Lockdown 6.0

19-September-2021

Lockdown 6.0 | August – November

Dear Families

Today’s announcement from the Premier was a bit of a mixed bag for us. There is more information being sent to schools shortly but I thought I’d take a few moments to share what I learnt this afternoon on a State-wide Principal briefing. There was some good news- most notably that we have a proposed date (November 5) when ALL students will be back on-site for face to face teaching.

Two points to start with – all dates and plans are subject to change and will depend on health advice AND it is worth noting the settings in Regional Victoria (we often adopt their settings a week or two after theirs change)

Remote and Flexible Learning will continue for the first 2 weeks of Term 4 – (Monday October 4 – Friday October 15) under the same settings that were in place during Term 3.

On Monday October 18 schools will start to open up in a staggered and safe manner that will see ALL students back on-site on Friday November 5.

In Week 3 of Term our Foundation students will return to school for 3 days per week (Monday-Wednesday) and our Year 1 and 2 students will return for 2 days (Thursday and Friday)

In Weeks 4 and 5 of Term, they will be joined on-site by our Year 3 and 4 students on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and
by our Year 5 and 6 students on Thursdays and Fridays.

We will work through what this means for us to timetable a combination of Remote and Face to face classes and there may be some minor changes to the schedule we have run over the last couple of months.

It will also most likely mean that our proposed Student Free Day on November 1 will again be postponed.

On-site dates
Foundation Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays October 18,19,20, 25,26,27 November 1,3,5
Year 1 Thursdays and Fridays October 21,22, 28, 29 November 4,5
Year 2 Thursdays and Fridays October 21,22, 28, 29 November 4,5
Year 3 Tuesdays and Wednesdays October 26,27 November 3,5
Year 4 Tuesdays and Wednesdays October 26,27 November 3,5
Year 5 Thursdays and Fridays October 28,29 November 4,5
Year 6 Thursdays and Fridays October 28,29 November 4,5

 

As further information about the settings that we will be required to adhere to comes to hand, we will get this to you
as soon as practical.

Thank you once again for your efforts and support in helping to maintain continuity of learning for our students in Term 3.

When the History of this pandemic is written, the efforts of our students, families and staff will be written in bold type! The roles that we play together to support the wellbeing and learning of our students has been extraordinary and the genius thing we have all done is to not give up!

Masks

It is now recommended primary-school-age children wear masks while indoors and outdoors, except when in the home or when an exception applies. However, it is not mandatory.

Staff supervising on-site will continue to wear face masks, removing these only for communication purposes while teaching, and continue to socially distance whenever possible.

Resilience Project
To help support school communities, especially everyone going through remote learning, we’re really excited to announce the return of GEM TV next week with Martin Heppell. Tune in from Monday August 23 – Friday August 27 for this energetic and engaging series designed to support the wellbeing of young people.

What you need to know:

  • New episodes will be released each school day from August 23-27.
  • New episodes will be available to view from 2pm – 3pm (Melbourne Time/AEST) each day. So tune in from 2pm to avoid missing out.
  • Episodes are intended for a primary school audience.
  • Tune in through TRP@HOME, or go to www.theresilienceproject.com.au/at-home/gem-tv
  • Each episode explores a different evidence-based principle linked to positive mental health: GratitudeEmpathyMindfulnessEmotional Literacy and Connection.

The links below have been provided to us via the Department of Education messaging as part of their support for schools – some of which we hope you may find helpful

A short video produced by headspace with tips and strategies for parents and carers during lockdown

Some suggestions on how students (and our families) can deal with a tough time and boost their (our) mood through practising gratitude

https://au.reachout.com/articles/the-how-and-why-of-practising-gratitude

Looking after yourself
There are also lots of things you can do to look after yourself. You could:

  • take a break from the news and social media
  • spend time with people who make you laugh and feel happy
  • do some exercise
  • try to eat healthily and keep the unhealthy snack foods and drinks as treats
  • get creative with some art, poetry or music
  • try meditation and mindfulness

Children where both parents and or carers are considered authorised workers who cannot work from home, work for an essential provider and where no other supervision arrangements can be made:

  • Where there are two parents/carers, both must be essential workers, working outside the home in order for their children to be eligible for on-site provision.
  • For single parents/ carers, the essential worker must be working outside the home in order for their children to be eligible for on-site provision.
  • Vulnerable children, including:
    • children in out-of-home care
    • children deemed vulnerable by a government agency, funded family or family violence service, and assessed as requiring education and care outside the family home
    • children identified as vulnerable or at risk, (including via referral from a government agency, families in stress or funded family or family violence service, homeless or youth justice service or mental health or other health service)

The French Avenue gate will be opened at 8:45am for those who qualify. These will be closed again at the end of the day – 3:15 pm

Get Active

From last night’s Department communications under the banner of Student health, safety, wellbeing, and engagement comes the following.

Keeping students active while they learn from home

During COVID-19 restrictions, it’s important that students stay active and get moving.

When children participate in regular physical activity, it boosts their physical and mental health and improves academic performance.Physical activity throughout the day also improves concentration, and the ability to retain information and solve problems. To help support your children to stay active while learning from home, families can access a range of free COVIDSafe ideas to stay active and games through Get Active Victoria.

Registration only takes a few minutes and once registered, you can access many different activities
There are many benefits to being active, including improved wellbeing and concentration.
Get Active Victoria has a range of activities families can do at home to stay active, including:

  • COVIDSafe activities, such as pilates and chair exercises
  • physical challenges, such as juggling and hula hooping
  • dance classes.
  • 15 minutes 4 times a day is all it takes.

Concert 2021
We have run out of time to do justice to the performing skills and talents of our students and staff that get showcased during our school Concert. Restrictions at the venue over at Monash University also make it tough to offer tickets to all family members who might want to attend and enjoy the show. We have a tentative booking for next year’s concert at the Robert Blackwood Hall scheduled for late in Term 3 in 2022.

Take care and keep strong

James Whitla

Summary of Key Operational Requirements

A list of permitted activities at schools is below.