Issue 29, Friday 15th September 2023
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The Parkhill Community touch the land and think of the Wurundjeri People and surrounding Clans of the Kulin Nation who cared for the land before us.
We share our gratitude to their Elders past, present and emerging.
As we touch this land we promise to treasure it; taking care of all its people, animals, plants and waterways.
We at Parkhill appreciate this land.
I can’t believe we are now in the final week of Term 3 – this term has flown by with great events punctuating the Parkhill calendar, finishing today with our wonderful Footy Colours Day parade. Thank you to our SRC and Mr Davies for organising (the celebration) today.
While the term closes off, there’s much planning afoot for 2024. Thank you to all the families who participated in our survey, and I’ll share the results with you all soon. It has been interesting reading your responses to the Parkhill brand, and how best you see us moving into the coming years.
I have been asked about class structures for 2024, and along with the Leadership team, Consultative Committee and School Council, we have considered the many possibilities that would make up next year’s class structure. My preference as a teacher and working in leadership is to work towards “straight” classes: Parkhill is not in this situation yet due to student numbers, and while I am optimistic that we will eventually have two classes of straight grades at each year level, for 2024 this is not possible. In addition to student numbers not being viable for many single grades, consideration must also be given to how teachers work: two teachers working together to provide differentiated teaching and learning will be able to support each other over the year, team teach and help spread the load of student administration, resource making and curriculum delivery.
There are pros and cons to whatever we choose; the structure for next year sits best with our current ability to accommodate year level numbers, staffing and implementation of best quality teaching and planning.
Next year we will follow the curriculum bands and will run:
Foundation x 1 class
Y1/2 x 2 classes
Y3/4 x 2 classes and
Y5/6 x 2 classes.
With the Y5/6 grades we will be committed to ensuring that the Y6s have opportunities to have their “Y6 experience” – we’ll ensure they have opportunity to work together as a straight Y6 cohort at times during the week, along with having separate activities/events over the course of the year. Unfortunately, there are too many students in the incoming Y6s for one teacher, and the incoming Y5s are a smaller cohort – combined, they will be better balanced classes. Staffing for the Y5/6s is currently being considered, and as soon as we have finalised this, I will let you know.
I thank the people who have approached me in the yard or taken the time to share their thoughts regarding our class structure for 2024, and I appreciate your candour. Should things need to change or if we find late enrolments allow for other combinations and/or extra staff, I will update you as soon as possible on any structural adjustments.
Further to our changes in 2024, we will be moving the lunchtime bell slightly to accommodate hourly lesson structures. That means we will start learning at 9am with recess at 11am as per this year. This will provide for a solid two-hour block of learning. The change with the middle session means we will have another 2 hours of learning before our break – lunchtime bell will be at 1:30pm. Lunch will run as normal for an hour, and we will return for one final hour of work before the end of the day. I understand for younger students this means there would be more than their one regular “brain food break”: for next year bring along some extra crunch food for the middle session!
The logic behind this shift is twofold: to best support our school wide teaching structure, 50 minutes to 1-hour lessons work best. Also, in 2024, full time teaching staff are also mandated to have 4 hours of non-face to face teaching time in a week: this is the most efficient way for us to meet this part of the AEU agreement. Finally, to best support our synthetic phonics and EDI (Explicit Direct Instruction) approach to teaching, we ensure that every day our students receive 2 hours of literacy, 1 hour of maths and 2 hours of other curriculum areas. It also ensures that the bulk of learning can be done before lunch: I know after lunch at network meetings, I find it more challenging to learn or listen to much!
Moving away from 2024 and back to now, I want to say a big thank you to the PFA and for everyone who has contributed to fundraising at the PFA events this year. The PFA have recently purchased a “Mellow Mat” for every classroom which I am told by one Y3 provides a much nicer floor sitting experience! The shade sail repair is also well underway for the main playground area, and this too has been paid for by the PFA and the funds our community has contributed. Stay tuned for more improvements school wide funded by parent and family contributions and get ready for a super charged Term 4 with many PFA events for us to enjoy.
And finally, thank you to everyone – parents, families, staff and particularly the students – for making my first term at Parkhill so memorable and easy. I wish you all a safe and enjoyable holiday and look forward to seeing you back on board for Term 4.
Calendar of Curriculum Events
Have a great school holiday break! Students return for term 4 on monday 2nd october.
Student of the Week
The Term 3, Week 9 recipients were:
FA – Lucas M
1/2A – Eli B
1/2B – Enzo P
3A – Yanni M
4/5A – Owen S
6A – Chloe T
School drop off and pick up time
A reminder that staff are not available to supervise students prior to 8:45 in the morning and after 3:45 in the afternoon. If you require early supervision or after school care, please contact Village Out of Hours School Care on 1300 366 437 to make bookings.
Footy Colours Day
It was lovely to see everyone’s team pride on display today in the school gym during our annual Footy Colours Day Parade!
While we have some keen footy supporters at Parkhill, Footy Colours Day is about celebrating ALL the footy codes while also being inclusive of our other varied interests and talents – and in this Parkhill excelled! For example it made me really proud to hear students clapping and singing along to other footy team’s songs. I also want to thank our awesome SRC who modelled our school values by joining the students whose teams were less well represented on the day.
Great job, Parkhill!
Little Scientists at John Monash Science School
Four of our Y5 girls, who thought they were going to be RoboGals, became Little Scientists at John Monash Science School over the last term on Wednesdays. They donned white lab coats and delved into scientific principles and ideas. In the first week, students had to devise a protective parachute for an egg that would be dropped off the first storey ledge. I hear the egg did not live to tell the tale. As the weeks went on, the girls continued, looking at startling materials and learning about the weird and wonderful ways of science. Thanks to parents, who were transporters and supervisors, for helping out.
Wild at Art Competition
In STEAM this term, Y6 students have created an artwork based on an Australian endangered animal in preparation to submit their artwork into the Wild At Art Competition. Wild At Art is Australia’s biggest wildlife art competition for kids. It is an opportunity for children to unleash their artistic creativity while learning about Australia’s threatened animals and plants. Please enjoy a sample of their work accompanied by student reflections.
Performing Arts Teacher
‘A bright bellied bird elegantly soared through the air with its vibrant green and blue wings. The sun glistened on the bird as well as the lush trees and bushes. The stream of fresh flowing water running down rocks. The rustling leaves on the ground shaking in the blowing wind like a rattlesnake’s tail. Parrots chirped from above, creating a harmonious melody as they filled the forest with music. A flock of birds majestically glide across the sky towards the grey fumes. Smoke? Blazing fire came closer to their habitat. The birds frantically flew to safety. It was too late. The wounded birds helplessly laid down on the burnt grass. Wild foxes with evil eyes and loony cats surrounded the bodies with curiosity. They picked at the unconscious birds with their long claws as they clenched their teeth, ready to munch. These orange bellied parrots (Neophema chrysogaster) had no chance.’ – Alice L
‘I chose koalas even though most people probably drew them. They had to deal with a bushfire from 2019-2020 and WWF Australia estimates that 60,000 died or got injured! I drew 2 koalas who are friends or family (however you see it) with a pitch black background to represent the smoke and the red orange and yellow colours to represent all the fire. By the way, did you know that the first bushfire in Australia was on the 6th of February 1851? That’s right 1851!’ – Layla L
‘I drew a Striped Pygmy Possum because they are a beautiful, vulnerable species. They are endangered because of habitat destruction, climate change, and predators. They do not have enough protection from their threats. My drawing shows how small they are in this massive world. I hope my drawing inspires people to help save Striped Pygmy Possums and all the other creatures who are in hiding.’ – Shaurya P
‘I have drawn the Nangur Spiny Skink. It lives in only two places as it is nearly extinct. The two places are Nangura National Park and Oakview National Park, both are in Queensland Australia. The skink lives in semi-evergreen vine thicket.
In 2005 a survey estimated that there were only 323 mature Nangur Spiny Skinks left in the world. This is because their habitat is being destroyed by humans, we are logging.
I chose the Nangur Spiny Skink because I like lizards and types of small reptiles and I’ve drawn them many times but I saw the Nangur Spiny Skink and I thought, hey I’ve never heard of that! So why not draw it for something different and new?
That’s why I drew the Nangur spiny skink.’ – Kara D
‘I drew the Orange Bellied Parrot as my main endangered animal, here’s why. Orange Bellied Parrots are lacking wild females to breed because of Psittacine Circoviral Disease that causes beak and feather disease which threatens breeding. Predators and also noxious weed which harms the environment are other threats for the bird. I feel bad for the birds as I believe they might have feelings just like us!’ – Shuji N
‘I chose the Erthrura Gouldiae, also known as the Gouldian Finch. The Gouldian Finch lives in the Savanna Woodlands in the top end of the Northern Territory and the Kimberley Region in Western Australia. They mainly eat grass seeds, which is sad because their main threat is bush fires (as portrayed in my piece.) Another threat is grazing, feral herbivores and aviary trade (stopped in the 1980s.) Sadly only 2,500 remain with their lifespan 5-8 years. The reason I chose this creature was because it’s unique and colourful and it also probably gets overlooked. Though I have never seen this bird in real life, I think this magnificent creature would be very majestic to watch in real life.’ – Carmen B
African Music Celebration
Thank you to our wonderful families for coming along to our African Music Celebration last Friday. Students enjoyed drumming, dancing and singing as they shared their learning with a very supportive audience. Many thanks for making our afternoon colourful by providing a coloured T-shirt for your child and special thanks to Angelita Williams for helping with the organisation of T-shirts. It was a joyous event!
Performing Arts Teacher
Inquiry - Creative Capers Market
This past few weeks in inquiry the Y4/5s have been looking at the 4 p’s of marketing and all about products and how to market them. The Y4/5s have been told to make a prototype to sell to the Y1-3s for their action. Once they had made their first product each group was instructed to make a 2 minute elevator pitch to share to the class, the class was told to put a thumbs up or thumbs down for each marketing P to make sure each group could go through with mass production. When it came to the market, the Y1/2s had a budget of $5 dollars in coins, and the Y3s had the same budget but in a note. The Y4/5s also had budget to make their products, their budget was a brief $25 dollars. If they went over the budget, they wouldn’t be able to mass produce. Our market stall was a great success, multiple groups sold all their products and made all customers happy. After the market stall each group had to calculate the profit they made in total of everything they sold over the course of 2 hours.
Mariam & Rebecca
Buildings and grounds
Welcome to Dan Edwards, our new leader of our Building and Grounds Committee, and a big thanks to Wendy Douglas for all her leadership prior. Wendy will still remain on the team, and we thank her for organising us all on some major jobs around our school.
SAVE THE DATE for Term 4 upcoming working bee – 21st October – if you have not been before we encourage you to come along with your children and enjoy making your school look great, socialising and enjoying a lovely afternoon with some delicious afternoon tea treats.
Some of the building and grounds team have been busy mulching the Indigenous garden – see photos attached. If you would like to join this Committee, please ask at the office.
Buildings and Grounds Committee Member
Dear Parkhill Families,
Scholastic Book Orders
Orders from Issue 6 were sent home on Wednesday. We hope you enjoy reading them over the break.
Working Bee Call Out – Library
Save the Date – A library working bee group will be hosted in the first week of Term 4 – Tuesday 3 October from 09:00 to 12:00.
Feel free to drop by and say hello or come spend the morning with us, we will love to see you!
Kindly RSVP at the office or simply email me if you can join us.
“Holidays are joyous times to refresh the mind and rekindle the spirit of learning.” Unknown
We have arrived at the last day of term. Hope you have a wonderful break and we will see you all back next term!
OG Comes to Parkhill 2024!
Continuing our MSL and synthetic phonics journey in 2024, we are proud to host the Orton Gillingham training at Parkhill Primary School. This is an excellent opportunity for anyone working in education or allied health (such as speech pathology or occupational therapy) to take up this week of training here at Parkhill. The first four days are basic certification with an optional fifth day of advanced morphology training. Hosting a training week also means that we can send our own staff at a reduced rate to this valuable PD. If you know of any people who OG training would appeal to, please book via the links at the bottom of the flyer.
President: Zoë Littlewood
Treasurer: Chris Fagan
General Members: Adam Keens, Emma Gullan, Lih-Shan Yam, Marinda Tanner, Michelle Wickman, Trish King, Vanessa Cowley, Iona Tsykalo, Jo Argaet
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