Virginia Primary School Newsletter

Issue 12 , 30/07/2020

From the Principal

Dear Families,

We have had a smooth start to Term 3 with classes settled and focused on learning. It has been wonderful seeing so many smiles in the yard and positive interactions among staff and students. We are looking forward to continuing and sharing student successes.

We continue to have different personnel from other schools and Partnerships ask to come and visit our school  to see some of our literacy work in action. Whilst visiting classes, they  see our posters on 'The Balanced Reader'. As previously shared in past newsletters, the 3 main areas we focus on are made up of many different skills. Our job is to teach and support children across a range of different text types in each of the three areas. The three key areas are;

1/ Decoding – the ability to and process of translating print into speech by rapidly matching a letter or combination of letters (graphemes) to their sounds (phonemes) and recognising the patterns that make syllables and words.

2/ Fluency and Phrasing – the ability to read quickly enough and with appropriate phrasing and expression that is clear.

3/ Comprehension – the ability to understand something.

                Literal - what the text simply says

                Inferential – determine what the text means

                Response – the ability to analyse a text and then form an opinion based on the information provided. 

Ensuring a child is balanced across those focus areas is crucial to supporting their development as a reader. Being able to decode without comprehending will mean the child can read but isn’t understanding or taking in what they are reading. A child who can decode words in isolation but is reading without fluency or doesn’t have correct phrasing can also lead to poor comprehension of texts read.

When teaching children the skills, strategies and elements that make up the balanced reader, we do so in 3 main ways; 

Through modelled reading (to the student/ learner) situations where the teacher demonstrates reading strategies to the students by sharing the reading process. 

Through guided reading (with the student/ learner) where teachers work with one student or a small group of students to read and learn about the text.

Through independent reading (by the student/ learner) situations where teachers construct conditions for students to read, explore, and respond to text independently. 

We are hoping to also offer some parent workshops in the future, however with the COVID-19 situation, we have had to put them on hold for now.

Lastly, in our previous newsletter, I mentioned how COVID-19 restrictions were continually being lifted and we were looking forward to re-introducing school assemblies, however due to what is happening interstate and with new restrictions being put in place, we have had to re-look at a few things. We continue to follow the guidelines of the Department and SA Health and keep families up to date with the documented processes. In keeping with the guidelines, parents are still not able to enter classrooms and foyers. We are working towards reintroducing our parent volunteers, however we need to abide by the social distancing rules. We also understand that there may be a need for a parent to want to speak to their child's teacher. We request that you organise a time with the teacher as you will need to complete a site access form via the front office to ensure the safety of everyone.

Due to the current circumstances, as a staff, we have decided to hold off on 'whole school assemblies' and will continue with 'virtual assemblies'. We are in the process of working out the best way to share these assemblies with you all.

In saying this, we have tentatively scheduled our Sports Day for the last day of this term and we have got our fingers crossed that we will be able to go ahead with it.

Our priority is the safety of everyone and we are grateful for the support and understanding demonstrated by our parents and families. Here at VPS, we pride ourselves as 'one community, one family'.

Again, I would like to thank you all for your support and understanding. 

Learning Together, Learning For Our Future.

Warmest Regards,

Voula Pounendis

Social Work Placement - 'Welcome Vikram'

This term we will be welcoming Social Work Student Vikram from Flinders University. Vikram will be here on placement starting week 3, Monday - Thursdays. During his time here, Vikram will be supporting in a variety of ways; both in classrooms and with lunchtime activities. Vikram is originally from India, and has moved to Australia to complete his degrees in Education and Social work. Although this is Vikram’s first time working in a school setting in Australia, he is no stranger to education. Vikram has an established family history in education, with majority of his family members working as teachers in India. Vikram was even taught by his own father in middle school, and had to switch between addressing his dad as ‘Sir’ at school, and ‘Dad’ at home! Vikram is very eager to soak up as many experiences as possible during his placement, with a passion for connecting through storytelling and active listening. Vikram demonstrates strengths of being caring, compassionate, and patient. We look forward to having Vikram on board and welcome him on his Masters of Social Work placement. 

Uniform Requirements

A reminder that students need to be in school uniform. Jeans, active wear, black tights/track pants are not a part of uniform, nor are branded track pants (Nike, Puma etc.). Our colours are navy blue and yellow. We have had several children consistently come in other colours and we are now asking them to change into spare uniform if it is a habitual issue. If you need any support with uniform please do not hesitate to contact the front office.

Parent Wellbeing

Here at Virginia Primary School we value wellbeing for learning and embed many practices to ensure the wellbeing of our students are supported. This is done in many ways such as; mindfulness after play time, focusing on character strengths and nurturing positive relationships. Supporting the wellbeing of our children is important. However, we understand that fundamentally the most import thing we can do for the wellbeing of our children is manage the wellbeing of ourselves!


For many of us, this can be a tricky task. There is no shame in operating on survival mode to cope with the challenges of raising a family. However, there comes a point when we realise this doesn’t work over the long term. Being a parent or caregiver is a crucial job and can be very demanding; requiring regular rest and restoration! At times, it may feel like there is a hovering cloud of expectations to function optimally 24/7, which can push rest to the bottom of the list. The expectation to have it all together 24/7 is unrealistic. However, many parents report feeling stressed over the struggles of parenting along with the desire to have everything under control. When finding yourself struggling to meet your own expectations, it is important to be kind to yourself, focus on your strengths and count the little wins!


From what we are seeing in the community, we understand that everyone aims to do their best in providing children a safe, caring and warm environment. Essentially, this is all we could ask for! Taking care of the essentials plays a big role in maintaining a good sense of wellbeing not only for the children, but for ourselves too. At times of stress and burnout, it is important to pause and take stock on what is producing stress, and work on a plan to manage stressors. We all need support from time to time and there is no harm in accessing a little extra help in trying times. Utilising support networks and helplines are a great way to manage stress. We are so impressed with our community’s ability to demonstrate resilience through difficult times and encourage you to continue to take care of yourselves as we carry on throughout the year!  


Parent Helpline SA

Ph: 1300 364 100 (cost of a local call)

24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

Social Media - Digital Shadow

Think u

When you send something digitally, either via your mobile phone or over the internet, you lose control over who sees it and what they do with it. You may never be able to permanently delete the image or text, so it is important that before you send something, think about what you are sending and where it might end up. 

Below is a fact sheet how you can manage your online reputation. 

Think U is another great resource site for parents to help create discussions around the ever-changing technological environment we are living in today's world. 

The Australian Government also have a very useful website called eSafety. On this site you can access a great deal of information regarding all age groups from young children to Seniors with an Online Safety Guide. This is a very informative site and we would highly recommend ANYONE to visit this site. 

Take a moment to have a look at the attached DIGITAL SHADOW fact sheet. 

You might also be interested in the following Facebook pages

Parenting Ideas Articles - Creating Healthy Digital Habits in Kids

Surveys have consistently shown that children have been exposed to rising amounts of screen time in recent years, as well as parents struggling to manage the moods and time demands of children and young people. As kids spend increasing amounts of time tethered to a digital device, it makes sense that the time they are online, is time well spent.

Click on the download button to read the full article

Get the latest on topics such as resilience, confidence, wellbeing and developing your children into the best they can be, through the following link


Book Fair

When: Week 3 Monday - Friday

Time: 8:30am - 3:15pm

Where: Library

Who to contact: School and ask for Leonie

Every Scholastic Book Fair is packed with a multitude of genres, including fantasy, classics, reference, award-winners, humour, nonfiction and mystery. We believe the best selection encompasses books suitable for both girls and boys within each age group, captures their imaginations and excites them about reading.

They review thousands of titles every year and only choose books that fit into an overall criteria. They source Scholastic titles from Australia, New Zealand, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. 

This year our school is holding our Book Fair a little bit different than usual. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, students will still be able to purchase books, stationery, posters and novelty products before school and during our lunch break. However, families wishing to come to the book fair will be required to phone ahead to arrange a time to visit. As we want to stay safe and reduce any risks, times available will not include before school, during lunch and after school. 

Click the link below to watch a video on the importance of reading and how the Book Fair encourages this.


Pupil Free Dates & School Closures (approved by Governing Council)

  • Term 3: Week 7 Friday 4th September - School closure  Day - NO OSHC available
  • Term 4: Week 2 Wednesday 21st October - OSHC available
  • Term 4: Week 7 Friday 27th November - OSHC available

Term 3 Calendar 2020


The SkoolBag app is the easiest way keep up with school events, last minute notices, newsletters and all school communications.

Instantly translate this newsletter to 100+ languages

With our Google Translation integration, your community can access your newsletter in ANY language. Simply scroll to the bottom of the newsletter preview to give it a try.