Moonee Ponds West Primary School

26 February 2019
2019 - Issue 4
Principal's report
School Council
Education News 
Sport News
Fundraising Events
School Information
Community Calendar
Community News
Moonee Ponds West Primary School
(03) 9370 6875
150 Athol Street
Moonee Ponds, Victoria, 3039

Principal's report

Dear Parents, Carers, Staff, Students and Community members,

Our Basket Tea was a success last Friday night.  The weather was sunny, children laughed and played together and parents, grandparents and friends happily joined conversations about all things.  It was great to see so many families and staff make the effort to attend especially after a busy week.  Events like the Basket Tea enable our school to build a culture of positivity, as we get to know and trust each other strengthening our learning community. Thank you Jackie for organising the Sausage Sizzle and Andrea  for organising the Keep Cup Fundraiser.


School Council Elections

The nominations for School Council CLOSE this THURSDAY.  We have SIX (6) parent and TWO (2) staff vacancies.  School Council is a wonderful way to get to know the workings of your school. I urge your consideration.  Nomination forms are available from the General Office.  Please ask for the attention of Sandra.

Hot Weather to come! 

Just when you thought you could feel the cool breeze of Autumn, we are back into the heat.  This week will probably need to have a Hot Day process.  When weather is inclement or there are extremes of heat we activate this process. During days of heat we keep the children inside their classrooms.  All classrooms are air-conditioned.  Children are directed to use the inside time to finish existing learning tasks, play passive games and remain hydrated. Please ensure that your child has a refillable water-bottle each day. Staff are also mindful that in such weather sleeping isn’t easy. It is important however to retain the existing bedtimes and routines. Good Luck!

The New Toilet Block

The construction is coming along and taking shape every day. Within the next few days you will see the brick ‘skin’ emerge from the ground.  How exciting! This construction will be red brick to fit with the existing structures of the school. In the meantime we are all managing with the ‘not ideal’ portable toilets and the inconvenience of a smaller play space. I am sure it will be worth it inthe end.

Refurbishment of the Hall Building Toilets

Over the coming holidays the School Council has approved a refurbishment of the Hall toilets.  These are used by our Foundation and One classes mainly.  Such a refurbishment is long overdue I suggest, and has been made possible by your generous contribution to the Building Fund. Without such generosity we wouldn’t be able to complete this important and necessary task.  In 2019, your donations to the Building Fund will be targeted to Wicker Garden Beds for the corner fronting Athol and Lennox Streets.  We are keen to establish a science growing and mini sensory area for our Junior school.  It’s very exciting!

The Sensory Garden Grant

We have the first draft of plans for this wonderful opportunity.  Jack’s Paddock will be re-created.  The ‘bones’ of community work from the past are still evident in this area, and we will be seeking your feedback as to the most important aspects to retain and recreate. The Environment Sub-Committee of School Council have carriage of this project.  Consultation on what to retain or add to this area will begin before the end of this term so that tenders can be sought in Term 2. The plan is for the redevelopment work to begin in Semester 2 ready for a spring opening.  There will be aspects of our plan that will require work on weekends from community members.  We plan to have Working Bees to achieve the best outcome for our students.  The theory is that if we all work to make this area then we will all work to maintain and look after the garden and the play space.  I may be knocking on your door for help with this project!

Lost Property

Our Education Support Staff will be working with our parent Lost Property carers to ensure all labelled clothing is returned to you.  I call the parents who are doing this role ‘carers’ because they care enough about sustainability and minimising waste to ensure that your child’s garment is returned.  The new process to assist the parents with this task and will see a team sort and return to teacher’s pigeon holes any item of clothing found, with a name.  All parents and carers can help our dedicated team by naming all items (clothing and other!).  It is best to have first and surname in black texta on the inside collar. My goal in this area?  No items of clothing left on the synthigrass or on the hangers or in the blue tubs!  All returned to their rightful owners!

Well that’s about it from me for this week.  Until we meet in person.


Kerri Simpson

Principal (Acting at MPWPS)

Parent Payments

A reminder to community members that if you  have a valid Health Care Card as at the 28th February you may be eligible to apply for the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF). If you require an application, they are available from the General Office.  

Thank you to community members who have paid their family accounts, a reminder to community members that 2019 family accounts are payable by Friday 15th of March. A reminder letter and statement will be sent home to families after the 15th of March.  If you wish to discuss your account or require a family account please do so in confidence with the Business Manager, Sandra Monaghan.

School Council

School Council Membership

Parent members:

  • Louise Evans 
  • Ben Atchison 
  • Lisa Shaw 
  • Simone Beever
  • Lee Cath
  • Nigel Keegan
  • Jarrod Smith
  • Nigel Toussaint

 DET members:

  • Kerri Simpson - Executive Officer
  • Helen Lockart
  • Vicki McCormack
  • Alyena Mohummadally
  • Vacant
  • Sandra Monaghan (School Council Secretary)

2019 Meetings

  • Monday 25th February
  • Monday 25th March
  • Monday 27th May
  • Monday 24th June
  • Monday 26th August
  • Monday 16th September
  • Monday 25th November
  • Monday 16th December

School Council Update  Meeting 25th February 2019

This was the final meeting for the current School Council. Thank You to everyone concerned for your commitment and support for our school.

Kerri will remain in the position of Acting Principal at Moonee Ponds West.    We would like to acknowledge the substantive Principal,Jeff Lyon and wish him all the best at this time. 


  • Our Camping Program is up and running for 2019. An information evening for the 3/4 Sunnystones Camp has occurred and the 5/6 Kookaburra Camp (formally Camp Currumbene) information evening will be held this evening.  All the necessary work has been completed to ensure the students have a safe yet exciting experience at camp. A paramedic will attend each camp to ensure the safety of all our campers and manage first aid.
  • Our Education Support Staff have implemented the Kids Club which is proving to be very popular at recess and lunch breaks. Thank you to all that are involved with this process.
  • The school census will take place this week, at present we have 517 students that will be counted in this census.
  • Kerri and Jarrod have Department approved leave to visit schools in District 20 Brooklyn USA. Parkwood Green(and hopefully Moonee Ponds West) have worked together on STEAM projects with schools from this area and Kerri and Jarrod have the opportunity to re connect with the schools, their teachers and the students. What a fantastic opportunity. Safe travels.
  • The NAPLAN results were tabled at Education and will be available through the AIP. The draft AIP will be available at the next Education and following Council meeting. The Strategic Plan and the 2019 AIP will be launched at a community event. A book mark for community and staff will be a part of the 2019 AIP launch.  Watch this space!
  • Your ICT Parent Payment is being put to good use  with the purchase of new Lenovo ‘Think Pads’ for the 3/4 students. How exciting!
  •  Don’t forget to put the 8th March into your diary as it is a Curriculum Day for the students at MPW. The staff will be working with Paul Ledwidge , learning about Writer’s Notebooks and how they will support student writing.
  • Bree is in the process of exploring how many of our students will be able to swim 50 metres by the time they finish Grade 6 as this is a Department requirement. The findings will help to decide the next steps.
  • Learning Support is working well with an Intervention Strategy supporting students across years 1-4. In the future the intervention staff will support students with extension activities.
  • The Transition Meeting for 5/6 students will have a new date  Wednesday 13 March as the original date conflicted with the Mount Alexander College Information Evening.
  • There has been a delay on the bricks that were included in the original  quote for the toilets so the Council agreed to use recycled bricks as this will keep the work on track. A win, win situation! Hand over of the toilets will take place  between 20-23rd of April 2019.
  • Environment Committee will present an overview of the “Landscaping Plan’ for our school. It is important that the community has an opportunity to be a part of this consultation. 
  • Child Safe Guidelines are at the Front Office. Please take the time to read these documents and sign the document to acknowledge that you have read it.
  • The Council undertook a DET School Council Self- Assessment task.  This was informative and will assist the incoming School Council in building on good practice and further areas for improvement.

Have a great week. 

Vicki McCormack 

School Councillor

School Council Elections 2019

Interested in getting involved in School Council?

Nominations are now open for vacant parent spots on the school council. This is a great way to get involved in the wonderful community that we have at MPW.


What is School Council?

With members drawn from both parents and staff, Council has a role in setting and monitoring the school's direction. It does not run the school, that remains the responsibility of the principal.

Council is a significant voice for the community with regards to the type of school we want to be, and as such, benefits from having members drawn from a diverse range of backgrounds and with kids across the year levels.


What am I signing up for?

Terms last for 2 years and there are typically 8 council meetings during the year, held at 7pm on Monday evenings. Council members also contribute to one or more of the sub-committees of Education, Environment, Community Connections or Resources (Finance).

Councillors are a great conduit to Council of what the community is thinking, so staying in touch with a range of opinions is a good idea. 


Sounds great, where do I sign?

Nomination forms are available from the General Office and are due in by 4pm Thursday 28th February. Get cracking!!



Education News 

Environment and Sustainability Sub-committee Update 2019

The Environment and Sustainability Sub-committee has hit the ground running in 2019 and we are in the process of drafting role descriptions for a Resource Smart School Working Group as well as a Sensory Fund Working Group. Terms of Reference will also be developed for both groups. Late last year, we were informed that a grant application from a couple of years ago was successful through the Department’s Inclusive Funding Grants and the Department has approved architects to undertake the work. The Environment and Sustainability Sub-committee will make available options as to what we can do with the chosen area – Jack’s Paddock. This area was identified by the architects as the most cost-effective space to use as the ‘bones’ are there to create something truly wonderful for our students and community. A consultation process will begin shortly with a view to building in the latter half of the year.


We are also in the process of creating a ‘bank’ of parent/carer helpers that could assist us during the year, in working bees, landscaping, ideas and planning. In fact, if keen and unsure if you have a skill we require, we still want to hear from you as we know that energy and enthusiasm are just as important as a specialist skill. Please give your name and email address to the office and I will be in touch once I receive it. We hope to bring some ‘green’ to the space near the Hall building this year and we will need parents/carers to help make this a reality.


Finally, we always welcome new members to the sub-committee which meets almost monthly  - or eight times a year. In our next update we will provide further information on the specific working groups so that if you have an interest in either group, you are welcome to join a group and contribute. The parents/carers that expressed interest last year at a Foundation event will shortly be contacted, thank you for providing your details and we look forward to working together this year.  


Alyena Mohummadally – Chair Environment and Sustainability Sub-committee

News from Rooms 13 and 14

As part of the 3-4 team’s inquiry unit this term that is developing our classroom Rights and Responsibilities, we have been exploring the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Some great questions we came up with included: Are these rights followed in every country? I wonder what it would be like if we didn’t have rights? And, what if the government did not care about our rights?


To help us begin finding some answers, Marsy’s dad Jamaka spoke to Rooms 13 and 14 last Thursday morning. He shared some of his family’s experiences during the apartheid era in South Africa. Jamaka explained to the students how under apartheid, people of different races were treated very differently by the government, with black people denied basic rights. Many of us were shocked to learn that people were not allowed to use certain water fountains, go to certain beaches, and live in certain areas because of the colour of their skin.


Jamaka explained that his parents and other members of his family had been activists in the African National Congress (ANC), which led the successful struggle to end apartheid and the unfair treatment of people based on their background and appearance. Marsy’s dad also spoke about his childhood in Swaziland, where his family lived in exile. Their home served as a safehouse for other ANC activists, who were introduced to Jamaka as his uncles. He thought he had a lot of uncles in his family! He also told us that his grandmother, Ellen Nkabinde, had once been Nelson Mandela’s first girlfriend and is mentioned in his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom (chapter 10, p. 91).


Jamaka taught us how to say hello and thank you in Zulu, Afrikaans and other South African languages. He also sang us a freedom song in Zulu, “Umama Uyajubula” (there are versions on Spotify; see also the album “Freedom Songs” by African Cream Freedom Choir).



After the talk, the children were excited to share what they thought.


“I thought it was great,” Séamus said. “I love to learn about Nelson Mandela and his history. I don’t know many people who are African; I still have so many questions. If now we treated people like that then there’d be a lot of things that I couldn’t do with my friends who have different skin colours.”


“I learned so much,” Samuel said. “I learned that South Africa got taken over by the Dutch. And that some black people’s houses were made of junk. I think the black people were unlucky because they were treated so unfairly.”


Annabel said: “It was interesting, especially how people fought back. I was intrigued by that. What did they use to fight back?”


“It was really nice of him to come in and teach us all about South Africa and answer all our questions,” Raife added. “I learned that the white people came and said this all our land, and lots of black people had to build their houses out of scrap metal. It was very sad, how Mandela was put into prison. I also liked hearing about the Zulu tribe.”


Mariam said: “The black people had bad beaches, the white people had good beaches. The black people had to do all the chores. It doesn’t make any sense. We’re all the same. It’s just colour, it doesn’t matter, everyone needs to have the same rights.”


Jamaka later told us: “I was very impressed by this unit, especially the fact that it was being enthusiastically explored in Year 3 and 4, I was surprised by the amount of interest and engagement by the students of Room 13 and 14. There were so many great questions. Thank you to Patrick for asking me to do the talk, thanks to Cassie and Patrick for allowing me to share with your wonderful students on such an important subject “Children’s Rights Around the World.” And thank you Room 13 and 14, I got your lovely notes and messages. Stay conscious and keep asking questions about everything in our world.”




Sport News

Summer Sport - Results – Rd 2

Friday morning sport will continue on the 15th March.  This week we have district swimming 01/03/19 & the following week (08/03/19) is a whole school curriculum day


When we return (15/03/19) MPW Blue are playing home against Kensington (Handball & Tennis at school, soccer at Maribyrnong Park) and MPW Gold are away against Holy Rosary (Handball & Tennis at Holy Rosary Primary School, soccer at Debney Park, Flemington)

For students who aren’t playing, Yiota from Athletics Australia are coming to help us refine our running, jumping and throwing techniques.


Families are welcome to come and support.  Good luck to all teams!

District Swimming

Just a reminder that the students selected for the MPW Swimming Team will be competing at District Swimming Carnival this week… Friday 1st March.  All permission forms need to be returned this week (or consent given online)

Good luck to all swimmers!!

Fundraising Events

MPW Movie Night - Friday 22nd March


Please join us for our first fundraising event for the year at our annual MPW Movie Night with Disney’s Incredibles 2!


From 5:30pm on Friday 22nd March bring along your chairs, rugs or beanbags and enjoy all the treats on offer with a sausage sizzle, lollies, popcorn, ice cream, glow sticks and drinks including a bar for the adults.


Relax with your family and school friends and enjoy a fabulous night under the stars with our very own Moonlight Cinema on the Tiger Turf. Food and drinks will be available from 5:30pm with the movie commencing at sunset.





Family: $30

Adult: $10

Child: $7

Please pre-purchase your tickets via Eventbrite: or from the office on the night.


See you there!  

(Bad weather? See you in the gym)”



School Information

General Office

Office:                                         8:15a.m - 4:45p.m

Telephone:                       9370 6875 / 9375 1197

FAX:                                                              9370 1909

Sandra Monaghan          Business Manager

Sharyn Reinke                  Administration Officer

Leadership Team

Principal - Acting

Kerri Simpson

Assistant Principal - Acting

Barbara Springfield 

Business Operations Manager 

Sandra Monaghan

Leading Teacher

Jarrod Sutton

Student Absences

If your child is absent from school (including illness and appointment), it is necessary to inform the  school.  This can be in the form of a telephone call, email, entering the absence through the COMPASS parent portal , in writing or by advising the office or classroom teacher directly.

If your child is sick it is advisable to not send your child to school.

2019 Term Dates

Term 1:

Tuesday 29th January (Curriculum Day) to Friday 5th April

Term 2:

Tuesday 23rd April to Friday 28th June

Term 3:

Monday 15th July to Friday 20th September

Term 4:

Monday 7th October to Thursday 19th December


End of term dismissal is at 2.30 pm for Terms 1, 2 & 3 and End of Year dismissal is at 3.30 pm.

Curriculum Days

Term 1:

Tuesday 29th January  and Friday 8th March 

Term 3:

Thursday 25th July 

Term 3:

Monday 4th November

Term 4:

Friday 20th December (Pupil Free)

Before and After School Care

At MPW before and after school care is provided by Camp Australia. The service operates 7.00  - 8.45 am in the morning and  3.30 to 6.15 pm afternoons.  Camp Australia can be contacted on 1300 105 343.

To enrol your child please go to

Lost Property

In 2018 - a significant amount of unnamed clothing and unnamed plastic containers were donated to charity each month.


Our lost property is managed by parent volunteers and we need your help to reduce this  workload and loss of property.


You can help by:

  • ensuring that all belongings are clearly marked with students' names and room numbers
  • regularly check (and encourage your child/ren to check) for their lost property
  • remember that it is the responsibility of students and families to regularly check lost property and reclaim items

When is unnamed lost property cleared and donated to charity?

  • Last Friday of every month

Where is lost property?

In the Gym on the right hand side, as you walk in.

Community Calendar


Tuesday 26th February

5/6 Camp Information Session 7.00 pm


Friday 1st March

Interschool Sport

District Swimming at Queens Park Pool

Friday 8th March

Curriculum Day

Wednesday 13th March

6-7 Transition Information Session

Friday 15th March

Interschool Sport

Friday 22nd March

Interschool Sport

MPW Movie Night

Monday 25th March

3/4 Camp Group 1 depart

Wednesday 27th March

3/4 Camp Group 2 depart

3/4 Camp Group 1 return

Friday 29th March

Interschool Sport

3/4 Camp Group 2 return


Tuesday 2nd April

School Photos

Friday 5th April 

Term 1 Concludes @ 2.30 pm

Tuesday 23rd April

Term 2 Begins

Tuesday 30th April

5/6 Camp Group 1 departs


Friday 3rd May

5/6 Camp Group 1 returns

Tuesday 7th May

5/6 Camp Group 2 departs

Friday 10th May

5/6 Camp Group 1 returns


Monday 10th June

Queen's Birthday Public Holiday

Friday 28th June

Term 2 Concludes @ 2.30 pm

Community News








Moonee Ponds West Primary School