From Mr McMullen

In approaching the end of this term, all I can say is that this has been a term like no other. While there have been many challenges, I have been so encouraged by the way so many people have responded in flexible, creative, and patient ways to enable the continuity of learning and wellbeing for our students over the past weeks. There have been many concerns shared and responded to, challenges identified and resolved, so I would like to thank everyone who has contributed in strong and positive ways to this term’s uncertainty.

The HSC examination timetable is expected to be formally released today including plans for all courses to be examined. While the timing of this program has been delayed by four weeks, causing great uncertainty for Year 12 students and their families, I welcome this news. This timeline gives our students some clarity as to the coming months and a focal point for their preparation. It also enables us to make tentative plans for opportunities to celebrate this cohort’s school career with the dignity and weight they deserve. Information of how this might look will be made available as soon as possible to help families in their planning.

The extension of the time prior to the examinations does lengthen their school year, however, it also provides the opportunity for HSC students and their teachers to prepare well for this final assessment and so a program of timetabled lessons and targeted student seminars is planned for this preparation time. In relation to this upcoming break, I am giving the opposite of my normal advice to our HSC students. Take a complete break from your study. Be as rested and refreshed as possible for a final push next term.

Last night we enjoyed looking forward into the near future with a meeting between key staff and the families of Prep and Kindergarten 2022. Currently, every week feels a year long, however, it will be a blink of the eye before the new year starts. Last night was a positive time for the school to pass on helpful information and answer many questions from parents and carers. The start of school is such a critical transition and so every enquiry, no matter the level of detail, is important. Thank you for the staff who attended, and we welcome the large number of families who joined us.

In further news about 2022, our school musical production of Matilda has been moved to Term 1 2022. There will be six performances held between 25th February and 3rd March. While regular rehearsals are not happening, online rehearsals have continued to keep our cast’s memory of the songs fresh. Plans made in our current COVID-19 climate are always made tentatively, however, we hold great hope that our current situation will pass, and we will be able to enjoy this event, with appropriate measures in place.

Over the break, I will be meeting with Senior Executive to make plans for the staged return of students to school in Term 4. The return days already announced is a reasonable roadmap:

25th October – Kindergarten, Years 1 and 12

1st November – adding Years 2, 6 and 11

8th November – adding Years 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10

However, our experience will be very much shaped by local conditions relating to levels of vaccination and case numbers. When it comes to the requirements of all staff being vaccinated, the school will meet the Public Health Orders that are progressively in place. All decisions in the return to face to face learning and daily operation will be in line with COVID-safe planning with the health and safety of our community as a priority. This means that a school day may continue to be different in some ways to what we enjoyed in Terms 1 and 2. That said we are definitely looking forward to the return of students and staff to school.

Currently the school is engaging in further ventures to enrich learning from home. We are investing in a number of online learning platforms including Literacy Planet and Mathseeds, helping to build literacy and numeracy skills in our youngest learners, expansion in the ‘Goosechase’ resource for wellbeing and health activities, Robitify a robotics/coding program used in High School Technology and the expansion of High School English’s functionality of interactive Kahoot! quizzes to engage and students and build their understanding. These are in addition to the use of online resources such as Education Perfect and Edrolo.

I’m really excited for next week’s ‘Meal with your Flat Teacher’ end of term celebration. We are asking every Primary family to use the provided resources to join in on the fun and invite your ‘Flat Teacher’ to a family event you are having at your own home. Take photos and share them with us. While we can’t come together to celebrate, we can all celebrate the end of term and God’s blessing of families in a unified way.

Lots of plans are being made for Book Week at Carey which will be held early next term. Look out for some of your favourite school staff reading their pick of the library books. Expect some great costumes from your teachers and get thinking about which of your favourite book characters will be your dress up pick.

Be assured we are constantly praying for our school community’s health and safety, and no matter the circumstances we are confident in God’s goodness and love and is willingness and capacity to keep his promises made through his son Jesus Christ.

God Bless,
Keith McMullen