We Are Off To A Flying Finish!
October 30, 2020
Every term is busy in the academic year and Term IV is characterised by exams for our departing Year 12; the commencement of leadership; and a new focus for the incoming senior cohort on their final 12 months of lessons in the Higher School Certificate (HSC). Other year groups are finalising their elective choices and pathways of study for the following academic session and our orientation programmes are being planned for the Year 7 2020 cohort. It is amazing to think that organising many of these important events via Zoom or live stream now feels quite “usual” and I am particularly thankful for the hard work of our IT team and Events team, especially Mr Joey Morris who all of our community will know due to his behind the scenes work in the IGC at major events in a “normal” year.
Our support team at TIGS; Property, Canteen, IT and Logistics and Event support, not to mention our Admin team, our Cleaning crew, our Transport team, Finance, Enrolments and Marketing are often unsung heroes at TIGS. This week I’d like to loudly sing their praises and know that our community all joins me in expressing gratitude for the wonderful way they have adjusted, retrained, and just made it work for us in this very different year.
Our teachers are visible and an obvious strength here at TIGS, but our teaching staff can only exhibit this strength because of the support and excellence of our non-teaching colleagues. Friday 30 October is “World Teachers Day”, at TIGS we have renamed it World “People Who Work In Schools” Day and we have spent time this week intentionally expressing gratitude to our colleagues for each one’s important and unique contribution. TIGS students and their families are truly blessed to be cared for by such a team.
Another hallmark strength at The Illawarra Grammar School is the development of leadership potential. This is recognised as a valuable attribute of TIGS graduates by universities, employers and the wider Illawarra community. We seek to provide developmentally appropriate opportunities for leadership for all students from the Junior School right through to Year 12. These are interwoven with our focus on taking action that serves others in the Junior School and community service opportunities in the Senior School. We value formal positions of leadership and accompanying responsibilities, but also the critical influence from our Senior students on our school culture and the lived experience of our community each day. While many of our community service events have been cancelled due to COVID-19 it was wonderful to see our newly inducted leaders jumping straight into action last week assisting Anglicare. Families may have seen some of the media coverage of this event which was very encouraging for our students. I am very excited to see the impact that our Year 6 and Year 12 student leaders will have individually and collectively and I am confident that they will take this opportunity to grow our school as a positive and “other centred” place of learning so that those following them will benefit from their legacy.
Finishing well is important in every academic year, but especially important in 2020. Thank you to those families who ensure that the students are wearing their uniforms well, coming to school prepared and working hard. We really appreciate your support and the learning that occurs in the classroom is enhanced when we work together in a unified way. We continue to remind the students about physical distancing where possible as well as hand hygiene and other COVID safe practices, this is particularly important as many social and outside activities appear to look more “normal”. Please be reminded especially that students are not to attend school if they have symptoms associated with COVID-19 or feel unwell and that they must get a COVID test prior to returning to campus. I know we all look forward to the day when these precautions will no longer be necessary, but in the meantime, I thank you all for your continued support.