Virginia Primary School Newsletter

Issue 16, 20/09/2019

From the Principal

It's great to be back at Virginia. I would like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for their work in my absence. I would especially like to thank Voula who undertook the Principal role and Thuy the Deputy Principal role. Both did an exceptional job and I believe have the potential to easily step into these roles in the future should they wish (not that we want either of them to be going anywhere!) . 

Last Friday (13th of September) a group of our students were fortunate enough to perform at the Festival Choir at the Festival Theatre. I would like to acknowledge the work of Ms Graham, Jacqui and the choir. They all did an amazing job and represented both their families and the school with pride. I was very impressed with the quality of the performance and grateful for the opportunity such an event provides for our children to shine.

We will monitor the weather for our Walkathon tomorrow and worst case scenario postpone the event. We haven't had a huge amount of luck with weather and major events in the past 6 months (postponing our last year's end of year concert as an example). We do however want to make sure it is an enjoyable experience for all.

PUPIL FREE DAY - Friday 27th September

Our Governing Council has approved a pupil free day for the last day of term 3.

Staff will be working with Stephen Graham on further developing our skills as educators in the teaching of reading/writing.

A reminder that OSHC is available on the day. 

You can download a booking form through the link below or call into OSHC, PLEASE make sure your child is booked by Monday the 23/9/2019.

PUPIL FREE DAY - OSHC booking sheet


Walkathon - This Friday, 20th September !!

Our Annual Walkathon is tomorrow.  We hope that everyone is busy preparing and seeking sponsorship. Due to the amazing efforts of our families last year, we were able to not only achieve our goal of $5000 but exceed it. We are hoping to do this again and are once again asking for your support. 

 As previously mentioned, we also want to give back to our community for their efforts and support towards our fundraiser by offering the following:

 Children who raise $50.00 or more will receive a complimentary novelty handball.

  • Every student who raises $100 or more will go into the draw to win a $100 Rebel Sports Voucher (donated by Rebel Sports). There will be three categories (Pre-school, Junior Primary R-2, Primary 3-7)
  • The student who raises the most money in Junior Primary will receive a ‘Be Active Hamper’ worth over $300 of value, and the student who raises the most in the Primary Years will receive a ‘high tech scooter’ worth over $300 which has been kindly donated by Super Scoots.

We thank Supa Scootz for their generous donation. 

Walkathon sponsorship forms  were sent home earlier in week 4, please ensure this is filled out as money is pledged. Laps will be recorded on the form after the event so that money can be collected. However many sponsors choose to make a flat donation rather than per lap, either way is acceptable.

Please help support your child/children and our school. 

If you have misplaced your sponsorship form, more are available from our Front Office. Due to requests from families, we have extended the timeline for forms to be returned with donations until early next term.

Walk-a-Thon Sponsor Sheet


2019 Festival of Music Concert

On Friday 13th September 17 of our students performed on stage at the Adelaide Festival Theatre as part of the Public Primary Schools’ Festival of Music.

The Primary Schools Festival of Music, an official state icon, is a public school-based music education program which is a collaboration between the Department for Education and the SAPPS Music Society. It gives all SA public primary students the opportunity to perform at a prestigious venue.

The commissioned work was entitled “Dear Pen Pal” which was a series of songs composed by local musician Robyn Habel about Adelaide’s sister cities and having a pen pal. The concert ended with a spectacular sea of colour.

During the concert there were a number of guest artists from both primary and secondary schools and two pieces that specifically showcased the talents of the orchestra.

It was a spectacular event that our students enjoyed being a part of.

Swimming & Aquatics for 2019

Swimming forms for Reception - Year 5 were sent home Friday week 8

Swimming will take place in week 2 of term 4. Forms have been sent home early to give families time to get forms & payment back before Wednesday 16th October. Please ensure all paper work is filled out correctly and signed. Students with health/medical plans must have current plans and MUST have their OWN medication with them for the week clearly labeled with their name. 

Yr 6/7 Aquatics will take place on Thursday 24th October. These notes/forms have already gone home. Please ensure all paper work is filled out correctly and signed. As with swimming, students with health/medical plans must be up to date (within last 12 month period) and medication must go with the student on the day. 

If you have any queries, please check in with your child's teacher or our staff in the Front Office.


2020 Enrolments

We will soon begin to look at numbers of children and class structures for 2020. As we are zoned and have a significant increase in parents wishing to enrol their children here, it would help our planning if you could notify the school or front office of any changes for next year (if you are moving etc.).

Also, if you know of any families considering enrolling at Virginia for next year, could you please let them know to contact us as soon as possible.

Thank you for your help.

Russell the Wombat’s visit to Virginia Primary School

Russell is the Northern Hub Library groups roving mascot. He has visited Pinnacle College and Angle Vale Primary School. On Friday the 7th of June, Russell came to visit us at Virginia Primary.

Dressed in his smart Super Power vest, Russell has been a popular addition to our school library. The students have thoroughly enjoyed his company. Russell has been read to, hidden and cuddled. Recently Russell has changed out of his vest and into his super hero cape.

Russell will be visiting other schools so the students have been signing his diary and hugging him farewell.

We hope that Russell can come back soon and spend more time with us.


Pre-School Team

This term has blown by! With all the hype of Book Week and our specific theme of ‘reading gives us super powers’, we have had many budding authors busy creating their own fictional stories or non-fiction texts. Children have learnt that fiction texts are make believe, mainly being a narrative in which the narrative structure includes a beginning, a problem and then the end where the problem is solved. Children have also learnt that non-fiction texts tell you real facts and pieces of information. Bookmaking has ignited the children’s sense of creativity, sparked conversations of story lines and increased children’s confidence, self-pride and sense of achievement when sharing their books with their peers.

The children have also been acting as mathematicians collecting data from their peers regarding what fish name they prefer for our pet fish and what pets they have at home. Children then analysed the results which enabled us to discover which fish names and pets were the most popular.

This week the children have enjoyed roleplaying as hairdressers in our Preschool Hair Salon, discussing colour combinations, colour strength when mixing the hair colour, hair treatment products, hair styles, lengths of hair being ‘trimmed’, the time of appointments and the cost of their new hairstyle. Many of the children have also enjoyed roleplaying as police officers monitoring the speed and traffic control of our bike riders. Children are to obtain a bike licence which can be revoked by a police officer if they are caught riding unsafely, for instance going over the speed limit or crashing into other bikes.

Next week we will be holding our walk-a-thon on Tuesday and Wednesday. We are looking forward to sharing such an event with our Preschool children and their families. Many children have already informed us of the numerous relatives who are helping them to raise money!

Reception – Krystal Room 1 and Anita Room 2

Rooms 1 and 2 have been busy stretching and consolidating our learning this term in literacy and numeracy. In English we are learning how to write description texts about animals in preparation for information report writing. Students have really enjoyed selecting and learning facts about interesting animals. Students have continued to develop and work towards their individualised reading goal to ensure that they are balanced readers at their current reading level.  In maths, we have continued our learning in measurement: length, mass and capacity using informal units. We are very excited to be preparing and presenting our first ever Assembly next Friday to share some of our learning experiences. We look forward to seeing the growth that each student makes this term. 

Reception / year 1 – Katrina Room 3 and Christina Room 4

It’s hard to believe that we are already near the end of term 3! What a wonderful term of learning Room 3 and 4 have had. We have been enjoying reading a range of books and focusing on reading with fluency. When we read with fluency we read at the right pace (not too fast and not too slow), we use expression (change our voice for different characters) and read emphasising the punctuation (stopping at a full stop, using more expression when we come across a word that is bold).  We have put all these skills into practice during our daily reading.

In writing this term we have been continuing to focus on writing procedures. We have explored different types of procedures including informative and imaginative.

In maths we have continued developing our fluency and automaticity with number strategies. We have enjoyed learning about the value of numbers and are now learning about Australian Money. We will be recognising, describing and ordering Australian coins and notes according to their value.

We know that the children enjoyed sharing their learning with you through their books and we hope you enjoyed this process too. We look forward to seeing as many families join us on our Walkathon on Friday week 9.

Year 2 – Jess Room 5 and Mary Room 6

The time has just flown by and we can’t believe we are almost at the end of Term 3! We have had a busy time this term and are proud of our achievements. Some of the highlights have included completing the Premier’s Reading Challenge, Book Week and celebrating Numeracy week.  In English we have continued to enjoy working on narrative texts and have particularly loved creating alternate endings to some of our favourite fairytales. In spelling we continue to enjoy our work on our Words Their Way spelling patterns and are becoming quite the experts at identifying the phonemes and syllables in our words as well as articulating the spelling pattern we have focusing on. We have continued to actively participate in a range of Literacy Group activities and have enjoyed exploring narrative texts further in our guided reading sessions. In Maths we have been working hard to solve a range of worded problems that are based on real world experiences and are able to articulate our thinking clearly during maths talks. Time has been our recent focus and we continue to work on extending our knowledge to quarter past and quarter to times.

We were so proud to share our work with you when our books came home in Week 7 and thank you so much for your wonderful feedback. Look forward to seeing you at the Walkathon on Friday of Week 9!

Year 3/4 Jenna Room 9 and Sabrina Room 10

What a fabulous and exciting term 3 it has been! We have enjoyed undertaking the Premier’s Be Active and Reading challenge. We have had such a busy time this term and are proud of our achievements. We really enjoyed dressing up for the ‘secret power’ theme for Book Week in week 5.

 In English we have been working hard to enhance our narrative writing skills with the use of noun groups and direct speech. This week we are embarking on our very first book tasting, prior to creating narrative texts of our own. We plan to display them in the library, please come and have a look! We have also revisited and practiced procedural text writing within our science unit of work ‘Fur, Feathers and Leaves’. We are celebrating the arrival of spring with our classroom gardens.

Within SSP (Speech, Sounds, Pics) have quickly adapted to the routines and expectations within our fast phonics stations, taking part in partner dictation to improve our encoding skills. We have continued to actively participate in a range of Literacy Group activities and have enjoyed exploring persuasive and narrative texts in our guided reading sessions

 In Maths we have continued to enjoy hands on activities based on measurement and even competed in a length Olympics. Most recently we completed our work on area and perimeter and extended our knowledge to be able to tell the time to the nearest minute. We are showing a great deal of persistence and improvement in solving worded problems across topics in Mathematics and have found our addition and subtraction skills particularly useful during our measurement work. 

In Civics and Citizenship we have explored the difference between rules and laws and how they keep us safe. We thoroughly enjoyed our ‘class courtroom’ role play, where we were able to use persuasive language to convince a jury both for and against an argument.

We loved bringing our mathematics and writing books home to share our learning with our families. We were grateful for the encouraging feedback received. We will continue to work hard for the remainder of the term to achieve our learning goals.  

Year 4/5 – Belinda Room 7, Rachele Room 8 and Elliana Room 11

In guided reading lessons students have been deconstructing explanation texts and identifying text features that include causal and time connectives, noun groups and technical language. This has helped the students when writing explanations and knowing and understanding the success criteria. So far we have constructed two texts; one that explains the water cycle and the other focusing on how glass is recycled. Students have also been actively involved in oral presentations to small groups and are now planning presentations which they will present to larger groups. They will receive feedback on how effectively they use their voice, their organisation, how well they engage the audience and their confidence.

 Our focus in Mathematics has been on fractions and decimals. Students have been exploring equivalent fractions, fractions of collections, partitioning and worded problems. They have encouraged to use hands on materials and drawings to show their understanding of fractions. We are continuing to investigate how division and multiplication help us when working with fractions and decimals. 

Year 6/7 – Georgina Room 12, Jason Room 13 and Cathy Room 14

In reading, we are continuing small group Guided Reading sessions and Literacy Circles for some groups. We are looking at Poetry in its various forms. We have unpacked many features including verses, rhyme and figurative language.

 In writing, we have completed our work on Explanation texts. Students were able to construct quality explanations on both the seasons and solar eclipses. We have now begun our unit on poetry. Students have had to respond to multiple examples and deconstruct them. We have also created some free verse poetry. We will continue with this topic throughout this term.

In Mathematics we have just completed our investigation, YouCube Houses where students constructed houses using rectangular prisms and calculating external wall area, building footprint, roof area and living space. We had many amazing and well planned out designs. We are spending the remainder of this term on revision. We are predominately looking at number based concepts taught earlier in the year. This will include work on decimals, fractions and percentages. 

Junior Primary / Primary Art – Sue Graham

Our Senior Choir has been busy rehearsing for the Festival of Music Concert to be held later this week. They are a wonderful group of students who have worked hard to master a challenging repertoire. Our Middle Primary choir are rehearsing some of the same songs so they can join the older students in a public performance. Junior primary students are experimenting with chalk pastels and watercolour paints in their visual art lessons. Middle primary students are looking at blending techniques with coloured pencils. Year 6/7 students are studying the cityscapes artwork of American artist James Rizzi.

Our kitchen garden students are planting fast growing crops to harvest in 4th term.

Junior Primary / Primary Science – James Yates

All students have recently started a unit of work within the chemical strand of the curriculum.

The JP classes have been engaged in a unit called Spot the Difference, focussing on describing the properties of a variety of objects and materials. They have really enjoyed using their five senses to identify a variety of mystery objects.

Middle primary students have also been describing the properties of different materials and objects but also investigating why we use different materials for different purposes. Students have really enjoyed the building lessons, in which they have made paper towers and learnt how structures can be made stronger with different materials and building techniques.

The 6/7 classes have recently finished their Science week investigations, where they were focusing on the history of space exploration. Due to student interest on the topic we are continuing to investigate space travel and its future through to the end of term, after which we will re-visit our change detectives unit.

JP/P PE – James Yates and Marie Lionello

In JP PE the children have been participating in a variety of activities, with and without the use of equipment, where they are encouraged to develop and strengthen their motor skills. We have also just begun our unit on developing tennis skills. 

 In Primary PE the students have recently started a unit of work on Netball. We have focused are unit around the key skills and rules of the game. The kids have picked up the rules and skills involved really well. We will be moving into gameplay and learning positions over the coming weeks.

EALD / Special Ed – Robyn Lewis and Thuy Tran

Our 13 LLI groups for reading support are continuing to work well and tutors are currently beginning the end of term Running Record testing to measure students’ reading growth over the term. Once all testing has been completed, students with similar reading levels will be grouped together so that their lessons are targeted to that particular level. This may require students to have these sessions at a different time to their term 3 time, with a different tutor for term 4. We are looking forward to analysing this term’s results. Our aim is to support children to become Balanced Readers i.e. to know how to decode, to read fluently and comprehend texts.

The year 4/5s have been writing explanations on natural phenomena as well as how things work. We are working on showing cause and effect as well as using technical vocabulary and including detailed descriptions. After the year 6/7s recently completed work on explanations they are learning to write and respond to various styles of poetry and understanding the types of figurative language that poems often contain. Poetry is a style of writing that appeals to many children because they experience success quite easily and they have fun with their writing. The best part is sharing their poems as they work.

KickStart Breakfast Program

KickStart For Kids is a not for profit organisation that helps school children achieve positive educational and self-esteem outcomes through breakfast, lunch and mentoring programs. KickStart for Kids supports over 300 South Australian Schools, providing around 40,000 breakfasts and 10,000 lunches per week with 600 volunteers.

 We are very fortunate as a school to be supported by this amazing initiative. The breakfast program operates every morning from 8:30am outside of OSHC. Often there is a range of options including toast, yoghurt and a fresh selection of fruit. The breakfast program is open to EVERY CHILD, even if they have had a nutritious breakfast at home. 

Term 3 Calendar

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