ISSUE 1: 28th January 2022
Principal / Executive Leadership Team
Help Us Enter the New Year
God of all time, help us enter the New Year quietly,
thoughtful of who we are to ourselves and to others,
mindful that our steps make an impact
and our words carry power.
May we walk gently.
May we speak only after we have listened well.
Creator of all life,
help us enter the New Year reverently,
aware that you have endowed
every creature and plant, every person and habitat
with beauty and purpose.
May we regard the world with tenderness.
May we honour rather than destroy.
Lover of all souls,
help us enter the New Year joyfully,
willing to laugh and dance and dream,
remembering our many gifts with thanks
and looking forward to blessings yet to come.
May we welcome your lavish love.
In this new year, may the grace and peace of Christ bless us now and in the days ahead.
- Vinita Hampton Wright
Dear Parents, Guardians, Staff & Students,
Welcome to the 2022 school year. I hope your family has had some opportunity for rest and relaxation over the holiday period and we look forward to working with you to bring faith-filled learning to this wonderful cohort of children/young people in 2022. To those who are new to our community, I issue a very warm welcome and look forward to working with you over the course of your involvement at Sacred Heart Primary School.
All staff will be busy this morning, 28th January undertaking induction. As a result, the Office will be closed from 8:45 am through to approximately 12:30 pm. We apologise if this causes any inconvenience.
As we commence our preparations for another hope-filled school year, we acknowledge the concern of our school communities with the continuing presence of COVID within the state. As you would be aware, the Victorian Government recently outlined its Back-To-School plan. The measures set out in the plan are designed to ensure every possible effort is made to ensure staff and students are safe and that schools remain open. We have attempted to summarise some of the major points outlined in this plan below:
Rapid Antigen Tests (RAT’s)
Free rapid antigen tests will be made available for all staff and students in Victorian schools for the first four weeks of Term 1 2022. Rapid antigen testing will be voluntary for all primary school students and staff. It was suggested that students are tested twice in a week.
Parents will be able to collect these RAT’s today, 28th January via Kiss and Go between 2pm and 4pm. One pack will be per student with each pack containing five tests. Tests that are not collected by families today will be sent home with students on Monday, 31st January. Each student will receive another one of these packs in week four.
Masks will be mandatory for students in Year 3 and above when indoors. Teachers will be required to always wear masks indoors when not actively teaching or communicating with students. Masks won’t need to be worn outside. Mask wearing is “recommended” for students in Prep-Year 2 but authorities say they understand “commonsense challenges for the younger students wearing a mask.” It is recommended that students have surgical masks but cloth masks are allowed. Students are asked to bring their own masks to school however the school will have a supply of child-sized disposable masks.
Air purifiers have arrived at school. These air purifiers will be installed in high-risk settings like the Art House, Staffroom, Office and classrooms that we deem to be lacking ventilation. They won’t be placed in every classroom. We encourage teachers to promote natural ventilation by opening doors and windows as much as is practical. Sometimes teachers will bring learning outside if it is practicable.
Getting vaccinated is the best way to protect the community and slow the spread of COVID-19. All staff, contractors and visitors who work in our school are required to have received their third vaccination dose by February 25 if they are eligible, or else three months and two weeks after their second dose. Children 5-11 are now eligible for their first dose. We encourage parents to follow this health advice and have their children vaccinated.
Students with COVID19 Symptoms
Children and staff with COVID-19 symptoms should be tested for COVID-19 and kept home even if they test negative on a rapid antigen test, until their symptoms subside. If students display symptoms at school they will go to the sickbay and parents will be called straight away to collect their child.
If My Child Tests Positive
Students who test positive for COVID19 are required to isolate for 7 days from when you receive a positive RAT test.
If staff or students receive a positive test result at any time, they must report this through the Department of Health system (Rapid Antigen Test Self Reporting Portal or via the coronavirus hotline at 1800 675 398.
Students (or their parents) must also report a positive result to their school, either by phone or written notification to the office firstname.lastname@example.org; this is so the school can support them, record that they will be absent while in 7-day isolation, and let the relevant members of the school community (e.g. students from the same class) know there has been a positive case onsite and that they should monitor for symptoms with their child.
Students and staff who are in the same classroom as a positive case will be advised via email of the case and told to look out for symptoms. If asymptomatic (no symptoms)students and staff should continue to attend school and monitor for symptoms. If they are symptomatic they must stay home, take a rapid antigen test and when they have a negative test result and are well enough they can return to school.
Students who are a household contact of a positive case (that is spent more than four hours with someone who has COVID19 inside a house, accommodation, or care facility) must inform the school and isolate for seven days and not attend school during that period.
Those who are a household or household-like contact and spent less than four hours with these people should notify the school and no further action is required.
Parents Accessing School Grounds
Parents are able to enter the school grounds to drop off and collect students. Due to it being difficult to socially distance we strongly advise parents to follow density limits, wear a mask and ensure they are adopting COVIDSafe measures. When entering any school buildings or being onsite for more than 15 minutes QR check in is required and evidence of vaccination may be required. Unvaccinated parents can only enter buildings for limited exemptions such as attending for medical reasons associated with their child. Meetings with unvaccinated parents need to be conducted virtually.
Hygiene and Cleaning
All staff, students and visitors to the school should undertake regular hand hygiene, particularly on arrival at school, before and after eating, after blowing their nose, coughing, sneezing, or using the toilet. Staff will remind students of this regularly. COVIDSafe routine cleaning arrangements continue to be in place; in particular regular cleaning and disinfecting of high touch surfaces, and the inclusion of some elements that were not included prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.
As per the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer, COVIDSafe measures have been put in place to ensure our school is safe for all children including those that are medically vulnerable. If a student has a higher risk for severe outcomes or complications of COVID-19 (for example, those with chronic medical conditions) advice from the child’s medical practitioner regarding onsite school attendance should be sought. In most cases, the presence of common conditions such as asthma or diabetes, should not preclude a student from attending face-to-face learning.
Our school community is deeply committed to providing learning continuity, and ensuring that each child and young person has the best possible learning experience in 2022. We have a range of contingencies in place if members of our staff team contact COVID or are required to isolate as household contacts. We do anticipate that maintaining a full roster of staff may be a challenging issue over the coming weeks and we want families to be aware that we may need to ask particular year levels to stay home on a rotational basis so that we can provide an adequate duty of care and quality learning onsite. This may occur on relatively short notice. Any decision to cancel school or move to home-based learning will be after we have exhausted our other staffing options including, but not limited to:
- Drawing on our regular pool of committed and professional pool of casual relief teachers
- Utilising non-classroom teachers and school leaders redeployed into the classroom on some occasions
- Reducing school activities that draw teachers away from the classroom, such as professional learning programs and co-curricular activities
- Work with neighbouring schools to address staffing concerns
- Working with part time staff to extend their available hours where possible.
Any decision to cancel school or move students to home based learning for particular grades and or year levels will be as a last resort. This would be rotated to avoid the same groups having their learning impacted.
Arriving at and Leaving School Grounds off Twelfth Street
As students arrive and leave school, they will be encouraged to not use the office area as a thoroughfare. They will need to enter and leave via the footpath near the bike rack and around the Office. This will help ensure appropriate social distancing can occur. We will have set up a portable sanitising station near the bike racks.
While families may be nervous about students returning to school, all students are expected to attend onsite. Parent preference is not an approved reason for students to be absent due to COVID-19. Students who are required to isolate or quarantine will be supported in the same way as students with an extended absence due to illness or injury, with learning materials provided to support their continued learning. Schools are not expected to provide a full remote learning program in these circumstances.
These guidelines set out above are designed to keep everyone safe and able to continue with their learning. We express our gratitude to all families for your continued cooperation in following the above guidelines and ask that you contact the school if there are any further areas of concern.
Most students are moving classes or have a new teacher. Classes will slowly transition to the demands and different organisational structures of their new class. This is a learning process and I am sure it will not be too long before students have adjusted to the new, and perhaps more challenging, demands being made on them in regards to their learning and behaviour.
- Friday, 28th January - Staff Return (Staff Induction).
- Monday, 31st January - Students return.
- Wednesday, 2nd February - Prep Rest Day
- Friday, 4th February - Assembly 2:30pm
- Tuesday 8th & Wednesday 9th February - Get to Know You Interviews
- Thursday, 10th February - Beginning of School Year Mass 9:30am
We have placed many 2022 dates in the PAM (SIMON Everywhere) calendar for parents. This may assist with your forward planning of events you like to attend. We will endeavour to always keep this calendar updated. This calendar also includes all school closure dates for 2022. We have a summary of dates for term one included below:
Sports Uniform Days
Classes have been scheduled to wear their Sports Uniform on the following days of the week:
- Cooinda (Mrs O’Callaghan) - Tuesday & Friday
- Wahroonga (Miss Sheridan) - Tuesday & Friday
- Bundaleer (Mrs Irvin & Mrs Pacher) - Wednesday & Thursday
- Karinya (Mrs Groves & Mrs Pacher) - Wednesday & Thursday
- Barramunga (Miss Hewitt) - Wednesday & Thursday
- Waminda (Mrs Carmichael) - Tuesday & Thursday
- Kyema (Mrs Taylor) - Monday & Thursday
- Eumeralla (Mrs Beckwith) - Wednesday & Thursday
- Minga (Mrs Rowles) - Monday & Wednesday
- Yongana (Mr Barbary) - Tuesday & Friday
- Amaroo (Mrs Johnson) - Thursday & Friday
- Mootwingee (Miss Price) - Tuesday & Friday
- Myalla (Mrs Kotsiakos & Mrs Weaver) - Monday & Tuesday
- Illawarra (Miss Zappia) - Monday & Thursday
- Dourim (Mrs Priestley) - Monday & Wednesday
- Narooma (Mrs Campbell) - Monday & Wednesday
Get to Know You Meetings - Tuesday 8th & Wednesday 9th February
On Tuesday 8th & Wednesday 9th February we will be holding 'Getting to Know You' Parent Teacher Meetings after school. These are an opportunity for parents to meet their child’s teacher and give the teacher a better understanding of your child/ren. More information about these will be shared via PAM (SIMON Everywhere) next week.
Prep Assessments - Wednesday 9th & Wednesday 16th February
Prep Assessments will be held at school during Prep Rest Days on Wednesday 9th & Wednesday 16th February. Students will be scheduled for an individual 30 minute time to meet with their classroom teacher to complete assessment tasks. These bookings will be made via SIMON and will be opened to Prep families early next week.
Assemblies will again be on Fridays, at 2:30pm in the Stadium. Physical distancing, QR coding, mask wearing, hand hygiene and sitting outside the stadium will be required for parents. Our assemblies will often showcase many of the skills children are learning and celebrating achievements. Each class will have one opportunity to present assemblies this year. The class presenting will be listed on our calendar linked to PAM (SIMON Everywhere).
The School Canteen will be open for lunch orders on Wednesday, 2nd February. Orders can be made via CDF Pay.
First day of School
To support students and families navigate the first day of school on Monday we will have staff outside to meet and greet new students and assist them to transition into their new learning environment. These are days of excitement and nervousness on the part of both students and parents. We are very experienced in supporting children/young people as they make a new start, so please be assured that when you hand them over to us, we will work incredibly hard to make sure their transition experience is a positive one.
It is great that students can start the year at school. We hope this information assists with questions you may have. Please don’t hesitate to contact the school from 12:30pm today, Friday 28th January if you have any queries.
Prep Unit News
This has been our first 5 day week in Prep for 2022… and WOW we handled it like champions! On Wednesday we visited the Church to look at all the symbols that tell us we are Catholic Christians. We have also been collecting data in Maths and learning about what it means to be responsible both at home and at school during our Social and Emotional lessons.
On Thursday 19th May we will celebrate our Junior Unit Social. Our theme is AUSTRALIANA! This is a special night where parents and their child/ren in the Junior Unit (Prep/1/2) come together to perform dances for you and with you! We ask that babysitters be arranged for other siblings on this night as numbers are limited. More information will follow.
Prep Unit Team Contact Details
- Unit Leader: Mrs Rebecca O'Callaghan
- Cooinda (Year Prep): Mrs Rebecca O'Callaghan
- Wahroonga (Year Prep): Miss Courtney Sheridan
Junior Unit News
Over this term, the Junior Unit have been working on building relationships with each other, within our world and with each other. We have been reflecting on what a positive relationship looks like, feels like and sounds like and the importance of building safe and healthy relationships with each other.
Clock time and calendar time continues to be an area of focus this week with our students; investigating the significance of reading, writing and explaining time using different platforms (digital and analog) as well as exploring the vocabulary.
On Thursday 19th May we will celebrate our Junior Unit Social. Our theme is AUSTRALIANA!
This is a special night when parents and their Junior Unit student/s come together to spend quality time where they will perform dances for you and with you!
We ask that babysitters be arranged for other siblings on this night as numbers are limited. More information will follow.
Junior Unit Team Contact Details
Click on the teacher's name if you wish to email them.
- Unit Leader: Mrs Katrina Groves
- Karinya (Year 1): Mrs Katrina Groves (Monday-Thursday) & Mrs Amilea Pacher (Friday)
- Bundaleer (Year 1): Mrs Maree Irvin (Tuesday-Friday) & Mrs Amilea Pacher (Monday)
- Barramunga (Year 2): Miss Georgina Hewitt
- Waminda (Year 2): Mrs Chris Carmichael
- Kyema (Year 2): Mrs Kim Taylor
Middle Unit News
Middle Unit students are asked to bring in their Library bag on Monday, 31st January as some classes will visit the library on this day.
Middle Unit Team Contact Details
Click on the teacher's name if you wish to email them.
- Unit Leader: Miss Sophie Price
- Minga (Year 3): Mrs Cathryn Rowles
- Eumeralla (Year 3): Mrs Sarah Beckwith
- Amaroo (Year 4): Mrs Natalee Johnson
- Yongana (Year 4): Mr Corey Barbary
- Mootwingee (Year 4): Miss Sophie Price
Senior Unit News
We are all very excited to welcome everyone back on Monday and look forward to working with you in 2022.
On Monday, students will be supplied with all the stationery they will need. We have pencil cases available for students, however they are welcome to bring their own to put these in. We would prefer students to have just one pencil case as they can become bulky and take up too much space in their tubs. These supplies will be sent home with students on Friday for labelling. All students are asked to bring in a named set of headphones to be used in the classroom.
Year 6 students are asked to bring in a small glass jar to use for an activity on Tuesday. A jam jar would be the perfect size for this activity.
Senior Unit Team Contact Details
Click on the teacher's name if you wish to email them.
- Unit Leader: Mrs Jo Campbell
- Myalla (Year 5): Mrs Kerryn Weaver (Monday-Wednesday) & Mrs Emma Kotsiakos (Wednesday-Friday)
- Illawarra (Year 5): Miss Belinda Zappia
- Narooma (Year 6): Mrs Jo Campbell
- Dourim (Year 6): Mrs Xana Priestley