Dear families,

The following are just a couple of updates in relation to our forward planning.

We have been advised by both our Department and HealthSA, that we have to follow extremely specific guidelines for any activity involving our children. Shortly our junior primary classes will be attending the Patch Theatre at Noarlunga, and it is an example of just how thorough we need to be. We will be the only school in the theatre, adults will be socially distancing and all helpers will be school staff, with no volunteers.

Shortly we will have two classes attend a camp at Arbury Park, which had been organised prior to the coronavirus and is at a place owned by The Education Department. There are still very stringent COVID-19 guidelines, comprehensive risk assessments as well as modified activities in order to accommodate the health expectations.

As I’m sure you would be aware, the NAPLAN didn’t happen this year due to COVID-19, however we will still be having our Progressive Achievement Testing (PAT) later this term to assess student growth in learning in mathematics and reading.

A reminder as well that our next School Closure day is Friday September 4th.  OSHC will be operating during the day for families who wish to access this service.

We are allowing a small number of activities, including, visiting scientists, authors speaking with a number of classes and a bike education program. Each of these has been thoroughly vetted with appropriate risk assessments completed.

Any activity that we arrange ourselves on school grounds, must comply with strict social distancing rules, health and hygiene and tracing records for every single visitor. Some of this has been a constant throughout this pandemic and is here to stay for some time. Because of this, we need to make some hard decisions about prospective gatherings related to our school.

In place of a Sports Day we will be having a series of activities for students only to participate in. It will in fact, look very much like our previous sports days in organisation. Hence for 2020, we will not be able to have any parents come on the day that we allocate for this. We are keen for students to still have a day of sports activities, which allows them to have a sense of normality, and also to engage in something that they all look forward to.

Woodend has traditionally celebrated all things Science, Technology, Engineering, The Arts and Mathematics (STEAM) with an emphasis on parent engagement.

This year our official STEAM Week will take place from Monday 12th – Friday 16th October (Term 4 Week 2). To abide by COVID-19 restrictions, this will be in the form of a virtual STEAM Week.  Students will undertake a STEAM investigation in class and these will be displayed for their class members, buddy class and/or year level to view.  There will be photos shared with families during the Expo day on 16th Oct, so that you don’t miss out on seeing the investigations.

As always, we encourage parents/carers to engage in a STEAM investigation with your child at home during the term 3 holidays and this can be displayed at school on the Friday Expo day.

We also invite parents/carers to share their STEAM occupations with their child’s class.  We will be able to set up a Zoom meeting.  Please let your class know if you would be willing to be involved.

It is full STEAM ahead for STEAM Week!

Each year we have had a Music Night to celebrate the work of our instrumental students, and this year we will be having this in a digital online format, rather than a face-to-face performance within the school. Information will come out in a later date.

The end of year graduation for year sevens, is it this stage scheduled to go ahead with yet to be determined processes for meeting the required guidelines. Fortunately we have a venue where we can have quite a large number of people safely in the one area, however we will be required to meet whatever the requirements are at that particular time.

In the meantime, we will continue to ask that you keep your child home if they show any cold like symptoms, no matter how mild. This includes a runny nose, cough, a temperature or if they are feeling ill in any way. If children do come to school with symptoms, then we will continue to contact parents to take them home and allow them to fully recover. We have noticed that this year by doing that, we have also had a significant decrease in the number of students who have truly become ill from their classmates illnesses.

We constantly review what we are required to do in relation to directions and advice from SAHealth and The Department, and that sometimes impacts on decisions that we need to make as a school throughout the year. I appreciate your understanding when we need to make the hard decisions, and the changes that this inevitably brings about. However, I see this as a temporary interruption which will change in the future. We all look forward to that time.

Thank you again for your support during this time. Together we will get through this and get to a point where we don’t need to have such restrictions in place.

Kind regards,

Steve Freeman