Thank you for your support and commitment to remote and flexible learning this week.
Based on advice from the Victorian Chief Health Officer, all schools in metropolitan Melbourne will continue with remote and flexible learning, until Thursday 10 June 2021. We are very hopeful to be return to face-to-face teaching next Friday – just prior to the long weekend – and remain that way for the final 2 weeks of the Term.
The large numbers of students we have had online has been a great way of staying connected. I know that our staff are extremely grateful to see our students each day and are rapt at being able to support and guide their remote learning.
A key part of the online sessions at the start of each day is a language/phonics focus. If you have been able to listen or observe the phonics sessions, you may have gleaned an insight into one part of the approach we take to help students to learn to read.
“Phonics is the relationship between the 26 letters of the English alphabet, and the approximately 44 speech sounds they represent, depending on dialect. The sounds of the English language are known as phonemes and the letters and letter combinations are known as graphemes. Grapheme-phoneme correspondences (GPCs) are represented by approximately 250 different spellings (Moats, 2010)”
We step our students through this learning in a specific sequence so that students get an understanding of all of the 44 sounds.
Once students can decode words, we can build upon their fluency and once they have had success with this, we can target their comprehension skills.
One example of why learning to spell and read can be a complex processes can be found in the ‘S’ sound Interestingly, the ’S’ phoneme can be represented in multiple ways,
‘S’ as in snake. -SS as in glass. -CE as in palace. -SE as in house. CE as in cent and certain. CI as in city and circle. CY as in bicycle and lacy. SC as in scissors. -ST- as in castle. PS as in pseudonym
Tip of the Week
The Department have developed wellbeing activities and conversation starters for parents and carers of primary school-aged children. The attachment ‘Wellbeing activities and conversation starters for parents of primary school-aged children’ was sent out during last year’s lockdown and we are hoping that the advice and tips included with it can help you support your child.
To support positive mental health:
- Exercise and eat healthily – it helps boost our mood
- Prioritise sleep to support mental and emotional wellbeing
- Stay in touch and catch up with friends and loved ones
- Make time to do things that bring joy
- Practice positive self-talk, and remind ourselves and our children that we are not alone
This week we received notification that our new synthetic oval and outdoor space is going ahead. The process has been a long and detailed one and our Evaluation Panel, Department representatives, Victorian School Building Authority team members and expert consultants have been instrumental in helping this become a reality. If the current restrictions permit, we are hopeful of commencing the construction on June 15.
Our current, and previous, School Councils have been extremely diligent, methodical and supportive of this project and I am grateful and very appreciative of their support and understanding throughout this process.
In late March, after waiting more than 12 months for VSBA approval, we asked 4 companies to engage in the tendering process (Barefoot Landscaping, Gecko Surfacing, GrasSports Australia, and Tiger Turf) to submit responses by April 25. Each tenderer received the soil investigation report and soil contamination report that had been commissioned. All tenderers visited Edithvale Primary School to have a look at the oval ground over the Easter School Holidays. Each was walked around the site and we answered any and all questions they had.
A Tender Evaluation Panel (TEP) of 9 was formed. This included a community member who is the Deputy Director of sports facilities at Monash University to provide technical advice on synthetic surface construction. This person has an intimate working knowledge of synthetic surfaces, the processes and pitfalls to be wary of and a history of delivering successful outcomes for the University.
It was determined that GrasSPORTS Australia with their reputation, history of excellence in this field, quality of service and product were superior to the other companies who tendered. It was the opinion of the entire TEP that the synthetic grass being proposed by GrasSports is of a more superior quality than that proposed by the other tenderers and that their response included a superior maintenance regime.
The construction will take about 8-10 weeks and will cause some disruption for our students and the space they have to play in. The end result will, I am sure, be worth it. Our student body has been very patient throughout this process and they are very excited at the prospect of having a brand new space to enjoy. A proposed version of what it might look like:
We asked the GrasSports team to provide an overview of the project via a brief Q and A below, which we hope answers questions you may have.
At the same time as this project is getting under way, work on a new Sensory Garden will commence. A $100K Inclusive Schools Government Grant that we applied for, and received, in 2019 will enable this project to be delivered. This new Outdoor Sensory Play space will be adjacent to our Sensory room and provide another quiet, tactile area that students and staff can use to help with self-regulation.
Not all learning spaces are the same and not all students engage in these spaces the same, nor do they use spaces for the same outcome. We are committed to providing students who have impairments, disabilities or problems in schooling, with the opportunity of achieving their potential in a mainstream school environment. By constructing an inclusive and sensory rich playground within the school, we are creating an environment where children with different abilities can learn, play, feel safe, and engage in an environment that they are eager to explore and use to regulate their emotions.
The garden will be set near the Corner of French Avenue and Edithvale Rd and will be another terrific acquisition for our school. For the 4 weeks of its construction, the gate closest to the building site will be locked in order to keep our students and families safe.
It remains a challenging time for many in our community. Please contact us at school to see how we can support you during this lockdown.
With the intention of finishing off the week on a positive note…….
What went well for you today and throughout this week?
Take care and stay safe
Week 8 overview for our students at each Year Level.