“For a long time we had practically no orchestral ensembles and no choirs.
“When we started having ensemble groups practice again, they were divided up into very small years, so we couldn’t play together as a large ensemble. It was really sad because a lot of my close friends are in other grades and we couldn’t learn from each other and play together.”
Eleni’s mother, Tiffany, said she’s excited for students to be able to sing in choirs, play in orchestras and perform in musicals again in different grades.
“Music is such an important part of our daughter’s school life and so many things have been curtailed in the last two years and this is her last year,” she said.
David Gresham, director of music at St Catherine’s and president of the Australian Band & Orchestra Directors Association, NSW, said the changes would ensure students would not miss out on a third year of opportunities in the arts.
“In the past, music programs have been significantly impacted by restrictions on cohort mixing,” he said. “Most choirs, bands, orchestras or musicals simply could not take place due to this restriction. The changes allow these ensembles and productions to take place now.
“The return of singing in schools is essential for both classroom music and extracurricular music.”
Stephen O’Doherty, moderator of the Roundtable of Instrumental and Vocal and Music Education Organizations and former NSW Minister for Education, welcomed the changes after his group spent two years campaigning for music to return in “COVID-smart ways”.
All students and staff have been asked to take a rapid antigen test before returning for the start of the school year on February 1st and two tests per week for the first four weeks of the semester.
Ms Mitchell said more than four million rapid antigen tests (RAT) had been distributed and more than six million would be out by Tuesday night. More than eight million surgical masks have been sent to schools.
Schools will not be closed if positive, but the school community will be notified.
Premier Dominic Perrottet acknowledged there will be some “disruptions” and “challenges” along the way and said it was important for children to get back to school on the first day of school, particularly for some who are up to a quarter of their age School days have missed the pandemic.
“This is where our kids work best and opportunities arise,” he said.
“It’s best for educational outcomes, it’s best for mental health and it’s also best for social outcomes.”
Angelo Gavrielatos, President of the NSW Teachers Federation, said its members are concerned about the health and safety of students and staff. While the NSW Government advised but did not ask primary school children to wear masks, Mr Gavrielatos said they should be compulsory for all primary and secondary school pupils, as they were in Victoria.
“We remain very concerned and are preparing for a disruptive start to the school year,” he said.
“You can’t be too vigilant with these settings. No other industry requires you to be on a construction site with hundreds and up to 2000 other people in sometimes poorly ventilated places that are classrooms with up to 30 students.”
NSW Chief Health Officer Kerry Chant said while some transmission of the virus was likely to occur in schools, it was important for children to return to the classroom for the sake of their “health, well-being and development”.
“I share the Prime Minister’s support for children engaged in face-to-face learning,” said Dr. chant “Although cases are high in the community, we expect schools to reflect what is going on in the community. We expect cases among children and staff attending schools.
“The twice-weekly testing regime… will allow us to detect these cases a little earlier through this rapid antigen test. In addition, we urge all parents to ensure that children with symptoms are not sent to school.
“I ask that parents, during these first four weeks, try to minimize their children’s activities or connections with other children during sleepovers and other activities that could cause infection so that we can maintain that face-to-face time at school at that community level transmission is high.”
The Morning Edition Newsletter is our guide to the day’s most important and interesting stories, analysis and insights. Sign up here.
The post Bands, Choir and Overnight Camps Allowed appeared first on Archyworldys.