2021 APS Newsletter Issue 7

Junior School Council Report

Hi everyone,

My name is Calypso and I am the Green House Captain. I am going to run you through a few events happened recently.

First of all, we have had the Year 3 and Year 5 students doing NAPLAN this week. Good effort everyone!

We also have Year 3 to Year 6 students doing Cross Country this Friday. Thank you to our PE teacher Ayhan laoshi for organising this event.

Lastly, we had our principal Stanley xiaozhang talk about our 4 new school values during assembly. They are Curiosity, Challenge, Connectedness and Care. These values are lot easier to remember and I hope the Abbotsford Primary School students can act on them.

Have a good weekend and see you next week!
周末愉快(zhoumo yukuai)!

     Calypson Lang

Principal's Report

Dear Parents, Carers and Community Members,

Hope you have all had a wonderful Mother's Day last weekend.

The last fortnight has been a very productive one, despite the freezing weather. We are pleased to share with you some of the progress recently:

Second Hand Uniform Sale
Thank you to the Fundraising and Community Sub-Committee and all the families who have donated or purchased second hand uniform from the recent winter sale.

We managed to raise $145 from this event which will go towards the air-conditioning units (see the next item!)

Air-Conditioning Installation - Phase 3
Following the previous update (1 April) where we reported that we had raised $12,000 (out of approximately $14-15,000 required) we have decided to proceed with the installation of the air-conditioning units for the Foundation area.

Even though we have not yet met the fundraising target for this project, the school has decided to proceed with the installation to avoid the peak season later in the year. As we are still $2-3,000 from our target, we ask for your continual support in the upcoming fundraising events this year to help us complete the project.

Berry St Educational Model Training
On Tuesday, 4 May, all staff undertook Module 2 of Berry St Educational Model with staff from St Joseph's Catholic Primary School.

The day was facilitated by an excellent presenter who really unpacked the concept of young learners' emotional escalation and de-escalation cycle in the classroom, and effective strategies in managing teacher-student relationships.

The staff benefitted greatly from the professional development offered by Berry St and many of the dialogues shared between staff from both schools. Many staff members felt rather empowered by strategies discussed and have begun to adopt them into their own classroom practice.

We thank you for the alternative arrangements you had to make for the Curriculum Day.

Pre-Review School Evaluation (PRSE)
Thank you to your continual support of the leadership team as we battled through the Pre-Review School Evaluation work over the last 6 months. We appreciated everyone's input at different times during this process. We are pleased to announce that we have now officially submitted the PRSE (128MB worth of documents!) and over the next three weeks, we will be reviewed in person by a panel that is consisted of:

  • Leslie Tulloch, Reviewer
  • Pauline Rice, Senior Education Improvement Leader (SEIL)
  • Tip Kennedy, Principal, Richmond West Primary School
  • Trevor Strolla, Principal, Brunswick South Primary School
  • Virginia Dods, President, Abbotsford PS School Council

We look forward to using the opportunity to clarify the strategic direction of the school in a more concrete, data-driven manner. We also hope that the use of experienced external reviewers would allow us to see ourselves from a different perspective and not miss any blind spots.

Request from the Marketing Sub-Committee
The school has recently been approached by a number of Australian expat families regarding future enrolment. A common characteristics of these families is that they have spent some time in a Chinese-speaking part of the world, and some have even sent their children to bilingual programs in Hong Kong, Singapore or Malaysia. We noticed that these families often understand and appreciate bilingual education in a way that is highly aligned with the school vision.

As we see more Australian expats returning home, we are hoping to be able to market and promote our school to these families. The Marketing Sub-Committee is interested in hearing from any current families who have had expatriate experiences in Hong Kong, Singapore or Malaysia to understand the best social media channels to use to connect with the Australia expat communities abroad.

If you are able to assist in offering the Sub-Committee some guidance, we would appreciate hearing from you via schoolcouncil@abbotsfordps.vic.edu.au.

Shared Professional Development with Singnan Elementary School
On Wednesday this week, the Chinese team conducted a shared professional development session with the entire staff team of Singnan Elementary School in Yunlin County, Taiwan.

Singnan Elementary School is a small school (6 grades, 38 students, 15 teachers!) in rural Taiwan. It is a school that was on the brink of being amalgamated, until a new principal arrived with the vision to turn the school into a bilingual school. Principal Chen has a PhD in Linguistics and has developed a grand plan for his bilingual school to align with the 2030 Taiwan Bilingual Nation Policy.

As a result of this change, every staff member at the school now teaches 1-2 sessions a week in English using the Content and Language Integrated Learning (CLIL) method, which Abbotsford Primary School also uses for all subjects delivered in Chinese. The subjects taught using CLIL at Singnan Elementary School include PE, Digital Technologies, Mathematics and Social Studies, which is almost a perfect match to our curriculum. The school has experimented with CLIL for 3 semesters now, and have documented their journey and professional learning in a really impressive way.

The Professional Development session that took place online saw a presentation by Principal Chen and myself, and breakout room discussions between APS and Singnan staff. This was a rare opportunity where the Chinese staff could discuss their professional practice with another school that understands the challenges, and in Chinese too! The meeting ended with some strategic directions in which we will continue to explore in this partnership, including:

  • Structured reflections of using CLIL for a common maths unit that both schools will deliver;
  • Sharing of effective classroom activities for delivering maths in the target language;
  • Discussion around the design of bilingual assessment tools.

P.S. If you have not had a chance to check out our physical display of the global engagement projects we are undertaking this year, please do drop by the Atrium and have a look next time you are here for assembly. The inability to travel to our sister school in China this year has in fact sparked and inspired many fruitful projects which I believe will really lift the quality of the teaching and learning at Abbotsford Primary School.

NAPLAN took place this week for students in Years 3 and 5. We congratulate the Year 3 and 5 students for handling the assessment so well and really working to their best.

We would also like to thank our Muslim families for actively communicating with us to find a solution for the clash between the Numeracy test and Eid-al-Fitr. We hope you have had a fantastic Eid celebration - Eid Mubarak!


That's all for this issue! Stay warm!

Stanley xiaozhang

Personal Safety Program

Personal Safety Program

This week we have sent home a guide for parents/carers entitled, "A Parent's Guide to talking to children about safety."

This guide goes hand in hand with our school's Personal Safety Program, which students are engaging with this term. This program has been designed to provide children with the skills to know what to do in situations where they may be at risk of harm.

We believe it is very important that as a school community we do everything we can to provide our children with skills in self protection.

Personal Safety is the building up of children's resilience and confidence in order for them to problem solve and identify strategies to prevent them from harm and abuse. Personal Safety strategies teach children how to identify and avoid risky situations.

The program empowers and educates children to identify and speak up about situations such as abuse, grooming, bullying and risk-taking behaviours. We want children to be safe, able to identify what is right and wrong, and know what to do if they have concerns.

We want children to take notice of their feelings. This will enable them to respond safely to worrying feelings, people who make them feel uncomfortable, and wrong behaviour.

We want them to be strong and confident in the knowledge that they have the right to be safe at all times.

We also want our students to have the resources and networks to call on if they have any concerns or are in any danger.

If you have any questions about the Personal Safety Program please feel free to speak to myself, in my role as Child Safety Officer, or to your child's classroom teacher.

Amanda Norton-Smith

APS Trivia Night - 20 Aug - Save the date!

Upcoming Events

Thursday, 20 May
School Review (Validation Day)

Tuesday, 25 May
School Review (Field Day)

Wednesday, 26 May
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

Box Hill Senior Secondary College

Melbourne Softball Association