Welcome to Term 2
Today marks the end of a challenging week where we have seen, at times, over 100 students absent on any given day due to the flu, gastro and Covid. We are very grateful to all families who have helped us stay safe and open by helping students to rest up and recover at home.
On a more positive note, our Year 3 and 5 students have embraced the challenge of NAPLAN through their great effort, attitude and determination. We know that this assessment doesn’t measure a student’s character, kindness, wit or respect. If it did, our school would be ranked #1 in the State.
Reconciliation Week – May 27 – June 3.
We are committed to establishing an inclusive and culturally safe school where the strengths of Aboriginal culture, values and practices are respected. During this important week our staff, with assistance from our Koorie Education Support Officer, will have a strong focus on this year’s Reconciliation Week theme – Be Brave. Make Change.
The National Reconciliation Week 2022 theme, “Be Brave. Make Change.” is a challenge to all Australians— individuals, families, communities, organisations and government—to Be Brave and tackle the unfinished business of reconciliation so we can Make Change for the benefit of all Australians.
Last year Reconciliation Australia encouraged all Australians to take action; not just in National Reconciliation Week but every week of the year.
We saw unprecedented response to our suggested actions for everyday and for braver action.
This year we are asking everyone to make change beginning with brave actions in their daily lives – where they live, work, play and socialise.
National Reconciliation Week—27 May to 3 June—is a time for all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia.
Welcome Sarah Love
We welcomed Sarah Love to the PE role this week. Sarah brings with her a great passion and energy that has already had a positive impact on our students. We are delighted to welcome her in to our School Community.
Our School Council met during the week and finalised some key upcoming dates as well identified some possibilities for social events/fundraisers. We also ratified an updated Visitors in School policy.
Teacher professional practice days come into effect this term as part of the proposed new Victorian Schools Agreement. Moving forward, these days are set aside for teaching staff to undergo professional learning, school visits, planning, assessments and the like however this term the DET has advised that schools start planning for a common Term 2 professional practice day.
Through consultation with our Staff, Union, and School Council we have locked in the final day of Term 2 – Friday, June 24 as a Professional Practice Day. The focus will be on planning for Term 2, with a specific look at Mathematics differentiation.
Students will not be required to attend school on the day and we will ensure that TeamKids are available to assist families to make alternative arrangements for the care and supervision of their child/children if needed.
We believe that this date is the one that will cause least disruption to learning and the timing is right for Curriculum planning with staff having conducted parent partnership meetings throughout the last week of term and have the most up to date assessments and data possible to plan effectively and accurately.
Our Third Student Free Day will be held on Monday November 2 (the day before Cup Day) and the focus will be on WRITING.
As part of our ongoing learning of the Science Of Writing, we will be engaging with Lyn Stone throughout Terms 3 and 4 this year, and again in Term 1 2023. Lyn Stone is a linguist and runs Lifelong Literacy – a specialist tutoring practice for children and adults with learning difficulties. A number of staff completed the Science of Writing course in Term 4 2021, and Lyn was an integral part of this workshop. Woking with her again will not only be a privilege but will assist in cementing or writing program.
Going forward, staff will be completing Lyn’s Online Workshop course, titled ‘Writing for Life’ across terms 3 and 4, and will then take part in a PD work shop in Term 1 of 2023. The 3 session online workshop covers:
- Underlying Skills and Knowledge for Writing (exploring Orthopraghic Mapping, Writing Memory and Parts of Speech)
- Commonly used words, spelling patterns and grammar
- Sentence structure, clauses and structure
- Best practise for teachers to improve student learning
Our last Student Free Day for the whole school will be a data handover at the end of the year- December 20
Emergency Management Practice Drill
Next week our school will complete the second Emergency Drill for the year. It will be an off – site Evacuation and this process is undertaken annually to ensure we can help keep our students safe and help them to understand what to do in each Emergency Situation. Staff will talk through the steps that students will need to take to successfully participate safely.
There are a range of activities (link below) that will help build and maintain your child’s wellbeing. Most of them are short and require very few materials. The activities cover six key elements that are important to wellbeing. There are also activities that focus on positive thinking and gratitude as well as breathing exercises that promote calm.
These activities are based on the Resilience, Rights and Respectful Relationships resources that we often use during our Wellbeing session.
Understanding emotions – Understanding emotions helps your child to understand themselves and other people. We can do this by focusing on recognising, expressing and managing emotions. Understanding emotions is key to building empathy and self-awareness.
Personal Strengths – Help to build your child’s ability to recognise and understand positive qualities in themselves and others. This will help to build your child’s self-confidence and the capacity to face and manage challenges.
Positive Coping – Provide opportunities for your child to discuss and learn different types of coping strategies. This will increase your child’s ability to manage stress, control impulses and overcome obstacles.
Problem Solving – Your child can develop their critical and creative thinking skills to explore different types of problems. This can build your child’s ability to make responsible decisions that consider the likely consequences of different ways of solving problems.
Stress Management – Learn about different calming strategies to deal with stress. This can help your child to cope with challenges they are facing now and in the future.
Help Seeking – In these challenging times, it is important to normalise asking for help. Your child will learn to recognise situations in which to seek help, identify trusted people in their lives to ask for help and practice asking for and providing help
This week we distributed the most recent batch of RATs to our students to assist us to all stay safe These tests are designed to be used over the next few weeks and there are again 5 test kits in each box. This will ensure that the recommended twice weekly tests can again be undertaken to help us all stay safe.
- Parents/carers must complete the Student COVID-19 COVID Test Portal if a student tests positive to COVID-19 (via a PCR or rapid antigen test). Where a parent/carer informs the school by phone or written notification, the school must complete the Schools COVID Case Management Tool.
- Students who report a positive result must isolate for seven days and not attend school during that period.
- Where a student is a household contact of a positive case (that is, they have spent more than four hours with someone who has COVID-19 inside a house, accommodation, or care facility) they must inform the school. Household and household-like contacts are no longer required to quarantine as long as they take additional safety measures in the 7 days that would have been their quarantine period. Household contacts are required to inform the school that they are attending during the 7 day period.
- In the event of multiple positive cases at a school, the Department of Health (DH) will work with the relevant regional office to determine the most appropriate response and any additional actions that should be taken.
The Victorian Companion Card is a free card for people eligible to receive it. The card allows a person’s carer free entry into participating venues and events. Cards are issued on a 5 or 10 year basis with no fees or charges.
The Companion card is for people with significant and permanent disability who have a lifelong need for a high level of attendant care to participate in social activities or events where an entry fee is charged.
Who accepts the Companion card?
The card is accepted by a range of organisations, from local councils to popular recreation activities or events including:
- AFL (Australian Football League)
- Village cinemas
- Arts Centre
- Melbourne Zoo.
There have been a few cases of viral Gastroenteritis (gastro) through the school over the last week. Please remember to keep your child home if showing symptoms and they are not to return to school for a minimum of 24 hours after their last vomit or diarrhoea.
Please find below and attached further information:
How gastro spreads
Gastro is particularly infectious. It can be spread:
- through person-to-person contact
- through the air when a person vomits
- via contact with contaminated items and surfaces.
Helping prevent gastro
While alcohol-based hand sanitisers are recommended to prevent transmission of COVID-19, they are not effective for dealing with many of the viruses that cause gastro.
The most effective ways to prevent gastro are:
- wash hands thoroughly with soap and running water for 20 seconds, especially before preparing or eating meals and after using the toilet
- anyone student or staff who develops vomiting or diarrhoea should stay home for 48 hours after their symptoms have passed, as they may still be infectious during this period
- see a GP for advice and testing if symptoms are severe or persist