Dear Parents,The past fortnight has been a challenging time for all of us, and with the prospect of facing the uncertainties of the future it is important that we continue to support each other.COVID-19 UPDATESThere has been no change in the advice from the Department of Education and Training since my previous communication on Monday March 16 regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. I will continue to provide any updates via Compass with changes that affect the present arrangements at school.This is the current situation from the school’s perspective:
There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 within our school community. However, should a member of your family be diagnosed with COVID-19, please notify the school immediately.
The school remains open, as I must follow the best advice from the Department of Education. This may change and we will let you know immediately if there is to be a school closure – this could happen at short notice.
If students are unwell, they should remain at home until their symptoms resolve and seek medical assistance as required.
GIPS’ staff have prepared education material for the students to be completed at home in the event of a school closure.
GIPS’ staff are also exploring ways to enable our students’ online learning possibilities in the future.
All camps and excursions must be postponed or cancelled from Tuesday 17 March.
We have also cancelled interschool sport, parent information sessions, kinder visits by Year 5 students, school tours and the final school assembly for the term on Friday 27 March.
It is also important that everyone continues to follow good hand and respiratory hygiene practices as previously communicated.
The mandatory self-quarantine period of 14 days for travellers returning from overseas does have implications for students and staff. In brief, students who travel overseas will not be able to attend school for 14 days when they return. Similarly, staff who travel overseas will not be able to attend school for 14 days.
Everyone should also stay up to date with the latest information from the Department of Health and Human Services via their website: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/victorian-public-coronavirus-disease-covid-19
HOLIDAY WORKSWe were very fortunate late last year to receive $265,000 from the State Government to repair our school’s roofing. This has been an ongoing issue for us over many years with the age of the building and the associated leaking after heavy rain. Over the holidays, the school’s main building is going to have scaffolding erected and the works will begin. It is estimated that these works will take 5 weeks. Because of the size of work an information board detailing this will be put up to inform the community. On the students' return, there will be a fenced-off area near the staff car park and the scaffolding will still be up, but this will have little impact on the day-to-day school operations.… FROM THE CLASSROOMSMarvellous Me – PrepPrep students, as part of their Integrated Studies topic, ‘It’s All About Me’ had a visit from some theatre performers. The interactive performance celebrated everyone’s unique capabilities and had valuable lessons about self-esteem, friendship and diversity. “Marvellous Me!” encourages students to explore:
Their own uniqueness
Their special skills and qualities
The importance of friendship
Acceptance and diversity
Cooperation and teamwork
…from the Assistant PrincipalOn Wednesday 11 March, Michael Minas (Educational Consultant) assisted staff in developing their teaching and learning in mathematics. Michael is a highly capable teacher with that innate ability to have a positive influence on others. He is passionate about effective maths teaching and knows exactly what this looks and feels like. GIPS staff were shown high quality innovative teaching strategies to both engage and challenge all students. One of the big take-a-ways was when students are presented with a challenging problem solving task allow them 5 minutes to work in silence which will allow them to think of the appropriate strategies to use. I have attached a link to a funny video, that I encourage you to watch with your children, that highlights the point that if we get stuck we ‘yell for help’ instead of embracing the challenge and trying new ways to work through it.https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VrSUe_m19FY&feature=emb_rel_pauseI would like to acknowledge our Numeracy Specialist, Shelley Morrison, for organising a professional development afternoon that challenged our thinking and reflect on our teaching of Maths. We plan to continue to work again with Michael later this year.SCHOOL CROSSING SUPERVISOR NOMINATIONNominations are currently open for the School Crossing Supervisor of the Year award. After occasionally filling in for Andrew whilst he was away for the start of the year at the Glen Iris Rd crossing I was reminded how valuable this service is. The parents and students often asked me, ‘Where is Andrew?’ Andrew’s role is not only important for the obvious safety reasons but also for his friendly welcome each morning and afternoon and the positive connections he has made with the school community. I would encourage any families who use this service to show their appreciation by nominating Andrew Kot in this year’s award. You can do this online: www.schoolcrossingsvictoria.com.auREGIONAL SWIMMING CARNIVALWell done to our students, Luke and Abbey, who qualified for the recent Regional Swimming event in Ringwood. It is a fantastic achievement to reach this level in individual events and the standard of swimming is very strong. Abbey came first in freestyle and second in butterfly. Abbey now qualifies for the State Swimming Championships. We wish Abbey all the best!Unfortunately, Luke was unable to compete on the day due to illness.STUDENT ACTION LEADERSHIP TEAMS (SALT) and HOUSE CAPTAINSAt assembly on Friday, our House Captains and Year 6 SALT members were presented with their badges by the Federal Member for Higgins, Katie Allen. As I said on many occasions, I have not seen a school that has a better student leadership program than the SALT program at GIPS. The students are prepared exceptionally well by the teachers and are given meaningful roles. The positive impact across the school with the student-initiated activities, role modelling for the Year 5 students and mentoring of the younger students contributes greatly to the caring and supportive environment that exists at GIPS.Below is a table of the House Captains and the 5/6 students in their SALT teams:
Health & PE
School Representative Council (SRC)Each year we have two students from each classroom who represent their fellow classmates on the SRC. The SRC is an important vehicle for student voice, and this year will be overseen by Miss Emma Black. They will meet at designated lunchtimes to organise a community-minded activity each term, as well as provide the school with ideas and opportunities to enhance the schooling environment for all students. For the first time, Year 2 students will have representatives on the SRC. Well done to the following students who will be on this year’s SRC:
HARMONY WEEKWe will be celebrating Harmony Week on Friday 20 March. Students are invited to come to school in free dress ‘with a touch of orange’. The week celebrates Australia’s multiculturalism and is about inclusiveness, respect and belonging for all Australians. In their classrooms and during specialist sessions, students will be doing an activity to highlight this event. Follow this link for more information about Harmony Week.SCHOOL PHOTOSWe had planned to have school photos on the first Wednesday of Term 2, but due to the present situation we have postponed the date to Wednesday 22 July.LOST PROPERTY Please can you take the time to label all uniform items. We regularly sort and return as much lost property as possible during the school year. It is always disappointing to see the huge amount of unclaimed uniform that is in excellent condition in lost property. The lost property box now located in the main building under the stairwell outside 56C.SCHOOL GARDENThought I would finish this week’s newsletter on a bright note. Have you noticed the amazing sunflowers (pictured below) currently growing in the school garden? Mr Hynes’ Year 2 students have been collecting data at different times of the day to see how the sunflowers track the sun from morning to afternoon. LAST DAY OF TERM 1 Just a final reminder that the last day of Term 1 is Friday 27 March. All students will be dismissed at 2.30pm. As mentoned above there will be no whole school assembly on this day and students will be dismissed from their classrooms.Garry CollinsPrincipal