Virginia Primary School Newsletter

Issue 13, 24/09/2021

From the Principal

Dear Families,

I would like to acknowledge and congratulate our amazing students and staff for another term of successful teaching and learning. To our wonderful families, we cannot thank you enough for your continuous support and understanding with the ongoing restrictions taking place throughout the term. As a school, we highly value our community and want you involved in any way possible, however unfortunately we have been limited in what we are able to do in this space due to COVID.

We are hoping to welcome back parent volunteers next term, if this is something that you would like and are able to be part of, please contact the front office so they can add you to our list. We are also in ‘desperate need’ of canteen parent helpers – PLEASE let us know if you can support us with this. We are hoping to train up some parents who would then be able to backfill Karen when needed.

Parents of year 3,5 and 7 students, you should have received your Naplan reports. We are in the process of analysing the results on a whole school level as we want to track and monitor student growth – both as a cohort and on an individual basis. We are also collating PAT assessments (Progressive Achievement Tests). PAT assessments measure what students in Foundation to Year 10 know, understand and are capable of across domains, and help monitor progress over time. As a site, we are always looking at ways to further improve and strengthen the teaching and learning.

Term 4 will be another busy term with us having our year 6/7 students graduating – our biggest cohort ever, with year 7’s transitioning into the secondary sector for the first time here in SA. Our 6/7 team are busy planning and preparing for the graduation and Bec who works in our front office has once again outdone herself with the design of this year’s invitations – she is amazing!

Unfortunately we are unable to have swimming this year due to Aquadome’s upgrade work. We tried to look at other possibilities, however were unsuccessful. On the bright side, we are hoping to have our community attend our End of Year School Concert (fingers crossed that we all continue to do the right thing by SA Health to ensure that the restrictions continue to ease). We will keep you posted throughout the term.

I’d like to congratulate our Oliphant Award Winners as shared further down in the newsletter. We are super proud of your effort and achievements. To our Sapsasa teams and Choir – well done! You should ALL be extremely proud of your achievements. We couldn’t be any more prouder of you all.

Lastly, I’d also like to wish Miss Valente all the very best – she is getting married during the school holidays and will be returning in week 2 of term 4. As we welcome back Miss Thuy, I’d like to also thank Miss Anita for all her work whilst stepping into the Deputy Principal role. She did a remarkable job and we’re extremely grateful for all her contribution. We are also extremely excited to announce that  Miss Jessica Nguyen our Wellbeing Advisor will be staying here at VPS on a permanent basis. We were fortunate to be able to transfer her permanent hours here from her previous school. Jess has and continues to support many of our families and is doing a magnificent job in her role. We are also patiently waiting to hear from Miss Katrina who is expecting the birth of her first child in the holidays. It is all happening here at VPS J.

I hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable two week break. Continue to spend quality time and creating special memories with family and friends, and we will see you all back here in term 4.

 Learning Together, Learning For Our Future.

Warmest Regards,

Voula Pounendis

Oliphant Science Award Winners 2021

Zoe  & Alexa    Multimedia    Yr3-4               3rd Prize

Indie & Aria    Games            YrR-2               2nd Prize

Charlotte        Multimedia      YrR-2               2nd Prize

Abigail             Multimedia       Yr3-4             High Commendation

Abigail              Scientific Inquiry  Yr3-4         High Commendation

Festival of Music - 2021

What a night it was, “Stars in the Arena” celebrating 130 years of the Primary Schools Music Festival at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre on Tuesday night.

It was a fabulous night of entertainment and the culmination of many sessions learning how to sing and perform before a live audience.  Our choristers did us proud. They are to be congratulated on being fine ambassadors for our school.  The concert ended with a spectacular sea of colour.

During the concerts there were a number of Guest Artists from public primary and secondary schools, other choir items that presented different musical genre, and two pieces that specifically showcased the talents of the orchestra. Amongst this showcase was our own past student, Lilly Rowe. Lilly secured a place in the dance troupe and performed admirably.

A spectacular event that our students enjoyed being a part of.

Thank you also to our choir trainer Carol Gower who helped our students learn the repertoire. 

Swimming Rec - Year 5 2021

Sadly we would like to inform Parents/Caregivers of Reception - Year 5 students that this years swimming lessons have now been cancelled. The Elizabeth Aquadome is still currently under renovation and their finish date has been pushed back to later in the term. We did however, look into other locations but due to bookings being already taken and also the cost of buses this wasn't possible as we do try to keep the costs to a minimum. We understand how disappointing this is as so many of our students look forward to this time of year.

However, this will not effect the Year 6-7's Aquatic's that take place at West Lakes

Dogs on School Grounds

A reminder that dogs are not permitted on any school sites within South Australia without permission obtained from the Principal at the school site.

South Australia Dog and Cat Management Act 1995 45A —Miscellaneous duties relating to dogs

(2) A person who owns or is responsible for the control of a dog is guilty of an offence if the dog (not being an accredited disability dog, guide dog or hearing dog) is in, or in the grounds of, a school, kindergarten, child care centre or pre-school centre without the permission of the person in charge of that place. 

Class Structures for 2022

It is that time of year when we begin planning class structures for the following year. It is extremely important that we have accurate information about who will be attending and/or leaving next year so we can refer to these numbers when deciding on how many classes we will need .

We are asking for families to please click on the link below to complete a quick form if you child will not be returning in 2022

This will assist us with our class structures and staffing requirements. If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact the front office. Also, if you know of families who are in the zone and would like to enrol their child/ren here, please encourage them to let us know as soon as possible.

We thank you for taking the time to complete the form by clicking on the link below.


The girls SAPSASA team played a fantastic semi-finals game, however, unfortunately lost with the score being a close 2-1. We are extremely proud of the way the girls played and the effort they put in throughout the match.

Thank you to all the girls for their hard work and the Virginia community for allowing us to access the soccer grounds to compete in the SAPSASA tournament.

Well done!!

Student Shout-outs!

We are so proud of our students in many different ways. Shout outs are a way to recognise and show appreciation for our students who demonstrate kind acts, good character, persistence and achievements.

Shout out to the following students:

- Cash (Room 3) for being persistent and positive in the yard. Cash we are so proud of your ability to overcome fears and turn things around with a beautiful smile! Well done on being persistent and brave at school, we are so proud of you!!

-Clare H (Room 14) for always consistently helping others in the classroom. Clare is always ready and willing to lend a helping hand in the classroom. We are so proud of you Clare, well done!!

-Bella (room4) for helping with lunchtime activity pack ups. Without being asked, Bella helped pack up pencils from the International Day of Peace lunchtime activity. We are so proud of your initiative to help out where you can. Very proud of you! 


2022 Reception and new Student Enrolment Information is required as soon as possible as we need to finalise numbers for next year.

If you have any siblings, neighbours, familiy members or acquaintances  that are due to start school in 2022 please see our Front Office staff for a registration of interest form, these forms need to be returned asap. 

Please note that your child will need to turn 5 by the 1st May 2022 to begin Reception in January 2022.


Congratulations to following students who have recently received their Times Table medal:
Kevin - Room 10

Donnica & Zander - Room 7 

Michael-Le, Justin & Danny - Room 12

Tarniya, Charli E & Johnny - Room 13

Maddy, Savanna & Caylee-Rose - Room 14

Parenting Ideas Articles - Everyday resilience lessons for kids

As we all know muscles need to be exercised daily if they’re to remain strong, flexible and do their jobs. Resilience is no different. If it’s not exercised regularly our resilience will waste away.

Resilience is developed through regular daily use. Here are some simple ways you can encourage a child or young person of any age to flex their resilience muscles every day.

Click on the download button to read more from Dr Michael Grose.


Semaphore Surf Life Saving Club

Semaphore Surf Life Saving Club runs a Junior Surf Life Saving program from October to March every year, for the first three months they have a Come and Try Program so that children can try Surf Life Saving as a sport to help them to decide if they would like to continue and join as members.  SSLSC have a great program for Nippers from 5 years old to 12 Years old and are always looking for more families to join.  

This year they are expanding their award winning inclusive Nippers program ‘Seabirds’ for children with additional needs and are hoping to see more kids involved.

SSLSC consider them selves to be a Family Club and their junior program is for everyone regardless of experience or ability. 

Governing Council Report Term 3 Week 8 2021

Pre-School Team:

Term 3 has been extremely busy in the Preschool! The children have recently been involved in a variety of book making activities both individually and in small groups. Engaging children in book making helps to support the acquisition of effective reading behaviours and many other important literacy skills, such as an understanding of print and text conventions, for example knowledge in relation to letters, words and sentences, the front and back cover of the book, the location of print, where to start reading and what direction to read. We have also been focussing on learning about characters, settings, sequencing of events and the characteristics of narrative structures.

As a part of our numeracy learning this term we have been focussing on ‘Data’. This has seen children collecting, sorting and analysing information to determine outcomes and make decisions. For example the children collected, recorded and analysed data to name the preschool goldfish, determined the most popular fruit that children bring to preschool each day and have been involved in analysing the daily UV reading.

95% of our families have recently attended 3-way-interviews. Throughout this process children are encouraged to lead the conversation for the majority of the interview and articulate some examples of their learning from within their portfolios. Taking part in a formalised, reciprocal conversation is a major accomplishment for many 4 and 5 year olds and is a very positive experience for the children. It has been lovely witnessing the proud expressions on so many little faces.

Reception – Catherine Room 1 & Anita Room 2:

Rooms 1 and 2 have been busy stretching and consolidating our learning this term in literacy and numeracy. In English we have been working hard to develop our writing skills by adding detail to our recounts and using verbs in our procedure writing. We have continued to develop our reading skills to support us in being Balanced Readers and in particular have focused on comprehension.

In Maths we have continued consolidating our learning in number and have started learning about measurement: length, mass and capacity using informal units. We look forward to seeing the growth that each student makes this term.  It has been fantastic to see students actively engaged and supporting one another as well as confidently sharing their learning.

Year 1 - Katrina Room 3 & Christina Room 4

It’s hard to believe that we are already near the end of term 3! What a wonderful term of learning Room 3 and 4 have had. We have been enjoying reading a range of books and focusing on reading with fluency. When we read with fluency we read at the right pace (not too fast and not too slow), we use expression (change our voice for different characters) and read emphasising the punctuation (stopping at a full stop, using more expression when we come across a word that is bold).  We have put all these skills into practice during our daily reading.  

In writing this term, we have been continuing to focus on writing recounts during morning and narratives in our modelled writing lessons. We have been referring to the specific success criteria when writing. We have enjoyed writing lots of exciting orientations together.  

In maths we have continued developing our fluency and automaticity with number strategies. We have enjoyed learning about the value of numbers and are now beginning to learn about Australian Money. We will be recognising, describing and ordering Australian coins according to their value.   

We know that the children enjoyed sharing their learning with you through their books and we hope you enjoyed this process too. The learning in their books in a snapshot of the learning that occurs during the day.  

Lastly, a big thank you from Miss Katrina to all students and parents for all your wonderful learning and support over the many years I have been at VPS. I would be telling a lie if I didn’t say I am sad to leave, however am looking forward to returning after my leave. Wishing you all the best for the rest of 2021. 

Year 2 – Mary Room 5 & Jess Room 6:

What a busy term it has been in Rooms 5 and 6 and we can’t believe it is almost holiday time again! The students have enjoyed doing the Premier’s Be Active challenge in this spring weather. Their routine included the new and improved obstacle course, relays which develop ball skills, walking, jogging and running laps for our cardio. In the spirit of the Premier, our reading challenge also came to an end late this term. The students were enthusiastic about reading a variety of texts both of their choice and in shared reading experiences in the classroom. They are looking forward to receiving their medals which will be worn with pride. The Book Week Parade has been a definite highlight of the term and we would like to thank you all for the support you gave your child with their costumes, they were fantastic!

In English, we are still working on our unit based on the narrative texts before we move on to exploring and writing explanation texts. The students have produced some very descriptive orientations and read them confidently like authors to their peers. In grammar we have focussed on speech marks, exclamation marks, contractions, present tense verbs, adverbs, compound sentences. Each child has set their new reading goals and they are proudly displayed in our classroom. In spelling the students have continued to expand their knowledge of the long vowel sounds and have enjoyed participating in many spelling based activities. The ‘Word Hunt’ continues to be a crowd favourite.

Mathematics topics have included addressing addition and subtraction misconceptions, money, subtraction, chance and data and daily mental maths strategies. We know many of you enjoyed looking at their work samples last weekend and we enjoyed reading your feedback.

Room 6 have loved having our 4th year Pre-Service teacher Miss Donnelly for the past two weeks and participating in all the fun Health and HASS lessons she planned for us. In Health the students have been exploring the concept of healthy eating and a balanced diet. In  HASS they have been exploring the seven continents and the locations within the hemispheres. They have used their research skills to locate and present information on a country of their choice. We are looking forward to our last three weeks with Miss Donnelly and wish her the best of luck in her final semester of her studies. 

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

What a fabulous and exciting Term 3 it has been! We have enjoyed undertaking and now completing the Premier’s Be Active and Reading challenge. We have had such a busy time this term and are proud of our growth and achievements.

We welcome Tara McAnulty to VPS! Tara is a 4th year pre service teacher from the University of South Australia. She will be working in Room 9 until the end of the term. She has already established strong relationships with the students and is looking forward to learning and growing as a teacher!

We have recently finished creating narrative texts of our own, we plan to display them in the library and classrooms, please come and have a read! This work flowed nicely onto our response text type focus to enhance our response writing skills with the use of evaluative adjectives, modal conjunctions, retell and judgement sentences. We have been busy responding to a range of multimodal texts including, Book Week books, videos and our incursion by Trent Hill about Indigenous artefacts. We will be ending the term with a procedural text focus and hands on making activities to bring our learning to life.

In Maths we have continued to enjoy mental routines with whiteboard work to show our understanding as well as hands on activities based on fractions, time, 2D and 3D shape, angles and four operations. We are showing a great deal of persistence and improvement in solving worded problems across topics in Mathematics. We have begun PAT online testings in the areas of Maths, Reading, Spelling, Grammar and Vocabulary.

This semester across our classrooms we have begun our in class science lessons! Our first focus is ‘Biological Sciences: Friends or Foes’ where we investigate the process of pollination and how flowers turn into fruit through their life cycle.

We are busy preparing for our Week 9 and 10 assembly and are excited to share our learning and the learning! Room 11 will be presenting in Week 3 of Term 4!

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

Students have worked productively this term and have shown persistence when challenged with new learning. They showed great excitement about participating in the book week parade and enjoyed looking at all the costumes. Students thoroughly enjoyed the stories, information and demonstrations by Trent Hill and could connect what they had learnt to what they were learning in HASS.

Our literacy focus for the remainder of the term is on writing and reading explanation texts with explicit modelled reading and guided reading lessons targeting structural and language features. Students continue to develop and apply their spelling knowledge through a range of activities in word study with a particular focus on learning how to identify syllables in polysyllabic words to assist with spelling. We are encouraging students to also use this knowledge when decoding unfamiliar or new words when reading.

In numeracy, we will finish off the term with a measurement focus. Students will be engaging in a variety of problem solving and hands on activities (involving number lines and scales) focusing on length, volume and capacity. Students continue to work at improving their number fact knowledge and fluency. 

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

This term has certainly been busy for Rooms 12, 13 and 14. Students have been involved in SAPSASA athletics, soccer, football and netball. Also, students performed at the Entertainment Centre for the Adelaide Festival of Music choir performance.

In English, students have been writing explanations. They have constructed texts on our Science unit: The Solar System. They have explained how the Solar System was formed, why we have Day and Night and what causes Solar and Lunar Eclipses. We are continuing our work in spelling, where students are exploring the phonology, orthography and morphology of words by engaging in activities in word study, e.g., segmenting, using syllables and exploring morphemes.  In reading, students have been looking at the purpose, structure and language features of explanation texts. Also, in literacy circles, we continue to read novels in small groups and analyse the texts by completing specialised roles which they present to the group. These discussions allow students to discuss elements of the texts, such as characterisation, plot lines and themes, which supports deeper comprehension.

Primary Science - James Yates / JP Science Thuy Nguyen

In maths, we have been looking at geometry. Students have been investigating 3D shapes to identify the number of faces, edges and vertices. They have also constructed skeletal models and nets of these shapes.

In Science, we have been exploring how the position of celestial bodies: the sun, moon and Earth cause natural phenomena on Earth. We have also discussed how scientific understanding and knowledge changes over time and that scientific knowledge is built upon prior discoveries.

P.E - James Yates

Both JP and Primary classes have started a new unit of work on Badminton. Students have started really well, many learning and participating in the game for the first time. They have also continued focusing on teamwork skills and fair.

Junior Primary / Primary Language- Thi Hien Danh:

This term children across all year levels are focusing on reading in Vietnamese and translating simple text from Vietnamese to English. They are learning how to read keywords and transferring this knowledge to translate their work. Students are being more confident as the learning progresses. Some students are able to work independently with this task.

Children from year 3-7 are learning how to type in Vietnamese by using the Vietnamese key board. 

Student Support – Danielle Mathews and Thuy Tran

The LLI Reading Groups have been working diligently this term on their reading goals and towards being a Balanced Reader. Each reading group session has been reading a wide range of text types and genres and focussing on decoding, fluency and phrasing and comprehension to improve their reading success. Recent running records are highlighting the progress students have made with the majority of students moving up a reading level. Well done to all the LLI Readers for your participation and effort this Term. Continuing to read for leisure and purpose, at school and at home, at every opportunity is only going to keep you improving!

Term 4 Calendar 2021


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