Newsletter #3 - May 11th 2020
From the Principal
Whether students are learning at school or at home, I would like to welcome everyone back for Term Two. The few weeks leading into the school holidays were surely unique, to say the least, and it has been impressive to see the resilience of our students in adjusting to the many changes leading up to the holidays. Things are starting to feel normal at school again, which is a great relief for staff, students and I'm sure parents. We have approximately 80% of students back in their usual classes with their regular teachers. For those who are at home, we are continuing to enjoy our online learning sessions and interactions with the children via Zoom or over the phone - everyone is learning, which is always our priority at Waddington!
We have employed a full-time cleaner, on top of our existing cleaning team, who is moving around the school throughout the day cleaning all high-touch areas, including student desks during break times, as well as the playgrounds and sports equipment. We are continuing to use the language of encouraging students to 'stay in their bubble', a gentle way of reminding them to give each other space.
It is frustrating, albeit necessary, that we are unable to have parents on the school grounds during pick-up and drop-off at the moment. Connecting with parents is a really important part of how we operate at Waddington and we are all very much looking forward to welcoming parents back into the school as soon as possible. If, however, you need to come into the front office to speak with us or to purchase uniforms, please continue to do so.
This year we introduced our four new values; courage, creativity, kindness and persistence. These values underpin all that we do at Waddington and we are currently focusing on courage. Courage is about facing a challenge, even when we think it could be difficult. For the children, it can be about having the courage to ask a question, trying to work through a challenging task in the classroom or asking to join a game in the playground. Teachers will be focusing on courage in the classrooms this week and we would encourage parents to do the same.
As you may know, Miss Melinda Hoff has now officially begun maternity leave. I would like to thank Miss Hoff for all she has done to contribute to the learning and well being of the students in Room 5 this year. We wish her the very best for this next adventure for her and her family. Mrs Gaby Ferraro has been in Room 5 for most of last week and will be their new teacher on Tuesdays and Thursdays, with Mr Greer continuing on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.
As we have missed some whole-school assemblies, we have adjusted our planning so that Room 4 will be hosting a whole-school assembly in the last week of this term (Wednesday July 1st). At this stage, we are unsure whether this assembly will take place in-person or via Zoom, but we look forward to our first classroom assembly of the year.
In response to the COVID-19 situation, the Department of Education have made significant adjustments to student reporting for this semester. Students will still receive a report at the end of this term, however, the report will be dramatically simplified. Student reports will not include any grades, but will include brief comments from classroom teachers. We expect Semester Two reporting to be back to normal, which will provide us with a better opportunity to more accurately report on student progress and achievement.
Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank each and every staff member at Waddington Primary School. The past few months have been incredibly challenging for schools and our dedicated staff at Waddington have risen to the challenge in order to ensure that students continue to be the focus of all that we do. With every change that was communicated to parents, there were many adjustments that needed to be made by staff at school. Towards the end of last term, our teachers and support staff completely changed the way they operate and began offering remote learning to students earlier than was required of them. This was a huge undertaking, requiring all staff to learn a completely new skill set in a very short amount of time. This term, staff have continued with planning for remote learning for those at home, as well as delivering face-to-face learning in the classrooms. I already knew how dedicated our staff were, but this past few months have showcased the compassion and care our staff show towards the children and is something I am incredibly proud of. I don't think there has ever been a more important time to thank your child's teacher than now.
I would also like to thank all of our wonderful parents and carers for working through the many changes with us. We have felt your ongoing support and it is appreciated.
Adrian Keenan - Principal
Last Wednesday 29th April, we commemorated ANZAC Day via an online conference. Ms Renarta Coyne began our service with an acknowledgement to country and we were grateful to have Ms Janine Freeman, MLA, Member for Mirrabooka attend the service from her office, and speak about her Grandfather's experience in the First World War. We also heard from Mr Peter Jackson, who attended online from his home. Mr Jackson spoke about his own experience serving in the Vietnam War. We also listened to the song, 'Australian Heroes Marching', which many of the children signed to, having learned it in Auslan with Ms Hemingway this year. While our service was a little different than usual, it was wonderful to have our school community together to commemorate this important annual event.
Lest we forget.
Mothers' Day Stall
Happy Mothers' Day to all the wonderful Mums and Grandmothers - we hope you were spoilt by your families over the weekend! Last Friday our wonderful P&C organised a Mothers' Day stall, giving the children the opportunity to purchase something for their Mum or Grandma. Thanks to our P&C members for their ongoing support!
Senior Citizens Letter Writing Project
During Term One we started to develop a relationship with the Girrawheen-Koondoola Senior Citizens. This term, students from Room 4 will be pairing up with members of the senior citizens group and handwriting letters to them. This project should provide a great opportunity for both young and old to develop and invest in a meaningful relationship, particularly for older people, who are more likely to remaining at home for the time being.
Term 2 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.