Virginia Primary School Newsletter

Issue 15 , 11/09/2020

From the Principal

Dear Families,

What a busy term it has been so far and so much to share with you all.

Premier’s Reading Challenge

I would like to congratulate all our students on their commitment this year. Reading has and will continue to be our focus as we want to ensure that ALL our students are ‘balanced readers’. This involves, explicit teaching of decoding, fluency and comprehension. We are happy to announce that 100% of our students have successfully completed the Premier’s Reading Challenge which closed on the 4th of September. I would to congratulate and thank everyone for all your hard work.

Principal’s Position Announced

I’m pleased to announce that I have been given the opportunity to lead Virginia Primary School as Principal for the next 5 years. On a personal level, I feel privileged and am excited to lead a school that I hold so closely to my heart. I am passionate about EVERY student belonging and being part of a positive learning environment which enables ALL students to excel and reach their full potential. Some people may call me biased, but I truly believe we have something really special out here at Virginia; a community that is passionate and there for one another and a group of dedicated staff who are passionate about student learning. We have a positive culture whereby we all lift each other up.

On a professional level, whilst I believe and our data, priorities and extra-curricular opportunities say we have made fantastic progress as a school community, I look forward to continuing to improve my leadership and our school as there is opportunity and scope for further growth.

I am excited to continue to lead our school improvement work with such a dedicated team of educators and hardworking students within a supportive and close knit community.

Sports Day

As we have previously shared, our Sports Day is scheduled for the last day of this term and our students have been busy preparing for it. Sports Day is an opportunity where our community can get together and enjoy the day, however unfortunately due to current circumstances, and the restrictions in place in regards to social distancing requirements, it will have to look differently.

We have had to make the difficult decision to have a ‘closed in-school Sports Day’ with no spectators. This decision wasn’t made lightly whereby social distancing would be challenging to monitor. We are grateful for our Governing Council’s support and understanding around this matter.

Sports Day is an event that our students really look forward to and one we didn’t want to deprive them of. We would be disappointed if we had to cancel on the day due to community members not abiding by the difficult decision to have a ‘closed in-school’ Sports Day. We understand it will look differently without the presence of our families, however the decision was made with our students’ best interest at heart.

As we want to ensure that we keep our community involved and informed throughout the day, we have had to think differently and creatively. We will be sharing some live streaming and regular updates (opening, singing of chants, events, and announcement of the winning house team) via our school’s Facebook page. As previously mentioned on many occasions this year, COVID has definitely thrown us some challenges, however ‘together’ we manage to push through them.

Even though this is not what we anticipated, we will ensure that our students have an exciting and fun Sports Day! Notes will be sent out shortly about pre-ordering sausages as this is something that our students also look forward to. Sausages will be ordered and served through the canteen.

Again, we thank you for your cooperation and understanding. We will keep you informed if any changes arise as we understand that our Sports Day is a community event.

Year One Phonics Screening Results – AMAZING NEWS TO SHARE

We have once again administered the Phonics Screening Check (PSC) and believe it is absolutely worth mentioning the results. The PSC is an assessment measuring a student’s ability to be able to transfer known graphemes (letters) to decode known and unknown words. We are excited to share that at Virginia Primary School 92.8% of our year 1 students achieved Standard of Educational Achievement (SEA), decoding 31 words or higher and 34.6% of our year 1 students achieving 40 out of 40. This is the highest that our school has ever achieved.

It is also important to acknowledge that the students who didn’t meet SEA have demonstrated strong growth from the beginning of the year.

We would like acknowledge the hard work that teachers, parents and students have invested towards intentional and targeted learning. Congratulations to all our year 1 students, you should all be very proud of yourselves.

2021 Enrolments/Preparation

We are beginning to look at numbers of children for 2021 so that we can begin looking at our class structures later this term. 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 know of any changes for next year (if you are moving etc.) if you could let the front office know as soon as you can.

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.

Thank you for your help.


Swimming notes will be sent home next week. 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 there are any issues or concerns, please contact the office so we can support you.  

Book Week Parade

Planning and preparation has begun for Book Week. We are hoping that Term 4 will look differently in terms of social distancing restrictions. The Theme for this year is ‘Curious Creatures, Wild Minds’. Looking forward to seeing what costume ideas our students (and staff) come up with.

Parent Survey

We value parent input and are always open to feedback that will enable us to continue to move forward. It is pleasing to hear what is working well and what is appreciated so that we can ensure that this is maintained. We would appreciate it if you could spend some time having a look at the Department's Parent Survey and share your thoughts. We have the link down below for you to access.

If you require any assistance with it, please come and see our front office staff who will be more than happy to help out. We are also happy to set up a laptop at the front office for parents to access.

We have had several new enrolments and is always pleasing to receive warm feedback from our new families about the positive school culture here at VPS, whereby student well-being and learning is our core business.

We have two weeks left of learning until the students and teachers get to have a well deserved two week break. We couldn't be prouder of the work ethic demonstrated by everyone. Great Job everyone! 

Learning Together, Learning For Our Future.

Warmest Regards,

Voula Pounendis

Parent Survey 2020

Nothing is more important to us than your child’s education. To help us give your child the very best, we would like your honest feedback on a few key topics, including school communication. Your feedback will help us understand the things we’re doing well, where we can improve, and what’s really important to you as a parent. The survey closes Friday 25 September and will take no more than 10 minutes. It’s confidential and you can complete it here:

Thank you.

We know your time is valuable and we appreciate it.

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.

Wellbeing - What Went Well (WWW)

Positive Psychology is continuously finding evidence for the power of gratitude on our overall wellbeing and life satisfaction. Research is finding that those who are having the best life experiences don’t have all the riches in the world, but are rich in gratitude. If this is true, why aren’t we all chasing this wonderful experience? At the end of the day, all great things come with effort and practice. People who experience the most life satisfaction have been found to incorporate some form of gratitude practice in their routine. Gratitude is an experience which needs to be cultivated and practiced over time.

 However, practicing gratitude doesn’t have to be an elaborate process of writing long gratitude letters or lists. It can be as simple as asking the question ‘What Went Well?’ (WWW). Asking this question commands the mind to hunt for the good and identify the positives in life. This simply strategies not only works well for adults, but does wonders for training the mindsets of children too! Why not try implementing the simple WWW question as an after school brain trainer? When the kids jump in the car, along with asking them how their day went, go one step further and ask: ‘What Went Well?’ Incorporating this simple question after school trains brains to hunt for the good and builds mental fitness. You will find that children can build this skill like a muscle and start to recall positive experiences faster and faster as this practice goes on. So, throughout the week, spend some time with the kids practicing the art of gratitude with ‘What Went Well?’

 Food for thought:

“It’s not happy people who are grateful, its grateful people who are happy.”

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 Wednesday the 28th 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.

Social Media Fact Sheets - KIK 17+

KiK is one of the many social media platforms today's teens are using. People who use KiK are referred to as “Kiksters” and there are over 200 million Kik users.

The site has no age verification, and due to the expectation that kids aren’t using it, the app does not have parental controls. Apple have the age classification at 17+.

Parents also should be aware that inside the Kik app there is a huge range of other apps, some of which cost money and not all of which are age-appropriate. The additional content defies categorization: There's Nearby, a Tinder-like dating game that matches you to other users in your area. With the click of a button, a child can reach out to the public communities on FacebookTwitterInstagram, Tumblr and others with the message “Kik me”. This begins a new instant message conversation between the sender and the recipient, whoever they may be, making it a perfect place for individuals with bad intent to troll for unsuspecting victims

Make sure you monitor your child/teen's online activity , make sure they know that you may look over their shoulder once in a while or check to see what they are up to. 

Educate your child/teen about social media. Make it clear that there can be serious consequences for posting inappropriate material and warn your child how inappropriate material can ruin a person’s reputation and potentially their future.

You might also be interested in the following Facebook pages

Parenting Ideas Articles - Help kids tap into their inner resources

Times of hardship, frustrations and difficulties are opportunities for parents and teachers to develop the resourcefulness and inner strength of children and young people. Developing resourcefulness is the appropriate approach to take when considering the disruptive impact that coronavirus is having on kids’ lives. 

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

Term 3 Calendar 2020


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