2021 APS Newsletter Issue 1

School Captains' Report

Hi everyone, 

Welcome back to school! Special welcome to our new Foundation students. We had our first Buddies Program last Friday. It was fun and both the Foundation students and senior students enjoyed it so much!

We had many new changes to our curriculum. We now have Vietnamese with Ngoc from Foundation to Grade 2, Digital Technology with Lingling laoshi and Hao laoshi from Grade 3 to Grade 6, Visual Art with Ann laoshi and Physical Education is also taught in Chinese.

As we are a bilingual school, it is exciting to bring more Chinese culture into the school. From this year, we call all the Chinese teachers laoshi and Stanley xiaozhang.

Have a good weekend and see you next week! 周末愉快 (zhōumò yúkuài)!

Sammy & Lara
School Captains

Principal's Report

Dear Parents, Carers and Community Members,

What a fantastic start to the year we have had this week!

It has been lovely to welcome new Foundation students and families to our wonderful school and also see everyone back at school feeling refreshed after a rather unusual year last year.

The school year began last Wednesday with staff undertaking a group yoga lesson with Bii, an Abbotsford PS alumna, who volunteered her time to help us and Mr Clynes relax and ease into the preparation work "gracefully" (perhaps in our mind more than in practice.)

On the first day back for students, we launched our new website (same web address), which now contains much more information about the Abbotsford Bilingual Model than previously. I have also added more useful resources to help you navigate our bilingual curriculum and how you can foster a bilingual environment at home.

In this round of update, you will also find more information about our staff, the days they work, the classes and roles they have and our new leadership structure. Information about school zones, enrolments and school tours have also been updated, so please continue to refer anyone interested in our school to the new website!

Next came along the secondhand uniform sale fundraiser and our first assembly for the year.

Firstly, a special mention to Lisa and the Fundraising Sub-Committee for organising the last two secondhand uniform sales (end of last year and start of this year), and a big thank you to everyone who helped out and families who have donated quality secondhand clothes. Along with additional calendar sales, we have managed raise more than $1,000 for the school, which we plan to save up towards the last phase of the air-conditioning installations for the Foundation Area.

Secondly, in the assembly, we have had a chance to review the School Expectations for our students. This is the language we will be using regularly to ensure that all students understand their role in making Abbotsford PS a great place for learning.

Lastly, as part of the school's effort to strive for a world-class bilingual Chinese/English education, we have introduced a small but culturally significant change to the way Chinese staff will be addressed.

From this year, we ask that when students are speaking directly to a Chinese staff member (or referring to them in a conversation without them present), that they add the word laoshi after the teacher's name, and xiaozhang (pronounced as hsiao-jhang) after my name.

It is important to note that in Chinese, you may actually call a staff member laoshi or xiaozhang without using their first name, but it is not considered culturally appropriate to address staff only by their first name without a title that highlights your relationship with them.

Similarly, as F-2 students would have also experienced in their first Vietnamese lesson this week, it is more appropriate to address Ngoc as "Cô Ngoc" in Vietnamese lessons. (Note: Cô = female teacher)

Remember, each language has its own "cultural" rules. It is important that we learn to adhere by the cultural rules of (Australian) English when speaking in English to one another, and adhere by the cultural rules of other languages when speaking that language. This means the use of laoshi will be optional for non-Chinese-speaking staff members.

Getting into a new habit is never easy, but we will work together to remind each other so that we can show our best manners at all times. Parents/carers can help us in this process by habitually adding the word laoshi or xiaozhang when talking about the Chinese teachers with your child(ren), so that students get used to seeing these terms of address as being an equally (in fact, a more important) part of how we address Chinese staff in a bilingual setting.

As various activities and programs begin to resume over the next weeks, a reminder to all parents/carers that a number of policies have been updated since our return to onsite learning in Term 4, 2020. These include:
You will be able to access these policies under the "Parents" tab > "School Policies" on our new website too.

We are grateful for the School Council's effort in helping us review these policies. As per previous years, we will draw your attention to the details of relevant policies at different times throughout the year as a reminder.

We are looking forward to a great year of learning ahead and many school-based events resuming. We have also reached the end of our 2016-2020 Strategic Plan, which means the school will be undergoing a School Review this year (in Term 2, 2021). As you will see in the "Upcoming Events" article, we have set up a number of opportunities for consultation where we hope to have your contribution in developing the school vision for the next four years.

In the meantime, stay safe and we look forward to seeing you at the assembly next week on Chinese New Year Day!

Yours sincerely,
Stanley xiaozhang

Child Safety Compliance

As the Child Safety Officer, I have had the opportunity to present and brief staff and the School Council on the Child Safety Standards.

Abbotsford Primary School takes the Child Safety Standards very seriously, and there are actions that the school undertakes to ensure that we are committed to Child Safety and remain compliant with the principles and standards.

We complement the documentation by offering a comprehensive wellbeing curriculum that encompasses up-to-date and relevant wellbeing topics which are important for young children that are learning to navigate the complexities of today's society.

Our website explains the Child Safety Principals, Standards, and our Wellbeing Curriculum in more details.
We encourage you to browse through the relevant sections by going to the "Learning" tab, and "Wellbeing" section, where you will find the information.

Upcoming Events

Take a look at the various exciting school events coming up and mark them in your 2021 calendar!

(We still have stock of 2021 School Calendars. They are on available for $15 each from the Front Office.)

Thursday, 4 February
Junior Rockers resumed

Friday, 5 February
Keyboard Lessons resumed

Wednesday, 10 February
Foundation Student Free Day - Individual Numeracy/Literacy sessions by appointment

Friday, 12 February
Chinese New Year
Assembly (9:05-9:45am)

Monday, 15 February
Chinese Information Session (3:45-4:45pm) (NEW!) 

With the range of new curriculum initiatives in Chinese, we are running a special information session to showcase the pedagogical approach we are taking from 2021 in developing students proficiency in Chinese. This is also a great opportunity to discuss what you can do at home to support your child's Chinese proficiency development (without necessarily knowing Chinese) and ask questions about the new Abbotsford Bilingual Model. The session will be taken by Fangni laoshi and Stanley xiaozhang.

Wednesday, 17 February
Foundation Student Free Day - Individual Numeracy/Literacy sessions by appointment
Kickstart Training Soccer Clinic begins (3:45-4:45pm) (TBC)
School Council Meeting (6:30-8:30pm)

Wednesday, 24 February
Foundation Student Free Day - Individual Numeracy/Literacy sessions by appointment

Friday, 26 February
Assembly (9:05-9:45am)

Wednesday, 3 March - Thursday, 4 March
Parent Teacher Information Meetings (9:00am-7:00pm)
Open Consultation on 2016-2020 School Highlights (9:00am-7:00pm)

Friday, 5 March
Student Free Day (Curriculum Day)

Monday, 8 March
Labour Day (Public Holiday)

Thursday, 11 March
Off-Cycle School Council Meeting (5:30-7:30pm) (NEW!)

This is an open consultation for all community members to contribute toward the School Review process. Lizzie and Stanley xiaozhang will be hosting two discussion sessions in hope to get your ideas around revising our school vision and values, as well as feedback around how the school has done in the last four years on community engagement.

Friday, 12 March
Assembly (9:05-9:45am)

Friday, 19 March
National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence- Classroom Activities (1:50-3:30pm) and Afternoon Tea (3:30-4:30pm) (NEW!)

As part of our new structured Wellbeing curriculum this year, we will be doing a series of classroom activities on anti-bullying which we hope parents/carers can join. This activities afternoon will then be followed by an afternoon tea picnic in our beautiful school yard for families to meet, socialise and enjoy a nice end to the week.

Tuesday, 23 March - Thursday, 25 March
Chompers Oral Health Visit

Friday, 26 March
Assembly (9:05-9:45am)
Foundation Learning Morning & Teddy Bear Picnic (9:45-11:30am)

Wednesday, 31 March
School Council Meeting (6:30-8:30pm)

Please note that the school calendar is now accessible via both Sentral and our school website.

Start of Year Administration

The start of year is always a busy time for school administration, as there are many forms that require parent/carer attention.

By the end of Week 2 (today), the following forms have been distributed and we ask for your cooperation in returning the necessary forms by the set due dates.

Digital Technologies - Acceptable Use Agreement
Due: Monday, 8 February

Please note that this must be returned in order for your child to engage with digital technologies at school.

School Nursing Program (Foundation only)
Due: Tuesday, 9 February

Photographing, Filming and Recording Students
Due: N/A

Only return this form if you DO NOT give consent for the photographing, filming and recording of students as per the policy outlined.

We will assume you have read and given consent if we do not receive the form back by Thursday, 11 February.

School Fees & Contributions
Due: Friday, 26 February

Thank you to many families for their patience with the delay in our ability to accept payments. From next Monday, we will be able to accept school fees payment and voluntary contributions at the Front Office.

Asthma and Anaphylaxis Management Action Plans (for relevant students only)

This form has only been provided to relevant students for whom their action plan requires an update.

Start of Term Letter & Curriculum Overview
Due: N/A

In addition to the usual Start of Term Letter (written by the classroom teachers), this year we aim to provide a Curriculum Overview for parents/carers at the start of each term.

We hope this overview document will help you to engage with your child's school learning at a greater depth, whether that is in the form of dining table conversations or other support you might provde them in consolidating their school-based learning outside of school.

This is our first attempt and a small trial to build greater transparency for parents/carers to engage with the bilingual curriculum. We welcome any feedback to help us improve on this front.

Our Learning Spaces

As you are aware, unfortunately due to current COVID restrictions, we cannot have Years 1-6 parents enter the building for drop-offs and pick-ups.

We know that many parents/carers are keen to know what their child's new learning spaces look like, so here are a few photos to give you a taster!

We are looking forward to being able to share with you action shots from the classroom (rather than empty spaces), so please do take the time to read the Photographing, Filming and Recording Students policy when you receive it this afternoon!

(Note: Only return the form if you DO NOT give consent for photographing, filming and recording students as per our policy.)

Lastly, as of Thursday, 4 February, all adults entering the building (for Foundation drop-off and pick-up, access to the Reception or assemblies) will be required to wear a face mask. Please note that this rule does not apply to teachers when they are on duty in the classroom (as per Department instructions).

Until the restrictions ease, for assemblies, we will also ask you to sign in via the Service Victoria app (using a QR code unique to our school). Please download this app onto your phone before attending the assembly.

Thank you for your cooperation!

School Council Election 2021

It's the time of the year for School Council elections!

I wanted to take the opportunity to formally thank our 2020 School Council for all the hard work in supporting the school through a challenging time with COVID, changing leadership, and online learning.

The formal election process for 2021 School Council begin on Monday, 8 February 2021, with a notice of election and call for nominations.

Below is a summary of the School Council election process and timeline:



a) Notice of election and call for nominations

Monday, 8 February 2021

b) Closing date for nominations

Monday, 15 February 2021

c) Date by which the list of candidates and nominators will be posted

Wednesday, 17 February 2021

d) Date by which ballot papers will be prepared and distributed

Before Monday, 22 February 2021

e) Close of ballot

Friday, 26 February 2021

f) Vote count

Monday, 1 March 2021

g) Declaration of poll

Tuesday, 2 March 2021

h) Special council meeting to co-opt community members (the principal will preside)

Thursday, 11 March 2021

i) First council meeting to elect office bearers (the principal will preside)

Wednesday, 31 March 2021