Volume 30 Issue 34 12 Nov 2021 8 Kislev 5782

From the Principal

Andrew Watt – Principal

COVID-19 testing requirements 

We have been approached by several parents, seeking clarification as to whether a Rapid Antigen Test could replace the standard (PCR) COVID-19 Test when their child is displaying symptoms. After consulting our Medical Advisory Panel, we have concluded that Rapid Antigen Tests, whilst quicker and more convenient, are not as accurate as PCR tests and are not recommended for people who are symptomatic. Key information on this test is outlined below:


The relevant section in our Parent Handbook has been adjusted accordingly, and is outlined below.

Absence from school

If your child has any symptoms, please keep them at home and get a standard COVID-19 test (PCR) at a COVID-19 testing clinic in NSW and isolate, including from your household members, until you receive a negative result. The only way to rule out COVID-19 is to have a standard test (PCR), even if you have only mild symptoms. Rapid antigen tests are not as accurate as PCR tests and are not recommended for people who are symptomatic. Parents must provide a copy of the negative test result to the School via absence@emanuekschool.nsw.edu.au.

If your child has a negative test, but still has ongoing symptoms of illness, they must remain at home and not return to school until they are completely well. To summarise; the student can only return to school when they:

  • have a negative result for their test; and
  • no longer have any symptoms

Parents should be aware that even a mild symptom, such as a headache or runny nose means that your child cannot attend school. Students who are well/displaying no symptoms may continue to attend school, whilst the unwell household member (sibling, parent etc) awaits a COVID test result.

Higher School Certificate Examinations

After the longest wait in HSC history, the examinations commenced on Tuesday. Our students approached their final examinations with equal parts trepidation and relief. They have settled down quickly into the prescribed routines. The Emanuel Synagogue are generously hosting the examinations, which take up a large room and a range of additional spaces for students with disability provisions. Our covid-safe arrangements are working well, and our hope is that we will progress through the next few weeks without incident.


Kristallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass, marked the onset of the Holocaust. On 9-10 November we commemorated these atrocities that marked a dark turning point in our collective history.

Kol Ha’kavod to our Chaggim Va’ad – Eden Glass, Eden Grynberg, Jayda Sacks and Lily Berger – who worked together to develop a moving virtual Kristallnacht ceremony. Their maturity and empathy shone through, capturing the theme, mood and details in a respectful and engaging way.

Our Remembrance Day Ceremony

At 11 am on Thursday, we joined schools across the country in remembering those who had died in the First World War. This conflict had mobilised over 70 million people and left between nine and 13 million dead and as many as one third of these with no grave. At 11 am on 11 November 1918, the guns on the Western Front fell silent after more than four years of continuous warfare. 

Due to COVID cohorting restrictions, the ceremony was held outdoors, with students standing. The student-led reading of the ode, followed by the Last Post and a minute’s silence captured the significance of the event. Our thanks to Eva Nabarro, Jake Isenberg (Year 7) and Max Salamon (Year 8) for conducting the ceremony, and our Modern History staff team for organising the event.

Lest we forget.

National Recycling Week

Our Sustainability Va’ad marked National Recycling Week with a range of student activities, including a poster competition (made with recycled paper), highlighting the importance of recycling within our School. Our student sustainability leaders produced a video, highlighting their top tips for recycling (to reduce, reuse and recycle), which was played in House Tutor Groups. Head of Visual Arts, Eytan Messiah and Art and Makerspace Technician, Chrystal Rimmer, will be judging a competition of artworks made of recycled material, with winders to be announced in Week 9. Our thanks to Lisa Starkey, High School Coordinator of Sustainability Programs, and to our Sustainability Va’ad.

What a delicious surprise

Our staff enjoyed a very delicious and much appreciated morning tea today, organised by the P&F on behalf of the whole Emanuel School community. Ruby Berkovic, Co-President of the P&F who handwrote the thank you notes and personally delivered the grazing boxes said, “We all know how hard everyone’s worked this year. We want you to know that it hasn’t gone unnoticed. We so appreciate all that you have done for our children.”

Thank you to the P&F for their thoughtful surprise. I echo their words and sentiment.

An unexpected letter

I received a most unexpected and moving letter from our neighbours, Maureen and David. Maureen, who sadly has dementia, recently fell from their reversing car, breaking seven ribs and fracturing her skull. Our wonderful parents and staff jumped to her aid until the ambulance arrived.

Our Emanuel deep sense of community didn’t end there. David returned home from visiting his wife in hospital to find a homemade meal waiting outside his front door. I am deeply grateful for the kindness, compassion and care displayed by members of our school community.  

I thought you’d like to read an account of the events in David’s words.