This term has been a particularly long and challenging one and today I would like to thank you all most sincerely for the time, energy and effort that you have expended in ensuring that the learning and wellbeing of our students has again remained our focus during the remote learning period. We can all be very proud that the education we have provided during this time has been worthwhile, and delivered with consideration of wellbeing in mind.
I also know that your colleagues thank you for supporting each other during this time that they have been unable to see family and friends—sometimes missing very important events that would usually be attended in person.
Enjoy your well-deserved break and I hope that it includes time with the special people in your life and doing the things that promote your wellbeing.
As you prepare to return for Term 4, I invite you to considerthese readings related to the CSO’s role of supporting and challenging schools.
One of the joys of living in our part of Australia is being able to experience the classical four seasons. My wife Geraldine and I have spent much of our lives in the tropics where there are only two seasons, the Wet and the Dry. At least that’s the way white Australians in the north divide the year. Some Aboriginal peoples, applying greater subtlety, divide the tropical year into six seasons. Here we are in spring.
Have you paused to look at the beauties of spring? Over the weekend I spent a minute looking at the new greenery starting to gradually smother the winter-bare branches of a liquid amber tree in our neighbour’s yard. I succeeded in finding the source of a recurrent single “Peep” of a whistle in another tree and, having seen it was a startlingly scarlet rosella, wondered why it took so long for me to find such a striking sight. I paused to watch two ducks herding a dozen ducklings in a park. (Do ducks “herd” their young?) I stopped in my tracks as I recognised a forty-centimetre blue tongue lizard perfectly still in a protected spot, delighting to be warming up, very close to one of Armidale’s busiest streets. And, not depending on spring this time, the Moon and Venus formed a beautiful partnership in the western sky on Friday evening. All one had to do was look up.
Do we take enough time to see and hear the beauty freely available all round us? Do we recognise that beauty as part of a love letter from the one who created it and created us?
Working With Children Check Extended For Three Months
The Office of the Children’s Guardian(OCG) has advised that working with children checks due to expire between 19 July 2021 and 26 September 2021 have been extended for three months. The three-month period applies from the date of the person’s current expiry date. Anyone granted an extension will be advised by email from the OCG.
ICT Remoting Learning/Working from Home Information
CSO ICT Services has created a central Google Doc to put ICT Remote Learning/Working from Home Information to assist staff as their first point of call. This doc will be updated regularly. We recommend that you bookmark this for easy access.
As always if you have any questions or experience any issues please reach out via the ICT Service Request Form.
Professional Learning Opportunity: iPad Assistive Features
Catholic Learning Online are offering an online PD opportunity entitled ‘iPad ‘Assistive Features: Reaching all Learners’
Learn about tools and resources from Apple that allow all students to create, communicate, personalise and explore in new and powerful ways.
During this webinar you will:
Explore the powerful assistive features built-in to iPad that can complement each learners’ vision, hearing, motor skills and learning needs. As well as experiencing how with iPad, students can learn in ways that meet their own specific needs. For more information and to register follow thislink.
Professional Learning Opportunity: Microsoft Minecraft Series
Catholic Learning Online brings you a four webinar series for Minecraft: Education Edition from Microsoft. In this 4 part course, we will explore how Minecraft: Education Edition supports teaching and learning through a game-based interface that promotes creativity, collaboration, and problem-solving in an immersive environment where the only limit is the learner’s imagination.
For more information follow thislink
CAPA Grants in the Armidale Diocese
A reminder that Creative and Performing Arts in the Armidale Diocese grants are available to all Primary and Secondary schools. All information can be found on the CAPA in the Armidale DIocese website.
200 Years Commemorative Book
This book contains the story of every first Catholic school in each Australian diocese. That’s St Mary’s Armidale for us. Paperback and hardback editions are available and can be ordered now for delivery later in the year. Go here and scroll down to find the pre-order form.
PALMS Online Event
PALMS is an Australian Catholic Lay Missionary movement that has been active for 60 years. On Sunday afternoon, 10 October, 1.00pm-4.00pm, PALMS is holding an online eventto mark this
milestone. One of the presenters will be Prof Paul Kelly, Australia’s Chief Health Officer who volunteered his medical skills working for PALMS in Malawi, 1991-94. Registration is by tax-deductible donation ($60 suggested)
Please seethisfor information about Caritas resources from Caritas that have recently become available.
Safety Focus - Workplace Mental Health and Wellbeing
Jump onto your eLearning Education Safety Hub to view our Safety Focus for this Semester - Workplace mental health and wellbeing.
Worth a look. (Geraldine Chapman)
Proficient Teacher and Maintenance of Accreditation Extension
NESA has given all teachers who are overdue or due to complete accreditation requirements in Term 3 or Term 4, 2021 an extension until the end of week 6 of Term 1, 2022 (4 March 2022)