Online Info Hub: COVID Home Learning 2021 - St Joseph's Narrabeen

Online Info Hub: COVID Home Learning 2021

We understand this is an unpredictable and stressful time for parents and students alike. This page will be the one-stop hub for all home learning information and official updates from Catholic Schools Broken Bay (CSBB).


Welcome back – even if we are still remote! This is the final run of Home Learning and we can’t wait to see you all at school again soon. Today, Mrs Outred talks broadly about a few changes and the return plan. We hope everyone is feeling rested, restored and ready for this last push!


Dear Parents/Carers

When we return school for term 4 on Tuesday 5 October it will be the same as Term 3.  Schools are closed and children will learn from home with the Home Based Learning program.  However, schools are open for those students whose family circumstances mean they need to attend.  Please complete our week 1 Google Form if your child/ren WILL be attending school.  GOOGLE FORM – TERM 4, WEEK 1

The official government plan announced late yesterday is for an earlier ‘staggered return’ to face-to-face learning at school:

  • 18 October – kinder and year 1 return
  • 25 October – years 2 and 6 return
  • 1 November – years 3, 4 and 5 return

We are all looking forward to that day!

Kind regards
Virginia Outred


Earlier today, the Premier and the Minister for Education announced a detailed plan for the safe return to face-to-face schooling.

We would like to provide an update from Catholic Schools Broken Bay (CSBB) on our plan for the return to school and outline details of the additional support CSBB will continue to provide through Home-Based Learning (HBL).

Please read the full update here: Return to School Update

A message for families from Most Rev Bishop Anthony Randazzo and Danny Casey.

Dear parents,
By now you would know that the NSW govt has extended the Greater Sydney lockdown for another 4 weeks. This includes the continuation of schools closed with Home Based Learning in place.

Although inevitable, looking at the numbers over the past week,  it was still a disappointment to hear it officially today.
I know its cliched, but we are all in this together! You are all doing such a wonderful job at home, the teachers are receiving work regularly from most children. Remember, all you can do is what you can do with what you’ve got at the space you’re in now. We know this can change day to day. Please reach out if you need help with Home Learning or fee relief.

We also know that Covid 19 positive cases are in our local area including identified venues of concern in Narrabeen and Warriewood. Please refer to the Govt Health site for accurate information and follow carefully the instructions for testing and isolation if you are affected.

The CSBB has released step by step procedures for us as a school to follow if a staff member or child who attended the school becomes a casual, secondary or close contact. Please let us know if your child becomes a contact in any form and has attended school, so that we may act accordingly to keep our community safe.
Stay safe, stay well, stay positive!

Mrs Outred answers the most frequently asked questions by parents such as: Who can send their children to school, what to do if there is something you need and what resources and fee relief are available. Plus, she breaks down what a typical day should look like, how many hours a student should spend on their learning and why we have opted for a more flexible method of home based learning.

Dear parents


Dear parents
This morning, Lu Wilkinson told me about her experience with home learning and her son Paddy, who is in Year 2. Day 1 started with enthusiasm, even a bit of excitement for something new and different. It ended brilliantly – all tasks completed, both parent and child pretty chuffed with their efforts. By 10am on Day 2 there were tears, tantrums and meltdowns – on both parent and student side!

I feel like that really sums up this experience in many ways. It’s tough – we all know that – and it’s doing ourselves a disservice not to acknowledge it. Lockdowns are not created as a simple option – but they are a necessary option if we want to stay safe and healthy. The government has now confirmed a further two weeks at least of home learning. As a community, we are all working together and coping the best we can with these tough times so we can get back to better days as quickly as possible. It was concerning to see COVID appear in local locations today and yesterday. It shows we need to stay vigilant and aware. We also really do not want this spreading to our school and through our village – we want everyone healthy.

I understand that some parents need their child/ren to come to school, as they simply have no other option – we respect and support that. I also sympathise with the notion that  children need some socialisation, however this is not a forever situation and we do need to get through this uncomfortable period in order to lift the lockdown. The NSW government has made it very clear school is open for supervision of those children whose families cannot do home learning – that means it is not for a place of socialisation. I am also trying to protect the health of the staff at school by minimising contact as much as possible. For those who have been able to tackle home learning, we know you’re doing your best. And even if that ‘best’ looks and feels a bit lumpy and imperfect at times, that’s OK. Some days will be easy. Some will be exhausting. This will all eventually pass if we can do the hard yards now.

To set your mind at ease:
Students in Kindy-Year 2 are recommended to do 2.5hrs of learning each day (plus other learning like PE and religion)
Students in Years 3-6  are recommended to do 3 hrs of learning each day (plus other learning like PE and religion)

If you manage to get your home learning done for a few hours and your child has free time the rest of the day so you can wrangle your usual tasks and workload – YOU HAVE DONE A GOOD JOB!

If some days flow beautifully, and some days you need to just push where you can and call it quits when you can’t, YOU HAVE DONE A GOOD JOB!

If you’ve made all the most sensible and safe decisions for your family, with the information we all have, YOU HAVE DONE A GOOD JOB!

I am so proud of all our parents and carers, and our very resilient Joeys, for working so hard with this new set up. I know you will stick it out for at least another two weeks. This is uncomfortable, it pushes us all, but we will all work together as a community to get through this and back to better days.

– Virginia Outred

HOME LEARNING EXTENDED Until July 30. Please find update on the Home Learning extension here (and below).

ZOOM: Please note – There is not always a daily Zoom call for every class. Teachers will advise via email if and when you have a Zoom. Some teachers have instead provided a daily video, which allows families to check in and watch the teacher message at a time that suits them and the family routine. We appreciate that with multiple students at home and parents also working from home, along with limited devices, having a daily Zoom can add pressure, which is why we have made this decision.

Principal’s Update: Home Learning Term 3 2021
Mrs Outred talks about home learning and covers frequently asked questions like: Can I send my child to school? What will they learn at school compared to home learning? Will my child’s learning be impacted? And, how long will this go on for?

Parent Home Based Learning Info Hub
We will update overall learning plans here for all grades. The idea is that parents and students can get a clear view of what learning will involve. Please don’t complete the learning tasks here, use SeeSaw (K-2) and/or Google Classroom (3-6) to actually do the tasks.

A Message from Principal, Virginia Outred
Dear Parents,
Welcome back to school for Term 3 and back to a situation we had all hoped would not occur again in schools. However, we have proven we can handle this and we will get through it again as a community.

As you know from the communication you received from Catholic Schools Broken Bay (CSBB) last week and our Facebook (FB) communication, we are returning to Home Based Learning (HBL). This means that all children need to stay at home and learn via various online programs and communication set up by their class teacher.

School is open for those families whose circumstances mean they have no alternative but to send their children to school. However, all children whether at home or school will be doing online learning. At this stage it is for this week but all signs are pointing to a longer lockdown.

Whether your child is at home or at school they will be completing the same program. At school, your child will be supervised by a teacher, not necessarily their own teacher all day as teachers need time to respond to children learning at home too. Children will not be ‘disadvantaged’ in either situation. Last year’s home learning time showed us that children do adapt and respond to changes in learning.

Teachers are currently preparing for online learning and will send an email to you with details of how to access the learning. Please read this email carefully and contact the teacher via their email address if you have questions.

How will it start? 
All classes will have a Zoom meeting with their class teacher tomorrow to ‘see’ each other and for teachers to set out expectations about learning for the week.

The link and time for the Zoom meeting will be in the email from the class teacher later today.

There are some protocols for Zoom.
• Whilst on Zoom we ask that students are dressed in play clothes or their uniform if you’d prefer (not in their pyjamas)
• To be in a shared space in the home (not in their bedroom)
• NOT to be eating or drinking whilst on Zoom
• Video screen is on and mute is on. The teacher will invite students to unmute when required
• Children are the only ones onscreen, except in K and Year 1 when they need parent help.

Home learning is NOT like face to face learning in class. To reassure you, typically In K-2 classes students would not be expected to do more than 2-3 hours of ‘work’, and not all of this would be online. For Years 3-6, 3-4 hours of tasks, including online and off line would also be the expectation. The tasks will be flexible enough so that families can work out the routine that suits them best. Students in Years 3-6 can also contact their teacher directly via Google classroom. Your teacher will reply as quickly as they are able to.

Although daily tasks will be broken down for students on either SeeSaw (K-2) or Google Classroom (3-6), parents can get an overall look of what that is on the Home Based Learning Hub on our website.

If your child is coming to school and has an iPad at home they would like to bring in, regardless of their class, they can do so. The iPad needs to be a Gen 6 or 7, have a hard cover, be clearly labelled and fully charged. This will free up some iPad resources for those at home who may need them. Lu Wilkinson will be contacting families who have indicated they may need to borrow equipment.(NOTE: This has now been completed – if you require an iPad please contact Lu here.)

We do recommend that you do have some sort of routine in the day. A time to start the day, breaks with food, and play time outside etc. This will help you as much as your child. Remember, you are a parent first and a supervisor of learning, not a teacher. Do what you can with what you’ve got and please reach out to us if you need help. Contact the class teacher by email in the first instance. Teachers will be available from 8.30am – 3.00pm to answer queries. Be kind to yourself. We learnt a lot last year and this has helped us all in planning and setting up, and will no doubt also assist you with learning at home. We learnt too, that it all passes, we all learn in our way and we can all help each other.

If your child is coming to school, remember, NO parents are allowed on site, not even to walk onto the playground to deliver your child to school. There will be a teacher on the Lagoon St gate from 8.30am to greet and escort your child in if needed. Do not linger outside the school. We highly recommend the kiss n drop zone for this reason.

Most importantly if you are sending your child to school DO NOT send them with any cold-like symptoms. As per NSW Health guidelines, keep them at home, have a test and stay at home until you get a negative result and are symptom-free. Or if your child has an ongoing medical condition we should be aware of (sinusitis or hay fever for example), send a letter from their doctor.

We are here to work together – we’re ready to give it our all. We’ve got this!

Virginia Outred


A huge thanks to everyone who has had a chance to let us know your plans for next week. If you haven’t yet done so, you can quickly and easily fill in your intentions here .

Here are some answers to commonly asked questions.

Am I allowed to bring my children to school?
The official answer is “staying at home is highly encouraged, however, schools  will remain open for students who need to attend and no child will be turned away from school.” School won’t be in its typical format, with all students participating in a home learning program, whether they are at home or on school grounds. More on that below.

What’s considered an ‘essential job’?
Rather than drill parents on whether their job is ‘essential’ or not, we would prefer parents to make the decision for themselves and their family. If you have to go to work, you can bring your child to school and we will support you with that decision. We are all collectively hearing the same health advice in terms of trying to stay home where possible, and we are all doing the best we can, with the circumstances we have.

Can I bring them some days and not others?
If that’s what you need to do, then we will support you with that decision.

What will a day at school and a day at home look like?
The teachers are all returning to school/work this Monday. They will, as a group, talk very specifically about what the school day will be like during this period. As we stand now, we are focusing on the four days of home learning that we are sure we will face, and we will consider future situations as they arise.

What we do know is:

  • Students on school grounds will take part in the same home learning program as those as home.
  • Students on school grounds will likely be grouped (dependent on numbers), with one teacher supervising their learning.
  • Students on school grounds will have a different structure and routine than a typical school day but will still experience learning and lunch breaks as they usually would.
  • Students will group together to allow teachers time to also respond to and teach home learners and teachers will support one another to allow time to do this.

What do I need to do to prepare?
We will more specifically let you know things like Zoom catch ups and specific school work on Monday, once teachers have had time to execute plans. However, in the meantime, you can make sure your devices are charged, that you have the latest version of Zoom and/or Google Classroom downloaded, that you can adequately login to SeeSaw and Compass and that you have a space in your home for your child/ren to focus and work.

You can also simply explain to your child that things will be a little different next week for four days, but that their teacher is eager to work with them as always, and they will be checking their work just as much as usual. We know Joeys are hard thinkers and keen learners and will once again rise to this challenge!

What if we can’t complete home learning?
While we want to support your family and children as best possible, we also appreciate this is a difficult time and presents unique challenges. We understand that things won’t always be perfect. Do the best you can, how you can, with what you have.


Here is an update about the broader ‘home learning’ and lockdown policy.

At this stage, the St Joseph’s Narrabeen teaching team will meet on Monday 12 July (which was already a pupil free day) to put firm plans in place for the remainder of the week. Please expect updates from your teacher about home learning, which will commence Tuesday 13 July. This update will come via Compass and/or Seesaw. Students will be using either Google Classroom or SeeSaw. Links, updates and information will also be posted here for your convenience.

To assist with planning, we would like you to let us know if you are planning on sending your child to school next week, or if you will be participating in home learning. Please indicate your preference on this form. If you are sending on some days and not others, please just add that in the notes section. It’s OK if your reply isn’t perfect – any kind of indication will help us make the best options for learning.

If you are bringing your child to school, you will need to drop and go at the school gates. Please do not linger at the gates and ensure you wear a mask. Please note students cannot be dropped off prior to 8.30am. We strongly encourage you to use the ‘pick up and drop zone’ at the front of the school (Lagoon Street) and remain in your vehicle if possible.

Pick up has the same restrictions – please ensure you are socially distancing from other parents, do not linger at the gates and if possible, collect your child during the ‘pick up and drop zone’ at the front of the school (Lagoon Street).

Thanks for your patience and co-operation.

Using our QR CODE:
If you must enter the school, please sign in using the QR code located on the gates at both sides of the school (applies to all staff, visitors and parents).

We ask all adults to please wear a mask.

Pick Up and Drop Off best practice: 
Where possible, parents/carers should drop off and pick up at the school’s entrance/exit and not enter the school grounds.

Social distancing should be maintained by parents/carers and staff

Parents/carers should wear a mask and staff should wear a mask when interacting with parents/carers

Parent Update July 14 2021 Parent Update July 7 2021