Simone Wood, Principal
My goodness! Schools are finding themselves in interesting times with multiple illnesses hitting all at once. Covid, the flu and gastro as well. At Newham this has caused and continues to cause unprecedented difficulties in obtaining replacement staff for ill teachers. With illness around it isn’t ideal to have to split classes but there has been no other choice. It is important that students who are sick stay home until the illness has passed. This is particularly so for gastro which has a 48 hour no-attendance period after the last episode of vomiting or diarrhoea.
This week I was able to attend the principal conference in Melbourne. It was interesting to hear that Primary and Secondary schools right across Victoria are also currently experiencing the same difficulties replacing staff during this period of multiple illnesses.
The major theme of the conference was re-visiting DETs essential purposes of school in the current context, where student learning, student wellbeing and student socialisation have become even more entwined and how the complex challenges currently being witnessed, require the expertise of teaching staff to adapt daily while re-introducing routine. Professors John Hattie and Helen Timperley provided discussion on Teaching and Learning while Dr Ryan Dunn outline pathways to excellence in Numeracy and Kirsten Douglas from Headspace defined strategies for student and staff wellbeing.
With Mrs Dennett absent and our back up day wet and miserable it was decided to reschedule the special PMP day to the beginning of this week. The P-2s had parents come along ready to participate on Monday afternoon but once again, the weather was not obliging and so together the classes and parents worked with clay to make animals which are drying in preparation to be painted.
Our visit by the MRSC officer to demonstrate and discuss the use of nesting boxes for our bio-diversity area was also rescheduled due to illness, from last week to Wednesday. Darren came and answered a lot of questions about the nesting boxes but unfortunately due to the extremely windy conditions, he couldn’t climb up to install the boxes.
However last Friday the 3-6 were able to present their posters on Space to parents who were then able to stay for assembly. Please see the photos later in the newsletter.
Geoff Williams came along for the Platypus talk on Friday. It is wonderful to have the support of our community to engage our students in environmental learning. Please see the photos later in the newsletter.
While the girls team played at the Romsey recreation centre with Mrs Hammond, I was delighted to attend the mixed netball across the road at Romsey Primary School. Our team played extremely well, becoming more confident with each game. The co-operation as a team was excellent and the kids opted to change their time on the court themselves to increase their game strategy. Well done everyone on both teams, you represented yourselves, your teammates, and our school capably.
A huge thank you to parents and friends who came along for support, to coach, umpire and for bus duty. It is wonderful to have the ability to include our school community once again.
We have had the good fortune to be able to obtain an Art Therapy service for three hours a week under special funding from DET. Due to an increase in demand on such services, this is only able to be a small program aimed to support a few of our students. It is hoped that should this pilot program prove effective, that DET will expand its availability.
Dress for the weather
A reminder to all students to please dress for the weather. A real winter is upon us, and it is recommended that layers of warm clothes be worn, for both inside and outside the classroom. There are air purifiers in each classroom, so we can close windows and doors, but some rooms take time to warm up. Oodies are being used by some students and they seem to be doing the job! Please make sure that all items of clothing are named, so they can be returned to owners and don’t forget that unless there are storms, rain etc., students will be outside having a run around at recess and lunch times.
End of Term
Please make a note of the last day of term, 24th June. Staff are currently in the process of organising some activities for students, staff, and parents. Keep an eye out for further information in the newsletter and via uEducateUs.
Have a lovely weekend !