Michael Gray, Principal
Dear St. Joseph’s School Community,
Today commenced our third week of the flexible and remote learning program currently in place for all schools in Victoria.
Our focus for the first two weeks was about teacher/student/family connection and communication. From the home perspective, it was about setting routines, creating learning spaces and trouble-shooting issues/problems/ICT difficulties.
This week the focus sharpens to the learning. The critical guide for parents is the learning plans. These documents have been distributed for everyone and are readily accessible from our SZApp; the two critical access tiles for this parent information are: ‘Learning Plans’ and ‘Term 2’ links. All school information about the COVID-19 and our flexible and remote learning is available here. No need to scroll through old emails to find critical and important information.
A couple of reminders regarding our COVID actions moving forward
The Victorian government has reiterated the current plan for schools to remain, that being the current flexible and remote learning environment. A State Government review will occur on 17th May, 2020, the start of Week 5 this Term.
St. Joseph’s Leadership Team are acting on several key ‘sources of truth’ during this pandemic; the Victorian Government as lead by Premier Daniel Andrews, The Victorian Education Department as lead by James Melino, the Victorian Health Department and the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria. These decision bodies are informed by commonwealth government advice, world best health practice, current scientific knowledge and up-to-date world health and Australian COVID-19 data.
A couple of updates and reminders about our remote and flexible program
Our key resources with classroom teachers are supporting the learning plans as distributed.
As a parent at home supporting student learning, it is important to remember each age level have ranges of maturity, concentration and needs. There are stages of development that inform learning. The Learning plans are based around more explicit teaching from a Foundation level through to growing independence as the child grows and develops.
As a parent working from home keep the focus of the learning on the ‘I Can Statements.’ These statements give learning purpose, direction and the outcomes we are searching for with each learner.
Remember learning is not a race; depth is much better than breadth at this critical time. Don’t compare across levels, each teacher will have what is essential to cover in the core areas of literacy and numeracy at each level. Languages learning, physical exercise, health, the Arts are all opportunities for each child to pursue their interest and passions.
As a ‘home teacher’ my thoughts are to not stress the detail too much. If the understanding is not coming it is best to reset, stop, change tack and rethink. The amazing thing with young learners is that they know themselves well and they spot frustration quickly. The best strategy is often to pause, take a step backwards to then move forward.
Flexible and Remote Learning Program: Theme 1, Live with Joy
Here is another link to the Resilience Project Team’s resources available to our families. Again Hugh and Martin focus on Gratitude and Empathy.
Flexible and Remote Learning Program: Theme 2, Live without Fear
This is a link to the Age newspaper article and one parent’s perspective on juggling both working from home and co-ordinating the home learning program. It is presented as one person’s humorous reflection for families on the situation we now find ourselves in.
Flexible and Remote Learning Program: Theme 3, Live with New Eyes
Message from the Pope: This pandemic time has invited us all to re-think life, meaning, survival and future actions. Below is part of Pope Francis’ address during the extraordinary Urbi et Orbi blessing he delivered while praying for an end to the coronavirus.
“When evening had come” (Mk 4:35). The Gospel passage we have just heard begins like this. For weeks now it has been evening. Thick darkness has gathered over our squares, our streets and our cities; it has taken over our lives, filling everything with a deafening silence and a distressing void, that stops everything as it passes by; we feel it in the air, we notice in people’s gestures, their glances give them away. We find ourselves afraid and lost. Like the disciples in the Gospel we were caught off guard by an unexpected, turbulent storm. We have realized that we are on the same boat, all of us fragile and disoriented, but at the same time important and needed, all of us called to row together, each of us in need of comforting the other. On this boat… are all of us. Just like those disciples, who spoke anxiously with one voice, saying “We are perishing” (v. 38), so we too have realized that we cannot go on thinking of ourselves, but only together can we do this.
It is easy to recognize ourselves in this story. What is harder to understand is Jesus’ attitude. While his disciples are quite naturally alarmed and desperate, he stands in the stern, in the part of the boat that sinks first. And what does he do? In spite of the tempest, he sleeps on soundly, trusting in the Father; this is the only time in the Gospels we see Jesus sleeping. When he wakes up, after calming the wind and the waters, he turns to the disciples in a reproaching voice: “Why are you afraid? Have you no faith?” (v. 40).
Let us try to understand. In what does the lack of the disciples’ faith consist, as contrasted with Jesus’ trust? They had not stopped believing in him; in fact, they called on him. But we see how they call on him: “Teacher, do you not care if we perish?” (v. 38). Do you not care: they think that Jesus is not interested in them, does not care about them. One of the things that hurts us and our families most when we hear it said is: “Do you not care about me?” It is a phrase that wounds and unleashes storms in our hearts. It would have shaken Jesus too. Because he, more than anyone, cares about us. Indeed, once they have called on him, he saves his disciples from their discouragement.
During this time when we are separated from each other as well as from our local church communities, Friday’s Urbi et Orbi was a poignant reminder that we are still united in the Body of Christ that is the Church. While we may sometimes feel alone and overwhelmed at the storm around us, Pope Francis has reminded us that both Christ and the Church remain ever connected to us. During this time of “Eucharistic Fast” where we are deprived of receiving Holy Communion, we are still connected to Christ’s Body and are blessed and sustained by its redeeming power.
St. Joseph’s Parish has continued to share the Sunday mass via youtube streaming. This can be found on YouTube and is available each Sunday from 8:30 am. Last Sunday; in recognition of the devastating impact of the recent highway accident involving the loss of life of four officers Glenn Riddle read the prayers of the faithful. Glen’s grandchildren over the years have been part of the St. Joseph’s school community and he is a past Victorian policeman.
Australian Maths Competition
Today I also share the following outstanding efforts of our students in the Australian Maths Competition. Celebrating and acknowledging student achievement can give us encouragement to strive to be our best. Congratulations to all involved.
Year 3: Jack Kitto, Sam Collins, Oliver Marris
Year 4: Charlotte Wythe, Brody Dubyna, Rupert Jenkins, Pippa Van Zelst, Will Newton, Monty Darcy, Sam Bushell, Casey Carlin, Sophie Ierodiaconou, Sophie Thompson, Billy Schrama, Blake Wood, Maya Furphy, Tyler McCosh, Leo McMeel, Lachlan Cugley, Harry McDonald, Sienna Addinsall, Jameson Nelson
Year 5: Lachlan Gome, Charlie Jellie, Sarita Mueglitz, Ned Russell, Tomm McKane, Kayla Wallace, Torin Kamath, Rhea Sony, Roy Lucas, Bridget Graham, Jordan Morrison, Toby Hellessey, Hillary Collins, Tyler Phillips, Michael Lougheed, Vidhi Jagad, Alexei Khaidurov, Noah McDonald, Nate Hansford, Archie McGrath, Matthew Callaghan
Year 6: William Furphy, Will Johnston, Henry Jones, Laura Van Zelst, Georgia Ierodiaconou, Henare Da Ros, Austin Lloyd, Mathew McConnell, Seb Bartlett, Sam Anderson, Sam Joseph, Ben Roache
Michael Gray. Principal.
We understand that the community have been deeply moved by the sudden loss of the four police officers working in the line of duty, killed in a terrible accident on Wednesday evening.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the officers who died but are also with our local Police community who are working everyday to keep our community safe. This tragic incident has highlighted the dangers of everyday police work and we want them to know their work is valued and appreciated.
The Victoria Police Blue Ribbon Foundation perpetuates the memory of members of the Victoria Police who have died in the line of duty through the support of worthwhile community projects within Victoria. The aim is to encourage the public of Victoria to remember the sacrifice of officers who have fallen in the line of duty and to show all serving members of Victoria Police that their work and commitment is valued by a caring community.
As a school community It is also a timely opportunity to acknowledge and recognise the work of all our essential workers who are supporting our community in Warrnambool at the moment. We thank them and want them to know we value what they are doing for us all.
The Warrnambool City Council have reported that "The public holiday in Warrnambool that had been scheduled for the first Thursday in May will be substituted with a public holiday on Melbourne Cup day.
Changes to the May Racing Carnival program, social distancing rules and the potential burden on some businesses were behind the decision to change the holiday date."
In the home learning pack that was mailed out to families during the holidays you will have received a letter with the information for the Artwork Fundraiser for 2020 and a blank template page.
Both of these are attached below for your information.
It was great to see so many families coming in to collect photos during the collection times advertised to families last week.
All families receive a photo envelope, if you haven't placed an order the envelope will contain details on how to order photos if desired.
Unfortately, due to a problem at the printers, some families photos were not available for collection. Glen Watson is in close contact with the printers and we will let these families know when the photos arrive. Thank you for your understanding with this.
Class Photo Format
This year the school decided to move from the traditional class group setting to a composite layout. The reasoning behind this was the increased number of classrooms, the amount of time taken to photograph in that style and safety issues. Often students were absent on school photo day and this composite option allowed for a complete class group.
Next week there will be a survey seeking your thoughts and feedback in relation to this year's photos.
Collection from school
If you missed the collection time and wish to come into school please let us know via the form below. Contactless pickup is available from the table in the school foyer by arrangement.
Photo CollectionThis form is not active
Please contact Glen at Glen Watson Photography with any queries regarding your order. Glen can be contacted via the Contact button on his website.
Safe Learning Areas for your child
Below are some tips and guidelines for setting up Learning Areas to work with your children at home.
- Just like when at school, a home-based workstation could include an appropriate desk and chair
- Lighting must also be sufficient, with minimal reflection or glare.
- Remember to have regular breaks throughout your Learning routine
- This includes standing to stretch and regular snack and meal breaks.
- Lighting is adequate for the tasks being performed (i.e. easy to see and comfortable on the eyes)
- Glare and reflection can be controlled
- Comfortable room temperature (i.e. I feel comfortable with the room temperature and air flow)
- The work environment must be free of hazards such as electrical cords, remembering not to overload powerpoints with adaptors etc
- It is recommended that families develop a plan for, and practice, evacuating from the home with their family members to ensure everyone is aware of what to do in an emergency.
We are encouraging all to practise good hygiene and this can be done by reminding your child to:
- cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a tissue
- put used tissues straight into the bin
- wash your hands often with soap and water, including before and after eating and after going to the toilet
- use alcohol-based hand sanitisers
- avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth
- clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces such as benchtops, desks and doorknobs
- increase the amount of fresh air available by opening windows or adjusting air conditioning.
During Term 2 parents are still required to notify the school if their child/ren is unwell or not participating in home learning due to other reasons, such as an appointment.
If your child/ren is booked into the school's Care and Supervision program we also need to know if they are not attending due to illness or other reasons.
Please contact the school via our SZAPP to notify us of the "absence".
You can now also notify the school of absences via PAM by clicking on the "Parent Notified Absences".