It was the best feeling on Monday morning seeing all the happy faces for the return to school for Kindergarten, Years 1, 2 and 6. The students have been very settled as the week has progressed and utterly delighted that they are back with their peers. Staff were just as eager and pleased to be back in familiar surroundings. We look forward to welcoming the children in Years 3, 4 & 5 back next Monday.
The Canberra Times will also be visiting on Monday to write a feature article on students returning to school after lock down and remote learning. We will definitely have to reinflate the balloons!
With large enrolments and mounting inquiries, I applied at the end of last term for St Bede’s to have another Kindergarten class for 2022. It is with great excitement that I announce to the community that this application was successful! This is an amazing achievement considering the year we have had, and I truly believe that the work of the whole community has led to the renewed reputation that we have in the local area leading to improved enrolments. The logistics around another class in infants as well as finalising the Kindergarten teachers haven’t been completed at this time, but we are well into the organisation and I hope to announce class teachers soon.
On Thursday 11 and 18 November we will welcome our Kindergarten students for 2022 for their orientation mornings. These mornings are chances for the new students to come and get to know the other children in their classes, their teachers and for beginning families to come and learn about St Bede’s. We were unsure if this important transition from preschool could take place due to COVID restrictions but by moving them to late in November, we will host both the orientation and information for parents. The first orientation session includes a briefing for both new and continuing families where the leadership team will discuss what St Bede’s is all about, the foci for 2022 and what the school offers their children.
Whilst we have been disappointed that many planned school events have not been able to take place, there are others that we are able to hold, especially end of year events. The Kindergarten Nativity will take place in Week 11 on Tuesday 14 December in the school hall at 12.30pm. Unfortunately, our hall can only accommodate 70 people including students so only Kindergarten parents will be able to attend this year. The rest of the school will see the Nativity during school time on another day.
Year 6 Graduation Mass and Dinner will be held on Thursday 9 December. The Mass will be celebrated at St Peter Chanel’s at 5pm and the dinner at Eastlake football club from 7pm. We are delighted that these special events can be held as the graduating class have had several disappointments because of cancelled activities in the last couple of years, so to recognise their primary school achievements will be wonderful.
The end of Year Mass will be held on the last day of the year at St Christopher’s Cathedral. This is a traditional event in the school calendar, and we are delighted that we can celebrate 2021 in this church that is significant to our school and parish. There will be public health practices and capacities that we will need to follow but families will be able to attend following space limits and social distancing. More details will be shared in due course.
I will be away from school today and Friday to attend the Catholic Education Director’s Planning Day and Archdiocesan Principal’s Meeting. At this time, we are given the system’s foci for 2022 and the aims of the annual professional learning. It will be virtual meetings which will be strange, but I am looking forward to hearing a number of reputable keynote speakers in contemporary education.
Can I just remind families that all students need to be collected by 3.30pm in the afternoon? COVID safe practices highlight that students should be collected from school premises as quickly as possible after school finishes each day. Staff are on duty straight after school to assist in directing students to cars. Additionally, I also remind parents to collect students from the car park and not come down to the black top unless you have an appointment with a staff member. Masks are not required to be worn by staff outside from tomorrow. We will continue to wear them inside until further notice together with thorough hygiene practices.
As the end of the year fast approaches it is imperative that we are aware of any students not returning to St Bede’s next year. Thank you to all families who have already contacted me in this regard.
Have a lovely weekend.