2021 APS Newsletter Issue 10

Junior School Council Report

Hi everyone, 

In the past two weeks, Abbotsford has been organising Winter Gala Day for the Grade 5/6 students. It will take place on the 16th of July at Ryan's Reserve, Richmond. Students who are participating will receive a notice with more information to take home. 

Another thing happening is that Yellow House is organising an APS Talent Show that will be on the last day of Term 2 and the students who are participating in the talent show have been pratising really hard. We wish them good luck! 

Lastly, on Week 9 Friday, the whole school celebrated the Dragon Boat Festival. We love the cultral activities. All students and teachers had fun! 

We wish everyone has a safe and happy holiday. See you next term! 
再见!Tạm biệt! Goodbye!

            Edie                          Lisa

APS 庆祝端午节!Dragon Boat Festival Celebrations

Here is a report from our Foundation students Keira and Lila on our Dragon Boat Festival Celebrations in Term 2!

你好!我们是 Keira 和 Lila。我们是预备班的学生。

(NǐhÇŽo! WÇ’men shì Keira hé Lila. WÇ’men shì yùbèibān de xuéshÄ“ng.)

Hi! We are Keira and Lila. We are Foundation students.

Last Friday, it was rainy but we had a lot of fun!

We met with our Year 5/6 buddies and we celebrated Dragon Boat Festival.

We had fun together doing boat racing, and some people won and it was fun.

The winners, including me, got Chinese stickers.

We also made paper zongzi but we couldn’t eat them.

We kicked jianzi with our buddies. Keira thinks Jade did the best. Lila thinks Henry did the best.

The best record was 13 kicks.

The End.

P.S.1. Hao laoshi made a video for Dragon Boat Festival for parents who we had hoped could join us.

P.S.2. Here are some photos from the day:

P.S.3. We wanted to write more in Chinese than English, so please let us share with you what we have learnt in Chinese:


(WÇ’men ài māo, gÇ’u, qÄ«ngwā, yú, chángjǐnglù, niÇŽo, xiÇŽojÄ«, shé, dàxiàng, lÇŽohÇ”, mÇŽ, shÄ«zi.)

We love cats, dogs, frogs, fish, giraffes, birds, chooks, snakes, elephants, tigers, horses, lions.

We also hope you liked our singing at assembly last week.

By Keira & Lila

Principal's Report

Dear Parents/Carers,

Congratulations on getting through Term 2 with all of its ups and downs!

It's been a symbolic term for our school, as we engaged with the rigorous School Review process to arrive at the School Strategic Plan (SSP) for 2021-2024. Over the last fortnight, we have consulted with staff and the School Council on new targets for the SSP. These are now ready for further negotiation and approval by the Department of Education and we look forward to sharing with you a confirmed version of the SSP on 5 August.

On Thursday last week, we also conducted our first virtual (Webex) School Tour, with six prospective families joining us for a 'photo'-based school tour. Enrolments have been rolling in steadily throughout the year, and we will soon reach our capacity for 2022 of having 8 classes (2 x Foundation + 1 for each of Years 1-6.) If you have a younger child joining us in 2022 or you know of neighbours in our school zone who have priority to come to our school next year, please contact the school at your earliest convenience!

Last week was also an important week for the Chinese culture, as the Chinese people around the world celebrated Dragon Boat Festival. At Abbotsford, we celebrated the festival on Friday afternoon by teaching various games Chinese children play growing up, including:
  • Tangram
  • Dragon boat racing (click on the photo for a video of the race!)
  • Diabolo
  • Jianzi (Chinese feather hacky sack)
  • Egg standing - very hard, but considered very lucky if you manage!)
  • (Paper) Zongzi making
The students have also learnt about the origin of Dragon Boat Festival in class, so feel free to use this as a topic of conversation or an opportunity to learn something Chinese from your child(ren) too!

This week, the teachers have been busily finishing off Semester 1 assessment tasks in hope to produce the best quality feedback and progress report possible. We have rescheduled Parent-Teacher Interviews to Week 3 Tuesday and Wednesday of Term 3, and registration will open at the start of next term.

To finish off the term, we have also enjoyed the fantastic musical performances this afternoon by more than 20 students who have put their hand up to contribute to the Yellow House Fundraising event - APS Talent Show! Well done to the Yellow House Captain, Lisa, on a great success and the leadership demonstrated in getting the event organised and everyone involved. Togher, we have raised $185 for the Australian Children's Music Foundation, as nominated by the Junior School Council.

Looking ahead, we have a jam packed term ahead with Parent-Teacher Interviews, Annual Report to the Community, Book Week, STEM Afternoon (new!), APS Trivia and Moon Lantern Festival!

(Note: For Term 3, we are currently in need of a more sign-ups to make the after school sports clinics viable - so if you haven't done so, please do make it a priority to sign up at the start of the term!)

Lastly, on a personal note, thank you to everyone who has kindly asked me about the situation with me and my wife (Yenyu) in our casual conversations in the yard. We have now been apart for 10 months by Australia's border closure and the incredibly expensive and slow visa application process. The good news is, as you are reading this newsletter (on Friday afternoon), Yenyu is actually on a flight here from Brisbane after two weeks of hotel quarantine. I am indeed looking forward very much to spending some quality time with her over the next two weeks!

Enjoy your term break and stay warm!

Stanley xiaozhang

P.S. Some lovely photos to share with you from the last fortnight:

School Council Report

Hi everyone,

We thought you might be interested to hear about what the School Council has been doing during the first semester of this year. It is hard to believe that half the school year has already gone by, but we have certainly been keeping busy!

We meet monthly and so have already had five meetings, either in the staffroom or online, depending upon the restrictions and health advice operating at the time. We started the year with working through a bunch of policies including Student Wellbeing and Engagement, Homework and Complaints, as well as finance policies and hiring of facilities agreements. School Council roles were confirmed and plans commenced for the activities of the Sub-Committees.

At the next meeting, we consolidated this work with finalisation of School Councillors’ roles and agreement on the Sub-committee Structure and Membership, with formation of Sub-Committees on Finance, Fundraising and Community, Education, Volunteer Management and Marketing. Of course, parents are most welcome to join and support these groups at any time.

The School Council debated the Statement of Values and School Philosophy and considered the draft 2020 Annual Report to the School Community with the finalised report being presented to the school community early in Term 3.

In the past couple of months, the planning for the School Strategic Review became quite intensive, as it is a major undertaking to be mapping the direction of the school for the next four years. It has been great to have an active role in this process and involve as many ideas from school community members as possible. School Councillors were also fortunate to have an excellent briefing on child safety and the update of the Child Safety Policy.

The work of the Sub-Committees has been substantial, with the Finance Sub-Committee balancing the books and ensuring we could target savings to areas of most need, including fast-tracking the installation of the air conditioning during cooler months.

The Education Sub-Committee has been exploring grant options, proposing additional workshop ideas and education programs to benefit the school.

The Fundraising Sub-Committee has had great success with raising funds from secondhand uniform sales, to the movie fundraiser, and the magnificent APS Hidden Treasures Community Market, and will continue to work around restrictions to hold such great events.

The Marketing Sub-Committee is focussing on school promotion to specific cohorts and is currently targeting preschool groups, so offer your support if you have a child involved in any groups.

Meanwhile, the Volunteer Management Sub-Committee is ably supporting a group of volunteers to assist students in learning Chinese, and there are plans in the second half of the year to expand to other learning areas.

Please contact School Council if you have suggestions or want to know more about how you can support the school – schoolcouncil@abbotsfordps.vic.edu.au.

Virginia Dods
School Council President

Resilience, Rights & Respectful Relationships

In recent weeks our staff have undertaken some Professional Development to prepare for Term 3 as our students will be engaging with the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships Program. Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships (RRRR) is a state wide, evidence-based program that is being rolled out in all government and Catholic schools, as well as some independent schools. Abbotsford Primary School is a Lead School for the program. As a Lead School, we have been recognised as being a school skilled in this area of teaching, and we are mentoring five other schools as they roll out the program. RRRR is taught across all ages. The program focuses on building resilience, and teaching respect for all. The social emotional focus supports children to engage respectfully with others, and take care of themselves. This type of learning has shown to have a positive influence not only on a child’s social world, but also on their learning.

The RRRR curriculum will be taught by our English Team for a session each week, incorporated into the Integrated Studies learning time. In term 3 our school will focus on the following parts of the RRRR curriculum:

Topic 1: Emotional Literacy

Topic 2: Personal Strengths

As well as teaching academic skills, it is part of the core business of schools to promote student resilience, wellbeing and positive social attitudes. One way that schools can achieve this is through the teaching of evidence-based programs that explicitly foster personal and social capabilities. Explicit efforts to provide Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) opportunities is recognised as a key part of this work.

SEL is the process through which children and young people build and effectively apply the knowledge, attitudes and skills necessary to:

  • Understand and manage emotions
  • Set and achieve positive goals
  • Feel and express empathy
  • Establish and maintain positive relationships
  • Make responsible decisions
  • Develop resilience to deal with change
  • Create positive gender norms
  • Contribute to social cohesion.

Efforts to promote personal and social capabilities and build resilience can be fostered through a whole school approach. At Abbotsford Primary School we draw upon the Department’s Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships (RRRR) program to support a whole school approach to social and emotional wellbeing.

Social and emotional skills help students develop the resilience to deal with change, challenge and unpredictability. Social and emotional learning is important in the context of data highlighting that Australian young people face a range of stressors and anxieties, and a high incidence of mental health problems. Social and emotional skills are also the foundation of positive relationships, including positive gender relationships, and contribute to social cohesion.

Upcoming Events

Monday, 12 Jul
Term 3 Starts

Friday, 16 Jul (NEW!)
Gala Sports Day

Monday, 19 Jul
Parent Opinion Survey opens

Friday, 23 Jul

Semester 1 Report Sent Home

Tuesday, 27 Jul - Wednesday, 28 Jul (DATE REVISED!)
Parent-Teacher Interviews

Note: Registration will be open between 9am on Monday, 12 Jul - 5pm on Sunday, 25 July via Sentral Parent Portal.

Wednesday, 5 Aug
Annual Report to the Community (5-6pm)
School Council (6:30-8:30pm)

Monday, 16 Aug - Friday, 20 Aug (NEW!)
Science Week

Wednesday, 18 Aug (NEW!)

Richmond District Athletics Event

Friday, 20 Aug (NEW!)
STEM Afternoon

Monday, 23 Aug - Friday, 27 Aug
Book Week

Friday, 27 Aug (NEW!)
APS Trivia

Wednesday, 8 Sep
School Council

Friday, 10 Sep (DATE REVISED!)
Curriculum Day

Note: The School Council has passed a motion in the 16 June meeting that the last Curriculum Day this year will move from Monday, 1 November to Friday, 10 September. The rationale and an explanation regarding this decision will be communciated to the school community at the start of Term 3.

Thursday, 16 Sep
Moon Lantern Festival

Friday, 25 Jun
Term 3 Ends (Early finish at 2:30pm)

Community Noticeboard

Abbotsford Farmers Market

Pure Aikido Dojo

Hargan Psychology

Simonds Catholic College

Camp Australia OSHC

City of Yarra Family Program