Truganina South Primary School Newsletter

17 December 2018
Issue Eight
Principal's Message 
Important Dates
From the comunities
Truganina South Primary School
(03) 9296 1800
3-19 Parkvista Drive
Truganina, Victoria, 3029

Principal's Message 

End of  the 2018 School Year

********************End of Year Friday December 21st~ Early  Dismissal  12.30pm****************

We are just one week away from the end of what has been a wonderful year of teaching and learning and community engagement at TSPS. To say how quickly it has flown is an understatement. I write this newsletter having just enjoyed the second of our two end of year concerts. What a wonderful gathering of students, teachers and families in a joyous celebration of the Arts program at TSPS. To see the students of our school community share their talents with such confidence and enthusiasm was an absolute delight and I am certain they entertained you all too with their performances. The artwork on display was also not to be missed. I am proud of the teachers at TSPS who work tirelessly to provide our students with as many enriching opportunities that will allow them to express themselves, build confidence and develop them holistically. Thank you to all who came along to support and cheer our students.

End of the School Year Approaches

2018 is fast approaching its end and it has flown in what seems like a blink of an eye. It has been a wonderful year of teaching and learning for all of us. It has been a while between communications for me. At times this term, I have felt a little disconnected due to some considerable absence both personal and professional. It has also been an incredible year in terms of staff movement. Staff members have taken family leave as they have welcomed the arrival of babies into their families ( fourteen announced this year). I congratulate Jess Psaila (a son, Alexander), Ebonie Keys (a girl, Andie) and Tegan (a girl, Ivy) who are the most recent to add to their families. Very exciting for us as a teaching community.  Some staff members have secured promotional positions in other settings ( most notably Joel and Brianna). With the new school, Dohertys Creek, opening some staff members have taken the opportunity to try a  new setting. Others have been successful in securing schools closer to home. I am proud of each of them and thank them for their contributions. I congratulate Paul MacZohan, Millie Carr, Virginia Jowett, Kim Lev, Craig Wiese,  Demi Isles, Tim Dean, Abbey Lynch, Hamish Dahl and Elysia Mitchell on their successes and wish them well in their new endeavors. The panels continue to interview and employ staff for 2019. I  welcome Dragica Najdenovski, Heather Gorman, Hayley  Stack, Emmy Watson, James Headlam, Mitchell Gabriel, Alexandra Rodaughan, Kirsten Head and Jacqui Corthoys to TSPS in 2019. They join Yuanbin Wei (our new Mandarin LOTE teacher) and all will be visiting the school in the next few days to familiarise themselves and meet and greet with the students. I also would like to congratulate Cass Beckman and Michael Gerber in securing the ongoing Assistant Principal positions at TSPS.  Brendan Chugg and Ange Demeca have secured Leading Teacher positions and Alex Wren, Lisa Sarpa and Janis Mesiti have secured Learning Specialist positions. We are now looking for a PE teacher for 2019. This week we bid farewell our colleagues (Ian, Brianna and Sam) from Dohertys Creek who secured the keys to their new school on Monday. It has been a pleasure to host them as they prepared for the opening of the new school and I  know we will strengthen our connections and work across the schools in the future.   Our students have continued to grow academically, socially, physically and emotionally. We pride ourselves in providing a holistic approach to developing happy, healthy and resilient students who work hard to achieve their personal best. And this continues right through to the end of the year. Learning does not stop as we wind our way through December.

This term has been filled with many exciting activities and events that provide students with real life experiences that give them contexts to enhance their learning but also invites our wider community to join us in this partnership of "raising a child as a village".


Bike Education and Swimming

Recently our Year 3 /4 students undertook a two week Bike Education program. This program helps children develop the skills they need to ride safely and independently on roads and paths.

The program involves a mix of practical activities conducted off-road (in the school grounds) and on-road (on local roads) together with classroom activities. This year has been interesting in that the basketball courts have been out of action due to the rectification works but the students have still had a wonderful time as they learnt basic skills and developed their confidence.  I thank the teachers in Yr 3/4 for engaging our students in this vitally important safety program.

The Swimming program for our P-2 students has just been completed. Over a fortnight students have had the opportunity to develop confidence in the water. Learning to swim has many benefits for children.  It’s great for their health and well being, it enhances their self esteem and importantly teaches them a respect for water. As the warmer weather approaches, it is important that children are safe around pools, near rivers and at the beach. A reminder to us all that whilst we want our children to independent and confident,  they must never be left unsupervised. Thank you to the PE department, especially Tracey Graham, for its organisation of this vital program.

Color Fun Run

What a tremendous event this proved to bit. It surpassed last year's event with so many more community members coming along for the fun. The weather was perfect, the colors even more vibrant than last year and the students had a great time running the obstacle course and getting soaked and covered in all the colors of the rainbow. The atmosphere on the day was one of joy, hilarity, high energy and community engagement as students, teachers and parents joined in the fundraising event. A huge thanks to Lee Jarvis and Brendan Chugg who set up and ran the event. More than $8000.00 was raised. And this event is on our calendar to do all over again in 2019.

End of Year Concert- "Carnival"

This year's theme celebrates "Carnival" - a thread that has wand its way through a number of showcases this year. Beginning with our wonderful Carnival back in March, this theme was the backdrop for our entry at Wakikirri this year. It was also our theme at the Sunshine Film Festival and now it culminates in our end of year performance. Congratulations to all involved in preparing for the event and thank you to all the families who came out to support their children. Great community feel.

Parent Helpers and EdConnect Volunteers  Tea

Recently we have hosted two morning tea events to acknowledge the contributions that both groups of volunteers have made at TSPS this year.  It is well known that the home school partnership is incredibly important and that research shows that when parents and carers are actively engaged in their children's learning, that students do well at school. Parents Helpers support us in so many ways. Some of these include actively engaging in the classroom, assisting with Reading, Science and PE activities, banking, attending excursions and supporting sporting events. We are incredibly grateful and appreciative of the time that is volunteered by our wonderful parent helpers. This year we also partnered up with EdConnect, an organisation that connects adults who have retired or are wanting to give back to the community by actively engaging in classrooms. This year we have been joined by Asif, Suhdda and Kitty who have worked within Diamond, Ruby and Sapphire communities to support the teachers and students. I acknowledge the work carried out by  Rhonda Velkovski in overseeing the program. We will have more volunteer in 2019. In Nelson Mandela's words, "History will judge us on the difference we make in the everyday lives of our children".

Events Still to Come


On December 18, we farewell our Year 6 students as they graduate from Truganina South Primary. The students have been busy rehearsing their performance items and filming special mementos of their time at TSPS. It will be a wonderful evening as we celebrate their achievements and wish them well as they begin their new chapter of schooling as secondary students. Congratulations to all our 2018 Year 6 graduating class members.

Family Picnic Day

On Thursday December 20,  all our families are invited to join our students and teachers for a family picnic lunch between 11.00 and 12.00 noon. Families are encouraged to bring along a special lunch to share with their children (fish and chips, picnic food, Subway- whatever takes your fancy really). Come and spend an hour with us as we wind down for the end of school year. It the weather is inclement the picnic will move into learning spaces. It will be lovely to see you there.

Our Last Assembly for the Year

Friday December 21st  is the last day of the 2018 school year. School will end at 12.30pm. Prior to this we will enjoy one final farewell assembly. This assembly is dedicated to farewells. Farewells to our year students. The tradition of the Walk of Honor for our Year 6 students is a sight to behold. We say farewell to staff who are leaving and acknowledge other students from different year levels who will be leaving us. We also have some awards to be given too, including the Volunteer of the Year award and Werribee  Toyota Year 6 Scholarships. The assembly begins promptly at 11.45pm.

All are welcome to attend.


School Council 2018

In 2018 School Council increased its membership to  12 councillors. To the members of School Council, Kirsten Duncan, Rhonda Velkovski, Joe Resegati, David Gibilisco, Misty Palmer, Wade Green, Priyanka Pajbai, Alex Tardif, Cass Beckman, Shirley Lamb and Michael Gerber   (along with Brianna Morelli, Joel Riddle, Heather Johnson, Virginia Jowett) for your support and guidance in this important governance work in the running of our school. Greatly appreciated.

Yearbook 2018

A huge thank you and job well done to  Lachlan Scott for the excellent production of our 2018 Yearbook, a comprehensive collection of our wonderful 2018 school year. All communities have made contributions through articles and images. Such a jam-packed collection of wonderful moments and memories, milestones and achievements from this past year. A wonderful keepsake. There are still some copies  available for purchase for families who may not have ordered this book with their school fees at the beginning of the year.



Wishing you all a safe and rested  break for the festive season and long summer vacation.

Yours in Education

Linda Danese

Important Dates


Dec 20: Family Picnic at TSPS -11.00am -12.00noon

Dec 21: School Assembly - 11.45am

Dec 21:  School Year ends - Early Dismissal- 12.30pm

Jan 29 2019:   Teachers resume the 2019 school year - Curriculum Day 1

Jan 30:  Curriculum Day 2 

Jan 31:- All students Year 1-6 begin school.

Feb 4: - All Prep students begin. Throughout February Prep students do not attend on Wednesday. (Teachers will carry our individual assessments. Appointment times will be sent to families)

Feb 11-12: Parent -Teacher Meet and Greet Interviews

From the comunities


The teachers and children in Diamond Community have had an amazing year together! It is very sad that it has come to an end but exciting for the adventures ahead! We wish all the children and families all the very best for next year. Have a fun and fabulous summer!



It’s been a busy term in the Onyx Community. There has been lots of learning taking place around writing Expositions and how we can persuade a person to see our point of view. In Numeracy one of our focuses has been how we can group a series of items to make an array and find the total. We had fun doing this with lots of concrete materials in the classroom, but particular fun was had making arrays with cookies. During our Inquiry lessons, we have continued to be innovative and thought of different inventions we can make to solve problems, like how can we stop meteorites from crashing into the Earth!


The last two weeks we have been busy with swimming. The students in Onyx have done a great job with getting themselves organised for swimming at the beginning of the day and breaking off into their different swimming groups when they get to the pool. All of the students that attended the swimming program have appeared to really enjoy themselves and hopefully it has prepared them for the summer swimming. It has also helped developed their independence by getting themselves dressed on their own and ready to go back to school. We also have been doing lots of concert practice in preparation for the TSPS concert on the 12th of December.


Elysia, Tim & Jane have thoroughly enjoyed teaching your children this semester and watching them all grow socially and academically. We wish all families a very Merry Christmas and hope that everyone has a fun and safe holiday.



2018 is nearing the end, and what a wild year it's been. We've had so much fun in our learning and the Opal teachers will be sad to say farewell to our wonderful students. We thank the students and parents for being so flexible and welcoming to all the changes we've had this year in terms of teaching staff. Our students have been absolute champions with their learning and we wish them nothing but success and happiness for the rest of their schooling. Have a happy, relaxing and safe holidays!


What an exciting year 2018 has been in Coral! We have participated in many school activities and undertaken countless learning experiences. All the students have grown so much academically, socially and personally and the teachers are so proud of all of the work they have completed.

One of the main focuses this year has been the work we are doing in Inquiry. Coral started the year with a strong focus on investigating our identities and culture, finding out amazing facts and information about who our classmates are and what makes each one of us unique and special.

We then moved onto our Innovation Inquiry, with the culmination of all the students’ hard work being the business expo. Below is a recount of the event written by Grade 6 student Etienne Green.

On Thursday the 29th of November, Coral Community held a 5/6 inquiry business expo, to show off the small businesses we had been working on all year. At the start of the year, we began to explore our overall inquiry topic, Innovation. We did several activities to inspire and teach us more about business. We went to the Werribee Plaza to conduct surveys and compare prices with different stores. We were also visited by the owner of Tender Designs, Emma. TO practice sales techniques, Mini Boss visited and we each got into groups and created our own smoothie businesses.


On the day of the expo we explored what it is like to run a business and work with people collaboratively in a group. The kids of businesses we ran were face painting, bath bombs, virtual reality experience, beauty salon, comedy shows, slime, artwork, fortune telling, home décor, ring toss, therapy, tutoring, cleaning and organising services and dog biscuits. As a community we raised a total of $1237.90 which will go towards an end of year celebration and also some will be donated to charity.

“It really showed everyone’s creativity, and it was just amazing to see how happy it made all the kids.” – Ava (Paint That!)


“It was really fun!” – Emma (E&M Futures)


“Your business will only grow!” – Zayin (Spiffy Photography)


“It nurtured our entrepreneurial skills and it was a blast!” – Jayme (eVRy Reality)


Coral would like to wish everyone a happy holidays and for those celebrating a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year.


Hamish Dahl, Demi Isles, Courtney Merryfull and Vicki Haynes



The warmer weather in Term 4 has allowed six of our one hundred spiny leaf insect eggs to hatch. These new babies are in the nymph stage of their life cycle which is characterised by a small black body and legs with a brown head, a length of about 2cm and they look very similar to ants. This is a great protective mechanism as most animals don’t like eating ants. The nymph’s long legs and fast movements give it a spider-like appearance when walking but the students aren’t worried about this, they just love watching these babies crawl on their hands and arms. Our enclosure also houses two female adults that are consistently laying eggs, which are clones of themselves (a type of reproduction method called parthenogenesis). The adults are 10cm long and curl their tail to look like scorpions.  And lastly we have four spiny leaf insects in the middle of their lifecycle that measure in at 5cm long.


The prep’s have been learning about changes in weather and how different countries experience different weather. They have developed skills in creating and identifying symbols and carrying out investigations to test their ideas. They also took part in an incursion held by CERES Environmental Park where they learnt about different types of energy such as heat, light, sound and electricity.


The grade 1/2 topic this term was “Changes in the Earth’s environment, landscape and sky.” They have observed and described the changes in the sun, moon, clouds and plants. The students are looking forward to taking home the seedling they have been growing. CERES Environmental Park presented a lesson to the grade 1/2 students about the health of rivers and indigenous bush food, further developing their understanding of sustainability.


The grade 3/4’s have been studying the Earth beneath us. They have examined different rock types with microscopes and identified various features that make them unique. They have learnt about the rock cycle to contextualise the different rock features and discover how each rock type is made – sedimentary, metamorphic and igneous rocks. They also participated in an incursion held by CERES Environmental Park where they learnt about sustainable energy and got to use solar panels to power a tap outside.

Earth’s place in space has been the focus of the grade 5/6 Science unit. They started by learning about early theories and the evidence that was needed to prove or disprove them. The students then built a moving model of the Earth, Moon and Sun to demonstrate their belief about how they move or orbit.  By presenting their models to the class and observing their peers’ models, students were able to debunk previously held ideas and strengthen their understanding of these phenomena.





Numeracy Tips for Summer


With a long school holiday break ahead, it's worth considering the things we can talk about and involve our children in over the break to keep them thinking mathematically. Don't forget that students have access to Mathletics and Skoolbo on their iPads, where a range of engaging Numeracy tasks are found.


Here are some other ideas from Back to Front Maths:



  • Count stairs, letter boxes, trucks etc as opportunities arise.
  • Put out the number of knives needed for dinner and ask your child to get the same number of forks and spoons.
  • Ask your child to get everyone a cup for afternoon tea.
  • Ask questions like “If Grandma comes to stay for the weekend, how many people will there be?”  “If Daddy leaves the table, how many people will there be?”
  • Talk about numbers as they play e.g. the number of blocks they are using to build their tower or the number of wheels on their car.
  • Read stories that have a number focus e.g. The Three Billy Goats Gruff
  • Ask your child to count and sort larger numbers of items.
  • Ask questions like “How many muesli bars do I have if there are three packets of muesli bars that have ten in each and four single muesli bars?”
  • Talk about larger numbers up to 100 as they occur (e.g. House numbers on long streets).

Number names:

  • Ask your child to tell you what the numbers on letterboxes, number plates on cars or pages in a book are.
  • Look for examples of number names on signs and environmental print.
  • Collect numbers from newspapers and magazines.
  • Read stories that contain numbers and ask your child to find the number name or numeral on the page.
  • Talk about two-digit numbers whenever opportunities arise.  Ask questions such as “Which is bigger/smaller/the same/different?”
  • Take note of larger numbers as they occur (e.g. house numbers, page numbers in books).  Encourage your child to read the numbers and talk about other ways they could have been written.

Counting in 2s and 5s:

  • Count stairs or objects in twos whenever opportunities arise.
  • Put out the number of knives and forks needed for dinner and ask your child to count them in sets of two.
  • Ask your child to make pairs of the socks as they come out of the washing basket and count them in twos.
  • Talk about numbers as they play e.g. the number of blocks they are using to build their tower or the number of wheels on their car.
  • Count the number of wheels on the trucks that go by.
  • Make hand prints to count in 5s.
  • Count shoes as these come in pairs.

Place value is heavily linked to relative size.  Here are some good things to try with your kids:

  • Take note of larger numbers as they occur (e.g. house numbers, page numbers in books).  Encourage your child to read the numbers and talk about other ways they could have been written.
  • Talk about numbers whenever opportunities arise.  Ask questions such as “Which is bigger/smaller/the same/different?”
  • Encourage students to work out how they could pay for something using different combinations of $100 notes, $10 notes and $1 coins.
  • Involve your children in decision making about buying furniture.  Look at prices for furniture/electric goods in catalogues and talk about which is more expensive (e.g. when considering buying a new microwave or tv or fridge…).  Have students tell you what the price is.  Cut out the pictures with the prices, and order them from the cheapest to the most expensive, and then write their good and bad points underneath.
  • Have your children measure amounts of liquids using millimetres (e.g. 250mL, 500mL) and compare which one is the biggest.  Try using smaller measuring instruments to put the total amount together and then compare to check that they are the same amounts (e.g. to make 250mL use a 100mL cup and a 50mL cup: 100mL + 100mL + 50mL = 250mL, then compare it to your original measurement of 250mL to see that they are the same).  This can be done in bath time with different sized measuring cups and jugs.
  • Cut up a “hundreds chart” into a jig saw puzzle to do at home.
  • Use number lines to examine relative size:  For example talk about house numbers up to 100 as they occur on long streets.

Basic understanding of fractions is pivotal to much of primary and high school maths and is one of the most difficult concepts for kids to understand.  Try to build these into your regular routines:

  • Involve your child in cooking activities which require half a cup of an ingredient.  He/she could half fill the cup measure for you.
  • When making sandwiches or cutting other foods, talk about how you cut them into halves.  Use words such as half, even, equal, parts.
  • Involve your child in sharing with another ensuring that each person has a fair share.  Both halves need to be equal.
  • Make sure that kids understand that you cannot have a “bigger half” or bigger third, or fifth or anything else.  Fractions must be equal.
  • Link quarters to the clock – quarter past, half past, quarter to, o’clock.  Four quarters only.  Not all fractions are called quarters, only fourths.

Ordinal numbers (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th etc) have strong links to fractions.  Try these:

  • Talk about the order in which you complete everyday activities (e.g. making a cake, putting on the washing, set the table).  Use words like first, next, last, third, to describe the sequence of actions.
  • Give your child directions using the language of order (e.g. “First put the rubbish in the bin and then go and do your homework”).
  • Ask your child to arrange things in order (e.g. the family’s shoes).  Talk about the order using words like first, second, last.

Making Ten:

  • Roll a dice and say how many more make ten.
  • Play "Snap" with regular playing cards, but rather than look for pairs of numbers that match, a "snap" is made when the two numbers add up to ten.

Here is a link to a great article on Thinking Numeratively from the Australian Association of Mathematics Teachers:

Truganina South Primary School Newsletter