04 August 2020

Dear parents and carers,
This week the Victorian Government has made extensive changes to the way all Victorians will go about their day over the next 6 weeks. On the advice of the Victorian Chief Officer, Victorian Government schools in Metropolitan Melbourne will see all students return to online learning.

From today all staff will now be working from home and all students know how to contact them via TEAMS. Home Group teachers will be checking in with every student every day and classroom teachers will continue with your child’s regular timetable. We are trying to avoid giving students too much homework as we know there will be many demands on every home so some sessions will be available to students to work quietly while the teacher is available to answer questions.

We have been very fortunate to have avoided any cases of Covid-19 and I would like to congratulate our students on their ongoing maturity, concern for fellow students and staff and their adherence to the range of safety
precautions we have put in place. I would also like to thank families for your support. Your cooperation with all these measures has made our job so much easier. We have always been a wonderful community and we continue to look out for each other.

I will, of course continue to update you with any further information as it becomes available. Please remember that through the link to Coronavirus on our website you are able to access the most recent news and facts directly from the Department of Education at any time.

I also wish to express extend my thanks and deep gratitude to the staff with whom I am privileged to work. They have spent the last three weeks preparing themselves and senior students for the possibility of such a change. Theyhave supported and looked after those students who have felt stress from time to time and they have supported each other. It has made a difficult situation much easier.

In closing I want to refer you to the Hero project which is available on our website. You may have also seen it on
the ABC breakfast show or Channel 9 or heard my interview on 3AW with Neil Mitchell. What is the Hero Project you ask?

While we were in lockdown during Term 1 a group of our students and teachers decided to create a tribute to all essential workers on the frontline during the COVID-19 Pandemic to recognise the sacrifices they were making in fighting against the coronavirus.

During isolation, the college theatre was transformed into a film set equipped with staging, lighting and draping.
The choreography was prepared by the students in conjunction with their teachers.

Music students learnt and relearnt parts online and individually during remote learning in Term 2. They prepared bass lines, drums, piano scores and sang their lines during online ZOOM rehearsals.

Musicians, singers, film and lighting crew came together for one big grand finale at a local recording studio to track, record and mix The Hero Project.

Since it has been advertised, the You Tube site has been visited nearly 20,000 times. The feedback we have received from essential workers has been phenomenal. We intend to include those comments sent to the College
on our website soon. Please watch this on You Tube or our website. Be proud of our wonderful young people and I guarantee it will make your day a little brighter, no matter what you are doing. Neil Mitchell has described it as superb and it certainly is.

I have included one of the responses below

Subject: Thank you from the bottom of my heart

I’m not sure who will receive this email, but I would deeply appreciate if all the participants in the video of ‘wind beneath my wings’ receive this.

A friend sent it to me, and I simply broke down and sobbed. It went straight to my heart. I felt the heartfelt solidarity of these times.

Those magnificent young people ….and I wanted them to know that they must NEVER give up on life because they are beautiful and worthy and talented.

You must be all proud of each other.

With sincere gratitude
Dr Jennifer Harris

Thank you again for all your support and please don’t hesitate to contact me or one of our staff if you require any information or support.

Yours sincerely,

Leonie White

At Thomastown Secondary College, students are supported to strive for Individual Excellence in all aspects of their studies and in the way they carry themselves within their school community.

They are curious, creative and enthusiastic about their learning. They are encouraged to be respectful, to work collaboratively and to accept responsibility for themselves.

Teachers at Thomastown have a deep knowledge of each of their students, their particular strengths, interests and needs. Students, parents and teachers work together to promote the full development of the child.