Seven weeks down and we've managed to hang in there without further illness thanks to the diligence of our community, parents, students and staff in keeping our school safe. The community's willingness to comply with arrangements such as keeping unwell children at home, maintaining social distance, studiously following hygiene rules with hand washing, covering coughs and sneezes and improved cleaning (that's a positive), have all contributed. Teachers are working their way back to normal lessons including reports and follow up phone conversations. Please take the opportunity to respond to the Skoolbag survey regarding reports and the follow up conversations as we seek to rebuild the vital close learning partnership.
As we head into Term 3, the opportunity to hold large gatherings is not yet available to us. Education Week in Week 3, will become a virtual "Learning Together" rather than the traditional assemblies and class visits. Children and teachers are planning to showcase how far our learning has come in a range of programs over the week with links sent to parents to be part of this. Thanks to the P&C for organising our virtual meeting on ZOOM, 107 people attended which was a record.
You will have also heard about new curricula and a back to basics approach coming to schools following a number of reviews into the crowded curriculum. Randwick teachers have placed developing sound Literacy and numeracy skills at the forefront of all their teaching; after all there is no secret that these are the building blocks for lifelong learning. We also believe that learning is within a broad based curriculum and a technologically advanced society as this adds depth and context to the learning. Prof. Geoff Masters on whose review the changes are based, also emphasizes the role schools have to play in building an optimistic, resilient society, unpinned by shared moral and ethical values that can bounce back from adversity. These will be our goals as we enter the second semester.
I encourage you to get into the outdoors during the holidays preferably in less populated spots. It encourages great problem solving and independence in children and costs little if you pack a picnic. I've enjoyed some great bushwalks with my grandchildren, even managing the National Pass to the bottom of Wentworth Falls on the weekend with my 8 year old grandson. Alexander even carried the back pack on the way up and paused to encourage me along the way.....and not a mention of a device all weekend. A nice getting to know you again before all their various extra activities begin.
Just a reminder about the new arrangements for Term 3 for afternoon pick up as we seek to reclaim a little more teaching time but still keep the school safe.
Parent/carer pickup/drop off must be maintained to ensure social distancing between adults who must not remain in the playground. Adult interaction is considered to be the highest risk factor.
· Drop off will remain as it is at the various gates.
· Afternoon parent/carer entry and exit only via Frances Street from 3pm.
· There will be no supervised pick up from Cowper St, only independent walkers via OOSH gate.
· Please do not remain on school grounds and exit immediately on pick up.
· Pick up points:
o Kindergarten- Netball courts (Wet weather- AMS COLA)
o Year 1 and 2- Hall COLA
o At the written request of a parent, K-2 students may be picked up by an older sibling for Kiss and Go or walk home. Please email or Seesaw your child's class teacher.
· Kiss & Go
o Commences at 3pm for all children and will go through until 3.15pm.
o If you have an older or mixed age children group please come from 3:10pm or have them meet you further away.
· Where there is a safe route, we strongly encourage children to walk part or all the way home to continue to build on the independence they are developing.
Tomorrow our SRC are holding a Mufti Day encouraging children to dress as an essential worker/local super hero so this excludes Superman, Spiderman etc. to recognise these people in our community.
As you may know two of our K-2 children are currently seriously unwell in Sydney Children's Hospital so any donations received on the day will support the Sydney Kids Cancer Foundation in recognition of the support they are giving our Randwick Students. Please help your child dress up simply for the day and bring along a donation.
A Positive Start to the Holidays
Mindful Practice for Kids: Come Back to the Positive – mindful.org
One way our brain keeps us safe is by staying very focused on whatever seems wrong or dangerous. Sometimes, it’s important to notice that kind of thing: Take care of yourself or find someone you trust to help. Other times, what happens instead is that we can't stop thinking about something we don't like. It can be hard to let go of that kind of thought. Sometimes, it takes practice to focus on the good stuff, too. Try out this eight-minute guided meditation for kids from Dr. Mark Bertin to help notice the positive:
1. Lie down somewhere comfortable. Let your arms and legs fall to the ground. Close your eyes gently.
2. Start to notice how your body changes with each breath you take. Each time you breathe, your belly moves up, and your belly moves down. If it is easier, put a hand on your belly. Or if you want, put a stuffed animal there.
3. Each time you breathe, your belly moves. Your hand, or your toy, rises, and then falls. See if you can count ten breaths that way. Breathing in, one, breathing out, one. (Repeat for nine more inhales, and nine more exhales.)
4. When you lose count, don’t worry about it. That’s normal, and happens to everyone. Come back to whatever number you last remember.
5. Now, shift your attention to your day. Breathing in, focus on your breath as your belly goes up. Breathing out, focus on something that went well today.
6. With each breath: breathing in, noticing your belly move, and with each breath out, noticing something that went well today.
7. Now, picture something about yourself that makes you proud. Breathing in, focus on your belly moving. Breathing out, picture something that makes you proud about yourself. If nothing comes to mind, that sometimes happens. If that’s how you feel, picture what you’d wish for yourself instead.
8. Finally, bring someone to mind who makes you happy. Before we end, try one more practice. Breathing in, notice your belly move. And now, breathing out picture someone who makes you happy.
9. As you come to the end of this practice, take a few deep breaths, and start to wiggle your arms and legs. Pause and decide what you’d like to do next.
10. It’s normal to have thoughts that make us feel scared or bad. We should never ignore anything important, but it’s useful to focus on the rest of our lives too. Take a few minutes every day to notice what has gone well, and see what happens next.