From the Head of Junior School

Staff News – welcome to Mrs Isabelle Thomas and Yvette Leach

It is with great sadness that I announce the resignation of Ms Kate Ducardus from the Junior School, effective from 17 May 2019. Kate began her teaching career at Berwick Grammar in 2013 as a Year 6 classroom teacher. In 2017, after the restructuring of the school, Kate came across to the Junior School of the Berwick Campus and taught Year 5. In 2018, Kate decided to study her Masters of Learning Intervention, specialising in Special Education, so she worked parttime to facilitate that. She then stepped in to a Physical Education role, provided Coordinator release time and supported small groups of students through her work in the Learning Diversity department as well.

Kate has so many qualities of an outstanding educator: she works tirelessly, is honest, aims to get the best from her students and wants to further improve her knowledge through further study. As a staff member, Kate is friendly, reliable, warm and collegial in every respect.

We congratulate her on her appointment to Mentone Grammar to work in the Special Education department; they will be very lucky to have a staff member of Kate’s calibre.  We wish Kate well as she finishes her studies and for her impending marriage in June this year. We thank her for making a difference to the lives of many young children and their families along the way and for her contribution as a staff member.

We have appointed Mrs Isabelle Thomas to replace Kate until the end of the year. Isabelle has a degree in Biomedical Science and a Diploma of Primary Teaching. Her recent teaching experience has been at Harkaway Hills College where she was a Year 3 teacher and PE Coordinator of the early years. We welcome Isabelle to our community. She will be at school this week prior to Kate leaving as part of her orientation and handover regarding students and programs. I know you will join me in thanking Kate and welcoming Isabelle to our community.

I wrote about and farewelled Ms Elise Ryan, our Junior School Music Coordinator, in the last Campus News edition. She finished for maternity Leave on Friday 3 May. We are thrilled that Ms Yvette Leach has joined the staff to replace her. Yvette is not new to our school as she is already on staff as a flute teacher. Yvette has a Bachelor of Music Education, a Graduate Diploma of Education and is currently studying her Masters of Education. We officially welcome Yvette to the Junior School staff.

Mother’s Day
It was a delight to visit the ELC and Prep classes as the children paid tribute to their mothers, grandmothers or special females in their lives. Seeing the children giving their mum a massage, creating a puzzle together, planting a flower together or enjoying a cupcake or scone was so beautiful to see. I know the children in other year levels made cards, gifts and excitedly visited the Mother’s Day stall, run by the P and F, to eagerly purchase gifts.  I thank the teachers for facilitating these events and activities and must acknowledge the parent helpers who ran the Mother’s Day stall. The gifts were fabulous and I was tempted to shop myself! Thanks to Karen Bezzina and her team of helpers.  We must savour precious moments with our mums; I hope our tribute at the recent Assembly demonstrated how much we love, appreciate and respect mothers.

Restorative Practices
All Junior School and ELC staff have recently undertaken professional development training in Restorative Practices.  This conflict resolution approach aims to repair and restore the relationship between two or more children through developing empathy. It requires students to take responsibility for their actions and the potential harm they may have caused, as all involved talk about what happened in a respectful way. Teachers guide the discussion and support the students throughout the process which includes identifying appropriate follow-up action that is agreed upon by all concerned.

Ms Louise Sayar
Head of Junior School