Virginia Primary School Newsletter

Issue 1, 29/01/2020

From the Principal

Welcome back to school for the start of 2020. We extend a warm welcome to all new students and families.  We hope that all families had a lovely holiday break and that you enjoyed the Christmas, New Year and Australia Day holidays. Thanks to the families, neighbours and OSHC staff who kept an eye on the school over the school break.

As mentioned in our last newsletter of 2019, we wish Ilia all the very best in his new role as Education Director. He has a wealth of knowledge and even though he will be greatly missed, it is affirming to know that Ilia will continue to support and make positive improvements across many sites. Education and student learning, is at the core of his business, and we thank him for all his hard work and contribution towards moving VPS forward. I look forward to continuing this journey with you all and wish all staff, students and families a successful 2020.

I would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate Thuy Tran who was successful in winning the Deputy position for term one. We are excited to have Thuy on board as having taught here for many years she knows our school very well. I am sure you will join me in congratulating her on her new role.

Congratulations to Sabrina and Christian on their beautiful wedding day in New York. We wish them all the very best. We will need to get used to calling Miss Sabrina Mrs Sliskovic. Sabrina will also continue the role as Literacy and Numeracy Coordinator. We also welcome a new staff member Pauline Knight to our school. Pauline will be in room 10 on Thursdays whilst Sabrina does the coordinator role and will be releasing teachers on Wednesdays. We welcome Pauline to our Community.

A list of staff for 2020 has been included in this newsletter. As you will see, this year we have 13 classrooms across R – 7 with over 330 children. Our numbers have certainly grown from 2009 when we had 226 students.  One question we have often been asked when chatting to families is the potential impact of the developments at Virginia Grove and surrounds. We have been closely monitoring the development and enforcing our zone to ensure we stay on top of the growth we have had, and expected growth over the next few years. 

Acquaintance Meeting 2020

It has been said many times, we highly value and acknowledge the crucial role parents play as primary educators in their children’s lives and believe ‘together is better’.

As you would know from the note already sent home, this year we will again be having acquaintance meetings with parents from weeks 1 – 3. The purpose is to try and find out as much information from you as to how your child best learns and any other information you think might be useful for us to create the best possible learning environment for your child. The feedback from staff has been that these meetings are an invaluable way of quickly making sure we are getting all the important information, rather than waiting to get it down the track. Thank you to everyone who have attended these meetings before and who have already booked a time.  If you haven’t done so yet, could you please do so. 

Follow the link below.

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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.


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

Beginning of the Year - Culture Building

Here at Virginia Primary School we have strong school values of Respect, Caring, Fairness, Achievement and Diversity. These values underpin our school vision of “Learning Together, Learning for our Future” and our school aims.

During the first two weeks of the school year, each class discusses and works through a series of lessons and activities which support children’s learning and a healthy school culture.

 Topics include:

•             Our school values

•             Responsibilities

•             Expectations of work and behaviour

•             Class and school routines

•             Setting goals

•             Safety and problem solving

•             Cyber safety

•             Developing positive relationships

•             Anti-bullying skills

The partnership of home and school is important and we would encourage you to talk to your child about these topics.  Having a whole school focus at the beginning of the year sets a very positive school culture.

School Values


At our school we are really strong on promoting and encouraging our school values as we believe they not only support students in being successful at school, but in life. Our school values are as follows:

Caring - Speaking and behaving kindly, considering other people's feelings, helping others. 

Respect - Behaving politely toward others, not putting others down, looking after our school environment and property.

Fairness - Sharing, taking turns, playing and working by the agreed rules, including others, taking the time to listen to others.

Achievement - Trying hard, being persistent to keep improving and learning at your level, setting goals and feeling proud when you have been successful in reaching your goals.

Diversity - Valuing the similarities and differences in all people. Being confident and proud of who you are. 

As a school we have a zero tolerance to bullying and we are very proud of our ‘caring for one another culture’. From time to time there are situations when students don’t follow our school values and problems or issues can arise. We continually encourage children of how to behave and use our school values to work through problems. It is really important if there are instances where problems do occur for children to report to a teacher so that we can follow up with the concern.


All children have a right to come to school to learn in an environment where they feel safe in!



Well-being is integral to the learning process; well-being is about feeling well, functioning well, achieving one’s best and enjoying learning. At Virginia Primary school, students’ well-being is a high priority. In 2019 we embarked on a journey where our whole school community can connect with us if they have a concern connected to a student’s well-being.


We have a new TAB on our school website titled ‘Well-being’. This is where you can feed through well-being concerns to our well-being team about your child or another child. By scrolling down to the ‘Parent’ section and clicking on the form and recording your well-being or mental health concerns for your child or another, then pressing submit. This gives our well-being team valuable information, so we can support Virginia Primary School students holistically while they are at school. We believe ‘together is better’ and being able to connect with our whole school community will enable us to be positively proactive in supporting students rather than being re-active.


Our aim is for all students to attend school at least 95% of the time. This equates to no more than 10 days absence for the year.

Students are expected to attend school unless they are ill, or parents have sought a written exemption from the principal (if less than a month) or the minister of education (if longer than a month.)

Previously we have issued students with attendance certificates to promote and acknowledge excellence in this area. We will  practice this once again this year as it has been highly valued by parents.

Safer Internet Day 2020

Be smart, play your part!

Tuesday the 11th of February is Safer Internet day. Among other activities, each class will be asked a range of questions through our student news to raise awareness and create rich discussion on keeping internet safe.  We are aware some of our 6/7 students will be away at Zoo Snooze on this day but they will certainly not miss out.

The Office of the Children's eSafety Commissioner has a number of resources for the whole community to use. We have listed a link to and highlighted some of the parent resources available. We strongly encourage you look into these resources and work with your child to ensure they are E-safe.

E-Safety Parent resources

-        Cyberbullying

-        Inappropriate content

-        Online grooming

-        Too much time online

-        Parental controls


For more information, please visit the link below

Rock & Water

Mr Yates will again be running a Rock & Water program. We have identified two separate groups who will work with him once a week for an hour over a ten week period.

 “The Rock and Water program aims to apply a physical/social approach to assist boys and girls in their development to adulthood by increasing their self-realisation, self-confidence, self-respect, boundary awareness, self-awareness and intuition. A specific goal for the course is teaching boys and girls to deal with power, strength and powerlessness.” 


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. 

Virginia Primary Staff List 2020

Front Office


Voula Pounendis


Thuy Tran

Deputy Principal – Well-being and Student Support

Jessica Nguyen

Student Wellbeing (Tues, Wed & Fridays)

Denise Wilson

Front Office SSO , ICT

Joanne Burgess

Finance Manager SSO

Deb Smith

Front Office SSO, Personal Assistant to leadership



Jess Dendy, Rhiannen Spano & Belinda Burt

Preschool teachers

Jodie Spano

Preschool Executive Facilitator 

Kira Jackson


Debbie Barbato


Xuan Nguyen

BSSO Vietnamese language



Krystal Butler (Room 1)


Anita Matricciani (Room 2)


Katrina Kontos (Room 3)

Year 1

Christina Tsonis (Room 4)

Year 1

Mary Spencer (Room 5)

Year 1 / 2 (Mon, Tues, Wed & Thurs)

Marie Lionello (Room 5)

Year 1 / 2 (Friday)

Jessica Luckman (Room 6)

Year 2

Belinda Haley (Room 7)

Year 4/5

Rachele Bexis (Room 8)

Year 4/5

Jenna Negruk (Room 9)

Year 3/4

Sabrina Sliskovic (Room 10)

Year 3/4 (Mon, Tues, Wed & Fri)

Pauline Knight (Room 10)

Year 3/4 (Thurs)

Elliana Valente (Room 12)

Year 5/6

Georgina Kosteriadis (Room 13)

Year 6/7

Cathy Lock (Room 14)

Year 6/7


Junior Primary


NIT – Arts

Sue Graham

Sue Graham


James Yates,   Marie Lionello

James Yates

NIT – language

Thi Hien   

Thi Hien

NIT – Science

James Yates

James Yates



EALD & Student support  M/UP

Robyn Lewis (Mon, Tues, Wed, alternate Thurs)

EALD & Student support  JP

Thuy Tran 

Curriculum Coordinator

Sabrina Sliskovic

Leonie Watts

Library/ IT

Mimi Azzurro

Classroom/ Curriculum SSO

Lia Jurkovic

Classroom/ Curriculum SSO

Jacquie Rowe

Classroom/ Curriculum SSO/ Kitchen Garden

Shirley Moros

Classroom/ Curriculum SSO

Amanda Bentley

Classroom/ Curriculum SSO

Rebecca Mickel

Classroom/ Curriculum SSO

Libby Azzurro Individual student support

Simon Costello

Grounds (Tues, Thursday)

Nisha Ahrens

Out of School Hours Care Director/ Individual student support

Karen McKeon

Canteen Manager x 5 days

Parent Articles -

Make this year your child's best ever at school.

A new school year means a fresh start for students.

Regardless of your child’s performance last year, they start school with a clean slate. A break offers students the chance to begin new habits and adopt new behaviours. Here are seven ideas to help you make the most of the fresh start and make this year your child’s best year ever year at school:

Click the download button to read the full article 


OSHC fee increase

Increases to our fee structure.

At a Governing Council meeting in 2019 we discussed a combination of factors which have lead to the increase, some of which include the increase cost of excursions and incursions, having to pay for a new bus service where we previously used the Two Wells bus at a lower cost, increase cost in food and a wage increase for staff in line with enterprise bargaining agreements.

As a service, we have absorbed many of these costs, however, to continue to provide and maintain a high quality service without running at a loss we have had to increase fees. In making this recent change, we reviewed our fee structure with surrounding services to ensure we were remaining not only competitive, but in most cases cheaper and more affordable for our families. The last increase in fees took place in June 2018.  

Increase in fees will take place as of and including the 16th December 2019 for Vacation Care. For Before School care and After Schools Care the fee increase will take place on 27th January Term 1 2020.


The fee structure will be as stated below;

Vacation Care - currently $48.00, as of the 16th December 2019 fees will be $54.00

After School Hours Care - currently $15.00, as of the 27th January 2020 fees will be $18.00

Before School Care - currently $9.50, as of the 27th January 2020 fees will be $12.50

Families will still be entitled to CCS from Centrelink.

We would like to thank you in advance for your support and understanding. If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact our OSHC Director, Nisha Ahrens on 8380 9292.


Kind Regards,

Nisha Ahrens


Term 1 Calendar 2020


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