The principal of the Assumption Catholic School in Bathurst, David Maher, pays tribute to the hard work and dedication of the school’s teachers and support staff.
The Assumption Catholic School in Bathurst, like many others, was thrust into an unexpected situation due to the coronavirus pandemic. The theme that developed throughout this learning cycle is “engagement and connection”. It is important for the students to be engaged, and the connection with parents and students took place regularly through Seesaw, emails and phone calls.
All events and experiences have a starting point. Mrs Peck (Primary Coordinator) had attended Google classes organised by Vickie Vance (Catholic Education Office, Diocese of Bathurst). Together with Mrs Smith (Assistant Principal), they established a Google connection for the school website’s landing page. Through this, the children and their parents could see what was organised for remote learning across the school.
The teachers’ commitment to contemporary learning practices, which includes technological competence, has greatly benefited the Assumption School community. The teachers are proficient with Google Classroom and Seesaw. Year 6 teachers Mrs Hanley and Mrs Barrett set work remotely and communicated with students at home from the very first day. All other grades followed quickly. Special mentions go to Mrs Richards and Ms Hotham for creating remote learning work for their Kindergarten students.
Other notable efforts have been teachers preparing videos and organising Zoom and Loom telecasts. Year 4 teacher Mr Gibson had many students enthusiastically join his Zoom lessons until they decided they wanted to come to school. He soon had more than half his class at school.
Mrs Nicolson has also established connections with her Year 4 students through Zoom while Mrs Bryant (also Year 4) has taken her class through lessons online. Mrs Peck and Ms Davis (Year 2) prepared videos for their students to connect with through Google Classroom.
The teachers have also created iMovies to connect with students and parents.
Early in the process, Mr Windsor (Year 5) used Loom telecasts to explain activities to students. Mrs Lynch (Year 5) translated her high standards from the classroom into remote learning. Mrs Brown (Drama) and Mrs Powell (Music) explained and demonstrated lessons through video.
Mrs Arrow ensured quality library lessons were available for all grades. Year 1 teachers Ms Kelley and Mrs Stevens used Seesaw after setting work packs in Term 1. Year 3 teachers Mr Hayes and Ms Jarrett connected with the students using Google Classroom and Seesaw.
The school’s learning assistants demonstrated the same commitment to adaptability, as did canteen supervisor Mrs Parker. As the canteen was closed, she took on the role of learning assistant in Year 2. Kindergarten assistants also shared their time with other grades. Along with their many other tasks, the availability of these assistants enabled greater communication between teachers, students at home and their parents. Assistants in Years 3-6 grades provided this same support.
Thank you to the Assumption School parents for their positive approach throughout the course of remote learning. Each family will have stories well worth listening to in the weeks, months and years to come.
Our school considers a safe environment for students, staff and parents to be very important. We pray for the safety of our local community and Australia and we have much for which to be thankful.
Our school is on the country of the Wiradjuri, Gamilaraay and Wailwan peoples. We pay respect to their Elders, celebrate their continuing culture and acknowledge the memory of their ancestors.