Upper Ferntree Gully Primary School

17 October 2017
Issue Thirty
Our Vision
Principal's Report
Upper Ferntree Gully Awards
Out of School Hours Care
Dates to remember
Parents Page
        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

Summer sports

Congratulations to our students for their fantastic participation in Summer sports today. It was great weather and our students enjoyed their team sports of Volley Stars, Basketball and Cricket.

Planning for 2018

Throughout November and early December we plan for 2018. At this stage we are looking at continuing with 6 classes. We will definitely be having a straight Prep class in 2018 with other classes and staffing to be confirmed in December. While we do our best to keep you informed their are many things that impact on these decisions. Due to this, it is important that we are made aware of any circumstances that may impact on our enrolment numbers. Please let us know urgently if you intend to enrol a child at our school, if you are aware of people in our community who will be enrolling or if you intend to transfer to another school. We desperately require this information as soon as possible in order to establish grade structures for the start of the new school year. If you will not be at Upper Ferntree Gully Primary School in 2018 please notify the school office in writing as soon as possible.

Prep Transition

Today we had our Step into Prep Transition session with 15 Prep students for 2018 it is great to see how well they interact with each other as they prepare for their big step to school next year. Today we made aeroplanes and looked out our tadpoles in the frog pond. We have so many it will be exciting when they turn into frogs.

We are very proud of our comprehensive Transition days at Upper Ferntree Gully as we encourage our students to get to know their buddies and learn about how school works. We have two remaining dates for this term including the buddy BBQ and Prep Parent information night on the 14th of November and the students half day step up in December.  Prep parents will receive a letter shortly outlining the remaining dates for 2018 Prep students. 


We have a transition program that all of our students participate in. It is of great benefit being a small school that we all know each other. Stepping into the next year level can be challenging at any level and so our transition allows students to be comfortable with other teachers and in other spaces. We conclude our transition program with a half day step up which occurs on the Statewide Transition day for year 6 students. The day for 2017 is Tuesday 12th of December.


The PFA will be holding their AGM on Tuesday 5th December at 7pm so that positions can be organised and ready to begin in 2018.

If you wish to nominate for any of the positions then please email me or the school email address.

If more than one person nominates for a role then we have an election at the school to decide on the roles. We are always looking for members of the PFA to support our school efforts. We do understand that everyone is time poor and appreciate that people help where they can.


PFA roles include:

President  -The President’s position carries a task of trust and responsibility and requires skill and time. The President should exercise authority with tact, be impartial and open to other points of view.

The main role of the President is to:

  • Be the main representative/spokesperson for the PFA Liaise with the Committee members and set the agenda for meetings
  • Be the main contact for agenda items
  • Open the meetings punctually and ensure the agenda is followed
  • Ensure those present at the meeting have the opportunity to discuss each item on the agenda prior to a decision being made
  • Make sure, particularly on contentious matters, as many points of view as possible are expressed
  • Make sure everyone is given an opportunity to speak and encourage members to speak by addressing questions to them
  • Work towards a collaborative approach with other members of school community
  • Be mindful of timelines, keep discussions on track and keep meetings moving

Vice-President - The Vice President plays an important role by assisting the President with PFA responsibilities such as: Replace and chair meetings in the absence of president.


Secretary - The Secretary is very important to the efficient operation of the PFA. The Secretary will work with the President and Committee members.

Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Taking minutes at PFA and Committee meetings
  • Photocopying and distributing minutes to Committee members along with agenda one week prior to the next meeting
  • In consultation with the Principal and President: Providing a summary of the matters discussed to the community
  • Dealing with any incoming/outgoing correspondence

Treasurer - The Treasurer carries a task of trust and responsibility.

Duties and responsibilities include:

  • Taking charge of monies of the PFA at events
  • Working with the school business manager to keep accurate financial records of all receipts and expenditure
  • Reporting regularly on the PFA’s financial position at meetings
  • Preparing a financial report for the Annual General Meeting if necessary

Committee Members - Committee members have a responsibility to:

  • Attend PFA meetings as regularly as possible and send apologies if unable to attend
  • Help organise PFA activities and projects Work towards the best possible outcomes being achieved
  • Be mindful that discussions should be on topics which are relevant to the whole school community Facilitate and nurture positive home/school relationships within the parent community

Have a great week.


Upper Ferntree Gully Awards

Student of the Week

FW -  Amy EM - for your positive attitude to learning and school! What a great start to Term 4!
1P -  
2D -  Paige - for always trying your best with your work. Well done!
3N -  Benson  - for maintaining a concentrated effort in all learning tasks.
4/5D -  Noah  - For being a wonderful, independent learner.
5/6C - Ivy - For always demonstrating attentive listening and actively participating in classroom activities.

Writer of the Week

FW - Connor - for your huge improvement in the formation of your letters! Keep up the wonderful work!

1P - 

2D -  Liam C - for doing a fantastic job finishing your persuasive letter. Great work!

3N -  Kailee - for using a thesaurus to help find new words to use in her writing.

4/5D -  Finn L - For your thoughtful entries in your Writer's Notebook and great contributions in class discussions.

5/6C -  Xander -  For his excellent effort when creating seeds in his Writer's Notebook.

Mathematician of the week

FW -    Daniel S - for your excellent work with making groups and then counting how much is in each group. Well done!

1P -  

2D -  Sienna C - for trying hard to solve multiplication using arrays. Great effort!

3N -   Ben M - for showing understanding of multiples of numbers.

4/5D -  Shayla G - For your excellent representations of multiplication questions through number sentences and pictures.

5/6C -   Brodie R - For his fantastic knowledge of multiplication facts!

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


Please remember that if your child/ren are dropped off BEFORE 8.30am they need to be signed in by  a parent or carer.


Please observe speed limits in the School grounds when dropping off and collecting your child/ren, this is to ensure everyones' safety. 


For staffing reasons please give us as much notice as possible when booking/cancelling sessions.

Dates to remember

Term 4



Wednesday 25th

School Council


Thursday 26th

Graduation Meeting - 3.30pm in Senior Bld


Monday 30th

T20 Cricket - Yrs  3& 4


Tuesday 31st

Produce Day - Foundation



Thursday 2nd

Crazy Hair Day - Bring along a lucky jar


Tuesday 7th

CUP DAY HOLIDAY - no school


Wednesday 8th

Fete Meeting 7pm


Thursday 9th

Books on wheels


Friday 10th

School  Disco


Saturday 11th

Working Bee


Tuesday 14th

Stepping Up Program - Meet the Buddies

includes Buddy BBQ at 7pm


Sunday 19th

Spring Fete



Wednesday 29th

School Council 7:30pm


Thursday 30th

Graduation Meeting - 3.30pm in Senior Bld



Tuesday 5th

PFA Annual AGM Meeting 7pm


Tuesday 12th

Step Up Transition Day

Year 7 Orientation Day


Wednesday 13th

UFTG Preschool Christmas concert


Thursday 14th

Christmas Concert


Tuesday 19th

Grade 6 Graduation


Wednesday 20th

Grade 6 BIG DAY Out


Friday 22nd

Last Day of Term 4

1.30pm finish



Term Dates 2018

Term 1:  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

Parents Page

Readings for Parents

Each week we will publish readings for parents to support your child in their learning.


Anxiety and mental health in children

Fearful and anxious behaviour is common in children. Most children learn to cope with a range of normal fears and worries. However, extra help may be needed when: 

  • children feel anxious more than other children of their age and level
  • anxiety stops them participating in activities at school or socially 
  • anxiety interferes with their ability to do things that other children their age do easily 
  • the fears and worries seem out of proportion to the issues in their life

When children become anxious more easily, more often and more intensely than other children, they may be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. The most common anxiety disorders in children of primary school age are phobias, generalised anxiety disorder and separation anxiety. Research estimates that between approximately two and nine per cent of children and adolescents in Australia have anxiety disorders.

How anxiety affects children

In addition to feeling highly anxious, children’s thinking is usually affected. The threat or danger they are concerned about appears to them to be much greater than it actually is. Thinking about the situation that causes them to be anxious makes them more worried and tense. 

Children with anxiety may develop their own strategies to try to manage situations that cause them distress. Often this involves trying to avoid the situation or having a parent or other adult deal with it for them. Avoiding a situation makes it more likely that the child will feel anxious and be unable to manage it the next time. This behaviour makes it more difficult for the child to cope with everyday stresses at home, at school and in social settings. 


Anxiety can also result in physical difficulties such as sleeplessness, diarrhoea, stomach aches and headaches (sometimes referred to as somatic complaints). It can also involve irritability, difficulty concentrating and tiredness.

How do you notice anxiety in children?

At home

  • Fear and avoidance of a range of issues and situations.
  • Headaches and stomach aches that seem to occur when the child has to do something that is unfamiliar or that they feel uneasy about.
  • Sleep difficulties, including difficulty falling asleep, nightmares and trouble sleeping alone.
  • Lots of worries and a strong need for reassurance

At school

  • Wanting things to be perfect. For example, a child may be so dissatisfied with his/her own work that he/she will tear it up and redo it several times. 
  • Reluctance to ask for help. Sometimes anxiety creates an obstacle that prevents children asking for help from the teacher about a problem with learning. 
  • Children who ask too much for reassurance may also be overly anxious. 
  • Difficulty joining in. Children with high levels of anxiety may be afraid to join in class discussion, take part in sport or games or go to school camp. 
  • Requests to go to sick bay. Anxious children often complain of stomach aches and headaches. 
  • Fearful of test situations. Some children do not do as well as they can in test conditions because they are struggling with anxiety. They may also be too self-conscious to perform in front of the class.

Common anxiety disorders in primary school-aged children


Separation Anxiety

Separation Anxiety relates to fear and distress at being away from the family. There is commonly a fear that something bad will happen to a loved one while they are separated. Fear of separation is considered developmentally appropriate up to two years of age, but it should lessen as children get older. Children with Separation Anxiety may complain about feeling sick. They may make frequent trips to the sick bay at school or sometimes refuse to go to school altogether. School camps and sleepovers are commonly major problems for children with Separation Anxiety. 


Phobia is diagnosed when particular objects, situations or events such as injections, spiders or heights bring about intense fear and avoidance even though realistically the threat of harm is small. See fears and worries for more information.

Social Phobia

Social Phobia refers to extreme levels of shyness and fears of being seen in a negative light. Children with Social Phobia avoid a range of social interactions such as talking to new people, speaking up in class or performing in public. They are frequently self-conscious and will often have a limited number of friends.

Generalised Anxiety Disorder

Generalised Anxiety Disorder is diagnosed when children have excessive and unrealistic worries about a broad range of possibilities. They may worry about things that might happen, about their own past behaviour, or about how good they are at their schoolwork or how popular they are. They often lack confidence and need a lot of reassurance.

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder may develop following a traumatic event such as being in a serious accident, experiencing a life-threatening event or witnessing extreme violence. Symptoms include changes in sleep pattern, irritability and problems with concentration. There may also be mental flashbacks and re-experiencing of the event. Themes relating to the trauma may be seen in children’s drawings or in play.

Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

With Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, the child is affected by persistent unwanted thoughts, often about dirt or germs, or sometimes a need for symmetry. To try to stop the thoughts the child feels compelled to repeat a particular action, such as washing his or her hands or repeated counting. Older children usually recognise that the thoughts and behaviours do not make sense even though they are driven by them.

School Refusal

Anxiety can lead to school refusal. When children refuse to go to school as a result of anxiety it is usually accompanied by physical complaints, such as stomach aches or headaches.


How do anxiety disorders develop?

Humans are primed for survival to respond to situations where there are dangers or threats. Some people, including children, react more quickly or more intensely to such situations where there is danger or threat. The physical symptoms of anxiety (eg increased heart rate, faster breathing) are more easily triggered in children with anxious temperaments.


Having an anxious ‘internalising’ temperament often means that children react more to threats in the environment. This appears to be partly an inherited characteristic. Children with anxious temperaments are often cautious in their outlook and shy in relating to other people. Sometimes stressful events trigger problems with anxiety. Children who experience more stressful events over their lifetime than others or who have gone through particularly traumatic events may experience increased anxiety. 


Learning may also play a part in the development of an anxiety disorder. Some anxious children may learn that the world is a dangerous place. They may learn that it is easy to get hurt either physically or socially. They may fail to learn positive ways to cope and depend more and more on unhelpful ways of dealing with situations that cause them anxiety. 

Sometimes families may contribute to children’s natural cautiousness by being over-protective. This can unintentionally encourage children to avoid situations they feel anxious about.


How are anxiety disorders diagnosed?

Feeling anxious or fearful at times does not mean that a child has an anxiety disorder. Whether or not a diagnosis is made depends on how often, how easily and how intensely a child experiences the emotional symptoms of anxiety and how much it interferes with everyday living. To make a diagnosis, mental health professionals usually talk to the child and to family members. They may also ask teaching staff, parents, carers and children themselves to fill out questionnaires. The child’s age is an important factor in deciding whether the anxiety is a serious difficulty. This is because having certain fears is normal for children. 

For example, if an infant cries when an unfamiliar person wants to hold him, his fear is judged as perfectly normal for his age. However, if a 12-year-old girl refuses to go to school because she fears something terrible will happen to her healthy mother, this may be evidence of an anxiety disorder.


Anxiety and other mental health difficulties

Children with anxiety can experience more than one type of anxiety difficulty or disorder. Anxiety can be more common in children with other developmental difficulties. For instance, it is common in children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and also can tend to occur in children with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder. Anxiety and depression also often appear together. Children with anxiety symptoms can be more likely to grow to experience depression as teenagers, although this can depend on a lot of factors.


What professional supports are available?

Early assessment and professional support for children’s anxiety difficulties is most beneficial. Psychological supports are very helpful for anxiety. Medication may be helpful in some cases, particularly when anxiety symptoms are very severe. Psychological support for anxiety disorders not only reduces the current difficulties but also helps to prevent anxiety and depression at later ages.

  • Psychological support for anxiety typically involves teaching children to reduce avoidance and use more effective coping skills, such as relaxation and learning how to replace unhelpful thoughts with helpful self-talk.
  • For phobias, professional support may involve gradually being exposed to the feared object or situation and the teaching of coping skills.
  • Professional support works equally well whether it is run in groups or individually.
  • Families are often involved in professional support. Education about emotions and the role of anxiety is helpful for some families. Family members can provide important support as the child learns new coping skills and practises using them in situations they may have previously avoided. The involvement of parents and carers has been shown to be especially important for younger children. For children whose anxiety is less severe, school-based social and emotional learning programs that build resilience and coping strategies can be very helpful.

How to assist children with anxiety problems

Children with anxiety difficulties are often quiet and obedient. This can lead to their difficulties being overlooked. It is important to take note of children’s worries so that their difficulties can be addressed sooner rather than later. 

General principles for assisting children with anxiety disorders

Increase children’s helpful coping skills
Anxious feelings are fed by anxious thinking. It is important not to dismiss children’s anxious feelings, but to help children see that the situations they are worried about may not be as bad as they think. 

Teach by example
Showing children how you cope positively with feeling anxious or stressed and remaining calm and positive when they are feeling anxious can help them to feel more confident. 

Avoid taking over
Children with anxiety are usually very happy for someone else to do things for them. However, if adults take over, it stops children from learning how to cope themselves.

Encourage children to ‘have a go’
Having a go helps to show children that they can cope. Praise or reward them for every step they manage to take.

Steps for learning how to cope with anxiety about speaking in front of others

The child helps to construct the steps from easiest to hardest then practises using coping skills to try the first step. When the child is able to cope without anxiety he/she moves up a step to the next level. Efforts should be acknowledged at each step using praise, rewards and positive self-talk.

1. Discussing a school project with a small group of other children
2. Starting off  the group discussion
3. Presenting your part of the project to your group
4. Presenting your project to the class as part of your group
5. Presenting by yourself a project you have prepared with your group
6. Giving a two minute talk to class that you have prepared yourself
7. Presenting with your group at school assembly
8. Giving a report on your own at school assembly

See also:

What does anxiety look like?

Anxiety: Suggestions for families

Anxiety: Suggestions for schools and early childhood services




It's Fete Time - How can you help?

We are looking for donations of:

- Scratchie tickets or money for scratchie scarecrow

- Slabs of soft drink

- Bags of chocolates individually wrapped (freddos, kit kats etc)

If you know of any community groups that would like to share their group through a performance on stage please let us know at the office. We are looking for groups to perform on the day.


Will you be able to volunteer your time? Soon we will have a board in the foyer of the school please think about what you can help with. A little bit of time makes a difference!

Take a look at our great rides!
Buy tickets online!


Big and little kids are catered for.

Star Scream

The Star Scream is the latest in kids and adults carnival fun.  Holding 12 people at a time in a pendulum swinging tub!


Chair o plane

A high capacity ride that is great for the little kids, our chair o plane hire in Melbourne is a great option for fetes, festivals and parties. Being able to hold 20 children at one time, this combines the fun of a swing and a carousel in one package. 


Inflatable Slide

It's fun and exciting for both youngsters and teenagers. This new concept inflatable has striking graphics and high walls for added safety. Our slide can not be compared to other slides because of its unique sun and rain cover system.





There is more fun and entertainment coming, check here for updates!

We have received some great donations for our prizes and competitions. If you know of anyone who will donate then please let us know. We are also looking for group or community performances for our stage. If your child is a part of an organisation that could perform at our fete please have them contact us.

        Notices and Reminders

Published on Compass

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Upper Ferntree Gully Primary School