2020: Term 1 Week 10

Principal’s Message

It is hard to believe that we are already two weeks into our home learning environments. It has certainly been a rapid transition! We are desperately missing seeing the children’s faces each day but we love the photos and stories you are sharing about your learning from home experiences.

On Monday, our Continuity of Learning Timetables were released on the school website’s K-6 Continuity of Learning page and Google Classrooms K-6 were up and running. The goal of these resources and classroom forums is to ensure you and your children are supported with learning resources you can use at home. It’s also to provide a space where you and your child can ask questions of your teacher and for your child to interact with their classmates.

We now have 92% of our 571 students enrolled in their Google Classroom and interacting with their teacher. Remember, this is where the weekly learning plans are posted along with instructions from teachers and supporting resources. It is wonderful to see some of the fantastic work children are posting. They are engaging with learning in a variety of creative ways (please see images below).

That said, we are also acutely aware of the challenges home learning has placed on families, especially when you have several children and are working yourselves. At every point in time, please remember you have our complete understanding if your child is not able to complete all of their learning tasks or if you’ve made a choice to engage in other activities. We also appreciate your patience and feedback as we refine the types of learning tasks we are posting, strike a balance across types of tasks and monitor the appropriate amount of work to be setting for children.

For parents, teachers and children, our normal routines have changed and we are adjusting to different ways of working and learning. As we all navigate these uncharted waters together, you can help us make decisions about the best way forward. Your valued feedback will support our decision making process as we develop a learning from home model that will likely be needed for Term 2. We ask that parents and carers complete our Learning From Home Parent Survey to provide targeted feedback to our teaching teams.

Our school is operating on minimal supervision arrangements for the children who need to attend school. The large majority of our staff are now working from home. The best means of communication is via email to your classroom teacher, the school email address or through Google Classroom.

Please be advised our teachers are available on their Google Classrooms at the following designated check-in times:

  • Kindergarten – 9-10am, 2.45-3.30pm
  • Stage 1 – 10-11am, 2-2.45pm
  • Stage 2 – 11.50-12.50pm, 2.30-3.15pm
  • Stage 3 – 9-10am, 2-3pm
  • Library – 11am-12pm, 3-4pm
  • Learning and Support – 12-1pm

You or your child may ask a question or submit a task outside these times but please understand you may not get a response immediately.

It has been an extremely challenging time for our staff, families and greater community but we believe the wisdom conveyed in Charlie Mackesy’s image below, will help see us through.

New Defence School Mentor

This week our new Defence School Mentor, Rachel Brito, has begun at South Coogee PS. It has been a tricky time to start at a new school but Rachel has been amazing at making contact with families and getting organised for supporting our Defence students. She brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in supporting the Defence community. We are so fortunate to have her as part of the South Coogee Team.

THANK YOU to the South Coogee Community

As this will be my final newsletter in my time at South Coogee, I want to send my heartfelt thanks to the entire community for your support, collaboration, partnership, guidance and generosity.

I have absolutely loved working with the children, parents, teachers, support staff and local community partners at South Coogee. The spirit of inclusiveness, the willingness to lend a hand and the sense of fun is unsurpassed in this community. You have taught me so much about unity and working together towards a common goal.

I will always cherish the memories of my time here and I look forward to returning when all our families are back at school so I can say goodbye in person.

Stay safe and look after one another.

Marion Walsh-Gay

Relieving Principal 

Deputy Principal’s Message


The world has changed dramatically for all of us in recent weeks. Our students and teachers have moved to online and at home learning which has been a huge adjustment for all families. In addition, children’s normal routines have been disrupted as they no longer have their usual extracurricular activities.

During this time, it is vital that we all continue to look after our wellbeing. The Grow You Mind program that has been implemented at South Coogee over the past year has hopefully given the students some strategies. We have also been sharing daily invitations through SkoolBag as a gentle reminder to practise these strategies each day.

At school, students have been listening to the Grow Your Mind Podcasts (https://growyourmind.life/pages/gym-podcast) as well as doing Cosmic Kids Yoga (https://www.cosmickids.com/) and Smiling Minds mindfulness activities (https://www.smilingmind.com.au/). At home, some children have been using the ‘Flip to Flourish’ from their home kit to start each day. Other children have been looking after their mental health by taking time (as we have so much extra time now) to learn something new; how to play a new song on their instrument, how to ride a bike or how to do a front flip.

We would love to hear what you and your family are doing at home to support your wellbeing. If you are happy to share some photos with us to put on the SCPS Facebook page, please email sthcoogee-p.school@det.nsw.edu.au with the subject ‘Grow Your Mind at Home’.

Class of the Week – 4M

Wow! What a change to the term. 4M have been working very hard to understand online learning in a very short amount of time and I think they’re doing fantastic! They are doing incredibly with self-pacing through their work and navigating through Google Classroom.

4M have shown so many learner qualities in Google Classroom such as:

– Reflecting on their work and taking on board the feedback provided when they have completed their task

– Being self aware by pacing themselves and handing in each task

– Determination in understanding Google Classroom in such a short amount of time and uploading their work in the right space

– Questioning their understanding of tasks and reaching out for support

– Thinking about their work and how to complete it to the best of their abilities

– Collaborating by supporting each other and answering each other’s questions when we’re stuck

– And of course, connecting with each other through this virtual platform which I think they’re almost having too much fun!

Here are some things that our class have shared about home learning:

“I miss my friends and I wish I could see them but I like how home schooling lets me talk to my friends” – Lani

“My favourite part about home schooling is that you can see your parents all day and I see loads more of my dog Lizzy. I miss that I don’t see my friends and I also miss the comfy furniture.” – Gabriella

“I enjoy not having to leave my house every morning and wear the school uniform. I log into the Classroom by 8am surrounded by my two cats who are actively participating in my studies. I am growing to be more independent with my school work, learning to focus and how to be quiet. I enjoy doing new tasks and I get to use an iPad!” -Sebastian

“I miss my friends but I’m happy that I can still talk to them” – Siena

“My favourite part is being able to work anywhere in the house I feel comfortable….like in the shed in a big beanbag!” – Lexie

“I like home schooling as I can give my mum a hug anytime.” – Nessa

“I miss seeing my buddy in Kindergarten and seeing my teachers. My favourite part about home schooling is having a comfortable workspace to do my assigned tasks.” – Issy

Our School Captain Sadie working as a Taronga Zoo Wild Squad Agent

Check out the link to this great video of our school captain Sadie working as a Taronga Zoo Wild Squad Agent.


Digital Citizenship

With children’s increased use of technology at the moment, it is timely for us all to revisit the safe use of the internet and technology. The Department of Education’s Digital Citizenship website has great resources that can support parents, carers and students during this time



Still commemorating in a social distancing kind of way!

Please find a flyer below with information for anyone wanting to participate in commemorating ANZAC Day in our driveways.

For anyone who is interested in participating, you can decorate your letterbox and follow the instructions below:

A Spotify playlist for the public to access is available should you wish to participate. The Spotify playlist can be found under ‘Driveway Anzac Day 2020 by MellissaLorraine’. This list is set out in the order of:

  • The Ode
  • – The Last Post
  • – One Minute of Silence
  • – Reveille
  • – Australian National Anthem

If you are a premium member of Spotify this playlist will play seamlessly (including a minute of silence) from start to finish, all you have to do is press play. I suggest downloading the content and switching your phone to airplane mode to avoid interruptions. If you have your own music streaming app you can do the same with the above content.

To truly take part and be in it together, share your photos with us on our school Facebook page or email me at Rachel.brito@det.nsw.edu.au

This is one way of remembering and commemorating as a community and feeling connected.

Rachel Brito

Defence School Mentor – DSM