Please see our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) for information on the emerging COVID-19 situation in WA and click on the links below to access College communications in this respect.
This area will be updated regularly in line with government guidelines and we thank you for working with us to keep our community safe.
Penrhos is a hive of activity, with staff returning full of energy and anticipation – we can’t wait to now welcome back our girls!
The new Penrhos term officially starts on Monday, 31 January. I can confirm that all Penrhos staff are double vaccinated, and we strongly encourage all members of our community to also be vaccinated where eligible.
I understand there are mixed emotions around the Premier’s decision to delay reopening our WA borders – especially for those who are eager to see loved ones. This is where the Penrhos community spirit shines brightly through, as we continue to draw strength from one another. I spoke on Monday in our staff chapel service about what it truly means to be a supportive community. Never before have our student-led Junior School and Secondary School mantras – ‘love grows here’ and ‘together we grow’ – felt so real and so relevant. Together, I am proud that members of our community are truly connected as one as we navigate this difficult time.
The Premier’s announcement of earlier today provided more clarity on the government’s ‘return to school’ advice. Once we formally receive this, we will communicate again with any additional information or adjustments. In the meantime, I can share how the COVID safety behaviours currently stand (although please note guidelines could be subject to change in the coming days):
• all visitors, staff and students in Years 7 – 12 must wear masks; although masks are not required for students from Pre-K – Year 6 (unless families prefer their children wear one), we are advised to expect that children in Year 3 and above will need to wear masks when COVID-19 positive case numbers increase, so parents may wish to take the opportunity to prepare for this
• masks are required on public transport and Horizon bus services
• visitors must check-in at reception using the SafeWA / ServiceWA Apps.
Proof of vaccination
Parents / carers are not required to show proof of vaccination when:
• dropping off or picking up their child from school
• volunteering at school on an ad hoc basis*
• attending an event such as an assembly or parent-teacher interview
*ad hoc means attending no more than one education facility, no more than once a week.
Parents/carers are required to provide evidence of double dose vaccination from 31 January 2022 – or exemption – when:
• volunteering at the College more than once a week
• working in an unpaid capacity at the College more than once a week
• attending any events of over 500 people (for example the Welcome Sundowner).
Penrhos is following Department of Education protocols, including:
• enhanced cleaning – with hand gel and spray disinfectant in every classroom
• provision of spare masks for those which may be broken during the school day
• ventilation – every classroom is being CO2 monitoring to ensure adequate levels of natural (fresh air via open windows) and mechanical (evaporative coolers, some air-con units and fans) ventilation
• where natural and mechanical ventilation may not achieve the required standards, air purifiers will be sourced
• distancing, hand-washing etc
• staff are being fully briefed on all protocols and precautions this week.
Please note your child must remain at home with any of the COVID-19 symptoms, including sore throat, runny nose, headache, temperature, loss of taste and smell. If a student shows possible symptoms of COVID-19, they will be sent home and asked to seek testing in accordance with government guidelines. Please therefore click here to ensure your emergency contact details are up to date. Boarding parents, please also click here to ensure your host details are current. While the student waits to be picked up, please note they will be given a mask to wear and will be isolated from others.
Penrhos is well-prepared for the potential disruptions that COVID-19 will bring this year. We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure our school is a COVID-19 safe space. We appreciate there are likely to be changes to the current COVID-19 safe behaviours as outlined above, and we will continue to notify you as new information becomes available.
We look forward to welcoming our girls back and to re-connecting with all our families in this new school year.
With my sincere thanks for your ongoing support.
We realise these are uncertain times, please know your daughters are being looked after.
The Boarding House will remain open until Friday, during this next four-day lockdown.
Please reach out to your Perth guardians as a contingency; particularly, arrangements will need to be in place if the lockdown is extended beyond Friday.
We will be closely monitoring the WA State Government travel advice relating to boarders returning home to the regions.
Please do contact the Boarding House if there is anything you need, or anything we can help you with.
Thank you in anticipation of your support, as we seek to respond to the emerging lockdown situation in the Perth and Peel regions.
As per the WA State Government’s announcement this evening, restrictions will take effect from midnight tonight.
On the advice of the Premier, the Penrhos College campus and Boarding House will be open for the next four days. Our regular timetable will continue to operate, with teachers delivering classes as usual.
We respect the choice of families who choose to keep their daughters at home. Teaching staff will focus on delivering face-to-face classes and will ensure resources are available via Compass or OneNote to support students whose families have chosen to keep them at home.
All IGSSA and co-curricular activities run by Penrhos staff will continue as scheduled. External instructors will not be engaged for this week. Individual information will be provided shortly for each co-curricular activity via Compass.
Please continue to follow all government advice – wear masks, wash hands regularly, follow the 2 square metre rule and all other safety measures.
I thank you all for your adaptability and flexibility during these challenging times. Further information will follow regarding specific events, as new advice is issued.
I will be in touch again with new information, as we receive it.
Following confirmation of a COVID-19 case in WA, we are now in Phase One restrictions for the next three days. We are awaiting more details as to the impact this will have on schools.
However, in the meantime I can advise the following*:
- Teachers and secondary students will wear masks; teachers may remove masks while teaching (pending government confirmation). All students are expected to provide their own masks. The College has a reserve supply of disposable masks available from Secondary School Reception or the Health Centre for those who need them
- Teachers and students will wear masks outdoors, where physical distancing is not possible
- Primary school students and those who are exempt are not required to wear masks
- Events will be restricted to 150 people and will comply with the two square metre rule
- Parents and visitors are asked not to come on to campus, unless absolutely necessary – please check-in with the SafeWA App, wear a mask and take care to always maintain the two square metre rule
- The Boarding COVID Safe plan will be applied, meaning visits to the Boarding House will be restricted during this period. An updated version of the COVID Safe Plan will be sent to boarding families.
We are aware that a member of our wider community, who has been on campus, has been in an exposure site which is subject to the formal government advice ‘get tested and monitor for symptoms’. This member of our community is currently getting tested.
We ask you to please continue to follow all government guidelines – if anyone in your family is unwell or has any cold-like symptoms, please stay at home and get tested.
If restrictions continue after the initial three-day period, we are aware there will be implications for our planned End of Semester events and Connect Day. We will keep the community updated, as new information is received.
Impact on current events:
|Mon 28 June||K-6 Chapel||Continue on site – no parents or guests|
|7-12 Ellington Jazz Night||Postponed|
|Yr 9 Outdoor Ed Excursion||Cancelled|
|Bunbury Round Square Impact Week||Cancelled (new dates will be reviewed)|
|Tracy Hart parent events||Postponed|
|Yr 5 Foodbank||TBC*|
|Tues 29 June||Yr 9 Outdoor Ed Excursion||Cancelled|
|Yr 11 Parent Teacher Interviews||Postponed|
|Yr 9 Empowering Maths||Cancelled|
|Yr 1 Perth Zoo||Postponed|
|Yr 10 UWA Student Forum||Cancelled|
|Wed 30 June||Yr 12 French Dinner||Postponed|
Co-curricular events, Week 11:
- Morning sports breakfasts will be suspended for the last week of term
- IGSSA Trials (Basketball and Soccer) will continue with masks and physical distancing where possible
- Music Rehearsals will continue with physical distancing where possible
- All other scheduled co-curricular activities will continue with masks and physical distancing where possible.
Following the three-day minimum lockdown*, contingency plans are as follows:
|Thu 1 July||SS Awards Assemblies||TBC||Parents may not be able to attend, we are looking at live-streaming/recording the event|
|JS Awards Assemblies||TBC||Parents may not be able to attend, we are looking at live-streaming/recording the event|
|TBC||May be postponed|
|Yr 8 Music Excursion||TBC||Subject to Crown Theatre venue restrictions|
|Fri 2 July||Connect Day||TBC||Parent and community involvement may be restricted|
*Awaiting further updates from WA State Government.
Thank you for all your support and I will continue to keep you updated as more information becomes available.
Based on the current COVID-19 situation in WA, we are pleased that most restrictions will be lifted to return us to pre-lockdown conditions from Saturday, 1 May – with some minor transitional restrictions in place until 12.01am on Saturday, 8 May. Please see this infographic which clearly shows the COVID-19 restrictions in place for the coming week: COVID-19 restrictions 1-8 May
Please note that, as per advice from the Association of Independent Schools WA this morning, ‘all staff in schools must continue to wear masks, except when teaching, and all secondary students need to wear masks except when undertaking vigorous exercise’.
All visitors aged over 12 years are required to wear masks while indoors on Penrhos premises and should please continue to maintain 1.5m social distancing at all times. If anyone in your family is unwell or has any cold-like symptoms, we encourage them to stay at home and get tested.
We will operate our indoor events at 75% capacity, in line with government guidelines – more details will be released as we have more clarity on each event.
Currently, we intend as follows:
- K-6 Chapel / also live streamed – will proceed
- WADL Debating – will proceed (pending organising body confirmation)
- St. George’s Cathedral Recital – will proceed with some adaptations
- K-2 Mother’s Day celebration / Pre-Kinder Mother’s Day celebration – we will send an update on this event early next week
- Year 8 PTI – will proceed, but without catering and spaces utilised to allow for numbers
- Years 3-6 Mother’s Day Breakfast / PP-Year 6 Mother’s Day Assembly – we will send an update early next week
- Rowing Pasta Night – cancelled
- IGSSA Regatta – will proceed with further information to follow from the IGSSA Coordinator regarding spectators
- Dance Showcase – will proceed, with masks required in audience as per government guidelines
Sunday (Mother’s Day)
- Production Rehearsal – will proceed
Many thanks, as always, for your continued patience and understanding.
It is wonderful to know we can return to College tomorrow, and that we can resume teaching and learning with limited restrictions. So what will the coming week look like, and what will we be doing to protect and ensure the safety of our community?
Observing the WA Premier’s continued restriction of movement until midnight tonight, we look forward to welcoming you back from 7am, Tuesday 27 April.
Parents and students, please remember to bring and wear your masks, and maintain safe social distancing once you arrive on campus.
We will be following the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) guidance on risk management and AISWA recommendations for re-opening boarding schools and school-based residential colleges. At this stage, we have been advised boarding houses are considered a student’s home, therefore masks do not currently have to be worn by boarders in the Boarding House. We will monitor updates from AISWA in this respect.
ALL PENRHOS STUDENTS RETURNING TUESDAY
The school day will start at the normal time for Junior and Secondary students.
SELF PROTECTION AND EDUCATION
Penrhos has and will continue to maintain its high cleaning standards. Our cleaning staff will carry out additional circuits of the College throughout the day to regularly sanitise high-touch areas and playground equipment.
As per WA State Government requirements:
· All staff will wear masks (teaching staff are permitted to remove their masks whilst teaching).
· All secondary students are to wear masks; we recommend a spare mask is kept in school bags, where possible.
· Students should please bring a spare zip bag in which to place their mask during PE, when rigorous exercise is taking place.
· Junior School students are not required to wear masks.
In order to protect yourself, your family and the wider College community, we remind you to please continue to follow best practice guidelines:
· Encourage your child to practice safe hygiene by regularly and thoroughly washing their hands (our teachers of younger students will provide ongoing education and support with this and other hygiene practices).
· Encourage your child to use the hand sanitisers, which are available in all major traffic areas/classrooms.
· Keep your child at home from school and seek medical attention if they show signs of being unwell.
· Note that surgical masks should only be worn for up to four hours – the general rules are as follows:
o If a mask is pulled down, removed to speak or to eat or drink, it should be discarded and hand hygiene performed.
o If a mask is touched at any stage, hand hygiene should be performed immediately.
o Masks should be discarded if soiled, damp, loose or damaged – where possible, spares should be carried.
I realise these measures may be an imposition on some of our families; I ask for your full cooperation and understanding, as we seek to ensure the ongoing health and wellbeing of our entire community. I am grateful for your ongoing support, as we work to follow government guidelines and to keep the Penrhos environment safe.
Melinda Tankard Reist
· Student presentations will go ahead with safe distancing and masks
The scheduled evening presentations will be live-streamed:
· Year 5-7 + parents presentation will start at the slightly later time of 4.30pm and will be live-streamed (one hour presentation)
· Parent + community presentation will be live-streamed from 6.45pm (75-minute presentation)
Year 5 Camp
This will be rescheduled (if possible) at the Swan Valley Adventure Centre for a later date, or alternative experiences will be provided for the Year 5 cohort.
Year 8 Parent Teacher Interviews
Scheduled for Thursday 29 April – please note these are postponed.
IGSSA and co-curricular program engagement and learning beyond the classroom
· All JS and SS co-curricular activities and events scheduled for the week of Tuesday 27 April to Friday 30 April will proceed as scheduled.
· Until such time as further advice is received regarding complimentary Sports Breakfasts, morning sports breakfasts will not be provided after morning sport trainings. Please ensure your daughters either eat breakfast prior to morning training or bring their own food for after morning training.
· All Year 7-12 IGSSA Hockey/Netball/Rowing/Cross Country trainings and final trials will proceed for the duration of the week.
· All Curtin Sport and Recreation activities will proceed for the duration of the week.
· Whilst we await formal communication from the IGSSA executive, we are working towards the possibility that all scheduled IGSSA Netball/Hockey games this week for Year 9/10/11/12 will proceed, without spectators. This includes the first IGSSA Rowing Regatta, scheduled for this coming Saturday. Any change will be communicated via Compass.
· The IGSSA Rowing Friday Pasta Night will unfortunately not proceed on Friday 30 April.
· Whilst we await formal communication from the State organising body, we are working towards the possibility that the State Schools Cross Country Event will proceed on Thursday 29 April for our Year 6-12 students. Any change will be communicated via Compass.
· All music ensembles and production rehearsals will proceed this week, with appropriate physical distancing and staff wearing masks where appropriate and practical.
· Individual Peripatetic music lessons and Speech and Drama lessons will proceed, with appropriate physical distancing and staff wearing masks where appropriate and practical.
· All external organisations (sporting/dance etc) that hire our facilities in the afternoons/evenings/weekends will not proceed for the duration of this week and until further advice is received.
We continue to receive daily guidance and advice from the government. This is a fluid situation, and we will notify our community of any change in the current status as quickly as possible.
Thank you once again for your understanding and support.
Thank you in anticipation of your support as we seek to respond to the emerging lockdown situation in the Perth and Peel regions.
As per the WA State Government’s announcement this afternoon, restrictions will take effect from midnight tonight (Friday, 23 April) and will continue until midnight on Monday, 26 April.
On the advice of the Premier, the Penrhos College campus will therefore be closed from 6pm today until Tuesday morning – our Welcome Sundowner scheduled for this evening is once again, most regrettably, postponed.
In the event that lockdown continues into next week, teachers will send students work via Seesaw (EY – Year 3) and Compass (Year 4 – 12) on Tuesday as per our ‘continuity of instruction’ policy, and remote live learning will commence on Thursday, 29 April.
More information is provided on the Penrhos online learning website here – this site contains all the information you need to support your daughter in the event of remote learning. Staff and students have been advised to take home with them everything they need, should lockdown continue.
Further communication with regard to specific events scheduled for next week will follow, as the Premier releases more information.
We are aware that one of our students may have been at St Catherine’s College at UWA at the time indicated in the Premier’s announcement; should there be any further information of relevance to the community, I will communicate this immediately.
Please know that we are here to support you and reach out if anything is needed – I will contact you again with new information, as we receive it.
It is wonderful to know we can return to College on Monday. I am sure your daughters are as excited as I am that we are now finally able to start the school year!
The first thing I want to say is a huge thank you to you all. In difficult times, it is often possible to achieve a real insight into the values of a community and the real spirit of an organisation – I now feel even more honoured to be a part of the Penrhos family.
I am appreciative of our staff for their speed and agility in sending virtual introductions and engaging activity to our girls, in calling all our new students and in adapting so quickly to what our new year might look like. I am also most grateful to our boarding families for their quick response and resilience, under pressure and through uncertainty. Once again, thank you so very much to everyone – it is wonderful to know first-hand that our Penrhos community is a truly caring and supportive environment.
These are, without doubt, unprecedented times and they bring with them understandable anxiety. Our thoughts remain with those members of our greater community who are impacted by bushfires, and with our emergency services for their brave protection of lives and homes. With the further strain of a snap lockdown, we have a situation in which we are all impacted – a situation in which our focus is naturally on our families and loved ones.
Now we are thankfully scheduled to return to College on Monday, albeit with some restrictions still in place – so what will the coming week look like, and what will we be doing to protect and ensure the safety of our community?
We look forward to welcoming you back from 3pm on Sunday. Those of you who haven’t yet picked up your laptop, we will have staff on hand to issue your device and offer support. Our boarding staff and I will all be there ready to greet you on Sunday – parents and students, please remember to bring and wear your masks, and maintain safe distancing once you arrive on site (the College will not be able to provide masks).
Please note both parents will be permitted to drop off their daughter at the Boarding House on Sunday, as there will be no other students on campus at this time. Unfortunately, we will not be able to host our planned family BBQ and parent drinks at the present time – we look forward to scheduling a social for our boarding families once restrictions are completely lifted.
We will be following the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) statement on risk management and AISWA recommendations for re-opening boarding schools and school-based residential colleges. Due to the impact of communal living, please note that we will be using temperature screening measures in the boarding house daily – we will be sending more detailed communications on our COVID-Safe Plan to our boarding families when we receive the latest information from relevant organisations.
ALL PENRHOS STUDENTS RETURNING MONDAY
The school day will start at the normal time.
In order to protect members of our community, entry to Penrhos College will be restricted to:
· One parent / guardian / caregiver – all adults entering campus are asked to check in using the Penrhos SafeWA QR codes, as displayed at our entry points
· External visitors will need prior approval from the Principal to enter campus
We have modified our initial plans for the first day back, as follows:
Periods 1 and 2 will be spent settling in the students with routine pastoral and administration activities. This would usually take a whole day; however, we have streamlined our process and our online engagement with students this week has given us a good head start.
We have postponed our Start of 2021 Principal’s Assembly, in line with government guidance on discouraging external visitors to campus – we wish to celebrate our 2020 Year 12 students achievements as a community, including our parents; however, I will present a Virtual Welcome Message, and community and pastoral activities will take place in smaller groups.
Year 8 – 12 will begin their normal timetable from Period 3.
Year 7s will have a Technology Support workshop and time to familiarise themselves with the campus and their classrooms, before they begin their timetabled lessons from Period 5. Year 7 individual and form photos will also be taken on this first day back.
Mrs Taylor will be sending an email directly to our secondary girls, please encourage your daughters to check their emails.
We understand that many new students will be joining us on Monday. Year 7 parents, you are welcome to walk your daughter to the Anglesey Open Area, where staff will be ready to greet her. Parents of new Year 8 – Year 11 students, if your daughter would like some assistance in finding her way to meet her Head of Year, you are welcome to come with her to Main Administration of Secondary Reception, where a member of staff or her buddy will accompany her to her Form Room. Please remember to use our SafeWA QR check-ins before entering Penrhos campus.
Junior School students will begin their regular timetable on Monday.
The Head of Junior School will forward information about a modified version of the Junior School Parent Information Night and Principal’s Assembly (including commissioning of the Captains) early next week.
SELF PROTECTION AND EDUCATION
Penrhos has and will continue to maintain its high cleaning standards. Our cleaning staff will also carry out circuits of the College throughout the day to sanitise high-touch areas and playground equipment.
As per WA State Government requirements:
· All staff will wear masks (teaching staff are permitted to remove their masks if teaching at the front of the classroom to enable clear enunciation).
· All secondary students are to wear masks. We recommend a spare mask is kept in school bags, where possible. Students should please bring a spare zip bag in which to place their mask during PE, when rigorous exercise is taking place. We understand some families may have challenges sourcing masks – please note Penrhos has a limited supply on site for any damaged or lost masks only.
· Junior school students are not required to wear masks.
In order to protect both yourself and your family members, as well as the greater College community, we remind you to please continue to follow best practice guidelines:
· Please encourage your child to continue to practice safe hygiene by regularly and thoroughly washing their hands. Our teachers of younger students will provide further education and support with this and other hygiene practices.
· Hand sanitisers are in all major traffic areas/classrooms and are to be utilised.
· Please keep your child at home from school and seek medical attention if they show signs of being unwell.
· Surgical masks should only be worn for up to four hours – the general rule is that if a mask is pulled down, removed to speak or to eat or drink, it should be discarded and hand hygiene performed.
· If the mask is touched at any stage, hand hygiene should be performed immediately.
· Masks should be discarded if soiled, damp, loose or damaged – where possible, we recommend you carry spares.
I realise these measures may be an imposition on some of our families and I ask for your full cooperation and understanding at this time, as we seek to ensure the health of our entire community. I am grateful for your support to date, as we work to follow government guidelines and to keep the Penrhos environment safe.
In the context of current restrictions, some events have been necessarily postponed – we will continue to update our calendars accordingly.
Sunday, 7 February – Parent Engagement Cohort meeting (POSTPONED)
Monday, 8 February – Year 10 EMAN conference (POSTPONED)
Monday, 8 February – Year 9 Outdoor Education sailing (POSTPONED)
Monday, 8 February – Full Circle parents, Tuning into Teens (POSTPONED)
Tuesday, 9 February – Full Circle parents, Tuning into Teens (POSTPONED)
Tuesday, 9 February – Year 12 arts conference at Curtin Alumni Meeting (TBC)
Wednesday, 10 February – FoDD Meeting (POSTPONED)
Wednesday, 10 February – Full Circle parents, Tuning into Teens (POSTPONED)
Thursday, 11 February – Year 10 – Year 12 Swim Carnival (TBC)
Thursday, 11 February – Year 9 Outdoor Education sailing (POSTPONED)
Thursday, 11 February – Full Circle parents, Tuning into Teens (POSTPONED)
Thursday, 11 February – Year 9 / Year 10, VB/Tennis Game Day vs SMAGS (TBC)
Friday, 12 February – Year 7 – Year 9 Swim Carnival (TBC, see more details below)
Friday, 12 February – Year 3 – Year 6 photo day (POSTPONED)
Every morning – IGSSA Swim (continues)
Every morning – IGSSA Rowing training (continues, land based and onsite)
IGSSA Volleyball and Tennis sport trials proceeding as scheduled
· Year 7/8 – trials 6.45-8am on Monday, 8 February
· Year 11/12 – trials 3.45-5pm on Monday, 8 February
· Year 9/10 – trials 6.45-8am on Tuesday, 9 February
Whilst our usual eat-in dining hall breakfast will be unable to proceed in the immediate term, a grab and go individually packaged small breakfast (typically a piece of fruit, a pastry and drink or similar) will be provided to all students at the conclusion of morning sports training at 8am.
Masks can be removed at teacher direction, once rigorous exercise begins, and social distancing will be maintained. Students should please bring a small bag to place their mask in, during exercise.
Year 7-12 Interhouse Swim Carnivals
At this time, we plan to go ahead with the Secondary School Swim Carnivals Thursday and Friday. In adhering to social distancing and in line with necessary modifications, unfortunately parents and spectators will be unable to attend the carnivals on this occasion.
Year 10-12 students will have their Swim Carnival from Period 3-6 on Thursday 11 February.
Year 7-9 students will have their Swim Carnival take place for the full day on Friday 12 February.
In addition to splitting Year Groups into two separate carnivals, on both days students will be further physically distanced by positioning two Houses on either side of the pool deck. Students will be required to wear a mask when not competing.
We expect to receive further information with regard to whether the Swim Carnival can go ahead later today, we will send further communication early next week.
Champion Girl, Runner Up Champion Girl and the Interhouse Swim Trophy will still be awarded based on the results of the carnivals.
The protective behaviours workshops will go ahead for Year 11s and 12s on Thursday in the Chapel and Rixon Theatre – safe distancing will be adhered to.
Year 10 in classes will continue as normal (protective behaviours workshops to be delivered in health class).
TERM ONE, WEEK ONE
Regarding the five days of missed teaching and learning this week, we will seek to make up this time through the academic year by way of our extra5 online sessions. Our plan is to utilise our ‘non-student days’ on the calendar (staff PD days) and to replace them with online learning, in lieu of the remote learning we did not offer this week. This online learning solution will allow our teachers to complete their required annual PD hours and it will also provide flexibility for any families who are travelling/commuting.
We are grateful for your understanding as we flex arrangements to schedule these online days later in the academic year – we will know our students much better by this time and will therefore be better placed to deliver a higher quality program for them; our girls will also have greater familiarity with their subjects and teachers.
We continue to receive daily guidance and advice from the government. This is a fluid situation, and we will notify our community of any change in the current status as quickly as possible; this, of course, includes possible College closure.
While the safety of our community is paramount, I want to reassure you that our priority is to continue to provide a high-quality educational experience for all our students. Over the last 12 months, our leadership teams and digital experts in Junior school and Secondary School have been working with our academic teams on plans to provide our students and their parents with the resources to continue with their learning and course work at home, should the need arise (Compass is a perfect example of the new tools which will assist us, and it has certainly been put through its paces this week!). Should we need to move to remote learning, please note we aim to give our teachers 48 hours to pivot their existing in-class planned activities.
I would like to once again emphasise my sincere gratitude to our community – I absolutely cannot wait to meet you all soon, in real life.
As I observed yesterday, it is at times like these when we recognise the value in our strong, united community and the strength we can draw from one another. I have learned from experience that there are positives to be found in every situation.
The ongoing challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic around the world, the current lockdown in WA, and the impact of social isolation on our families, all make our collective mental health a priority.
The importance of our work with the girls around strength, resilience, hope and optimistic thinking through our cross-College pastoral care framework – the Connect wellbeing initiative, supporting girls from Pre-K to Year 12 – is naturally emphasised.
Beginning in the ELC and Junior School, our approach is closely aligned with the concept and mantra of ‘love grows here’ (as initially coined by Evie in Year 2 when asked why Penrhos was so special), and grounded in a sense of belonging, happiness and security.
Personal wellbeing and strong relationships underpin every student’s ability to achieve her personal best. Our strong pastoral care framework continues into Secondary School, where it evolves under the concept of ‘together we grow’ across mind, heart, body and spirit. Our vision is one of genuine connectedness between our students – ours is a culture of mutual support, collaboration, empathy and kindness.
In both Junior and Secondary Schools, our pastoral framework is complemented with our unique new initiative, the Full Circle wellbeing program, whereby all adults in our Penrhos community are also supported – the benefits of this initiative then come back full circle to our girls.
Please find below links to some sites that may be helpful for you and your family at this time:
Additionally, Thrive Inside is a helpful meditation program for staying psychologically healthy whilst at home: https://www.smilingmind.com.au/thrive-inside
Members of our Pastoral Care team are on hand and here to help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out if there is anything you need – by emailing Head of Junior School Wayne Revitt via firstname.lastname@example.org or Dean of Pastoral Care Michelle Taylor via email@example.com.
Love grows here. Together we grow.
Today, our thoughts are with those who are challenged by the bushfire situation in the Perth Hills, and with those members of our emergency services who are engaged in the fight to contain it. We very much hope the current threat to lives and properties is soon brought under control.
I am writing to share with you what remote learning will look like at Penrhos, if our current lockdown continues into next week, so you have all the information you need as early as possible. In the meantime, I hope your daughters are enjoying their engagement activities with their teachers.
I would also like to respond to the several queries I have received regarding our five days extended holiday, and whether we plan to extend term time. At this stage, we are exploring how we can best utilise ‘non-student’ scheduled days to include flexible, independent remote learning activities (designed to accommodate families that may be travelling at the time). More information on this will follow in due course.
In the event that lockdown continues, the College will implement its ‘Continuity of Instruction (COI) Plan’ which ensures our preparedness, response and recovery from any emergencies that may impact Penrhos’ ability to deliver instruction as a physical school.
Our main goal is to maintain continuity of learning, along with a sense of belonging and connection in our classes and across the broader community.
Please know this is a fluid process; our provision of remote learning will need to adapt to evolving circumstances and, of course, to feedback received. Thus, we must aim to keep our terms of reference as flexible and organic as possible. Our focus is very much on pastoral and teacher support check-ins, interaction and content delivery.
Moving Penrhos College to remote learning
Where possible, two days of planning time will be provided to support teachers to prepare for remote learning (please note this has already been activated if we move to remote learning on Monday, 8 February). In our current situation, as remote learning may need to take place at the very beginning of the academic year, our teachers will firstly focus on dedicating time to getting to know their students and fostering connection between peers.
Our Penrhos values, expectations and code of conduct remain the same. We will communicate to our students the following guidelines during remote learning:
- please be seated at a table, not on beds
- casual clothes should be worn (no pyjamas or swimwear)
- maintain class etiquette and behavioural standards
- be present online and complete work to the best of your ability
- seek assistance when experiencing difficulties
Our Secondary School teachers will supply work that is equivalent to a regular teaching schedule (with adapted times to allow for independent learning in the afternoon, so our girls can fit in co-curricular to suit their individual needs and family commitments). We will also ensure we are accessible to students, with an opportunity for a live check-in during their lesson, for questions and feedback as required. The lesson activities will be communicated to students via the Newsfeed on Compass, with further links to resources needed to support learning.
We are mindful of how we might best support our virtual learners; it is not recommended for students to sit on computers for hours, only writing notes from a book or listening to a teacher talk. We wouldn’t ask them to do this in the classroom, nor will we ask them to do it at home. We will use various media to deliver our lessons; for example, we may include recorded tutorials, online activities, e-worksheets or other innovative activities. Students will also have the option to work on paper or practically, and to take photographs of their work for teacher feedback. Lessons will also include opportunities for your child to ask questions or collaborate with their peers live.
In the Junior School, education activities will be delivered to students according to their age, and with sensitivity around your family circumstances during this challenging time. We understand many parents will be balancing work from home with the care of their children.
Students will follow regular timetable routine, with emphasis on literacy and numeracy, and specialist teachers will engage students at regularly scheduled lessons. Our Junior School lessons will be a mix of live interaction (WebEx) and instructions in Newsfeed and content in the Compass Resources section.
ELC students will have content delivered via the Seesaw app.
Our focus in Junior School is to ensure our girls feel they belong to the Penrhos community, that they can participate in activities that will set the foundation of their learning. The ongoing connection and relationship with your daughter’s class and specialist staff is of paramount importance; our staff will provide various media for your child, so that she may maintain her love of learning, and continue to build on her natural curiosity and sense of wonder.
We will provide information about our Term Overview, Weekly Planners (including learning intentions and success criteria) and a daily learning experience schedule. Our staff will frequently touch base with each family and student to remain connected, so you are able to fully communicate the unique needs of your family.
Whilst there may be some fluidity with respect to the start dates of co-curricular activities, we intend to continue to provide a range of varied activities to progress our students’ interests, passions and talents. IGSSA and co-curricular activity registrations are currently underway, and students who have enrolled for those specific activities will be contacted via Compass regarding the activity commencement/resumption date.
Student access to the College psychologists
During this uncertain time, we want to ensure our families still have access to wellbeing support. Full Circle psychologists and Junior School/Secondary School psychologists will communicate to families and students with advice on how to manage school closure/anxieties.
Our psychologists will also be available to students via email and WebEx and will check in on individual students who receive pastoral support at school. Please do reach out if additional help or support is needed.
For students who do not yet have their laptops: once we have clearer direction from government, we will – if possible – set up a drive-by service in the main car park, so parents can come to collect laptops to take home. For boarders, we will courier devices out.
In the event that a parent is not able to collect equipment, please be advised that all tools are accessible online at:
- Click login and enter student’s email address and school password
- Click ‘Compass Login’ top right-hand corner
- Enter in Penrhos as the school and tick ‘I’m not a robot’
- Username and password is same as school email and password for the student
For assistance with using the IT tools to support remote learning, parents and students can follow this link to the how to guide.
To contact IT, please see below details.
Opening hours: Monday to Friday, 8am to 4pm
Phone: +61 8 9368 9567
We understand this is a difficult time. Please know we aim to ensure your child continues to have access to excellent teachers and teaching resources, meaningful and enjoyable learning experiences, whether Term 1 commences in a physical or virtual teaching and learning environment.
Today is the day on which I had anticipated I would meet our girls for the first time. I was so looking forward to the return of the students, also to meeting parents and friends at Friday’s fun and festive Welcome Sundowner.
Instead, the academic year has started in a way which once again presents us with unique challenges and circumstances.
However, there are always positives to be found in every situation. I have learned from experience that it is in times like these that the support of community becomes even more significant, as we collectively strive to make the best of unusual situations – especially in potentially starting an academic year in a virtual teaching and learning environment.
I am honoured to be a part of the Penrhos community – parents, students and staff who are already rallying together, to help make whatever situation work.
I would like to reassure you that Penrhos is well-prepared for every scenario; in the event that the current lockdown is extended, we will start remote learning on Monday, 8 February. We will provide students with virtual access to teaching staff, so that our teaching and learning delivery is of a continued high-quality educational standard; we will also engage with our students to ensure we provide for their wellbeing needs.
Even though we have extended the holiday for this week, your girls will receive communication on Compass by tomorrow, with various activities to help them feel supported and connected, as we begin our transition back to school – in whatever environment that may be. You will receive more detailed information from Junior School and Secondary School in the coming days.
On Wednesday morning, our Year 12 students will receive their pre-learning program from their subject teachers. This will allow them to begin engaging with the content of their subjects, ready for the year ahead.
Although we do understand that some of our families are essential workers, Penrhos is not currently able to offer supervision for children of essential workers in the context of government advice. We will continue to monitor this situation and will respond quickly to any change in the current restrictions.
I thank you for your kind understanding, as we continue to respond to the emerging lockdown situation – I will continue to keep you updated as more information is released. Please know that our aim is to ensure your child continues to feel a part of our community; we will ensure her continued access to our excellent teachers and resources, meaningful and enjoyable learning experiences once we commence Term 1 (either physically or virtually) on Monday, 8 February. Once again, I can not wait to meet you all!
As per the WA State Government’s announcement of earlier today, we are going into lockdown across Perth, Peel and the South West from 6pm today (Sunday 31 January) until 6pm Friday 5 February.
As per government restrictions, Penrhos will therefore be closed from Monday 1 February to Friday 5 February, and this will be an extension of the holiday for students.
During this time, all events will be postponed. However, we are keen to remain connected with our community – students from Pre-K – Year 12 will therefore receive regular communication to keep them engaged, from Tuesday 2 February.
For parents, we will offer Compass user training across mornings and afternoons this week – invitations for these sessions will be issued shortly.
Whilst there will possibly be some necessary fluidity around commencement dates for Term 1 co-curricular activities, we will send student sign-up options for both JS / SS co-curricular and IGSSA to all students via Compass.
We thank our boarding community for responding so quickly today, and we look forward to welcoming you back as soon as we can – hopefully next week.
We understand this will be a difficult time for our community, and we are here to support you. If you require any further information, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org.
We will continue to closely monitor and follow all WA Government advice, and will communicate updates as information is released.