When I sat down to write this Newsletter article, we were continuing happily along in Phase 1, with plans for Phase 2 and beyond well in hand. And then there was an announcement… Some quick deleting, a rethink, and now here I am talking to you about what return to school full time looks like.
As Mr McMullen has informed you, from Monday, 25th May, we are back full time. All students will be attending school, and school will be running as close to normal as we are currently allowed.
So, what will that look like in Primary? You will have received some matter of fact information from the school already regarding travel arrangements, hygiene measures, and other big picture topics. But what about your child, in their class?
Who Comes When?
That’s actually an easy one. Everyone comes all the time. All students, Prep to Year 12 are now back at school every day. It feels like a very long time since this last happened and will be a welcome return.
What Will We Be Doing in Class?
For most students, we will be back to doing most of the things we normally do at school. All lessons and subjects will be back in full swing, including Library, PE and Sport. Some aspects of PE and Sport will look different, such as the non-contact nature of the activities we will be undertaking. There also won’t be any IPSSO (Interschool Sport) for this term.
A big focus for staff, as we welcome the children back full time, will be looking after student wellbeing. This has been a very challenging time for everyone, and we can’t just click our fingers and expect everything to return to normal. Students will react to returning full time in many, varied ways. Teachers will be very focused on how students are coping, and seeking resources and assistance to help students settle back in. PLEASE contact your child’s teacher, or the Primary Office, if you have any concerns about how your child is adjusting.
The other focus, of course, will be academics. I think it is fair to say that each child has been on a unique journey over the past few months, so it will take some time to work out where everyone is up to. Teachers will be very strategic in ascertaining strengths, progress and gaps for their students and working with these. Executive staff will be very hands on also, helping in this process. Based on how each class is coping, there will be differences in what families see regarding homework, assessments, etc. There will be a half yearly report, but it will obviously be different to usual, based on the current circumstances.
What About the Playground?
The playground is open, and students are welcome to play many of their usual games and activities at recess and lunchtime. There are some slight modifications, both to areas used, and to managing equipment, to help with distancing. As with Sport and PE, contact games will not be allowed.
The canteen will be operating as usual, and very keen to serve your child.
Are Mum and Dad Allowed In Yet?
Sadly, no. All the advice we continue to receive from the Government clearly directs that parents are not to come onto school grounds. Parents and carers will need to continue to do drop off and pick up as we have been doing for the past weeks, both at the front car park and the back gate. If you need to discuss something with a member of staff, please go to the Front Office, and ask for assistance.
What About Other Visitors?
No other visitors either. This includes music tutors, allied health professionals, incursions, etc.
Can My Pet Visit?
Sorry, no. Over the past few weeks, we have had a few pets (mainly dogs) make an appearance at car lines. While they are all very cute, I need to remind families that dogs especially are not allowed on school grounds, even under your direct supervision.
The school will continue with all the hygiene practices that have been incorporated over the past few months. While we continue to be told that children are a very low risk of COVID transmission, we will nevertheless carry out regular hand washing, some social distancing, provision of sanitiser as needed, and so forth. As mentioned above, there will also be adjustments to some activities to assist with this.
What if you’ve read all of this, and are still uncertain about the days and weeks ahead? Then please contact us. Mrs Shaw, Mrs Post and I are ready to chat with you and discuss any concerns that you may have. Alternatively, you may wish to contact your child’s teacher. Whatever you do, please do keep lines of communication open, so we can work together as we take the next step in our COVID journey.
– We are planning an online incursion (live musical performance) for mid-June for the higher Primary grades. More details to come.
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
In His service,
Deputy Principal – Primary School