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Byron Shire
June 26, 2024

Student challenges – and rewards, in iso

Latest News

Cinema: Despicable Me 4

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Julian Assange is free and on his way back to Australia

Wikileaks founder, Julian Assange, has been released from jail in the UK and is on his way back to Australia after he agreed to a plea deal. 

The 2024 Lismore Eisteddfod will be bigger and better

Organisers of the Lismore Eisteddfod, the Lismore Musical Festival Society, are getting excited about their program for this year’s event. The regular competition venues are still unavailable owing to post-flood repairs continuing for a few more months. So this year the Bangalow A&I Hall will be used for the primary and secondary schools competitions as well as the Speech and Drama competition.

Have your say on Bangalow tree removal/succession plan

Bangalow residents and businesses are being asked for their thoughts on a plan to replace seven trees in the main street (Byron Street) and two in Station Street. 

Photo – www.mbyplism.catholic.edu.au

Eve Jeffery

Parents of Australia are learning a new respect for teachers as they walk a mile in their shoes during the COVID-19 lockdown.

St John’s Catholic Primary School in Mullumbimby is a small school community of about 100 students. Almost all are accessing online teaching, and t hose who cannot, for varying reasons, are being supported with non-digital materials.

School principal, Renay Condon, says that staff have been incredibly innovative in how they have modified their approach to learning and teaching.

‘They have done this in a short space of time to ensure our students are supported in learning within a remote environment while being equitable for all,’ she said.

Mrs Condon says another challenge has been ensuring safety for staff and students by maintaining stringent hygiene practices.

Mrs Condon says she strongly believes, given the circumstances, the blended learning approach is working well.

‘We would become complacent if we didn’t continue to pivot and adjust to the continually changing circumstances we are all experiencing.

Sudden change in schooling

‘Generally, families are coping well during this sudden change in schooling, however, some of our families are having to cope with job losses too, which of course adds another complex layer of challenges for them. We have a range of supports available to our families and encourage them to contact us should they need help’.

The creativity of the students, and how they have embraced this change has been inspirational for all the staff, she says.

‘We’ve had the opportunity to get to know them even better, and meet another side of them, which may not often be seen in a traditional classroom setting,’ she said.

‘Just yesterday our staff were watching a young man present Kids News via a video he had made at home.

‘What a star in the making he is! We’ve found most kids love recording themselves, either as a voiceover for the work, or in a video presentation.’

Regular Zoom meetings

Mrs Condon says that the school has regular Zoom meetings, even with their youngest students and their families. ‘These meetings are supporting them to know that, as in all things, we can have good days and we can have bad days, and it is okay to take a break and just “be” as a family. I love the idea that some of our families are keeping connected to friends with Facetime playdates for their child.’

Many children had just started their school career when classes were stopped, but Mrs Condon says she doesn’t believe parents would need to start students in kindy again next year. ‘Students are still learning, and we look forward to safely transitioning back to face-to-face learning.

‘Our teachers have demonstrated how innovative and agile they are, and we are all very excited by how these innovations will be able to enhance the traditional classroom experience for our students.  We all greatly miss our students.’


Recent stories, information and updates regarding COVID-19

Fresh air federal funds for Northern Rivers schools in need

Eighteen schools in the Northern Rivers division of Richmond have received $25,000 each as part of the federal government’s School Upgrade Fund, Labor Member for Richmond Justine Elliot said last week.


COVID-19 pandemic has cut life expectancy globally

COVID-19 reversed earlier trends toward longer life expectancies. During the pandemic, life expectancies globally dropped by 1.6 years according to a new study published in the Lancet medical journal.


COVID-19 update for New South Wales

Let’s not forget that Covid-19 is still a big issue in our community with 31,935 cases reported across Australia in the last week – an average of 4,562 cases per day.


Five graphs you need to see before the Global Carbon Budget...

The Global Carbon Budget is about to be refreshed, giving the world a critical insight into how efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are (or are not) progressing.


Public transport mask mandate to end

Masks will no longer be mandatory on public transport from tomorrow, Wednesday 21 September.


NSW Police: be COVID-vigilant at Splendour in the Grass

SW Police are urging festival-goers at this weekend’s music festival to celebrate in a safe and responsible manner, whilst also being aware of COVID-Safety measures.


COVID-19 update for the NNSWLHD – May 23

The Northern NSW Local Health District reports that to 4pm yesterday, Sunday May 22, there were 40 COVID-19 positive patients in hospital in Northern NSW, with one of these in ICU.


AEC says COVID voters can phone from home

The AEC says that voters who have recently tested positive for COVID-19 will be able to phone in their vote in the federal election.


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