Principal’s Message Week 5

Dear Parents and Carers

We enjoyed an incredibly smooth, productive and positive start to Term 2. With a few exceptions – increased cleaning and handwashing; children entering school and managing bags, jumpers and water bottles independently; and delineated play areas at recess and lunchtime –  school almost seems like business as usual. Despite the practical changes, things are certainly more calm and predictable than they were in March and April. For this, and for the cooperation and restraint shown by the Western Australian community throughout the last couple of months, we are all extremely grateful. I wish to sincerely thank you and all members of our dedicated staff for working together to maintain a sense of calm and stability; which is exactly what the children needed everyone to do.

For some children and some families as a whole, the opportunity to be together without the pressures of what had been our ‘normal’ lives, prompted considerable reflection and a commitment to doing some things differently in the future. Families reported playing board games, going for walks and bike rides as a family, building cubbies and doing a lot more baking and gardening. I hope all families were able to find some positives amid the stresses.

For a small number of children, learning at home would remain their preferred option. For some, not only was this a chance to be at home with both Mum and Dad, but it also meant that there was significantly less pressure to concentrate for extended periods of time and to persist with tasks that were particularly challenging. Life under the doona was perfect for some.

We don’t know what lies ahead, and it’s possible that despite the best efforts of the adults around them, individual children may feel unsettled or experience some signs of anxiety at some point in the future. If they do, begin by acknowledging that it’s a ‘normal’ response given that quite a few things have been different (and the constant reference to a global pandemic). If you notice this in your child, please let us know so that we can quietly monitor and support him/her. We can also connect you to our school psychologist for additional advice, if you would like to seek some further support.

I’m also aware that some families’ lives have recently changed with changes in employment and business. If you have concerns around the payment of accounts please don’t hesitate to contact me.

There is little to update in terms of changes at school for now. Schools are unable to conduct assemblies or organise incursions, excursions or camps. Adults must remain off-site throughout the school day, but we are now able to hold a case conference or parent meeting in the office in exceptional circumstances. It is also possible for P & C and School Board meetings to recommence after hours, for numbers below 20 and where physical distancing can be maintained (4sq metres inside).

In the meantime, the P & C are planning a fundraiser (in addition to the Entertainment Books) which you will hear about shortly. It will involve all children from Kindergarten to Year 6 and is likely to trigger some feelings of nostalgia for some.

The Student Councillors are also coordinating a fundraiser, but consistent with our school motto this will be a ‘service for others’. Friday is going to be Crazy Hair Day, with funds going directly to the Go Foundation.  They chose this organisation as this is National Reconciliation Week. Reconciliation is about strengthening relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous Australians, for the benefit of all Australians. This year’s Reconciliation Week theme is ‘in this Together

Best wishes
Elizabeth Blackwell