Belmore School Newsletter

22 November 2019
Issue Thirteen
Dates to remember
Principal Report
Engagement and Wellbeing
Communication @ Belmore
Community Noticeboard
Belmore School
(03) 9859 8762
49 Stroud Street
Balwyn, Victoria, 3103

Dates to remember

Wednesday 27 November

Curriculum Day - pupil free

Thursday 28 November

SLC Graduation - 7.00pm

Friday 29 November

Communication Information Session for Parents - part 2

Friday 29 November

November Whole School Assembly - 2.45pm

Wednesday 4 December

Taiko Incursion

Thursday 5 December

Volunteers Morning Tea

Friday 6 December

PLC Graduation

Wednesday 11 December

Whole school picnic at Wombat Bend

Friday 13 December

Belmore School Presentation Assembly

Friday 20 December

Last day of school - 12.15pm finish

Wednesday 29 January 2020

First day of school for students

Principal Report

Belmore School Review

The final day of our school review took place on Wednesday when the review panel reassembled to analyse all the information and data collected from the school's pre-review self-evaluation, classroom observations and stakeholder focus group sessions as a means to formulate the strategic focus which will guide our school's direction over the next four years. While we acknowledged and celebrated the achievements we had made over the previous four years, the focus of our discussion was to identify and prioritise the goals and key improvement strategies which will support the development of our new Strategic Plan.  It was an incredible day with collective agreement on the priorities we need to focus on to ensure our school continues to provide an outstanding learning environment for our very special students.


While I take this opportunity to thank our entire school community - staff, students and parents, for your extremely positive contribution to this process, I would especially like to thank our review panel for committing their time and expertise to collectively review where we are as a school in order to develop our strategic direction to implement for a successful future. 


  • Carolyn Woodhouse - School Reviewer from Monash University
  • Irene Harding - Senior Education and Improvement Leader
  • Karen Overall - Principal
  • Jane Fincham - Assistant Principal of Glenroy Specialist School
  •  Helen Tainsh - Speech Pathology Consultant
  • Brenton Carey - School Council President
  • Rose Ngai - Leading Teacher
  • Anet Elbaz - Engagement and Wellbeing Leader
  • Julie Nicholson - Business Manager
  • Kelly LaCombre - Classroom Teacher
  • Stephanie Cumming - Physiotherapist 


Following approval of the Strategic Plan by the Department and Belmore School Council I will publish our new strategic goals and key improvement strategies in the newsletter and on the school website.

End of Year Organisation

While teaching and learning at Belmore School is always high on our priorities we are also currently organising to wind up the 2019 school year and prepare for the commencement of 2020.


As you will see in the dates to remember we have a range of important events occurring over the next few weeks.


Next Thursday 27th November we are holding our Secondary Learning Centre Graduation for our 2019 graduating students – Blake, Maddie, Sachin and Shayla. I would like to acknowledge our wonderful staff who are working tirelessly to ensure this celebration is a very special occasion for these students and their families.


Our volunteers’ morning tea will be held on Thursday 5th December which is International Volunteers Day.  We are fortunate to have a number of loyal and committed volunteers  who dedicate their time each week to come along and support our students and staff.  Our morning tea is a small way we like to demonstrate our appreciation for the dedication and passion these special people bring to our school.


Our Primary Learning Centre Graduation, where we will celebrate the achievements of Ruby and Livian will be held on Friday 6th December.  


On Wednesday 11 December our whole school will enjoy an end of year breakup with a trip to Wombat Bend in Templestowe.


Our Belmore School Presentation Assembly is a highlight of our school calendar to be held this year on Friday 13th December.  All parents are invited and encouraged to come along to help us acknowledge and celebrate our student’s achievements throughout the year.  


In conjunction with the organisation of these events our teachers and therapists are currently finalising their assessments and writing student end of year reports.  These reports will be sent home with students on Monday 16th December.  Formal SSG meetings will not be held at the end of the year but you are most welcome to contact your child’s class teacher if you would like additional information or clarification upon receipt of the report.

Curriculum Day

Just a reminder that next Wednesday 27th November is a curriculum day with all staff participating in professional learning.  We appreciate parents and carers keeping your children home on this day to enable all school staff the time to focus on the development of their skills and expertise.

Christmas Raffle

Thank you to all our wonderful families who are donating an amazing variety of goods for our Christmas Raffle.  We hope to develop a number of beautiful hampers which will be a lovely prize to win at the festive time of the year.  Please send your donations in to school by Monday 2nd December and all sold raffle tickets by Friday 6th December.  The raffle will be drawn at our Presentation Assembly on Friday 13th December.


Engagement and Wellbeing

Therapy at Belmore School

This year has been a great year for our therapy team.  Ryan Bellairs (OT), Charmaine Viron (OT), Sarah Lipiatt (Speech), Naphia Chu (Speech), Stephanie Cumming (Physio) and Leo Chan (Music) all joined the Belmore School team in 2019 and I am delighted to share with you that they will all continue in their roles in 2020.  All members of our therapy team bring a variety of skills that complement each other as they work collaboratively to achieve the best educational outcomes for our students. ‘The Team Around the Learner’ model of collaborative practice reinforces the alignment of therapy and education.  The therapists have provided an integrated approach of therapeutic support within the context of teaching and learning, maximising students’ functional skills to achieve optimal participation in all classroom programs. 


Some highlights for the year include:

  • Implementation of a whole school-wide approach to AAC using PODD communication books.  Our speech pathologists along with Helen Tainsh, a senior speech pathology consultant, have worked diligently with all school members to embrace the use of PODD and use it as part of our instructional teaching strategies to facilitate communication and learning for all students.  The embedding of PODD practice into our classrooms has been a great success and it is a such a positive outcome to walk around the school observing all our students using their PODD books at all times.
  • Implementation of a whole school-wide approach to promoting access to education and communication using adaptive equipment such as switches, alternate pencil, high tech devices etc.  Our Occupational Therapists have worked alongside Fiona Beauchamp, an external senior OT consultant, to explore latest evidence-based practices.
  • Implementation of a whole school-wide approach to Zones of Regulations.  Our Occupational Therapists and Speech Pathologists have worked closely with teachers to support students’ emotions using the Zone of Regulations colour code system. This has proved to be a great success as students developed a recognition of and techniques to regulate their own emotions.
  • Optimal physical well-being for all students has been the core work of our Physiotherapist.  All physical programs have been embedded into all classroom programs where teachers and education support staff assist students to complete physical activities to support their physical well-being on a regular basis.  
  • Music programs inclusive of AAC techniques have also been a success for our school.  Our Music Therapist has worked extremely hard to enable all students to participate and communicate their music preferences using PODD, PECS and signing.
  • Delivery of weekly interactive focus groups where students participate in a therapy-specific program to learn, develop and gain more skills and knowledge.  Focus groups have included Healthy Bodies Healthy Relationships, Tech-It-Up, I Like to Move It Move It, Creative Music and Art Therapy.  This has been another success where therapists led teaching-based programs with a therapeutic focus aligned with the Victorian Curriculum.
  • Development of Belmore School Therapy team manual, protocols, policies and practice guidelines.  The team has worked really hard throughout the year to develop and implement best practices that will shape the direction and future of therapy at Belmore School.
  • Seamless coordination between school based therapy and NDIS community based therapy where shared understanding and common goals are achieved and supported to ensure continuity of care and support beyond the school setting.  This has been a success where both families and students were supported and connected within the wider community.

Communication @ Belmore

Parent Information Session #2

Responding to parent request following the great success of our first parent information session, our consultant speech pathologist Helen Tainsh will be providing a second information session for parents on supporting your child's communication development.  The session will be delivered in the meeting room here at Belmore School on Friday 29th November @ 9:30am to 12:30pm.


Even if you didn't attend the first session all parents are encouraged to come along to learn from Helen who is widely recognised as an expert in her field. I know you will be inspired and assisted in your knowledge of best practice in the use of AAC just as our staff have been here at Belmore School.


Community Noticeboard

The Sony Foundation Children's Holiday Camp


International day of People with Disability


Outside School Hours Care Survey


The Department of Education and Training wants to know what parents and carers of children and young people with disability think about Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) services. This includes both before and after school care and holiday/vacation care.

This is a chance to let decision-makers know how these services can better meet the needs of your child and family. Survey closes at the end of November.



Take the Outside School Hours Care survey

Free Family Fun Day


Belmore School Newsletter