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COVID-19 news and updates

The purpose of this dedicated spot is to keep our College community informed of our response at Penrhos.

Tuesday, 23 June 2020 - phase 4 of the COVID-19 WA roadmap

We are delighted with the Premier, Mark McGowan’s announcement yesterday about the easing of restrictions into Phases 4, 5 and 6.

Phase 4 commences this Saturday, 27 June with the 2 sqm rule remaining in place. Dependent on potential community transmission rates in WA, Phase 5 is due to commence on Saturday, 18 July and this will include the removal of the 2 sqm rule. Phase 6, the reopening of the WA border with other states, will be dependent upon community transmission rates in WA and the other Australian states at that time.

The WA Department of Health remains concerned about a possible potential outbreak of COVID-19 in boarding houses and residential colleges. We have therefore been asked to submit our Risk Management Strategy and Procedures to an upcoming meeting of the Department of Health, Department of Education, AISWA and Catholic Education for consideration.

Please be assured that Penrhos continues to be vigilant with our extended cleaning practises, as we carefully monitor the health of our students and staff.

The upcoming easing of restrictions means:

  • Champion Lakes Rowing Regatta Saturday 27 June – Penrhos, Perth College and St Hilda’s – spectators are welcome to join us from 8.30am to 10.30am to watch our Year 10 – 12s row in this one and only opportunity for 2020
  • Assemblies in Junior and Secondary Schools will return to the Rixon Theatre as of Monday 29 June, with the maximum capacity not exceeding 468 to ensure we maintain the 2 sqm rule
  • Assemblies in Junior and Secondary Schools will resume as per pre-COVID-19 in Term 3, from Wednesday 22 July
  • IGSSA fixtures will resume in Term 3, from Wednesday 22 July
  • Ticketing for our school production, My Fair Lady, will open on Monday 20 July
  • Penrhos Support Group events are being scheduled into the College Calendar, in line with the easing of restrictions
  • Excursions, camps and school-based events are being scheduled into the College Calendar, in line with the easing of restrictions

You can read the official advice at this link https://www.wa.gov.au/organisation/department-of-the-premier-and-cabinet/covid-19-coronavirus-wa-roadmap

Thank you as always for your continued patience and understanding as we work as quickly as possible in our phased return to normal, in line with government guidance.

Tuesday, 9 June 2020 - phase 3 of the COVID-19 WA roadmap

Perth schools are beginning the process of returning to normal, as Phase 3 of the COVID-19 WA roadmap is announced and Western Australia continues to record Coronavirus cases in the single digits or none at all. The key points relevant to the Penrhos community are outlined below.

  • Attendance at school is now compulsory, except for those who are recognised as medically vulnerable or who have medically vulnerable family members.
  • Parents or guardians are now allowed to return onto school grounds to drop off or pick up their children.
  • Playground equipment is permitted to be used by our students.
  • Assemblies and chapel services will continue to be live-streamed to classrooms.

The Department of Health encourages the return to normal arrangements where possible and in accordance with health guidelines. Transmission of the virus is still possible, so we cannot afford to become complacent. Please remind your daughter/s to maintain a distance of 1.5 metres from others, as far as is possible, and to maintain good personal hygiene by frequently using the hand sanitiser provided in every classroom.

We will be looking more closely at what this will mean for the resumption of events, functions and excursions at Penrhos, as soon as we receive further clarification from the Department of Education. Given the fluidity of the travel situation and insurance implications, I can confirm that no co-curricular camps or tours will be run by Penrhos College for the remainder of 2020.

Friday, 1 May 2020 - welcome back to Term 2

Welcome back to Term 2. We have definitely been on something of a roller-coaster ride over the past four weeks, but here we are back on campus again – and it is truly fantastic to have the College buzzing with the sounds of the students and staff, once more.

Our attendance rates today are high, with over 85% of students returning to Junior School and 80% in Secondary School, and we expect numbers to further increase next week. We eagerly await permission for our Boarding House to reopen, so that our boarders can also return. My sincere thanks to the Penrhos families who offered to host our boarders in their homes; such generosity of spirit is truly heart-warming in these challenging times.

The plans that have been put in place for Term 2 are based on the current advice from the Departments of Health and Education in Western Australia. You will appreciate that this advice may change, dependent on the continual evolution of COVID-19 in Western Australia, and the College will continue to respond accordingly. Consequently, we have not planned too far ahead, but it is important for Years 11 and 12 to have guidance on Semester One examinations and reporting. We will provide further updates to you on outcomes for 7 to 12, when those decisions are made. Parents do have the choice to keep their daughters at home.

I want to assure you that the health and wellbeing of our students and staff continues to be our priority. The cleaning of the College continues to focus on high traffic areas; additional staff have been contracted and the strength of our cleaning products is of industry standard. Hand gel (70% alcohol based) is now in all classrooms and areas accessed by students and staff, and good personal hygiene practices will continue to be encouraged. We thank parents for their understanding in not coming onto the campus.

Academic update for Years 7 to 12

Years 11 and 12

  • Year 11 and 12 examinations will be held from 2 – 12 June
  • All examinations for all students will be conducted on campus
  • A report containing a mark/100, grade and ratings will be provided by Thursday 25 June
  • Year 12 Parent Teacher meetings (face-to-face or virtual) will be held on Monday 29 June from 4-7pm to provide feedback
  • Year 11 Parent Teacher meetings (face-to-face or virtual) will be held on Tuesday 30 June from 4-7pm to provide feedback
  • Externally Set Tasks for Year 12 General courses have been postponed


Years 7 to 10

Learning area Mode of delivery (7-10) Head of Department
Creative Arts Provision of instruction via Portal in Digital Learning Space / OneNote Tony Urbini urbina@penrhos.wa.edu.au
Digital and Design Technology Weekly planners and provision of instruction via Portal in Digital Learning Space / OneNote Vanessa Rivett rivetv@penrhos.wa.edu.au
Drama and Dance Provision of instruction via Portal in Digital Learning Space / OneNote. Student initiated WebEx to facilitate collaborative group work between students. David Ballantyne ballad@penrhos.wa.edu.au
English Provision of instruction via Portal in Digital Learning Space with recorded lesson to view where appropriate Alison Kalajzich kalaja@penrhos.wa.edu.au
English Enrichment (EE) All learning materials and lesson instruction to be provided in student class OneNote The EE teacher will contact parents and students weekly, to provide direct instruction at the point of need Emma Black Smith blacke@penrhos.wa.edu.au
HASS Provision of instruction via Portal in Digital Learning Space / OneNote Live streaming of face-to-face lessons for direct instruction as deemed appropriate by the teacher Laura Rutherford ruthel@penrhos.wa.edu.au
Languages Live streaming of face-to-face lesson in full Provision of instruction via Portal in Digital Learning Space Scott Haddrell haddrs@penrhos.wa.edu.au
Learning Technologies Support for staff Tina Russell russet@penrhos.wa.edu.au
Library Support Student support for Lib Guides Will Horwood horwow@penrhos.wa.edu.au
Mathematics Live streaming of face-to-face lesson in full Provision of resources via Portal in Digital Learning Space / OneNote Tim Birrell birret@penrhos.wa.edu.au
Math Enrichment (ME) All learning materials and lesson instruction to be provided in student class OneNote The ME teacher will contact parents and students weekly, to provide direct instruction at the point of need Emma Black Smith blacke@penrhos.wa.edu.au
Music Provision of instruction via Portal in Digital Learning Space / OneNote Face-to-face and WebEx for peripatetic lessons Jane Alderson alderj@penrhos.wa.edu.au
Physical Education and Health Provision of instruction via Portal in the Digital Learning Space / OneNote Brad Ramsay ramsab@penrhos.wa.edu.au
Science Provision of instruction via Portal in Digital Learning Space / OneNote Live streaming of face-to-face lessons for direct instruction as deemed appropriate by the teacher Brenton Marlow marlob@penrhos.wa.edu.au

Assemblies and Chapel Services

We will need to minimise large, organised gatherings on campus including assemblies, year meetings, Big Sister and Chapel Services. Assemblies this term will therefore be live-streamed from the Chapel and only students and staff who are involved will be present. There will be no excursions or incursions for the present time. You can see the recording of the Term 2 Principal’s Assembly at our Facebook page here https://www.facebook.com/PenrhosCollege/.

Co-curricular activities and sign-up Term 2

We are very excited about the co-curricular offerings for students across Junior and Secondary Schools for Term 2. In addition to the Term 1 offerings, we have 13 new activities in Secondary School and 5 new activities in Junior School for students to sign up to. You will receive a letter from Paul McCarthy outlining the Term 2 Co-Curricular Program.

As always, and particularly in the current context of the Coronavirus, if your daughter is unwell – especially if she has a temperature – please keep her at home until she is fully recovered.

Meg Melville

Wednesday, 29 April 2020 - streaming live classrooms for remote learners

You will be aware that face-to-face teaching commences at Penrhos for Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12 as of tomorrow, Thursday 30 April. We understand that, whilst the Boarding House remains closed, our boarders may not be returning tomorrow; also, that those students with health concerns may choose to remain at home. If your daughter is not returning to campus tomorrow, please share the following steps so that her learning can still continue:

  1. Access the Penrhos College Portal
  2. Click on relevant Year Group
  3. Click on subject area
  4. Enter the Digital Learning Space
  5. Read the teacher’s Announcements to continue with learning in this subject

Tomorrow, you will receive a further email to advise how each Department across Years 7 to 10 will complement their Digital Learning Space with additional resources.

We acknowledge that there are challenges associated with learning off-campus. We will do our absolute best to provide a positive ongoing learning experience for those who cannot physically attend, until the Boarding House re-opens and we can return to full face-to-face learning – very soon, hopefully!

Meg Melville

Friday, 24 April 2020 - all Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12 Penrhos students may return to school

Since I wrote to you earlier this week, we have received further advice from the WA Chief Medical Officer Dr Andy Robertson in that ‘it is safe for children to attend school’.

In his communication, Dr Robertson says ‘with the very low levels of COVID-19 in Western Australia, along with wider public health strategies now in place, I strongly believe there is no need for school closures in this state currently’.

On the basis of this latest and somewhat unexpected advice, we are pleased to confirm that all Pre-Kindergarten to Year 12 Penrhos students may return to school on Thursday 30 April.

We are still waiting for a decision from the National Cabinet with regard to the safe opening of boarding houses, and we will keep our community posted with any updates on this.

Face-to-face teaching and learning will resume for all students on Thursday 30 April. Classes will be live-streamed for any boarding students in Years 11 and 12 who are unable to return as day students; this live streaming will also be made available to Year 11 and 12 day students who choose to remain at home.  On-line learning materials will be made available in Digital Learning Spaces for our Year 7 to 10 boarding students and day students who are unable to attend for medical reasons; however, our remote learning offer will be suspended whilst the College is open and government advice is for our girls to return to school. Junior School parents will receive an email from Head of Junior School, Wayne Revitt, with more detail regarding student learning later today.

Parents are asked to please confirm whether your daughter/s will be returning to school in person by emailing ssabsentees@penrhos.wa.edu.au for Secondary School (cc-ing your daughter’s Head of Year) or jsabsentees@penrhos.wa.edu.au for Junior School (cc-ing your daughter’s class teacher) by Monday 27 April, so that we are able to plan classes, catering via the café and bus services accordingly. It would greatly assist us if you could please also indicate whether any absence is due to COVID-19 or to other issues. If your daughter has any COVID-19 related symptoms or is unwell in any other respect, she should please remain at home until fully recovered.

The government has indicated its recommendation for physical distancing of 4 square metres per person will not apply in school situations. However, we will continue with distancing wherever possible and parents should please remain off campus. Personal hygiene will remain a priority and additional cleaning staff will work throughout the day to ensure all high-use areas are regularly cleaned and surfaces disinfected.

Our swimming pool will remain closed and there will be no excursions, camps, assemblies, chapel (other than live-streamed) or interschool activities. Given the numbers of students we now expect to return, it will not be possible to temperature-check all students and staff each day, as per our original plans when considering a phased return.

I am very much looking forward to seeing everyone back on campus, and I will write to you again with more detailed information in the early part of next week.

Meg Melville.

Tuesday, 21 April 2020 - the commencement of Term 2


I am touching base with you to provide an update on our plans for Term 2, following recent further advice from both federal and state government.

As you will be aware, the Premier has now confirmed that all public schools in WA will re-open for Term 2. In this context, parents may still choose for their children to remain at home and continue with remote learning until the situation is once again reviewed (before 18 May), although students in Years 11 and 12 are particularly encouraged to return.

In deciding whether to return to school, Penrhos appreciates that each family will have their own set of circumstances to consider. We are also mindful that the educational situation may be subject to further change, dependent on the ongoing challenge of managing the spread of COVID-19 whilst children return to school.

Face-to-face teaching and learning to resume for Pre-K – Year 4 and Years 11 and 12

Penrhos will re-open to students for Term 2 on Thursday 30 April.

Face-to-face teaching and learning will resume in Junior School for girls in Pre-K to Year 4.

Face-to-face teaching and learning will resume in Secondary School for Years 11 and 12.

Please note that remote learning will not be delivered when face-to-face learning is in place.

Years 5 to 10 will continue with remote learning, as per the arrangements put in place in Term 1. Any student in Years 5 to 10 who wishes to attend school in person to continue their remote learning in a supervised environment is welcome to do so.

Education Minister Sue Ellery confirmed yesterday that Boarding Houses are to remain closed for the time being. Penrhos boarders in Years 11 and 12 will be encouraged to return to the Boarding House as soon as we have permission for them to do so.

Parents are asked to please confirm whether your daughter/s will be attending school in person by emailing ssabsentees@penrhos.wa.edu.au for Secondary School (cc-ing your daughter’s Head of Year) or jsabsentees@penrhos.wa.edu.au for Junior School (cc-ing your daughter’s class teacher) by noon on Friday 24 April, so that we are able to plan classes and supervision, catering via the café and bus services accordingly. I will write to you again with more detailed information in the next few days.

All possible measures to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our staff and students

We will do everything possible to prepare the College environment for the safe return of our staff and students. The Boarding House will be steam-cleaned and returning Year 11 and 12 boarders will be spread out across rooms and bathrooms etc once we receive permission for the Boarding House to re-open; hand sanitisers will be placed in every classroom; physical distancing will be observed by relocating classes to spaces which permit distancing, and will be implemented as far as possible across every other aspect of the College environment; hygiene and hand-washing will be closely monitored and numbers in the café will be restricted. Until the situation is further reviewed by government (before 18 May), no parents will be permitted to attend campus for any reason other than to quickly drop off and collect their daughters. Temperature checks will continue for all students and temperature checks for staff will also be introduced from the start of Term 2.

Remote learning parents survey feedback

At the end of Term 1, we sent out a short survey asking parents to provide feedback on their daughters’ remote learning experience to date. Thank you to those of you who provided feedback – I am very pleased to tell you that the results are largely positive, and our community is mainly either ‘satisfied’ or ‘very satisfied’ with our offering. Year Group and Department specific information will be discussed with class teachers and Heads of Departments as a way of moving forward positively with remote learning in Years 5 to 10.

I want to sincerely thank and commend everyone – students, staff and parents – on establishing our remote learning solution so successfully. Your efforts to date have been nothing short of tremendous.

It is likely that these latest changes to our plans for Term 2 are just the next step in our challenging onward journey. I hope that you and your families manage to have some downtime in the remaining days of the holidays. I very much look forward to the phased return of our students, and particularly to the time when all Year Groups are back on campus and able to continue their Penrhos learning experience in a face-to-face environment.

I will be in touch again before the end of the week, with further details to support your daughter’s ongoing learning.

Meg Melville.

Wednesday, 8 April 2020 - the conclusion of Term 1

We are touching base with you to provide an overview of Term 1, a brief look at Term 2 and also how we are managing this quite extraordinary situation going forward; these are challenging times for all of us, and yet we know the Penrhos Spirit will see us through. An update on the   College’s financial management is also included. Please also see our latest video message, which has been shared on the College website and on our Facebook page – this will also be included in tomorrow’s PCN.

Wrapping Up Term 1

Students and staff on campus

We will continue to provide the option for students to attend the College in person, as we acknowledge that this is a necessary service for many parents. Each student has been temperature­checked by our Health Centre staff, upon presenting at the start of each day. On average, around 48 students have attended in Junior School and 10 in Secondary School, and these students have been supervised at all times.

Our teaching staff have been given the option to work on campus or from home. Our operational services staff, where appropriate, have also been given this option. Members of the College Leadership Team are working from the campus as per usual.

Remote learning – we value your feedback

This week, we will be sending a short survey inviting you to provide feedback on your daughter’s remote learning experience to date. We appreciate the tremendous resolve demonstrated by our students, staff and parents in rising to meet the challenges of remote learning. Our teachers tell us that preparation for remote learning takes twice as long as for face-to-face learning. The need for a remote learning solution has required us to quickly adapt and to learn new sets of skills which can only be of benefit in the longer term; further, it has emphasised the positives of collaborative and self-managed learning with technology. We don’t yet know just how long we will be in remote learning mode, so your feedback will help guide us as we continue to refine our approach to ensure that our students continue to learn as effectively as possible.

Remote student wellbeing

The wellbeing of our students is very much our shared responsibility and we are particularly mindful of the potential for a sense of isolation, which may come with remote learning. Our teachers are constantly monitoring the participation and engagement of their students and are contacting parents and/or members of the Pastoral Care Team where a need for support is identified.

Secondary School Form Teachers and Heads of Year are keeping close contact with their students through a myriad of ways that are now technology-enabled, such as virtual assemblies, WebEx morning teas and lunches, physical challenges, community service remotely, videos, surveys and more. We can only get better at this, as time goes on!

Resources have been made available on the Portal to assist students with the management of their day-to-day schedules, along with access links to support their wellbeing.

In Junior School, our class teachers are checking in with students and the Learning Enhancement Team is doing likewise. Virtual Chapels and Assemblies are being set-up for Term 2.

Financial management

The prudent financial management of the College is now more important than ever. As always, the College will continue to monitor its costs very carefully and, wherever possible, to improve operational efficiency.

We acknowledge the financial hardship that some of our families are now experiencing, through loss of employment or income arising from the COVID-19 pandemic. The College Council is committed to supporting Penrhos families through this pandemic, with the aim that every girl can continue her education at Penrhos. To that end, the College will be assisting families in genuine need, on a case-by-case basis, in the form of fee deferral or fee reduction. We encourage those families seeking financial assistance to contact our Director of Finance and Administration, Stephen Cooper: coopes@penrhos.wa.edu.au or (08) 9368 9501 for a strictly confidential discussion.

We are well aware of the response to economic pressures, by some independent schools. However, the majority of our costs are fixed, and it is the College Council’s responsibility to safeguard the integrity of Penrhos College and ensure that it is sustainable into the future. This means adopting measures that match the financial circumstances of Penrhos, not those of other colleges. As a result, the College is not, at this stage, considering a general discount to tuition fees. The College is exploring any available government support that it may be eligible for and will review its approach if significant support becomes available.

We intend to provide a fee adjustment to reflect the costs which are not currently incurred from those co-curricular and other planned activities which cannot now run. This amount will be determined by the length of the remote learning period and the degree to which activities can be rescheduled for later in the year, and it will be calculated during Term 2. In recognition of the inherent difficulties with remote learning for the pre-compulsory years, we will be implementing a 50% discount for tuition fees for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten students from Term 2 for the duration of remote learning. In addition, while the Boarding House is closed, boarding fees will be waived.

The Easter message from Chaplain Claire

We are now in Holy Week and, as a College in the Uniting Church faith, it is important that we acknowledge the Easter Story. Chaplain Claire has prepared a message that can be accessed via the Penrhos Facebook page on Thursday, 9 April. Please take the time to hear this story.

What is coming up in Term 2

Start date for Term 2

Student remote learning will recommence on Thursday 30 April. This will allow our staff to spend Tuesday 28 April and Wednesday 29 April in collaboration and preparation time, to recommence lessons on 30 April. The impact of isolation cannot be underestimated, and our staff do need time to come together and reconnect with their colleagues in person, to plan and share strategies for Term 2.

Co-curricular opportunities in Term 2

  • Sign-up for Term 2 co-curricular will take place in Week 1 of Term 2 – watch out for a number of new offerings. Our Dean of Co-Curricular Paul McCarthy has been working with staff and coaches to find ways to continue to provide the broad and diverse range of opportunities that we are accustomed to. Alternative modes of delivery for many of our Sporting, Academic, Drama, Music, Dance, Peripatetic Music Lessons and Speech and Drama offerings are just being finalised now – you will shortly receive an email regarding sign-up for both Junior School and Secondary School, with an extended invitation for parents and family members to join in a range of these activities, with their daughters. Given many of these live sessions will also be recorded, we are hopeful that the number of activities offered will in fact be greater than our usual face-to-face offerings.
  • Whilst you will be aware that the IGSSA Competition for Term 2 has been cancelled, we will be running a number of lnterhouse Challenges in our virtual co-curricular world, which will still count towards the 2020 Betty Harman lnterhouse Trophy – keep engaged, or try something new, to increase your House points and maintain your physical activity and engagement.
  • Penrhos Psychologist Tracy Hart will launch her Penrhos Full Circle program, supporting parents to support their daughters.
  • Camp Australia’s before and after-school care will continue at Penrhos, as will their holiday program.


An update on Year 12, 2020: Curriculum, Assessment and Examinations

On Tuesday 31 March, Allan Blagaich, CEO of the School Curriculum and Standards Authority, hosted a WebEx meeting for Principals. There is yet to be a decision on the 2020 WACE Examinations; however, the underlying considerations include:

  • Equity for all Year 12s; to give each student the opportunity to demonstrate what they know via valid, reliable, authenticated assessments; no Year 12 to be disadvantaged by remote or disrupted learning irrespective of their pathway.
  • No change to the Year 12 Assessment Policy but flexibility in type and number (each type of assessment need only be administered once).
  • Assessments completed remotely may need to be authenticated upon return to school.
  • Year 12 Externally Set Tasks (EST’s) have been postponed until further notice.
  • Semester 1 Examinations will be a school-based decision.
  • State Education Ministers are meeting to ensure alignment to university entrance nationally.
  • Whilst there is no plan to reduce content of the syllabuses, the number of assessments has been reduced such that each type of assessment need only be administered once (can be more, but not less).

You can read a message for all Year 12 students from the Minister for Education The Hon Dan Tehan MP at this link https://ministers.dese.gov.au/tehan/message-year-12-students

Staff to contact

Please don’t hesitate to contact the following members of the College Leadership Team if you have any matters that you would like to discuss:

Wayne Revitt: Head of Junior School revitw@penrhos.wa.edu.au

Michelle Taylor: Dean of Pastoral Care taylom@penrhos.wa.edu.au

Nicole Blyth: Dean of Teaching and Learning blythn@penrhos.wa.edu.au

Paul McCarthy: Dean of Co-Curricular mccarp@penrhos.wa.edu.au

Rob Taylor: Dean of Academic Administration taylor@penrhos.wa.edu.au

Neil Mullally: Director of ICT mullan@penrhos.wa.edu.au

Stephen Cooper: Director of Finance and Administration coopes@penrhos.wa.edu.au

Meg Melville: Principal melvim@penrhos.wa.edu.au

We wish each and every one of you – students, parents and staff – a peaceful Easter and school holiday break with your families. This will be an important time for us all to reflect, recharge and reconnect. We have no doubt that the situation will continue to evolve over the next few weeks and we will be in touch once again, should any of the details outlined above be subject to change.

Kind regards

Meg Melville

Friday, 27 March 2020 - Secondary School shifts to remote learning

We would like to thank parents for their support, messages of encouragement and understanding in these challenging times. All staff are committed to supporting your daughter as we move to remote learning.

Pastoral Care

The wellbeing of our students is of the utmost importance to us at the College. We encourage you to contact us if we can be of support to you or your daughter during this period of change. If you are not sure who the best person to contact is, please phone Secondary Reception, 9368 9641 and you will be directed to the appropriate member of staff.

Teachers will continue to make pastoral contact with students throughout the remainder of the term. The purpose of this is to maintain a sense of connectedness. Pastoral staff will also be available to students and parents to support individual wellbeing. Some students may require additional support with the change in the nature and location of learning.

If your daughter is attending school on Monday, she is to wear Penrhos sports uniform and arrive by 8.25am. Students will assemble in the Margaret Way Courtyard, attendance will be taken and students will then move with staff to designated year areas. Students will remain in these areas during class time, where they will be supervised by staff and complete work assigned by their classroom teachers. Recess and lunch will be supervised and the Café will be open for students wishing to purchase food. School will finish at 3.30pm.

Please note that requirements around physical distancing will be observed.

If your daughter is remaining at home and working remotely, please ensure that her workspace is set up in preparation for the start of the school day. Students are to wear sports uniform or smart casual dress, consistent with what would be expected at a school function.

The Student Code of Conduct applies to students who are attending school or working remotely. The Code of Conduct is detailed in the school diary and is on the portal. Parents are reminded to contact ssabsentees@penrhos.wa.edu.au if their daughter will be attending school.

Teaching and Learning

Teachers and students have tested College IT systems in their classes and set up routines to support continuity of learning. Teacher and students are using the follow digital tools;

  • Digital Classroom on the portal – Secondary School > Choose Year Group > Subject
  • OneNote – see OneNote Links sent via email last week from ITsupport@penrhos.wa.edu.au
  • WebEx for video conferencing
  • Subject specific tools such as Education Perfect, Stile, Manga High and Reading Plus

Teachers will continue to support their students with a range of activities that are appropriate to the year level, subject and curriculum. Remote learning activities will provide a balance of digital instruction in both text and video format. Teachers will continue to give students flexibility to work digitally or on paper, taking photos of work to support feedback. For assistance with using the IT tools to support remote learning, parents and students can follow this link to the how to​ guide.

Teachers have prepared Remote Learning Updates to go on Digital Classroom on the portal (accessible from Monday, 30th March) to keep parents informed about expectations for remote learning, whether at the College or at home. The Remote Learning Updates will provide an overview for parents so they can support their daughter’s learning. Please see attached Student Responsibilities During Remote Learning for more information.

Teachers will monitor student work and communicate via email with parents if their daughter is not completing the expected level or quality of work. This will allow parents and teachers to continue to work together to aid student progress.

Academic Administration

Regardless of the year a student is in, the validity, reliability and equity associated with assessment must remain intact. We are guided by the School Curriculum and Standards Authority in all assessment practice.

  • All planned invigilated and test-based assessment is suspended. Students may continue to work on and complete in preparation for submission project based, investigation or assignment work.
  • Where possible assessment tasks will be re-scheduled for completion when students return to school.
  • Where necessary, assessment outlines will be altered to change the weighting of assessment tasks, the number of assessment tasks, or the type of assessment.
  • Teachers will gather sufficient information (including formative assessment) to be able to make a judgement about student performance and allocate a grade only for Years 7-10, and a final mark and grade for Years 11 & 12.

We are reviewing the timing of Semester 1 Year 11 & 12 examinations and will advise students and parents should there be any change to the timing of these at the commencement of Term 2.

Interim Reports for Year 7 -10 students will be issued during Term 2 if the College does not continue with remote learning.

All planned Parent Teacher interview afternoons have been cancelled. Staff will continue to make individual contact with parents should they have concerns about student progress.


Group Co-curricular activities and IGSSA for the remainder of Term 1

All College group co-curricular activities (including IGSSA) have concluded for Term 1.

For queries relating to SS Co-curricular activities: Paul McCarthy mccarp@penrhos.wa.edu.au

After School extended library supervision hours for Term 1

Extended library supervision opening hours of 8pm (Mon-Thur), and 6pm on Friday, will continue for the remainder of Term 1.

After Hours Library Supervision direct contact number: 9368 9583

Term 1 Awards and Principal’s Assembly

Term 1 awards (for both the Awards and Principals Assembly) will be processed as usual and will be distributed to students via their form teacher at the earliest opportunity next term.

For queries relating to Term 1 Student Awards: Linda Rich richl@penrhos.wa.edu.au

Peripatetic Music Lessons arrangements for the remainder of Term 1

Special arrangements have been put in place for our Year 5-12 students to allow one-to-one music lessons to continue on campus for the remainder of this term. The special arrangements for peripatetic music lessons for Year 5-12 students are as follows:

Year 5-12 students who choose to attend their lesson on campus over the last two weeks of term will receive their usual music lesson in one of the Penrhos music lesson rooms at the time stipulated on the music lesson timetable. Given the small group size and nature of the individual music lesson, coupled with the size of our teaching facilities, we can comfortably maintain physical distancing requirements and ensure compliance with Government advice, whilst maintaining the optimal tuition environment for students and staff. Additional hygiene measures will also be put in place prior to the commencement of each individual music lesson.

Year 5-12 students who choose to continue their school tuition remotely over the last two weeks of term, will receive their lesson via their laptop, with an online connection established by the tutor, at the same time as that published in the music lesson timetable. The tutor will be delivering the lesson from a music practice room at Penrhos College directly to the student’s laptop.

For queries relating to Peripatetic Music Lessons: Jane Alderson alderj@penrhos.wa.edu.au

Speech and Drama Lessons

Both group and individual Speech and Drama lessons will be continued via remote delivery.

For queries relating to Individual/Small group Speech and Drama Lessons:

Sally Barendse barens@penrhos.wa.du.au

Faye Donnes donnef@penrhos.wa.edu.au


Your daughter will receive more detailed information about remote learning for next week from the Dean of Pastoral Care and her classroom teachers.

If you need further information or clarification, please contact the relevant Dean:

Michelle Taylor, Dean of Pastoral Care taylom@penrhos.wa.edu.au for attendance and well being

Nicole Blyth, Dean of Teaching and Learning blythn@penrhos.wa.edu.au for remote learning provision

Rob Taylor, Dean of Academic Administration taylor@penrhos.wa.edu.au for assessment and reporting

Paul McCarthy, Dean of Co-curricular mccarp@penrhos.wa.edu.au for co-curricular and peripatetic lessons


Kind regards

The Secondary School Deans

Wednesday, 25 March 2020 - key term dates affected at the College

As you are well aware, the effects of COVID-19 are having an increasingly significant impact on our daily lives and more broadly on the local, national and global landscape. The following changes will be taking effect at the College, in response to the evolving circumstances:

  • Our Boarding House will close as of 5pm this Friday 27 March. It has become increasingly apparent that parents wish to have their daughters at home during these times of uncertainty; we do understand this. Our Boarding House community – parents, students and staff – were informed at 8am this morning. Head of Boarding Michele Hay and Boarding House Administrator Kris Callaway will be on hand to assist with transitioning students out of the Boarding House, to their families and guardians. Boarding families may choose for their daughters to continue as day students.
  • The College will remain open for the remainder of Term 1, closing as scheduled on Thursday 9 April at 3.30pm. Our attendance rates remain high and we are more than happy for this to continue until the College is closed as of 10 April, Good Friday.
  • Face-to-face lessons will continue from Pre-K through to Year 12 from today, Wednesday 25 March to Friday 27 March.
  • As of Monday 30 March, staff will deliver remote learning from the College to both those students who are still in attendance and those who remain at home. Students in attendance will be supervised in reconfigured classes dependent on numbers, to ensure that appropriate physical distancing is observed during lesson times.
  • We acknowledge that the remaining 10 days of Term 1, following our move to remote learning delivery on Monday 30 March, will be a period of adjustment for everyone. There will inevitably be some fine-tuning of our changed learning environment, as we prepare for what might be a long-haul.
  • If your daughter will continue to attend school in person from Monday 30 March to Thursday 9 April, we would appreciate it if you could please advise the College by email ssabsentees@penrhos.wa.edu.au or jsabsentees@penrhos.wa.edu.au so that we can appropriately cater for their learning and wellbeing requirements.
  • The Penrhos Café will continue to operate as usual from 7.00am to 2.00pm to cater for lunch orders and takeaways.

At this time, we cannot be sure about the start date for Term 2; we will confirm our plans as more information becomes available.

Please see the summary below, which encapsulates this information:

Wednesday 25 March to Friday 27 March
  • Face-to-face learning continues
Friday 27 March
  • Boarding House closes at 5pm
  • Face-to-face learning ceases
Monday 30 March
  • Commencement of transition to remote learning, delivered on site
  • Students may still attend the College
Thursday 9 April
  • Term 1 concludes at 3.30pm
Friday 10 April
  • College is closed – Good Friday
Tuesday 28 April
  • Staff Professional Development Day
Wednesday 29 April
  • Scheduled Term 2 return for students


My sincere gratitude to our College community for your cooperation and patience, whilst we navigate through these uncertain times. It is imperative that our students remain engaged in their learning and that we monitor their wellbeing and connectedness to our College.

We appreciate that some families may be experiencing financial hardship at present. The College is committed to helping families find solutions. To discuss options, please email Director of Finance and Administration Stephen Cooper via coopes@penrhos.wa.edu.au.

We will continue to update our dedicated COVID-19 blog space on the website and, if you are seeking further information or clarification, please contact the following staff:

Wayne Revitt, Head of Junior School revitw@penrhos.wa.edu.au

Rob Taylor, Dean of Academic Administration taylor@penrhos.wa.edu.au

Nicole Blyth, Dean of Teaching and Learning blythn@penrhos.wa.edu.au

Michelle Taylor, Dean of Pastoral Care taylom@penrhos.wa.edu.au

Neil Mullally, Director of ICT mullan@penrhos.wa.edu.au

Paul McCarthy, Dean of Co-curricular mccarp@penrhos.wa.edu.au

Kind regards
Meg Melville

Thursday, 19 March 2020 - community events cancelled or postponed

Having now reviewed all College events scheduled up until the mid-term break of Term 2 (1 June), please find below relevant updates.

Our schedule will be reviewed regularly over coming weeks, and any changes will be featured on both the website Coronavirus update section and on the whole College calendar.

Our staff are additionally communicating with parents/students through usual channels.


Junior School


Event Action Date
JS Tea-time concerts Cancelled 26 March
Amanda Young Fair Postponed 27 March
Interhouse Athletics Cancelled 8 May
JS choir workshop / performance Cancelled 9 May
JS Mother’s Day events Cancelled 10 May
NAPLAN Cancelled 12 – 14 May
2020 School Production Postponed, auditions to proceed 1 August
JS chapels and assemblies Cancelled
Musical performances Ben Folds cancelled
Co-curricular camps and tours Cancelled
JS Arts Fest Years 3 – 6 Cancelled
Weekly music ensemble rehearsals To continue
Curtin sport and recreation activities To continue
Instrumental/Vocal individual lessons To continue
Speech and drama To continue
Co-curricular activities To continue
IGSSA Sport No IGSSA inter-school games of volleyball and tennis. Training to continue. Game days will continue, but on campus and as intra-school fixtures
Awards and Principal’s Assembly Cancelled certificates and trophies will be distributed in forms


Secondary School


Event Action Date
Year 8 Solar Cars Challenge Excursion Cancelled 19 March
Year 11 Biology Biodiversity Excursion Cancelled 19 March
Year 11/12 Parent Teacher Interviews Cancelled 23 March & 31 March
Amanda Young Fair Postponed 27 March
Year 8 Social Postponed 27 March
Da Vinci Decathlon Cancelled 8 April
Dramafest Performance and two matinees cancelled, rehearsals ceased 8 April
Cross Country Inter-house Cross Country cancelled

WAMC events cancelled

Rottnest training day cancelled -all other training to continue

9 April
Year 7 Grandparents’ Day Cancelled 7 May
Dance Showcase Cancelled 9 May
Year 8 Camp Cancelled 12 – 15 May
Year 11 -12 Exams To continue 18 – 23 May
Year 10 careers excursion Cancelled 20 May
Mother Daughter Dinner For review in early May 6 June
Penrhos Careers Expo Cancelled 11 June
2020 School Production Postponed, auditions to proceed 1 August
IGSSA Dance Festival To continue 28 August
Valedictory Service and Chapel To be confirmed in June 21 November
Weekly music ensemble rehearsals To continue
Curtin Sport and Recreation activities JS+SS To continue
Rowing training To continue
Instrumental/Vocal individual lessons To continue
Speech and Drama To continue
Co-curricular Activities To continue
IGSSA SPORT No IGSSA inter-school games of volleyball and tennis

Training to continue. Game days will continue, but on campus and as intra-school fixtures

Co-curricular Camps and Tours Cancelled in Terms 1 and 2
Assemblies and Chapel Services Cancelled
Year 10 Wesley Social Cancelled
Community Service Cancelled
Year 11/12 WPL & VET To continue
Year 10 – 12 Volleyball Challenge Cancelled
Year 11 2021 Parent Information Evening To continue as a live-stream through Facebook
Amanda Young Camp Cancelled
Awards and Principal’s Assembly Cancelled certificates and trophies will be distributed in form
Offsite Boarders Rec Cancelled onsite options will be made available


Community Events


Event Action Date
Gin and Jazz Soiree Postponed 28 March
Principal’s Coffee Mornings To continue as live-streams through Facebook 31 March
Easter Service Cancelled 9 April
Scholarship testing Postponed 17 April
Gala Ball To be confirmed 15 August
Little Dragons Playgroup Suspended until further notice
Rowing Pasta Nights To continue


Monday, 16 March 2020 - international and interstate Tours cancelled

I am writing to further update you on the evolving COVID-19 situation by way of this latest video.

Please note that many College tours, camps and events are now subject to postponement or cancellation in line with government and state guidelines, designed to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.

2020 camps and tours which have been regrettably cancelled include the following:

  • Canberra Tour Year 6
  • Melbourne and Hobart Creative Arts and Design Tour
  • Sydney NIDA Tour
  • Year 8 Camp
  • New Norcia Music Camp
  • Eaton Rowing Camp

We understand these cancellations will be deeply disappointing for all involved, especially for our students. We appreciate your understanding as we act to comply with directives as they are issued, and we will continue to keep you informed.

In the coming days, the section of our website which is dedicated to Coronavirus news will be updated to include a comprehensive list of all affected events for the foreseeable future. Please keep checking penrhos.wa.edu.au/news for updates.

The national Coronavirus Health Information Line number is 1800 020 080 or you can refer to the active health alert via the Australian Department of Health for more of the latest information.

Kind regards
Meg Melville

Friday, 13 March 2020 - IGSSA Swimming Carnival has been cancelled

In light of the Government’s latest advice today – that events of more than 500 people should not go ahead – IGSSA, in consultation with its eight member Principals, has taken the difficult decision to cancel the 2020 IGSSA Swimming Carnival.

With more than 900 people due to attend this evening – including competitors, staff and officials – we believe we have a moral obligation to cancel the event in order to help prevent the spread of the COVID-19. Even operating on a closed basis, as per our earlier response, was ultimately considered insufficient to ensure the safety and wellbeing of all concerned. The decision to cancel is in keeping with the cancellation of other like events at the HBF stadium and elsewhere.

We understand the cancellation of this event will be deeply disappointing for both swimmers and their families. At this stage, time has not permitted conversations with regards to potentially rescheduling the event – we will consult with our fellow IGSSA Schools at the earliest time to determine as and when we may be able to do so.

We appreciate your support and understanding.

Kind regards

Meg Melville
Principal Penrhos College

Wednesday, 11 March 2020 - guidelines for testing and disclosure of travel

We are writing to provide you with an update on the evolving COVID-19 situation as at 11 March 2020.

Penrhos Tours and public events: based on a directive from the West Australian Minister for Education, our Space Camp Tour to the USA in April has now been cancelled. Tours in April to Sydney (Drama), Melbourne and Hobart (Art and Photography) and Canberra (Year 6) are still scheduled to go ahead until we are directed otherwise.

It is difficult to predict how the outbreak will evolve in Australia and the situation may change rapidly. When significant community transmission is occurring, social distancing measures, such as cancellation of public gatherings will be considered. Australia does not have evidence of significant transmission currently, therefore cancellation of public gatherings – at this time – would not be proportionate nor particularly effective.

In response to a question from the media about school shut downs and the cancellation of public gatherings on 10 March, the Chief Medical Officer, Professor Brendan Murphy, indicated that “we are not at that stage”. He went on to say that this is subject to ongoing review. You can view the article here.

Possible College closure: in accordance with the Public Health Act 2016, it is the responsibility of the Chief Health Officer in Western Australia, Dr Andrew Robertson, to direct the closure of a school in the event of an outbreak of a virus, with reported cases of infected individuals, such as COVID-19. The extent of any closure and its duration will be dependent on the situation at the time.

Travel: our Health Centre Manager continues to compile a centralised register of all international travel by members of our community – staff, students and parents – to ensure that we have a complete picture of any travel, particularly over the April holidays. This will enable us to manage the potential spread of COVID-19.

Please email the Health Centre on healthcentre@penrhos.wa.edu.au to indicate dates, destinations and modes of transit across any international travel plans you may have.

Please note the following countries have been identified as high risk: mainland China, Iran, Italy and South Korea. If you are travelling overseas, you can obtain further information on the status of your destination via the Smartraveller website.

Good hygiene: the Department of Health continues to emphasise that the most effective preventative measures in schools are hygiene practices which include:

  • Frequent washing of hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with a tissue or your inner elbow
  • Staying at home if you feel unwell with any of the symptoms associated with COVID-19

Health Centre: we ask teaching staff to refer any student who presents to class unwell to the Health Centre; parents are then contacted to collect their daughter and seek medical advice.

The Department of Health has published guidelines with respect to testing for COVID-19, as follows:

Anyone with a fever and respiratory symptoms such as a cough or sore throat AND who

  • Has recently returned from overseas travel in the last 14 days OR
  • Is in contact with a confirmed COVID-19 case OR
  • Believes they may have been in close contact with a person infected with COVID-19

should attend for testing at the following locations 8am to 8pm daily:

  • Fiona Stanley Hospital
  • Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital
  • Royal Perth Hospital

The national Coronavirus Health Information Line number is 1800 020 080 or you can refer to the active health alert via the Australian Department of Health.


Thursday, 5 March - recommendations from The World Health Organisation

We are considering the impact on student and staff wellbeing, the continuity of delivery of our teaching and learning programs to individual students, and indeed more broadly if the College was to be closed temporarily. The Boarding House and Health Centre are integral to our discussions.

Currently, we are seeking our parents’ cooperation in that if their daughter is unwell with symptoms associated with the virus (fever, coughing, sneezing, sore throat etc), that medical advice is sought and that girls remain at home until fully well before returning to the College.

The World Health Organisation has published recommended hygiene practices as the best preventative measures to contracting COVID-19 which we are proactively promoting to both our staff and students:

  • Frequent washing of hands with soap and water before and after eating and after toilet visits
  • Frequent use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser throughout the day
  • Coughing or sneezing into a tissue or into the crook of your arm, not your hand
  • Avoiding hand to mouth contact
  • Avoiding physical contact with others if you or they are unwell

We are taking advice from the Australian Government, SOS Independent Travel Advice and the Western Australian Department of Education with regard to plans for pending interstate and international tours. The Independent Girls’ School Sporting Association (IGSSA) Tours to China and Singapore in April have been cancelled.

All families should carefully consider their need to travel overseas at this time, since international travel (or contact with someone who has travelled overseas) increases the potential for infection. If you do plan to travel, please contact our Health Centre via healthcentre@penrhos.wa.edu.au or (08) 9368 9505 so that we may hold a record of the country you are visiting.

Any travel to areas cited by the Australian Government as restricted will result in the requirement to observe the 14 days quarantine period upon return to Australia and before return to College. Contact with an infected person will also require the quarantine period of 14 days to be observed.

Our goal is to prevent any outbreak of the virus at Penrhos. Please check this space for regular updates and relevant information or visit The Department of Health directly here.