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Newsletter - Friday 3 September 2021

Principal's Message

Return to School Planning

We are all looking forward to returning to face-to-face learning and are very aware that this is a dynamic situation. The NSW Government’s Return to School Roadmap is based on international research, the current COVID situation and the legislative requirements.

In Greater Sydney we are currently operating under Level 4 restrictions, and the NSW Health advice is that it is safest for students to return to school in stages rather than all at once. Students in Prep, Kindergarten and Year 1 will return first given the importance of developing their foundational learning in the early years and their disrupted experience to date. Year 12 and HSC students will also be prioritised as they prepare to complete their final year of schooling and transition to further education, training and work.

The plan for students to return to face-to-face learning with NSW Health-approved COVID-safe settings on school sites is in the following order:

  • from 25 October – Prep, Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 12
  • from 1 November – Years 2, 6 and 11
  • from 8 November – Years 3, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9 and 10

These dates may change in response to rates of COVID in the community and the rates of adult community vaccination. Yesterday, NSW reached the milestone of 70% of adults having had their first dose of the vaccine. Students aged between 12 and 15 are now also eligible for the Pfizer vaccine from 13 September and this is entirely voluntary. Under the current Public Health Order vaccination is not compulsory for our school staff or senior students but it is highly encouraged as it provides an added level of protection.

To provide a safe learning environment for students and staff and minimise opportunities for transmission we will implement a number of measures including safe hygiene practices, mask wearing and limiting mixing between cohorts of students. Students who are unable to return to school will continue to receive work via online learning in Term 4.

The absolute highest priority of returning to school is the wellbeing and safety of our students, staff and the broader community, and I will continue to keep you updated as the return dates are subject to change. Meanwhile, thank you for all you are doing. I am incredibly grateful for your support of the students and teachers through this period of remote learning and we all look forward to once again filling our school with the energy and enthusiasm of staff and students. God bless you all and take courage in the hope and comfort we have in Jesus and each other.

Whole School News

A note from our Head of Senior School - Mr Michael St Mart

Since we have been in lockdown, our school has added 600+ classrooms and now stretches across many suburbs. Over the last eight weeks, while working from home, you have set up your children at dining tables, kitchen benches, shared offices and makeshift desks so that they can continue to learn while at the same time trying to manage your own needs. Some of you have paused your work to help a child struggling to answer a maths question or understand their English novel. These last 8 weeks of remote learning have certainly been a team effort.

These blurred boundaries and pressures; work, teaching, family, relationships and money have all competed for our attention. But, more than ever, we need to take time to put these into perspective and treasure what is most valued, not just the ones that call out the loudest!

Here are three practical ways you can do this during the lockdown.

1. Pray for someone. While taking a walk outside in the fresh air, take time to pray for someone you know. Never underestimate the power of prayer.

2. Call someone. Lockdown can be lonely and isolating. Pick up the phone or organise a zoom call. It might be what is needed at that time by the recipient.

3. Protect your family time. Take time to switch off the technology and be present with your family around the dinner table.

I encourage you to dwell on the things that matter most: our faith, relationships, and thankfulness. So treasure the little tug on the sleeve that asks for attention, the partner that just needs your complete focus at that most inconvenient moment, the puppy's eyes silently begging for a walk. When we focus on these things, the weight or burden can suddenly feel a little bit lighter. It's in these moments that we decide what our priorities truly should be.

Chaplains' News

Dear Families,

At the outset I want to let you know on behalf of our chaplaincy team, that we are praying for you and trying our best to support you and your kids as you walk through this season of lockdown. We pray together throughout the week asking that God will continue to provide protection of you and your family, and for those who are unwell - that He will provide healing and comfort and the knowledge that He is with you through it all.

"Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean He no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death?” - Romans 8:35

I love that verse.. I find myself wondering how it came to be that I felt I was in this alone, and that I had to brave the situation alone - find a solution on my own, rely on my own strength and decisions, and plans to keep my family safe.. how many of us can relate to this?

God’s love is relationship. It cannot be experienced if we are an island - but if we “give all [our] worries and cares to God” (1 Peter 5:7) we know that He hears us, that He cares, and that He walks through it with us. That’s actually the best news! To know that in all of this - God is not taken by surprise, and that He actually wants to be involved in your life - today, as you read this newsletter even.

Turning over the page to something fun, all three of us in the chaplaincy team want to wish all the Fathers in our school community a very happy fathers day! We hope that the day is special with you and your family, and that your kids treat you well, give you a repco voucher, a back rub, and all the rest haha. As for me (Pr Nick), I am about to experience my first fathers day as a dad, thanks to my 11 month old Daughter Sienna, though I don’t think she’s old enough yet to know what the word ‘father’ even means haha.

Fatherhood is an awesome adventure to enter into. Tiring, yes. But rewarding and full or purpose. The crazy thing is, even though we have our own parents - God looks at you like a Father looks at his own child. He looks at you with the same - and even more - love that you have when you look at your own kids. Is it tiring for Him? I don’t want to make any bold claims about His ability - but I am sure that my life alone would have caused Him enough reason to need a break! haha. Yet in all of this, He still loves us. My favourite words in the Bible are:

“But God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners.” Romans 5:8

So this year, I want to nominate God for the ‘worlds best dad’ award. Without him, this school wouldn’t even exist, come to think of it - neither would any of us.

To all the dads, families, students and friends of our school, we wish you a lovely weekend and a strong finish to Term 3. May God bless you with extra capacity for patience and understanding as you continue to host distance learning at home! And May God bless all our year 12 students with peace and clear minds as they approach the end of their schooling journey!

Pr Nick - On behalf of the chaplaincy team

Family Fun Games Night

Year 11 students, families and staff had a great time laughing and participating at their Family Fun Games Night on Wednesday night! A truly fun way to connect and support each other during remote learning.

Congratulations to the following stand-out participants:

  • Trivia Quiz winner: Jayden K
  • Scattergories winner: Bon A
  • Best dressed: Mr Ignatious Ah-You

Overall points: TBD

Prep & Kindy families - you are next! All other years will also get to join in the fun next week. Let the games begin!

Calendar of Upcoming School Events

You can access the list of upcoming School events via the link below. The School Calendar is also available under the Parent Information tab on the School website.

Term Dates for 2021

Please click on the link below to view the school term dates and public holiday information for 2021.

Term 4 Fees and 2022 Enrolment

During this time of uncertainty, stability for families is of utmost importance. Should you be experiencing any financial difficulties with regards to school fees please touch base with Kelly by emailing accounts@wahroonga.adventist.edu.au, we are here to help. Term 4 Fees and any charges from Term 3 will be emailed during the school holidays.

A friendly reminder that should you wish to withdraw your student/s from Wahroonga Adventist School, as per our policy, at least one term’s notice (10 weeks) of withdrawal must be given, in writing to the Registrar, Carmen Wynstra, enrol@wahroonga.adventist.edu.au. Failure to do so will incur a charge of one term’s fees. Holiday periods do not constitute adequate notice of withdrawal.

Please note this year we will not be emailing an intention to re-enrol, your students enrolment will automatically roll over to 2022, if you wish to withdraw your student/s in 2022, at least one term’s notice (10 weeks) of withdrawal must be emailed to enrol@wahroonga.adventist.edu.au by Tuesday 6th October 2021. Holiday periods do not constitute adequate notice of withdrawal.

School Photos

MSP Photography's office is currently closed due to the lockdown, so unfortunately the delivery of our school photos has been delayed. We will keep you updated as further information comes to hand.

A note from our Wellbeing Co-ordinator - Mr Ben Stewart

With the government’s return to school plan announced last week, many parents are wondering how to start talking with their children about transitioning back to school in Term 4. We all want children to be informed about and prepared for things that affect them, and we also want to avoid undue distress or disappointment, particularly when there is still so much uncertainty.

A wise friend recently highlighted how talking about the seasons had helped him with these kinds of conversations during last year’s lockdown. Seasons are a natural, constant cycle that children are able to identify with and draw meaning from. Using the analogy of seasons and inviting children to reflect on how their different experiences of lockdown and thoughts and anticipations related to returning to school are like different seasons can help children navigate the complexity of returning to school after such a long period of remote learning.

For children (and parents) who are a little more prone to feeling anxious about things, THIS article provides some really great advice on supporting a positive return to school.

Parents - Check the Tutor

Parents engaging tutors for their children, even for online based tutoring, should be asking the tutor to provide a Working With Children Check application or clearance number – then verifying that number online.

Verifying a clearance online is quick and easy on the Office of Children’s Guardian website, and ensures that a Working With Children Check clearance is current. Open this hyperlink to access the application.

The Certificate for Self Employed People from the old Working With Children Check system is no longer valid.

Primary School News

French Classes with Madame Spencer

Origami, Dancing, Treasure Hunts, Card Making, Plein-Air Sketching and House Parties have all featured so far this term in French Online Learning. We have been learning about the French names for different rooms in our homes. Students have enjoyed playing Guess Who on Teams Meetings and we have got very puffed and dizzy dancing super-fast to our Action Songs!

Father's Day coming up has given us so many reasons to be joyful this week and to put our creative talents to use.

I would like to give a huge shout-out and "MERCI" to those students who are putting in a fabulous effort and making the most of their tasks. It is so pleasing to watch your enthusiasm and participation over the airwaves and screens and I look forward to us all coming back together in person soon! Au Revoir!

Madame Spencer - French Teacher

Blue and Sparkle Themed Dress Up Day

The students had a chance to add some sparkle to their day last week when we had another themed Friday “blue and sparkle day”. There were some amazing costumes, and I was very impressed with the effort that students made on the day and in their Seesaw posts.

Thanks to everyone who dressed up for the day. It added some sparkle to my day!

Mrs Deppeler - Head of Junior School

Interschool Chess Tournament - Friday 20th August 2021

The semi finals for the 2021 Interschools Chess Tournament hosted by the Sydney Academy of Chess went off with a blast on Friday 20th August and included chess talent from over 7 NSW schools, enduring 90 rounds of online chess over the day. We'd like to warmly congratulate our very own Benjamin T (3K) for once again placing first in the category of 'best individual player' by winning all rounds! Well done Benjamin!

Prep - Farewell to Mrs Jacinta Thomson

Our beloved Prep teacher, Mrs Jacinta Thomson, goes on maternity leave as of Oct 5 and we wish her all the best as she and her husband prepare for the birth of their first child. We have all appreciated the caring and kind nature of Mrs Thomson and look forward to her return after maternity leave.

Mrs Thomson said, ‘This last term of teaching before I go on maternity leave has definitely not been what I was expecting! I have been sad not to see my class in person every day and all the other wonderful individuals that make up our school community. I am very excited for the new journey ahead of being a mum and will miss everyone at school immensely.’

We welcome Miss Paris Dowe to teaching the Prep students in Term 4. A trained specialist, Miss Dowe already has a connection with many of the Prep students and is a passionate and enthusiastic teacher. Our Prep Aunties continue to provide support in Prep and have been working with Miss Dowe on some new displays and learning areas in the Prep room.

Kindergarten...

Our Kindy scientists have been observing and reporting on the weather and its many features. They’ve been investigating the wonder of the rainbow, from the very first promise set in the sky to different places they can find them now and even what they need to make their very own. They’ve stacked, tweaked and tilted to create the best results and have been excited by their discoveries.

Kindies have also identified familiar weather icons and even investigated different symbols used by Indigenous Australians. They created their own ‘adventure’ and used these icons from long ago to record their story.

Mrs Els - Year KE

“There were people camping near the sun and near them was a rainbow and some water. There were mountains and it rained and after the rain, there was a rainbow.”

Ruby B

“Once upon a time there was a starry, starry night and a family that decided to sit round a campfire. The rain started and then they decided to go home.”

Izzy R

Year 1...

In Term 3, some 1K students have been showing their creative flair by participating in an optional weekly Origami Challenge! Origami is a traditional Japanese paper folding artform which helps develop hand-eye coordination, fine motor skills and mental concentration. The students have done an amazing job at creating their origami art pieces.

Mrs Kohama - Year 1K

Year 2...

Year 2 met on TEAMS earlier this week and did a Science experiment. They made oobleck by mixing corn flour and water. Some students even added food colouring. It was lots of fun for all!

Mrs Beness - Year 2B

Year 4...

This term in Year 4L we have looked at many different art forms. We’ve explored photography and took images of living things and also images of objects that reflected light. We’ve created and designed collages and learned about complementary colours. This week we explored shadow art and the students got creative outside and inside to create fun and beautiful shadow art. It’s been a very fun and creative term so far!

Mrs Lorentz - Year 4L

Change of OOSH Providers

Due to business restructuring reasons, Esteem Kids have made the difficult decision to cease their after school care at Wahroonga at the end of Term 3, 2021. We would like to thank Sofia and William and their staff for the wonderful care of our children for the past four and a half years. They would like to thank everyone for their support over the years and for allowing them to serve our community.

We would like to welcome Kids Klub Wahroonga as our new providers commencing Term 4, 2021. All families will need to register their details with them if after school care is needed. Please contact Yan at wahroonga@kidsklub.com.au or call on 0435 378 181.

Secondary School News

Textiles Upcycling and Silhouettes - Year 7

Year 7 have been looking at elements of fashion and have been making silhouettes of all kinds. They have also been looking at upcycling ideas and avoiding over consumption of fashion.

Mrs Zuze - Head of Technologies

CAD (Computer Aided Drawing) - Year 7

Year 7 students have been studying CAD (Computer Aided Drawing) this term as we have not been able to spend time in the workshop.

Students started by drawing basic shapes in 3D and then progressed onto drawing shapes with increasing detail. These skills will help students to accurately model their future projects. Students can also send these files straight to our 3D Printers or laser cutter for rapid prototyping.

The students were tasked with drawing an object from their homes and asked to reproduce it with as much detail and accuracy as possible. As you can see, we have some skilled 3D modellers among us. Well done Year 7’s!

Mr Coyte - Industrial Technology Teacher

Food Technology - Year 8

During Term 3 students in the Year 8 Food Technology Elective have been looking at Food for Specific Needs. Each week students have completed a cooking challenge to complement the theory lesson. In week 8, the topic was Low FODMAP Foods, if you are wondering FODMAP is an acronym for Fermentable Oligosaccharides, Disaccharides, Monosaccharides, and Polyols. During class students learnt about how FODMAP’s in foods affect people who suffer from Irritable Bowl Syndrome (IBS) and how the Low FODMAP diet developed by Monash University in Melbourne can be beneficial. Their challenge was to choose and prepare a low FODMAP recipe that was a dessert or a vegetarian main. Below you will see three of the amazing desserts prepared by students!

Mr Hokin - Secondary Teacher

Visual Art - Year 10

Year 10 have been looking at Music and compositions in Visual Art this term. We have studied artists that have used music as inspiration for their work, completed continuous line and realistic drawings of instruments and taken inspiration from the Cubist genre, where students used their continuous line drawings to recreate their own artworks.

Despite the online challenges, students have been working hard, and experimenting with materials perhaps not always used in the class room, such as tea and coffee! We are hoping to create some other works using house hold items, as did the great artist, Pablo Picasso! We will keep you posted with our creations. Thank you Year 10 for the enthusiasm you bring to art! It is appreciated!

Mrs Cherry - Visual Arts Teacher

Strava Competition

The Wahroonga Sport Strava challenge continues! It really is awesome to see the activity feed each day, despite the lockdown circumstances we have an active and growing online exercise community! Currently we have 125 group members, it's great to see more students joining every day.

Week 7 was runners week! The group normally records cycling, walking and running entries, which has given the cyclists the winning advantage most weeks - this week was the runners turn to take over the leader board. During week 7 students were challenged to get out for a run each day to compete for the top 10 spots in the group. Will K took first place, recording 37 kilometres of running for the week. Ella G came through in second place with 25 kilometres and Cameron K rounded out the top 3 with 16 kilometres - excellent work from all runners and a great representation from Year 9!

For week 8 the leader board has been set back to mixed mode - so cyclists are back in the mix. Stay consistent, set some exercise goals, aim to get outside and spend some screen free time for an hour each day - keep up the great work!

Mr Starrett - Secondary Teacher

High School CSSA Esports Rocket League Tournament - Friday 8th October (Week 1, Term 4)

Team entry: 3 players per team

What is rocket league? Rocket League is an arcade-style sport-based game where players are required to drive a car around and hit a ball into the soccer goals with their cars. It can be described as "soccer with rocket-powered cars". Players have the ability to jump and, using speed boosts, fly through the air to hit aerial balls, all adding to the excitement.

Rocket league is:

  • Fun, engaging and positive
  • Easy to learn but hard to master
  • Matches range from 5-11min each
  • Team-oriented
  • Cross-platform with minimal equipment required
  • High level international esports competition is already in place and is accessible to watch, analyse and use to improve esports athletes’ overall gameplay.

Tournament Coordinators: Yonder Esports is a small Christian Company based in Victoria who are passionate about Esports and gaming as well as building positive communities that promote health (physical, mental, social) & wellbeing of youth and young people.

Platforms you can use: You can use your school computer, PlayStation 4 or 5, Xbox one and Series S/X, Nintendo Switch. As the game is cross-platform, it means any of these options work and will not interfere with competition.

How to express interest and register: Organise a team of 3 players. Email Miss Sutton with your team of 3 members. Further information will be given to you and your parents/carers once you have expressed your interest.

Year 12 - HSC Health Message

Library News

Premier’s Reading Challenge

Congratulations to Elke G (1K), Matilda M (1S), Alex L (2B), Yijie S (2B), Alexis G (3K), Yifei S (4L), Ariana N (4R), Sophie C (6C), Elijah P (6C), Myles G (6J), Justin R (7A), Alexander V (8S) and Finn M (8W) who have all finished the Premier’s Reading Challenge. Good job!

• PLEASE NOTE: The Premier’s Reading Challenge is finishing TODAY - Friday, September 3, so time is running out to get your entries complete. Mrs Savage will have access for an extra week, so if you do miss today's deadline please contact her at library@wahroonga.adventist.edu.au.

Book Week 2021 – ‘Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds’:

Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds Dress-Ups

Our Book Week dress-up days were held virtually on Tuesday (P-2) and Wednesday (3-6) of this week and we had a wonderful response from our creative and imaginative students. There was an amazing array of robots, astronauts, book characters, pirates, animals and people from the past, present and the future! Mrs Savage even came as King Tutankhamun from 1323 BC - now that’s really ‘Old World’!!

As a book character parade was not possible this year, the students were encouraged to either post pictures of their costumes on Seesaw or email them to Mrs Savage so they can be displayed in the Library to be viewed when the students return to school.

Book Week Performance ‘Bigger, Better, Brighter!’

The ‘Bigger, Better, Brighter!’ Book Week performance was livestreamed to our P-4 students on Thursday, September 2. The show was filled with stories, songs and dance that encouraged the children to have resilience, maintain connections and have hope for the future. The students were given the opportunity to participate via an active chat stream, and it was so awesome to hear all the messages from Wahroonga Adventist School students being read out throughout the performance.

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Library WebAPP

The library WebAPP is a great place to keep track of your child/ren’s library loans, search the catalogue and read about upcoming library events. You can access it from any device at bit.ly/waslibrary. Instructions on how to log in to your child/ren’s personal details are on the home page.

World Book Online

Wahroonga Adventist School has a subscription to World Book Encyclopedia Online which gives all students and teachers online access to an amazing variety of resources which can be accessed using any device. If you would like to explore this resource, please follow the link below and use the word was for the log-in ID and password.

Canteen

The canteen is still open for students learning on campus, please see attached menu. During the lockdown food can only be purchased by online ordering, there will be no window service. Orders can be purchased through flexischools.com.au by 8am the same day. We hope all families are keeping safe and well.

Home and School

Home and School had a meeting this past week on the 31st of August. We had an awesome gathering of old and new faces. Thank you to those who attended and for everyone’s contribution, it is so nice to see this forum growing. Everyone is welcome, so feel to join us in Term 4.

It was a great opportunity to talk with all the Principal, Heads of School and the Well Being Co-ordinator and look at how we can support our students in returning in Term 4. Watch this space……..

As we continue to manage Covid restrictions it has meant that the Home and School has had to change social events or adjust the format for Term 4. Please connect with us in what we can do in these given times.

Uniform Proposal

The opportunity for our students to be active and comfortable in their school uniform is important and we would like to give you an opportunity to join in a conversation to review the formal school uniform options for girls. In addition to the current dress, skirt and blouse uniform, it has been proposed that we expand the female formal uniform to include well designed shorts and pants as an option for girls. Keep a lookout for the survey that will be sent out in Term 4 - we look forward to receiving your feedback.

Gingerbread House Competition

Please note the time frame for ordering as we need to manage logistics of delivering the Gingerbread House in Term 4 when books will be collected.

Dad's Campout

Please note the original Dad’s Campout has been adjusted. More details to come... but the tent in the backyard or inside fort is the contingency plan.

Home & School Meeting Dates for 2021

TERM 4 - Tuesday 5th October and Tuesday 2nd November

Bits and Pieces