Dear all welcome to Week 6.
This week has been a busy week as we prepare for the return of staff and VCE/ VCAL students. Additional cleaning and signage has been completed now. All rooms have sanitiser and tissues and we feel confident we are in a good position to safely return to onsite learning. I need all parents to understand that in normal times we welcome you into the College. Access onsite is now significantly restricted. I respectfully ask you to work with us and support us in this, paying careful attention to our signage and our Compass notifications, so we can keep everyone safe. As always, access via phone or email will be promptly responded to.
On Tuesday night, we held our first ever online Open Night. We fielded online questions live from the audience. The night was very well attended. The team responded to 54 questions in the hour-long session. The audience stayed connected and engaged for the duration. We will look at how best to utilise this type of forum more as we return to onsite operations.
Yesterday we received the news that VCE Exams will commence on November 9, a month earlier than originally planned at the outset of remote learning. Reductions in Unit 4 Study Designs should make this date a very positive one for our Year 12 students who all commenced their Unit 3 subjects last year, completing 3 weeks of the 2020 school year in 2019. This has really advantaged our students. The earlier date will allow Year 12 students to complete their year in 2020 and receive their results earlier than planned.
There has been significant construction work, as we have attempted to make the most of an empty school. New and improved entrances to MY Learning centres are in the midst of installation. We have been somewhat delayed by rain this week and there is still some concreting to be completed. Until further notice the Hawthorn Road drop off zone will be closed, as concreters require access for heavy machinery. We anticipate this will only be for week 7, but with wet weather increasing, further delays could occur. Parents will be able to drop students off accessing Mahoneys Road, but our preference would be to make drop offs occur outside of school grounds. The School can be accessed via Jayson, Duband, Fave and Ballantyne Streets. In relation to minimising congestion and promoting social distancing, we would really appreciate families using these streets to make drop offs and pickups.
We are very excited to be welcoming our VCAL/ VCE cohort back from Tuesday next week. Please refer to Compass if you need your child in Year 7 to 10 to attend, and submit an application to us, if required. For Year 10 students studying VCE subjects pleased the communication sent out on Compass this week. Guidelines for students on return to school went out on Compass on Friday morning, please refer to them
Note that classes resume Tuesday 26 May for VCAL and VCE.
As a result of the cessation of remote learning, the cancellation of classes every second Friday will no longer be continued, effective immediately. Year 7 to 10 students are still learning remotely, however, next week there is a pupil free day on Monday 25 May. This has influenced the decision to cease cancelling classes every second Friday.
Have a great weekend.
THE TRANSITION BACK TO SCHOOL
We are very excited to be returning to face-to-facing learning and have been very busy preparing for our students to return. The wellbeing team wants to thank both parents and students for their ongoing support of the wellbeing survey. The wellbeing survey has revealed students are experiencing mixed reactions upon returning to face-to-face learning;
Common responses to returning;
- Excited to see peers again.
- Excited to see teachers, resume routines and face-to-face learning.
- Anxious about returning, seeing peers and new routines.
- Nervous about assessments.
All these reactions are normal and completely understandable. So how can you help?
Strategies to help your young person transition back to school
Returning to school can be an anxious time for a lot of young people, this is very normal. Our brains are wired to seek out the unknown, as historically, this strategy ensured our survival! In modern times the brain can sometimes go overboard, overwhelming young people with thoughts and feelings. Following, are some tips to help support your young person to navigate the transition back to school.
Promote a growth mindset
- Change their language around “I can’t” or “ I won’t”, you can add “I can’t right now” or “I won’t, yet”. This helps promote perspective taking for the young person and helps them see that any situation is not permanent.
- Listen to their concerns and promote help-seeking behaviour. Try to brainstorm three different avenues your young person to use to seek help.
- If your young person is overwhelmed, help them list their concerns. Once complete, systematically go through the list and make a plan with each concern, how will they solve it? or seek help to reduce the concern?
Re-establish a school routine
Preparation is the key to successful school transitions. Naturally, while learning online, your young person’s routine will have changed, bedtimes may have become later and meal times possibly replaced with daily grazing. Now is the time to start re-establishing routines.
- Set a timetable including morning routines; this could include getting dressed in school uniform, eating breakfast at a set time and possibly going for a walk before online class in preparation for leaving the house to return to face-to-face learning at school.
- Establish set meal times – at the beginning of the day prepare recess and lunch to stop grazing throughout the day.
- Drink plenty of water to give the brain a boost throughout the day. Don’t like water? Try adding lemon, strawberries or mint leaves to add flavour.
- Establish a sleep routine. If the bedtime routine has slipped, now is the time to make sure your young person is in bed by a reasonable hour so they can wake refreshed and ready for the day.
When we return, the wellbeing team will be present during recess and lunchtime. Please encourage your young person to chat to us if they have any concerns. Alternatively, you can email Sam Harskamp email@example.com with any wellbeing concerns your child is experiencing with the transition back to school.
Thankyou from the wellbeing team
Sam Alex Andrew Leigh
National Reconciliation Week 2020 is approaching, beginning Wednesday 27th May through to Wednesday 3rd June. Ahead of Reconciliation Week we have posted an image below of former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd’s National Apology to the Stolen Generations.