Principal’s Message

Welcome back to school for 2024.  I have been very pleased with our start in our second year as a school and want to thank the community for your support in ensuring we achieve success this year.  We have a very busy year planned for our students including the introduction of a swimming program, Art Show and School Camps.  2024 promises to be an exciting year for the Thornhill Park Primary School community.

I want to start the year by reiterating a few safety messages that are essential to the safety of everyone in our community.

Wearing hats and being Sunsmart

Please ensure your children are wearing hats every day at school.  It is a good idea to label all of their uniform items as they can often be misplaced or confused with other students during times of transition from class to yard or when travelling to or from Specialist classes like PE.  Students who are not wearing a broad brimmed hat will be asked to sit in the shade during play time.  Hats can be purchased from our office or from our uniform supplier Dobsons.  This is a compulsory item of uniform, so it is an expectation that they have a hat throughout their time at school.  I would encourage students to also use sunscreen and wear sunglasses to provide added protection from the sun.  These items are not compulsory, but encourage safe practices in the sun.

Parking and travelling safely around the school in cars and as pedestrians

I cannot stress enough that the parking out the front of the school is a drop off and pick up zone.  People who leave their cars in this space are causing traffic mayhem in the mornings and afternoons.  It is not our role as a school to remind people of the road rules or to observe signs, however safety is of the highest priority for us and we will be working with the Melton Council to ensure these spaces are safe.  Please do not ask for an endorsement from the school if you receive a fine for not following the correct signage.  We would also ask that you please do not U-Turn out the front of the school as it is a very dangerous practice and often involves people reversing into oncoming traffic.  It is much safer to take 30 seconds and drive around the block.

We would also ask that you use the appropriate crossings when crossing the roads with children.  There are several pedestrian crossings positioned around the school with a Supervisor positioned out the front of our gym and Traffic Lights if you are travelling in the opposite direction.  We see too many people walk directly out across the school or motioning to children to cross the road from their cars.  We had several near misses in 2023 and as the school grows we do not want to have issues because it is quicker to cross at an unsafe spot.


We are determined to improve our attendance levels in 2024.  Last year we had 180 students which equated to 44% of our student population have over 20 days off school for the year.  This level of absence is not only concerning, but it is not conducive to high levels of learning.  Of course, we do not want children at school who are sick and cannot be at their best, but my experience in this space over more than 20 years in education would suggest that children are not usually sick for more than one or two days a term, if at all, unless they are having intensive medical treatments.  It is very difficult to teach students to be their best if they are not at school.  If you consider that taking 20 days off per year for a child’s education from Prep to Year 12 equates to around 52 weeks off over this time.  A whole year off school and even more than that when you consider that a school year is 41 weeks!  Over 30 days off school each year equates to nearly 80 weeks off school over the journey! Our initial NAPLAN data suggests that 50% of our students in Year 5 in 2023 achieved high growth in reading and 28% achieved high growth in Numeracy.  Our reading data is well above the National Average.  Imagine how much we can achieve if students are here on time and every day.  We are incentivising attendance by having our school mascot – Ripwell spend the week with the best attended class each week.  We are adding to this incentive by providing a BBQ lunch, cooked by me to the best attended grade each term.  Please help us to help your children to be the best they can be by having them here every day and on time at 8.40am.

Parent Information Night

Our Parent Information Night will take place on Wednesday 21st February.  We will be running 3 identical half hour sessions in each area of the school to provide parents an opportunity to find out what will be taught to their children this year and the expectations of the year level.  Lots of vital information relating to the use of Compass, Class Dojo, Swimming, Camps, Homework, Curriculum, etc… will be provided to parents during these sessions.  Parents will be encouraged to ask questions at the conclusion of each session.  It would make sense to come to the later sessions to spread out the number of people in attendance, as we have greater numbers of students at our school this year.  Sessions will take place at 3.15pm, 3.45pm  and 4.15pm.  We encourage you to attend whichever sessions you need to that relate to your child’s Year level at school.  We also encourage you to keep a dialogue with your child’s teacher across the year to ensure you are fully informed about events and progress.  Please ensure you have Class Dojo installed on your phone and notifications switched on to receive messages from our school and updates on your child’s progress throughout the year.

Have a great weekend

Darryl Spiteri


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