Upper Ferntree Gully Primary School

13 February 2018
Issue Two
Our Vision
Principal's Report
Upper Ferntree Gully Awards
Out of School Hours Care
Parent Page
Dates to remember
        Notices and Reminders
Is this for you?
Upper Ferntree Gully Primary School
03 97581527
Talaskia Road
Upper Ferntree Gully, Victoria, 3156

Our Vision

Our Vision

To be an engaging and inclusive learning community where students are confident, creative, curious and lifelong learners.

Our Values

Respect        Teamwork       Resilience        Integrity


We respect ourselves by valuing who we are and doing our personal best.

We respect others by treating them fairly and in the way we would like to be treated.

We respect our community by being inclusive/friendly to others and taking care of our environment.


We make sure that we contribute.

We make sure that we encourage and give others the opportunity to contribute.

We work together to achieve the best we possibly can.


We accept feedback and use it for improvement.

We bounce back when things just don’t seem to be going right.

We make an effort to make things right again.


We are honest with each other.

We are accountable for the decisions we make.

We own up to our mistakes.

Principal's Report

Bucket Fillers

You may have seen some smiling buckets around our school. We are talking about being bucket fillers and bucket dippers. This is based around a book that helps young children to understand their impact on others. It is a great way to help to put our school values in context and to help our stduents choose the right things to say to each other.


Family Fun Night

This year to try and top our Family Fun night which was a huge success in 2017, we will be playing bubble soccer. This is a great opportunity for parents and students to get involved and have fun with our community. These are organised games with a referee to run them. It looks to be a great event and a lot of fun so please bring a picnic dinner down and join us. Thursday 1st March 5:30pm to 7:30pm.


School Council

Our first School Council meeting this year is tomorrow Wednesday the 14th of February. This includes existing and leaving members. The AGM will be in March. School councils play a key role in Victorian government schools. Participating as a school council member is a rewarding and challenging experience. The school council supports the principal to provide the best possible educational outcomes for students. If you are interested in joining the School Council or coming along to see how it works please feel free to come and have a chat. We will be looking at new members for this year.

For more information about how School councils operate visit


School Contributions

Thankyou to everyone for the payment of your school contributions. These form an important part of our school budget and assist us to provide the very best educational program that we can deliver. Contributions are still being taken at the school office or they cna be paid through Compass.


Have a Great week.


Upper Ferntree Gully Awards

Awards are handed out at assembly the following Monday after the newsletter is published.

Student of the Week 

FW - Benjamin for showing respect to all classmates and being a great role model. Well done!
1P -   Jovi for a terrific start at your new school!
2D -   Alex for always being respectful to teachers and peers! Fantastic!
3N -   Finn for his positive and focused start to the new year.
45CW -  Ciara for settling in to Grade 4 with confidence.
56D -  Shayla for your excellent attitude towards having a go at swimming.

Writer of the Week

FW - Oscar for your fantastic effort at recording ideas and using letters of the alphabet in your writing. Well done!

1P -   Zoe for good writing of spelling words for the 'B' sound.

2D -    Lucy  for great work taking your time with your writing and making sure your letters are nice and neat. Well done!

3N -   Declan For his knowledge of a variety of more complex letter and sound patterns when writing

45CW -   Emily for creating some wonderful sizzling starts!

56C -   Deanna for taking your time to think about your writing.

Mathematician of the week

FW - Lara for your wonderful effort at using objects to represent a number! Well done!

1P -   Jaxsyn for being a good player in our place value games!

2D -   Will Mc for great knowledge of Place Value and contribution to class discussions. Well done!

3N -    Alec for rising to the challenges within Mathematics in a positive and enthusiastic way.

45CW -  Finley for his good use of strategies during our place value activities.

56C -  Alex for your growth mindset towards the essential assessment testing.

Japanese Award

(FW) Connor for writing his Japanese name in Katakana script without looking at the teacher's writing. Well done!

Performing Arts Award

(45C) Chloe C for your focus and participation in character role playing this week. WELL DONE!

Out of School Hours Care

Our Prices

Program Times                  Full Fee 

Before School Care         $12  

6:45AM – 8:45AM

After School Care             $16                 

3:30PM – 6:15PM


If you are interested in our After or Before school care program please speak to the office.

Parent Page

True grit helps kids succeed


“Talent or persistence. Which would you choose for your child?”

I often ask this question at my parenting seminars and the responses are fascinating. Parents naturally want both. Sorry, but that’s not an option.

When pushed most parents choose talent over persistence, which in many ways reflects the current thinking around achievement. Intelligence, sporting prowess and ability in whatever it is we value will only get a child or young person so far. Talent is purely potential. They need more than this to achieve sustained excellence in anything they do. It is the character traits of hard work combined with their ability to stick at a task and see it through that makes all the difference.


Malcolm Gladwell in his book Outliers, described twenty-something American student Renee, who took 22 minutes to work out a complicated math question. The average student gives up after THREE minutes, preferring to ask for help than work through a problem.

Renee is unusual as she persisted for 22 minutes until she got the solution. The funny thing is that she doesn’t describe herself as a good math student. But she is highly successful at Math. Grit rather than pure math talent is her forte.

Character matters

Cognitive skills by themselves aren’t enough for children to succeed over the long journey. Many recent studies (most notably the work of US-based Angela Duckworth) have found that character not cognitive ability is the single most reliable determinant of how a person’s life will turn out. These traits include the inclination to persist at a boring task (grit); the ability to delay gratification (self-control) and the tendency to follow through with a plan (conscientiousness), which are invaluable traits at school, in the workplace and in life in general.

Character works as an indicator of success when it’s seen as a set of strengths and personality traits rather than personal values such as loyalty, tolerance or forgiveness.

Character is forged under difficulty

The key character traits of grit, self-control and conscientiousness are forged under hardship and duress. This makes our current propensity to over protect and over indulge kids problematic – something I wrote about in my book Spoonfed Generation. When kids continually experience easy success we set them up for failure because when they finally face up to difficult situations many lack the capacity to push through the tough times.

Encouraging kids to step out of their comfort zones and take learning and social risks is one of the great challenges for modern parents. It’s critical that we challenge children and young people to attempt activities where failure is a significant option.  Overcoming setbacks and pushing through difficulties are how character is formed.

Character is malleable

The good news is that character, like intelligence, is malleable. It’s not fixed. It’s important to establish in your own mind as a parent and also in children’s minds that character traits such as grit, self-control and conscientiousness can be developed.

To this end it’s important then that parents steer clear of using absolute language to label behaviour and views traits and abilities as fixed. Comments such as “You’re no good at math” become a rule that young people learn to live by, and become default thinking that’s hard to budge.

Make grit part of a family’s brand

In my book Thriving! I wrote how every family has it’s own distinctive brand, which is a reflection of the strengths and traits that all members share.

For instance, if high work ethic is a common trait then it’s a fair bet that hard work is something parents focus on in their family.

Parents can actively promote grit and persistence in kids by making character part of their family’s brand. They can focus on character in conversations. They can share experiences where character paid off for them in their lives. They can discuss how character contributes to excellence and success in every day live including at work, at school and in the sporting field. Character and its many components can become part of the family narrative regardless on the age of children.

Build proprietary language around character

Families develop their own language around what’s important to them and that needs to include character if the parents want to foster excellence. Continuous messaging of terms and phrases such as ‘hang tough’ and ‘hard yakka’ help weave character traits into the family DNA.

Parents should reflect on the language and terms they already use and build key phrases and terms around the following key character strengths: grit, self-control, conscientiousness, enthusiasm, social intelligence, gratitude, optimism, and curiosity

Character becomes the default mechanism

Habit and character go hand in hand. Conscientious young people don’t go around consciously deciding that they’ve got to delay the fun stuff until they’ve done their work. They’ve just made it their default mechanism to stick at their task, or delay gratification, or jump into a task with enthusiasm.

Conscientiousness doesn’t always serve a young person well. They can sometimes place full focus on menial or unimportant tasks when a smarter option may be to cruise and save energy for the important times such as exams. That’s where parental guidance plays a part. However in the long run conscientiousness serves a young person well when it’s their default because when the stakes are high they will automatically make the right choice. In fact, it will be the only option when excellence really matters.

Dates to remember

2018 Term 1


Wednesday 14th

School Council


Wednesday 21st

School Meet & Greet


Friday 23rd

District Swimming (selected students only)



Thursday 1st

School Family Night


Friday 2nd

Clean Up  Australia Day


Friday 9th

Curriculum Day - no students at school


Monday 12th

Labour Day holiday - no students at school


Wednesday 14th

Whole School Excursion - Puffing Billy


Wednesday 21st

Harmony Day

PFA - Hot Cross Buns

School Council


Monday 26th - Thursday 29th

School Camp 4/5/6


Thursday 29th

PFA - Easter raffle 

Last Day of Term 1

School dismissal at 2:30pm


Term 1:  Mon 29 January (school teachers start)

to 29 March (Thursday) 
Term 2:  16 April to 29 June
Term 3:  16 July to 21 September
Term 4:  8 October to 21 December

        Notices and Reminders


Please let the office know if your CSEF details need to be updated or if you are new to accessing it this year.

Fresh Produce

There is fresh produce available at the school office.

Update details

If you have changed your address or any other personal details could you please change this on Compass or notify the office.

Is this for you?






Upper Ferntree Gully Primary School