2021 APS Newsletter Issue 13

Junior School Council Report

Hi everyone,

My name is Jade and I am the Red House Captain. 

Today I would like to share some tips about how I keep myself motivated during lockdown and especially when I get a little bit bored at home.

- go to the park
- exercises
- spend time with my family members
- catch up with my friends using online platforms

I also want to say to all of our APS students: "Keep in mind to use your time wisely, as lockdown is not going to last. There are also a lot of positive things about it!"

For example, the way how remote learning works is very good. You can re-read the task instructions as many times as you want to make sure you understand the task clearly.

I also think the focus group is great because we can be more focused and there are less background noises. The task designed by our teachers and the feedback we got during focus group time is based on what we want to learn.

Most importantly, we get to know our teachers better!

Remember to stay positive, everyone! 



Principal's Report

Dear Parents, Carers and Community Members,

Melbourne has had it tough this term and as the lockdown gets extended day by day, we are highly aware that the city is starting to feel the cumulated fatigue.

But on the bright side, every day continues to be a new day and we have much to be grateful for. Switching on international news can be very depressing these days, but it does remind us how lucky we are to be living in a society where our safety is cared for and prioritised.

The well-renowned academic, John Hattie, recently presented to all Victorian principals. (For those who do not know him, he is very famous for his educational research using meta-analysis of big data.)

His research shows that across the board, in 2020, student achievement has not stalled. The progress may not be as large as many had hoped, but for many students who do not typically excel at schools, progress was actually quite astounding. Interestingly, creativity seems to be an area that has improved drastically during remote learning, and as APS staff has found and reflected upon, student independence as a learner has shown significant improvement.

Overall, however, I would argue that it is the positive mindset we embrace, immerse ourselves and our students in, that sets our school apart. And for that, I want to thank all the parents/carers for your support during the lockdowns to date. The remote learning structure has only been made possible with your support, logistically and emotionally, and we are very lucky to have such an engaged group of parents/carers who are just as passionate about the education of APS students as we are!

Like student learning, the school and staff have not stalled either. Over the last fortnight, on top of keeping up with the remote learning program your children are engaging in, we have:
  • Engaged with the Victorian Schools Building Authority to begin a project to upgrade our roof, landscaping (to allow for better social integration across year levels and more styles of play), and partitioning (to create new wellbeing spaces);
  • Engaged with OnWheels to repair all the remaining bicycles from 2019 Bike Ed program in which we hope to give away to families in need;
  • Conducted an audit of furniture in preparation for growing numbers next year and more age-appropriate and ergonomic equipment for students;
  • Undertaken professional development in the new NAPLAN online platform which will be rolled out next year (with a planned trial in Term 4);
  • Attended a workshop on discussing the latest thinking around student agency and voice (in line with the new School Strategic Plan);
  • Conducted the 2020 Annual Report to the Community and Presentation on the 2021-2024 School Strategic Plan;
  • Evaluate our progress against the Annual Implementation Plan, specifically Goal 1 on catch up learning and extension, using the newly released DET Reflection Continuua;
  • Developed a data presentation tool for our new Chinese as an Additional Language (CAL) curriculum in order to monitor its effectiveness and support differentiation in the classroom;
  • Reflected on the parent feedback from the Remote Learning Pulse Check survey as a staff team and discussed ideas for improvement;
  • Re-designed various school events to fit the requirements of our current realities;
  • Design trials of new technological tools and pedagogical platforms for online learning. 
The school will always be here and we will continue to do our best for your child whether learning is conducted onsite or offsite. Professional learning, assessment, curriculum design, critical reflection will continue to be key features of the work of the APS team, and I want to use the opportunity to acknowledge the staff team on their efforts during the various episodes of on-and-offline teaching. As a principal, I am always super proud in what they do and what they propose to make the school better day in, day out.

Last but not least, congratulations to Lingling laoshi on the smooth delivery of her new born!

Have a wonderful weekend,

Stanley xiaozhang

School Council Update

Change of APS School Council President

Around the start of Term 3, our School Council President, Virginia Dods, became a Department of Education and Training (DET) employee, which has meant that she is required to relinquish her role as the President.

Virginia has been a longstanding President, advocate, supporter, and a true "walking encyclopaedia" of Abbotsford Primary School. I am personally very honoured to have joined the APS community at a time when she is still active on the School Council and keen to offer strategic guidance and support. She is an exemplary example of our school values "lived" - she is always curious, she challenges the School Council and takes our thinking further, she is extremely resourceful and well-connected with local stakeholders,and  she cares and always has the best interest of the school and school community at heart.

I want to thank Virginia for her leadership as the APS School Council President for 2021 (and the many years before 2021), and I am glad that Virginia will remain as a Parent Member on the School Council until March 2022.

In the interim, the School Council has endorsed the nomination of Melissa Hii as our President from Term 3 until March 2022. In my short time here, Melissa has already helped out with many aspects of school operations. She has also provided advice on commercial matters, as well as being a voice for the parent body. I look forward to working with Melissa in the School Council to continue making APS a great school!

Marketing Sub-Committee - Upcoming Events

The Marketing Sub-Committee is a new committee that was established at the start of 2021, in response to the need for a greater focus on awareness building for the school and our bilingual program.

The Marketing Sub-committe has recently helped the school to update the contact details of potential feeder ELCs and kindergartens around us, and in the process, has learnt about a growing interest in bilingual education and a need for engagement with prospective parents online.

In response, we are putting together two lunchtime webinars (one in English and one in Chinese), titled the "APS Yum Chat Webinar Series."

The webinars will be taking place in two weeks' time, and we hope you can help us by passing on the information to your network!

Information on both events can be found under "Recent News" on the homepage of our school website and under "Events" on our Facebook Page:
We have also prepared materials in .jpg and .pdf for those who are willing to share the information for us via email or Facebook:

2021 Parent Opinion Survey


Our school is conducting a survey to find out what parents/caregivers/guardians think of our school. The Parent/Caregiver/Guardian Opinion Survey is an annual survey offered by the Department of Education and Training that is conducted amongst a sample of randomly selected parents/caregivers/guardians (previously known as the Parent Opinion Survey). It is designed to assist schools in gaining an understanding of families’ perceptions of school climate, student behaviour, student engagement and experiences of remote and flexible learning. Our school will use the survey results to help inform and direct future school planning and improvement strategies.

All responses to the survey are anonymous. This year, the Parent/Caregiver/Guardian Opinion Survey will be conducted from Monday 23 August to Friday 3 September.

The survey will be conducted online, only takes 20 minutes to complete, and can be accessed at any convenient time within the fieldwork period on desktop computers, laptops, tablets or smartphones. The online survey will be available in a range of languages other than English. These include: Arabic, Vietnamese, Mandarin, Chin (Hakha), Hindi, Japanese, Somali, Turkish, Punjabi and Greek.

The results from the survey feed directly into the evaluation of the school's Annual Implementation Plan and School Strategic Plan. The school will communicate the survey results through the Annual Report to the Community each year in April.

Stanley xiaozhang will be sending out instructions for all families to access the survey on Monday, 23 August.

Upcoming Events

Monday, 23 Aug - Friday, 3 Sep
Parent Opinion Survey

Friday, 27 Aug
Book Week Parade

Friday, 10 Sep
Curriculum Day

Wednesday, 15 Sep
School Council

Friday, 17 Jun
Moon Lantern Festival (9-10am)
Term 3 Ends (Early finish at 2:30pm)

eSmart Student Workshops / Parent Sessions

eSmart has released new online PD sessions!

All sessions are fully funded by the Department of Education, aimed at primary and secondary students and parent community

All sessions below can be accessed via https://esmart.page.link/connect

Be Cyber Smart with Buddy  (Junior Primary)
Tuesday 24 August     9:30am - 10:30am
Children at this age have a positive outlook and an accepting nature. We want them to be digital detectives to ensure a safe exploration of all that is a positive tech experience.

3 Cs of Cyber Safety  (Middle Primary)
Tuesday 24 August     2pm – 3pm
These are general cyber safety sessions that provide an overview of the key cyber safety topics and protective factors.

Parenting in the Digital World  (Parents)
Wednesday 25 August   12pm – 1pm
Join a special online presentation of 'Parenting in the Digital World' hosted by an eSmart educational expert. Empower your children and family with skills and strategies to navigate negativity.

Parenting in the Digital World  (Parents)
Wednesday 25 August    7:30pm - 8:30pm
Join a special online presentation of 'Parenting in the Digital World' hosted by an eSmart educational expert. Empower your children and family with skills and strategies to navigate negativity.

The 3 Cs of Cyber Safety  (Upper Primary)
Thursday 26 August      9:30am - 10:30pm
These are general cyber safety sessions that provide an overview of the key cyber safety topics and protective factors.

2021 Circus Quirkus Show


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