8 April 2020

As we reach the end of term – an end that bears no resemblance to the start – I cannot thank the Richmond community enough for your support not only of us at school, but of the wider community.  We have received many emails with such kind words, which are on display in the staff room and lift everyone every day and I read daily about the good deeds in our Town; bear hunts, fairy lights, food drops, chat groups and neighbourhood watches.  You are amazing.

This week over 2500 children from John Curtin, East Fremantle PS and Richmond are learning at home.  I can only imagine how tricky it must be at times to have the whole family at home, continuing to work and learn, and am in awe of your commitment and care.

Term 2 will start on Tuesday 28 April.

Our Director General advises that there will be three categories of student next term:

Online – children who are able to access online learning from home.

Paper-based – children who do not have access to a computer or who, for varied reasons, require physical resources to be sent home.

Vulnerable students and essential services families physically attending school.

The level of flexibility required by schools across WA recognises the distinctive nature of each public school and their community.

Every public school – and there are 820 across the state – has different proportions of students in each category.  There are many communities where no home is online, where students live in vulnerable circumstances or where children have high special needs.  So, one size does not fit all.

Most students in the Town of East Fremantle are able to access online learning from home and this is where our main planning has been this week at Richmond.

We will run online groups on a year-level basis, with a teaching team coordinating each group, as follows:

Kindergarten: Kate Bockman and Julie Dyer

Pre-Primary: Helen Sellers and Deb Wells; Kirsty Scurry and Michelle Gorringe

Year 1: Vanessa Ryan and Natalee Newton

Year 2: Jenny Hart and Sarah Fogwill

Year 3: Lee Maloney, Gail Rose and Moyanne Bertolini

Year 4: Rebecca Sorrell and Andrew Townsend

Year 5: Jessica Sherman, Lloyd Tifflin and Rebecca Button

Year 6: Jessica Sherman, Lloyd Tifflin and Rebecca Button

When we set this up tomorrow, you may notice that your child’s room number changes on Connect. This is to form ‘year level’ virtual classes and to remove a number of staff who are on leave.  Once school goes back to normal, all current physical classes will re-form.

It’d be fantastic if everyone could read the notices on Connect on Tuesday 28 April to begin the term.

Children who cannot access a computer at all, and require physical resources to be sent home, vulnerable children and children of essential services families are generally known to us and we will contact you to talk through your individual circumstances and needs. However, if you think we may be unaware that your child is in one of these categories, please contact Erika Holst-Marsh, our student services deputy.  We will do our best for everyone.

I’m afraid I have no idea how long this arrangement will go on for, but we are planning for the whole of term 2.

For now, stay safe and well during the Easter holidays… and if you go on a bear hunt see if you can see any at school.

Thanks everyone for your eternal patience, kindness and human empathy as we negotiate the white water together; thank you to my amazing staff who have not missed a beat; and a special thank you to Anna who came to school yesterday to give my whole staff the flu jab. So much appreciated.

Stay safe and kind,

Lisa Dentith