Blog

Dear Students and Parents

The majority of students, teachers and  parents report that they are looking forward eagerly to returning to on-site learning. At the same time we recognise that everyone in our school community - students, parents and staff - are to some degree concerned or anxious at how we can all safely return to teaching, learning, work and study in the current global pandemic. Understandably, there are emotional responses and impacts, some of which we are aware of whilst others sit below the surface. I encourage everyone to carry this awareness with us as we come back together and be especially considerate, kind and thoughtful in our interactions with each other

Thank you for your, support, cooperation  and encouragement in our remote learning journey. This journey continues for another two weeks for students in Years 7-10 before all classes resume following the Queens Birthday long weekend. Year 11 & 12 students resume on-site next Tuesday May 26. We have been working diligently to organise arrangements for the return to on-site teaching and learning. We are also adapting reporting to reflect curriculum and assessment changes flowing from the adjustments made during remote learning. This has involved balancing public health advice, Department of Education guidelines and OHS requirements whilst considering our particular school context. It is a complex process that requires pragmatism amidst at times, conflicting priorities and advice.

I emphasise the Chief Health Officer's advice that, 'the risk posed to staff and students returning to on-site schooling at this time is very low'.

Our Returning to School/On-site Learning page details many of the measures we are implementing in the return.  Please review these details at the link. They recognise the challenges presented and acknowledge that implementation will be imperfect. We expect to adjust our approach as we trial these measures with Year 11 &12 students  next week, and as further consultation occurs and/or new advice is received. 

A key message in the return process is 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, children and young
people remain at home. We ask staff, parents and students to respect and honour this practice. Please note at the Returning to School/On-site Learning the process for students or staff to be sent home where the school has concerns about unwell students or staff.

Parents/carers of students with complex medical needs (including those with compromised immune systems), should seek advice from the student’s medical practitioner to support decision-making about whether on-site education is suitable, noting that this advice may change depending on the status of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic in Victoria. This is in line with the DET Health Care Needs policy. In the event that a medical practitioner deems that a complex medical condition means that on-site education is not suitable, then this needs to be communicated in writing to the relevant Sub-school Leader with supporting documentation. Accommodations to access and complete the on-site curriculum will then be arranged with teaching staff.

If a medical practitioner deems that your child has complex medical condition as indicated above please provide advice and documentation to the relevant Sub school Leader:

Year 11 & 12 Sub school Leader Dani Crew crewd@phsc.vic.edu.au by Monday 25 May 1;00pm (pending documentation if necessary))

Year 9  & 10 Sub school Leader Baden Small smallb@phsc.vic.edu.au  by Friday 29 May 1:00pm

Year  7 & 8 Sub school Leader Anna Vaxalis vaxalisa@phsc.vic.edu.au  by Friday 29 May 1:00pm

Note that schools will not operate both face to face and remote learning for who students do not attend without medically documented complex medical needs.

On-site Learning Program for Year 7-10 students continues until June 9

For those students who cannot be supervised at home and for vulnerable children, the existing model of on-site schooling will remain in place during the two-week period from Tuesday 26 May to Tuesday 9 June. The current process that we are using to enable parents and carers to indicate the days or part-days for which on-site schooling is required will continue for this two-week period. See further relevant information and application form here.

Computer Devices and Internet Access

Students and families who have accessed devices or internet through the school are able to retain use of devices/internet access until further notice. As schools return to on-site learning students are expected to bring the device with them to school as appropriate as part of the on-site learning program.

Please be aware that families may also access internet services directly through providers at low or no cost through providers such as Superloop where the following criteria are met:

  • they reside in an NBN serviced area
  • they do not have an existing NBN service
  • they have school aged children living at the residence
  • they are in receipt of a Job Seeker Allowance or Family Tax Benefit

We are really looking forward to seeing Year 11 & 12 students on Tuesday and encourage Year 7-10 students to make the most of their remote learning opportunities before returning on June 9. Students or parents who have wellbeing concerns about the return to school to contact our wellbeing team - contact details and supports are available on our Remote Learning Home page. As further information becomes available from public health officials, the Department of Education or the school we will continue to communicate it through the Remote Learning Home page. Please also see confirmation below of key dates for the remainder of Term 2.

Warm regards

Trevor Smith

Principal


Key Dates

Monday 25th May - Curriculum Day (Pupil Free Day)

Monday 25th May is a statewide Curriculum Day and there are no remote nor on-site classes. School staff will be preparing for the return of Year 11 & 12 students on Tuesday 26 May and the return of Years 7-10 students on Tuesday June 9.

Tuesday May 26th May - Resumption of Classes on-site for Year 11 & 12 (and for Year 10 students enrolled in VCE or VCAL Units )

From Tuesday 26th May, Year 11 & 12 where classes are occurring on site the measures in our Returning to School/On-site Learning  guide apply to all staff, students and parents (unless otherwise advised). Teachers will be delivering classes face to face with Year 11 & 12 students, and remotely to students in Years 7-10.

Instrumental Music Lessons will continue remotely from Tuesday 26th May to Friday 5th June and thereafter, on-site. Details will be communicated by the Music Department.

Tuesday June 9 Resumption of classes on-site for Years 7-10 

From Tuesday 9th June all year Year 7-10 students join Year 11&12 students in learning on-site. 

Friday June 19 Report Writing Day (Pupil Free Day)

Students do not attend on this day.



Return to on-site learning

Dear Parents and Carers,

Thank you for all your support and the messages of appreciation and encouragement during these challenging weeks of remote and flexible learning and restricted activity. 

As you will no doubt be aware the Premier today announced that following advice from the Chief Health Officer, the Victorian Government has advised that schools can begin a phased return to on-site schooling.


In the first stage, students in Prep, Grade 1 and Grade 2, senior secondary (Year 11 and 12 VCAL and VCE) students and all students in specialist schools will return to school from Tuesday 26 May.

Year 10 students undertaking VCE studies, including VCE VET studies, should also attend school for those classes where practicable. If this is not possible for your child/children, our teachers will make sure the work provided to students attending at school is also provided to your child/children.

To support all school staff to prepare for this transition, Monday 25 May will be a pupil-free day.


In the second stage of our return to on-site schooling, all other year levels will return to school from Tuesday 9 June.

For those students who cannot be supervised at home and for vulnerable children, the existing model of on-site schooling will remain in place during the two-week period from Tuesday 26 May to Tuesday 9 June. The current process that we are using to enable parents and carers to indicate the days or part-days for which on-site schooling is required will continue for this two-week period. See further relevant information and application form here.

All other students in Years 7-10 will continue learning from home until Tuesday 9 June.

Once a year level has returned, all students will be expected to attend school as normal. This means if you choose to keep your child/children home after their year level has returned to on-site schooling, we can no longer support their learning from home.

This does not apply to children who need to be absent for health or medical reasons. For those families, please contact Anthony Avotins at avotinsa@phsc.vic.edu.au so we can make an appropriate plan.

This same approach is being taken by all government schools in Victoria.

To support the health and wellbeing of all our students and staff, our school will continue an enhanced cleaning routine and will encourage frequent hand washing.

If you child is ill or is feeling unwell, they must not attend school. They must remain home and seek medical advice.


While the Chief Health Officer has advised that students will not be required to maintain physical distancing at school, there will be a number of important changes to our school operations, consistent with health advice. This will apply until further notice. I will provide more detail about our local school context as soon as possible, but it is important to note that changes will include:

  • adjusted arrangements for student movement around the school building and grounds;
  • restrictions on access to the school site for anyone other than immediate school staff and students;
  • the way we conduct parent-teacher meetings and interviews

 We understand that some families may feel anxious about this move back to classroom teaching and learning. I can assure you that this decision has been taken on the basis of the best health advice available to our state.


More information about the return to school and coronavirus (COVID-19) can be found here on the Department’s website, which will continue to be updated:

Thank you for your continued support and patience during this time. We look forward to welcoming our students back to the classroom in the coming weeks.

Yours sincerely,

Trevor Smith

(Principal)


Dear Students, Parents and Staff

Please find detailed information at this link on how Unit 3 SACS will operate on-site. 

Note that each Unit 3 SAC will have a specific Compass Event with location and time. This will be visible on each student's schedule. Students should arrive 15 minutes prior. Rolls will marked and usual SAC procedures apply (refer to Compass Event).

The first Unit 3 SAC on-site is English on Tuesday May 12 at 1:30-3:30 pm. French, Italian and Business Management SACS are the other Unit 3 SACS scheduled next week. Compass Events for other SACS are currently being entered.

Note that the usual Compass Calendar for SACS will not operate this term. Instead you will see your SAC as an event in your personal schedule, and in the calendar.


Good luck to students for your forthcoming assessments!


Trevor Smith & Dani Crew




Dear Students, Teachers and Parents

Following further information on Friday afternoon from the VCAA and consistent with Department of Education guidelines, we can confirm that Unit 3 school assessed coursework (SACs) may be held on-site. All attendance at onsite assessments will be carefully conducted with strict adherence to Department and public health guidelines regarding physical distancing, sanitation and infection control.

One of the first on-site Unit 3 SACs will be the English Argument and Language Analysis SAC Tuesday May 12 from 1:30 - 3:30pm. Students will need to arrive no later than 1:10 pm to allow required sanitation, infection control measures and physical distancing protocols to operate effectively.

In the event that a student is unable to attend on-site for medical reasons they must contact Dani Crew by email at crewd@phsc.vic.edu.au by 1:30pm Friday May 8, so that alternative arrangements can be made.

Please note that preceding the SAC, period 4 classes will operate. However, teachers will not teach new content to allow students completing the SAC time to travel to school. 

The school Unit 3 SAC schedule and specific details about the conduct of on-site assessments are now under review. More information will be forthcoming this week. This will include how students will access the building and how infection control measures will be implemented.

Yours sincerely,

Trevor Smith

Dear Students


We really hope you're doing well and managing the challenges of remote learning. We understand this is a frustrating time for you right now, particularly regarding Unit 3 assessments. At the moment the VCAA are still clarifying information to schools regarding requirements for remote assessments. This afternoon and tomorrow there will be more more details provided by the VCAA via webinars for Principals and VCE leaders. We will then provide you with more specific guidelines regarding how your Unit 3 assessments will operate. We  expect this to be early next week.

At this stage teachers are continuing with the planned teaching and learning programs including assessments. These assessments maybe different to school SACs but are still vital in demonstrating your knowledge/understanding in an area of study and as usual, contribute to your teacher's indicative grades provided to VCAA. Your subject teachers are setting a variety of tasks and assessments with specific instructions. Please ensure you do the work, follow the instructions and seek assistance when your not sure - it's what they want you to do! If you have other issues or concerns we encourage you to contact your subject teacher, Year Level Coordinator Mr Kemp, or Senior School Leader Dani Crew.

lf you would like to speak with me (Dani) please email me  at crewd@phsc.vic.edu.au  or call on 9389 0623.

A reminder that you can also find more information at our Remote Learning - Senior School Information wiki page


Best Regards


Dani Crew (Senior Sub School Leader)

&

Trevor Smith (Principal)


Dear Year 12 Students and Parents,

We trust this communication finds you safe and well. 

We want to acknowledge that meeting the demands of your final year of schooling is more challenging than we could have conceived at the start of the year. Yet in this first week of remote learning you have been remarkable. Your constructive approach to study in a new frame, your understanding, and compassion for each other and your resilience has impressed us all. Be assured you are in the forefront of our minds.  We are determined to ensure the best possible teaching and learning program is maintained so that you can achieve your goals and stay well through these unusual times.

VCAA is providing us with ongoing advice on the delivery of the VCE, VET and VCAL. We would all like more detail and greater certainty.  However, that is unlikely as the authorities respond and react to the evolving situation.  At this stage the advice is:

  • Unit 3 will continue with no changes to the Study Design so teachers can continue with the planned teaching and learning programs.
  • Unit 3 end dates have extended by over 3 weeks to now end on 26th of June 2020. (This is the end of Term 2)

  • VCAL students will have more time to complete their courses and this will be consistent with the revised dates for the VCE.
  • There will be no change to VCAL content or assessment, except in relation to the mandatory VET requirements. Details still to be confirmed.

  • VCE Unit 4 VCE Study Designs and school-based assessment tasks are being reviewed by the VCAA to relieve some pressure on students. Details still to be confirmed.

  • The GAT test will move from June to October or November
  • End-of-year exams will be postponed until at least December
  • Universities will be asked to delay the start of the 2021 university year to account for impacts of coronavirus on senior secondary students
  • The VCAA has been asked to consider a compressed end-of-year exam schedule in recognition of the disruption caused by the pandemic

We highly recommend and encourage you to continue to communicate regularly with your teachers and seek assistance from the Senior School Team and the Wellbeing team. We will continue to keep you updated as more information comes to hand( including about Unit 3 school-based assessments i.e. what can/will happen at home or at school. Please refer to the PHSC wiki page Senior School information for remote learning for further information.

A range of wellbeing contacts, supports and resources are on the Remote Learning Home page.

Stay positive and practice self care. Exercise, get some sunshine and stay connected.


Dani Crew (Senior School Leader) &  Trevor Smith (Principal)

Dear Students, Staff, Parents and Carers
 
Today we have launched our Remote Learning Home page for our school community. It is linked from the PHSC Website as one of the main tabs. Please bookmark it for ready reference.

The aim of this page is to:

  • Provide a place for all our communications to the school community to be accessible without flooding the Compass News Feed
  • Provide a clear set of shared expectations and guidelines for students, parents and school staff 
  • Provide a place to bring together links to further communications, advice and resources from the school, Department of Education and other sources

 In response to new advice, information and suggestions the page will be regularly updated.

Please read and explore the information provided in this page. It will be the first point of contact for information and enquiries about remote and flexible learning.

The page also provides links to our internal wiki support pages Working From Home (Staff) and Learning From Home (Students)
We have had positive reports of yesterday’s historic first day of remote and flexible learning at Princes Hill. There will be bumps in the road but the journey is underway!

Trevor Smith
Principal