These are testing times for all in our community. We are working hard to keep our students, their families and our staff as safe as possible. We are following the guidance of government, NSW Health, Department of Education and the NASC. You can keep up to date with our communications by checking our website. On the front page we have a COVID-19 PARENT INFORMATION section in which all our communications will be placed. We will also send these by email and the school app (Skoolbag) but the website will be a central repository of all the information we send.
I want to reassure parents and carers that if you decide to keep your children home we will endeavour to provide them with online learning to the best of our capacity. You will need to let us know they are home and for what reason – please see the communication from Mr Samways on Tuesday about this. However, it is not possible to provide the full curriculum online or the same quality of experience as in the classroom.
Thank you to the parents who have informed us about the possible exposure to the virus of certain family members so we are able to give direction about your children’s attendance or otherwise.
With almost all our usual activities cancelled for the time being there is not much to report on. I won’t fill this newsletter piece with COVID-19 stuff because it is all on our website, as I noted above.
I do however have additional news for parents and carers. Today we have been advised NAPLAN 2020 has been cancelled due to the disruption caused by COVID-19. Any practice tests scheduled for next week are also cancelled.
I know that many are anxious at this time. I thank you for your understanding and co-operation as we respond to these unusual circumstances. As Christians we believe that, in spite of appearances, God is in control of his world. That doesn’t mean we can sit back and say God will look after us; we have to take the required actions. But our confidence in God does allow us, or at least encourage us, to rest in him. As Jesus said to his disciples, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled: do not be afraid”. John 14.27.
Mr Michael Hannah
KEY DATES FOR THE DIARY
P&F Mothers' Day stall
Thursday, 30 April 2020
All gifts are $5.00. Orders can be placed online via flexischools or cash can be brought on the day.
In my last mutterings I wrote about the awesome Mr Hampson co-ordinating a food drive for the Wyoming Fire and Rescue crew and thanked our community for your generosity. On Friday,14 March members of the crew came to our (as it turns out last for a while) assembly in the Senior School to collect the groceries ready for distribution. They shared with the students what it was like to be in the truck during the firestorm and answered students’ questions with great insight. A few pictures from the handover can be seen here. Thank you again Lakes Grammar…so blessed to be a part of such a great community.
Obviously the big news that is on everyone’s mind at the moment is COVID-19. This is having a massive impact on all our lives. For the first time in living memory all Anglican churches will not have worship services running on a Sunday in NSW. Churches, however are encouraged to stay open for people to come and pray as they want to. And prayer is what we need to be engaged in. Please be assured of our prayers for you all.
This week has also seen us in the Senior School conducting chapel differently. Each tutor group had access to a modified Powerpoint slideshow that followed our basic chapel pattern. They met in their tutor rooms and as I walked around I was greatly impressed with the enthusiasm to embrace chapel in a new way. One Year 12 tutor group still had a procession and at least 1 Year 10 tutor group had students leading from out the front. Big thanks to our Senior School for being so awesome.
A final note about COVID-19. Thanks to the families who have been keeping up communication with the school. If something comes up for you that Pete and/or I could help you with then please email us. In this very difficult season we hope that we can be of some help. With most things at the moment, we are not certain what the unfolding weeks contain for us all. What we do know is that God’s love doesn’t change and as followers of Jesus we need to be creative in responding to the needs around us. It's also worth checking out which churches are offering online services too, because a lot are.
WHOLE SCHOOL NEWS
NEWS FROM THE P&F
Hello and welcome to 2020.
I’m Tracy McGarrity and have been lucky enough to be chosen by the members of the Parents & Friends Committee to be President for 2020. I would also like to welcome our wonderfully dedicated new team who will be supporting me in this role and who are just as excited about the year ahead.
Vice President - Ben Whitmore
Ben has a daughter in Year 4. He has always been a very active member helping out around our school. You would have seen his face in the Canteen on a Friday, many school events and down at the Athletics Club on Wednesday nights. Ben will make an amazing addition to our team.
Deputy Vice President - Steph Rooke
Steph has a daughter in Year 5 and two boys in the Senior School who are very athletic and often represent our school at many sporting events. Steph has been a volunteer for many years in the canteen and runs the cake stall at the Spring Fair. You may have seen her face at Netball too as she is an avid fan, great referee and has taken on a role on the netball committee this year too.
Treasurer - Mel Jones
Mel Jones brings not only knowledge and skill but plenty of positive vibes to our team.
Mel has children in Years 1, 3 and 6. Mel runs our amazing Second Hand Uniform Shop on Tuesday mornings and has been providing strength to the Executive Team for a number of years.
We are so glad to have Mel with us for another year.
Secretary - Lana Brown
Lana has a daughter in Year 6 and has been very active within our school for many years. You will often see Lana helping in our school canteens. Lana has previously held the Secretary position and we welcome her back to a role that she does extremely well. Her skills and knowledge will be an amazing benefit to the Parents & Friends Committee.
Spring Fair - Adele Flower
You would know Adele mostly from our Mothers’ Day and Fathers’ Day Stalls as she has run this initiative amazingly over a number of years, putting smiles on the kid’s faces. Adele has a daughter in Year 5. Adele completes our Executive Team for 2020.
This year we have already had the pleasure of hosting some amazing community events - the Kindergarten Tea & Tissues, Welcome BBQ, School Disco, Green Day in the Canteen and Easter Raffle, and it’s only March!
We, along with the school are now busily preparing a new Business Directory for our school community, a free service we are able to offer at a time when supporting your local community businesses has never been so important. Keep an eye out for an email requesting details of your business - so together we can support each other.
If you have any suggestions on how we can improve our community services or any other suggestions which may benefit the student body, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org chat to myself or any of the other Executive Team when you see us around the school.
We always love hearing new ideas, so if you have any suggestions now or in the future I would love to listen and put forward some of those to our P&F. Everyone is welcome at the P&F meetings, so come along sometime and join in on what the Lakes Grammar community is all about.
Once or twice in our lifetimes, we have an ‘I’ve never been through this before’ moment, and the current coronavirus phenomenon is certainly one of these, with national borders being locked down, restrictions on gatherings and events, empty stadiums and supermarket shelves, and daily life changing rapidly.
From a Christian perspective, one of the questions is how we should respond to these events, when we experience all of the shared emotions that are common to all of us during a crisis – worries about our own health, families and concerns.
It is a time where we have, thankfully, seen the majority of our community carefully considering the way we are feeling and refocusing on doing what is best for others, as well as ourselves, embracing a degree of sacrifice for the common good, rather than selfishness, which in turn brings out the care and sacrifice in others. We are particularly thankful for the shared support, care and understanding we’ve had as a Lakes Grammar community, especially in the past week.
Whilst we do not know all of what the immediate future holds, we do know what a supportive and resilient school community we are and that we can look after each other together in these challenging times. We are also fortunate as an Anglican school to have our faith in God and His word in the Bible as a foundation for what we do and share.
The early protestant theologian Martin Luther wrote “The two chief things are faith and love.. he lives in Christ through faith, through his neighbor in love.. faith receives the good, love gives the good Faith offers us God as our own, love gives us to our neighbor as his own”.
Enrolment for Kindergarten in 2021
We have commenced our enrolment processes for Kindergarten 2021 and we want to be sure that all of our families are included. If parents who are planning to enrol a child in our Kindergarten next year could fill out an enrolment form via the school website if they have not already done so, it would be greatly appreciated. If you know of families who would like information about enrolment at Lakes Grammar, please ask them to contact Mrs Racquel Jolly at the school.
We are continuing to conduct enrolment interviews at the moment, and we anticipate that these will continue over the coming weeks, most likely via an online format such as Zoom. Mrs Jolly and I will be in touch with individual K 2021 families to make arrangements.
A reminder of the cancellations mentioned in Mr Hannah’s letter to the school community earlier in the week. Please be aware that we may seek to hold some of these events later in the year, depending on circumstances at the time.
Parent-Teacher interviews – please email your child’s teachers if you would like an update on their progress
Assemblies and Chapel services, including Term Awards Assemblies
Grandparents’ Day and Easter Chapel services
Athletics Club and Athletics Club Presentation Night
PlayCrew (our playgroup that operates in the hall on Tuesday mornings)
ANZAC Day assembly in Week 1 next term
ANZAC Day march and service – the RSL has cancelled these
HRIS, AICES and CIS carnivals this term have been cancelled by those organisations
Year 7 Camp and potentially camps scheduled for next term
School Band and Choir rehearsals and individual music tuition
External specialists visits (e.g. OT’s and speech therapists)
NAPLAN 2020 - Years 3, 5, 7 and 9
Building Learning Power
We are continuing to work on our Building Learning Power program in classrooms. The diagram below shows the four areas of our ‘Building Learning Power’ program (Reach Out, Look Within, Think Clearly and Believe in Ourselves) which link in with our school motto ‘With Heart, Soul, Mind and Strength’.
A number of learning actions which are associated with each area are listed around the outside of the circle.
Lakes Grammar Habits
The Junior School utilises the learning framework of Lakes Grammar Habits to effectively integrate our Building Learning Power, Positive Behavior for Learning and Virtues programs.
Building Learning Power develops the capacity of students for learning, their curiosity, craftsmanship, creativity and collaboration.
The Virtues program develops children’s Christian values, moral harmony and moral integrity, including kindness, honesty, trustworthiness, service, empathy and moral courage.
Positive Behaviour for Learning develops our student self-regulation and self-awareness to demonstrate respect, responsibility and care for themselves and others.
The Junior School collectively focuses on a Habit each week drawn from one of the three programs whilst concurrently working with students to develop a range of habits and capacities in the day to day life of the school.
Over the beginning of the term, we will be focusing on the following concepts. These are also recorded in the Student Diary for each week:
Week 9: Listen respectfully and with empathy
Week 10: Resist distractions
Stars of the Week
Demonstrating our Lakes Grammar Habit of ‘Being and Upstander’:
Claire Freeman, Chloe Quinn, Zeah Chadha, Quinn Ridley, Amarlie Mills, Lennox Beecroft, Marcus Connor, Samantha Olivieri, Ricardo Gonzalez, Kobi Keys, Logan Hurford, Alexander Harvey, Ivy Lewis, Ethan Curry, Prahb Kaur, Jada Kemm, Laiba Malik, Isaac Raica, Willow Edwards and Max Adams.
Demonstrating our Lakes Grammar Habit of ‘Compassion’:
Kyson Solomons, Hudson Hill, Peyton Brown, Alira Waldon, Wilson Cruickshank, Summer Nicholls, Hadley Belgre, Evie Pilgrim, Eden Clarke, Maggie Yager, Hannah Ponchard, Tanner Hawkins, Elleena Richards, Keanu Lourens, Selena Sherd, Charlie Cook, Mekenzie Jones, Isabella Matri, Grace Lanzini and Tahlia Allen.
Head of Junior School
Premier’s Reading Challenge 2020
PRC 2020 is now up and running! We have over 136 so far with 4 completed to date! It is still not too late to register…1st May 2020 is the cut-off date.
Borrowing / Hygiene
Books can no doubt carry germs with cross-handling. We are endeavouring to sanitise returns once they come in at this stage; so rest assured, we are trying to ensure a hygienic environment for all staff and students.
What a lovely time eight students in Years 2-6 had volunteering and participating in Garden Club. There was plenty of work to be done, including weeding, turning the soil and planting a few seedlings. Students enjoyed this time immensely and we hope to do it again on Tuesday in week 11!
JS Teacher Librarian
The Junior Debaters have had a wonderful start to the HICES debating season!
In Round 1, Lakes White had a win against Central Coast Grammar School debating in the Affirmative on the topic: That meditation and mindfulness classes should be taught to all primary school students. Lakes Blue debated on the same topic in the Affirmative and had a loss against Bishop Tyrrell Anglican College.
In Round 2, Lakes Blue had a win against Newcastle Grammar School debating in the Negative on the Topic: That therapy animals should be compulsory in all schools. Lakes White debating in the Affirmative on the same topic and had a loss against Scone Grammar School.
Congratulations to our debaters on some amazing debates!
Unfortunately, due to the current situation with COVID-19 Rounds 3 and 4 are postponed at this stage.
High Potential and Gifted Education Coordinator K-6
YEAR 3 AND 4 MATHEMATICS EXTENSION GROUPS
The Year 3 and 4 Mathematics Extension Groups have been having a wonderful time working collaboratively to solve problems. They have thoroughly enjoyed applying their mathematical skills to real world problems. The students are also looking forward to participating in the Mathematical Challenge for Young Australians.
High Potential and Gifted Education Coordinator K-6
SENIOR SCHOOL NEWS
HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL
I want to thank our school community for your assistance as we work together during this difficult time. While the disruptions to our normal routine are obvious, I continue to be pleased with the calm and considerate manner in which our students have conducted themselves; the changes to routines haven’t been easy.
On a school scale we are no longer meeting in large groups. Chapel and school assemblies have been cancelled and the largest meetings are as a year group and even these are quite infrequent. Over the course of Thursday I briefed our students on the following:
School is open and we are trying to function as normally as practicable;
Online Learning is available on Teams for those who require it;
Please be careful about hygiene – washing hands thoroughly throughout the day;
Not sharing equipment;
Staying at home if they are sick;
Not sharing food or drink bottles;
The bubblers going out of action from Friday (refill stations to remain);
Assessment processes– mainly for Years 10, 11 & 12;
I am also very grateful to our staff who are trying very hard to juggle the extra demands that have been thrust upon them. They have worked extremely hard to set up online material and this is starting to roll out to those who are not able to attend classes. We hope to be fully operational in this area on Tuesday so that students are able to access virtually all our lessons from home if that is your desire. In the meantime the initial material has been fairly basic, however, it should have been enough to assist students to keep up in their absence.
Year 12 assessments are going ahead as normal. If your child is away due to illness or exclusion, they will need to fill out a misadventure form (just to keep our record keeping going) for the tasks. Normal classes do not run for Year 12 over the next 2 weeks during this assessment period and they are not expected to attend school.
Year 7 Immunisations are also going ahead as normal on Monday.
Bush Fire Appeal
Thank you for the huge effort with the Bush Fire Appeal. Two trailer-loads of supplies were given to the brigade members and they will soon be transporting it down to the communities where they were working.
Head of Senior School
Harmony Week 16-21 March
Our MHAP students organised some activities to enable our Senior School students to think about everyone’s place in Australia and the value everyone brings.
This is the first event for our new MHAP team consisting of students from Years 9 & 10 being ably led by some of our School Prefects. The team for 2020 is:
Juliet Ridgewell Isabelle Adams
Alex Voigt Harni Amor
David Lewis Kye Bendeich
Mackenzie Astorga Abbi Davies
Emma MacDonald Raphael Dunn
Kasey Young Roshan Francke
Jack Blackshaw Georgia MacDonald
Cameron McPhan Ella Palmer
Charlotte Peach Maddison Sammons
Dearne Peachey Zoe Sawers
Cameron Taragel Jemma Young
Sarah Riedel Cate Williamson
Mikayla Daly Neteale Bayley-Hobden
School Prefects: Lincoln Senior, Naomi Palibino, Mya McDonald, Brooke Scott, Cameron Wong
Co-ordinator of Student Wellbeing
JUNIOR SCHOOL SPORTS NEWS
Sports affected by current Coronavirus
Due to the current issues we face with health and hygiene, all school, HRIS and CIS events have been cancelled for the rest of the term (see previous emails from Mr Hannah / Mr Wallace). However, these events may be re-scheduled later in the year.
For the time being, normal Tuesday sport is still going ahead but this is being monitored on a day – to – day basis.
We appreciate your understanding and support at this very challenging time.
HRIS Swimming Carnival
Congratulations to the students who represented Lakes Grammar at the HRIS Swimming Carnival. A special mention to Ben Ruzicka and Aaliyah Currie who qualified for CIS Swimming (unfortunately, this event has been called off).
Thank you also to Mrs Robin Shepherd for her hard work as Recorder for the carnival and to Mrs Leslie and Mr Herbert for supervising the team for the day.
Tuesday Sports Uniform – Reminder…
Just a reminder that full sports uniform must be worn on Tuesdays for sport i.e. hat, white sport shirt, white / coloured joggers (no fluro colours), school sport shorts and socks. It is strongly advisable to have a water bottle as well during the hotter months.
Mr James Cantor
K-6 Sports Co-ordinator
SENIOR SCHOOL SPORTS NEWS
HRIS Swimming Championships
The Secondary Swimming Team competed at the HRIS Division 2 swimming championships on Wednesday, 11 March. All members of the team did their part to contribute to the overall team point score for the day and showed outstanding sportsmanship and willingness to compete throughout the day. The team finished 3rd overall.
Lakes Grammar was also awarded Age Group Champions in the 18 year and 12 year boys.
Individual Age Champions included: Jackson Willcockson 12 yr boys, Rihana Gosselin 14 yr girls, Fox Smith 17 yr boys and Cameron Wong 18 yr boys. Mr Hannah was very pleased to represent the HRIS Principals and award the champions, especially the Lakes swimmers!
Fox Smith, Ryan Wenger, Jackson Willcockson and Rihana Gosselin were both selected in the HRIS team.
Running group is continuing on Thursday afternoons and we encourage parents to walk/run the track while group training is taking place. Running group meets at 3:35pm at Warnervale cricket nets.
AICES Hockey Championships
Charlotte Tarleton, Charlotte Dobson and Sarah Riedel all competed in the AICES hockey Championships and Charlotte Tarleton was selected in the AICES 16 girls’ team.
School Cross Country and Athletics Carnivals
Updates regarding all sporting events will be sent once more information is known.