Positive moves at St Catherine's

Year 6 student and school captain, Vaughan Gridley, enjoys learning from home.

Year 1 teacher, Yveie Tonks, during remote schooling at St Catherine's.

Staff and students at St Catherine’s Primary School in Berwick are finding many ways to stay positive.

Some of those who are attending school have moved out of their portable classrooms and are now enjoying fully refurbished learning spaces, as the school recovers from a fire that caused extensive damage in 2019.

Yet for the majority of students, Term 3 has seen a return to learning at home.

Principal Kevin Browning said that while remote schooling is challenging, the school community has embraced it.

“Remote learning is definitely running more smoothly this time around given our experience in Term 2 and the growth in confidence for students, teachers and parents.

“We’re in regular contact with the families, and we’re able to reach out to those who might be struggling and offer practical support and care. There’s also some flexibility in what we can offer, particularly for students who may benefit with onsite supervision.

“The feedback that we’ve received from students and their families is really positive,” he said.

Mr Browning is appreciative of the enormous commitment and effort teachers are giving to their work, and the creative ways in which they are adapting to the changed approach to teaching and learning.

“There’s a level of familiarity with it now. We’re taking it a little bit further in terms of thinking deeper about assessment and evidence of learning.

“It’s been an opportunity for us to fast-track the adoption of some great digital tools, and a catalyst for all of us to learn new skills and to explore new ways of doing things,” he said

Kristy Gray, a parent at St Catherine’s, said that the staff have been awesome during remote schooling.

“A huge thankyou goes out to the teaching team. It’s been such a challenging time for us all and I can’t be happier with the care and education my children have received,” she said.

Director of Catholic Education for the Diocese of Sale, Ms Maria Kirkwood said all Catholic schools in the Sale Diocese are working hard to provide students with a sense of normality, and to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

“Our school staff have exhibited a confidence in their craft – teaching, counselling and leading their students in new and innovative ways. We appreciate the efforts made by teaching and support staff and the hard work of families as our faith and spirit guide us through these unprecedented times,” Ms Kirkwood said.