Achievements and Oval Upgrade

Outstanding Achievements

This is a week of celebrations at Hillsmeade. We have had some pretty amazing achievements that I’d like to share with our school community.

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Lebron Naea

Firstly, congratulations to Lebron Naea for his sporting prowess. Lebron recently represented Victoria in the Australian Primary School Rugby Union Championship in Newcastle, NSW. Victoria defeated the ACT 28-0, Sth Aust 50-0 and the NT 62-0. Lebron scored 3 tries for the state. NSW were the overall winner. Congratulations Lebron on a fantastic achievement!

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Sagar Pai

Secondly, congratulations to Sagar Pai for his high achievements in the University of NSW’ s International Competition and Assessments for Schools (ICAS). Sagar received a High Distinction for Reading and Distinctions for Writing and Spelling. He was also awarded the Principal’s Award for these outstanding results.

Boys’ Year 5/6 Lightning Premiership Basketball Team

Finally, today the girls’ and boys’ year 5/6 Lightning Premiership basketball teams played at Lynbrook PS. A very close game was had by the girls as they played against Casey Grammar. Unfortunately for the girls they were beaten by only three points. Well done to the girls. The boys’ team played two games (Casey Grammar and Lynbrook PS) and won both games. Congratulations to all the players and their coach and we wish the boys luck at the Regionals next week.

Oval Upgrade

We have now received three quotes for the oval upgrade and I have met with a member from the Regional Office to discuss the next stage. School Council have accepted the quotes and identified the preferred company to work with us on this project. I am now waiting for the DET’s Infrastructure Division to give the final approval to go ahead. We are all very excited to see a start to the improvement of this facility (AFL & Soccer field and a 4 lane running track) for the children to play upon.

A reminder that Monday is a PUPIL FREE DAY as teachers attend curriculum workshops and start their planning for 2016. With the new Victorian Curriculum being introduced, we felt it important to start getting our heads around the various changes to ensure we remain confident in our teaching.

I hope you all enjoy the long weekend.

Camp, School Conference, Peer Support Leaders & Pupil Free Day

Somers Camp

The children who attended Somers Camp returned safe and sound and from all accounts, a fantastic time was had by all. Ms Toni Barker who went with the children shared how the Hillsmeade students participated in new learning opportunities, team challenges whilst developing new friendships. Ten days is a long time to be away from home (for the children and the parents), but an adventure that the boys and girls will remember for a very long time.

Network of Schools Conference

On Monday and Tuesday this week, Mrs Jodie Bray and I attended the C4 Casey Cardinia Network of Schools conference, Building Staff Capacity. Michael Fullan, OC, professor emeritus at the University of Toronto in Canada worked with us to take control over our own situation (ie. Hillsmeade PS) by linking to others locally and in networks. He challenged our thinking on being able to improve our own school but also to be a ‘system player’ by having greater influence in the bigger system (ie. other schools in the DET). He referred to the right drivers for change (capacity building, collaborative work, pedagogy and systemness). As I type this edition for the Link, I observed the Grade 4 team of teachers come back into the school after visiting one of our network’s schools to observe their teaching of VCOP. Our second presenter, Simon Breakspear focused more on the micro- management of pedagogical practice and set out developing practical, evidence- based strategies for mobilising staff and shifting professional practices.

Peer Support Leaders

Screen Shot 2015-10-21 at 3.16.56 PMAt our last assembly, the grade 6 student leaders modelled the new green vests that are being worn by the recently trained Peer Support Leaders in the yard at lunch time. Mr Scott Clode informed all boys and girls that if they needed some help or support at lunch time they could look for the leaders in these vests who are now trained to guide and work with the younger children. The leaders have reported working with children on peer relationships and friendship interactions.

Pupil Free Day – Nov 2

Monday 2nd November is a pupil free day (Curriculum Day) for our teachers to undertake professional learning and commence the discussion around the 2016 curriculum. The new Victorian Curriculum has been announced and although there are not too many major changes, there are new areas that need to be worked through by the teams. We are also hoping to plan our 2016 incursions & excursions so families have a better idea at the beginning of the year as to what is happening and when.

I trust you all enjoy the remainder of this week.

School Website and Prospective Families

School Website

This week we have exciting news regarding the school website. The current website has been well overdue for an overhaul. The school leadership team, staff and Stewart Johnson (Parent/School Council Vice President) have been working to update the Hillsmeade Primary School website to reflect the school’s current direction and initiatives. The site is going to be online in the next few weeks. Initially the site will provide a snapshot of the school and its programs. In 2016 the site will continue to grow and reflect the needs of the school and Hillsmeade community. The updated site will provide families with a monthly calendar of school events and links to recent posts.

The school will notify families when the updated website is online and accessible. We encourage all families to browse the site and welcome feedback and ideas to further improve our ‘window’ to the world. We would like to thank Stewart for his support and time to create and develop the new site.

Prospective Families

Over the start of Term 4 the school has responded to many enrolment requests from prospective families. We have had a number of enquiries regarding school enrolment for this term and 2016. Prospective and new families have commented on the engagement of the students in their classrooms and the welcoming and friendly manner of our students and staff. Many of these families have mentioned that it was through positive comments from families within our school community about our school that contributed to their interest in Hillsmeade Primary School.

It was great to see our school community volunteers at the Parent Helpers Morning Tea today. The staff are very appreciative of the contributions and support of our ‘helpers’. Thank you to the KidsMatter team for preparing the morning tea.

Enjoy the week!

Scott Clode
Assistant Principal
(stepping in for Deborah this week)

Welcome to Term 4

Welcome to Term 4, eleven weeks for your children to continue their love of writing (as one of our key improvement areas this year), getting ready for transition into the next year level and enjoying the beautiful weather. Our teachers are well prepared for the term having planned their team programs for reading, writing, spelling, mathematics, science and other curriculum areas.
The term also sees the children in years 2 and 4 attend their camps, grade 6 children walking to Alkira SC for practical science classes, 2016 prep transition sessions, the Life Ed Van sessions and student reports being prepared.

Monday 2nd November is a Curriculum Day for teachers (no children at school on this day) to allow us time to look at the new Victorian Curriculum recently announced by the Department of Education & Training and start planning for 2016. Tuesday 3rd is Melbourne Cup public holiday.

Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 9.59.12 PMYesterday 14 children left for the ten day Somers Camp. This camp is an opportunity for the boys and girls to meet children from other schools, work in teams and participate in adventure activities. I’ d like to thank Ms T oni Barker for volunteering to attend with the children. Hillsmeade PS was allocated more spaces after our offer to send a supporting teacher to the camp.

Over the holidays I heard from Mr Bret Mottrom who was successfully appointed as an Assistant Principal at Bayswater South Primary School, starting 2016. He is still acting in an AP role at Knox Park PS until the end of this year. On behalf of our school community, I wish Bret well with this exciting new role next year. I have also spoken to Mr Kieran Denver and Mrs Tara Jenner over the past few weeks and they are thoroughly enjoying their leadership roles in their new schools.

We welcome back teachers who have had long service leave during term 3: Mandy Ryan, Di Poulter, Rush Rajaram, Carrie Boyce and Rob Kay.

I’d like to inform parents who use the front gate to drop off or pick up their child, that there is a magpie nesting in the gum near the Administration Block. We have seen some swooping. Please be on the lookout.

– Deborah