Letter Home Term 3 Week 2

Welcome to Term 3! Although we have all come to terms with 'learn at home' schooling again, it's not what we anticipated. Grrrr! We were so delighted to finally welcome everyone back from the first lockdown during the last two weeks of Term 2, so it was very disappointing to hear the news during the holidays that we would again be in lockdown!

Thank you for your support

True to the school's community spirit, staff, parents, and students responded supportively to the return of the school's Continuing Learning Plan. This need to speedily re-work the CLP before the children returned was again, a challenging task for teachers but most appreciated.

This week, children and teachers returned to learning from home, which has become a familiar approach to learning. Although the CLP is not the preferred option, I know that everyone is doing their absolute best, given these most unusual circumstances. We can be grateful to staff for their expertise and ability to adapt during these rapidly changing times. We are also sincerely grateful to the many parents and students who have expressed their appreciation for our work and commitment to Woodleigh's education delivery.

Welcoming new students and families

Since returning to school following the first lockdown, we have welcomed 12 new children to Penbank. Considering this very unusual introduction to our campus, these children have settled in beautifully. Their classmates and teachers have warmly welcomed them. Our feathered friends in the chook pen, have also provided a most enjoyable place to gather. We look forward to introducing our new families to the school community as soon as possible.

We also welcome to our community, baby Sabine, the newest member of the Rochford family. Although we haven't met baby Sabine, Lacey's news is that they love the time together to enjoy a new baby in the family. Lacey, our ELG/4 Group teacher, will be excited to introduce Sabine to the children as soon as possible. We will wait patiently! Congratulations, Lacey, Dave, Frankie, and Ernie!

Holiday Fun!

Throughout the holidays, children and families had the opportunity to meet up with friends and take a holiday for some. Many families opted for escapes to warmer climates and bush environments where social distancing could still be maintained.

Our family enjoyed a few days in Mildura. We visited the Mungo National Park, which was fascinating. A feature of the national park is Lake Mungo, an ancient dry lake where the oldest human remains in Australia were discovered in 1974. Known as Mungo Man and Mungo Lady, they have since been ritually cremated and buried on Lake Mungo's shores. An exciting feature of the park is the series of lunettes that have been carved into spectacular formations comprised of sand and clay - very moon-like. I highly recommend a visit! We also enjoyed the wildlife in the Otways on our way home.

Holiday news is always a joy to share – several families have chosen to stay away to avoid the lockdown period in Melbourne - we are thinking of you too!

Parent/Teacher Interviews

As with the children's learning, Parent/Teacher Interviews held in Week 2 were conducted online via Zoom. This P/T interview aims to discuss the student reports parents received at the end of Term 2. I hope there were not too many difficulties managing this approach, and I thank all teachers and parents for communicating online. Most P/T interviews and PSGs (Parent Support Group) meetings should be concluded by the end of Week 4.  

Masks and Maintaining Protocols

Due to the mandated wearing of masks in public, you can expect to see teachers and staff members wearing masks. Children in primary school settings are not required to wear masks. However, a number of our children are choosing to do so, which is OK. As a school, we are doing our best to follow Government and Health Organisations' advice to ensure we are safeguarding our community as much as possible from the impact of COVID-19. I thank you for adhering to these most critical guidelines and protocols to protect our staff, children, and the broader community.

As we head into this 'iso' time, I thank all staff, children, and families for willingly embracing online learning, specifically the school's Continuous Learning Plan. We are deeply concerned for everyone's wellbeing and are mindful of the constraints that the COVID pandemic places on families and communities.

Whether at home, work, or school, our adherence to practicing social distancing and hygiene is paramount. I thank you for your support of our school's effort to keep everyone safe and healthy.

In the words of our latest School Meeting Song, Just keep going on!

Yours sincerely,

Deputy Principal – Head of Penbank Campus