Day 1 of our return to full-time school on Monday went very well. The students were happy to be back and excited to be with their friends again. The teachers were also pleased to be in the same room as their classes. Relationships are key to good learning for school-aged students and it is hard to build trusting, constructive relationships online.
Traffic has been much greater than usual, with many more students being driven to school. There is very little we can do about this – it is a case of a large number of cars needing to enter or exit through a gate all at the same time. So we ask drivers to be patient and very careful. We would appreciate drivers not leaving the car when dropping off or picking up students at Kiss and Go. Please have schoolbags where your children can grab them as they leave the car of a morning.
We thank parents for respecting our request not to come into the school so we can limit the number of adult visitors as much as possible. This is an unfortunate impact on our sense of community but it aligns with the Department of Education’s practices to minimise the likelihood of the virus coming into the school.
National Reconciliation Week
I would like to acknowledge the Darkinjung people who are the traditional custodians of the land on which our school stands. I would also like to pay respect to Elders past, present and emerging of the Darkinjung nation and extend that respect to all other Aboriginal people.
We are pleased to have an aboriginal education program that actively involves our Aboriginal students and their families. Our program supports Aboriginal students in learning of their Aboriginal heritage, provides a mentor and connects them with Aboriginal students from other schools. As Christians we believe that all people are equally worthy of respect, that God’s love encompasses everyone and that Christians must demonstrate God’s love for all through our words and actions. Churches in Australia have in the past been agents in the dispossession of Aboriginal people from their country and in the stolen generations. Christians and churches now must be leaders in reconciliation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal Australians and in working to overcome the disadvantage that affects so many Aboriginal people. After all, “reconciliation” is central to the Christian message, given that the Apostle Paul wrote that “God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ” (2 Corinthians 5.19).
Virtual School Tour
Our website now has a virtual school tour to assist people to “tour” the school without having to be here. If you are interested or would like to show it to a friend you will find it on our home page www.lakes.nsw.edu.au.
When I am doing enrolment interviews it is always gratifying to hear that Lakes was recommended by parents whose children attend. Word of mouth is always the best form of promotion – the experiences of students and parents with our school are authentic testimony and more effective than any advertising. So I thank those parents who have supported us in this way.
If you have had a loss of income due to the impact of COVID-19 on your business or your employment and need some assistance with your fees, please email email@example.com and we will send you a link to the application form. We don’t want to lose any students as a result of this so we will try to help you until you are back on your feet.
Siblings entering Kindergarten or Year 7 2021
I am currently interviewing external applicants for Year 7. We have also asked our current Year 6 parents to indicate their intentions for their child for Year 7 next year. Please note that students who attend Lakes do not need to reapply for Year 7.
It is important that we have this information, as you understand it at present, so we know how many places we will have to offer to external students.
A reminder to contact our Registrar if you have a child or sibling you wish to enrol in Kindergarten or Year 7 next year. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mr Michael Hannah
KEY DATES FOR THE DIARY
The 2nd hand uniform shop will only be openby appointment. The next few opening times for this service are as follows:
Tuesday, 2 June - 8:30am - 12:00pm
Tuesday, 16 June - 8:30am - 12:00pm
To schedule an appointment please contact Junior School reception on 4393 4111.
It has been so fantastic to have most of our students back this week. The energy and buzz about the place has been amazing. Everyone has adapted quickly to the new cleaning and sanitising rituals as well as bringing their devices along for class. It is really wonderful to see the students catching up with each other and I know that the teachers are loving having the face-to-face interaction again. It makes up such a massive part of learning in a school that should not be underestimated.
For us as chaplains though, we are still unable to have live chapels and so we will continue for a while longer with our online attempts to replicate those experiences. The students have been very kind with their feedback to Pete and I, encouraging us and sometimes challenging us as well. It is all a part of belonging to community. This week our focus is very much around the National Reconciliation Week activities with the theme of In This Together. For me, as a follower of Jesus Christ, I am very much for us to be involved in reconciliation as a school community. His example is worth learning from and following in our own actions.
This week, for us as a family, is an important one for another reason. It has been Food Allergy Week from the 24th - 30th May across Australia and has each year for the last 5 coincided with the Australian Gymnastics Championships. With COVID restrictions in place, there was no trip to Melbourne and all the necessary food preparations required for our eldest girl. Being food allergy aware has been a part of our life and the lives of our family and friends for 17 years now…I hope that you too, might take the time to learn a little bit more about it this week. Like reconciliation, we are In This Together.
JUNIOR SCHOOL NEWS
HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL
It has been a genuine pleasure to welcome back many of our students and school families this week. We’ve been anticipating a return to ‘normal’ school life for a while, and now it’s here! With the easing of restrictions and a return to full time attendance, we’re breathing a sigh of relief, but observing a range of hygiene and safety protocols as we do!
Thank you for your patience and co-operation each morning and afternoon to help make drop-off and collection smooth and safe.
The experience has certainly reaffirmed the excellent work and expertise of our teachers and the important role that schools have in our community and in the lives of our students. As we begin to see a return to ‘normality’, there is a different landscape for what school can look like that we will continue to explore, taking our strengths and learnings from the experience. As a school, we are reflecting on what we have learned and how we can integrate it into the new or next phase of Lakes Grammar’s life to further enrich learning for the children. For example, whilst digital technology has been integrated into education for some time, the experience required us to rapidly evolve digital learning, and there are some elements we can take from that for our ongoing practice.
National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week
This week we marked National Sorry Day and the beginning of National Reconciliation Week which presents us with the opportunity to continue to work towards becoming an increasingly equitable and reconciled country. This year’s theme – ‘In this together’ – shows how people with Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander ancestry, as well as all other ancestries, can journey together to listen and learn from one another, building and deepening our relationships, and growing a stronger understanding of Australia’s history and its impact on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples both past and present. It is also a reminder for us all to be involved in reconciliation so that all Australians can live in a better place and to belong to a community which cares about and looks out for each other.
Some of the first understanding that I had when I was younger of the inequalities that our Aboriginal people have endured were from some of the stories that my grandfather recounted. He had been a public school Principal on the mid North Coast in the middle of last century at a time where the Teachers’ Handbook allowed for the exclusion of Aboriginal students on various grounds – a clause which was only removed in 1972. He spent many years at the different schools he was posted to working with local communities to enable Aboriginal students to attend to learn alongside all of the other children. He also worked on the Council of the NSW Teachers’ Federation when they commissioned a study into Aboriginal education which highlighted a lack of teacher training for Aboriginal education, which had an obvious impact on student learning. The study highlighted that Aboriginal students were either struggling at high school or leaving school early, as well as showing the way that both economic pressures and racism also created difficult learning environments for Aboriginal students. It was used to drive a range of initiatives to improve the quality of Aboriginal Education in the 1960’s and 1970’s. He was also a strong Christian who believed deeply in the equality of all people and our preciousness before God as His children, which clearly impacted his actions in life.
One of my fondest experiences in my time in education so far has been taking Year 6 students on annual mission trips to Aboriginal communities in far North Queensland – to the community of Yarrabah near Cairns to work with Bishop Arthur Malcolm, the first Aboriginal Anglican Bishop in Australia, and to the Hope Vale community, located about an hour north of Cooktown. Originally it was the old Cape Bedford mission before World War 2, when its Aboriginal inhabitants were relocated to Woorabinda – and it took some time for the new Hope Vale settlement to be created and for the Aboriginal people to be able to move back following the war. These were wonderful times to partner with both Aboriginal communities and to learn of their stories, beliefs and customs, and incredibly invaluable for all of the students. However, the level of disadvantage in both communities was also quite astonishing – one example is that when the public school ordered supplies from the government supply store, they were charged extra freight to have these delivered due to the distance, a significant cost for an already poor community. Many students in the public school we visited had already lost parents, in some cases both parents, at a very young age due to ill health and were in the care of extended family. In some ways the visits there showed a ‘hidden’ disappointment of Australia as a nation with the lack of access to services and opportunity that we would take for granted in our community. This inequality is not as widely publicised or in the forefront of our minds as it should be.
As we reflect on National Sorry Day and Reconciliation Week, we pray for members of the Stolen Generations and their families, for reconciliation, for the range of initiatives that are being made to improve the wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, as well as for continued opportunities that we may have to further `contribute to reconciliation.
Head of Junior School
Welcome Back to Term 2!
Well, what an interesting last couple of months we have had in the JS Library! Good news, the JS Library is now OPEN again for classes / library lessons. However, it will remain CLOSED at lunchtimes to avoid contact within the surfaces of the library.
All care is being taken in regards to hygiene and books are placed in quarantine before being re-shelved.
Premier’s Reading Challenge 2020
We now have 28 completed. A fantastic effort considering the major disruption to borrowing over the last couple of months.
Note: 2020 PRC Registrations are now closed and students need to borrow appropriate PRC Book listings now that the JS Library is back open for borrowing.
Library Lessons – TERM 2
Library lessons for the remainder of Term 2 include the following Grade Topics / Themes:
K - Fairytales / Fables
1 - Author Study – Leigh Hobbs
2 - Author Study – Leigh Hobbs
3 - Australia / National Parks
4 - Asian Digital Stories using SCRATCH (Coding)
5 - Gallipoli unit
6 - Media Studies (BTN) / Poetry Forms
5/6L - Media Studies (BTN) / Rainforest unit (sustainability)
JS Teacher Librarian
JUNIOR SCHOOL SPORTS NEWS
Sports affected by current Coronavirus
Due to the current issues we face with health and hygiene, all School, HRIS and CIS events have been cancelled for the rest of Term 2 and all of Term 3.
K-6 School Sport Tuesdays
School sport is still taking place every Tuesday (no external sport). Adjustments include no contact sports and all equipment is cleaned and sanitised after use.
Activities include tabloids set up to help develop specific skills related to various sports.
Please ensure that correct uniform is worn and a hat / drink bottle is packed for Sport days.
Mr James Cantor
K-6 Sports Co-ordinator
SENIOR SCHOOL SPORTS NEWS
At this stage there is no new information on the commencement of Interschool sporting events.
The directive is NO representative sport pathways or competitions for the remainder of Term 2. School sporting bodies are meeting on a fortnightly basis and if anything changes you will be updated.
Wednesday weekly sport has commenced and is being conducted at school using only school teaching staff. Strict hygiene and social distancing guidelines are being followed and only non-contact sports are involved in the sporting program. Students are completing sport in their college tutor groups and will rotate through a variety of sports and physical activities over the remaining 4 weeks of Term 2.