Parkhill Primary School Newsletter

Issue 6, Thursday March 7 2019

Principal's Message

Dear Parents/Carers,

Happy Thursday!

Please use our drop off zone safely – there are so many families and children around the roads first thing in the morning and also after school. I have noticed recently that there are lots of parents who are doing U-turns at the front of the school in order to drop their child off. This is so dangerous for our children. Please drive around the block and come down Parkhill Drive with the school on your left – you can then safely drop your child and leave. If we all follow these rules then the traffic will flow better and the children will be safer. It is important to note that the drop off zone is NOT a pick up zone. The area at the front of the school is no stopping at 3:30pm. You cannot park or wait in this area. Please park your car elsewhere and walk to collect your children from the school grounds. This also poses a safety risk to the children in our community.


I would like to thank Julie McCarthy and Zoe Littlewood for the work they did promoting Parkhill for a Telstra Playgrounds Grant. Each year, Telstra Kids gives a million dollars in grants to local community groups that help kids to play and learn. They ‘fund the little things that make a big difference to kids’ lives: connections to local activities supporting digital citizenship, arts and culture, education, health, the environment, sport and recreation.’

We have been awarded $2,400 in grant money!! The grant money will be spent on developing and improving our playground spaces and the Student Representative Council will liaise with the children from across the school to decide what we spend it on.


It was so lovely to see many of you in our classrooms this afternoon sharing the children’s learning.

In week 7 we will hold Parent Teacher Interviews in place of Three-Way Conferences. These interviews will run in the same way as the Three-Way Conferences, but students do not attend Parent Teacher Interviews. This is an opportunity for you to have open discussion with the teacher about your child’s learning progress. Later in the year there will be a Three-Way Conference. Please see below for the link to book online.

It is important to remember that you are always welcome to meet with your class teacher and I encourage you to make appointments throughout the year to touch base and talk about your child’s learning progress.


Our School Council meets twice a term. The meetings are held on a Thursday at 6pm in the school staffroom.

School Councils have three main responsibilities:

  • finance: overseeing the development of the school’s annual budget and ensuring proper records are kept of the school’s financial operation;

  • strategic planning: participating in the development and monitoring of the school strategic plan;

  • policy development and review: developing, reviewing and updating policies that reflect a school’s values and support the school’s broad direction outlined in its strategic plan.

School Councils comprise parents, the principal and staff. Our School Council elections are held in February or March each year and must be completed by 31 March.

This year we have five positions vacant on our School Council at Parkhill. If you would like to nominate into one of the available positions please pop into the office and fill in the self-nomination form. All nominations need to be submitted by Thursday 14th March – further information can be found below.


Belonging improves mental health, wellbeing and learning. All children need to feel that school is a safe place where people will care about them, where their needs for support, respect and friendship will be met, and where they will be able to get help to work out problems. When these needs are met children develop a sense of belonging at school.

Belonging is very important for children’s mental health and wellbeing. Children who feel that they belong at school are happier, more relaxed and have fewer behavioural problems than other students. They are also more motivated to learn and be more successful with their schoolwork. Research into children’s mental health has found that a sense of belonging and connectedness at school helps to protect children against mental health difficulties and improves their learning. Making friends and having positive relationships with teachers helps children develop a sense of belonging at school. Having older ‘buddies’ to turn to helps younger children feel that school is a place where they can get help if they need it. Looking after younger children encourages caring and helping in older children and helps to reduce conflicts and bullying. These are some of the ways that children’s sense of belonging at school can be supported.



We are hosting a Parent Information Evening on March 25th called ThinkUKnow. The evening begins at 5pm – come along and learn more about how you can ensure your child is safe online! Please do ensure you have signed and returned your Safe Use Agreement – this should have come home already.

Twilight Sports

Coming in week 8 (Monday 18th March) we look forward to our Twilight Sports event. This year we have Channel 10 visiting us to host their School Weather Segment. Mike Larkin is coming to visit!! Children who wish to have front row seat on telly should be at school by 5pm in their uniform! House Colours should be worn for the sports.

Garden Volunteers

Jenn, our garden expert, is always looking for parents or volunteers who have green finger to help her with some pruning. She often works later on a Thursday to get some jobs done in the garden – if you happen to have green fingers and a little bit of know how please do come and help out!

Have a great weekend,

Elaine Brady


Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Calendar of Curriculum Events

Monday 11 March - Labour Day Public Holiday

Tuesday 12 March - Wednesday 13 March - Parent/Teacher Interviews - see information below

Friday 15 March - Bullying No Way Day & Regional Swimming (selected students)

Monday 18 March - Twilight Sports - 5-7pm

Tuesday 19 March - Evening Soiree

Wednesday 20 March - Multicultural Day & Bring it Breaky

Friday 22 March - Y5/6 District Athletics (selected students)

Monday 25 March - Parent Information Evening - ThinkUKnow

Friday 5 April - Term 1 ends at 2:30pm

Student of the Week

F/1C - Eleni A

F/1S - Selena M

F/1T - Quin C

2/3G - Peter K

2/3L - Charlotte J

2/3M - Jessika A

4D - Noah T

4O - Nathan T

5/6A - Cormac M

5/6CS - Aidan K

5/6H - Flynn B

Big picture
Big picture
Big picture

Y5/6 War on Waste and STEAM Focus

The ‘War on Waste’ has been the focus of the Y5/6 Inquiry and STEAM lessons this term. During our finding out students have had the opportunity to explore the environmental issues effecting Earth through both the Discovery Dome and CERES incursions.

Last Thursday the Discovery Dome intrigued students as we explored climate change on Earth. The images played on the round of the Dome and highlighted the causes and impact of global warming. Students also saw how vital it is that humans change their behaviours and reduce their environmental impact.

On Monday CERES visited Parkhill, sharing with us the changes we can make to reduce our impact on our environment. Students discussed waste management, water saving strategies, biodiversity and climate change.

With all the knowledge Y5/6 have gained so far this term, we can’t wait to see the action they will take to improve Parkhill’s environmental footprint.

Andrea Crane

Y5/6 Teacher

Big picture

Garden News

Bumper crops of sweetcorn, tomatoes and cucumbers have meant that we could try these delicious recipes over the last few weeks.

Sweet Corn Soup


3L of chicken stock

2 tablespoons of oil

2 tablespoons of finely sliced ginger

2 garlic cloves finely chopped

1 teaspoon of salt

4 cobs of sweet corn

2 white onions

½ cup Chinese wine (not alcoholic)

2 teaspoons of soy sauce

3 spring onions chopped

3 eggs, lightly beaten

Salt and pepper


1. Remove the kernels from the cob by running a sharp knife along the sides of each cob.

2. Heat oil and gently fry onion, garlic, ginger and salt for 5 minutes until soft.

3. Add Chinese wine, and simmer for 5 minutes.

4. Stir in corn and stock. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 30 minutes.

5. Add soy sauce. Slowly pour the beaten eggs into soup in a thin stream and stir constantly with a fork. Sprinkle in chopped spring onion

6. Ladle soup into bowls.

Rainbow Veggie Skewers

Recipe from

What to do

  1. Wash veggies and cut into even sized pieces.

  2. For each veggie kebab, thread the veggies in order of colour starting with purple and then dark/light green, yellow, orange and red.

  3. Arrange on a platter to serve.

Anne McGregor

Garden Coordinator

Division Swimming

This week Parkhill competed in Division Swimming at Monash Aquatic Recreation Centre. Well done Amy, Olivia, Anjali and Jimmy on your efforts. You did an exceptional job and should be very proud of your achievements. The freestyle relay team came 1st with 13 seconds separating them from 2nd place. Anjali and Jimmy also came 2nd in their individual events and will be competing at Regional level next week. I can’t wait to see what happens next!

Dora Handby

Sports Coordinator

Big picture

STEAM Sessions - Y5/6

Caleb T

“Five lemons please work!”

I wait and wait, nothing is happening with the light bulb. Suddenly I see a tiny bit of light!

Recently in Y5/6 we have been learning about energy in STEAM. We have been doing experiments with potatoes, lemons, batteries and solar panels. With these materials we have been trying to power light bulbs and motors. With the potatoes we had to find how many potatoes and lemons it would take to power a light bulb. When using batteries we needed to make a circuit to power a light bulb. For my group the solar panels was the hardest experiment because we didn’t have much sun to work with.

Over the last five weeks we have also learned about conductors and insulators. We figured out that metal conducts and plastic and rubber insulates. We also learnt how to write scientific reports.

Thomas R

The electricity travels through the wires then through a lemon and back into another wire. It travels to the dark globe and fills it with light!

Over the last couple of weeks the Y5/6 classes have learned about conductors and insulators in their STEAM lessons. Students worked in teams to successfully light up a globe. Students had to use the provided objects to create a circuit and had to go through a lot of trial and error to work out which objects were conductors and insulators. Students challenged their brains while completing the task and all groups did very well.

Congratulations to all Y5/6 students who participated in this task.

Big picture

Clean Up Australia Day

It was great to see the whole school out last week for Clean Up Australia. We worked together as a team to pick up the litter in our yard and boy it looks great now.

Unfortunately, the huge quantity of rubbish we found was primarily from student lunch boxes. It would be great to see students using the recycling system rather than dumping rubbish on the ground, however it would also be great to see nude food in lunch boxes. Have a chat at home about how you might reduce the amount of plastic packaging or wrapping in your school lunch boxes. Parkhill and the environment will thank you.

Andrea Crane


Choir Connections

Well, we were all set to have some terrific photos in this edition of the newsletter featuring the smiling faces that greeted us for our first choir session. However, we didn’t quite achieve this because we were having so much fun singing, clapping, moving and learning that we ran out of time and we had to all quickly get our bags and head to class.

It was a terrific first lesson together and there is no doubt that the room was full of students willing to try something new with open minds and enthusiasm. We couldn’t have been prouder of the group.

At the start of the session we set up our Essential Agreement for Choir – we were rather impressed with the fact that we are the largest class in the school with 49 students in our first rehearsal! So, what does a Choir Essential Agreement look like? Here are some of the contributions from the students:

  • Stop when you see Marinda’s cue

  • Keep the beat

  • No mucking around

  • Respect and listen to the teachers

  • Have fun when you are learning

  • Sit, stand and move when Marinda says

  • Sing when you are told to

  • Hands, feet and objects to yourself

  • Respect and help others

  • Focus and listen so we know what to do

We can’t wait for our next rehearsal next Friday at 8.10am on the Performing Arts stage. Entry is via the ramp.

A few important things for parents to note:

  • The doors for choir rehearsal will open at 8.10am.

  • If parents arrive early please note that you will be responsible for your children until they enter the room.

  • Parents do not need to sign the students in as we will be taking a roll but please email or text Kirsten on 0412 191 584 if your child is unable to make a rehearsal.

  • Please note that the playground is not staffed until 8.45am. If there are siblings who are not participating in choir then parents are responsible for their supervision.

PFA News

Big picture


A BIG thank you to all who attended the PFA Annual General Meeting. It was lovely to celebrate the year's accomplishments and welcome a new family to Parkhill along the way. Elaine commended the PFA for their efforts and the time dedicated to the school community.

In total the PFA raised approximately $24,000 profit in 2018, which is a fantastic achievement. The funds raised by the community help to enrich our school environment and make Parkhill its unique self!

The calendar of events for 2019 has been presented and passed by School Council and the year should, again, be packed with engaging and fun fundraising events for all of the community to access.

A message from Vanessa…….

The PFA has been vibrant and active in 2018. Our underpinning goal is to engage the community to create Fun, Friendship and Fundraising for our school. The motto ‘many hands make light work’ rang true this year, whereby many have shared the load to help make our activities enjoyable for all.

Successful fundraising and socialising don’t happen by accident. It takes time and effort in planning and preparation with much thanks to our amazing PFA Committee Members, Event Coordinators, Class Representatives and parent helpers who have kindly volunteered their time.

The PFA has been able to deliver a calendar of events and activities in 2018 that our school’s families, students and staff should be proud of. Thanks must also go to all our families and students that support our events to make them a success.

On a personal note I have found being involved in PFA has created many friendships and provided plenty of “magic moments” with students, parents and teachers alike. PFA is a team effort and as a group we’ve felt a tremendous sense of satisfaction that we have been able to make a difference and provide lots of opportunities to bring to our wonderful school community together.


1. Trivia and Comedy Night – A stellar crowd made these two events a huge success - both in terms of fundraising and hair-raising fun!

2. The Colour Run – I cannot get over how great it was seeing the whole school having so much fun at this event. This is definitely an awesome event that we will continue to run with some slight changes based on community feedback. Watch this space!

Recognition and Thank You

PFA Committee members and event coordinators – Thanks must go to all of our committee members for their time and dedication, especially Kylie, Sumi, Eva and Katrina for their role on the executive committee but many thanks also to Lisa, Fiona, Wendy, Janneke, Leanne, Wendy, Elle, Mark and Jason for all their time, effort and support. Thanks also to Helen, Stephanie and Kylie B for your event coordination.

Terrific Teachers and Staff - Our amazing faculty of teachers make it easy to want to help them; they are passionate about caring for our children. Thank you for cheerfully supporting PFA events and for being actively involved. Thank you to Jo and Steph in the office for all you do to assist PFA administratively and finally, thank you to Elaine and Michelle for your open doors and unwavering support.

Introducing the Parkhill Primary PFA for 2019:

Office Bearers:

President: Vanessa Cowley

Vice President: Vacant

Treasurer: Sumi Sundram

Secretary: Nadine Phillips

Committee Members:

Shadow Treasurer: Fiona Crellin

Communications: Eva Conley

General Members: Jason Van Lint, Elle Delmee, Mark Havas, Lisa Jacobson, Wendy Douglas, Janneke Storteboom, Leanne Knight, Kylie Touloupis, Donna Edwards, Katrina Battle


If you would like to be on our email distribution list and receive communication and minutes from our meetings please email

TWILIGHT SPORTS - Monday 18th March

Mike Larkin from Channel 10 News Weather is coming along to broadcast from Twilight Sports. Arrive at 5pm dressed in your school uniform to be on TV. The Channel 10 team will be set up on the decking area with that beautiful vista as a back drop to showcase all that Parkhill has to offer.

Don’t worry about dinner for the family - sausages will be on offer to fill those hungry tummies before the activities kick off at 6pm.

Don’t forget to bring along your house colours to jump into before the fun commences. Hope to see you there!

Big picture