Virginia Primary School Newsletter

Issue 16 , 24/09/2020

From the Principal

Dear Families,

This is the last newsletter for Term 3. There has and will continue to be a great deal happening around our school as we move into the last term of 2020. We have R-5 swimming, yr 6/7 aquatics, Footsteps and yr 7 Graduation, Book Week Parade, Pupil Free Days and hopefully a school concert! As you can see, it is going to be a busy one.

Sports Day - Postponed

Due to the weather forecast, we have decided to postpone Sports Day to Term 4, Friday week one. Hopefully the weather will be kind to us and we can go ahead with it. We are also hoping to share some exciting news around having our parents attend and be part of the day, which will be amazing.

This year has been challenging in terms of holding events involving our Community such as school assemblies, Walk Safely to School, Festival of Music and walkathon, however we have all remained united during the uncertain times.

We would again like to thank you all for your continued support in making our school the best it can be for our children and look forward to Term 4. 

2021 Enrolments/Preparation

We are beginning to look at numbers and class structures for 2021. As we are zoned and there has been a significant increase in parents wishing to enrol their children here, it would help our planning if you could let the front office staff or your child's class teacher know of any changes for next year. Having accurate numbers would help considerably with planning class structures, so if you know that your child will or will not be returning, please let us know. Thank you to families who have already made contact with us, much appreciated.

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 and ensure that they are in our zone.

Thank you for your help.


Swimming notes have been sent home. Swimming is part of the Physical Education curriculum. Although costs for swimming have increased for our school, we have further subsidised so that the cost can remain the same as last year. If you have any concerns, please contact the office or leadership as we want to support you in anyway we can.  

Parent Survey

Your feedback is highly valued. Thank you to all who have already completed the survey. If you haven't already, we would love to hear from you.

From all the team at Virginia, we wish you and your families a safe and happy term 3 school holidays.

Learning Together, Learning For Our Future.

Warmest Regards,

Voula Pounendis

Sports Day Update

Reception for 2021

Do you have a child who is due to begin Reception in January 2021 but you haven’t filled out and submitted an enrolment form yet?  We are now planning for 2021 so it’s really important that we have your child’s enrolment form as soon as possible. If you would like an enrolment pack please come to the front office or call on 8380 9292. 

If you know of other families intending to enrol at Virginia Primary School who are in our zone, please pass on this information.  We are getting many enrolments for Reception for next year and need to start our planning for 2021 classes soon.

FUNDRAISING - Entertainment Book 2020-2021

Spread the word and support our schools fundraising by purchasing a digital Entertainment Book which can be downloaded via an app on your Smartphone. Memberships are $70 which 20% of this goes back to our school for our fundraising.

Use the link below to order now or share with friends & family.

Book Week Celebrations

We are celebrating Book Week in term 4, week 3

 The theme this year is ‘Curious Creatures, Wild Minds’. 

We are planning to hold our Book Week Parade on Thursday the 29th of October (week 3). 

This is an amazing theme as we can be quite adventurous in costume design. Start looking and thinking of ideas now, remember Pinterest always has fabulous DIY ideas too.

More information will follow closer to the date.

Parenting Ideas Articles - Wellbeing strategies for parents

The coronavirus pandemic and its associated disruptions are beginning to take a toll on our mental health and wellbeing. You don’t need to look far in your community or social networks to identify a worrying trend of people experiencing a range of challenging emotions including mood swings, despair, anger, sullenness and lack of motivation.

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



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

  • Term 4: Week 2 Wednesday 21st October - OSHC available
  • Term 4: Week 7 Friday 27th November - OSHC available

Governing Council Report - Term 3 week 8

Pre-School Team:

Term 3 has been very busy in the Preschool! Back in week 5 which was National Science Week, the children explored the concept of ‘sinking and floating’. The children participated in testing several objects on their buoyancy and made predictions as well as justifications as to which objects would float or sink and why. Children were frequently stating that the objects that felt light would float and the objects that felt heavy would sink. Children were amazed to see some of their predictions proven to be correct.

To appease the children’s socio-dramatic play desires, children participated in several drama performances inspired by the fairytale, ‘Snow White and the Seven Dwarves’. Children thoroughly enjoyed participating in the drama performances, requesting to act in a performance each day. Drama allows children to develop their oral language skills, understanding of emotions and increase their confidence. We also had the Preschool Café set up which was very popular amongst the children. They were busy role-playing as chefs, bakers, wait staff, baristas, café managers and customers. Lots of cupcakes were being made along with a variety of coffee types such as lattes, cappuccinos and espressos by the baristas. There were several conversations about measurement when measuring out ingredients for baking and making milkshakes. There were also lots of conversations about money regarding the final bill, special deals and individual prices of the baked goods. This week we have the Preschool Vet Surgery set up, which has been very busy. The children have been using the veterinarian’s tools to help the animals “get better” and fix their injuries. 

The children have displayed a keen sense of interest in bookmaking recently and we have followed this interest and delved deeper into learning about fiction texts and the narrative structure. Children have worked independently and collaboratively in small groups to produce stories of their own. We have focused on ensuring that our stories include characters, a setting, a problem and a solution. Once children have illustrated their stories and a teacher has written the story the children have verbalised, we share these stories with the whole group. Children have enjoyed having their stories read to their peers and have shown a strong sense of pride. It has been evident that a very popular storyline in the preschool children’s books is where one character gets stuck in the mud and requires help to be freed from the mud.

This week we have begun learning about bees, their appearance and needs, their life cycle and their importance they play within our environment. Many children have already shown great interest in this topic.

Reception – Krystal Room 1 & 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 to narratives and are working hard to understand the grammar concepts ‘nouns, verbs and adjectives’ through a range of fun activities, particularly our weekly grammar hunt. 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 look forward to seeing the growth that each student makes this term. 

Year 1 – Katrina Room 3 & 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 recounts and narratives. We have been referring to the success criteria and have been self-assessing as we write. 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 have been recognising, describing and ordering Australian coins 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. 

Year 1/2 – Mary Room 5 & Jess Room 6:

Room 5 and 6 are really looking forward to our excursion in week 10 to the Marine Discovery Centre at Henley Beach so fingers crossed for beautiful weather. We have enjoyed doing the Premier’s Be Active challenge in this spring weather. Our routine includes an obstacle course, relays which develop ball skills, Walk, jog, run laps for our cardio and various team games.

In literacy we have completed a unit on narrative text and have recently been exploring and writing explanation texts. The students produced some very descriptive orientation and they read them confidently like authors to their peers. During our explanation tasks, the student wrote about the lifecycle of frogs, butterflies and growing seeds. In grammar we have focussed on past and present tense, time connectives and suffixes. Each child has set their new reading goals and they are proudly displayed in our classroom. Mathematics topics have included money, fractions, subtraction, measurement and mental maths strategies. We know many of you enjoyed looking at their work samples last weekend.

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

 What a fabulous and exciting Term 3 it has been! We have enjoyed undertaking and now completing the Premier’s Be Active and Reading challenge. We have had such a busy time this term and are proud of our growth and achievements.

 In English we have been working hard to enhance our narrative writing skills with the use of noun groups, direct speech and focus on developing a strong series of events. This term we are creating narrative texts of our own, identifying and designing books including elements of real life books. We plan to display them in the library and classrooms, please come and have a read!

 Within Fast Phonics we have quickly adapted to the routines and expectations in spelling inquiries and independent spelling tasks. We have enjoyed taking part in partner dictation to improve our encoding skills and searching for spelling patterns within texts. We have continued to actively participate in a range of Literacy Group activities and have enjoyed exploring narrative, response and informative texts within in our guided reading sessions.

 In Maths we have continued to enjoy hands on activities based on angles, four operations and 3D shapes. 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.

 We are busy preparing for our Week 9 virtual assembly and are excited to share our learning and the learning of others using this different platform. 

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

In Mathematics, students are working on developing their understanding of how to compare and order unit fractions, how to find fractions of amounts and in week 9 we will be exploring equivalent fractions. Students will continue to solve written mathematical problems each week. Learning multiplication and division facts continues to be an ongoing focus. 

 In English, students are concluding their learning about explanation texts and next week they will be expected to write their final text independently. This term we have had a blitz on spelling to encourage students to think about the words and how they are spelt when writing. Additionally, on top of our word study program, individual spelling lists are created for the students from words in their writing that they have misspelt. Each morning students have a partner test followed by look, say, cover, write, check activity. There has been significant improvement across the two year 4/5 classes. Daily spelling has also allowed us to include more sophisticated vocabulary which the students are using in 15 minute writing sessions. 

Year 5/6 – Elliana Room 12:

Term 3 has been a roaring success so far and we are struggling to believe we are 3 weeks away from holidays again.

Students have continued with daily mental maths practice questions and then a Friday review test. They have also had mathematics as part of their homework contract to consolidate their learning. We have been engaging with an extensive fractions unit over the past few weeks and are coming towards the end of this. Next up, we will be working on decimals and learning how to apply the four operations to them. Students have been applying consistent effort to this often tricky topic!

 Within writing, students have been writing Explanation texts. They have learnt about the structure and text features and are currently working on planning, drafting and publishing their independent explanation texts. Continuing on, students will be working with the teacher in targeted reading groups. They have been learning about and practising skills to assist with decoding, fluency and phrasing and, literal and inferential comprehension. These are skills that take time to develop and require daily practise.

In our geographical inquiry, students have investigated the interconnections of people and national park environments and learn how these parks are protected in different ways. Last week in Week 7, we went on our excursion to Morialta Conservation Park which was a huge hit for all students. There was lots of positive feedback about the day although lots of children came back very tired from such a jam packed day. We made and recorded first-hand observations of natural landscapes, animal environments, man-made and also natural features of the park. We learnt why national parks are so important and what a big impact they have for the natural wildlife and plant life in those areas. Many students were very confident that without a national park, the 5 koalas and many other types of wildlife and plant life that we got to see wouldn’t have a suitable place to reside out in suburbia which was just down the road. 

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

In English, Rooms 13 and 14 have been looking at explanation texts. In modelled reading we have focussed on the grammatical and language features. Students complete short activities based on the text that is modelled before beginning Guided Reading. In these sessions students have been deconstructing explanation texts as well as focussing on all elements of the balanced reader: fluency, decoding, comprehension. In writing, students have been writing explanations based on our Science unit of Sustainability and have written texts on the states of matter, the water cycle and recycling.

In Maths, students looked at probability and operations involving money. Year 6s are currently looking at adding and subtracting time, whilst year 7 are looking at algebra and balancing equations.

We are looking forward to aquatics at the West Lakes sailing club and Footsteps, next term.

Junior Primary / Primary Art – Sue Graham:

Our students have had such a productive and creative third term. 

Our Reception students have used a variety of painting utensils this term and continue to refine their fine motor skills.

Junior and middle primary students have created collage and chalk pastel artworks. Our year 6/7 students have just completed a unit of work that required them to use the Maori koru shaped motif in their artwork. All students are to be congratulated on their focus and willingness to develop new drawing skills to complete an excellent term’s work.

The choirs continue to sing with enthusiasm and gusto every Friday and our Senior choir is looking forward to attending a movie  in week 10 produced in lieu of the annual Festival of Music concert which has been cancelled this year.

Our beautiful kitchen garden has all the hallmarks of spring with blossoming fruit trees and flowers. We would like to thank Miss Mary in room 5 for her kind donation of plants cultivated in her own garden.

Junior Primary / Primary Science – James Yates:

All students have started the term focusing on the National Science Week topic “Deep Blue”. This year’s topic covers the importance of maintaining healthy ocean environments (marine and plant life) by raising awareness about plastic pollution and the importance of reusing and recycling. Students are currently finishing off their final assessment pieces. R-3 students have been doing comparative drawings with healthy/unhealthy ocean environments. 4/5 students have been making ocean pollution awareness posters and 6/7 students are busy finishing off persuasive texts on the dangers of ocean pollution.

Language- Thi Hien Danh:

Children across all year levels are still learning about the Moon festival. JP students are being do a role play about Moon festival with the story of “Chu Cuoi”. Some students are making lanterns as a lunch time activity in the Vietnamese room. Primary students are still working on their brochure about this topic.

Primary PE – James Yates & JP- Thuy Nguyen:

JPIt has been such an enjoyable and enthusiastic term in PE. Junior Primary children have been eager to participate in some fun and active weekly activities based around AFL Auskick. They have been practising lots of running, jumping, kicking, passing, weaving, handballing, picking up, marking, ruck working, cooperation and rolling whilst also having lots of laughs.  

Some activities children have been engaging in were Around the World, Handball Heroes and Ruckman’s Treasure. These types of activities allowed children to develop a variety of AFL football skills whilst allowing children the ability to express themselves freely.  

Furthermore, children have also been practising some well-known Sports Day activities every week leading up to the big event. Junior Primary children are enjoying their practice on hurdles, relays, tunnel ball, over and under, parachute, egg and spoon race, sack race, tug of war and long jump. They have been listening, practising and working extremely hard to ensure that they are trying their best and demonstrate sportsmanship on the eventful day. It has been such a rewarding experience to see their little faces light up when they come to PE. I have been observing over the weeks and it has been really great to receive such great feedback from the children in regards to how they are enjoying their time in PE and to continue practising their skills outside of school.  

Bring on Term 4! 

Primary - students recently completed a Handball unit of work and now all grades are busy preparing for our sports day at the end of the term. The students have been developing skills in hurdles, high jump, sprints and a variety of relays. Students have been working really well in their teams and are gearing up for the day!

EALD / Student Support – Robyn Lewis and Thuy Tran:

As we are nearing the end of the term, students are being tested on Running Records for reading to measure their growth since the end of last term. These tests measure whether the student is a ‘Balanced Reader’ ie. Their decoding, fluency and comprehension skills. When the data is examined, it points to areas where the student is being successful as well as specific areas for improvement. These are then goals for the coming weeks/term. Regular teaching and testing of phonics and decoding skills has continued throughout the term and then adjustments are made to specifically target areas of need.

Writing Support

A large proportion of the term has been spent on the text type of explanation from years 4-7. The focus for the older classes has been on the topic of ‘sustainability’ whereas the 4/5s have been writing explanations about the ‘natural world’.  Unlike information reports covered last term, explanations have introduced students to the concept of cause and effect and the specific language that is used to highlight causal relationships. The work teachers have done with Stephen Graham on writing has made a positive impact on the quality of all genre writing regardless of the student’s ability.

Term 4 Calendar 2020


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