Mini School Updates
Junior School Update
Welcome to another Junior School update!
I am very happy to be writing for this newsletter edition with the sounds of student laughter, chatter, general noise and joy in the yard at recess ringing in my ears. Although we remained connected in an online sense the physical presence of students has been greatly missed and I am genuinely so glad to have all students back on site and to be working together again as a community in the true sense of the word. It is great to have some sense of normality back, and I hope that students feel this relief as well.
I would like to start this newsletter by saying a big thank you to the students, parents and staff of the Junior School for your considerate and kind engagement and support during the unique and challenging period we have traveled through together. The way everyone has conducted themselves has shown that in times of adversity most people shine!
This last week or so together has provided both students and staff alike with the time to reflect on what they have learned during the remote learning period – not only in terms of curriculum but also with respect to themselves as learners, and their capacity to adapt and respond to change. It was an exciting (although cold and frosty!!) morning welcoming back our students. The cold weather didn’t stop staff from being out in the yard to greet and welcome students back as they arrived. It has been wonderful to see so many students embrace the return to on-site learning with vigor and settle back into routines. To support students as they negotiate this change, all year 7 and 8 students have participated in a session around identifying uncertainties (perhaps brought about by COVID-19 but also more generally) and explored how uncertainty makes them feel, as well as developing and implementing personal coping strategies.
A few behind-the-scenes changes occurred during the remote learning period. Many year 8 students will have returned to brand new lockers and I hope that they enjoy the space whilst also looking after the new facilities. The Junior School toilets were also entirely repainted and made as good as new. Thank you to our maintenance team – Mick, Al and Rennie – for all of your efforts here. I know our students will appreciate their time and effort and treat this refreshed space respectfully.
There has been a significant change in weather from the end of Term 1 to now. I would like to take this opportunity to remind students and their families that all students are expected to be in full school uniform. Some common areas of confusion relate to pants and items for additional warmth. It should be noted that the black tracksuit pants are to be worn during sport only. A plain white long sleeve shirt may be worn under the school shirt. Hats, beanies and gloves are permitted in the yard but should be removed and stored in a locker before heading to class. Any out-of-uniform items should be explained in a parent note. If there are any issues concerning uniform, please contact the Junior School and we will help find a resolution.
End-of-semester reports will be available on Compass at the end of Term 2. Please read these carefully and discuss with your child how they can further improve engagement and performance with their learning in the second half of this year. When reflecting on their reports, students should focus on the attributes and behaviours teachers recommend for further improvement – for example, perseverance, being hard-working, asking for help, taking pride in their learning and setting high expectations. There is plenty of educational research to show that intelligence is changeable and not predetermined or fixed. Academic growth is achievable by everyone with hard work, being resilient and setting some goals. Acting on the advice suggested by teachers in reports is one way of assisting this growth process.
A reminder that as we head to the end of Term 2 to keep pushing ourselves everyday – there is valuable learning to be undertaken in all subjects until the last day of term. This is especially true now that we are back in classrooms together. It is an expectation that students attend all classes and meet all work requirements until this time.
Finally, a reminder that for the health and wellbeing of everyone in our community, any student who is unwell should stay home until symptom free.
Junior School Leader
Middle School Update
As we come to the end of Semester 1, I would like to take the opportunity to thank students for the great start to the year. It is very pleasing to witness and hear that a clear majority of students are adhering to Lowanna College’s expectations.
It certainly has been an interesting time recently considering the remote learning situation. We have all had to deal with significant changes in our lives. I would like to thank students and parents for the way you have undertaken these changes, I have had the opportunity to witness some of the students work that they produced during remote learning and have been very impressed with their attitudes and efforts displayed.
In the coming weeks, reports are being written by staff and then will be posted for parents and students to read, I would encourage you to look at these reports and use them as a reflection tool for your future education. If parents or students have any questions in regard to reports, I ask you to contact the relevant teacher for follow up.
Looking towards Semester 2 students will start their new classes on Day 1 with timetables being issued on this day, there will be minimal room for class changes so any request for these may not be fulfilled.
Uniform and attendance will again be a major focus going forward, so I ask that all students be in full uniform and strive to have 100% attendance.
At the end of each 5 week block we will again run the spinning wheel for those students who achieve 100% attendance with the winner receiving $10 canteen voucher.
Finally, enjoy the two-week break and be ready and recharged for big semester 2.
Middle School Leader
Senior School Update
Another term just about done and dusted.
Right about now, I don’t think many students in the Senior School will be feeling the same way. Year 12s in particular will be starting to look at the calendar in dismay, trying to work out where all the time has gone.... How is half the year gone already? Only just over a term of classes left of school before final exams and our Secondary School journey is over….
Now is the time for all Year 12 students to take a deep breath. We are well and truly in the ‘engine room’ of the year, where we need to be doing the hard leg work to ensure things are manageable in only a few short months.
Big question – what work could be done to help?
Number 1. Answer in my book : Practice exams. If you haven’t already,Year 12 students, google search VCAA past exam papers. All the end-of-year papers from previous years are online. This also includes the examiners reports, which give fantastic feedback on what was done well, and what was not.
Year 11s, pay attention to the year 12s. This is going to be you before you know it. Hard work now will pay off. The good study habits you put in place will make your life so much easier come this time next year.
A fantastic term by all, hope you all have a great break, and I cannot wait to see you all again in term 3 when we all continue to lift the bar.
Senior School Leader.