Thank you to all of our families for your caring and supportive approach during this situation we are experiencing with the COVID-19 situation. Both parents and staff have being doing a wonderful job in reassuring our children that they are safe in our care. Our school is being proactive in our response which is guided by daily advice we are receiving from the Department of Education and Department of Health.
In line with Department advice, our school remains open for all students who are healthy. There are 3 key messages that we continue to reinforce at school for students and staff;
- Wash your hands
- Sneeze into your elbow
- Stay home if you are unwell
As adults, we set the tone for those around us in how we talk, manage our emotions and approach challenges. Setting a calm and positive tone and sharing practical advice and factual information will help to settle some of children’s anxiety around the current situation.
What are we doing to manage the situation at school?
Our school has already begun and will continue to proactively put a range of strategies in place:
Social Distancing – All assemblies, events, excursions and outside of school sporting activities are postponed or cancelled until further notice.
Hygiene – We have ensured the soap dispensers in all toilets are full and check them throughout the day. All children have participated in additional lessons this week on handwashing, the importance of not touching each other or touching their faces, covering their mouths when coughing and sneezing into their elbow. Hand washing routines are in place in every classroom.
How is the school preparing in the instance of school closures?
While it is not clear whether or not schools will be closed at some stage, our leadership team have begun working on approaches to support remote learning from home. We already use a number of online platforms to facilitate learning including Google Classroom, Mathletics, Maths online (Stage 3) and Lexiles for our Stage 2 and 3 readers. These resources will be used to provide continuity of learning at home if needed. Information will be sent out to parents via Skoolbag and a resource page will be made available on our school website.
What can parents do to assist in managing the situation?
- Keep your children home if they are sick and follow the self-isolation guidelines if necessary. Please keep the school informed if your child will be absent.
- Educate and remind your children regarding all of the hygiene practices outlined above.
- Reassure your children that the adults will keep them safe. Answer their questions in calm but open manner.
- Keep a close eye on all school communication and updates regarding the issue which will be sent out on Skoolbag.
- If you would like to read updates from the Department of Education about the unfolding COVID 19 situation, please go to our website. All media releases are posted on the front page.
P & C Executive 2020
Our P&C AGM was held last week and I would like to congratulate the new Executive team.
President – Jodie Steele
Vice President – Brad Mitchell
Vice President – Jenny Connell
Treasurer – Maiqing Zhou
Assistant Treasurer – Ari Pappas
Secretary – Kate Anderson
Supporting our local community businesses – P&C Local Business Register
At South Coogee were are incredibly proud of the way our families bond together to support our local community. Right now there are many families in our community who have small businesses that have been impacted by the COVID-19 situation. Families who own local businesses are encouraged to join the P&C community business register by emailing email@example.com Local businesses are promoted on the P&C Facebook page and we know our families want to support our local small business owners.
Harmony Day – Monday 23 March
Harmony Week is a time for all Australians to embrace cultural diversity and to share what we have in common. We will be celebrating Harmony Week on Monday 23 March 2020.
To celebrate this special day students are asked to wear their national costume or appropriate sun safe clothing in orange (the Harmony Week official colour). No gold coin donation is required.
In classes, students will participate in activities to build their understanding of Australia’s cultural diversity and the importance of inclusiveness, respect and a sense of belonging for everyone. Students are also invited to share something from their culture, such as a book, song, artwork, toy or artefact, with the class.
As you will see throughout this newsletter, our school continues to be a vibrant learning community. We are committed to supporting student wellbeing and providing engaging learning tasks for both students and staff.
Thanks again for all your support. We are very grateful to be working with such a wonderful community.
Deputy Principal’s Message
Grow Your Mind
This year, we will be inviting all classes to practise different wellbeing strategies every day. The invitations will be short discussions or activities that teachers can do with their class for a few minutes at some point each day. Often, they are a call to action for the students to do something at some point during the day.
There will be a theme for each day:
Mindful Monday – Mindfulness is the ability to be fully present in the moment. It means not worrying about tomorrow or regretting yesterday. It can help us by increasing levels focus and happiness. Each Monday, students will learn a new way to practise mindfulness but they can also use these strategies every day!
Titan Tuesday – There is nothing special about character strengths, we all have them. Knowing what they are can help us to face problems, bounce back and to flourish. Each Tuesday, students will discuss what the character strength of the week looks like in the classroom or on the playground and try to grow that strength.
Wednesday Friends Day – Kindness is contagious, the more we give it, the more others give it and so on. We actually benefit ourselves when we are kind. Kindness also helps us develop resilience and perspective. Each Wednesday, students will be invited to help someone, the school, the environment or the community.
Thankful Thursday – Gratitude helps us feel more positive emotions, enjoy good experiences, deal with difficulties and build strong relationships. Each Thursday, students will be taking the time to practise gratitude for the things, people and experiences we have in our lives.
Friday Fun Day – A ‘fun’ day should be filled with joy, happiness, peace, wellbeing and love! Each Friday, we will take time to find joy in each other, laugh, play games and spend time with people that make us happy.
We will share these invitations with the community each week through Facebook so you can discuss them at home as well. We are hopeful that this initiative, along with other social and emotional learning programs, will provide all students, teachers and families with the opportunity to develop lifelong strategies that will benefit their wellbeing.
These were our Week 8 invitations:
Mindful Monday – Close your eyes and be silent for a full minute. At the end of this minute write a list of the things you heard and any thoughts that kept coming up.
Titan Tuesday – Tolerance – Tolerance is accepting the things you wish to be different but cannot change. If you are growing tolerance you practice being flexible, telling yourself that things don’t always have to go your way. Tolerance means even when the day is ‘too’ hot or ‘too’ cold or something is taking ‘too’ long you don’t get ‘too’ fussed! What does tolerance look like in the classroom?
Wednesday Friends Day – Say ‘hi’ to someone on the playground who you don’t normally talk to. Ask them how their day is going.
Thankful Thursday – Start a class ‘Gratitude Jar’. At the end of the school day or if you finish your work early, write down something you feel thankful for and add it to your class jar. Ask your teacher to share a couple when you have time.
Friday Fun Day – What makes you happy? Singing? Dancing? Playing sport? Telling a joke? Reading? How can you include these things in every day?
Year 6 Leaders
This week we wanted to help you get to know our Year 6 Leaders. They will work with the School Captains and School Vice Captains to lead the Student Representative Council this year. Here is some fun facts about them:
Name: Letayah G
Favourite Food: Chocolate
Favourite Colour: Blue
Best thing about SCPS: The opportunity to participate in PSSA and loads more.
Best memory of SCPS: Last year’s camp and being elected as a Year 6 Leader.
Why did you want to become a leader? Because I wanted to help change the school and make it friendly.
What advice do you have for students at SCPS? If you want to be a leader, you have to show leadership and not be a bystander.
What are you most looking forward to this year? To lead my school and have a lot of fun with my friends because it’s our last year.
Name: Taj Y
Favourite Food: Nachos
Favourite Colour: Purple
Best thing about SCPS: Sport and facilities.
Best memory of SCPS: Getting voted Year 6 Leader.
Why did you want to become a leader? So I could help others and leave a mark at the school.
What advice do you have for students at SCPS? Be nice and good!
What are you most looking forward to this year? Being a leader.
Name: Niamh L
Favourite Food: Lasagne
Favourite Colour: Aqua
Best thing about SCPS: There are loads of friends and nice teachers at South Coogee.
Best memory of SCPS: Playing around with the old Year 6s after band.
Why did you want to become a leader? To show people to never give up and try anything.
What advice do you have for students at SCPS? To not bully anyone. Have fun and be happy even if you are having a bad day.
What are you most looking forward to this year? To share my ideas and have fun. Learn and be a responsible leader.
Name: Asher G
Favourite Food: Sushi
Favourite Colour: Blue
Best thing about SCPS: Sport, PSSA and computers.
Best memory of SCPS: Being elected as a Year 6 Leader and having a buddy in Year 4.
Why did you want to become a leader? I like participating in fundraisers and like helping out.
What advice do you have for students at SCPS? Have fun and make good memories.
What are you most looking forward to this year? Speaking at assemblies and helping out.
Relieving Deputy Principal
Class of the Week – 1A
1A has had a great start to 2020 with our learning programs now in full swing. Last week, we had loads of fun creating artworks of cockatoos using finger painting. It was a very messy activity and we loved the feeling of gooey fluoro paint all over our hands. I’m sure you’ll agree the paintings are absolutely beautiful!
In Personal Development this week, we focussed on the SCPS Grow Your Mind Program. During our lesson, we discussed the importance of being aware of our own personal strengths. The learners reflected on their strengths and the behaviours they exhibit that display these strengths.
I am confident because when I make mistakes, I don’t get embarrassed. Elena W
I am creative because I am good at art. Iris F
My personal strength is kindness because I help everybody in my family. Ella L
I think I am creative because I love art and I love making art presents for my parents. Leonardo A
I am curious because I like to learn lots of things about space and the planets. Abby M
I think I am patient because I can wait patiently for a train. Luke N
I am creative because I am good at painting. Alexis C
I think I am good at being me because I know what I am good at. Rachel H
I am brave because I when there’s something scary, I don’t get scared. Liora M
I think I am creative because I know how to draw different things. Peter A
I am very helpful because when my baby cousin is crying, I help her. Amali P
My personal strength is generosity because I always share my treats with my friends. Lily S
I am respectful because I have good manners. Henry R
I think I am creative because I make lots of creative things. Isabelle R
I am respectful because I say please and thank you. Leo D
I am funny because I make my little brother laugh. Lucas S
I am friendly because I like playing with my friends. Katrina N
I am kind because I care about other people. Annabelle S
My personal strength is creativity because I like making things after school. Annika R
I am creative because I can create lots of beautiful art. Bella S
I think I am creative because I can make interesting pictures. Paxton H
I am funny because I do funny things. Nikola D
I am curious because I want to learn a lot about the Earth. Louis A
Defence Kids Club continues to be “the place to be” at SCPS on Tuesdays at lunchtime. This term, activities have included crayon designs and painting, masks, Lego, drawing, colouring in and Uno.
The K-2 students have completed their Anzac Day Colouring Competition at school in Kids Club. The 3-6 students have had a writing lesson on report writing and have begun preparing for their Anzac Day Story Writing Competition.
Unfortunately, all Anzac Day events in the community and at school have been cancelled. This includes the Schools’ Anzac March with Coogee Randwick Clovelly Sub-Branch on Sunday, April 5 and the Anzac Day Commemoration Assembly at SCPS on April 29. All assemblies, excursions and other group activities at school have been cancelled until further notice.
Circumstances pending, students may have the opportunity to visit The Kokoda Track at Ryde later this year. It is a replica version of a small part of the Kokoda Track in Papua New Guinea. The cost, transport and lunch is provided by the Coogee Randwick Clovelly Sub-Branch. This will be organised when bans have lifted.
- Defence Kids Club – Tuesday lunchtimes after eating time (1.10pm-1.50pm) in the OOSH.
- Anzac Day Colouring Competition (K-2)
- Anzac Day Story Writing Competition (3-6)
- Anzac Day – Saturday 25 April (in school holidays).
I am in the playground Monday and Friday mornings at 8.45am and most days after school at 3.00pm. Co
me up and say hi so I can meet defence parents too!
This last fortnight has been busy in the garden. We’ve been weeding, planting mini cauliflowers and re-potting the carrot, lettuce and radish seedlings that recently germinated.
We’ve enjoyed harvesting our eggplant, capsicum, herbs and soon, our lettuce.
In gardening lessons, with Year 2 and 4, we’ve been learning about soils, garden friends and garden pests and how to maintain a garden after planting. In Year 2 we’re linking our learning to enhancing the writing of information reports in the classroom. In Year 4 we’re using the garden opportunity to stimulate creative writing and visual art.
Thanks once again to parents who have been contributing resources to the garden program.
Also, thank you to all who are bringing their compost to the garden each day. These contributions are very much appreciated and add so much to the program and our increasingly sustainable community.
Number Talks in the Classroom
Or ‘Building number sense in our Learners’
This term in our continuing development as teachers, we’ve been implementing a new strategy called Number Talks in our classroom practice.
Number Talks aim to foster flexible thinking and reasoning in mathematics and to build students’ creativity, confidence and therefore engagement in learning.
Number Talks are a brief activity (about 10 minutes) implemented regularly that compliments the existing learning program. The teacher poses a problem to the whole class, elicits possible answers and importantly asks students to defend their answers through discussion and reasoning.
It has been exciting to see the students of all ability levels embrace this strategy and participate in whole-class discussions about mathematics.
Our New-Look Library
Students across all stages have been enjoying the improved features of our school library this week, with the arrival of new furniture and decorations.
After many months of planning, research and careful use of library contribution fees, Mrs Leal was able to surprise students with the rejuvenated space.
They have enjoyed using the comfy reading ‘nest’, large couches, adjustable floor seats, wobble stools and plush cushions- something to suit everyone.
There are several projects still underway, such as the organisation and updating of our non-fiction section and labeling of all Premier’s Reading Challenge books for easy access.
We are dedicated to the continued improvement of the school library for all students.
Mrs Susy Leal
Teacher Professional Development
Seven Steps to Writing
It was a dark and stormy Saturday morning. Teachers were looking forward to a cosy sleep in- but there were bigger and better things to get on with! The Seven Steps to writing workshop. It was held in our library last Saturday as part of teacher professional learning. The Seven Steps gets students excited about writing and rapidly improves their skills. It breaks down writing into seven key techniques that professional authors use. Students focus on one step at a time, which gives them a chance to understand, practise and master each individual skill.
Our teachers were inspired and enthusiastic about this approach to writing. They worked collaboratively in groups to learn and share ideas. Demonstration lessons also took place last week, which provided a practical ideas for implementing the seven steps in classrooms.
Teaching and Learning Committee
AFL Paul Kelly Cup
Congratulations to all Stage 3 South Coogee students for their enthusiastic participation in the AFL Paul Kelly Cup. All students played in 3 or 4 games and were able to test out their skills and be part of a team.
One of our boys teams and two of our girls teams made the semi finals. In the grand final our boys team were ahead by 4 goals at half time but ended up losing narrowly. The girls team were convincing winners and will go on to represent our area at the regional final on the 17th June. With current circumstances this date may change.
AFL After School Clinic Postponed
If you had already enrolled for the after school clinic, it will be put back to a later term. AFL will wait for best health information before dates are set.
COVID-19 UPDATE – Anthony Catering – Canteen Operator
The health and safety of our school communities and staff are paramount to Anthony Catering.
In the ever changing current climate and directives from the Government the uncertainty of what changes lie ahead can be discerning. Anthony Catering wanted to re-assure our school communities that while schools are operating as normal, so is Anthony Catering and our canteens.
In light of the food shortages on the supermarket shelves, please rest assured that we have not been affected to date with any food shortages or hygiene/cleaning supplies, our suppliers are continuing to deliver all orders as requested so we are able to fulfill all lunch orders.
Our hygiene and cleaning procedures have been audited and we have increased the frequency to ensure students, parents, teachers and canteen staff are protected to the best of our ability. Surfaces are being cleaned and sanitised more regularly and no necessary contact has been re-iterated to our staff, as well as ensuring staff who are unwell do not come to work.
For any questions, queries or concerns, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Coronavirus (COVID -19)
Information for parents and carers to support children and young people
How you can support your child
It is perfectly normal for children to have questions about events that are covered in the media, such as the information currently being distributed about COVID-19. Children look to the significant adults in their lives for guidance on how to manage their reactions and you can help your child by remaining calm and reassuring them.
There is a common misunderstanding that talking with your child about a topic such as COVID-19 may increase their anxiety. This is not the case. It is important to listen to your child and answer their questions as honestly as possible and correct any misunderstandings. This will help them feel informed and understand what is happening.
Keeping up to date with the facts from reliable sources will help keep conversations calm, considered, and constructive. Provide information in words that are appropriate to the age of your child.
Children can be distressed by hearing repeated stories so monitor how much your child is being exposed to television and social media and encourage them to talk to you about what they are seeing and hearing.
Some practical advice
Some practical advice for your child includes reminding them to cover their nose and mouth when they cough or sneeze (coughing into their elbow is a useful strategy), keep their hands clean by washing them regularly with soap and water, and avoid touching their eyes, nose, and mouth before washing their hands. These are easy habits for children to adopt, and should help them feel as though they’re able to exert some control over their circumstances.
If your child must stay at home, it is important for your child to maintain a healthy lifestyle including proper diet, sleep, and social contact at home and by email and phone with family and friends
Communication is important
• read the department’s response to COVID-19 for current information
• read any information sent home by the school.
• contact the school if your child becomes unwell.
Where to get help
Contact the school if you are concerned about your child’s wellbeing to discuss the most appropriate support. Support is also available through a number of agencies and community organisations. Parents and carers can:
• call the National Coronavirus Health Information line (1800 020 080)
• review the NSW Health COVID-19 website for the latest information and advice
• obtain help and information from the local General Practitioner or Community Health Centre
If you would like additional support, the following services are available • The school counselling service
• Kids Helpline – 1800 55 1800 – kidshelpline.com.au
• Headspace – 1800 650 890 – eheadspace.org.au
• Parent Helpline – 1300 1300 52
• Beyond Blue – 1300 22 4636
• Lifeline – 13 11 14