Welcome back to term two! We are so happy to have our students back at the College after an extended break.
The latter part of last term was a challenge for us all as we dealt with the concerns, uncertainty and ever changing landscape due to the COVID – 19 pandemic. Teachers worked tirelessly to prepare materials for students to study at home as the likelihood of further isolation seemed inevitable. Fortunately, as Australia, and particularly Western Australia, appeared to manage the situation well we have been able to welcome our students back which has been wonderful.
Dr Kath Partridge, the College Principal, will be on leave this term and consequently I will be the Principal in her absence. David Proctor who was the Vice Principal until 2018 is relieving in that role for the first three weeks of term.
We respect that some parents have chosen to keep students learning from home for the first three weeks and there is work available on Connect and in hard copy for these students. The decision regarding attendance at schools is due to be reviewed by the Government before week 4. I do, however, encourage students to return to the College if at all possible where teachers can support students in the classroom.
We are re-establishing routines for students and staff to ensure our core business of teaching and learning is prioritised. As is the case for everyone at the moment we have had to make changes to ensure the health and safety of the College community.
All classrooms are now equipped with hand sanitiser and cleaning products and all students are encouraged to clean their hands before they enter classrooms and when they leave. We also have extra cleaning occurring during the day in high touch areas. All students and staff are required to continue to exercise good hygiene at all times. Classrooms have also been audited for space and we have planned options for larger class sizes if necessary.
We are confident that we are doing what we can to manage the safety of the College community. We are limiting visitors to the College and I ask that if any visitor wishes to come to the College that they telephone us to make a prior appointment.
We are aware that students are concerned about the impact this situation is having on their study and implications for their future pathways. The School Curriculum and Standards Authority (SCSA) have adjusted assessment requirements and specific requirements for some courses e.g. practical assessments. The Externally Set Tasks (ESTs) have been postponed. ATAR exams are still scheduled to occur at the end of the year. The College exams will continue as usual during weeks 6 and 7, 2 June to 10 June for all ATAR year 11 and 12 students.
Teachers are keeping up to date with information from SCSA and will communicate these to students. SCSA and Sevenoaks SC are committed to making sure no student is disadvantaged. These are unprecedented times and we will be ensuring we plan and control what we can to keep students as prepared as possible for success in 2020. Students need to do all that they can to make the most of every opportunity that they are presented with. If students attend all classes, complete their work and assessments and continue their learning in whatever way they can they will put themselves in the best position for whatever happens in the future.
Unfortunately, all excursions and sports events have been cancelled until further notices. All large gatherings and stay on campus activities have also been affected. We are committed to keeping students connected to the College and are putting plans in place to maintain student connection in a safe way. Although we will not be loaning sports equipment students are welcome to bring their own table tennis or basketball equipment to play in small groups with no physical contact. Students are encouraged to ensure they wash their hands immediately after play.
Although the term is going to be rather different than usual I strongly encourage all students to rise to the challenge, take control of what they can and make the most of every situation that is presented to them. This will give students the best chance of success.
If any student or parent is concerned about any aspect of schooling they should contact the Advocate or classroom teacher who will be able to provide advice and support.
Please note that the 2019 Sevenoaks SC Annual Report is available on our College website.
Parents and students are reminded of the following important dates:
Monday June 1 Western Australia Day (College closed)
Tuesday June 2 to June 10 Year 11 and 12 ATAR Exams
Monday June 15 School Development Day (students do not attend the College)
Wednesday June 17 Start of Semester Two courses.
If we all work together through this and play our own individual part in doing the best we can I am confident we can look forward to a positive and fulfilling term.
I am available to talk to students and parents. Please contact the front office if you wish to make an appointment.