Welcome to Term 2
It is safe to say that none of us have ever started a school term quite like this.
Looking back over the last few years, my first newsletter of term 2 would welcome families back to a busy program of excursions, incursions, information evenings, assemblies, eisteddfods, gala days and our attentions would soon turn to the NAPLAN tests for our Year 3 and 5 students in mid-May. We would be planning social events such as the parent trivia night and our school tours for next year's foundation parents would be well underway.
In between all of this, we would of course be providing a rich and engaging program of teaching and learning with new topics being started with a sense of energy and enthusiasm.
The speed of COVID-19 developments since my last newsletter (in what turned out to be the final full week of Term 1) has meant that all of these things are on hold.
In the intervening four weeks, school has completely changed with learning provided remotely and children getting used to logging in each day to work from home. A small number of children unable to learn from home, are still attending school each day to complete their learning on-site (see below).
Reflecting on this incredible rate of change has made me realise what wonderful staff, students and school community we have.
I need to thank our staff for their willingness and adaptability to embrace new technology and completely change the way they have done their jobs for many years. They have been open to learning, feedback and setbacks and have done a phenomenal job to get a remote program of teaching and learning off the ground in the space of a handful of working days.
I need to acknowledge our students for their resilience and enthusiasm in learning in this very different way. The responses to teachers' 'daily connections' and uploaded work are wonderful to read, watch or listen to and show how well they are dealing with these tumultuous times.
Most of all I would like to thank our families for their ongoing support and positivity during this time. Each and every staff member has appreciated the feedback and kindness shown by parents over the last few weeks. We also know that many of our families are doing it tough at the moment and juggling working from home with supporting your child's remote learning is a huge task. Whilst we are trying to design tasks that can be completed independently, this is very difficult, especially for younger children and so we really do understand and appreciate the work you are having to put in.
Our school aim to develop a growth mindset is being put to the test and we are passing with flying colours.
It is worth remembering that we are only on day 5 of this journey. We knew from the start it wouldn't be perfect to begin with and, as a staff, we have stressed the need for patience and being kind to ourselves.
At such a challenging time for everyone, we would encourage families to not worry if some tasks aren't getting done or you are adapting them to better suit your child. Maintaining engagement, positivity, surviving and staying sane are much more important for your children at the moment. Things will improve as the term progresses so please, hang on in there - you are doing a fantastic job!
Later in the newsletter are further information about Remote Learning including;
- a parent survey to provide us with feedback
- how we will introduce face to face video meetings for our F-4 students next week
- sharing some amazing andrà tutto bene artworks.
Most importantly please remember that we are still here - your child's class teacher is available as always to answer questions or deal with concerns about a task. Michelle and I are still here at the office each day - please ring if you need to, especially if you have any concerns for your child's wellbeing during this time.
Neil Scott, Principal