2015 Wrap Up

Dear Parents / Guardians
Work on the oval has begun!

Oval upgradeAs we near the end of the 2015 school year, we couldn’t have asked for a better way to see the progress made this year. The fencing is up, the digger is in and the children are excited to see the start of this project. The grass will be much greener when we return in 2016.

On behalf of our whole school community, I would like to wish the following teachers all the very best as they take up new roles/schools in 2016.

  • Scott Clode accepted a substantive Assistant Principal position at Hillsmeade PS
  • Kelly Utting has accepted an Acting Principal role for Term 1 at Garfield PS
  • Bret Mottrom has been appointed as the Assistant Principal at Bayswater South PS
  • Clint Sezney has a two year contract teaching at Springvale Park Special Development School
  • Nick Sugrue has accepted a family leave position at Penders Grove PS (where he was this year)
  • Rob Kay has a one year teaching position at Berwick Chase PS
  • Kathy Symons and Bruce Kersey is heading off to enjoy retirement
  • Brooke Begovic has a teaching position at Oatlands PS
  • Kathy Hengel, Jolene Hazel, Sarah Jeffs, Steve Crook, James Corkill and Michelle Spellman have finished their contracts with Hillsmeade
  • Deman Wang (Chinese exchange teacher) heads back home on Sunday 20th. We have valued Deman’s contribution to our new Mandarin program
  • Kate Crilly from Out of School Hours Care starts her teaching career at Pakenham Consolidated PS.

Finally, Loretta & Tony, our cleaners for the past 12+ years are hanging up their brooms and mops and have decided to head off to enjoy retirement. We wish them both all the very best and hope they both find the time to relax and travel.

I recently received a letter from the Berwick RSL to thank Hillsmeade for the $107.45 raised in support of the Remembrance Day Appeal. The author wrote, ‘It is pleasing to know that the past efforts and sacrifices of our veterans continue to be recognised by the younger members of our community’.

The grade 6 children had their graduation on Monday evening celebrating their end of primary schooling at Hillsmeade. Today they are off to Geelong for their Big Day Out. A final assembly on Friday 1.45pm will see the whole school community farewell them for the last time. Good luck to the boys and girls as they go to their secondary school.

Don’t forget to come along to the Twilight Christmas Carols tomorrow evening. The children have been practising and will love to show you their singing talent.

Wishing all of our Hillsmeade community a safe, happy and relaxing holiday. We look forward to working with you all in 2016.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year


New Grades, Twighlight Sports and VPA China Exchange

Dear Parents / Guardians

New Grades

Prep B children with their teacher Ms Turner
Prep B children with their teacher Ms Turner

Today we saw all children step up into their new grades with their new group of friends and their teacher. It is quite rare to have all teachers available for this session but we appreciate the new staff members taking the time to come into the school to meet the children. I would especially like to thank our new graduate teachers who volunteered their time to be here.

Prep D children with their teacher Ms Page
Prep D children with their teacher Ms Page

They were supported by one of our own teachers in the classroom today. Our new prep children were very excited and explored various areas around the junior playground.

Twilight Sports

On an extremely hot evening the Twilight Sports session showcased the talents of students, teachers and parents. Skipping, basketball, badminton, soccer and hula hooping were on offer. Here we have Alexandria and Deman (Chinese Exchange Teacher) having fun whilst getting a bit of exercise and sunshine. Next year, the event will be back on in term 1 (weather permitting) and I encourage more families to enjoy the event with us.

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 2.35.21 PM Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 2.34.32 PM

VPA China Exchange 2016

Screen Shot 2015-12-10 at 2.34.42 PMThere is an opportunity for seven grade 5 or 6 children to participate in this exchange program from 11th – 24th October 2016. Last year, I travelled with four children and it is an exceptional opportunity for children to experience the Chinese culture, enhance the Mandarin language learned this year, attend classes in Jinling Primary School in Nanjing, meet children from other schools and perhaps undertake a side trip to visit our sister school in Chang-zhou. There are restrictions this time around – we must have a teacher to student ratio of 1:7 and there is an Expression of Interest process in place; meaning we might not
actually be accepted in the program. After two years of this exchange operating, it has become highly sought after
by schools. The cost has been set by the VPA (Victorian Principals Association) at $2,500 (under 12yrs) and $2,900 (over 12yrs). If your child is interested in this exchange and has your support, could you please let me know by Wednesday 16th December?


Recruitment, Transition, Welcome Sign, Books

Dear Parents / Guardians

Teacher Recruitment

As we continue the countdown until the last day of school on Friday 18th December, there are still many administrative matters to finalise before the holidays. As our student enrolments continue to increase, we are still in the process of recruiting new teachers to Hillsmeade PS. This process takes time due to the department’s recruiting guidelines. I am hopeful that we have all teachers assigned to our 38 grades for 2016 before the end of the year.


Wednesday 9th will see the whole school involved in a transition day where the children go to their new 2016 grades. Where possible, the teacher will be with them during this three hour event. As mentioned above, we are not able to have all of our teachers in place and I know that you will support us with this. The process to allocate students and teachers to grades in a school of this size is complex, time-consuming and thorough. Our teachers know the students; they know how they learn, how they interact with other children and how they will be best placed for their continued educational improvement journey. Although I have received letters from parents requesting friendships and/or teachers for 2016, this is not always possible, nor preferable for the child’s best interests whilst at school.

New Welcome Sign

New Welcome Sign provided by Berwick Woodworkers Club
New Welcome Sign provided by Berwick Woodworkers Club

Hillsmeade PS would like to say a big thank you to Jack Croucher from the Berwick Woodworkers Club for contributing his time and efforts in creating this new sign for our school. The ‘welcome’ sign recognises 24 languages spoken by our families. We would also like to thank Sue Causon for the design and her liaison with Jack to make this project a reality. Keep a lookout for our next exciting and creative initiative recognising our wonderful, multicultural school.

Reader Books

Returned Reader Books

Recently, a family returned school books accumulated over the years as part of the ‘take-home’ reading program. When we counted them, there were over 200 books at an approximate cost of over $2000. These are valuable resources that the school has not been able to use for other children’s reading program. Please, if you have books at home: under the bed, in the cupboard or on the bookshelf, I urge you to return them to the school.

Full End of Year Calendar

As you can see from the list of upcoming events on this page, we are in for a very busy end of year. We welcome all families to our Twilight Sports, the Twilight Christmas Carols and the End of Year Assembly. All students must be collected at 2.30pm on Friday 18th December. Please put this into your diaries.