Parkhill Primary School Newsletter

Issue 35, Thursday November 1 2018

Principal's Message

Dear Parents/Carers,

We are already racing towards mid-Term 4. I would again like to thank the parents who have been chatting with me about the restructures for 2019 and those who have arranged meetings with me. Please do contact the office if you would like to talk through the restructures and again now is the time to let us know if you have any considerations for your child’s learning going into 2019.

Kinder to Foundation transition begins on Wednesday, which is always an exciting time! I am able to share with you the F/Y1 team for 2019. Jan Tuck will continue to lead the team, with Des Schlack and Bella Crowe. Des has experience in the Foundation area of the school this year and is previously experienced with both composite classes and the Y1 curriculum. Bella is highly experienced in Early Years education and has excelled in her practice this year.


Composite classes

Composite classes happen for a number of reasons. A school may have them due to uneven enrolments by age group – for example, there’s a larger than average intake of Year 3 and a smaller group of Year 4 enrolments. In order to keep class size to the optimal number, the school may decide to run one Year 3 class and a Year 3 and 4 composite class to allow for two evenly sized classes. Similarly, some schools have low enrolment numbers overall and may combine several grades to make up classroom numbers - this is more common in rural areas, where classes may be made up of children from a wider range of age groups.

Sometimes, composite classes are formed for educational reasons in schools where it is felt that the mixing of children of different ages is educationally and socially advantageous.


Use beginning and ending sounds

When you are reading at home with your child you can use this strategy, you can use a shared text that might be a nursery rhyme, poem, or Big Book. Looking at words within text and try to focus children’s attention on the beginning and ending sounds.

To focus their attention, we may use coloured highlighter tape or coloured dots and have students lay the colours over the beginning and ending letter of the words they are decoding. Repeating this process with kids over and over will raise their level of awareness, and slow them down so they pay careful attention to the beginning and ending sounds.

Once children slow down to focus in on beginning and ending sounds, we help them read the word correctly by coaching them to end their decoding with “Did that make sense?”

Language prompts you could use include:

“Did you look at the whole word?”

“Did what you just read make sense?”

“Remember to cross-check the word and be certain it matches what you are saying.”


Please remember that Monday is a curriculum day for staff and is student free.

The last few weeks of a school year is always challenging with transitions and change – I really appreciate the positive voice of the community during this time.

Have a fabulous long weekend!

Elaine Brady


Calendar of Curriculum Events

Friday 2 November - Y3 Eureka Skydeck Excursion

Monday 5 November - Curriculum Day (students do not attend on this day)

Tuesday 6 November - Melbourne Cup Day (students do not attend on this day)

Wednesday 7 November - Friday 9 November - Y3/4 Camp

Wednesday 7 November - Foundation 2019 Transition Session 1 & Foundation Senses Incursion

Wednesday 14 November - Foundation 2019 Transition Session 2

Tuesday 20 November - Athletics Carnival

Wednesday 21 November - Foundation 2019 Transition Session 3

Wednesday 28 November - Foundation 2019 Transition Session 4

Thursday 29 November - Bring it Breaky

Thursday 6 December - Monday 10 December - Link Dental Van

Thursday 6 December - Fun, Food and Carols

Tuesday 11 December - Move Up Day

Wednesday 12 December - Awards Assembly at 9:15am

Tuesday 18 December - Winning House Lunch

Wednesday 19 December - Y6 Graduation

Thursday 20 December - Y6 Big Day Out

Friday 21 December - Term 4 ends at 1:30pm

Student of the Week

FS - Owen S

FT - Ruairidh G

1B - Siam P

1H - Charlotte J

2C - Will M

2N - Abigail E

3M - Henry Z

3R - Lucy F

4O - Jake K

5D - Cynthia L

5H - Tessa R

6CM - Dan R

6L - Jack V

Being Brave Day in FS

We celebrated ‘Being Brave Day’ in FS by doing rotations with FT, Y1 and Y2. We then did a buddies activity with our big Y6 buddies. Finally we watched the Being Brave Show in the hall.

"I liked the activities"—Ruby

"I liked the show"—Mariam

"I liked making monster puppets"—Dylan

Des Schlack

Foundation Teacher

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How Tall is Your Tower?

"I felt really excited when Miss McGregor started giving out the bags. We had to make a structure - a tall tower out of pop sticks, clips and pegs for our inquiry unit on 'Structures'. After a while, Julia and I finally finished! It was wobbly. We made the base as strong as possible. I wanted to add on more but I couldn't because it would fall over. We finished with a tall tower. How tall? 1.13m or 113cm! We won the competition. I was so happy that we had won the competition. Thank goodness the tower didn't fall over." - Alexandra, 3M

"My tower was changing like a chameleon's skin. When we built our tower I thought it was going to be easy but I was wrong. On October 8 the Y3s were given a challenge called 'How tall is your tower' because our inquiry unit is called 'Structures'. So we were given 20 pop sticks, 10 pegs and 12 clips to build an amazing, tall tower. Well that's what was supposed to happen - the classroom was in chaos. I could just feel the frustration in the air! If we did this again I would try and make a better foundation." - Luxe, 3M

"Nooooooo it fell again! Let's think of a new base. We had to make the tallest tower out of pegs, bull dog clips, and icy-pole sticks for our inquiry unit. I did not feel so good every time it fell. I felt so nervous looking at the other towers and none of them worked. I thought it would be easy but sadly we failed. I wonder if we do it next time we can do it better than how we did it this time." - Kaitlyn, 3M


Last week the Y5s hosted Renee from the Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Monash University. Renee brought some of her test subjects along for us to work with – zebrafish!

The purpose of the incursion was to hypothesise what the offspring of a striped zebrafish (wildtype) and albino zebrafish (nacre) would look like. Students learned about genetics and the differences between the biology of the zebrafish and that of humans – that despite how different our two species are, we actually share most of the same genetic code!

As we discovered, zebrafish make excellent test subjects for biomedicine since they are small, easy to keep, and lay lots of eggs, which hatch and grow extremely rapidly. Let me give you an example: Students paired adult zebrafish on Monday, the embryos were fertilised by Tuesday and on Friday most eggs had already hatched! Students were amazed to see the embryos and fry up close through the Monash microscopes. We could see the beating hearts of the fish and on some occasions even count the chambers (two, compared to our four).

Through the BioEYES incursion, students gained unique understandings within our inquiry unit, Health: the Ups and Downs. BioEYES will be a good segue to our class discussions on Puberty, which begin this week (Wednesday 31st)!

Alex Davies

Y5 Teacher

News from Our Garden

Welcome to our lovely new chooks, who are happily settling in to life at Parkhill. Our Y3 and Y4 students voted to choose their names this week and we are very pleased to report that the top three names were Pecky, Pumpkin and Coco.

So why not venture down to the 'chookatorium' and say hello to them!

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Jenn, our Garden Educator, has been getting into the Halloween vibe this week. She carved this amazing pumpkin to greet the Y3 students as they worked in the garden.

Anne McGregor

Garden Coordinator

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PFA News

Committee Members:

President: Vanessa Cowley

Vice President: Katrina Battle

Treasurer: Sumi Sundram

Secretary: Kylie Touloupis

Communications: Eva Conley

General Members: Fiona Crellin, Jason Van Lint, Elle Delmee, Mark Havas, Lisa Jacobson, Anny Murray, Wendy Douglas, Janneke Storteboom, Leanne Knight

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Parkhill Fun Run – Thursday 1st November

Thank you to everyone who supported the Colour Run today! Congratulations to all our students, parents and teachers who got out there and made our event such a blast!

It’s an exciting time as we now get to focus on the prizes you’ve worked so hard to achieve.

HOW TO ORDER YOUR PRIZE (from November 8th)

STEP ONE: Please make sure you hand in any cash to the office before Thursday 8th November.


You must order your prizes between November 8th and November 15th. To do this, simply visit and create/log in to your Profile Page. Then click on the ‘ORDER PRIZES’ button and follow the prompts.

If you have any questions, please contact the School Fun-Run team on 1800 FUN RUN and they will gladly assist!

Cupcake Stall – Thank you!

In ‘Baking News’ (get it!) the Parkhill Parents have done it again! A BIG thank you to Leanne, Kylie B, Marinda, Janneke, Helen, Pia, Sumi, Julie, Katrina, Eva, and Donna for producing the yummy treats that filled the students' bellies after school last Wednesday. Your efforts helped raise over $450. The students also deserve a BIG thank you for their support - they make us feel like rock stars as they charge towards the stall each term. That was our last stall for this year but don’t worry, we'll be ‘bake’ in business for 2019!

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