The global impact of COVID-19 means that many young people will be spending more time online. There are lots of great ways children can use connected devices to learn and play, but there are also risks. As parents and carers, you have the best opportunity to support and guide your children to avoid online risks and have safer experiences.
It's important for children to maintain social contact with their peers during this time of remote learning. The School provides opportunities for students to maintain a level of connection with their peers through teacher approved Seesaw and Google Classroom posts related to their work. We recommend that any additional, non-work related contact between students is best arranged and monitored at the discretion of each family.
Below are some helpful tips from the eSafety Commissioner that may be of assistance in supporting your child to better navigate the online world:
For further online safety advice for parents and carers please follow the link below:
Stage 3 (Years 5 and 6), is such an exciting time in a student’s life. These pre-teen years present both challenges and opportunities, yet the fact remains that these students are still ‘kids’ who want to play and laugh. Students are often eager to engage in interesting and thought provoking conversations about complex social and political issues, whilst at the same time laughing at their jokes. This diversity makes teaching Stage 3 an exciting and rewarding experience.
Students are independent, dynamic workers who are curious and constantly questioning. We also want them to grow in their independence and take on many responsibilities, remembering to bring homework, diaries, instruments, sporting equipment etc on the correct days. We expect them to be ready to go and be on time. Independence and responsibility are key.
Stage 3 usually has lots of exciting experiences to look forward to. Both grades are planning on significant camps, with Year 5 up to the Crusaders site at Galston Gorge, and Year 6 down to Canberra and the Snow. During these camps the relational aspects are so important, students make friends and memories that remain with them for life. I can still remember my own Year 6 camp, and still keep in contact with a few of my mates from camp to share stories.
The independence that students experience during camp is also a vital skill. Teachers go to great lengths to provide assistance in daily personal organisation, however, logistically we can not stand next to each student and make sure they brush their teeth, or comb their hair for example. The expectation is that students are prepared and ready to go at scheduled times.
During these camps, students also get to experience many significant and interesting places, including Parliament House, Museum of Australian Democracy, Questacon, Perisher Snow Fields. In addition, they experience a range of recreational activities such as abseiling, high ropes and canoeing. A favourite of mine is always the War Memorial. The students participate in a tour of the site and witness the ‘Wall of Honor’ and ‘Hall of Memory’. It is interesting to observe students as they process all of the names of fallen soldiers and the significance of their sacrifice. Every single student goes in and leaves different. They understand that this place is important, and they see the sacrifice that has been made for us in the past and present through war. Asking students to reflect on the way out is so interesting; the range of the experiences is invaluable. In the past students have shared an overwhelming sense of sadness but also of pride. I love the Year 6 Camp, and that our school values the camp experience as an essential part of schooling.
Throughout Stage 3, there is also an emphasis on preparing for what is next, including high school, and riding the waves of decision making for their future. We emphasis the importance of using the student’s diary, and not leaving things to the last minute. We aim to capture those right of passage moments that happen during this transition time. These events are important, and like all adults, we made it through, and so will your children (even if there are a few bumps in the road).
(This article was written prior to COVID-19. It is our hope that camps will be able to continue in 2020, although acknowledge those may occur at different times than planned).
What a strange time we are living through at the moment. Teachers are in classrooms with students working remotely and students are at home participating in a variety of learning tasks, both online and using their home resources which teachers are very interested to see. It has been amazing to see the work that has been posted on Seesaw and in Google Classroom from our very youngest learners, all the way through our school to our Year 6 school leaders.
As you are aware, Term 2 marks the change over to Winter Uniform in our school. Currently our Uniform Shop is closed, and will remain so until further notice. This includes the advertised holiday dates. When students return to school, there will be a change over period to allow families to purchase the necessary uniform items. If items have already been ordered, we will communicate with you directly regarding this once the shop is up and running.
Haven’t the past few weeks been a crazy whirlwind? Waiting daily, and at times even hourly, to hear Government recommendations has made a staggering impact on life as we know it, and has required great flexibility from us all in order to take action and comply.
In a matter of days, we as a School Community, have been forced to respond and adapt to a new way of learning and we are incredibly proud of the progress that has been made in such a short period of time.
We consistently acknowledge that what happens here at school is in partnership with you, our parents - your child’s first teacher, and this partnership is now vital. We thank you immensely for the role that you have played in our journey so far, for your commendations and recommendations, for your patience, understanding and support.
A large number in our community, parents and staff alike, are now balancing the role of working from home alongside home learning with their children. This is a massive change to our day to day lives, and provokes complexity in a number of ways. For this reason, along with a desire to prioritise the welfare and well being of our students and staff, we are utilising an asynchronous remote learning model. This style of learning is student-centred, of which the IB Primary Years Programme promotes. It acknowledges that our students (and their extended family) need convenience, flexibility and support in navigating learning at this time. It also complements aspects of learning and pedagogy that naturally takes place here at school.
We know that learning is all around us and happens at any time, whether that is within formal, curriculum focused lessons in class, or by learning a new skill out of these hours. This model allows students, supported by their families, to choose when formal learning occurs within their day amidst the other family commitments, and to do so at their own pace. It also allows permission, so to say, for families to recognise life skills, such as cooking and cleaning, as valuable learning opportunities at this time.
The materials and lesson activities provided by our teachers for formal learning are available for a period of time, rather than within strict time frames. There is flexibility in what is required to be completed, how student learning can be shared and when. There is a balance in the activities provided, utilising digital platforms, hands on activities & games and PDF’s to be printed and completed, to ensure students retain a healthy approach to screen time and a variety of teaching approaches to meet their individual learning needs. Teachers may include instructional videos within tasks to support learning, which can be viewed as many times as necessary by students, rather than provisions of live streaming, which may be a case of ‘blink and you miss it!’.
Our journey so far has involved a great number of deliberate steps, and our teachers have worked tirelessly to maintain the provision of a quality education for all students.
Two weeks ago, we started to provide recommendations for families electing to self-isolate. Revision lessons were maintained at school and we paused ‘new’ learning, to ensure students at home weren't compromised. At this point, our teachers began to plan for what remote learning could look like, and scaffolded curriculum documents were created.
Last week, as Government advice increased, our remote learning very quickly became a reality. At the beginning of the week, our teachers juggled the requirements of teaching their own class, whilst creating detailed plans for the start of remote learning. By Wednesday, with further advice, remote learning became live at St. Peter’s. Our teachers shared the explicit learning activities that were taking place here at school on Seesaw, so those remaining at home could participate equitably. By Thursday, our systems were in place, with all students accessing the designated platforms and sharing their learning.
This week has seen incredibly reduced numbers within our school walls, however, it is so rewarding to see that learning remains alive amongst our students.
We have come so far in such little time and acknowledge that we will continuously need to review and monitor our progress. We are all being lifelong learners in partnership with you and our students. We will continue to evaluate and adjust our current remote learning offerings, particularly when an indication of longevity is given by the Government.
May I encourage you, speaking as both an educator and parent, to always use your ‘gut instinct’ as we navigate these days together. You know your child intimately, and you know what is best for them. It is more than appropriate to have a rest day as required, or to choose a smaller number of activities to be completed on certain days. I am regularly reminded that we are currently in a time period which will be recorded in history - may you consider what you would like your children's perceptions and memories of this time to be!
All students should have received their log-in details for the Premier's Reading Challenge, either on a sticker on the 2nd front page of student diaries, or through Seesaw. If you haven't received these details, please call the Office and these will be provided for you.
The closing date for all books to be recorded online is Friday, 28 August 2020.
TeachThis has made sets of activity sheets available free from their website to download and print for students to complete if they are looking for some extra activities to do at home. These packs cover a range of learning areas including Maths, English, Health, Science, Geography, History.
You may access these Activity Packs for each grade level (Preschool, Foundation, Year 1....Year 6)
Please note our Staff Professional Development Day/Pupil Free Day is on Monday, 27 April 2020.
Our School Office will be open 9.30 am - 4.00 pm
A huge congratulations to Veronica George (3C) and her husband Victor who have announced they are expecting their first child later this year.
Our amazing St. Peter's Learning Enhancement Team are Walking for Autism.
If you would like to help support our St. Peter's Team with this worthy cause, please feel free to donate: Walkforautism.org.au
We wish our St. Peter's Team success for this worthy cause.
Well done ladies!
Pray for the current situation and that decisions being made are wise and informed. Praying for our leaders, and our students as they deal with what's happening.
Pray for our Year 6 students as they deal with their final year being dramatically changed.
Pray for our teachers as we care and lead the students and teach them in this time.
Next term the children will be wearing their winter uniforms. Could we please ask you to ensure your child's blazer and hats are clearly labelled with their name. The children are also required to hang up their blazers on our coat racks.
We kindly ask all children to bring a labelled coat hanger for use in OSHC.
Last Day of Term 1
Friday 3 April 2020
Monday 27 April 2020
9.30 am - 4.00 pm: School Office Open
Tuesday 28 April 2020 - Students Commence Term 2
Please be aware: These dates are subject to change. Please ensure you read all emails sent from St. Peter's.