Essendon Primary News

15 October 2018
Issue Ten
Principal's Message
Essendon Primary School School Review Report Summary
Important Events
School Council News
Maths at EPS
Literacy at EPS
Meet the Teacher - Monique Vrzovski  
Walk to School 2018
EPS Election Day Car Boot Sale Extravaganza
Gleam Awards
Supporting Local Business
Essendon Primary School
(03) 9370 7816
38 Raleigh Street
Essendon, Victoria, 3040

Principal's Message

Our Vision is

'To empower all students to thrive in a dynamic world.​'

Our Mission is

'To provide an education that engages, challenges and supports students to be the best they can be.'

Our Objective  is

'To develop students to be curious, creative, critical thinkers and responsible global citizens.'


Dear Parents and Carers,


On Monday, during our student free Curriculum Day, teachers considered and explored a number of aspects of the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO) that were identified in our School Review Report (a summary is included in this newsletter) for areas of focus in our next School Strategic Plan. We looked at Global Citizenship and Values Education, strategies to further develop students to be curious, creative critical learners and a range of approaches to Inquiry-Base Learning. We then considered what we do already and what we need to do next to work towards and realise our Vision, Mission, Objective and Values. We now need to priorities these next steps to develop our 2019 Annual Implementation Plan. In preparation for our next Curriculum Day, to be held on Monday 5th November, teachers will be collecting a lot of ideas and wonderings from students to help us plan our future Program of Inquiry. Teaching staff are very excited about our new focus to implement a deep rich inquiry-based learning approach with authentic tasks developed through student voice and agency.


Part of our discussions also resulted in the decision to move around the learning spaces in the 1/2 Learning Community so that students and teachers were located in the same area which would then allow for efficient supervision of students completing independent work and smoother transitions between flexible groups.  This move has also enabled us to establish a Professional Learning Centre large enough to accommodate all staff during after school meetings, Professional Practice days and student free Curriculum Days.


We are beginning to adjust to the changed arrangements to the play and eating break times.  Students go outside for lunch play from 11am to 11.45am and then come inside to eat lunch from 11.45 to 12noon. There is a short 20 minute afternoon play from 2.00pm to 2.20pm with students coming back inside for a 10 minute snack 2.20 to 2.30pm. All Learning Communities are promoting ‘Fruit (or Vegetable) Time’ just before students go outside at 11am and then coming inside at 11.45am to eat their lunch. Students are being encouraged to save one of their snacks and a second piece of fruit for their afternoon snack. The supplier of the online lunch orders has asked that we agree to limit lunch order availability to Wednesday, Thursday and Fridays only because there are only a small number of orders placed at the start of the week. However, we have asked them to continue with the full week for the time being expecting that orders will pick up as the term progresses. He also wanted us to mention that the muffins available on the menu would be an ideal filler for an afternoon snack.


Please remember that Essendon Primary is a Sun Smart school and that students are required to wear an approved ‘Sun Smart’ hat when outside during terms 1 and 4. Students who do not have a ‘Sun Smart’ approved hat are being directed to play or sit in a designated shaded area during lunch and afternoon play times and outdoor class activities. Sunscreen is provided in each of the learning spaces with student being required to apply it before they go outside. It is recommended that parents ensure their children apply sunscreen at the start of each day.


We hope to continue the Pre-School Story Time each Monday morning for the rest of October. All future Essendon Primary School students (and their younger siblings) are welcome. Please note that parents or carers will be required to remain with their pre-schooler during these sessions. 2019 Foundation Orientation will take place from 9:30 to 11:00am on 4 Friday mornings commencing Friday 16th November. (16th 23rd and 30th November and 7th December).  After the successful transition of students over the previous 4 years, we have decided to again have all year levels step up to their new year level during this time.  This will allow us the opportunity to explore different groupings of students, seek feedback from teachers, students and parents and collect student-learning information in preparation for a smooth transition in 2019.  In the meantime, year 6 students will be able to work on their own transition program in preparation for secondary school.  Our final transition day when students will meet as a 2019 cohort with their 2019 teachers in their designated learning space will be Tuesday 11th December when the year 6 students have their Secondary Orientation.
Dates to remember for Term 4
  • Pre-School Story Time Monday 15th, 22nd & 29th October
  • Student Free Curriculum Day - Monday 5th November (the day before Cup Day)
  • 2019 Foundation Orientation and whole of school transition sessions 9-11am on Friday 16th, 23rd & 30th November and 7th December.
  • Family Fun Movie Night- 6pm Friday 23rd November
  • Student Led Conferences - 3.30 to 5pm Wednesday 5th and Thursday 6th December
  • Step Up Day- 9-11am Tuesday 11th December. Year 6s will spend the day at their new Secondary School. Prep to Year 5 will be introduced to their 2019 teacher and home-group
  • End of Year Concert- Thursday 13th December. 
  • Reports Uploaded on to Compass- Monday 17th December
  • Year 6 Graduation- Wednesday 19th December


 Classroom programs and planning for 2019 are well under way.  During the last week of Term 3 each government school receives their indicative budgets for the next year.  The projected school population largely determines the amount of funding we receive and therefore the number of staff and the programs we can run.  It is from that base that schools can begin to organise staffing, classes, resources and programs for the following year.  We are in the process of managing and allocating teaching positions for 2019.  A draft of the 2019 Program Budget is soon to be finalised and will be presented to School Council in October for approval.


Teachers are currently working on reviewing home groups for 2019.  The formation of new Home Groups and learning POD cohorts is based on a combination of individual needs and those of the class as a balanced group. Thank you to the parents who have already informed us of non-year 6 students who will not be returning to Essendon Primary School in 2019 and those who have shared information to assist with the best Home Group and learning POD placement for your child in 2019.  If you think we need to have any further information about your child regarding placement, please email me directly using the following email address [email protected] by this Friday 12th October.  Please note, that we are considering a variety of different arrangements for homegroups and flexible learning groups in 2019. This might sometimes be across the whole composite year level cohort (e.g. there will only be 5 year 3/4 Home Groups in 2019), within single year levels (we are seriously considering keeping Year 1 and Year 2 in separate Home Groups with the option of both year level and composite flexible groups) and/ or in Learning PODs (with 3 composite Home Groups). This could be across a whole range of curriculum areas (reading, writing, mathematics and inquiry) from Years 1 to 6 so that all students will have the opportunity to work with peers with similar learning needs, interests and all teachers within their year level.


Christine Nash



Essendon Primary School School Review Report Summary


The School Review Panel recommends the following key directions for the next School Strategic Plan.

Suggestions were aligned to the Victorian Framework for Improving Student Outcomes (FISO).

A key direction to further improve the learning outcomes for all students was to investigate and implement a rich inquiry framework to further develop students as curious, creative and critical thinkers.  This included developing teacher and student capability in understanding of students as learners, and developing greater student voice and agency.   The panel also recommended that the school maintain its focus on improvement in growth and achievement in literacy and numeracy.


Goal 1

To develop creative, curious, and critical thinking in student learners.


FISO high-impact improvement initiatives for this goal (in order of priority)

1. Empowering students and building school pride

2. Intellectual engagement and self-awareness.


Goal 1 rationale

Through fieldwork activities, survey responses and classroom observations it was apparent that there were varying levels of understanding of the school’s vision to develop creative, curious and critical thinking in student learners, of students perception of themselves as learners and its realisation through a deep inquiry-based learning approach.  To develop creative, curious and critical thinking it is necessary to design authentic tasks to engage, empower and develop student learner understanding through voice and agency.



1. By 2022, the school will achieve embedding (or higher) status in both empowering students and building school pride and intellectual engagement and self-awareness as measured on the FISO continuum

2. By 2022, improve positive student percentage response in the factor stimulating learning to 80% as measured in the Attitude to School Survey


Key Improvement Strategies (KIS)

1. Build teacher capacity to understand the Victorian Curriculum capabilities, integrate across the curriculum and embed in teaching and learning practice

2. Investigate and implement an appropriate model of inquiry

3. Build teacher capability to empower student agency for learners.


Goal 2

To improve the growth and achievement for all students in literacy and numeracy.


FISO high-impact improvement for this goal

1.  Building practice excellence

2.  Curriculum planning and assessment.


Goal 2 rationale

An analysis of the school’s NAPLAN and school-based benchmarking data identified the school’s achievement levels as similar to like schools.  Achievement data consistency had not been achieved, with lower achievement in 2017.  Whilst 2018 learning achievement data showed improvement in relative growth data it was identified by the panel that there should be a focus on literacy and numeracy for the term of the next strategic plan.  



1. To achieve one year’s growth annually in reading and writing, and number as measured by Victorian 2. Curriculum teacher judgements, for all students deemed capable.

3. By 2022, to improve the percentage of students achieving year 3 - 5 high relative growth to 30% and reduce the low growth percentage to 20% in reading, writing and numeracy.

4. By 2022, improve the percentage of student achievement in top two bands in reading to 70%, writing to 60% and numeracy to 70% (to be finalised)

5. By 2022 achieve a minimum of 80% positive staff responses on the Staff Survey for the following factors:

​(i) academic emphasis

(ii) collective efficacy


Key Improvement Strategies (KIS)

1. Enhance the use of the guaranteed and viable curriculum

2. Build teacher capability to empower student agency as learners

3. Enhance the current instructional model and embed in teaching and learning

Summary of key review findings

Performance against the School Strategic Plan (SSP) goals


Goal 1: Student Achievement

The 2015–18 SSP for Essendon Primary School (EPS) set an achievement goal to improve the learning growth of every student in literacy and numeracy. The panel found that the targets were partially met and that there was progress made towards the goal.  Teacher judgement data showed that students generally achieved one year’s growth in literacy and numeracy and that student means were higher than state means in all areas.  35% of students were working above expected levels in reading, writing and maths.  There was a reduced percentage of students achieving low growth and an increased percentage of students achieving high growth across all NAPLAN areas, with significant improvement in 2018 numeracy achievement.


Goal 2:  Student Engagement

Progress was made to achieve the goal to build the capacity in every student so that students are active, interdependent learners.  Evidence indicated that progress included an increase in student motivation, an increase in staff academic focus and a relatively stable parent satisfaction rating.  Attendance data indicated slightly better attendance results than similar schools data, but did not meet the target set.


Goal 3:  Student Wellbeing

The goal to build the social-emotional intelligence skills of all students so they have the capacity to inquire, communicate and thrive in an ever-changing world was unable to be ascertained relative to targets set. A change in survey design and low parent response numbers rendered parent data unreliable.  The panel believed that evidence obtained through fieldwork, classroom observations, and interviews and discussions with focus groups suggested that student’s social-emotional intelligence skills had been built.  A strong and cohesive positive behaviour whole school approach was well embedded in the school’s culture.  This was identified as a valued and successful feature of the school as articulated by leadership, teachers, parents and students.


Findings against the Terms of Reference Focus Questions

Terms of Reference Focus Question 1:   To what extent does the school promote curiosity, creativity and critical thinking to enact student agency?   

The Panel agreed that whole school approaches in curriculum, assessment and pedagogy had created a school culture of achievement where student learning needs were being met.  Curiosity, creativity and critical thinking were outlined in curriculum planning and implementation through the capabilities of creative and critical thinking.  They were being developed through inquiry-based learning and were integrated in authentic inquiry units of work. For example the recent whole school production.  Student agency continued to be a focus for development, and evidence indicated that there were increasing opportunities for student voice, agency and leadership. 


Terms of Reference Focus Question 2:    To what extent do teachers reflect on student feedback and formative assessment to differentiate the learning?

Teachers used a wide range of formative assessment to provide differentiated learning for students.  A current and relevant assessment schedule was well embedded, and highlighted use of specific and routine formative assessment.  Various monitoring of student achievement was in place, and continued to be refined and shared with students to enable greater student agency.  Student feedback occurred in a variety of ways in both learning and wider school  contexts.  Student feedback had been targeted as a high impact teaching strategy, and structured opportunities for feedback were increasing.  Opportunities for student leadership were wide ranging and valued, and provided student voice at the school.

Important Events


Tuesday 9th - Friday 12th October

Grade 1/2 Swimming Program


Monday 15th October

9am-10am Pre-School Story Time


Thursday 18th October

Foundation RCH Playground Excursion


Monday 22nd October

9am to 10am Pre-School Story Time


Friday 26th October

Prep Swimming Program


Monday 29th October

9am to 10am Pre-School Story Time


Monday 5th November 

Student Free Curriculum Day


Tuesday 6th November 

Melbourne Cup Day


Friday 9th November

Prep Swimming Program


Friday 16th November

Foundation 2019 Orientation

Whole School transition

Prep Swimming Program


Friday 23rd November

Foundation 2019 Orientation

Whole School transition

EPS Movie Night


Saturday 24th November

EPS Election Day Car Boot Sale Event


Friday 30th November

Foundation 2019 Orientation

Whole School transition


Wednesday 5th December

3.45-4.45pm Student Led Conferences


Thursday 6th December

3.45-4.45pm Student Led Conference


Friday 7th December

Foundation 2019 Orientation and Whole School transition 9.30am - 11am


Tuesday 11th December

Whole School Step Up day


Thursday 13th December

End of Year School Concert - Moonee Valley Racing Club 7pm


Wednesday 19th December

Grade 6 Graduation


Thursday 20th Decemeber

5/6 Pool Party


Friday 21st December 

Last day of Term 4 (End of School year...Yay!) 1.30 pm Dismissal

School Council News

A message from Ava Adams, School Council President

The Department of Education and Training requires Victorian government schools to undertake a School Review and develop a School Strategic Plan every four years. This year Essendon Primary School has been required to undertake this review and develop our School Strategic Plan for the 2019 – 2022 cycle. In preparation for the School Review, the leadership team along with the assistance of School Council and input from staff, students and parents, finalised our Pre-Review Self-Evaluation Report in August 2018 at the end of a 6 month process. This report was used as the basis of the Review that took place in the week starting 3rd of September 2018. The School Review Panel included the Reviewer, Principal, Leadership team, SEIL, two Principals from similar schools who were our challenge partners, and myself as School Council President.


At a high level, the purpose of the School Review is to provide:

  • an independent, objective, consistent and reliable view of the school’s performance
  • a rigorous process to complement the school’s self-evaluation and self-review
  • specific feedback on the school’s progress and achievements against the goals and targets of its previous School Strategic Plan
  • a more detailed discussion and analysis about issues that may be affecting the performance of the school, to drive school improvement and inform the school’s future direction and next School Strategic Plan
  • data and an evaluation of school performance for system reporting purposes

Specifically the review included:

  • Classroom observations
  • Focus groups with teachers, planning teams, support staff, parents and students
  • Panel discussion and review of fieldwork findings
  • Evaluation of school performance against the goals and targets of the current School Strategic Plan including identifying enablers and barriers to success and key achievements and challenges
  • Validation of school’s proficiency status against the Framework for Improving Student Outcomes, focusing on the six High-impact Improvement Initiatives
  • Identifying and prioritising areas of practice that require attention in order to deliver improved student outcomes
  • Collaboratively devising proposed goals, key improvement strategies and targets for the School Strategic Plan 2019-2022

As a long standing School Council member and school community voice, I took my role on the School Review Panel and throughout the intensive and thorough process seriously. I was in a privileged position to observe how the school operates and how its performance measures against the schools vision, goals and targets and I found the process to be very interesting and productive.

From the parent opinion surveys we received lots of positive feedback about the school’s culture and learning as well as constructive suggestions for improvement. I would like to express my gratitude to everybody in our school community that took the time to do this. I am satisfied that the feedback from parent opinion surveys was communicated effectively and discussed at length with Leadership. Importantly it was welcomed, validated and constructively unpacked so that strategies and processes could be developed and implemented to address identified areas of improvement. The process was honest and unfiltered, leaderships ability to self-evaluate and reflect is sound, and their ability to recognise internal deficiencies and validate the concerns from internal staff and the whole school community was very constructive and productive.


An evident observation amongst the panel is our teacher’s passion and enthusiasm for their professional development and their dedication and commitment to student wellbeing, student engagement and learning outcomes. The panel acknowledged that the targets in the previous Strategic Plan were highly ambitious and extremely aspirational. It was noted that the learning environments were well presented and managed and the panel were impressed with student’s ability to provide a lot of information confidently and effectively about their learning and share ideas they had for areas of improvement.


Overall, I was impressed with the school leadership team’s shared vision of the school and their ability to cohesively and collaboratively reflect on past performance, establish future vision and directions and decide what success will look like at our school.


The reviewer has finalised her report and the new goals and key directions for the school to focus on in the next 4 years. If anyone would like to discuss the outcomes or the process with me at any time, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at [email protected]

Maths at EPS

A warm welcome back to Term 4. 
Potato Olympics
We celebrated our annual Potato Olympics at the end of last term which involved lots learning and of tonnes of fun.
Our Pot-athletes  competed in events including bowling, javelin, 50m sprints, long jump and diving! 



Australian Mathematics Competition 

Congratulations to all EPS students in Grade 3 to 6 who competed in the Australian Mathematics Competition. We are so proud of you!


Grade 3

Razan El-Dannaoui

Mai-Vy Nguyen

Stacey Farrant

Christopher DeBono

Vidhu Sharma

Darcy Incoll

Nedhika Sreekumar

Alex Andra Roberts

Rushil Gundibilli

Kai Satilmis

Michelle Nguyen

Aleina Singh

Reet Gill

Noah Swales

Thomas Smaragdiou

Lewin Rees

Jorg Efthimiou

Chloe Hamilton

Kharanshu Choppakatla

Emily Dell'Universita

Eric Ouyang

Jeremy Macauley

Will Benson

Alexander Warren

Zoe Smaragdiou

Spencer Izard

Hailey Qiu

Alice Wirth


Grade 4

Amelia Steadall

Jason Cardassis

Shion Roberts

Lucy Barratt

Brendan Plover

Allana Hoang

Jerry Xiao

Vivian Startari

Baku Kuriki

Emma Sevdalis-Fallaw

Alveena Rehan Kamal

Tilli Holland

Haragreev Bashyam

Lucy Clark

Sophia Zheng

Olivia Emond

William Luck


Grade 5

Andy Ng

Vethum Gunathilaka

Joel Lim

Mikayla Thomas

Mark Parris

Diya Ninan

Hannah Lim

Elizabeth Yang

Siyona Pandya

George Warren

Olivia Mogridge

Jayve Faustin

Nathan Evans

Andrej Todorovic

Al Sofyan

Ram Vanapalli

Arya Bishnoi

Goutham Sidharth

Jack Benson

Daniel Panknin

Safwan Ahmed

Thinara Jayathungage

Luke Swales

Xavier Gillard

Sophie Hamilton

Ishaan Tata

Branson Tran

Rashmika Choppakatla

Madison McNiece

Navraaj Singh

Ty Curnow

Samuel Lim


Grade 6

Finley Howland

Ryan Luu

Taniksha Thotta

Jiawen Lin

Kaito Nakada

Jemma Choong

Elsie Holland

Dean Efthimiou

Majella Incoll

Nada Ayoub

Jack Kalic

Tom Polites

Will Kalic

Ziad Ashmawy

Chitrani Shekhawat

Zara Wright

Zoe Warren



Remember to keep practicing your Maths Master goals.


Kind regards
Deanna Zschunke
Leading Teacher & Pedagogy Coach 

[email protected]


Literacy at EPS

Welcome back to Term 4!

Take a look at what our students at EPS have been working on in Literacy this week!

Foundation students sharing their Information reports.

Students in the 1/2 Learning Community independently reading their Just Right Books.

Students using their THRASS charts as a tool to support them with spelling words.

Students planning and drafting their stories (narratives).

Students working in collaborative groups, discussing and recording their ideas.


Premiers Reading Challenge


Some important dates...

  • October: Look our for the online Honour Roll featuring a congratulatory video to be published on the Challenge website.
  • November: Premiers Reading Challenge certificates delivered to schools for distribution.


If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me on my email.

Warmest regards,

Mary Fazzari

Leading Teacher & Pedagogy Coach

[email protected]

Meet the Teacher -
Monique Vrzovski


Meet the Teacher - 

We thought we would catch up with some of the E.P.S crew who have been around a little while and ask them some questions to get to know them a bit better. 

How long have you been at E.P.S and what grades have you taught? 

I started in 2017 teaching Grade 3/4 and I'm still teaching the same year level. 

What is your favourite thing about E.P.S? 

Getting to know so many diverse people. 

What do you like to do in your time off? 

Beach, travelling and hanging out with friends. 

What is the highlight of your teaching career so far? 

 Building amazing friendships with colleagues. 

What are you passionate about? 


What is your favourite thing or person in the whole wide world (and why)? 

My family because they have made me who I am today. 

What do you really, really want to tick off your bucket list (aka want to do most)? 

Go on a hot air balloon!

What is the best place you've visited? 


Walk to School 2018

Walk, ride or scoot to school this October

Every October, Walk to School encourages Victorian school kids to walk, ride or scoot to and from school. It's a great way to help students learn healthy habits and achieve the recommended 60 minutes of physical activity every day.

Every classroom has been provided with a calendar on which to mark students' daily trips to and from school. Students can complete a Challenge Card which asks fun questions such as 'How many roads did you cross today?' and 'Who did you walk with today?' Each page is then marked with a coloured star sticker. Completed cards are then in the running for sports prizes like soccer kits. The Challenge Card drop off box is in  the Office.

Everyone can get involved as partial walks count too. For those students who live too far away to walk, dropping off the car a couple of streets away and then walking the last part counts.

So, lets get active!!!



Emart Excursions!!!

Did you know that some students have over 150 dojo points? What are they saving them for? Well, in very exciting news, we have 2 excursions that only dojos can buy.


Luna Park. What??? Yes. Twelve lucky students will be heading off to Luna Park on December 5th for the day. Unlimited rides. This excursion will only be available to Grade 3-6's, with six places allocated to 3/4's and six to 5/6's.

Any interested students can add their name to the register and then those with the most dojos will be successful. Parental/guardian approval is required. Stay tuned for more info.


Picnic in the Park. Any student who has 200 points burning a hole in their pocket can sign up for a picnic at Queens Park. Hot chips and a drink will be provided by the school. The date will be in December but is yet to be confirmed.

This excursion will be open to all students. Again, parental/guardian approval is required.


So get saving. To launch these exciting excursions, we will be having an upcoming triple dojo day!

EPS Election Day Car Boot Sale Extravaganza

On election day we are having  a car boot sale, sausage sizzle, cake stall and more! 

Helpers needed and bookings happily taken!  please see booking form below and contact Georgia if you can assist [email protected]

Essendon Primary School Election Day Car Boot Sale Booking Form

Saturday 24th November 2018


Essendon Primary School is a polling booth on election day so we expect to have a high level of foot traffic and community support. In conjunction with the car boot sale we will also host a sausage sizzle, cake stall, coffee cart and ice-cream van.

Terms and Conditions of Agreement:

  • Cost is $40 per space (prepaid and non refundable)
  • Stall holders must provide their own infrastructure on the day
  • For health and safety reasons vehicles may only enter the school grounds between 6.30am and 8am and exit after 6 pm
  • If you would like to have a stall but also have the flexibility to leave earlier you may park on the street and set up in the grounds during set up time in the morning, you will then have to carry your infrastructure out of the school grounds during the day.

In order to secure a stall please fill in the details below:

Name: __________________________________________

Contact Details (Phone Number): ____________________________________

Business Name (If Applicable): ______________________________________

Number of stall positions required ($40 per stall)

  • Car ON premises  ___________
  • Car OFF premises ___________

(required for internal planning purposes)


Payment (please circle):

Cash (enclosed in envelope with form)

Credit Card:

Visa                                  Mastercard

Card Number: _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _


Expiry Date: _ _ / _ _                       CVN: _ _ _



Signature: ______________________Date: _____________________

Gleam Awards

Congratulations to all the 5/6 students who received a Gleam Award.

You embody the values of Essendon Primary School. Well done!!  


Reading :   Jack H & Rennae H

Writing : Thomas E & Mikayla T

Numeracy :  Sophie H & Joel L

Civics & Citizenship :  The superstar 5/6 production people!

Namely: Ella D, Safwan A, Leila P, Elsie H, Scarlett W, Isabelle G, Ethan C, Diya N, Portia B, Lucas R, Jack H, Oscar G & Eve W


Supporting Local Business



Essendon Primary News