Virginia Primary School Newsletter

Issue 4, 01/04/2021

From the Principal

Dear Families,

We are nearing the end of term and what a busy one it has been. On behalf of all the students and staff here at VPS, I would like to thank you all for your continuous support. We value our community and are looking forward to engaging further with you all, with welcoming volunteers, celebrating school events and learning with you, and hosting various parent workshops. Even though more information and details in regards to these opportunities will be shared, Thuy (our Deputy) is in the process of organising a 'parent induction workshop' in term 2, where parents will be invited to attend as part of the requirement to volunteer here at our school - watch this space.

Sports Day - Bbq and Cake Stall (calling for donations)

We are looking forward to finishing off the term with our annual Sports Day. As shared previously, families are welcome to attend, however unfortunately due to COVID school restrictions, former students and older siblings are unable to attend. We will be having our popular bbq stall and hoping to have a cake stall. If you would like to donate to our cake/sweet stall, please notify the front office. We do ask that the ingredients are listed on the items to ensure we cater for food allergies. Hope to see many of our families on the day and are excited to have Deputy Mayor Peter Rentoulis officially open our 2021 Sports Day!

Harmony Day

Unfortunately I was unable to celebrate Harmony Day with you all here at VPS due to having to attend our State Leaders' Day conference (which I would like to add, was an extremely useful and positive day), however I heard what a successful and an amazing day it was. The photos were absolutely stunning and the learning shared was 'quality'! I would like to thank all the staff and students for all their work. A special 'shout out' to Jess Nguyen, our wellbeing advisor for all her hard work and thorough planning and coordination. Another thank you to Tina for all her time and work with supporting our Student Voice students with the icing of the Harmony Day cookies. It was definitely a 'group effort'.

Enjoy some of the photos taken on the day below, thanks to Hayley's photographic skills. I cannot express how proud and privileged I feel to be part of such an amazing community - thank you!!

Farewell Sam Goggins

Our Harmony Day celebrations were bitter-sweet as we said our farewells to Sam Goggins. Sam has been such a huge part of the Virginia family, he had been with us for 19 years! Everyone who had the pleasure of getting to know Sam would all agree that he is warm hearted, helpful, with a great sense of humour! Sam was always there to help with school excursions, events and more! I could go on and on, however, I will hold back and allow you to read more about Sam in newsletter article down below. However, I will say, we will definitely miss Sam! But, this does not have to be goodbye, Sam will always have a place here at VPS. We wish him all the very best on his next chapter.  

Easter Long Weekend

I would like to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Easter long weekend.  To all our families who will celebrate Easter this weekend -  hope you have a wonderful Easter. Enjoy creating special memories with family and friends. If you're going away, please drive safely on the roads and if you are a bit of a chocoholic like myself, pace yourself with the Easter eggs. 

See you all on Tuesday ready for the last week of term one.


Learning Together, Learning For Our Future.

Warmest Regards,

Voula Pounendis

Harmony Day Celebrations

Thank you and farewell Sam

It is surreal to think that Sam Goggins will be moving on from the VPS family after 19 years! Sam has been with us for so long however it also feels like it was just yesterday when Sam first entered into the lives of Virginia Primary back in 2002! Sam joined our community when his twins started reception in Mrs Lewis' class. Since then, Sam has been a constant fixture on our grounds. Sam always went above and beyond to support our school community. Just to name a few, Sam would help with: Christmas concert BBQ, being on grounds as Simon's right and left hand man, Preschool cubby house, painting jobs, year 6/7 camps, aquatics, working in OSHC, making sure students received breakfast and much more! Sam quickly became a highly valued member of our VPS community! We will always remember all the contributions, support, good times and laughs Sam brought into our school! We are sad to see Sam leave, however, are also pleased, knowing that he is moving on to do more hands on work which he loves and thrives at! On behalf of all the staff and students at VPS, we wish  Sam all the very best for the future. You will truly be missed. 

Award Winners

Dental For Schools

Pupil Free Day and Public Holidays

Term 1 2021

  • Friday 2nd April Public Holiday - Good Friday - NO OSHC available
  • Monday 5th April public Holiday - Easter Monday - NO OSHC available

Term 2 2021

  • Monday 26th April Public Holiday -  ANZAC Day - NO OSHC available
  • Tuesday 27th April Pupil Free Day - OSHC Available -must book  
  • Monday 14th June Public Holiday - NO OSHC available

Student Shout-outs!

Miss Jess in continuously hunting for the good to shout out in student news. It has been getting easier and easier to spot the good as we have so many wonderful students demonstrating helpful, kind and respectful behaviours and qualities. We wish we could share them all but here are some highlights!

Joshua Ferguson (Room 8) - Shout out to Joshua Ferguson from room 8 for demonstrating good friendship skills! Joshua has recently helped a friend calm his emotions and improve his mindset. Josh was helpful, kind and understanding, he did a great job supporting a friend and demonstrating our school value of caring. Well done Josh!

Sophia Burrows and Charlotte Atkinson in room 9 - Shoutout to Sophia and Charlotte for helping to pack up play equipment each and every day! The best part is the positive attitude these girls bring to packing up, always with a smile and a positive mindset! So proud of your efforts and good attitudes! 

Lily Frank (Room 2) - Shout out to Lily for always have such a positive and cheerful attitude! Lily consistently uses good manners and approaches things with a positivity and a wonderful big smile! You always show the values of caring and respect, and it fills my bucket! Thank you Lily!

Parenting Ideas 2021- Supporting Boys in Upper Primary

The upper primary school years are the start of big physical changes and boys can struggle more than girls. Even though some

of our boys are growing physically, this time can be challenging, unpredictable and full of big emotions and awkwardness.

Maggie Dent presents a related webinar: Communicating with teenage boys. Read more in the article and you can also attend the webinar as detailed below.

Our school has a membership with Parenting Ideas. As part of this membership, you can attend the upcoming webinar

‘Communicating with teenage boys’ at no cost.

In this webinar, Maggie Dent shows how using compassionate, empowering communication with teenage boys can better guide

them across the bridge to healthy manhood to a place where they feel worthwhile and engaged in respectful relationships.


24 March 2021 8:00pm AEDT

To redeem

1. Click this link:

2. Click ‘Add to cart’

3. Click ‘View cart’

4. Enter the voucher code COMMUNICATION and click ‘Apply Coupon’ Your discount of $39 will be applied.

5. Click ‘Proceed to checkout’

6. Fill in your account details including our school’s name to verify your eligibility. These are the details you will use to login to

your account and access your webinar and resources

7. Click ‘Place Order’

This o?er is valid until 24 June 2021. If you’re unable to make the broadcast time, just register anyway and you will get access to

the recording.


Governing Council Report Term 1 Week 8 2021

Pre-School Team:

Over the course of this term the children have continued to develop their concept knowledge through small group games and their numerical knowledge through stories, songs, games and hands-on tasks. The children are continuing to progress through the hierarchy of phonological awareness skills, we have many children that have moved on from breaking words into syllables and have begun learning about rhyming word pairs. Soon they will develop the ability to produce their own rhyming words. Since the beginning of the year we have been learning a new monster sound each fortnight or week from the SSP program. The children have responded really well to this. We have recently been learning about cleaning up our environment, recycling and reducing waste. These conversations have also encouraged children to put their rubbish into the correct bins, for instance, food scraps go into our small green bins that then get tipped into our compost bins, food wrappers such as chip packets go in the red bin and paper and cardboard goes into our yellow bin. This term we have also been focusing on developing children’s social skills and learning ‘how to be a good friend’. Children brainstormed several ideas in regards to how they can be a kind friend to one another at preschool. This has complimented our learning about Harmony Day this week and being inclusive of all. This week children are participating in a ‘Buddy Play’ experience, in which they are paired up with a child to play with who shares similar interests to them or that they haven’t played with very much in order to assist them in broadening their friendship circles and learning to be inclusive of all. The children have really enjoyed participating in our ‘Buddy Play’ experience, often asking upon arrival “who is my buddy today?” with a big smile.

Reception – Krystal Room 1 & Anita Room 2:

In Rooms 1 and 2, we have had a very busy start to the year learning school rules and routines. In English we have been working hard to learn our phonics (sounds) using the Speech Sound Pics (SSP) program and using Heggerty to develop our Phonological Awareness Skills. We have been persisting with our Oral language, particularly during our modelled reading lessons, to describe objects and characters using the Stephen Graham describing bubbles. Students have started to be supported to write simple sentences in their books with the success criteria being to write on the line, to write from left to right, and to use fingers spaces, full stops and capital letters. During Literacy Group sessions, we have been learning how to correctly form lowercase and uppercase letters, practise how to read unknown words by using SSP decodable words and develop our phonemic awareness and vocabulary.

In maths we have been working in groups to learn different skills and strategies. The main areas we have focusing on within the number and algebra strand are:

·       subitising

·       counting, recognising and sequencing numerals

·       matching numerals, quantities and number names

·       correct numeral formation

We have also covered patterns this term with the Learning Intention: To be able to copy, continue and create a pattern.

We look forward to continuing and consolidating our learning journey in English and Maths this term. 

Year 1 – Katrina Room 3 & Christina Room 4:

Rooms 3 and 4 have had a great start to the 2021 school year, learning new routines, persisting with their learning and enjoying getting to know and working with the children in both classes.

In phonics, we have been continuing to learn our sounds through the SSP program. We have explored many different variations to make one sound and have been continuing our SSP learning through our morning routine. When we are writing a new word we: say the word, listen for the speech sounds and work out how many there are, draw the lines to represent the speech sounds and work out the letters using the sound clouds. It is great to see the students persisting with this spelling strategy. We have been writing and making oral descriptions about various objects. When writing a description we write sentences about number, size, colour, shape, texture, doing and position.

This term in modelled reading we have been focusing on being a balanced reader, we have been reading with fluency and expression, paying attention to the punctuation and reading smoothly. We have been using our sound knowledge to decode words we are unsure of. We have been using our modelling reading text each week to focus on the grammar concepts, nouns, adjectives and articles.

In maths, we have been focusing on gaining a deeper understanding and automaticity of number. We have made number patterns, sequenced numbers, written numbers, located numbers on a number line and represented numbers using concrete materials. We have been focusing on the number strategies, counting on and rainbow facts (making 10).  

Year 2 – Mary Room 5 & Jess Room 6:

What a great start to 2021 we have had within our classrooms. All children in room 5 and 6 settled in well and are coming into the class beaming and ready to learn. One of our main learning intentions this term has been ‘to be able to work in groups/teams’. Working in groups and teams looks like everyone being nice to each other, helping each other, taking turns and respecting every ones learning. In writing, we have been focusing on writing descriptions, recounts and information reports. In reading, we are focusing on the three areas of a balanced reader which is developing our decoding, fluency and phrasing and comprehension skills. Please keep an eye out in your child’s reader bad for a new bookmark to assist with at home reading. In spelling, the students have been enjoying participating in a combination of the SSP programme, Words their Way and the Stephen Graham approach focussing on the four spelling knowledge’s. In Maths, we have been completing a range of hands on activities to explore the many facets of place value such as expanded form and matching MAB block values. Next, we will be exploring and developing a deeper understanding of patterning. We will look at colour, size, shape and number patterns, increasing patterns and decreasing patterns.  We have also covered topics such as odd and even number, greater than and less than, numerals and writing numbers in words. On Tuesday mornings, we have a fine motor morning where the children do a variety of tasks like sorting, puzzles, painting, puppet making and dominoes. During Art, we have created some wonderful autumn themed pictures and we look forward to undertaking lots of Easter activities. Perhaps the event that is creating the most excitement this term is out upcoming visit to the Marine Discovery Centre in Week 10. The students are looking forward to being explorers and finding out all the fun activities that the centre has in store for us.

Year 2/3 - Jenna Room 9/ Year 3 - Sabrina Room 10 /Year 3/4 – Elliana Room 11:

Room 9, 10 and 11 have had a busy few weeks finishing off our unit of work on Narrative writing and moving to investigating persuasive texts. We have worked hard on creating a strong and safe classroom culture over the last 8 weeks and looking back, are impressed with how much we have already achieved!

During narratives, we learnt how to use descriptive noun groups and strengthen our orientations through the use of 5W’s. We practised how to add in paragraphs and use time connectives and clauses of consequence to create excitement, suspense and engage the audience. As we move into persuasives, we are learning how to use modal verbs and evaluative language to enhance our expositions! In Maths, we have moved from Addition and Subtraction to Multiplication and Division topics. We are learning new strategies to solve problems and applying this to our RUCSAC Success Criteria method. 

RUSCAC stands for Read the problem carefully, Understand what the question is asking, Choose an operation and strategies to solve the problem, Answer the question and finally Check that you have the correct answer using another method. We are enjoying using this tool to support our understanding of worded problems. Each week we engage in number sense activities to revisit mental strategies such as count on, count back, landmark numbers, doubles, near doubles and using number lines. 

We are enjoying learning in Civics and Citizenship as we discover how Australia is organised into three levels of government, Federal, State and Territory and Local governments and the different areas of running our country, each is responsible for. We are building our understanding of the different roles and responsibilities we have as citizens living in a democratic country. We are excited to move onto our History and Geography of Australia and its neighbouring countries next term. 

We are enjoying the collaborative learning opportunities! We are approaching the end of our ‘What’s The Buzz’ social and emotional lessons. We look forward to our Harmony Day celebration and Sports Day which is fast approaching. 

We are looking forward to the Easter school holiday break but will be working hard in the remaining weeks of school! 

Year 4/5 – Belinda Room 7 & Rachele Room 8:

The year has started off well with students settling down to work quickly. We spent the first 2 and a half weeks getting to know each other and revising the school values and behaviour expectations. This term in English, we are writing fantasy narratives. Students are taking time with planning their writing with a focus on developing a series of events in which the character solves the complication. To assist with their writing, modelled reading has been focused on developing rich noun groups, punctuating speech and including varied sentence starters and time connectives. In guided reading we have continued to focus on the skills within becoming a balanced reader. Students have also been encouraged to read PRC books in their own time to complete the challenge early. In mathematics, our main focus for this term is on addition and subtraction mental and written strategies. We have been working through word problems with students to identify the key words to help them in deciding on the operation to use. We have introduced a “shopping’ component in our maths block. Students have the opportunity to practice measure amounts, converting between units of measurement, calculating the cost of items and calculating the change. They have enjoyed this but they have found parts of it challenging. In HASS, we have started a “Waste Warriors’ unit which is an inquiry into our waste management at school. We organised a visit for Alan Shepard, from KESAB, to teach us how to compost food waste and how to keep a worm farm. The kitchen/garden program commenced in week 3 this term and we have been busy preparing the soil ready for planting. We will begin planting our first lot of seedlings this week. STEM tasks have been part of our Friday afternoons and the challenges are enjoyable and require a good amount of challenge for students.

Year 5/6/7 – Andrew Room 12, Georgina Room 13 & Cathy Room 14:

The year the 3 senior classes have started the year successfully with the students revisiting School Values, Habits of The Mind, good communication skills and leadership qualities. Students are in the process of completing applications for leadership roles in the school and these roles will be appointed at the end of week 3 when all the applications are due. Classrooms have settled into a steady classroom routine. We have had health lessons around building a healthy classroom culture and revisited the What’s the Buzz program. Within the program students are learning how to behave appropriately, react to and report any bullying.

In English we once again started the year by focusing on reading strategies through the work of Alison Davis to equip students to be successful in the reading program throughout the year. These reading strategies include Making Connections, Predicting and Inferring, Monitoring and Clarifying, Questioning, Visualising and Summarising. Our primary focus to start with has been narratives as it coincides with our writing work. We have done a great deal of work on revision in planning the writing process to allow students a clear and explicit structure. Students have also been working on grammar and spelling and we have just started moving onto exposition texts.

In Mathematics we started with revision on the four operations and number. This has been coupled with our daily mental math slips that are designed to give students the opportunity to re-visit and solidify areas that they have studied previously. This also allows us to discuss a range of problem solving strategies. Students have completed the Imaths investigation “My personal Profile”, which gave students the opportunity to refresh and reinforce number and measurement skills and have recently been working on decimal operations.

In science we are looking at Classification of Organisms and in HASS Civics and Society.

The year 6/7 camp at Woodside was once again very successful with the students participating in a variety of activities. We also appointed students to leadership roles within the school. Classrooms have settled into a steady classroom routine. We have had several health lessons around building a healthy classroom culture, as well as bullying and how to react and report.

In science we are looking at Marvellous micro-organisms and in HASS. Students are thoroughly enjoying the experiments and increased understanding of bacteria.

We have also had a SAPOL visit to talk about online safety and consequences of breaking the law.

Junior Primary / Primary Art – Sue Graham:

Reception students have been creating artworks that help develop their fine motor skills. Cutting and pasting is good for hand/eye co-ordination.

Lower middle primary students have created artwork based on the orange Monarch butterfly. Orange is the colour that we promote on Harmony day.

Middle and Upper Primary students have studied the work of artist Gustav klimt. They are using his artwork as inspiration for their own designs.

The Kitchen garden has been planted with winter vegetables. Thank you to our community for donations of seed for our popular program.


Primary Science – James Yates/ JP Science – Thuy Nguyen:

Junior Primary students have been investigating movement, using the Primary Connections unit ‘On the Move’. Students have enjoyed exploring the range of different movements people can use and have been able to describe body parts that are in motion during different activities.

Middle Primary (3/4/5) students have been learning about forces (push, pull, friction and gravity). The students have started their investigations really well and have recently been testing a variety of games that use push and pull forces to move an object (ball).

Upper Primary students have been engaged in an Essential Energy unit, focusing on the types of energy that can be found throughout their homes, school and the community. Students have recently built a marble run rollercoaster demonstrating potential energy transforming into kinetic energy. We were then able to also test different amounts of potential energy by adjusting heights/slopes/curves/jumps etc.



Junior Primary / Primary Language- Thi Hien Danh:

Students in Junior Primary classes are learning the names of the zodiac animals. They are also learning the Vietnamese terms for different colours and are practising their numbers from 0 to 20. Following this, they will be counting by 10s up to 100, counting 100s up to 1000 and counting 1000 up to 10, 000. Different games are introduced during the year to help students remember these concepts.

Students in Primary classes are using the names of the zodiac animals as keywords to construct simple sentences. Games are also used to help retain and apply their new knowledge.

PE – James Yates

It has been a great start to the new school year. During PE we have been focusing on building positive team work and team culture. Students have been participating in a variety of activities in preparation for Sports Day which will be held at the end of this term. Some of the activities students have been practicing include: High Jump, Long Jump, Ball relays, Sprints, Hurdles and many more. This term we have also started practicing our SAPSASA sports at lunchtimes, the sports included are Netball, Soccer and Football. The teams are open for years 5-7 students and games will begin against other schools next term. We also have participated in the Swimming Carnival and are preparing for the Cross Country Carnival in week 1 next term.

 Student Support – Robyn Lewis and Thuy Tran


As expected, most students have settled in well to their intervention groups and we are currently testing and examining data to measure growth and any trends. After this has been completed, we will continue to plan so that we accommodate and differentiate for those students needing further support. Support takes place both individually and in small groups, in the classroom as well as other work areas and covers both literacy and numeracy.

EALD Writing

The 4-7 writing groups are completing the series of lessons on narratives and are now moving over to persuasive texts called expositions. The structures of the texts are quite different and require a change of grammar and language features. The writing component in NAPLAN will be either writing a narrative or an exposition so that is why classes are focusing on these two types of genre during term 1 and early term 2.

Term 1 Calendar 2021


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