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From the St John's Campus Principal

Paech MichaelWelcome back to school and to the start of Term 2. I trust that you and your families enjoyed some ‘downtime’ during the holiday break despite ongoing challenges relating to COVID-19.

Last week we were thrilled to have the vast majority of our students back with us here at school. We started with 75% attendance, here at the St John’s Campus, and this has now grown to 90%. It has been absolutely wonderful seeing so many of our students' smiling faces again, their energy, enthusiasm and excitement have brought a real joy to us as staff and certainly remind us of why we work in a school.

For those still learning at home we have been pleased to be able to connect with you online to provide support and encouragement with your learning. A big thank you to parents and caregivers for your support of the Connected Learning Plan both at home and at school. Thank you also for your many words of encouragement and thanks during these challenging times. While we have only been able to utilise our Connected Learning Plan for a short period of time, this experience has certainly provided us with valuable learning that will serve us well in the future.

I need to also acknowledge and thank our staff for their dedication and hard work in preparing for Connected Learning at the end of last term, and then having to make significant ‘last minute’ changes to our plans towards the end of the holidays, in order to line up with the shift in Government advice. This has been particularly challenging for our staff, and their flexibility, resilience and amazing team-work have been exemplary. Thank you.

Next week we are hoping to see nearly all of our students back at school accessing our regular face-to-face learning program. Further information about this will be distributed via School Star later this week.

Please be assured that the safety and wellbeing of students and staff continues to be our highest priority. We will continue to promote and reinforce good hygiene practices, as well as maintaining regular cleaning of high-touch surfaces throughout the day. You may be aware that in recent days there has been an easing of restrictions around physical distancing in schools with regards to the 1.5m distance between students and the rule of one person per four square metres, which was previously in place. While these restrictions have eased, we continue to reinforce appropriate measures to keep our staff and students safe. Over the coming weeks, assuming the ongoing containment of COVID-19, there will likely be a further relaxing of these restrictions and we will respond accordingly. We continue to encourage parents/caregivers to abide by physical distancing directions, particularly during drop-off and pick-up times.

Once again, I want to thank everyone in our community for your support, encouragement and commitment to working together to manage the challenges that we face in relation to COVID-19. As we step into this new term, we hope and pray for a continued containment of the virus and the resumption of a more normal pattern of life soon.

Over these past months, as we have journeyed through the ups and downs associated with COVID-19, our staff have been acutely conscious of God’s guidance, provision and protection. He has been our refuge and rock and we continue to give him thanks for that.

I come to you, Lord, for protection.
Don’t let me be ashamed.
Do as you have promised
and rescue me.
Listen to my prayer and hurry to save me.
Be my mighty rock and the fortress where I am safe. 

Psalm 31:1-2 

Don’t be afraid, I am with you. Don’t tremble with fear. I am your God. I will make you strong.

Isaiah 41:10

Michael Paech
Principal - St John's Campus

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From the Director of Teaching and Learning

Connected Learning at the St John's Campus

Last week, the St John’s Campus teaching staff implemented the ‘Connected Learning Plan’ (CLP). Preparing learning engagements and tasks that were accessible to families, with some learning from home, involved rethinking the way that teaching is provided to our students. Staff embraced the challenge and were committed to providing detailed daily overviews with learning tasks that were presented through slide shows, interactive videos and resource banks that students could access. Teachers were excited to learn new ways to present lessons, incorporating skills in collaboration and information technology, and demonstrating the attributes of lifelong learners.

In the weeks leading up to the holidays, the staff were involved in a week of professional learning focusing on providing opportunities for teachers and students to maintain face-to-face connections while learning from home. This was a crucial aspect of our CLP, providing support for our students’ wellbeing and personal connections. Microsoft Teams was utilised as the platform for teachers to engage in meetings online with students that were participating in learning from home. This new program allowed teachers to plan for times with students, to check in with them about their learning and their general welfare while they were apart from their peers. This unified collaboration and communication program has brought the classroom to the homes of our students as we have awaited a return to face-to-face, on-campus classes for all students.

There was a buzz of excitement last week as students and teachers returned to the classroom, reuniting with friends and teachers after an extended break, reminding us that these relationships form the basis of our chosen vocation.

We thank our parent community for the support and encouragement provided to our teachers as we have sought to continue to serve our students from afar.

Rachel Muldoon
Director of Teaching and Learning – St John’s Campus

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Year 6 How the World Works

Year 6 students are inquiring into How the World Works, focusing on the line of inquiry: 'Natural materials can undergo changes and take on a new form.' On Thursday, 7 May, students participated in a range of demonstrations and experiments to tune in to how everyday natural materials undergo change. This included boiling, frying and whisking eggs, burning wood, and churning milk to make cream. Students reflected on three questions:

  • What change is occurring?
  • What is causing the change?
  • Is this change reversible or irreversible?

Next week, the Year 6 students will investigate which changes are reversible, which changes are irreversible, and why?

Ellen Hoopmann and Matthew Bell
Year 6 Teachers

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Staying active during COVID-19

It is stated that “children and young people (5 to 17 years) should aim for at least 60 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity per day” (Australian Government Department of Health, 2020). With this being said, we felt at St John’s Campus we needed to try a different approach to keeping our students active during distance learning. Therefore, as staff we got out of our comfort zones and put together a Health Hustle for the students. We used this in Week 1 of this term. This week (Week 2), we had a video created by Mrs Peasgood and Mrs Mavropoulos on pilates for the students to have a go at. We hope both of these videos were engaging, meaningful and helpful for the students.

Additionally, at this time where restrictions have stopped students from being involved in their normal after school activities (co-curricular sport, local or district club sport and playground time in the park, etc.), it is important they still all keep fit and active as this will help with their overall wellbeing. I encourage you to click to view some suggestions from the Australian Government Department of Health (2020) for students to stay physically active until the restrictions lift.

Blessings to you and your family as you stay active.

Nicole Fielke
ELC-Year 6 PE Teacher and Sports Coordinator

Reference: Guidelines for Healthy Growth and Development for Children and Young People (5 to 17 Years), Australian Government Department of Health 2020,$File/brochure-24hr-guidelines-5-17yrs.pdf, accessed 5 May 2020.

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Year 1 'How We Organise Ourselves' Excursion

On Monday and Tuesday this week, the Year 1 students went on a walking excursion around the local area. This was a part of our How We Organise Ourselves unit, looking at transport systems within the community. The children enjoyed taking photos on their iPad of things related to transport systems. We saw traffic lights, stop signs, speed limit signs, bus stops, cars, trucks and lots more! We also located our route on a map. It was wonderful to get out and about to enjoy the sunshine!

Madeline Russell and Rachel Harrip
Year 1 Teachers

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Student artwork brings new altar banners to life

In 2019 we started a special project in partnership with St John’s Lutheran Church, Unley, whereby we created a new Altar frontal and two new Altar banners for our Chapel space.

Each child was given a piece of fabric to draw their very own and unique leaf and then cut it out, these were then collected and hand sewn onto the stems on the banners which were prepared by Helen Sherriff, a talented artist and member of St John’s Lutheran Church, Unley.

These leaves that were are all different, created uniquely by each child, symbolise how we are all uniquely made and loved by God. The stem of the banners connect all of the leaves, in the same way we are all connected to one another as well as connected, through Jesus, to God from whom we receive everything we need to grow and thrive.

We thank all of the staff and students for their contributions to this project and a special thanks to Helen Sherriff, as well as all the others helpers from St John’s Lutheran Church, for all the hours it took to bring it all together and make the concept a reality.

There is no doubt that these banners and altar frontal have enhanced our Altar and Chapel space and we are thrilled that they have recently been hung up in their intended places in our Hall!

St John's Campus Spiritual Life Team

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