February 14, 2020
What a delight to welcome our students back on campus after a long summer break and to see uniforms looking great and well-prepared learners ready to get straight into work.
The ongoing bushfire activity in our region and further afield has been a cause of great concern for us all and as we have accessed expertise and resources to monitor and respond to any distress or anxiety that this situation has caused for our community. If you have concerns please speak to your Dean, class teacher or me and we will initiate specific support. Several Anglican and other schools on the South Coast have been directly affected by this situation and we plan to assist our students in taking practical and appropriate support action. Rev. Rogers will oversee this response from our community and communicate further with you in the coming weeks. The Novel Coronavirus has also created some challenges to us in our return to school procedures and while most of our impacted students will have commenced school by the end of Week 2 several students remain unable to return to Australia due to travel restrictions. Our teaching staff are providing work and communicating with these students.
In 2020, you will note some changes to our Newsletter format, this is in response to parent feedback through our annual surveys as well as anecdotally. We understand that our families want the newsletter to be accessible, relevant, interesting and helpful in their busy lives. This feedback has caused us to evaluate and reflect on the Newsletter as it has operated at our school for many years and make some adjustments.
We have clarified the purpose of our weekly Newsletter to:
- Celebrate the wonderful learning and achievements of our student’s Prep to Year 12 – look back
- Provide information that is timely and helpful for our community – look forward
- Inform current families and parents – relevant learning and instruction
- Share the values and traditions of our School – enhance community
The timing of the newsletter submissions has also changed. Articles will cover events up until the Wednesday of the week published, events that occur after Wednesday will be covered in the following week. Detailed recounts of excursions, sporting events and faculty or classroom work can be found on OLLE for a deeper look into what is happening in your children’s school. I look forward to receiving your feedback about these adjustments and others that you may find helpful in our communication.
What can families do to maximise the year ahead?
This week, Mr Hackett shared a fantastic piece of advice from William McRaven, US Navy Admiral which was…
“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed” (You can find a link to his talk here on YouTube, it is well worth a listen).
The first point of his advice is to get the little easily achieved things over and done with and done well. I think this is great advice for the start of a school year. Families can get the most out of their 2020 learning year by setting up the easy and small routine things.
Some of which you may like to consider include:
- Organisational strategies for packing bags and lunches and making the mornings stress-free.
- A routine for study, homework and home reading.
- An agreed use of IT and where devices are stored at night.
- A quiet place to do schoolwork.
- Learning goals in each subject for Term 1 – write them down together and discuss through the term as well as at the end of the term.
- Agreed routines around sleep, rest, relaxation and downtime.
- Cultivate a positive outlook to challenge.
- Celebrate effort and progress.
All of these little things have the potential to make a big impact on the quality of learning and achievement that can occur this year.
Schools are exceptional communities that provide an annual opportunity for a fresh start. I encourage each of our students to look at 2020 with fresh eyes and explore possibilities to achieve things you hadn’t thought possible. We are going to be working hard this year and our expectations of every student will be that they are working and giving their best – I know this is what our parents also expect of us as a school and of their children as they attend and grow.
There will be many opportunities for us to meet over the first few weeks of term and I encourage parents to attend the information evenings specific to your children/s year group. You will receive helpful information and make connections with the staff who will be working with your child in 2020. Please also mark in your diary TIGS Parent Evening which will be held on Friday 21 February. Traditionally this event has been for new parents, however, we are seeking further opportunities for our community to come together in informal ways and have decided to open this up to all parents.
RSVP’s for this event are essential. I hope to see many of you there!