Errol Street News #9

15 June 2015

Message from Sally

Thank you to the many members of our community who have corresponded with me regarding the issue of increasing student numbers at NMPS.

In this ‘Message From Sally’ entry, I write to assure the NMPS community that we are aware of the current situation and future numbers and growth projections.

NMPS has a proud history of being an excellent local school; however our local area includes spaces that were not historically places for families to reside, like the Docklands and the inner-city of Melbourne.

Our current local neighbourhood area is ascertained according to a general DET principle of ‘local neighbourhood school’. This can be found on the Department of Education & Training Website which states:

In most instances, you will be able to enrol your child into the government primary school nearest to where you live.
However, some primary schools need to restrict their enrolments – and the number of students they can take – to a particular area or zone around the actual school. This means that certain schools can only take students from a specific neighbourhood area. Where your permanent residential address is will determine whether your child is eligible to enrol in that school.
These enrolment restrictions are sometimes referred to as residential boundaries, school zones, enrolment ceilings or enrolment caps.
You should ask the primary school you are interested in whether they have any residential boundaries restricting their enrolments and, if so, the extent of the school’s neighbourhood area.  

Our neighborhood boundary is delineated by entering your residential address – the street number – into an on-line map and determining the walking distance to the neighborhood schools. We can also only take siblings who permanently reside in the Local Neighborhood Area.


What action has the School Council taken regarding restrictions and boundaries allocated to NMPS?

Our NMPS – School Council has been actively negotiating with the Minister for Education, SWR Regional Director, SWR –Manager - Provision and Planning and the DET infrastructure division.

There are many hurdles to leap and protocols that must be followed and to date our success rate has been extremely high due to our respectful approach to these bureaucratic requirements. Our fabulous new ‘Com.’ was installed and operational within 3 ½ weeks of it being delivered and we were using it within two days of arrival.

When I last met with the Minister Merlino, he reiterated his commitment to the complete refurbishment of Carlton PS, and the building of, and opening of a new school, in either Docklands or South Melbourne in 2018. If our neighborhood area is amended now, to direct inner-city and Docklands students to Carlton PS, then already a great percentage of enrolment pressure will be reduced. When the new school is built further consideration regarding neighborhood areas

What is School Council doing to deal with our school’s increasing enrolments numbers?

The School Executive Leadership Team and the School Council are currently in negotiation with all major stakeholders within the school community to accommodate the possible student increase for 2016.  The increase in numbers will be potentially caused by the fact that we are only losing sixty, year six students and if current trends of the last 5-6 years are accurate, we can assume we will enrol 100 Foundation year students. The trend across the school is usually quite ‘numbers neutral’ in that we lose 10-20 and gain the same.

Our plan is to develop another collaborative space in the school where a team of staff will work with an entire year level co-hort. This approach is research based and the evidence from our Flex, and across the school, is that collaborative teams, who work with an entire cohort of students demonstrate significant gains in student achievement.

At this stage we don’t believe we will need to work towards another two story relocatable but if the need arises in the next few years we have been given the assurance that it could be placed above the car park in line with the current Flex and Com.

Some enrolment numbers and projections:

Our intake for 2010-2014 has always been approximately 100 foundation students. We enrolled 115 for this year, 2015, however only 100 arrived and the confirmed numbers now are 105. We don’t anticipate that it will increase significantly and will develop an action plan to meet a total student population of approximately 685 students in 2016 and a peak of 700 in 2017 and beyond.

Our current numbers for 2016 are: Foundation – 100; Year 1 – 105; Year 2 – 100; Year 3 – 95; Year 4 – 95; Year 5 – 100 and Year 6 – 95 = 690 Total

In order to ensure this ‘peak’ doesn’t increase we would like to see the ‘local neighborhood zone/area’ is reduced. We are currently involved in further negotiations towards this action with the ‘influencers of policy’ as listed previously.

With respect to student safety at school we regard this as a major concern; the staff and students are always in consultation with the school leadership to ensure safety and adequate opportunities for play are provided.  We accurately record incidents and accidents in the yard following OH&S guidelines. All staff are trained annually in First Aid. There are three yard duty teachers, assigned to the three main play areas, at every play break and they carry first aid supplies and are visible by their high viz. vests.

Activities for Playtime:

The Student Council is negotiating with the student body to see what amendments we can make to the playground spaces to allow for more students to have opportunities to play. The Gym and table tennis tables will hopefully become a regular feature of our playtime activities. We run special clubs, at every break time, on a weekly basis including the library, band, choir and orchestra; drama, drawing, book and Lego clubs; gardening and Eco Warriors. Students have a great many opportunities to be inlet in a wide range of activities at break times. 

A new initiative is coming.

Tanja, who is our new School Council buildings and Grounds convener is meeting with me and we will be planning a SUPER SCHOOL ENVIRONMETAL RUMBLE-RESTORATION-RENOVATION DAY in Term 3 or 4. This will be a whole day with every child participating. Every family will need to be represented for at least an hour to RUMBLE and RESTORE and RENOVATE our grounds to make the play spaces better!

Where are our chickens?

The SAKGP & Languages chickens have made their holiday to the country permanent. We are currently investigating a different egg production program for the future.

As this is the last newsletter for the term I wish all our families and staff a warm and restful winter break.




Important Dates to Remember

16th Foundation - Year 3 First Aid Course 1/2
18th Foundation - Year 3 First Aid Course 2/2
19th Grade 6 Interschool Sports NMPS vs St Mary's 'A'
19th Foundation Year performance at Assembly 3.15pm
19th Student reports home
 23-24th Student Conferences
26th Camps & Schools Excursion Form due today
 26th Last day of Term 2 (1.30 dismissal)
13th Pupil Free Day
14th First Day of Term 3

We need your help!

helping hands

Volunteers needed for:

The Arts Festival is coming! We need parents & friends who have a range of experience with food, alcohol serving, music and lighting, cooking, putting up marquees, packing up and serving.

We are specifically in need of people with:

  • lighting assitance
  • Responsible Serving of Alcohol Certificates
  • Food Handling Certificates

Contact Meg on:

Working Bee for Rainbow Chairs. Contact Kristina on:




Dragon and Magic Castle story by Foundation Viv

Dragon and Magic Castle Prep D

Viv, Foundation D Teacher

This term students studied Fairy Tales and wrote a class story based on their research. The story considered writing concerns such as:

  • setting
  • characters
  • a problem
  • a solution.

The outcome shows how much fun writing can be!







The Dragon and the Magic Castle

Settings: Castle, Cave

Characters: Fairy Godmother, Knight, Dragon

Problem: Dragon breathed fire over everyone in the castle

Solution: Knight and Fairy Godmother tricked Dragon


Once upon a time there was a knight and a fairy godmother who lived in a beautiful magic castle. There was a large garden along the side of the castle walls.

Near the castle, a fire breathing sea dragon lived in a cave next to the sea.


The dragon really wanted to be the king of the castle and whenever it was hungry it would breathe fire over the castle and over the people who lived in it. Everyone was scared except the knight and the fairy godmother.


The Fairy Godmother and the Knight tricked the Dragon. The Fairy Godmother became invisible and turned the water into frozen mud. The Dragon followed the Knight into the frozen water-coloured mud and got completely stuck it. The mud put out his fire forever. 

The people were safe at last!


Arts Festival Painting Fundraiser

20150615 025

Year 4 Julia Painting, 2015, acrylic on canvas, h. 90cm , w. 120cm

This year's Arts Festival features the chance to bid on 29 huge paintings collaboratively made by each class.

Over the term break all paintings will on display in the NMPS office for closer inspection.

A Silent Auction sheet is place on each artwork and bidding is incremental. Bidding starts on the first day of term 3. Be sure to call in and see these magnificent works.


Quotes from Grade 5's highlighting their learning this semester

Jane, Year 5 Teacher

"Compare the flex to your old school when you were my age. When we learn the teachers make it fun to learn a new subject , l learnt a lot like new words and finding the area of a triangle. The flex is a place where you can learn have fun when you look around its full of happiness." - Anya 5B

"During the year of maths fun, I have learnt about things that I would never have believed possible at the start of the year. My brain ached with befuddlement and confusion as I stared down at the shapes with no meaning on my test before the topic of area and perimeter. After making a floor plan for a restaurant, I was proud that I met the specific contract." -Emma 5B

"...persuasive rose above them all. I had achieved so many goals like structuring the piece, writing a better introduction, etc. I had learnt to use the tone and mood correctly due the stimulus. In second came narrative. I now can write more descriptive, rising slowly upwards. I can now use similes in description with my eyes closed, but need help with the other descriptive language. I can get the bronze medal for brainstorming. I now realize the importance for brainstorming. I used to skip this prewriting idea collecting thing, but now I know it is a major step of the progress to writing an amazing piece." -Henry 5B

"So far this year, during my grade five journey, I have learnt many things. My mind is blown away! I am stunned at how much I improved now! I am really proud of learning heaps of stuff and pushing myself. For example I learnt how to calculate the circumference and area of a circle.I've learnt things that I never thought I would learn. The FLEX allows me work at my own pace and push myself when needed. I am engaged in the lessons so much, I've lost track of time!" - Chi 5C

"Whatever the opposite of passionate is, I certainly had it towards Numeracy. Notice that I said had, I couldn't exactly call maths fun....But I do feel more confident whenever I come across it now...We're doing this thing were the teachers give us a job in each unit. First, we explored Australia being Census collectors in groups of 5 or 6. Then, we traveled around the country in pairs, and just recently we were restaurant owners opening what may have been many successful businesses!" -Dusty 5C

"Inquiry taught us loads of historical things, ranging from the mind-boggling Gold Rush, to the two depressing World Wars. Though I like it when we do our own research, our own subject and ideas for creative things. Yep, my favourite unit in inquiry was definitely the memory box project. The memory box project has taught me loads of things. Heard of the Father Of Federation? The Australian Flag Badge? And we get to choose our own subject! Yes - Mum, Dad, the memory box project was definitely my favourite inquiry unit." - Ethan 5C

"Numeracy is by far, the best session in the FLEX for me. One, it's a lot more fun then numeracy in any other building. Two, we learn it in the best way and three, who doesn't like maths? We've had lots of fun units in maths. These include, the extension group with Craig, the student census, the  V/line project and the restaurant owner. My favourite one, being the one involving the most brain power, was by far the V/line project. In the V/line project, you had one month to travel around Victoria, as well as the occasional interstate travel, and go to at least 10 different cities and towns via the V/line travel network. I found it quite fun, traveling to places, here and there, stopping for a day's rest in the middle of your journey from Canberra to Adelaide, figuring out how long it takes to get from your departure town to your destination on a certain day, it was just mind blowing, how fun it was." - Fergus 5D

"You walk into the school and stare at the marvel of architecture before you ( the FLEX ). You step through the sparkling glass doors and into the welcoming learning space. The small thud of someone dropping a pencil is enough to pierce the quiet learning silence. You look at the eight other spaces and stare at the amazing spiral staircase, that rises up into oblivion. This is the place that I have been privileged enough to learn in for the past semester. I enjoyed every lesson I endured, even numeracy, which brings me to what I learnt in maths." - Lara 5D

Maribyrnong Division - Inter-school Cross Country Championships

images 6

The Cross Country Team

On Thursday May 28th, Students from NMPS participated in the Maribyrnong Division Inter-school Cross country Championships.
It was a fantastic day and we had some excellent results.
In the 9/10 girls we had two entries, Amelia and Mei. The girls both qualified for the next round of running, a fantastic effort. Amelia won the race and Mei came 10th.
We had four entries in the 11 year old Girls race. Hazel came fifth, Mietta seventh, Ella fifteenth and Lara was seventeenth. Both Hazel and Mietta have progressed to the next region event.
In the 12/13 year boys, Noah and Jack competed, again with excellent results. Noah finished tenth and Jack twelfth. Noah moving through to the next round of competition.
It was a great team effort from all.

Student Conferences for Term 2

NMPS Leadership Team

Dates for student conferences are as follows:

Tuesday 23rd June 2015: Years 3, 4, 5 & 6 Student Conferences

Wednesday 24th June 2015: Years Prep, 1 & 2 Student Conferences

In a year of positive assessment & reporting changes at North Melbourne PS, we would like to ensure that all families take the opportunity to attend Student Conferences which will be happening in Week 11 of this term.

A Student Conference is the opportunity for our students and their parents/carers to celebrate their learning and reflect upon how they have worked towards achieving their academic and personal goals. They differ from teacher-directed parent teacher interviews in that the students are more actively involved in the learning and the reporting process.                                                                                                                                                                                                      Some of the benefits of student conferences are:

  • They allow parents, students and teachers to celebrate the student’s success together

  • They give students the opportunity to demonstrate improvement in their learning

  • They link directly to future learning and goal setting

  • They promote organizational and communication skills in students

  • They promote self-confidence and self-reflection in students

  • They encourage students to take ownership of their learning

  • They challenge students to think and talk about their learning

The main difference from a traditional parent-teacher interview is that a student conference is a student-led rather than a teacher-led conversation about the student’s learning. The purpose of the conference is for the student to discuss their learning goals and not the teacher unpacking the written report.

All students will have the opportunity to share and celebrate their progress with their parents/carers on their allocated afternoon/evening. There may also be other families in the learning space at the same time involved in conferences and the teacher will move between them in a facilitating role.

Families will need to book in for a conference time by visiting and entering the event code:  9YWWH

The North Melbourne Primary School Philosophy is underpinned by the following beliefs and practices:

  • All children can learn

  • Learning outcomes will be maximised when children feel safe, connected and engaged at school

  • Students are encouraged to be active and self-directed in their learning

  • Our school values are reflected within all we do

Based on our Philosophy, we encourage all our students from Foundation to Year 6 to take responsibility for their learning by setting challenging goals, reflecting on their personal effort during learning opportunities and celebrating their achievements.  These are all vital components of the learning process.

Reports will be sent home in week 10 on Friday 19th June.

If parents have any queries regarding their child’s report that require clarification, then parents can make a further appointment to speak with their child’s teacher at a later date.



Natural Simultaneous Story time (NSS) at NMPS

Simul Reading

Amanda, Literacy & Languages

On Wednesday the 27th of May all NMPS students and teachers went to the oval to participate in the Natural Simultaneous Storytime (NSS). The sun even came out for the event on what was a typical rainy day in Melbourne.

Every year a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and even the Royal Childrens Hospital.

The aim of NSS is to promote …

  • Reading
  • the value and fun of books;
  • an Australian writer and publisher
  • storytime activities in public libraries and communities around the country
  • opportunities to involve parents, grandparents, the media and others to participate in and enjoy the occasion.


This year the book that represented this event was The Brothers Quibble by Aaron Blabey. It is a fantastic and funny book and appeals to many age groups including themes that everyone can relate to.

Camps & Schools Excursion Funding (CSEF) Due 26th June

The CSEF is an annual payment to the school to be used towards camps, sports and/or excursion expenses for the benefit of the eligible student.

•     Primary school student rate: $125 per year.

CSEF payments cannot be claimed retrospectively for prior years and must be submitted by Friday 26th June 2015.

Upload the document and return to the school office with a valid Be an eligible Centrelink Health Care Card (HCC) or Pensioner Concession Card (PCC) holder.


Biz – E – Kidz News

Sharon, Biz – E – Kidz

Winter Holiday program has booked out!
Biz – E – Kidz have received an unprecedented amount of holiday program bookings, resulting in many families not receiving all of their requested days. Biz – E – Kidz is doing all that we can to accommodate families who have been placed on the wait list and will be in touch with families as soon as places become available. In the meantime, please visit the ‘MyChild’ website and use the search function to find a Child Care Benefit approved alternative.
Biz – E –Kidz uses the government guideline for priority of access to childcare. As most families fall into similar priority categories, this means that a place cannot be guaranteed regardless of when your booking form is submitted.
We are looking into solutions for this for these holidays and future holiday programs. If you have any feedback or suggestions, please contact Biz – E - Kidz on
Don’t forget to cancel your after school care
At Biz – E – Kidz we are aware that your child will not need to attend a regular booking from time to time, whether due to illness, holidays or other unexpected occurrences. Please remember to let Biz – E – Kidz know if your child will not be attending, particularly an after school care session. We are required to follow up all children who fail to turn up to after school care to ensure their safety. The best way is to call 9329 5529 and leave a message. A quick phone call can save a lot of time and stress and is very much appreciated.
Families are charged for casual absences and are allowed to claim child care benefits for up to 42 absences per financial year before they lose CCB and CCR for any further absences. For more information see