There have been a lot of recent updates at Quarry Hill due to current circumstances. Please find them within this news piece.
Return to home learning 03/08/2020
Dear Quarry Hill Community,
The Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, has just announced at his press conference, that as of Wednesday 5 August, all Victorian schools will return to Remote and Flexible Learning for the next 6 weeks.
Tomorrow, Monday 3 August, will be a normal school day. Tuesday 4 August will be a Pupil Free Day to allow staff to prepare for this transition.
I have not been given any further advice at this stage, so cannot answer any of your questions. I am expecting that directives will either come in overnight,or tomorrow. I will let you know our processes as soon as we have all of the appropriate information.
I thank you for your patience and understanding. I will be back in touch as soon as possible.
Back To School
Following advice from the Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has advised that schools can begin a phased return to on-site schooling.
In the first stage, our Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2 students will return to school from Tuesday 26 May.
To support all school staff to prepare for this transition, Monday 25 May will be a pupil-free day.
In the second stage of our return to on-site schooling, our grades 3 to 6 will return to school from Tuesday 9 June.
The existing model of on-site schooling will remain in place during the two-week period from Tuesday 26 May to Tuesday 9 June. All other students in these grades and year levels will continue learning from home until Tuesday 9 June.
Covid-19 Return to School Policy
An Update from Grant, showing us all the progress Ferdie has made thusfar and where he still has to go. :)
Grade 2 Blog
A Link to the Grade 2 blog showcasing what they have been up to.
10/04/2020Dear Quarry Hill Community,
Before I begin, I would like to thank you for your patience. I have been waiting for updated information from the State Government and the Department of Education and Training (DET). This came through late last night and I have only just received the go ahead to share information with you.
I know that some of you may be getting anxious about what Term Two will look like and how it will function. I will endeavour to provide information that will hopefully answer some of your questions about how remote learning will operate at our school.
The latest information provides more detail for school operations. As a staff we have done a lot of planning in preparation for this new way of operating, but we still need to refine some of our practices to align with some of the new updates and expectations. This work will be done on our Pupil Free Day on Tuesday April 14th.
I kindly ask for your continued patience with the shortened timeline in getting some of this information out to families. It is not ideal, but unfortunately beyond our control. I will continue to share any new material with you as it comes to hand.
Okay, here we go…..
In order to support remote learning for everyone, this week the Victorian Government made a commitment that students who need it will be provided with access to a digital device and network access to support learning from home. This is fantastic news and as a school we really welcome this announcement. Please be aware though that it will take quite a bit of work from our end to get this up and running by the first day of Term Two (Wednesday April 15th). We should have the laptops ready by Day 1, but dongles may not be made available to us by then. We will endeavour to have these organised and out to families as soon as we possibly can. Narelle will be in contact with relevant families about this process.
So how will remote learning operate at Quarry Hill Primary School?
The message from the Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews, is, “If you can learn from home, you must learn from home.” This is a very clear directive by the Victorian Government based on the advice of the Chief Health Officer.
As a school we will provide limited on-site learning for those students who need to access this on days when they are not able to be supervised from home and no other arrangements can be made.
If you fall into this category and you work part time, we ask that you only send your child on the days/half days that you work.
If you are a parent working from home, we ask that you keep your child at home with you.
If you need to work but have a partner or other adult at home, we ask that your child be supervised at home.
We also ask that children attending onsite are booked in so that we are able to provide adequate supervision. Attached to this message is an On-site Attendance Form. If you require supervision for next week, this form needs to be completed and emailed back to the school before Tuesday April 14th please. This can be sent through to the Quarry Hill email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The attendance form needs to be completed weekly and parents are to send their requests through by Thursday each week. This allows the school to work out staffing requirements.
It is not going to be easy, but it is important that we work together during this challenging time to help minimise the spread of COVID-19 across our school community (and subsequently the wider Bendigo community). We ask that, if possible, you please work with us to learn from home to help keep everyone safe.
Will Camp Australia be operating Out of School Hours Care (OSHC)?
Camp Australia must also comply with the same Government directive: All students who can learn from home must learn from home. To ensure that all families understand the important message of staying home as much as possible they have made the decision to cancel all previously made bookings for OSHC for Term Two, with the exception of bookings made within the last 7 days. Parents must register their status on Camp Australia’s system and rebook their care as needed. For all families that attend, childcare will be provided free of charge until 30th June as per the Federal Government's announcement on the 2nd April.
Won’t my child get a better education if they go to school instead of working from home?
DET has stated that all children will do remote learning, even those physically at school. The students at school will be supervised onsite and will be doing distance learning with their teacher working remotely. For example, if 5 students are onsite at school and they are each from a different grade level, then all 5 of them will be working on a computer under the guidance of their normal classroom teacher.
The day won’t look exactly the same as a regular school day as we need to factor in families with working parents, siblings needing computer access etc.
How do I access remote learning?
During the last week of Term One all families were sent a hardcopy of instructions to their home address about how to logon to the platforms that we are using at Quarry Hill PS.
Grades P-2 students will need to know how to log into Webex and Grade 3-6 students need to know how to log into Google Classroom and Webex. If you have misplaced these instructions, or are having trouble, please contact your child’s teacher. They are happy to help.
Classroom teachers and Education Support Staff will be using the Webex platform to provide face-to-face contact and instructions every school day.
What if the internet goes down or Webex fails?
I bet the farm that this will happen at some stage! We are planning on setting up a bulk SMS messaging service to help disseminate information to the whole school community if Webex goes down. It will save trying to potentially answer dozens of phone calls to the school. This of course, will only apply if it is a system wide failure and not something that is happening at your house. If there is a system wide internet failure, we won’t have the capacity to access your information for an SMS.
If something doesn’t work, my best advice is, don’t panic! Just accept that it has happened and do something fun with your child instead. That will be the best learning experience for them and it will help ease your stress levels.
I don’t feel confident teaching my child. Will that affect their learning?
No, our teachers will continue to provide that expertise. You will be the supporter, encourager and provider of awesome snacks and lunch!
You can also provide support by:
- Establishing routines and expectations e.g. logging in on time, every week day, ready to learn
- Providing a safe space for your child to work. (Please do not set laptops up in bedrooms and other unsupervised areas.)
- Monitoring communications from teachers and/or Education Support Staff
- Checking in with your child to help them manage this new way of working
- Celebrating the great work they are doing!
How will I know what is happening with my child’s education?
Our school will continue to communicate with you via our usual channels. Compass will be our main form of communication. We are also using our website to upload photos of students working from home. Check out the Working from Home link on the home page: https://www.quarryhillps.vic.edu.au/ If you would like to send through some photos, we would love to add them to our collection. Please send them to Ty Jones: email@example.com
When will remote learning be done?
School hours will continue as normal. 9.00am – 3.30pm. An updated weekly and daily timetable will be sent out by classroom teachers on Tuesday April 14th in preparation for the first day of Term Two on Wednesday April 15th.
What if my child cannot access online worksheets etc.?
If the worksheet and/or information is really important, it can be sent home to households via the mail in hardcopy form. Just contact the classroom teacher. They will be able to clarify whether it is important or not.
When and how can I contact my child’s teacher?
Staff will be available to contact via email between 8.50am and 3.45pm each week day. Classroom teachers will provide families with their email address. You are also able to contact them through Compass. Teachers will respond to parents who have questions relating to their child’s work on the same day. Emails after 3.45pm may be answered the following day.
Phone calls may be made in certain circumstances, however, staff phone numbers will not be distributed to the school community. Please phone the school if your matter is urgent.
What support can I access during these stressful times?
Our usual school supports continue to be available. Feel free to contact myself or Anne Rochford. We will be here to help where we can. Please call the school on 54433537.
Our Welfare Worker, Kerryn Phillips, is also available. Kerryn works at our school on Mondays (all day) and Wednesdays (morning only). Kerryn’s email is: firstname.lastname@example.org
External services that you may find useful:
- Kids Helpline: 1800 551 800 or kidshelp.com.au
- headspace: 1800 650 890 or eheadspace.org.au
- BeyondBlue:1300 22 4636 or beyondblue.org.au
- ReachOut's Deal with bad world news resource provides discussion points for students and teachers on coping with bad news that saturated the media and social media
- headspace's How to cope with stress related to Novel Coronavirus, provides information for young people (aged 12-25).
Child psychologist, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg was talking in the media the other day and made a very good point. “This is a generation of children who appear uniquely prepared for online learning because they have never really known a life without computers.”
It may not come naturally to the rest of us, but they will adapt to this new way of working. If you have ever watched a toddler with a phone or a device you’ll understand what I mean!
Will mistakes happen? Without a doubt. Will it be hard? Sometimes it will. Will you get frustrated? Quite possibly. I know I have already! We none of us have a crystal ball to forewarn us of what lies ahead, nor a magic wand to fix what is not working.
What I do know for sure, even on the toughest day, a giant hug from someone you care about can ease the tension and reset your mood. Remember, everyone is in the same boat. As long as you are all healthy and happy it is a good day.
Be kind to yourself, your child and their teacher. We are all doing the best that we can.
Be curious and open to this new way of working. I suspect there will be lots of remote practices adopted right across the community after this is all over.
Be brave about taking this leap of faith as we move into the unknown.
One of my favourite quotes is from the late American entrepreneur, Victor Kiam: “Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward.”
Stay healthy and safe everyone. Classroom teachers will be in contact with you on Wednesday.
Onsite Attendance Form
25/03/2020Dear Quarry Hill Community,
Last night a mail out was sent to all families with information regarding preparing for remote learning. In the pack there is a cover letter as well as instructions on how to download the applications we will be using. Don't panic if you don't have the internet. Teachers will also provide hard copies of learning materials for children without internet access. Please keep a look out for it in the post. If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to call the school on 54433537.
We will try to make schooling from home as easy and as much fun as we can. We know that families are under stress at the moment, and that this stress and uncertainty will likely increase over time. Children can always sense when something is not quite right, even when we do our best to hide it!
Now more than ever, we need to live by our values of Kind, Curious and Brave.
There are some really amazing and hugely beneficial things that you can do with your child. Play games, cook, read books together and laugh. Please find time to laugh! We all need to feel loved and supported at this time. Snuggle on the couch, watch a movie together and spend time as a family. Reassure your child that everything will be okay, and that this too will pass.
The following is my top 10 list of things that have the potential to be cool if you are working with your child at home:
- You won’t have the morning rush to try and coordinate everyone to leave for school on time. Hair braiding and missing lunchbox lids will no longer be stressors in your morning routine.
- Your child won’t bring home their uneaten sandwich….again!
- You get to spend more time with your family – the ones that love you the most.
- You can share a hot chocolate during Maths time, just because you can!
- Chores can now be classed as ‘fun activities’.“How many plastic bottles are we putting into the recycling bin?” “Can your sort the socks into pairs? How many pairs altogether?”
- You know for sure that your child will love their teacher. :)
- You get to play with your child – knowing that the research says it is central to their learning and development.
- When you get puffed, you can send your child outside for ‘environmental education’ time.
- Head lice might go on holidays too.
- And finally, being able to do school work in a princess dress (or whatever takes their fancy). Sometimes it is just the motivation that is needed.
Just remember, it is not all about academic learning. What children will remember most is how they felt throughout this time; the time they spent with their family and the support they were given.
We are all in this together.
Take care everyone.
22/03/2020Dear Quarry Hill Community,
The Victorian and NSW Governments are beginning a comprehensive shutdown of non-essential services over the next 48 hours in an attempt to slow the spread of COVID-19.
In Victoria, schools will be open on Monday March 23rd but will commence school holidays from Tuesday March 24th.
Victorians will still be able to go to the supermarket, the bank, the pharmacy and other essential stores, like petrol stations and convenience stores. Freight, logistics and home delivery are also considered essential services and will remain open.
I will provide the community with more detail as information comes to hand.
Tomorrow we will draw the Easter Raffle. Unfortunately we will not be able to hold the pizza lunch. Tomorrow morning our leadership team will discuss options about refunding money or holding over the pizza lunch until Term 2.
The landscape is changing daily. I thank you for your understanding.
21/03/2020Dear Quarry Hill Community,
Late last night, all Victorian school principals received a message from the Minister for Education, James Merlino, informing us that he has approved an additional two pupil-free days.
The first will be on the last day of this term, Friday March 27th, and the second will be on the first day of Term 2,Tuesday April 14th. (Monday April 13th is a public holiday.)
These two days have been granted to allow schools to prepare for the possiblity that we may need to move to more flexible learning arrangements, including remote learning.
The Pupil Free Day on Friday March 27th will impact on the pizza lunch and the Easter Raffle draw. We will now run both of those activities on Thursday March 26th.
Unless I hear otherwise, our last day for Term 1, Thursday March 26th will finish at 3.30pm. There will not be an assembly. Students will be dismissed from their classrooms.
I apologise for the timing of this message and the inconvenience it may cause. I thought it important to give families as much lead time as possible to make arrangements.
Please continue good hygiene practices. Every little bit helps.
Take care everyone.