2022 APS Newsletter Issue 1

Principal's Report

Dear Parents, Carers and Community Members,

It has been terrific to see everyone back in the schoolyard with such positivity and energy.

I recently shared with staff how 'centred' the beginning of term has felt. We have been undoubtedly busy trying to get everything up and running, but there is a long level of clarity to our purpose, our goal and our identity.

I don't intend to repeat any of the admin reminders today, as you have recently received a Start-of-Term Letter Package from the classroom teachers that already covers many notices that require your attention. We encourage you to read the letter, Curriculum Overview and Start-of-Year Admin Notices through thoroughly, so that we can all set ourselves up for a successful year.

Air Purifiers, Hand Sanitisers and Shade Sail
In preparation for the start of the new year, the school has received 6 air purifiers to be used in rooms that do not have outward facing windows. We have also received a generous donation of hand sanitisers (that will last us a whole year) from an APS family, and we are in the process of organising a new shade sail to be installed in the yard.

During this month, many classes have also enjoyed learning outdoors, and we commend our Year 3-6 students for their cooperation and persistence with the mask rules.

Year 3 "See the World" Project
After a success collaboration between (2021) Year 4 students and Qianhua Elementary School last year through the "See the World" Project (organised by ThereforEd), this year, we have offered the exchange opportunity to Year 3 students.

As an initial introduction, Year 3 students listened to their Taiwanese counterparts introducing how they had recently celebrated Chinese New Year as part of their winter vacation.

The Year 3 students will continue to have a number of opportunities to interact with students from Qianhua Elementary School until August as part of our Global Engagement program.

Minor Construction Work
Since the start of Term 1, the school has also been undertaking minor construction works upstairs to turn the 'reading' area into our new Wellbeing Centre.

The funding for this work comes from the remainder of the Major Refurbishment Work between 2018-19, and will involve mainly:
  • investigation and replacement of existing roofing to stop the leakage during heavy rains
  • a new Wellbeing Centre that will include a private discussion room, a workshop for therapy and counselling and a 'de-escalation area' for students
  • minor touches to internal facilities and landscaping

Special Feature of Abbotsford PS Family

In January, one of APS families (Saaid, Safa, Salim and mum, Faiza) was featured on SBS News discussing the importance of vaccinations. This was a great feature for the family and the community and we thank Faiza's family for your ambassadorship to keep the school safe.

Article: Australia's vaccinations open to children aged 5-11 with extra help for migrant communities

Youtube: COVID-19 vaccination opens for children aged five to 11 across Australia

Have a fantastic weekend and I hope students are looking forward to basketball, African drumming and dancing and soccer clinics starting next week!

Stanley xiaozhang

School Council's Welcome

Hello fellow caregivers,

I hope you and your Abbotsford students have settled into the school year nicely.

It’s exciting to start a year with the hope that it will be lockdown free (though I am NOT tempting fate with that statement).

With the new year, we’re enthusiastically calling for volunteers to either join a subcommittee, or to consider running for one of the 3 positions that are available with the School Council this year. 

The School Council is a small dedicated diverse group that meets only 10 times a year to consider significant matters for the school community.

Expression of interest for the 2022 School Council will be called in late February.

In the meantime, if you’re interested or have any questions, please ask me (schoolcouncil@abbotsfordps.vic.edu.au) or Stanley xiaozhang.

Warm regards,

Melissa Hii
(Kayla / Grade 3, Keira / Grade 1)

Bullying. No Way!

This term, as part of our Wellbeing Curriculum, our students will be engaging with the Bullying. No Way! framework. For our Foundation-Grade 2 students, the framework focuses on emotional literacy. This is the ability to understand, express and manage individual emotions as well as the ability to understand and respond to the emotions of others. These skills are a central part of a child’s social development and provide a foundation for positive personal friendships. Positive interactions between peers lead to respectful relationships and help to prevent bullying. For our Grade 3-6 students the framework focuses on concepts such as: what bullying is, why people bully, how we can respond to bullying and how we can prevent bullying.

This is very timely, as at the start of each school year, teachers go through the Abbotsford Primary School ICT Acceptable Use Agreement with their class. This agreement outlines how we expect students to use digital technologies in a safe and respectful way. When learning about what constitutes bullying, students will also learn about cyberbullying and its harmful effects. Cyberbulling involves the use of digital technology to harass, threaten, or humiliate others. Cyberbullying can reach a child 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and the bullying can follow individuals anywhere so that no place, not even home, ever feels safe. With a few quick clicks, a child’s embarrassment can be witnessed by hundreds or even thousands of people online.

Below is a useful Fact Sheet that describes what the signs to look out for are that may indicate that your child is being cyberbullied.

Privacy Collection Notice

The Department of Education and Training (the Department) values your privacy and is committed to protecting the personal and health information that schools collect.

All school staff must comply with Victorian privacy law and the Schools’ Privacy Policy. This notice explains how the Department, including Victorian government schools (schools), handles personal and health information. On occasion, specific consent will be sought for the collection and use of information, for example, for a student to receive a health service. Our schools are also required by legislation, such as the Education and Training Reform Act 2006, to collect some of this information.

Throughout this notice, ‘staff’ includes principals, teachers, student support service officers, youth workers, social workers, nurses and any other allied health practitioners, and all other employees, contractors, volunteers and service providers of the school and the Department.

On enrolment, and during the ordinary course of a student’s attendance at a school, schools will collect information about students and their families for the following purposes:

  • educating students
  • supporting students’ social and emotional wellbeing, and health 
  • fulfilling legal obligations, including duty of care, anti-discrimination law and occupational health and safety law
  • communicating and engaging with parents
  • student administration
  • school management
  • supporting policy in relation to student education and wellbeing.

If this information is not collected, schools may be unable to provide optimal education or support to students or fulfil legal obligations.

For example, our schools rely on parents to provide health information about any medical condition or disability that their child has, medication their child may take while at school, any known allergies and contact details of their child’s doctor. If parents do not provide all relevant health information, this may put their child’s health at risk.

Our schools also require current, relevant information about all parents and carers so that schools can take account of safety concerns that affect their children. Parents should provide schools with copies of all current parenting plans and court orders about or that affect their children and provide updated copies when they change.

When parents enrol their child in primary school, they will be asked to provide personal and health information in several ways, including via the Enrolment Form, the School Entrance Health Questionnaire (SEHQ) and the Early Childhood Intervention Service (ECIS) Transition Form.

The Enrolment Form is used to collect information that is essential for the purposes listed above, and requests information such as:

  • Emergency contacts – Individuals parents nominate for a school to contact during an emergency. Parents should ensure that their nominated emergency contact agrees to their contact details being provided to the school and that they understand their details may be disclosed by the Department if lawful, e.g. in the case of emergency communications relating to bush fires or floods.
  • Student background information – Information about country of birth, Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander origin, language spoken at home and parent occupation. This information enables the Department to allocate appropriate resources to schools. The Department also uses this information to plan for future educational needs in Victoria and shares some information with the Commonwealth government to monitor, plan and allocate resources.
  • Immunisation status – This assists schools to manage health risks and legal obligations. The Department may also provide this information to the Department of Health and Department of Families, Fairness and Housing to assess immunisation rates in Victoria, but not in a way which identifies students.
  • Visa status – This is required to process a student’s enrolment.

All schools may use departmental systems and online tools such as apps and other software to effectively collect and manage information about students and families for the purposes listed above.

When schools use these online tools, they take steps to ensure that student information is secure. If parents or carers have any concerns about the use of these online tools, please contact the school.

School staff will only share student and family information with other school staff who need to know to enable them to educate or support the student as described above. Information will only be shared outside the school (and outside the Department) as required or authorised by law, including where sharing is required to meet duty of care, anti-discrimination, occupational health and safety, and child wellbeing and safety obligations. The information collected will not be disclosed beyond the school and Department without parent consent unless such disclosure is lawful.

When a student transfers to another school (including Catholic, independent and interstate), personal and/or health information about that student may be transferred to the next school. Transferring this information is in the best interests of the student and assists the next school to provide the best possible education and support to the student. For further detail about how and what level of information is provided to the next school, refer to the: Enrolment: Student transfers between schools

Schools only provide school reports and ordinary school communications to students, parents, carers or others who have a legal right to that information. Requests for access to other student information or by others must be made by lodging a Freedom of Information (FOI) application.

To update student or family information, parents should contact their school.

Keeping Our School Safe

Notice from the DET

What you can do
  • To learn more about the Pfizer vaccine for childen visit here.
  • To book at your local GP or pharmacy visit here.
  • To book in for our own APS Mini Vaccination Clinic (16 Feb and 27 Apr), please book in via the APS Reception in person or email abbotsford.ps@education.vic.gov.au (see next article)

Vaccination Clinics at APS

Children aged 5-11 years are now eligible to receive a COVID-19 vaccine. Getting vaccinated is the best way you can protect yourself, your family and our school community from further outbreaks and the spread of COVID-19. 

Vaccination is not mandatory, but it is highly encouraged, except where your medical practitioner advises you otherwise. 

To help keep our school community safe, Professor Yoland Lim Health Care will be hosting a mini COVID-19 vaccination clinic at our school for all students at our school aged 5-11 years.

When and where

Dose 1

  • Date: 16/2/2022
  • Time: 15:30-17:30
  • Location: Atrium / Resource Room

Dose 2

  • Date: 27/4/2022
  • Time: 15:30-17:30
  • Location: Atrium / Resource Room

Parent/guardian consent

All students aged 5-11-years-old require the consent of their parent or guardian to be vaccinated. A parent or guardian must attend the mini vaccination clinic with your child to provide consent and support your child.

How to book an appointment

You’re welcome to book an appointment by contacting the Reception in person or via email (abbotsford.ps@education.vic.gov.au).

You can also attend without an appointment if you’re not able to book.

What to bring

On the day you should bring the following:

Please note, appointments and vaccinations through the school based mini-vaccination clinic are at no cost to your or your family.

Please speak to your doctor if you have any questions about vaccination for your child.  

More information

If you and your child cannot attend the vaccination clinic at the school, you can book and receive your COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, participating GP clinics, pharmacies or community health services.  

You can find a Commonwealth vaccination centre or participating GP, pharmacy or community health service through the Vaccine Clinic Finder. You can book your appointment online or by calling the vaccine provider nearest to you.  To find a state vaccination centre and opening times, visit coronavirus.vic.gov.au. 

Translated advice about the vaccines is also available at coronavirus.vic.gov.au.  

For further assistance, contact:  

  • the Department of Education and Training COVID-19 hotline on 1800 338 663.
  • the National coronavirus and COVID-19 vaccine helpline: 1800 020 080.

Upcoming Events

Wednesday, 16 Feb
Year 4 Lawn Bowls

Thursday, 17 Feb
Chinese Parent Information Session (3:45-5pm)

Friday, 18 Feb
Richmond Swimming Trials

Tuesday, 22 Feb
School Council

Tuesday, 1 Mar - Thursday, 3 Mar
Parent-Teacher Interviews
(Note: Different year levels will operate on different nights with different time availabilities)

Wednesday, 2 Mar
Be Kind Day

Monday, 14 Mar
Labour Day (Public Holiday)

Friday, 18 Mar
National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence - Parent Info Session & Rotational Activities (2-3:30pm)

Friday, 25 Mar
Years 5 & 6 District Summer Gala Sports day (9:45am-1pm)

Monday, 28 Mar - Friday, 8 Apr
Smile Squad Oral Health Visit

Tuesday, 29 Mar
School Council

Friday, 1 Apr
Foundation Learning Morning and Teddy Bear Picnic

Tuesday, 5 Apr
School Photos

Friday, 8 Apr
End of Term 1 (Early finish for students at 2:30pm)

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