As the rest of Australia began to recover from the impact of the pandemic, community transmission in Victoria increased dramatically and on August 2 we moved to Stage 4 lockdown. On August 5 we reached our peak of over 700 new cases. Fortunately, after months of extreme lockdown which included an 8pm curfew, compulsory face mask wearing and an inability to travel further than 5 kilometers from home, on October 3 there were only 8 new cases. Melbournians wait in anticipation for October 19 when the debilitating Stage 4 restrictions should be eased to enable people to return to work and inject much needed hope and life into the economy. Importantly, the delicate emotional wellbeing of those with elevated levels of stress and anxiety caused by physical distancing, isolation and job loss during lockdown will receive a much needed boost. Sadly, there have also been 805 deaths in Victoria, with many families losing loved ones, especially the elderly. We continue to keep all families in our thoughts and prayers.
Australians are recognised for their resilience and optimism and adhere with determination to the core value of supporting each other to get through the most challenging of times. Just as a surfer repeatedly gets back onto their board, we refuse to be wiped out by the second wave.
Amidst the many challenges of the Stage 4 lockdown restrictions, we are extremely satisfied that the combined efforts of students, staff and parents enabled all learners to achieve to the best of their ability. Student interaction weekly reports from staff developed during the course of the term to include a record of parent communications and online social opportunities for different year levels. We received numerous emails of thanks from the parents and are grateful for the overwhelmingly positive feedback shared with us all. Feedback included:
"..A big thank you to the wonderful staff at St Patrick's...they keep the kids busy whilst providing regular positive feedback..." Year 3 parent
"..Thank you for your commitment, support and care..I am certainly seeing growth, resilience and maturity...thank you for the key role you are playing..." Yr 6 parent
"..we are loving your work in the school assemblies absolutely fantastic to watch. Shows so much passion for what you do thank you.." Yr 1 parent
'' .. thank you for all your great work....is flourishing under your direction and support..." Yr 5 parents
".. we really appreciate the time you take to review each piece of work, the feedback and messages you write back... feel connected, stay accountable and be motivated..." Yr 4 parent
"..can I once again thank you and your team for the selfless and supportive way in which you have helped us. .. we appreciate everything you are doing to support our children..."
- To our SRC students and young leaders for their contribution to the SRC and virtual assembly videos
- To our hard working staff who responded to the challenge to "raise the bar" and make Flexible Learning truly count for every learner
- To our students and parents who continue to work together, give and receive feedback and keep learning despite the unique challenges that we are all experiencing in these "unprecedented" times.