Dear Parents, Friends, Staff and Students of St Catherine’s,
Welcome to the first edition of our school newsletter for Term 2.
It has been a strange experience beginning my time as principal with the current COVID-19 restrictions in place. It feels very unnatural to be meeting members of the school community without being able to shake hands, however I look forward to the weeks ahead in anticipation that gradually these restrictions will be lifted.
I am thrilled to have been appointed at St Catherine's and am looking forward to working in partnership with families, staff and students to build on the great work of the school into the future.
A little bit about me…
I am married with two children - Joshua, 14 and Harrison, 11. I started working in Catholic Education SA in 2005 after spending several years teaching overseas in London and Japan. Over the past ten years I have worked as an education consultant for Catholic Education SA as well as in Acting Deputy Principal, Head of Primary and Principal roles. For the past 18 months I was the Principal at Tenison Woods Catholic School, Richmond. I am confident that what we have to offer as Catholic school communities is life giving and meaningful for those students and families that choose us as a place to educate, nurture and grow young people.
I'd like to acknowledge and thank Erika for her leadership at St Catherine's last term. No one could have predicted the world events that were to take hold and she maintained the school’s direction throughout this time. I'd also like to thank all the staff for their commitment and flexibility in what have been challenging times.
This term we welcome Mrs Nikki Hall to St Catherine's. Nikki has been appointed as the Year 6 class teacher and I know she is looking forward to getting to know our senior students.
I've enjoyed visiting each of the classes this week to meet the students and have learnt already that many of the children love their outdoor spaces, being active and that the majority of families have several pets of some kind or another!
Term 2 Learning
This week, all classes have been engaged in an online mode of learning. The students have adapted extremely well and apart from a few internet or log in issues, all has gone smoothly.
Based on the parent survey results at the end of last term, we were expecting 30% of students to return to school this week. As you are aware the advice from CESA and SA Health changed late last week and students have been encouraged to return to school. On Wednesday we had 70% of students at school and so we are now reviewing how learning is presented moving forward as we transition to a face to face mode of learning again. I am very appreciative of the effort families have been making for those that are learning from home, especially in supporting their child to connect with the class teacher each day via SeeSaw, OneNote or Microsoft Office 365. Please remember to contact the school office if your child is not participating in learning on a particular day (whether at home or school) as we will follow our usual process of phoning regarding absentees.
If your child displays any symptoms of being unwell, please do not send them to school.
We continue with the current restrictions in place regarding parents/caregivers entering the school until further notice. We also are unable to hold large gatherings such as whole school assemblies, Masses or liturgies however are exploring ways to engage children in these events by streaming them internally to classes across the school with a class hosting the event.
Parent Teacher Interviews
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, parent teacher interviews were postponed last term. We have rescheduled these meeting times to week 5 this term which is the week beginning Monday 25th May. Parents will receive information about how to book a meeting time next week. Whether the meetings are offered as face to face or over the phone will depend on the health advice at the time.
New life has appeared in the form of 3 baby chicks which hatched in Cluckingham Palace late last week. The children are very excited about getting to meet these new additions.
The building works are progressing well. The new staffroom area has been completed and the new meeting rooms are just about ready for use. Each day there is a hive of activity and we now have the framework of the new classrooms as well as the beginnings of the undercover walkway. We are all looking forward to seeing the finished product towards the end of this term.
Kiss and Drop
As more students return to school and as the colder/ wetter weather sets in, I ask all families to exercise extreme care when using the kiss and drop zone at the front of the school. There should only be 3 cars between the yellow pedestrian crossings at a time and children should only enter/exit cars when they are between these yellow crossings. For everyone’s safety, please remember to use your handbrake when children are entering or exiting the car.
I am very much looking forward to getting to know the families, staff and students at St Catherine's. The coming weeks and months are going to require a great deal of flexibility, compassion and innovation and I'm sure the St Catherine's school values of Respect, Commitment, Sustainability, Honesty and Compassion, will provide a robust foundation on which to navigate the time ahead.
St Catherine's School