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Dear Bairnsdale Campus families,

I must start this newsletter by passing on my heartfelt thanks for everyone’s support during what has been an unexpectedly interrupted week. As a Campus, and a town and as individual families we all faced challenges in the aftermath of Tuesday’s storm, most prominently a lack of power both at school and our homes. Some of us – including myself! – are still living without power at home. But after having to close our Campus on Wednesday and Thursday it was lovely to be able to turn the lights back on and for us all to return to school today. Well, some of us returned to School … I’ve spent the day in Melbourne with our Year 6 students at the Halogen Young Leaders day where we have all had a lovely time listening to speakers talk about the joys and challenges of leadership.

As I shared on VOS last week, I would like to pay credit to our parent community and staff for their positive attitude and approach to the new school year. With the exception of the storm, we commenced the year smoothly from ELC to Year 6 as a result of the preparation and commitment shown to our students by their parents and our staff alike. I have observed cheerful and honest interactions between teachers and parents, teachers and students and between parents, which builds trust in each partnership. I personally thank you all for your support and look forward to a terrific 2024.

The theme for our Bairnsdale Campus this year is ‘Creating Connections’, understanding the great value in connecting with others, what we can give and what we can receive in these interactions. The new School year provides the opportunity to build new connections, friendships, and support networks. For our new families and staff, connecting with others brings a sense of belonging. For our teachers, our first term focuses on connecting with their students and creating a positive class culture.

We have the opportunity to ‘create connections’ with the many events scheduled for the term, in particular, the first few weeks. Last week alone we have had ‘Meet the Teacher’, the House Swimming Carnival, the Welcome Fellowship and our Family Picnic. I thank you for attending these events and valuing our Community.

Through our Newbies Club, I have met with our new students, Jack (Year 1), Charlotte and Gigi (Year 2), Grace and Hudson (Year 3), Jack (Year 4) and Alec and Reece (Year 5), to check in with how they are settling in. They have told me they felt welcomed and have already made some new friendships. As a Community, we welcome all our new students and families.

Our Positive Behaviour Framework will continue to develop as we set the expectations for the year ahead. On review of our framework at the end of 2023 and on behaviours, we are particularly focussing on respect for our School equipment and property. We will work with the students to incorporate their voice in setting expectations in managing and valuing our equipment, both within the classroom and on the playground.

Our first Fellowship for the year included a welcome to all and the important process of acknowledging and inducting our campus leaders. Our Year 6’s stated their own leadership pledge, our Campus Captains Ayla Buckley and Blake Maxwell spoke of their aspirations in leadership. Our Green Team, Service Learning Representatives, House leaders and Bus Captains were announced and celebrated. We hope for them, both growth and understanding in their leadership roles.

After a full week of events, I wish you well for the weekend ahead.

Virginia Evans

Head of Bairnsdale Campus