Dear parents and carers,
As you are no doubt aware, the NSW government has extended the learning from home period for at least two weeks, until Friday 30th July. I would like to sincerely thank all parents for supporting children’s learning at home. As someone with school aged children myself, I know how challenging the learning from home experience can be. I understand that many of you are juggling your own work commitments, the management of your household and the often intensive job of assisting your child to complete their school activities, and it is a lot to deal with.
I’d also like to recognise and thank our teachers and support staff for the amazing work they have done to create the Learning From Home Plans and provide support to our students and families. I’m really proud of the high quality of the content they have prepared and their positive attitudes in this challenging situation.
We do not expect you to be teaching your child, the way they would be taught in the classroom. That is our job, although it is more difficult not being in the same room as the kids. We (both parents and teachers) should not expect children to make the same progress they would make while school is operating normally – that is not realistic.
Children are resilient, and they will catch up in their learning, no matter how long this lockdown lasts. We saw last year that students still achieved strong growth in their learning by the end of the year, after doing seven weeks of learning at home. Children will continue to learn during this time, even if conditions aren’t ideal. Learning and support teachers are planning ways to provide additional support and instruction to students with higher learning needs.
Children are also developing new skills and understandings through the home learning experience, such as greater independence and initiative as learners, confidence in using technology, and personal resilience. While it can be difficult and exhausting day to day, but silver linings may emerge in the long term.
Dealing with the disappointment of constant cancellations is also hard for everyone now, especially kids. Not only were many people’s holiday plans cancelled, but now we are postponing or cancelling school events, team sports, birthday celebrations and family gatherings. We have been advised to cancel or postpone all events until Week 6, which includes the Athletics Carnival and the Grandparents’ Morning Tea and Book Drive.
We will do our best to reschedule some of the events that many kids love and are looking forward to, such as the Athletics Carnival, Grandparents’ Morning Tea and Book Parade, Stage 3 excursion to Canberra and Showcase. After so many events were cancelled in 2020, we hope to be able to hold these events later in the year, pending public health orders and the availability of venues.
Learning From Home Plans for Week 2 will be sent out via Operoo on Saturday, and will also be available on the school’s website. Next week, specialist teachers will be including lessons for Library, Music, Drama, Languages and Kitchen Garden in Learning From Home Plans. For Year 3-6 students we are setting up separate Google Classrooms for their programs, just as students would attend these classes in a separate classroom at school. Instructions on how to join these Google Classrooms will be sent out.
If you have any feedback about Learning From Home Plans, suggestions for improvements and/or what is working well for your family, they are always welcome. Feedback from the school community can help to shape and refine our practice as we move forward in planning. Send any suggestions to the school email address (email@example.com) and they will be passed onto the stage supervisor and team.
Thank you once again. Remember: do what you can; be kind to yourselves; let us know if you need support.
Below is a Friday video message and sing along from me.
Garden works update
Extensive works are currently being completed in the school’s kitchen garden. A ramp to enable wheelchair access to the main school entrance is being constructed, the garden remediation and reconstruction is well underway, and fencing has been installed around the staff carpark. Soon the Garden gate and Cambridge St driveway gate will be fitted with intercoms and automated, improving student safety and ensuring safe pedestrian access during school hours.
The ramp which has been constructed is larger than we would have liked, however it was required to ensure we fulfilled all standards for safety and disability access in schools. Although the kitchen garden will be somewhat smaller in terms of total area, the redesigned garden beds being installed ensure that we do not lose any productive garden space.
We welcome two new staff members to Stanmore PS this term:
- Ms Cassandra Muir joins us in the specialist music teacher role, replacing Ms Poon, who has commenced her maternity leave.
- Ms Bianka Walsh joins us as the class teacher for KTK (Monday – Wednesday), sharing the class with Ms Rachael Kozicki (Thursday – Friday). Ms Thanogianis, who co-taught KTK in Semester 1, has chosen to move to a full-time casual role at Stanmore PS in Semester 2.
Until next week,