Update, 11 June 2020

Welcome back to the whole School

It was wonderful to welcome our Year 3 – 10 students back onto campus on Tuesday. This week’s 97% student attendance rate across Grimwade House, Wadhurst and Senior School shows how much they enjoy being on campus, or perhaps this is an indication of how keen our parents are to see their children out of the house!

The staff and I have truly missed the students and the social interaction that is essential to School and community. Sadly, due to travel and quarantined restrictions, a few students have not been able to return to school, but we look forward to seeing them back on campus soon with our warmest welcome and ongoing support.

We all appreciate the challenges that have been presented by COVID-19 and the wonderful efforts made by students, staff and parents during off-campus learning. My warmest thank you to you all.

Resumption of cocurricular activities

The learning outside the classroom is just as important as inside the classroom. Hence, we are keen to resume our full cocurricular program as soon as practicable.

Our initial focus is on classroom learning, but we are planning for a staged return of our cocurricular program involving, camps, excursions, music and sport as soon as reasonably possible.

In planning the staged resumption of these activities, the health and wellbeing of our students and staff continues to be our highest priority. As such we will continue closely follow the advice provided by the Victorian Chief Health Officer for the following activities.  We acknowledge the excitement about the resumption of cocurricular activities and thank you for your patience and support as we work through the logistics.

APS Sport Years 5 to 12

The APS Winter season commences at the start of Term III with the first round of fixtures for Years 7 to 12 being scheduled for Saturday 25 July 2020.

The fixtures for the Firsts teams are available on the APS website www.apssport.org.au with other fixtures to be published as they become finalised.

To maximise participation the APS winter season has been extended to the end of Term III, meaning the APS Water Polo and Athletics seasons will have a shortened season, commencing at the start of Term IV.

I am delighted to inform you we are planning a Cordner Eggleston carnival for all Firsts Winter teams on the final day of Term III, Friday 18 September 2020. 

Outdoor Education

Subject to the lifting of restrictions we are keen to see the resumption of our Outdoor Education program. Announcements about Year 8 camps will be made at the end of next week. Advice about the Year 9 end of Term III adventure camps and the Year 10 Beyond the Gates program will be provided in early Term III.

MGS Snowsports

Whilst the Victorian Government has announced that the ski season can open on 22 June, we understand that the Government is continuing to work with the ski industry to develop plans as to how this will be managed.

Due to the above logistical constraints that are outside of our control, the MGS trials that were scheduled in early Term III have been cancelled. Once these plans are clearer, and in the light of our school operational requirements and program, School Executive will meet to decide the best way forward for the 2020 Snowsports season. Realistically, this decision is unlikely to be possible until the first week of Term III.

Creativity in action

During the period of off-campus learning I have been impressed by the creativity of our staff and students. We have enjoyed online debating and music competitions, a photography competition for students and staff and an APS eSports competition. The Senior School leaders ran a Strava App running and cycling competition for staff and students in which the combined distance run is the equivalent of one lap of lap of the world. Similarly, Grimwade House students ‘ran’ to meet Mr Helm in New Zealand.

The instrumental tuition program continued with lessons delivered via zoom. In Term III we hope to see a return to on campus lessons for all instruments and a resumption of choirs and orchestras.

Here are two videos of our Wadhurst Choir and Senior School Orchestra made during lockdown which I hope you enjoy as much as I did.

With my best wishes,

Philip Grutzner