Elsternwick Primary School Newsletter

24 May 2018
Issue No.7 
From the Principal
Community News
Sports Report
Excellence Awards
Story Dogs
Education Week
Curriculum Day
Parents Association 
Important Dates
Elsternwick Primary School
(03) 8534 6100
44 Murphy Street
Brighton, Victoria, 3186

From the Principal

Photo: By Talented Parent Anna B.

Michael Portaro - School Principal

Welcome to the new format for our School Newsletter.


We hope you enjoy the beautiful pictures of our school and community, new segments and interesting articles. The format is easy to read and refer back to for upcoming events and important dates.


You will find the link to each newsletter saved on the school website.


Dear Parents/Carers,

Presentation of EPS 2017 Annual Report

Thank you to the parents, carers and community members who attended the presentation of our Annual Report meeting on Monday night.


With an overview of the report and directions for 2018 and beyond being discussed it was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the great work that was undertaken in 2017.


Mother’s Day Stall

We hope that all Mums, Grandmas and the other special women in our school community enjoyed their Mother’s Day and that they were pleased with the gifts that the children bought them at our Mother’s Day stall. If the looks on the children’s faces can be taken as an indication, they certainly enjoyed shopping for the gifts and trying to choose something ‘just right’ for the special women in their lives.

Thank you to Karyn Redpath who organised our gifts and the parent volunteers and assisted in selling them to the children.



Congratulations to all of our Year 3 and 5 students and the families that supported them, who participated in NAPLAN last week. Later in the year, parents will receive a detailed report describing their own child’s particular skills in the areas that have been tested by NAPLAN. The report will also illustrate how each child has performed in relation to national benchmark standards. Year 5 parents will have the benefit of seeing how much progress their child has made since he/she completed the Year 3 NAPLAN tests. Whilst we value the results, which when collated as a whole, provide the school with a picture of how we are going and where we need to focus our attention in the future, these do not define or determine an outcome for individual students. All teachers use a range of assessment tools, including observations, and adjust the learning plans to meet the individual needs, on a daily basis. We are very happy with how the tests were run, and the enthusiasm the students showed in trying their best.


Communication with Teachers

Schools are very busy places and teachers have a lot of preparation and planning to do to get ready for the day. If you need to speak to your child’s teacher about your child, please make a request to them via email. Often parents think they only need a quick chat, but this can last longer than anticipated and may be compounded if a few other parents also just want a ‘quick’ chat. Please note, teachers have meetings after school on Mondays and Tuesdays, which they may need to prepare for after school on these days. By making an appointment, you can be assured that they are able to give you their full attention.


Prospective Parents Night and 2019 Enrolments

We had a number of interested Prep parents/carers attend an information evening a few weeks ago in Brickwood Hall. Thank you to all of our community members who assisted in making the night a great success and a particular thanks to the school captains and vice captains who engaged the audience with a presentation on our specialist program. The night was well received with 2019 enrolments continuing to be taken by our office staff each day.


Emergency Contact Numbers

From time to time we need to contact parents for a myriad of reasons including sick children, to pass on important information or to arrange a meeting. Very often we are unable to contact the parents as the numbers listed are disconnected and the office has not been updated. Please ensure that when you change your contact details or the emergency contact’s details the office is informed immediately.


Child Safety Standards

At Elsternwick Primary School we are committed to creating a child safe environment – this means a zero tolerance approach to child abuse.


At Elsternwick Primary School, we recognise that positive relationships are foundational for learning. Our purpose is to build caring and respectful relationships between school, students and families so that young people develop resilience and independence and feel safe, and are confident to take risks in order to achieve personal excellence.


Our ongoing commitment is that our children feel safe, and that they are safe – this means they can learn!


We believe that everyone has a right to be their best, we work hard to ensure that all our young people, including those who are culturally and linguistically diverse, are Aboriginal and Torres Straight Islander young people and those with diverse needs, including with disabilities, are able to be their best.


The student engagement and inclusion policy outlines our approach to diversity, this includes our bullying policy to ensure that no child should feel unsafe to learn and grow.


This is our school’s approach to implementing the child safe standards. Our school aims to ‘walk the talk’ and will continuously strive to better the way we do things.

Our Child Safety Policy can be found here: http://elsternwickps.vic.edu.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/EPS-Child-Safety-Policy.pdf


Nominations Open for Education Awards

Each year, the Department celebrate the achievements of students, apprentices and trainees — and the teachers, institutes and organisations who guide them.

Nominations are now open for a number of upcoming education awards.



Wednesday past marked the midpoint of term two!


Have a great weekend,



Community News

Photo: Grade 6 Students in the Gym


Every week Parents and Carers and Staff support our community at EPS in many ways.

We intend to use this column each issue to share stories and gratitude for the amazing work that goes on behind the scenes to make EPS such an amazing community.


If you would like to share a story or thank someone or a group of people, please send details through to [email protected]

New Blinds

Last week the admin offices were given a much needed facelift after being fitted with new interior blinds. In coming weeks new exterior blinds will be fitted to the North face of Brickwood Hall. This will provide some insulation and shade for Prep classrooms which face the harshest elements. In addition the Hall will have brand new internal blinds fitted.


A huge thank-you for this project goes to Sarah Costello, Mum of Hamish and Charlie for her wonderful advice and supply of blinds for this project through her company Eastern Blinds.

Window Repairs at Brickwood

Thankyou Mark Burridge, Dad of Angus for his expertise and hard work building and installing brand new exterior windows to replace those in the wings of the Brickwood Stage. They look brand new! Cant thank you enough Mark. See Marks handy work below!


Great Advice

Damian Frazer, Dad of Felix has been an ongoing source of advice for building improvements at EPS for many years. Most recently, his time, wealth of knowledge and contacts in the building industry has been invaluable in preparation for the very successful restoration of Brickwood Hall.


Thank-you Damien for all you have contributed to EPS over many years.

Mums in the office

Thank-you to the very efficient trio of Karyn Redpath, Yvette Hobbs and Sarah Palmer who   assisted Rosanna to compile school policy documentation. You have saved her at least a weeks work and your time and effort is so very appreciated!

Parents Association

Thank-you to all Parents who contribute through the incredible Parents Association we have at EPS. So much energy, enthusiasm and dedication and so many wonderful ideas for fundrasising! Looks like the pop up lolly shop on Fairy Floss Friday raised over $600. What a treat!



Demos Diplaris and Nicola Smith -
Student Wellbeing Coordinators

Anxiety in Primary School Children!


Throughout the year Nicola and I have many conversations with teachers, parents and professionals that ‘Anxiety in Young Children’ is a major concern especially in schools.


Research estimates that between approximately two and nine per cent of children and adolescents in Australia have anxiety disorders. Children with anxious difficulties tend to lack confidence and feel overwhelmed easily. They can feel anxious even when there is no actual danger. Anxious children will tend to seek reassurance often, avoid situations they feel worried or scared about, tell you they have physical pains or dislike taking risks and trying new things. In children, fears and worries are not unusual.


However, if anxiety is extreme, it can stop children learning well, joining in with others and generally enjoying life. To assist children with anxiety issues it’s important to act quickly and to have a coordinated approach, both at home and school.

Below is an excellent tip -sheet from Rising High Psychologist Sarah – Ballantyne Brodie on how parents can help their children at home who might show signs of anxiety.

Anxiety at school in our children and young people How can you help? A tip-sheet for parents-


1. Normalise worries

Teach your child that worry is perfectly normal, it can help protect us, and everyone experiences it from time to time. Sometimes, our system sets off false alarms but this type of worry (anxiety) can be put in check with some simple techniques.


2. Stressful events and buffering stress

Buffer the stressful effects of life changes to a reasonable extent. At times, families experience stressful life events such as moving, separation/divorce or death etc. Listen to your child's concerns, and let them see that you are taking steps to address their expressed needs in your planning and expectations. During your conversations about their concerns, you can give practical information to counteract any irrational fears and worries.


It’s important however, not to force a child to confront head-on a deeply held fear. You can make the situation worse. Take your cue from therapeutic practices that introduce elements of the fearful situation to the child gradually, always in a supportive, safe way.


3. Healthy lifestyle

Ensure your child is getting enough sleep, eating regular meals, healthy snacks and has daily exercise. When your child’s mind and body are nourished with lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, and is rested, tackling school worries is easier. Plus, your child will be more likely to listen to you, and cope better when you insist on school attendance, if s/he has had a good nights sleep and decent breakfast.


4. Routine

Anxious children crave routine. Since anxious children try very hard to please and predict what is required in a situation, changes of any sort may be experienced as stressful. When possible, alert the child to a change in routine, this will allow the child to process the change in his, or her, comfort zone and will make the transitions go more smoothly. In turn, it is very important that, where possible, your child’s school alerts parents to changes in the school routine. This means you can help your child prepare for the next day.

5. Learn the ‘indicators’ of anxiety

  • Complaints of an upset stomach or other physical woes
  • Constant reassurance seeking
  • Crying before going to school, and often more difficulty returning to school after weekend breaks or school holidays
  • Crying and tantrums when the child is worried
  • Lashing out or screaming
  • Trouble going to sleep or staying asleep

6. Teach your child about effective ways to manage stress such as:

  • Talk to a trusted adult or friend about how you feel
  • Take action to reduce or change the thing that is causing the stress
  • Be sure to eat healthy food and reduce the amount of junk food in your child’s diet
  • Get plenty of sleep each night
  • Turn off technology after a certain evening point (as part of wind-down bedtime routine)
  • Be daily active! Exercise, dance, run, shoot hoops, walk...let off some steam!!
  • Taking 10 deep breaths when feeling stressed out
  • Teaching quiet time and the beauty of doing nothing!

7. It is crucial to have your child attend school

Skipping school will only increase your child’s fears because s/he never gets a chance to find out if his/her worries are valid. Furthermore, when children and teens stay home because of anxiety, they miss:

  • valuable opportunities to develop and practice social skills
  • important chances for mastery and success and mastery - being acknowledged and praised for talents
  • fostering close friendships with classmates
  • learning basic skills like reading, writing and mathematics

8. Talk to your child’s teacher if your child is feeling anxious

9. Homework expectations

If children are spending inordinate amounts of time on homework because of redoing, rechecking, rereading, or simply worrying that the assignment wasn't done thoroughly enough, the teacher can set a reasonable amount of time for homework and then reduce the homework load to fit into that time frame. Teachers can also provide time estimates for each assignment (this could be helpful to the entire class), so that the anxious child can attempt to stay within 10% of the estimated time.


10. Supporting your anxious child

As a parent, remember that you are the most important person in your child’s life. Watching your child suffer from anxiety can be painful, frustrating, and confusing. There is not one parent that hasn’t wondered at one time or another if they are the cause of their child’s anxiety. Research shows it is various factors, such as genes, temperament and environmental factors etc.) Please keep in mind, you did not cause your child’s anxiety but you can help them learn to cope and conquer their anxiety.


11. Build your child’s personal strengths

It takes courage, perseverance and hard work to fight back against anxiety. As your child starts to take important steps towards dealing with their anxiety, s/he will start to notice improvements. These improvements will feel good and give your child encouragement to continue. However, for some children, taking the first steps to address their anxiety can be very hard. As a result, you may decide that it’s necessary to create a ‘points plan’ to incentivize and reward hard work. This economy system should allow for small prizes to be earned weekly, with medium/larger prizes being earned once per month/school term.

Being brave reward list-

Time on computer

Special bedtime story

A night off from doing dishes

Later bed time on Friday / Saturday night

Mum makes my lunch

Buy my favourite magazine

Picking a board game that I want to play

Watch my favourite DVD or TV show

Go out with Mum or Dad for a hot chocolate

Making cup cakes with Mum or Dad

Choosing dinner for tonight (favourite meal)

Going for a drive (i.e. to the hills / beach)

Picking the take away for dinner

Kicking the footy

Making home made pizzas

Help parent with a hobby (gardening, fixing the car, creating a family photo album)

Mum makes my lunch (or special lunch for school)

Window shopping

Putting on child’s favourite music & having a dance

Make a kite and take it flying

Camping: in the backyard or tent in the lounge room

Going on a picnic

Watching the clouds and playing ‘what shape is it?’

Gardening: planting herbs/flower box for child’s window

Colouring competition with Mum or Dad

Going to a football match

Having a sleep over

Making home-made pizzas

Roller blading / ice skating

Bubble bath

Getting a small action figurine

Going to the park

Sports Report

Photo: Canal Cup Winners 2018

Ruth Moore - Sports Coordinator

Canal Cup

Congratulations to the Footy team who won the Canal Cup against Elwood PS last Friday.  We have a long-standing tradition of playing for this Cup whenever we meet Elwood in the Winter Sport season. They have had the better of us for the last couple of years, but we managed to win the cup back this year after playing with great team spirit. Well done to Anthony for being named best EPS player.

Phys Ed Award

Congratulations to Charlie (Year 2) for being the recipient of the Phys Ed Award last week. Charlie comes running into Phys Ed class every week eager to find out what we are learning. The smile on his face says it all and he rarely stops moving. If I asked him to run around the oval fifty times he would happily do it and then ask he if could do another few laps! He demonstrates all the school values, especially personal excellence, where he strives to improve all his skills and even helps those around him. Well done Charlie.



Excellence Awards

Photo: Students reading in classroom Libraries

Excellence Awards - Term 2 Week 5

Excellence in English

Freddie W   1A

For his enthusiastic use of the dictionary in spelling.


Sophie S   2D

Sophie approaches writing with great enthusiasm. She has been working to revise her writing, focusing on ideas (adding more detail) and organisation (to have a fantastic start, mighty middle and a great ending) and subsequently produced a wonderful memoir.

Excellence in Mathematics

Stefan V   1C

For showing a great understanding about learning Time, by demonstrating his ability to tell, read, and make times to the hour, half hour, quarter to and quarter past.


Charlie K   2C

To the ideas man! Always being able to explain and reframe concepts into his own language and share with his peers.

Responsibility Awards

Tessa C  1C

For consistently following the classroom agreement, working hard and trying her best in every lesson whilst setting a wonderful example to her peers.


Andy Fry 2B

Andy always comes to class eager and ready to learn and is a supportive and caring member of the class community.

Curiosity Awards

Jack M   1B

For his enthusiasm and inquisitiveness during Discovery Time, particularly when planning and creating a robot out of different materials.


George Z  2A

George is a confident learner who continually asks as many questions as he can to find out more about the world around him.

Excellence Awards - Term 2 Week 6

Excellence in English

Olivia B   3A

For using a range of strategies to enhance her word choice in writing such as the thesaurus, mentor texts and her writer's notebook. 


Charlie L   4C

Charlie has put a lot of effort into his writing persevering throughout the writing process.

Excellence in Mathematics

Natalia K   3D

For taking care with her mathematics workbook, analyzing her mistakes and questioning her understanding to ensure she works for depth, not speed.


Alex A   4D

Alex has been applying himself to understand and describe polygons. Great effort!

Responsibility Awards

Sasha B   3C

For doing her homework carefully and thoroughly every week.


Ben S    4A

For being so engaged in his work. He balances his considerate demeanour, with a dedication to learning that is to be celebrated.  He also juggles a host of extra-curricular activities like cross country and nothing is ever too much trouble.

Curiosity Awards

Rotem H   3B

For developing questions to investigate the design process of video games during i-Time.


Natalie H   4B

Natalie demonstrated curiosity when thoroughly researching information about the Leopard for her Information Report. This ensured she went beyond what she already knew and enabled her to add engaging facts to her report. Well Done.


Story Dogs

Rosanna Grosso - Assistant Principal

Story Dogs Program at Elsternwick Primary School is a fun and unique reading support program that improves children’s reading and communication skills by children reading to a trained companion dog and its handler.


The Story Dog Program is primarily designed to develop student’s confidence when reading aloud. Students spend approximately 20 minutes with the Story Dog Team once a week reading books which are appropriate to their reading level. During the session, the dog will be on its lead and the handler will be with the dog and student at all times. 

Story Dogs is a non-profit organisation. The program is free of charge for children and is entirely staffed by volunteers.  The volunteers give so much of their time that it should not cost them any money to be involved. As such, all costs are covered by dog sponsorships, fundraising and donations. It costs approximately $500 per year to put a Dog Team into a primary school. Story Dogs is a not-for-profit organisation meaning all monies raised go directly to putting more dogs into schools to help more children become life-long readers.


Elsternwick Primary School has sponsored a Story Dog in 2017 and we are hoping to sponsor another Story Dog in 2018.


Your tax deductible sponsorship of $500 provides all the essentials for a dog team to start in a school and continue helping for one year. Your renewal for subsequent years will ensure our program continues to expand, helping more children


Dog SponsorshipsYour tax deductible sponsorship of $500 will provide for:

  • The training of the dog and handler
  • The professional assessment and accreditation of the dog
  • Ongoing annual vet checks
  • Dog vest with logo
  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Volunteer Worker Insurance
  • Quality, fun children’s picture books
  • Reading rug
  • Uniform for the volunteer


Sponsorship benefits – what you get.

  • Your name or company name on the dog's vest
  • Positive media opportunities
  • Being part of the solution to improving educational outcomes for children
  • Your name/logo on our website and other promotional material
  • Visits (if possible) from your sponsored dog with associated positive media opportunities
  • The knowledge you are changing the life trajectory of at least five children each year
  • Sponsorship can be claimed as a tax deduction

See the attachment below for a Sponsorship form.


Education Week

Photo: Prep Students

Education Week - Term 3

Due to the Year 5 camp during Education Week, Elsternwick Primary School will be showcasing and celebrating excellence in education combined with Book Week in Term 3 on 18th – 24th August 2018. 

More info to come.  Watch this space!


Curriculum Day

Photo: The CAB Senior School

Cheryl Clarke - Leading Teacher English

Misty Adoniou is an Associate Professor in Language, Literacy and TESL at the University of Canberra. Our recent Curriculum Day was framed around ‘Improving Student Literacy Outcomes Through Language Development’. We spent the day immersed in language looking deeply at how language works at the word level and sentence level and is built into literature.


We discussed the transition of the student writer, who begins by writing in an oral sense where writing is ‘talk on paper’ – to writing as a writer – where the positioning of words is purposeful to achieve a desired effect.


We confirmed yet again that we can only ‘write’ as well as we ‘read’ and immersion in reading is the key. We explored grammar and learned to better understand it and even love it (a bit) – and how to teach it in a relevant way through mentor text. Dependent and independent phrases and clauses, (dominant and subordinate), suddenly made a lot more sense in a meaningful way as we saw how they could be used with intention to create a certain mood, feeling or visual image.


We took a trip through the history of the English language and became entranced with understanding language to better teach literacy. We discussed semantic knowledge (knowing what words mean), phonological knowledge (including phonemic awareness), orthographic knowledge (understanding what is possible in letter order), etymological knowledge (knowing where words come from), morphological knowledge (knowing the meaningful parts of the word) and visual knowledge (recognising the correct look of a word).

Here are just a few of the teacher responses following our recent Curriculum day which was all around Literacy and Language.


‘Misty was inspiring and engaging from the very beginning of the day to the very end. With her passion to teach above and beyond the curriculum - reinvigorates us as teachers. This was the best PD we have experienced for quite some time and I do hope we are fortunate enough to have Misty again.’


‘Misty was amazing! So genuine, passionate and completely relevant. Loved the way she modelled things, so clearly enabling us to link the theory to the reality of teaching. Often I come away from PD’s wondering how it could translate to the junior years, but this one provided immediate ideas I could begin using with my class the very next day.’


‘It was amazing, we were so energised by it at the end of the day. Great to hear from an academic doing current research and being given modelled examples of how to do it.’


We hope to invite Misty back to EPS in 2019 to continue this work. An inspiring and purposeful day which has led to much ongoing excitement and discussion in the staffroom and across teams with many aspects of this work already appearing in class. Just ask the year 2s about their word work and discoveries made on https://www.etymonline.com/


Visit Misty on:   https://www.canberra.edu.au/about-uc/faculties/education/staff/misty-adoniou

Parents Association 

Photo: Happy Faces at the PA General Meeting

Jo James and Kerry Sternbeck


Our events are well and truly underway for 2018 with our fundraising to date for 2018 sitting at around $6,500. Thank you everyone for actively getting behind and supporting a key role of the PA to raise much needed funds for the school and to connect our wonderful school community.


Our recent PA general meeting attracted another great turnout of around 30 people and Michael Portaro also came along to meet with and talk to the group. One of the key discussion points was around what we might do to promote EPS’ 130th year this year. Thanks to a number of volunteers, we have several people from the night interested in looking at this further, so stay tuned!


We’ve kicked off our planning for the EPS Parent’s Party to be held on Friday 17 August (pop it in your diary!!) and thanks to the people who have put their hands up to help. This is our major fundraiser for the year and it’s going to be a biggie…


If you’d like to get involved (we promise it’s not hard or time consuming), have an item of value that we could add to our auction (holiday home weekends/weeks are always highly sought after) or anything else to help us make this night a success, please email Jo and Kerry at [email protected]

PA Events in Review

Mothers Day Stall

The EPS Mother’s Day stall was a roaring success with a great turnout and many of the items running out the door and selling out.


We’d like to thank Karyn Redpath for her amazing efforts in pulling this together along with Rebecca Marshall for the beautiful design and all the other mums (and a couple of dads) who helped on the day.




Mothers Day Movie Night

The EPS Mother’s Day movie night was recently held and was a great sign of how much our parents like to spend time together. With over 80 people attending, there was certainly a buzz of EPS mums at the Classic Cinema in Elsternwick. Thanks so much to Gesche Williams who almost single-handedly pulled the event together with assistance from Leanne Peart and Lu Shaw. The take home gift of a beautiful orchid, some Madame Flavour samples and a copy of “Breathe” a beautiful magazine about taking time for yourself, was perfectly timed.

Family Movie Night

The Incredibles 2 - Kids Family Movie Fundraiser Saturday 16 June @ 1.30pm.


Don’t forget to get your tickets asap to avoid disappointment, last year the cinema sold out early and we’ve already sold half our allocation.


Purchase your tickets via www.trybooking.com/VQSC

Important Dates

Photo: Amazing G2 Artwork Display

Save The Dates

Save the dates

To help you manage your diaries for this term please lock in the following dates:

  • Saturday 16 June – Kids Family Movie Fundraiser (Incredibles 2) 
  • Friday 17 August - EPS Parent’s Party

Important Dates

Term 2 Finishes - June 29 Early Dismissal at 2.30pm


Term 3 Commences - July 16 2018


Family Movie Night - The PA

EPS Family Movie Fundraiser

Book Now - Saturday 16th June 1.30pm
It is the talk of the playground...half of the allocation already sold! Purchase your tickets today to attend the EPS Family Movie Fundraiser to see the much anticipated new release of Incredibles2.

Movie - Incredibles 2
Date - Saturday, 16th June
Where - Palace Cinemas Dendy Brighton
Time - 1.30pm arrival, movie to commence 30min after

We are well on our way to another sell out so get your tickets early to avoid any disappointed children.

Limited tickets are available to purchase only via www.trybooking.com/VQSC

If you have any queries please contact Sarah Broadway - [email protected]

We are looking forward to this exciting event.



Elsternwick Primary School Newsletter
Story Dogs Program Sposorship Form 2018.pdf