Principal News: End of Term 1 Update

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank our school community for the support they have given to our students and staff during this unprecedented term. Our staff have been busy developing and delivering your child’s home learning package to support their learning at home. The teaching and learning of our students continues to remain our top priority.

During the last couple of weeks, our staff have been having regular video conferences via Webex with groups of teachers in phases of learning to practice using the platform, as well as facilitate collaboration and connectedness. Some teachers have used Webex to have their IEP meetings with families. This will develop further in Term 2 to include video conferencing with students at home. The Department of Education deemed this week as “pupil free” to enable all staff to prepare for distance learning for term 2.  This week, we have been having many professional learning meetings in small phase of learning groups (face to face and via video conferencing to facilitate social distancing protocols) to run through our whole school plan for distance learning and provide information and support for our whole school distance education delivery platform of SeeSaw and video conferencing platform of Webex. Staff are now preparing their Home Learning Guidelines that will be finalised at the start of term 2 and sent to parents. In addition to this, staff are working on the following:

  • Professional Learning on Seesaw
  • Professional Learning on Webex
  • Professional Learning on relevant technologies as required (eg. Office 365)
  • Collaboration with peers and phase of learning teams
  • Planning for first 2 weeks of term 2 through distance learning – use of online & paper mediums

The most recent restrictions have included the closure of all playgrounds and play equipment, canteens and uniform shops. Each week, we get updates from the Department of Education on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and we adapt to what has been advised/directed. Principals have also been having regular video conferences with Lisa Rodgers, the Director General (DG), to give us further updates and support. I will keep you up to date over the holidays if any new information comes to light.

We are still waiting on direction from the Department of Education as to what exactly Term 2 is going to look like, but so far we have been told to prepare for distance learning. This obviously will be impacted by what is advised by the Department of Health. Therefore, at this stage, we are working on the premise that distance learning is imminent. However, a lot can happen in 2 weeks so I’m sure there will be further directives provided closer to the end of the school holidays. The Department are in the process of developing a lot of support for schools by providing resources to facilitate distance learning. Many Department staff have been redirected to different positions and departments to enable this to occur and build strength and capacity in this area. This will continue over the school holidays and beyond in preparation for term 2. The Department of Education have also been busy adding and developing the “Learning at Home” website (https://www.education.wa.edu.au/learning-at-home) to support families with resources and advice on learning at home.

Term 2 Staffing

We have a few staff changes for term 2. We wish Jennie Dawson farewell for Term 2 as she takes her well-deserved long service leave. Although this is not going to look like what she had initially planned, she is looking forward to having the time at home with her family and being more involved in her children’s distance learning. We will miss Jennie’s knowledge and expertise immensely during this time, but we wish her well and good health for Term 2 and will look forward to welcoming her back for the start of term 3. Georgie Sounness, Deputy Principal of Outreach, will take 2 days long service leave each week. Due to this leave, we are increasing the Support Officer Speech and Language working hours in Outreach to maintain their service in Georgie’s absence. Nichola Middlemiss will increase her Deputy Principal hours to full time and we welcome Fleur Aris to the Executive Leadership Team as Deputy Principal 4 days per week for the term. She will continue in A1 as teacher for 1 day per week, as well as support our new teacher, Natalie Chiari who will be the main classroom teacher in A1.  We welcome Natalie to our staff for the term.

I hope you all have a lovely Easter and school break with your family. Take care and stay well!

Kind regards

Vivienne Doig
Principal