Primary School Highlights

Day for Daniel 2020 

Today the whole College is coming together in a meaningful way to acknowledge Day for Daniel. Students are wearing a red item and brought a monetary donation to school towards the Daniel Morcombe Foundation. 

The story of Daniel Morcombe is a difficult and sad one, and as such we share themes of staying safe for our Primary children in age-relevant and appropriate contexts. This year we are focussing on staying safe online. It is often helpful as parents to have some simple rules to share with your kids as they navigate the online world. Please watch this short YouTube clip which summarises these nicely I believe, and I would encourage you to be discussing this with your children.

As a College, we also have a mandate to keep our students safe online. With this in mind, I would like to share with you a message from our Director of IT, Mark Missenden, about how we are further developing this in the Primary School. 

“One of the greatest challenges that we have had to face as a College community this year is finding alternative ways to provide our students with as many opportunities as we can in this post-COVID world. Whether it’s a musical performance or award presentation ceremony where we haven’t been able to invite our wider College community to attend, we’ve been limited to a live stream as our next best option. Or when our students have been unable to attend the campus for some reason, we can deliver the day’s lesson via our online learning platforms. When a challenge in 2020 has been presented, the world has often turned to an online digital alternative. This may be disappointing in many respects as we love having our wider College community here at the campus with us, however it also presents some opportunities to explore new ways to approach old problems.  

As a College, our dependency on digital services to continue to provide quality education has certainly increased as we leverage these platforms. Additionally, our awareness of the increased online risks that are present is also heightened. As such, we use some sophisticated web filtering software to protect our students from inadvertently browsing to sites that are considered unsafe while using their school-issued iPad devices on campus. Recently, we have been trialling a change to iPad devices which offers this same protection policy whether the device is at the College or at home. This trial and testing phase has been successful, and over the next 2 weeks this change will be deployed to iPads that are taken home by students (Grades 4, 5 and 6). This change will mean that students will have the same user experience on their iPads both at the school and home. 

Thank-you all so much for your understanding. We realise the challenges of educating our children to be good digital citizens is becoming harder as the world continues to shift toward online mediums, and so as we partner with you on this journey we are hopeful that changes such as these will help to facilitate this process. 

 Class Allocations for 2021 

Over the course of the next few weeks and into December, we will be allocating students to particular classes for 2021.   

This is a complex process which is taken seriously by all the staff to ensure we have balanced classes in every year level. Our process takes into account numerous factors which include, academic abilities and needssocial and emotional considerationsgender issues including numbers, as well as students and families who have challenges or needs in this area.  

Every year we have new students arriving, as well as Genesis students leaving and so consideration goes into where these new students are placed, especially if students have to be moved between classes to balance numbers.  

Consultation occurs with the Learning Support Staff and the Pastoral Care staff as part of this process as well. Friendship matters are also a consideration; however, they cannot be a determining factor if it will result in a class not being balanced. 

From what has been shared, you can see that the process is taken seriously and is comprehensive, fair and one which results in four equally distributed classes in each year level. It is therefore understandable that the College cannot consider requests for individual teachers as the College needs to consider the whole cohort not the preferences of a select few. Importantly, we ask that you trust the College in placing your child in the right class, with the right teacher and with a comfortable group of friends. 

Thank you for your continuing support as we partner together in the education of your children. 

Yours sincerely,

Jeremy Williamson 

Head of School – Primary