Thank you for your ongoing support as we work towards relaxing restrictions. Our desire to keep our community safe while focussing on student learning, continues to be at the centre of our decision making processes. We have the June long weekend coming up and this coincides with what the Federal Government are calling stage 2. We have a Pupil Free day on Friday 5th June. Camp Australia will be open for OSHC on that day.
In South Australia, restrictions are being relaxed allowing slightly larger groups of people to gather together, while still recommending that we keep social distancing and excellent hygiene practices. We are following this advice and will take a stepped approach in reinstating different school activities, including how visiting adults and parents interact with our site.
Thank you for your support with safely dropping off and picking up your children at the two drop off zones. We will continue to provide extra teachers in the mornings and afternoons to support these transitions. We are finding the settled starts to the day are continuing as students take responsibility for their own organisation. This drop off arrangement will continue for the time being.
We have also continued to take temperatures to ensure that any students who are unwell are sent home to recover. The Flexible Online Learning platform will be switched off after this week as we have had full classes for this week with all students returning to school. We are determining the best ways to keep important lessons that have been learned particularly to do with students building their capabilities for greater independence. It is difficult to believe that it was only two months ago that we began to set up our Flexible Online Learning platform. It has provided many benefits which we are now seeing even as we have resumed full face to face learning.
Now that all students are back to school for face to face learning and our Bethany App is up and running with the majority of families using it, we will be moving our daily absentees to the App. As of Week 5, Monday 25th May, this will replace text messages for student absentees. If your child is not marked present at school by 11am you will be sent a notification to the app letting you know of their absence. A notification at the end of the day will remind you to give a reason for any unexplained absences. If you know in advance that your child will be absent then you can put a future absence into the app via the 'Report an Absence' button, please make sure that you specify the date range if your child will be absent for a period longer than one day. Please make sure that at least one parent has the Bethany App installed with notifications turned on to access these services. Any absences over 15 days require a particular form to be filled out and returned to the school. These forms are available from the front office. It is a Government requirement for the school to give account for all student absentees. Attached is a PDF with further instructions for daily absentees and how to report an absence.
We are in discussions about resuming school sporting activities and are following the recommendations of the Australian Institute of Sport for rebooting sports. This timeline will vary depending on the amount of contact required and will begin with some training opportunities. Visiting allied health, music tutors, and other individuals will resume some visits to our site after the June long weekend as long as they are able to agree to our hygiene and health practices.
Teachers are working very hard to keep providing teaching and learning opportunities and will provide an academic report for the end of Semester 1. This will be emailed to you rather than printed, and has some slight adaptations to take into consideration the mixture of at school and at home learning. Thank you for supporting your children as they continue to pursue Brilliance products to share their strengths and interests with others. The process of design has become one way that we can support students to create something worth sharing with others. We are enjoying seeing the products students are creating and I am excited to see where this goes in the future.
I would like to take this opportunity to encourage you to keep doing the day to day things that are helping your family to stay safe but also to begin to reengage with the community. Bringing your children to school on time is one really helpful way to build routine and bring security to your children. I would also encourage you to keep in contact with family members and friends to keep relationships central to your life. We are always better together and I pray that you will experience joy and peace as you move forward into this next season.
God bless you,
Open Absentee Tutorial Web.pdf (849.76 KB)
I would like to wish all of our mums a Happy Mother’s day.
Thank you for your ongoing support for our school community by following adult social distancing measures and returning your children to school. The carpark drop off will continue next week. We have continued to see students returning to school safely and we appreciate your care in making sure that you are keeping home any children who are unwell. We anticipate that the government will announce further relaxing of restrictions and expect all students to return to school during next week, except where complex health conditions or sickness prevent this. We look forward to seeing them. Please remember that the Uniform Shop is closed until further notice but uniforms can be ordered online and picked up from the office on Wednesday and Friday’s only.
We have routinely taken temperatures, cleaned surfaces and held staggered break times to keep our school healthy. Our teachers are continuing to plan in the Flexible Online Learning platform to ensure that students are provided learning opportunities whether they are attending school or are learning at home. We are also planning this way as we have seen many benefits as teachers work together to create the weekly content. Some of the benefits include student independence developing as they take more responsibility for their learning, watching students manage their own time, leveraging the strengths of teachers, seeing creativity, and having parents learning along with their children. In the mornings, we have also seen students being responsible for the start of their day and many teachers have commented on how this is helping students to become more responsible for their personal organisation and learning.
Our school will continue to place student learning at the centre of what we do because we care about children and want them to find their strengths, interests and passions. Our Brilliance work is an example of how we want to provide a space for students to explore a range of experiences to help to discover their strengths and passions. Our Flexible Online Learning platform has provided a way that we can experiment with different modes of learning and we want to use this as an opportunity to bring about more student growth. Our teachers have been asked to continue to plan in this way to explore how these styles of teaching could develop more independence and richer learning experiences for our students.
As you navigate what we anticipate as a lifting of restrictions, I would encourage you to remain calm and to bring your learning from this great challenge with you. Every time we face a problem we can choose to make it an opportunity to grow. I am very grateful to see the way our community is working together to create a safe environment for all people and the way we are taking opportunities that may have seemed stressful, to build personal capacity.
I am very interested in hearing from you and getting your responses to some questions about the learning experience your child has been having through this time. Please click on the link below to complete a short survey to help us to continue to shape our future together.
Have a restful weekend, God bless you
I trust that you have enjoyed some time at home while socially isolating during these past 2 weeks of school holidays. It has certainly provided time to reflect on our lives and what is of most importance. I hope that you and your children are healthy and refreshed.
On Wednesday the Chief Medical Officer for South Australia announced that it is safe for children to return to schools with adjustments to large gatherings, greater cleaning and hygiene as well as recommendations that adults keep 1.5 meters apart. With this in mind, we thought it would be helpful for us to clarify our expectations for the return to Term 2.
We have prepared our Flexible Online Learning platform for all students beginning on Monday 27th April. This means that whether your child is at school or at home, they will be using this platform to direct their learning. We will have classrooms open and have staff available to support students at school in year level groups. This will mean that any children at school will have any of the year level teachers or support staff throughout the day to help them as they access the platform. At this stage, we plan to run this for at least Week 1 and 2, to see how a more flexible model encourages students to learn independently but with support. One of the benefits of this mode of learning is the responsibility being given to students to engage in their own learning and to give them the opportunity to grow in this essential area.
Bethany Christian School will be open for any students that are healthy, if your child is unwell please keep them home until there are no symptoms. We plan to take student temperatures each day to identify sickness early and send home any unwell students. With this in mind, you may also like to wait for a little longer before you are comfortable for your children to return to the school environment. We will mark your child as ‘attending’ when they engage with the Flexible Online Learning platform. Your child’s attendance at school is your choice and we understand that there is still some uncertainty for many families.
We would ask that parents and carers do not enter the school grounds beyond the drop off points. The risk of spreading the virus is believed to be minimal between children but we would like to reduce the risk to staff by keeping adults from entering the school at this stage. This is in line with the advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC). We have organised some ways to help you to drop off and pick up your children directly to staff at the drop off points to allow this to occur. Our previous memo outlined the two drop off areas to be the turning circle and the rear kiss and drop zones. We will have staff in these positions from 8:20am as well as at the end of the day so please let your child know whether they are to be picked up from the Countess street or Byron Bay drive zones. Writing this in your child’s diary will ensure that the class teacher knows where to take them at 3:10pm. If this must change, please notify the office as per our normal communication procedures.
OSHC will continue to be available through Camp Australia so if you are needing to drop off your children before 8am or are not able to pick them up by 3:30pm, you must book them into this service. Camp Australia have notified us that they are asking families to update their bookings to ensure that they have accurate numbers and that they can give priority to those families of essential workers if the numbers are high. This change applies while the free childcare arrangements are in place. Our school canteen will be open with a simplified menu, please use Munch Monitor through our website to see what is available and to place an order.
We thank you for your flexibility and understanding as we do our best to provide a safe learning environment for our community. It is wonderful to see how well our State has managed these challenging times and we look forward to lifting restrictions in the coming months. We have also attached a flow chart we received from the State Government explaining their expectations for school attendance.
Our office continues to be open 8am-4pm daily and the Flexible Online Learning platform has a support button if you and your child require assistance at home.
Enjoy your weekend,
Open 20056.1 Education-COVID-infographic-V1.2.pdf (155.85 KB)
We are heading into the Easter weekend and the school holidays with a clearer picture of what learning will look for Term 2. Our teachers have prepared the Flexible Online Learning platform to start on Monday 27th April. If you are accessing this at home we thank you for helping to stop the spread of COVID-19. If you are an essential worker and need to keep working, we thank you for keeping our community going. All of us have a part to play and as we do our part, we are seeing more lives saved and the spread slowing.
Term 2 the Flexible Online Learning platform will go live on Monday 27th both at home and for those who need to be supervised at school. We have been calling families to hear from you in regards to the Week 9 trial and also to touch base with you. We are grateful for your patience and your important feedback.
We have considered screen time, that we have designed the platform to be watched for shorter times and then work to be done off line as well. There are a range of lesson types, teacher made introduction videos and also some sections of choice for students to work on their interests and projects. These will all be included as a part of the day’s learning. So many of the skills needed for life will be explored in different ways during this time and we are excited to see what this new learning adventure will bring about as we learn in these new ways.
For those students who need to be supervised at school, we will have smaller numbers and so they will have a staff member supervising them throughout the day. This will look different to the usual school arrangements including no bells, staggered break times and they will also be using the Flexible Online Learning platform. We will be making it easier for those parents who need to drop off their children here to not be on site. We will only have two gates open; the front turning circle and the rear kiss and ride gate. We will have staff waiting at these drop off and pick up points before and after school so that parents do not need to come on site.
Our preference is that you drop off children at either the Countess street turning circle or the rear drop off zone where we will have staff waiting between 8:20 and 8:40am. There will be a teacher on duty from 8am as usual and so you can drop them off in either of our “drop off zones” from 8am understanding that parents literally kiss and drop. The less contact we have with each other, the less spread is able to occur and so we thank you in advance for respecting this change. We will be taking student temperatures each day to ensure that everyone who is at school can stay healthy. We will also continue with our increased hygiene and cleaning as well as providing more space per student to practice social distancing.
Camp Australia will remain open for Vacation Care and Before and After School Care in Term 2. OSHC is part of the free childcare announced by the government. You are able to book in through the website as usual. Visit Camp Australia here
Our Office will be open on Thursday 23rd and Friday 24th April 9:00am-3:00pm. The Uniform shop is closed, however, you can order through School Locker online. Visit the School Locker here
We have created an Easter Chapel for your children to watch and we hope that it is encouraging and enjoyable for all of you. We are so grateful for our community and the overwhelming messages of support in these challenging days. We are all learning what it looks like to live through COVID-19 but we are also grateful for the opportunity to do this with you. I pray that you will have a blessed Easter and some times of joy with your children this school break.
We hope you have a wonderful Easter, If you would like to attend an online church service over Easter here are a few local options:
Thank you for the way that you are already supporting your children to learn through this ever-changing time. This Friday 3rd April, is our last day for Term 1. Teachers will be working on preparing online learning for Term 2 next week and so we recommend that you keep your children home. If you are an essential worker, OSHC is available.
We are preparing for Term 2 and at this stage the Government advice continues to be that schools should be open for essential workers only for next term. If you are able to keep your children at home, please do so to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. At this time, some of you are required to keep working and so Bethany Christian School is preparing a number of contingencies to support essential worker families. This means that as of Monday 27th April, there will be no Pupil Free day and we will move to all students working from home with the full version of the Flexible Online Learning platform.
Those few essential workers who require all adults in the home to be at work and do not have other options for supervision of young children, will need to notify us which days they require their child to attend school for Term 2. The social distancing advice includes keeping as many people home as possible during this time and so we ask you to consider how you can keep your children learning at home in Term 2.
Please click on the short survey below if you will be required to continue working and have no other means of caring for your children, indicating their year level, and, which days of the week this would include. We thank you for your help with this matter. Staff from our school will begin making phone calls in the coming weeks to check up on how learning at home is going and so do not be surprised if you receive a phone call. We really care about you and your family and we want to be connected with each other.
The Flexible Online Learning platform has a year level support email button and this is the best place for you to ask questions and receive guidance for learning. From Term 2 we will have this help desk supervised to make sure that questions are answered in a timely manner. We will continue to explore how we can work together even when we are not in the same physical place and will refine and develop our learning platform using your feedback. Our students have been learning how to give feedback using the statements “I like… I wish… and, Even better if….” You may find this language helpful in talking with your child about their learning too.
I really do want to say that you are doing an amazing job. We were all unprepared for the massive changes happening in our world and yet we are showing great resilience as we continue to adjust to these daily changes. Our world will be a better place as we keep flexible, adaptable and keep learning together. We pray that your household will experience a peace that surpasses understanding and I also pray that you will know God’s provision and blessing on your family situation at this time.
Dear Parents and Care givers,
As you are aware the changes to our world poses new challenges to solve. At Bethany Christian School we have been working hard on a platform that will help our students to continue their learning journey, whilst supporting families to navigate these times.
If your family chooses to keep your children home in Week 9 we ask that you use the online platform. Links will be sent to you upon its completion via your Bethany app and email. Week 9 is a trial of this platform and we would appreciate any feedback about the platform so we can make future changes. It will not be fully populated until Term 2. During this week educators will provide you with a simplified school day which will include literacy, numeracy and a time slot we are calling brilliance (which includes an opportunity for students to operate in their interests, gifts and talents independently). We will begin with a Monday and Tuesday timetable followed by a check in point. This will help us to know that everything is operating well and also how your child is feeling about their learning.
At this stage schools have not been given information regarding closures in Term 2, however, given the nature of the COVID-19 pandemic, we are preparing to use our Flexible Learning Online platform. During the Pupil Free days in Week 10, teachers will be spending time putting lessons into this platform and so it will be fully available in Term 2.
Even though students are learning from home, the Government will expect that we will take an attendance roll daily. We are currently exploring options of how to do this effectively. From the results of the Flexible Learning Survey it is clear that the vast majority of families are able to participate in an online option for flexible learning. If you are unable to use an online platform printed provisions can be made on an individual basis.
Year level teams will be working together to provide the curriculum for your children. If you have any learning issues please communicate with them via year level learning support button inside the Flexible Online Learning platform and an educator will assist you as soon as they can. Please remember that at this time, we will continue to be open for students who need to attend school and so, we appreciate your patience in our transition to this new way of learning.
Here is a list of things that you may like to consider as you begin to explore flexible learning at home;
Advice to support parents in establishing the above information can be found in the Learning at Home Parent pack which will be on the Flexible Online Learning Platform.
Curriculum and Coaching Coordinator
Our Week 9 trial of the BCS Flexible Online Learning Website is now ready for testing. If you are keeping your children at home we ask that you work through this weeks learning with them and provide feedback. This is a very new concept for our students. Your child may be able to complete the online content themselves but we would ask you to check in with them regularly and see how they are going and encourge them in what is a new way to learn.
You will have access to lessons on Monday and Tuesday and then the rest of the week will be made available during the week. Please complete the check ins to share feedback with us.
Thank you for partnering with us to make online learning successful for your children.
If you are experiencing financial hardship during the COVID-19 pandemic please fill out and return the attached form to Dean Huntley. email@example.com
Access to our school counsellor can be arranged through our front office. 8283 0000
First of all I want to thank you for your ongoing diligence in following our advice along with the social distancing measures that you are able to put in place with your family. As an essential service, we are very aware of those who need to keep working and we thank you for your service. We also want to acknowledge our awareness of the extreme difficulties many of our families are facing due to job loss or the significant cutting of shifts. We are very sorry that this is happening to you and will do our best to pull together as a community in these challenging times. Our Bursar, Dean Huntley will address these families in particular in the coming days.
We would also like to thank you for the excellent response to our IT survey sent home on Tuesday. If you have not replied, please check your Bethany app to complete it (Click to complete survey). We are already using this information to shape the flexible learning that we are preparing. We do understand that as parents choose to keep their children at home, that you are looking for continuing school work. There are some resources available for students to access from our teachers as well as a range of other sources that can be helpful temporarily. Next week we will be running a trial of our Flexible Online Learning platform with students already working from home. This will help us test and get feedback before staff complete training and prepare for a flexible learning program.
We continue to find ways to keep students distanced and reduce opportunities for interactions across year levels. We have increased our cleaning throughout the day of high touch areas like door handles. With this in mind, we have decided to postpone our Cross Country event this Friday.
Parents please do not come on site unless absolutely necessary. We ask that you drop off your children rather than walking in to the school to their classrooms.
The upcoming parent interviews will be cancelled. Our teachers are working very hard and are showing a huge amount of flexibility. They are ensuring that our students are staying healthy and safe while learning.
Students will finish this term on Friday 3rdApril at 3:10pm. During the following week, school staff will continue to work in order to ensure that our new flexible learning system will be ready to go for Term 2. Camp Australia OSHC will be open for those children of parents in essential services, please book them in as you usually would for Pupil Free days.
Next week, we will have a trial week of our flexible learning program available for families to test and give feedback. It will be a portion of what we will run next term and will give us the opportunity to be fully prepared for students to engage in learning from home.
We reminded students this week that our choices are the little things that will make a difference. It is the washing of hands, the social distancing, limiting our days to home and school rather than being out and about, and staying home if anyone is sick. We are all looking after the health of everyone in the community when we look after ourselves.
Thank you for your incredible support for us as we work with you and thank you for your patience as we work as quickly as we can to prepare for the changing times we find ourselves in. One of the books I am reading is titled, “An Education Crisis is a Terrible Thing to Waste”. It includes some of our work with Professor Yong Zhao and I think it is timely as we find ways to use this forced change to our lives to bring about genuine innovation and new ways to think about what really matters.
May you experience God’s peace that is beyond our understanding but is real and available wherever you find yourself.
Thank you for the calm way you have been working with us to ensure the wellbeing of our school community. We will continue to share information with you and attempt to keep you as up to date as possible. Please set up the Bethany Christian School App to receive the latest updates. We are following the government and health guidelines given to us and so we will continue to remain open for the time. Our teachers and support staff are working hard to provide excellent learning opportunities at school while maintaining distance, good hand washing and cleaning practices as well as keeping a calm and positive attitude.
This week the Prime Minister announced that families can choose to keep their own children home with the understanding that those parents must care for their children. This includes taking responsibility to ensure they are not going out into the community causing more risk for themselves and others. Please notify the school if you decide to take this option.
While schools remain open, the core business of teaching at school is our primary focus. We will be planning with teachers how to provide some of the classwork that can be completed without a teacher’s support at home, this will be distributed via parent email. We are asking that parents not come in to school to collect work. This may require some patience as teachers continue to teach a full load at school as well as prepare for these absences.
We are also asking that parents/caregivers are only coming into the classroom with students who are unable to settle themselves. Teachers will meet the children outside the room in order to minimise the number of people in each classroom. We understand that these changes are quite challenging and really appreciate your support.
As of Monday 23rd March we have cancelled or postponed all external providers attending Bethany Christian School. This includes assessments, speech therapy, occupational therapy, Autism SA, psychology, instrumental music lessons and others who would normal travel to other schools and visit our students. We have asked those providers to contact you to make arrangements individually if you are someone who will be impacted by these changes.
We continue to work on how we will provide flexible learning options if there is a need to close our site in the future and we will keep you informed.
With these changing days I pray that you find peace and comfort knowing that God really is in control and that together we will weather this storm. We really do thank you for aiding us in creating a safer environment for all children, and thank you for your cooperation.
In these changing times we are staying updated with the latest SA Health information and also assessing the risk for each school activity to ensure that student to student contact is kept to a minimum and also that school is a safe place to keep learning. I have included a list of the changes we are making at this time and will keep you updated as things change.
MMP and whole school gatherings are cancelled until further notice.
We will continue to bring updates as we move into Term 2 in accordance with the advice from SA Health. School closures are unlikely as it was found that in China there was very little contraction of the virus within schools.
We continue to remind the school community that good hygiene practices must be followed. Please ensure that you follow all government advice if you are returning from overseas or have been in contact with those who have the virus to self-isolate to reduce the possibility of its spread.
We will continue to teach children different safe ways to greet each other, remind them that touching is not helpful and that coughing needs to be covered with the crook of their elbow.
Increased use of hand sanitizer and hand washing practices will continue to be followed.
We also have our Care Room staff following the medical advice, overseen by our Registered Nurse. We will contact parents if a child needs to be tested for COVID-19. We will isolate them from other students and provide a mask if they have a fever while they wait to be collected. We will follow the advice of SA Health to ensure that students stay away from school if they are unwell. We will continue to update you as more information comes to light and further changes need to occur.
Our greatest focus is on providing a safe learning environment for our community and ensuring that we are up to date and ready to act.
Thank you for your trust.
Phillipians 4: 5 Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Dear Parents and Carers,
Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) – New Government Measures
The Prime Minister announced Sunday afternoon, following a meeting with all Premiers and Chief Ministers, that all those arriving from overseas from midnight on 15 March will be required to self-isolate for two weeks. These measures expand on those previously in place only in relation to certain countries advised to you previously.
Updated information on travel restrictions and isolation requirements are available on the Australian Government’s website here - https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert.
We continue to expect that all parents and carers within the School community will ensure that they are aware of and comply with these Government requirements including self-isolation after any overseas travel or contact with others who have travelled.
Isolation is also required for those who have had contact with somebody with COVID-19. A contact is spending more than 15 minutes face-to-face with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 or sharing a closed space for more than 2 hours with someone diagnosed with COVID-19. This includes having this type of contact with the person 24 hours before they became ill. (See symptom checker tool at https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/coronavirus).
School closures were considered by the recent meeting but, at this stage, not considered to be prudent. The Government has advised, however, in the light of the development of the outbreak, that organised, non-essential gatherings should be limited to 500 people.
As a School leadership we have taken the view that it is appropriate, in the light of this revised guidance, to minimise larger gatherings within the School community. This includes cancelling Monday Morning Praise and any whole school gatherings.
We have also decided to cancel the Autumn Fair due to the risk of bringing together large groups of people that we do not know.
We will continue to monitor events and follow advice to reduce the risk of infection through good hygiene practices and wisdom in managing activities.
We will continue to keep you updated if there are significant changes or new developments, but do encourage all parents and carers to remain personally informed themselves of the latest Government advice.
The following Letter has been issued to the Schools in South Australia by the Minister of Education on the Topic of COVID-19. Please read the content and follow the advice given to help keep our school and wider community safe.
Public health officials have updated advice over the weekend regarding Novel Coronavirus.
We would like to underline the importance of following this advice and alert you to the new national information hotline 1800 020 080.
The updated advice from SA Health is effective from Saturday 1 February 2020:
· Children or staff who travelled to mainland China must isolate themselves in their home for 14 days after leaving mainland China if they left mainland China on or after 1 February 2020.
· Children or staff who have been in close contact with a confirmed case must isolate themselves in their homes for 14 days after last contact.
· Children or staff who have returned from Hubei Province, China must isolate themselves in their home for 14 days after leaving Hubei Province.
· Staff and students in these circumstances must not attend schools, preschools or early childhood centres and should not engage with other students.
Symptoms may include fever, cough, shortness of breath, fatigue and sore throat. People with these symptoms who have travelled to China or have had close contact with a confirmed case should see a doctor or attend a hospital and call ahead so they can prepare.
We will keep you updated if new information becomes available.
Bethany Christian School Administration
Please read the following PDF to ensure that Bethany Christian School's Students/Staff/parents and surrounding community are protected from the Corona Virus.