Middle School Report

June 4, 2020

With school for all Year 9’s recommencing next week on Tuesday June 9, all Middle School staff are eagerly awaiting this opportunity of reconnecting with our students once again. We have had significant success providing learning for our boys whilst utilising the Online Remote and Flexible mode of delivery but there is a sense of excitement in the air as we begin the countdown to the boys return to normal schooling. Our online Remote and Flexible mode of learning will continue up until Friday, June 5 and NOT continue after this point in time. Monday, June 8 will be a long weekend for the Queen’s Birthday and then all Middle School boys will be expected to return to school from Tuesday, June 9. It’s also a pertinent time to remind everyone that you will be required to be in full Winter Uniform with all other standard expectations required to be met.

All classes will revert to normal with the exception of Community Service. We will only be able to operate the Community Service Program in a limited capacity. Our internal groups including Ballarat City Council-Victoria Park, SPC Food Kitchen and the Wood Working group can all continue to function normally, once we have returned to the College. The remaining groups of students, who perform their community service duties externally, will have to remain at school during these sessions until such time as the Victorian Government lifts all COVID-19 restrictions surrounding schools. We will investigate the possible provision of online assistance or virtual tutoring of younger students at the primary schools. Our boys could pre-record some lessons that primary school kids need help with e.g. How to do long division? We could then share the files with the teachers/schools who can then allow their students to access them as appropriate. We will also be recording Community Service information videos around the College depicting important locations and procedures for staff and students to be used for new staff and students, when they join the College community.

Current government regulations surrounding schools during the COVID-19 Pandemic also means that special events for Year 9’s are also suspended until such time as these restrictions are lifted. What I am referring too here is the Melbourne Experience (Term 3) and the Grampian’s Camp (Term 4).

I still hope that we will be able to conduct the Melbourne Experience in the last three days of Term 3 and that the Grampians Camp will be able to remain where it is in Term 4; it is important to note that the current Victorian Government direction does appear to be heading along the ideals of re-opening up places and relaxing the COVID-19 regulations; but right now these two very special Year 9 experiences will need to remain suspended until such time as these regulations are changed. We are also continuing to investigate other local experiences that can meet the current guidelines, so that our 2020 boys don’t feel as though they are the year group that missed out on everything.

Finally, we have decided to extend the length of Term 2 by four days into Week 11; thus finishing the term on Thursday, June 25, so that staff and students have more time to complete all Term 2 tasks in preparation for the Semester 2 start.

Mr Michael Busscher

Director of Middle School