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October 24, 2022

Principals News

Planned programs for 2023
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Planned programs for 2023
- Download the full newsletter

Welcome to term 4 week 4.  The term has started well except for the rain that caused havoc to our site with washouts and mud floating through the schoolgrounds. We like to give the children as much time to run around outside but unfortunately,we have had many indoor lunch times. Yesterday we were lucky to have a sunny afternoon to be able to run an outdoor assembly and thank you to so many parents who attended Friday.


Monday 31 October: The day before Melbourne Cup Day.Historically, the day before the Melbourne Cup holiday has seen few students in attendance at school. As a means of causing the least disruption to the educational program we have used the low student attendance as an opportunityto provide time-in-lieu (TiL) for teachers.


As expressed in the Victorian Government Schools Agreement 2022 and supported bythe Department of Education and Training, (TiL) compensates teachers for thetime they allocate beyond work hours throughout the year for student progress interviewsinvolving students, parents, and staff. In the past, irrespective of the time-in-lieu arrangement, the school has remained open on the Monday before Melbourne Cup Day and this will also be the case this year. However, while this day would seem to be the most appropriate in terms of minimising disruption to the educational program of the school in the provision of time-in-lieu, I am writing to ascertain your intention as to your child’s/children’s attendance on Monday 31 October for us to plan effectively.


Based on the previous pattern of low attendance it is most likely that an alternative educational program will be in place. Your information will be valuable in ascertaining staffing requirements for this day. I ask you to confirm with us only if your child will be attending on Monday 31 October by contacting your teacher.  I thank you for your cooperation with this matter


Planning for 2023: Here is an update regarding some of the changes unfolding as we prepare for 2023. This is plan A and it might change depending upon the number of students who enrol for next year over the remaining 8 weeks of term.  


Class Formation: We plan to operate 24 classes and we are very pleased to offer the following structure. Fortoday, here is the mix of students per class and level.

Preps will have 17 students per class x 4 classes

Year 1 will have 19 students per class x 3 classes

Year 2 will have 20 students per class x 4 classes

Note, these low numbers in the Junior school are ideal.

Year 3 will have 25 students per class x 3 classes

Year 4 will have 22 students per class x 4 classes

Year 5 will have 27 students per class x 3 classes

Year 6 will have 27 students per class x 3 classes


Teacher placement is nearly finalised but we have a few appointments to lock in.

Our 2023 student placement process for classes has begun as teams begin to look at the mix of academic, social and emotional needs that require sharing across their level to form even groups.


Yes and wow, we are offering a highly expanded range of specialist subjects compared to 2022. Specialist programs will include Visual Arts, Performing Arts, Physical Education, Science, Library and Auslan.


Other great initiatives on offer will include the Tutor Learning Initiative (Tli). Our school has received funding to assign part-time teachers to lead in class and pull-out programs tutoringstudents who need assistance in literacy and numeracy. This is a very successful initiative year 1 – 6 is offering a significant benefit to many children across all year levels.


Student Excellence program. This is a highly valued initiative that had to cease in term 4 this year, but it is funded for 2023. Student extension in literacy and numeracy is provided for year 3 – 6


Mental Health and Wellbeing Coordinator initiative.Our school has received funding to reappoint a part-time Health and Well-being teacher for 2023. Janine Tucker operates this program from the mindfulness centre. Her program provides great support for staff and students.


Additional Services for 2023: we will have a range of para professional,teacher and aides operating for 2023. This is a comprehensive and unique group of talented people working to offer a comprehensive and integrated support model.  This team support the class teacher teams. May I also add that I believe the ENPS provision is amazing and we are the absolute leader in resource provision amongst local schools.  We will have the following team offering the support model. Educational Psychologists, Speech and Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapist, Disability co-ordinator, Visiting teacher Service, Support and Extension teachers, Integration and Teacher aides.


Other topics:

Our school web site goes live this week.  It has taken a long time to finalise and ensure it works properly. We hope you enjoy the improvements.  The new link will be posted on compass for everyone to load and store.  


School Choir: Eltham North has two choirs. Year 2 - 4 to 6 are our junior voices and our year 5 - 6 choir group are called Eltham North singers.  Rehearsals are at lunchtime in the Music Centre and have a team of inspiring teachers leading students to singing and perform to their best ability. Both choirs look for opportunities to perform with the school culture and abroad. The choir performs at school fundraisers, Eltham Rotary Festival and the Nillumbik Choral Festival.


A new Instrumental Music program for 2022 will be operated by Adam Roach Music School. Adam Roach has taken over the program and has employed new teachers to lead drums, guitar, keyboard and singing in small group configurations. This is an exciting opportunity to introduce your child to learning a musical instrument at school.  The program will be open to all year levels.


Whole School Review Outcomes:  Late term 3 we completed a four year cycle and review of the school. We have many parents who are very interested in the progress and attainment of the school each year so we include a summary of the highlights for the period 2018 – 2022 and the new goals, targets and key improvement strategies that form the new 2023 – 2026 Strategic Plan.

School  and Community Highlights

Highlight  1

Title:  Teacher collaboration


The Panel found  that a key highlight for Eltham North PS was the collaboration and engagement  of teachers to collectively focus on student learning. This was particularly  evident in literacy where:

·              the programs offered were audited so their  effectiveness and the teacher perceptions of their impact on learning could  be used to enhance future practice and curriculum provision.

·              Strategic resource allocation ensured  literacy materials for teaching, assessment and student use were effective.  Students commented to the Panel that they had “excellent books” that were  targeted to their interest and level of reading. Teachers and leaders  commented that the shared resources were supporting them to collaborate and  discuss students working at different levels.

·              New literacy programs were introduced with  teacher professional learning provided to support classroom delivery and  ensure teaching team’s active involvement. This was followed by feedback on  teacher practice to share learning across the school.

Highlight 2

Title: Identifying student learning needs


The Panel found  that a second highlight for Eltham North PS was the use of evidence and data  to plan and target specific learning needs of students. This was particularly  evident in numeracy where:

·              the school’s assessment tool was used to  identify individual and group learning needs. This tool was consistently used  throughout the school to support and improve learning growth for students  across the ability range.

·              Teachers were supported to use the data  effectively, through professional learning and discussions with the school’s  leaders. This was enhanced by the development of a shared data platform which  encouraged teachers to share data and address wider cohort needs.

·              The Panel noted positive trends in NAPLAN  learning growth data, which aligned with teachers articulating their want to  provide “support and extension” to all students.

Highlight  3

Title:  Wellbeing provision.

FISO2.0 Core Element:


The Panel found a further highlight for Eltham North PS was the implementation of  whole school wellbeing programs and processes:

·              a Mental Health and Wellbeing coordinator  was introduced to support teacher capacity to improved provision for all  students. This involved the gathering and tracking of wellbeing data so  teachers could identify and address needs, to maximise support across year  group teams.

·              An explicit curriculum scope and sequence  for wellbeing was developed and simultaneously delivered so there was  increased consistency of wellbeing education and social and emotional  learning across the school. The Panel also heard from some students who referred  to the opportunities they had to take part in lunchtime wellbeing clubs and  access to the ‘mindfulness centre.’

·              The school adopted the Department of  Education and Training’s (DET) Resilience, Rights and Respectful  Relationships program, which complimented the schools adopted wellbeing  program and the school’s CARE values.


Key directions for the next SSP 2023 – 2026 – goals, targets and KIS

Goal 1:

Maximise  learning growth for all students.


The Panel  analysed NAPLAN data and wanted to see improved student learning growth for  all students, particularly those with higher previous learning attainment.  The Panel considered enhancing the Professional Learning Community cycle (PLC)  of inquiry approach and building opportunities for teachers to share best  practice and collaborate together would enhance teaching. In addition,  ensuring students were supported to take more ownership of their learning and  improve their voice and feedback would improve learning outcomes.



By 2026 increase the percentage of students with NAPLAN  ‘above’ benchmark growth in:

·              Reading  to increase from 23% (2021) to 30% or above (2026)

·              Numeracy  to increase from 22% (2021) to 28% or above (2026)

and NAPLAN ‘meeting’ and ‘above’ benchmark growth  in:

·              Spelling to  increase from 63% (2021) to 75% or above (2026)


By 2026 increase the percentage of students  maintaining top two bands in NAPLAN

Year 5

·              Reading  to increase from 73% (2021) to 77% or above (2026)

·              Writing  to increase from 41% (2021) to 45% or above (2026)

·              Numeracy  to increase from 62% (2021) to 66% or above (2026)


By 2026 increase the percentage of positive  endorsement in the Student Attitude Survey (AToSS)

·              Student  voice and agency from 55% (2022) to 65% or above (2026)

·              Stimulating  learning from 69% (2022) to 75% or above (2026)

·              Self–regulation  and goal setting from 74% (2022) to 82% or above (2026)

·              Motivation  and interest from 68% (2022) to 75% or above (2026)


By 2026 increase the percentage of positive  endorsement in the Staff Survey (SSS)

·              Academic  emphasis from 69% (2021) to 80% or above (2026)

·              Collective  efficacy from 83% (2021) to 87% or above (2026)

·              Teacher  collaboration from 69% (2021) to 79% or above (2026)

·              Instructional  leadership from 65% (2021) to 76% or above (2026)

Key Improvement Strategies (KIS)

FISO Core Element

1a. Build teacher capability to implement a whole  school teaching and learning model which challenges all students at point of  need.

Teaching and learning

1b. Further develop whole school teacher  collaboration opportunities to enhance student learning.

Teaching and learning

1c. Develop and embed a whole school strategy to  enhance student agency in their learning.


Goal 2

Enhance the wellbeing of all students.


The Panel  noted that student wellbeing was an ongoing priority to address students  social and emotional learning needs. The Panel was of the opinion that  student wellbeing was a key element of improving student learning and  engagement into the future. The Panel wanted to see the enhancement of whole  school wellbeing processes, the ongoing development of teacher capacity to  support student needs, particularly in resilience and respect. So, supporting  students to be actively engaged in managing their emotions and behaviours,  building social awareness, thus preparing them for positive futures beyond  school.



By 2026 increase the percentage of positive  endorsement in the Student Attitude Survey (AToSS)

·              Sense  of connectedness from 66% (2022) to 76% or above (2026)

·              Teacher  concern from 68% (2022) to 78% or above (2026)

·              Effective  classroom behaviour from 65% (2022) to 75% or above (2026)

·              Perseverance  from 66% (2022) to 76% or above (2026)


By 2026 increase the percentage of positive endorsement  in the Staff Survey (SSS)

·              Trust  in students and parents from 80% (2021) to 85% or above (2026)


By 2026 increase the percentage of positive  endorsement in the Parent Attitude Survey (POS)

·              Parent  participation and involvement from 79% (2021) to 85% or above (2026)

·              Student  agency and voice from 73% (2021) to 80% or above (2026)

Key Improvement Strategies (KIS)

FISO Core Element

2a. Further embed a whole school tiered approach  to wellbeing and mental health.


2b. Further develop staff capability to support  the wellbeing needs of all students.

Teaching and learning

2c. Further build students’ ability to develop  resilience, respect and a sense of responsibility for their own wellbeing.



In the new web site we will have a section that includes links to the full report.  


Featured special events coming up include the following:

Oct 25 Family Maths afternoon for year 1 families

Oct 27 Prep Zoo excursion

Nov 16 Year 3 Camp program begins and year 1 excursion

Nov 17 On line (ZOOM) Life Education session for parents in the evening

Nov 21 Prep swimming program starts

Nov 21 Life Education for year 6 students starts

Nov 22 Curriculum Day - no students attend school

Nov 28 Year 5 Camp program begins

Dec 5   Year 3 + 4 swimming program starts

Dec 7   Teacher Professional Practice Day – no students attend school

Dec 8   End of Year Christmas Singalong, Rotary BBQ+ Bushwahzee Band

Dec 12 Year 1 Swimming program starts

Dec 12 Year 6 Graduation Celebration Evening

Dec 13 Year 6 Orientation Day and year Prep – 5 transition sessions pm

Dec 16 Year 4 BDO + Year 6Survivor Day

Dec 19 Year 3 + 5 + 6 BDO

Dec 20 Last day of term


Note also you can go to the school calendar to see all planned events for the remainder of 2022.


Cheers everyone

David Foley.