Term 4 Week 7 Update


Dear Families

Today’s KABOOM sports sessions created an exciting and colourful atmosphere at school. It was great seeing students in their house colours enjoying the challenge of trying to master different skills and games with their peers.

It is the first of several events and activities to be run for our students between now and the end of the year that aims to support wellbeing and positive socialisation.

Our aim over the last few weeks, and for the remainder of the year is to ensure that we continue to take careful steps on the way to our recovery from such a demanding, and at times, traumatic year. The return to ‘school normal’ continues to be challenging and it won’t always be straight forward. As a SCUBA diver returning to the surface must do to survive, we need to take time methodically and slowly to ‘decompress’ and avoid the pitfalls and temptation of rushing to get back to the way things were too quickly.

Divers rarely have problems descending, it’s the return to the surface that is fraught with greatest danger.

Wellbeing continues to have a strong focus. Wellbeing, we know, certainly helps students to enjoy learning but wellbeing in and of itself is vital. We want our students, families, and staff to be well and to have positive social
interactions now, and into the future.

With just over 3 weeks left of the 2021 school year, we are well and truly in planning mode for 2022. Transitions for our Foundation – Year 5 students formally begins at the end of this month and is a great way for students and staff to start to get to know each other a bit better before the start of the 2022 school year (for students this will be Monday January 31 2022). Our best guess at the moment is that we will have 475 students next year, a slight increase on our numbers in 2021.

The 3 transition sessions provide time for students to get a head start on next year and understand classroom expectations, the different learning that might be undertaken and make connections with new classmates in their new classrooms. Successful transitions help students develop and consolidate positive, supportive relationships. We want our students to feel that school is a highly valued place to be, where people care about them and where they are likely to succeed.

Our 2022 Foundation transitions have continued again this week and our Year 6s have their State-wide transition day on Tuesday December 7, before heading off to Camp the next day.

Our initial plans have been altered slightly for our Senior School students and these are reflected in the table below

2022 Year Level School Building 2022 Year Level School Building
Foundation – 4 classes Main Admin (red brick) Year 1 – 5 classes Classrooms near the Hall –
where current Preps are
Year 2 – 4 classes Relocatable near the Bike
Year 3 – 4 classes Learning Centre- where
Assembly is held
Year 4 – 2 classes Learning Centre- where
Assembly is held
Year 5 – 2 classes Flexible learning space in
STEM centre
Year 6 – 2 classes New relocatable at the back
of the oval


That’s a total of 23 classes and all of our classrooms occupied. Schools are allocated classrooms based on a formula of 1 classroom for every 25 students and we will continue to follow DET procedures to try and get more rooms (or even better , significant government funding ) if we get more enrolments throughout the year.

Classes in 2022

This week we finalised our classes and structures for 2022. Our staffing is pretty much all confirmed, noting there may be some movement if one or two staff members are successful in obtaining leadership positions at other schools.

We have now finalised our grade lists for 2022. Thank you to all who have made requests in a timely and very thoughtful and respectful manner over the last few weeks to help ensure our grade lists have the right balance (gender, ability, attitude/behaviour). Our staff have considered student requests (at least one learning buddy to be paired with), student strengths and needs and most importantly – applied their expert professional judgement during hours and hours of discussion.

We have recruited 4 new staff members – Julia Cockburn, Nathan Pearson, Emma Ruwoldt and Brad Winters – to support the extra classes we will have next year and to cover the impending departures of Luke McMaster and Jacqui Miller.

Luke has taken an opportunity to work closer to home on the Peninsula and Jacqui is taking Family leave. Both Luke and Jacqui have been tireless workers for our school in the classroom and in a number of leadership positions over the last 7 years.

COVID-19 Vaccinations – visitors and volunteers on school sites

The Department has updated their policy, which includes the following about the collection of vaccine information. The policy, now includes guidance for vaccination requirements for when parents, carers and other adults visit schools (other than to perform work).

Vaccination requirements for parents, carers and other visitors not performing work

Parents, carers and other adults who enter school buildings must have had at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine and must have had two doses of COVID-19 vaccine by Monday 29 November 2021 or a valid medical exception. The following limited exceptions apply:

  • when attending to administer medical treatment to their own child when the treatment cannot be administered by the school
  • when attending to collect their child who is unwell and cannot leave the school building unaccompanied by their parent/carer
  • when attending for a short time that does not involve any sustained contact with staff or students, for example, to collect a completed art project or similar.

This vaccination requirement applies to all school activities inside school buildings, including but not limited to, kindergarten transition activities, tours, graduations, fetes and school theatre and music production. 

Any adults attending these events, regardless of whether they are held indoors or outdoors, must be vaccinated, in line with community requirements.

Christmas Market – Sunday November 28

Our market is really starting to take shape and our School Council have been working very hard to make this happen now that we have a little more certainty about restrictions easing slightly.

There will be around 25 shopping stalls to choose gifts from, 8 food stalls along with the school BBQ for breakfast and lunch or a snack. Back in Motion will be providing the opportunity to have a massage with their profits being donated back to school.

This is a fun community event that we’re using as an opportunity to take another large step towards getting back to ‘normal’

If you would like to help our school out and volunteer an hour of your time (or more if you like) please sign up at https://volunteersignup.org/34LB4

Tip of the Week

Wellbeing support for students over school holidays

It’s been a big year and the attached guide offers some tips and resources for parents, carers and families to support the mental health and wellbeing of children and young people in their care over the school holidays. This includes services to reach out to if more support is needed.

I know from our experience at home that accessing support services has been difficult due to the increased demand for families to engage with paediatricians, psychologists, doctors, dieticians, and the like. I am attaching this DET guide to support the positive mental health of our students and families in the lead into Christmas and the ensuing School Holidays.

Key dates

There are a number of events that we are hoping to run over the last 4 weeks of this term. There is an updated calendar on our school website and some of these are also listed here:

November 25 and 26 – Years 3-6 Life Saving Skills at Chelsea LSC
November 30 – Foundation Moonlit Sanctuary Excursion
November 30- December 2 – Transition for Foundation- Year 5
December 2 and 3 – Years 3-6 Life Saving Skills at Chelsea LSC
December 7- Year 6 -7 Secondary School Statewide Transition day
December 6-10- Year 5 and 6 School Camp
December 13 School Fun Run
December 14- Class parties and Year 6 Graduation
December 15- Final Day of Students’ school year and Final Assembly. Early dismissal at 2:00pm

“We don’t receive wisdom; we must discover it for ourselves after a journey that no one can take for us or spare us.”
-Marcel Proust

Take care and stay safe

James Whitla