Staffing & COVID/Flu Update
As mentioned in a recent Compass update, there continues to be significant disruptions to our school's operation due to the critical staff shortage across the state. We have been particularly impacted this week with staff and student absences as we combat a range of colds and viruses, including COVID-19, and enter into the winter months. We are working tirelessly to minimise disruptions for our students and provide continuity of learning. Unfortunately, we have needed to split classes for periods of the day (or for the whole day in some cases) as there simply is not the staff available to adequately cover all absences. In these instances, we prefer to split classes amongst the same year level so they have access to the same lessons and curriculum but if this is not feasible students are provided with learning tasks to ensure continuity of learning.
I once again thank you for your continued support and understanding as we work through these challenges.
Health and Safety Reminders
To help protect our school and the wider community, we ask that unwell students stay home, given the impacts of flu and colds on our school community.
To help reduce the spread of flu, colds and COVID-19, we encourage students to:
- wash and sanitise their hands regularly
- avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
- cover their nose and mouth when they cough or sneeze
- get tested for COVID-19 if they feel unwell and follow the current Department of Health isolation requirements if a positive result is shown
- if unwell, stay at home until their symptoms pass.
Face masks are available in all schools and can be worn by any staff or students who wish to do so.
Vaccination remains the best protection against both COVID-19 and flu, and we encourage you to get your child vaccinated. Flu vaccinations can be booked through GPs and pharmacies, many of which can also provide COVID-19 vaccinations.
We felt so fortunate and privileged to be joined by Perry Wandin, Wurundjeri Elder, to our school to perform a Smoking Ceremony for our community. Perry joined us at assembly and told the students about his role as Wurundjeri Elder, the history of his family and the role and importance of Smoking Ceremonies that have been employed by Indigenous Australians for thousands of years. Smoking Ceremonies cleanse places and people of bad spirits to promote the wellbeing of our people as well as guests on Country and it was wonderful to have been able to have this experience at Altona Green. Thank you, Perry.
Pupil Free Days
Today was our Curriculum Day for Term 2 and the teachers used this day for professional learning aligned to our 2022 Annual Implementation Plan goals to improve writing across our school. It was a really productive and useful day facilitated by Amy, our Leading Teacher.
A reminder that next Friday 3rd June is an additional pupil free day. This is for the allocated Professional Practice Day that was communicated in a previous newsletter. TeamKids will be available for all day care on this day.
Athletics and Sports Day
We had a terrific (but a bit wet!) day at our 3-6 athletics carnival yesterday. All of the students tried their best in all the different events and were supportive and encouraging of their peers throughout the day. Nancy is compiling the results of the different events and working out who will progress to the next stages of competition. This information will be published in the near future.
P-2 Sports Day
Whilst all the big kids were off at athletics, our P-2 students were enjoying a fun-filled morning of different activities and games. From all reports, the sports day was a great success and all the students had a great time. The P-2 students were able to make new friends in their mixed groups and were required to work together to complete challenges. Thanks to all the teachers, ES staff and parents that were able to help out and make the event so fun for our students.
A huge thank you to Nancy for arranging the days. She has put in a considerable amount of time, effort and persistence to ensure that these events go smoothly, particularly with the staffing challenges we currently have. Your hard work paid off!
Potentially Kinetic Arcade
The 4/5 students have been busy planning, designing and building a range of very creative arcade games during STEM lessons. On Wednesday after school, we opened Potentially Kinetic Arcade so all members of our community could come along, play some games and have some fun! It was great to see so many people attend. Thank you to Janine and the STEM leaders for all their efforts getting this event up and running!
This week is Education Week and the theme is a celebration of 150 years of Public Education in Victoria. Students have participated in a range of activities that compare education over the past 150 years as well as developing an understanding of the history of education. Students have also joined with buddies and other classes for activities and games during the week.
National Simultaneous Storytime
AGPS participated in the 2022 National Simultaneous Storytime this week. This event occurs every year where a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator, is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country.
The theme this year is, Be Brave. Make Change - a challenge to us all to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation, so we can Make Change for all. Next week students will participate in a range of activities to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
We have finally been able to provide students in 4-6 with the opportunity to go back into the kitchen as part of our Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden program. Trish and her wonderful volunteers are providing all of the 4-6 classes with a couple of sessions this term in the kitchen, using produce from the garden to create a delicious feast for their classmates. I was fortunate enough to pop into 4/5Ss kitchen lesson where they created a great dish of falafel, hummus, pita and rhubarb crumble! It was great to see all the students enjoying the experience.
We had a steady flow of people through our school last Saturday to cast their votes and buy a democracy sausage! I would like to thank Nathan Arundell for his organisation of the BBQ and his small team of volunteers that spent precious time of their weekend to help out. A special mention to Matt Stewart who spent the whole day turning sausages!