GBH parent guide - Prep to Year 2

We welcome you to Mount Scopus Memorial College for 2024. 

This is the parent information guide for Gandel Besen House for Prep to Year 2 in St Kilda East.

We understand that when joining a new school, or even just moving to a different campus, there is a lot of new information to learn. We hope that this guide will answer many of your queries and become a convenient reference point for you over the coming months.  

Please click through on each topic to access the information that you will need.

All parents in all year levels need to ensure they are familiar with the policies and information outlined in the Parent Handbook, on our website. The College's Child Protection Policy is also available on the same page. Any change to our policies is issued via the Scopus App and updates noted in the handbook. 

Key points at a glance

This site contains a lot of important information. The key points are summarised here below. Further details are provide on the relevant site tabs below.

Summary checklist for NEW STUDENTS:

  • complete and submit child profile form by Friday 27 October 
  • Prep entry only - complete and submit permission form for Prep transition visit by Thursday 19 October
  • NEW students in Years 1 and 2- send end of year school report to Wendy Saffer by Friday 15 December
  • complete medical and emergency contact information on Parent Lounge via Student Details tab no later than Thursday 23 November 
  • Additionally, if your child/ren will be using the holiday program in January then you must complete the Xplor enrolment form by Thursday 23 November.
  • complete MCEECDYA government data section via Student Details tab on Parent Lounge from 8 January 2024

Important information for ALL STUDENTS (new students plus those currently at Scopus):

  • Prep entry - schedule pre-commencement parent/child/teacher meeting prior to school commencement as advised in class list information in December.
  • check information on Parent Lounge by 8 January 2024  and complete MCEECDYA government data section via Student Details / General Details 
  • set up Direct Debit / fee payment no later than 29 January 2024
School hours and commencement schedule

School commences on Thursday 1 February, 2024.

School hours

Monday to Friday               8.30am – 3.30pm


  • finishes 6pm Monday to Thursday
  • finishes 5pm Friday Summertime / 4pm Friday Wintertime

Complete information regarding school dates for the coming two years can be found on the Mount Scopus Calendar, which is accessible on the website by clicking here.

Timetables are issued to students and parents once they commence, which detail specialist lessons and which days runners are required to be worn for sports.

Out of School Hours Care (OSHC)

The out of school hours care (OSHC) program is operated inhouse by our own qualified staff. That means that children come to know the staff very quickly and can rely on seeing familiar faces whenever they attend. 

The OSHC program is seen as an extension of the children's learning, providing continuing enrichment outside of the classroom. 

All of the Scopus OSHC programs are approved for eligible families to receive the government Child Care Subsidy; all families considering using this program at any stage up to Year 6 will be required to complete separate online documentation via the Xplor platform via the link further below.

Before school

Supervised activities on the oval are available from 7.50am at no extra cost. This is available for students who are dropped off directly at GBH and provide an extra opportunity for physical activity prior to the school day commencing.

Students arriving by bus from FKI will not arrive in time to participate in these activities.

  • Incursions and Workshops are offered by external partners as well as our own qualified educators throughout the year such as sports, art, cooking, magic, acrobatics, etc, on a rotating termly basis. 
  • Workshop bookings open between two and three weeks prior to the term commencing, other than Term 1, which opens around the start of term. 
  • Programs for Prep to Year 3 students are based at GBH.  
Holiday Program
  • The holiday program operates for school age children with a program that includes themed days, incursions and a range of exciting and engaging excursions.
  • It normally operates at GBH, but may operate at FKI from time to time, depending on any maintenance or building requirements.
  • Bookings generally open around two weeks prior to the end of the previous term. 


The Xplor Home app is used for all OSHC requirements, including bookings, health and emergency and collection details, OSHC payments and CCS claims. This means that parents using OSHC programs will initially need to enter information both in Parent Lounge and Xplor.

GBH - Xplor registration link

All bookings for OSHC programs are made directly via Xplor; parents will be advised when bookings open. 

Xplor instructions

Once the Xplor enrolment form has been completed, a confirmation of this will be sent to you.

In mid to late November, a Welcome email will be sent. 

The Xplor Welcome Email needs to be actioned within seven days of receipt by both parents/guardians. Once they have actioned the email they can download the Xplor Home App and login. 

Special note about collection and emergency contacts: The exact process outlined below will need to be followed in order for grandparents, babysitters or other contacts to be able to collect you child. It is simple and will take just a few minutes to action. 

Once the College has received your enrolment form and made your child ‘active’, you will receive a ‘Welcome Email’ from Xplor. 

The Xplor Welcome Email needs to be actioned within seven days of receipt by both parents/guardians (where applicable). Once they have actioned the email they can download the Xplor Home App and login. 

When you receive your 'Welcome Email', the authorised contacts (a contact may be a grandparent, auntie, babysitter etc.) included on your enrolment form will receive an 'Invitation Email' from Xplor.  Please ask your contacts to look out for this email.  If they can’t find the email, ask them to check junk or spam.

Once received please ask them to open the email and follow the prompts to create a password (8 characters) and pin number (4 numbers) to activate their Xplor account. The link in the email is only active for seven days and should be actioned as soon as possible,

They will now be able to sign your child in/out by entering their phone number and pin number into the iPad in the classroom. Contacts do NOT use or need to download the Xplor Home App.

If your contacts already have an Xplor account to collect other children (siblings, cousins etc.) the contact will receive a different email from Xplor. This email will advise them that they have been added as a nominated contact to your child's profile. There is no action to be taken. They will use the same phone number and PIN number as they use to sign the other children in/out to sign your child in/out.

If you forgot to add any contacts to your enrolment form they can be added via the Xplor Home App at a later date.

Required documentation for new students

No child will be able to commence at Scopus whilst there is any outstanding documentation.  

A copy of your child's birth certificate must be submitted prior to commencement. You will be contacted by Enrolments if it hasn't already been provided. 

Click here to access written instructions for each section and the applicable year levels, where relevant.

Transition report for Prep entry

A transition report is written for every child attending a four year old kinder program in Victoria which is designed as a starting point for Prep teachers. This document outlines their learning capabilities and their overall development as viewed by their educators as well as their parents. You will be asked by your current centre if this can be shared with the Prep teachers or new school so please ensure you provide your consent. 

You should also be given a copy so please email a copy through to our Campus Coordinator, Monica Brivik.

Orientation and Transition

The orientation and transition program is key to a successful commencement and integration into a new school environment. 

To assist with the transition there is a program in place, designed to provide our current cohort and joining students the opportunity to become familiar with each other and with their new learning environment. 

We actively work to coordinate play dates for new children joining Scopus to help each child to have a familiar face on Day 1 where possible and will be in touch directly with parents.

Prep entry

Moving from kinder to prep is a milestone in a child's life as they enter into a more formal education setting. Children will respond differently to this. 

Child transition

This  year's transition program is outlined below for all children and we invite new students entering Prep from other centres and from FKI to join the children at GBH as follows.

  • transition sessions will take place on Tuesday 31 October, 14 and 21 November
  • meet and greet by the Prep teachers in the Upper Kinder rooms 
  • Gardening with Lara  
  • E learning with Kerry  
  • Reading with Morah Brivik
  • Art with Joanna

Children transitioning from Upper Kinder at FKI and from other centres will need to be dropped off at GBH at 8.30am and collected  at 3.00pm from the Security entrance; the details of the drop off point will be advised during the week prior to the first visit day.

Most of the day will be spent in an Upper Kinder room, providing new children with the opportunity to mix with their peers. This also allows the teachers to observe any connections that are made, which can be helpful in the class placement process.

Children should bring their lunch, along with a named waterbottle and a sun hat. Boys should wear a kippah or kovah. Please note that we are an allergy aware school and request that the nuts are not included in the lunch. In line with kashrut, if your child will have a meaty lunch please do not pack any dairy products in their lunchbox. 

Please click here to complete the permission and emergency contact details form by Monday 23 October.

A Welcome to Prep picture book will be distributed to all children who will be in Prep at Mount Scopus next year during the transition visits. We encourage you to spend time over the summer break reading this with your child to help prepare them to understand what being in Prep will look like.

On Wendesday 31 January, 2024 just prior to the commencement of the school year, the students are invited with their parents to meet with their Prep teacher in groups of seven or eight in 20 minute time slots between 9.00-10.00am. This allows teachers the opportunity to meet each child individually and have parents share information with them before the excitement of the first school day. 

The invitations and details to register will be included with the class list information being sent in mid-December.

Parent orientation evening

Please note that the Prep information night will place at Gandel Besen House on Monday 19 February, 2024 at 7:45pm. 

Year 1 and Year 2 entry

All children will be invited with a parent to drop in to the campus if they wish, between 9am and 10am on Wednesday 31 January, 2024. This is totally optional and is not a structured visit. It allows those children who need it the extra opportunity to visit the campus prior to school commencing. Further information will be sent later this year with the classlist. 

New Parents Welcome

First time parents at Mount Scopus in all year levels are invited to our New Parents Dinner scheduled to be held just prior to school commencing. In 2024, this is planned for the evening of Monday 5 February. This allows the opportunity to meet some of the College Leadership Team, as well as other new parents. 

An invitation will be sent in December.

Class placement and lists

At Mount Scopus we want to see our children flourish. Our aim is for children to not only develop their intellectual skills but also their social and emotional wellbeing. This is the time that they begin to learn valuable social skills and use them to build meaningful relationships. We want children to become resilient, sociable and confident learners.

When considering class placements, we take a long term approach. We know from experience when a group of familiar children start together, the first few days are comforting but this can often lead to social exclusivity and the inability to make new friends in the long term. 

Class lists are organised by the Campus Coordinator together with the teachers of the previous year level. New students will be placed with at least one nominated friend if available, as well as observations from the trial and transition visits.

Complete for new students only: Please complete the relevant form for your child by Friday 27 October.

Prep 2024 entry child profile form

2024 Lower Primary child profile form

Communicating with parents

Parent communication

Your child will be involved with various staff for their pastoral care as well as their education.

For pastoral care, your first point of contact is your child's classroom teacher.  Your child’s teachers will contact you shortly after your child commences. 

Overseeing the pastoral care of all students is the Campus Coordinator, who liaises closely with the classroom teachers, Student Services and the Wellbeing team. The Deputy Principal - Primary, is also at the campus regularly throughout each week. 

For educational queries, please contact the classroom  teacher directly.  Teachers are available to answer any queries about your child throughout the year and are best contacted by email or via a phone message which will be returned when they are not teaching. 

Contact details of all relevant staff caring for your child will be provided at the start of the school year however information is also available in the Useful Contact Information section below. 

The parent / teacher meetings are held in Terms 1 and 3 for school-aged students.

School-aged students will receive a comprehensive academic report in Terms 2 and 4. 

If you have any concerns about your child which you feel you need to advise prior to commencement then please contact Enrolments.

Communicating with separated parents

  • All communication with parents is predicated on the basis that, unless there are court orders in place to the contrary, parents share responsibility for the long term welfare of their children and have the right to be involved in, and communicated with about all relevant issues. 
  • Parents are responsible for advising the College of any changes in their family situation. If parents separate and then reconcile, this information should also be passed on to the College.
  • If there is a court ordered collection schedule in place then both parents are responsible for submitting a copy of a schedule noting which parent should be collecting on which day for the entire school year. This can be done by one parent copying the other in when emailing the schedule to the Enrolment Director. The College is not a party to court orders and is not responsible for working through the orders to determine the collection schedule. 
  • The College maintains systems which clearly show the details of both parents to teachers and other relevant staff who are responsible for communicating directly with individual families. Teachers and other staff are trained in how to read and act on this information.
  • The vast majority of information regarding students' activities and learning is posted on the Scopus App (and Toddle for ELC and school-aged children).
  • Emails or phone calls are only used for individual and private matters.
  • Consent is required from both parents for their child/ren to participate in some activities however if one parent does not respond, then it is presumed that they will abide by the response of the other parent. If one parent provides consent and the other withholds it then the student will not be able to participate in the activity.  
  • We understand that in some cases, communication between separated parents and sharing of details can be a sensitive issue. We urge all parents to understand that the procedures developed by the College are designed to place their child/ren's welfare as the top priority and allow the staff responsible for their well-being to proceed with clarity. Ensuring the information we have remains current is vital to achieving that outcome. 
  • Most tools used by the College (Scopus App, FlexiSchools, Toddle, Xplor Home) are based on individual rather than family user so the processes do not differ for split families, However, for  the key tool, Parent Lounge, separated parent/guardian users of these apps may have different or additional procedures when using them from other families - please click here to access.
Website, apps and portals

The following guide outlines the details of tools used across the College. Some will be relevant for all year levels and some will be for specific year levels or campuses.

College website

The College website hosts a range of information, including:

Campus details

Primary and Secondary curriculum handbooks,

College calendar

Parent handbook

Parent Lounge access,

Our Scopus Family - donations; volunteering; Parents Association, alumni, grandparents and friends

The Scopus Facebook page is also accessible via our website. Please note: in line with cyber safety guidelines we ask that photos are not tagged, nor any names of children in the photo divulged. You can ‘friend’ this page in order to access regular posts of photos and other information from across the College.

Two of the key tools that are used at Scopus are the Parent Lounge and the associated Parent Orbit app, the parent communication portal.

Parent Lounge

Parent Lounge is used for students in Prep and above 

You will be issued with the login credentials to access Parent Lounge in the lead up to your child commencing. It is accessible in the header menu on the College website. 

Parent Lounge is used for a range of purposes, primarily:

  • maintaining your current contact details, 
  • sharing them via the Parent Directory with other parents in your child's year level,
  • *health and emergency contact information for children;
  • organising parent teacher interview times, 
  • accessing school academic reports for Year 7 onward,
  • accessing your child's ongoing assessment results and dates, and their daily timetable for Year 7 onward,
  • paying school tuition fees. 

Parent Orbit app

The key features available via Parent Orbit are:

  • All parent general communications (this will replace the previous Scopus App) from Little Learners to VCE
  • All parent notifications, including bus notices
  • Advising of, and acknowledging student absences
  • Booking Parent Teacher interviews
  • Access to your child/ren’s individual timetable (LFSS students only) and calendar; and
  • Links to commonly used tools, such as Operoo, Flexischools and Bus bookings
  • Download and access instructions are available by clicking here.


Xplor is used only for students using the ELCs and for primary school aged students using OSHC (including after care and holiday program) services for:

  • *collection of information in line with the national regulations specific to these services including medical and emergency contact details,
  • Kinder only - casual bookings for before care, after care, rega care and holiday program,
  • Little Learners - ad hoc 'extra days' bookings,
  • room sign in and out process,
  • and information required to claim the government child care subsidy, 
  • payment of ELC casual usage (OSHC) fees.  

No child can commence at Scopus or attend any OSHC program prior to this information having been submitted and confirmed.

* Parents of school aged children who attend OSHC programs will need to submit information both via Parent Lounge and Xplor.


Operoo is used to provide information and collect consent for excursions and activities across the College. 


Cafeteria orders can be made via Flexischools. It is accessible via the Parent Resources section on the Scopus App or via a web browser -

Parents set up an account for each child and then can place orders ahead of time, or up to 9.30am on the morning that lunch is required. Orders can also be changed or cancelled.  

There is a range of daily specials, both hot and cold, that vary from day to day.

This is particularly handy if students have left their lunch at home and are not carrying cash with them.  

Some Parents Association lunch orders in the primary school are also made via Flexischools.

Toddle (ELC to Year 6)

Toddle is an online learning journal and digital portfolio used at Mount Scopus from ELC to Year 6. 

Toddle is a simple way for teachers and students to record and share their learning and what's been happening in the classroom.

The access information and links will be made available to parents after the start of the school year.

Learning resources and uniforms

Enrolling at a new school becomes more tangible once new books and uniforms are purchased. 

The guide below outlines the processes around these and other areas. 


The information relating to school uniforms is available by clicking here.  

There are details of which items are compulsory and optional. Both the Summer and Winter uniforms are permitted to be worn all year round, although they must be worn in their entirety; students may not wear pieces from both the Summer and Winter uniform, or sport uniform, together. 

NB: Shoes - please note that students can choose to wear black leather school shoes OR fully black runners (including black laces) as per the uniform list. 

Year level specific information

Year 3 students only

  • Students entering Year 3 will also require a sports uniform which includes a sports top, sports shorts, sports jumper and tracksuit pants.  Students’ sport house will be confirmed before they commence as a house-coloured sports top is required. Siblings joining the College are placed in the same sports house. 
  • Year 3 Discovery Centre students will receive a DC hoodie at the start of the year which they wear instead of the school jumper so there is no need to purchase a school jumper for Year 3. 

Year 6 students only 

  • Parents of students joining Mount Scopus in Year 6 have the option of purchasing a blue Secondary sports top instead of the Primary house coloured sports top if they wish. 

Ashkanasy = green

Bialik = red

Hillel = blue

Monash = yellow

Uniforms can be purchased from Dobson’s at 667 Glenferrie Road, Hawthorn or can be ordered online at  

The early bird sale ends 29 October.

Years 4 to 6 students only

  • Scopus sports jackets ($60) and beanies ($15) are available to order directly from the SFPS office, subject to stock availability. 

Second-hand uniforms

Second-hand uniforms are available for purchase at the Posh Opp Shoppe at 484 Glenhuntly Road, Elsternwick  with proceeds going towards the JCAS (Jewish Children’s Aid Society) which helps integrate children with disabilities into Jewish day schools.

The JCAS strongly believes that every Jewish child has a right to a Jewish education regardless of their special needs. In addition, and just as importantly, a whole generation of school children are educated to embrace difference and welcome all Jewish children into the community. Mount Scopus College supports the JCAS and benefits from the support of disadvantaged students.

The Posh Opp Shoppe is open during the week which will allow parents to shop without making an appointment.

Books and learning resources 

Our Primary Bulk Stationery program  includes all book list items for Primary students. This effectively means that there is no book lists for Primary students and that all resources including stationery and Jewish Studies texts and siddurim, haggadot and chumashim will be provided within the classroom as required throughout the year. The cost of these resources has been included in the tuition fee. Requirements are continually reviewed to ensure that costs savings are achieved and passed on to parents via a lower impost in the school fees.

Transport and drop off / pick up

Buses run between FKI and GBH each morning and afternoon at no extra cost to parents as per the following schedule. 

GBH to FKI (Discovery Express)- depart GBH at 8.15am, return at 3.25pm

FKI to GBH (Rockbrook Express) - depart FKI at 7.55am, return at 3.45pm

Children need to be at the departure point at least five minutes prior to the departure time. 

Students will need to be registered to use the bus to ensure sufficient capacity is available. Children progressing from FKI  to GBH, and families with siblings across both campuses will be prioritised. 

Bookings are made directly via the Driver Onboard booking portal. Access and set up details will be sent later in the year. 

Direct pick up and drop off at GBH

As there are three schools within the immediate vicinity there are tight parking restrictions within Mayfield Street itself as well as the surrounding streets. To facilitate the pick up and drop off process for school children parents are required to enter GBH from the Hotham Street side. They will not be allowed to turn right into GBH if coming from the Furneaux Grove side.  

Drivers will be guided by the security personnel and their child/ren assisted by the pick up / drop off attendant. 

Outside of these times parents will need to observe the parking signs as much of the parking is dedicated for residents with parking permits.

Miscellaneous information

Lunch orders and Tuckshop 

Lunch orders are organised by the Parents Association and scheduled on Tuesday, generally about four times per term at GBH for school children. Orders can be placed online via the Flexischools app by the prior Wednesday evening. Notices will be issued in advance of each lunch order.

Tuckshop takes place on Thursday lunchtime; children purchase items on the spot. 

Both of these require volunteers to assist; a notice is issued prior to the start of each term by the Parents Association to call for volunteers. Students are always delighted to have a parent or grandparent volunteer.

Student Photos

Class and individual student photos are generally taken in Term 1.  These are currently scheduled for the end of February.

All students commencing after that date will be sent by their teacher to the Primary Office to have their individual student photo taken shortly after they commence.  

Extra-curricular activities

To provide extra enrichment for the children, once they have settled into school, they will be able to choose from a range of lunchtime clubs, which may include Art Club, Gardening Club or Ball Games. These may be instigated by staff, or by students who are able to present their request to the Campus Coordinator. 

Private Music Tuition is also offered on a term by term basis. Eight x 30 minute lessons are offered each term and can be organised either during the school day or after school. Registrations will open shortly for students wishing to commence in Term 1. There is a wide array of options including piano, guitar, violin, drums (set not required at home) and voice. 

Learn more and register by perusing the handbook below or contact the Music Adminstrator Joel Norman.

Primry Music Handbook

Nut policy

The College has an ‘Allergy Aware’ policy. Staff and students are strongly encouraged not to bring nut or nut based products onto the College Campus, however this cannot be guaranteed. All anaphylactic students are strongly encouraged to question the ingredients of all foods they eat.

The College cafeteria and camping programs are ‘Nut Free’ as are all special school celebrations/activities catered for by the College

Health Centre, iIllness and medication

Each campus has a Health Centre staffed by Registered Nurses per the details below.

FKI / GBH - staffed from 8.30am to 3.30pm 

Gandel Campus, Burwood - operates during College hours

Outside of normal operating times, staff operating activities before or after school have undergone first aid training.

For your own child’s benefit, and the well-being of other students and staff please do not send sick children to school or kinder. An unwell child will not be able to concentrate or learn effectively, and conversely, risks becoming more unwell and delaying their recovery by not being able to rest. 

Medication will only be administered for chronic illnesses, asthma or anaphylaxis. If your child requires other medication then they are not deemed well enough to be attending school. 

The Victorian government maintains a list of the minimum periods of exclusion from primary schools and children’s services for infectious diseases cases and their contacts. Click here to access.

Fee statements

The initial fee statement and policy is sent out in mid-January. It will detail the amount due for all children registered at the College, including tuition fees, security levy and transport levy where appropriate. A direct debit form is included. 

Child Care Subsidy

Both the ELCs and OSHC (Out of School Hours Care) after care and holiday programs are approved programs and attract the government subsidy for eligible families who have submitted the required information. The fee statement will reflect the full fees prior to the subsidy, but the subsidy will be received directly from the government and credited to the parent account after the year has commenced. 

Parent involvement / volunteering

Parents and grandparents are encouraged to volunteer for various activities, including reading to the children in the kinders and lower primary levels, tuckshop and lunch order, cooking club and other events from time to time.   

Parents are also invited to assist on some school excursions, but will be required to undertake some basic security training. 

A Working With Children Check is required for all volunteers at the College. 

Opportunities also are available for parents to be meaningfully involved in events such as careers day, or share their expertise via the Parents Association or the College Council which acts as an advisory body to the Principal in the areas of direction, philosophy and policy. 

Parents Association (PA)

The Parents Association is very active throughout the kinder and primary year levels with varying activities, such as the weekly Challah stall, Mothers and Fathers Day gift stalls, and social and fundraising events.  

The PA also coordinates volunteers for a number of years in advance who run the Simcha list to avoid clashes in scheduling Bar and Bat Mitzvah functions.  Contact the PA Administrator to request further information regarding the Simcha list for your child's year.

Useful contact information

Principal’s Office:                                                    Dan Sztrajt

To contact College Principal only                             9834 0005


Deputy Principals:  

Deputy Principal, Primary        Greg Hannon             9900 4602

Deputy Principal, 

Director of Alter Family School of Jewish Studies and Ivrit

                                                   Matti Borowski            9834 0003

GBH Reception:                                                             9900 4600

Campus Coordinator                Monica Brivik              9900 4640

OSHC Coordinator:                  Beny Zimberg    

OSHC                                                                             0450 565 024

Main Reception:                                                           9834 0000  

For general enquiries at the College  

To contact financial and clerical administrative staff  

To contact Medical Centre

Enrolments:                                                                   9834 0070

Parents Association            Administrator              9834 0160



Tuition fee payments                                             9834 0026

Holiday program payment  enquiries

                                                    Nikki Epstein           9834 0041

Fee assistance enquiries          Laurent Schonker        9834 0027