Assistant Principal P-4 News June 17th

  • Wednesday, June 15, 2016
  • Rachel Wood

End of Semester Assembly

Encouragement, Not Just Praise

Happy Holiday

This is a reminder to all our prep to year four families, that our end of semester one assembly will take place in the gym starting at 9 o’clock on Monday the 20th of June. Please note the change of time from 9.15am to 9.00am. At this assembly, we will be introducing our Junior School Captains, our Student Representative Council members as well as our House Captains. They are:

Junior School Captains – Kaeli Cathery (4C) and Peter Jefferies (4G)

Year Two SRC members – Hannah Ellis (2A) and Andy He (2E)

Year Three SRC members – Jake Boniwell Lombardero (3F) and Melissa Rademeyer (3C)

Year Four SRC members – Sienna Lee (4C) and Aiden Dumesny (4F)

House Captains - Eric Bararia, Amelia Dalton, Nihal Dhaliwal, Stacey Sinclair, Cedere McMiller, Grady Cooper, Hope MacMillan and Patrick Brealey.

We will also be having a performance from the year one and two musical theatre group.

Encouragement, Not Just Praise

It may sound strange to consider not always praising our children. However, constant praise that implies everything is always “great, wonderful, fantastic and good” sometimes becomes a bit overdone.

Using encouraging phrases often helps children to keep trying even when things aren’t great. It also acknowledges that the effort, the attempt, the act of having a go and working on something is worthy of acknowledgement, even if it doesn’t always work out. Encouragement helps build resilience and self-esteem and models for children that it is productive and constructive to have a go - even if you don’t always achieve the intended outcome. Praise and encouragement are both lovely for children but encouragement is often underdone and praise is often overdone. Finding the balance is the key!

Some examples of encouraging phrases and comments:

• I can see you have tried hard with that today.

• I like the way you had a go.

• I can see you have had to try really hard with that.

• I like the way you kept trying.

• I wonder if there is another way you could try to make that work.

• I enjoyed playing together with you today.

• I know you are finding this hard. Perhaps there is another way...!

• How do you feel you went with that today?

I would like to take this opportunity to wish all our students a very happy holiday. Stay warm and safe and we look forward to seeing you back here after the holidays.

Marg Holness

Assistant Principal P-4

Year 3 & 4 Debating

  • Thursday, June 02, 2016
  • David Williams

This term and continuing into next term a number of students across Years 3 and 4 have been participating in extra-curricular internal debating.

On Monday the 23rd of May a number of these students participated in an ‘Introduction to Debating’ workshop presented by the Debaters Association of Victoria. Throughout the day we discovered the ‘Method, Matter and Manner’ of debating and had a lot of fun trying out our new powers of persuasion. This week we have started looking into the construction of an argument on the topic of pocket money and next week we are focusing on our rebuttal with the topic of ‘University should be mandatory’.

Debating teams meet every Tuesday at recess and should be congratulated for their commitment. We look forward to celebrating their achievements and inviting you to watch them in action later in the year.

Rachel Pontiffs

Assistant Principal’s News P-4 June 3rd 2016

  • Wednesday, June 01, 2016
  • Rachel Wood


P-4 Semester One Assembly

Self Esteem

I feel that it is very important for students to have a healthy level of self-esteem. Children who have a well developed self-esteem appear to be able to handle day to day situations a lot easier than children who have low self-esteem. Here are some ways parents can help develop their child’s self-esteem.


Children’s feelings of self – worth or self – esteem influence their happiness, success at school and the way they relate with others. Their self – esteem is influenced by their experiences of success and the messages they receive from those around them. Children with a healthy level of self – esteem usually take sensible risks and extend themselves more, as they have a realistic view of mistakes. Failure doesn’t reflect on them personally, they are still OK and they won’t fall apart when things don’t go their way. Children with a healthy self – esteem tend to be more resilient and cope better with problems and any changes that may occur.

• Develop independence in children. Allow children to do things for themselves as soon as they are able. This sends a powerful message that you think that they are capable and able to take some control over their world.

• Celebrate children’s efforts and achievements in an enjoyable way. Have a display space at home for schoolwork, art and awards they have received . Change the display frequently and make sure that each child’s efforts are represented.

• Send frequent positive messages to children. Focus on their strengths rather than criticising weaknesses and continually pointing out misbehaviour. When providing feedback mention a strength first : ‘Mathew, I like the way you put expression in your voice when you read. Now let’s work on some of these words you are having trouble with.’

• Value your children’s ideas, thoughts and opinions. Listen to them and help them to express their feelings and thoughts. Accept rather than reject their ideas even though you may disagree with them.

• Help children experience success by breaking complex tasks into achievable goals. For instance, a young child can learn to make a bed by first arranging teddies, smoothing the doona and progressing from them.

P-4 Assembly

This is a reminder about our P-4 Assembly for semester one. It will be held on Monday the 20th of June in the gym. This assembly will start at 9.15am.

Marg Holness

Assistant Principal P-4

Assistant Principal News P-4 May 20th 2016

  • Thursday, May 19, 2016
  • Rachel Wood

P-4 Assistant Principal News


2. Assembly

At Point Cook College we promote School Wide Positive Behaviours and we have four behaviours we expect to see at all times. These are:

• We are Learners

• We are Responsible

• We are Respectful

• We are Safe

As adults in this College community, it is vitally important that we always demonstrate these four behaviours. It is really important that we support our School Crossing Supervisors by using these behaviours when driving around our College community before and after school. If we all use these behaviours all our students will be safe and this is our top priority. I urge you all to help us to keep everyone safe. Thank you.

I have heard that some parents take it upon themselves to confront other students and parents in the yard or at the YMCA over incidents that have happened at school. If as a parent you are not happy with something that has happened, please follow the Grievance Policy which is on the College website and follow procedures correctly. There are only five short steps to follow. Please do NOT confront students or other adults and always use our four expected behaviours when communicating with others.

To celebrate all the wonderful work our P-4 students have done this semester we will be holding a formal assembly on Monday the 20th of June, starting at 9.15am in the gym. At this assembly this semester, we will be having a special performance from the Year 1 and 2 Musical Theatre Group.

Marg Holness

Assistant Principal P-4

Hawk Moth Caterpillar - Sighted

  • Thursday, May 19, 2016
  • David Williams

This week Sienna and Summer found three hawk moth caterpillars in their grape vines whilst in their Garden class with Mrs Moore. They were vert excited and did some research to then write the below report.

Grapevine Hawk Moth Caterpillar


Grapevine Hawk Moth Caterpillars come in different colours including green, brown, red or dark grey. They have an eye spot on each side of their first segment so when they grow into an adult, they can scare off predators. They caterpillars can grow up to 5cm. The moth's wingspan can grow up to 6cm. The moths are nocturnal.

What do they do when they are disturbed?

When the caterpillars are disturbed , they curl up into a 'c' shape, and tucks its head into their thorax to make it look like a well, doo-doo.Then the predators won't eat the caterpillars.


The moth has a long tongue used for sucking up nectar. The caterpillar feeds on grapevines. Although it eats grapevines, it doesn't eat the grapes. This is because the grapes are too hard for their teeth to bite.


The larva can be green, yellowish green or even brown. The larva can grow to 4mm long when they hatch. They also have a small red spike on their tail.


The caterpillars and moths are found in Asia, Australia, Europe and Africa. You will find them in woodlands, meadows, gardens and farmlands. Their habitat types are terrestrial.

How we felt

When we first saw the caterpillars, we were scared and excited at the same time. We took into the environmental science room and put them in a tank full of grape leaves and grapevines.

The End By Summer and Sienna 4B

Active Kids Lacrosse Incursion

  • Thursday, May 19, 2016
  • David Williams

On Friday 12th and 13th of May, year four students continued their exploration of different sports. Coaches from the Victorian Lacrosse Association, worked with students to try out Lacrosse skills. The state coach said 'There were a number of children who could be great players.

Active kids is a partnership program with Wyndham Council that aims to promote healthy lifestyle for students and their families.

For community members who are interested in joining a Lacrosse club the Wyndham Lacrosse club flyer is available.

Jeff Wilson

Assistant Principal News P-4 May 2016

  • Thursday, May 05, 2016
  • Rachel Wood


This is just a reminder to all parents who have children in years three; five, seven and nine that next week is NAPLAN week. On Tuesday the students will be doing Language Conventions and Writing. On Wednesday they will do Reading and on Thursday they will do Numeracy. Please note that these tests will start at 9 o’clock, so all students need to be at school on time please. If a student misses a test or tests, they will have the opportunity to catch up ONE Test on Friday morning. If you would like your child to do a catch up test, please put it in writing to their class teacher, whom will then give it to me, so as I can arrange for that catch up test to be done. The only catch up day will be Friday the 13th of May 2016.

NAPLAN tests the sorts of skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life, such as reading, writing, spelling, grammar and numeracy. It is important to remember that NAPLAN tests are not pass/fail tests. At the classroom level it is one of a number of important tools used by teachers to measure student progress.

Information specifically for parents and carers can be found in the 2016 NAPLAN information brochure for parents and carers ( 124kb).

NAPLAN results

Schools will receive NAPLAN reports for their students from mid-August to mid-September, depending on their state or territory test administration authority. The school will notify you when the reports are being sent home. The same report format is used for every student in Australia.

How is NAPLAN performance measured?

NAPLAN is not a pass or fail type test, and is designed to illustrate the range of student performance across the country. Individual student performance is shown on a national achievement scale for each test. The performance of individual students can be compared to the average performance of all students in Australia. Preparation for NAPLAN

NAPLAN assesses literacy and numeracy skills that students are already learning through the school curriculum. Teachers will ensure that students are familiar with the test formats and will provide appropriate support and guidance. Excessive preparation is not useful and can lead to unnecessary anxiety.

NAPLAN tests are constructed to give students an opportunity to demonstrate skills they have learned over time through the school curriculum, and NAPLAN test days should be treated as just another routine event on the school calendar. The best way you can help your child prepare for NAPLAN is to reassure them that NAPLAN tests are just one part of their school program, and to urge them to simply do the best they can on the day.

“No one really likes tests or exams. Here are a few tips,” says Andrew Fuller, Clinical Psychologist

1. Remember everyone gets stressed during tests and everyone has to learn how to manage these feelings.

2. Know that stress is your body’s way of getting ready to take on a challenge and perform at your best. “Stress can help us to perform at high levels - as long as we know how to keep it in check” Andrew Fuller, Clinical Psychologist.

3. Write down your concerns about the upcoming test as questions – and then write answers to those questions. “Just writing out your fears, getting them out of your head and onto some paper helps you to gain some perspective” Andrew Fuller, Clinical Psychologist.

4. Focus on doing your best with the questions in front of you, rather than thinking about how you did in past tests. “Performance in any area requires presence- focus on what you have to do right now” Andrew Fuller, Clinical Psychologist.

5. If you breathe out and count silently, “one thousand, two thousand, three thousand”, you will start to feel calmer. “The part of our calming system is activated when we breathe out slowly” Andrew Fuller, Clinical Psychologist.

6. Maintaining a powerful posture sends a signal to your brain that tells it you are feeling in charge of things. “Your brain is extremely clever but it can also be pretty stupid. It believes what you tell it. If you hold a power posture your brain notices and decides that you are feeling fine and lowers the levels of stress” Andrew Fuller, Clinical Psychologist.

7. Eat breakfast – a mix of protein (like eggs) and carbohydrates (like toast). “Usually a higher protein, lower carbohydrate mix increases memory, concentration and energy” Andrew Fuller, Clinical Psychologist.

8. Drink water. Avoid energy drinks, which may interfere with your levels of concentration. “Energy drinks increase your levels of adrenaline making you feel wired. If you are feeling stressed you are better to drink water as it reduces your levels of cortisol – the stress hormone” Andrew Fuller, Clinical Psychologist.

9. Get a good night’s sleep. “Before a test or exam it’s best to get a good night’s sleep.” Andrew Fuller, Clinical Psychologist.

10. Remember that tests and exams are important, but they are not the big predictors of life – Andrew Fuller, Clinical Psychologist.

Mother’s Day Afternoon

On Friday afternoon it was great to see so many prep to year two mums come in for a special mother’s day afternoon. It was great to see the students proudly showing their mums their homeroom and then pampering them with a special treat. I hope that all mums have a wonderful day on Sunday. I know that your children will spoil you. Enjoy the day.

Marg Holness

Assistant Principal P-4

Assistant Principal News P-4 April 2016

  • Thursday, April 21, 2016
  • Rachel Wood

I would like to start by saying “Welcome back” to all our families in Years Prep to Four. A very special “Welcome” to all families that are new to Point Cook College. Term Two is the longest term of the year, as it is eleven weeks long. It is a very busy teaching and learning term and all year levels will be very hard at work.

On Thursday night we held Parent Teacher Interviews for all students in years one, two, three and four and I was delighted to see so many families coming to school to meet with the teacher. These interviews are a wonderful opportunity to discuss your child with their teacher.

It has been wonderful to see so many of our year three and four students come to school with their iPads. It has been very unfortunate that on some days we have students coming to school without their iPads because they have done something wrong at home. Ipads in year three and four are part of the every day teaching and learning program and if they are not at school it impacts on the child for that day. Please send the iPads to school every day. Thank you for your understanding in this regard.

This is a reminder to all parents who have students in years three, five, seven and nine that Naplan is in the week starting Monday the ninth of May.

Here is a list of the dates and times of the Naplan Program.

Tuesday 10th May 2016

1. Language Conventions 9.15am

Yr 3: 40 min

Yr 5: 40 min

Yr 7: 45 min

Yr 9: 45 min

2. Writing 11.30am

Yr 3: 40 min

Yr 5: 40 min

Yr 7: 40 min

Yr 9: 40 min

Wednesday 11th May 2016

3. Reading 9.15am

Yr 3: 45 min

Yr 5: 50 min

Yr 7: 65 min

Yr 9: 65 min

Thursday 12th May

4. Numeracy 9.15am

Yr 3: 45 min

Yr 5: 50 min

Yr 7 (calculator) 40 min

Yr 9 (calculator) 40 min

Yr 7 (non-calculator) 40 min

Yr 9 (non-calculator) 40 min

Please read the letter in the link below for more information.

Sample Naplan letter to parents

Marg Holness

Assistant Principal P-4

Premier's Reading Challenge 2016

  • Monday, March 21, 2016
  • Rachel Wood

The Premier's Reading Challenge is on again for 2016. Students challenge themselves to see if they can read a set number of books before it finishes in September. Two thirds of the books must be on the Challenge booklists with the remainder being free choice.

If your children are in Years 1 & 2 and are struggling with reading, books may be read to them instead.

Upon successful completion of the challenge students can consent to have their name printed on an online honour roll and to receive a certificate. Registration / consent forms are available at the library. Prep students will have already received one.

Sonja Faust

Assistant Principal News P-4 March 2016

  • Thursday, March 10, 2016
  • David Williams

I am still noticing a large number of students arriving late for school. It is vital that your child arrives at school on time, to ensure that their learning and the learning of their classmates is not disrupted. The school day begins at 8.40am, when your child’s homeroom teacher will open the door to allow your child to come into the room to prepare for learning. Learning time officially begins at 8.50am, no students should be arriving later than this and we ask that all parents be out of the room by this time to allow for teaching and learning to start.

On Thursday the 24th of March we will be holding our annual Prep Easter Hat Parade. Students will be making hats, masks or headbands in their homerooms, however we encourage students to be creative and make hats at home if they would like to. Parents are invited to join the Easter festivities in the gym from 9am to 10am and help celebrate a wonderful first term for our prep students.

I am very often out on yard duty and I am very disappointed to see that a large number of our prep to year four students are not wearing our school hat. This has especially surprised me this week, as it has been extremely hot. I speak from first hand experience about the damage that the sun can cause at a very young age and the consequences of it are not very pleasant at all. I strongly encourage all parents to ensure that their child has the correct hat at school.

The staff of the YMCA has asked me to remind all of our parents not to park in their car park before or after school. This is to ensure the safety of all the very young students who use this facility.

Marg Holness

Assistant Principal P-4