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A Window with a View - 2021

A Window with a View - Wk 4, Term 1, 2021
A Window with a View - Wk 4, Term 1, 2021

A Window with a View 

Week 4, Term 1, 2021

In Week 4 we had the pleasure of hearing beautiful singing and music merging across the School as vocal groups, band rehearsals and music classes gain momentum. In high school the focus on our Cabaret in Term 2 has many of our co-curricular activities working in a themed approach. The Friday afternoon tech art group and vocal groups are preparing and upskilling, while elective music and drama classes are working on specific pieces. Many senior students are leading lunchtime rehearsals for group dance pieces. 

Kim has begun arranging music to enable the students to accompany many of the songs, and Kelly is working alongside the students on the production elements such as rehearsal schedules, publicity and design while also assisting students to incorporate the elements of performance into their chosen pieces. It is still early days but with each passing week time becomes the challenge.

Our primary vocal group continue to work with Amelia to create harmony that sends tingles down our spines!

High School Swimming School Carnival - Thursday 25th February

This event at Lawson Pool will be a lot of fun with challenges built within the activities. We encourage every high school student from Years 7-10 to participate as best they can. Whether it be as a swimmer, a timekeeper, announcer or runner, we need your energy and support to make this a festive occasion. This has started already with class discussions at morning meetings around a suitable theme for the day. 

Each class can collect points through participation in the races as well as by upholding the theme, wearing hats, sun protective gear, or taking on other jobs that support the whole event.  Some previous examples of class themes include Hawaiian, 70’s and rainbow. There are serious races against the clock as well as novelty races, with an overall intention of enjoyment and participation by all.

COMMUNICATIONS
Even though we are all back at school we miss having our primary parents visiting us. We are working on ways that we can include you in a staggered pattern, so that you can visit your child’s classroom and they can share their work with you. Meanwhile, we encourage you to make contact with your child’s teacher if you have any questions, concerns or positive feedback. Our goal is to keep communication channels open as we all support the ethos of our beautiful school, where relationships sit at the heart.

ARRIVING AT SCHOOL READY FOR LEARNING
When students regularly arrive late to school, they start the day outside of the group, where morning meetings and morning circle are used to bring us all into the learning space. As we try to avoid entering a meeting which has already started, so also do our children, circumventing any unwanted attention this may draw upon us. 

Hopefully by now your child/ren have re-established sleep patterns for school, rather than for the fluidity of life in the holidays, where nights may linger and morning wake-ups merge across the afternoons.

We are approaching the change of season, from Summer to Autumn, and noticing the fatigue levels in some children and teenagers. At such times there is a tendency to catch whatever bug is going around. We know that keeping to routine bed times and waking times assists our children to be ready for the day. Depending upon the age of the child, having an old-fashioned clock rather than a digital device and its inherent connections, may be beneficial. Transferring the responsibility for setting the alarm to your child may give them ownership of the routines and help to develop self-discipline around bedtimes. Having all electronic devices switched off from a family-decided hour is also a great habit.

We encourage you to let us know if sleeping routines are an issue for your child so that we can work together, with them, for optimum wellbeing.,.bmn

We also praise the students for their good humour during these wet days. It is terrific that primary children have their wet weather gear at school for outdoor activities. 
And now, the weekend has brought the sun. May you bask in it.

Barb

 
A Window with a View - Wk 3, Term 1, 2021
A Window with a View - Wk 3, Term 1, 2021

A Window with a View 

Week 3, Term 1, 2021

After two and a half weeks of Term 1 we are feeling quite settled back at School. In Week 3 we enjoyed the conversations we had at meetings with our parents. All class meetings from Kindy to Year 10 have now been completed. They provided the welcomed opportunity for us to share our story of the significant developments within our strategic priorities over 2020. In spite of COVID interruptions we made sound progress in further embedding Oracy, Project Based Learning and Sustainability projects.

Thank you to all who were able to attend and rekindle our sense of community.

Interschool Sporting Events

We take a moment to shine a light on a couple of students who are representing Korowal at interschool sporting events. Our enthusiastic and talented PE teacher, Kizz Boyd, has made the following observation:

“As a small school, we have very few students attend major interschool sports events, so those who do need to be quite confident and courageous. It is therefore double the achievement to make it to a WAS (Western Area Schools) or a CIS (Combined Independent Schools) team when coming from a school such as ours.

Dylan McKerrill of Year 10 recently attended the WAS Basketball Trials in Bathurst and was selected to represent WAS at the CIS Tournament in Homebush.  This is a fantastic achievement considering he would have been the only solo student to attend.  All other schools sent a team, and Dylan had to manage the social challenge of being subbed into a team from a different school with teachers and students he has never met.”

Dylan will now represent Korowal as he plays in a WAS Basketball team.

Darcy Hollingworth of Year 9 is familiar with this situation, as this is the fourth year that she has represented Korowal at the Western Area Swimming Trials. Darcy will swim on 26/2 and hopes to finish strongly to then progress with the WAS team to CIS later this term.

We extend a big thank you to both of you, and hope you enjoy the experiences and challenges ahead.

Vocalocity

Students from Years 3-6, as well as 7-10, have all begun singing within COVID safe plans. This is such a joy for us. Primary students have recommenced learning ‘We Are the World’ with the beautiful Amelia, who is also teaching them Auslan signing to include in the chorus. The children had just begun with Amelia before singing was cancelled (COVID) last year so they are overjoyed to have Amelia back.

Amelia is running vocal masterclasses for our high school students on Friday afternoons at cocurricular. They are preparing songs for the Korowal Cabaret which is planned for the beginning of Term 2. Kelly, Kim, Jason, Bec and students are building the buzz, with every new week bringing us closer to performance dates.

Health Reminder - Covid

As we often see with change of seasons, there appears to be a cold spreading through some classes. This is a timely reminder that we are still required to observe the COVID Health directives that we had in place last year, and while we sent out information outlining the procedures prior to returning to school, some parents may have overlooked these important instructions.

Korowal is following this same advice given to all Department of Education Schools to ensure the safety of students, staff, and parents. We require that any students who are unwell or displaying cold or flu-like symptoms, stomach aches, headaches, or fevers, to stay home and be COVID tested before returning to school.

If families do not wish to have their child tested, and the doctor has not given exemption for hayfever, asthma or any other specific condition, then the following advice exists for all schools.

“Students who do not undertake a COVID-19 test will not be permitted to return to school for a 10-day period. Additionally, they must be symptom-free for at least 3 days prior to returning to school”.

Source: https://education.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/advice-for-families#School2

Please present the negative COVID result to a staff member on return to school, or email a photo of the result to the info@korowal.nsw.edu.au address prior to attending classes.

We realise that this can be hugely inconvenient. However, we are still operating within a pandemic regardless of whether there are any local cases, and we are committed to keeping everyone as safe as possible.

Thank you for your understanding in this.

Finally, this quote may put a spring in your step this coming week.

“If you send out goodness from yourself, or if you share that which is happy or good within you, it will all come back to you multiplied ten thousand times.”       
John O’Donoghue: Anam Cara: A book of Celtic Wisdom.

Barb

 
A Window with a View - Wk 2, Term 1, 2021
A Window with a View - Wk 2, Term 1, 2021

A Window with a View

Week 2, Term 1, 2021 

In Week 2 we pay homage to our elephant tree.

On Wednesday of this week just passed, our beautiful old elephant tree, our Cryptomeria Japonica- or Japanese Cedar, was struck by lightning from the tip down through to the ground. While she is still standing, after such a strike there is no way of saving her. 
Nor will the roots provide for any future regrowth. 

It is with great sadness that we will farewell this grand old dame next week.

For the eleven years that we have been Korowal at Hazelbrook this beautiful protector has been at the centre of our gatherings, even establishing ‘A Cuppa Under the Tree’ in her presence. One can only imagine the stories she could tell, the things she has seen and the calm and joy she has provided over her 112 years, where she has stood proudly alongside 
the carriage way. She became the guardian of our gathering place. 

Planted no doubt in the first years of the establishment of this site as the R.T Hall Sanitorium, we expect that this tree dates back to 1908 when the Hall was open as a Sanitorium for consumptives. Since then she has lived through its many iterations as a Home for Boys and a Hall for Children, before becoming Korowal School.

Not only does this cedar transform carbon dioxide to oxygen and provide extensive shade, but she has extended her limbs over our children as they have arrived each day. From Monday to Friday the primary children and parents pass beneath her. We often interview new families under this tree. When we returned from our COVID lockdown the classes gathered to play recorder and sing in the protection of our elephant tree, her strength and beauty evident to us all. She has received, and given, many hugs. 

There exists a calm in the courtyard. This was the area where Dawn and Nigel Foote chose to farewell their son Lachlan Foote, a recently graduated student who tragically passed away three years ago. It has a significant energy. 

On Friday some of our primary students came to pay homage, to draw her and just sit, to acknowledge her presence. 

We cannot get too close for safety reasons, but throughout the coming week we can take a moment to just give her a nod and a big thanks for the time we have had to enjoy her blessings. 

Class Meetings

These continue for Years 5&6 Thursday evening, Years 8&9 Tuesday evening, and Year 10 also Thursday evening. Please check your emails and SkoolBag App for details. We appreciate your attendance.

Thank you to all parents of Kindy, Years 1&2, Years 3&4 and Year 7 who came and engaged in conversation with us in Week 2. It was refreshing to have you in the rooms with us after such a long time of distance.  These meetings not only provide the opportunity for us to discuss the class program but also the developments we have made, and will continue to make, around our purpose and whole school strategic priorities.

We are thankful for the beauty that surrounds us each day at Korowal.

Barb

 
A Window with a View - Wk 1, Term 1, 2021
A Window with a View - Wk 1, Term 1, 2021

A Window with a View

Week 1, Term 1, 2021

In our first week of Term 1, 2021, the rain has dampened our shoes and clothing, but not our spirits. We were greeted with smiles as we met the students across the School on Thursday and Friday. The same can be said for the welcomes we have made to parents of Kindy, Years 1, 2 and 7. It was delightful to invite you into the classrooms for a brief moment. We also enjoyed seeing our parents in the turning circle but due to the rain, it was mostly behind masks or glass that we tried to decipher the identities of the drivers and cars in the mist.

With indoor play throughout primary, the Year 1 children explored the dress-up box. On Friday, I quickly found myself in the patient’s chair with young doctors and nurses taking my temperature and blood pressure, checking my irises and reflexes, then giving me an injection. When I asked what I had been given, ‘Is it medicine? Is it blood?’, I was told with a most sincere expression, that I had been given ‘magic and sparkles’. As you can imagine, Friday was a terrific day!

New Families

We welcome 22 new students to Korowal from Year 1 to 12. The first day was a bit hectic with parents needing to sign COVID paperwork, and we thank you all for your patience.

Caroline, Deb and Cassie have been efficiently processing all paperwork and lastminute phone calls, text book orders and queries about transport. They are gems!

Traffic

The traffic can get very congested, at pick up in particular. However staggering primary and high start and finish times has eased this. We remind you that parents of high school students need to enter the carpark after 3.30pm, which is high school’s finishing time. This gives time for all of the primary parents to come between 3.15-3.30pm. No child will be left unsupervised, but the flow of cars is eased from 3.30pm.

Class Meetings

While we had tentative dates for these, we delayed them so as to wait and see if restrictions on numbers of participants had eased (COVID). That is now the case, so wherever possible we will have stage meetings in the School hall. Dates for Primary and Year 7 have been being sent via SkoolBag and email to all families. The others will follow. We highly recommend attending these meetings to hear the overview of the year for your child/ren, to meet each other, and to ask any questions that may arise.

Kindy Orientation

Our Kindy students and parents attended their final orientation session on Friday, as we were not able to offer the usual number of introductory sessions for them in 2020. They arrived with sensible shoes, grins from ear to ear and effervescent energy. Their first official day of school will be on Tuesday, 2nd February. We are unable to host a morning tea so please welcome our new families as you come across new faces.

Communications

For daily changes to routine please call the school office, as teachers may not get the email before classes commence. We send all notices to you through the SkoolBag Ap. If you are not sure how to download this, the office staff can talk this through with you. Emails are preferred for brief communications that alert us to a need for a meeting, or for permanent change in arrangements.

Korowal Policies and Procedures

Our suite of relevant policies is available through our School website. While you may not need to refer to them when things are running smoothly, it is good to be familiar with the suite as they comprehensively cover all areas of management. We follow our policies and procedures to keep us all safe, to ensure that we are employing best practice measures throughout the School, to be fair and equitable, and compliant in all matters. It may come as a surprise that the language within our policies and procedures can be more formal than our regular communications, and this is to ensure that nothing slips through the net and all legal requirements are met. We take our duty of care seriously.

I will leave you with a few photos of the chalk drawings that are a feature of the boards in primary, depicting images of their first Focus Studies Topics for 2021.

May you enjoy the novelty of the weeks ahead.

Barb