Issue #4 - 19 March 2020
24 Mar - Year 4 Liturgy
31 Mar - Pre-Primary Liturgy
* Please check the community calendar for future dates as the calendar is regularly updated.
FROM THE PRINCIPAL
Last Friday afternoon our beautiful Year Three children led our Harmony Day Prayer Assembly. They reminded us that Harmony Day is a celebration of our cultural diversity and that people from many cultures call Australia home. It was wonderful to see the children dressed in cultural dress as well as the colour orange which traditionally signifies social communication and meaningful conversations. It also relates to the freedom of ideas and encouragement of mutual respect. At PCPS we have many cultures within our community which we celebrate, respect and appreciate reflecting two of our school values of ‘respect and togetherness’.
If a family would like to place a note in the Pastoral Care section of the newsletter in relation to a birth or death, or if a family would like the whole school community to pray for any special intentions e.g. a family member who is ill, please send a message to please let your child’s class teacher or Mrs Hughes at the front office know or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Pre Kindy and Kindy 2021 and 2022 enrolment interviews are currently taking place. If you have a child who is due for Pre Kindy, please ensure that your application has been received by the office so that you have a place secured. If you have friends and neighbours with children in these age brackets, please encourage them to view our school website and submit an application.
A number of memos and information via the newsletter have been sent to families regarding the coronavirus. Please see below the following communications which were sent home earlier in the week plus some updated information.
16 March update
I am aware that there may be some concern amongst our school community at the moment regarding the COVID-19 virus and the health of students. Please let me reassure you that the safety and wellbeing of every one of our students is our highest priority. We are working closely with Catholic Education Western Australia (CEWA) support staff and following the advice of the Department of Health in dealing with risks posed by COVID-19.
In light of the Government and CEWA’s most recent advice, the Leadership Team wishes to inform you that non-essential gatherings have been cancelled/postponed in order to mitigate coronavirus risk factors (which also includes risk assessment consideration for factors such as potential for contact with members of the public, and cleaning/hygiene arrangements provided at external venues):
20 March Swimming Carnival plus before school swimming training
18 March Strategic Planning Meeting for parents
25 March P&F and Board Meetings
26 March UR Strong parent/student session
27 March Merit Assembly
3 April Merit Assembly
3 April Family Fun Night
We understand the cancellation/postponement of these events may be disappointing for members of our school community however we are taking all reasonable measures to prevent the spread of the virus at our school.
Staff are continuing to remind the children of good hygiene practices and we ask that parents reinforce these practices with children at home:
- Washing hands frequently with soap and water or using an alcohol-based gel
- Refraining from touching our mouth and nose
- Covering nose and mouth with a tissue or flexed elbow when coughing or sneezing
- Disposing of tissues immediately into a bin and cleaning hands as described above
- Avoiding close contact with anyone who is showing cold or flu-like symptoms
Additional measures implemented at PCPS include - sanitising gel in classrooms, hygiene posters in classrooms and toilets; sanitised cleaning; posters displayed for visitors/contractors/volunteers; recess/lunch eaten in classrooms; sensible social distancing measures including not shaking hands or students hugging each other; cancellation of excursions/incursions.
In terms of travel, we ask that parents coming back from holidays overseas, continue to check advice from the Health Department, self-monitor and seek medical advice as required.
As the COVID-19 situation evolves, the Leadership Team and staff continue contingency planning for operations including planning for the continuity of learning and teaching should the Government call for school closures.
It is important to acknowledge that it can be normal to feel worried or anxious about this situation, parents and children alike. If your children are worried about this virus, you can help them by providing reassurance and perspective – it is unlikely that they will get sick, but if they do, they will go to the doctor. Most children have mild symptoms and feel well again soon. Also remember that speaking with them about increased handwashing, covering their mouth when coughing, sneezing into their elbow and general good hygiene practices will help them feel empowered in this time.
Please keep in mind that as leaders of our school communities, we have an important part to play in promoting good hygiene and public health messages with our students and families that will help contain the spread of this virus and protect those in the community who are at the greatest risk.
As a Catholic community, we can extend our prayers for all of those impacted in Australia and abroad and show care and support for all members of our community. Much like the flu that affects many people each year, it is not out of the question that people we know may be ill with symptoms caused by COVID-19, and if so, it is important that we offer them our support, while we follow advice from health authorities.
If you would like to talk to your children about the virus, here are some useful resources, however please view them first to ensure they are suitable for the age of your child:
- How to talk to your kids about coronavirus https://www.nbcnews.com/better/lifestyle/how-talk-your-kids-about-coronavirus-ease-their-fears-ncna1129851
- This is a comic for children explaining the coronavirus https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2020/02/28/809580453/just-for-kids-a-comic-exploring-the-new-coronavirus
- A 4-minute animated clip for children on coronavirus https://www.brainpop.com/health/diseasesinjuriesandconditions/coronavirus/
For the latest information on the virus, preventative measures, or what to do if you or your child become sick, please visit: https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/Coronavirus
For information on who should or should not attend school, please refer to: https://www.cewa.edu.au/novel-coronavirus-update/
We will continue to monitor the situation and take advice from relevant authorities.
Decisions are always made in the best interest of our children and I thank you for your continued understanding and support.
17 March update
Information about travel and self-isolation.
The Prime Minister has introduced measures placed on international arrivals into Australia. This means a mandatory 14-day self-isolation requirement has been placed on all international arrivals into Australia effective from 9pm (WST) Sunday 15 March.
Western Australian schools are required to introduce new precautionary measures as per above. As with all Australian travellers, students and staff who return from international travel must self-isolate for 14 days. This includes all parents and school visitors. Ideally, students or staff members in the same house as a person self-isolating should make alternative residential arrangements to mitigate any possible spread of the virus. If this is not possible, staff and students residing in the same residence as a self-isolating person MUST ensure they do not have any contact with the individual.
For information on who should or should not attend school, please refer to: https://www.cewa.edu.au/novel-coronavirus-update/
Families who are returning to Western Australia after 9:00pm (WST) Sunday 15 March, are asked to contact the school to provide an update of their status
In regard to the Australian Government announcing that all organised, non-essential gatherings attended by more than 100 people for indoor events and more than 500 people for outdoor events must be cancelled from Wednesday 18 March 2020, our Holy Week celebrations will be a little different this year. At present we are hoping to have a reflection of the Easter story read over the PA system straight after lunch over the four days during Holy Week. Each daily reading will be accompanied by a liturgical song. During this time, we will be asking all classes to turn off their lights and light a candle as a focus on their prayer table. Following this each class will complete a classroom activity based upon the reading.
A message from Father Cyprian - the Archbishop has issued a directive not to have any public Mass in any church or chapel across the Archdiocese for an initial two weeks in light of the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic. This directive will be updated as required in due course. To that end, note that there will be no weekday and weekend Masses at Our Lady of the Missions church during this time. We are certainly in difficult times but we shall together with the help of God get through. Please see further information from the Archbishop in the Religious Education section of the newsletter.
Additional measures further to those in previous communications include: wedging open classroom, work area and toilet doors; opening windows and/or adjusting air conditioning for more ventilation; refraining from cooking/baking activities; washing play items in junior classrooms more than normal requirements. As part of our reporting process the teachers have been/will be conducting interviews this term. Due to the coronavirus these interviews will now take place by telephone.
School closure has not been advised across Western Australia at this stage and we are receiving updates regularly on the required course of action. We will keep the community informed as information comes to hand. We have formed a School Response Team to act should we be informed that a student, staff member or a member of their family has been diagnosed with Coronavirus.
In the event of school closure, plans for the continuity of learning and teaching are continuing to take place. Digital transformation, together with iPads going home for Yr 4-6 should enable students to access curriculum online and will be an important platform for this delivery.
The delivery of curriculum for students in Pre Kindy-Year 3 will be a combination of online and hardcopy delivery, depending on the age of the children, student/parent access to devices and connectivity capability.
We are currently engaging with some families who are self-isolating due to compromised health or health concerns, to ensure students continue learning at home. In the current climate, we fully understand and support individual family decisions.
Whilst supporting family decisions and the need for children to continue learning at home, it is important to ensure that our teacher workloads are carefully handled and that we are mindful of the fact that our staff are still teaching a class of students face to face throughout the school day.
Teachers will endeavour to provide students learning from home, with a range of activities similar to what is happening in class however the learning at home may look slightly different to what is happening in class (time spent on activities, level of differentiation and limited teaching points for example). By keeping the activities simple, it will hopefully alleviate any back and forth communication between school and home that could impact our teacher’s ability to maintain learning both here at school and for those at home. The main priority for staff is to maintain focus on classroom learning programs.
Thank you to staff who have been amazing in working with families and still teaching face to face and also providing activities to students who have chosen to self-isolate due to having vulnerable conditions or family members. It has been reassuring to see the great communication and relationship between home and school to ensure that we are unified in caring for our community
Students and families may feel worried and anxious at this time and this is normal. Please reassure your child and let them know that there are many things being done to be proactive to prevent transmission. Please continue to speak with your child about appropriate hygiene measures such as thorough handwashing, coughing and sneezing into a tissue or elbow, disposing of tissues appropriately and avoiding contact with others if you are not feeling well. In the current climate, children may be seeing extreme behaviours between adults, especially in shopping centres, please continue to model the school values in your discussions with your child.
Enjoy your weekend with your family.
Mrs Margaret Williamson
FROM THE ASSISTANT PRINCIPALS
Sacramental & Mass Update
Statement from the Most Rev Timothy Costelloe SDB:
- Temporary Suspension of the Public Celebration of the Mass
- All public Masses at all churches and chapels across the Archdiocese of Perth will be temporarily suspended from receipt of these directives on Wednesday 18 March 2020. This temporary suspension of public Masses within the Archdiocese of Perth is in place for an initial period of two weeks between Wednesday 18 March 2020 and Wednesday 1 April 2020. Subsequent revisions and advice will be given prior to Wednesday 1 April 2020 in relation to this temporary suspension.
- The Sunday Obligation for the faithful does not apply during this time of emergency.
- 'Mass on Demand' (Online) and 'Mass for You at Home' (Television)
- Online: 'Mass on Demand', a daily service of the Australian Catholic Bishops Conference and CathNews can be accessed online at: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCYRq7AjVimr-hcHFJD_HVaQ
- Free-to-air Television: 'Mass for You at Home' is shown at 6.00am every Sunday morning on Channel 10.
- The online streaming of the celebration of the Mass from St Mary's Cathedral (Perth) and other churches within the Archdiocese of Perth is currently being developed and coordinated.
- The Bishops and Priests of Australia will continue to celebrate Mass in private for all the people entrusted to their care.
- Accessibility to Churches and Chapels Parish Priests, Administrators and Rectors, in consultation with their communities of worship and the directives of public health advice, will put in place provisions for churches and chapels to remain open for private prayer, with the possibility of Eucharistic Adoration.
- Celebration of the Sacraments of the Church The following temporary directives are to be observed in relation to the celebration of the Sacraments of the Church:
- Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals will continue until further directives are issued
- I direct that each gathering must conform to the government-issued bans for indoor and outdoor public gatherings, and the relevant public health advice in relation to the practices of social distancing.
- The Metropolitan Cemeteries Board has determined that all funerals should be restricted to no more than 50 people at each gathering. These directives are outlined in a memo from the Metropolitan Cemeteries Board which has been placed on the Archdiocesan website.
- A number of funeral homes have provided advice to the Archdiocese of Perth that from Wednesday 18 March 2020 they will be limiting the size of gatherings at funerals to less than one hundred people. I advise you to specifically consult with relevant funeral homes directly when arranging funerals to ensure that you are aware of, and adhere to, their specific policies.
- Reconciliation: Priests will continue to provide opportunities for the Sacrament of Reconciliation, according to Rite I (individual confession and absolution).
- The celebration of First Reconciliation (school-aged children and others), First Holy Communion (school-aged children and others) and Confirmation (school-aged children and others) will be temporarily suspended.
- Prayer Resources for Individuals and Families The Archdiocese of Perth will be providing a series of prayer and worship resources for individuals and families to use within their homes for the period in which these directives are in effect. Web links to resources are available on the Archdiocese of Perth's Centre for Liturgy website: http://liturcw.perthcatholic.orq.au/
- Additional links and suggestions for prayer resources will be regularly placed on the Archdiocese of Perth website in the COVID-19 section: www.perthcatholic.org.au
- Ministry of Communion to the Sick, Elderly and Housebound To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) is placing limits on visits to vulnerable groups. Those who minister communion to the sick, elderly and housebound (Clergy, Acolytes and Extraordinary Ministers of Holy Communion) are directed to review the AHPPC's latest updates and recommended measures to assist in protecting vulnerable people from COVID-19. The advice of the AHPPS can be found here: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavtrus-2019-ncov-health-alert/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-public-qatherings-and-visits-to-vulnerable-groups
- Chrism Mass and the Celebration of the Easter Triduum (Thursday 9 April — Sunday 12 April, 2020) In response to, and in support of the government's ban of indoor gatherings of one hundred persons or more, the celebration of both the Chrism Mass and the Easter Triduum must be examined. Options for live-streaming the Chrism Mass and the Easter Triduum on the internet are being considered and developed. Subsequent advice and directives will be issued in advance of the celebration of the Chrism Mass and the Easter Triduum.
NAPLAN ONLINE 2020
- Language Conventions
All tests, excluding the Year 3 Writing Assessment, will be conducted online on student iPads.
This week teachers are familiarising students with the NAPLAN Online environment, completing practise questions, and exploring how the tests will look in the online environment. Next week on Monday 23 March at 9:00am, students will complete an online Practise Test.
An information flyer should have come home to all Year 3 and 5 families last week, with further information.
The NAPLAN testing will occur next term, commencing Tuesday 12 May (Week 3).
More updates will follow, and if you have any queries, please see your classroom teacher.
Student Sign Out Reminder
If you need to pick up your child early from school, or take them out of school temporarily for an appointment during the day, a reminder that before collecting your child from the classroom, you must first sign them out in the office and pick up a 'green sign out' card. Then hand this to the classroom teacher when collecting your child.
To keep teachers informed of upcoming absences due to appointments or otherwise, please send a courtesy email to the teacher to let them know that you will be picking up your child early from school. Thank you for your cooperation.
Recently people have been parking on private property along Gibson Avenue. The residents have recently expressed frustration as there have been cars parking there this year. We please ask you to avoid this area from now on. We want to continue a positive relationship within the community, and we would also hate to see anyone receive any notices etc.
If you are looking for alternate areas nearby, there is a public park on Brazier Rise. There is lots of space to park and it is then just a short walk though the laneway to bring you out at the bottom of O'Leary near the oval.
Please pass this info onto grandparents, family etc. who park at school too. Thanks for your cooperation to ensure a safe and happy parking situation for our entire community.
YEar 6 Leadership Mass
Last week the Year 6’s had a Leadership Mass. At the Mass the students received the badges for their ministry and if you were a sports captain you would receive a different badge. Everyone felt proud that the responsibility of being a leader for the school and people around them was now in their hands. Father Cyp and Father Francis blessed the badges. We thank Father Cyp and Father Francis for being there at start of our Leadership journey. Also a big thank you to our beautiful parents and teachers for their support and guidance.
We can’t wait to begin our Leadership a Journey at Padbury Catholic Primary School!
By Declan and Olivia
We will be running the RAINBOWS PROGRAM again this year. It is a peer support program designed especially for children who are experiencing painful transitions, such as a separation , divorce, death or a parent working away (FIFO). This program is also beneficial for children who have moved from other countries, states or schools.
Please see the Information Sheet below (file), which includes an enrolment slip to be returned to the office, should you be interested in this program for your child.
Mrs Georgina Bertoldo (Rainbows Coordinator)
UPDATE - UR Strong Workshop
Given you’ve registered for an upcoming workshop, I wanted to ensure you saw our decision to postpone all URSTRONG workshops. We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience, but feel it’s in the best interest of everyone involved to conduct these workshops at a later date. We’re working with all of our host schools to determine an alternative date and will let you know as we’ve confirmed. Please, however, let us know if you’d prefer a refund and we’ll process it ASAP.
To support kids and parents during the COVID-19 outbreak we are providing parents with free lifetime access to our URSTRONG Family membership. This includes our Language of Friendship video series as well as our Parent Resource Centre with extensive activities, articles, and videos for parents to share with their kids. To access this complimentary membership please visit here and use the coupon code URSTRONG.
Later this week, we’ll also be launching a Virtual URSTRONG Classroom that includes daily live lessons (with me!) on key topics including loneliness, anxiety, social media and more. Please visit our events page in the coming days as we’ll be adding a wide variety of classes for your kids.
We look forward to working with your school later in the year. Please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions and take good care. Give your kids lots of love and hugs during this uneasy time!
Founder | Friendship Expert
Social Worker's Corner
Some of you will have already known that as of this afternoon, the Archbishop has issued a directive not to have any public Mass in any church or chapel across the Archdiocese for an initial two weeks; in light of the ongoing COVID 19 pandemic. This directive will be updated as required in due course. To that end, note that there will be no weekday and weekend Masses during this time. We are certainly in difficult times but we shall together with the help of God get through. Keep an eye on our parish website, archdiocesan website and of course general news outlets.
With best wishes,
Rev Fr Cyprian M Shikokoti - PP
Our Lady of the Mission, Whitford Parish