From the Principal

Welcome Back Reflection

When we returned to school at the end of January, we thought that the worst the year had to offer us had finally passed. The bush fires were finally under control when the rains came. Those too seemed to have settled and some riverbeds which have been dry for several years were starting to get a healthy flow. And then, the coronavirus hit us and changed the way our world functioned.

I know I am older than all of you so it seems even more remarkable that this is the first time in my lifetime churches have been closed, funerals limited to ten mourners and Easter and Anzac Day celebrated at home through remote transmissions.

Easter is traditionally the time even the most sporadic church attendees practice their faith in community. Parish Priests look out over full churches and hope that some attending may make it a habit this time. I dropped Easter eggs to the front door for my grandchildren on Easter Sunday. It felt peculiar.

My hope is that we will continue to observe reasonable restrictions on social contact, not extreme but enough to ensure we stay healthy and safe and don’t have to revisit lockdown again. I know that this has been tough on you all and I hope that you can see some light at the end of the tunnel. Please contact us if there is anything we can do to help you. Fee relief information is available on our school website.

Enrolments 2021

I am in the process of interviewing new families for Kindergarten 2021 on Saturdays until early June. We currently have 85 enrolments and will be taking 3 kindergarten classes. The Catholic Schools Office has committed to arrange for any structural changes needed, to be completed before school returns next year.

I am also trying to collect concrete numbers for 2021 across the whole school but most importantly for Year 4 2021 which is the area with which we always have difficulty. If your child is in Year 4 this year please complete the google form sent out on Friday and resent to Year 4 non- responders yesterday morning.

Charitable Works Fund

The Charitable Works Fund (CWF) of the Diocese of Broken Bay provides funds to five charities that help the people in our local communities.

One of the charities is the CatholicCare Hospital Chaplaincy and Pastoral Care Practitioner Program that provides pastoral assistance to patients and their families in hospitals on the Central Coast, North Shore and Northern Beaches. Reflecting on their work,
Bishop Anthony recently wrote:

 “For many in our hospitals, particularly with the restriction on hospital visitors, this can be a time of anxiety and loneliness. While our CatholicCare Pastoral Care Practitioners are not able to sit at the bedsides as they would normally do, they are on the phone to patients, praying with them and providing the support of our faith.” (27 April)

Please find a link to video stories of people who have benefited from this work. More information and donations can be made online via www.givenow.com.au/cwf.

Staff Development Day July 3 (Pupil Free Day)

The CSO has called a diocese wide pupil free day on the last day of the term July 3, for our new Interim Diocesan Director, Danny Casey, to share plans for the future with all staff.

Due to the moratorium on the hiring of casuals we will not be able to offer childcare for the day. I will however contact Camp Australia to see if they can offer care on the day.

Semester 1 Reports and Parent Teacher Meetings

You are probably thinking that reports may not happen this semester due to the unusual attendance and curriculum offering provided through HBL.

Despite all of those issues, New South Wales Education Authority (NESA) have confirmed that Semester 1 Reports should be provided but the contents of the report need to reflect what has been taught by teachers and for this purpose can be limited to English and Mathematics. The CSO has added Religious Education to the requirements as you would expect.

We will not be using the five-point grading scale, instead using a three-point scale:

  • Working towards
  • Working at
  • working beyond

In general it will be a simpler report, sent home on Monday Week 10, which will be followed as usual by Parent Teacher Interviews, Tuesday to Thursday Week 10.