Thank you to staff, parents and students for a successful 'official' first week back. It has been relatively smooth considering all the factors involved. The afternoon pickup has settled somewhat, but we continue to ask for everyone's patience to ensure the safety of our community.
I asked myself a question the other day and have been considering a variety of answers. The question was 'What have we learned from this COVID experience? Here are some of my thoughts for what they are worth.
Community - The sense of community at Holy Spirit has been reinforced during this time. Everyone banded together to support each other. Staff, parents, and students really came together for the benefit of our students. There was good communication and feedback between us all that allowed us to work together and get through this unprecedented time.
Agility & Flexibility - I think we have all learned to think on our feet, absorb information quickly, adapt at a minutes notice, to accept new information before the ink is even dry on the old one, and 'roll with the punches'. We really didn't have much choice! Sometimes I would send an email out, just when new updated information would be given to me! It was constant and your understanding was amazing!
Resilience - I for one get rather tired of the 'We need to teach kids resilience' mantra that is often banded about. I don't necessarily think it is about teaching kids resilience, but more about how to bounce back or deal with new situations. I think this is best achieved by life's experiences. Well, COVID19, has certainly been an experience! I have been amazed at how strong our students have become during this time. So many have dug deep and found new depths of determination, durability and growth mindset.
New Skills - We have all learned new skills from working out how to use Seesaw, Google Classroom or Microsoft Teams. And often with very little time! We have also learned much from each other and collaborated to get things done. Maybe we have even underestimated how much we can learn from our kids!
Independence - linked to resilience and new skills is independence. It has been amazing to see students develop more independence from working with a remote daily plan, to video conferencing with their teacher, to getting out of a car by themselves, to walking into school unassisted or getting into a car and doing up their own seatbelt. While it is still a work in progress for some (parents too!) you can almost see the growth in confidence in our students.
Wellbeing - Wellbeing is no longer a fad or buzz word. Prioritising wellbeing has never been more important and COVID19 has cemented this. Without a doubt, wellbeing has a positive correlation to achievement for children and adults. There are many studies that indicate there is a positive relationship between emotional and psychological wellbeing and academic achievement. Wellbeing is instrumental in engagement, motivation, self esteem and our relationships. We need to continue to look after each other.
Relationships - We have all discovered the need for improved technology and better connectivity during this time. However, more significantly it has highlighted the importance of relationships. All the technology in the world will not replace face to face transactions between people, especially teachers and students. Teaching is largely a relational occupation and it is this interaction that makes the difference. I have never seen students and teachers miss each other so much!
Rethink Learning- I believe this period has allowed us time to rethink education. It has allowed us to really focus on the essentials - what is really important? It is relationships and wellbeing, but it is also core skills and strategies that allow us to be active and independent learners. COVID19 has also pushed us to think, learn and teach in new ways. What can we take from this? How can we harness this energy to develop our students as 21st Century learners? Could technology, if used correctly, enable students to work independently at their own pace, to make us more time efficient or allow us to collaborate further or improve our motivation to learn. Rather than go back to what we did before - is it time to change what we do for the future?
Gratitude - There is much talk in the media about how society has learned to appreciate teachers and other frontline workers and to no longer take them for granted. Whilst this may generally be true, I think it goes both ways. I think we have all learned to respect each other more during this period. We are in awe of parents who were able to support their children with remote learning while working from home. The juggling and balancing was incredible. Teachers have certainly felt affirmed too with all the messages and gifts they have received.
Complacency - This pandemic is long from over, so it is important that we do not become complacent. We need to maintain measures and precautions, preserve hygiene practices, continue physical distancing and do all we can to reduce the impact of any second or third wave.
Happy to hear anyone's thoughts on any of the above.
Have a great week.
Pentecost Colouring-in Competition
Pentecost is our parish Feast Day and the parish would like to celebrate by giving away some prizes!
We invite everyone, the young and the young at heart to enter this fun competition to help celebrate in a different way. Many prizes for adults and children to be won!
All entries must be received by 5:00pm Saturday 30 May 2020. Winner announced at Pentecost Sunday Mass and on the Facebook page on Sunday 31 May 2020. Follow this link to find the colouring pages:
On Wednesday the 27th of May our school community will celebrate Holy Spirit Day. We invite the children to wear the colour red on this special day.
The school will participate in Class Liturgies in the morning and will spend the rest of the day enjoying activities to celebrate our Feast Day.
Alive with the Spirit of Learning
Our Year 2 children read the story ‘A Sick Day for Amos McGee’. This story shows how kind actions towards others are repaid. Our school is learning about how Jesus used Parables to teach His followers. We are able to learn from Jesus’ parables, just like we are able to learn from this story. Here are some of their beautiful responses...
Religious Education Coordinator
All families will receive two identification signs for their car dashboard tomorrow. If you use the Drive Thru, please display the sign clearly on the passenger side of the dash (prop it up against the windscreen), so that staff can easily see your family name. We will use these to improve the efficiency of the drive thru process. Please give the second sign to any other family member or carer that picks up your child.
All parents who walk with their children either to the dirt carpark or across Kelleway Avenue must use the marked crossings. Do not cut between cars to return to the dirt carpark. Apart from setting a poor example for your children, it is extremely dangerous. Crossing at unmarked crossings is also unsafe.
Congratulations to all the students who entered our ANZAC Day Poetry Competition. The theme was “The Importance of ANZAC Day” and there was some sincere and heartfelt entries. ANZAC Day is always a special day in Australian and New Zealanders’ hearts and this year our country truly displayed the spirit of the ANZACs with acts of teamwork and courage. HSP students who submitted poems for our ANZAC Day Poetry Competition, showed this spirit will live on with the quality of their poems. Thank you to everyone who entered.
If you did something special to commemorate ANZAC Day this year (dawn driveway service, make a wreath, make a lantern etc), we would love to see your photos. These photos will go into a special presentation for Remembrance Day later in the year. Please send any photos to firstname.lastname@example.org
How We Remember Them
He looked up and saw that the Turks had the high ground,
He glanced all around and he heard the guns sound.
He saw his friends blood,
As he charged through the mud.
He felt so much dread,
That he’d be shot in the head.
He heard his general shout, “Retreat, retreat!”
So he ran as fast as he could on his trench infected feet.
After months of fighting the ships brought him home.
He came off the ship feeling very alone
Because his friends had died,
From battles world wide.
He heard cheers from the crowd
And his mum say, “I’m proud”.
He was home with his family, the ones who cared
But those horrid memories will always be there.
Many years have moved on
But their bravery stands strong.
We remember the sacrifice they made,
For our country to be saved.
The Anzac cookies we bake,
Remind us their lives were at stake.
We get up at dawn and go to the march,
To say THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts.
By Luke Brasnett
Oops, we have a problem! Over the weekend the power was cut to our freezer! This means all the dietary items and special cupcakes have spoiled. If you had supplied your child and the school with anything, it will need to be replaced. Sorry!
While we love celebrating birthdays in the classroom, we need to change a few things due to COVID19. If you wish to supply your class with something to celebrate your child's birthday, please provide a commercially packaged item. Eg A bag of Freddo Frogs, Super Dooper, etc! Homemade cupcakes are probably not appropriate at this time. A reminder about being nut free too! Apologies, but the health and safety of our community is important. Thank you.
The Clothing Pool is now open on Monday, Tuesday and Friday mornings from 8.30-9.15am. Only one person will be allowed in the Clothing Pool at any one time and physical distancing is expected at all times.
Daramalan School tours:
Due to the Covid19 restrictions we were unable to conduct our Open Evening or Try Dara Days for prospective parents and students for Year 7 2021.
Now as some restrictions have been eased, we are in a position to offer a limited number of small group tours.
The tours will be limited to a maximum of 3 people from the one family and 10 people in total in a group. In fairness to students who have missed out on the Try Days and Open Evening we are only making the tours available to prospective students for Year 7, 2021.
Tours for other year groups, 8-12 2021, may be undertaken later in the year. For students in Year 7 2022 and beyond we hope that normal enrolment services, tours and Try Dara days will return to normal from 2021.
For current parents we ask that you do not take advantage of these tours at this time unless you are genuinely unsure of your student attending in 2021. There may be an opportunity for siblings of current students to view the school later in the year.
Tour dates and times available are listed below
Monday May 18 - 11am or 2pm
Tuesday May 12 & 19 - 11am or 4pm
Wednesday May 13 & 20 - 11am, 2pm or 4pm
Thursday May 14 & 21 - 11am or 2pm
Friday May 15 - 11am
Bookings are essential and can be made by emailing email@example.com by phone on 6245 6348.