Virginia Primary School Newsletter

Issue 7, 20/05/2021

From the Principal

Dear Families,

As we approach mid-term, I would firstly like to congratulate our year 3, 5 and 7 students who sat the NAPLAN.  Apart from some minor technical issues, on the whole, NAPLAN ran extremely smoothly. We are proud of the perseverance demonstrated on their behalf. I would also like to thank all the staff for supporting our students throughout the two weeks – a special shout out and acknowledgement to Miss Anita, Mrs Sliskovic, Mrs Thuy and Lemuel, for all their work behind the scenes and on all the days.

Walk Safely to School

It was fantastic to see so many children and families participate in our Walk Safely to School last Friday. The weather was kind to us, with the rain pausing whilst on the walk and then resumed once we arrived at school. We hope you enjoy some of the photos taken on the day.

Keeping Safe at School during drop off and pick up

At VPS, ‘student safety’ is at the forefront of everything that we do. We want to avoid any possible mishaps and ask that you use one of our 3 main entry points.

  • The community carpark by the preschool or the far end by the community centre. Both of these carparks have their own entrance.
  • Front of the school parking. There are limited spaces here, however when parking at the front of the school, parents and students are to use the ‘main entrance only’. They are not to use the driveway by the library end. This is strictly a ‘driveway’.
  • Do nots:

    • Parents and volunteers to NOT park in either of the staff carparks (behind the library and the one with the boom gate). We have ample of carpark spaces available around the school. The staff carparks are ‘strictly’ for school staff only. These spaces are limited and need to be left for our regular staff members.
    • Parents to NOT use the library driveway to pick up and drop off their children. We have half of the gate closed, however this is still being ignored with people opening it and leaving it open during pick up and drop off. This is NOT a walk way. Our only entrance at the front of the school is the ‘main entrance’
    • Families to not walk across staff carpark with the boom gate. Again, this is to keep everyone safe. We have staff members (SSOs) who leave straight after the school siren.


    We would be grateful for your cooperation and support in this matter.


    Governing Council 2021

    I would like to introduce and officially welcome our Governing Council for 2021. Again, I would like to thank and acknowledge all former GC members for all their input and support and welcome our new members. Governing Councils work with the site leader to help set and monitor the direction of a site.

    Congratulations to Evan Klose who is our new elected Chairperson. Like Colleen, Evan is passionate and dedicated to supporting our school’s vision ‘Working Together, Working for our Future’.

    Chairperson – Evan Klose

    Secretary – Hayley Trimboli

    Treasurer – Evan Klose

    GC member – Caroline James

    GC member – Amanda Learmonth

    GC member – Alana Bombardieri

    GC member – Rebecca Robinson

    GC member – Melissa Ciola

    GC member – Mark Ciampa

    GC member – Jessica St John Starks

    GC member – Rebecca Mickel


    School Interviews

    More information will come out in the near future, however a quick reminder that student progress reports will be shared with parents during these meetings and then sent home. Reports will not be sent home at the end of the term. Like previous years, we strive for 100% attendance as it is important for every parent to meet and discuss their child’s progress report with their class teacher. Interpreters will be organised where required. Please keep an eye out for when the ‘booking sessions’ come out. If you have any further questions, please don’t hesitate to contact the front office.


    Looking forward to seeing you all at Parent Interviews.

    Learning Together, Learning For Our Future.

    Warmest Regards,

    Voula Pounendis

    Say Cheese!!

    Dates to Remember

    Term 2 2021

    • Friday 21st May - Secondary School registration closes
    • Friday 28th May - Casual Clothes Day
    • Monday 7th June - School Photo Day with MSP 
    • Monday 14th June Public Holiday - NO OSHC available
    • Wednesday 16th June - Governing Council meeting
    • Friday 2nd July - Last day of term 2:15 finish

    Snap Shots

    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:

    Sophia B in room 9 - for always being so helpful in the mornings by returning play equipment back into the trolley and keeping our school tidy! Very proud of your helpful nature, and the fact that you always do it with a positive attitude and a smile! Well done Sophia!

    Tony M in room 13 - for helping a reception student get his hat out of a tree! Very proud of your initiative to help a younger student. You have demonstrated leadership and kindness all at the same time! Well done Tony!

    Mary K in room 14 - for reading over 2 and a half million words so far this year (as measured by Scholastic Learning Zone)!! Mary has successfully completed 72 reading quizzes, which means that she has read 72 books!!! Mary is in the advanced reading band with a lexile of 1106!! Alongside all this, we would also like to shout out to Mary for or helping room 9 with tech issues and demonstrating good problem solving! Well done Mary!

    Beau B in room 4 - for having a positive attitude; saying good morning with a smile, and trying hard and persisting with his work! Very proud of you Beau! Keep it up!! 

    Governing Council Report Term 2 Week 3 2021

    Pre-School Team:

    So far this term, the children have been engaging in learning about crossing the road safely, community helpers, recapping handwashing and hygiene and are also continuing their learning on identifying rhyming-word pairs and producing rhyming words of their own. The children watched Handy’s Helpers (a short video about handwashing, why it’s important to wash our hands and when we should wash our hands), developed a simple 5-step handwashing procedure and participated in a visual germ experiment to develop their understanding about the importance of handwashing and the link between germs/bacteria and good health. To compliment the children’s learning about crossing the road safely they will be taken over to the children’s crossing at the front of the school to practise crossing the road safely while holding a teacher’s hand next week. In preparation for this the children have been stating the different ways they can keep safe when crossing the road. This includes looking both ways, listening for cars, only walking and holding an adult’s hand. 

    Reception – Krystal Room 1 & Anita Room 2:

    Welcome back to Term 2! We are excited to have all students back at school to start a new term full of exciting and powerful learning experiences.  In English we are continuing to consolidate and learn new phonemes and graphemes using the Speech Sound Pics (SSP) program. Students have continued to develop their writing skills, and have being attempting to independently transfer their knowledge of high-frequency words and letter-sound relationships to support them in spelling unknown words. We have been persisting with descriptive oral language and writing, particularly during our modelled and shared reading lessons, to describe objects and characters as we as identify the main events in a texts. 

    In maths we have been working in groups to learn different skills and strategies. The main areas we are focussing on are:

    Number & Algebra:

    •        Counting to and from 20, from any starting point

    •        Counting backwards from 20, and beyond

    •        Connecting numerals, number names and quantities

    •        Recognise, model, read, write and order numbers to 20

    •        Sorting and classifying objects

    Measurement & Geometry: Time

    •        2D shapes

    •        Connecting the days of the week to familiar events

    •        Duration of months, weeks and days

    •        Seasons

    We would like to thank all parents for supporting their child/children with their home learning towards the end of term one and the start of this term. 

    Year 1 – Katrina Room 3 & Christina Room 4:

    Welcome back to term 2, it is great to see everyone back at school for an exciting term of learning! Well done to all the children in room 3 and 4 for settling back in and starting the term persisting with their learning and striving for accuracy. This term we have been continuing to learn our sounds through SSP. We have been focusing on a sound each day and exploring the different ways that sound is represented. We have been using the speech sounds in words and the sound clouds to edit words we write to improve our spelling.  

    During modelled reading we have been focusing on the text type Recount. We have been exploring the text structure and features of texts. Our grammar focus has been time connectives and verbs. We will also be focusing on pronouns, simple/compound sentences and punctuation. We have been writing recounts with a focus on the orientation of the text. Our success criteria is to include when, who and where. We are now exploring the sequence of events in our recounts.  

    In maths, we have been using number strategies to solve worded problems about one of our favourite book characters, The Very Hungry Caterpillar. We have used the Hungry Caterpillar to help us solve many problems such as how many things did the Hungry Caterpillar eat all together and how many different ways can the Hungry Caterpillar arrange 5 oranges.  

    We have continued gaining automaticity with numbers to 100 and are starting to partition numbers into tens and ones.  

    Year 2 – Mary Room 5 & Jess Room 6:

    Welcome to Term 2! We are delighted to have the students back and are looking forward to a busy and exciting term ahead. This term we are lucky enough to be joined by a pre service teacher Makenzie, in Room 6 who is in her first year of teaching, as well Amanda who is an SSO in training and will be in Room 5 on Tuesdays. In English, the students are continuing to enjoy their daily involvement in spelling activities and they are becoming skilled at applying new strategies in everyday tasks. We picked up where we left off with modelled and guided reading last term and the students will be coming home with reading goals shortly. In writing, we have started our unit on information reports, whilst reviewing our work on recounts and descriptions from Term 1. The students are currently working on an exciting research project with a partner which will also include an Arts component.  They are doing an excellent job of identifying the Macro and Micro Groups and writing clear paragraphs for each of their Micro Groups.

    In Maths the students have been enthusiastic about learning different aspects of patterning including using materials and recognising patterns in our number system. We are looking forward to broadening our strategies for solving addition problems including rainbow facts, turn arounds, friendly numbers, doubles and chunking. We have also started weekly shape lessons in Room 6 and Room 5 have been finishing off their work on time. In Health lessons we are focussing on Protective Behaviours as a part of the Child Protection Curriculum. We will soon be getting ready for our turn at running assembly in Week 5 and are keen to practise our presenting skills and share some of our wonderful work with you. We would like to congratulate the students on all their hard work so far this term, keep up the great work! 

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

    A huge congratulations are in order for our Year 3 students in Rooms 9, 10 and 11 on a successful NAPLAN testing period across weeks 3 and 4. Students have displayed the Habits of Mind of Persistence and Striving for Accuracy! They all tried their absolute best, and we are very proud! Well done to the Year 2 and 4 students for the flexibility and remaining focused on their learning during this time!  

    In Maths, we have revised concepts relating to all on concepts in preparation for NAPLAN testing. We begin our math lessons with whole class explicit teaching, which is then followed by activities based upon the four proficiency strands of Understanding, Fluency, Reasoning and Problem Solving. We are now focusing on using addition and subtraction with money to calculate change before moving to measurement topics later in the term.  

    We are enjoying our daily guided, modelled, and shared reading and guided writing to ensure our students receive a balanced literacy program. We are continuing to develop our phonological awareness skills through our Heggerty our program. Children engage in oral practise of rhyme, segmenting and blending sounds in words.  

    Within SSP, we are continuing daily revision of SSP sounds as well as sound inquiry session, which involve explicit phonics instruction, designed to address common gaps in children’s spelling. We are continuing to investigate our weekly sounds across phonological, orthographic, and morphemic spelling knowledge’s. 

    Our focus for text-type writing this term is Information Reports. We are learning about the structure, purpose, and language features of these texts. We practise daily grammar activities and answer questions related to modelled texts to support our comprehension. We are beginning to structure our paragraphs using proper nouns and pronouns. A writing strategy that we have thoroughly enjoyed is the ‘Say it, Lock it, and Write it’. This allows us to brainstorm and verbalise sentences as a class before writing them. We are looking forward to writing our own information reports based on our learning from our Week 7 excursion to the Adelaide Zoo! 

    We will also focus on information reports within our HASS unit ‘Australiana.’ In this unit, History and Geography topics will be combined to teach the students about Australia’s states, territories, and neighbouring countries.  

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

    It has been a great start to term 2 in rooms 7 & 8, and students were excited to be back after the term 1 break. Room 8 students welcomed Miss C into their room and have been adjusting to the changes well by learning more about each other and building positive relationships. Students have been involved in activities about how to construct persuasive texts, with a focus so far on the macro and the construction of argumentative paragraphs. We have been using Tessa Daffern’s spelling strategies in class and students have shown confidence in trying new approaches. We have introduced handwriting, with the aim of all year 5 students receiving a pen licence by the end of the year. In mathematics, we currently have a large focus on multiplication and number fact fluency. Students have been developing strategies to solve multiplication problems and have been learning new mathematical terms and language to support them. Later in the term, we will focus on division and highlight the relationship between multiplication and division to support mathematical understanding. In HASS, we have been learning about Australian History and have developed a timeline of historical events. Student learning will have specific foci on first contacts and the development of Australian colonies. 

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

    This term, NAPLAN testing will be conducted in weeks 3 and 4. It is online and we are continuing to engage the Year 5 and 7 students in practice tests in all areas to consolidate the format and process with them.

    In reading, we are continuing our work in Guided Reading and Literacy Circles. Students will be looking at the informative genres of reports and explanations. During Guided Reading, we will be unpacking the language features, structure and visual features that make up these texts. Students will learn how to activate their prior knowledge on topics and how to use this, along with the new information presented in texts in order to build their knowledge and new understandings. One of the Guided reading activities is Readers Theatre where students read a part and assess each other on fluency, expression and phrasing.

    In writing, we are focusing on the informative genres. Students will be writing reports on Ancient Civilisations - China to support our HASS unit and also on Chinese animals to support our work in science. Room 12 will be continuing with Marvellous Micro-organisms and then moving onto Australia as a Nation which will be supported with an Australian animal report.

    In Maths this term we will be focusing on order of operations, backtracking and the three mathematical laws: distributive, associative and commutative. Following that, we will be moving into probability, money and transformations. Room 12 will also be working on the four operations and fractions later in the term.

    This term we will be looking at biology and how the environment shapes the lives of organisms and the interrelationships between living and nonliving things. Students will be researching an animal from China in order to construct a report.

    In Health we will be looking at Drugs and alcohol, life choices, peer pressure and Rights of the Child for the year 5’s.

    Junior Primary / Primary Art – Sue Graham:

     Reception students are looking at the artwork of Claude Monet. They have used acrylic paint and collage techniques to create artwork based on Monet’s waterlilies.

    Years one and two students are studying the art element of line and identifying where they see examples in famous artworks.

    Middle Primary students are refining their water-colour techniques to produce artwork based on the yin yang symbol.

    Year 6/7 students are creating artwork based on the street art of contemporary artist Banksy.

    This week we welcomed Mr Ken Duthy from the Royal Australian Regiment to talk to room 7 students about the significance of ANZAC day and to plant rosemary in our kitchen garden. Mr Duthy has a long association with our school and we are grateful for his ANZAC and Remembrance day visits.


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

     In Science all classes are continuing their work on their respective physical sciences unit.

    JP children have been focussing on physical science specifically on how people and things move. They have been learning about how things and people move which were dependent on a variety of factors like shape and size. Children have been using their science journals to gather evidence of objects and movements and the idea of fair testing. They are looking forward to coming into Science every Monday to learn more about movements and are eager to do an experiment on movement next week. 

    Middle Primary students have been investigating how different forces can impact an objects movement, we have focused on push, pull, air resistance, gravity and friction.

    Upper primary students have currently been having a break from their science unit of work on types of energy and have been doing Bike Ed theory lessons around bike safety before going out on the road this week. We will pick up our science unit again next week


    Junior Primary / Primary Language- Thi Hien Danh:

    This term, students in all year levels will be continuing to learn and refine vocabulary from last term for a couple of weeks.

    The remaining of term 2, students will be learning about numbers and colours. They will be continuing to develop a deeper understanding of how to write and count numbers in Vietnamese. Students will use their prior knowledge of numbers and colours to construct simple sentences. Pronouns will be introduced to students from year 1 to year 7. They will translate and compare common Vietnamese and English expressions and simple bilingual texts for classroom use. Students will continue to develop more understanding of the tones in Vietnamese language and use tone markers in their writing. 

    PE – James Yates

    Students have started the term really well and are deeply engaged in their respective units.

    Junior Primary students are focusing on their throwing and catching skills using a variety of equipment and through different activities and games. Primary students have been developing skills in Volleyball. Students have really enjoyed this unit of work and have been practicing and learning the different volleyball strikes including digging, setting and spiking. They are looking forward to using these skills in small games in the coming weeks.

    Student Support – Robyn Lewis and Thuy Tran

    Our 6 morning LLI groups have settled down to work quickly this term and many of the students are getting better at arriving on time at 8:30am to make the most of the time. There is still some improvement required for several families. Besides fluency and decoding in sessions, our main focus is often on the comprehension of the texts, especially the questions which ask the students to identify the theme or message of the text as well as questions that require a response to part of the book rather than a literal answer. Improvement in reading comes about when students practise their reading at home as well as at school and we would encourage parents to continue to support this practice.

    EALD Writing

    Students have been working on persuasive and narrative texts with a particular emphasis on the structure and developing a wide vocabulary to make their work engaging for the audience. Students in Year 5 and 7 are completing their NAPLAN writing samples this week and we will then be moving on to another factual text called an Information Report. It has been pleasing to note growth in the students’ work since

    Parenting Ideas 2021- Managing anxiety before it becomes a problem

    Start the consent ball rolling from an early age

    Following the March 4 Justice rallies families have been urged to talk to their children about consent. Many parents are unsure where to start and how to go about it. Here are some ideas to assist parents in this most important topic.


    Term 2 Calendar 2021


    The SkoolBag app is the easiest way keep up with school events, last minute notices, newsletters and all school communications.

    Instantly translate this newsletter to 100+ languages

    With our Google Translation integration, your community can access your newsletter in ANY language. Simply scroll to the bottom of the newsletter preview to give it a try.