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Letter Home - Term 2, Week 10

Wow! What a term, what a semester! It has been with great joy to see all staff and students back at Penbank. Happy children, eager to be at school, is what motivates us and makes our day. It's been a short time to be together, but a good time!

All children did remarkably well during the lockdown period of the COVID-19. There were positive outcomes of the experience but also some pertinent revelations concerning the importance of friendships and connectedness.

This last fortnight, we have loved being with friends. 

Friendship was the theme of a recent School Meeting. We discussed friendship as a positive relationship that works both ways - someone you feel comfortable supporting and accepting, and someone you share a special bond of trust and loyalty. We all have friends in our lives. It can be a few friends; for others, it can be in a larger group. We all know that a true friend cares about you and treats others well – with respect, kindness, and lots of listening.

We have welcomed ten new children to Penbank since the return of all students. They have all settled in beautifully and welcomed with open arms. We look forward to welcoming their parent's next term.

For the staff, we are still needing to socially distance ourselves, so gathering together as a whole team is not possible. However, due to the kitchens in our learning spaces, we can socialise in small groups. Being outside with the kids has also helped. We have been blessed with good weather for this time of year. 

As for the children, seeing them explore their playgrounds while making the most of the variety of outdoor environments has been a treat. The chooks are overly loved, vegetable pickings have been in abundance, and cooking marshmallows in the Ngargee Ground campfires have been a real treat.

Bush School has also provided numerous adventures for our younger ones. Recommended to provide outdoor experiences during this time, the younger students have been accessing the outdoors as part of their investigation into their inquiry units.

In conjunction with National Reconciliation Week, Year 2s found inspiration from the outdoors when writing their Acknowledgement of Country. Year 1 students have been investigating the concept of migration and included the observation of birdlife in the school grounds into their inquiry. Involving all year levels, the beginnings of Bunjil's Nest is underway. We will look forward to an official gathering to commemorate the completion of this sculpture next term.

Achievements in Technology

There have been many personal achievements this semester. All students have well exceeded the level of ICT and Digital Learning. I especially congratulate Year 3 teacher Justin de Lacy who has completed the degree of Master of Education in Digital Learning. Congratulations!

Uniform

Thank you for your effort to support the new uniform. If you have not been able to update your child's uniform, this next holiday period is the ideal time to get the winter gear that is most necessary during the upcoming cold months. Please remember that black leather school shoes are the expected footwear, not colourful runners.

Reports and follow up P/T Interviews

Student Reports will be issued by email towards the end of this week. These mid-year reports have modified due to the online Continuous Learning Plan that represented the learning for a large proportion of the semester.  

If you require further discussion of your child's report, you can arrange a Zoom appointment with your child's teacher. You will receive information concerning these interviews in Week 1. These Parent/Teacher Interviews will be in Week 2, Term 3.

So, as we head into a mid-year break, it is with immense gratitude that I thank all members of the school community for your contribution in supporting the many changes required in managing the education for your children during the COVID-19 period. It has been extraordinary!

May the sunshine for you as you enjoy the next few weeks. Be safe, fair, and kind to all!

We will look ahead to a new reset next term.

VIVIENNE WEARNE
Deputy Principal – Head of Penbank Campus