Principal Update – Week 10 Term 2

Dear Parents and Carers 

Well Term 2 has been and gone. We have had an absolute amazing time at school. It was so great seeing all the smiling faces every day. As the term progressed and the Covid-19 rules change slightly we also got to welcome our parents/carers back onto school grounds. I must say though, by the time parents/carers were able to come back in the gates our students had built so much independence that it seemed they were equally as happy to say goodbye at the classroom door and move into class settling quickly into their learning. 

I want to thank all of our students, families and staff for their commitment to learning this term. There has been a lot of ground to make up given both the cyclone and Covid-19 interruptions, and whilst we certainly did not cover as much of the curriculum as we normally would of, the teachers and students forged their way ahead and made the most of every day with the teaching and learning. It is without a doubt in my mind that we have the best school ever!! 

Covid-19 Update 

As we started this term I have no doubt each parent would have felt a sense of anxiety due to the unknown with Covid-19. During the term we have had so many changes in relation to Covid-19 and school, however, as a school community we fully embraced every change and encouraged our students to continue with their learning journey. 

We are now at a stage where gatherings can be held so long as we remain with the social distancing rules set by the WA Government. In essence, we are still unable to have parents/carers in the classroom in large numbers, but again we are hopeful that may change in Term 2. We are also allowed to undertake excursion and camps, however, the restrictions of the number of students on a bus makes it quite difficult for us to take full class sizes on an excursion. This is the same with inter-school sporting events. However, with Term 3 we have a number of events such as our school athletics carnival and inter-school athletics carnivals still planned to happen. This will all depend on what unfolds in the lead up to these events as far as Covid-19 and government directions. 

I want to thank those people who took on the role of Covid Cleaning throughout the school day. Their hard work has ensured we have the safest environment for our students at school. I am pleased to say that the Department of Education has provided additional funding to keep this cleaning going throughout Term 3. 

We will continue to keep you all informed should any changes occur. 

Proloquo2 

Being able to communicate our needs and wants is something we as people sometimes take for granted. Within Wickham Primary School we have a number of students who are non-verbal communicators and as such it becomes very difficult for them to express themselves and communicate what it is they are wanting. As a school we are committed towards providing each and every student the opportunity to express their own opinions and progress through their learning journey. We were very fortunate earlier this year to have received a grant from Variety Bash WA to purchase five iPads and the communication app known as Prolquo2 for each of our non-verbal students to use as a means of communication. 

The staff committed their own time after school on Monday 29th June to participate in a two and a half hour professional learning session to become proficient in using the app. This training on Proloquo2 was presented by a Speech Pathologist, Emily-Jane Whitbourn from Connect Paediatric Therapy Service. This professional development enabled the staff to learn how to use the online app Proloquo2 to communicate with our students who are non-verbal and as a consequence be able to teach our students how to use Proloquo2 to communicate with not only us, but also as a means of communicating with anyone they come into contact with during each and every day. 

School Cross Country 

It was fantastic to see our Year 1-6 students participate in the school cross country event this term. Every single student put in their best effort on the day they ran and should be extremely proud of themselves. There was a great deal of sportsmanship showing between students with everyone encouraging each other and cheering each other on. Our Faction captains certainly led the way by assisting with the running of the events and where needed running alongside students to encourage them to do their best. 

Semester 1 Reports 

The Semester 1 student reports will be emailed home this Thursday 2 July. If you do not receive your report via email, please call the front office so we can check your email address that is listed on the system. 

Accompanying the reports is a letter outlining particular information in regards to the impact Covid-19 has had on our learning programs and the direction the Department of Education has set in regards to not providing formal grades this semester. Up here in the Karratha region we also had the impact of Cyclone Damien, which closed our school for two weeks. In essence across this semester we have lost five weeks of teaching and learning time, which equates to half a school term. 

Despite these impacts our students can be extremely proud of their efforts and commitment they have made to their learning. As a school staff we are certainly very proud of them. 

Tour Le-Wickham Police Ride To School 

It has been fantastic to see so many of our students engage with the Tour Le-Wickham Police Ride to School during this term. Our Roebourne Police approached us to undertake this initiative each Wednesday in a way of bringing the community together through our students joining up and riding to school together. We would like to thank our families for becoming involved by riding to school. We are hopeful that this can continue during Term 3. 

NAIDOC Week 2020 

NAIDOC Week for 2020 has been postponed from this week to the period of 8-15 November 2020. The National NAIDOC Council took this decision to ensure those members across our communities who are at high risk from Covid-19 are kept safe. 

The theme for NAIDOC Week this year is “Always Was, Always Will Be”. This theme recognises that First Nations people have occupied and cared for this continent for over 65,000 years. We will provide information around our NAIDOC celebrations early in Term 4. 

Changing of our School Website 

We are currently in the process of upgrading our school website to provide the best website we can. Our community will be kept informed as this process unfolds and when the change will occur. 

Term 3 School Development Day 

Term 3 will commence for staff on Monday 20th July 2020 where staff will undertake a range of professional learning activities. All students return back to school on Tuesday 21st of July 2020. 

Attendance 

Throughout Term 2 this year we have seen our daily attendance rate average up around 90%. This is the strongest it has been over the past six or more years. It clearly has a positive impact on our students learning when they are at school every day. I thank all our families for their commitment to making the term a successful one. 

I hope all our students and their families enjoy the school holidays and take the time to rest and recharge for Term 3. 

Mark Donaldson 

Principal