Exciting Times Ahead
We are nearly 2 weeks through our remote learning and shortly we will kick into gear with the whole College shifting to a predominantly online model of learning using Canvas, Teams, Zoom and a variety of educational software that supports student learning and supports effective feedback for both students and teachers. I have been fortunate enough to drop in on many online classes, CASE meetings and assemblies this week and see the capabilities of the platforms we are using.
Currently, the greatest challenge for many students is that it is really hard to get up, eat breakfast and get motivated to learn for the day. The routine of school and the collegiality of peers throughout the school day may seem like a tyranny in normal times, though now are the things that the students miss the most. At the moment we are all going through change fatigue where everything we normally do, we now start to question. Over the next few weeks we must continue to keep a routine, make a schedule and make this new way of working the new normal. For families (and staff alike!!), this means having a daily and weekly timetable clearly visible on the wall. It doesn’t mean it won’t change, though when it does, make the changes with your children so they understand. Step 1 in becoming an effective teacher is ensuring that your classroom routine, expectations, reactions and consequences (positive and corrective) are easily predictable for the students in your care. I strongly suggest that parents focus on this as their primary concern for the next week, as well as keeping up to date with emails, setting up home devices and looking after their own wellbeing.
In our house, my wife Jo has bookmarked, logged into and saved login passwords for all of the sites that Jack’s teacher sent in Term 2. This way Jack can simply click on the bookmarks and log in without needing to know or type the passwords he needs. I will create a little “how to guide” for everyone over the next couple of days so you can set up various profiles in Chrome for your family over the weekend. This will save all the issues of logging in and logging out each time a different student needs to access the same device.
Our College Staff
I am simply amazed by the mindset our staff have engaged over the past 6 weeks or so. There have been some significant challenges lately and I must say that everyone has focussed their energy on buckling down and getting the hard work done. Not all schools and colleges are blessed with such an amazing team of teachers, school officers, administration staff, support services, groundsmen, cleaners and leaders. Can I also say that these staff must have pretty supportive partners, husbands and wives at home that get them through all the challenges. Thanks to each and everyone of our amazing team, and their families, for your efforts leading up to this week.
Relief Staff Training Days
We are supporting our relief staff with training in our new platforms over the next few weeks so that they are ready to hit the ground running during Remote Learning, and when the College reopens for business. It won’t be business as usual though, as the shifts we have made in teaching will mean that we will do things differently in the future. Thanks to our relief staff who are always very committed to our College and such great role models for our children!
Safety in the Bus Circuit
It is really important that we continue to be safe during this time, especially for those students still attending campus. We had quite a few issues today with the bus circuit/staff car park being used as a drop off zone by parents dropping students to school. Please continue to use Nicholson Street to drop students at school. We will continue to use the circuit for resource drop off and pick up, and the majority of school buses are still running and need a clear run through this space to get students to all of the schools on time. I acknowledge our carparking and drop off zones are not ideal at present, though for the time being we must simply be patient in the interest of safety.
This morning, all students and staff of OLSCC will have received an email outlining the details of their login for the STEMPunks Learn from Home Platform (https://www.stempunks.com/). Every student and staff member has a login so that the online lessons may be included in teacher planning to engage students in Science, Technology, Education and Mathematics (STEM), or families can explore the site and engage in weekly lessons or specialist lessons. The specialist teachers employed by STEMPunks are all about inspiring and upskilling tomorrows innovators and motivating students to explore the opportunities that exist with design thinking, the Internet Of Things (IOT), coding, robotics and much more. I would like to thank Michael and the team from STEMPunks for making this opportunity for our students, and I look forward to us continuing our partnership with STEMPunks in the future.
As always, we are focussed on ensuring that what we deliver as a College is effective for our staff, students and families. There has been great success in the implementation of our technology platform over the past 18 months, although it is now time to review the program and fine tune it for even greater success in the future. Over the coming fortnight all families, staff and students from Years 7-12 will receive a survey regarding their current devices, whilst families and students in years 4/5/6 will receive a separate survey regarding their digital literacy to allow us to plan for an improved platform in 2021. Please be honest with your feedback as we need this to ensure we make the best decisions for the future.
Weareco (our uniform company) are a small business that produces our uniform and then manages the uniform shop at the College. Like many other businesses, the impact of COVID-19 has had a significant impact on their workshop in China and sales in Australia. They also employ Maureen, who not only works in the uniform shop, though also volunteers much of her time to the tuckshop and supporting the College in general. The only way we can keep the Uniform Shop open and Maureen being paid at present is continuing to sell items of the uniform. If you require any items as we head into winter, can I suggest you consider buying them in the near term rather than waiting until school recommences? We won’t be in lockdown forever, and everyone needs a few bits and bobs now and then, so please drop by the tuckshop and grab your tie, new (very cool!) reversible bucket hat, replacement old bucket hat, vests, pullovers, tracksuits or anything else that you need. Every little bit counts, and this keeps the shop ticking over until better times. Presently the Uniform Shop’s Opening Times are: Tuesday 8:00-9:30am, Thursday 3:00-5:30pm. You can also call 46724193 and talk to Maureen during these times. In addition the order form is on the website so you can simply collect from the Office.
Supporting Our Local Businesses
Further in the newsletter you will find a list of local businesses who are offering take away and food delivery services throughout this time. Many of these businesses continually support us with functions, culture and sports throughout the year and it is now our turn to give them a hand back.
Urban Paddock Tuckshop Option
For students at home and those attending the College, Urban Paddock has developed a tuckshop service for any parents that wish for their children to have lunch delivered. They can deliver morning tea or lunch any time between 9 & 2. The menu looks great, too! Check it out by searching for “Urban Paddock Café” on Facebook.
We continue to hear the catch cry ‘We are all in this together’ as the simple actions we are currently following of social distancing and staying home is making an immense difference for the greater good. We follow the Catholic Social Teaching of Community and the Common Good and at this time we pray that together will we support all in our community throughout this time:
For peace of soul
Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you.
All things are passing:
God alone is changeless.
Patience gains all things,
Who has God wants nothing.
God alone suffices.
St Teresa of Avila
As a College, we will mark ANZAC Day with a live Teams Stream of a ceremony held at the College on Friday. Although no one can join us in person we will pause to mark ANZAC Day with a short ceremony around the Lone Pine trees in the College Grounds. It will be held at 2:15pm on Friday. An email was sent out with a link to follow to this live stream. As always we encourage student participation with the wider community and this year although we won’t march or gather together at dawn we do encourage students to join with the initiatives of marking ANZAC Day at home in a way that works for your family.
ON CAMPUS STUDENTS
Reminder Parents must notify the College office via email firstname.lastname@example.org if your child is attending the College during this Remote Learning period. It is important for parents of students learning on campus to familiarise yourself with the CANVAS platform and your child’s learning.
Deputy Principal Religious Education
"Don’t count the days; make the days count."
Mohammad Ali, the world famous heavy-wight boxer is attributed to the following quote, which has been resonating a lot with me over the past weeks. This period of remote learning has provided new learnings and challenges that all of us (teachers, students and parents) have had to embrace. For our Senior Years students, many are now missing the social interaction with their peers and teachers. This has turned learning from being something that students enjoying into a long countdown to the time when everyone is able to come back to campus.
Ali’s quote encourages us to change our perspective. Students have an opportunity to make the remote learning days count. Get ahead in your assessment. Spend time revising work from Term 1. Read a book connected to one of the topics you are studying. Create a study group in Teams with your peers. There are many ways that students can get ahead by making these days count.
I am proud of our Senior Years students for the way that they are approaching their new way of learning. There are many days ahead in this learning format, let’s make them all count!
Assistant Principal Senior Years
How we all wish we could be together right now, running around the school grounds, sitting in a tight knit circle sharing a story with our friends, or just giving a mate a high five as we walk past. Alas, this is not to be, however staff at OLSCC are working incredibly hard to ensure our students from Prep all the way through to Year 12 can maintain social connectivity, even though we are physically distant. Each of the Early Years classes have had a “trial” Zoom session this week and the squeals of delight and expressions of joy from both teachers and students alike have been heart warming. We cannot wait to unveil the first day of our new look remote learning lessons for the Early Years this afternoon when we publish the first of our Canvas lessons. I know the students will enjoy following along the microlessons the teachers have been creating and videoing, and I am excited for parents to have such an intimate view of our teaching practices.
Whilst there is a real buzz around the release of the next model of learning for us, it is important that all families approach the learning with common sense. The teaching has been prepared around an estimated one hour per day of English and one hour per day of Mathematics, however we know the reality of how this rolls out will be different in every household. If it takes your child much longer to complete the work, please allow them to do a little less, and communicate this to your child’s teacher. If you are having internet issues, try again at a different time! All of the Canvas lessons will remain available to you and can be revisited as many times as you like, at any time of the day suitable to you. If you need to print a resource and are having trouble accessing printer or ink, feel free to improvise! We are constantly encouraging the children to find ways to solve problems, and this would be a perfect “real life example” of that! Try and replicate the printable page yourself in a book! Can’t print that sight word activity? How about making one up yourself that matches it! Creativity, curiosity and resilience are all part of our College learning dispositions and adopting these attitudes will help us get through this “new normal”.
Each class will also be participating in 4 x Zoom sessions across the week. Whilst joining in on these sessions will form part of our record of student attendance and engagement, we understand that some families may not be able to have their children participate in every session. If your child is unable to participate in any of the Zoom sessions, please be sure to notify your teacher via email or dojo so that this can be marked on our attendance records, just as it would be on a normal school day.
If you are looking for more activities to keep little minds active, we are constantly updating the Remote Learning Extra Resources and Learning Ideas tab in the College website.
Our website has a wealth of information and I encourage you to make it the first place you look when seeking further ideas for learning from home. It is a constantly evolving project, so check back regularly. Our wonderful specialist teachers, Mrs Lincoln and Mrs Garside, are updating this resource page every week with great ideas for physical activity and for visual art and music activities. Just today we gained access to the excellent Stempunks resources. The ABC TV site also has an enormous range of resources that can be narrowed down by year level and subject area. Enjoy losing yourself in these wonderful resources and keep your eye out for new ones being added all the time.
Another important place on our website is the Counsellor’s Corner:
Our College counsellor, Mr Luke Holmes, has gathered together some valuable resources around social-emotional wellbeing. Please note that content will be added to regularly, so check back each week for more ideas.
Thankyou for your ongoing support of teachers as we work together for the learning of our youngest students. We are buoyed by your messages of support, thanks and encouragement, and we look forward to contacting you all again next week to hear your news and stories and see your smiling faces – albeit on a computer screen!
Here are a few images of our remote learners and some of the things they have been up to this week.
Assistant Principal Early Years
ANZAC Day was initially a mark of respect for those who served and sacrificed their lives in the Great War. However, in the years since WWI, many other Australian troops have answered the call to serve in conflicts around the world, and the date has become the day on which our nation remembers those who served, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice in all the conflicts that Australia has participated in.
To date, over 100,000 Australian service men and women have died whilst fighting in conflicts. Additionally, thousands more have been wounded, many of these permanently, and others have passed away from injury related complications after conflict.
The sobering reality for everyone on ANZAC Day is when we pause to remember every soldier, airman and sailor who sacrificed their life defending our great land. It’s also a time to think about those men and women who continue to ‘answer the call’, serving our country around the globe. Australia has Defence Force personnel currently deployed in the Middle East, Sudan, Iraq, Israel, Lebanon and Afghanistan.
This year, as commemorations are cancelled due to Corona Virus, it is important that we do not neglect to show our respect for those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to make our lives better. As part of our commemoration, staff and students are invited to provide a photograph of themselves with a relative who has represented our country in armed conflict. If you would like to be involved but have no such relatives, then please send through a photo of yourself in uniform with a sign reading “Lest we forget”.
With current social distancing and travel restrictions, it may be impossible to gather with relatives at this time. Please attempt to use technology to overcome this hurdle. For example: students can be photographed with an iPad, laptop or similar device clearly showing the face of the relative they are connecting with.
Please note that all images may be displayed in the College’s newsletters, on the website and via social media platforms.
Guidelines for images:
- Students should be in full formal school uniform.
- If you have a relative who served in a foreign armed service, you are still welcome to participate.
- If you would like to be involved but have no relatives that served in conflict, then please send through a photo of yourself in uniform with a sign reading “Lest we forget”.
- Where possible, please check the quality of the image before sending it through to the College.
If the relative is deceased but you would still like to participate, you might consider:
- Photographing your child in full uniform holding an image of the relative.
- Photographing your child in full uniform wearing the relative’s medals*
- Photographing your child in full uniform with a spouse of a relative who served.
*The Australian War Memorial website asks that, “if wearing someone else’s medals, they should be positioned on the right-hand side of the chest”.
Please submit your photographs via email with the following information:
ANZAC Day Photographs
- Student’s name (multiple allowed if several students are present)
- Student’s Year Level
- Relatives Name (including rank if known)
- Service/Branch (if known)
Example: Australian Army, RAN, RAAF, Royal Australian Army Medical Corps
- Conflict/Operation (if known)
- Location(s) of Service (if known)
Thank you in advance for your participation.
Here is an example that came through today:
Assistant Principal Middle Years
Our College Website is constantly being updated with resources for Remote Learning so families have easy access to interesting and cool online spaces to enhance the day of learning remotely from home or at school. Today we have added a whole range of weblinks as well as some quick link buttons to the ABC TV, ABC resources for learning and the ABC program schedule. If you or your children find there are a few spare moments through the day, head over to our College Website for some great extra learning material and link ideas.
The Inter House Cross Country Carnival has been cancelled for 2020. A decision about the College Athletics Carnival will be made later in the term.
QISSRL /QISSN / Confraternity Shield
Unfortunately, the QISSRL/QISSN Rugby League and Netball Carnivals which were to be held in the June / July school holidays have been cancelled. The 2021 carnivals will be held in Brisbane (as a make up for this year) with Mackay now hosting the 2022 competitions.
Representative School Sport
All Bunya District, Darling Downs and QLD School Sport Events have been cancelled for Term 2.
Middle Leader Sport
Like all of us, The Department of Employment, Small Business and Training (DESBT) is aware a range of direct and indirect impacts are being experienced by some businesses as a result of Coronavirus (COVID-19). Changes are being announced daily and employers will continually be advised by the government on the latest workplace guidelines and rulings
What happens with my child’s SBA during the Coronavirus period?
Employers and SBA students will need to follow the governments guidelines during this time e.g. (social distancing and self-isolation if applicable, etc) our SBA students will come under one of the below status
- Active - with both on and off the job training commitments. SBA students and employers are able to continue the SBA commitment and the training contract will continue to be active. Off the job training with the Supervised Registered Training Organisation SRTO will continue provided the SRTO can meet the COVID19 guidelines
- Suspended – an employer may need to suspend the training contract for a period of time, however in the latest announcement on 30.03.2020 DESBT outlined training with SRTO can still continue during a suspension period dependent upon an SRTO being able to deliver a service if they are still operating. All training costs will continue to be covered by the Queensland Government. This latest change may provide our current SBA students the opportunity to continue working on units with their SRTO. Provided students meet the competencies standards of assessment outlined by the SRTO students may be eligible to continue accruing QCE points.
- Cancellation – only if an employer is unable to suspend a training contract is a cancellation to proceed
DESBT head office have advised that if students have their SBA suspended, they will look at hours worked, and hours needed by the student to complete the minimum work hour requirements for qualification once the business re-activates the training contract. If not completed by the end of Year 12 all training contract will be converted to full/part time until completion is achieved as per current arrangements.
If my child’s SBA is suspended what does she/he do now they are not required to attend work on a school day?
Students whose SBA’s have been suspended will be able to continue working on units with their SRTO (if applicable) and will need to return to school until the suspension is lifted. (Schools will provide further detail on their requirements based on their own guidelines)
The SBA workday will now become a school day during the suspended period
In the event that schools are online in Term 2, please be advised that students may be required to attend on-line classes 5 days per week.
Who do I speak to at the school to review my child’s subjects now that they are unable to attend work and need to attend school 5 days?
Students will need to speak to (insert school SBA coordinator or contact person details) to review their subjects and look at options on an individual basis.
My student has nearly completed their school-based traineeship however they have had their traineeship suspended, what happens now?
As you are aware students participating in a School based traineeship will receive 2 Certificates when successfully completed. One Certificate, from the SRTO, to confirm units are completed off the job and a second Certificate from DESBT to confirm student has demonstrated competencies on the job and met the minimum paid working requirements.
DESBT head office have advised that there will be no changes to the minimum paid working requirements for SBA’s at this time. Students will continue working with their SRTO and submit final units for marking. Once the SRTO has finalised the units they will issue results for units completed off the job. DESBT will review these completions on an individual basis and take into consideration the on the job hours that have been completed, and the competencies demonstrated on the job
When my child started their SBA they took on the Trade Support Loan. What happens if they are suspended?
School Based Apprentices that have their training contract suspended and have opted in to the ‘Trade Support Loan Payments’ are strongly encouraged to contact their ASSN as they will have to ‘opt out’ of the trade support loan during suspension period
If my child’s SBA has been suspended will they still achieve their Queensland Certificate of Education?
It is important that all SBA students that have their SBA suspended arrange a meeting with (insert school SBA coordinator or contact person details) to review their subjects and look at options on an individual basis. Students are also able to access their QCAA learning account to review their points to date.
What happens when the suspension of the training contract is lifted, and my child can return to their SBA?
Advise the school immediately so negotiations and arrangements to attend work can be put in place immediately. The training contract will then be activated
Evidence of hours worked prior to suspending training contract
It is important that SBA students continue to keep a record of the hours worked which will be required at completion.
In the event that schools are online in Term 2, please be advised that SBA students are not to increase their number of workdays. These are to stay the same as if the student was at school. If changes are required, workdays must be negotiated through the school
All SBA students/parents are requested to email (insert school SBA coordinator or contact person details) if they have been advised their SBA has been suspended so an individual review of their subjects can take place. The school will then notify Toowoomba Catholic Schools; School Based Apprenticeship Manager so they can monitor the progress of learning with SRTO for each student
Australian Apprenticeship Support Network (AASN) – All students are encouraged to contact their AASN representative if there training contract has been suspended or cancelled. Your representative will be able to answer any additional queries that the SBA student or parent may have.
The Toowoomba Catholic Schools: School Based Apprenticeships team will continue to support SBA students and schools.
Karen Coulston School-Based Apprenticeships: Manager
Diocese of Toowoomba Catholic Schools Office
PHONE 07 46874 351 ADDRESS PO Box 813, Toowoomba Qld 4350
SITE ADDRESS 29-33 Lawrence Street, Toowoomba Qld 4350
‘Building Community Partnerships through School-Based Apprenticeships’
Recently, the Dalby Activities Organisers received some grant money from the Bunnings Head Office to give out to the Dalby community for various projects. Alanna at Dalby Bunnings was looking for some local community projects to support and the College put in an application to receive some of this grant money to the tune of $200. As our Performing Arts Centre is a common space within our College but is also utilised by some community groups, it was decided to improve and beautify this area with some new plants. A lemon and a lime tree have been planted as well as some other plants and we would like to thank Bunnings for their community support.
The health, safety and wellbeing of our communities and our people remains our highest priority. Due to the ongoing uncertainty surrounding coronavirus, the School Banking program will remain on hold. We will continue to monitor the situation and keep you informed with any updates.
In the meantime, here are some handy online resources for parents who wish to maintain momentum with their child’s financial education: