HPV, Absent Students

Dear Parents / Guardians

I cannot believe it is only one month until Christmas Day. With only 17 more school days after today, we still have lots of exciting events on the calendar including Life Ed Van, Junior Cross Country, Grade 2 camp, MAD Day, Big Day Out (Grade 6), Little Day Out (Grade 5), Big Night In, Grade 6 Graduation, Choir Concert, Christmas Concert, prep transition sessions, our whole school transition morning and a family sports afternoon. Please keep your eyes on the Link and watch for the notices coming home for these events.

Human Powered Vehicles

Screen Shot 2015-12-03 at 3.47.01 PMI know there is a special page in today’s edition for our HPV group who travelled to Maryborough last week for the Energy Breakthrough Competition, however I couldn’t let it pass without congratulating all the children, their parents, our sponsors and of course, our wonderful teachers whose passion, commitment and enthusiasm ensured our children participated in this year’s event. Rob Kay, Toni Barker and our pre-service teacher Tegan Aoun deserve to be acknowledged. Well done guys, you made the front page of The Maryborough District Advertiser. (Photo courtesy of the paper).

Absent Students

As we start to collect data for the end of year reports, we have identified that quite a large number of children have been absent this year without explanation. These absences are recorded as Unexplained Absences on our system until an explanation from parents is received. The Department of Education’s policy states:

Parents/guardians are required to provide an explanation for their child’s absence from school.

If your child has unexplained absences on our system, you will shortly be receiving a letter outlining the dates and seeking an explanation for the absence. Please support us with following the correct procedure by ensuring you follow up with this request, and for future absences, you provide a note to the school outlining the reason.


Our enrolment numbers for 2016 are showing an increase in our total number of students across Prep-6. This year we were funded for 854.2 students and we are currently working on 875 with over 140 prep enrolments. As we plan for 38 grades, there will be some movement of classes and ongoing recruitment of teachers. Things don’t slow down here!


Basketball, HPV, Sahar’s Award & School Council

Senior Boys Basketball

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 10.16.13 PMHow awesome are the boys from the Senior Boys Basketball Team? On Monday they travelled with Mrs Bray and very supportive parents to compete in the state finals. After three victorious games, they played off in the Grand Final. With only seven points the difference, the boys celebrated as Runners Up. Huge effort guys! Well done and the Hillsmeade school community is so very proud of you all.

Human Powered Vehicles

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 10.16.32 PMToday the HPV team head off to Maryborough to compete in the RACV Energy Breakthrough 2015. Mr Kay, Ms Barker and our pre-service teacher Ms Aoun has spent many hours with the children and parents getting ready for this exciting and rewarding challenge. We thank all sponsors and parents who have contributed money, time and energy to ensure these two red, white and blue beauties are ready for the event. Good luck to all the team members and we wish you every success.

National Recycling Week

Screen Shot 2015-11-18 at 10.16.47 PMSahar from Grade 1 recently attended a City of Casey’s award ceremony where she received multiple copies of Casey’s National Recycling Week 2016 calendar as part of a competition she entered. Here is Sahar proudly displaying her winning entry which is the picture for December 2016. Ms Robinson (relief teacher for a short time) was delighted to support Sahar by entering her beautiful drawing into the competition.

School Council Update

It has been a busy time for our School Council members over the past few weeks. Last Tuesday night a number of members attended a Governance training session hosted by our school and facilitated by the department. On Monday night, we ratified 16 policies including Mandatory Reporting, Duty of Care, Head Lice Management, Enrolment and Attendance. With over 90 compliance policies, we will be developing a three year cycle of ratification to ensure we continue to remain up to date with our DET policies. We also approved our second VCOP PD day (pupil free day) on Monday 15th February, 2016. The school’s new website has finally been enabled with further updates to come. You’re looking at it right now!


Remembrance Day, KidsMatter and Regional Basketball Championships

Dear Parents / Guardians

School Captains Leading Remembrance Day
School Captains Leading Remembrance Day Service

Remembrance Day

Today our school community stood silent as our School Captains led our Remembrance Day Service. Abidah and Ben displayed true leadership strength as they researched, wrote and presented their speech over our P A system. They introduced the reason for the service, read The Ode, played the Last Post, held one minute silence, played the Rouse and concluded with the National Anthem. Well done to our School Captains.

KidsMatter Framework

Yesterday at our staff meeting, we reflected on how the school has implemented the KidsMatter Framework this year. As we conclude Module 1, the reflection showed exactly how many initiatives have progressed throughout the year: Happy Hub, Breakfast Club, Environment improvements (painting & gardens), Welfare Handbook, Behaviour Management Process, Multicultural activities, Positive Start Program.

Next year as we start Module 2, we will be implementing a wellbeing and resilience program called Bounce Back. If you would like to see more about this program, click here http:www.bounceback.com.au/. I saw this recently in The Age relating to KidsMatter where it states: “Growing in popularity, KidsMatter aims to build resilience in children by including the key people in a child’s life — family members, school staff and peers — to build social and emotional skills; inculcate a sense of belonging; support parents and carers in building their own resilience, and by supporting those with mental health challenges.”

Regional Basketball Championships

Screen Shot 2015-11-11 at 4.11.45 PM
Year 5/6 Boys Basketball Team

On Thursday 5th of November the Year 5/6 boys basketball team travelled to Pakenham Sports Centre to compete in the Regional Basketball Championships. The team played against teams from Greater Dandenong District, Peninsula South District and Cardinia. The boys worked hard to win the event and qualify for State Championships which will be held at Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre on Monday the 16th of November. The team, led by Captain James Hounsome and Vice-Captain Nemuel Soliven is very excited about the event on Monday. All boys have been training hard and are extremely excited about representing our school on Monday. Good luck boys!


Grade 4 Camp, VPA Award and Singing Gold

Dear Parents/Guardians —

I hope you all enjoyed the beautiful spring weather yesterday and watched an inspiring young lady jockey the winning horse in the Melbourne Cup. Michelle Payne, 30 years of age, set her target high by wanting to win this famous race. What an achievement! The Herald Sun reported her as, ‘… one impressive, humble, down-to-earth woman; one whose goal is clearly to inspire…’ The Age wrote, “And I dreamt about it from when I was five years old and there is an interview from my school friends, they were teasing me about, when I was about seven, and I said, “I’m going to win the Melbourne Cup” and they always give me a bit of grief about it and I can’t believe we’ve done it.” (emphasis added).

All of the 875 children currently at Hillsmeade PS could be the headline in the papers in the future. As parents and educators, let’s encourage them to set their learning goals high, support them to persevere and challenge them to do their very best.

Grade 4 Camp

Children Going on Camp
Grade 4 kids Going on Camp

Maldon, here come the Grade 4 children on camp! Two buses were loaded this morning with 100 boys and girls off for three days. We hope they have fantastic time and I’m excited to be catching up with them tomorrow evening.

VPA Award for Hillsmeade

VPA Award
VPA Award

On Monday and Tuesday last week, I attended the Victorian Principals Association’ s Conference in Melbourne. The conference, ‘Leaders – Believing in Self’ provided opportunities for us to reflect on how we, as leaders in our schools, work in relationships which impact both our professional and personal lives. We looked at our own behaviour through a profiling tool affording us the chance to consider how to change our behaviour when circumstances necessitated change Resilience, reducing stress, increasing productivity and identifying our own potential also featured through excellent presenters of the various workshops. As a State Councillor on the VPA, I value the professional association’s support for the challenging and changing role of principals in schools. Our Assistant Principals and Leading Teachers are also members of the VPA. At the dinner on Monday night, I was fortunate enough to have received a Study Award of $5,000 to build the capacity of our leadership team (including the PLT leaders). I received the award from Gill Callister (Secretary, DET), Gabrielle Leigh (President, VPA) and Mr Brooks (PSW Sponsor).

Music Count Us In 2015

Children Singing 'Gold'
Children Singing ‘Gold’

Last Thursday @12.30pm Hillsmeade Primary School joined more than 2,100 schools across Australia to participate in Music Count Us In 2015. Music Count Us is Australia’s biggest school initiative and celebrates the importance of Music education in schools, with more than 500,000 participating students singing one song simultaneously. This year’s song ‘Gold’ was written by four talented students ranging in age from 11-16 years old. The students will also perform this song at our assembly on Friday if you would like to come and watch.’

Every Face has a Place

Every Face has a Place – A mural project will commence this term celebrating the many cultures we have at Hillsmeade Primary School. We would like to thank Bunnings Cranbourne in supporting us in this project by sponsoring the paints required to make this mural project a success!

Enjoy the rest of the week.