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Dear students, parents and staff

Following advice from the government a week ago Victorians have found the last week or so especially challenging. The prospect of further periods of Stage 4 restrictions in Melbourne and a more gradual and cautious emergence from lock-down and curfew than anticipated, has been hard to take. Some in our community have been especially hard hit by the economic impact of the pandemic and we acknowledge the particular difficulties this will continue to present. Notwithstanding the undeniable headwinds and dark clouds, our spirits have been lifted and we draw a renewed sense of hope from the continued downward trend of new coronavirus cases, the growing promise in vaccine development,  the proximity of  the school holidays, and the advent of Spring with increasing light and warmth. The perseverance, resilience and adaptability of our students, families and staff throughout the year has been remarkable and is to be celebrated as we look forward to the gradual return of students to school in Term 4.

As we move toward the holiday period  I want to recognise the extraordinary circumstances we have navigated in our journey through the pandemic so far. During the break I urge all of us to first take time to care for ourselves, followed by family and friends. Teachers of classes in Years 7-10 have been asked to create no additional homework for the holiday period - perhaps excluding a recommendation to read a book or practice a musical instrument. Time away from screens is a good plan, making the most of the additional hour of exercise given the slight relaxation of restrictions this week.  Similar advice applies for Year 11 classes and students though some catch-up may be necessary and worthwhile.

Year 12 students are encouraged to balance the revision, study and preparation with time for recreation, relaxation and exercise to sustain them through term 4. The Department has formally ruled out any on-site assessments, preparations for exams or additional classes during the holiday period. A Year 12 practice English/English Language  exam will be conducted remotely on Monday September 28 from 9-12 am. Other Year 12 teachers may conduct remote revision or practice exams for their classes during the holidays but we have asked this to also only occur in the second week of the holidays. Staff too are encouraged to take a clear break, escape screens and prioritise physical and mental health.

Term 4 

The Department has outlined for schools the expected process of returning to onsite learning, consistent with the Victorian Government's Covid-12 Reopening Roadmap. Some key dates are outlined below.

Week 1 October 5-9

Remote learning continues for all students Years 7-12.

Wednesday October 7 GAT examination on-site - all students undertaking Unit 3&4 subjects are required (Remote learning continues for all other students). Specific instructions for the conduct of the GAT will be provided to senior students on Monday October 5. 

Some on-site assessments and preparation for Year 12 mandatory assessments will occur on Thursday 8 and Friday 9 October

On-site supervision will continue to be provided in limited circumstances consistent with Department guidelines.

Weeks 2 & 3 October 12-16; October 19-25

Year 11 and 12 (VCE & VCAL) and Year 10 students enrolled in Year 11 classes resume on-site (subject to reaching an average daily case rate in metro Melbourne of 30 to 50 cases over a 14 day period with public health advice regarding transmission source).

Remote learning continues for all other students.

On-site supervision will continue to be provided in limited circumstances consistent with Department guidelines.

Week 4 October 26-30

Year 11 and 12 (VCE & VCAL) and Year 10 students enrolled in Year 11 classes continue on-site.

Friday October 30 Last day of year 12 classes (to be confirmed)

Date subject to health advice – students in Years 3-10 in metropolitan Melbourne

All students from Years 3 to 10 in metropolitan Melbourne will continue with remote and flexible learning until further notice.

A date for the return of these year levels to on-site learning will be subject to further public health advice (potentially from October 26). 

Wishing everyone a restorative holiday break and hoping for a continued downward trend in coronavirus daily numbers.

Best regards

Trevor Smith


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