Year 4/5 have been presenting their 'Colonial People Shaping the Nation' projects for History with Mr Powys. Students were asked to explain why convicts, domestic servants, miners or squatters were important in Australian history and what role they played in shaping the nation. Check out some of the awesome creativity of these students.
Welcome to Week 3! Our Year 3/4 boys, who have taken a great interest in our vegetable garden, had a big week with Mrs D, the School Chaplain, last week. They continued harvesting the vegetable garden and sold over twenty bags of fresh produce to staff and parents, raising over $100 for the new school playground. They are eagerly waiting to plant the summer crop! I had a delicious salad for lunch yesterday, with roast beetroot, beetroot leaves, celery and baby spinach, and can attest to the high quality of this flavoursome produce.
There is light at the end of the tunnel, but our Murrumbidgee Local Health District is obviously going through a challenging period at the moment, with multiple cases of COVID arising close to our backyard. Many schools in our network have had to move to a non-operational status over the past week, so that deep cleaning and contact tracing can take place. If this occurs at Holbrook Public School, please be aware that communication from the school will be guided by a collaboration between the NSW Department of Education and NSW Health. We will be directed as to when and what we can communicate.
At school, we have a broad range of safety measures in place, including: vaccination of staff, contractors and volunteers (mandated from 8 November), ventilation, regular sanitisation and hand washing procedures, additional cleaning throughout the day, minimised movement and contact between cohorts, and infection control and hygiene measures. It continues to be important that students and staff stay at home and get tested if they are unwell.
I understand that after lockdown, followed by one week at school, then two weeks of holidays, and some current uncertainty, that some students may be feeling anxious about coming to school. Please reach out to us so we can help provide support if this is the case.
Welcome Caitlin! - It was wonderful to welcome Caitlin Kotzur for a four week university placement today. She is a third year CSU student and will be working with Mrs Biar and the Year 1 class. Please see Caitlin's introduction in today's newsletter!
NEW: Assistant Principal, Curriculum and Instruction - From the beginning of 2022, our school will have a new executive leadership position; Assistant Principal, Curriculum and Instruction, for four days per week (0.8). Over the course of next year, all NSW public schools will have a teacher in this role which is a very exciting addition to our school staffing structure. The position will involve the successful applicant working to build the capacity of all staff, particularly in the areas of literacy and numeracy, through professional learning, data collection and analysis, individualised planning, modelling best practice, and generally introducing strategies to raise the overall level of education we provide. Thank you to Stephanie Hartwich (parent representative), Kimberly Ross (teacher representative), and Jennifer Lumsden (director’s representative) who have participated in the merit selection panel with me over the last two weeks. We hope to be able to announce who was successful in the next newsletter once the ten-day appeal period is complete.
COVID Intensive Learning Support Program - This year, we have been able to support a range of students through small group individualised learning opportunities with additional teachers; Judy Ross, Elise Cheadle, Kimberly Ross, Jessica Trethowan, Stephen Leitch, Brenda Jones and Megan Young. Part of the funding for this came from the COVID Intensive Learning Support Program, which we have just had confirmed will continue in 2022. Another win for the students of our school! It is regular practice at our school to be monitoring the learning growth of all students, so we can put in place programs and interventions where necessary.
Staffing Update - Due to a range of circumstances, there are currently more casual teachers working at the school than usual. Mrs Pargeter continues to be on leave, with Mrs Kimberly Ross (Monday to Thursday) and Mrs Wedgwood (Friday) teaching the class again this week. The class is settled and operating as normal, with great achievements in writing being noted at last week's assembly. Well done, Year 2!
UNSW ICAS Assessments - Due to delays surrounding remote learning and the COVID-19 lockdown during Term 3, ICAS assessments will be held in Week 3 on Thursday, 21 October and Friday, 22 October. These assessments will be scheduled as follows:
|Thursday, 21 October||Friday, 22 October|
English: 9:35 - 11:15 a.m.
Spelling Bee: 12:00 - 1:15 p.m.
Mathematics: 9:35 - 11:15 a.m.
Science: 12:00 - 1:15 p.m.
P&C Meeting - Our next P&C meeting will be held this Wednesday, 20 October via Zoom at 7:30 p.m. Under Level 3 school operations, parents are not allowed on site for these meetings. The main agenda items will include the new fixed playground equipment and new school boundary fencing.
Holbrook Public School P&C Association is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.
Meeting ID: 693 3241 7641 Passcode: 153972
Year 5 Opportunity Class Placement Test - Due to the ongoing COVID restrictions, this year's Opportunity Class Placement Test has been rescheduled to Wednesday, 17 November 2021. It has been agreed by the Minister that the test will be administered as a computer-based test in a process similar to the Check In assessments. The change of date will require students attending NSW public schools to be tested at their own schools with teaching staff administering the test. This approach will ensure placement of students in opportunity classes on Day 1, Term 1, 2022.
Year 7 Selective High School Placement in 2023 - Parents of our current Year 5 students, make sure you read the note attached to this newsletter and inform the school via the note provided if you will be applying.
Check-in Assessments - Years 3 to 6 students will participate in a reading and numeracy Check-in assessment during Week 4. The Check-in assessment is a NSW Department of Education online reading and numeracy assessment available to support schools to assess and monitor student learning. The assessments supplement existing school practices to identify how students are performing, and help teachers tailor their teaching more specifically to student needs. If you have any questions about the Check-in assessments, please contact your child's class teacher or Miss Lavis.
Funky Friday: An Odd Day - It has been a bit of an odd year, so this Friday, 22 October, we'll be encouraging students to wear something a little odd. They could wear odd or different shoes, odd socks, odd colour or clothing combinations, or even their shirt backwards. Students will be encouraged to bring a gold coin donation, and everyone will be given a fruit tube to eat with their home class. Please let the school know if you'd prefer that your child not receive a fruit tube. Our next Funky Friday will be in Week 5 for Book Week. It will include the book fair and parade!
Whole School Performance - We have received guidance from the Department that we may (if circumstances allow in our LGA) revert back to Level 2 or 1 school operations after 3 December 2021. We are currently on Level 3, which includes no singing, no parents/carers, no mingling of cohorts, and risk assessments for dance, therefore unfortunately, the Whole School Performance will not be able to go ahead again this year. The 3 December date would only give us two weeks of school to practise, prepare and perform, and if allowed, there are already multiple school events scheduled to occur during this time. Miss Lavis is investigating the possibility of Year 6 presenting a play to students and staff at our school instead, similar to last year.
Year 5/6 Ballarat Excursion - With news from the Department that we most likely won't revert back to Level 2 or 1 school operations until after 3 December, combined with us now receiving requests from providers for final numbers and deposits, I regrettably inform the community that we will have to cancel this major excursion as well. I know that our students are pinning their hopes on these experiences, and this is yet another let down for them. I can assure you we are actively looking for ways to provide enjoyable learning experiences for them each day!