What a wonderful return to school was experienced on Monday morning! It was great to see so many of the children back at school looking so well and, for many, a bit of a growth spirt that had obviously happened during lockdown. We are currently back to a 95% attendance rate with just a few families delaying their return to school.
Next Wednesday we will celebrate St Bede’s Day. Of course this annual celebration will look very different this year but there will still be class liturgies and activities. Mass cannot be celebrated and the Year 6 fete will not be able to take place. We are considering new arrangements for the fete to take place at another time. We have decided that, to make it a little bit special for all, we will make it a ‘uniform free day’ next Wednesday. This, together with class gatherings and a poetry activity, will at least highlight to the students our school namesake.
In response to the changed learning circumstances in Terms 1 and 2, the Semester 1, 2020 reporting processes have been modified by the Department of Education and Catholic Education to suit the current environment. For Years 1 - 6, an A - E grade needs only be assessed in Religious Education, English and Maths. For Kindergarten, a three point scale applies to assessment for these same subjects. Within those subjects the strands are the same as the 2019 reports. The modified report includes a section ‘Engagement of Learning’ to replace the ‘Personal and Social Capabilities’. Your child’s participation and progress throughout the remote program will be just part of the assessment process. More formal assessment will be completed in the next few weeks now that the students have returned to school. No comments will be required on the report and there is no requirement for ‘Further School Involvement’. The report will be constructed by the teacher towards the end of Term 2 and distributed to parents on the last day of this term. In addition, compulsory Parent/Teacher interviews or Three Way Conferences will take place across the school in Week 2 of Term 3. This will provide an opportunity for parents to discuss and share their experiences during remote learning and set goals for the next semester moving forward.
I need to reiterate important information from the Principal's message last week, regarding ALL visitors to St Bede's. Whilst new procedures are in place during COVID-19, parents are not permitted onto the school premises. If you need to speak to a classroom teacher or front office staff, please call ahead to make an appointment or discuss the matter over the phone. Parents should not escort students onto school grounds at any time of the day. If you are dropping a student late to school or picking up early, please call ahead to make arrangements for your child to be escorted to/from the carpark. School staff will sign students in/out during these temporary arrangements. Parents are to stay in their cars at drop off and pick up. Teachers will meet students at the gate. Additional staff are available on morning and afternoon duties to assist students to move quickly and safely to transport. These procedures are in line with ACT Health and Catholic Education protocols. These protocols are temporary and aim to ensure the health and safety of staff, students and parents. Thank you for your support in following and promoting these procedures.
I am afraid that the implications of COVID-19 are going to affect many aspects of school life for quite some time. There are currently no assemblies or liturgies. We are also not opening our tuckshop at this stage. The students are also unable to bring homemade cupcakes to school to celebrate their birthdays or for special occasions. Packeted lollies or ice-creams are acceptable as an alternative.
We are currently in the key enrolment period for our school with the official enrolment period for Kindergarten, 2021 closing tomorrow. The restrictions in place around COVID-19 makes it difficult for prospective families to visit our wonderful school as the marketing has been entirely digital. Please let anyone know who is looking for a quality Catholic education, to contact us - either by phone, email or via the website.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge the present traffic congestion on Hicks Street. Unfortunately, this is going to be a long term issue as the construction works continue on the site next to St Bede’s. We are consistently in conversation with the project manager about our concerns and ensuring that their workers do not utilise our carparks. Mrs Fox has a special sign to put on windscreens for workmen who use our facilities. The promised new bus bay is again on hold while new contractors are found. I will inform you when this much anticipated work begins.
Thank you for your continued support during this unsettling time.
Have a lovely weekend