Newsletter #18 1 December 2023


    Learning Today.                     Leading Tomorrow.

Term 4 has been action packed and December has arrived very quickly.

At the School Council on Monday night, I presented my final Principal and Staff Report. Here is some of which has taken place during a very busy 9 weeks of this term:

  • Prep 2024 Transition sessions 1-3 and Parent Information scheduled for Tuesday 28 Nov
  • Four and Six square surface Installations completed.
  • One year since we will have marked Gymnasium partial handover on 30 Nov.
  • 2024 Student Leadership Interviews
  • Swimming
  • Semester 2 Student Reports
  • Staffing Planning for Pupil Organisation 2024

To outgoing Councillor Kathryn Dench, I thank you for being a highly supportive member of our school community and for your wonderful work as Secretary on Council this year and in previous years as well. You have provided us with a balanced, supportive, and insightful perspective on all occasions. Thank you to Joseph Yeung, for whom it will be his final meeting as his child also graduates Grade 6 as well. To David Jenkins, I thank him for his dedication to the Council and for being a member for 10 years. He has been proactive, diligent, and consistent with his cyclic reviews of policy, and overall contribution to support the work of Council. A definite highlight has been to acknowledge his enthusiasm and thorough approach to leading the change of House names at GHPS from Australian Explorers to Indigenous Fauna names. Such a wonderful achievement.

It is with much heartfelt thanks that I happily, but very much tinged with sadness acknowledge that the Nov meeting is the final formal Council meeting for me. After joining School Council as a classroom teacher in 1997, I have been on Council ever since; both in supportive and in leadership roles and on each subcommittee over this stretch of time. It has been a privilege to collaborate with each of you and share your desire to make improvements where we can to enable our superstar students and your children to have the most deserved, best, sparkly, and happy experience at school as is possible.

A very big show of appreciation and gratitude for the support to all councillors who have helped me in my role, in particular my staff: Mr White, Mrs Oldham, Liz Howard  and Mr Jenkins who contribute in such a positive and tireless way and with whom we are awe of in the way they just want the best for our whole school community. Special thanks to Supriya for taking on the role of President. An amazing person in being the sixth President with whom I’ve had the wonderful and great fortune to get to know and work alongside.

Successful New School Logo

It must be recognised that this time last year the Council was embarking on this for 2023! Amazing to see how far we have come:) The new logo makes me feel so proud when I look at it: it just feels uplifting with a certain style, confidence, and understated excellence. Something to definitely celebrate!

Celebrating the festive season

Being able to come together for Christmas songs is one of GHPS’ term 4 favourite events that will give us a real feel for the up-and-coming festive season. We look forward to celebrating with you. Lots of festivities in December and we also wish all our families who will be celebrating Hanukkah a very happy time as well. Students will be performing as of 5pm with the Preps starting first. There will be a food truck and a Christmas Hamper Raffle. Please see the GPA SignUp Here to help wrap the hampers and please drop in your donations to the Office before Monday!

Student enrolments

The projected numbers of students is as follows, however we know that these numbers can change if families take up new housing, which is very common at this time of the year. As this is the case, the school will monitor the transfers in and out closely as per usual.

Prep 54
Yr 1 47
Yr 2 37
Yr 3 35
Yr 4 40
Yr 5 40
Yr 6 29
Total 282

2024 Prep Enrolments

Currently there are 54 students enrolled for Prep. The projected number was 60.

There has been good attendance at the four Prep transition sessions. Students have been enjoying the transitions sessions in the Art Room, outdoors in PE and exploring Science in the classrooms with Ms de Bryne, Ms Kasambalis, Mrs Oldham, Ms Draper, Mr Bowden, Mrs Marini, and Lisa.

The final transition session on Tuesday 28 November enabled both students and parents to attend. There was very good attendance and I thank our staff Mr White, Mrs Burns, Laura, GPA: Abbi, Daniel, and School Captains, Zoya and Asher for their wonderful contributions. It was fascinating to hear from everyone and an insight into each perspective.

2024 Staffing and Workforce Planning

There has been progress made in finalising staffing, classes including locations for next year.

Staff are looking forward to some exciting changes and appreciate the opportunity to grow professionally and teach different levels in new classes.

Ms Sarah Price has been appointed 0.6 which is 3 days to teach PE. Ms Piscioneri will be returning from maternity leave to teach Music 3 days per week and Ms Attwood will return 3 days per week to teach Year 4/5 with Ms Sassos. We are still to confirm what will happen with Mrs Lexie Boomsma returning to teach LOTE.

With the return of ongoing staff, we will be farewelling Ms Mitcham who has been teaching Year 2. Ms Mitcham has greatly enjoyed her opportunity to be on staff and is looking forward to pursuing professional development and part time creative and artistic interests. We greatly appreciate her highly valuable contribution that she has made to our school this year and will miss her presence at GHPS.

Based on the projected number of student enrolments who will be funded through the Student Resource Package (SRP), there will be sufficient budget to operate 12 classes. Key to this organisation is the requirement that all teachers need to be released for 4 hours from non- face- to- face teaching each week. This will be covered by students attending one hour of Art, PE, Music each week and one hour of LOTE or Science each Semester.

To maintain even class sizes for all levels with configurations that have an even spread of girls and boys and ability levels, the school will be organised as follows. Instead of 5/6 classes, there will be multi age classes (or composites) in year levels 2/3 and in 4/5. The 4/5 and 6 teachers will be in one team. Staff have been planning for 2024 this week, and as per all weeks, teachers will use the Victorian Curriculum to plan for teaching their year levels. All teaching teams will demonstrate high expectations for every student as well as being responsive to student’s individual needs and interests.

Proposed plan: There may of course be further changes if the numbers change significantly.

2024 12 classes East West

Mr Ryan Bowden PB

Ms Carly Draper PC

Ms Zoe Marini PA

Building A




1 Mrs Yasmin Moran

Ms Becky Broxham

Mod 5



2/3 Ms Marie Kasambalis

Ms Ashleigh Casas

Ms Ash Smart

MOD 5 Oval 23-24
LOTE: Japanese  Ms Lexie Boomsma TBC MOD 5 Oval 25 26

Chess/Guitar/Code Camp

MOD 5 Asphalt

10  11 

4/5 Mrs Mikaela King

Ms Kamila Krauze

Mrs Eugenia Sassos/Mrs Ivana Attwood

Room 1 & 2

Room 5

Room 6


Choir 4-6, Band 

Mr John Jacobs Room 7 & 8

Room 9 

High Ability Program, Tutor Learning & Science Specialist

TreeHouse Reading

Mrs Melinda Oldham 2 days and 1 day per week teaching Science: Sem 1: Gr 4-6

Sem 2: Prep -3

Ruth Kinyua Smyth

Room 4  

Tree House Reading Library Area

Library: Lisa

Class teachers

16 & 17
Art P-6

Yr 1 Music

Ms Juz de Bruyn  Artroom


PE & Sport Ms Sarah Price Gymnasium



Junior Choir 2/3

Prep, 2, 3-6

Ms Claire Piscioneri Music Room


Principal Mrs Nerida Burns Main Office Area 
Assistant Principal Mr Cameron White Main Office Area 
Business Manager Ms Liz Howard Main Office & Foyer
Admin  Laura James- Clark Main Office Foyer 
Little BookWorms 

Student Support 

Lisa Oliver Library
Education Support Lisa Oliver, Ruth Kinyua-Smyth, Bindu Ayyala, Liz Mahoney, Tanya Matthews (new ES to replace Cheng) Classrooms Classrooms

Rationale and additional considerations

  • Equitable to have all 4/5 and 2/3 the same (just as the school has done previously with 5/6
  • Morale for students and teachers
  • Each PLC is working with the same cohort level.
  • Newly arriving enrolments can be spread across three classes.
  • Teaching to the point of need on the Vic Curriculum Continuum (Literacy and Numeracy) and differentiating so students are challenged.


Students in Grades P-5 will be able to enjoy two transition sessions with the teachers in week 10 and week 11, in addition to the Year 6 students who will attend Year 7 Transition on Tuesday 5 December.

Students have been asked to write down the names of 6 friends so as to ensure that they are with a friend next year.

Students make new friends in their new class and it is often a highlight written in the student comment area of their report how they have enjoyed getting to know new students and new teachers.

Congratulations to Ms Jasmine Roth

We have been very excited to hear the news that Ms Jasmine Roth and husband Mike have welcomed the safe arrival of their beautiful daughter Violet and a little sister for River, on Monday 27 November.

We wish your family much happiness and joy.

2024 Student Leadership

The Grade 5 students wishing to be considered for a Student leadership role have been presenting applications and putting forth reasons as to why they aspire to lead the students of GHPS in 2024.

The Grade 5/6 teachers have read the applications and invited students to attend an interview. When interviewing for the School Captains, this year’s Captains Zoya and Asher have been part of the interview process. They have provided a unique perspective of how the applicants have responded to the four questions asked of them.

Also, on the panel with Mr Jacobs, Mrs King, Ms Krauze, Mr White, and I have been highly impressed by our students and what they are telling us about their capabilities.

All students can feel very proud of the way they presented in their interview and we greatly appreciate the way you have answered all our questions. It was a privilege to meet with each of you.

2023 AIP Evaluation

Stuart Andrews will attend GHPS on Monday 11 December to review our progress and achievement with the three goals: Numeracy, Wellbeing and Literacy.

The development of the 2024 AIP has commenced with Mrs Nerida Burns being present to contribute with the LS team. When the draft is completed and reviewed by the PLC Leadership team it will be uploaded and attested by the School Council President before 20 December 2023.

Assembly and Morning Tea on 8 December

I am very much looking forward to having a farewell assembly and morning tea with members of the school and wider community.

I have been frequently reflecting on my teaching and leadership career with much joy and immense pride. I definitely am grateful for a professional life well lived with amazing highlights and encounters with so many truly wonderful students, staff, colleagues, and parents.

From 1980 when I first started teaching (and when I told one student this amount of time was 43 years, she seemed quite stunned that this was her father’s age!) I’ve seen an enormous amount of change and lots of improvements along the way. Starting out as a young 21 year old – well I can’t tell how fast that has gone…but I have so many treasured memories stored away. One highlight is that I am very grateful that of the 37 or so years in education, 30 of those have been as a teacher, then Assistant principal and Principal since 2006 at GHPS.

More to be said on the 8th and I am really hoping to see everyone there:)

On Leave

I will be on Leave as of Friday 1 through to Monday 4 December to travel to Sydney/ Wollongong to visit my daughter.

If you require any assistance or support during this time, please contact Mr Cameron White, your child’s class teacher or the office.

Further to that, I am happy to be available if needed as of Tuesday 5 December. Thank you very much to Mr White who will be Acting Principal in my absence.

Libby Alessi         Principal

School Council President’s Report

Dear Families

I hope you’re all enjoying your T4 – 2023 at GHPS! We had our final School Council Meeting for this year on Monday, 27 Nov 2023 and here is a snapshot of key discussion points:

  • Annual Implementation Plan – 2020 assessment now complete and due for final sign off in the coming weeks.
  • The previous Wendy Wilson Hall has been demolished, and our brand-new full-sized gymnasium now in situ has been built with world class basketball and sporting facilities. We will be naming this after our very own Mrs Libby Alessi who has been instrumental in the ideation and making the dream a reality – through her perseverance and committed follow up through every stage!
  • Liz, our office manager is doing a great job in co-ordinating all the requests from external organisations for the use of our gymnasium facilities and our gym is completely booked out for T1 2024!
  • Enrolment Policy and Anaphylaxis Policy updated as of Nov 2023
  • GHPS is in a sound financial position and 2024 indicative budget was endorsed by the school council.
  •  Cooking program 2023 has been reviewed and improvement ideas for 2024 were tabled for discussion and implementation.
  • GPA have kindly offered to display 2nd hand uniforms twice each term through 2024.

Thank you to 2023 school council members for their unwavering commitment and contribution to GHPS! And a special shout out to outgoing council members, Kathryn Dench, Joseph Yeung, David and Libby.

Fun fact: David has been on the council for the last 10 years and Libby has been on Council since 1997!

A special thanks to Cam, Mel, David & Liz for their support as staff, and for volunteering their personal time and commitment towards our school governance.

A huge shout out to Laura for always answering the phone and a million questions with a sweet smile and a great sense of humour! You are a great asset to our School! 🙂Thank you Laura!

Glen Huntly Parents’ Association Updates

A huge thank you to all parents and staff members for their kind contributions towards GPA activities – Bronwen Holland (Emma 3 and Maddie 1), Lara O’Grady (Henry 4), Hayley Clift (Harvey 4, Adam 2), Phoebe Wiegard (Ryker 0), Sarah Davis (Henry 1), Michelle Muhlnickel (Audrey 3), Sanchita Shanbhag, Abbi Gilbert (James 5, Lewis 3, Eden 2), Ramalokesh Ramalingam, Richa Gupta (Radha 4), Maike (Zoe 2 & Noah 0), Nicole Healy (Ben 5 & Charlie 3), Sally Layton (Ivy 4), Ruth Smyth-Kinyua (Sully 4), Celine, Magda Afxentis (Audrey 6), Gajalakshmi (Akhilesh 4), Sarah Howell & David Blumenstein (Rachel 2), Aarohi, Fiona Davey (Daniel 4), Cecylia Kee (Winston 4 & Olympia 1),  Gajalakshmi (Akhilesh 4), Fiona Davey (Daniel 4), Rose Garratt (Gus 0), Gayle Davey (Alice 0), Sam Cook (Sienna 3), Bianca Merange, Kavitha Faruqui (Zoya 6 & Nabila 0), Kate Fernandez (Louisa 2, Emmy 0),  Sally & Anthony Layton (Ivy 4),  Ernesto Navas (Jonah 4), Mandy Lee and David Lupton (Elsie 3 & Nora 0), Richard Howell  Malee (Sophia 2), Kate Langdon (Max 6, Zac 4, Jet 0), Nicole Healy (Ben 5, Charlie 3), Sylvia Yarnton (Ernest 2 & Albert 0), Rebecca Sullivan (James 1), Lillian Chew (Sophia 1), Martina (Max 4), Cecylia Kee (Winston 4, Olympia 1), Naomi Boushel (Ewen 5, Robin 2), Janaki Ananth (Sanjeev 6 & Sana 1). Sorry, if I missed any others – our community is the wonderful place it is because of your generous contributions and the wonderful spirit you all bring to the table!

And a special thanks to all families for your ongoing support to our GHPS community!

Save the date for our GHPS upcoming Events: 

  • Christmas Carols – Tuesday, 5 Dec 2023
  • Our Principal, Mrs Libby Alessi’s Farewell Special Assembly @10am on Friday, 8 Dec 2023
  • Grade 6 Graduation – Wednesday 13 Dec 2023
  • Term 4 Final Assembly at 1:30pm on 15 Dec 2023
  • Last Day of Term 4 – Wed, 20 Dec 2023 @1:30pm (Early pick up)

Wishing you and your families a wonderful and festive holiday season!

Supriya Arikarevula

Congratulations to the following students who received a ‘Student of the Week’ award.

Jaasritha FB – For showing positive enthusiasm at our excursion to Bounce. You had an energetic attitude towards each activity, giving everything a go and showing fantastic listening skills to each instructor.

Elaine FD – For your incredible work while learning about statistics this week. You chose the question ‘What type of weather do you prefer?’, came up with 4 different options and then collected data from your classmates. Terrific Tallying!

Ragav 1B – for showing the school value of respect and pride by writing a lovely letter to your classmates during Fun Friday telling them how much you enjoyed their dance moves!

Lia 1F – Being a superstar speller, this week getting all her words correct and putting them into some very creative sentences.

Adam 2S – for working hard in our subtraction unit and challenging yourself to solve some complex problems. Well done and keep up the excellent effort next year!

Haru 3RK – Being a great garden helper. You really care about looking after our Year 3 garden beds. Well done!

Radha 4SJ – writing a powerfully persuasive and convincing text about important topics of sustainability, recycling, reducing our landfill, reducing greenhouse gases, and the effects of climate change, and hence protecting and preserving our future on Earth.

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GHPS Facebook





Tue 5          Carols Night

Fri 8           Special Assembly 10.00am and Morning Tea to farewell Mrs Alessi

Wed 13      Year 6 Graduation

Thu 14       Year 3-6 Movie Day and Prep – 2 Picnic Day

Fri 15         Final Assembly 1.30pm

Wed 20    Last School Day Early dismissal 1.30pm


Fee payments and Excursion Permissions and Payments.

All Communication notices regarding excursions will be sent through COMPASS.

Permissions are to be given through COMPASS.

Preferred payment method for Fee payments and Excursions is through COMPASS.

This will allow us to always keep all the correct information available to staff whilst on an excursion.

If you have any questions, please contact the office or see Guide below.

CLICK HERE for Parent’s Guide to Compass

Thank you.