Scotts Head Public School Newsletter

Term 1 | Week 11 | 7 April 2020

Principal's Column

Hello, Giinagay, Hai

Dear Parents and Carers

While the focus at the moment has been on learning continuity for your child, we are also concerned for our students’ health and wellbeing, as well as your family.

We would like to thank everyone for your kindness and support, especially all the families which are keeping their students at home.

Let’s keep focusing on bringing out our Personal Best. BEST stands for - bringing everyone’s strengths together! That is just what we are doing from afar in order to serve our most important assets – your children!

This is a marathon not a sprint.

I want to thank our staff, teaching and non-teaching, for all their professionalism this term prior to Covid-19 and especially over the last two weeks. The speed in which staff engaged with technology, to create engaging online learning opportunities for students has been nothing short of remarkable.

The amount of energy invested in changing their teaching practice, the thought that has gone into helping students and their parents to engage in online learning and the persistence of staff in attempting to connect with students as often as possible, concerned for their wellbeing and progress has been incredible.

If ever we needed evidence of how students are known, valued and cared for in our schools, the last few weeks have clearly demonstrated this. 

On Thursday afternoon, put all school books away and enjoy the holidays.

Re: Covid-19 and Term 2

While we are unsure what the next couple of weeks may bring, at this stage I can inform you that there will be no change to our school’s operation at the beginning of Term 2 2020. That is:

  • We will continue to provide online learning for all our students
  • Our doors will remain open for the children of essential services personnel
  • We will continue to encourage parents who are non-essential services employees to keep their children at home if possible, to alleviate the risk of Covid-19 infection to our staff and the students who are, by necessity, at school. However, if these children must come to school, they will be warmly welcomed
  • Students who attend school will be supported to engage with the same online learning as students who are not at school
  • Staff will seek to make contact with all students each week, to check on their progress and wellbeing.

Should there be any change to the way our school will operate at the commencement of Term 2, I will make contact with you prior to 27 April 2020 via our school website/Facebook page/Skoolbag.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Thank you for your continued support. Please don’t hesitate to call me on 65698144.

Thanks, yaarri yaraang, terima kasih.

Bu Gillian

Gillian Stuart - Principal

Update from the Department of Education

If you have not formally advised that your child will not be attending school for the remainder of the term, please contact the school with this information.

Below please find the latest update from the Department of Education regarding School Operations.


Are schools open?

Advice first published at 6:35pm on 23 March 2020

All NSW public schools are open. Parents and carers are encouraged to keep their children home if possible.

The department has set up educational provisions to help students learn at home. All students, whether they are on or off campus, will continue to learn and will be provided with the same tasks to complete.

This decision has been made as part of the Government's ongoing approach to social distancing in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Has the health advice changed?

Advice first published at 6:35pm on 23 March 2020

No. Health advice remains the same, this is about taking extra precautions and supporting parents take practical measures and self-distancing continues.

Why is there still an option to send students to school?

Advice first published at 6:35pm on 23 March 2020

The NSW Government is taking additional measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 through the community. To do this, parents and carers are strongly encouraged to keep their children home if possible.

Some people may not be in a position to provide supervision to their children at home. This could be because they are delivering frontline services to the community. It is therefore important supervision of their children is prioritised and provided by their school to ensure they can continue to carry out their work and support the continued function of society.

When will schools resume normal operations?

Advice first published at 6:35pm on 23 March 2020

Online learning will continue until the end of Term 1. A decision about whether schools will return to normal operations after the holidays will be taken in line with the latest advice from Government and we will keep the community informed.


Which students should still be attending their school?

Advice first published at 6:35pm on 23 March 2020

Parents and carers are strongly encouraged to keep their children home if possible. Any student whose parents or carers are not able to appropriately supervise their children at home should continue to attend school.

It may also be appropriate that children and young people with additional vulnerabilities continue to attend school.

HAVE FUN LEARNING INDONESIAN! (Nikmatilah belajar Bahasa Indonesia!)

This term, Pak Mur is teaching three new Indonesian songs across the school. It is a great way to practice the language with authentic texts and really improve pronunciation. Here are the links to the songs for anyone who want to try some karaoke at home!


1. Ambilkan Bulan  - Kinders

2. Jangan Takut Gelap - 1/2 and 2/3/4

3. Bento - 4/5 and 5/6

And for any students who are new to the school and would like to try some extra activities to catch up, try the free website or App called 'Languages Online' by the Vic government. It has heaps of songs and games to learn the basics like greetings, numbers, colours and talking about friends and family.


Online Resources from Nambucca Valley Council Libraries

Nambucca Valley Council Libraries have compiled a list of Online Learning Activities which we thought you may be interested in. These are also on their library website along with access to eBooks, eAudio, eMagazines and online databases.



Talk – Use these sites to describe, question, guess, compare, explain, marvel, choose.

  • Talk about all the exhibitions.
  • What do they think the items are?
  • Who might have used them and what could they have been used for?
  • What colours can they see?
  • Count and sort items in groups.
  • Which are their favourites?
  • Have they seen anything like it before? When? Where?
  • What are the animals doing?
  • Why do they think they might be doing that?
  • What do they like to eat?

Don’t worry too much about facts. Let language flow and imaginations run wild.


EXPLORE THE WORLD with Virtual Excursions!

To places like museums, galleries, The White House, parks, Disney Land and many others:

The White House -

The British Museum -

The Louvre France -

Google Arts & Culture -

Disney World -

The San Diego Zoo -

Yellowstone National Park -

Melbourne Zoo -

Taronga Zoo -



Great for relaxation and quiet time if you can find any of the books in hard copy to read along with that is even better!

Listen to an Astronaut read a story from space -

AUDIBLE has free audio books for children to listen to -

SCHOLASTIC has some Ebooks and other resources (some of which are free) -

Folktales from around the world -

Classic Childrens Stories -

Stories written by Kids for Kids -

Favourite kids books read by famous people -

Oxford Owl -

ABC Kids Listen -

National Geographic Young Explorers -

Baby Karaoke -


Play, Make, Do & Learn

Science activities -

Play games and learn all about animals -

Math and Reading games -

Fun games, recipes, crafts, activities -

Educational games K-12 -

Daily free science or cooking experiment to do at home -

Explore the surface of Mars -

Geography and animals -

Cultures and countries of the world -

An interactive way to learn history -

Helps kids learn to appreciate the arts -

National Zoo to the Smithsonian Learning Lab right to their screen -

National Geographic Games -


SplashLearn -

Ology - 

Amazing Space -

How Stuff Works -

CrashCourse -

Smithsonian for Kids -

PBS Kids -

ABC Education -

Duolingo -

Disney Junior -

Knowledge Adventure -

Wonderopolis -

ABCya -

Brain POP -

TED Talks -

Hello Kids -

School Counsellor Support at SHPS

Seven Steps Program

The Seven Steps to Writing Success program has a link for parents:

The parents' page includes:

  • a video introducing the Seven Steps
  • a brief description of each of the Seven Steps
  • downloadable PDFs with samples, tips and a simple activity for every Step.

Class Dojo's

All classes across the school are communicating with students and parents via the app DoJo. This will be our main source of communication with parents and we are aiming for 100% of students being connected this way across the school. Everyone should have got instructions in their student packages on how to set this up on your device.

If you need some help setting this up, please contact the school.

Letters to Parents and Carers

Article Published on the Guardian News website - April 1, 2020

How our schools are coping in this 'brave new world'

It's now the second school week since NSW students were told they should stay at home unless they absolutely had to come to school.

NSW Teachers Federation president Angelo Gavrielatos said recent figures suggested a 75 per cent absentee rate across NSW state schools amid the coronavirus crisis.

Locally our schools are recording attendance rates between five and 10 per cent, with figures fluctuating day to day.

Bowraville Central School principal Dave Taylor said no students came through the gates on Monday morning. It was the same on Tuesday.

"But I'd rather the kids do come in and just touch base - they need to come in if they can," he said.

Scotts Head Public School principal Gillian Stuart said around 10 per cent of their kids were physically attending school - "the majority have parents who are frontline workers".

When we spoke with some of our Valley10 principals this week it was clear the past few weeks had been having a dramatic impact on their staff, students, parents and on them personally.

In a few days education was turned on its head.

Macksville High School principal Erica Lyne

"And we don't know how long this is going to last."

"Noone knows what the future looks like," Dave Taylor said.

"I think it's hard for everyone right now," Nambucca Heads High principal Simon McKinney said.

"But we're all very appreciative we still have jobs. Staff are all doing regular check-ins with one another."

"Most of our kids love coming to school and I think they're struggling. It's certainly an adjustment for parents. But I think people have adapted really well," Gillian Stuart said.

Each school has prepared learning packs for their students, and most have started to transition to online learning via Google Classroom, and other educational apps and websites. Many have also started using Zoom video conferencing for face-to-face learning.

For the Scotts Head crew, this transition has been made smoother with previous online learning experience.

They are an official Bilingual Primary School - one of only four in the state, and the only regional school. Each week students have a four-hour online lesson in either maths, science or physical education (PDHPE) with a teacher in Indonesia, through the Bahasa Indonesia program.

"This is our eleventh year in the program and we've been using Zoom for a couple of years now," Ms Stuart said.

Bowra Central has been trying to "keep things fun". Every day at 3pm a different teacher has been reading a book to students through the magic of Facebook Live.

Watch Mr Watson read 'Pig the Grub':

"I think this was about the kids seeing our faces - we really miss them, so we imagine they might be missing us too. And the stories have been getting quite a few views each day," Mr Taylor said.

They've also been using Facebook to upload examples of how their students are using real-world scenarios to learn the usual syllabus. Today featured a video on 'pancake fractions'.

"And we're going to have our Easter Hat Parade anyway - we're asking students to create their hats at home and upload a photo of themselves. We're trying to keep things positive," Mr Taylor said.

Meanwhile on school grounds, there are fewer teachers now, with "flexible staffing arrangements" in place.

"But we've been struggling to keep staff away - they really want to be here," Mr Taylor said.

Teachers have been trying to keep the team morale up by engaging in working bees: gardening, mowing, painting, and other handyman jobs.

"Everyone loved that - getting stuck in and not having to think about anything," Mr Taylor said.

It's hard to believe there's a crisis when you look out over the beautiful Valley we live in.

But there have been significant challenges, internet connectivity being one of them. Making sure all kids have the same access to learning is a current priority, with the school hoping to receive a package of laptops and wifi dongles this week to share with students most in need.

Week one's focus for NSW schools was transitioning to online and remote learning.

Week two's focus has been about connectivity.

"Staff have each been given a list of students to check in on. Preferably twice a week staff will make contact with each student," Mr McKinney said.

Anecdotally, that phone call has meant a world of difference to many of the school's students and their parents.

Other schools around the Valley are doing the same.

"The biggest issue is disconnect - not seeing friends and losing that connection with the school," Mr McKinney said.

"I want the students to know that this is about their wellbeing and their future. And don't stress - there's more important things at the moment to get through than schoolwork."

He said 2020 will "never be forgotten as an HSC year" but the government has assured this year's cohort of HSC students they will not miss out.

Each principal we spoke with was effusive in praise for their staff.

"There's just so much going on here at the school. Teachers are stepping up in this brave new world," Ms Lyne said.

"They're learning day by day, they're upskilling, exploring new and different ways to teach. We may even keep some of these new ways of learning when everything goes back to normal.

I'm just so proud of everyone and I'm in constant awe of my staff.

Ms Lyne said the feedback she's been receiving is that students are coping well with the changes.

"I'm probably more worried about the parents," she said.

Ms Stuart, too, is concerned about the school's parents.

"As this goes on, I think parents will need more support. Next week that's my focus. I want to check in with each parent before Easter holidays and just make sure they put the books away so they can have a break and be ready for next term," she said.

"Who knows, if the curve flattens we might be back by then."

School News & Parent Information

Our Murals

Community Notice Board

Stuarts Point Art House - Workshop Update

All Stuarts Point Art House workshops held at the All Saints Anglican Church Hall will be cancelled until further notice.

Weaving will be held at Stuarts Point Oval on Monday 4-5pm

Stuarts Point Art House will be streaming workshops through Instagram (Stuartspointart) and Facebook (Stuarts Point Art House).

Check us out on social media!

Koala Action Day

General Notices

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