A message from the Principal

Being Kind to yourselves and not 'falling behind'

Now that the initial novelty and excitement of remote learning has worn off, it has been possible over the last couple of weeks to establish routines which are hopefully starting to work for families, students and staff alike.


Whilst these routines are a long way from what we would normally be talking about at this point in the school year and it is safe to say that there is little we are currently doing that we have done before, we hope that this consistency is making the huge task of managing remote learning at home slightly easier.


Whilst our teaching teams are working very hard to develop learning tasks and uploading these to Seesaw and Google Classroom, our most important message for families is to be kind to yourselves, adapt and omit if that is what is going to work for your child. Whilst we want learning to continue throughout this period, currently it is far more important that our students are connected to school and feeling positive than they complete every last thing - especially if doing this is going to cause tears, arguments and anxiety at home.


Our staff will fully understand if your own work demands and wellbeing have meant that certain things have been missed. Later in the newsletter, Michelle provides some great ideas and options for you to use as a substitute for assigned tasks if you want to get more hands-on and away from the screen for a day.


On a similar theme, whilst we don't want you to 'forget home schooling', this National Geographic article contains some great ideas about undertaking home projects linked to a shared interest and passion with your child - this kind of learning can be a really meaningful and authentic way to engage their curiosity if completing all of the assigned tasks is becoming a battle. 



I know that an anxiety for many parents is that missing tasks and being away from school will lead to their child 'falling behind' and this causing some long-lasting educational damage. We are very clear that this is not the case. Even if this current situation were to continue for some time longer, our staff are here now and will be waiting when schools reopen to get everyone back on track and keep building their skills and knowledge.


I recently read a very interesting article regarding work that was done into the lasting effect of long-term school closures in Christchurch following the 2011 earthquake. John Hattie, chairman of the Australian Institute for Teaching and School Leadership (AITSL) found that results did not suffer during this period (and this was before online remote learning was possible in the way we are using it now). 



The Education Department is still advising that schools will operate in this way for the rest of the school term but, clearly, the very successful flattening of the curve that has occurred in Australia has meant that some form of staged re-opening is perhaps possible over the coming weeks. We will communicate any news to our community as soon as we are aware of it.


Regardless of what happens, how the school, the students and the community has dealt with the unprecedented challenges thrown our way should be a source of pride for us all.


Neil Scott, Principal