The Randwick Buzz

Term 3, Week 2 2021

From the Relieving Principal

Welcome back to school for what has certainly been an interesting start to Term 3!

Greater Sydney schools will continue learning from home until at least 30 July.

Some students when learning from home will thrive in their learning environment, whilst others will miss the close personal interactions that school brings them. You as parents are juggling your own work whilst trying to look after your children as well. The result may not be perfection, so don’t beat yourselves up. Just take each day as it comes and do your best. All we ask is that students approach each school day with a positive attitude and mindset that allows them to do everything that is in their power to keep learning as much as they can. We recommend music, exercise and laughter are used to ensure we all keep positive and happy.

I want to sincerely thank our parent community for their home-schooling efforts. I know how difficult it has been to juggle working and learning from home. We are thrilled with the work that you are managing to get your children to do. Please don’t stress if you can’t complete all the work. Be kind to yourself. All efforts are appreciated. Thank you for the support we have been receiving through emails and Seesaw– your kind words and support are greatly appreciated. Teachers are also juggling planning work, providing feedback, attending ZOOM staff meetings, engaging in professional learning, communicating with colleagues, running ZOOM class sessions, supervising students onsite and learning to navigate new online platforms.

Thank you to those parents who were able to join us for our online P&C meeting on Monday evening. It was an opportunity to clarify our current learning arrangements and we really appreciated your valuable questions. If the current learning from home situation continues beyond 30 July we will liaise with the P&C to host another opportunity to further support parents as best we can.

I am pleased to see so many parents communicating via class and grade based WhatsApp channels. This mode of communication is a great source of emotional support for the parent community. However, your children’s classroom teacher remains the best point of contact regarding the individual learning needs of your child. If you have any questions or concerns please address these with your class teacher directly. 

This message has come from the Department of Education:

Parents must keep children - of all ages, across primary and secondary schooling and early childcare - home if they can. Students will be supported to learn from home. Schools and early childhood education and care services, including Out Of School Hours Care services are open for any child that needs it. Thank you for your support. We are directed to have only minimal staff onsite each day. The main purpose of Home Learning is to reduce mobility of people in the community.

Advice to Families:

Wanting more?

If you are looking for additional work or ideas, feel free to access the Learning From Home Hub. It offers packages for parents and links to ABC Education programs.

Cybersafety whilst learning from home

For tips about being cybersafe please see the link below:


This term we welcome back Mrs Balusi Nunez. Mrs Nunez will be teaching 2N with Miss Thompson.

This term we also welcome back from leave Mrs Michelle Amestoy who will be joining us each Monday.

Congratulations to Mrs Zora Lombardo who was successful in gaining an Assistant Principal Learning Support position at Ashbury Public School. Mrs Lombardo will continue to run our Learning Support program on Monday and Tuesday. We welcome Miss Samantha Berman who will take Learning Support on Wednesday and Thursday.

Spelling Bee

This year students in Years 3-6 have been participating in the Premier’s Spelling Bee. Congratulations to Luke G from 4O and Marcus S from 6B for taking out the Stage 2 and Stage 3 competitions. They did a tremendous job spelling some very difficult words. Well done to all of our finalists from Years 3-6 who participated in the competition. 

Game Changer

Our Year 6 Game Changer team were one of 12 teams in our region to be accepted into the final heats of the program. Game changer is a team-based design thinking challenge that centres around problem solving. Congratulations to Mikolaj S, Alex P, David N, Anthony J and Pramin G. The Game Changer Challenge is a Design Thinking competition run by the Department of Education. Design thinking is a human-centred approach to solving complex problems. Empathy and collaboration are at the heart of design thinking. The RPS team was selected from nearly 400 submissions from across the state to participate in this year's Game Changer Challenge Regional North Virtual Heats in August. Thank you to Miss Worthington and Miss Hughes-Clapp for coordinating this program.

Grow Your Mind

This term our school has started implementing Grow Your Mind – a mental health wellbeing program centred around brain awareness, resilience, mindfulness and compassion for primary students.

Our staff were engaged in a staff wellbeing session on and activities have started to be incorporated into student learning from home packs this week. Poor mental health is a serious issue but mental health education does not have to be. We have started to implement this program because we want to see our students, families and staff with the same awareness of looking after their mental health as they do for their physical health. 

Waverley Youth Art prize

Congratulations to Zac L from 4O who has won first place in the Waverley Youth Art Prize. He won first place in the 9-12 years category and his winning art work is on display in the Waverley Library. Well done Zac.

Seven Tips for Learning From Home

We understand that ‘Learning from Home’ can be stressful and difficult at times - particularly when there is no obvious end date. Therefore we have put together some tips that should help to organise your lives at home and make the most of our learning from home time.

1. Don’t try to recreate school

The school has provided work for each of your children to complete while we are in lockdown but as parents try to avoid the tendency to re-create school at home. We find ourselves in a unique situation that calls for creative thinking and creative educational practices. Parents do your best to be flexible and recognise this COVID-19 lockdown is for a short space in time.

2. Set Up a Learning Space

To make home learning effective you’ll need to set up a well-organised dedicated learning space. Having a well-stocked learning space will mean the student can make the most of their learning time. This way your child won't have to jump up every 5 minutes to search the house for a paperclip, a pen, or a dictionary. Having these things at hand can ensure less time gets wasted and the learning flow doesn’t get broken.

3. Stick to a routine

Ideally schools will be following regular timetables for students and it is important that students be engaged in this process and not skip lessons just because they are at home. Make a joint decision about when the ‘school day’ begins and make sure to add breaks throughout the day. (eg. Recess break between 11:00-11:30am and Lunch between 1:00 and 2;00pm) Most importantly we must make sure that there is a set time to stop each day. Please make it realistic and something that is agreed upon with all parties.

4. Be Collaborative

One of home learning’s biggest disadvantages is isolation. While working in the classroom context, students are exposed not only to working individually, in differentiated groups, and in whole class groups. Collaboration is a very important part of school-based learning.

Your class teachers will be running a number of Zoom session in the morning. Try to connect with these sessions where possible. They are not compulsory but encouraged.

Video chats with school friends could also be arranged. They aren’t only important to enhance learning, but they serve an important social function too. They offer students a safe way to interact with each other.

5. Stay Productive

Learning from home can place heavy demands on a student’s ability to stay motivated without the looming presence of a teacher to cajole and encourage. For younger students, this is where parents need to be active, while older students should be able to keep themselves motivated more independently.

Here are some things you can encourage your child to do, to help with staying on task:

Set Realistic Goals - Having a set goal helps the student to focus. Having a goal that is attainable can inspire optimism and enthusiasm for the work.

Give a Time Frame - Set a time frame to work to which is realistic. The introduction of a time limit on the completion of tasks can introduce an element of urgency that drives the work along. But, be careful not to turn up the pressure too much, as this can be counter-productive.

Incentivise the Work - More carrots, fewer sticks! Using rewards can be a great way to encourage children to stay on task.

6. Take Breaks Make time for your children to move around and take short ‘brain breaks’. It could be that they stand up and walk around the house; run outside to the back fence; or even just do a few ‘star jumps’ before returning to their class work. It is important to make them - short, sharp and effective. 

7. Stay Positive! Telling your child to ‘keep up the hard work’ or ‘try one more time’ encourages perseverance and builds motivation. Enthusiasm and showing an interest in what your child is learning is extremely important and powerful.

Trent Gardiner

Relieving Principal

Please provide your feedback by clicking on the link. We will direct the feedback to the appropriate people and/or share it in the newsletter!

Thank you!

Feedback from the P&C meeting on Monday

I would like to say that RPS's use of digital platform and devices during the students' day-to-day learning is definitely paying dividend to tackle the online learning (albeit not so easy for us parents)!

I think the simple and focussed activities are great! Basics that can be completed easily - no crazy activities that need too much chaos in the house. Thanks so much!

So thankful for the phonecall from teacher last week checking up on son's wellbeing. Helped to feel connected.

I loved the zoom meeting - whilst they were on I got through some of my work!

Staff Spotlight - Harmony Rutherford

How long have you been teaching?  

9 Years.

Where and for how long?

I did my teaching degree in Canberra and taught there for a few years.

I have bounced between Canberra and Europe a lot over the last 6 years.  During my time in Europe, I taught at international schools in Germany (Europäische Schule München) and Spain (Barcelona International Rural School).

What do you like about Randwick Public School? 

I like being part of a great team of teachers who work tirelessly for the benefit of their students.

I have also really enjoyed watching the school performances! WOW! AMAZING! There are a lot of talented teachers and students at RPS. 

What is your favourite thing to do?

I have learned I am at my happiest when I am in nature. So, during my weekends I spend time at the beach or in one of the beautiful national parks close to Sydney. 

What have you read recently?

Braiding Sweetgrass by Robin Wall Kimmerer

What is your favourite sports team?

All Blacks! I am originally from New Zealand.

What is your favourite food?

Such a difficult question as I just love food!

Right now, I am really enjoying the simplicity and creativity of Buddha bowls.  

Year 2 learning from home photos

Year 2 has been doing an excellent job and putting their 'best foot forward' when learning from home. 

Did you know we are trialling a new way of advertising via our school website?

We now have a separate Community Advertising section to direct parents to activities held at the school, during school holidays and within the local community.

The link can be found on the Randwick Public School website, scroll down the front page and click on the link "Community Advertising". See the picture below for what to look for! You can also click the yellow bar 'Community News and Advertising' above.

Randwick City Council - Covid Help Resources

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