A Window With a View
Week 3, Term 3, 2020
This week we take a moment to reflect back to you what are we noticing at School. As you are not able to enter the premises, you may be hankering for a glimpse or a snapshot of the current state of affairs.
Where are we up to? Are we ok? What are the indicators? What is happening beyond the turning circle?
Within the school grounds and classrooms there is a hive of industry, creativity and learning, with laughter, friendship and energy.
In Primary School
Although you do get to glimpse the casual happiness of the children gathering on the front lawn, the noticeable change is that we do not get to greet parents. You cannot experience the beauty of the school- see the children’s work, feel the ambience, witness the joy and so on. Inside it all looks pretty much as it did at the start of the year, with space maintained where it is possible
In High School
While we share spaces, the flow of connection is challenged as social distancing creates separation - between desks, queueing at canteen etc. We trip the COVID shuffle as we navigate the pathways, entrances and exits with 1.5m distance.
For the Staff
Our usual rituals and communing is interrupted by the need to restrict numbers within a room, like the staff common room for example. When there is sunshine, we collect at a distance in the courtyards and share experiences and stories. When it is wet and cold, we cannot gather. We continue to celebrate the joys and successes, and share concerns when things are not going smoothly, when a child falls and is injured, when an ambulance is called for a student, when asthma attacks are serious, or a student is in great discomfort, when we receive a distressed call from a parent. The teachers, assistants and admin staff treat the child or student as if they were their own. The care is phenomenal. As parents do not get to witness this, it is important to share with you how extraordinary the care is. When we know what is happening, the team responds. Be it Deb or Cassie, Caroline or Jess, Sarah FW or Talulah, Bec, Trish, Chris, Nathaniel, Helen, Robyn, or any other staff member, the child/student is the most important event of the moment.
There is no doubt that the changes we have needed to implement for COVID are an added burden. A cautionary awareness enters the consciousness when in company, and we move meetings outdoors wherever possible. Teachers, admin staff and students work within our guidelines to keep themselves and others safe. To date, this has been very successful.
Throughout these interruptions to regular routines, the teachers are holding the students to our usual standards and teaching to the curriculum. We acknowledge the circumstances, yet we do not allow them to excuse us from accepting the challenges. We are all in this together. This is the nurturing of resilience.
We recognise that the lack of incidental connection, of seeing your child’s workbooks on display and having a casual chat with the teacher, has been difficult for many of you. From next week, we are entering into a few weeks of feedback conversations with parents through our parent/teacher meetings. While we crave the return to our routine connections and hope that this limitation is only temporary, regrettably, we are still needing to operate within the ongoing health restrictions, and therefore all meetings will be conducted on Zoom. The booking links have been emailed to families in high school for Week 4, for this coming Tuesday evening. The second alternative session will run on Wednesday of Week 5.
Primary meetings will also be held from Week 5, and information about these sessions will be posted this week. We had really hoped that by this stage of the term we could run them on site, but sadly this is not the case. We will do our best to ensure that the quality of information shared is not compromised and we thank you for your understanding in this.
As the snow is falling outside my window, and I am grateful for the beauty that surrounds me, I leave you with this reflection:
“When our eyes are graced with wonder, the world reveals its wonders to us. There are people who see only dullness in the world and that is because their eyes have already been dulled. So much depends on how we look at things. The quality of our looking determines what we come to see.” ― John O'Donohue, Beauty: The Invisible Embrace