We have recently received an update from the Department for Education outlining the Premier’s announcement of step three of the COVID-19 roadmap. I have tried to simplify the actions as they relate to our school.
- Adults to continue to follow density and physical distancing guidelines as outlined by SA Health. This does not apply to students.
- Continue to maintain a social distance of 1.5m and adhere to sensible and appropriate hand hygiene.
- As of the beginning of next term, the following activities can resume:
- Volunteers (non-class volunteers only e.g.: library, canteen), service providers and departmental personnel may enter the school grounds. All such visitors must complete the site access form on entry, via the front office.
- School assemblies can resume, but at this stage planning is still underway.
- Class photos, excursions, camps and inter school choirs.
- School sporting competitions, sports day and inter school competitions. Jan-Maire will update our community via this blog
It should be noted that our Education Director, Chris Sheldon, has stated that we are not required to reschedule events that were cancelled as a consequence of COVID-19. Parents may re-enter our school grounds as of the beginning of term three while following the above protocols. Parent entry into classrooms and the front office will remain as is, as outlined below. Please do not enter classrooms or the front office.
COVID-19 – What we have learnt
Despite COVID-19 causing significant upheaval in our school environment, there have been some things we have learnt, particularly about our students.
We have certainly discovered that our students have become more independent and more resilient over the past term. This has been a massive plus. The main factor underpinning this is that we have been asking parents to drop their child/children off at the school gate. Students are now entering their classroom independently and confidently, unpacking their own bag, following classroom routines to set themselves up for the day and ‘being their own boss’. Teachers are spending more time with students, not parents and the day has a smoother start for all students across the school. Teachers have found there is less separation anxiety and upon entry, classrooms appear quieter and calmer. Teachers are also finding they are beginning their teaching and learning programme much sooner. At the end of the day, children are gathering their belongings, managing to pack their own bags and then meeting a parent or family member at a pre-arranged spot. How good is that!
As a consequence, we will continue to ask parents not to enter classrooms from term three, but rather continue to communicate any matters via Seesaw, email or phone. Feedback from teachers regarding this has been overwhelmingly positive. This should not be interpreted that we do not value parent input, opinion or inquiry but rather that there is a different way that we have been approaching things, that has been of huge benefit to our students. We are very keen to utilise the enormous pool of support and talent that exists in our community (once Covid-19 approval is given), for the benefit of our students and will gladly explore a range of options to have parents entering our early year’s classrooms to provide support in a number of ways-e.g. assisting with reading, writing, Jolly Phonics, numeracy and other areas where students would benefit greatly.
Teachers, will of course, schedule any required meetings, initiated either by a parent or the appropriate teacher / leader for any discussion about a child’s progress-this has always been a given.
It should be noted that what is proposed above regarding student drop off, is the common practice in the 4 other Primary Schools in our Holdfast Partnership.