Huge congratulations go to all of our children who participated so enthusiastically in last week’s Stage 1 Sports Day. The sun shone and it was a really enjoyable day for all involved. I was especially impressed with the spirit of participation and collaboration on the day. Special thanks goes to Miss Ritlop and the Stage 1 team who coordinated the event. We appreciate all of your efforts.
Summer Uniform Reminder
This week we have started a short cross-over period between winter and summer uniform. This means that during the next 3 weeks children can wear either their winter or summer uniform. All children are expected to be in their summer uniform on the first day of Term 4.
Kindergarten 2021 Orientation Program
The team are currently working behind the scenes in preparation for a COVID-19 safe Kindergarten transition program. Current advice is that orientation programs are on hold which means that we have had to cancel our playgroup session scheduled for later this term. As an alternative we are creating some story time videos of teachers reading some classic children's stories across the school that we will share with families shortly. In the next few weeks, I will be commencing enrolment interviews via Zoom. We are currently waiting on advice regarding orientation programs in Term 4 and I am hopeful that we will be able to run a smaller program next term. More information will be sent home to Kindergarten 2021 families shortly.
Parent / Teacher Learning Conferences Next Week
Our teachers are looking forward to meeting with you next week as part of our learning conferences to discuss the progress your child has made and their learning goals for the remainder of 2020. The conferences will commence next Monday 14 September and run until Thursday 17 September at the times your class teacher has scheduled through School Interviews. As the COVID 19 guidelines currently don’t allow parents to come onto the school site, all learning conferences will be conducted virtually via Zoom. This week you will be sent instructions on how to access your online conference. You will need to have a Zoom account set up prior to your conference time. If you would prefer a phone call, please email your child's key teacher directly to set this up.
COVID-19 Guidelines Reminder
A quick reminder of the NSW Department of Education’s COVID-19 Guidelines. Schools continue to be safe, and the following reminders are in line with Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and NSW Health advice.
NSW Health have requested that schools require anyone who is unwell or has even mild flu-like symptoms, to arrange to be tested through their local medical practitioner or one of the COVID-19 clinics. All students and staff with flu like symptoms will need to provide a copy of a negative COVID-19 test result before being permitted to return to school. If you choose not to provide the school with a negative COVID-19 test result, you are required to keep your child at home for 10 days.
Your child will be sent home from school if they have the following symptoms and required to provide the school with evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result before returning to school;
- sore/scratchy throat
- runny nose
- loss of smell or loss of taste
Our school continues to be vigilant when implementing infection control, physical distancing and personal hygiene protocols to protect the health and safety of students and staff. At Anzac we continue to promote the need to follow good hygiene practices such as:
- avoiding sharing drinks or food. This includes sharing birthday treats. At this time, please do not send in food items to share with your child’s classmates.
- regular washing hands.
- coughing or sneezing into your elbow, or a tissue which should be discarded immediately.
- filling water bottles from bubblers rather than using the bubbler directly.
Physical distancing of adults continues to be a priority. All teachers, support staff and parents must maintain physical distance from each other (1.5m). Parents should be vigilant of physical distancing guidelines during pick up and drop off times. Please ensure the safety of our teaching team and enable them to physically distance from parents during pick up time. Remember, if you are a pedestrian and you are picking up your child from the pedestrian gate (Stage 2 and Year 1 parents). Please line up the hill and wait in line rather than crowd along the fence of the school.
Wear What You Wish - SRC Fundraiser
On Wednesday 23 September (Week 10), Anzac Park PS will be hosting a fundraiser day to support the Make-A-Wish Foundation. The Make-A-Wish Foundation is one of the top 20 most trusted charities in Australia and works to grant inspirational, life-changing wishes for children with a critical illness. The COVID-19 crisis has been affecting at least one wish every day in Australia. We want to do our part to give kids with a critical illness a chance to be kids, use their imagination and provide greater strength and hope for their future.
On this day, all students and teachers are encouraged to dress up as 'what they wish for'. Examples include:
- What you wish to be when you're older e.g. nurse, teacher, builder
- What you wish to see in the world e.g. peace, friendship, equality
- Someone you wish to meet e.g. favourite superhero, athlete, popstar
To dress up on this day, students will need to donate a gold coin. All money will be going straight to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. As well as raising money for an extremely worthy charity, we also hope that the Wear What You Wish day provides hope and optimism for everyone who has been affected by the stress and anxiety that has come about with the COVID-19 crisis. Focusing on a wish can help people to stop seeing the world through their limitations, and start thinking about the possibilities. We are looking forward to a fun and inspirational day with you all!
A Snapshot from Periwinkle
Over the past two Fridays, Periwinkle has been fortunate enough to participate in Coding sessions led by 5 different professionals from ‘Salesforce’. These sessions are held over Zoom and allow our students to gain valuable insight into the practical use of ICT in the workforce, as well as tutoring through our ‘Hour of Code’ programs. Last Friday we began with a Q&A with our 3 presenters, before exploring the world of Artificial Intelligence and Sustainability. Our students learned about the ethical considerations we need to make when developing AI, by looking at how it may have a big part to play in Sustainability moving forward.
The program is run by Guy Beres of Salesforce, who is also part of our parent community at Anzac Park. We were able to utilise Guy’s skills and knowledge thanks to our Learning Partnerships program. Periwinkle would like to extend a big thank you to Guy, Ed, Gourav, Jun and Karan for giving up their time to work with our class. And also a thank you to Salesforce for promoting and supporting this partnership with our school.
News from the Library
The Premier’s Reading Challenge is now finished for this year. 47% of Kindergarten students have completed the challenge which is the highest proportion of any grade group. With a last minute flurry our senior students rose to our challenge and we saw 37% of Year 5 & 6 students finish. We have a total of 282 readers who completed the PRC for 2020. Congratulations to them all. Their certificates will be issued in Term 4.
The challenge is, of course, just one way to set a reading goal. It is a good idea for students to have something to aim for, whether it be reading more books or reading a wider variety of genres. In the library we are very keen to see students reading more widely, expanding their horizons and trying something new as they develop good reading habits. We are here to help with recommendations. What will your reading goal be for Term 4?
Parents, if you are keen to find new directions to steer your young readers we highly recommend a facebook group called Your Kid's Next Read: Growing Readers and Writers. This is an amazing group of parents, teachers and school librarians in Australia with a wealth of knowledge who are only too happy to answer your questions and make excellent suggestions.
Raising awareness, understanding and tolerance in future generations
Anzac Park is committed to inclusive practices. We want to support our community in understanding autism in a meaningful way. Your child's teachers will be sharing this video in class next week and will be raising awareness and developing an understanding of autism. Share this video with your friends and family so that as many people as possible learn about autism.
Wellbeing strategies for parents
By Michael Grose
The coronavirus pandemic and its associated disruptions are beginning to take a toll on our mental health and wellbeing. You don’t need to look far in your community or social networks to identify a worrying trend of people experiencing a range of challenging emotions including mood swings, despair, anger, sullenness and lack of motivation.
People who usually pride themselves on being able to manage most difficulties that come their way now find themselves suddenly unable to cope, leading to a profound sense of disappointment. A number of people have spoken about feeling guilty for being a less than perfect parent, partner, teacher, work colleague or friend during these times.
This inability to cope is understandable. Our capacity to adapt to acutely stressful situations such as natural disasters has been severely depleted by the long-term nature of the pandemic. It’s common in situations of great uncertainty to feel exhausted and experience periods of burnout. Coupled with this is a sense of loss that many people feel – loss of connection to friends and family, loss of freedom and a loss of a way of life.
There is no handbook for functioning in a pandemic however it’s apparent that we need to accept that our lives will be different for some time. It also helps to expect less of yourself, which is the opposite to how high-achievers and perfectionists ordinarily operate. Feeling comfortable with uncertainty takes some getting used to as most of us have an innate wish to feel in control.