From the Head of Junior School – 19 October

From the Head of Junior School – 19 October

It is a very long time since I have been able to write to the community via Campus News and it is a good feeling. Welcoming the ELC children back to campus on Monday 5 October and Prep to Year 6 children on Monday 12 October was pure joy and they have all assimilated back into their Junior School family very well. The grounds are looking simply splendid with beautiful spring growth everywhere. The Prep toilets have been refurbished and our Grounds staff have done such a good job. Tree works have been undertaken and most of the necessary lopping and cutting back occurred during Distance Learning.

 

SCHOOL PHOTOS & UNIFORM REMINDER

We confirm that School Photos for Junior School will take place on Friday 30 October. All children need to be in Summer Uniform, including blazers.  We ask that families do not mix and match elements of our winter and summer uniform. For example, some boys and girls are wearing the wrong coloured socks or girls are wearing tights with their summer dress. If you are experiencing significant uniform issues at the moment i.e. the summer uniform does not fit and you have been unable to purchase a new one, then please send your child in their correct PE uniform for Photo Day. ELC parents will be informed of the dates of School Photos once finalised.

 

Transitions and Preparations for 2021

I have interviewed every 4-year-old child and their parents who are going to be part of our Prep cohort for 2021 online, via Microsoft Teams. I believe it is important to make connections with students and families prior to commencing formal schooling. It begins an important relationship between the children, parents and our Junior School. This is one of the many advantages of a K-12 school as the journey and resultant connections are forged early on. The ELC staff will soon commence class placements for our Prep classes for next year. The teachers know the children well, what their needs are and what the best class composition should be for them.

Likewise, the teachers in the Junior School will begin the 2021 Class Placement process in a few weeks, after staffing has been finalised. Each year the staff work very hard to get the classes just right. This is something the teachers and I work diligently to do, which is creating classes that are balanced based on several criteria which include but are not limited to: academic needs; special needs; gender balance; pastoral and welfare needs; social and emotional needs. It is a highly complex process but one that we spend a lot of time on so that we ensure each child’s needs are met. Forming classes firstly based on friendship requests can be problematic and compromise placing each student in the right cohort arrangement and with the right teacher who will bring out their best. Your current child’s teacher knows your child well and in every aspect! If parents feel they need input during this process, please direct your emails to sayarl@stmargarets.vic.edu.au by Friday 6 November, 2020 at the latest. We do not accept requests for teachers as staffing has not been finalised and can change from year to year. Whilst we cannot guarantee that we meet all requests; we will certainly take reasonable requests into consideration. For example, you may share with me information about your child’s learning needs or any other pertinent information that your child’s class teacher is unaware of.

We will have a transition day for new 2021 students in Years 1-6 when the Government guidelines are adjusted, to allow for this. Our Prep 2021 transition program commences this week for all the SMS ELC students. This week we held a successful, virtual Year 7 Parent Information session for our future BGS and SMS parents. When the Government changes current guidelines about mixing year levels, we will finalise transition session days for our boys and girls going in to Senior School.

 

SCHOOL EVENTS & ACTIVITIES UPDATE

Current Government guidelines in place mean that we cannot hold certain events and activities at or beyond school. These cancelled activities are: Grandparents Day, Swimming Lessons for Years 1, 2 and 3 and the Year 3 and 4 Camp. However, the teachers will organise camp activities at school later in the term. We cannot facilitate Homework Club twice weekly at the moment because we are not allowed to mix between year levels. We are not able to have other after school clubs operating at the moment either e.g. Writing Club, Dark Horse Chess (online club information has been sent to all families), Bricks 4 Kidz or Coding Club.

However, we are pleased to announce that we have rescheduled our House Athletics Day for Thursday 12 November. Instead of sitting in House groups, the students will sit within their year level groups on our back oval. We will provide more information closer to the day. All our fortnightly assemblies will remain as virtual and will continue to be available for viewing via Seesaw.

We are putting a lot of time, effort and creative energy into working on the 2020 Presentation Night and end of year celebrations for our Year 6 students. As we progress further with plans, we will inform you about the finer details.

 

HEALTH reminder

A friendly reminder to all parents that due to COVID-19, if your child is experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms e.g. cold, sore throat etc you must keep your child at home and get a test. We need to see a copy of the test results which you can forward to the school junior_reception@stmargarets.vic.edu.au

It is hayfever season and we remind families to please administer medication before your child comes to school. We have tablets but only give them out in emergency situations and we would not administer medication without your consent.

Thank you for your co-operation in these very important matters.

 

© St Margaret's School 2020

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