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Wyrallah Road Public School

Wyrallah Road Public School

Opportunity Care Quality Success

Telephone02 6621 3363

Emailwyrallahrd-p.school@det.nsw.edu.au

Principal's Weekly Update

The Principal's Weekly Update

15/10/20

COVID-19 advice for Term 4:

  • Families are reminded that students should NOT attend school if they are unwell, even with minor symptoms that are associated with the common cold or influenza. Families are requested to have students tested immediately in these cases and to follow medical advice. Students should not return to school until they are symptom free.
  • When at school, where possible, students will stay within their relevant cohort group (i.e. class, year group, or stage) for all learning activities within their school in order to limit close contacts to the relevant student cohort.
  • Inter-school activities can now take place.
  • Parents and carers and other non-essential visitors are not allowed on the school site unless volunteering for educational purposes (this must be by prior arrangement with the classroom teacher and compliance with COVID-19 safe practices must be observed at all times).
  • Singing and other chanting activities can take place as a solo or in a small group with strict COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Musical instruments activities can proceed with strict COVID-19 restrictions.
  • Singing and band rehearsals and performances should take place outside or in well ventilated indoor spaces.
  • School formals, dances, graduation or other social events are permitted provided they meet strict COVID-19 Safety Plan requirements. At this point in time, families will not be able to attend these events.

Activities and site usage that can take place

  • Students can use the school library.
  • Students can engage in sporting activities.
  • School sporting events and activities held within the school site during school hours must not involve spectators including parents and carers. The only exception is when there is an explicit request from the school to support the delivery of curriculum.
  • Parent volunteers to support educational purposes are welcome for scheduled activities such as reading groups and kitchen garden programs.
  • School sporting events and activities held outside of the school site during hours will need to follow the COVID-19 Safety Plan of the venue or organiser.
  • Canteens and uniform shops can open at the principal’s discretion.
  • School assemblies must be limited to 15 minutes with no external visitors.
  • Students may attend other schools for essential curriculum-related reasons or placements (e.g. auditions or placement tests).
  • Incursions or external providers can provide activities that support delivery of curriculum (e.g. music tutors, sport skills development programs, science demonstrations, drama tutors, Healthy Harold).
  • Essential activities such as NSW Health partnerships including mobile dental vans and vaccinations can proceed.
  • Excursions and day field trips within NSW (e.g. DoE Environmental Education Centres and sport and recreation facilities, trips to the local river to collect water samples) can occur from Term 4.
  • Overnight activities can occur from Term 4 in accordance with strict COVID safe requirements. 
  • Kindergarten orientation in Term 4 and Year 6-7 transition to high school may recommence after 12 November.
  • School photos can continue.
  • Department of Community and Justice services and programs can continue.
  • Community use agreements involving adult attendance must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place.
  • SRE/SEE lessons can occur within restrictions.
  • Work experience for students can occur with a COVID-19 Safety PlanExternal link in place.
  • P&C meetings and events must be on-line only.
  • Parent/teacher meetings will be online unless involving serious matters that require face to face discussion.​


Previous Updates:

24/9/20

Thank you to all families for your continued support and understanding as we maneuvered the many obstacles this school year has provided. Please find the latest advice from the Department of Education regarding term 4. 

Term 4 Advice for families 

Enjoy the school holidays and we look forward to reconnecting in a couple of weeks. 

Mark Scotton (Principal) 


Previous Updates:

11/9/20

Latest advice:

  • Where possible, students will stay within their relevant cohort group (i.e. class, year group, or stage) for all learning activities within their school in order to limit close contacts to the relevant student cohort.
  • Parents/carers and other non-essential visitors are not allowed on the school site.
  • All group singing (choirs) and/or other chanting activities, as well as the use of wind instruments in group settings, are not permitted. Wind instruments include anything that students will need to blow into using their mouths. 
  • School formals, dances, graduation or other social events are not permitted.
  • Canteens and uniform shops can open at the principal’s discretion.
  • Incursions/external providers can provide activities that support delivery of curriculum (e.g. music tutors, sport skills development programs, science demonstrations, drama tutors, Healthy Harold).
  • Day field trips to outdoor locations with no physical distancing requirements can take place (e.g. DoE Environmental Education Centres and sport and recreation facilities, trips to the local river to collect water samples).
  • P&C meetings and events must be on-line only.
  • Parent/teacher meetings will be online unless involving serious matters that require face to face discussion.​
 
Mark Scotton (Principal) 

 

Previous Updates:

25/8/20

Clarification for schools - identifying and responding to unwell students.

  • During the COVID-19 pandemic, anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 (fever, cough, sore throat, shortness of breath, loss of taste, and loss of smell), even mild symptoms, should not be at school.
  • If, after testing negative, the person has ongoing symptoms which persist beyond 10 days, the person (staff or students)  should arrange to see their doctor.  The medical assessment should consider whether the symptoms are typical for that person (for example seasonal, allergic rhinitis), and provide documentation for the school if this is the case.  If there are new symptoms at any time, the person should be tested again.
  • Isolated incidents of sneezing or coughing may not indicate that a student is suffering from an illness. Staff should talk with students about how they are feeling to determine if a cough/sneeze is an isolated incident or whether the student is unwell. Where a student is unwell arrangements should be made to send them home. 
  •  Schools should encourage staff and parents to arrange for the person who is unwell to be tested so they can return to school as soon as possible once their symptoms have resolved to minimise the absence from school. For people who are unwell with respiratory symptoms, a negative COVID-19 test result must be received and sighted by the school.
  • COVID-19 testing for students with complex health or disability may be challenging. In these situations, schools are to ask the parent/carer to have their child assessed by their medical practitioner. Where a medical practitioner determines that a COVID-19 test is not indicated, a medical certificate must be provided to the school to confirm that the student does not have symptoms that warrant a COVID-19 test. The certificate must also indicate that the student is able to return to the school environment.
  • In situations where a parent/carer is unwilling to allow their child to undertake a COVID test or provide the school with a negative COVID-19 test result, the student is to be excluded from school for a 10 day period. Additionally, the student must have been symptom free for at least 3 days before returning to school.
Thank you,
Mark Scotton (Principal)

Previous Updates:

18/8/20

 
Please see the latest COVID-19 update from the Deparment of Education.
 

Previous Updates:

12/6/20

Activities/site usage that can take place from Monday 15 June 2020:

• School assemblies (limited to 15 minutes and no external visitors)

• Choirs and performing arts at school, with safety protocols in place

• Students may attend other schools for essential curriculum related reasons or placements (e.g. auditions or placement tests)

• Incursions/external providers can provide activities that support delivery of curriculum (e.g. music tutors, sport skills development programs, science demonstrations, drama tutors, Healthy Harold).

• Day field trips to outdoor locations with no physical distancing requirements can take place

• School photos

Activities/site usage that can take place from beginning of Term 3:

• Inter-school student events and competitions (choirs, sport , debating, public speaking, performing arts, Selective Sports High School trials etc)

• SRE/SEE lessons

• P&C meetings – with a strong preference for on-line where possible

• Parent/teacher meetings – where these need to take place – strong preference for online where possible unless involving serious matters that require face to face discussion

Activities under consideration from Term 3 (for now these events must remain on hold):

• School camps

• Excursions (other than field trips explained above)

• Parent attendance at assemblies and other school events (e.g. graduation ceremonies or student speech events)

• Parent volunteers – e.g. parent reading helpers (note: canteen and uniform shop volunteers are permitted)

• Interstate excursions

• School based activities that involve large gathering of adults are not permitted at this time (these include, information evenings, and large on-site cultural events).


Previous Updates:

5/6/20

Student Reports:

In line with advice from the NSW Department of Education, our Student Reports for Semester 1 will be more concise than usual, and will be adjusted to take account of student learning both at home and at school. The reports will focus on primarily on learning undertaken in Mathematics and English, as well as referencing learning that students have undertaken in other key learning areas. Reports for Semester 1 will be completed and sent home during the first half of Term 3.

Assessments:

As students have returned to school, class teachers have introduced a range of assessment tasks design to inform them about children's understanding of the concepts covered during the self-isolation period. These assessments provide teachers with a clear picture of each student's current level of understanding, enabling them to provide appropriate levels of support when addressing any gaps that may have appeared in children's learning. Please do not worry if your child has missed an assessment task as teachers constantly evaluate children's understanding using a variety of means - formal assessment tasks is just one of the many strategies that they use.


 

Previous Updates:

29/5/20

ALL STUDENTS BACK IN SCHOOL

With all students being back at school, there is a sense that things are returning to normal – albeit a new sort of ‘normal’. Whilst classrooms and playgrounds look just as they did before COVID-19, there are still a number of measures in place at the school to ensure that Wyrallah Road Public School remains a safe environment for students and staff.

WHAT STAYS THE SAME:

NO PARENTS ON SITE

At this point in time, parents and non-essential visitors are not allowed on the school site. Parents are asked to continue contacting the school by email or telephone for the foreseeable future. Where parents need to attend the school in person, they are asked to go directly to the front office and not to venture further into the school grounds.

PICK UP AND DROP OFF ROUTINES

The most recently implemented routines will continue to apply and are outlined below:

·        Morning parent drop off on foot

If you walk your child to school please ‘kiss and drop’ them at the school entry. We will have older students available at all gates to assist younger students.

·        Afternoon parent pick up on foot

When collecting your child in the afternoon from parent pick up, please use ONLY the pedestrian entrances on Wyrallah Road to enter and exit the school grounds. We request that families observe social distancing at these times and do not venture further into the school grounds than the parent pick up designated area.

·        Drop off / pick up by car

Please use the school car park as usual. We request that you ‘kiss and drop’ at the car, and that parents and carers remain in their cars at this time.

ASSEMBLIES

School should not conduct assemblies where alternative means of communicating are available.

HOME READERS/LIBRARY BOOKS

To prevent the risk of transmission, home readers and school library books are still not being sent home. Families of students in Kindergarten-Year 2 are recommended to take advantage of the wide range of eReaders that were made available during the self-isolation period, and to try to find the time to read with their child every day - you'll never get this time back, and your children will love the fact that you have helped them to grow into confident, competent readers.

WHAT’S CHANGED:

NEWSLETTER

Starting next week, we will resume our fortnightly school Newsletter in place of the Principal’s Weekly Update (which was introduced in response to COVID-19). Previous entries of the Principal's Weekly Update will remain on the website for reference purposes for the foreseeable future.

CANTEEN

The Canteen is now open every school day. There are NO over the counter orders being taken. Please place your orders via Flexischools. Orders must be made before 9.15am on the day they are required.

UNIFORM SHOP

With the onset of winter, many families will be looking to purchase school jumpers and long pants etc. These can be purchased from the school Uniform Shop. Payment should be made online via Flexischools. Any clothing purchased will be handed to the students by our wonderful office staff. Please be sure to include your child’s name on any orders.

SPORTING EVENTS

While inter-school sports is still not permitted, schools can recommence using external sporting grounds.

ENHANCED CLEANING

WE continue to follow AHPPC guidelines and NSW Health advice. This includes enhanced during the day cleaning for all high touch areas such as, door handles, light switches, handrails and bathrooms.

NO PHYSICAL DISTANCING REQUIREMENTS FOR STUDENTS

Physical distancing for students in not required by the latest AHPPC guidelines due to limited risk of transmission in the school environment. Physical distancing requirements remain for adults.

Regards,

Mark Scotton (Principal)


 

Previous Updates:

25/5/20

Dear parents/carers

Whilst all students are back at school full time, we are still observing strict guidelines around safe COVID-19 practices. Please help us to keep our school and your child safe by following the advice below:

Arriving at School

The number of families electing to drop there children off by car in a morning has increased significantly lately. This is causing delays in and around the school 'drop off zone'. Please allow extra time in a morning to ensure that your child is in school and ready to commence learning at 9.00am.

A gentle reminder that staff are on duty from 8.30am. No students should arrive at school before this time. We will continue our practice of having Stage 3 students at all points of entry to assist the ‘kiss and drop’ of all students between 8.30-9.00am.

Visitors on site

Only essential visitors will be allowed on site. In exceptional circumstances, where families do need to enter the school grounds, please do so via the school office and do not proceed further in to the school grounds. If at all possible, please contact the school by email or telephone to reduce the need for face to face contact.

Late to School

If your child is late to school, please provide them with a written note explaining their lateness (eg. medical appointment) which they can hand in at the school office. This will remove the need for additional adults to enter the school grounds and assist us in keeping our school site safe.

Canteen

Canteen will resume from today, but will only supply recess and lunches ordered through Flexischools.

Safe Hygiene Practices for Students

Please remind your children of these important safety precautions:

* Regularly wash hands for 20 secs

* No sharing of food or drinks

* Bring their own water container (NB. bubblers are in use and are part of the ongoing cleaning schedule, but advice is that students should reframe from using bubblers)

* Coughing and sneezing into elbow. Tissues should be discarded immediately

Thank you for helping us to keep our school and your children safe.


 

Previous Updates

19/5/20

DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION UPDATE:

A guide to NSW school students returning to face-to- face learning

This guide is for parents and carers

Information has been updated as at 19 May 2020, until further notice.

Schools are safe and open for full time face-to-face learning

All schools are returning to full on-campus learning from Monday 25 May. All school activities and operations will be in line with Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and NSW Health guidelines as applicable.

School students do not need to follow physical distancing guidelines, but should follow good hygiene practices like:

• Regularly washing hands

• Avoiding sharing drinks or food

• Coughing or sneezing into your elbow, or a tissue which should be discarded immediately.

School attendance

All students should be at school unless:

• They have a medical certificate which states that they are unable to return to school due to an ongoing medical condition

• They are currently unwell.

Students who have a medical certificate to stay at home will be supported to learn from home in line with regular procedures if they are able to. These regular procedures are different to what was offered during the learning from home period. If you require work to be provided to your child whilst they are at home due to an underlying health condition, you should contact the school for assistance.

Please note, students who live with a family member in one of the categories identified as being at increased risk by the AHPPC, should attend school unless a medical practitioner advises otherwise in writing.

If your child is unwell, do not send them to school. If they are unwell at school you or your nominated emergency contact will need to collect them immediately. Please make sure your contact details are up to date.

If a student is absent without a medical reason for more than three days, this will be recorded as an unauthorised absence and followed up by the school.

If you need any support to get your child back to school, please contact your school.

Reporting and assessment

Your child has been assessed during the learning from home period and will receive additional assessment on their return to school.

You will receive your child’s semester 1 report before the end of August (week 6, Term 3).

This may be a simplified version of the report you normally receive. Schools are encouraged to discuss your child’s progress with you before the written report is issued.

School activities

Teachers will continue to follow the same school curriculum with the exception of some activities that can’t go ahead for now.

What children can do:

• Use the school library

• Engage in non-contact sporting activities

• Year 11 and 12 students may attend classes/activities relating to subjects available on other campuses

• VET work placement for Year 12 students is able to proceed from 1 June 2020. Year 10 and 11 work-placement is able to proceed from Term 3 2020.

• School based apprenticeships and traineeships can recommence once the relevant workplaces are back in operation

• Trade Training Centres can operate on school sites.

What students can’t do:

• School assemblies (unless for critical information)

• School incursions and excursions including camps

• Work experience

• Inter-school activities (debating, inter-school sport)

• In-school activities requiring parent or other volunteers

• Use hydrotherapy pools

• Drink from a water bubbler – bring a water bottle instead

• Students cannot attend TAFE for study but may continue to learn online.

School cleaning and hygiene supplies

Your school will receive additional cleaning in line with the AHPPC guidelines and advice from NSW Health. Targeted areas include high-touch areas and other hard surfaces, door handles, lockers, light switches and handrails in stairways and movement areas. There will also be additional cleaning of toilets and bubblers and topping up of supplies like soap.

Your school has received supplies of soap, hand sanitiser, toilet paper, paper towels, disinfectant wipes and personal protective equipment. The school is able to order more as needed.

School grounds

There should be no visitors to school sites unless they are essential. Your school can provide guidance as to who is considered essential.

Your school will provide advice on drop off and pick up procedures.

Wherever possible, P&C and parent/carer/teacher meetings should be conducted virtually.

Canteens and uniform shops can open at the discretion of the principal.

Out of school hours care can continue to operate.

Community use of school facilities will recommence only for uses that are necessary for continuation of education and with principal’s approval.

Responding to COVID-19 cases

There is a clear plan in place for schools to respond to any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 in our schools. We are working closely with NSW Health and will communicate with parents if a situation was to arise.

 

PRINCIPAL MESSAGE FROM EARLIER TODAY:

THANK YOU

As we prepare for all students returning to school next week, I would like to say a heart-felt thanks to all of our amazing Wyrallah Road Public School families for their support and resilience over the past two months. We do not underestimate how challenging it has been for many of our families who have not only been thrust into the role of becoming overnight educators, but have also been faced with employment insecurity and increased health concerns (either for themselves or their loved ones). As we move forward, recognising that COVID-19 is still part of the world we inhabit, we ask our families to continue to support the school in our efforts to keep our students and staff safe.

STUDENTS RETURN TO SCHOOL

This morning, the Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, announced that all students will return to school next Monday, 25 May.

The Minister for Education, Sarah Mitchell, confirmed that all students in NSW public schools are required to return to school on Monday next week.

Where families have received advice from a medical practitioner stating that it is unsafe for their child to return to school at this time, families are asked to speak with the Principal to discuss their individual circumstances.

SAFE PRACTICES

Wyrallah Road Public School will continue to implement enhanced safe hygiene practices. We will continue to follow advice from the Department of Education and the medical profession and adjust our practices accordingly.

NO PARENTS ON SITE

At this point in time, parents and non-essential visitors are advised not to enter the school site. Parents are asked to continue contacting the school by email or telephone for the foreseeable future. Where parents need to attend the school in person, they are asked to go directly to the front office and not to venture further into the school grounds.

PICK UP AND DROP OFF ROUTINES

The most recently implemented routines will continue to apply and are outlined below:

·        Morning parent drop off on foot

If you walk your child to school please ‘kiss and drop’ them at the school entry. We will have older students available at all gates to assist younger students.

·        Afternoon parent pick up on foot

When collecting your child in the afternoon from parent pick up, please use ONLY the pedestrian entrances on Wyrallah Road to enter and exit the school grounds. We request that families observe social distancing at these times and do not venture further into the school grounds than the parent pick up designated area.

·        Drop off / pick up by car

Please use the school car park as usual. We request that you ‘kiss and drop’ at the car, and that parents and carers remain in their cars at this time.

We thank you for your continued support. Stay safe everyone.

Regards,

Mark Scotton (Principal)


 

Previous Updates

15/5/20

End of Week 1 of Phase 1

Good afternoon families,

We thought it worthwhile keeping you appraised of the latest thinking around students returning to full-time education.

In response to the advice received from State Premier, Gladys Berejiklian, Wyrallah Road Public School has implemented Phase 1 of the return to school model. The Premier supported her decision for students to attend part-time saying she did not want the government to have to change its advice after encouraging parents to send children to school.

"We wanted to introduce the staged approach to make sure that all of our schools are ready for any unforeseen issues that might arise, but also ready in case there is a breakout in a local community and they can respond quickly.”

After one week of Phase 1, with an average student attendance at around 50% each day at WRPS, we can confirm that there have been no cases of COVID-19 reported at the school.

The timeline for students to return to full-time attendance will be revised after a fortnight of having students in school on a rostered basis, starting with the current one day a week model, the Premier said.

"We're very hopeful that the first few weeks of school returning will result in us being able to possibly truncate the process; to have full-time face-to-face student attendance quicker than anticipated," Ms Berejiklian told reporters.

"Again, that will be based on how things go, but we're hopeful that students will be getting full-time face-to-face teaching during and definitely by the end of Term 2."

We will be sure to keep families aware of any changes in circumstances. In the meantime, can we thank you for following the school’s advice around keeping our school a safe place for your children to attend by observing the ‘kiss and drop’  at the school gate advice to minimise the number of non-essential adults on site.

Regards,

Mark Scotton


 

Previous Updates

7/5/20

STUDENTS RETURN ONE DAY A WEEK

It will be lovely to have all students back at school for 1-day a week, commencing next week. All families should by now have been contacted by the school and advised on what day their child/ren will be attending. Please contact the school office if you have not received this important information.

All students are expected to attend school on their nominated day. Families are encouraged to keep their children at home for the remainder of the week to enable our school to continue to observe safe social distancing.

Note: The school will remain open every day to students who need to attend beyond their one nominated day.

NON-ATTENDANCE DURING PHASED IN RETURN TO SCHOOL

Where students, or family members that they live with, have compromised health conditions which puts them at greater risk, it may be necessary for those students to continue learning remotely for the foreseeable future. In these circumstances, please contact the school to discuss.

WORKING AT HOME

On the days when students are not attending school, they should continue to engage with their learning at home. Teachers will continue to provide work for students to complete at home until school resumes normal operations.

MONITORING STUDENT ENGAGEMENT

Schools are still required to monitor student engagement with their home-learning at this time. Families will continue to receive text messages on the days that their child/ren are not attending school. Please continue to respond to the text messages, or contact the school by phone to advise if your child/ren are engaging with their learning at home.

WHAT STUDENTS NEED TO BRING TO SCHOOL

Students returning to school next week should bring a water bottle and lunch (please note, there is NO canteen at this point in time). Their Sound Waves text book (Years 1-6) and their pencil case. And as it’s getting a little cooler in the mornings, many students have started wearing their maroon school jumper/jacket.

KISS AND DROP

We will have Senior students waiting at various entry points around the school to greet our younger students. We encourage all families to ‘kiss and drop’ at the gate to minimise the number of adults on site. Thank you for helping us to keep our school safe by following this advice.

SCHOOL BUS

Norther Rivers Buslines will be delivering bus services in accordance with Transport for NSW COVID-19 Precautions for Public Transport Services advice, issued on 7th May 2020. This advice has been developed with regard to Safe Work Australia’s guidance for Public Transport.

Specifically in regard to school students and school services the following information is important;

·         Social distancing does not apply to dedicated school services

·         No school student will be left at a bus stop

Further, Norther Rivers Buslines will be encouraging social distancing on buses where patronage levels permit. The seats immediately behind the driver and adjacent to the driver will be isolated to minimise contact between the driver and passengers.

Additional cleaning has been introduced on buses since the outbreak of COVID-19. The additional measures include;

·         Additional cleaning of all touch points including hand holds, stanchions, bell pushes and seat top rails prior to commencement of all shifts both in the morning and afternoon, with hospital grade disinfectant.

·         Drivers will be carrying out additional cleaning during any layover.

 

Thank you,

Mark Scotton (Principal)


 

Previous Updates

29/4/20

Dear Parents and Carers,

Term 2 starts with the majority of students still learning from home. School will be open and operational for students that need to attend but where practical, parents are encouraged to to keep their children at home. To assist us in keeping school a safe place for students and staff, we would like to make families aware of the protocols that have been put in place from the start of Term 2:

·        Morning parent drop off on foot

If you walk your child to school please kiss and drop them at the school entry. We will have older students available at all gates to assist younger students.

·        Afternoon parent pick up on foot

When collecting your child in the afternoon from parent pick up, please use ONLY the pedestrian entrances on Wyrallah Road to enter and exit the school grounds. We request that families observe social distancing at these times and do not venture further into the school grounds than the parent pick up designated area.

·        Drop off / pick up by car

Please use the school car park as usual. We request that you kiss and drop at the car, and that parents and carers remain in their cars at this time.

·        Contacting the school

Families are requested to contact the school via email or telephone, and to avoid arriving at the school office in person wherever possible.

·        No parents on the school site

To minimise the risk to yourself and other adults working at the school, parents are requested not to enter the school grounds. We do understand, however, that there will be exceptional circumstances when families do need to present in person (eg. when collecting a sick child, picking up homework packs etc).

·        Phased in return to school

In Week 3, (commencing May 11) students will be invited to attend school one day a week. It is anticipated that information relating to what day your child/ren will be returning to school will be communicated to you by Monday next week at the latest.

Students who need to attend 5 days a week, due to their individual circumstances, are able to do so.

·        Attending school more days

It is anticipated, at this point in time, that the number of days that students attend school will increase throughout the term, and that all students will return to school full time before the end of term. We will notify families of any changes throughout the term (please refer to the Principal’s Weekly Update on the school’s website).

·        None attendance during the phased in return to school

All students are expected to attend school on their nominated day/s. Where students, or family members that they live with, have compromised health conditions which puts them at greater risk, it may be necessary for those students to continue learning remotely for the foreseeable future. In these circumstances, please contact the school to discuss.

·        Work for students to complete at home

Teachers will continue to provide work for students to complete at home over the next two weeks and during the phased in return to school period. Students who are unable to return to school for health reasons (as described above) will continue to receive work to complete at home.

Regards,

Mark Scotton (Principal)


 

Previous Updates

26/4/20

TERM 2 SCHOOL MANAGEMENT (COVID-19 UPDATE)

Dear Parents and Carers,

I hope this finds you and your family well. I trust that you have enjoyed some quality family time over the holiday period.

On Tuesday this week, you may have heard the NSW Premier and Education Minister’s announcement regarding school operations for NSW public schools in Term 2. Please find a brief overview below, which is based on all available information at this time.

School Development Days

Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th April are for Staff only.

 

Term 2 commences for students on Wednesday 29th April

Week 1-2 Online learning Continues

In weeks 1 and 2 of Term 2, students will continue to ‘learn from home’ as they did at the end of Term 1. Units of work will be sent out electronically early next week. Students who are experiencing challenges accessing online materials can arrange to pick up a home learning pack – please contact the school office on Monday if you need a pack prepared for your child/ren.

The school will remain open for students who need to attend (no child will be turned away). Supervision will be available for these students, and they will engage in the same learning as the students ‘learning at home’. As was also announced by the NSW Premier, parents are encouraged ‘to keep their children at home’ during the first two weeks of Term 2.

The Department of Education has requested schools continue to provide one mode of learning, so please be assured that both students ‘learning at school’ and ‘learning at home’ will receive the same level of instruction and materials.

 

Weeks 3-10 ‘Phased Managed Return’ to School

NSW Public Schools are looking to increase face-to-face teaching through a gradual return to school for students during Term 2. This will be done through a staged approach to balance the needs of students and staff, their families, personal circumstances and workplaces during the pandemic.

From Week 3, every student will have the opportunity to start attending school one day a week, with around 20-25% of students in attendance on any given day. Schools will manage the structure of this 'Phased Managed Return' for their context. In other words, the Premier and Department of Education (DoE) expects that each school will do this differently.

During the first week of Term 2, our staff will work through the Premier’s operational guidelines to create a model for Wyrallah Road Public School that will be communicated to families as soon as this is available. We will also continue to adjust our plans based on any new advice we receive from the NSW Department of Education.

 

Phased Managed Return to School

The Premier has stated that in Phase 1 children should be kept at home except for their ‘rostered day’. We would like to thank families for respecting the guidelines that will be established by the school. Please note, this does not apply to those students who need to attend. We tracked the data of these students during the last 3 weeks of Term 1 and this will be factored into ensuring that a maximum of 25% of students are on site on any given day.

Model of learning

Students learning either at home or at school will continue to engage in learning experiences provided by their teachers. Schools will plan and communicate the recommended time to be allocated to learning (see below). Practical resources and guides to help students learning from home and school staff teaching from home are available at the department’s Learning from home hub. https://education.nsw.gov.au/teaching-and-learning/curriculum/learning-from-home/advice-toparentsand-carers

The department has also collaborated with ABC to provide education lessons to support children learning at home. Educational programs are running from 10am to 3pm on ABC ME. Shows include Ecomaths, ScienceXplosion, Numberblocks and English on the Go. ​https://www.abc.net.au/tveducation/

We again reinforce the message that we understand these are challenging times and only ask that families do their best. The health and wellbeing of all families is our key priority and encourage you to aim for a balanced approach to learning at home. The table below outlines the recommended time allocations for students participating in learning at school or at home.

A focus on English and mathematics in primary school reflects the expectation that approximately 50% of the school week is devoted to these subjects. Other subjects make up approximately 30- 40% and schools have flexibility in how they implement these subjects. You will note that at this time, the suggested learning time ranges from 2 ½ to 3 hours for students depending on which grade they are in. Hopefully this is manageable, but we understand that this may not always be possible.

 

We have been incredibly appreciative of the support and understanding that we have received from parents and carers during these unprecedented times in education. We know how challenging this has been for our students and their families.

I would like to thank the extraordinary staff of Wyrallah Road Public School who have gone above and beyond to learn new modes of lesson delivery and technology platforms when designing and creating new content in a short time period to ensure their students’ learning and growth continues.

Kind regards,

Mark Scotton

Principal



Previous Updates

21/04/2020

Dear parents and carers

Today we have been notified by the Department of Education that Term 2 will start with two pupil-free days on Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 April. Teaching and learning will resume for students on Wednesday 29 April.

NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian has indicated this week that students will be asked to return to school for one day a week from 11 May (Week 3). As was the case last term, Wyrallah Road PS will continue to provide in-school education for families who need their children to attend school from the beginning of term (Wednesday 29 April). Teachers will continue to provide work for other students who are engaging with their learning at home.

The Department’s aim is to have about a quarter of students at school each day from Week 3, Term 2. In planning for this, we will consider family groupings, so that siblings attend school together, as we feel that this will make it a lot easier for parents as we transition back to normal schooling. Families will be notified as soon as possible of the proposed return to school roster.

We will also be exploring staggering drop-off and pick-up times, and recess and lunch breaks within our school. We think that these are important measures in line with health advice that will ensure that everybody feels safe in their school environment.

Long term, the Department aims to have all students returning to school in a full-time capacity by term three.

We hope that everyone has had a well-earned break and enjoyed some quality family time, and we look forward to continuing to work through this with you over the coming term.

Regards,

Mark Scotton (Principal)



Previous Updates

09/04/2020

Dear Parents and Carers

We are almost at the end of Term 1, and what a term it has been. No one underestimates the enormous impact that COVID-19 has had on all of us, not least those of you at home supporting your children with their learning at home. We genuinely acknowledge the challenges that you have faced over the past few weeks.

Have a break from School Work

The upcoming Easter Holidays are a good time to put aside the added stress of having to try to educate children at home, and where possible, return to something close to normal life. I would urge you and your children to step away from schoolwork and focus instead on having fun – and playing together. Try to ensure that your child experiences a healthy balance of indoor/outdoor play. It’s good to remember that play which involves a degree of physical activity is paramount for all children: the average 5-15 year old needs at least one hour of moderate to vigorous physical activity every day.

What Term 2 looks like

For students who are attending school, Term 2 starts on Tuesday 28 April (there is no school on Monday 27 April as this is a Staff Development Day).

For students learning at home, there is no immediate sign of things changing. Current thinking is that things will continue in much the same way for the next 3 months at least – though we should remember that things will return to normal, it’s just going to take a little time. So we can anticipate that many of our students will continue to learn at home for most, if not all, of Term 2. Teachers and support staff at school are continually updating their skills to reflect the changing world in which we now operate. As staff skills develop, we will continue to review and refine how we plan learning tasks for children studying at home, and we will continue to adapt our practices to better meet the needs of your children.

One such development has been the introduction of Google Classrooms. This will be our main platform for online learning as we move forward. We would encourage all students/families to familiarise themselves with how to access this online resource (emails from class teachers include guidance on how to access this learning space).

We will be sending home learning tasks for Term 2 at the start of the term via email as before (with work also being available via the school website. Hard copies will be available for families without internet/access to devices. These can be collection on Tuesday 28 April from the school office.

School Counsellor

Jenny Strong, our school counsellor, has extended her support to students learning remotely at this time. Families and students can access counsellor support by ringing or emailing the school to request an appointment. A time suitable to both parties will be confirmed by phone or email. Support will be provided over the telephone.

Jenny has also provided an excellent electronic book entitled ‘Coronavirus – A Book for Children’, which can be used by families to explain Coronavirus to their children. You can access this resource here.

Vacation Care

Helping Hands Vacation Care will continue to operate in the school hall over the holidays. They operate Monday – Friday (except Good Friday and Easter Monday) between 6.30am-6.30pm. Recent Government changes means that eligible families can access FREE childcare at this time. Please contact the manager, Carren, on mob: 0448125995 to make a booking.

We hope that all of our students and families have a well-earned break, and find the time to play together and laugh together.

Regards,

Mark Scotton (Principal)


 

Dear Parents and Carers,

As we come to the end of the second week of what can only be described as a rather surreal reality, I wanted to take time to reflect on what is happening here at school, and also to consider what life may be like for many of our families at home. I also wanted to provide an indication about what you can expect from the school as we move forward.

 

MANAGING BEING A PARENT, WORKER AND A TEACHER!

Firstly, can I acknowledge the amazing job that families are doing in supporting their children at home during these very difficult times. We understand that many families are adapting to working from home and coming to terms with the challenges that this brings, whilst simultaneously caring for school-aged children at home. Other stay at home families are trying to balance caring for younger children with meeting the needs of their school-aged children who are trying to keep on top of their school work. And others, as we know, are facing more profound challenges brought about as a result of this pandemic, and are still having to find the resilience to get up each morning with a smile and provide and care for their families.

And in the face of all this, there appears to be an unwritten expectation that you will transform yourselves into ‘expert’ teachers, and ensure that your children continue to receive a quality education. For many, this is a daunting prospect. For others, it will appear near impossible. 

I hope that I can offer some reassurance in these few words (which, in part, I stole from a wise mother):

I recognise that you do not have super powers. Nor are you trained teachers. Working, parenting and teaching is impossible to do at the same time. It’s not hard because you’re doing wrong. It’s because it’s too much. Do the best you can.

Rest assured, when this is all over and your child returns to school, we have an amazing team of trained teachers and support staff who are here to pick up where you left off (wherever that is).

 

COMMUNICATION

There has been plethora of communications sent home over the past two weeks: emails, skoolbag posts, Facebook listings, Website entries. It can appear overwhelming. In part, the communications are designed to keep you updated with an every-changing situation. Then there’s the Department’s postings (which are centrally managed). What can we do to try to streamline our system of communication? We have to recognise that no one method of communication works for all families – that’s why we send messages via multiple platforms. This needs to continue so that no family misses out. It’s a balancing act.

However, here’s what we can do:

·         Teachers/Stage teams will attempt to reduce their communications with families to one communication per day (there may be days when they don’t need to communicate - enjoy the rest).

·         I will post once a week on the school Website. My posting will appear in a link on the Homepage of the school website as ‘Principal Weekly Update’. This communication will attempt to summarise for families important whole school information that has been received during the week.

·         Your child’s teacher is always a good first port of call if you need any support. You can continue to make contact with them through the established channels.

 

KEY MESSAGES

I’ve said some of things before in previous correspondences, but some things are worth repeating:

·         Mike Fuller, Commissioner of the NSW Police Force, announced yesterday that we can expect the current social distancing / isolation rules to remain in place for at least another 90 days. So, we can expect the current school systems and practices to continue until deep into Term 2.

·         We would encourage all families to continue to provide what support they can for their children whilst they continue their studies at home. We recognise that parents are not de facto teachers. Do what you can, factoring in what is realistic and manageable for your family in your specific circumstances.

·         Plan to have some fun with the kids. Whilst you may not be able to get out and about as much as you would like, make the most of the time that you have with your children at home. This will help with everyone’s wellbeing.

·         In recognition that things feel overwhelming, try to tackle each task in turn. The old adage ‘How do you eat an elephant? – One bite at a time’ springs to mind.

 

·         Remember, if you do not have internet or a device for your child to work on at home, hard copies of work can be provided. These tasks will have the same learning outcomes as the online tasks.

·         We suggest that families try to keep to their normal routines. Put your child to bed at the same time, get them up at the same time, make lunch boxes, prepare to start work on their set tasks at the same time as they would on a normal school day. Many children, at times like this, need reassurance that everything is going to be okay. Keeping their lives as normal as possible will help with this.

 

LIGHT-HEARTED RELIEF

When you finally get on to Google Classrooms (you should have received an email with guides to help you to access this), encourage your child to watch my brief video (on every classroom page). It’s a bit cringy (and very short), but hopefully they’ll enjoy getting a personal message from me!

Regards,

Mark Scotton (Principal)

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