parents who have made payments towards their school fees. If you are yet to submit your payment, please do so ASAP as this supports the school in the 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 rely upon parent contribution and fundraising. Much of the operational costs including the 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, Suzanne and David