Thank you to Tasman and Mrs Dawson for your engaging Fellowship this morning, focusing on Autism, what it is and how it makes people unique.
The key message I took out of this morning’s Fellowship was to celebrate, accept and respect our differences. Tasman students also shared some valuable information on how people with Autism can feel when things change or when joining in a game. As a school, we have had a group of our teachers undertake extra training in Autism so we can better understand and cater for our broad range of students. At camp this week I asked a student why they had not eaten all of their dinner and they shared with me, “Mr Van Berkel, I have Autism, that is why I am fussy with my food.” We will all know someone who is on the Autism Spectrum, whether that is a child or adult. It is very important that we celebrate the differences that make us unique.
Student Free Days – Camp Australia
During Week 7 of this term, there will be two closure days. Monday 20 November is a student free day as teachers busily prepare Academic Reports; then on Friday 24 November there is a student free day to enable staff at both Junior campuses to participate in Professional Development.
Camp Australia will be hosting childcare on both of the above dates from 8.30am until 5.00pm. If you would like your children to attend Camp Australia on either of these dates please register at www.campaustralia.com.au.
Year 6 Camp
This week our Year 6 students from St Anne’s and Bairnsdale headed to Gelantipy for our annual Year 6 Karoonda Park Camp. During this camp, our students are exposed to a range of outdoor adventures, including abseiling, zip-lining, horse riding and orienteering. The highlight for many is rafting down the mighty Snowy River. I was lucky enough to be a part of this camp and I was impressed with our students’ willingness to give things a go, challenge themselves, work together and show respect to one another. A huge thank you to Miss Prue McNaughton and Mrs Julie Jago for organising the camp, and to our parent helpers - John Meredith and Ryan McMillan - for giving up their time and keeping our students safe.
From 31 October until 3 November, our Year 5 students will be heading to Coonawarra for their much anticipated camp. This camp builds on from our Year 4 Camp and students will be exposed to canoeing, hut building, raft building and the high ropes course. As I have mentioned in previous newsletters, our camps program provide our students with the opportunities to develop their independence, resilience, team work and problem solving skills to name a few. They also allow our students to experience different environments within Gippsland, ranging from South Gippsland at Camp Rumbug to Far East Gippsland at Gelantipy.
All of our students have been hard at work practicing for the Spring Concert, which will be held next Thursday 26 October in Garnsey Hall at Garnsey Campus from 6.00pm. All students should arrive by 5.45pm and be signed in with their classroom teacher. An interval will be held at approximately 6.50pm so that students from Prep to Year 2 are able to go home if needed.
Our campus is situated between the Port of Sale, Lake Guthridge and the Wetlands. Because of our recent warm weather and scattered rain, mosquitoes are out in force again this year. I would like to suggest that students keep a roll-on insect repellent in their bag to apply when required, to protect themselves from bites. Previously we had looked into spraying around out school grounds to keep the numbers down, however this is not viable due to a range of issues.
Mrs Janet Robertson, who runs our tuckshop, has been unwell this week, which meant the tuckshop had to close. We are hopeful that Janet will be back on board next week. Accordingly, we ran a sausage sizzle today, which was also a fundraising effort for the local ‘Footprints Foundation’, which focuses on providing support for local families who are being affected by breast cancer – a great cause, worthy of lots of support.