Newsletter Issue 14

10th September 2020


Event Calendar

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Principal's Report

Remote Learning – Planning Day
Friday 11th September will see teachers doing their planning in preparation for term 4.  Again, they will be on deck for the morning meets but then working together for term 4.  There will be supervision for the regular attendees at school.

Reminder – School finishes at 2.30pm on Friday 18th September for the end of term.  Those students who are supervised at school will need to be picked up at 2.30. Thank you.

This is our final newsletter for the term. Please watch out for announcements regarding our return next term on Compass.  We are yet to receive operational guidelines for next term.  As soon as we have more information we will notify you of further arrangements.  Currently, week 1 term 4 is remote learning for all students.  For those students who currently attend on site arrangements remain the same.  In week 2 we will see the return of students P-2 and further information will be posted as it comes to hand.

School Photos
MSP have notified us that the Prep- Grade 2 photos will go ahead on Friday 16th October, at this stage we are not sure if there will be class photos as well as individual. 

MSP are now working with Compass to order photos when these arrangements are finalised you will be notified through Compass.  Year 3-6 photos will be done later in the term.  Watch this space.

There are two helpful new resources to help you support your children during remote and flexible learning.

Raising Learners podcast
The Department of Education and Training has funded a 10-episode podcast series through the Raising Children Network called ‘Raising Learners’. It features parenting experts from organisations including the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Career Education Association Victoria, as well as the Australian eSafety Commissioner, Julie Inman-Grant.

Raising Learners provides parents with practical advice, tips and ideas for supporting children’s health, wellbeing and engagement at school and at home. Topics include how to connect with your child’s school and community, how to best support your child’s learning, what to expect for VCE and VCAL students and how to keep your child safe online.

These topics were drawn from common questions that parents raised with the Department’s coronavirus (COVID-19) hotline and Parentline.

The first three episodes will be available on 1 September, and the rest throughout terms 3 and 4. Raising Learners can be accessed via podcast apps and Raising Children Network website.

Managing the Coronacoaster webinar
Renowned child psychologist Dr Michael Carr-Gregg is back by popular demand to repeat his Coronacoaster webinar.

On 15 September, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg will again present Managing the Coronacoaster – Tips for building resilient families in the coronavirus era. His first webinar in August booked out in three days, with more than 12,000 registrations.

In this webinar, Dr Carr-Gregg provides tools and strategies for parents and carers to help manage the lockdown period and remote learning. Topics include:

  • your supportive role
  • setting the emotional tone
  • focusing on what you can control
  • how to deal with disappointment
  • more resources and where to get help.

Webinar details

When: 7.30pm, Tuesday 15 September

Duration: 45-minute presentation, followed by a 15-minute question-and-answer session

Format: online via live stream

Cost: free


Sue Dean and Priscilla Salter

Help kids tap into their inner resources

My first parenting mentor, Maurice Balson, author of Becoming Better Parents constantly reminded parents, “If you want your child to be resourceful you need to put them in positions to develop their resources.” Balson’s resourcefulness message is just as apt today. Coping with change, dealing with small losses, handling rejection and overcoming disappointment are the types of experiences that build a child’s or young person’s inner resources.

Developing resourcefulness is the appropriate approach to take when considering the disruptive impact that coronavirus is having on kids’ lives. A child who is struggling to come to grips with the changes brought about by the pandemic initially needs an emphatic, supportive approach. They also need encouragement to tap into their inner resources to help them manage the hard times. The following strategies will help develop your child or young person’s inner resources.

Give them a chance to be resourceful
Harry, age 10, often leaves his lunch at home. His father, who works from home, won’t take forgotten items to school. Harry either misses lunch or persuades his friends to share their lunches with him. Either way, when Harry leaves his lunch at home he’s forced to rely on his emotional or physical resourcefulness to get by. And he does.

Catch them being resourceful
A child’s behaviours that gain a parent’s attention generally expand. Highlight a child’s good manners, acts of kindness or honesty and you’re more likely to get a repeat of those behaviours. Positive parental recognition is a high motivator for most kids. To encourage your child’s resourcefulness, focus your attention and positive comments on acts of resourcefulness and
resilience they exhibit.

Encourage creativity
Sylvia, age 13 walked to school each day, saving her bus fare to spend on clothes that were out of reach of her parents’ budget. Sylvia found a way to overcome her money problem in her own way. Children and young people usually come up with very creative solutions when they’re allowed to own their problems.

Develop coping skills
Kids rely on their coping skills to help them manage their emotional states when life throws them curve balls. Build your child’s set of coping skills through direct teaching, modelling and discussion. Humour, distraction, relaxation, exercise, play and thought-distancing are some of the more common coping skills kids can use to help them tolerate their difficult feelings.

The resourcefulness a child develops when they experience adversity doesn’t desert them when life returns to normal. It waits in the background, ready to be drawn upon again when hardships, frustrations and difficulties come their way.

Respectful Relationships Initiative

Ferntree Gully North Primary School is extremely proud to have been selected to use the ‘Respectful Relationships’ initiatives within our school. This is confirmation of the wonderful work our staff, students and school community have been doing to promote the social and emotional wellbeing of our students. The Respectful Relationships initiative can be summarised by the Department of Education as;

“Victoria’s Respectful Relationships initiative supports school leaders, educators and school communities to promote and model respect and equality – and to teach our children how to build healthy relationships, resilience and confidence.”  DET

The Government is providing Victorian schools with a range of extra supports and resources including new Respectful Relationships teaching and learning materials. In the classroom, children will learn problem-solving skills to develop empathy, support their own wellbeing and build healthy relationships with others. The initiative will also provide resources to best support children and staff who are affected by family violence.


When children build positive relationships with their teachers and peers they feel safer and happier at school, are more resilient and have positive social attitudes. Positive relationships also increase a child’s sense of social connectedness and belonging which can result in better health and academic outcomes.

Our staff have been participating in professional learning and will be delivering the program using an outstanding curriculum developed by Melbourne University called Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships. The 8 areas covered are;

  • Emotional Literacy
  • Decision making
  • Problem solving
  • Positive self – regard, stress management
  • Positive coping
  • Help seeking and peer support
  • Gender and identity
  • Positive gender relationships.

These age-appropriate and evidence based materials are designed to enable teachers to develop student’s social and emotional capabilities to promote positive, healthy and respectful relationships. They provide teachers with handouts and activities for students that guide classroom discussion.


Some ways that we have already introduced and trialled these topics are below;

P-2 – Developing Emotional Literacy: Students were exposed to how we feel when we do kind things for others, and the range of feelings that can be felt when we are in others’ company. They were asked to write a letter to someone as an act of kindness and friendship and to describe why they appreciate them, what they are grateful for and how they make them feel.

3-6 – Positive Coping: Students explored the creation of an “Emotional Thermometer” and had to explore an emotional scale and their triggers ranging from 1-10. They identified the stages of their escalating emotions, for example from calm and happy, to frustrated, to angry. Students were then asked to consider positive coping strategies that could help manage their emotions, and make them cool down back to the calmer end of the emotional thermometer. They created their own emotional thermometers to refer back to when they needed to be reminded how to use positive coping strategies.

We will keep you posted on our journey throughout the Respectful Relationships Initiative. Further information about Respectful Relationships is available on the Department of Education and Training website:

Year 3/4 - Kids Helpline Incursion

Kids Helpline Incursion

On the 26th and 28th August, our 3/4 students participated in an online Kids Helpline Incursion. The incursion covered the topic of Covid-19: Strategies for Coping.

Through a range of activities, videos and discussions, our students explored the range of feelings that have been felt during these different and challenging times and were able to label and identify them. It was acknowledged that feelings of frustration, boredom, nerves and worries were completely normal and that most of us had felt these feelings at some point during this time.

Our Kids Helpline staff then discussed the 5C’s of self-care, which we can all use to help us better cope during these times. These 5C’s are;

  • Calm
  • Care
  • Create
  • Connect
  • Chat

Here are some of the Kids Helpline suggestions below;

Kids Helpline Incursion

Feel free to have a chat with your children about all the coping strategies they explored, you might want to even create your own chart as a family that you all can refer to.

The 3/4 Team 

Maths Challenge Day Years 4-5

Maths Challenge Day years 4-5

On the 2nd of September some of the grade fours and fives represented our school in a Maths Challenge Day.

We did lots of activities and won some prizes. My favourite activity was the Genius Quest game.

Andrew (the host of the day) was really fun he showed us things like how to write upside down.

It wasn’t all easy some of the games like Sudo-Clue and Mathematic Tic Tac Toe were a bit harder.

One of the things we learnt was that a frisbee could hold 1.25 litres of water!   

We were split into groups to do lots of the activities and at lunch and our breaks we learnt a bit more about each other!!!

It was really fun and we all loved it!!!


By Lily J (5/6S)

Landcare grant

Great news!  During various stages of Covid restrictions, the Gully Restoration work was completed.  You may have already seen the video Mrs Casey produced, Landcare Grant  so you know how lush the area is looking with the Autumn/Winter rainfall.  This rainfall gives the 300+ indigenous plants a thriving chance to survive the coming warmer months.  It will be great to see how the plants grow and integrate throughout the rocks and in doing so, protect the stormwater pit with a thick embankment of plants.  This style of planting should hold back litter and debris covering and entering the pit. 

FGNPS was granted with just under $1000 from the Woolworths Junior Landcare group to carry out the works, but it should be noted that the In-Kind contribution from donations and volunteer time came in at just under $3500. 

So, thank you must go out to GNPA for their fundraising support, the Burgess family for their generous plant donation and hard work, the Whitten family for their hard work and for Damien van Heeswyk for his labour and machinery work. 

Thank you also to our FGNPS staff for supporting this project from start to finish.  Well done all!

Buildings and Grounds Committee

Entertainment Membership Fundraiser

Entertainment Membership Fundraiser

Good news! Many of the restaurants and cafe's that are closed offer takeaway! Take this opportunity to order your membership today and support Ferntree Gully North Primary School. The membership has hundreds of takeaway, shopping offers online, including Hello Fresh, JB Hi-Fi and Woolworth’s. So while you are at home take advantage and let locals support locals. Follow the link below to purchase your membership today.

Digital Memberships are still available. 

Every offer and voucher available on your Apple or Android device. Memberships are now valid from the day you activate them.

Go directly to our ordering link:


 Thanks GNPA

Community News 10th September 2020