I am very excited to be writing this newsletter in what is planned to be the last one before our school community returns to some semblance of normality. In this newsletter we begin to turn our eyes forward to the year ahead as it newly stands, ironic to be saying that at the midpoint on the calendar but there it is.
- In the curriculum update, David will unpack the emerging directions in curriculum as a result of the impact on schools over the last three months.
- Vanessa, our school counsellor, will continue her focus on Wellbeing during the Covid Crisis in the Student Welfare Update.
- Lisa, our REC, will focus on the drawing from and relying upon our shared faith and the strength we find in prayer at such times in the RE Update.
- We continue to celebrate the balance of home and face to face learning in the Classroom Update.
- We celebrate great movement initiatives within the home and at school in the Sport Update.
We are nearly there
As posted on COMPASS on Wednesday this week, Corpus Christi Waratah will operate 3 full days of Face to Face teaching for each class in Week 5. The table below provides a guide on what this will look like at Corpus Christi Waratah
- The school remains open for all students who need to attend when they are otherwise not rostered for Face to Face teaching. On these days, the students will be supervised and supported to work on their home learning activities/packs.
- Given that there will the 3 days of Face to Face teaching in Week 5, we will provide only 2 days of home learning activities for the remaining part of the week.
- Wednesday will be the first day where there will be face to face teaching for all classes and hence we will have the full student body back on site. We will still not be able to assemble as a whole school but we are glad to have our classrooms full again.
- Wednesday will return as our normal Sports day and so students can wear full sports uniform on Wednesday. (See uniform Update below). We will have our specialist teachers (PE, Music and Library) providing students with learning in these areas on that day so it is great we will have all students on site accessing this.
A Full time resumption of Face to Face teaching and schools returning to a new, but fully operational normal is planned for Monday of Week 6, June 1st.
Some Pondering and Interesting Stats.
With the return of full time face to face teaching from Week 6 onward, we will resume some normalcy in the learning for all students at Corpus Christi. By no means does this mean that there has not been learning during this period and it is a credit to all our parents and teachers that we have been able to ensure a continuity of learning throughout the covid crisis.
There was and is little doubt that while we were in the thick of it, the situation became overwhelming and worries emerged about whether we were doing right by our kids, whether this will have a long term impact on their educational journey and whether they will ever be able to catch up what they may lose during this time. These are all very natural responses and one that I started to ponder myself as my boy struggled with home learning alongside Dad who was working from home. When you live something 24/7 it can seem bigger than it is.
First, I want to commit to every parent of our community that we are in partnership in the education of your children. It is our commitment to catch your kids wherever they land in this educational journey and continue to support them in their next steps. Bit by bit and together, the children will regain the ground, if any, that they have lost.
Getting back to the overwhelming intensity of the home learning context especially if trying to work at the same time. As I said, I started to ponder the situation myself and being who I am, it intrigued me to start doing some numbers about just how much of an impact this time has in the big picture. Whilst memorable for its strangeness and unique in the opportunity it afforded us to form some fairly important core memories, the numbers themselves don’t seem so overwhelming when looked at from a data perspective.
Admittedly, the table below only talks numbers and not the human face of the last 3 months, but I found it helped gain some grounding in the bigger picture. Admittedly, the impact at 40% seems significant across the completed teaching weeks so far this year but it gets smaller and smaller as we proportion this data across the semester, the whole year and the 7 years of Primary school. I don’t wish to diminish all that we have achieved over the last 3 months, only to assure parents that the rebuilding of any educational loss is not insurmountable. I found it helpful so thought I would add it for any interested.
% of total
School Weeks completed as of end of Week 5
79 (Good Friday not included)
Full Time Home Learning
5 (3 last term and 2 this term)
24 (Good Friday is not included)
Rostered Home Learning
3 (3 days for Weeks 3 & 4 and 2 days next week)
Total Home Learning as proportion of Completed weeks
Total Home Learning as a proportion of Semester 1 once completed
8 out of 21
32 out of 103
Total Home Learning as a proportion of whole year once completed.
8 out of 41
32 out of 203
Total Home Learning as a proportion of a 7 year learning journey.
8 out of 287
32 out of 1421
(203 x 7)
We continue to look forward toward the year to come and the learning that will follow. Yes, we have had some interruption but as David discusses in the Teaching and Learning update, our job now is to begin to plan for the best learning from the remainder of the year. To prioritise and adapt what was planned to what it will now become all the while ensuring the best next steps learning for each and every child. This will become our priority between now and the end of the the term as we transition students back to the classroom learning context. By keeping you updated in these endeavours, we look forward to continuing the partnership in education that, while always there, has evolved so strongly in recent weeks.
Have a great two weeks,
Despite the glorious days we are enjoying, the mornings continue to be frosty and especially chilly if there is a fog, damp or a wind blowing. As is tradition here, we offer families the option to transition from summer to winter uniform over the first few weeks of Term 2. This time has now passed and students will be required to wear the full winter uniform as of the beginning of next week, Monday, 25th May, 2020. Due to the fact that we will return to Wednesday Sport Day as of next week the Uniform expectation will be as follows.
- Monday - Full Winter Uniform
- Tuesday - Full Winter Uniform
- Wednesday - Sports Uniform
- Thursday - Full Winter Uniform
- Friday - Full Winter Uniform
I have attached the full winter uniform as summarised from the Policy for parent’s reference.
- It is especially important at this time of year where layers are removed and put back on, that every item of clothing be clearly labelled with your child’s name. We are continually picking up jackets, jumpers and hats without names. One child claims it is theirs because it has a particular faded tag or a slight mark on the sleeve. This is not a reasonable way to identify a jacket as one child’s over another nor would it result it in being return quickly as it would otherwise be sent straight to lost property to hide for days or weeks on end. Similarly, if you have a second hand jacket with a child name who has graduated, please re-name it.
- We are currently transitioning a small change to the girl’s winter uniform in the primary grades. Last year and this year, students have the option to remove the pinafore portion of the winter tunic, wearing instead just the skirt, tucked-in shirt and tie. We will not be fully transitioned to this as a uniform policy expectation until 2021 so the choice remain with parents for this year.
- The uniform shop has acquired and stocked up on suitable green pants as an option for the girls during winter. Pants sourced from elsewhere can be too similar to tights or tracksuit pants which is not equitable to the style of pants we expect of the boys. If this is the option for your child, we ask parents to organise the pants through the uniform shop.
- Socks in winter are often discussed. Previously these were stipulated to be white and I can only assume this was because the children wear white socks in summer so the same can be worn in winter. Having said that, parents often ask if black or grey socks can be worn under the grey (boys) or green (girls) pants. This seems reasonable if it is preferred but only for the winter time – summer, reverts back to white. Please do not allow any other colours (especially the bright patterned ones) as these unfairly draw attention to a child who is not wearing the uniform as asked.
- Socks are only an option for girls if they wear the green pants. All skirts/pinafores must be accompanied with the stockings. In addition to the matter of equity of the boys not being able to wear shots, it is also a matter of bare legs in winter creating unnecessary risk of picking up a chill.
Cleaning, Hygiene and Safe Pick up Routines Recap.
Below is a recap of the measures we put in place from Week 3 as we began the transition back to school. These will continue for the next two weeks. We will continue to update these each newsletter.
Cleaning Practices and Routines
At the conclusion of any break time, students will follow a routine of mandatory and supervised washing of hands. One class at a time. While this will slightly delay the transition to classroom learning, we are confident that this expectation will allows students to interact with playground equipment freely when they are playing. Classrooms will have hand sanitiser for continued vigilance during each session.
Teachers have access to disinfectant spray to wipe the desks and common use areas down at least once a session. Each classroom will be thoroughly cleaned by Rebecca, our school cleaner, at the conclusion of each day.
The toilets will continue to be cleaned twice daily for the next two weeks at least.
Dropping off and Picking Up Routines
We want to thank parents who have supported these routines to date. It has been of significant help. We are asking parent's continued support in adhering to some fairly strict routines for pick up and drop off.
- We ask that no parent or carer come onto the school site further than the front office. Even if you need to attend the Uniform Shop, please report to the office and a staff member will direct you straight to the hall where you will wait to enter the Uniform Shop via the hall stage (and not the usual playground stairs).
- A staff member will assist parents dropping off younger children at the front gate. If they are hesitant to walk into school on their own, we will have our senior students/buddies walk with them to the classroom and help them to find a group of peers to play with for the morning. Think of our front gate as a kiss and drop area.
- Similarly in the afternoon, we ask that no parent comes onto the school site to await dismissal. We will assist parents as quickly as possible by having the students ready and assembled in the undercroft at 2.45. We will begin to call names out as soon as is reasonable from that point.
- Parents are asked to observe social distancing recommendations if congregating outside of the school.
- Parents who arrive for pick up by car in the 5 minute zone, please stay in the car and staff will assist students to and into the car.
- We are happy to support parents who might choose to delay pick up by 5 – 10 minutes to avoid the rush. We understand that this may extend the afternoon dismissal period but know it would alleviate some of that pressure at the 2.50 pick-up time.
Kindergarten Enrolments Open for 2021
A reminder to all parents that we are starting to form our Kindergarten Cohort for 2021. We would normally be organising onsite tours and in June we'd begin interviews of each family to talk about their education journey so far and begin the conversation about transition to "big school" next year. While the Covid crisis has delayed some of the face to face contact (although I do hope June opens up a few opportunities) we have built up a bank of resources and information for families considering enrolment in our our school for next year. It is located under the Enrolment tab of our school website. We have even made a virtual tour of our school and have provided the link below for anyone who'd like to see our school in the "virtual" world. Many thanks to Steve Newman from the Digital Innovation and Learning Team at the CSO for his assistance in developing this great resource for our school.
Mainly this notice is for existing families with siblings who will need to enrol next year to do so at this time to ensure we are holding the place in the new cohort. It is also a call out to any families wishing to spread the word to the neighbouring families with upcoming Kindergarten students to let them know we are open and accepting enrolment applications at this time. Maybe even direct them to the website with the information packs and video links under the Enrolment Tab.
Hello again parents and carers.
This week, I have prepared a slide show to introduce the children to feelings and emotions.
Like for adults, any emotion that children feel can sometimes become “too big” and make it hard for them to manage their bodies and behaviour (e.g., yelling, stomping, crying). When children can recognise that they are starting to feel a “big emotion,” it will help them learn to control it. A feelings thermometer is a great way for children do this. It can help children understand the intensity of their feelings and to express these feelings to others.
There are some optional activities for the children to complete – it would be great if you could help them.
Attached is a PDF with some further information on Children’s Mental Health including feelings and behaviour https://parenting.sa.gov.au/pegs/peg30.pdf
In the next newsletter we will begin to explore worries and how we might deal with some of them.
We Are All One Family
As we prepare to return to a more normal, but still different, life at Corpus Christi, it is time to take stock and reflect on lessons learned these periods of change.
- What does it mean to be part of a Catholic school community?
- What support has been offered that may not have been available otherwise?
- What have we learnt about collaboration?
- What have we learnt about ourselves?
- What would we have thought was not possible before this challenge?
Coming back together is exciting, but can also be overwhelming for some students so be patient and
turn to God and prayer during this time to offer comfort and guidance. At Corpus Christi we see ourselves as one large family. Our role is to focus on supporting students, families and community, particularly those who are vulnerable and under pressure at this time.
As educators our staff have worked to nurture an effective learning community in creative and innovative ways, hopefully enabling families to remain connected, supported and grounded in Catholic faith.
New teaching pedagogy has included; sharing of photos, online assemblies, virtual liturgies, Easter messages, teaching videos, student achievements, work samples, class zoom meetings and the establishment a Home Learning School Website!
As a staff we strongly believe this has contributed to creating an engaged,
learning focused and a well-being, child and family centred community. As a supportive network of families and staff we have collaboratively to provide the very best of opportunities for our students, throughout a complex and challenging period.
Embedding strong Catholic principles and displaying commitment and compassion, has meant our students, families, staff and community relationships have remained strong during this time and
strengthened our sense of faith and family. As we move towards bringing our Corpus Christi family back together again, we should all look back and be proud of our collaborative efforts and achievements!
A Child's Prayer
Thank you for my teacher.
She is nice and funny and smart.
She could be doing lots of
other jobs. But I guess she
wants to teach kids like me. I
think that is great. Please
give lots of good blessings to
my teacher. And help all of
her students to be good and
to pay attention. Amen
We all need to remember this during this time, so here area few ideas to ...Balance Work and Family Life...
6 ways to leave the stress of work behind
1. Save some of your imagination and creativity for your family.
Life as a family is a great adventure that gets better as you put more positive energy into it.
2. When you leave work, leave the work behind.
Don’t replay the events of the day imagining what you should have said or done. Focus on the moment and enjoy the blessings of family life.
- Be multidimensional.
You are more than your job. Make sure that you cultivate each part of your life—home, parish, work, community, and self.
- Share stories about work with your family.
Doing so will help your family to understand a major part of your life and will show your children how to be persons of character on the job.
5. Treat your family members with respect.
You treat co-workers professionally and respectfully. Why shouldn’t your family benefit from that same treatment at home?
- Practice teamwork.
Don’t try to be super-mum or super-dad at home. Ask your family members for better ways of handling situations. Share responsibility and welcome participation in both the chores and the fun of family life.
Mrs Lisa York
Religious Education Coordinator (Acting)
Tuning in and Adapting
Welcome to a new, yet well considered chapter in the education of our children. Outcomes and content; ‘what we have done,’ ‘what we are doing’ and ‘what will happen in the future.’
The staff at Corpus Christi, have been very proactive in disseminating appropriate content/outcomes for delivery with the children. Keeping families up to date with this, is one of our highest priorities. The family unit plays such an important role in supporting their child's education. Research has shown that when schools and families work together, children do better, stay in school longer, are more engaged with their schoolwork, go to school more regularly, behave better, and have better social skills.
The staff have shown an amazing level of commitment and professionalism to provide quality Home Learning tasks, whilst adhering to NSW Education Standards Authorities (NESA) guidelines. Tailoring and selecting outcomes,
that would be suitable for a home learning environment, has been a very rewarding challenge. To then see the growth in the children, their wellbeing and their proven adaptability, has been fantastic. In so many ways, it proves to us, how well the teachers and you as parents/carers, ‘got it right.’
As mentioned earlier NESA is responsible for the NSW curriculum. This mandated curriculum is designed to equip students for their place in the Australian society. When home isolation began, schools were instructed to select those outcomes that would best suit the current situation of Home Learning in isolation. With the perceived complexities that could potentially arise in the Home Learning Environment the staff of Corpus Christi chose very carefully outcomes that best met the children’s needs. Tasks that were independent, designed to build upon prior knowledge.
Now with partial school attendance and classes back at school 2 days a week, the teachers have reviewed their choice of outcomes and content to now be deliver more explicit instruction, with face to face instruction. We have been fortunate that our staff have chosen to commit to videoing and zooming the children ensuring that children had the best opportunity for success with greater access to direct instruction.
Into the future, the staff of Corpus Christi are planning to review their Scope and Sequence once again. When school resumes in some normalcy, the teachers will prioritize the outcomes and content for the remainder of the year. We aim to share this with you before the end of this term.
Rest assured that the staff at Corpus Christi will do all that is possible to keep you up to date and ‘in-tune’ with your child’s education.
Have a great week.
Transition from Home to School Learning
Thank you to families for once again giving us a snapshot into what home learning has looked like in your home this fortnight! As we transition to school and home learning, please enjoy this mix of valuable opportunities our students have experienced in both learning environments!
During this particularly busy transition phase, remember to nurture the mind, body & soul…… This could be things like journals, listening to motivational podcasts, mindfulness, mediation, prayer, yoga, puzzles or board games, reading for leisure, regular movement, play and exercise, consistent sleep, prepare a meal, social check-ins with friends and family and a daily dose of sunlight.
Getting Moving at Corpus Christi and at Home.
All classes are studying different ways to move and to get active as ways to activate the brain and access wellbeing breaks. Anyone that has taken a walk in the brisk morning air can attest to the power of even the shortest breaks to energise one's mind and focus for the next period of time. Below are two ways that Corpus Christi are starting to do just this. The first is a video from our Year 6 Sports leaders who were tasked to capture some of their movement breaks at home and the second is a video of just one way that we are doing this at school. The school based movement activity has emerged as students are waiting for their turn to wash their hands before commencing their learning each morning. Rather than have the students simply standing there the teachers, led my Mrs K, decided we might as well get them moving. Classes move off mid-song when it is their turn to wash hands and then the learning begins