It is an understatement to say that 2020 has been an extraordinary year. The challenges faced by everyone around the globe due to the COVID-19 pandemic have had a major impact on us all. Despite everything that has been happening, we are proud to report that our Sacred Heart school community has adjusted to these changes and remained a vibrant learning community. Wewouldliketotakethisopportunitytosincerelythankandcongratulateallstudents, staff and families for showing great resilience, flexibility and positivity during the roller coaster ride of the 2020 school year. Whilst there have been many challenges throughout, there have also been many achievements and we have found new ways of learning and engaging with one another.
Our school year began in typical fashion with our students and staff returning to school at the start of February. We welcomed 62 new Prep students, along with several new students in various year levels and newly appointed staff in Corey Barbary, Bianca Niutta & Belinda Zappia. Additional Learning Support Officers, Wendy Kerr and Carrissa Ernesti also joined our team early in the year. Parent Information sessions, Get to Know You interviews, Beginning of School Year Mass, Bully Zero Program and the Family Movie Night are a few of the events that were held during term one, which made for a positive start to the school year. It was at this point that things began to change quickly and we were forced to ‘think on our feet’ as Remote Learning 1.0 was implemented at the beginning of term two. Zoom & Google meetings quickly became the new normal and our learning went to online platforms Seesaw and Google Classroom. Students became accustomed to learning from home and communicating with their teachers via email and other platforms. As a school community we were ‘learning by doing’ as Remote Learning was something that we had never experienced before.
After transitioning back to school at the end of term two, students were delighted to be back in the classroom environment and returning to the normal routine and structures of face to face learning. Aswerestaffandparents! AbitofnormalitycontinuedthroughouttheJune/Julyschool holidays and term three started as normal, albeit with lots of restrictions in place. However, by week four we were thrust back into Remote Learning 2.0. Again, as a school community we adjusted, adapted and were agile in our ability to move back to a very different way of learning. The positive being that we learnt from our first venture down this path and we could change things up a little to ensure effective outcomes were being achieved for all families. Fortunately, all students and staff were able to return to school at the beginning of term four and we have enjoyed a relatively normal term to date. The lifting of restrictions has allowed for excursions, camps, staybacks and special events to take place which has had a positive influence on student wellbeing. We sincerely thank all families for your support during these challenging times. Even though we have lost a sense of community around the school, there has been a great showing of compassion, understanding and patience within our school community and for this we are very grateful.
A major focus for Sacred Heart this year has been our School Validation and External Review. This process began in March and has been happening behind the scenes. Staff have worked in writing teams to reflect on our current practices and processes, analysing various data sets and setting goals for future school improvement. We have looked closely at each of the key aspects of Catholic Education – Vision & Mission, Catholic School Culture, Community Engagement, Leadership & Stewardship, Learning & Teaching and Wellbeing to identify the three major priorities of our next School Improvement Cycle (2021-2024). The review process finished in November, with a two-day visit from external reviewer Malcolm Joseph, CEB reps Chris Roberts, Ange Jones, Sandra Harvey and principal rep Narelle Gallagher. Over these two days