Today marks the beginning of National Reconciliation Week, which runs 27 May to 3 June each year.
These dates commemorate two significant milestones in the Reconciliation journey - the 1967 Referendum, and the High Court decision in Mabo.
Reconciliation Week is a time for us to learn about our shared histories, cultures, and achievements, and to explore how each of us can contribute to reconciliation in our workplaces, schools and communities.
Significantly, this year marks the 20th anniversary of the Bridge Walk for Reconciliation, when people came together to walk across the nation to show support for a more reconciled Australia.
This year’s theme, In This Together, is now resonating in ways which could not have been foreseen when it was announced last year. It reminds us whether we are in crisis or in reconciliation, we are all in this together.
Identified as a priority is our commitment to develop and use knowledge of Aboriginal histories and experiences, cultures and languages, and family relationships to positively impact student wellbeing and achievement; and to develop respect for and understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their histories, cultures and languages.
Critical to this is increasing the capacity of our schools to work with Aboriginal families and communities that reflect a genuine partnership and appreciation of the strengths of Aboriginal students and communities. It is important that the educational opportunities we provide match the aspirations of families and communities. The recent video release, Building on Strength in Uncertain Times, models the importance of relationships and connection, especially at this time, and highlights the resiliency of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, the oldest continuous cultures in human history.
On this journey, we are all in this together and every one of us has a role to play when it comes to reconciliation. In playing our part, we can collectively build relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, histories and cultures.
Dianella Secondary College
Our journey towards reconciliation is long and must be grounded in truth. Therefore, today at Dianella Secondary College we acknowledge National Sorry Day.
National Sorry Day 26th May, is an important historical event, where we remember the past policies of forced child removal. Here, we remember and reflect on the sad and painful history of the Stolen Generations, whilst recognising moments of resilience, healing and the power of saying Sorry.
As Evelyn Scott, Chairperson of the Council for Aboriginal Reconciliation said on the 27th May, 2000, “In true reconciliation, through the remembering, the grieving and the healing we can come to terms with our conscience and become as one in the dreaming of this land.”
Sorry Day is held on the 26 May, since 1998, The first National Sorry Day took place a year after the tabling of "The Bringing Them Home Report" in Parliament. Having a day of commemoration was one of the recommendations within the report. It is particularly significant for those Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children who were forcibly removed from their families, communities and cultural identity to assimilate. These past government policies of forced removal remained in place until the early 1970s. The children, who were taken from their families, are known as the Stolen Generation.
Sorry Day provides the opportunity for our students to make connections between their classroom learning about the histories, knowledge and experiences of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples and the commemorations they will see in their communities.
Dianella Secondary College
I want to thank you all for your support in what was one of the most unusual starts to a school term we have ever seen. Together, we have been able to make the best of this situation and ensure your child’s safety and continuity of learning.
Today, the State Government announced changes to education based on a review of current arrangements and updated health advice.
As of Monday, 18 May 2020 all students are expected to attend school, except for those students medically referred to learn from home.
This means students are either:
Over the last three weeks we have seen 84% of our students return to school, which has been fantastic.
Current health advice states that schools remain safe for staff and students and should remain open. We want to make sure all children get the best education possible, which is why attending school is so important. We are here to make sure all children are learning and there’s no doubt, schools are the best place for them to learn.
For parents with medical advice that their child should not attend school, we will work with you in partnership with the School of Special Educational Needs: Medical and Mental Health to support your child’s learning from home. If you feel your child is in this category, please do not hesitate to contact me and we will work together on next steps.
If your child does not attend school without a medical reason, they will be marked as absent and will not be provided a learning program.
The extra cleaning and hygiene practices implemented at the start of Term 2 will continue and as part of the social distancing measures, we continue to ask parents/carers to drop children at the school gate and not enter the school grounds.
The State Government will continue to make decisions based on the best health advice. Thank you for your continued support as we move forward.
If you have any questions, please contact us on 9345 9200.
Dianella Secondary College
Dear Parents and caregivers,
I am writing to advise that our school has been invited to participate in research the WA Government is undertaking in partnership with Telethon Kids Institute. The research is part of DETECT: a larger study of particular groups in our community to determine the prevalence of COVID–19 in Western Australia. Education has been prioritised for inclusion.
Approximately 80 public schools across Western Australia will participate in the research. They represent a cross section of the community and include primary, secondary, education support, metropolitan and regional schools, and residential colleges.
The study will be rolled out across schools over the next few weeks. Participation is voluntary and consent will be sought from staff and parents, as well as students for the psychosocial survey component.
As part of the research, staff and students from 40 schools will be tested for COVID-19 at monthly intervals over a period of at least three months. These schools will be randomly selected by the researchers. All 80 schools will participate in the online survey component, providing information on how COVID-19 is impacting their physical, social and emotional wellbeing. All students, staff and parents would be encouraged to participate and TKI will work directly with schools.
I will provide further information, including a fact sheet from TKI, and consent forms in the coming days.
Our school’s involvement in this research will make a valuable contribution to better understanding the extent of COVID-19 in Western Australia and what measures are required to keep our communities safe during the pandemic.
Dear Parents and caregivers,
Term 2 has started on a positive note with a large number of students coming back to school for face to face learning. Our students seemed incredibly happy to be back and clearly appreciated returning to some normality. I am sure getting to see their friends again has also helped. The staff at Dianella Secondary College are also pleased to be back, doing what they do best which of course is teaching your children.
The decision to have your children returning to school has posed a dilemma for many parents. I am consistently asked, “What do I think?” by parents, friends and family. My response has been consistent from the beginning. I have been, and will continue to be guided by the recommendations of the Department of Education, the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) and the Chief Health Officer of WA.
They have determined that schools should remain open and that it is safe to send your children to school. They have also determined that staff and children are not at increased risk of COVID-19 by physically attending school; and that there have been no cases of student-to-student transmission in Western Australia and no cases of student to teacher transmission. I am strongly advising that all year 11 and 12 students re-commence face to face learning as soon as possible, however our school is open for all students.
With that said, we are still exercising precautions to ensure the ongoing safety of our staff and students which includes:
I look forward to a positive term and returning to some normality. Again I would like to thank you all for your on-going support throughout this challenging period.
I will continue to provide updates as new information comes to hand.
Dear Parents and caregivers,
I am writing to you during the school holidays to let you know about the arrangements for our school for Term 2 and what it will mean for you and your children.
These are unprecedented times and therefore, we will need to do some things differently in schools over the coming weeks, to maintain learning and to keep your children and our staff safe.
I understand this may be an uncertain and difficult period for you and your family. That is why the State Government has given parents a choice about whether their children return to school for face-to-face teaching or learn from home. It is a personal decision influenced by each family’s circumstances.
To assist with your decision making, please note the following:
The State Government is providing $43 million in additional funding to expand school cleaning, in line with the health advice. Cleaners will work throughout the day to ensure all high-use areas, such as benchtops, desks, doorknobs, taps and hand rails, are regularly cleaned and surfaces disinfected. Our playgrounds will be open and play equipment will be cleaned before school and after each break.
We will provide further information on how our school will manage this situation, ahead of school beginning on Wednesday 29 April.
These arrangements will be in place and reviewed ahead of Week 4 commencing 18 May. As always, State Government decisions will be based on the best health advice.
We want all families and children to feel supported and informed during this time. I thank you for your partnership as we navigate this together.
Dear Parents and caregivers
Firstly, can I thank you all for your support during this incredibly challenging period. The Coronavirus pandemic has challenged us all in ways we couldn’t have imagined. We have all had to make a range of decisions that has impacted the way we live regarding work and home.
The following information is a guide to how Dianella Secondary College will operate during term 2 until further notice.
Over the past 2 weeks we have been busy contacting all families seeking information surrounding their ability to have students study on-line. Teachers have been busy uploading work packages and associated resources to connect. If there are changes to your on-line availability, please let the school know and a hard copy of work can be posted. Alternatively, if you no longer require hard copies, please let us know.
Hard Copy Work packages
Hard copy work packages will be sent out via mail to minimize face to face contact.
A list of students who require these work packages has been compiled and will be mailed to you. Each work package will have a combination of assignments and assessments with expected return dates included.
Returning completed work
All completed work can be dropped off at Administration between 8.30am and 3.15pm. Large tubs for individual year groups will be sitting in the foyer, you simply need to place the work in the appropriate year level container.
Please ensure that all completed work is clearly labeled with the name of the student, their class and year group. There is no need to hand the work to a teacher, all work will be passed to them.
What does term 2 look like?
Term 2 will be the same as the final week of term 1. As a school we recognize that there may be some students who have parents who are essential workers who need to send their child to school. This also applies to children who are considered vulnerable.
It is important that students access the remote learning program where possible in order to minimize direct contact with other students and staff. As a community we need to remain vigilant and committed in reducing the spread of Covid-19. Sending students to school because they want to be with their friends is not acceptable. Students who do attend school will be supervised only and will access their work on-line.
I would like to send you all my well wishes and positive thoughts as we enter term 2. I will continue to update you all as new information arises.
If you do have any questions, please do not hesitate to call or email the school. If you require technical support, Ryan Demarteau, our IT Technician is available to lend a hand.
Thank you to all concerned who have helped Dianella Secondary College navigate our way through the most testing of times.
Our staff, both teaching and non-teaching, have been working tirelessly to prepare for term 2 which will move to an online platform.
For those students who cannot access the internet, hard copied packages are being prepared. No student will be disadvantaged.
As you would now be aware the Premier and Minister for Education announced changes to the school term, meaning students should remain at home from 6th April
and only attend school if they cannot be supervised at home. It is critical that students remain at home where possible and adhere to the strict social isolation rules.
Students attending school for social purposes must be strongly discouraged by parents and care-givers.
During this time, you can help support your child by:
I will continue to communicate with you in the coming weeks via SMS, our web page or Facebook as we prepare for any further changes to our learning delivery.
Please continue to communicate with the school via phone or email where possible.
I would like to thank you all for your support and patience.
Today the Education Minister, Sue Ellery, in partnership with the Department of Education, has announced that schools will remain open till the end of term one.
From Monday 30th March to 3rd April, children who attend school will be taught as normal. From 6th April to the end of term, students who attend school will be supervised only, no formal teaching will occur.
The Government recognises there will still be families who need to send their children to school during this period. These may include:
During the final week leading to the school holiday period, Dianella Secondary College staff will be preparing online learning programs and resources for term 2. Connect, Webex, an online conferencing platform, Office 365, which provides access to a range of Office tools and TV4Education will form the basis of our teaching. Of course those families without internet access will be catered for through hard copied material. I can assure you no DSC student will be disadvantaged during this unique time.
I will continue to update you as information comes to hand. This will include information to those students in years 11 and 12 and what this means for them. Again I can assure you that no student will be disadvantaged as a result.
Again can I thank all parents and care-givers during this time. I am incredibly grateful for the support I have received from our amazing community. I will continue to provide the latest information as it comes to hand.
Dianella Secondary College
To say we are living in extraordinary times would be an understatement. The impact of Covid-19 has been far reaching and extremely challenging for our entire community. As a school we are doing our very best to remain calm, while minimising the risk to both staff and students.
At this stage schools are to remain open, however if you decide to keep your child home, there is no penalty attached. Simply contact the school to let us know. Dianella Secondary College will continue to provide the latest information available via email, Facebook and phone. For this to happen it is important that we have your current contact details. Please update accordingly.
I realise many students and parents will be feeling anxious and concerned in regards to the impact this will have on student learning. For students in years 11 and 12, this is particularly challenging.
The School Curriculum and Standards Authority (the Authority) Board continues to monitor the impact of COVID-19 (Novel Coronavirus) and will be providing ongoing advice for schools as the situation evolves. We will share this with you as it comes to hand. However, be rest assured, that no student will be disadvantaged and all efforts will be made to navigate students successfully through the obtainment of their Western Australian Certificate of Education. (WACE)
Unfortunately, due to the large number of student absences, home packages of learning are not available at this time. Teachers are still required to deliver in class learning, it is impossible to do both. In the meantime, students can access the Education Department’s Learning at Home Resources via our website. For those students in years 7 – 9 additional literacy resources are available through Education Perfect (link via school website). Additionally, all students should check Connect class resources. I also encourage your child to read a variety of both fiction and non-fiction material.
I am aware that these challenging times has the potential to affect our mental health and well-being. As a result, we have created a link to a variety of resources and support networks for you to access. If you have genuine concerns for your child’s welfare, please call your local health practitioner or the relevant helpline.
May I thank you all for your patience and understanding in incredibly trying and unprecedented times. I will continue to provide relevant updates as they come to hand. In the meantime, please be safe, look after yourself and your loved ones.
Dianella Secondary College