Newsletter #2 - March 16th 2020
Information and Advice Regarding COVID-19 (As of 16/03/2020)
While the situation regarding the COVID-19 continues to evolve, the Department of Education sector has established plans and a team to support schools. It is important that as a school community we apply common sense, factual information and a practical approach to COVID – 19. There are a lot of reports of information available through media outlets, including social media, however, the Department of Education will continue to receive their advice directly from the Department of Health on these matters.
If a WA school has to close due to a confirmed case, it will be on advice from the WA Health Department’s Chief Health Officer. The Chief Health Officer may, if there has been a positive COVID-19 test result in our school community, close our school temporarily while assessment and tracing of exposure is conducted. A thorough school clean will then be carried out to make the school safe for the return of students and staff.
In this situation the school will receive direct advice and support regarding the closure process and communication materials from the Department of Education’s Coronavirus support team.
Upon the school being notified, all families will be immediately contacted and provided with the relevant information. This contact may be during the school day, or before or after school.
Waddington Primary School already has a contingency plan in place should this occur, which would ensure parents are contacted in a timely fashion of the need to collect their child from the school. The primary communication would be via the school's text messaging system. It is therefore important that we have up-to-date contact details. We are sending home student update forms today to check that the details we have are correct. Please return them as soon as possible.
Parents will also be advised of the extent to which class work can be completed at home during this temporary closure and provided with the details of how this will work.
While it is acknowledged that this may be a stressful time for the community, parents are reminded that schools open and close all of the time and that the reason for any school closure will be to ensure the safety of all students and staff.
How to minimise the spread of COVID-19
- Frequently washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, or using an alcohol based hand gel
- Refraining from touching mouth and nose
- If coughing or sneezing, covering your nose and mouth with a paper tissue or flexed elbow
- Dispose of the tissue immediately after use and perform hand hygiene
- Avoiding close contact with anyone if you, or they, have a cold or flu-like symptoms (maintain a distance of at least 1 metre).
At Waddington, we have had a big focus on hygiene and continue to speak with the children about sound hand washing practises. Please rest assured that we have ample soap and paper towel in the toilets, as well as hand sanitiser in all classrooms.
Who cannot attend school – advice as at 16th March 2020
The Prime Minister has introduced measures placed on international arrivals into Australia. This means a mandatory 14 day self-isolation requirement will be placed on all international arrivals into Australia.
Students or staff who have been tested for COVID-19 should follow the advice of the WA Department of Health and stay away from school whilst awaiting results.
Students or staff also need to self-quarantine if they have been informed by public health authorities that they have been in close contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus. They must isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of last contact with the confirmed case.
People with COVID-19 may experience:
- flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue; or
- shortness of breath.
For the latest health information and health related enquiries please visit WA Department of Health or access the helpline 1800 020 080.
As per the usual process at Waddington, if your child is feeling unwell, we ask that they remain at home until they are free of symptoms.
The WA Chief Health Officer, Dr Andrew Robertson, has advised people should not go to be tested for COVID-19 to either COVID Clinics or GPs unless they are currently experiencing symptoms and meet the testing criteria.
To be eligible for testing people must:
- be currently experiencing symptoms such as fever, cough or sore throat AND have
- returned from overseas travel in the last 14 days
- OR be currently experiencing symptoms, and be a contact of a confirmed case
- OR be currently experiencing symptoms and believe they have been in close contact with a person infected with COVID-19.
We will continue to update our school community, via text messages, as new information becomes available. Please feel free to contact me at school if you wish to discuss any of the above information and its impact to Waddington Primary School.Adrian Keenan - Principal9342 firstname.lastname@example.org
From the Principal
Since our last newsletter we have celebrated our first 'Clubs', where students with good standing had the opportunity to enjoy a fun activity while also giving back to the community. Our first round of clubs saw some students decorating cakes and bookmarks to gift to members of the Koondoola-Girrawheen Senior Citizens club, making bees wax lunch wraps, gardening and other enjoyable activities. It was wonderful to see so many of the children enjoying giving back to the school and wider community. We look forward to continuing with this focus into the future.
The P&C held their Annual General Meeting on Monday 24th February and welcomed several new members, which was fantastic to see. The P&C is a great way to contribute to the success of the school and also to get to know other parents better. If you are interested in joining the P&C, please speak with Anne Tait, the P&C President, or one of the other members.
Last Monday was a student-free day, which allowed staff to spend the day learning about a range of topics. We learned about some research-backed teaching strategies that will be implemented in the coming weeks and months, that concentrate on students' retention of information. We also had the opportunity to visit another school and see their 'Loose Parts Play' in action. Loose Parts Play focuses on students problem solving and playing creatively by providing them with loose parts during Recess and Lunchtime. We will be incorporating this into our planning for our new playground, which will be built later this year.
As was communicated last Friday, the Harmony Day event at Mirrabooka Sqaure has been cancelled, as a result of the ban on large non-essential group gatherings. While this decision is a sensible one, it is a shame that the students will not be able to perform at this event. As such, we will find an opportunity later in the year for these students to perform for you, as they put a lot of work into rehearsing.
At Waddington, we have been working towards reducing our carbon footprint and improving our recycling around the school. We have recently introduced a more effective paper recycling program at the school as well as compost and worm farms. We will also be looking at recycling lunch wrappers and other plastics in the near future. These initiatives provide the students with a fantastic opportunity to have a positive impact on the environment and learn how to live a more sustainable lifestyle.
Finally, I would like to acknowledge that the uncertainty around the COVID-19 can bring about anxiety in children and adults alike. Please come and speak with me if you would like any clarification on the school's response to this developing situation.
Adrian Keenan - Principal
Friday Lunch Orders - Thursday 2:15pm Deadline
The Friday lunch orders have again proven very popular this year. Please be aware that the deadline will move slightly from this week. Please have orders in by 2:15pm on Thursdays for a Friday lunch order. CLICK HERE or go to the Canteen Menu tab on the home page to view the menu.
Jump Jam Assembly
On Wednesday 4th March the whole school participated in our first assembly for the year. Each class led the school in a 'Jump Jam' performance and it was wonderful to see everyone getting involved - young and old(er!).
Congratulations to the students, pictured above, who received Merit Certificates at the assembly. We're proud of you all!
Highway Heroes is Waddington’s social and emotional learning program based on the concept of everyone travelling on the “Highway of Life” in our own vehicle, at our own speed, experiencing unique and shared happenings. Primary school is one of your child’s first independent “Highway” destinations, and there, learning – academically, socially and emotionally – is a job of all students.
This term we are focusing on the ability to rationally distinguish a BUMP from a HAZARD, thus avoid a common human tendency to treat small difficulties (BUMPS) as an avalanche (a HAZARD).
Butterworth Park Youth Program
As mentioned in the last newsletter, The City of Wanneroo Childhood and Youth Services Team will be running an amazing program for young people every Monday this term at Butterworth Park in Koondoola. There is no cost involved and it will be a drop in program at 4pm every Monday this term.
The team will be running multi sports, due to the basketball courts being under construction, which will include soccer, AFL and cricket. If your child is not interested in those sports they will have card games available for them to play as well. CLICK HERE for a flyer regarding the program.
Term 1 2020 Planner
The term planner for this term has been loaded to the school website. Please remember that this is sometimes subject to change and parents should also check the newsletter for events. CLICK HERE or go to the Term Planners tab on the home page to view the events happening this term.