What an incredible week we have just experienced! The speed of the lockdown this time was extremely fast and quite a challenge from a school perspective. St Bede’s is a very strange place at present, not only because we have minimal students but minimal staff as well. Staff numbers have become more limited in the last couple of days with some being close contacts to people in exposure sites. If families are in quarantine or isolated for a period of time, can they please let the school know if they need assistance with purchasing groceries or running errands.
The Teams check-ins have been an amazing success this week. It was lovely to see each age group online, checking in on expectations and being involved in virtual learning. I am very proud of all staff for being so ready and organised for remote learning in a very short period of time. The experience last year made us reflect on what worked and what would be more beneficial. Our online subscriptions are certainly beneficial for everyone. A new roster explaining which staff will be on site next week will be sent out tomorrow.
In a recent article I read about online teaching and learning, perspective was highlighted as well these five tips for parent mental health -
- Be Positive.
- Prioritise Play - Outside!
- Establish a routine - Don't overschedule.
- Incorporate a daily ritual - Something fun.
- Focus on literacy and numeracy - See if you can incorporate them into everyday life.
With students spending more time online through remote learning commitments, it may be timely to remind everyone about safe online practices and responsible behaviour. All classes have completed a unit in their library sessions as well as the older grades participating in ‘Think You Know’ sessions on the advantages and pitfalls of working online. Some useful resources for parents can be found via the Australian Government’s eSafety Commissioner website.
Unfortunately, our much-anticipated community dinner that was planned for Friday 3 September has had to be postponed due to the uncertainty of when the lockdown will be lifted. The fundraising committee will attempt to reschedule this event as soon the situation is more stable.
Additionally, we have had to change our Book Week activities for next week. Instead all happenings will run over two weeks beginning next Monday. The Book Fair will go ahead virtually with vouchers available for purchase online through QKR!. The list of books available will be sent home early next week. Parents can send photos of their children in their Book Week costume to school by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Further details and the list of other activities will be advertised in due course.
Our school renovations are on track to be completed by the beginning of next term. Just this week the Autex has been installed in the corridors brightening and warming these spaces for the future. These wall panels have a dual purpose in that they cover the brick walls and can be used as pin boards during term learning.
To conclude, I would like to thank the whole community for their continued support during these challenging times. With the lockdown being extended till 2 September, we will endeavour to communicate regularly and keep you informed of any changes via the regular platforms. Can I please ask that you be mindful that staff, like parents, are juggling working from home as well as catering for their own children’s learning and that each family situation is unique, with patience and understanding the key to success. We have come a long way in twelve months in this virtual space and realise that targeted tuition work post lockdown is necessary to catch some pupils up in their learning. This will be a priority once normality has returned.
Please take care and ring if you have any concerns.