College Principal's COVID Update 16 July 2021

Dear Parents, Guardians and Penola Friends,

Extended lockdown of Greater Sydney region for weeks 2 and 3 of Term 3

You will all have heard the growing concerns around the number of COVID cases that have still remained exceptionally high since we commenced lockdown at the start of the school holiday break. Yesterday we heard that Emu Plains has now been named as  a hotspot due to an unrelated new case.

This means that we will progress to another 2 weeks of remote learning through the support of the professional teaching staff of Penola Catholic College who will facilitate high quality and engaging learning for your child. As well as this, we will offer supervision for any students who require this and need to be at school (e.g. children whose parents are essential workers). There will always be a place for students here at the college where they are required, to ensure they are able to access their learning and are well supported by our resources. This is an important time for students to stay connected with their peers and class teachers through the Google Classroom and Zoom online learning platform. 

I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude and appreciation for all that you are doing to support your child in order for their learning to be successful during this time of lockdown. I understand that this is a most challenging time for families managing work and family demands effectively. With your continued support and partnership, your child will be able to continue learning and experience success. 

I would also like to extend high praise and commendation to the outstanding staff of Penola for the time, care, and effort they have taken in creating engaging and diverse learning experiences that enable your child to grow as a learner. I know that this time is challenging for each and every one of us in our own way,  however I have been incredibly impressed with the resilience of students and staff alike during this time.  The Support Staff have been proactive in reaching out to families who have needed additional support at this time and responded accordingly. During the next two weeks, your child will engage in learning that models their learning at school and will require them to work more independently through Inquiry Based learning tasks. With the guidance of their teacher, I am confident that your child will enjoy this next iteration that requires them to learn deeply and be prepared to share this with peers upon returning back to school at Penola. 

I would ask that your child participates in homeroom commencing Monday 19 July for the next 2 weeks also at 8:48-9am to reconnect with their homeroom teacher and class peers. Your child’s homeroom teacher will invite them to Zoom during this time. It is an opportunity to chat and share fun moments as a class group each morning. 

I am extremely proud of Year 12 2021 students who have continually demonstrated their capacity to step up and excel as learners who are open to a growth mindset. Please keep up your positive energy by attending all timetabled classes and being open to feedback from your class teacher and peers. This term is HSC Revision term so stay focused, construct your study notes for all courses and keep practising HSC style questions. We are with our Year 12 students all the way on their journey towards the completion of the HSC. HSC Learning Coaches will be contacting Year 12 students during this time to check in with students and their wellbeing and learning status.

During this most challenging and demanding time, remember to practise good self-care by having ‘brain breaks’, enjoying some physical activity and engaging in a creative activity to reduce stress levels.

Please continue to reach out to us here at Penola should you need any guidance, direction or further support. We are always here for you and especially at this time. 

Stay calm, stay strong and stay connected.

God bless 

Mrs Tania Cairns