Welcome to Term 2, I trust that everyone was able to make use of the holiday break to rest and recharge, all be it in a very different fashion staying close to home and without the usual variety of activities that enable us to recharge.
As mentioned in yesterday morning’s whole school zoom meeting, our school has a very strange feel at present, it is very quiet and things look and feel very different with the children not learning from their regular classrooms.
Thank you for your patience with the transition to the new learning platform. We have all been on a very steep learning curve in recent days.
This week has seen us continue to work through a range of challenges as we continue on the remote learning journey. The move to the MS Teams environment is taking place in all schools across the Archdiocese and we are working to try to make best use of this platform, as it will enable us to use fewer apps/programs. As ever, leaning to use new technology is challenging, in our current circumstances, this feels just that little bit more challenging. As familiarity and confidence grow, I have certainty that the children will utilise the platform well.
Please remember to make use of the 1300 number available to parents if ICT support is required at home 1300 232 448.
Thank you to all staff, there has been something new and different to work on, in addition to regular duties each day this week, and everyone has willingly contributed and adjusted their day to accommodate this, again thank you.
Please remember that the printed work packs contain all of the information that you would find in the online environment. Staff have continued working this week to further refine the packs and we trust that you will find these even more manageable next week.
Students at school are using the same work packs as those at home, and are working through the challenges of what to do, when the scheduled activities for each day are completed. There have been many discussions around what we would be choosing to do if we were learning from home…
We have received feedback from a number of families and we have worked to align timetables and other documents in the hope that this will make your day at home smoother.
Remember if you are not sure please make contact with us, and we will respond to your queries.
During this week, we have used a smaller schedule for Zoom meetings; and are aware that this is still presenting challenges for many of our families. Staff are in the process of developing a new roster to try to reduce the challenges that you are facing with this face-to-face communication.
Please be aware that I have not yet received definite information as to how the term will proceed from Week 3. At this stage, the advice is still that families should continue with remote learning where possible until the end of Week 2 (next week). By then we will have received additional advice around how a staged return to school will look from the National Cabinet, NSW State Government and Catholic Education. Once the advice is available, it will be applied to our local context and forwarded on to you. Thank you for your patience during this period. The uncertainty of not knowing what the next steps coming in the next few weeks is very challenging for all concerned.
Further, we are awaiting further advice to what know what the scheduled reporting for Semester 1 will look like. There is advice coming from ACARA (Australian Curriculum and Assessment Reporting Authority), NESA (NSW education Standards Authority) and Catholic Education. Once this advice is finalised, we will take that information on board and move forward.
Saturday April 25 – ANZAC Day – Anzac Day looked very different this year, I trust that you were all able to pause and reflect with your own families on the day. Thank you to those who sent through images of the day.
National Simultaneous Storytime – this year we will again participate in the National Simultaneous Storytime, this year’s story is Whitney and Britney Chicken Divas
Welcome back to Term 2. This term I will be using some of my space in the newsletter to provide you with information about our new Archdiocesan Religious Education curriculum.
Some of us were brought up in a time when Religious Education was something that you were taught to believe with no questions asked. Religious Education is no longer taught that way in the classrooms across our Archdiocese. Students are invited to share ideas, connect with their other learning and ask questions to deepen their understanding. Probably the biggest change that we are experiencing is that children are encouraged to form their own points of view while respectfully acknowledging that other people may not share their point of view. Sometimes, through listening to others’ points of view and critically reflecting on them, we come to a new realisation or, alternatively, we strengthen what we believed in the original instance.
Through involvement in thinking routines such as I see, I think, I wonder, the students are able to bring their own ideas to a discussion by sharing their own life experiences. Thinking routines are often paired with provocations. Provocations can be images, videos, phrases, pieces of writing, quotes or other things that are designed to engage students in thinking about a topic more broadly. Every student response to a particular provocation will be different but no response is wrong. Each student brings different life experiences and strengths with them to the learning and therefore will respond to the provocation in a different way. Using these thinking routines, with provocations, allows teachers to support genuine, active and authentic student engagement in Religious Education, no matter what the student’s religious background might be.
I will be sharing more about the new Religious Education curriculum in coming weeks. Next week I will also include some of the student responses to the ‘I see, I think, I wonder’ task that some students from different classes engaged in this week.
This week my thoughts turn to those who have family members in nursing homes, in hospitals or who are especially at risk of contracting the Corona virus.
We lift to You our concern for people who are more likely than others to become severely ill from COVID-19 — the elderly and people with chronic health conditions. Protect them from harm and be their comfort in this time of uncertainty and, for many, preventive isolation from loved ones.
As a school, we have prepared something special for the residents of the MPS. We understand how lonely it must be for the residents now that their families are unable to visit them and they are unable to take trips out into the community. We are sending them some remote but heartfelt hugs and messages.
Stay well and be kind to one another in these challenging times. Please know that we are only a phone call or email away if you need support for any reason.
Your ACEN Overdrive and Sora eBook/audiobook online system is accessible to you with your CE network login over the school holidays 24/7.
The ACEN OverDrive website is located at http://acen.lib.overdrive.com or by searching in the Apple store or Google Play for the OverDrive app. (link). When asked to search for a library, click to search by ‘Name’, not location, and then search for ‘ACEN’.
Sora is the student-friendly App that links to the same Overdrive database of titles.
Visit https://soraapp.com in your web browser, or download the free Sora app from the Apple and Google Play stores on a mobile device.