Blog from October, 2020

Dear students, parents and staff

The long anticipated return of all year levels to on-site learning takes place on Monday with Years 8, 9 and 10 rejoining us.  We are very much looking forward to catching up and communicating in person, and salute the reslience and perseverance of Year 8,9 and 10 students along with their parents and teachers who have been in remote learning for the long haul. Our students, staff and families can be rightfully proud of their achievements in this entirely unforeseen and deeply challenging pandemic year - and I thank you all. 

Elements of the return to school are outlined below with full details found at our Returning to school/On-site Learning wiki page. Please be aware that there are changes to our current arrangements with all students back on site. Please take time to view the brief version below along with the full details at the link.

We are optimistic about the declining trend in coronavirus numbers across Melbourne - if there are three or fewer cases confirmed tomorrow, the 14-day average will drop to five, a pivotal number for moving out of Stage 4 restrictions. However, we remain vigilant about infection control measures at school, doing all we can to prevent potential transmission and ensure the school can stay open for on-site learning right through to the end of the year. To minimise the risks, we are heavily reliant on students following the, Public Health, Department and school guidelines, including wearing masks, hand sanitising and continuing to maintain 1.5 metre physical distance wherever reasonably possible, both in classrooms, during recess, lunchtime and travelling to and from school. Our thoughts and encouragement are with our Year 12 students as they prepare for exams with barely two weeks of classes remaining. It is especially important for our Year 12 students to ensure the school stays virus free as we enter the external VCAA examination period. 

A reminder that the most important action we can take to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), is to ensure that any unwell staff and students remain at home and get tested, even with the mildest of symptoms. Detailed information about health and safety at school is available at our Returning to school/On-site Learning page. This page will be updated as further information or advice becomes available or changes to arrangements are deemed necessary.

The return to school of all students is not expected to be entirely plain sailing but we trust it will be a change of course that leads us into smoother waters.


Best regards

Trevor Smith

(Principal)


Brief Outline of arrangements for return of all students

School arrival and departure arrangements for Term 4

To support physical distancing at our school we have arranged for the following staggered arrival and departure times and entry/exit points:

  • Junior School - Year 7&8 - 9:00 am
  • Middle School - Year 9&10 - 8:50 am
  • Senior School - Year 11&12 - 8:40 am

Classes held on Level 2 operate 5 minutes ahead of the normal schedule (either side of a recess and lunchtime break) to alleviate congestion in corridors as students move in and out of the building. 

Students to use the stairwell closest to the timetabled classroom. See stairwell allocations - and also posters placed around the school for clarification.

Reducing mixing between student groups

Scheduling of classes for Year 11 and 12 classes are prioritised to Level 3.  Check revised Compass room allocations carefully - there are many room changes from October 26.

Face coverings

  • All school staff on site will wear face coverings unless exempt due to a medical condition or disability but may remove their face covering when teaching students.
  • All students over the age of 12 must wear a face covering unless they are exempt due to a medical condition or disability.
  • Students are encouraged to bring their own face mask to school but will be provided with a single-use mask if they forget their own mask, or if they do not bring a mask for any other reason.
  • All secondary school students need to wear a face covering, including when travelling to and from school, unless they are travelling alone in a vehicle or with members of their household.

Physical distancing

  • Wherever possible we will encourage and support physical distancing of students however the Department and Victorian Chief Health Officer has acknowledged that physical distancing in schools is practicably difficult to achieve and has not mandated this practice.
  • Non-contact greetings are encouraged and physical distancing of 1.5 m should be adhered to where practicable.
  • Bags will replace lockers. You will not have access to your LOCKER. Bags will be required to be placed in the safest area of the room as directed by your teacher. i.e. under a chair or under a table. You need to keep your bag with you throughout the school day. If you are concerned about carrying a bag full of books you might choose to leave the hard copy text book at home and use the eBooks whilst at school, perhaps have a book buddy where you bring books for some subjects and your buddy brings the books for other subjects; this could help lighten the load. A bag with wheels could be of benefit rather than a back pack. Only bring books that you require for each day.
  • Teachers can still move around the classroom to assist or supervise you with your work in a similar way to usual if they choose.
  • Furniture has been positioned to optimise physical distancing within classrooms. Please do not move the tables and chairs.
  • The use of the lift is restricted to a maximum of one adult or two students; unless with the specific permission of the Principal.
  • Parents are asked to observe physical distancing requirements (1.5 metres) whenever dropping off or collecting students from school and must not congregate at the school entry/exit points.

Recess and Lunchtime Arrangements as of 26 October for Princes Park use.

  • Year 7/8 students to have access to Zone 3 
  • Year 9/10 students to have access to Zone 1
  • Year 11/12 to have access to Zone 2 
  • All students will need to adhere to public guidelines when in the park i.e. need to be 1.5 metres apart in their social gatherings/circles.
  • Students can play non-contact sport.

Information will be updated at our Returning to school/On-site Learning page as changes or further advice or clarification becomes available. 

Dear students, parents and staff


Thank you for your understanding and support through the remarkable challenges we have faced together so far this year. Well done to our VCE students who successfully negotiated the GAT on Wednesday, and particular thanks to Dani Crew our Senior School Leader for her tireless preparation work to ensure the exam ran smoothly.

The purpose of this message is to outline the particular arrangements for the return to on-site learning on Monday for students in Years 7,11 & 12. The Department of Education and training has this week provided revised operational expectations for schools based on public health advice that we are obliged to implement. Considerable thought and consultation has gone into how to most effectively apply these measures in our Princes Hill context. As more year levels return to on-site learning we expect to adjust arrangements further.

The Premier's media release - Roadmap for all students return to the classroom outlines the thinking behind the timing of the return to onsite learning. Please note that students in Years 8, 9 & 10 are expected to commence from Monday October 26. Until then, remote learning continues for students in these year levels with on-site supervision available for eligible students, i.e. students of permitted workers not working from home and vulnerable students. Please contact Anthony Avotins, Assistant Principal if you need to access the on-site supervision program.

Important elements of the return to school are indicated below with full details found at our Returning to school/On-site Learning wiki page. Please take time to view the brief version below along with the full details at the link. Information about how instrumental music lessons will proceed for students learning voice, woodwind and brass will be provided shortly by Nick Taylor our Music Program Leader.

Based on the advice of the Acting Deputy Chief Health Officer, given the current levels of community transmission in Victoria, mandatory temperature testing of all students on arrival to schools will not be required in Term 4.  However, should community transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19) increase, temperature checking may be reintroduced for some schools.

A reminder that the most important action school communities can take to reduce the risk of transmission of coronavirus (COVID-19), is to ensure that any unwell staff and students remain at home and get tested, even with the mildest of symptoms. Detailed information about health and safety at school is available at our Returning to school/On-site Learning page. This page will be updated page as further information or advice becomes available or changes to arrangements are deemed necessary.

Looking forward to seeing our Year 7, 11 and 12 students back in person on Monday.


Best regards

Trevor Smith

(Principal)

Arrangements for onsite learning from Monday 12 October

School arrival and departure arrangements for Term 4

To support physical distancing at our school we have arranged for the following staggered arrival and departure times and entry/exit points:

  • Junior School - Year 7&8 - 9:00 am (Year 8 from 26 October)
  • Middle School - Year 9&10 - 8:50 am (from 26 October)
  • Senior School - Year 11&12 - 8:40 am

Classes held on Level 2 operate 5 minutes ahead of the normal schedule (either side of a recess and lunchtime break) to alleviate congestion in corridors as students move in and out of the building. 

Students to use the stairwell closest to the timetabled classroom. See stairwell allocations - and also posters placed around the school for clarification.

Reducing mixing between student groups

Scheduling of classes for Year 7 students have been largely prioritised to Level 2 with Year 11 and 12 classes predominantly occurring on Level 3. Check revised Compass room allocations carefully.

Face coverings

  • All school staff on site will wear face coverings unless exempt due to a medical condition or disability but may remove their face covering when teaching students.
  • All students over the age of 12 must wear a face covering unless they are exempt due to a medical condition or disability.
  • Students are encouraged to bring their own face mask to school but will be provided with a single-use mask if they forget their own mask, or if they do not bring a mask for any other reason.
  • All secondary school students need to wear a face covering, including when travelling to and from school, unless they are travelling alone in a vehicle or with members of their household.

Physical distancing

  • Wherever possible we will encourage and support physical distancing of students however the Department and Victorian Chief Health Officer has acknowledged that physical distancing in schools is practicably difficult to achieve and has not mandated this practice.
  • Non-contact greetings are encouraged and physical distancing of 1.5 m should be adhered to where practicable.
  • Bags will replace lockers. You will not have access to your LOCKER. Bags will be required to be placed in the safest area of the room as directed by your teacher. i.e. under a chair or under a table. You need to keep your bag with you throughout the school day. If you are concerned about carrying a bag full of books you might choose to leave the hard copy text book at home and use the eBooks whilst at school, perhaps have a book buddy where you bring books for some subjects and your buddy brings the books for other subjects; this could help lighten the load. A bag with wheels could be of benefit rather than a back pack. Only bring books that you require for each day.
  • Teachers can still move around the classroom to assist or supervise you with your work in a similar way to usual if they choose.
  • Furniture has been positioned to optimise physical distancing within classrooms. Please do not move the tables and chairs.
  • The use of the lift is restricted to a maximum of one adult or two students; unless with the specific permission of the Principal.
  • Parents are asked to observe physical distancing requirements (1.5 metres) whenever dropping off or collecting students from school and must not congregate at the school entry/exit points.

Recess and Lunchtime Arrangements October 12- 26

Recess at school: 
All Year 7 and Year 11 & Year 12 students to stay on main site. |
Library to be used by Year 7 students only.
Basketball Court: Patterson street end designated to Y7 students. Main building end designated to Year 12 students.

Lunchtime:
Year 11/12 to have access to Zones 1 and 2 at Princes Park. Will need to adhere to public guidelines for use.
All Year 7 students to stay on main site. 
Library to be used by Year 7 only. 
Basketball Court: Patterson street end designated to Year 7 students. Main building end designated to Year 12 students.


Information will be updated at our Returning to school/On-site Learning page as changes or further advice or clarification becomes available.