Dear Parent, Guardians and Carers,
How quickly things change!
Last week we were enjoying a lovely start to term three, staff were planning for the term and busy preparing other activities such excursions, incursions and swimming programs for their grades and now we are back doing remote learning with all the uncertainty that it brings.
We wish to advise that the whole school swimming program for all year levels has been cancelled for the remainder of 2021, school fees will be adjusted to reflect this change.
Thank you for your support in adapting to the information we sent out Thursday night as well as the messages of encouragement we received. On your behalf I would like to thank the staff at St Michael’s who worked late on Thursday night and over the weekend to ensure that the learning continued for your child in a way that was accessible to you as parents.
We know that the lockdown has been extended until Tuesday 27th 11:59pm. School will be closed during this time but will stay open for students in the following categories. (Please note that the reasons for sending your child to school for onsite supervision have changed this time):
- students of parents, guardians or carers considered an essential worker who cannot work from home
- where there are two parents, guardians or carers, both must be essential workers, working outside the home
- for single parents, guardians or carers, the essential worker must be working outside the home
- vulnerable students including:
- children in out-of-home care
- children deemed by Child Protection and/or Family Services to be at risk of harm
- children identified by the school as vulnerable (including via referral from a family violence agency, homelessness or youth justice service or mental health or other health service)
- children with a disability who cannot learn from home due to vulnerability or family stress.
There are very clear guidelines regarding who is able to access on-site supervision. The intent behind this measure is to ensure the safety of staff and students in schools by limiting who can attend, so it is not possible for all staff and students to be here. As such, supervision will be provided primarily by Education Support Officers as class teachers will be working from home to provide remote learning. Those supervising at school are not staff or teachers that your children would typically work with, so please be mindful of this.
If you are working from home, have a day off work, aren’t working at the moment, are studying or have access to alternative care arrangements then your child cannot be accessing the onsite supervision. Access to onsite supervision is to be used where all other care options have been exhausted for your child.
We know that some of you find it challenging to do remote learning at home and may feel that your child would do better being onsite at school. Again, this is not a valid reason to send your child. In order to keep everyone safe and stop the spread of the disease in the community we need to stay home as much as possible. Please support us by adhering to the guidelines.
If your child needs onsite supervision and meets one of the above criteria then you must send in the intentions each week by Sunday 3pm so we can ensure correct ratios.
The intention form for next week must be received no later than 3pm Sunday. It is included in below and also on the app under the Current onsite intention tile. A late notification after this time may result in your child(ren) not being able to attend as extra children affect the staff- student ratios and staff rosters. If your child is booked to attend onsite supervision, we ask that they arrive at school as close to 9am as possible.
Stay safe and well so that we can be back together as a community as soon as possible!
Onsite Intention 21st July- 27th July 2021
Riding the COVID waves
The disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic continues, with the scale of its impact dependent on geography. Families in the nation’s two most populated states are no strangers to lockdowns and the disturbance they bring to normal life. Regardless of where you live, the sense of the pandemic is always present, ready to disrupt daily life at short notice.
We crave connect and certainty
Human beings crave certainty and human connection, both of which are severely impacted by the current pandemic. Just when life appears to return to normal, coronavirus case numbers can flare, sparking changes to our daily lives. As demonstrated by the massive increase in people seeking psychological support services over the last 18 months, these are difficult times for us all.
Every family has its own coronavirus story consisting of loss, disappointment, hardship, frustration or overwhelm of some kind. While there is no magic bullet that will make living through these uncertain times easy, here are some strategies to help you and your family stay upright while you ride the COVID waves of uncertainty and change.
Model a coping mindset
Let’s start with a coping mindset, the hardest and most important strategy. The leader in any group is the person who remains calm in a crisis, so as parents we need to do all we can to keep our acts together, or at least look like we are in control. Kids of all ages, but especially primary-aged students, take their cues from parents, the most important people in their lives, about how to view events. If catastrophising, anxiety and anger are modelled, then inevitably younger family members will mimic these behaviours. More significantly, these behaviours contribute to their feelings of lack of control. Alternatively, when acceptance, perspective and optimism are on display, kids learn how they can cope with uncertainty and change. This is not to suggest that parents aren’t struggling, and that we shouldn’t show our vulnerability to children. However, children and young people feel safer and more secure when their parents radiate a sense of calm and composure in the face of difficulty. Challenging, but essential.
Act like a middle born
Despite the negative press that middle-borns receive including ‘middle child syndrome’, and ‘middle-child complex’, this cohort is generally very resilient. Their flexibility as a result of fitting into a life pattern set by an elder sibling enables them to more easily adapt to change. Often considered less ambitious and driven than first-borns, middle children generally expect less of themselves, and are more inclined to bide their time, letting the big waves pass before riding the more accessible, easier waves to achieve success. Birth order research reveals that middle children tend to have broader social circles than children born in other positions enabling them to form social connections in many different settings. Their adaptability, lowering of expectations and wonderful approachability are examples of how to survive challenging times.
Embed wellbeing strategies into family-life
If ever there was a time to make wellbeing come alive in a family, it’s now. If you have previously believed kids’ wellbeing is less important than homework, music or sports lessons and chores then it’s time for a priority rethink. Mental health practices are most successful when they are embedded into family life, rather than being focused on when life gets hard. While no means limited to these, the most significant wellbeing practices include sticking to daily routines (to maintain feelings of control), taking regular exercise (to get rid of built-up stress and promote feel-good endorphins) and prioritising sleep (to maximise the brain’s capacity to manage stress).
Only sweat the big stuff
If you find that you’re arguing with your child over minor issues such as leaving clothes around the house, then it’s time to let the small stuff go and focus on the bigger issues. You may need to set the parenting bar a little lower, focus less on academics, even relax screen time limits for a time if they are a source of conflict. Expect behaviour blow outs from children who have lost their own bearings - in some cases access to friends, school, and schedule. Give kids space if they regress, rather than reward tantrums with plenty of your attention, which will reward and keep the behaviour going.
Connect with your village
Are you an introvert or an extrovert? What about your kids? It matters because each group reacts differently during lockdowns. Those on the introvert end of the spectrum can feel a little too comfortable being home and away from work or school. Scheduling regular digital catch-ups with friends and family can overcome reluctance to connect. Extroverts, on the other hand, can really struggle being away from friends and need little encouragement to stay in touch, which is vital during times of uncertainty.
There are no hard and fast rules about living through this pandemic. COVID didn’t come with a ‘how to’ manual, so most of us are writing our own rules as we go. Embrace any ideas that work for you and your family and let go of those that aren’t right for you. Be mindful, that the tide will eventually turn, the waves more predictable and our capacity to deal with hardship will have been enhanced by this experience.
Means-tested concession cards must now be valid on either:
- the first day of Term 1 (Wednesday 27 January 2021)
- the first day of Term 2 (Monday 19 April 2021)
- the first day of Term 3 (Monday 12 July 2021).
The Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund (CSEF) provides payments for eligible students to attend activities like:
- school camps or trips
- swimming and school-organised sport programs
- outdoor education programs
- excursions and incursions.
Each week students from each class are awarded Student of the Week certificates. These children are nominated for the example they have been within the school based on the School Wide Expectation focus for that week. The weekly focus will be from Wednesday until Tuesday the following week. Awards will be presented to students on Friday at assembly.
In Week 1 the School Wide Expectation focus was Safety:
I have the right to feel safe in our school environment.
The award winners for Week 1 are:
|Charlotte Hughes||Isaac Huffer||Darby Murtagh|
|Bobbi Heatherill||Isabella Constantinou||Ellery Kornet|
|Marlee Williamson||Raiden Buhagiar||Grace Robinson|
|Aethon Mankombil||Abbey Waite||Kira Rossl|
|Hamish Briscoe||Mason Hill||Ryleigh Tharle|
|Bentley Leitch||Christopher Keo||Violet Blackford|
|Harlan Moore||Will McLuckie||Emily Keo|
|Xander Szkwarek||Levi Palmer||Holly Pritchard|
|Bonnie White||Evie Billam||Tyler Zandona|
|Cadence Van Unen||Memphis Laurie||Matthew McDonagh|
|Isaiah Baxter||Mia Francolino||Macey Manzo|
Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge
The Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge is now open and St. Michael’s Primary School is excited to be participating. A new application is being used this year that offers a range of exciting features including:
- access to a library catalogue (including book images and blurbs)
- a modern user-friendly interface
- rewarding students with badges as challenge milestones are achieved
- the option for students to mark books as a favourite, give them a star rating or complete a book review
The Challenge is open to all Victorian children from birth to Year 10 in recognition of the importance of reading for literacy development. It is not a competition; but a personal challenge for children to read a set number of books by 17 September 2021.
Children from Prep to Year 2 are encouraged to read or ‘experience’ 30 books with their parents and teachers. Children from Year 3 to Year 10 are challenged to read 15 books.
All children who meet the Challenge will receive a certificate of achievement signed by the Victorian Premier and former Premiers.
To see the Premier’s message, view the booklists and for more information about the Victorian Premiers’ Reading Challenge, visit: www.education.vic.gov.au/prc
Victorian Premier's Reading Challenge 2021
We have 50 students registered
646 books finished
99 Book Reviews
11 Students Completed
60 days left until it finishes on 17th September 2021