Welcome to 2021. I hope everyone has managed to have a restful break.
We begin the year with 442 students, 43 staff and over 600 parents in our community. It has been busy this week, with enrolments over the holidays and some families moving away. Welcome to our new families.
Mrs Marshall and Mrs Horsley are both back from extended leave and are refreshed and enthusiastic and we have a new chaplain, Jason, since Paul has left for family reasons. We look forward to Jason meeting everyone next week.
There is a new classroom on the courts, that will house 31 year 5 students. This has eased the accommodation pressure a little, although most of our classrooms are still running at capacity.
We have had some external painting done, have laid some new carpets and vinyl in classrooms and have had a thorough clean over the holidays. So the old school is looking good!
Richmond will be 100 years old on March 21st and we will celebrate with a Centenary Fair on March 20th. The organising committee has been hard at work over the summer and I have put all the exciting updates on our website: Centenary. It’d be great if you could encourage former students to read all about it.
Our energetic Dads of Richmond Kids group has also been planning their term. I have put their updates on our website too – including a new Whatsapp group, dads and kids camp information and details of their first catch up (Left Bank, 7.00pm on February 4) – Dads and Kids update.
We are looking forward to seeing everyone on Monday.
Children should already know their new classroom and teacher and most children are very familiar with the school site and easily able to make their way to class independently. Children who are a little worried or young, or needing a bit of moral support may certainly be brought onsite. This includes all children in pre-primary, who will meet on the lawn at 8.45am to do activities. Parents are welcome to sit with their child and walk with them to class. We think this will enable an enjoyable and calm transition.
Kindergarten children will similarly gather on the kindy lawn at 8.45am to do quiet activities with parents, prior to going into class.
Older, new children may be brought to the office or classroom door should they not feel confident to make their way independently.
At 3.00pm, all parents may collect their child from the gate or the quad as they prefer.
Parents and guardians don’t have ad hoc access to classrooms, but are always very welcome to schedule a time to talk to teachers. Staff are happy to have after school meetings on most days, but find they are better prepared and able to give the meeting due time and attention when it is scheduled.
As a last holiday job, please could you label all your child’s belongings, ensure they have a school hat, and that they can easily open and use their bag, drink bottle, lunch box and shoes!
My best tip for hats is to sew something onto the outside brim (button, embroidery, ribbon). Your child won’t find their lost hat with an inside label, but will immediately recognise it on someone’s head with an external marking. Lots of unmarked hats are misplaced every day.
As far as phase 4 goes, we are advised that Western Australians must continue to keep up physical distancing and good personal hygiene to better protect themselves and the general health of our community. For schools this means:
- All schools must have cleaning staff on site during the day to regularly clean and disinfect high-contact surfaces that are frequently used by students and/or staff.
- Unwell staff or students should remain at home.
- Avoid direct physical contact.
- Arrangements are in place for regular hand-washing for students and staff.
- Adults should maintain physical distancing of 1.5 metres, where possible.
- Venue capacity rule of one adult per two square metres applies.
- All official visitors are required to sign in.
I continue to feel gratitude for the unique situation we find ourselves in, in WA, and do not take this lightly. My thoughts are with our friends and family abroad, who are battling isolation and infection and who do not yet see an end in sight. We all play a part in keeping WA safe.
I will update our website calendar with key dates as the year progresses, and look forward to a year of continuing freedoms.
Enjoy the last few days of school holidays!