Irymple Primary School

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30th January 2019

Term 1 Begins


Class lists for Preps will be sent out by mail with other relevant information for the beginning of the 2019 Prep year. The two classes are now finalised and we very much look forward to their start on 30th January. This is a very special time in the lives of these children. We love welcoming the new children to our school. Mrs Leslie and Ms Chislett will be their teachers for 2019.

Outstanding School Fees

Please if you are still to contribute to your child’s/children’s requisite fees and are not sure if you have paid or the amount owing, please see Mrs Dea this week and she will be able to assist you. It would be fantastic if the parents of children that have used all the requisites and benefited from all the resources could assist with the payment prior to the end of the school year.

Classes for 2019

We have finalised classes for 2019 and will be advising all the students on the last day of school. The teachers have spent many hours collating and organising the groups. We have had a long list of requests from parents and we have done our very best to accommodate all requests, but it is near impossible to have all requests satisfied due to having to consider:

  • Gender balance.
  • Students requests for friends.
  • Students requests for preference not to be placed with another student due to past experiences.
  • Teacher knowledge of friendships and the positive and negative effects in a classroom setting.
  • Teacher initiated separations of students due to potential incompatible behaviours.
  • Sibling separations.
  • Staff preferring not teaching their own children.
  • Distribution of students with special needs.
  • Matching students with particular staff strengths, experience and expertise. (training)
  • Class sizes matched within one or two places across the year level.
  • Academic mix (all classes with an equal mix of students who are ‘below’, ‘at’ or ‘above’ expected grade level from an academic perspective at the anticipated entry point in 2019.
  • Class proximity to toilets and office area for special needs students.

As you can see from this list it is a complex process and is not taken lightly. Due care is always taken to ensure the best learning and social opportunity for each student. As you can appreciate no further changes can be made to classes from this point, due to the fact that other children would also be affected.

School Concert

Thank you to all the staff and students who contributed to such a fantastic night. Thank you to Mrs Birch for co-ordinating the Concert team for 2018. Thank you to Mrs Menegaldo for supervising the final rehearsals and for directing on the night due to Mrs Birch’s absence. It is such a nice night for all families to relax and enjoy the celebration. It is great to see the enjoyment that students get out of learning and finally performing their dance and song. Thank you to the School Council members and Parents’ Club members who gave their assistance to the co-ordination of the BBQ, food sales and amazing raffles on the night. A very hard working team and deserving of high praise as while most families come along to enjoy the evening they come along also to co-ordinate the food and raffles throughout the night.

Thank you to our Year 6 students who prepared an item for the younger children to enjoy and for each of their classes. All classes shared a beautiful performance with the audience and we thank all the parents for ensuring that their children had appropriate attire for their presentations.

A special flower presentation was made to Mrs Jayne McNerny who is leaving our school to retire and two very important parents that have given so much of their personal time to our school over a number of years – Mrs Stam Panaretos and Mrs Sasha McClure – both will no longer have children at our school in 2019.

Year 6 Graduation on 20th December

A very special night for Year 6 children will be held on Thursday evening 20th December. Some have said goodbye to their school, friends and teachers after seven years of attendance whereas others have come to us more recently. The presentation ceremony will be followed by a dinner then a disco. We hope all parents and friends enjoy the evening. Most of all we hope it will be a special memory for the Year 6 children and their Year 6 teachers. We are very proud of them as their parents and carers are no doubt as well. We know many have had additional challenges at home and at school and they have been supported all the way to reach their Graduation by a team of caring people. Two people I would like to particularly mention are Mrs Muller (Primary Welfare Officer) in her well-being role and Mrs Midgley in her support role for children with additional needs. We wish nothing but the best for all of our Year 6 graduates. Our Year 6 students will be heading into the years that will prepare them to enter the workforce. Every day at school will count towards that successful outcome!

Final Comments for 2018

Once again it has been a privilege to be the Principal of a school which has such depth and diversity to its educational, community and extracurricular activities. The staff and parents have supported the school and operated as a caring and supportive team with all the best interests of the children at heart. All students get a quality education from the teacher dedication to better learning outcomes as a result of thorough planning, teaching and assessment. Congratulations and thank you to the Year 6 Captains and Vice Captains who have so ably led the school. They have represented us at school functions and have led our assemblies each fortnight. They will be major contributors to the Year 6 Graduation Ceremony next week.

I would like to sincerely thank all staff in all roles (office administration, library, student support, teaching and grounds) for their extensive work and dedication to all our Irymple Primary students. Please model to your children the thanking of others who have cared for another year for each and every child. For those who had a difficult conversation with a staff member at some point in the year, there is no better time than the end of the school year and impending holiday period to share the joy and spirit of the holiday season to re-build a delicate relationship with an act of kindness. We live in an age where the scrutiny of service providers generally is widespread and open to passionate, positive and negative comments in the public domain. We must never however lose the humble ability to praise and thank those who each year places a new and important piece in the puzzle to create the next generation of citizens in our society. It takes loving and dedicated parents/carers to be our children’s partners in their lifelong learning journey. We have almost without exception, amazing support from our parents and carers and have a safe and inclusive school to be very proud of.

The Parents’ Club have had a wonderful year raising much needed funds to supplement the schools’ budget. In addition to this they have tirelessly worked to organise and run a Mothers’ and Fathers’ Day stall Easter raffle and the School Christmas Concert. The members all support the canteen regularly and spend a substantial time raising funds for all the students in this school. They are a small, but much organised team and a pleasure to work alongside for the benefit of our children.

I would like to say a special thank you to Mrs Baird for her dedicated and caring work in her Assistant Principal role, since Mr Beer’s retirement earlier in the year. In addition to this I would like to offer my thanks to the school ’Leadership Team’ including Miss Jess Melsen, Mrs Kerry Cornwall, Mrs Natalie McFarlane. Their contribution to their teaching and learning teams has been outstanding. The members of the team represent their teams with professionalism and lead by example.

We have had a wonderful 2018 where the students have demonstrated outstanding knowledge and skills across the school. In 2019 we will be in the final year of our 2017 – 2020 Strategic Plan and will undergo our Whole School Review in the second half of next year.

Thank you to Mrs Sue Rodgers (Canteen Manager) and her dedicated helpers (both parents and students) for their help throughout the year. As with every new school year, we will need additional helpers in the canteen to see it maintained for the three days a week throughout the year.

We wish all those families moving with work and relocations all the very best and know that they will take many memories of this school with them whether through learning, friendships or strong school values. We will welcome many new families to our school in 2019 and look forward to all they may contribute to our highly regarded school.

This will be the last newsletter for 2018. On behalf of all the staff at Irymple Primary School I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. We will see all our students back on Wednesday 30th January, 2019.

Take care and be safe.

Christmas Gifts

Some families may like some ideas for Christmas gifts to start the school year off next year. Things like a pencil case, coloured pencils, textas, a rubber, a ruler and so on. The school will no longer provide a new pencil case at the beginning of each year to every student. The ones available to us were of poor quality and often abandoned in favour of personal ones before the end of Term 1. It is a saving we would like to put toward much needed whole school items and/or ICT programs that can be accessed at school and at home.

Parents’ Club and School Council Thank You

Thank you to all the elected people on School Council and the many volunteers in our Parents’ Club that have assisted the staff and students at our school to be the ‘best place’ it can be in 2018. All attend meetings each month and work tirelessly for our school and it is so very much appreciated.

Snake Alert

Please watch carefully when you are dropping off or picking up your children as another snake has been sighted near the recycle bin again this past Monday. So far all snakes sighted have been brown snakes.

Grade 5 Camp

By all accounts from the teachers attending, the camp has gone well and the children have had a really interesting and amazing time. Thank you to Mr Baker, Ms Hawkes, Miss Chislett, Mrs McNerney and Mr Pettit for their week (or part thereof) away with the children. They were able to enjoy good weather albeit warm.

Classes for 2019

Classes as of the end of Week 9 are:

  • 2 x Prep classes – Mrs Leslie – Unit co-ordinator (Room 1) and Miss Chislett (Room 2).
  • 4 x 1/2 classes – Ms Scholz – Unit co-ordinator (Room 4), Ms Enright (Room 5), Mrs Webb (Room 6) and Mrs Floramo/Ms Melsen – Learning Specialist (Room 7).
  • 4 x 3/4 classes – Mrs Cornwall – Unit co-ordinator, Ms N Gladman (Room 15), Ms Hawkes/Ms Hill) (Room 12), Mr McKenzie (Room 13)
  • 4 x 5/6 classes – Mrs McFarlane (Room 8), Mr Baker (Room 11), Mrs A Gladman – Unit co-ordinator (Room 10) and Mr Bower (Room 9)

Specialist Teachers – Mrs Birch (The Arts), Mr Pettit (Physical Education and Health), Mr Thompson (Information and Communication Technology) and Mrs Kent (LOTE).

For some children there is great excitement about finding out whom their classroom teacher is for the following year, while for others it is a time of concern and worry about the unknown. We have taken all areas of special consideration into account with classes and drawn upon previous paraprofessional, teacher and parent information where applicable. As always, as is the case in any school, not every student’s or parent’s wish can be accommodated for, but every endeavour has been made to place children in the best possible learning situation we have available. Be assured that every child’s wellbeing and learning is our number one consideration.

If your child comes home next week and does not seem happy please talk about ‘change’ as a necessary part of schooling and life. There are few choices available in Secondary School classes and Primary Schools are where students can learn to cope with change in a supported environment. It is also learning about the fact that sometimes you do not always get what you want, but you make the best of the situation and trust that the people who had composed the classes have spent many hours deciding upon final class compositions and that given time and positive parental support, you will be your child’s best asset.


Reports will be available in the last week of school.

Parents’ Club Raffle

Please think about a small donation item to the baskets to assist our wonderful Parents’ Club for their Christmas raffle for 2018. The range of gifts in each basket is a treat to receive as a pre-Christmas gift. There will be two ‘hundred square’ raffles as well on the evening. Please keep some change in order to buy some raffle tickets and help to raise some much needed funds towards our schools ability to purchase large and small items for the children of our school.


Congratulations to Ms Hill on her marriage on the weekend to Steve Menagaldo. We wish her and her family all the best for the future.

Melbourne Camp

Congratulations to all the children who attended Melbourne Camp last week. The activities planned were enjoyed by the students and the learning opportunities were immense. It is a huge camp with an enormous amount of pre-organisation prior to, and during, the event, so the senior staff are to be commended on their work for the children. Thank you to all the parents that assisted their children to be able to attend and a big thank you to Sharon Teague and Jason Gordon for attending year 6 camp and for their enormous assistance

Next Week at Lake Cullulleraine

Best wishes to the Year 5 students and staff for their Lake Cullulleraine Camp next week. We have had great support from parents with this Camp as well, and as always the children will no doubt love their time away. Ms Hawkes, Mr Baker, Mrs McNerny and Miss Chislett will be assisting with supervision at Lake Cullulleraine this year.

School Requisite Payment for 2019

School Council has approved the School Requisite payment for 2019. The Requisite payment for Prep to Grade 2 is $180.00 with the ICT Levy set at $35.00.

The Requisite payment for Grades 3-6 is $180.00 with the ICT Levy set at $100.00. This is for the students who HAVE NOT taken up the Lease to Purchase option.

School Entrance and Waiting Areas

Please be aware that under no circumstances is the double OUT roads to be used as an entry. We ask that everyone please use the entrance adjacent to the Uniting Church on Sandilong Avenue. The current traffic arrangements are for the safety of everyone (pedestrians and drivers). A second area of concern is the parking on either side of Sandilong Avenue as well as children walking and running across the road to get to their cars. As our school grows it is increasingly important to respect the people that live along Sandilong Avenue and not block their entry and exits or park on their lawns. With so many vehicles in the vicinity everyone must be extremely careful to ensure the safety of all children.

Prep Transition Days

As the Prep Transition days have come to an end it is time to reflect on the time the new students have had to get used to being a new student at our school. So far the new students have coped very well with the visits and the new Mums and Dads have had brief opportunities to chat with each other. Many of our new families have taken the opportunity to order their school uniforms and to ask some valuable questions. The children have spent some time in Room 1 and Room 2 with their respective teachers Ms Chislett and Mrs Leslie. The children swapped teachers and rooms this week. We have approximately 40 Preps at this stage of the year and may still have several more as we are yet to show some more families moving to the area around our school in the coming two weeks.

Behaviour at School

We expect very high standards and we ask that families support us with action to ensure that the highest standards of behaviour are upheld. We need all families to know that there will be no compromise to these expectations and that disrespectful comments or behaviour to other students or teachers will not be accepted. We take great care to live by our school values of Pride, Respect, Safety and Learning. We will not be allowing students who are deliberately disrespectful to fellow students and/or staff to participate in the end of year fun activities. The children who do the right thing every day deserve the opportunity to celebrate their year of hard work with a fun day that can be enjoyed from start to finish.

Staffing for 2019

After a number of weeks the teaching positions for next year have been almost finalised. When they are completed and classes are allocated we will advise the parent community via our newsletter.

Melbourne Camp

The children and staff have had a great week. We understand the sacrifices many parents have made to be able to allow their children to attend camp. Costs are always kept the absolute minimum but such a diverse camp is costly.

Christmas Concert Practises

Most classes have commenced a practise session a week and are perfecting their performances. If you have any queries at all about your child’s part in the Christmas program please contact their classroom teacher.

School Concert

The School concert is to be held on Tuesday 11 December on the school Oval. A BBQ tea commences at 6.00 PM with the first act commencing at 6.30 PM. We would love to see you all in attendance for this terrific performance by our school kids. If your child is not attending the concert, please make contact with the classroom teacher to advise them they will not be attending.

Foundation - Prep Orientation Sessions

Foundation - Prep orientation sessions are well underway with the second day occurring this week. Many of the children already have older siblings at the school and will find school to be a familiar environment. It is vital that if anyone is yet to complete their enrolment form that is done this week.

Students Leaving the School

If any families know that they will be transferring with work or relocating for other reason is it vital that we are notified as soon as possible. We can only employ staff based on firm numbers and we are in the process of finalising staffing for 2019. Please phone the school and advise Mr Baird or myself if this applies to you.

Lake Cullulleraine Camp Coming up Soon

All best to all the Grade 5 students preparing for their camp the week after next.

Return to School After a Vomiting Episode

The same rules apply in schools as Pre-schools and Kindergartens as to the exclusion time after a vomiting or diarrhoea event. The child must not return to school for a period of at least 24 hours – time from the last event. Over the last week we have had several students return to school before the 24 hour exclusion period. Without adhering to the exclusion period the infection will continue to be spread throughout the school community.