Welcome back to Term 2. What a roller coaster of a few weeks it has been.
I would like to begin by thanking all the parents and caregivers for being so supportive of the school during the COVID situation. We know that dropping your students at the gates must be hard, however we have appreciated your understanding and compliance with this requirement.
We are working very hard to ensure all children are safe, distanced where practical, adhering to good personal hygiene protocols whilst also trying to ensure that school remains as “normal” as possible supporting their seamless return to face to face schooling. I am confident that I speak for all staff when I say that the school is better when your children are here!
School Development Day
We had originally scheduled a School Development Day for Friday 29 May, however after discussions with the staff and with the School Board we feel that it is appropriate that we defer this until Monday 20 July (Day 1 Term 3). We felt that keeping the original date would be just another disruption to the students in what has already been an interrupted semester of schooling and was too soon given that many have only just returned to school in the last week or so. I hope that this change does not inconvenience any families.
Semester 1 Reports
At this moment we are waiting on further information from the Department as to what Semester 1 reporting will look like. Clearly the disruptions due to the COVID-19 virus has caused significant disruption to student learning. We will ensure that we keep families informed as information becomes available.
Cancelled Events for Term 2
Unfortunately, assemblies remain cancelled until further notice. I can also confirm, as previously advised, that swimming lessons for PP-Year 4, NAPLAN and school camp for the Year 6’s are also cancelled.
Our school has been invited to participate in research the WA Government is undertaking in partnership with Telethon Kids Institute. The research is part of DETECT: a larger study of particular groups in our community to determine the prevalence of COVID-19 in Western Australia. Education has been prioritised for inclusion.
Approximately 80 public schools across Western Australia will participate in the research. They represent a cross section of the community and include primary, secondary, education support, metropolitan and regional schools, and residential colleges.
The study will be rolled out across schools over the next few weeks. Participation is voluntary and consent will be sought from staff and parents, as well as students for the psychosocial survey component.
As part of the research, staff and students from 40 schools will be tested for COVID-19 at monthly intervals over a period of at least three months. These schools will be randomly selected by the researchers. All 80 schools will participate in the online survey component, providing information on how COVID-19 is impacting their physical, social and emotional wellbeing. All students, staff and parents would be encouraged to participate and TKI will work directly with schools.
I will provide further information, including a fact sheet from TKI, and consent forms in the coming days.
Our school’s involvement in this research will make a valuable contribution to better understanding the extent of COVID-19 in Western Australia and what measures are required to keep our communities safe during the pandemic.
Earlier in the year the School Board approved the Mobile Phone and Smart DevicePolicy for Arbor Grove Primary School. Due to the disruption from COVID-19 we are delaying implementing this policy until Term 3.
Students will not be permitted to have phones on, or with them, during the school day and smart watches must be on flight mode from the beginning of Term 3.
We have purchased phone lockers for the students to secure their phones throughout the day and students will be issued with a key. More details will be coming out on the process later in the term.
You can refer to the policy on the Arbor Grove website under the Parent Information tab.
Pack Collection Day
With all the craziness that was the end of Term 1, amid COVID-19 isolation, we were totally prepared to be swamped with over 400 families to collect work packs in the first week of Term 2. We organised new trolleys, alphabetically organised packs by family name, a stop/slow sign and keen pack distributors willing to have practise runs in preparation. With the changes that occurred over the holiday period, it was deemed that we would only have about 40% of families collecting work packs. Mrs Viska and her trusty team handed out the packs to families in record time and feedback from families was extremely positive.
So far this year in Literacy, we have been working on our narrative writing, looking at lots of different genres and all the characteristics that make a good narrative story. We have used all our knowledge to create our own super scary ghost story’s.
In Mathematics, we’ve been exploring and understanding decimals, learning how to add and multiply them and using this to make links to spending money. We have consolidated our learning through different maths games that push our new skills to the test.
In Art, we created a self-portrait with a twist. We used a picture of our faces and designed the rest of the picture around our interests and likes, which makes great viewing hanging up in our class.
What a delight it has been having so many of the students from Room 9 back for Term 2. So far this term in Mathematics, we have consolidated our knowledge of 3-digit numbers and have begun exploring the idea of identifying and placing them onto a number line.
In Spelling, we have been focusing on long vowel sounds. We’ve practised our spelling words through a range of hands on activities such as using blocks to make our words and writing them on mini whiteboards.