Dear Parents, Guardians, Friends and Students
It is amazing how busy those of us working in schools have been since the start of COVID 19. For us, it began very early in the year, prior to any of the restrictions being put in place. Since then there have been extra meetings via Teams or Zoom making sure that we are all working together and following the government’s guidelines. I know there has been more conversation during this year than ever before. I think I have had 20 mins this week when I was not in a meeting, doing interviews or online meetings. I can only imagine what life may look like for each of you.
School has returned to a new normal. We have most of our Year 9 – 12 students onsite and it is wonderful to see them all working and engaging with other students and staff. We are all looking forward to seeing our whole student group back next term if the restrictions are changed around boarding.
If you haven’t already had a look at our Facebook site, could I please encourage you to do so. The students and staff are putting up lots of posts and it is really exciting to see. Make sure you click to ‘Follow’ then you will get notified about new posts.
Our prayers are with all of our families, particularly those with students still at home. Look after each other and stay well.
We have so much to be grateful for.
Help us recognise and appreciate all we have rather than spend time and energy on what we don’t have.
We thank you God, for the wonder of ourselves, because we are unique, marvellous, talented creations of your hands.
May we appreciate the wonders of people and nature.
In valuing all of your creation may we protect, affirm and build a better and more peaceful world.
This we ask through Christ our Lord
Deputy Principal Report
Recently I have been really enjoying seeing our students and staff working so well together and it has been wonderful to see many of our students return to us. All the staff have taken great nourishment from listening to their stories during Yarning Circles in our Pastoral Care time. We have been greatly rewarded and affirmed on our vocations through listening to our students tell us that they missed us and their classes and were so happy to be back.
At ERC we believe that to improve academic outcomes, students need to be engaged in their learning. We know that for students to engage in their learning, the nurturing of authentic relationships must be at the centre. ERC staff place their students at the forefront of everything they do. Each student is know personally by our staff. ‘Know your students’ is the very first Aitsl (Australian Professional Standards for Teachers).
Relationships allow students to feel safe in their learning environment and hence fosters students to take risks with their learning as the fear of failure is taken away. At ERC our teachers are committed to building positive relationships with students to ensure the best possible educational experience. Academic success means different things to different people. Every child is unique and has different interests and talents. Academic success can be classified and measured in many ways. Research tells us that some individuals think intelligence is “fixed” – with certain people being naturally cleverer. Other people believe intelligence is malleable and can change with effort and implementing different learning strategies. Our focus is always on improving our students learning with a particular focus on Literacy. At ERC our staff believe intelligence is malleable and this is linked to positive educational outcomes, such as working hard in school, persisting in the face of setbacks and choosing challenging goals.
We acknowledge that we do things a little differently here at the College. Our programs and structures are set up to enable us to best cater to the needs of all our students. Hence our broad options programs and VET courses expose each student very early to different learning choices and ways of learning. Our students also experience success in learning both in and outside the classroom and in many different contexts.
As Educators we also recognise there are many ways for students to learn and demonstrate success. Our staff work closely with individual students to develop personalised learning pathways that will ensure every child can develop their strengths and actively pursue their passions. Our comprehensive pastoral care system and class structure ensures that every child is known and cared for providing wraparound academic and social and emotional care.
During this very different time our staff have worked tirelessly to ensure each student had the opportunity to learn and remain connected to the College while being away. For this and for their care, love and passion for teaching I would like to sincerely thank them. To our parents who have been so supportive and have provided us with wonderful feedback and conversations we thank you. We strongly believe our parents, carers and guardians are central to our students’ success and I know our staff have really enjoyed all the chats they have had with you. Once again thank you. I would also like to thank Miss Nikol who came in with her beautiful bubba Archie to cut our Boarding student’s hair to keeping them safe.
Year 7 Students – Just Kidding Around
This term, the Year 7’s have been studying goats as part of their Agricultural Science Program.
They’ve been learning all about different Breeds of Goats and their Uses in Food, Fibre and Milk Production, all while having heaps of fun.
This week the class taste tested different types of goats cheese and compared goats milk to other dairy products while learning about marketing of each.
Many thanks also to the Fawcett family who recently brought three orphan baby goats up to the College for a ‘Play Date’. The Year 7’s were incredibly lucky to get the chance to bottle feed them too, which turned out to be such an amazing experience.
By the end of the day the little ‘kids’ proved to be quite the attraction. Drawing in big ‘kids’ passing by for a quick cuddle too.
Agricultural Science Teacher
For this term, students of Year 10 & Year 11 are carrying out an investigation to find the weight gain between twin lambs and non-twin lambs. They had the advantage of selecting two sets of twins and four non-twin lambs for earmarking. They are then able to weigh them every week and see how they are progressing. Moreover, students from both farming and non-farming backgrounds have enjoyed the experience of holding the cute lambs.
This term started off quietly, with only day students for two weeks and then year 11 and 12’s. From 18 May 2020, school attendance became mandatory for all students, except those who are medically vulnerable or who have medically-vulnerable family members. At that point Miss Trish and myself contacted families to start bringing back the year 9 and 10’s. We had to follow Government’s guidelines of students being a room by themselves, which then limited how many students could be in Boarding. It has been really nice getting to spend a little more time with the Senior students, but we look forward to welcoming everyone back next term. We are also still strictly following the 1.5m physical distancing which has been difficult for students who would normally sit close to each other and hang out in each other’s rooms.
WA’s remaining regional travel boundaries have been lifted, and as of midnight last night, the Australian Government biosecurity zones, including the Kimberley region, were lifted. This means that students do not have to self-isolate for 14 days and that students and their families can again travel more freely.
Football training at Toodyay started last night, with around 25 Boarders attending for the meet and greet and sign-up session. We look forward to starting the 2020 season although it will look a bit different and we are eagerly awaiting some game fixtures to come out.
The end of term travel dates for Boarding students are departing Wednesday 1st July and Boarders return Tuesday 21st July. Miss Trish has already started booking flights, so please let us know about any changes you may need in advance.
Head of Boarding