What a difference a few weeks can make!
At the beginning of this term, the school was an empty and rather soul-less place. I kept myself occupied by playing handball by myself, eating in the cafeteria by myself and playing basketball by myself. It was so quiet!
In a matter of a few short weeks, the school has been absolutely transformed. I’ve never seen students so excited to be back at school. They have returned to campus happy, energised and so grateful to be back. I have loved greeting everyone with such big smiles each morning. I have enjoyed having lunch with the students again and sharing their stories and my handball skills have had a serious work out over the past few weeks.
After fifteen weeks of online learning the students have found a new love for the school and a greater understanding and appreciation of the important place that school is, in all its facets, and the very important role it plays in their lives.
I have been amazed by how seamless the transition from online learning to learning back on campus has been. Although we have many new procedures and protocols which need to be meticulously followed each day, the students have accepted these without question as they have become the new norm.
We will continue the current procedures and routines for at least the first two weeks of Term 3. After this we will re-evaluate the situation and see what we might be able to relax.
Who would ever have believed that the term could have ended so well after such an uncertain beginning? I think that there are so many life lessons we have all learnt over the past two terms such as:
- We need to be flexible and adaptable,
- Blaming someone for the situation is not helpful,
- Staying calm and only devoting energy to those things over which we have control,
- We need to be patient, and not expect things to be perfect immediately,
- Using social media to vent and criticise is not productive,
- To put things into perspective, to place yourself in the shoes of others, and to be more understanding,
- To have gratitude for all that is good in our lives, as it is often easier to dwell on the negative than to find the silver lining in the positives, and
- Probably the hardest of all for many of us, is that we can’t control, plan or organise our lives too far in advance.
As a community, I believe that under often difficult circumstances, as we have seen over the past six months of this year, we have much to celebrate and so much of which to be proud. It is in times of stress, pressure and anxiety that we see the strength of a community.
I believe that we are a stronger and more appreciative community as a result of our recent experiences. Moving forward, I don’t think that this will be the last time our community will be challenged, however, hopefully we have all learnt from the experiences we’ve endured over this time and we now understand that by supporting and listening to each other, we can weather any storm and come out much stronger on the other side.
Enjoy the holidays with your children, without the pressure of any learning expectations for you and your children for the first time in a very long time.
We look forward to welcoming all students from Reception to Year 12 on campus on Monday 20 July for a calm and uneventful Term 3.
Mark Hemphill | Head of School