Marsden's Coronavirus updates are posted here. We also encourage you to check the Government's Covid-19 website for more information, see link below.

Covid-19 Update – 14/10/2021

We are looking forward to welcoming Marsden students back for Term 4 on Tuesday 19 October.  As the Wellington region currently remains at Alert Level 2, I have included some reminders about Alert Level 2 at Marsden, and also an update on vaccinations for school staff and volunteers.

1.Alert Level 2 reminders

The required safety precautions for Alert Level 2 will be in place which include following all the recommendations from the public health experts. This means we will regularly clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces, encourage everyone to frequently wash their hands and cough and sneeze into their elbow, and have hand sanitiser available in classrooms.
 
While physical distancing is not a requirement in schools, we will be doing our best to keep students from congregating in very large numbers and keeping spaces well-ventilated.
 
Face coverings
 
Face coverings are not mandated for use when in schools in Alert Level 2.  However, the Director General of Health strongly encourages staff and students aged 12 and above to wear face coverings in secondary school settings to align with the requirements when out and about and indoor public places.
 
This is not a requirement for anyone in a school setting under Alert Level 2.  It remains an option for individuals and a decision for the individuals and whānau. Whatever decision students and teachers make, it is their own to make and will be respected.  Where an individual chooses to use a face covering they should supply and wear their own, and to do so safely. This option applies to younger children too.
 
Public health advice for those under six is getting children to cough and sneeze into their elbow and wash and dry hands. The use of masks is permitted but not actively encouraged. 
 
Any event or activity that brings people onsite who are not there for education purposes, including students, parents and caregivers, will need to have the rules for gatherings applied. I anticipate our end of year events such as prize-givings will be impacted by the continuation of Alert Level 2.  We will be in touch regarding alternative arrangements as soon as possible. 
 
A reminder to please keep any sick children at home. If a sick child comes to school, parents will be contacted immediately and requested to take them home.

Any parents or visitors to the school are required to enter the school via either the main reception area or the office entrance in the Primary school only.  You will be signed in on entry and asked to sanitise your hands. These two entrances will be for parents and visitors only, all other entrances will be reserved for staff and students.
 

2.Vaccinations
 
The response by New Zealanders to this latest outbreak has been strong, with high rates of testing and more and more people getting vaccinated.
 
If we were to have a case of COVID-19 at Marsden, public health authorities will want to know if we are a school with a high vaccination rate. This information will then be used as part of the local health authority’s risk assessment. The more highly vaccinated we are (staff and eligible students), the less likely it will be that we will have to close down for a long period of time, or we might not need to close at all. We are also doing our part by working toward all our staff being vaccinated.
 
We will therefore need to know if your child has had their first or second vaccine dose or is exempted from being vaccinated. This information will be held by us in accordance with the Privacy Act and will only be shared with public health authorities.
 
We are getting our data collection system in place and will get in touch with you again very soon regarding how and when we will collect this information.

I have attached some additional information to help support everyone who is eligible to get vaccinated.

As a school at Alert Level 2, all of our staff are required to have received our first COVID-19 vaccination by 15 November 2021 and we all need to be fully vaccinated by 1 January 2022.

The scope of this requirement is broad and includes all of the people who work at our school, such as teachers, support staff, contractors, visiting Ministry staff and volunteers. This breadth of coverage is intended to afford the greatest possible protection to our students, our staff, and our community.  We have many valued volunteers who will be impacted by this requirement, including many of you, our parents and caregivers.  We will be in touch soon with further information for you regarding how we will work with you to gather the required information.

It is looking like this is going to be a term where we will need to continue to adapt and change, but I am hoping that it is also going to be a term where learning and co-curricular activities for our students will continue without significant disruption.

 

 

Covid-19 Update – 13/09/2021

As you would be aware, the Wellington region will be remaining in Alert Level 2, until Tuesday 21 September. Although I am aware that many members of our community will be impacted  by the continuing restrictions, Alert Level 2 does at least allow on-site learning and many school activities to continue, albeit with appropriate public health protocols in place.  Our students have transitioned back into the school environment really smoothly after remote learning and are clearly enjoying being back at school.

Students undertaking NCEA courses will be able to sit their practice examinations under Alert Level 2. At Marsden these have been rescheduled to commence on Thursday 23 September and run through until the end of term.

Further NCEA support for students at schools disrupted in 2021

Further to the announcements on 2 September regarding support for NCEA students impacted by 20 days of Alert Level restrictions (this does not apply to Marsden students at this stage), on Thursday 9 September the Government announced further changes to NCEA for this year’s students which will provide assistance to our students. 

Students disrupted by 16 days of alert level restrictions this year will receive Learning Recognition Credits (LRCs) as follows:

•    for every five credits a student earns, they get one extra LRC
•    students at NCEA Level 1 are eligible for up to eight additional credits
•    students at NCEA Levels 2 or 3 are eligible for up to six additional credits.

There are no changes to normal requirement for Endorsements or University Entrance under this 16-day scenario. 

We are grateful for this additional support for our students as they prepare for their end of year examinations.

 

Covid-19 Update – 07/09/2021

We are looking forward to welcoming Marsden students back to our campus on Thursday 9 September.  This is a longer bulletin than usual and covers the following: 

  1. Ministry of Education advice regarding Alert Level 2 – including advice on face coverings and gatherings
  2. Public health measures that will be in place at Marsden – including procedures for students and parents
  3. Sport under Alert Level 2 – College Sport Wellington update
  4. NZQA advice about NCEA exams and practice exams under different Alert Levels
  5. NZQA advice about changes to NCEA and University Entrance
  6. Returning borrowed equipment to school
  7. School transport.

Note that our Remote Learning Programme will continue tomorrow (Wednesday), as will our school bubble for the very small number of students who have been attending under Alert Level 3.
 

1. Ministry of Education advice regarding Alert Level 2 


At Alert Level 2 there is low risk of community transmission and it provides us with a lot more opportunities to engage and connect with others. However, there are still a number of public health requirements we all need to follow. Please do continue to monitor your health and do not send your children to school if they are not well (and please seek advice about getting a COVID test).

For us, all the required safety precautions for Alert Level 2 will be in place which include following all the recommendations from the public health experts. This means we will regularly clean and disinfect high-touch surfaces, encourage everyone to frequently wash their hands and cough and sneeze into their elbow.
 
While physical distancing is not a requirement in schools, we will be doing our best to keep students from congregating in very large numbers and keeping spaces well-ventilated.
 
Face coverings
 
Face coverings are not mandated for use when in schools.  However, the Director General of Health strongly encourages staff and students aged 12 and above to wear face coverings in secondary school settings to align with the requirements when out and about and indoor public places.
 
This is not a requirement for anyone in a school setting.  It remains an option for individuals and a decision for the individuals and whānau. Whatever decisions students and teachers make, it is their own to make and needs to be respected.  Where an individual chooses to use a face covering they should supply and wear their own, and to do so safely. This option applies to younger children too.
 
Public health advice for those under six is getting children to cough and sneeze into their elbow and wash and dry hands. The use of masks is permitted but not actively encouraged. 
 
Events and activities
 
For most day-to-day activities at schools, the rules for gatherings do not apply. Under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Order, schools are exempted from physical distancing requirements when people are there to receive, provide, or support education services.
 
However, when very large numbers of students are congregating, such as at assemblies and when watching sports events or cultural events on school grounds, public health advice is that they should take place in well-ventilated areas or outdoors and spectators/attendees should be physically distanced.
 
Higher-risk activities, such as singing, dancing, congregating and talking, and shouting should be done in well-ventilated areas or outdoors.
 
Any event or activity that brings people onsite who are not there for education purposes, including students, parents and caregivers, will need to have the rules for gatherings applied.


2. Public health measures that will be in place at Marsden
 
In addition to our usual practices when managing health and safety, there are some specific public health requirements for Alert Level 2 that will be adhered to at Marsden:

  • Please keep any sick children at home. If a sick child comes to school, parents will be contacted immediately and requested to take them home.
  • Children, young people and staff will be far enough away from each other so that they are not breathing on or touching each other, coupled with good hygiene practices and regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces. There does not need to be a specific measurement but where practicable 1 metre should be used as a guide, particularly between adults.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available at entry to classrooms and in shared spaces. This is in addition to soap, water and the ability to dry hands in all bathrooms.
  • Students will be reminded to regularly wash and dry hands, cough and sneeze into their elbow, and try to avoid touching their face.
  • We will disinfect and clean all surfaces daily.
  • Contact tracing registers will be set up and identify which children and adults are on site, in each teaching space, including recording if there is a different composition of children and adults during the day. This includes recording visitors to the site, including parents.
  • We will respect individual choices regarding mask use by both staff and students and will encourage safe mask use.

Procedures for students: Students will be briefed again on Thursday morning on the ‘rules’ for Alert Level 2.

Procedures for parents and other visitors to the school: Marsden parents are used to enjoying a great deal of freedom to move around the school. Unfortunately, this will change temporarily during Alert Level 2 due to the requirements for contact tracing and physical distancing from strangers. Any parents or visitors to the school are required to enter the school via either the Main Reception area or the office entrance in the Primary school only. You will be signed in on entry and asked to sanitise your hands. These two entrances will be for parents and visitors only, all other entrances will be reserved for staff and students.

Jennifer Ioannou and Helen McConnell will be in touch with Preschool and Primary parents before Thursday regarding procedures for drop off and pick up of younger children.    


3. Sport under Alert Level 2 – College Sport Wellington update


We have received the following update from College Sport Wellington (CSW):
 
Firstly we want to emphasise that we are approaching the resumption of school sport in a safe and planned manner.  Furthermore, our priority is the students and ensuring their fixtures can proceed in accordance with the Alert Level 2 guidelines.  This will mean that no spectators are permitted at College Sport Wellington fixtures, while under Alert Level 2. 
 
This is particularly important given we are heading into the semi-final and final stages of various competitions, where we can naturally expect gatherings.  We want to ensure our secondary school staff and most importantly volunteers are not stretched beyond capacity as they work to complete the season for the students.  So we are asking supporters to do their part and help lighten the workload for schools, by staying away from fixtures.  Over the coming weeks we will work with schools and 3rd party providers to look at livestreaming alternatives for supporters.  We cannot guarantee this will cover all fixtures, but we will all do our best.
 
In order to provide certainty and a degree of finality for the winter competitions, CSW will look to have all current competitions completed no later than Sunday, September 26.  We will avoid using the last week of Term Three for winter sport, so there is space for summer sports to conduct trials etc.  Additionally, as a general rule of thumb we are only looking to play semi’s/finals and complete round robin games where necessary.  This means we won’t be pursuing lower playoff games i.e. 5th vs 6th
 
The Marsden Sports Department will provide information directly to parents and students involved in finals fixtures for winter sport regarding training and games for the remainder of the term. Please note that training will not re-commence until Monday 13 September at the earliest. Information regarding the commencement of the summer pre-season training will also be communicated directly from the sports department.
 
Note that we have not received information regarding other (non CSW) competitions yet. We will communicate this as soon as it becomes available.

4. NZQA advice about NCEA exams and practice exams under different Alert Levels


NCEA and NZ Scholarship Exams for any region at Alert Levels 1 or 2

  • Under current advice from Public Health, NCEA and NZ Scholarship exams will go ahead.
  • There are no restrictions on the number of students in an exam room as gathering limits do not apply in schools at Alert Level 2 but there is a requirement for a gap of 1.5 metres between students in all directions. We have sufficient space in our exam rooms to meet this requirement at Marsden.

NCEA and NZ Scholarship Exams for any region at Alert Levels 3 or 4

  • Under current advice from Public Health, NCEA and NZ Scholarship exams will not go ahead. Should this position change for any reason, such as having sufficient vaccination rates for students in years 11-13 and teachers/supervisors, NZQA will reconsider the viability of running exams at Alert Level 3.
  • This advice for Alert Level 3 has changed since last year – due to higher risks from the Delta variant of COVID-19.
  • NCEA candidates will be eligible for an Unexpected Event Grade (UEG for any region at Alert Levels 3 or 4 during the exam period).
  • NZQA are investigating the possibility of alternative date options for NZ Scholarship exams, should any region be at Alert Levels 3 or 4 when these are scheduled.

 NCEA and NZ Scholarship Practice Exams

  • On-site practice examinations can only go ahead only under Alert Level 1 or 2.

We are hopeful that we will remain in Alert Level 2 or lower for the remainder of this term, which will mean that our practice examinations will be able to take place on the rescheduled dates. Teachers have contingency plans in place to provide Unexpected Event Grades in the event that we are unable to hold our practice exams.
 

5. NZQA advice about changes to NCEA and University Entrance
 
On 2 September, NZQA announced changes to NCEA and University Entrance are available for those who accumulate more than 20 school days in Alert Level 3 or 4. At this stage these changes do not apply to Marsden students, however, this could change under further changes to Alert Levels and we provide further information as required.


6.Returning borrowed equipment to school 

Reception will be open from tomorrow (Wednesday) for the return of borrowed equipment. 

7.School transport

School transport returns to normal operations under Alert Level 2.

We are very much looking forward to seeing everyone back on campus on Thursday.

 

 

Covid-19 Update – 06/09/2021

As was announced today the Government has decided that we will move to Alert Level 2 at 11.59pm on Tuesday 7 September. We look forward to welcoming students back to campus on Thursday 9 September.

We are currently awaiting the Ministry of Education public health requirements around operating the school under Alert Level 2 conditions.

It is important to remember that it is safe for all students and staff to return to school in Alert Level 2. Schools are safe because hygiene habits will be strong and schools will put into place safe and sensible practice. Distance learning is available for those unable to attend school, for example who are self-isolating. The safety and wellbeing of Marsden students, staff and their households, will continue to be our priority.

I will be in touch again shortly regarding the Level 2 arrangements at school.
 

Covid-19 Update – 27/08/2021

Moving to Alert Level 3

As I am sure you are aware, today the Government decided that Wellington will move into Alert Level 3 at 11.59pm next Tuesday 31 August.  That means we will be open to receive students from Wednesday 1 September, under Alert Level 3 conditions. You would also be aware of the Prime Minister’s key message that if you can, you should keep your children at home during Alert Level 3.
 
We are expecting the public health requirements for schools under Alert Level 3 to be largely the same as they were last year, but the exact details are yet to be confirmed by the Ministry of Education. This would mean that students from Preschool to Year 10 who need to be at school will be able to attend from next Wednesday, but as the Secretary for Education, Iona Holsted, said last year “it will not be school as we know it”.  We will be operating under strict health and safety guidelines. 
 
It is important to note that whether students are learning from home or learning at school under Alert Level 3 they will be undertaking the same programme – our Remote Learning programme.
 
The detailed health and safety requirements for Alert Level 3 operation will be likely to include:

  • ‘Contactless’ pick up and drop off of students, with no parents or other bubble members allowed into the school buildings, and different start and finish times for different student bubbles of students.  Note that siblings will be allocated to the same school bubble.
  • Students remaining in the same bubble, in the same classroom, with the same staff, throughout their Level 3 attendance.
  • Different break times for student bubbles to ensure appropriate physical distancing.
  • Additional cleaning and sanitising of surfaces throughout the day and regular hand washing for all students and staff.
  • School playgrounds remaining closed.
  • Minimum use of school resources, particularly those that cannot be cleaned easily.

We will confirm the exact requirements once the Ministry of Education has released its advice.
 
Let us know if your child will be attending school under Alert Level 3
 
Please let us know by noon on Monday 30 August if your child will be attending school under Alert Level 3.
 
For students from Preschool to Year 8, please email Jennifer Ioannou with the full names and year levels of the children who will be attending.
 
For students in Years 9 & 10, please email Caroline Robertson with the full names and year levels of the children who will be attending.
 
Detailed information about the logistics and requirements for students who will be at school during Alert Level 3 will be emailed to you directly by either Jennifer Ioannou or Caroline Robertson.
 
Changes to Marsden exam dates and final day of classes for Years 11 - 13
 
As you will be aware, NZQA has made the decision to delay the end of year NCEA exams by two weeks, now starting on Monday 22 November instead of Monday 8 November. Because of this and our current remote learning situation, we have also made the decision to delay our school exams by two weeks. This means that school exams will now have a start date of Thursday 23 September (instead of 9 September) and they will run through until the last day of term, 1 October.
 
We hope that the extra time will help reduce stress around NCEA exam preparation. Because the exam period will run into the holidays, there is no opportunity to sit derived exam exams after the last day of term, 1 October. These arrangements will apply as long as we are able to hold face-to-face exams.
 
The final day of school for Years 11-13 before exams has also been moved by two weeks and will now be Monday 15 November.
 
Marked exam papers will be returned early in Week 2 of Term 4. With extra time in school in Term 4 (the final day of school before exams will now be Monday 15 November) students and teachers will have an additional two weeks together which will still give ample time to prepare for final exams.
 
We will be updating everyone shortly on any alternative arrangements to our end-of-year events made necessary because of the exam date changes.
  
The Big Sing Finale
 
Unfortunately the Big Sing Finale has now been fully cancelled. We have received the update below from the New Zealand Choral Foundation.
 
The NZCF governance board and The Big Sing committee have spent the past week carefully considering the feasibility of The Big Sing Finale and South Island Cadenza being postponed to another date within this academic year. We have considered numerous factors, including:

  • uncertainty around the length of the Level 4 lockdown and how long it might take each region in the country to return to Level 1
  • the academic pressure on students as they eventually return to in-person classes after the lockdown, considering the short amount of time left in the academic year 
  • lost rehearsal time for choirs
  • availability of venues
  • difficulties and costs involved in choirs rebooking accommodation and flights

 Taking the many factors into consideration, we have come to the disappointing conclusion that we must fully cancel the Finale and South Island Cadenza in 2021.
 
We will endeavour to coordinate some localised regional events for Finale and South Island Cadenza choirs to share their performances with each other if alert levels and school schedules allow, and will be in touch about these once we have a clearer picture of the likely duration of Covid restrictions. 

Thank you
 
Thank you for your continued support of your students and their learning.  We feel really confident that learning is continuing effectively, but of course we are looking forward to finding out when we will all be able to back at school under Alert Level 2.

 

 

Covid-19 Update – 26/08/2021

You may have already seen that NZQA has announced changes to the dates for the end of year NCEA and NZ Scholarship exams. I am sure that this will be welcome news for the thousands of students and teachers currently isolating in Auckland due to confirmed cases of COVID-19 at their schools.
 
The new timeline will present some challenges for us around our major end-of-year events, which now all fall within the exam window.  It will take us some time (possibly a number of weeks) to consult with students and staff and work through how we can best manage this. We will communicate any changes to you as soon as we are able to confirm them.  I am including all Marsden families in this communication due to the possibility that event dates may need to change across the school to allow our students to both complete their exams and participate in end-of-year events.
 
Some of our students may be disappointed by this news, as they will feel confident that they are able to continue learning effectively through our Remote Learning programme and would prefer to stick with the original dates.  This is a case where we really need to encourage our students to ‘think out’, and consider those who have already been significantly affected by the current situation, and those for whom remote learning is not as well supported. 
 
The following information has been provided by NZQA:

End of year exams and portfolios

The dates for end of year NCEA and NZ Scholarship exams will be delayed by two weeks, to run from Monday 22 November until Tuesday 14 December. Due dates for portfolio submissions will also be pushed back by 2 weeks.

These two changes will give students and schools more time to prepare for the end of the year.

Schools will also not have to provide Level 1 or Level 2 Visual Arts portfolios for NZQA Verification. This also means there will be more time for students to finish their work, and for teachers to mark it.

Mathematics Common Assessment Task (MCAT) and Digital Technologies & Hangarau Matihiko Common Assessment Tasks (DigiCATs)

We are delaying the NCEA Level 1 Mathematics Common Assessment Task (MCAT) from 14 or 16 September for two weeks – to 28 or 30 September. This will give students who were due to sit the MCAT more time to prepare.

At this stage, the dates for DigiCATs remain 20 Sept – 1 Oct and 18 – 27 October.

Other changes

As the length of time we are likely to remain in lockdown becomes clearer, there are extra steps the Government may take, such as reintroducing Learning Recognition Credits, or making changes to the thresholds for Endorsements and University Entrance. We are working with the Minister’s Professional Advisory Group and schools so that we would be in a position to implement them, depending on the duration of Alert Levels 3 and 4.
 

 

Covid-19 Update – 25/08/2021

I hope you have been able to enjoy the sunshine in some way today as you juggle all of your responsibilities, including supporting our students so well with their remote learning. We truly appreciate all that you are doing.
 
Just a few quick updates:
 
Preschool and Primary Father’s Day Breakfast
 
Unfortunately we will need to cancel this event, scheduled for next Thursday 2 September. Hopefully your family bubbles will provide plenty of opportunities for alternative celebrations.
 
Collection of learning materials from lockers – Years 7-10
 
Many of our students would have received a delivery of learning materials from Marsden on Monday.  I am incredibly grateful to our staff who made well over 100 deliveries right around the Wellington region. These deliveries included resources that teachers needed to get to students for their learning, but generally did not include items from student lockers.
 
We are now in a position to allow students from Years 7 - 10 to come in and collect items from their lockers, if there is anything that they really need (Years 11 – 13 students have been able to do this for the last couple of days). As we are at Alert Level 4 this obviously needs to be done in a very strictly controlled way, and only if absolutely necessary.  
 
Please follow these steps.
 
1. Call Marsden reception on 04 476 8707 to make a booking for a time to come in.  You can call from 8.30am tomorrow (Thursday), and bookings will be available between 9am and 4pm tomorrow (Thursday) and Friday.
 
2. When you arrive at the time of your booking please come to the Main Reception entrance, scan the QR code, and introduce yourself to Katherine on Reception. You do not need to sign in to the school system as we will have a record of all bookings.
 
3. Wear your mask, keep a distance of 2m from people, and, of course, no gathering with people from outside your bubble. Please do not come in if you are sick.
 
It is good that we have been allowed to do this and I hope having access to the things our students need will be helpful to them.
 
Sport update
 
We have received the following update from College Sport Wellington:
 
Having considered various scenarios and timeframes with the information currently available, we have determined the following for the remainder of Term Three:

  • There will be no CSW competitions this weekend irrespective of Alert Level settings.
  • CSW will not be offering regional tournaments next week (in lieu of the cancelled national Winter Tournament Week).  The lack of lead-in time and low likelihood of returning to Level 2 immediately means we will instead focus upon completion of the winter season and preparation for Term Four. 
  • In terms of completing the remainder of the winter season, these are the key principles we will follow in our planning:
    • Winter Sports won’t go beyond Term 3.
    • We will allow sufficient time for schools and students to train/prepare once they return to school, before competitions recommence.  Depending on the length of time away from school, this may be up to 2 weeks of ‘prepare to play’.
    • We will work with schools to ensure safe delivery of sport at Level 2, including whatever new requirements may be advised by the Govt. We are conscious there may be new/additional requirements which need to be assessed and understood.
    • Any current upcoming events (beyond the lockdown period) remain on the calendar, but may need to be postponed, taking into account the other principles.

 
Please note that this applied to College Sport Wellington competitions only, but we expect that the advice from our other sports providers will be consistent with this.

 

 

Covid-19 Update – 23/08/2021

As you may have heard, the announcement today has us remaining at Alert Level 4 until at least midnight on Friday 27 August. Remote learning at Marsden is going well at all year levels, and we are in a good position to continue to support your child’s learning through our Remote Learning programme. As you have been doing, please keep connecting with your teachers with any questions you might have.

A big thank you for taking the lockdown seriously and doing what we have been asked – we’ve seen before that staying at home will break the chain of transmission and save lives. It is even more important that we all follow the health advice because the Delta variant is very contagious.
 
Breaking the rules risks the health of those close to you, the wider community and could result in the lock down period being extended.
 
Please remember that the Marsden, playgrounds and school grounds remain closed at Alert Level 4.

AIMS Games update
 
We received the following update today about AIMS games.
 
For the second year in a row, Covid-19 has thwarted plans to hold the Anchor AIMS Games, with the annual intermediate-aged sports tournament cancelled for 2021.

The week-long, Tauranga-based tournament was to have started on September 4 but the current nationwide Level 4 lockdown means there is no way it could safely continue.

"We are gutted for so many people - for the supporting schools, businesses, the incredible code-coordinators, the national sporting bodies, the supporters and most of all, the athletes themselves," tournament director Vicki Semple said. "The sport coordinators have worked tirelessly for the best part of a year to build their teams and set things in place but our greater consideration is for the good of all New Zealanders and there's no way we want to compromise or jeopardise our wider fight against Covid-19."

For the tournament to go ahead, all of New Zealand needs to be at Level 1.  Postponing is not an option, with 25,000 people to accommodate, 1800 officials to organise and 29 venues to be available at the same time.
 
Looking after our wellbeing in lockdown - Marsden's Wellbeing Window
 
For our Preschool and Primary students
 
Wellbeing activities are built into the Primary school learning menu each day. One of the six pathways to wellbeing in our Visible Wellbeing SEARCH framework is ‘Strengths’. Using our strengths helps us to thrive.  In Preschool and Primary our students learn about each of the 24 character strengths by having a weekly character strength to focus on. This week’s character strength is Creativity, and our younger students have been set an exciting creativity challenge. I am looking forward to seeing the results of their creativity on Friday.
 
Mindfulness and yoga activities are part of the ‘Wellbeing Window’ each day, and our students also have a specific learning intention every two weeks, directly related to one of the SEARCH pathways.  In Weeks 3 and 4, the learning intention is related to ‘Emotional Management’: We are learning to ask for help when we need it. We will be supportive to each other and be aware of others’ feelings and emotions.
 
For our Year 7 – 13 students
 
During lockdown 2020, Marsden created a place in Hāpara dedicated to both staff and student hauora. Very much in line with Te Whare Tapa Whā, daily activities were added under the categories; Reflection and Prayer (taha wairua), Marsden Moves (taha tinana) and the Wellbeing Window (taha whānau & taha hinengaro). We know that for many in our community these became a valuable part of your lockdown routine, and we are pleased to relaunch the Wellbeing Window. 
 
Because the Visible Wellbeing SEARCH Framework provides six pathways to wellbeing, each day of the week has a specific focus. This means that across the working week, you can participate in activities across all six pathways. Here's a little more about each day:

  • Management Monday - using the Coping and Habits & Goals pathways, activities on a Monday are designed to help you feel organised and in control for the week ahead. Establishing this positive mindset will improve productivity and ensure we are better equipped for any unforeseen circumstances that arise. 
  • Tune-in Tuesday - using the Strengths and Attention & Awareness pathways, Tuesday is for paying attention to what our body is telling us, what it needs physically, emotionally or spiritually. By 'checking in' with ourselves, we can make decisions that will top up our wellbeing tank, using our top strengths as support.
  • What Went Well Wednesday - using the Coping and Emotional Management pathways, Wednesday is a chance to give focus to positive moments, achievements and experiences, no matter how small. Learning to acknowledge, savour and focus on the positive improves our overall mindset and builds that all important resilience.
  • Think Out Thursday - using the Relationships and Attention & Awareness pathways, these activities will seem similar to Tune-in Tuesday, except rather than reflecting inward we are thinking out. Thursday is a day for being aware of others, and helping them in any way we can.
  • Follow-up Friday - using the Coping and Habits & Goals pathways again, we end the week by reflecting on the past few days. This should include celebrating our achievements, expressing gratitude, and also acknowledging any necessary focus for the next week.

We hope our posts and other activities encourage your whānau to set aside a window to focus on your wellbeing while at home, and look forward to hearing how you find them. 

 

 

Covid-19 Update – 20/08/2021

You will be aware that we are continuing in Alert Level 4 until 11.59pm on Tuesday 24 August, which means the school will remain closed, and that our Remote Learning programme will continue.
 
See Remote Learning Plan, timetables, forms, resources, and Remote Learning in Action

Sport
 
Obviously in Alert Level 4, all sport and cultural events are unable to run.  We will look at rescheduling events as soon as we are able to.
 
We have received the following update from College Sport Wellington:
 
Following the Government’s decision to extend Alert Level 4 through until Tuesday night, School Sport New Zealand has subsequently announced that all sanctioned events on its calendar through till September 6 have been cancelled.  This unfortunately includes Winter Tournament Week, which will no doubt be a huge disappointment to the many thousands of students who participate.  Clearly this decision was not made lightly and College Sport Wellington supports the prudent approach it has taken.
 
At the regional level, College Sport Wellington will now confer with its member schools, regional sports partners and Councils on Monday, to work through various scenarios for completion of the winter seasons.  Clearly secondary school sport cannot resume at Levels 4 or 3, and only under Level 2 with appropriate safety measures in place.  Following the Government’s announcement on Monday, we will advise stakeholders of the next steps in returning to play.  Given Wellington is still at Level 4 until Tuesday and the likelihood of a graduated reduction in the Alert Levels, resumption of sport may still be some way off and therefore we will not rush into decisions.
 
I am so sorry to have to relay news like this to our families and students, as I know how disappointed many of you will be. Let’s hope that the measures that we are all taking to keep each other safe will be effective and we will be able to resume sport and other activities as soon as possible.

Other activities/events

ICAS Science 

ICAS Science (which was scheduled for Monday 23 August) will be postponed until the next sitting dates between 5 October and 29 October. 

The Big Sing Finale

The New Zealand Choral Federation has provided us with the following update:

It is with huge disappointment that we must announce that The Big Sing Finale cannot go ahead as planned on 26-28 August. The reality is that Finale can only take place if we are at Alert Level 1 and even (best case scenario) if we move out of Level 4 on Wednesday, we will certainly be at least in level 2 and therefore Finale cannot go ahead.
 
We are aware that most of you need to make a call on travel and accommodation asap so as to minimise any losses, which is why we are making the call now, rather than wait until Monday’s announcement.
 
We understand how upsetting this is for you and your students, after all the months of hard work that have gone into planning and preparing for Finale, including fundraising efforts. We want to involve you as we explore alternative options and will be in touch again next week regarding the viability of re-scheduling.

I know that this will be incredibly disappointing news for our Music staff and the students in Altissime who have worked so hard for so long. They have been eagerly anticipating this event since the exciting announcement of their inclusion in the Finale as one of the top 24 choirs in New Zealand.  I am encouraged that the NZCF is open to the idea of rescheduling and want to reassure all the students involved that we will do our very best to support them to attend if the event is able to be rescheduled.
 
NCEA Update
 
With the situation still developing rapidly, NZQA have let us know that it is too early to make decisions on any changes to NCEA (or University Entrance). However, they are continuing to work with the Ministry of Education, the Minister’s Professional Advisory Group and schools to make sure any advice to Ministers on possible interventions - if they are required - would be fair and proportionate.  NZQA is reviewing the situation to see if the dates for MCAT (14 & 16 September) should be changed. They will let us know when they have more clarity.
 

Year group, tutor and form class teachers, as well as our Deans and Counselling team are available if you have any questions or concerns. Our school Nurse, Janet Callaghan, can also be contacted for non-COVID related queries on 021 149 2552 or via email janet.callaghan@marsden.school.nz Please see our Staff Directory here.
 

Covid-19 Update – 18/08/2021

Thank you all for your contribution to the very positive start to remote learning at Marsden today.  Our priority has been to establish contact with all staff and students to address any issues with accessing our Remote Learning programme, and it appears that all is going well. Please make sure that you notify us of any concerns as soon as possible so that we can address them.
 
It is disappointing that we have been unable to run Yr 7 – 13 House Music this afternoon (we got so close!) and also that we are not able to gather socially with parents tonight as planned. Please consider both of these events to be postponed rather than cancelled.  Once we have more clarity around alert level movements going forward we will look at new dates.
 
Winter Tournament Week
 
This will be something that is top of mind for many of our students and families. We have had the following communication today from School Sport New Zealand:

With the country in Alert level 4 until Saturday 21st August, and Auckland/Coromandel until Wednesday 25th August, our timelines for making decisions are short, with Winter Tournament Week starting on Saturday 28th August across the country.

For clarity, no school sport is permissible at Level 3 or higher.

We will provide updates to all schools, school sport offices, and event providers as soon as we possibly can and we are working with key stakeholders as further information comes to hand.

Unfortunately, we face the real possibility of having to postpone Winter Tournament Week in its traditional format for a second year. This will be particularly tough on those senior students who missed out last year and I am mindful that our decisions over the next few days will impact on them greatly.

However, with around 30,000 students set to move around the country from next Saturday, participating in events with more than 1000 people present in some cases, ensuring our decision making is in line with the intent of the MOH and Government during a pandemic is fundamental. We have adopted a ‘play it safe’ mentality through our previous decision-making process with the mantra that school sport cannot be the vehicle for community transmission.

I will communicate with you further as soon as we receive more information from School Sport New Zealand.

College Sport Wellington sport this weekend
 
We have had the following communication today from College Sport Wellington.
 
We very much appreciate the tight turnaround if, even in the best case scenario, Wellington’s Alert Level is reduced for the weekend.  Even at Alert Level Two, schools and council facilities will need to have a number of measures in place with no preparation given the current Alert Level Four lockdown. 
 
On that basis, and in line with a number of club sports, we have made the decision that no College Sport Wellington competitions will proceed this weekend – regardless of the Alert Level setting.
 
Whether the games originally scheduled between today and Sunday are treated as ‘postponed’ or ‘cancelled’ will be determined following Friday’s announcements.  At that point we hope that the shape of the next few weeks will become clearer. 
 
Please note that this decision covers only College Sport Wellington events. I expect that we will hear about other competitions outside the CSW umbrella (eg. Netball) soon, and expect that it is likely they will be making similar decisions.
 
AIMS Games
 
We received the following information from the AIMS Games Tournament Director today:
 
With the country in Alert level 4 until Saturday 21st August, and Auckland/Coromandel until Wednesday 25th August, our timeline for making decisions is short, with 25,000 Anchor AIMS Games attendees arriving in Tauranga from around the country from Saturday 4th September. 
 
However, it is too early at this stage to draw any assumptions; we will continue to monitor this very closely and keep the lines of communication open. We will ensure our decision making is in line with the intent of the MoE, MoH and Government.
 
Despite the current level of uncertainty, we have our fingers crossed that the 2021 Anchor AIMS Games goes ahead and we create a positive and memorable experience for all.
 
Reporting Absences
 
If your child is unable to participate in the Remote Learning programme due to illness, please notify us in the usual way, just as if we were doing on-site learning. We will be following up absences in the usual way if we have not heard from you.

Thriving in Lockdown
 
Louise Kleingeld, our Visible Wellbeing Leader, has put together this poster for our students and their families.  Please feel free to share it with friends or family members if you think they would find it helpful. 

Thriving in Lockdown

 

Covid-19 Update – 17/08/2021

As I am sure you are all aware, from midnight tonight we are in Alert Level 4 which means that our school will not be open onsite tomorrow, for any students. This follows someone being identified with COVID-19 and who has been in the Auckland and Coromandel communities while believed to be infectious.
 
Remote learning will be commencing for all Marsden students tomorrow morning.  Our Remote Learning plan will be very familiar to most of our students and there is considerable information available on our website for anyone new to Marsden Remote Learning (see links below).
 
Preschool
 
Our Remote Learning programme will provide activities that take on the same or similar routine as our weekly programme. Activities will be provided for whānau to explore in the home by 9am via EDUCA. These include: Letter of the week, Inquiry related activities, P.E., Mindfulness, Music focused activities and Visible Wellbeing prompts.
 
Parents and children are encouraged to share their learning with teachers for feedback via EDUCA. 

We also look forward to meeting our tamariki each morning for virtual mat time at 10am via Google Meet. A separate communication will be sent with information regarding this.
 
Years 1 – 6
 
Our class Learning@Home Menus of online and offline activities will be uploaded to Seesaw by 9am each day in the section ‘Announcements’. The girls will be required to self-manage as to when they complete their learning each day. 

Class Google Meets 
All teachers will be meeting with their classes online at 10am for the next 3 days.
Note: please remind the girls to mute their microphones prior to beginning the Meet. 
 
Specialist Music 
Daily morning Music will be included on the Learning@Home Menu, exploring learning, listening, watching and moving to a variety of styles of music.
 
Specialist P.E. 
All physical activity invitations will be under the Marsden Moves umbrella in the Learning@Home Menu. 

Expectations/Support

  • Work will be marked by teachers throughout the day with feedback and next learning steps as required.
  • Parents and students are encouraged to email or message on Seesaw if they have issues and the teacher will respond accordingly. 
  • Feedback from parents about how things are going and workload would be appreciated.

 
Further information including hints and tips for parents and students can be found here.

 

Years 7 – 13
 
Each class has a Remote Learning timetable set up.  Remote learning in Years 7 – 13 at Marsden is a mix of synchronous learning times (when students in a class are all online together with their teacher via a Google Meet – according to their Remote Learning timetable) and asynchronous learning times (when students work independently on learning tasks set by their teachers – this occurs in the ‘gaps’ in their remote learning timetables).

 
Timetables and all of the other information you will need about remote learning can be found here.
 

Note that there will only be two changes to the published Remote Learning timetables for tomorrow (Wednesday):
 

  1.  All students will have form time or tutor time at 10.30am rather than care groups as listed on the timetable.  This will allow teachers to check in with all of their students early in this lockdown period and answer any questions they may have.
  2. Year 7 will commence their day with form time at 10.30am. All of our Year 7 students will be new to our Remote Learning timetables so this will allow their form teachers to give them a full explanation before they get started.
     

I know that the sudden news about this lockdown may be unsettling for many of our students, but please reassure them that we are really well prepared for remote learning, and that their teachers will be very understanding if things don’t go exactly to plan for the next few days (we know that many students will not have had the opportunity to take all the materials they may need home). We will do our very best to reschedule events that will not run over the next few days.

 
Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher, form teacher, tutor or Dean if you have any queries or concerns.

 
There will be staff at school until 10pm tonight if your daughter needs to come in and pick up any materials.  Please come to the Main Reception area.

 

Covid-19 Update – 24/06/2021

It has been great to see the flexibility of our students and community today as we have adapted once again to school under Alert Level 2.  Thank you for continued cooperation.  We hope that this situation will be short-lived and are very grateful that many of our large annual events were completed over the last few weeks before restrictions on the size of gatherings were put in place.
 
Here are a few brief updates as a result of the current Alert Level 2 setting:
 
Sport

  • College Sport Wellington competitions will proceed, but with a no-spectator policy in effect for all venues – both indoors and outdoors.  
  • Netball Wellington’s Collegiate and Junior Collegiate games at Hataitai this weekend will be unable to proceed due to the Ministry of Health setting up a Covid testing station at the Hataitai venue.  This affects Junior C & D, and Year 12 & 13 social teams.
  • The Year 5 – 8 Regional Cross Country Event scheduled for Tuesday 6 July has been cancelled.

 
Contacts of contacts
 
We have received some queries around ‘contacts of contacts’ or ‘secondary contacts’ i.e. those that are connected to someone who has been identified as a contact.  For clarification the current guidance is:
 
If a student / child or staff member have been in contact with a person who has been asked to isolate because they were in a location of interest, advice is on the website: https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/covid-19-health-advice-public/contact-tracing-covid-19

They do not need to stay home or get tested unless the contact becomes symptomatic at which point, they need to stay at home until the contact returns a negative test result.

If they have been in contact with a person who has been asked to stay at home and get a test after five days, they do not need  to stay at home or get tested.

If people become symptomatic, please get tested.

 
Reminders:

  • Please keep washing & drying hands, using the Covid Tracer App and using face coverings on public transport.
  • Current Wellington  Locations of Interest

 

Covid-19 Update – 23/06/2021

As you will have seen there has been a decision to upgrade the Covid Alert Level in Wellington to Alert Level 2 from 6pm tonight. At this stage Alert Level 2 is in place until 11.59pm on Sunday 27  June.
 
We are now readying the Marsden campus for compliance with Alert Level 2 public health requirements and working through the decision-making processes around school events which are scheduled to take place over the next few days. 
 
At this stage I can confirm the following:
 

  • The Careers Expo has been cancelled.  Year 11 were scheduled to visit on Friday.
  • The Artist in Residence Exhibition Opening scheduled for Friday evening at 5.30pm has been postponed.
  • The Year 9 and 10 Dance scheduled for 7pm on Friday evening has been cancelled.
  • We will not be participating in the ‘Pent’ sports tournament in Hawkes Bay. Teams were scheduled to depart on Sunday.

 
Decisions on Thursday, Friday and Saturday sporting fixtures will be advised to schools by mid-morning tomorrow (24 June). This will include guidance on the presence of spectators at fixtures.
 
Some reminders about Alert Level 2:
 
Schools are open.  At Alert Level 2 the disease is contained but there is still risk of community transmission.  It is safe for children and staff to attend school as there will be appropriate measures in place, including for children and staff vulnerable to severe illness.
 
Learning is onsite with distance learning offered in some circumstances i.e. for those required to self-isolate, those individuals who health authorities have asked to stay away while waiting for a test result.
 
Schools are not classified as gatherings and a range of events and activities can go ahead.  For most day to day activities at schools, the rules for gatherings do not apply, unless the event or activity brings people onsite who are not there for education purposes, including students, parents and caregivers, then the rules for gatherings do apply.
 
Face coverings are not required at school or on any school transport.  This includes charter buses hired by the school to transport students and staff.  Anyone who chooses to wear a face covering in any setting will be supported to do so.
 
Face coverings must be worn on public transport and are encouraged to be worn when waiting for public transport and in taxis and rideshare services.  If you are in Wellington also consider wearing a face covering when interacting with people you don’t know and where physical distancing is not possible. 
 
Sick people must stay at home.  They should seek medical advice if they have COVID-like symptoms, including aches and pains and get tested if advised to do so.  If that person displays relevant symptoms of COVID-19, tests positive for COVID-19, or has been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, they must self-isolate.
 
Schools must have a contact tracing system in place.  QR code posters are displayed at all Marsden entrances.
 

Public health measures that will be in place at Marsden

In addition to our usual practices when managing health and safety, there are some specific public health requirements for Alert Level 2 that will be adhered to at Marsden:

  • Please keep any sick children at home.  If a sick child comes to school, parents will be contacted immediately and requested to take them home.
  • Children, young people and staff will be far enough away from each other so that they are not breathing on or touching each other, coupled with good hygiene practices and regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces. There does not need to be a specific measurement but where practicable 1 metre should be used as a guide, particularly between adults.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available at entry to class rooms and in shared spaces.  This is in addition to  soap, water and the ability to dry hands in all bathrooms.
  • Children and young people will be reminded to regularly wash and dry hands, cough and sneeze into their elbow, and try to avoid touching their face.
  • We will disinfect and clean all surfaces daily.
  • Contact tracing registers are set up and identify which children and adults are on site, in each teaching space, including recording if there is a different composition of children and adults during the day.  This includes recording visitors to the site, including parents.

 
Procedures for students

Students will be briefed again in the morning on the ‘rules’ for Alert Level 2.

Procedures for parents and other visitors to the school

Marsden parents have once again been enjoying a great deal of freedom to move around the school. Unfortunately, this will change temporarily during Alert Level 2 due to the requirements for contact tracing and physical distancing from strangers.  Any parents or visitors to the school are required to enter the school via either the main reception area or the office entrance in the primary school only.  You will be signed in on entry and asked to sanitise your hands. These two entrances will be for parents and visitors only, all other entrances will be reserved for staff and students.
 
Jennifer Ioannou and Helen McConnell will be in touch with preschool and primary parents      regarding procedures for drop off and pick up of younger children.
 
Students who have visited ‘Locations of Interest’

A small number of Marsden students visited venues over the weekend which have been listed as locations of interest and these students are now self-isolating.  I expect that we are no different to many workplace and school communities across Wellington in this regard.  I was impressed by the proactive and calm responses of our students and parents to the very unexpected situation they found themselves in this morning.  We will be supporting the learning and wellbeing of these students during this difficult time.
 
Communications

Due to the evolving situation it is likely that there will be an increased level of communication from Marsden in the coming days and weeks.
 
Please do not hesitate to contact your child’s class teacher, form teacher, tutor or dean if you have any questions or concerns.
 
 

Coronavirus Update 3.4 – 01/03/2021

We have had a smooth start to life in Alert Level 2 at Marsden today. Thank you for the part you played in ensuring the students were ready for a slightly different, although not unfamiliar, start to the week.
 
We are now in a position to provide some further updates regarding events scheduled for this week, plus some information from the Ministry of Education regarding staff and students returning from Auckland.
 
Alert Level 2 – Staff and students returning from Auckland

There is no requirement for staff and students recently returning from Auckland to other parts of New Zealand to go into self-isolation. At Alert Level 2 schools are open and everyone should be attending. The exceptions are anyone who is:

  • Unwell
  • Self-isolating (at the request of health authorities)
  • Waiting for COVID test results (but only if advised by health authorities that they can’t return to school until the test result comes back).

Unless recent visitors to Auckland have been at contact tracing locations of interest at the times specified, or meet one of the above criteria, they must attend school.

Sport this week


Athletics – Zone and Regional Meetings. The Zone Athletics meetings scheduled for this week are postponed, as is the Regional event scheduled for 11 March.  Postponement dates will be advised shortly.
 
Senior Volleyball Tournament -  scheduled for 5 March. This will proceed, under Alert Level 2 requirements. 
 
Weekly Competitions Proceeding (No Spectator Policy)
The majority of regular weekly competitions will proceed under Alert Level 2 requirements. In terms of managing gathering limits of 100 people, College Sport Wellington has assessed each sport and made the following determination:

  • Indoor Sports – no spectators are to be present
  • Outdoor Sports – where social distancing can be reasonably expected/supervised, spectators are    allowed.  On review of our COVID-19 plans, this means that spectators are allowed at cricket, golf  and ultimate, but not Touch Rugby or Ki o Rahi.

 

Weekly Competitions Not Proceeding

  • Floorball - At this stage, we can confirm that the weekly Floorball competition (4 March) has been cancelled, and that the games will carry over until next week. 
     
  • NISS Rowing – scheduled for 5 – 7 March.  This event is currently ‘suspended’ i.e. it will not occur on the scheduled date.  Decisions around potential re-scheduling are still being worked through. 

Field Trips, Camps and EOTC this week

All field trips scheduled for this week are able to go ahead under Alert Level 2 requirements.  Teachers will be in touch regarding any changes to arrangements.

Looking ahead to next week

Year 5 & 6 Camp and Year 1 – 4 EOTC Week.  At this stage we anticipate these being able to go ahead under Alert Level 2 requirements. We will be working through various scenarios for the camp and other activities over the next few days and will communicate further to parents by the end of the week.
 
Please make sure that you get in touch with your child’s class teacher, form teacher, tutor or Dean if you have any concerns regarding learning or wellbeing as we continue to ride the ‘corona-coaster’.

Appendix 1: Alert Level 2 information regarding schools from the Ministry of Education

  1. Schools are open to everyone, and all children must attend.
    At Alert Level 2 the disease is contained but there is still risk of community transmission. It is safe for children and staff to attend school as there will be appropriate measures in place, including for children and staff vulnerable to severe illness. The exceptions are anyone who is:
    ~Unwell.
    ~Self-isolating (at the request of health authorities).
    ~Waiting for COVID test results (but only if advised by health authorities that they can’t return to school until the test result comes back)
  1. Learning will be onsite with distance learning offered in some circumstances.
    Distance learning should be provided for those required to self-isolate, those individuals who health authorities have asked to stay away while waiting for a test result, or those choosing to remain at home because they are vulnerable to illness.
     
  2. Schools are not classified as gatherings and a range of events and activities can go ahead.
    For most day to day activities at schools, the rules for gatherings do not apply, unless
    the event or activity brings people onsite who are not there for education purposes, including students, parents and caregivers, then the rules for gatherings do apply. This would include performances such as school plays, cultural events and sporting activities.

  3. Schools will close for cleaning and contact tracing if there is a confirmed case who was infectious when at school.
    We have remote learning plans in place at Marsden in the event that we need to close.

  4. Face coverings are not required at school or on any school transport.
    This includes charter buses hired by the school to transport students and staff. Anyone who chooses to wear a face covering in any setting will be supported to do so. Drivers and all students aged 12 and over are required to wear face coverings on public transport (as are the majority of New Zealanders).
     
  5. Sick people must stay at home.
    They should seek medical advice if they have COVID-like symptoms and get tested if advised to do so. If that person displays relevant symptoms of COVID-19, tests positive for COVID-19, or has been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, they must self-isolate.
     
  6. Schools must have a contact tracing system in place.
    QR code posters are displayed at all Marsden entrances.
     
  7. Fundamental public health measures continue to apply at every alert level:
    ~Physical distancing (not touching and not breathing on each other at Alert Level 2)
    ~Hand hygiene
    ~Cough and sneeze etiquette
    ~Regularly cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces.

Appendix 2: Alert Level 2 public health measures that will be in place at Marsden:

In addition to our usual practices when managing health and safety, there are some specific public health requirements for Alert Level 2 that will be adhered to at Marsden:

  • Please keep any sick children at home. If a sick child comes to school, parents will be contacted immediately and requested to take them home.
  • Children, young people and staff will be far enough away from each other so that they are not breathing on or touching each other, coupled with good hygiene practices and regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces. There does not need to be a specific measurement but where practicable 1 metre should be used as a guide, particularly between adults.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available at entry to class rooms and in shared spaces. This is in addition to  soap, water and the ability to dry hands in all bathrooms.
  • Children and young people will be reminded to regularly wash and dry hands, cough and sneeze into their elbow, and try to avoid touching their face.
  • We will disinfect and clean all surfaces daily.
  • Contact tracing registers will be set up and will identify which children and adults are on site, in each teaching space, including recording if there is a different composition of children and adults during the day. This includes recording visitors to the site, including parents.
  • PPE is not required or recommended as necessary in any educational facility by the Public Health Service. Some children and young people may choose to wear face masks. It could be part of their cultural practice to do so and to support their hygiene needs. We will encourage respect for individual choices.

 

Coronavirus Update 3.3 – 28/02/2021

As you will have seen, there has been a decision to upgrade the Covid Alert Level from 6am this morning. The Alert Level for the Greater Wellington Region is Level 2. At this stage Alert Level 2 is in place for 7 days.
 
We are well-placed to comply with Alert Level 2 public health requirements and are working through the decision-making processes around school events that are scheduled for this week and next.  Most school events planned to take place on site are able to continue under Alert Level 2. We need to give special consideration, however, to events that bring visitors (including parents and caregivers) onto our campus, and to offsite events.
 
The general advice from the Ministry of Education about what Alert Level 2 means for schools is unchanged, as is the approach we will take to implement this at Marsden.  The detail is included at the end of this document if you need a refresher.
 
Please remember that under Alert Level 2 parents or visitors to the school are required to enter the school via either the Main Reception area or the office entrance in the Primary School only.  You will be signed in on entry and asked to sanitise your hands. Please also scan in using the COVID Tracer app. These two entrances will be for parents and visitors only, all other entrances will be reserved for staff and students.

Marsden events involving parents this week 

Year 9 Father/Daughter Breakfast – scheduled for Tuesday 2 March. This will go ahead with appropriate Alert Level 2 measures in place.
 
Documentary screening – Keeping Our Kids Safe Online – scheduled for Thursday 4 March. This will go ahead with the audience capped at 100. Please RSVP as soon as possible if you are planning to attend.  If we are unable to accommodate everyone wishing to attend we will schedule further screenings.
 
Gala donations - We will be receiving Gala donations this week, but only to the school’s Main Reception.
 
Open Morning – scheduled for Friday 5 March.  This will go ahead in a modified format to allow it to happen in a safe way under Alert Level 2. 

Sport this week

Most sporting practices and fixtures can continue under Alert Level 2, but no spectators are allowed.
 
We are anticipating that there will be cancellations or postponements of major events scheduled for this week (e.g. NISS rowing, Girlzone Athletics) and possibly some local fixtures as well. Updates will be provided as soon as they are available. 

Field Trips, Camps and EOTC this week

Primary Swimming – scheduled for Tuesday 2 March. This will go ahead with appropriate Alert Level 2 measures in place.
 
Year 12 Geography Field Trip  - departing Monday 1 March.  This will go ahead with appropriate Alert Level 2 measures in place.
 
We will confirm other trips scheduled as soon as contact has been made with the appropriate venues.

Looking ahead to next week

Year 8 Camp – scheduled to depart on Monday 8 March.  We will be working through various scenarios for the camp over the next few days and will communicate further with Year 8 parents in the middle of the week.
 
Thank you once again for your cooperation with the Alert Level 2 measures.  The school is in good heart and we will of course be supporting our students through whatever the week brings, be that further Alert Level changes, cancellations of events etc. As usual, we will be hoping for the best and planning for the worst.

 

Coronavirus Update 3.2 – 15/02/2021

We have made a positive start to the school week at Marsden, despite the Alert Level 2 restrictions. With regard to further Alert Level changes, we are hoping for the best but planning for the worst…our Remote Learning programme is ready to go, should we need it.
 
Under Alert Level 2 most academic and co-curricular activities at school involving staff and students can continue as they usually do because schools are not classified as gatherings. Students will notice increased physical distancing in classrooms, assemblies, meetings and practices.  Off-site events and educational activities can also run if the gathering and public health requirements can be met.
 
If an event or activity brings people on to the Marsden campus who are not here for education purposes, including students, parents and caregivers, then the rules for gatherings do apply.  We will assess each event individually and do our best to keep as many happening as possible.


Who needs to stay away from school in Alert Level 2 regions?
 
We have had some enquiries regarding people who may have recently been in Auckland or Taranaki. At Alert Level 2 schools are open and everyone should be attending. The exceptions are anyone who is:

  • Unwell.
  • Self-isolating (at the request of health authorities).
  • Waiting for COVID test results (but only if advised by health authorities that they can’t return to school until the test result comes back).

Unless recent visitors to Auckland and Taranaki have been at contact tracing locations of interest at the times specified in the link, or meet one of the above criteria, they should be attending school.

 

Changes to Marsden events involving parents
 
Due to the current restrictions on the size of gatherings under Alert Level 2 and other public health requirements for external venues, we have made decisions about the following upcoming events:
 
Year 7 – 13 Parent/Tutor/Form teacher Information Sharing Meetings – scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday) afternoon/evening.   These will go ahead using an increased number of spaces within the school to ensure that gatherings do not exceed the allowed size.  Please enter only through the Main Reception and scan the COVID Tracer QR code. You will be directed to a waiting area, asked to observe physical distancing from other parents while you wait, and leave promptly after your meeting/s.
 

  • Year 7, 8 and 9 parent/form teacher meetings will be held in the iCentre.
  • Year 10 and 11  parent/form teacher meetings will be held in the Auditorium.
  • Year 12 and 13  parent/tutor meetings will be held in Sheppard Wake.

  
Preschool BBQ and Picnic on the Lawn – scheduled for this Friday afternoon/evening. These have  been postponed and will be rescheduled pending availability of the venue when we return to Alert Level 1.
 
Gala donations:  We will not be receiving donations for the Gala during this 72-hour period at Alert Level 2. This will help to minimise non-essential visitors to the campus and also allow us to focus our energies on the additional health and safety requirements of Level 2.
 
Year 7 Father/Daughter Breakfast – scheduled for next Tuesday 23 Feb.   At this stage we anticipate it going ahead, even under Alert Level 2.

 

Changes to Sport
 
Most sporting practices and fixtures are able to continue under Alert Level 2, but no spectators are allowed.
 
Cancellations for this week that we are aware of at this point: 

  • Touch Rugby
  • Year 7 & 8 Waterpolo

Face Coverings

Drivers and all students aged 12 and over are required to wear face coverings on public transport (as are the majority of New Zealanders).
 
Drivers and students on all other school buses do not have to wear a face covering if you do not want to. This includes buses or vans chartered or used by schools to carry children, students and staff where everyone knows each other.

Contact Tracing

Marsden has QR code posters for the NZ COVID Tracer App displayed around the school. Every time you come onto the school grounds for pick up or drop off please make sure that you scan the QR code.  If you are not coming into the buildings, this will be sufficient for contact tracing purposes. If you are coming in, please enter  the school via either the main reception area or the office entrance in the primary school only where you will be asked to sign in.
 
If you cannot use the NZ COVID Tracer App, please let us know so that we can advise you on the best way to register and, as always, please make sure that you have updated your contact details with us if they have recently changed.
 
As always, please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or Dean if you have any concerns.

 

Coronavirus Update 3.1 – Alert Level 2 At Marsden – 14/02/2021

As you will have seen there has been a decision to upgrade the COVID Alert Level from 11.59pm tonight. The Alert Level for the Greater Wellington Region is Level 2 from 11.59pm tonightSunday 14 February.  At this stage Alert Level 2 is in place until 11.59pm on Wednesday 17 February.
 
Tomorrow morning at Marsden we will be readying the campus for compliance with Alert Level 2 public health requirements and working through the decision-making processes around school events which are scheduled to take place over the next few days.  Please note that the Year 6 Leadership Assembly scheduled for tomorrow morning will be postponed to next Monday 22 February. 
 
We have received the following information this evening from the Ministry of Education: 
 

  1. Schools are open to everyone, and all children must attend.
    At Alert Level 2 the disease is contained but there is still risk of community transmission. It is safe for children and staff to attend school as there will be appropriate measures in place, including for children and staff vulnerable to severe illness.

  2. Learning will be onsite with distance learning offered in some circumstances.
    Distance learning should be provided for those required to self-isolate, those individuals who health authorities have asked to stay away while waiting for a test result, or those choosing to remain at home because they are vulnerable to illness.

  3. Schools are not classified as gatherings and a range of events and activities can go ahead. 
    For most day to day activities at schools, the rules for gatherings do not apply, unless the event or activity brings people onsite who are not there for education purposes, including students, parents and caregivers, then the rules for gatherings do apply. This would include performances such as school plays, cultural events and sporting activities.

  4. Schools will close for cleaning and contact tracing if there is a confirmed case who was infectious when at school.
    We have remote learning plans in place at Marsden in the event that we need to close.

  5. Face coverings are not required at school or on any school transport.
    This includes charter buses hired by the school to transport students and staff. Anyone who chooses to wear a face covering in any setting will be supported to do so.

  6. Sick people must stay at home.
    They should seek medical advice if they have COVID-like symptoms and get tested if advised to do so. If that person displays relevant symptoms of COVID-19, tests positive for COVID-19, or has been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, they must self-isolate.

  7. Schools must have a contact tracing system in place.
    QR code posters are displayed at all Marsden entrances.

  8. Fundamental public health measures continue to apply at every alert level:
  • Physical distancing (not touching and not breathing on each other at Alert Level 2)
  • Hand hygiene
  • Cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Regularly cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces.


Public Health measures that will take place at Marsden 

In addition to our usual practices when managing health and safety, there are some specific public health requirements for Alert Level 2 that will be adhered to at Marsden:

  • Please keep any sick children at home. If a sick child comes to school, parents will be contacted immediately and requested to take them home.
  • Children, young people and staff will be far enough away from each other so that they are not breathing on or touching each other, coupled with good hygiene practices and regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces. There does not need to be a specific measurement but where practicable 1 metre should be used as a guide, particularly between adults.
  • Hand sanitiser will be available at entry to class rooms and in shared spaces. This is in addition to  soap, water and the ability to dry hands in all bathrooms.
  • Children and young people will be reminded to regularly wash and dry hands, cough and sneeze into their elbow, and try to avoid touching their face.
  • We will disinfect and clean all surfaces daily.
  • Contact tracing registers will be set up and identify which children and adults are on site, in each teaching space, including recording if there is a different composition of children and adults during the day. This includes recording visitors to the site, including parents.
  • PPE is not required or recommended as necessary in any educational facility by the Public Health Service. Some children and young people may choose to wear face masks. It could be part of their cultural practice to do so and to support their hygiene needs. We will encourage respect for individual choices.


Procedures for students


Students will be briefed again in the morning on the ‘rules’ for Alert Level 2.

Procedures for parents and other visitors to the school
 
Marsden parents have once again been enjoying a great deal of freedom to move around the school. Unfortunately, this will change temporarily during Alert Level 2 due to the requirements for contact tracing and physical distancing from strangers. Any parents or visitors to the school are required to enter the school via either the Main Reception area or the office entrance in the Primary School only. You will be signed in on entry and asked to sanitise your hands. These two entrances will be for parents and visitors only, all other entrances will be reserved for staff and students.
 
Jennifer Ioannou and Helen McConnell will be in touch with Preschool and Primary parents regarding procedures for drop off and pick up of younger children. However, tomorrow morning, the teachers will be at the Primary and Preschool student entrances to receive your children.
 
Monitoring the wellbeing of our students
 
We are aware that there will be a big range of emotional responses to today’s news and the imposition of further restrictions… from the students and from ourselves. It’s good to remind ourselves and our children that it is ok to be sad, disappointed, worried, etc. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t still be strong, resilient, kind and caring. Tomorrow morning staff will be taking some time to discuss with the students how they are feeling, and what strategies they have to respond, and most importantly, how they can look after each other and contribute to wellbeing at school and in their families.
 
Communications
 
Due to the evolving situation it is likely that there will be an increased level of communication from Marsden in the coming days and weeks. Stay tuned and stay safe.

 

Coronavirus Update 2.7 – 22/09/2020

It was good news yesterday regarding our move back to Alert Level 1. At Marsden, there will be no major changes to what we are currently doing and our school continues to be safe to attend, including for any staff and children who are considered more vulnerable to COVID-19. We have a good cleaning routine in place, people who are sick are staying at home and we continue to encourage good hygiene practices.
 
What that means for us is:

  • Students and staff will continue to be encouraged to regularly wash and dry hands, sneeze and cough into elbows.
  • We will regularly disinfect shared surfaces.
  • If a child or staff member is sick, they should stay home. If they have cold or flu symptoms they should call their doctor or Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice about getting tested. If recommended to get tested, they should do so.
  • We will continue to support contact tracing efforts by displaying QR Code posters for the NZ COVID Tracer App at our entrances. All school entrances are now available to parents.
  • Face coverings continue not to be required when in school. This includes school transport and charter buses hired by the school to transport students and staff to and from school. Anyone who chooses to wear a face covering in any setting will be supported to do so.

What is changing is that we can now reintroduce whole-school assemblies, spectators at school and community sport, and audiences at cultural events and performances. There are a number of events for senior students which have been rescheduled to occur early in Term 4. There is a small window of opportunity for these events before the focus needs to shift to exams and we are hoping that Alert Level 1 remains in place to allow these to occur.

Exams at Alert Levels 1, 2 and 3

We have been informed by the Ministry of Education that all exams including NCEA, Scholarship, Cambridge and International Baccalaureate exams are able to proceed at Alert Levels 1, 2 and 3.
 
In the unlikely case that a region or regions were placed under Alert Level 4, exams will not be able to go ahead in those regions as schools are not open onsite at that level.
 
At Marsden we are planning for the most stringent requirements of a Level 3 scenario for NCEA and Scholarship exams and are confident that will be able to meet all requirements at this level. Students and parents will be provided with more detailed information regarding the measures which will be in place closer to the exam period.
 
Thank you for your patience and cooperation with the Alert Level 2 measures over the last few weeks. I know that our Primary parents in particular will be looking forward to being able to be in their daughter’s classrooms again. I look forward to seeing you soon and wish you all the best for a restful term break.

 

Coronavirus Update – Face coverings on school transport – 28/08/2020

You are probably aware the Prime Minister has announced that face coverings will be required on public transport from next Monday, at Alert Level 2 and above. We have been informed by the Ministry of Education that this does not apply to any child who is under 12 years of age and does not apply to school transport (we have good systems in place to manage safety on school transport).
 
Public Health officials have advised that children under the age of 6 should not wear face coverings.
 
Children and young people do not need to wear face coverings at school. Other public health control measures are in place including children and staff staying home if they are sick, contact tracing, and hygiene requirements.
 
If your child doesn’t need to wear a face covering but they want to, that’s fine, but it is important that they know how to use it safely. The Ministry of Health website has helpful information on using masks safely.
 
Face coverings are another way we can help keep ourselves and others safe, along with good hand hygiene, cough and sneeze etiquette, appropriate physical distancing when out and about and staying home if we are sick.
 
We’re continuing contact tracing by having QR code posters at our entrances, so please check in every time you come onsite.
 
If you haven’t already downloaded the NZ COVID Tracer app the Ministry of Health’s website has information to help you do that. We’ll also keep a visitor register for anyone who doesn’t have the app and also for anyone who comes onsite for a period of time. This will help us with contact tracing in the unlikely case it is needed.

If you have any questions about face coverings or anything else, please get in touch.

 

Coronavirus Update 2.5 – 25/08/2020

Following the announcement from the Prime Minister yesterday, we will remain at Alert Level 2 at least until Sunday 6 September. This will impact a number of events planned for next week, including our Primary Father’s Day breakfast (postponed to the first available date in Level 1), the second round of Learning Progress Interviews for students in Years 7–13 (going ahead as scheduled on Zoom) and the College Sport Wellington regional netball tournament (which has been cancelled).  We will unfortunately also have two more weekends where sport will be able to go ahead but no spectators will be allowed on the side-lines.
 
We know that the Alert Level 2 restrictions are in place to keep our community as safe as possible and are grateful every day that our students are able to attend school and play sport.  
 
We have had some questions about the requirement to wear face coverings on public transport, and whether this will apply to school transport.
 
The Minister of Health announced today that he would set out more details on Thursday including how the rules will work in practice on public transport and what will be asked of passengers and operators. Minister Hipkins will announce at the same time what requirements will be in place for school transport.
 
We expect to receive  specific advice and guidance from the Ministry of Education soon after that announcement and will pass this on to you.
 
Guidance for the requirement to wear face coverings on public transport is also being developed by the Ministry of Transport and Waka Kotahi | New Zealand Transport Agency.

Just a reminder that while everyone is onsite at Alert Level 2, we must adhere to key health measures including:

  • Good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Staying away if sick
  • Keeping the appropriate physical distance from others
  • Cleaning and disinfecting our high touch surfaces daily
  • Displaying QR code posters at our entrances and encouraging all of our community to download the NZ COVID Tracer App and use it if they come onsite
  • Keeping a visitor register for anyone who cannot use the app and for other visitors who come onsite for a period of time.

For those of you who might be finding things more difficult than usual, a reminder that there is a large range of support available for businesses and the community. We encourage you to go to covid19.govt.nz for more information, or get in touch and we will help you to find the information and support you need.

 

Coronavirus Update 2.4 – 21/08/2020

I would like to thank you for your continued support of the public health measures we have in place at Marsden during Alert Level 2. It has been another smooth week at school and we have taken the opportunity to work on some ‘Plan B’ scenarios for events we have had to postpone due to the current restrictions on gatherings. As soon as know when we will be moving back into Alert Level 1 we will provide you with an update.
 
While most of us are familiar with requirements at Alert Level 2, we will continue to emphasise the importance of:

  • Good hand hygiene and cough and sneeze etiquette
  • Staying away if sick
  • Keeping the appropriate physical distance from others
  • Cleaning and disinfecting our high touch surfaces daily
  • Displaying QR code posters at our entrances and encouraging all of our community to download the NZ COVID Tracer App and use it if they come on-site
  • Keeping a visitor register for anyone who cannot use the app and for other essential visitors

We know all these things will help to keep our community as safe as possible. Because of these measures being in place, your child does not need to wear a face covering while at school.
 
In this update you will find further information regarding the following:

  • Public health advice about face coverings in schools and early learning services
  • COVID-19 test and treatment
  • Ministry of Education parent website

 
Public health advice about face coverings in schools and early learning services

Can children, young people or teachers wear face coverings at school or early learning  services if they wish to?

Yes. Any children, young people or teachers who wish to wear face coverings wrapped around the nose and mouth (including masks) at schools or early learning services may do so if they want to. They are entitled to make this decision and should not be criticised for doing so.

Do children need to wear face coverings at early learning services at level 2?

No. Public Health officials have advised that children under the age of 6 should not wear face coverings. Other public health control measures will be in place including children and staff staying home if they are sick, contact tracing, and hygiene requirements.

Do children and young people need to wear face coverings at schools at level 2?

No. Children and young people do not need to wear face coverings because the risk of infection within the school environment is low. Other public health control measures will be in place including children and staff staying home if they are sick, contact tracing, and hygiene requirements.

Do tertiary students need to wear face coverings at level 2?

While it is not mandatory to wear a face covering, wearing them is advised where it is not possible to practice social distancing or to carry out contact tracing. This includes, for example, in crowded spaces on TEO campuses, or teaching and learning situations where close physical contact cannot be avoided.

Do teachers need to wear face coverings at early learning services and schools at level 2?

No. Teachers do not need to wear face coverings at level 2. Other public health measures will be in place including children and staff staying home if they are sick, contact tracing, and hygiene requirements.

Do children and young people need to wear face coverings on school or public transport at Alert level 2?

Children and young people are not required to wear face coverings wrapped around the nose and mouth on school transport. At Alert level 2, children and young people aged 6 years and over are encouraged to carry a face covering to wrap around their nose and mouth, when they are on school and public transport.

Clarity around COVID-19 test and treatment
COVID-19 related care – including diagnosis, testing and treatment – is provided and free of charge to anyone who requires it, who has symptoms. This is irrespective of citizenship, visa status, nationality or level of medical insurance coverage. The only time a person should be charged is when they ask for a test in order to enter another country.
 
COVID-19 information on our parent website
The Ministry of Education parent website has information about COVID-19 alert levels for parents and whānau.

 

Coronavirus Update 2.3 – 13/08/2020

The last couple of days at school have been very busy and positive, despite the Level 2 restrictions. We are hoping for the best and planning for the worst with regard to Alert Level changes over the next few days. With that in mind, we will be encouraging students to make sure they take home their key learning materials tomorrow afternoon, just in case something changes over the weekend.  

Contact Tracing
Given the new cases of COVID-19 occurring in New Zealand, you will appreciate the importance of contact tracing as a critical aspect of the ‘stamp it out’ strategy. The quicker close contacts of cases can be identified, the sooner those people can go into self-isolation and get support.
 
Marsden has QR code posters for the NZ COVID Tracer App displayed around the school. Every time you come onto the school grounds for pick up or drop off please make sure that you scan the QR code.  If you are not coming into the buildings, this will be sufficient for contact tracing purposes. If you are coming in, you will also be asked to sign in to our visitor register.
 
If you cannot use the NZ COVID Tracer App, please let us know so that we can advise you on the best way to register and, as always, please make sure that you have updated your contact details with us if they have recently changed.

House Music
Preparations for Year 7 – 13 House Music have been progressing well and the competition was due to take place over an afternoon and two evenings next week. Due to the difficulty with maintaining appropriate social distancing during House Music performances we are temporarily suspending rehearsals while we are in Alert Level 2. House Music rehearsals will re-commence as soon as we are back in Level 1 and we will reschedule the afternoon and evening performances, which are always a highlight of the school year. 

 

Coronavirus Update 2.2 – 12/08/2020

Due to the current restrictions on the size of gatherings under Alert Level 2 and other public health requirements for external venues, we have made decisions about the following upcoming events:

Year 11 Dance at the Boatshed – scheduled for this Friday evening. This has been postponed and will be rescheduled pending availability of the venue when we return to Alert Level 1.

Year 7 & 8 Dance at Wellesley – scheduled for this Friday evening.  This has been cancelled. Ticket refunds will be credited to school accounts.

Careers Evening – to have been held at school tomorrow night. This has been cancelled. Where possible online meetings will be set up with presenters over the next few weeks. 

Year 13 Father Daughter Breakfast – scheduled for next Tuesday morning. This has been postponed until we can identify a replacement date once we have returned to Alert Level 1.

Marsden Open Morning – scheduled for this Friday. This is going ahead, but with a significantly amended format to ensure that groups can be managed with appropriate physical distancing and contact tracing arrangements in place.  Essentially this means we will be running three separate Open Morning sessions on Friday morning with no overlaps between the groups.

College Sport Wellington fixtures - Following the Government’s Alert Level 2 announcement last night and update this morning, College Sport Wellington has reviewed its competitions and events over the next 72 hours.  
 
Based on that review, the following decisions were made to proceed with the following fixtures this afternoon (Wednesday, 12 August):
•       Wednesday afternoon girls football matches proceded today
•       Wednesday afternoon Ultimate Frisbee competition matches proceded today
•       Wednesday afternoon eSport competition matches proceded today
 
The following events have either been cancelled or postponed:
•       Girls Rugby – no matches may proceed tonight.  The decision on whether these games are cancelled or postponed will be communicated in due course
•       Table Tennis – no matches may proceed tonight.  The decision on whether these games are cancelled or postponed will be communicated in due course.
•       Indoor Bowls – Thursday’s tournament (August 13) is postponed, with a new date to be confirmed in due course.
 
Clearly this is a very fluid situation, and College Sport Wellington have let us know that they will not be rushing their decisions on competitions and events beyond those listed above.  In terms of a timeline, from here they will adopt the following time frames:
•       Thursday afternoon sport – decisions to be communicated late morning on Thursday
•       Friday afternoon sport – decisions to be communicated late morning on Friday
•       Weekend sport – decisions to be communicated late afternoon on Friday.

All College Sport Wellington decisions will be communicated via email, their website and social media.  
 
Other sport fixtures: We will communicate decisions regarding the status of other sports competitions as soon as these become available.

Training for sport is continuing under Alert Level 2 protocols. 

 

Coronavirus Update 2.1 – 12/08/2020

As you will have seen there has been a decision to upgrade the Covid Alert Level overnight. The Alert Level for the Greater Wellington Region is Level 2 from midday today Wednesday 12 August. At this stage Alert Level 2 is in place until Friday 14 August at midnight.


We are aware that there will be a big range of emotional responses to last night’s news and the imposition of further restrictions… from the students and from ourselves. It’s good to remind ourselves and our children that it is ok to be sad, disappointed, worried etc. but that doesn’t mean we can’t still be strong, resilient, kind and caring. Staff today have been taking some time to discuss with the students how they are feeling, and what strategies they have to respond, and most importantly, how they can look after each other and contribute to wellbeing at school and in their families.

This morning at Marsden we are readying the campus for compliance with Alert Level 2 public health requirements and working through the decision-making processes around a number of school events which are scheduled to take place over the next few days.  We have received the following information this morning from the Ministry of Education:

•    At Alert Level 2 it is safe for all students, children and staff to attend school and early learning. There will be appropriate precautions in place.
•    Children and staff who are at higher-risk of severe illness are encouraged to take additional precautions when leaving home.
•    Masks are not required at schools and early learning services at Alert levels 2 and 3.
•    Mass gatherings – workplaces, educational facilities, and public and school transport are not considered mass gatherings. This means there are no restrictions on numbers of people indoors or outside at schools and early learning services other than what other public health or health and safety measures require. The exception is where people from outside the school may be attending, e.g. for a school production or school ball.  

Four key safety controls for schools under Alert Level 2

●    Ensure people with COVID-19 symptoms or who feel generally unwell stay away from school.
●    Maintain physical distancing (in schools this means children, young people, and staff maintaining a physical distance so that they are not breathing on or touching each other).
●    Enable good hygiene practices.
●    Keep track of people who enter the school.

Staying home if sick – symptoms to monitor

Symptoms to monitor for are any respiratory symptoms such as a cold, a head cold, blocked ears, cough, sneezing, chills and a fever. Anyone with those symptoms should stay home and contact Healthline for advice, which may include getting tested for COVID-19 as a precaution. Anyone with these respiratory symptoms should not to enter the Marsden campus.

Public health measures that will be in place at Marsden

In addition to our usual practices when managing health and safety, there are some specific public health requirements for Alert Level 2 that will be adhered to at Marsden:

●    Please keep any sick children at home. If a sick child comes to school, parents will be contacted immediately and requested to take them home. 
●    Children, young people and staff will be far enough away from each other so that they are not breathing on or touching each other, coupled with good hygiene practices and regular cleaning of commonly touched surfaces. There does not need to be a specific measurement but where practicable 1 metre should be used as a guide, particularly between adults.
●    Hand sanitiser will be available at entry to class rooms and in shared spaces. This is in addition to soap, water and the ability to dry hands in all bathrooms.
●    Children and young people will be reminded to regularly wash and dry hands, cough and sneeze into their elbow, and try to avoid touching their face.
●    We will disinfect and clean all surfaces daily.
●    Contact tracing registers will be set up and identify which children and adults are on site, in each teaching space, including recording if there is a different composition of children and adults during the day. This includes recording visitors to the site, including parents. 
●    PPE is not required or recommended as necessary in any educational facility by the Public Health Service.  Some children and young people may choose to wear face masks. It could be part of their cultural practice to do so and to support their hygiene needs. We will encourage respect for individual choices.

Procedures for students

Students will be briefed again today on the ‘rules’ for Alert Level 2. 

Procedures for parents and other visitors to the school

Marsden parents have once again been enjoying a great deal of freedom to move around the school. Unfortunately, this will change temporarily during Alert Level 2 due to the requirements for contact tracing and physical distancing from strangers. Any parents or visitors to the school are required to enter the school via either the Main Reception area or the office entrance in the Primary school only.  You will be signed in on entry and asked to sanitise your hands. These two entrances will be for parents and visitors only, all other entrances will be reserved for staff and students.

Jennifer Ioannou and Helen McConnell will be in touch with Preschool and Primary parents later today regarding procedures for drop off and pick up of younger children.

Communications

Due to the evolving situation it is likely that there will be an increased level of communication from Marsden in the coming days and weeks.  Stay tuned and stay safe. 

Previous Updates

Principal, Narelle Umbers

Narelle Umbers
Principal

Click for PDF of Previous Updates to June 2020