Important Information

Dear Parents and Carers,
Actions in Transition to Face to Face Teaching – from 9th June 2020
As we prepare in earnest for the return of all students on Tuesday 9th June we are highly aware of our focus upon student wellbeing and achievement at this time. The adjustment back to school will be handled with sensitivity and care but also with a clear sense of expectations, procedures and accepted Chatham mores as we once again remind our students of our recurring focus upon Being Safe, Being Fair and Being Kind.
The remainder of this term will be very important in resetting our focus and our high expectations for all students. Effectively our students have been away from school far longer than the Christmas vacation or any period in their school life. We expect that the focus upon calm order without distractions; a clear timetable of procedures and practices and continuing support of all students will be crucial in this period adjustment.
The transition to school from Tuesday 26th May for our Preparatory to Year 2 students has been positive, ordered and sensitively managed and led by my staff. Frankly, it has been remarkable just how well our students have adapted to changed arrangements. For some of our students the time at school has been less than the time at home. Regardless, from day one many of our students were keen to obtain their new home readers and readily adopted known procedures. As an aside we have engaged a cleaner to sanitise every child’s reader upon collection, before these have been redistributed to others.  This has also occurred in relation to library books. This will continue until the remainder of the term. Additionally, playground equipment is sanitised before and after recess and lunch breaks, along with a myriad of other matters.
Increasingly we will continue to focus upon high levels of student hygiene practices.
An approach to Semester 1, 2020 – Student Reporting
On 12th May the Deputy Secretary of Department of Education and Training, Dr David Howes advised Principals regarding the procedures to be followed concerning Semester 1 Student Reports. As your Principal, I engaged Dr Howes on these matters and following extensive consultation and collaboration have since developed an approach for our school that reflects a sense of integrity and pragmatism about our unusual situation at this time.
The Department of Education and Training has adjusted the expectations of Student Reports for Semester 1 in recognition of the transition to remote and flexible learning during Term 2.
While our school has continued to deliver its teaching and learning program and monitor the achievement and progress of students, there has been obvious and unprecedented changes to our usual program. It is not plausible that we are able to provide the usual Student Report at this time. Nevertheless, the Department of Education and Training requires schools to provide a modified version of reports for Semester 1, 2020. These brief Student Reports will include:

  • A description of the areas of the Victorian Curriculum Preparatory (Foundation) to Year 10 taught
  • Comments regarding student learning achievement, based on the Victorian  Curriculum F-10 for the subject areas taught
  • A comment on how the student has adjusted to the remote and flexible learning environment
Please be advised that Chatham will not be including teacher judgments and a five point scale due to the unprecedented changes to our program due to COVID – 19. We will report on such progress at the end of the school year.
Therefore your child will receive at brief one page report that addresses each of the three points above. I am delighted that prior to the end of Term 1, 2020 all Term Planners for Terms 1 and 2 we loaded onto our Chatham Primary School web site. These plans provide considerable detail on the classroom and specialist programs across the school and their connectivity to the Victorian Curriculum.
I expect that these brief Student Reports will be provided to all parents on Thursday 25th June 2020.
Our additional approach and opportunities for student assessment and reporting in Term Three
I am pleased to advise that from the resumption of school on Tuesday 9th June our teaching personnel will be progressively involved in the assessment of all students Preparatory to Year 6 against the progression points of the Victorian Curriculum. Early in Term Three this will continue and our Preparatory to Year 6 Assessment Schedule will be applied for this purpose. The schedule includes testing and procedural instruments that focus particularly on English and Mathematics. This document and supportive material was pivotal in our school achieving a high level of compliance with the Victorian Regulations and Qualifications Authority (VRQA) in 2019.
Furthermore, by the end of Term 1, 2020 and prior to COVID -19 restrictions  all classroom teachers Preparatory to Year 6 developed an Individual Learning Plan (IEP) for students identified in their class, that demonstrated that they were one or more years behind expectations or  at least one or more years ahead of expectations. We intend to pursue these IEPs presumably through the facility of Webex meetings with parents. More information in this regard will be made available in the coming weeks and we carefully allocate the limited times available.
Moreover, during the second half of Term Three we will be seeking to meet with every parent and conduct Parent Teacher discussions. These will be done in the traditional face to face manner presuming the lifting of COVID -19 restrictions at that time. The purpose of such discussions will enable us to report in a timely and practical manner about the progress of all students to parents in relation to the Victorian Curriculum, and further explain and discuss the approach to be taken for the remainder of the school year.
Furthermore, once we obtain a clear sense of the accurate student achievement data of our students we will be considering what resources we have to address any obvious issues or need for support within our time and capacities.
Importantly we expect to provide comprehensive end of year student reports for every students as is normally customary at that time.
I trust this makes sense is a practical response to ensuring our student resume as quickly as possible to achieving their very best.
Please email me directly if you have any queries in this regard.
Thank you,
Christopher Cotching