St Andrews PS Newsletter

24th of April 2020

Principal News

As I opened today's newsletter and saw our school values lingering in the top banner, they couldn't seem more relevant. Throughout the past month we have all seen first hand the effects of being a part of such a caring community, looking out for and supporting our neighbours. We've had to be courageous on so many new fronts and we've all been handed the unforseen opportunities to take on new responsibilities within the new remote learning adventure. 

I want to thank each and every one of you for taking this new venture head on, with positivity, honesty, resilience and peseverence. Times like these make me thankful for being a part of our small but amazing community, and so proud of how each person within our community has pulled up their socks and worked hard over the last two weeks (five weeks for teachers) to create a remote learning experience that works for us all. 

To the students - I want to thank you for trying your best, giving new things a go, being patient with your teachers and parents, and bringing joy to us all each day!

To the parents (and precious family member helpers) - well done!! Two weeks done. Thank you for working alongside us and being patient with us while we work out how to do this. We have been working very long days to get this up and running and are looking forward to providing new and revised programming for you and your children to enjoy at home. 

To the staff - I cannot thank you enough for your time, effort, resilience, creativity and outstanding persistence that you have shown during this trying time. I'm so proud of you all and cannot wait to continue to develop, create and innovate alongside you over the coming remote learning journey. 

We have been recieveing a lot of feedback from students and famillies over the past two weeks and we've used this while revising and planning our new program for the next two weeks. We thank you for your patience and remind you that these past two weeks were planned without guidance, at the drop of a hat, so we hope that we've resolved many of your concerns with the new lessons that you will have recieved today. 

I'm endevouring to get around to checking in with each family each week so please, if you have any feedback, ideas, changes or issues, please let us know and we'll help where we can. I'll just remind you all to be patient with us too. We don't have a perfect program to work towards so we're just trying to work towards tweaking and improving our planning each week to work for each household and child. 

Thank you for creating spaces for your children to learn and work alongside your children each day. We've heard of some amazing structures and innovations within households that make us so happy that you have been able to take what we've provided for you and make it your own, to fit your home and your family. If you need to rearrange your day, tweak an activity or get inspiration to innovate, go ahead, enjoy your learning with your child. We've provided you with guidelines, activities and suggestions, if you want to create, go ahead. just keep us in the loop ;)

We don't know what the new few weeks have in store for us and we all know that our lives are going to be uncertain and changing in the time ahead. Please know that we are here to support you. If you return to work and your kids cannot be supervised for schooling, we are here to help you. If you need our support, please get in touch via the school email,, and let us know If your children need to return to school for a day or even a few hours, we just have a few simple steps to follow.

Psychologist Available

St Andrews Primary School is pleased to inform parents that we are working in partnership with Shine Bright Psychology, to provide convenient and affordable, onsite psychological counselling services for all students of our school. These services attract no out of pocket expense, as they are Medicare bulk billed services. All students at St Andrews Primary School will now have access to our onsite psychologist.

Children will be able to access this treatment service where they have a referral from a General Practitioner (GP). The referral completed by the GP is known as a mental health treatment plan. A mental health treatment plan allows a child to access an initial 6 sessions of treatment; and with a GP review, up to 10 sessions of Medicare funded psychology sessions each year.

Once a mental health treatment plan has been provided by a GP, the parent and child can book an initial session at the first available and most convenient time. An initial appointment can be scheduled by contacting  Hayley.

Happy 8th Birthday Jarvis!!

We're happy to be within happy birthday to Jarvis for Wednesday! Our first ISO School birthday! He told us this is a picture of him having pancakes with choc chip icecream, maple syrup and raspberries. He said it was the best birthday EVER!!!

We'd like to send a virtual happy birthday to all those of you who have enjoyed a birthday in self isolation recently. 

Send in your birthday pics if you'd like to be featured in the next newsletter :)

Happiness in Isolation

With so much chaos around us it's important to recognise the positive moments in our days. We've had many within our St Andrews community and I've popped some pics in below for you to enjoy. 

Carla and Lily, Felicity and Evelyn are both doing well. 

I managed to sneak in our wedding before the lock down. 

Our Computer Technician Locky welcomed his daughter Mishita into the world. 

Nat's family welcomed a new addition as well. A beautiful pup by the name of Fritz. 

Our Taranto family were also happy to welcome a new younger sister for Adele and Hugo, Maeve, last week! Congratulations!

Some special moments to celebrate

Learning News

Remote Learning - Advice for Parents

Well we're two weeks in and haven't we learned a lot! Again, well done on working with your teacher, family and children through this new venure we're on. 

We've had a lot of questions and feedback over the past week and I want to remind you of a few things.

For students in Prep to Grade 2, schools will provide learning programs that include the following:

·         literacy activities that take a total of about 45-60 minutes

·         numeracy activities of about 30-45 minutes

·         additional learning areas, play-based learning and physical activity of about 30-45 minutes.

For students in Grades 3 to 6 and Years 7 to 10, schools will provide learning programs allocated as follows:

·         Literacy: 45-60 minutes

·         Numeracy: 30-45 minutes

·         Physical activities: 30 minutes

·         Additional curriculum areas: 90 minutes

Teachers have allocated the activities for you to undertake but it's up to you to structure your day. If you'd like to mirror your day similar to school, we'd recommend the following structure. 

9amLiteracy activity
9:45amBrain break outside with fruit
10:45am'Recess' time
11:15amAdditional Learning Activities
12noonLunch and Play
1pm onwardsOther Additional Learning Activities and PE

Many students are also ensuring that they are up, in their school uniform, ready to go for learning at their desk at 9. We recommend setting up a quiet space for your child to learn during the day.

If you find that an activity is too hard or too easy, let your teacher know but use your intuition with your child. If they need a break, encourage it. If they need to put a bit more effort in, remind them of that too. We want this to be a positive learning experience for all households so please, feel free to follow your intution. We cannot replicate the classroom and we do not expect you to. 

Being a new and challenging time for all of us, we've created a School Facebook page, called STAPS Community, for us to communicate and problem solve together, with the aim or bringing us closer in this isolating time. Join our closed group to see what other parents are doing and share and problems that we can solve together. 

Learning from home

ABC ME - TV for Learning

Not sure what to do with the kids? Things not going your way? ABC ME have developed an entirely new program to cater for parents at home with their school kids. Check out the new schedule for what they have on over the next fortnight

Letter from the Secretary of Education

The Importance of learning from home

Department of Education and Training Secretary Jenny Atta has prepared a letter for principals to send to their school communities, about the importance of learning from home.

The letter states that – on the advice of the Victorian Chief Health Officer – all children who can learn from home, must learn from home, to help slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).

The letter is clear that on-site school attendance is available only as a last resort, when children cannot be supervised at home.