COVID-19 Information and Updates

Dear parents and carers, due to the high traffic on the internet we are asking that you please check your junk folders as some of the important school emails may have diverted to this folder. Apologies for the inconvenience. Take care in these challenging times!

Important Links Below



3rd April 2020

COVID-19 Update

3rd April 2020


Dear Parents / Carers

Well done to the entire Barrenjoey Learning Community for our response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  Our teachers have been working incredibly hard to plan and deliver lessons in a whole new environment.  Our students have met the challenge and have established routines at home to be actively engaged in the online classroom.  Thanks also to our parents and carers who have supported our efforts.

School day-to-day operations are still happening.  Other than teaching, teachers are still meeting regularly to plan and support via online platforms.  The Learning Support, Wellbeing and Administration staff are contacting families and managing the multitude of inquiries that are coming in and the Executive Team are constantly looking at ways to improve the learning experience and effectiveness of our delivery.  Even today, we have both mailed (old fashioned but effective) as well as posted to the Parent and Student Portal the Year 12 Semester 1 reports.

I write to inform you of two major changes to school next week and Day 1 Term 2.

  1. Whilst our teachers are coping well, they need more time to adapt their face to face lessons to online lessons. As a result of this, I am planning for teachers to have a Staff Development Day this Tuesday (7th April) as it appears we will be delivering Term 2 online lessons for a sustained period. Therefore the timing is important and requires planning so that teachers can (as faculty groups) plan and coordinate their approach to Term 2 prior to the holidays, giving them the Easter break to develop individual online lessons.

The implication is we will not deliver any online lessons on Tuesday 7th April, however, the school will be open for minimal supervision should you decide / need to send your child to school. This will also provide an opportunity for students to complete assessment tasks, any outstanding online learning activities and consolidate their learning.

  1. The usual gazetted Staff Development Day set for Monday 27th April, the first day of Term 2, will be postponed until later in the year and regular online lessons will now occur. The implication for this will be all students will commence Term 2 on Monday 27th  I believe, to maintain this online environment, staff will require more planning than normal and by postponing Term 2’s Staff Development Day, we will be able to use this day at a time of greater need later in the year.

From all the staff at Barrenjoey, I thank you for your support and understanding.

Kind regards

Ian Bowsher



25th march 2020

COVID-19 and The HSC

Year 12 Update

25th March 2020

Dear Year 12 Students and Parents / Carers,

There have been a number of enquiries about the HSC and ongoing schooling, so I thought I would clarify the situation as it currently stands.

The NESA Board met yesterday afternoon in an attempt to address areas of concern.  A media release was posted yesterday 24th March, link

In summary:

  • NESA recognises it is unprecedented times and reinforced that the HSC will still go ahead, however, in which particular format is unknown at this time.
  • The HSC will still provide access to university, further education and employment.
  • You are encouraged to continue your studies by:
    • completing your online classes
    • completing assessments and
    • making contact with your teachers.
  • Assessment practices and procedures may also change and we will inform you if they are adjusted. For the moment, keep working on your current tasks.  If unsure please contact your teacher.
  • During these uncertain times please know that assessment tasks could become critical to your HSC.
  • Continue to make progress on your Major Works where possible. Any questions regarding access please direct to your class teacher.

The NESA Board are yet to make a decision on a number of areas including:

  • Possible variations to assessment policies and practices
  • Work placement for VET courses
  • Group major works eg music
  • Students completing projects and Major Works.

For students who are seeking university placement in 2021 the following information was released by the University Admission Centre (UAC) today:

Year 12 students will be emailed their UAC PIN on 1 April. Further advice regarding special arrangements for Year 12 students will be made available in the coming weeks and months as we work with universities, NESA and other stakeholders to ensure that no student is disadvantaged in relation to university entry in 2021.

Reports Presentation Day, set to be held on 6th April, has been cancelled.  To that end, we will upload your school report to both the Student and Parent Portals before the end of Term 1.  We will notify you when we release the reports. A hard copy of your report will also be printed and mailed to you.

In the meantime, please know that all your teachers and staff at Barrenjoey care for your wellbeing.  If at any time you need support, please contact any teacher, Ms Wilson, Counsellor, The Avalon Youth Hub or the Learning Hub.  We are all here to help.

Remember too that Barrenjoey is currently open and should you feel the need to see a teacher or collect work, please come in by ‘signing in’ at the Front Office, practicing good hygiene and social distancing.

We will continue to communicate updates to you and are here to help in any way we can.  As more information is released we will keep you informed.

Kind regards


Ian Bowsher



24th march 2020


 Advice to Barrenjoey Parents and Students: 

Proposed Plan

as at Tuesday 24th March 2020

The Premier of NSW has encouraged families to keep children at home for the remainder of Term 1, however, Barrenjoey remains open.  In the words of the Education Minister “School is open for those who need to attend” and “No child will be turned away from a school community”

We are in unchartered territories and our message may change by the day, however, currently we will be operating in the following manner:

Learning from Home

  • Timetabled lessons will proceed online and this will be the only mode of lesson delivery for all students, whether working from home or at school.
  • All classes have an online learning platform. This could be Google Classroom, Microsoft Teams, or similar. Students are to use this online platform to complete their learning activities and communicate with their teachers.
  • Teachers may be unable to reply individually to all emails, as their focus will be teaching via the online learning platform.
  • Student questions regarding assessment should be asked directly through the class online learning platform.
  • Video conferencing tools are being explored but may not be used straight away. Communication regarding these technologies will occur after processes have been put in place for their use.
  • Examination style (in-class tasks) will NOT be held onsite for the remainder of Term 1. These tasks may proceed in an alternate format and students must ensure they understand the changes. All information about assessment tasks will be communicated by the class teacher via the online learning platform.
  • Illness / Misadventure processes will apply in some limited circumstances. Factors solely related to Learning from Home are unlikely to constitute grounds for misadventure. Here is a link to our illness / misadventure application
  • Students are reminded that upon completion, the illness / misadventure application should be emailed to the relevant Head Teacher for processing. The usual rules around illness/misadventure apply.
  • Learning Support structures will continue, albeit with adaptations. The Learning Support Team are working to deliver an adapted schedule for students. Disability Provisions processes will have more limited application in Learning from Home, because there will be fewer examination-style tasks.
  • Student wellbeing support structures will also be adapted by our Wellbeing Team. This will be communicated as soon as possible from the students’ Year Advisors or Head Teacher Wellbeing – Ms Saunders.
  • Technology support is available. Please contact our school via email requesting this or (if able) post your remark on the Google Classroom.
  • Official school communication will continue as normal via the school email and the school app, School Stream.

Attendance and Roll Marking

  • For students who are present at the school ‘Period x Period’ roll marking will be marked each period by supervising teachers.
  • Roll Call will still occur for students in attendance at the school. If students are absent please email their absence to to confirm and also specify the date range or till end of term.

How can students make the most of Learning from Home?

Students are to:

  • Know how to organise the Google Classroom and access the classroom at the correct time.
  • Organise their physical space at home. Make sure the space for learning is neat and tidy.
  • Use their timetable to be organised and ready to learn at the timetabled time.
  • Take the initiative with their learning – it is up to students to make this work as best as possible.
  • Complete tasks with integrity and academic honesty. Students are to do their best work.
  • Meet timelines, commitments and due dates. Students are to communicate proactively with their teachers if they cannot meet deadlines or require additional support.

How can parents help?

  • Set clear and positive expectations that learning will continue at home.
  • Please understand that Learning from Home cannot look the same as the regular learning process.
  • Make sure you have access to the school timetable through Compass. This is to ensure your children are ready to learn at the scheduled time.
  • Ensure that sleep patterns and morning routines are regular and structured.
  • Manage your children’s phones during lesson times. Phones are a distraction and parents will need to help manage this, by considering steps such as physically placing phones away during timetabled lessons.
  • Allow “Push” notifications in the School App so that you can stay in touch with developments.
  • Clarify exactly when assessment tasks are due and assist your children with submission.
  • Make changes to your home so that there is a clear and organised space for learning. A space/location for extended learning should be a public/family space, not in a bedroom.
  • Parents should contact teachers via email channels only in exceptional circumstances.
  • Please do not directly interact with Google Classroom (or other online platform), as this is a student learning space.

What is Barrenjoey doing to assist with Learning from Home?

What if my child needs to come to school?

  • Barrenjoey remains open.
  • Social distancing guidelines will be strictly applied. This means students attending school will NOT experience a regular school day.
  • Where possible, students will be in their usual classroom doing the same online lesson as those at home. If social distancing prevents this, students may be in groups in the School Hall where distancing is able to be catered for.
  • Extra-curricular activities will not take place, and the site will close at 3.30pm.
  • Currently the canteen remains open for online orders only, however, do not rely on this service as it may need to close, so students should plan to provide their own food.
  • The uniform store is closed this week.


  • What will happen to the HSC this year? NESA is meeting today (Tuesday 24 March) to discuss the ongoing learning of senior students, particularly in the context of the HSC. I will send a separate information page to Year 12 students and parents when we know more.
  • What if my child needs a textbook or other hard-copy resource? The school site remains open. If you need to access resources from the school, please email your request to the relevant Head Teacher first so we can have the correct resources ready for you to collect from Reception in A Block.
  • What if I need to contact a Deputy Principal or Head Teacher? Please contact the school via the school email ( and state in the subject line the person’s name, or role that you wish to contact (eg, ATTN: Deputy Principal Year 7).
  • What if my child finds the work too difficult? The online platform is the “classroom” -students are encouraged to ask questions and ask for assistance through this platform.
  • What if my child needs additional support / modifications to access learning? Classroom teachers will build-in adjustments as per usual practice. The Learning and Support teacher can be contacted for all learning and support students so that additional assistance may be provided.
  • What if my child needs extension work? The online platform is the “classroom” -students are encouraged to write questions and ask for assistance through this platform.
  • What if I need to speak with a Year Advisor? Year Advisors are accessible via email.
  • How can I access the Learning Hub for support with research? Teachers from the Learning Hub can be accessed via email.
  • What if there is “group work” in the subject my child studies? Teachers will determine the nature of this task and alternatives may be considered. Students should communicate with classroom teachers through their online learning platform.
  • What if my child does a subject with practical work? Teachers are investigating all options in regard to practical work. We understand that there will changes and adjustments as we navigate Learning from Home and teachers will provide more advice about practical work as it becomes available.
  • Will every subject/teacher be using the same online platform? While Google Classroom is the most popular platform, some classes operate within other platforms. Your child will receive information from their teachers about the platform being used and how to access it.
  • Will the canteen be open? Initially yes, but it will likely close in the near future
  • Will school bus services continue to operate? At present, the bus services will operate as normal.
  • What about extra-curricular activities? All extra-curricular activities have been cancelled until further notice. If activities do become available, information will come directly from the coordinator of the activity.

Further Information

eBooks and Audio Books available to Students

Students can access over 2,600 titles, borrowing through the Wheelers ePlatform.

You can access eBooks in three ways:

On the “Oliver” page via the Student portal, students have access to a huge variety of resources, including online magazines, recommended reading lists and useful links.

Kind regards

Ian Bowsher


19th March 2020

Sydney North Health Network Coronavirus Advice

SchoolTV have just released a free report facilitated by Michael Carr-Gregg . This is a great resource for parents needing to explain COVID-19 to their children


18th March 2020

NSW Health Frequently asked questions


17th March 2020

Daily Coronavirus (COVID-19) update with Secretary Mark Scott – Monday 16 March.

16th March 2020

Ian Bowsher Letter to Parents COVID-19

Letter from Chief Health Officer

Updated response to COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Dear Parents and Carers,

Please be assured Barrenjoey High School continues to carefully monitor the rapidly evolving situation with COVID-19 (coronavirus).  Currently there are no reported cases within our school or local community.  This means we are currently operating as close to normal as possible. However, hygiene and other practices recommended by both the Departments of Health and Education are being emphasized. More information on these practices and up to date details on the virus can be found on our website,

Barrenjoey COVID-19 information page

Both departments are frequently updating their messages and I will continue to populate our website (above) with the most up to date information available. Advice that eventuated towards the end of last Friday suggested that large gathering in excess of five hundred should be banned and in response to this our Formal Assembly scheduled for today and other such gatherings will cease for the foreseeable future. In streamlining our operations we have also cancelled school excursions, some intra-school sporting and other public events, as well as staff attending Professional Development outside of school.

In line with recent messaging we are:

  • encouraging all students who are unwell with respiratory illness to remain at home
  • promoting ‘social distancing’ and
  • good hygiene practices amongst the school community.

We are also tracking all students who have reported as travelling overseas and ensuring they abide by the advice of the Departments of Health and Education by self-isolating for 14 days upon their return into the country.

Forward planning and preparation

Please allow me to emphasise that we are not closed and this message from the Department of Education is clear. At Barrenjoey, we will be implementing proactive measures in school to minimize any potential risk (see above). These are sensible measures to protect our students, staff and communities while maintaining our essential service across education in the community.

However, in the event that the School is required to close for a period of time, Barrenjoey HS will enact a learning plan that will ensure learning continues if the school is closed during term time for a period longer than 48 hours.  It details Barrenjoey’s approach to learning at home, including the learning experience, the technology systems we will employ, guidelines for how parents can support their children’s learning and considerations tailored to make the best of challenging circumstances. 

In the event that we are closed for more than two days, the first day will be a staff planning day, either face-to-face or remotely via technology, to ensure this plan is enacted clearly and effectively. We will be prioritizing Year 12 planning so that any potential closure has as little impact as possible on our HSC candidates.

In the meantime, we recommend that parents please give consideration to the following matters:

  1. Supervision arrangements for your child during any potential closure period;
  2. Ready access to the internet and school log-in details to enable your child to participate in their Google classrooms.

Kind Regards


Ian Bowsher



10th March 2020

COVID-19 Information for teachers supporting students 10 3 2020