This year has been a time of significant uncertainty, where schools and their communities have navigated the uncharted waters of COVID-19 impacted learning and life.
We have become familiar with new COVID-19 language, terminology, and expectations. Many of us have moved from (in 2019) thinking that the wearing of masks was an anomaly and somewhat strange, to now looking twice at adults who are ‘mask-less’ in the local shopping centres.
However, while our students, staff and community have dealt so well with the myriad of COVID-19 changes and rules, there still remains a level of anxiety from some parents and families around the possibility of mandated student vaccinations.
At a recent professional development session I attended, the message was clear. It is unlikely that NSW Health will mandate student vaccinations due to a number of factors. These factors include the current fully vaccinated status of all of our staff and the high % of the broader community that is fully vaccinated. Younger students are far less likely to become seriously unwell due to COVDID-19 when compared to adults. While this may change in the future, Lakes Grammar has no plans to offer a COVID-19 vaccination program at school for students who are currently eligible (those who are 12 years and older).
I want also to assure parents that as per current NSW Health advice, any vaccination program run by the school requires parents or guardians to complete a consent form before any vaccination is given. Students will not be given any vaccine on the school site without written parental consent on the appropriate documentation. While Lakes Grammar has no control over the requirements of external providers (such as Year 12 students having to be fully vaccinated to attend our formal off site), can I please reiterate that:
There is no plan for any school-based COVID-19 student vaccination program at Lakes Grammar.
There has been no discussion among schools that is pointing towards mandated COVID-19 vaccination for school students at this stage.
Any changes to requirements for students or plans to hold vaccination clinics at school will be communicated well in advance to parents and parental consent will be required.
The school has ordered some rapid antigen home tests (RAHT) to be of assistance should we have any students identified as close contacts due to a positive COVID-19 case at the school. By using a RAHT, we have been advised that students can return to school after 7 days rather than 14 days. The use of the RAHT is optional and would need to be conducted at home under adult supervision. Students using the RAHT will still need to follow NSW Health advice on isolation requirements outside of school including not attending before or after school care facilities and activities.
With less than 2 weeks of school left in Term 4, we pray that Lakes remains COVID-19 free and that our families and students can enjoy a very well-deserved break!
KEY DATES FOR THE DIARY
Kindergarten 2021 Graduation
Wednesday, 1 December 2021 - 9.30am
Kindergarten 2022 orientation day
Thursday, 2 December 2021 - 9.30 - 11.30am
Years 1 to 6 2022 transition day
Thursday, 2 December 2021
Year 6 graduation day
Friday, 3 December 2021 - 8.00am
Year 12 graduation breakfast
Friday, 3 December 2021 - 8.00am (followed by formal at 6pm)
Year 7 2022 orientation day
Monday, 6 December 2021 - 9.00am
K -6 Motiv8sports Splash City day
Tuesday, 7 December 2021
K - 6 Speech Day
Wednesday, 8 December 2021 - 9.30 - 11.00am
7 - 12 Speech Day
Thursday, 9 December 2021 - 10.00 - 11.30am
Please see the correspondence sent home regarding these events next week.
By the time you are reading this our Samaritan’s Christmas Appeal will have had 5 days of generous donations. On Monday, 29 November I will have the pleasure of taking these items to our local Samaritan’s Emergency Relief Centre at Lakes Anglican Church. Thank you so much for making a difference to some of our locals and their Christmas experience. As someone who has experienced the generosity of others when desperately needed, this cause is dear to my heart. Thank you!
The story of the Good Samaritan in the Bible is a wonderful story that challenges our societal assumptions about who deserves to be helped. It crossed religious and ethnic boundaries 2000 years ago in a shocking way to the first listeners and still speaks to us today on the other side of the world. It is a really easy story to understand on a surface level and as you learn more about the cultural context it is like little “a-ha” lightbulbs lighting up. It challenges that popular meme that says, “Don’t cross oceans for someone who won’t jump a puddle for you.” Some folks just aren’t able to cross water, does that mean we shouldn’t help them? Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan suggests that we are called to help others regardless of who they are. You can read the story here if you like è Good Samaritan Story
As we set out on our last 2 weeks of schooling for 2021 we can give thanks for all the blessings we have experienced this year in amongst the difficulties. I know that for me, I will look back on this year as one where I got to know my local area really well and love even more where I live. I am giving thanks for how our students continue to be resilient and versatile. We keep having to change how we function and they just roll with it…amazing. I’m going to give thanks too for the savings on fuel, the short commute to school via the laptop and the new games we have played over Zoom. Yes there have been difficulties and grief, but overwhelmingly, the blessings have more than made up for any negatives. I hope that you too may make the most of our next two weeks before a well-deserved break for our school community.
WHOLE SCHOOL NEWS
During the school holidays, the school will be closed to parents and visitors, reflecting current COVID-19 restrictions.
The office will be attended as detailed below. If you call outside of these hours please leave a message and an administration staff member will return your call when on site.
The school will be closed Friday, 10 December from 1pm.
From Monday, 13 December to Thursday, 16 December the office will be open 9am to 12pm only.
The office will be closed from midday on Thursday,16 December until it reopens on Monday, 17January
The office will be open from Monday 17 January until Friday, 24 January from 9am to 12pm only.
The School will be closed on January 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th
From Monday 31January the office will resume normal hours from 8am to 4pm
JUNIOR SCHOOL NEWS
HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL
Over the past week my drive home has become brighter and brighter as more homes are putting up their Christmas lights and trees. The festive season is certainly here.
And what an exciting time of year it is, particularly with the creation of secret santa lists and the excitement of receiving gifts.
When I think of receiving gifts a memory comes to mind back (many years) to when I, along with my cousins all were gifted snow cone machines accompanied by flavouring. We had so much fun as we crushed ice throughout the day and covered it in a sugary dye, while on the other hand our parents were not so enthused. Sadly, the novelty wore off quite quickly and the snow cone machines gathered dust until they were passed on to younger family members.
The snow cone memory brings to mind another memory from my regular travels to Rwanda after many morning runs through the Rwandan streets my sneakers were a little dirty and my bag was very full of gifts. I made the decision to gift my dirty sneakers to my Rwandan driver. When I passed the sneakers over to him the joy that spread across his face was priceless, and it is a memory that will never leave my mind.
As Ben Carson states,
“Happiness doesn’t result from what we get, but from what we give.”
This Christmas my goal is to give more that I receive. A meaningful and simply way for me to meet that goal is to be give to local charities and appeals, such as the Samaritans Christmas Appeal.
As the busy and enjoyable term nears its conclusion, my prayer is that you and your family are finding time of peace and solitude.
Head of Junior School
Congratulations all Year 2 – 6 students who completed a research project in Illuminate 2021. It was so wonderful to see such a high quality and large range of subjects / topics. They all looked fantastic on display in the junior school library and well done to all involved.
Please return all borrowed books to the junior school library for our annual stocktake. Please send returns by Friday, 26 November.
Carnival Virtual Book Fair
Our Carnival Virtual Book Fair is now finished. Thank you for all your support during this fundraiser. Any profits will be used to further resource the junior school library.
Our Annual Scholastic Bookfair will return during Book week in August 2022
Junior School Teacher Librarian
The Illuminate project is an annual Lakes Grammar initiative that allows our students to conduct further research and exploration in an area they are passionate about. This year's Illuminate theme was ‘Flourishing in a changing and challenging world’.
Our students’ projects showcases the way our students flourished through this changing and challenging time we are living through. We are particularly impressed by the students work this year because the entire project was completed during lock-down.
Our clever Lakes Grammar students presented their findings in creative ways; first through videoing their speeches, to be shared on an Illuminate website with our school community and then face-to-face in Week 7 of Term 4.
Well done to all our Illuminate students - we are very proud of you.
Mrs Amanda Holland
High Potential and gifted education Co ordinator K-6
Enrolments for the school band program for 2022 are now open for any students who are currently in years 2 and above and who would like to be part of our schools new training band for 2022.
No prior musical knowledge or experience is required and all lessons are held at school during school hours.
Information sessions hosted by the Central Coast Conservatorium of Music are being held on the dates below and all parents are welcome to attend.
Change and loss are issues that affect all of us at some stage in our lives. At Lakes Grammar we recognise that when changes occur in families through death, separation, divorce and related circumstances, young people may benefit from learning how to manage these changes effectively. We are therefore offering a very successful education program called Seasons for Growth for our K-6 students, which will commence in Term 1 2022.
This program is facilitated in small groups and is based on research which highlights the importance of social support and the need to practise new skills to cope effectively with change and loss. The program focuses on issues such as self-esteem, managing feelings, problem-solving, decision-making, effective communication and support networks. If you think your child would benefit from Seasons for Growth we would encourage you to talk to them about participating in the program.
Lakes Grammar is pleased to be able to offer this program and we are confident that it will be a valuable learning experience for those who request to be involved. Please contact School Psychologist Stacey Taggart at firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest in the program.
Ms Stacey Taggart
SCHOOL BANKING IS CLOSING
We will no longer offer school banking due to new government regulations. Please click here for more information.
SENIOR SCHOOL NEWS
HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL
Last week, we came together outside for the first time for a traditional assembly and chapel since lockdown. It was so wonderful to see all our students together in one space. For the first time, Mrs Clancy was able to address the students in person and our 2022 student prefects were formally introduced. As a school, we have missed coming together as it builds connections across whole school community.
During the assembly, I spoke to the students about our new 2022 academic care lessons. This week the academic care team met together to plan the structure and content that will be covered in 2022. Year 7-12 students will meet twice a week to focus on one of the “ “ “Flourish pillars” each term: positive emotions, positive relationships, positive health and positive connections. Our Vital framework will underpin these lessons and they will be designed to assist our students in being faithful , determined, reflective, compassionate and inquisitive.
This Wednesday, the new prefect body came together to hear from Mrs Clancy and other senior leaders about all things leadership! They spent the day working with Mrs MacLarty, Reverend Matt and their staff mentors to brainstorm how to bring their portfolios alive amongst the student body in 2022 to create a positive impact. Their portfolios mirror our Flourish framework. During my time with the leadership team, I spoke to them about how it is easy to have grand ideas as a leader but how you bring them alive and take others with you on the journey is what really counts.
We are looking forward to seeing what our leadership body has planned for our students in 2022.
A reminder that our Speech Day is on Thursday 9 December 2021 at 10am in the school hall. Students who are award recipients are the only students required at school on this day. However, there will be supervision for students if required on the day.
All award recipients will be notified next week via email. These students are required to be at school by 9am on Speech Day in full dress school uniform, including blazers. Each award recipient may invite 2 parents/guardians to attend with them. All parents/guardians who wish to attend must be double vaccinated and be prepared to show their vaccination certificate or exemption certificate before entry.
Textbook Orders for 2022
In the coming week the Box of Books textbook list will be emailed to both students and parents. Please read the list carefully and order all textbooks listed for purchase for your child's year group. Please note, to guarantee your child has the required textbooks for the start of the 2022 school year, please order by 10 December 2021.
Communication from Box of Books will include frequent email updates to parents regarding the status of your order. Where orders have outstanding items, they will proactively provide regular updates on the estimated delivery timeframes. Parents will now be provided with a direct link via their email which they can use to communicate with Box of Books directly.
Additionally, parents who have previously purchased via the Box of Books Shop, and have not purchased for back to school 2022, an SMS reminder message will be sent in January.
If you have any questions regarding the purchase of textbooks, please contact our senior school administration assistant, Ms Prest via email email@example.com or phone the senior school office.
Deputy Principal and Head of Senior School
YEAR 7 COGNITO ART CLUB. FINAL YOUNG ARCHIE OIL PAINTING WORKSHOP
Despite a long break between the last workshop and working from home Term 3 and some of Term 4. Year 7 Cognito Art Club students have shown tremendous resilience and determination to finish what they started and complete their fantastic oil paintings of their chosen teachers.
They all managed to capture the emotion and character of their subjects whilst building a variety of techniques and skills along the way.
Congratulations to our Art Club students. Your final products are most impressive.
Sports fleece jumpers x 4 - size XS, size M x2, size 10/J10
Blazers: Noone Imagewear brand x 1 - Large in size with no labels Alinta brand x 2 - size XS, size S
White sport polo shirt - size J10
ALL unclaimed school uniform items will go to the second-hand uniform shop at the end of the year.
ONE and one only white Nike Air - air force R. shoe with home-handpainted red trim
Large dark blue case with pair of dark blue scissors
Tweed River brand - size S charcoal/pale grey V-neck ribbed jumper
Bonds - size L zippered grey hoodie
Mrs Anne-Marie Nicholls
JUNIOR SCHOOL SPORTS NEWS
Tuesday School Sport Choices for Term 1 – 2022
In preparation for year 3-6 Sport in Term 1, 2022, Further Information will come out in week 9.
Tuesday Sport from Week 4
A reminder that full sports uniform must be worn on Tuesdays for sport i.e. hat, sport shirt, joggers, school sport shorts and socks. Students should also have a water bottle as well during the hotter months.