Welcome Back

Welcome to 2021!

I hope you had a wonderful Christmas and New Year and were able to spend time with family in our glorious warm weather!

The start of every year is always filled with optimism and possibilities and for me this year is especially the case. This does not mean that the shadow of COVID-19 has gone, rather I am strengthened in the way our St Stephen’s School community weathered 2020 with resilience, support and energy.

My address to staff focused on the power of words and their ability to create a multitude of environments. How do we create an environment that promotes boldness of thought and action so that we continue to ensure St Stephen’s School is working on building a place of wonder, creativity and learning for our students? What can each of us do in our daily interactions to look for new opportunities to expand our thinking, look beyond our immediate horizon, to dream and ask the “what if” questions? Always with the understanding that teaching and learning is based on relationships.

This is going to be especially relevant this year as we work together towards a new Strategic Plan for 2022-2024. I am very excited about this and please stay tuned for more information.

There are a few housekeeping items I wanted to touch on before the start of Term.

·       There may be families who have travelled interstate or internationally over the break. Please check quarantine requirements and let the School know if there will be a related absence. More information can be found here: https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-advice-and-restrictions-faqs

·       We have had interest shown in our regional student Home Away From Home program. If your family would be interested in hosting a regional student at home or simply want more information on how it works, feel free to contact our Coordinator for a chat at homeawayfromhome@ststephens.wa.edu.au.

·       In addition to many upgrades around the campuses over the holidays, including new roofing, painting and landscaping, Carramar’s new climbing wall is complete and the first stage of the nature playground is expected to be finished around Week 4. We are excited for our students to enjoy these additions. Development Applications for a staged capital works program at Duncraig have also been submitted. You can subscribe to keep up-to-date on the projects’ progress at https://blogs.ststephens.wa.edu.au/capitalworks/

·       The school year begins with the same COVID-19 guidelines that were in place at the end of last year and appreciate your ongoing assistance in this area as we all work to keep our community safe.

As usual, Term 1 is filled with activity – our debating teams are gearing up, swimmers are ready to dive into the Summer Carnivals and planning is underway for our Thanksgiving Service, just to name a few.

Our cross-campus production of The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is coming together beautifully. The amount of work that has gone into the puppets, props and rehearsals so far are sure to make for a great show that will take us all into the world of Narnia. There’s less than a month before opening night so be sure to get your tickets at https://events.humanitix.com/tlww.

As we busily prepare to welcome our students and families back on campus, I would like to say a special hello and welcome to our new families and staff – as always, my door is always open for a chat and I look forward to seeing everyone soon.

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Take care and God Bless,

Mrs Donella Beare