The Walking School Bus

Despite the cool morning, a number of staff and students were eager to collect their tickets for the walking school bus.

Royal Flying Doctor Service Visit

On Friday, Irymple Primary School had a special group "fly" into school. Grade 3/4 students enjoyed this special visit from the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Thank you to the RFDS and their "Look up in the sky" Education Program. To read more about the wonderful work that they do, follow this link.


Thank you to all the parents and relatives that attended the ceremony on Monday. Students each year in Year 5 and Year 6 show us how well informed they are about the importance of ANZAC day. The prior preparation by the Senior students once again was commented upon by many visitors and a credit to the children and the teachers in the senior unit. Thank you also to the choir members who performed two songs on behalf of the school.

Thank you to all the classes that created wreaths for the occasion, to Mrs Amy Gladman who coordinated the service this week and for the students and staff that assisted with the setting up and pack up after the ceremony.

Welcome Back

Welcome back to Term 2. We hope everyone enjoyed the company of their children while not having to work within a school timetable. The weather was certainly kind for outdoor activities. We wish everyone all the best for Term 2 at school. Term 2, is a busy term and includes: Anzac Day, School Cross Country, NAPLAN assessment, Mid - Year Reports, Prep Open Days, Education Week, hosting student teachers from La Trobe University and many more.

Healthy Lunches Essential to Learning

Keep providing the healthiest lunches as possible for all children as it is a great marker of success in the classroom. The ‘5 Food Group Checklist’ is a helpful tool to evaluate the best lunch possible that includes the following:

  1. Vegetables and legumes/beans .
  2. Fruit.
  3. Grain (cereal) foods, mostly wholegrain and/or high cereal fibre varieties.
  4. Lean meats and poultry, fish, eggs, tofu, nuts and seeds and legumes/beans.
  5. Milk, yoghurt cheese and/or alternatives, mostly reduced fat.

Please refrain from sending snacks that are high is salt, sugar and fat. We often hear children say, “I have a special treat today”, and this consists of a lolly or chocolate which unfortunately remain on the teeth from lunch time (11.00am) until bedtime. Nutritious food is an investment in a ‘long and healthy life’ for our children. We are pleased to see many children bringing sandwiches, wraps and a variety of fresh fruit for their lunches. We maintain a healthy canteen that is state government compliant for the provision of lunches to children. Sue updates the menu to align with the seasons and we are lucky to have such a healthy range of foods that are enjoyed by the students and staff.

NAPLAN Testing

The Mathematics and English testing that is Australia wide will take place on 9th, 10th and 11th May, 2017. It will involve all Year 3 and 5 students in our school. It is important that all students have an early night before each of these days and a substantial breakfast as they are concentrating for long periods of time under test conditions. It is a series of tests that cannot be studied for and are based on all the teaching and learning that has happened to that point in time for each student. For Year 3 students for example it is all that has been learned from Prep till May in Year 3 and for Year 5 students all that has been learned from Prep to May in Year 5.

We do our best to prepare the students for the test taking techniques that go with NAPLAN so that they are not disadvantaged by lack of exposure to the types of questions sprinkled through each test such as multiple choice questions, choose between given answers, one word answers etc.

Some parents request that their students be exempt in exceptional circumstances and sometimes the school will contact parents as children who have a particular disability and/or learning impairment may not benefit from the testing regime and may not cope with the situation at all. If you child is exempt due to a particular learning disability or will receive extra reading time you will be notified by the principal and/or classroom teacher before the testing takes place. We have in the past done quite well in both Year 3 and 5 NAPLAN areas and this is largely attributed to past and present teachers and the time parents spend with their children in normal day to day activities at home. It is essential that all children are present at school unless genuinely sick as by the Friday we are required to have done our best to catch up all students that have missed a day for any reason.

Inter-school Cross Country

On Tuesday 16th May, the Division Inter-school Cross Country will be held in Mildura and our top female and male Cross Country runners in Years 3,4 5 & 6 will be participating. Selection will be based on the results of tryouts that will be held during lunchtimes during the fourth week of the term.

Success at the Inter-school Cross Country event can lead to an invitation to run in Melbourne in several months’ time. Children who qualify will be given a note to take home, asking for parent permission to attend and parent assistance with transport. Any child travelling with any teacher or parent must have express permission to travel to and from the event in a private vehicle which must have comprehensive insurance.

Morning Arrival, Encouraging Independence and Late Arrival Information

Please be aware that if you drop your children at school too early there is no formal supervision before 8.45am. From 8.30 am onward is ideal to ensure a steady drop off rate from the car park and for the general safety of all children arriving by car.

Please encourage your children to take their own belonging to the classroom and unpack items themselves. We want the students at all year levels (Prep to Year 6) to be as independent as possible. If parents carry the students bags, unpack them for them and carry them home in the afternoon, this is unfortunately working against what we are trying to achieve at school every day.

The 15 minutes before school is vital teacher preparation time to interact with the children, so it is not a time for conversations about major concerns, rather time for a quick greeting or explanation.

It is not appropriate to dominate the teacher’s attention at 8.50 am as from this time onward and after the bell has gone; this is the precious time of all the children in the class with their teacher’s full attention. If you bring your child to the class late after signing them whether you have attended an appointment or just running late - please drop them quickly and leave promptly as a long explanation after the lesson time has started places the teacher in a difficult position as they do not wish to be disrespectful, but it is disruptive to the whole class’s start to the day. The children in the class do not need to know the reasons why another child is late and unfortunately sometimes hear unnecessary private medical and family information. As you can appreciate such an interruption always requires the class to be refocused and for instructions to be repeated to include the late arrival as far as practical.

Late students must be signed in by their parents at the front office without exception. They will be given a red ‘Late Pass’ to take to class to let the classroom teacher know that the parent has signed them into school. The class roll must record that a child is late as all roles are marked first thing in the morning. If a serious matter has caused the delay or is causing a delay each day please do not hesitate to ask to see me and/or Mrs Ann Muller our P.W.O (Primary Welfare Officer). We will do our best to assist or engage services that can assist.

Parent Provided Tissues

Thank you to the parents that have donated already to their class - we very much appreciate your support to maintain the best possible health standards in our rooms. We have had wonderful support this year and appreciate every donation made to our school.

ANZAC Day Service

We would like to send a warm invitation to all families and friends to come to our School ANZAC service on 24th April at 10:00 am under the shade sales. Parents are welcome to involve relatives and friends in the service. A local RSL representative will be available and all classes will lay a wreath.

Assembly Date

Our first formal school assembly for Term 2 will be held on Wednesday, 26th April, 2017. All parents are welcome to attend.


Mrs Baird will continue as Acting Assistant Principal until Mr Beer returns.

Year 6 to 7 Open Nights

Each of the Secondary Schools is trialing an ‘Open Evening for Prospective Year 7 Students’ to showcase what their school offers in their Year 7 to 10 Program. They are have finalised the dates and information session dates were sent home last term. If any Year 6 parents did not receive the note please ask your child to get a replacement copy from their teacher. They will all be on a different evening to allow for parents and students to look at several schools if they wish. We encourage parents to take advantage of this offer by the Secondary Schools in our vicinity.

Emergency Contact Details

We often get parents who move over the holiday period or have changing family circumstances. Please advise us promptly of any address and phone number changes. There is often little time in an emergency and having to ring several people to locate a parent or carer can take more than 20 minutes. It also allows parents to make decisions in the event of an emergency and for us to provide updates, if an ambulance is required. It is a legal requirement that we have emergency contact details for all students.

Thank You

Thank you for all the fantastic Easter donations that has allowed for such great prizes to be awarded at Assembly tomorrow. It shows that when everyone contributes a small amount, we can achieve a fantastic outcome in terms of a fundraising total and variety of prizes. Well done to all the families that supported the Parents’ Club on this occasion and congratulations to all the prize winners!

Parents’ Club

Parents’ Club had their AGM on Thursday night last week and the following people were elected to office bearing positions.

  • President – Sasha McClure
  • Vice President – Kerryn Harberger
  • Secretary – Rita Valentich
  • Treasurer – Stam Panaretos

The role of the Parents’ Club is as a social entity to welcome new families to the school and involve them in school activities. Its secondary role is to raise funds that will be of benefit to all students across the school. It does not have any role with regard to school policy and decision making. At each meeting a Principal’s report is tabled to keep the group up to date with school events, achievements and sometimes areas that are being developed within the school such as staffing changes and building and grounds development. Each year, Teaching Units and Specialist Departments can place a wish list with Parents’ Club for items to improve the unit or specialist area for all students. This is often used to purchase much needed class resources to support the following key learning areas such as Numeracy, Literacy, The Arts, PE and ICT. Parents’ Club, at their discretion, can also offer to support particular areas of need within the school or to support a particular program. $3,000 was donated last year and again this year to assist with the payment of the new basketball court. Anyone is welcome to attend any Parent Club meeting. Everyone is welcome to attend all or some of the meetings. Some people who are unable to attend any meetings may at any time offer to assist with particular fundraisers throughout the year as they are able to. Any help at any time is very much appreciated.

Canteen Thank you

Thank you to all the new and past parents that have assisted in the Canteen over the term. Any support, however small is appreciated by Sue our Canteen Manager and the whole school population. It can also be another nice social occasion for parents as well and a good opportunity to meet new people. It is a positive work place and Sue is a very friendly and competent manager. We especially ask that personal school conversations about staff and other students and individual school concerns about staff and other students are not discussed at any time in the Canteen. It would never be appropriate for Sue to be placed in a compromised position as an employee of the school. It could also lead to other parent helpers feeling under pressure to have an opinion one way or another on any give topic and that is not something that we would wish to ever occur. Thank you also to the Year 6 students who have assisted in the Canteen over the term. We are thrilled with the support Sue has given them around customer service, money control and food handling. This is another opportunity to develop good leadership skills in our senior students.

Camps and Excursions to Come

Please look out for the notes for the following out of school camps as preparations are well underway:

  • Swan Hill Camp (Year 3)
  • Roses Gap Camp (Year 4)
  • Lake Cullulleraine Camp (Year 5)
  • Melbourne Camp (Year 6)

It is important that numbers of definite attenders is received as soon as the first note is due for return. We have to budget exactly for each camp and if children do not return notes or pull out late in the organisation it is difficult to cover the cost of the event. CSEF recipients should check with the office to see what money they have available to put toward the camp as some may have residual funds left over from 2016.

They are very well planned and enjoyable camps and we want as many children to participate as possible. This is the reason for getting Camp Payment booklets out as early as possible prior to the excursion.

Term 2

Term 2 is a big term for all schools with such things as:

  • NAPLAN testing
  • Parent Opinion survey
  • Student Opinion Survey
  • ICAS Testing
  • Parent Reporting Conversations
  • Formal end of Semester Reports
  • Interschool sports.


Term 1 has been a very busy and productive term and I would like to wish all the children, parents, and teachers a safe and happy holiday and look forward to the children returning in Term 2 on the Tuesday after the Easter break.

Congratulations on Term 1 to Families and Children

We would like to thank all parents for their support with the almost 100% wearing of uniforms each day and for the many parents that have ensured that their children have appropriate footwear for school. We have very few children now who are arriving late for school in the morning and almost without exception children are arriving happy and well-nourished from a full breakfast with their family. We have children working hard on their academic work, playing fairly and participating in sports to represent our school. There are many activities at school and out of school to look forward to and we encourage all children to attend to the highest level of behaviour in order to participate in all major excursions (Swan Hill, Rose’s Gap, Lake Cullulleraine and Melbourne Camps) and incursions such as plays and presentations. Also this week we saw over 50 children register for Irymple’s Got Talent try outs. A small team of year 6 children are organising the event and they are well on track to discover some new talent.

Easter Donations to Parents’ Club Raffle

Thank you to all the families that have contributed to the wonderful selection of items for the Easter raffles. They will be drawn on the last day of school for the term. Please keep the ticket sales coming in as the prizes are amazing and the Parents’ Club supports our children in a host of special areas each year with the funds to buy much needed resources. They also contributed to the basketball court resurfacing and every week allow us to provide fresh fruit for children that are hungry at recess and lunch time each day.

School Requisite Payments and Netbook Payments

Please finalise payments as soon as possible. It would be greatly appreciated if this could be done prior to the end of Term 1. This also prevents overlap with Major Camp payments and additional pressure on parents. Thank you to all the families that have already paid.

DET Absence Data for Our School

We have just received our absence data for 2016 and in our school the average number of days lost is 15. Every day at school counts and commitment to 100% attendance with the exception of illness is essential. It has been made a major priority in the North West Region and across all schools. All schools are being asked to track every absence carefully and to reconsider how to sell the following two messages: ‘Every day counts’ and ‘It’s not Okay to be away’. High absenteeism sadly is a precursor to falling behind in school, eventual disengagement, poor behaviour, leaving school at a young age and reduced chances of meaningful employment. Every week is planned at school, as a sequence of activities in a longer ‘5 week cycle’ and if days are missed children can feel lost and under unnecessary stress. Another area that suffers when absences are high is solid friendships as children like to have their friends to play with on a daily basis. It would be great to bring the average down to 14 or less this year.


This week the children were involved in the STOMP dance program with some outstanding presentations resulting. Amazing performances were given by each year level this morning in a whole school concert. It has been such a successful program that we hope we can have the children participate in it again. All students were offered an opportunity to participate in the STOMP Dance groups new format.

Peer Support

Over Term 1 and the first 3 weeks of Term 2 Peer Support Leaders will have or have had sessions with their multi-age- groups that have been based on Promoting Harmony. This has included the following learning:

  • Children will think about what is a value and something they value in themselves.
  • Children will look at the notion that what they choose to spend their time on often reflects the values they have.
  • Children will participate in activities helping them to identify and accept differences in people. They will also identify ways they can demonstrate being caring through their actions.
  • Children will identify what it means to have respect and discuss ways they can demonstrate respect for others.
  • Children will be looking at rights, how we as individuals have rights and so do other people
  • Children will be discussing and developing ways to be responsible.
  • Children will be encouraged to attempt new and unfamiliar tasks by trying the best they can. The tasks will help the children to identify different strengths in each other and that everyone’s different strengths can be used to solve a problem or complete a task.
  • In the last session the children will be reminded to reflect on their values and how they can demonstrate these to other people. Each Peer Support group will have the opportunity to celebrate what they have learned and the new friendships and connections they have made.

Pre-School Kindergarten to Foundation (Prep) Transition

As you may be aware many of the non-government schools have already started advertising for Foundation (Prep) enrollments for the coming year (2018), and many people panic that they have to make a quick decision. We at Irymple Primary School start calling for enrollments from 1st May in Term 2 and will give out details to all the Kindergartens and Early Years providers in an information package in the first week of Term 2. We will also have Foundation (Prep) Information Packages available at the school office. It is a personal decision and is best not made without thorough information from the school. We have a series of open sessions where prospective parents can come in and view a Foundation (Prep) class in action and also talk to the Prep teaching staff. We also have an open evening for parents to come in and experience our school’s unique information session. Please do not hesitate to talk to current parents about our great school. We rely on these parents to encourage prospective parents to make an appointment to come in and visit the school any time if they are unable to attend on our designated open days in Term 2. We have an outstanding Foundation (Prep) program and are happy to give information to any prospective parents for 2018. The full Foundation (Prep) Transition program is available on our website as well. Even though some independent schools indicate through flyers, banners and advertisements that enrollments need to be done by May, this does not apply to our local State Schools. We want people to take their time and make the best decision for their child and their family and this should not be rushed into a decision. Ms Shakeira Chislett is the Foundation (Prep) Transition Coordinator at Irymple Primary School. Myself, Mr Beer (Assistant Principal) and Ms Chislett are the three main contacts for this process. Current Prep teachers can also be contacted at any time. We have had several requests to look around our school already and we welcome anyone making a time to view our school.

Easter Donations to Parents’ Club Raffle

Thank you to all the families that have started to contribute to the wonderful selection of items for the Easter raffles. They will be drawn on the last day of school of Term 1. Please keep the ticket sales coming in as the prizes are amazing and the Parents Club supports our children in a host of special areas each year with the funds to buy much needed resources.

School Requisite Payments and Netbook Payments

Please finalise payments as soon as possible. It would be greatly appreciated if this could be done prior to the end of Term 1. This also prevents overlap with Major Camp payments and additional pressure on parents. Thank you to all the families that have already paid.

Irymple Primary School has been selected as a Respectful Relationship’s – LEAD SCHOOL

What is Respectful Relationships?

Respectful Relationships is about tackling family violence through education. Rosie Batty, CEO of the Luke Batty Foundation said “the school community is an essential part of social reform by modelling a culture of respect through the whole school, not just by teaching respect in the classroom”.

In 2017, respectful relationships education will be taught as part of the Victorian curriculum. The Victorian Government is supporting schools to model respectful relationships across the whole school community as part of its commitment to respectful relationships education. The Government is providing Victorian schools with a range of extra supports and resources including, new Respectful Relationships teaching and learning materials.

In the classroom, children will learn problem-solving skills, to develop empathy, support their own well being and build healthy relationships with others. The initiative will also provide resources to best support children and staff that are affected by family violence.

When children build positive relationships with their teachers and peers they feel safer and happier at school, are more resilient and have positive social attitudes. Positive relationships also increase a child’s sense of social connectedness and belonging which can result in better health and academic outcomes.

Further information about Respectful Relationships is available on the Department of Education and Training website:

These age-appropriate and evidence based materials are designed to enable teachers to develop student’s social and emotional capabilities to promote positive, healthy and respectful relationships. They provide teachers with handouts and activities for students that guide classroom discussion. During the alter part of 2017 we will begin to receive training materials for our staff and be part of the first group of school to be involved in the learning. We will be supported by the Respectful Relationships team in our region. In the next 4 years it will be compulsory for all school to teach the program to all students in every year of primary and secondary school with age appropriate and researched based materials. It sits very well with our staff being trained in Peer Support and also in late 2017 and 2018 in the Berry Street Education Model.

Staff Professional Learning Dates for 2017

Reporting to Parents Day - Tuesday 27th June, 2017

Thursday 14th September, 2017

Thursday 9th November, 2017

School Council Executive Positions Finalised

Congratulations to the following people on their election to the School Council.

President: David Kirby

Vice President: Warren Lloyd

Secretary: Heather Birch

Girls Cricket

On Wednesday the Irymple girls Cricket team played the Nichols Point girls Cricket team. Our girls lost in a tight contest. Nichols Point batted first and scored 4/44 in their 12 overs. Our best bowler was Richael Wilson who had figures of 1 wicket for 4 runs. Our girls batted second and just fell short scoring 4/39. The girls played in great spirit and enjoyed the competitive game. Congratulations to all involved for your great skills and your good sportsmanship.

‘Social Skills’ Programs in the School

School is much more than reading and writing. Social skills is an important part of normal development. From time to time we establish specially formed groups and they are run by Mrs Muller, our Primary Welfare Officer. The teacher assistants (aides) sometimes attend and other teachers such as Mrs Midgley in her ‘School Support’ role may also be involved in the groups.

They are designed to assist children to develop knowledge and skills to better enable them to establish and maintain friends and enhance social interactions at school. Social skills are specific behaviours such as smiling, making eye contact, asking and responding to questions and giving and acknowledging compliments during a social exchange. These behaviours result in positive social interactions and have been linked to positive developmental outcomes, including peer acceptance.

Parents and Teachers can often tell if a child is having difficulties with social skills when they do the following:

  • Little use of eye contact,
  • Uninterested in social interactions,
  • Difficulties initiating social interactions,
  • Difficulties interpreting verbal and non-verbal social cues,
  • Inappropriate emotional responses,
  • Difficulties playing games,
  • Lack of empathy towards others.

Parents can assist their own children by doing the following:

  • Helping their child make friends by organising play dates, having a sleepover and joining sports/clubs.
  • Offering positive suggestions on ways to handle situations at school and with friends.
  • Children learn a lot by observing how adults interact so it is important to always model appropriate behaviour, such as greeting shop assistants and using peoples names when possible.
  • Help your child to understand different points of view by describing feelings and having conversations about how other people might feel. This can help your child to develop empathy and will help them deal with conflict when it occurs.
  • Help develop conversation skills such as asking questions and listening to others.
  • Discuss behaviours such as teasing and bullying with your child, to help them understand that some comments could upset others. Being able to define the difference between normal interactions and conflict is essential to build resilience. Some conflict is a part of healthy development and the building of necessary resilience for life.

It can sometimes be upsetting for parents to realise that their children are having difficulties making friends. The good news is that social skills can be effectively taught to children over time by an appropriate adult. Adults at school and parents can encourage children to develop social skills.

Social Skills Program are run each term and as always we are excited about the prospects of all involved as even a short time each week can lead to strong gains in a child’s social and emotional development.

If you ever have any questions please do not hesitate to contact Mrs Muller or myself.

Swimming Sports - Congratulations to Sturt

Well done to all the staff and students for a great day of swimming and good sportsmanship. Thank you to Mr Pettit for organising the event. We had some fantastic support from parents as well and their time and work as officials is so very much appreciated.

A special thank you to Tania McKeon, Narissa Spain, Claire Johnston and Tom Kinnane for their assistance.

At the end of the day House scores were:

  1. Sturt - 868
  2. Bass - 846
  3. Chaffey - 800
  4. Flinders - 780

Easter Donations coming soon

Donations will be collected each day and recorded to see which class brings in the most items. Each year a mixture of edible items and craft items has been donated and they all contribute to the huge number of amazing prizes for families to win at the end of the term.

School Council Elections

We had the same number of people nominate as positions, so the School Council make up of 15 members can be finalised. In addition to this two community members are asked to do a 12 months stint on School Council to assist and to get to know the School Council roles and responsibilities – this role is for 12 months whereas all other elected position are for two years as from the time of election. Thank you to everyone who renominated or was nominated and for the two community members for accepting the nomination to attend.

  • Mrs Yvonne Madden
  • Mr Garry Beer
  • Mr Warren Lloyd
  • Mr Paul Cody
  • Ms Emily Walshaw
  • Ms Aaron Oldham
  • Mr David Kirby
  • Mrs Rita Valentich
  • Mr John Carra
  • Mrs Heather Birch
  • Miss Shakeira Chislett
  • Sasha McClure (Community Member)
  • Mrs Christine Sherry
  • Catherine Whitchurch (Community Member)
  • Mrs Michelle Thompson

‘MY School’ Website has been updated ready for 2017 viewing

An amount of media coverage is always given to the results published this week and it is a pleasure to direct parents to view our 2016 results as they show our students in Year 3 and 5 achieved AT, ABOVE or WELL ABOVE state level in all areas of testing, based on NAPLAN. From the website you can view all schools in Mildura. Once again it affirms the high standard of the curriculum and pedagogy (how we teach) in this school. We are proud that as a State School we can match any school in our area and we are available to all parents from all socioeconomic backgrounds. As you may be aware, we are a registered ‘International School’ and have to maintain consistently high academic standards to remain accredited. This is but one source of information for parents. The many opportunities provided to students by day to day teaching and learning are the most important ones to be closely monitored and discussed. Information gathering takes place on a daily basis in all classrooms. Click here to go direct to IPS.

Canteen News

Anyone interested in working in the canteen is more than welcome to drop in and see Sue and ask any questions or assist for as long as possible.

School Requisite Payments, ICT Leases and ICT Levies

Thank you to everyone who has come in over the past few weeks to pay as it a great help to get early payment as we have already purchased all the items so the children can consume them from day one. We do this each year in good faith that parents will pay as soon as they are able to. If anyone is yet to pay please drop into the office at your earliest convenience.

Stomach Virus

The number of children coming down with illness is still high so please keep reminding all children to maintain the best of hygiene. The 48 hour rule after the last incidence of vomiting or diarrhoea is essential as otherwise the problem continues unchecked.

Interschool Cricket

Congratulations to all the children who attended and represented our school well at the Hardball Cricket Competition on Wednesday. The boys played and enjoyed the day despite the hot conditions. A big thank you to Mr Pettit and the parents who were able to assist with transport. The boys played 3 games in total and won one of their games. Congratulations boys on your sportsmanship shown on the day.

Contact Us

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PO Box 715

Irymple Vic 3498

Phone (03) 5024 5334

Fax (03) 5024 6655