Barbreck Update – Hardest Working in Lockdown

Hardest Working in the World of Lockdown

According to SBS News this week, “Melbourne’s lockdown is one of the longest and strictest in the world.”

From this statement we could surmise that many Melbourne students have had the most online lessons in the world. If we examine the effects of these lockdowns, we discover that our girls have had over 150 days of online lessons since March 2020.

These lessons were taught by our amazing teachers – delivering a full timetable of 40 x 40minute lessons per week.

Lessons have covered all subjects in the National Curriculum and many of our teachers have been so creative and dedicated to the girls that we have seen Physical Education lessons taught online in parks and playgrounds, orienteering trails set up across our region for the whole family to enjoy, vegetable olympics, online cooking lessons and demonstrations, fantastic assemblies led by our wonderful Captains, virtual tours, extra-curricular activities including our girls singing together from all across Victoria in choirs, special events and challenges.

Throughout these times, our teachers have continued to provide wonderful care and interest in our girls’ academic and emotional wellbeing, as well as providing support for parents, whether at home, or as permitted workers with daughters in Essential Care.

If my calculations are correct, our teachers have expertly prepared and delivered over 1,200 online lessons for every class, equating to 12,000 lessons for the 10 Barbreck classes since last March. This is an amazing accomplishment given the time consuming nature of online lesson design and the degree of difficulty involved – with online lessons often taking more time to prepare than it does to actually deliver. Our Barbreck teachers do this because they are committed to ensuring our students continue to receive the high-quality education for which St Catherine’s is renown.

Now I might be very biased (I know I am!), but I would argue that given the information above, and knowing there are very few schools in Melbourne that have delivered a full suite of weekly timetabled lessons since the start of lockdown restrictions in March last year, that our Barbreck teachers and students are the hardest working in the world!

Congratulations must go to our teachers, support staff, students and our wonderful parents that have worked alongside their daughters, providing much needed support. Together, we have shown what can be achieved when we work towards common goals!

Hard times bring out the best and worst in people – it is reassuring to know that at Barbreck, we see the very best!

NAPLAN Results

Recent media reports are flagging Victoria as leading the nation in the latest NAPLAN (National Assessment Plan – Literacy and Numeracy) results.

The assessments are undertaken nationwide, every year, and they assess the four areas (or ‘domains’) of:

  • reading
  • writing
  • language conventions (spelling, grammar and punctuation)
  • numeracy

The results allow parents/carers and educators to see how students are progressing in literacy and numeracy over time – individually, as part of their school community and against national standards.

This year, Victoria was the highest performing jurisdiction on seven of the ten measures in the primary years, with Years 3 and 5 numeracy results the highest in the country. Students also improved in reading in Years 3, 5 and 7, demonstrating significant improvements compared to the 2019 results.

These results are wonderful, especially considering how long Victoria has been in lockdown over the past two years. The move to online learning has meant students are reading more, following instructions for themselves and having to be more independent in working things out.

Online learning has helped support the development of these skills, as well as students turning to reading for enjoyment during periods of lockdown.

Our Barbreck teachers have been mindful of focusing on core literacy and numeracy skills when developing their units of work and lessons, particularly over the past two years and, with the support of parents at home, our girls have benefited significantly.

This week, we received the whole of school NAPLAN data for 2021. Whilst we still need to distil the finer details of the data, we have again achieved outstanding results; similar to that of 2019 when we topped all schools in the region across the literacy and numeracy elements. The improvement in our NAPLAN results over the past two years is testament to the rigour of the academic programs in Barbreck. This is particularly a marvellous achievement this year following the COVID period and a reflection on the talent of our teaching staff and support of parents for their daughters school journey.

Out of School Hours Care – Week 9 Activities

Upcoming activities for Term 3 Week 9 detailed here.

St Catherine’s School offers an Out of School Hours Care program to all ELC and Junior School families. The program is implemented by our provider ‘After the Bell’, and operates within the ELC building. Parents are reminded that if you need to use the Before School Care or After School Care service, registrations need to be made in advance with ‘After the Bell’. Please allow up to five business days for your registration to be processed before your child can begin attending the program. Registration is free. All families are encouraged to register so that you can use this service in the event that you are unable to pick up your child.

Before School Care – 7.00am to 8.45am

After School Care – 3.00pm to 6.00pm

Registrations can be completed via the ‘After the Bell’ website.

Please phone 9758 6744 for all enquiries.

Ms Karen McArdle, Head of Junior School