Merbein P-10 College Newsletter

30 January 2020
Issue One
Dates to Remember
Acting Principal Mr Chris Grimmer
General News
Primary News
Secondary News
Community News
Merbein P10 College
(03) 5025 2501
188-206 Commercial Street
Merbein, Victoria, 3505

Dates to Remember


27th Thursday

Sec Swimming Carnival



2nd Monday

Secondary MSSA

9th Monday

Labor Day Public Holiday - No School

10th - 13th

Year 7 Camp

16th - 20th

Year 8 Camp

20th Friday

Student 6 weekly reports distributed

Pri Stomp Evening Presentation



25th Wednesday

Sec Parent/Teacher Interviews

Pri Meet and Greet

2020 Term Dates

Term 1: 29/01/20 - 27/03/20

Term 2: 14/04/20 - 26/06/20 

Term 3: 13/07/20 - 18/09/20

Term 4: 05/10/20 – 18/12/20

Acting Principal
Mr Chris Grimmer

Welcome Back

I would like to welcome students, staff and parents to the 2020 school year.  I would especially like to welcome the many new families who have joined the Merbein P-10 College community and we look forward to working with you to ensure your child achieves success in 2020.


I would like to welcome our new members of staff to our school. I’m sure they will enjoy working with students across the college and developing strong relationships, which is the key to successful teaching and learning.

Mr Chris Harris (Yr 5-6)

Ms Jess Crawford  (English/Hums)

Mrs Barbara Leavold (Maths/Science)

Ms Jess Collihole (Health & PE)



An excited group of Preps started school yesterday morning.  The children settled in very well, thanks to a comprehensive transition program conducted by our Early Years team last year.  We wish the children well in their future education journey and look forward to working with parents and carers in this very important first year of schooling.

Victorian Government's New Mobile Phone Policy

The Merbein P-10 College Phone Policy for 2020 outlines the way in which mobile devices will be used from the first day of the 2020 school year and beyond. (The new policy appears on the school website and is available as a hard copy at the front office.) I strongly recommend that all families take the time to read the policy and speak with your children to reinforce the expectations for 2020 if you haven’t already done so. This is a ministerial order and therefore must be followed by schools across Victoria.

All secondary students were spoken to yesterday about the new guidelines and expectations regarding phones at school. Locks were provided for all lockers to ensure students who still need to bring phones to school have a safe locked area for storage during school hours. I would like to thank all students and families for your support for this new government initiative. Arrangements for our primary students remain the same as in previous years with students handing their phones in to teachers during the day and collecting them after the final afternoon bell.

Coronavirus Information for Parents

As you may be aware, the situation regarding the emerging outbreak of novel coronavirus has continued to evolve.

The Commonwealth’s Chief Medical Officer and Victoria’s Chief Health Officer have this morning recommended a stronger precautionary approach to managing coronavirus for travellers returned from Hubei province.

A fact sheet with all the most up to date advice has been included in this newsletter to ensure all members of our school community are kept abreast of the current situation in Australia.

Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) Factsheet for School Students and Children

Last updated 29 January 2020

An outbreak of novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) was detected in Wuhan, China in late December 2019. Cases have been reported predominantly in the city of Wuhan, in the Hubei province of China, as well as some other Chinese cities and countries, including two confirmed cases in Victoria, Australia.

What is this virus?

Coronaviruses can make humans and animals sick. Some coronaviruses can cause illness similar to the common cold and others can cause more serious diseases, including Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS).

The virus seen in Hubei Province, China is called ‘novel’ because it is new. It has not been detected before this outbreak. Most people infected live in, or travelled to, Hubei Province, China. There have been cases of 2019-nCoV reported in other Chinese provinces and other countries. It is likely that the virus originally came from an animal, and there is now evidence that it can spread from person-to-person.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms can include fever, cough, sore throat, or shortness of breath. Symptoms can take up to 14 days to develop.

What if my child is well, and returning to school after being in Hubei province, China or other countries with cases in the last 14 days?

All students and staff members who have travelled to Hubei Province, China, are advised to stay at home and avoid public settings, including attendance at schools and early learning centres, until 14 days after last being in Hubei province, China.

Children and staff who are well and have travelled to other provinces in China, or any other areas where there have been reported cases, are NOT recommended to be excluded from schools and child care services unless the following applies:

  • The person is a confirmed case of novel coronavirus 
  • The person is a close contact with a confirmed case of novel coronavirus in the past 14 days

What if my child feels sick now or within 14 days of being in Hubei Province, China or another part of China?

  • If your child has a cough, sore throat or shortness of breath, they must be excluded from school and be reviewed by a doctor.
  • Seek medical attention but first place a mask on the student if you have one and call the doctor or hospital before you attend. Tell them your child has been in Hubei province, China, or the location of travel within China.
  • When you get to the hospital or doctor’s clinic, tell them where your child has travelled in China and whether this included Hubei Province. Ensure a mask is placed on your child before or as soon as you arrive at the medical facility.

If your child has severe symptoms, such as shortness of breath:

  • Call 000 and request an ambulance, and
  • Inform the paramedics where your child has been in China.

How can I help prevent the spread of 2019-nCoV?

Practising good hand and sneeze/cough hygiene is the best defence. The most important actions are:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow

Where can I get more information?

For Victorian updates to the current incident, go to:

For national updates:

For international updates:

WHO resources

Authorised and published by the Victorian Government, 1 Treasury Place, Melbourne.

© State of Victoria, Department of Health and Human Services, January 2020.


Merbein P-10 College has commenced the year with over 797 students.  This is now the largest enrolment in the school’s history.  Numbers, particularly in the secondary sections, have grown again this year, with our total enrolment increasing by around 50 overall when compared to 2019.

Although Merbein P-10 has become one of the larger schools in this district, we are committed to ensuring that we continue to provide the same inclusive community culture that has been such a positive aspect of our school.  During our recent school review it was very clear that the inclusive environment that we have created at Merbein P-10 is valued greatly by our students, staff and community. I’m sure we will continue to work together in partnership throughout 2020 to enhance this culture even further.

General News

Canteen News

Famlies are reminded that there has been a price rise on some items in the Canteen.

BYOD Portal

The school provides access to netbooks and desktop computers for all students. Students in Years 4-10 also have the option of bringing their own digital device for use at school. Our technicians will set up the device so it can be used both at school and at home. BYOD offers significant advantages for students.  They can be customised for each individual student and will operate at fast speeds. They can also be used at home for personal use.  Many families may already have a device at home that can be readily set up for use. If you decide to get a new device for your child, they can be purchased from any of the normal suppliers.   The school has also set up a parent portal with JB Hi-Fi, which gives families easy access to purchase a device that is preferred for school use.  The link for the portal is Please contact the office for the school code. This is optional for families to use and devices may be purchased from any company.

Water Bottles and Hats

Term 1 in Sunraysia is always hot!  Primary students must wear a broad-brimmed hat when out in the yard and during outdoor sport and PE classes. Secondary students are strongly encouraged to do the same. Please make sure hats are clearly labelled with students' names. We recommend that all students take a water bottle to class every day. This keeps them hydrated, helps them focus and reduces interruptions to learning. Many of our bubble taps are refrigerated, so bottles can be refilled with icy cold water during the day!

Family Payments 2020

The Primary Family Payment Schedule for 2020 has been inserted above.   Payment can either be made at the school’s main office or you can arrange for the payment to be made in instalments.  Payment can also be made electronically, details are on the form.

The Parent Payments Policy and copies of all Family Payments schedules are also available on the school website.

The Secondary Family Payment Schedule for 2020 was sent home with students at the end of last year.  Please ask at the main office for more information.

Conveyance Allowance Program

The Conveyance Allowance Program offers families in rural and regional Victoria help with the cost of transporting their children to their nearest appropriate school or campus. Students must be attending the nearest school appropriate to their year level and reside at least 4.8km from the school by the shortest practicable route to be eligible.

Eligible students can receive a conveyance allowance based on:

  • the least expensive public transport fares and/or
  • a distance based allowance when travel is by private car or private bus.

Parents applying for the allowance must complete an application form and return it to school. We will then process applications using the Student Conveyance Allowance System (SCAS).


2020 Year 7 CSEF Uniform Pack

Students who have commenced Year 7 in 2020 and are recipients of the CSEF payment, automatically qualify to receive a Uniform Pack through State Schools’ Relief.

An order form can be collected from the main office.  To find out more about CSEF or to apply for assistance go to

Uniform Shop

School uniforms can be purchased from the school’s main office between the hours of 8.45am and 4pm during the school week.  If these hours are inconvenient for you, please ring the school to make an alternate arrangement.

School Bank Account

BSB - 063 714

Bank Acc Number – 10060535

Account Name - Merbein P-10 College Official Account

Weekly Newsletter Emailed

The school distributes a weekly school newsletter every Thursday to families via email.  With our new inewsletter you can now receive the weekly newsletter on your mobile phone if you have the school COMPASS App installed on your phone.  Please give us feedback on our new Newsletter system and let us know what you think.  If you have not received the newsletter by email, please notify the school to either of the following email addresses: or, with the subject Newsletter Email, so this can be rectified.

Students in Years 7, 8, 9 and 10 who would like to take home a printed copy of the newsletter each week, can collect one from the main office every Thursday at 3.15pm.

Breakfast Club

The Merbein & District Community Bank is financially supporting the Breakfast Program.  Foodbank Victoria also supports the breakfast program with donations of food.  The following organisations provide volunteers to assist with the program;  the Board & Staff of the Merbein & District Community Bank, Merbein Development Association, Merbein Lions Club, and Merbein Uniting Church.  Merbein P-10 College parents are welcome and encouraged to volunteer.  The Breakfast Program is held in the school cafeteria.  All students are welcome to come along between 8.00am and 8.45am each morning if they would like a FREE tasty breakfast to kick-start their days learning.

If you have time to volunteer for this community service from 8-8.45am on school days, please contact the school, we would love to hear from you.  Please note that volunteers will need a Working with Children’s Check.


Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF)

To be eligible for this funding, a parent or legal guardian of a student attending the school must

be the holder of a Veterans Affairs Gold Card or be an eligible Centrelink Health Care Card (HCC) or Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) holder, OR

be a temporary foster parent and submit an application to the school before the end of February 2020.

If your child was enrolled at this school last year and you were a successful applicant for the funding last year, you will not need to apply for the funding again this year.

Ask at the school office for an application form, or to enquire about more information.

Student Absences

If your child is away from school, please notify the school before 10am. The preferred method to notify of absences is via the compass portal or by phone or sending an email to the following email address:

An automated text message will be sent to your phone if your child is not at school and the school has not been notified.  


Primary News

Introducing Merbein P-10 College's 2020 Prep Students

Our new Prep students have had a great start to the year and are all excited and happy to be at school.

Before School

Families please be aware that students who arrive at school before 8.40am can go to the Breakfast Club, held in the Canteen. Alternatively, they may sit on the seats at the back of the Green Building or stand with their parents near the door until 8.40am.  Students are not to play out the front of the Green Building until 8.40am when the front playground is supervised and the doors of the Green Building are opened.

Art Smocks

All primary students are required to bring along an art smock or old shirt to protect their school uniform when participating in their Art Program.

Naming Articles

Please remember it is very important to name all your children’s property clearly, especially hats and jumpers, bags, drink bottles and lunch containers.

Lost Property

There are articles of unnamed uniforms in the Green building Lost Property Box already.  Please ensure you child’s articles are clearly named.

Brain Food

Each child is encouraged to bring some ‘brain food’ to have every morning.  Studies have shown that small amounts of healthy food continually throughout the day, helps with concentration and energy.  Examples are dried fruit, crackers, grapes, carrots, celery, cheese, plain popcorn.  No nuts please. (Please do not send roll ups, or chips).

Severe Food Allergies

There are students at the school with severe food allergies.  Please remind your child that their food is not to be shared.

Prep Rest Days

Reminder that during the month of February, the Prep students will have every Wednesday off to rest and for testing. 

Guitar Lessons

Iwan Soebardi is asking for Expression of Interest in Guitar lessons for new and current primary students in 2020.

To register your interest for Individual or Group Guitar Lessons call or text Iwan Soebardi directly on 0418 919 220 with your email address. Or email .

Alternatively you can collect an Expression of Interest form from the Primary office in the Green building.

Drum Lessons in 2020

Luke McCarthy is asking for Expressions of Interest for Drum Lessons in 2020.  He is contactable for further information on  0417 897 906 or

Year 2-3 News

The students in Year 2-3 have settled in beautifully to their new ‘Jungle’ space in their class Tribes.  Their class names are as follows;  23A is Alminga with Miss  Megan Downes, 23B is Brindefo with Mrs Hayley Breewel (Mon, Tues and Wed), and Mrs Wendy Finn (Thurs, Fri), and 23C is Calivanu with Mrs Ingrid Romeo for the first three weeks and then Mrs Sue Gardiner for the rest of the year.  We have been busy this week setting up our class motto, flag, totem and protocols.  Take Home Reading and Library will begin next week.  Could all students please bring a pop-top water bottle to school each day?  We have a designated place in the class rooms for them.  We are looking forward to an exciting year of learning and fun.   

School Wide Positive Behaviour (SWPB) Posters

The expected behaviours for Year P-3 students.




The expected behaviours for Year 4-6 students.


Outside School Hours Care (OSHC)

 Cheryll Hodge is our school’s OSHC coordinator and can be contacted on 0428 258035 if you have any queries.


Library News

Please ensure your child returns their books each week in a waterproof Library Bag .

Year 4-6 students have library on Tuesdays.

Blue Book Library Bags

Reminder that all students will need a suitable waterproof bag to put their library and reading books in to take home.  Blue book/library bags are for sale at the school uniform shop.  Students are to return their diaries, books and bags every day after reading their book at home.

Merbein Community Bank School Student Banking Program

If you wish your child to participate in this program, please send your child’s bankbook along to the Green Building Office every Thursday morning. The Bank will collect and process your child’s banking and then drop the bank book back to school before the end of the school day.


No Hat No Play

During Term 1, all primary students are required to wear a hat out in the yard at recess and lunch times.  The school policy is 'No Hat No Play'.  If you need to purchase a hat for your child you can do so at the school's main office.

Secondary News


 Any books that were not collected on Tuesday are available for collection directly from Collins Booksellers in the Langtree Mall.  All students  require a copy of the Oxford ‘MyEnglish’ textbook for their year level. If you haven’t placed your textbook order yet, visit Collins Booksellers in the Langtree Mall to do so. 


All students benefit from extending their learning at home, supported by parents and carers. Setting up a quiet, comfortable space for reading and homework helps make the most of this time. For more ideas on how to support students with their learning at home, this is a great resource……/lear…/Pages/homework.aspx

Compass App

Compass allows students to access their timetables, daily news and learning tasks. The Compass app is available in the Apple and Android app stores. Current students use their regular school username and password to log in. New students will be issued with log in details next week. If you have lost your parent log in details, please email and our IT staff will assist as soon as possible. Compass log in details for new parents will be mailed home in the first weeks of school.

Instrumental Music Lessons

J. Hudson

The optional Instrumental Music lessons will begin in the first few weeks of Term 1. Instrumental Music teachers are currently creating groups from the returned Expression of Interest forms and those students already in the program from 2019.
If you were enrolled in lessons in 2019 you will automatically be re enrolled  into a group for 2020 however, if you no longer wish to continue lessons please have your parent/guardian contact the office to let us know. 
Students can still collect an Expression of Interest form from the school's main office at any time during the year although spaces are limited so we can not always ensure you a position straight away.   If you have any questions please see Mr Hudson.

2020 Year 10 Polo Shirts

C. Blackie  

The Year 10 polo shirts arrived on Wednesday and were handed out to the students. Our second polo shirt order will remain open until Monday 3rd February, 2020.  Please note that this order can only proceed if the minimum quantity of 10 shirts is reached. Orders must be placed online at

Year 8 Surf Camp

J. Williams

The Year 8 Surf Camp is fast approaching - if students have decided they would like to attend the camp, they will need to pay a $50 deposit and return their Expression of Interest form (available from the office) by the end of next week. 

School Wide Positive Behaviour (SWPB)


Community News

Merbein Bush Playgroup





Merbein P-10 College Newsletter