Virginia Primary School Newsletter

Issue 2, 17/02/2020

From the Principal

I would like to thank everyone who took the time to book an acquaintance meeting. Here at Virginia PS, we are passionate about building strong partnerships with our community and  pride ourselves on working closely together. We were aiming for a 100% turn out, however narrowly missed on achieving this goal. We understand that many families have other commitments, and are sometimes not available, however If you are still interested in arranging a time to meet with your child's teacher, please don't hesitate to make contact with us.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for your warm welcome and well wishes in my new role. 


Habits of Mind at Virginia

In order for our children to be successful for years to come, we need to support them with problem solving, reasoning, critical thinking, communicating, organisational and creative thinking skills. Our world is constantly changing, for example the iPad was only introduced in 2010 and it was predicted that by 2020 there would be 37 billion new things connected to the internet. I have talked to many families and at conferences about how we must prepare our children to know how to act when they are faced with situations for which they were not specifically prepared for. This is critical as many of the jobs (and therefore skills that are needed) that exist today will be obsolete by the time our children are in the workforce. At Virginia Primary we want our children to not only be learners at school, but powerful lifelong learners. 

Our school has a strong focus on Literacy and Numeracy through our ‘Teaching (intentional, quality formative assessments techniques) & Learning (fostering positive dispositions to learning using Habits of Mind).  The Habits of Mind are a set of dispositions (habits) researchers Art Costa and Bena Kallick identified the most of successful people. In doing so they came up with “an identified set of 16 problem solving, life related skills, necessary to operate in society and promote strategic reasoning, insightfulness, perseverance, creativity and craftsmanship.” (After Arthur L. Costa and Bena Kallick, Habits of Mind: A Developmental Series)

That fact they have been named “habits” indicates they can be learnt (and therefore taught) but need constant, repeated practise so they become a habitual way of working towards more thoughtful, intelligent action. Because of this, the Habits need to be constantly modelled and reinforced in school and at home so that they can become internalised.

Included with this newsletter is a page with the 16 Habits for your information. We continue to reinforce these Habits across the whole school in classes and in the yard. In the next newsletter we will introduce and provide more information on a habit commonly referred to, persistence and one not so commonly referred to but just as important, Managing Impulsivity. We will also include how you could focus on the Habit with your child/ren at home.


Up Coming Events

Annual General Meeting - Governing Council 2020

Our Annual General Meeting will be on Wednesday the 19th of February at 6:30pm.

Please see the attached information to this newsletter for more information. I would strongly encourage anyone who has questions or is thinking about joining Governing Council to speak to either myself or Chairperson Colleen Sheedy- Palethorpe.


Read, Read, Read

Reading continues to be on the agenda at Virginia Primary, along with all areas of English as well as Mathematics. Your child/ren’s teachers have been working exceptionally hard to co-plan around ensuring we maximise support for reading. Our student support teachers are working with each class together with the Specialist Curriculum School Services Officers (SSOs) who are attached to each class to also support with reading.

We introduced morning LLI (Levelled Literacy Intervention) for our M/UP readers. These intervention sessions run from 8:30-9:15 am to ensure we minimise any potential time lost within the classroom and have been successful. This year we will again be running these sessions as well as an after school session for those children identified as candidates for this program.


What can you do to help you ask? Promote reading at home as much as you can, share a book with your child, talk to them about the book you have read and most importantly listen to them read every night! 

Materials and Service Charges for 2020

We seek to notify our school community that fees for 2020 are set at the prescribed sum of $244 approved by Governing Council.

This amount is in line with the School Card payment. Please see below a copy of the DfE approved Watermark for 2020 Materials Services Charge of $244 for Virginia Primary. The schedule of fees is an indication of the breakdown of funds received by the school and how these fit into the schools budget.


Applications are now open online for school card applications.

The School Card scheme offers financial assistance with school fees (materials and services charges) for students attending government schools in that year.

Please follow the link provided to apply and check for eligibility. All applications are now done online…/financial-help-s…/school-card-scheme

Breakfast is Served

On Wednesday of last week you may have noticed our two new volunteers Laura & Silvana who were busy providing our students with a freshly cooked breakfast of scrambled eggs, toast and fresh fruit.

Laura & Silvana are volunteers with KickStart for Kids. KickStart for Kids is a South Australian not-for-profit organisation that provides a breakfast and lunch program for children across South Australia.

They rely solely on contributions made by both commercial sponsorships and the generosity of individuals in the South Australian community.

Make sure you pop in and say good morning to Laura & Silvana who will be back on:

  • week 5 Wednesday 26th from 8-8:50am
  • week 8 Wednesday 18th March 8-8:50am
  • week 11 Wednesday 8th April 8-8:50am 

In the mean time, breakfast is served everyone morning outside the OSHC room from 8:30 - 8:50 am. 

Breakfast Club - Kick start for Kids

Year 6 / 7 Leadership Day

On Monday 3rd of February we held our annual year 6/7 Leadership Conference in the Performing Arts room.

You may ask 'what is the purpose of Leadership Day?'

The purpose is for students to know that everyone has the power to be a leader and that each person has unique strengths. Students were told that they can make a contribution in and out of school by sharing those strengths.

·     Students discussed how leaders get along with others, are responsible, appreciate people’s differences, are problem solvers and creative thinkers.

·       We discussed and listened to various speakers about how being a leader is finding and using your own strengths to help other people find theirs. We linked this to being senior Students at VPS.

·       Reminded students that being a leader is not about being popular or holding an important position but rather it is about using individual strengths and encouraging others to use theirs.

Students participated in activities and discussions around:

·       setting goals and planning ahead

·       doing things that have meaning and make a difference

·       understanding that they are important members of our school community who  contribute to our school’s mission and vision

·       looking for ways to be a good citizen 

We would like to thank the following  guest speakers.

Dermot Cussen, General Manager HortEx Alliance Inc. from the Virginia Horticultural Centre who talked about Virginia leading the way in South Australia in Horticulture and the important role people in Virginia play in this industry.  Dermot donated pens and sticky notepads for all of the students and was impressed when he visited our kitchen garden. 

Pia from Waste to Resources, talked to the students about sustainability and how we could help our school lead the way in making positive changes for our school environment. We are keen to explore this area.

We would like to thank Hollywood Fresh at Hollywood Plaza for their kind donation of fresh fruit on the day. Their generosity was much appreciated.

Also a big thank you to Headspace for their contribution of pens & wrist bands for the students. Headspace provide youth mental health services for 12-25 year olds. Further information can be found online.

Finally, a huge thank you to everyone involved - it was definitely a team effort!

Leadership Day photos

Morning Yard Duty Supervision Times

Please note that children are supervised in the yard by school staff from 8.30 am and so children are NOT to arrive at school before this without parent supervision UNLESS they are booked into OSHC Before School Care.

Before School Care runs from 6.30 – 8.30 am. Children need to be booked into the service to ensure the appropriate number of staff ratio is met.  This service incurs a cost, however Centacare benefits are available. During this tim,e children are supervised by OSHC staff and breakfast is provided. 

We have an increasing number of students who are arriving at school between 8.00 – 8.30 am and are not booking into OSHC School Care.

Any students arriving early who are not booked into OSHC School Care will be required to sit on the bench outside the staff room in the interim. They will not be able to play in the yard. Parents will be notified if early arrival continues. (We are requiring ‘just right’ time of arrival between 8.30 – 8.55 for students not in OSHC, as we also don’t want students to be late!)

Snake Awareness

Virginia Primary is located in a semi-rural area with surrounding horticulture and farming land. It is common to have a number of snake sightings at the school, including juvenile snakes which are poisonous. As the weather is warm, it is important to remind everyone of the importance of keeping safe and to be extra vigilant.

 One of our programmed focus areas for term 1 and 4 of each year is snake awareness. Teachers discuss with children what they should do if they see a snake in the yard. They also discuss how to keep safe, by wearing enclosed shoes during high risk periods, not walking through garden beds and keeping school bags zipped up and off of the floor.

If a snake is sighted, please alert the front office immediately.

Safer Internet Day is here 🙌Start a conversation with your family about online safety, involve your kids in decision making and ask for help if you need it! Visit @eSafetyOffice for support and resources #SID2020

Another great site for advice & resources is

Social Media Fact Sheets

Be smart, play your part!

Online Safety. Do you know what your children are watching online and who they are messaging?

National Online Safety have put together some fantastic resources for parents and carers about social media apps, online games and trending issues so they can have informed discussions with their children. 

We will share a fact sheet in each newsletter and there will also be copies available in our Front Office. 
So please take a moment and become aware of what children are exposed to via social media & the internet.

Toys at School

A reminder that students are requested to leave their toys at home and not bring them to school as teachers are not able to take responsibility for damage to them or keep track of them.

 Students have access to class sports equipment and sand pit toys. Younger children also have access to the equipment in the junior primary play shed


We understand birthdays are special and we like to acknowledge children’s birthdays at school within classes. We do however request that in line with our healthy eating policy and to ensure the safety of children with severe allergies that parents do not send children with cakes/ lolly bags and other sweets to share with the class. 


It is fantastic to see so many students wearing our school uniform proudly. In line with our SunSmart School status, students must be wearing a Virginia Primary hat. A quick reminder that closed shoes are required as children participate in daily fitness and specialist Physical Education lessons throughout the week. 

Parent Articles -

Future-proofing your child: WEBINAR - 18 March 8-9pm AEDT

Webinar Overview This century is characterised by disruptive change that is turning our world upside down. Jobs aren’t just changing, whole industries are ceasing to exist. The scripts for success are being rewritten on a daily basis in our families, at work and in life. In this webinar Nikki Bush teaches parents what to expect and how to support their kids to thrive in a future world of work. View video overview Key learning and discussion points include: • Key trends that are changing the world • Frameworks for future-proofing children • Highlighting the X-factors for success • Explaining the role of school in a changing world • Helping parents to set realistic and relevant parenting goals

Click the download button to read the full article 


Term 1 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.