Farewell to 2020

A fitting end to 2020
We are holding on to Carey Donvale’s traditional end of year events, despite the limitations imposed on us by the COVID-19 regulations. Not be denied, our online pre-recorded services and ceremonies will continue in place of real-time events. In fact, these will reach an even wider audience this year given they will on Canvas for the entire school community to enjoy. The following events have been or will be exciting and meaningful ways in which we will farewell 2020.

Year 2 Virtual Sleepover – last Friday night
Our Year 2s embraced the opportunity to have a virtual sleepover. A clever take-home pack ensured the entire cohort enjoyed a similar experience, with images captured on their class padlet for everyone to enjoy and reflection on.

Friday Morning Carols Service – this Friday, 11.00am
I am sure that everyone is looking forward to our annual Donvale Christmas Service, which will be posted on Canvas on Friday. This service was professionally recorded last week. The entire School will stop and view this service from their classrooms, given the regulations which limit the use of our Hall.

Monday’s Thank You Assembly
Please join us online at 8.35am on Monday for the broadcast of our final assembly of the year. This traditional Thank You Assembly is a wonderful opportunity to honour our supportive parents. We will also farewell Jeanette Jennings, who is retiring after 27 years at Carey; Felicity Bramley, after five years in our Art department; and Rebecca Yeates  who is going on maternity leave.

Year 6 Graduation Ceremony
At 7.00pm on Monday evening, we will broadcast our Year 6 Graduation ceremony. This is always a very special part of our students’ time at Carey Donvale and this year it will reach new heights given the magic provided by the professional production company. This is our chance to acknowledge these students for the contribution they have made to our School. We wish them well for their future as they prepare for life in Middle School.

Baptcare Giving Tree
Please support Baptcare as they seek to provide gifts to under privileged children. The children are asked to bring an unwrapped gift for a child aged between 0 - 9 and place it under our Christmas Tree. The pleasure of giving, the opportunity to gather as a family and our religious beliefs centred on the birth of Jesus Christ bring home the real meaning of Christmas.

Class Placements and Orientation for Years 1 to 6
On Monday, everyone was given the opportunity to meet with their new teachers for 2021. It was great to see so many excited and happy faces throughout the day. We also welcomed a number of new students, albeit after school on the day. These students are spread across nearly every year level and come to us from a wide variety of schools. This is in addition to our new Prep children who have already enjoyed a series of orientation sessions.

End-of-year arrangements
Please take the time to make yourself aware of the finishing times for the final day of school on Tuesday. These staggered times will ensure the pick-up zone runs smoothly.

Farewell and Welcome
This term, we farewell Jeanette Jennings after 27 years of distinguished service to Carey Donvale. It was timely that we honoured Jeanette’s amazing career in October last year and we will acknowledge her incredible contribution to our school in our Year 6 Graduation and our Thank you assembly. Interestingly, Jeanette started life at Carey as an Artist in Residence and we are excited that Jeanette will return in this capacity next year – gone,. but not for long!

Our sincere thanks to Felicity Bramley for the energy and creativity she has brought to her part-time role in the Art room over the past five years. Felicity also started at Carey as an Artist in Residence, working with our upper primary students to create the 100 Years of Anzac tribute pieces. We wish her well as continues her work at Mount Scopus.

Rebecca Yeates also leaves Carey with much anticipation surrounding the birth of her twins next year. Rebecca is a skilled and dedicated educator who teaches from the heart. We wish her all the very best for the wonder-filled days ahead.

Jacob de Paiva has made a wonderful contribution to our school this year. In thanking him for his work, we hope he continues to be a part of our Carey Donvale team in 2021.

For 2021, we congratulate Kylie Crampton who has secured our fulltime Art position created by Jeanette’s retirement. Kylie has very much enjoyed her time with us over the past six months and, in addition to her skills and experience as a creative and passionate classroom art teacher, she brings a wealth of experience in the field of Community Artwork, which is such a large part of our identity here at Carey Donvale.

We welcome Renée Barnden who joins our Middle Primary team teaching Year 3. An experienced educator with natural enthusiasm, Renée is well known to us here at Carey Donvale having worked across the School last year. Renée has a broad range of practice and leadership experience across the whole school setting including extensive experience teaching in the early years.

Also in 2021, Sandra Trevorah will move into the Year 5 team, teaching on Wednesdays. Having taught Year 4 this year, she understands this cohort and thus the transition will be a smooth one. She is very much looking forward to working closely with Andrew and Kathryn in 2021.

My sincere thanks
I would like to sincerely thank the entire staff at Donvale. They are an incredibly hardworking and resourceful group, never more so than throughout 2020. This team has gone above and beyond to provide a rich and supportive learning environment and they are one of the major reasons Donvale is such a connected learning community.

I would particularly like to thank Deb McAlister and Marg Adams who work tirelessly to ensure our School runs efficiently. I know that all of our parents would be in total agreement.

I would also like to thank all of the parents who have supported us this year, in particular our action-oriented CDPA. Without their wonderful support and assistance we couldn’t have navigated the trials and tribulations that have characterised this uniquely rewarding year.

Finally, I would like to thank the children, for they make Carey Donvale such a special place to work – whether it be online or on campus. It is indeed a privilege and a pleasure to see so many smiling and friendly faces. Each and every one of them is precious to us. We are so very fortunate to share in their lives, their triumphs, their challenges and their discoveries.

Finally, I sincerely wish you all a very safe and a very merry Christmas. Enjoy the festive season with your children and make the most of every moment – they grow up all too soon. I look forward to seeing the vast majority of you back with us in 2021, along with our new families, who are yet to truly experience the wonderful community spirit that characterises Carey Donvale.

Steve Wilson
Head of Junior School Donvale