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Our 2020 Classes

Our classrooms are predominantly composite classes, designed to best suit the needs of our students. This year we have 7 classrooms - Prep, 2 x Grade 1/2 classes, 2 x Grade 3/4 classes, and 2 x Grade 5/6 classes.

Our Prep Class
Our Prep Class

Our Prep teacher this year is Julia Karas. Julia has 14 years of teaching experience ranging from Prep to Grade 10 in various schools in Melbourne and East Gippsland, from fairy tales to Shakespeare. She has trained and taught in Steiner Education and contemporary educational methods. 

Our Prep classroom currently has 13 students. The children have settled in beautifully and are very harmonious as a group. Julia is easing the Prep students into the rhythm and routines of the school day, where they are covering the different aspects of maths and literacy, interspersed with song, movement and creative play.

Julia is already familiar and at home working at Paynesville Primary and is delighted to be working with the Prep children.

Here are some photos of a few of the Preps with their artworks they completed with our specialist art teacher Deanne Howlett. The Preps completed artworks inspired by artist Laurel Burch, who loves creating artworks of cats!! They had heaps of messy and colourfully creative fun!

Our Grade 1/2 Classes
Our Grade 1/2 Classes

Rachel Smith is one of our Grade 1/2 teachers again this year, teaching 1/2S. Rachel and Jess (see below) work together, planning, teaching and assessing all the Grade 1/2 students in our joint, open plan classrooms.

Book Bags and Reading Diaries come home every night. It’s really important for children to read out loud to a parent, carer or older sibling every night as this increases their vocabulary and sets up good routines for later schooling. Parents and carers should record their child’s reading and sign their Reading Diaries every night and can use the Reading Diaries as a form of communication with teachers.

We are always looking for classroom helpers, so if you have any spare time, please come and join us - our doors are always open!

Jess Sargant (Miss S) is our other 1/2 teacher this year, teaching 1/2SA. Jess has been teaching since 2012 and is very excited for what 2020 has in store, as she says she absolutely loves Paynesville Primary School! 

Jess recently moved to Newlands Arm from Langwarrin, near Melbourne, with her partner Nic. They own a 41ft ex shark fishing boat named Roma who they entered in the Paynesville Classic Boat Rally this year. Jess loves camping and seeing as much of Australia as she can. They have two dogs named Flossy and Hoosha.

Jess says it is a dream come true for her to be teaching at Paynesville Primary School and she cannot wait to get to know everybody and make incredible memories. Please don’t hesitate to come and introduce yourself – she says she's always up for a chat!

BELOW: Some of our Grade 1/2 students learning about physics! It took a few goes but they got there in the end!


Mary Sowa is one of our Grade 3/4 teachers this year. 

3/4M have all settled nicely into their new class groups and the new routines that we have worked together to set up as a class community. As well as Reading, Writing, Language (Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation) and Maths, students also attend specialist subjects in Sport, Kitchen/Cooking, Art and Music. 

Our classroom is a friendly, supportive and challenging learning environment, where students have opportunities to explore, be creative, achieve success and strive to become independent learners.

Angela Stringer is our other Grade 3/4 teacher this year. Over the years, Angela has worked at Paynesville Primary School in a part-time capacity as the specialist teacher in Library, PE, ICT, Art and Kitchen. This year she has returned full-time into a classroom role, team teaching middle school with Mary Sowa.

Both of Angela's sons attended Paynesville Primary School and are now in VCE and second year of university. As a family, they spend their time on the farm and capturing all the fun the Lakes have to offer. Angela says that Paynesville Primary School has many great programs on offer and she encourages all students to make the most of their opportunities and enjoy life to the max! 

The two 3/4 classes work together in an open classroom environment which allows the teachers to effectively target each students' learning at their level. Students work in levelled ability and mixed ability groups throughout the day and complete a variety of group and individual tasks.

In the middle school students are given more responsibility for their own learning and time is dedicated to teaching students the skills required to become independent learners. Students are encouraged to question and analyse what and why they are learning concepts in order to make learning meaningful.

We believe students learn best when there is an open communication and commitment between the school, the teacher and the family and welcome parents/guardians at any stage during the school day to assist in the classroom.

Our Grade 5/6 Classes
Our Grade 5/6 Classes

One of our Grade 5/6 teachers this year is Jarryd Floyd. This is Jarryd’s sixth year at Paynesville Primary School. Jarryd and Erin (see below) work together, planning and teaching all the senior school students in joint, open plan classrooms.

The senior school students have settled well into their new classes and are working together to ensure a positive learning environment for everybody. Within the Grade 5/6 classrooms, students are exposed to subjects such as Reading, Writing, Language (Spelling, Grammar and Punctuation) and Mathematics. In addition to this, students also attend specialist classes in Sport, Kitchen/Cooking, Gardening, Music and Art.

In the senior school, a high importance is placed on reinforcing student’s learning at home. For this reason, home-learning goes home with the students every Monday and is due back on Fridays. The support of parents and carers is much appreciated, as they can ensure the students complete it and hand it back on the Friday, so it can be marked over the weekend and the next week’s home learning can be prepared.

Reading is a fundamental part of every child’s learning and our aim is to foster and nurture a love of all things literature! Reading diaries are given to each student to be signed each night after they have read from a book of their choice. Reading aloud to a parent, carer, or older sibling is encouraged. Reading diaries can also be used for communication between the parents or carers and the teachers.

Feel free to come by the Grade 5/6 classrooms at any time to meet Erin and Jarryd – their classrooms are always open during school hours!

Teaching alongside Jarryd in our senior classrooms this year is Erin Bould. Erin is a new teacher at Paynesville Primary School. She actually attended Paynesville Primary School herself between 2000 and 2006 and absolutely loved her time there. Erin's grandma was also a teacher at Paynesville Primary School and her aunt did a lot of relief teaching there.

In Erin's spare time she does a lot of camping, hiking and other outdoor activities. She has a little one eyed, blind dog called Maisey, who is 10 years old. Erin's boyfriend Mitchell is a local labourer and helps build houses. Erin is very excited to be back at Paynesville Primary School and to get to know all the students and staff. She says let’s all have a great year!

BELOW: Some of our Grade 5/6 students enjoying themselves during the Term 1 Tackers 1 Sailing course with Sailing Australia at the Gippsland Lakes Yacht Club!