The ABC news live COVID-19 coverage each day is a great place to keep up to date with the latest news in this rapidly changing and developing situation.
Spielwelt has decided not to wait for ACT schools to close. We are taking action earlier as a precaution, especially given the knowledge of what our extended families in Germany are experiencing already.
For Spielwelt the situation is as follows:
1. Schlaumaeuse put its sessions on hold until further notice, from 6pm on Wed 17 March 2020.
2. Pfadfinder ceased meeting face to face from Wed 17 March, and will carry on online.
3. Spiel und Spass ceased meeting until further notice, from Sun 22 March.
4. The German Australian Playschool held its last session on Mon 23 March, and will reopen as soon as it is safe to do so. Teachers will prepare regular emails for families and include activities, songs, ideas and tips (and hopefully even videos) to help families offer GAP-at-home for their children.
Have written separately to all our groups to let them know about the refund policy and how it applies to them, and exactly how any childcare subsidy is likely to be affected.
All our groups aim to re-open later in 2020, when the COVID-19 situation has resolved to the point where bans and distancing measures have been lifted and the health risks are greatly reduced.
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The German Immersion Program Parents & Friends (GIPPF) have been very busy with their initiative: researching and working towards the establishment and implementation of a German Language and Culture Program in a new public primary school when it opens in 2021, comprising of a German Immersion Program, German language program for the mainstream students, and German cultural events to be celebrated school-wide.
The GIPPF has consulted with the ACT Education Directorate on how to implement this initiative and have developed a strong business proposal. Furthermore, they have received letters of support from key players in bilingual education and German language in Australia.
In August, they are meeting with the Swiss Ambassador and the Cultural Attaché of the German embassy who have expressed an interest in the initiative. They are visiting the German International School Sydney and Froebel Australia, and will be presenting the initiative at the ACT German Mini-conference.
The decision however ultimately lies with the ACT Minister for Education and Early Childhood Development, Yvette Berry MLA.
As there is no public primary school in the ACT offering a German language program, this is an important initiative for the German-speaking community to support.
We are now enjoying a new junior toilet in the girls washroom, and double children’s sinks in both washrooms.
Paul visited us today to put on the finishing touches we requested, by installing another two sets of his most heavenly child-friendly quarter-turn taps.
Being the friendly guy that he is, he also fixed a leaking tap, gave us a lesson on washers, checked we had safe water temperatures for children, and replaced the covers for our water meter and mains tap which were broken and hazardous.
This all helps us look after our water consumption, and be the clean green community organisation we strive to be.
Pfadfinder had the pleasure of welcoming 21 German exchange students to Canberra on Monday. They are here on exchange for a week with Canberra Girls Grammar school, before moving on to a school in NSW.
Pfadfinder held up our Welcome to Australia banner outside the scout hall when the students’ bus arrived. Inside the hall, the students could refresh themselves and store their luggage, while they waited for their host families to pick them up.
Our Pfadfinder welcomed the students and talked to them (in English und auf Deutsch, natuerlich) about what it is like to live in Canberra, and heard about what the students planned to do while in Australia and a little about their lives back in Germany.
Of course, we served a few traditional Australian treats: Tim Tams, Arnott’s Tiny Teddies and iced Vovos, lamingtons, mango and apple juice, Milo, and slices of watermelon.
Some students had a go flying our drone, which was fun.
It was a pleasure to meet the students and their teachers, and we hope they enjoy being German in Canberra as much as we do!
Pfadfinder have been busy creating designer cookies to help bring a smile to the face of people living on the streets in Canberra. The Joeys and Scouts have thoroughly enjoyed decorating the Plaetzchen, ready to be taken to Vinnies for distribution. It’s just one more way that our Pfadfinder enjoy contributing to the wider community.
The children and teachers were delighted to host guest speaker Anke Maria – a local German biologist from ACT Frogwatch – today. We got to meet and hear from many of her froggy friends, and learn about their habits and environmental needs. There were lots of hands-on activities, games, puzzles and puppets to have fun with; and plenty of opportunities for the children to ask all their inquisitive questions.