Principal's Update - 10th February 2022
At the beginning of each school year, our communities work hard to foster and strengthen relationships between students, teachers and each other. The work of John Hattie and Greg Wolcott focus on extensive research around the concept of the ‘Significant 72’ and setting the climate, noting the importance, particularly in the first weeks of school, of building strong relationships in order to support students to learn and achieve optimum success.
This week families received a slideshow of the ‘Year Ahead’ for each community and attended a Q & A last night to clarify any questions families may have in these early stages of the year. Shaun and I were privileged to attend each Q & A session and hear the teachers speak so passionately about their endeavours to ensure each student's transition into their new learning environments happens with ease and confidence.
The building of relationships was central to every presentation across the year levels. Each community noted the focus on ‘Setting the climate’ and ensuring these strong relationships are being built and nourished, along with the structure and routines that would provide support and guidance for our students. We acknowledge that the online information nights are not ideal; however, within a pandemic, these online forums are a way of ensuring families remain connected and informed. Our teachers would have preferred to have invited you into their learning spaces personally to allow you the opportunity to see the vibrant and stimulating learning environments first-hand. Our staff have worked extremely hard during their holiday breaks to create engaging and inspiring provocations and ensure flexible learning environments cater for all students.
While restrictions are still in place, we must pivot to different ways of sharing information, again to mitigate risk and keep our community safe. We are hopeful that in Week 5, we can invite you into our school for ‘Parent / Teacher meet and greets’. Watch this space!
We take this opportunity to thank our staff for their dedication and commitment to educating your children. We thank every one of you for your continued support of our school. We know that positive partnerships between the school and home promote a positive school culture, where children thrive and grow academically, socially and emotionally. Our primary focus remains on keeping the school safe, open and operational. When we can safely gather again, we will.
We are excited to launch the Schoolzine App as a new information-sharing platform for families, the ‘one-stop shop’ for accessing your child/ren’s information. We are looking forward to how this platform evolves and appreciate your feedback around the App as the term progresses.
Please continue to check PAM for daily updates on COVID 19 statistics for our school community. We continue to keep high levels of cleaning and sanitisation across our school. We continue to encourage students in years 3-6 to wear masks, along with physical distancing to help keep our community safe and ensure our school remains open and continuity of learning is maintained.
Rapid Antigen Tests
Our next shipment of Rapid antigen tests has arrived to cover students for the next two weeks of School. These will be made available for all students at St Columba’s. Rapid antigen testing, while strongly recommended, will be voluntary for all students. Students will continue to be requested to test twice weekly. Test kits will be distributed directly to families in your child’s school bag. Please complete the form on the following link to opt-out if you DO NOT wish to receive a pack for your child/ren. Please check your child’s bag tomorrow.
Some reminders from our Crossing Supervisor:
Please ensure that no child or parent steps onto the crossing until directed to by the Crossing Supervisor at the Lydiard Street crossing. This is for your safety, as traffic can be quite heavy and at times unpredictable. Please also use the school crossing in Armstrong Street to ensure personal safety for everyone. Whilst this crossing is not manned, we ask for your patience and vigilance here. Please also be mindful of reversing safely.
Beginning of the Year School Liturgy
On Monday 14th February, we will celebrate the start of the 2022 school year as a whole school community, with an outside Liturgy at 9:15 am (weather dependent). Thanks to our Religious Education Leaders, Torie and Lucy, for preparing this wonderful Liturgy for us. We look forward to celebrating together.
School Advisory Council
At the end of last year, we farewelled several School Advisory Council Members who had served our school so well over the past few years. Next week we will invite any interested party to complete an expression of interest to join our valuable team for the next two years. More information will follow early next week.
Bambi Afford & Shaun Mohr