Week 5, Term 2, 2020
Dear Parents, Staff and Caregivers,
We are excited to have all students returning on May 25th as I am certain many of you are as well.
Student Attendance and Curriculum:
- All year levels to return to school on May 25th to participate in classroom learning.
- From this date teachers will be teaching face-to-face within the classroom environment.
- Teachers will not be expected to lead dual (face-to face and home-based) modes of teaching and learning.
- School directed and supported learning at home will only be provided to students learning at home due to medical reasons. Please discuss with myself if you have any questions in relation to this directive. Thank you to those parents whom I have already had discussions with particular circumstances.
- Where parents elect to keep their child at home, the parent or carer is responsible for the student's safety at home or elsewhere.
- Assessment and reporting for Term 2 and Semester 1 will reflect the nature of learning over this time. Semester One report cards will be sent home at the end of Week 2, Term 3.
- All students are to return to school in correct uniform. As we enter the colder months of the year, please ensure your child is wearing the correct uniform.
- We are still not allowed to conduct assemblies, interschool activities, sporting events, camps, excursions, or musical and arts events including concerts and performances.
On-site health and safety measures:
- With an increased number of students attending school we will continue to implement strict hygiene measures such as:
- Regular handwashing and hand sanitising, particularly before and after eating, and after going to the toilet.
- Increased cleaning of classrooms, particularly high frequency touch points including water bubblers.
- Regular cleaning of play equipment and materials.
- I do encourage students to bring water bottles for personal use.
- Physical distancing measures for adults remain in place.
- We will continue to restrict visitor and parent access to school grounds. Parents are not to enter the school grounds. If you need to visit the school, you are asked to contact the school reception on 46371 000.
- We will continue to provide supervision at the school gate at Lawrence St, including drop off and pick up times and supervised movements between the school gate and classrooms.
- Staff have been instructed to open windows to promote air flow where possible. Please ensure students are dressed warmly to accommodate this if necessary.
- Unwell students and staff must not attend the school site. The school will ask parents and carers to collect their child from school if they are unwell.
Thank you again for your understanding and continued support of these practices in keeping our children and staff safe and well during this time.
Reflection of ways COVID-19 can change our thinking on Education:
Winston Churchill once said, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” This is an incredibly challenging and difficult time for us and yet I believe we have an opportunity as educators to reshape and transform our education system from what we learned about COVID-19. We cannot continue with the status quo when we return to school; just the opposite, we need to be intentional and strategic in changing our schools for the good as a result of this pandemic.
I have been thinking about how school will probably change in the next year or so, - will we be asked to provide thermal scanners at doors, everyone wearing masks, smaller class sizes, no large group assemblies and so much more. I believe we have an opportunity to revamp learning and reconstruct the future of education as a result of what we learned from this pandemic.
If we consider the following:
- Online Learning Continues
Without a doubt, many schools were scrambling to get their online learning communities up and running after the government closed schools for all students except essential workers children. Teachers were frantically making up learning packs for children to take home and others were trying to learn new online ways to deliver teaching. However, I believe being forced into online learning has strengthened the digital learning of our teachers and students. Plus, we realized the importance of online tools in organizing and providing structure to online learning. The use of Microsoft Teams empowered online learning discussions, allowing the shy student to ask for help without drawing attention, provided cloud-based assignment submission, strengthened personalized learning, and organized the learning. This learning needs to continue even after the pandemic.
- Redesigning Assessments & Assignments
Online learning has stretched teachers in forcing them to design assessments that can’t be Googled. Now, teachers are compelled to design assignments that require higher levels of thinking; these are the types of questions that can’t be Googled. Interestingly, these are also the types of skills that employers are looking for, students who can think critically, problem solve, and analyze. Teachers need to design assessments and activities that have students create, publish, design, invent, and construct.
- Digital Tools Dominate
I saw a sharp spike in the use of digital tools during our online learning to strengthen learning. Teachers are constantly sharing with me digital tools they identified to support students during this time. Even the least digitally savvy teachers were venturing into using digital tools to connect with their students. Moving forward, we need to continue to identify digital tools to enhance learning and strengthen teaching. By doing this, we are preparing students for the future and designing learning which resonates with students. As educators we must vow to continue embracing digital tools to enrich learning for our students.
- Virtual Professional Learning
One thing we saw an increase in during the pandemic is online professional learning. Our teachers and school officers participated in the Microsoft Teams coaching sessions and the feedback was outstanding, some of the best we ever received for professional learning. Our Leadership Team along with our School Counsellor will also participate in a workshop on Positive Education in the next few weeks. The online format is often more personalized, asynchronous, and provides the ability to ask questions and dig deeper without feeling embarrassed.
- Tighter Bonds with Parents
So many parents acted as surrogate teachers and the closeness between teachers and parents was evident which needs to continue beyond this pandemic. Parents are more involved in their child’s learning than ever before and we need to build on this to help it continue beyond the days of online learning. Our School Board meeting was held online for the month of May and was well received by all. We need to continue to identify ways to connect, communicate, and collaborate with parents at times and ways that are best for them, not the school.
It’s my hope that we learnt the importance of every child having a digital tool, internet connection, and the support to thrive in a digital learning culture. I believe this pandemic has brought this issue to the forefront and our school needs to continue working to overcome this challenge. Our students were lucky to be in a position where most already had access to a device to continue their learning.
Let’s embrace this opportunity to reshape education for the advancement of all students. As educators, we need to take what we learnt during this pandemic and work collaboratively to transform our school for the benefit of every child. Together in partnership with parents we strive to continue to deliver the best opportunities for all students here at St Saviour’s Primary School.
Thanks for reading and we look forward to seeing all children back at school on Monday 25th May.
Dear Parents and Carers,
Welcome back to all students next week!!
Semester One Report Cards
Students will still receive report cards for Semester One. These report cards will reflect the fact that students have been learning both remotely and at school.
In accordance with Toowoomba Catholic Schools' and Queensland Curriculum and Assessment Authority directives, teachers will report on a minimum of five learning areas. Every year level will report on Maths, English, Religion and HPE. Year levels will then choose to report on Science and/or HASS depending on the evidence of learning that has been collected. That means that there will not be a grade for The Technologies, The Arts and Japanese this semester.
Teachers will still be providing marks via an A-E scale. These will be supported by comments in Maths and English and a general comment.
Given the timing of students returning to school, these report cards will be sent home on Friday July 24 (second week of Term 3).
If you have any questions about the report cards or are concerned in any way, please feel free to contact me on email@example.com
Updated School Routines
- Drop off areas will remain the same for the rest of Term 2. That is, Prep students to Prep and Years 1-6 students via the gate at Lawrence St.
- Prep students will remain in the prep area until school commences, Years 1 and 5 students will meet at the undercroft outside their classrooms and Years 2,3,4 & 6 students will meet outside the Mercy Centre. There will be an adult on duty at all of these locations.
- There will be an assembly on Monday afternoons at 2.30pm, however this will happen via Microsoft Teams. Year 6 Leaders and the School Leadership Team will connect to the classrooms at this time for messages and awards. Unfortunately parents will be unable to attend.
- All students are to wear the correct uniform to school. That includes formal and sport uniform on designated days.
- PE lessons will be on the same day/s as Term 1.
- Students will still be collected from Lawrence Street, with buses running from Perth Street.
ONLINE LEARNING from home.......
The Holden family - learning from home!!
Thank you for sending in photos.
Dear Parents and Carers,
While the last couple of months has entailed many rewrites of duty rosters, break times and routines, some of the changes to my supervision duties have been very welcome- the opportunity to greet the Preppies last week, with their parents as they ventured back to school was one such positive outcome. The little ones have been so excited to catch up with their friends and play on the playground. As I am also doing some literacy intervention in the Prep classrooms this term, it has also given me the chance to interact with the students and parents in a less formal way too. This week I have been a part of the "Welcome Committee" on Lawrence St, again getting to wave at or give a quick hello to Mums, Dads and grandparents doing the Drop Off. Along with a small team of Year 6 Leaders I have enjoyed the community interaction at the start of the day. Hopefully, parents and students have found this routine of benefit and a postive way to start their school day. I know I have!
Keeping in Touch: Speaking of community interaction and keeping in touch, from the start of this term, Fr Michael (and Sr Rosie) have made a point of joining in to class TEAM meetings, just to say hello. With masses being live- streamed, visits to nursing homes, hospitals and homes in only limited circumstances Fr Michael, has had almsot no opportunity to interact with us here at SSPS. This week, he is catching up with 6H and all year 2 classes and hopefully he will be able to be a part of our first TEAMs assembly next week.
Year 5s have been missing their visits with the residents at Salem Nursing Home so they sent a short "We miss you" videoclip.
THE FEAST of MARY HELP of CHRISTIANS: The Patron Saint of Australia
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to affect Australians’ lives, including their worship, the Australian Catholic Bishops have entrusted the country to the care of Mary Help of Christians on her feast day this week.
The motion was agreed to during the bishops' plenary last week reads:
“That the Australian Bishops entrust Australia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary under the title Our Lady Help of Christians, seeking her intercession for the safety of all our people especially in this time of COVID-19 pandemic.”
Mary Help of Christians has been the official patroness of Australia since 1844. Her feast day is celebrated on May 24, which this year coincides with the Feast of the Ascension. The entrustment of Australia to Mary Help of Christians can therefore take place on 24 or 25 May.
This information has been shared with our teachers and will be passed on, as appropriate, to our students. A Prayer to Mary Help of Christians will be included as part of our School Assembly (via TEAMs) on Monday afternoon.
SACRAMENTAL PROGRAM: To those in our community, and beyond who are a part of this year's St Pat's Sacramental Program, please know that while we do not as yet have an updated schedule as to when and how we will continue, we are in conversation with Fr Michael about what this might entail. Further information will be shared in the coming weeks.
ART Prize Winners: During our TEAMs Assembly on Monday, those students who were awarded prizes for their Art Work and Handwriting that was submitted for the Tmba Show, will be announced.
Hoping you are all managing to get back to "normal",
Stay well and connected,
Semester 1 Travel Rebates:
Applications are now open for Semester 1 Travel Rebates. Please click on the following link for further information regarding the application process.
Term 2 School Fees:
Term 2 School Fees have been emailed home yesterday. Please check your inbox for your statement. Due date for payment is 19th June, 2020. Payments for school fees can be made over the phone via eftpos.
Children leaving through the school day:
Please remember to contact the office 4637 1700 if you are wishing to collect your child early throughout the school day. Office staff will walk your child out to you.
Please remember to use the school crossings on Lawrence and Perth Streets safely as school returns next week. Our crossing supervisors will be monitoring both crossings closely next week and for the remainder of the term.
PE is Back (Prep – Year 1)
PE kicked off again for student in Prep and Year One in week four with all students in these year levels back at school. The students participate in two half hour sessions of PE a week with the focus being soccer and locomotive skills. These students enjoyed a obstacle course with different locomotive and gross motor skills (pictures attached).
Year Three – Six (Remote Learning)
Students from Year Two to Year six are being offered dancing, yoga, juggling, locomotive and gross motor skills such as bouncing, throwing, catching, fitness sessions, skipping and many other exciting activities. Classes from three to six have a ‘trick shots’ file in the PE channel for students to upload videos of trick shots they have created around the house (MUST BE SAFE). These could be created using any equipment such as a basketball and hoop to a pencil and cup. The videos will be judged to pick the top three trick shots. The more creative, the better. There have been over 40 entries so far so keep at it. Submissions close this Friday the 22nd of May 2020. To access the PE activities simple open the ‘PE with Mr Luck’ channel in your child’s class on Microsoft Teams and access the PowerPoint for the corresponding week of the term. I look forward to seeing all students in person next week. There are also links to videos that explain different activities in more detail. Any question, please don’t hesitate to contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Library staff have been extremely busy with a stocktake of the student collection. The shelves now hold our best titles, ready for some serious browse and borrow time when library visits resume. Please ensure loans from Term 1 are returned next week or as soon as possible.
Please contact the library if this is your personal book. It was found in our returns box late last term.
We will be enjoying the story Whitney and Britney Chicken Divas next Wednesday 27th May as part of National Simultaneous Storytime. Log in to Storybox library at www.storyboxlibrary.com.au (Username:ssps Password: stories) to hear this great read aloud being shared by Emma Watson from the Wiggles.
Returning to School – Ways to Support Your Child
With school resuming next week, many kids will be busting to see their friends and get out of the house. But for some, the thought of returning to the classroom may be stirring anxiety. Even if your child is eager to get back to school, they may need help with the transition.
Some children may not openly share their back-to-school worries. Rather there are some more subtle signs to look out for. They might share the ‘what-ifs’ – such as, ‘what if I go back to school and I get sick? What if I go to school and I have nobody to play with’. Other signs of worry could be trouble sleeping, restlessness, bursts of anger over seemingly benign things, withdrawing, or complaints about headaches and tummy aches.
We can help our children by encouraging them to express how they feel about going back to school and validating their concerns. Try using a conversation opener such as: "It's a big thing going back to school and it's OK if you feel a bit worried. That's really understandable and normal." After validation comes strength: where we tell our kids it might be a bit hard at first but it's going to be OK, and we know they're going to get through this. Saying well-meaning things like “there’s nothing to worry about” can often increase a child’s anxiety because we give them the impression that we ‘just don’t get it’.
We, as caregivers, can help our children by managing our own emotions. Typically, if a parent feels anxious about returning to school or school drop-off, children pick up on this and may see the situation as anxiety-provoking. But if a parent is really relaxed, the child will most likely model this. Keeping calm and relaxed can make a world of difference for a little person, especially leading up to a big transition.
Last (but certainly not least), remember, our children are often more capable than we think. We underestimate how resilient kids are and how easily they can adapt. Once kids are back with their friends and back with the teacher, they'll settle back in! With this in mind, I encourage you all to enjoy the weekend and celebrate the fact that we successfully made it through this remote learning period!
If you are looking for more hints and tips about managing big emotions or school anxiety, more resources are available on the School Counsellor Connect page.
Tuckshop will be back operating 3 days a week from next week via Flexischools.
If you wish to place a Tuckshop order, please remeber the cut off is 9.30am.
The Tuckshop is still in need of volunteers in the Tuckshop. If you can help out in some small way, please contact either Natasha or Michelle in the Tuckshop or via the office.