Dear Families, Students and Community Members,
After such a long period of remote learning, we were so happy to welcome back our Year 7, 10 and 11 students at the start of the staged back to onsite learning. On Friday, our returning students participated in various activities to reconnect with their classmates and teachers. Our Year 8 and 9 students, who returned on Tuesday, also participated in similar activities to reintegrate the students to onsite learning. Some of our Year 7 students were lucky enough to have the company of ‘Stella’ on Friday and it was a great day of human cuddles and adventure for her. We are hoping to have visits of the four-legged therapy kind in the future.
After an in-class telecast Year Level Assembly, students watched the return to onsite video made by our 2020 students. Then they discussed what has changed since that first return to onsite learning back in mid-2020 to now, including the difference in the COVID numbers, masks, ventilation and other ‘new normals’ where we have all had to adjust. Various activities to support student wellbeing, mindfulness, empathy, kindness and gratitude will continue throughout the term. Thank you to our Director of Student Engagement, Simon Cummins, Director of Middle School, Daniel Williams, and Wellbeing Officer, Juliet O’Sullivan for their coordination of the program.
To accommodate this period of adjustment we have also made a number of changes to the Term Four calendar to give students more time to settle back into onsite learning. For onsite days and for when we return to full time onsite learning, we are offering additional support at lunchtime and after school as needed. Students who need support catching up on tasks can organise a time via their classroom teacher or their Year Level Coordinator. We have revised the Year 10 and 11 final assessment period, giving extra time for revision and preparation. For Year 7 to 9 students we have continued to make modifications to all programs, and look forward to additional practical classes during onsite learning.
A big congratulations and good luck to our Year 12 students who had their final onsite day celebrations last week. We hope that students enjoyed the Year 12 Final Assembly screening during Year Level Assembly on Monday and that Year 12 students and parents enjoyed watching the screening via the YouTube link sent to families. A big thank you to our School Captains, Meike Berg and Lorenzo Mortimer, for their speeches to the staff and students. Thanks also go to our School Council President, Ian Fox, who was unfortunately unable to attend the assembly filming due to current COVID-safe onsite visitor restrictions. We had our staff present his congratulations on his behalf. Well done to the Senior School team and Year 12 mentors for preparing a great Final Assembly.
Well done to our Year 12 VCE students as exams kicked off today with English in the Gym. With the weight of the first exam off your shoulders, we hope over the next few weeks that your hard work through the most trying of times will pay off. Remember to check in with your Year 12 teachers who will be available for additional revision and support throughout the examination period.
Best of luck to our 2022 aspiring student leaders who will be recording their speeches for the positions of College Captains, Year 12 Sub-Committee Captains and Middle School Captains over the next few days. Students and staff will view the speeches from our group of aspiring leaders the following week and we will begin the voting and interview process.
Other than settling our students back into onsite learning, we are also planning how to best support them after another year of extended lockdowns. This year our tutors have worked throughout the year levels to support staff and students address disruptions to learning as a result of COVID-19. In 2022, Victorian schools will receive a further $230 million as part of the Tutor Learning Initiative. The tutoring program will continue to work alongside our numerous support programs already in place in the school including Year 7 Intervention program, Year 8 to 10 MYLNS (Middle Years Literacy and Numeracy Support) program, Year 9 Literacy and Numeracy support elective and our Senior School study program.
In this time of adjustment, please utilise the support available from our Wellbeing Team if needed. You can contact the Wellbeing Team via their email: firstname.lastname@example.org. A Wellbeing Team member will be allocated to you and contact you via email or phone initially to discuss your concerns and to organise an action plan with you to address concerns raised. This may include organising a time to book a check-in session for your child and a member of the Wellbeing Team. You can request a particular staff member if you have a specific need, see below:
Finally I would like to thank all of the staff, students and the wider school community for their support of each other and making the staged transition back to onsite learning such a positive one. Stay safe.