How we manage Remote Learning at Holy Family Catholic School

Leadership Team Working Online with Teachers

Hi Everyone,

During the Pandemic our staff have been deployed in four groups:

  • The Administration Team is keeping the organisational side of the school in operation: ICT services, Enquiries, WHS, enrolments, maintenance, support services, Canteen, OHSC and Alive ELC
  • All class teachers are working from home using Microsoft Teams and Blogs to provide lessons for the children in their class
  • Teachers who work in roles other than class teachers are facilitating learning for the children who are at school each day. Yesterday they were in “Curiosity” and today they are in the Hall and OHSC
  • The Leadership Team (shown in the picture) are monitoring each class blog and each Teams Channel to keep the flow of information flowing both ways between teachers and their students. The leaders are sharing ideas among the staff and highlighting the best practices.

At 2.30 pm each day the whole staff meet together online to discuss the highlights of each day and to share online professional practice

Our teachers are coming up with a fantastic array of activities online to keep the children engaged in their learning. The children are waiting keenly in their Class Channel on Teams for the learning contact from their teacher as well as monitoring their own Class Blog. In this way the children are taking responsibility  for their own learning and taking it to a higher level.

Please take some time to look through all the Blogs and ask your child to show you their Class Channel.

Kerry White




Learning continues at Holy Family Catholic School

Hi Everyone,

Welcome to Holy Family for the beginning of Term 3 as we welcome two new Reception Classes into the school to begin the second Semester. A warm welcome to our new Reception Teachers Corrina Du and Tanya Johnson.

Reception students commencing mid year do not pay school fees for the remainder of this year. We still have a few vacancies.


Corrina Du                                                      Tanya  Johnson


Kerry White


Enhanced understandings of learning at Holy Family in 2021

Teaching the teachers…Numeracy Coach Nick De Palma in action at last night’s Staff Meeting


In 2021 at Holy Family we are fortunate to have Beth Hawkes our Leader of Learning and Literacy Coach and Nicholas De Palma as Numeracy Coach. Our coaches are imparting their wisdom in literacy and numeracy to our teachers together with their insights into how children learn.

Nicholas was explains that when we teach mathematics it is ideal to use a Growth Mindset approach. That is, to allow enough space in the task to allow the learner to grow and move in their learning. Nick has taught us to have a low floor and a high ceiling in the tasks set. That means the tasks are easy to get into but the ceiling of what can be learnt is high as the sky. Nick suggests that we avoid pigeon-holing children regarding the level they can attain in their learning before the lesson starts. We should always aim as high as possible. We group children heterogeneously meaning we have all sorts of learners working together to garner a range of inputs.

Learning literacy through Information and Communication Technology

I wanted to share with you a lovely image of our R/1 students sharing the brand new set of laptops in use of our 8 Reception/Year 1 Classes. We were in the situation in which all students in Years 2-6 had been provided with their own laptop. Unfortunately, we didn’t have any left for the Year 1 and Reception students. The teachers and students were begging for some laptops as the older students have. So I reached out to our friends at @AusSchoolsPlus and asked for support from their #CrisisAppeal and requested a grant of $10,000. They generously responded by granting us this money. Accordingly, each of the classes will share these laptops on one or two days each week. If you look closely at these photos you can see the engagement in the faces of the children and that each child is completing a different task. As a school we are absolutely committed to promote literacy. However, we do not throw out the baby with the bath water. We favour a proper balance between screen time and books

My colleague Professor of Education Pasi Sahlberg (University of NSW) sent me the link to his latest research into the use of technology. Interestingly, Pasi found that there are growing inequities in access to technology in terms of computers and internet access. We wish our students to have the best of both worlds.

Signs of the times…

Today we are installing the LED Video screen on the footpath at the front of the school to share the wonderful learning occurring within the school and our Early Learning Centre.

After a year of planning which included horizontal underground boring for services from the school to the new sign, it’s all happening now. This will be a great means of communication between the school and the local community.

Watch this space!






What a great start to the school year at Holy Family

It has so exciting to welcome a new cohort of students into the school. Interestingly, we have been welcoming new students at all Year Levels across the school this year. In addition, it has been exciting to have children from the Early Learning Centre in and around the school. At School Assembly the ELC children and their teachers are usually in the front row. I have witnessed marvellous interactions between children in our school and children in the Early Learning Centre. I have noticed children sharing their learning through the boundary fence including their creations on lap-tops. We have explained to the children that there are guidelines for sharing food. There is a great rapport between our Play Group, the Early Learning Centre and the school. The beauty of the ELC is influencing the development of our other learning spaces in the school.

Speaking of learning spaces, we are very busy creating a plethora of intriguing and exciting new facilities to delight our wonderful students:

  1. 4 new music suites for instrumental music tuition
  2. Courts in Grevillia Park
  3. Consolidating the multi-disciplinary learning area (MUDLA) facilitating our Fish Farm and Gardens
  4. Designing planning Library and Learning Studios


It is amazing to work through the process with the architects as they take into account the relationship of the proposed buildings to

  • the established patterns of movement of people within the school
  • welcoming access
  • tracking of the sun
  • collecting solar energy
  • harvesting rainwater
  • maximising flexibility to meet the needs of teachers and learners
  • shading from the summer sun


Announcement and visit by Dr Neil McGoran to Holy Family School

When I read the Director of Catholic Education, Dr Neil McGoran’s announcement that the ELC at Parafield Gardens would be under construction shortly, my Professional Assistant asked me if I was in tears or in a state of exhilaration or both? Kelly was right! The news was slightly surreal after waging a four-year campaign on behalf of the community to provide an Early Years Learning and Care service for our families

A feature of the campaign was the fundraising program over two years in which we hosted two memorable dinners for 600 people at a time. We an enormous vote of thanks to the local Vietnamese community who provided the sumptuous food for these events.

Indeed, the whole community rallied to the cause. We are now within reach of our goal!


Scope of my work as Principal in 2017 and beyond..


As Holy Family positions itself to move into the next phase of our development. I have attached a “popplet” view of the extent of my work. Please click on the link eFolder-28mc5ej

Three Pillars:

  • Catholic Identity
  • Ecological Conversion
  • Evolving Pedagogy

Core Values:

  • Positive Relationships
  • Sharing (Trust)
  • Support

Drivers of Pedagogical Change:

  • Negotiating the curriculum with the learners
  • Teachers reflecting on their practice
  • Learners producing their own authentic knowledge
  • Leaders designing for change
  • Involving parents and carers in their children’s learning

Key Professional Learning:

  • Catholic Identity Project
  • Positive Education
  • Berry Street
  • Cognitive Coaching
  • Re-imagining Childhood (Reggio Emilia)

Key Partnerships:

  • CESA
  • Salisbury Catholic Parish
  • Salisbury Pastoral Team
  • Salisbury Cluster schools: Thomas More College and St Augustine’s
  • Loreto Vietnam, St Vincent de Paul Society, Catherine House
  • Prof Paul Clarke and Naturally Smart
  • Tom Brunzell and Berry Street
  • Ruth Deakin-Crick (Bristol University and UTS)
  • Apple Distinguished Schools
  • Michael Fullan

Key School Committees

  • School Board
  • Parents and Friends Association
  • Health and Safety Committee
  • Finance Committee
  • Effective and Safe School Committee (ESSC)
  • Spring Fair Committee

Community Projects:

  • Holy Family Annual Spring Fair
  • Salisbury Multicultural Festival
  • Moon Lantern Festival
  • Diwali Indian Festival

Three R-7 Vertical Houses of Learning

  • St Vincent de Paul House
  • Mary MacKillop House
  • Pope John Paul ll House

Cognitive Coaching (States of Mind)

  • Interdependence
  • Craftmanship
  • Efficacy
  • Consciousness
  • Flexibilty


Completed Building Projects

  • Stage 1: Pope John Paul ll Hall, OHSC (2006)
  • Stage 2: Hall Stage and Uniform Shop (2007)
  • Stage 3: 14 General Purpose Learning Areas (2009)
  • Stage 4: 8 General Purpose Learning Areas (2010)
  • Internal Staff Car Park and External (2011)
  • Stage 5: Administration Building  (2014)
  • New Library and Decking (2015)
  • Stage 6: New Canteen (2016)

Building Projects in Planning:

  • Early Learning Centre
  • STEaM Centre
  • Expressive Arts and Languages Centre
  • Library and Parent Cafe