Photo: Montrose House Captains

Elsternwick Primary School Newsletter

02 November 2018
Issue Four
From the School Principal
Lani Was Principal For A Day at EPS!
Community News
Thunderstorm Asthma
EPS Transition Program 2018 - 2019
Sports Report
News From The Library
Sustainability At EPS!
Important Dates
Elsternwick Primary School
(03) 8534 6100
44 Murphy Street
Brighton, Victoria, 3186

From the School Principal

Michael Portaro - School Principal

Dear Parents/Carers


2019 Prep Students
We were extremely pleased with the very smooth start to our 2019 Prep students’ transition program last Friday. We had 63 children attend and a very large number of parents/carers who joined us in Brickwood Hall for a discussion and question/answer session regarding uniforms, how to volunteer at our school, camps and our specialist program.


2019 Curriculum Days

Term 1

Curriculum Day - Tuesday, 29th January (students first day of Term 1 2019 is Wednesday, 30th January)


Term 2

Monday, 22nd April - Easter Monday (no school)

Tuesday, 23rd April - First Day Term 2

Wednesday, 24th April - School Day

Thursday, 25th April - ANZAC Day 

Friday, 26th April -  Curriculum Day


Term 3

Tuesday, 11th June - Day after Queen’s Birthday


Term 4

Monday, 4th November - Curriculum Day (day before Cup Day)


Planning for the 2019 school year continues as we decide our grade structures, staffing provision and programs, and also furniture requirements. To plan effectively, it is imperative that I know the number of students who will be attending. It is therefore extremely important that you inform me as soon as possible if you know your child will not be attending our school in 2019, and /or, you have a child you are yet to enrol in Prep for next year. Your co-operation is greatly appreciated.


Curriculum Day – Monday, 5th November
Our School Strategic Plan ( commenced in 2018 and includes a number of key improvement strategies. In regards to Student Achievement, we aim to develop and embed an evidence based instructional approach to teaching and learning. This Monday on our student free day, our staff will be at school working on developing a documented curriculum with clearly identified essential learnings. They

will be working in year level teams and vertical teams (P-6) and use multiple sources of research to create the framework that will guide teaching and learning at our school.


Parent Opinion Survey
Finally, I would like to thank those parents who completed the Education Department Parent Opinion Survey regarding our school. Of the 120 randomly selected parent community invited to respond to the survey we had 37 responses– a 31 % response rate.

There are six domains included in our report.
1. Parent Community Engagement
2. School Ethos and Environment
3. Student Cognitive Engagement
4. Student Development
5. Safety
6. Connection and Progression

The following questions received our highest positive response rate:
- I am able to get the information I need through the school’s regular communication channels (95%)
- This school treats my child with respect (89%)
- My child can explore their own interests when it is related to their class work (89%)

The following questions received our highest negative response rate:

- Teachers communicate with me often enough about my child’s progress (41%)
- My child is taught organisational skills to help him/her with managing homework and schoolwork load (35%)
- Teachers provide useful feedback and respond to the learning needs of my child (27%)


Through consultation with the school community, including School Council and the Parents Association we have previously identified the first and third dot points as an area for improvement and have already began to implement a plan of action to improve in the area of communication and feedback. This semester we have been working with teachers and parents across every cohort level to implement a
continuous assessment trial. The platform we are using for this is called Seesaw, and is a digital portfolio application which allows teachers to share with parents the work their child/ren is/are completing in class, in real time. Through this process parents will be able to see not only the curriculum areas that their child is working on but also, feedback from teachers including where appropriate areas for improvement have been identified. The feedback we receive will continue to shape the implementation of our continuous assessment trial.

At E.P.S. students focus on the 5 Learning Assets (Self-Managing, Collaborating, Communicating, Thinking and Researching) throughout their learning journey from Prep to Year 6. The students are involved in building their skills and dispositions as they learn how to learn. As SELF-MANAGERS, students continue to build their capability to learn independently and make wise choices about their learning. They strive to know themselves as learners and work towards personal goals, with the
understanding that we all continually improve as learners. Students build on and recognise strengths, such as resilience, responsibility, persistence and an ability to reflect.

Making a plan, goal setting, time management, showing initiative and focusing on the job at hand are an example of the strategies students put into practice throughout their learning at school. Transferring these to become lifelong habits that extend beyond the classroom continues to be a focus. By continuing our commitment to embed the Learning Assets at EPS, we believe our students will be equipped with the organisational skills to help manage homework and schoolwork load.’

Have a great long weekend!

Lani Was Principal For A Day at EPS!

Lani - 5C

On Monday,  29th of October 2018 I was given the opportunity to be principal for the day. Mr Portaro and I started off the day with yard duty greeting all the students of Elsternwick Primary.  We then lead the
weekly assembly together reminding all the students that they need to wear their hats before school, during school and after school. After assembly all the students went on their 300km run, Mr Portaro and I planned the rest of the day.

At recess time I hung out with the teachers in the staff room, this was great to get to know the teachers.
It was fantastic to have the opportunity to go to the Prep D classroom. When I was in the classroom with the preps I helped the students write stories about their weekend.

Lunch was the best fun because I organised an extended lunchtime and we had a disco. All the students
danced and laughed. Even the teachers joined in. 

Thank you for the opportunity.


Community News

St Kilda Angels Newsletter

To view the latest St Kilda Angles newsletter please read the attached. Please support these wonderful ladies where you can. They have been huge supporters of EPS for an incredibale amount of time.


Thunderstorm Asthma

Lindy Belotti - School Nurse

  • Thunderstorm asthma is triggered when there is a sudden change in weather conditions.
  • Epidemic thunderstorm is thought to be triggered by a combination of high grass pollen levels and certain type of thunderstorms.
  • At risk are those with hay fever and asthma symptoms, but can also affect people without a history of Asthma.
  • If there is an approaching thunderstorm be alert for any students with  Asthma symptoms.
  • Any students presenting with Asthma symptoms, please notify the office.


EPS Transition Program
2018 - 2019

Cheryl Clarke - Whole School Transition Coordinator

Transition for students moving into Years 1 - 6 in 2019 begins soon.

All students will spend a few sessions over two days to support their transition into their next year level.

All students will spend one full ‘STEP UP’ day in their 2019 class with their 2019 teacher and classmates.

The Transition program has been designed with the intent of building the relationship of the student with his/her new teacher, class grouping, whole cohort group and learning environment.

Transition Day 1 - Thursday 15th November from 9.00am – 10.40am

Transition Day 2 is Friday 30th  November from  9.00am -  12.45pm

  • Over these two days, students will spend sessions working with teachers in classrooms from their 2019 year level.

  • Teachers are planning an exciting program which will see students move from classroom to classroom for different learning experiences.

  • Sessions in core subjects and experiences to have fun and build relationships will be part of an enjoyable day.

Step Up Day is THURSDAY, 20th December from  9.00am – 3.00pm

  • Please note due to school planning changes, the STEP UP DAY date has changed to the above date.

  • All students will spend the day with their 2019 teacher and classmates in their new classroom.

  • They will experience a typical day in the life of a student from the new level with sessions in reading, writing, mathematics and more.

  • Students may take part in creating a whole class artwork ready to display in the classroom to welcome them back to school in 2019.

  • Students will have the chance to ask questions about their coming year, set goals for their future learning and share a letter they have written to their new teacher to introduce themselves.

  • Students will bring home a Mini Newsletter from their new class teacher with important information about the first week of school in 2019.

  • Students will be back in their 2018 classroom by 3.05pm.

Should you need to pick up your child during the school day on the Transition Days or Step Up Day,
please visit Brit in the school office as she will have information as to which classroom all students are in.


Sports Report

Photo: EPS Eagles

Ruth Moore - Sport Coordinator

Division Basketball

Congratulations to the Boys Basketball team who came runners-up at the Beachside Division Basketball Finals two weeks ago.  They competed in a Round Robin tournament and played off in the Grand Final against Oakleigh South PS who proved a little too strong for them in the end.  A great effort from the team to perform so well at this level of competition. Thank you to Charlie Cohen for scoring.


Regional Athletics

Congratulations to the athletes who travelled to Cranbourne to participate in their events at the Southern Metropolitan Regional Athletics two weeks ago. The competition is always very hard at this high level so you did us all proud by all coming 6th in your respective events. Well done Rosie (11 yr Discus), Luke (12 yr High jump), Charlotte (11 yr 800M) and the 10 yr Boys Relay (Jack, Ben, Mali, Oscar).


Yr 5/6 Hooptime Regional All Star Finals

Well done to the Boys All Star team who played off in the Regional Hooptime Finals at Dandenong last week.  The competition was very good and unfortunately the team just missed out on the Quarter Finals on percentage.  Thanks to Rod Brooks and Charlie Cohen for your assistance at the tournament.


Yr 5/6 Hooptime Regional Future Star Finals

Congratulations to the Eagles and Eels who played off in the Regional Future Stars Finals on Wednesday at MSAC.  Both teams made it to the Quarter Finals and put up a good fight against really strong opposition. It was such a fantastic effort to have made the finals so well done to all of you.  Thanks so much to Doris Iser for scoring for both teams.


News From The Library

Elinor Knappert - EPS Librarian

Victorian Premiers Reading Challenge
Congratulations, to all those children at EPS, who completed the 2018 Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge. 127 EPS children met the Challenge this year. They join more than 253,700 school
students all over Victoria who joined in the fun and together they read more than 4.4 million books.

Children in Prep to Year 2 were challenged to read or ‘experience’ 30 or more books to successfully
meet the Challenge. Children in Years 3 to 6 were challenged to read 15 or more books. Many
children read over and above the prescribed number of books to attain their own personal
challenge. For others, it was a great personal achievement to just read the minimum number of

All Certificates have now been handed out to children who completed the Challenge.

Our Reading Challenge Champions were recognised at assembly on Monday. These students have
demonstrated outstanding enthusiasm for reading and their love of books is evident by their
participation in this year’s Challenge. Our 2018 Champions are:
Prep - Macy 
Year 1 - James 
Year 2 – Noah 
Year 3 - Moss 
Year 4 – Bailey 
Year 5 – Kyidzom 
Year 6 – Mya 

The winning grade for having the most students completing the Challenge this year is 5C and they
will be rewarded by having a whole day in the library!

The Reading Challenge is a wonderful way to discover the magic of books and reading. By
encouraging our kids to love reading, we're helping to set them on a path for success in learning, and in life. I hope to see as many children, if not more, actively involved in the newly revamped
Challenge next year.

Sustainability At EPS!

Elinor Knappert & Sharon Meeking

Biodiversity Garden and the EPS Aussie Backyard Bird Count
There were some enthusiastic birders and twitchers wandering around the school at lunchtimes last
week. It was Aussie Backyard Bird Count Week and the students were fascinated to learn about all
the different species which visited our school. It was also a really nice way to stop, listen, observe
and count the birds we saw in our own school ‘backyard’. EPS was one of thousands of groups and
individuals throughout Australia taking part in this snapshot observation of birds in our
neighbourhood. Observing the birds in our local area gives a good indication of the health of the
environment, a barometer for nature!

Over two lunchtimes (20 minute sessions), we saw over 100 birds and 14 different varieties including
the Australian Magpie, Australian Raven, Common Blackbird, Common Myna, Crested Pigeon,
Eastern Rosella, Little Raven, Noisy Miner, Rainbow Lorikeet, Red Wattlebird, Rock Dove, Silver Gull,
Sulphur Crested Cockatoo, Starling and Welcome Swallow. Did you know that over 2.6 million birds
were counted all over Australia last week?

This is what some of our birdwatchers said:
‘It was fun identifying the birds and seeing all the different types’ – William (3A)
‘It was a great experience to get close to nature and see part of our ecosystem’ - Angus C (3D)
‘It was an awesome experience seeing all those birds – all 56 of them (on one day), and the odd ones
too. It was so much fun’ - Luka (3A)
‘It was fun trying to find as many birds as we could – the best we got at school was 56 (on one day). -
Angus H (3D)
Now it’s time to start planning the EPS Biodiversity Garden. Our recent success in securing a
Junior Landcare Grant will enable us to create this important habitat for local birds and wildlife. The
Elster Creek is an important link and the Biodiversity Garden will be perfectly positioned to help
extend this link.
We will require extra hands on deck to prepare the garden near the corner of Montrose and
Cochrane Sts, along the canal fence. Do you have an interest or expertise in local indigenous plants
and biodiversity? Or just want to help out? If so please contact:

Sharon Meeking -  [email protected]
Elinor Knappert - [email protected]


Important Dates

Dates for your Diary

  • Monday, 5th November - Curriculum Day
  • Tuesday, 6th November - Melbourne Cup
  • Monday, 19th - Wednesday, 21st November - Year 4 Camp
  • Wednesday, 21st - Friday, 23rd November - Year 3 Camp
  • Monday 3rd - Friday, 7th December - Year 6 Camp
  • Friday, 21st December - Last Day of Term 4 (Early Dismissal 1.30pm)
  • Wednesday, 30th January 2019 - First Day of Term 1 (for all students)


Please note that Elsternwick PS does not endorse any of the products or services advertised in our school newsletter.


Elsternwick Primary School Newsletter
EPS Eels
StKilda Newsletter.pdf