2021 APS Newsletter Issue 6

Junior School Council Report

Hello everyone,

My name is Lisa, I am the Yellow House Captain.

Welcome to Term 2!

Last term, in order to encourage our junior students to go to the basketball side to play, Junior School Council came up the idea of drawing the hopscotch, four squares and numeracy snakes. It was really exciting to see them in the first day of Term 2. 

On the last day of the term (25th of June), Yellow House is organising a Talent Show for our fundraising event. The Talent Show will start from 1:50pm.

Anyone who would like to participate in the Talent Show can let me know! Parents are invited as well. More information will be provided soon! 

In addition, Year 3 and Year 5 are going to have NAPLAN in Week 4. I wish everyone good luck! 

I hope everyone will have a good weekend.

See you next week!


Principal's Report

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope you have enjoyed the sunshine this week! The weather has been absolutely terrific, just like how many of our students have settled back in Term 2!

Here are some exciting things that have happened over the last month:

Visit to Plympton International College, Adelaide
Over the first week of the school holidays, I visited Plympton International College in Adelaide, as part of a series of inter-school connections APS has been building since my arrival. As you can imagine, being one of only two Chinese/English bilingual schools in Melbourne can be a lonely business!

Since Term 4, 2020, we have been connecting with the Exec team and Chinese teachers at Plympton IC. We have been brainstorming ideas on what we could do together to make the exchange a mutually beneficial one, and we have identified three areas of common challenges which we are hoping to tackle together:
  • Drafting a language policy that can help to foster an immersive language policy for one-way immersion programs (i.e. us, where the dominant population does not speak Mandarin as their mother tongue);
  • Co-investing in assessment tools that can help us do inter-school and eventually national level benchmark on our program quality;
  • Inter-school moderation, professional development and resource exchanges through web conferencing and a shared resource bank using Webex Meet.
We are also exploring the option of establishing a formal network (as inspired by the Australian Association of French-English Bilingual Schools) and co-hosting a national conference for Chinese/English bilingual schools around Australia in 2022/2023 in Melbourne under the academic leadership of Mr Andrew Scrimgeour from the University of South Australia.

Of course, that would be a big project, but one well worth looking forward to!

Meet the 2021 School Council

The 2021 School Council membership, office bearers and sub-committees have now been confirmed.

I encourage everyone to take a look at the newly updated School Council webpage to find out who is representing parental and community voice on the School Council. I thank the School Council for taking the initiative to put together their individual bios and allowing us to publish their photos so you can recognise who they are.

Please feel free to speak to any of the School Council members to discuss any suggestions or feedback you have for the school.

The School Council has also set up an email address: schoolcouncil@abbotsfordps.vic.edu.au for anyone who would like to contact the School Council without going through the school. The inbox is monitored by Guy Donald, our Vice President, rather than APS staff.

New School Values
Throughout Term 1, the School conducted numerous consultations with parents & community members, students, staff and the School Council on revising our Statement of Values and School Philosophy, which is now available on our Policy webpage.

We thoroughly enjoyed the process and appreciated all the beautiful stories  that were shared and open conversations that everyone was willing to engage in.

The new school vision, mission, objectives and values are now presented cohesively on the Our Vision webpage and we are now working on a plan to embed this new language in our interaction with students and one another.

Some of the strategies we will use at school to embed these new values include:
  • Present one new value at each assembly;
  • Thematically tie "Student of the Week" awards to a particular school value;
  • Revision of school display to reflect the new language;
  • Discuss the application of these values in year level appropriate language at the start of Term 3;
  • Use the core behavioural expectations from these values in our reporting from Semester 2, 2021.
We are also looking forward to brainstorming with the School Council on ideas for embedment by parents and community members outside of school hours. If you have any suggestions, please do not hesitate to speak to one of the School Council members.

School Review & Annual Report
As per DET requirement, our 2020 Annual Report to the Community has now been completed, attested by the School Council and made available on our website. You can view the file on the Our Vision webpage.

The school hosts a physical meeting to present the report each year. However, given that the 2020 report does not contain any NAPLAN data due to the interruptions of COVID, the report is shorter than usual.

The school is proposing to host this meeting on Wednesday, 16 June, so that we can also present the results of our School Review, which is due to be conducted in mid-May.

This would allow the presentation to offer both a retrospective view on how we performed in 2020 and what the strategic plan is for the next 4 years.

Staffing Changes
I wanted to take the opportunity to congratulate and wish Lingling laoshi a safe and smooth delivery, as she takes maternity leave from Monday, 10 May (Week 4). Lingling laoshi has done a fantastic job so far, taking on the challenge of teaching Foundation for the first time this year. I am sure she will be missed by the Foundation families. Lingling laoshi's replacement is Ann laoshi, who will be teaching both Visual Arts for all year levels and Foundation from mid-Term 2.

I also want to take the opportunity to introduce Beatrice Lee to the school community.

Beatrice laoshi joins us from this week and is assigned to work specifically with students who have prior knowledge or a home background in Mandarin. Beatrice has more than 10 years of experience teaching Mandarin in international schools in Hong Kong and has recently moved to Melbourne. Beatrice will be developing an individualised curriculum for each child and with the help with Mandarin-speaking parent volunteers, deliver a quality Mandarin program that truly caters for the differentiated needs of heritage and native speakers.

From next Wednesday, we are also excited to welcome Marianna Karagkounis (from Camp Australia) to the APS staff team. Marianna will replace En in the Reception for two days a week (Tuesday and Wednesday), and be an administrative assistant to Stanley and Caroline. We hope that by having a familiar face, you will be able to find yourself in a 'manned' reception on more occasions!

Expertise Sought
The school is currently in need of volunteers who have the time and expertise to help in the following areas:
  • Graphic Designer - the Marketing Sub-Committee is looking for someone who is willing to help with odd one-off jobs to help with the school's marketing campaign;
  • Electrician / Handyman / Craftsman - our chicken coop is very high tech, and has a solar panel controlled gate that is requiring repair. If there is any clever electrician / handyman / craftsman who is willing to help us fix the dysfunctional doors to the chicken's home, we'd love to hear from you!
Google Review
Last but not least, we are looking for your help to leave some "fabulous" reviews for the school on Google Maps!

Our current score is rather average, and the last proper review is slightly out of date.

If you have a moment, could you please leave us a review on Google Maps? It would really help to lift people's first impression of us when they click on Abbotsford Primary School on Google Maps!

That's all from me! Have a great weekend!

Stanley xiaozhang

APS is a Respectful Relationships School - What Does This Mean?

Some Background about the Respectful Relationships Program
The Royal Commission into Family Violence identified the critical role that schools and early childhood education have in creating a culture of respect to change the story of family violence for future generations.

In 2016, Respectful Relationships education became a core component of the Victorian Curriculum from Foundation to Year 12, and is being taught in all Government, Catholic and also many Independent Schools. Abbotsford Primary School joined the Respectful Relationships initiative in late 2019.

Everyone in our community deserves to be respected, valued and treated equally. We know that changes in attitudes and behaviours can be achieved when positive attitudes, behaviours and equality are embedded in our education settings.

Respectful Relationships is about embedding a culture of respect and equality across our entire community, from our classrooms to staffrooms, sporting fields, fetes and social events. This approach leads to positive impacts on student’s academic outcomes, their mental health, classroom behaviour, and relationships between teachers and students.

Together, we can lead the way in saying yes to respect and equality, and creating genuine and lasting change so that every child has the opportunity to achieve their full potential.​

Deliverin​​g the Initiative

Respectful Relationships is being delivered across Victorian schools and early childhood services through:
  • a lead and partner schools initiative, providing intensive training and support to over 1850 government, Catholic and independent schools to implement the whole school approach to Respectful Relationships. Abbotsford Primary School has been chosen to be a lead school and we lead a cluster of schools in the Yarra area;
  • the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships teaching materials for Foundation to year 12;
  • a professional development program for early childhood educators;
  • a regional Respectful Relationships workforce to support schools and early childhood education settings to implement respectful relationships education and strengthen referral and response to family violence.


Term 2 Assembly Performance Schedule

The Term 2 Assembly Performance Schedule has now been finalised.

Week 3 - Friday 7 May
Grade 4 (English)
School Value: Challenge

Week 5 - Friday 21 May
Grade 3 (Chinese)
School Value: Curiosity

Week 7 - Friday 4 June
Grade 2 (English)
School Value: Connectedness

Week 9 – Friday 18 June
Foundation (Chinese)
School Value: Care

Note: As mentieond in Week 1 assembly, we will be discussing the new school values throughout Term 2. The themes chosen for each assembly has also been listed. Student of the Week awards for each assembly in Term 2 will be matched to the new school value discussed.

Letter from the Victorian Chief Health Officer

Victorian Chief Health Officer message to Victorian schools and their communities

I would like to take this opportunity to thank students, staff, teachers, parents and carers for ensuring a safe and successful start to the 2021 school year and to thank you for your cooperation during the short period of remote learning in February during the circuit breaker restrictions.

As Term 2 commences, schools continue to be able to operate with a largely normal program of activity, enabling important on-site activities to return, such as school open days and working bees, with appropriate health and safety measures in place.

Throughout the pandemic, Victorian schools have rapidly and successfully adapted to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission, embedding COVIDSafe principles by reinforcing good behaviours, creating safe spaces, adapting activities, and responding quickly to COVID-19 risk.

While we have seen outbreaks emerge in Victoria, we have also witnessed our capacity to respond quickly to limit the impact of these outbreaks.

Given the current very low risk of COVID-19 transmission in the community, continued high rates of testing and wastewater monitoring, and continued observance of health and safety measures in schools; those with medical vulnerabilities or their carers can feel reassured to continue to safely work and learn on school sites, and enjoy the benefits of doing so.

It is crucial, however, for everyone to remain vigilant by staying home when unwell, performing regular hand hygiene, wearing a mask when required and maintaining physical distancing from others when practical.

Should cases of COVID-19 increase again in the community, I am confident that with COVIDSafe plans in place, alongside our ability to quickly identify and respond to cases, schools remain safe places for all staff and students. I also continue to be reassured by evidence that children are less impacted by the virus and are less likely to develop severe illness.

The school community continues to have an important role to promote COVID-19 testing when a student or staff member has any symptoms, no matter how mild, and ensuring they remain home until they are well. Getting tested and staying home until results are known is critical to limiting community transmission.

Adj Clin Prof Brett Sutton

Victorian Chief Health Officer

Upcoming Events

Monday, 3 May (NEW!)
Attitude to School Survey (Years 4-6 only)

Tuesday, 4 May

Curriculum Day (Student Free Day)

Wednesday, 5 May
School Photos

Friday, 7 May (NEW!)
Secondhand Uniform Sale (8:30-9am)

We will hold another second-hand uniform sale fundraiser in the morning of Friday, 7 May before assembly from 8:30am. We will set up stalls where parents/carers would be able to purchase, good quality second-hand uniforms.

Please note that this event will be a fundraiser for the school. Anyone wishing to supply used uniform would be asked to do so as a donation. All donation can be drop off at the office before 1pm, Thursday, 6 May.

Tuesday, 11 May - Thursday, 13 May
NAPLAN (Years 3 and 5 only)

Thursday, 13 May
School Council

Thursday, 20 May
School Review (Validation Day)

Tuesday, 25 May
School Review (Field Day)

Wednesday, 26 May (NEW!)
Wild Action Incursion (Foundation to Year 2 only)

Thursday, 3 Jun
School Review (Panel Day)

Friday, 11 Jun
Dragon Boat Festival Community Event (2:00pm-3:30pm)

Monday, 1
4 Jun
Queen’s Birthday Public Holiday (Student Free Day)

Wednesday, 16 Jun
Annual Report to the Community (5:30pm-6:30pm)

Friday, 25 Jun
Semester 1 Report Sent Home
Yellow House Fundraising Event - APS Talent Show
Term 2 Ends (Early finish at 2:30pm)

Community Noticeboard

Camp Australia

Fitzroy High School

Parenting in the Pub

Simonds Catholic College