Yesterday the AISNSW provided the latest updates from the NSW Department of Education to support efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19. Below are the ways in which these updates will affect BCC.
The following principles underpin these guidelines:
Schools continue to be safe and operations are in line with AHPPC and NSW Health guidelines.
All students should be learning on-campus unless they are unwell or have a medical certificate to support their absence.
Existing infection control protocols at schools, and new health and safety measures put in place will help maintain the health and safety of students and staff.
All activities permitted at school are safe and appropriate in living within the COVID-19 environment.
Schools continue to monitor and plan for any changes in local circumstances that may arise, including changes in health advice or local restrictions.
New COVID-19 testing requirements
In particular, I’d like to draw your attention to the fact that our staff are vigilant in recognising when our students are exhibiting flu like symptoms during teaching and learning activities and where identified, students are sent to the sick bay where they can be isolated. The ladies in the College Office will arrange for a parent or caregiver to collect the student and take them home.
If a student has been absent due to flu like illness, or develops flu like symptoms while at school, they are not to return to school until they have a negative COVID-19 test and are symptom free. The negative COVID-19 test result, must be sighted and received by the College before their return to school.
Our teaching and support staff follow the same guidelines with regards to their own health.
I would appreciate your continued cooperation to keep our College students and families safe and to play our part in diligently doing our part to stop the spread of COVID-19.
The NSW Government, on advice from NSW Health, has provided the following edict regarding music related activities in schools:
All school-related group singing or chanting activities and use of wind instruments in groups must cease altogether as of Wednesday 19 August 2020.
This is in response to the recent cases of COVID-19 in school staff and students in NSW and has been implemented to further minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission in school communities.
In the recent announcement, Dr Kerry Chant, Chief Health Officer for the NSW Ministry of Health, states:
These updated measures will assist us to achieve the NSW Government’s aim of eliminating community transmission in NSW, and will support schools to continue to deliver onsite learning. I thank you and your school communities for your support and ongoing attention to providing a COVID safe environment for all students and staff.
As a Christian College, our desire is to submit to the authorities that govern our land. Practically, this means that the following ensembles and groups will need to cease until further notice:
Primary Concert Band
Secondary Concert Band
Senior Primary Choir (Stage 3)
Mrs Turner’s Flute Group
Stage 2 Recorder
All group singing in classes, including in Music
Our String Ensemble will still be able to rehearse, although strict hygiene protocols will be employed.
I do hope that we will see a return to normalcy soon. I will communicate any further updates regarding the music program as they come to hand. Thank you for your ongoing prayerful support and understanding in this matter.
Have you noticed the number of feel-good television commercials that are currently playing, celebrating families and home and togetherness? Mums making dinners with their children, fathers playing board games next to a warming fire, little ones ringing their grandparents and sharing the joys of family connectedness. When matched with a soft-focussed lens, warm colour palette and a nostalgic jingle, it cannot help but to pull on the heartstrings……… and then you discover that it’s an ad for a bank, an insurance company or a computer manufacturer. Since when did banks become concerned with celebrating a home-cooked meal around the family dining table? When did insurance companies invest in images of family togetherness? Coronavirus.
The world pandemic has provided big corporations with an opportunity to rebrand as organisations that care, that celebrate community, families and relationships. I don’t want to be so cynical as to suggest that corporations don’t care about the terrible havoc that COVID is causing, but surely we have become socially bankrupt when the pain and suffering that has been caused in our nation and around the world is seen as an opportunity for marketing an image and positioning a brand. No major institution wants to be seen as the corporation that doesn’t care, so marketing teams have been working overtime in a race to ‘appear’ warm and genuine.
Society has reached new lows when the desire to appear warm and genuine is more important than having integrity, when making advertisements that celebrate family values is more important than actually supporting hurting families, when the words of a jingle declaring we’re all in this together is more powerful than actually labouring to build more just communities. We live in a world where story is valued more highly than substance.
As a Christian community, we risk falling into the same hypocritical hollowness if our story of hope doesn’t match how we actually live and work in our communities. As our time of crisis continues, it should not be a moment to parade piety but to live out compassion, empathy and selflessness. It must be a time when our desire to do good and not look good should be the only thing that matters. When the dust settles and corporations go back to their core business of making money, it will be the integrity of those who silently laboured that will shout the loudest.
I’m a glass half full kind of person and always expect for the best outcome in any situation. Usually, this is how I am without too much effort. This year I have had to be a lot more intentional about remaining this way. We have all had to face many challenges this year which we perhaps haven’t seen before and could never have predicted. I have been amazed at the resilience and hope that our community has been able to demonstrate during this time.
When thinking through the glass filling opportunities coming out of this year I can come up with many new blessings. I’ll share some of mine.
Inspired by a colleague who decided to learn a new instrument (the bagpipes – the ultimate of social distancing instruments) I decided to learn the guitar. I’ve wanted to learn my whole adult life but never made the time. It’s been a challenge but I’m learning. I’m not that brilliant, but can play a solid C, D and G chord! My cup is filling.
My aging parents live only 40 minutes drive away but in the normal business of life it’s often hard to make time to visit them. Enter FaceTime. The current context means we have been chatting often now with video and sharing far more than we did in earlier times. My cup is filling.
One of my cousins started a chat group for my cousins and their kids. I’ve got relatives I never knew about. Their life and stories now shared are enriching my world in ways I never knew. My cup is filling.
“They” say “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade”. Let’s see how we go filling our cups with the new joys we are finding in this season. My cup overflows. Psalms 23:5.
~ Our College Community, and our local and extended community during this unsettling ‘COVID’ time.
~ Year 12 as they prepare for their Trial HSC Exams in week four of this term.
~ Students who face significant challenges and who need to know His tender love and deep encouragement as they come to school. Please pray for safe friendships and for discerning teachers for them.
~ Our Principal, Executive team and the Board as they lead our College forward.
~ The many good things that are happening. Please pray as new initiatives become embedded as best practice and that our students will thrive as they participate in the life of our College community.
~ New students starting with us this term. It’s amazing to think that our journey through COVID and on-line learning has resulted in people wanting to join our community. God works through all circumstances – amazing!
~ Those ‘moments’ in Connect groups when students have asked the BIG questions – moments of relational connection that epitomise what we want to happen in our groups – and moments when it is clear that the Holy Spirit is at work, opening minds and softening hearts to Him.
In deeply challenging times such as these, we find our rest in the unchanging nature and faithfulness of our Heavenly Father.
As a Christian community we understand the significance and purpose of prayer. It is the heart-beat of our College. Together we boldly pray to our Father, through the work of His Son, in the power of the Spirit.
If you have a prayer request please complete the form here. We would love to pray for you specifically, and for your family, during this time of change.
‘We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express’ Romans 8:26b
Parents are invited to join our prayer group on Mondays at 8:15am and Fridays at 2:15pm, meeting at the flag pole after signing in at the College office. For more information please contact Ang Proctor firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0409 288 000. Everyone is welcome to join in.
At the moment we are covering the Year 12 students in prayer as they prepare for the HSC and their final months at BCC. COVID-19 has added an extra layer of complexity to their year, but we know that our God is faithful and He has a plan for each of them. We are praying for their studies, but also that they grow in revelation of God’s faithfulness and understanding that when we are weak, He is strong.
If you would like to volunteer to commit to covering two Year 12 students in prayer from now until the end of HSC exams (mid Nov), please email email@example.com.
Here are some suggestions for what ‘covering the two Year 12 students in prayer’ looks like: (a) When praying for your own children, include a prayer for these two young people. (b) Every time you drive into the school grounds, ask for God’s blessing and favour on them (can be prayed in your mind, doesn’t have to be prayed aloud). (c) Every time you wash your hands, ask for God to give them a sound mind, the mind of Christ, and strength to do each day well. (d) Ask God to give you a specific scripture to pray for them. (e) Ask God what He wants you to pray for them.