Week 10, Term 2, 2020
Dear MOPS families,
Welcome to our Week 10 and final newsletter for the term as we mark the half way point of the school year. What a term it has been! We all started the term expecting to have the majority of students at home learning online. Fortunately/unfortunately (depending on how you view the world) it was a non-event. I know a lot of people felt a little confused and even dismayed as a lot of hard work went into preparing for this scenario. Thanks to the dedication and professionalism of our staff and the resilience of many of our students and families, we all pushed on and now find ourselves in a situation that sort of looks normal. Hopefully things will continue this way although we can never be too certain. In the meantime, we make hay while the sun shines. Because of COVID-19, we found that a lot of our work around school improvement and student learning was interrupted. Again, thanks to the qualities of our staff and students, we have pressed on. A lot has been asked of our staff this term, on top of what they already have to do in the course of a school week. Add to this the extra pressure of writing school reports and dealing with illness and all of sudden the term becomes very long and arduous. These efforts however have put our school in a good place to launch the remainder of the year and continue our work into the future. If you have the opportunity, I would encourage you to join me in taking a moment to express your gratitude to our staff for all their extraordinary efforts, particularly during this trying and uncertain term.
Semester One reports will be going home today (Friday 3rd of July). Please read these carefully and discuss with your children, celebrating their achievements, but also encouraging them in any areas that need development. Parent, student and teacher conversations will be held later in Term 3 to look at any progress students have made and to establish goals for the remainder of the year. More information about these will be forwarded closer to the time. In the meantime, if you have any immediate questions about your child’s report, then feel free to discuss with the appropriate teachers or Jenny or myself.
The updates from SA Health continue. Here are some excerpts from the latest update received earlier this week that applies to us as a school;
All adults must continue to follow the density and physical distancing requirements outlined by SA Health.
From Monday 29 June these are:
- no more than 1 person per 2-square metres in an enclosed space
- maintain a minimum social distance of 1.5 metres.
There will be no cap on the number of people in 1 room but the above requirements must be followed at all times (for example, staff meetings).
School assemblies can resume, although the above conditions will apply to adults. This will mean that parents and other family members will not be able to physically attend assemblies until further notice. As a school we will explore how these events can be shared with the wider community.
All intrastate camps and excursions can resume. We will inform families if any of the camps and excursions planned for earlier in the year will be rescheduled.
This week our school has hosted four Year 10 students from Whyalla High School who have undertaken their work experience with us. They are Holly-Marie Walsh-Smith, Hayley Gooding, Chloe Bone and Storm Collins. The girls were able to gain some valuable insight and experiences into the workings of a classroom and school community from a staff perspective. I thank them for their willingness to give one week of their time to our school and wish them further success in their continued study and chosen careers. I also wish to thank those teachers who played host to them.
Unforutnately as we come to the end of another school term, we say goodbye to three staff members who have decided to finish their time at MOPS. Miss Joyce Kee has finished her contract with us as of last Thursday. She is returning to Malaysia to be with family, but is planning on retuning to Whyalla sometime in the future. Mr. Ross Dickson is also finishing his time with us and will be returning to Adelaide. I thank both Joyce and Ross for their willingness to come to our school and work with our students albeit for a relatively short time. Mr. Paul Brown will be taking over the role of Science NIT teacher. Paul has been working at our site this term one day a week and is excited to take on this new role. As yet we don’t have a replacement for Miss Kee, but hopefully we will have someone in place shortly and will inform you in due course. It is also with sadness that I inform you that Mr Jared Mullet will no longer be working in the role of Pastoral Care Worker. Due to his other commitments and in the interest of work-life balance, Jared felt that he could no longer continue in his role here at MOPS. Jared made quite an impression on staff and students with his easy going nature, whacky sense of humour and multiple talents. On behalf of the MOPS family, I extend Joyce, Ross and Jared our best wishes going into the future and whatever lies next for them.
Finally, on another sad note, we say goodbye to two of our long term students in Faith and Jhona Lowes. Faith and Jhona have been part of the MOPS family since enrolling here in Reception. They will be leaving Whyalla to begin a new life in Adelaide with their new family. We wish them all the very best in this exciting phase of their young lives and look forward to hearing of their adventures in their new home and school. (Who’s going to look after the school’s spider population now that Jhona is leaving?!!!!)
Have a fun, safe and enjoyable break and I look forward to seeing everyone one back refreshed, ready to take on the remainder of this crazy year.
On the 26th of June, Room 1& 2 held a Culture Day to celebrate all their hard work and learning about Aboriginal Culture, exploring some of the significant ways culture is shared and expressed. Throughout the day, students participated in 4 learning stations. Students got to make damper on the fire, finger knit bracelets and complete lots of different styles of Aboriginal art. We finished off the day by eating our damper and having a milo. In the afternoon we were paid a visit from local Adnyamathanha man, Shayne Anderson who let us take a look at his chipping collection and old boomerangs. Overall the day was a success, and everybody enjoyed themselves immensely.