Newsletter 23 March 2020
Dear Parents and Friends of Providence
Well, it has been quite a week!
I want to commend our Providence Staff on their tenacity and endurance as they have had to grapple with the complexities of preparing for remote teaching on top of their normal, hefty load of responsibilities!
This week’s newsletter is devoted to providing you with some insights into Providence’s plans for the immediate to mid-term future – whatever that may look like.
While the future may be uncertain our trust in our Lord and Saviour is unwavering!
So, a few points from me here and then you can skip to the Primary and Secondary reports to fill in some of the gaps.
NAPLAN: I guess the most newsworthy item in a week of ‘newsworthinesses’ is that we have been informed that NAPLAN has been cancelled for 2020. It will be interesting to see the ramifications of this decision in the future.
SCHOOL CLOSURES: While the Government has assured us that mass school closures are a last resort, we are planning for three possibilities – well, four actually if we include not closing:
- No school closure – business as usual.
- A short term closure of a class, year group, school or even the whole College arising from a confirmed case of COVID-19 at Providence. In this case, the closure would probably be of a suitable timeframe to allow for fumigation and disinfection and then classes could resume – perhaps one to five days.
- A government-directed closure with education via remote learning provided by the College.
- A government-directed closure with no syllabus delivery. e.g. by extending school holidays.
There are probably a myriad of combinations within these four options but I think you get the picture.
In all of these instances, particularly No 3, we have well-advanced planning and procedures in place with a strong technological capacity underpinning our ability to deliver effective curriculum remotely.
However, we understand that curriculum delivery is only fifty per cent of the programme. The other fifty per cent relies on your child’s commitment to engage in the learning programme on offer – and your commitment to ensuring that this takes place in a consistent manner at home. Should we have to resort to a College closure, this will be a real test of our students’ capacity to self-manage and/or be managed by parents!
Inevitably, there are going to be frustrations should we transition to a remote-learning environment – anything from technology glitches to adjusting to the limitations of online delivery and the relative freedom that your children will have to make choices about their learning from home. On the plus side, these changes bring with them amazing opportunities for growth and the development of new skills and attitudes.
I am looking forward to walking this road alongside every family here at Providence.
Hello to our College community,
Providence Christian College is a wonderful place, a place where you have teaching and non-teaching staff who care more than you may realize for your children.
We have your children and your family in our hearts at this uncertain time. Let’s move positively into the coming month’s side by side, even if we find ourselves away from our campus at some point, we are still a community – we are still “family”.
There are certainly many of us who are concerned about the threat and effect of the Coronavirus touching our families. We are concerned about health, job security, along with the many financial costs associated with living from day-to-day. There may also be other issues unique to your family, here in Perth and wherever they are in the world. Most of us have close relatives, parents or children elsewhere in the world.
Corrie Ten Boon, a young Dutch lady incarcerated by the German’s in world war two for rescuing Jews, knew first hand the sorrow and the fear from the effects of the horror of war. She remained strong in her faith and trust of her Lord, Corrie is quoted as saying:
“Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God”
This is not God’s fault, nor is it His heart’s desire for the world. It never has been! What’s more, He cares just as He has since he created this beautiful world.
As Chaplain of this great College, I wish to call us to prayer.
Time and time again in God’s Word we are reminded of His love and providential desire to care for His children.
In Luke’s gospel, Jesus is quoted as saying: “Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn, yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable are you than birds?”
In Paul’s letter to the Christians in Rome, Paul told them to be “…joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Do not be anxious about anything” he said, “but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”
An Invitation: My request to you is that at 11:00 am every Monday wherever you are, pause and pray for the whole community of our College – that the peace of God, that is beyond our understanding, brings peace and provision to all in our College community, and that our young people will learn through this time how to Love the Lord and trust in Him with their whole heart, leaning not on their own understanding and to submit to Him in order that their pathway will be straight.
Please know that you can contact me at the College or via email if there is a need for specific prayer – for you, your children and your family. YOU ARE NOT ALONE! We are Community, we are family, we are Providence Christian College, under the Lordship of Christ!
Notice from CommBank School Banking
The health, safety and wellbeing of our communities and our people is our first priority. Due to the rapidly developing situation with coronavirus, School Banking has been temporarily paused from 20 March 2020 until the start of Term 2. Please don’t bring your deposit book with your weekly banking into school and we will notify you when banking will recommence.
Just a reminder: please check your children’s winter uniforms in readiness for next term.
We are in uncertain times and often with uncertainty, comes fear. This can be seen in the current “Toilet Paper Epidemic”. One thing we can be sure of is that we have a God who we can come to as we search for peace. Philippians 4 tells us to present our requests to God, and he will give us a peace that transcends all understanding. Something I am sure we can all use right now.
I want to assure you that our College is well equipped and prepared for online learning in the case of the College closing. All Government advice at this stage is that school remaining open is the best course of action, and we are following the guidelines set out for us as well as putting measures in place to help keep our children safe and healthy.
Head of Primary
The teachers and I have been working hard to make sure all is in place if we have to teach remotely. This week you will receive a letter with some practical advice on what you can do to help prepare as well. We want to continue to invest in your children’s future, no matter the circumstances. We are very blessed to have such a dedicated group of people working at Providence.
I am always happy to discuss any measures we have put in place and look forward to working with you, as a community, as we go through this together. As we are a community, we are looking to support one another as much as we can.
This week we will launch our “Give a Can If you Can” appeal. If you can spare a can of food (that is within date) please bring it to Student Services so we can make a pantry for those who cannot afford to. As economic times change, we all are looking for security, and this is a great way we can come together as a community to support one another.
Please know we are all praying regularly for our students and their families and we would really appreciate it if you could commit the staff of the College to prayer as well.
We would like to congratulate Mr Bongers on the running of his first-ever carnival. It was an awesome day and the children competed in the best of spirits. The community atmosphere as parents cheered and supported made the day that much more special.
As always the parent helpers were the reason we were able to run the carnival so efficiently. We would also like to recognise the staff and the extra effort they gave on the day.
Congratulations to the following students who were recognised for their outstanding achievements in the pool.
Year 3 Girls
Runner up Champion
Year 3 Boys
Runner up Champion
Year 4 Girls
Runner up Champion
Year 4 Boys
Runner up Champion
Year 5 Girls
Runner up Champion
Year 5 Boys
Runner up Champion
Year 6 Girls
Runner up Champion
Year 6 Boys
Runner up Champion
The interschool swimming carnival has been cancelled until further notice.
Unfortunately, we had to cancel our whole school assembly for Harmony Day. That didn’t change the mood as our Primary students dressed up on Tuesday to celebrate. We had many children in cultural dress, as well as in orange for Harmony Day. It really was amazing to see all the different cultures represented in our school. It was humbling to be part of a community that could celebrate our diversity in such a positive way.
With the uncertainty surrounding the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, we want to reassure all of our families that even in a time of social distancing, we can come together online, to keep you up to date with information received from trusted sources and in turn make the right decisions to protect the health and well being of all in our community.
I believe that we find ourselves in remarkable circumstances this year. The COVID-19 pandemic can create an interconnectedness and the responsibilities we have to one another. We have no precedent for its challenges, but we do know that our best response relies on making the right choices, empathy, cooperation, and community building.
Our sincere thanks in advance for coming together as God’s family and taking heed of all the advice that is being given by our Government and Health Authorities to support and help us protect everyone in the community we live in.
Head of Secondary
As the staff of the Secondary School, it is our priority to keep preparing and planning to bring all of our students a reliable, remote, online learning curriculum should the circumstances in the future require this. If this should happen both parents and students will receive a very comprehensive letter from myself, the Head of Secondary outlining exactly how the remote online learning will be conducted and the required expectation of teachers, parents and students supporting the programme over the time the College is closed. The programmes that will be used by the teachers are ones that the students have been using in their classes and are familiar with.
As you are aware classes have been running as normal but many of our planned events and excursions for Term One and Two have had to be cancelled so this edition of the newsletter will just reflect a couple of exciting things that have been able to happen over the past couple of weeks.
Rotary award two Providence students with scholarships
Last week the Rotary Club of Southern Districts held a formal dinner to recognise the 2020 recipients of the Ron Sloan Endeavour Scholarships. The Scholarship includes a certificate, trophy and a monetary scholarship to assist them with their studies over Year 11 and 12.
Two Year 11 students from the College were successful in being awarded a scholarship; Evangeline Agung and Malu Murukan. They were joined at the dinner by their parents and Mrs Balding and this section of the dinner was officiated by past President, Simon Dutt.
We congratulate them once again. This is a reward for their consistent effort to achieve to the best of their ability and having demonstrated a desire to serve, both in the College and the wider community. We wish them all the best as they work towards completing their studies in Year 11 and 12 and following, Tertiary studies and pursue their dream career.
We would also like to thank the Rotary Club of Southern Districts for their generosity over many years in assisting students financially in their final years.
Unfortunately, our Harmony Day Assembly had to be cancelled. Our students and their teachers had been working very hard on their items for the assembly and we honour their efforts.
We were very grateful to the Canteen ladies who were able to prepare a week of delicious international foods for the staff and students.
Instead of the Harmony Day Assembly, the Form classes had an extended Form time and were encouraged to create a Harmony Day Vibe and promote The Providence Christian College Harmony Day Message of “Everyone Belongs”. Many Form classes joined in a competition to decorate their Form class according to the theme. It was amazing to see the work that was displayed. The winning Form Class was 12ST (Mrs Steyn and her students) and their prize, Pizza lunch for the Form.
Students were also encouraged to dress in Traditional dress or orange coloured clothing to represent the theme.