Virginia Primary School Newsletter

Issue 10 , 19/06/2020

From the Principal

Dear Parents and Caregivers,

I am currently reading through your children's school reports which will be sent home on the last day of the term. Teachers have invested a great deal of time into them, ensuring they are informative. We have also provided parents with the opportunity to book in a parent/teacher interview over the phone due to COVID-19 social distancing restrictions. The note with the link has been sent home and some parents have already booked in a time. If you require any assistance with the booking, please don't hesitate to speak to our front office staff who would be more than happy to help you. 

As a school, we have and continue to go deeper with our literacy journey and I am pleased to share with you, that we applied for a grant with Schools Plus and have been notified that we have been successful. The Pioneers in Philanthropy are a group of Australia's most distinguished business leaders and philanthropists who have come together to support schools and the teachers who work in them. 

Over five years, the Pioneers are directing more than $5 million through Schools Plus to trans-formative projects in schools like ours. Chaired by David Gonski AC, the Pioneers firmly believe that all students, regardless of their location or background, deserve access to the education opportunities that will allow them to fulfill their potential. They expectantly want to support teachers through professional development, leadership coaching and greater recognition of teaching excellence.

We are super grateful that they are valuing our work and are happy to fund  our Professional Learning with Stephen Graham. We look forward to sharing our journey with them. This funding will also enable us to continue to embed quality practice consistency across the school.  

We continue to reflect and refine what we do as educators, to ensure we continue to best support our students become lifelong learners by providing a high quality education within a safe and caring environment.

We ask that you continue to support your children by ensuring they read every night to develop into confident balanced readers. We have included the Role of the Take Home Reader further down the newsletter which includes important information that may support you. 

Lastly, we are looking forward to the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and welcoming back our assemblies and parent volunteers next term. We are also keen to set a date for our Sports Day. We will keep you posted. I would like to thank you all for your continuous support and understanding during a time of unease. 

Learning Together, Learning For Our Future.

Warmest Regards,

Voula Pounendis

The Role of the Take Home Reader

The book your child brings home each night is an integral component of our reading program. Their book was selected so your child can practice and enjoy reading. The book taken home should be an easy level for your child.

We ask that you spend 15-20 minutes reading and talking about the book. Your child should be reading the book with fluency and phrasing. This means that they will not be regularly stopping on unknown words and will be reading the punctuation within the book (i.e. stopping at full stops, pausing at commas, etc.). If your child is stopping on many unknown words, please let us know so an appropriate level of text can be found. The easy level of text is most important, as we want the home reading experience to be as positive as possible for you and your child. Praise your child regularly as they read.

 Your child’s home reader is one to three levels below the level of the book they are using in the classroom during a guided reading session. The classroom book is used by the teacher to give explicit instruction in reading during guided reading groups. Home reading enables your child to practice and consolidate their learning. This practice is most important in ensuring that your child continues to gather reading strategies. Revisiting a particular book over a couple of nights can be very beneficial in developing reading confidence and consolidating reading strategies. Children will not move up a reading level until they can read a wide range of text types and genres with fluency and phrasing, decode words they are reading and comprehend the text they are reading, answering literal, inferential and response questions. 

 When your child has read to you, consider a few of the following:

·        Ask a few simple questions based on the characters in the text or the setting of the book.

·        Focus on an illustration and ask your child to retell what is happening within the illustration. Ask your child – what happened before this? and what happened after this?

·        Ask your child to retell the story.

·        Encourage your child to talk about any similar experiences that are relevant to the book.

·        Ask your child to locate words that begin or end with a particular sound.

·        Identify words that are repeated throughout the book.


In the earlier levels of text, the illustrations are highly supportive of the words within the book. Encourage your child to use the illustrations to help them read – please don’t ask your child to read the book with the illustrations covered. As levels become more challenging, illustrations become less supportive.

 We are sure that with the support of levelled books, home reading will be a positive and enjoyable experience.

Thank you,

The team at Virginia Primary 

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.

Dental For Schools Visit

Monday we saw Dental for Schools visit our school with their Dental Van.  On the day they saw 22 students, the lovely ladies helped to calm some anxious little ones and will be back in Week 1 Term 3 from July 22nd - Friday 24th to follow up on the rest of the students who have requested a dental check up

Please make sure you have returned your paper work completed with Medicare details and signature, where required. These can be handed into our Front Office. 

Each check-up appointment includes a comprehensive oral examination, removal of plaque and calculus, diagnostic x-rays (If required), preventative fluoride treatment and a dental care plan. They also provide information to patients about the importance of maintaining great oral health. Their services are provided by highly trained staff in a fun, relaxed environment to ensure every patient has a great experience visiting the dentist. 

You can find more information at

Social Media Fact Sheets - OMEGLE

Be Smart, Play Your Part!

Have you heard of the Messenger app called OMEGLE? This is an app that is recommended for 13+ year olds. OMEGLE is a website that allows the user to chat randomly to a stranger. When the user opens the app, they have two options - 'Text Chat' or 'Video Chat'. The user doesn't have to identify themselves when they use this and there is an option to connect OMEGLE to your Facebook account.

We have also created an album on our school Facebook page with more fact sheets for you to utilise from National Online Safety and the Carly Ryan Foundation. This fact sheet gives parents some top tips and also has some basic information for those that are new to this.

Take a moment to have a look at the attached OMEGLE fact sheet. You might also be interested in the following Facebook page

School Photos - Monday 29th June 2020

School Photo packs have arrived and have already been sent home

Each child has a unique QR code and you are also able to place orders online.

Some helpful hints:

  • To order online use the Shootkey on your envelope, this can be found on the right hand side of your envelope and it contains a collection of letters and numerals.
  • Don't seal envelopes inside each other - You can pay for all children in one envelope, however each child needs to have their own envelope on the day.
  • Payments are only to MSP not through our school register/EFTPOS system.
  • Payments can be made by cash, cheque or money orders only in the envelopes. The correct amount MUST be inside the envelope.
  • Credit card payments are only accepted online and close midnight of the photo day.
  • Orders will not be processed until payment is received.

Family Photo option is available upon request, this form can be collected from our Front Office. (NO babies or parents can be accommodated in these photographs)

UPDATE - Due to the change in current circumstances with COVID-19 the layout for class photos will now be a group photo as originally planned.  

Parenting Ideas Articles - What Content are Children Watching?

Increasingly, children are being exposed to developmentally inappropriate content in movies, television programs and video games which can negatively impact their wellbeing, behaviour and attitudes. 

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


Online Safety from Jess Nguyen - Student Well Being Advisor

There are many different elements which make up our overall wellbeing. We have to consider our mental health, physical health, nutrition, emotional states, plus our personal relationships and social connections. The factors which influence these elements can vary, and as we progress into the future these influences change. In the day and age we are currently living in, the internet is fast becoming a strong influence on many elements of our wellbeing. Social media in particular has introduced itself to be a double edged sword. Social media has proven to be a great platform to connect us with people across the globe, offering the ability to avoid feelings of isolation and keep a sense of contact with loved ones. However, on the same token, the connection and contact social media provides is not limited to loved ones. More and more, unfamiliar connections are being made daily with the rise in normalising ‘followers’ rather than ‘friends’. This poses a real concern for our children. Anyone can attempt to make contact with our children via social media whether it be another child who may be a friend of a friend, or an adult stranger. Our children can be at real risk if they are not practicing cyber boundaries.


Children are growing up with the idea of ‘the more friends and followers the better’. Furthermore, the notion of ‘knowing someone’ is losing its foundation and meaning. As a result, online trust has evidently expanded. Children may consider seeing a thriving account as evidence of knowing or trusting someone to be safe and authentic. It is important that we continue to educate our children on the boundaries of online connections and have regular discussions with how to manage an online account. A great place to start is discussing these three ideas:


1.      If you don’t know that person in real life, you do not know them enough to add them.

2.      A person’s number of followers is not an indication of their safety level.

3.      If your friends trust and know them, you still don’t know them enough to add them.


Children, to no fault of their own, are being influenced to perceive a thriving and high volume social media life as healthy, a source of comfort and confidence. We need to support our children by speaking to them about quality over quantity. We need to encourage safe online usage and speak to our kids about doing the courageous thing to; avoid, block and report unsafe or unknown users. If you are interested in learning more about online safety and strategies, consider visiting the following website -


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

  • Term 2: Week 10 Wednesday 1st July - OSHC available
  • 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 Novemeber - OSHC available

Casual Clothes PJ Day

Governing Council Report - Term 2 Week 8

Pre-School Team:

Over the course of Term 2 we have been focusing on developing children’s oral language skills and extending their vocabularies by introducing them to topic-related tier 2 and 3 words. We have been intentionally teaching this through socio-dramatic play especially in the home corner area which we have transformed from a construction site to a space station and to a doctor’s surgery. This has allowed children to use topic-related, tier 2 and 3 words such as architect, carpentry, orbit, gravity, stethoscope, otoscope, etc. It has also allowed children to participate in reciprocal shared conversations that demonstrated at least 5 rounds of conversational turn-taking and provided children with the opportunity to role play different professionals and take on different client/patient perspectives. In weeks 5 and 6 we were busy investigating space and the planets within our solar system. Many children displayed great interest in this and have learnt multiple planet names.  For the rest of the term we will be learning about the human body and healthy lifestyles. To commence this topic, we revisited our learning on hygiene and germs. The children participated in a germ experiment where they placed pictures of germs on objects they touch frequently inside the Preschool. This acted as a visual demonstration to show the children that germs can be found anywhere and we can then contract these germs and potentially get sick. The children have been informing us that in order to keep our bodies healthy and free from germs we must wash our hands frequently and well, exercise and eat healthy food to make our bodies strong enough to protect us from the germs that can make us sick.

 Reception – Krystal Room 1 & Anita Room 2:

In Rooms 1 and 2 we have had a very busy term consolidating our new learning. In Literacy, we have now been exposed to all 115 SSP speech sounds and are at the point of revisiting the sounds students are finding difficult to retain and transfer to their reading and writing. Students are working within their code level, supporting them with phonemic awareness, sound identification, blending, decoding and fluency, while using the sounds that students are working on at that particular time. We engage in many whole class, group and individual activities which also support students in working at their level, as well as extending their phonics knowledge and reading skills where possible. In writing, our main focus has been to use our phonics knowledge to encode (spell) unknown word as well as use High Frequency words. We are working on writing recounts and descriptive texts using the describing bubbles. In Maths, we have continued our learning on number and are learning about two-dimensional shapes.


Year 1 – Katrina Room 3 & Christina Room 4:

Wow! It’s hard to believe we are at the end of term 2! What a wonderful term of learning in rooms 3 and 4. We have been continuing learning our sounds through our SSP program and have continued to build on our skills through our rotations and inquiry every day. We have enjoyed being sound detectives and looking for our focus sounds in texts and around the classroom.

We have continued to focus on the Recount genre through modelled reading and have been focusing on the structure of a recount, time connectives, pronouns and verbs. Each week we focus on a new text and transfer our skills to the different texts.

We have continued to create, develop and improve our own recount by using our success criteria when writing to ensure we have included a title, an orientation which includes who, when and where, the events sequenced in order and a reflection which includes feelings. We have also been focusing on our sentence writing and have co-constructed our very own success criteria. When we write a sentence we must have a capital letter at the start, finger spaces, use describing words and use a full stop at the end.

In maths, we are continuing to use number strategies to solve worded problems and have also been busy developing our automaticity with our skip counting by multiples of 2’s, 5’s and 10’s. In the last few weeks we have been learning about 2D and 3D shapes. We have been drawing, describing and sorting shapes. 

Year 1/2 – Mary Room 5 & Jess Room 6:

Time has flown in Rooms 5 and 6 this term! We cannot believe it is Week 8 already with one of the highlights of this term being our very first virtual assembly organised by Miss Valente. It was so great to be able to celebrate our achievements in this way.  In Literacy, we are currently working hard on exposition texts and are proving ourselves to be highly persuasive writers indeed. We have been able to develop strong arguments both for and against a range of topics and use persuasive language. We are looking forward to finishing off the term with work on narrative writing, always one of the favourite text types. We have continued to work hard on learning and applying our SSP and Words Their Way Spelling patterns and working on our comprehension skills and well as individual and group reading goals in guided reading sessions. In Maths we have been enthusiastic about learning 2D and 3D shapes and were able to identify shapes in our everyday lives. We continued developing strategies for solving addition problems and consolidating and extending our knowledge of place value using exciting hands on materials like expanded notation cards and number expanders. Our next step will be to apply our strategies to solve worded problem solving activities and learning to use a checklist for solving such problems. We have been highly engaged in our HASS Geography unit and really wowed our teachers with our knowledge of places all over the world. We demonstrated our understandings of the states, territories and capital cities in Australia and have learnt how Aboriginal and Torrens Strait Islanders People maintain special connections to Country and Place. We are looking forward to a well-deserved break and coming back refreshed for new learning.


Year 3/4 Jenna Room 9 & Sabrina Room 10:

The end of term is fast approaching and we have been working extremely within all subject areas! Modelled reading over the past few weeks has focused on Exposition texts. This has been a highlight for the students, as we explicitly teach and learn about grammar concepts related to this text type. Students have demonstrated excellent understanding of the concepts taught and are showing increased transference to their guided reading groups and writing. We have also started to explicitly teach and learn about a related reading strategy each week, to help support students in becoming balanced readers. Reading strategies can be taught across all text types and include activating prior knowledge and making connections, predicting and inferring visualising, asking and answering questions, retell and summarisation. For example, this week we focused on retell and summarisation, which allows students to show their understanding of the text by retelling events or ideas in  their own words, in order and with the right amount of detail. Within writing, students have used their knowledge of persuasive devices to construct an exposition on ‘weekends needing to be three days long’. To bring extra meaning and ownership to their writing, students have just finished writing an persuasive exposition to Miss Jenna and Mrs Sliskovic, trying to convince us to get a class pet fish. Will their arguments be convincing…..? We will have to wait and see! Come and visit rooms 9 and 10 to see if we have any new members of the class!

Within mathematics we have worked hard to grasp the concept of time! Students now understand the importance of time and why it is such an vital skill to learn, as we will continue to use it every day of our life. We made our own personal clocks to help us practise telling the time using o’clock, half past, quarter past, quarter to, 5 minute intervals and time to the nearest minute. It has been a challenge but the persistence levels have been off the chart, we are extremely proud!

Within HASS, we boarded a plane and travelled to some of Australia’s neighbouring countries. We of course had to make a passport first and boy was that fun! First stop was New Zealand! We learnt about New Zealand’s relationship with Australia and explored the North and South island, learning about the famous cities, population, wild life and landmarks. We then discussed the Indigenous culture and history of the Maori people and learnt about their cultural traditions. The highlight was making our very own Poi Balls, which in Maori means ‘ball on string’. A lot of fun was had trying to dance with them. This was the perfect introduction to procedure writing which we will be focusing on for the next two weeks.

Year 4/5 – Belinda Room 7 & Rachele Room 8:

Room 7 and 8 would like to welcome our Pre-service teachers to Virginia Primary School. They have been quite involved in planning lessons and teaching the students for the past four weeks. They have both really enjoyed being a part of our school community and have learnt a lot about teaching. Our English focus for the second half of the term is on procedural writing. In modelled reading sessions we are explicitly teaching the grammatical features of a procedure text. In Guided reading sessions, students are being asked to identify important events and arrange them in sequential order to create a summary of what they have read. In Maths, students have been learning about measurement. They are involved in activities that require them to estimate, accurately measure and convert units of measurement to calculate perimeter and area of rectangles. Our learning will then move onto investigating capacity. Students are enjoying fact partners and many of them have shown improvement on their multiplication recall and automaticity. In Geography, we have concluded learning about the continents and we will move on to learning about countries. 

Year 5/6 – Elliana Room 12:

It is hard to believe that it is week 8 already and we are so close to the end of the term. It has just flown past, we have been so busy using up every minute of learning time to the best of our ability! I have been very proud of students and the ownership they are beginning to take for their own learning.

 For Guided Reading this term we have had a focus on reading strategies to develop deeper understanding and comprehension of texts. Throughout our running records testing, it has been evident that some students are really applying this learning when responding to the text they have read. The reading strategies we have focused on are fact and opinion, main idea, identifying detail, compare and contrast, cause and effect and sequencing. As we move into next term, we are excited to be able to weave the reading strategies, which we discussed and agreed upon at learning teams, more explicitly into our literacy block.

In writing, Students have finished constructing their information reports independently.

Year 6/7 – Georgina Room 13 & Cathy Room 14:

The year 6/7 students have continue to work well. In Guided Reading and writing our focus has been information reports and Procedures. As part of the HASS program the students have been learning about Ancient Egypt. They have been writing information reports on animals in Ancient Egypt, biographies on Pharaoh’s various other projects.  

In maths we revised fractions and decimals to consolidate students’ leaning and have now moved onto measurement and composite shapes. They have been involved in activities that require them to find area and perimeter of composite shapes and distances on maps using scale.

In Health we are looking at peer pressure, both positive and negative, and strategies to manage various situations. We are also looking at drugs and the effects that a substances including tobacco and alcohol can have on the body. 

Junior Primary / Primary Art – Sue Graham:

Junior Primary students have been busy creating artworks using collage techniques. They also have a singing component incorporated in their weekly lessons and should be future enthusiastic members of our Junior Choirs.

 Middle Primary students have been studying colour theory and are designing their own colour wheels and learning how to prepare a tint or shade of a given colour.

 Year 6/7 students are looking at streetscapes in particular city skylines before moving onto learning about perspective. All students observed World Environment Day by creating clay sculptures on a nature theme.

Our kitchen garden has newly prepared garden beds with fresh soil and a very welcome donation of mulch from our local community. Much appreciated. We have created a new garden zone consisting of flower beds and a central birdbath in order to attract bees and birds. We have a beautiful new mural on the shipping container wall thanks to David Viant, father of Ruby and Fury. Our students loved watching this unfold on a weekly basis and we are so appreciative of the time taken by David to beautify our school. 

Language- Thi Hien Danh:

This term students were learning about their family. They were able to use new vocabulary to label their family poster or their family booklet. They continued to expand their understanding by writing simple sentences for each of their family members. Throughout this topic, students had the opportunity to interact with their family to ask questions about their interests, their favourite activity and their favourite food. Students in primary classes were able to explore and develop a deeper understanding about their extended family. They constructed a family tree which consisted of different vocabulary that introduced the Vietnamese culture aspect of this topic. 

JP P.E- Thuy Nguyen:

This term in PE, junior primary students have been focussing on ball skills. They have been enjoying and practising really hard and are having lots of fun learning a wide range of ball skills.

So far, we have been learning:

Catching: practising with large soft balls, tennis balls and basketballs. Children practised catching the ball with their partners.

Chest passing: taking turns chest passing different types of balls to their partners and in group games.

Underarm and overarm throwing: understanding and demonstrating underarm and overarm techniques in games such as bean bag scramble, golden child and bombard.

Bouncing and dribbling: learning to accurately bounce and dribble the ball using their fingers to manipulate the ball with a basketball. They have also tried bouncing and dribbling techniques using a tennis racket.

Striking/batting: learning and practising three striking/batting techniques using a tennis racket.

Children are looking forward within the next two weeks to learn kicking and will be engaged in lots of activities to help with their skills.

It has been a great term seeing children’s faces and them showing myself how much they have learnt. They have noticed that their skills are improving but most importantly they have been building so much confidence, self-esteem and are enjoying every moment in PE.

EALD / Student Support – Robyn Lewis and Thuy Tran:

 EALD levelling has been cancelled this year due to COVID-19.


Levelled Literacy Interventions:

Literacy Levelled Intervention Tutors are currently re-testing their students for end of term data collection. This process can be time consuming, as it involves each student reading a variety of levelled texts to find an instructional level ready for term 3. From here, we re-group the students according to their new instructional level, to ensure that the lessons taught are relevant and targeted. 

Term 2 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.