After the success of the 2019 visit from the Paws the Pressure Therapy Dogs, Somerville House is pleased to welcome Monty the Dog as the face of the Little Paws Big Impact program.
Somerville House students are moving beyond the traditional 3Rs in the newly launched Somerville@HOME academic program.
Chicken and vegetable stir-fry and sticky date and pear muffins were just some of the recipes prepared, cooked and enjoyed together on Sunday (8 March) at the Back-to-Basics cooking classes at Somerville House.
|2020 Term Dates|
|Term 1||Tuesday 28 January – Thursday 2 April|
|Term 2||Monday 20 April – Friday 19 June|
|Term 3||Monday 13 July – Friday 18 September|
Tuesday 6 October – Friday 4 December
|2021 Term Dates|
|Term 1||Wednesday 27 January – Wednesday 31 March (Thursday 1 April - student free day)|
|Term 2||Monday 19 April – Friday 18 June|
|Term 3||Monday 12 July – Friday 17 September|
Tuesday 5 October – Friday 3 December
Following the announcements from the Queensland Premier and State Education Minister on Monday (13 April), Mrs Kiepe provided the School community with an update for Term 2 at Somerville House.
In line with the Queensland Government’s Stay at Home strategy, Somerville House will continue with the Somerville@HOME program on Monday 20 April, with an intention for a review of these plans on Friday 15 May.
This means that our campus will remain open for the supervision of children of the frontline healthcare workers and parents in essential services. A number of parents are in professions that are essential to community health and safety and are therefore unable to stay at home. Health authorities have placed great emphasis on the stay at home strategy to control the spread of COVID-19, so in that context, I ask that campus supervision is restricted to the families who have no other options.
Members of our corporate staff will supervise those children on campus, as they work on the Somerville@HOME program, directed online by their teachers. We will maintain strict practices to comply with the required physical distancing and hygiene protocols. As the School’s Tuckshop will be closed for the interim period, students will need to bring their own morning tea and lunch. Mrs Louise McGuire (Junior School) and Mrs Julie Brunckhorst (Senior School) sent separate email communications to parents to register for supervision on campus so that the School can schedule staffing rosters.
Consideration of the safety and risk to all boarders has led to the decision that we cannot safely open the Boarding House for all boarders in Term 2. It is not possible to reassure parents that all boarders living in the residential environment would be able to observe the requirement of physical/social distancing practices safely. A separate letter to boarding families, outlining further details, will follow later in the week.
Our teachers will continue to direct their focus to engage students in the online, blended learning programs for Term 2. Early next week, we will disseminate information about our continued focus on developing student-to-student and student-to-teacher connections, along with the pedagogy used to build important cognitive skills.
School routines in this time of disruption to the normal patterns of daily life are very important. Social connection through the ease of working with teachers on familiar subject content is also essential. Our educational approach must continue to be flexible and agile to be successful in the weeks ahead.
The School intends to continue to gather feedback from parents, staff and students, so that we may modify our approach with changes to the daily timetable and other aspects of the Somerville House classroom. Such changes will result from monitoring the health and wellbeing of our students and staff. Mrs Kiepe thanked the parents who have participated in online or phone conversations, providing the School valuable feedback.
Following updated advice from health authorities and as announced by the Premier, from Monday 11 May 2020, Queensland students in Kindy, Prep, Year 1, Year 11 and Year 12 will return to their school and community kindergarten. From Monday 11 May, Somerville House will begin a phased return to on-campus learning, starting with students in Pre-Prep, Prep, Year 1, Year 11 and Year 12. Children of essential workers and vulnerable children in Years 2 to 10 will continue to be able to attend school for supervision. For students in Years 2 to 10, the current Somerville@HOME learning arrangements will remain in place. The Premier has advised that if low COVID-19 transmission rates continue, students in Years 2 to 10 will be able to return to school from Monday 25 May 2020. Somerville House will resume on-campus learning for Years 2 to 10, pending the review of continued low transmission rates and advice provided by the Chief Health Officer.
It is recognised that some parents may choose to keep their daughter(s) at home due to concerns about COVID-19. It is the School’s intention to offer normal teaching arrangements on campus. It is not possible for the teacher to provide face to face teaching, as well as an alternative learning at home program, where parents elect to keep these students at home. If parents choose to keep their daughter(s) at home, please notify the staff shown below by 5.00pm, Thursday 7 May to discuss how we can support you with the responsibility for your daughter’s learning at home:
Somerville House staff will continue to implement strict hygiene practices to support the back to school-based learning transition. Such protocols include effective and regular hand washing, cough and sneeze etiquette, restricting visitors to the School and reminding you to notify the student absence line if your daughter will not attend school.
Parents and carers are asked to note the requirement for adults to maintain physical distancing of 1.5m at all times while on school grounds. Parents and carers should not gather in areas around the campus, such as carparks, at the school entry gates or outside classrooms during this time. Please make use of our stop, drop and go zone on the driveway loop via Gate 1 entry.
We will also implement additional cleaning practices to frequently clean high use touchpoints in and around the School.
Separate communication will be provided regarding the planned opening of the Tuckshop and Uniform Shop.
Somerville House is working with the advice provided by the National Cabinet regarding the risk management for re-opening our boarding house. At this stage, we are looking to implement a number of practical recommendations and plan to communicate with parents of our Year 11 and 12 boarders, as soon as those boarding details are finalised.
It is essential that you keep your daughter at home if she is unwell. In accordance with Queensland Health Directions parents or carers of any student showing signs of illness will be asked to collect them immediately from the School.
If your child is in Years 2 to 10, the teachers will continue to deliver the Somerville@HOME program, as they have since 31 March, to facilitate online learning.
Students in Years 7 to 12 will continue with the recently amended Somerville@HOME timetable arrangement, allowing for the last lesson in session 7 to commence at 2.15pm. This will allow for Year 11 and 12 students to choose to study on campus for session 7 or alternatively, they may sign out to leave for home at 2.15pm, thus allowing for staggered departures and reducing the volume of movement around our campus.
Our decision to resume face to face learning for Pre-Prep, Prep, Year 1, Year 11 and Year 12 is an important next step towards a phased return to our regular school routines and we will continue to update you as soon as any new information becomes available.
On behalf of all staff, Mrs Kiepe extends her our appreciation for the wonderfully encouraging feedback provided to our teachers and teacher aides over recent weeks. Kim is grateful to parents and carers for their continued support and understanding during the adversity we are all experiencing.