Welcome to the 2021 school year. Thank you to all the parents who have so beautifully supported their children returning to school by being positive about moving on to the next class. Teachers will be focussing on establishing their classroom communities in the first few weeks to ensure that expectations are agreed and clear to ensure all students are free to learn to the best of their abilities. These expectations are based around our values of integrity, respect, excellence and resilience and the Play is the Way social skills framework. There will be more information about this at the level information nights.
There is a huge amount of information in the first newsletter. It will take you more than one cup of tea to get through it all. Please take the time to read and be familiar with the items. If you have any queries please see your class teacher, Priscilla or me.
Family Contact Details
An individual pack will come home to confirm your family details. Please watch out for it and make any changes needed and return to the office. If you need some help with anything please come and ask, or give us a call.
Each family has access to our communication tool, Compass. If you haven’t used it yet please see the office for your log in. Thank you to all our families who have made payments for their fees or organised a payment plan. We are grateful for the support of our families.
Our office staff include: Skye Thornton Business Manager, Prue Mattern Administration, Kim Nelson Administration and Manager of First Aid, Priscilla Salter Assistant Principal and me. We are all available to help out any queries or concerns.
Students who have allergies will need to have an Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy Plan (ASCIA) kept at school. These plans outline an action plan and need to be reviewed every year if a child does suffer from an allergic reaction. The plans are available on line at www.allergy.org.au or you can pick one up at the office for 2021 from Kim, manager of this paperwork.
Watch out in the newsletter for upcoming dates. Information evening will be held on Wednesday 10th February online 6pm for Prep, 6.30 Year 1-2 families, 7pm for years 3/4 and 7.30pm year 5/6 families. Each level will be sent home a Webex invite on Monday with the internet link.
Our student/parent/teacher conferences will be held on Tuesday March 9th, the day after the Labour Day Holiday. Students will only need to attend for their conference on that day. At this stage we have not determined whether the sessions will be online or in person. We will advise as soon as possible but booking will still be on line, opening Friday 26th February at 12pm. For new families to our school, this is an opportunity to further build the home/school partnership. The conference will be an opportunity to share information and discuss goals.
In 2019 our School Council reviewed our uniform policy. Uniform Policy 2019 and is also available on our website. Uniform is compulsory at Ferntree Gully North as it sets an appropriate standard for school and a benchmark of pride in our school for all children. All children will need a windcheater or bomber jacket and polo top that has a logo. You can purchase additional polo shirts that don’t have a logo to make sure you can get through the week. (logo shirts are required for Excursions and School Photo day) Only year 6 students have the option of a hooded jumper, their year 6 jumper.
All other students need the school jumper with the logo. There are shorts and track pants available for both girls and boys. Girls have the option of skorts and dresses. Again additional dresses can be purchased to top up your supply. Leggings and netball skirts are not on our list.
We have moved to the Klad Uniform shop in Rowville. https://www.kladsport.com.au/
The uniform shop have all items in stock except for the slimmer fit track pants. They are having difficulty obtaining stocks in the current conditions of bringing things into Australia. If the weather turns colder, girls can wear the summer dress or skort with navy blue tights. Uniform change-over would have been done last year but unfortunately Covid put a dent in this. All families will need to ensure their students are wearing appropriate uniform. We appreciate that if your child is in year 6 you may not want to purchase additional items, however, the slim track pants will be suitable for outside school wear as well. If you have any questions please speak to your classroom teacher and you can refer to the policy for a list of appropriate options. Don’t forget that hats are required until the end of April.
Some Beginning of the Year Housekeeping
School Enviro Centre Carers
A huge thanks must go to the families who helped out the school caring for the enviro centre and its inhabitants over the break. We are so fortunate to have this program but it can only go ahead with the dedication of staff like Megan Casey, Jodie Cooke and our parents and students. Thank you again. Thank you to the following for all their support: : Luna L, Matilda, Lexie W, Hannah M, Ben S, Jacinta G and River G.
Exciting Events in 2021
We are planning a number of events this year as we, hopefully move further and further away from COVID. Our movie night is booked for the end of term 1, our annual maths night and our big event for the year will be a new and improved art show run in conjunction with our year 5/6 market day. Our production is scheduled for 2022 when restrictions have hopefully eased further and we can have our big event with the proper lead up, preparation and performances.
Congratulations to all our staff on making such a successful start to the year for their classes. Our teachers worked together over the holidays to prepare their rooms, work with new staff and finalise their planning. This hard work makes a very positive start to the year. Our new staff have made a terrific start and we are thrilled to welcome them. Last week on Thursday our staff were involved in professional learning looking at the ‘7 Habits of Effective People’ based on Stephen Covey’s work. It was a fantastic day working together and there were many take aways both personally and ideas for implementation with students to enhance our classroom communities.
Thank you to our staff for their commitment to their own growth and their dedication to our students.
School Council Elections
At this time of year we call for nominations of parent and teacher members of School Council. School Council is the body that oversees our school within department guidelines and members have an opportunity to look at how schools function from another perspective and be involved in some aspects of school decision making.
We have four parent positions up for nomination. All four of these positions are currently held and these councillors can renominate. You are able to self-nominate or nominate someone else. If you would like to be involved in School Council and nominate for a two year position please come and see the office and collect the correct nomination form in the right category or we can send one home with your child. If we receive more nominations than positions an election will be held. If you are unsure of what is involved as a parent member we can put you in touch with an existing member who can explain a little bit more and answer any questions you may have or contact me for more information. Nominations open today, Thursday 4th February and are due in on Thursday 11th February 4pm at the office. Unfortunately no late nominations can be accepted.
PERSONAL PROPERTY AT SCHOOL
The Department of Education and Training has requested that the following information be conveyed to parents.
Personal property is often brought to school by students, staff and visitors. This can include mobile phones, toys, sporting equipment and cars parked on school premises.
The Department of Education and Training does not hold insurance for personal property brought to schools and has no capacity to pay for any loss or damage to such property. Students and staff should be discouraged from bringing any unnecessary or particularly valuable items to school.
School Injuries and Insurance
The Department does not provide personal accident insurance or ambulance cover for students. Parents and guardians of students, who do not have student accident insurance/ambulance cover, are responsible for paying the cost of medical treatment for injured students, including the cost of ambulance attendance or transport as well as any other transport costs. Parents or guardians can purchase insurance policies from commercial insurers.
The Department Policy can be found at the back of the newsletter. Please take the time to read the policy.
Mobile Devices Policy
All families are aware of the positive and negatives of mobile devices. They have simplified our lives in so many ways but there are both rights and responsibilities associated with their use. Every school has developed a mobile phone/device policy which has been ratified by School Council and came into play at the beginning of 2020. This policy aims to protect students and families. In our case we had a system in place where students gave their phones to their teacher for safe keeping during the day. This will continue. It is vital that students work with staff if they have any concerns so that we can support students well rather than contact parents directly. We ask that you discuss this with your child. Recently we have had students coming to school with Smart Watches. If your child has one of these they can be set to not be available between 9 and 3.30. If you need some assistance with this please see your class teacher.
Our policy can be found:Mobile Device Policy
Please go through this with your child and if you have any queries see your class teacher.
Wednesday 24th February District Swimming- Selected Students
Friday 19th February- Bookings open for Student/Parent/ Teacher Conferences
Saturday 27th February- 9.00am-10.30am -2022 Prep Open Morning
Wednesday 3rd March District Swimming- Selected students
Friday 5th March Year 5/6 Student Leadership
Monday 8th March -Labour Day- Public Holiday
Tuesday 9th March Student/ Parent/ Conferences*
*Students at school for appointment time ONLY
Friday 12th March Regional Swimming
Wednesday 17th March School Council meeting
Friday 19th March School Photos
Monday 22nd March Planning week
Wednesday 31st March- Last day of term
Thursday 1st April- Curriculum day
Wednesday 21st April- School Council meeting
Wednesday 19th May School Council meeting
Monday 24th May 5/6 Camp
Wednesday 16th June School Council meeting
Monday 19th July- Dental Van
Wednesday 21st July- School Council meeting
Monday 16th August- 3/4 Camp
Wednesday 18th August- School Council meeting
Wednesday 15th September- School Council meeting
Wednesday 20th October- School Council meeting
Monday 1st November- Curriculum day (to be confirmed)
Tuesday 7th December- Year 6 Transition day
On Monday our Preps had their first day of school. They were extremely brave and had an awesome day. They had lots of fun making new friends and giving new things a go. We even had to walk around the school looking for 'The Green Sheep' - turns out he was in our classroom the whole time!
Thanks, Mr Chamberlain and Miss Aiello
The Enviro Centre is looking amazing with our vegetable plots filled with tomatoes and the flower garden looking amazing. Thank-you to the families who volunteered to do duty over the holidays: Luna L, Matilda , Lexie W, Hannah M, Ben S, Jacinta G and River G. Without your support we could not have animals or continue to grow crops to be harvest for the students and Enviro animals. The Grade 5/6 level is on duty this term and will be looking for families to volunteer to take care of the centre on weekends. Guinea Pig carers will continue in their roles until Term 2 due to the disruption caused by remote learning. This means there will be six positions available to Grade 3/4 students beginning in Term 2.
Applications for Environmental Leaders are open.
Ferntree Gully North Primary School believes that the actions we undertake at school can influence the school community’s beliefs and behaviour about sustainability. The role of the Environmental Leaders is to work towards reducing our ecological footprint by establishing and maintaining sustainable practices at school. Environmental Leaders are passionate about improving their school environment and making it as beautiful and sustainable as possible.
Applications for the four Enviro Leader roles are open to Grade 5 and 6 students until the 22nd of February. Application forms are available from the Specialist Office and should be returned to Mrs Casey.
In Japanese, all students will continue to learn words associated with topics of interest and practice using them in conversation and writing them in Hiragana.
Grades 1 to 6 will be learning about the Japanese Zodiac and its place in Japanese culture. Students in Grade 1/2 will learn the names of the animals of the zodiac and will be able to describe them using numbers, colours and sounds to allow others to identify the animal. In Grade 3/4 students will be adding to their vocabulary by learning the name of classroom items and using these in sentences that identify what is and what is not a named item. The issues of sustainability at school will explored by the Grade 5/6 students as they explore Mottainai Baasan, a Japanese grandmother who teaches the virtues of mindful consumption and how to reduce, reuse, recycle but also to respect the environment.
As we embark on a new year with fresh beginnings and opportunities, we were fortunate enough to have two highly experienced educators present professional learning on 7 Habits to Highly Effective People. This Stephen Covey approach presents a principle-centered methodology for solving both personal and professional difficulties. It is a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity—principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates. These principles strongly align with our School values. These habits include:
Habit 1: Be Proactive
Habit 2: Begin with the End in Mind
Habit 3: Put First Things First
Habit 4: Think Win/Win
Habit 5: Seek First to Understand, Then to Be Understood
Habit 6: Synergize
Habit 7: Sharpen the Saw
As we all know the past 12 months have been thrown into chaos, uncertainty, confusion and at times frustration. However, it is times like this where we grow, accept change and move forward with a new appreciation for the opportunities that come our way.
We are all very much looking forward to the year ahead.
Chloe Brown & Matthew Sutherland
Acting Learning Specialists
Camp Australia Outside School Hours Care and Holiday Club
We are proud to partner with Camp Australia to provide our Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) and Holiday Club programs.