Thank you, parents, for all you have done during the lockdown in supporting us and your children with their remote learning. It has been over 9 weeks since we closed the classroom doors, and we are really looking forward to welcoming back our students from next week.
As we prepare to welcome all students back to Good Shepherd for the resumption of face-to-face learning in the coming fortnight, I write to provide you with some important information regarding their return. This information aims to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission and promote a safe and healthy return to school for our community.
In all matters related to the management of COVID-19 in our school communities, Catholic Education and Good Shepherd take advice from ACT Health. The health and wellbeing of students, staff and our wider school community is given the highest priority and we continue each day to take measures to minimise the risk of COVID-19.
Please read the information carefully and follow all procedures in place to ensure a safe school environment and smooth transition back to face to face learning.
Return to School
Commencing 25 October (Week 4): Kindergarten, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 6 only.
Commencing 1 November (Week 5): Year 3, Year 4, Year 5.
Please do not send Year 3, 4 or 5 children to school in Week 4 unless essential, as their teachers will be working offsite with remote learning. If you do require them to attend during Week 4, please notify me via email as soon as possible. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We expect all students to re-join us on their allocated ‘first day’. The reopening of schools reflects the need to have students return to the classroom to support their wellbeing and minimise educational disadvantage. As such, now that the ACT Government has declared that schools are safe to open, we are once again obliged to ensure that the requirements of school attendance are met.
While the school will do its best to try to provide support for students who do not return to the classroom with their peers, we are unable to provide two modes of learning. Teachers will resume face-to-face delivery in the school setting, and this will be the mode of learning available. As such, remote learning in its current daily format will not continue.
Use of Check In CBR app
Parents and carers cannot enter the school grounds. They are allowed on campus for essential purposes only or in the case of an emergency.
- to pick up a sick student
- to access After Hours Care (Team Kids)
- to provide necessary supports for a child or young person with additional needs (which must be negotiated with me in advance).
No students are to attend school if they are showing any COVID like symptoms. They must remain at home and follow all ACT Health directions in relation to testing and/or quarantine instructions and can only return to school when cleared to do so.
Students who present as unwell or with symtptoms will be required to go home.
Hygiene and cleaning
Students and staff will need to wash hands and use hand sanitisers throughout the day. Students will not be allowed to share food or drink. This includes celebratory events such as birthdays.
We have increased cleaning schedules and resources at school during the school day to wipe down and disinfect high-touch areas, including classrooms and common spaces, in addition to regular daily cleaning.
We have purchased extra cleaning products for all classrooms, including the provision of extra hand sanitiser at key entry and exit locations and extra hand soap and paper towel so all students and staff can wash their hands frequently, particularly before and after recess and lunch times.
Bubblers have been turned off. Please remind all students to bring and use a suitable refillable water bottle each day.
Staff and visitors to Good Shepherd must wear a face mask on campus, unless exempt, when eating or drinking, when communicating with a person who is hard of hearing, when exercising vigorously, when outside alone, or in an emergency.
Students in years 3 to 6 are encouraged to wear a mask at school if they are comfortable doing so (at the discretion of the student and their parents/carers). Although the ACT Health directives say people 12 and above must wear a mask in the ACT, this does not include primary school settings.
Children in preschool to Year 2 should not wear masks as they are likely to be worn incorrectly and may present a choking hazard.
Physical distancing between children and young people is not always possible. ACT Health guidelines do not mandate that students physically distance from each other. It is however important for limiting the transmission of COVID-19.
Students will be encouraged to minimise close contact and close interaction where possible. Parents and carers gathering outside the school for collection and/or drop off must socially distance.
Good Shepherd School will ventilate classrooms and other areas as much as possible, including opening doors and windows. Classes will also be encouraged to maximise the use of outdoor learning spaces where appropriate. Due to these changes, students are encouraged to dress in layers as appropriate.
Our School Wellbeing Officer (Mrs Olive), our School Counsellor (Mr Mark Holberton) and our classroom support staff will recommence with the return to school. Conversations with parents will be conducted remotely.
Drop off and pick up arrangements
Each morning, students will be asked to be seated in their line up area. There will be no play on the equipment or the courts as this would be mixing of cohorts. Classes will be taken inside by class teachers at 8:45am to assist with minimising congestion.
Although supervision is from 8:30am, we encourage you to bring your child closer to 8:45am if possible, as they will not be playing before school.
Drop-off and pick-up of students will be the same as before remote learning, except that no parent or carer is allowed on the school grounds.
Drive through drop-off and pick-up will operate as normal as is encouraged.
If you park and collect your child from the front school carpark, you must wait in the carpark area and not enter the school grounds.
If you park and collect your child from the Church carpark, you must wait outside the school gates and all students will be walked outside the gates to be collected.
We strongly encourage those who can park elsewhere to do so (shopping centre, Amaroo Oval etc) and walk your child to the car.
All parents and carers waiting to collect students must wear masks and maintain a social distance of a minimum of 1.5m.
All parents are to wait for children off school grounds. There will be staff at the gates and entrances around the school to support this. If you are parking and collecting your child, please arrange a meeting place organised before returning to school e.g. oval, front of school, Church carpark area, Burdekin Ave.
Good Shepherd will limit unnecessary physical interaction between students on school grounds and the mixing of student cohorts (those year groups not routinely learning together) where possible. This will include staggering breaks and dedicated entry and exit points for different year groups.
Limiting interaction between students does not apply to siblings.
Mixing of staff cohorts will be minimised by assigning separate ‘staff rooms’ in each building.
Managing cohorts differently is challenging but necessary as we navigate our way beyond the recent lockdowns prompted by the pandemic.
Good Shepherd School has designated breaktimes for different cohorts.
10:30-11am (Kinder, 1, 2)
11:10am-11:40am (Years 3,4,5,6)
12:45pm-1:15pm (Kinder, 1, 2)
1:25pm-1:55pm (Years 3,4,5,6)
Clubs and Choir
Due to limiting unnecessary physical interaction between students on school grounds and the mixing of student cohorts, Lunchtime Clubs and Choir will not be occurring this term.
Before and after school care
TeamKids will operate as usual from the School Hall.
As you are aware, on 13 October 2021, the ACT Government announced that staff and volunteers in school and care settings for children aged under 12, including ACT primary schools, Early Learning Centres and Out of School Hours Care centres, will require full vaccination against COVID-19.
Term 4 school fee statements will be issued today. If you have not provided an email address for this purpose, your printed statement will be sent home when your child returns to school.
Fees for cancelled camps and swimming lessons have been refunded to all families. The Community Council Levy will not be charged this term. These adjustments will be reflected in fee statements issued this week.
This is the last statement for 2021 - please read it carefully. The final balance listed is the amount that is due by Friday November 26. All accounts should be finalised by this date. If paying by instalments, please ensure your payments will clear your account by this date.
If you have any questions, please email email@example.com .
Fee support for families impacted by COVID-19
Catholic Education will continue financial support to meet the full cost of any fee remissions to families in Term 4 arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. Eligibility for fee relief will be based on the financial hardship experienced by families due to COVID-19.
If your family has been financially impacted by the pandemic, you may be eligible for assistance. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for information and application forms.
Please do not hesitate to contact me confidentially if you have any concerns regarding school fees.
Good Shepherd summer uniform must be worn by all students onsite this term. All students must ensure that they adhere to the uniform and appearance requirements as per the Uniform Policy available on our school website. I understand there is a supply issue for some uniform items. Please inform your child’s teacher if your child is unable to wear correct uniform temporarily.
All students are required to wear a school hat at recess and lunch, as per our Sunsmart Policy. It will be problematic for us if students attend without a hat as they must sit in the shade in our designated ‘no hat spot’ and we will have mixed cohorts. Please ensure your child has a hat ready for their first day.
Students will not be allowed to share food or drink. This includes celebratory events such as birthdays. No sharing of birthday treats until advised.
Teachers will be provided with a sheet of stickers and will give any birthday students a sticker on Monday when the birthday names are called out over the PA.
We will continue to review and adjust these measures based on the most up to date advice from the ACT Government, ACT Health and Catholic Education.
Class allocations for 2022
During this term, we will be finalising our staffing arrangements for 2022. Below is a copy of the ‘Class Allocation Policy’ which aims to ensure there is a fair and just process in allocating students to classes for the upcoming school year.
My firm belief is that teachers are in the best position to decide a child’s placement because they know all the children in their classes and have a view of the ‘big picture’. However, I invite parents to inform me of anything that you feel needs to be considered, for your own child’s well-being or development.
As there are four streams of classes each year at Good Shepherd Primary School, there are different combinations of children in classes. When forming the class lists the following factors are taken into consideration:
- diverse Learners;
- work habits;
- cognitive ability;
- health considerations;
- religion (to assist in achieving balance between classes, especially in Sacramental years); and
- common names.
Ideally we aim for an equal spread of both positive and challenging characteristics. Where practical, parental requests based on educational concerns may be considered. At Good Shepherd, the staff and parents will follow these principles and guidelines when considering placement of students each year:
- every care will be taken to ensure that each child is placed in the best situation to enhance learning and social development;
- parents who wish to raise particular concerns regarding the placement of their children in particular classes, should put the concern in writing and email it to me (email@example.com) by Friday of Week 4 (Term 4- Friday 29 October);
- parent concerns will be considered during the process. It must be clearly understood, however, that no definite guarantees can be given regarding parental concerns;
- where appropriate, advice will be sought from the Classroom Support Teacher, School Counsellor, Chaplain and current class teacher during this process;
- considering all the factors listed above, the current class teachers compile class lists from mid-term, Term 4. These are then handed to me to confirm;
- children will be informed of their class placement for the following school year in December (usually the last week of school) and the opportunity will be provided for them to spend some time with their new class teacher. New students to the school for the following year are invited to attend; and
- Throughout this process, after appropriate consultation, I reserve the right to make final professional decisions regarding the placement of children.
Sports days Term 4
Kinder - Monday and Thursday
Year 1 - Monday and Wednesday
Year 2 - Tuesday and Friday
Year 3 - Wednesday and Friday
Year 4 - Monday and Wednesday
Year 5 - Tuesday and Friday
Year 6 - Monday and Thursday
I can’t wait to see all our students back at school very soon and thank you in advance for your cooperation and understanding as we continue this journey in partnership.
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions or concerns.
Wishing God’s blessing on you and your families,
Fr Mark's Challenge!
Fr Mark’s challenge for this week was:
“What do you say in response to: 'The body of Christ'?"
The correct answer is ‘Amen’ which is an Aramaic word that translates to ‘it is true’. So when people say Amen, they are agreeing to what has been said.
Congratulations to Lucas VC (5 Abbott) and Jessica L (3 Tokich) who won this week. Fr Mark will be dropping off your prizes in the coming week.
This will be the final Fr Mark Challenge. Thank you to all those students who participated and congratulations to all our winners!
First Reconciliation will be held for students during school hours on Tuesday 2nd November. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions, no families can attend.
Good Shepherd students will be celebrating their First Eucharist on Friday 12th and Friday 19th November. Masses will be held at 6pm and 7:15pm. Parents with students enrolled to receive First Eucharist would have received an email from the parish with more details. Further details will be sent to parents soon to register for a Mass.
If you have any questions or queries, email Anthony O'Connell at firstname.lastname@example.org
|Kindergarten||KD - Georgia B||KE - Arthur McH||KF - Charlie W||KM - Anahadpreet S|
|Year 1||1Co - Annika S||1Cu - Trisha R||1MB - Tavita S||1M - Nicoletta F|
|Year 2||2B - Owen S||2H - Celina S||2K - Yvonne T||2TC - Sophia V|
|Year 3||3G - Mukhvir S||3Th - Avinav B||3To - Aida R||3Z - Niamh M|
|Year 4||4GB - Leila R||
4Rob - Tyson A
|4Rou - Curtis B||4S - Cohen M|
|Year 5||5A - Noah E||5CT - Evgeniy M||5D - Shehnaz S||5WO - Mia B|
|Year 6||6K - Tahlia V||6N - Abigail B||6Pa - Olivia S||6PO - Thomas J|
Seeking your favourite recipes!
"Kitchens are made for keeping families together" (Anon)
Does your family have a favourite 'International recipe?' Please share this recipe with us and your family could win a prize. Competition extended for another week.
We currently have 231 recipes contributed for our cookbook. We are aiming for 500!
Back to school
Returning to school may look and feel a lot different for you and your children. While we may not know exactly how different school will be, the usual mixed emotions about returning to school will undoubtedly be met with heightened concerns regarding protecting your family from COVID-19.
To ease your minds we’re here to support you with some general tips on preparing to return to school and feeling more empowered as a family:
- tell your children we are ready and excited to have them back at school;
- talk to your children about any concerns they have about returning to school, and things they are looking forward to at school. Ask for pressing concerns to be shared with teachers;
- normalise and validate any feelings of worry but encourage children to be brave and to face up to worrying feelings. Let them know that what they are feeling is normal, other people feel the same way and that there is nothing wrong with their feelings;
- organise school bags and uniforms together on the weekend;
- start each school day the same way, including setting the alarm, eating breakfast together, dressing in school uniform or doing whatever you would normally do. Allow a little extra time to get ready before school;
- surprise your child with a little treat or a note in their lunch box to let them know you are thinking of them;
- be positive - highlight the positives of being back in school;
- discuss what might be the same but also discuss what will be different about the drop off and pick up procedures and how you will manage it as a family. Maybe arrive with a friend and they can go into school together;
- reassure your child that there will be plenty of staff to help take them to their classrooms; and
- remind them how amazing they have been during this time.
As we gradually resume many of our usual activities, and as family, school and community supports are put back in place, along with organised physical and other extra curricula activity – comfort and happiness will return for most children and their families as well as school staff.
Need extra help?
There are a range of resources and supports available.
Talk to or request to see the following people
Terree Olive – Student Wellbeing Officer - email@example.com
Your General Practitioner
Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800
CatholicCare 6162 6100
Please remember to let me know if you are being posted at the end of 2021 as I would like to help your family's transition to the new posting.
Please also advise me if you and your partner are MWDU or if any Defence serving members in your household are on a course or deployed. I would like to be able to support your families during this time.
As a DSM I can help you with relocation information and also direct you to the appropriate Defence supports that may help you at this time.
I will also check in with your child and help to answer any questions about the new posting location.
Please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions or queries that you may have regarding Defence Supports.
Mrs Taryn Ahern
Transport Canberra’s dedicated school bus services will recommence on Monday 25 October 2021. This includes ‘S’ trips that divert into schools.
Timings have changed for dedicated school services and the regular timetable. We are strongly encouraging families to check their school pack and plan ahead.
Special Needs Transport continues to run for those families that need this service.
A range of COVID Safe measures are in place to help keep students safe on public transport. Please remind families to familiarise themselves with these measures and talk to their children about them prior to the return to school.
From Monday 25 October 2021 buses will run to a revised interim timetable. This timetable is a similar frequency to the timetable that has been running over the past two months, but with some changes to timings to allow better connections for school students.
Light rail is continuing to run to its regular frequency but will see an increase in frequency from Monday 1 November 2021. This will assist with physical distancing on board. Customers will benefit from extended afternoon peak frequency on weekdays and increased frequency on Sunday mornings.
Consider walking or riding to school – or using a Part way point
Parents and carers may also consider alternative ways to get their children to school. If they live close by they can take advantage of the warmer spring weather and walk, ride or scoot to school!
Part way points are also a great way to get some exercise into children’s days for families that live a little further away and this also helps to ease congestion around schools. Parents or carers can simply drop their child at a point, or park and walk the rest of the way with them.
Park safely and legally
All 40km/h school zones are in place between 8am and 4pm Monday to Friday. Speed limits in school zones are there to ensure the safety of children by allowing motorists extra time to stop in an unexpected situation.
Parking across pedestrian crossings, corners, verges and double parking can block kids seeing the road.
School packs and timetable information
For enquiries customers are encouraged to visit www.transport.act.gov.au or call 13 17 10.