Posted on October 13, 2020 / From our Principal
Hope, and all that it is. Sustaining us, and sometimes feeling like it might overwhelm us.
I am finishing this article on the afternoon of Sunday 11 October, one day ahead of our Year 8 and 9 students having to watch all other Tintern students returning either full-time or part-time for Year 10. My heart goes out to those young women and men, who have not been on campus, nor seen each other or their teachers for over three months, and have in fact only been on campus for three weeks out of the last six months.
As someone who has been fortunate to work at school every day this year, I cannot imagine how isolating that must have been. But when I logged onto our virtual Year 7 Orientation Day on Friday, our Year 9 Boy and Girl Leaders were there, upbeat, smiling and exercising visible leadership to a group of new and likely uncertain Year 6 students. When I thought on this later, I was not sure that I would be able to see the world as positively as they clearly do, in their shoes, with their experience. The hope and yearning to return must be very strong.
At the same time, we have already seen all our ELC students return to campus over a week ago, chock full of enthusiasm and energy. Our Prep to Year 7, Year 10 (part-time), Year 11 and Year 12 students will all be with us tomorrow. I know from messages I have had from students, from parents and from staff, that there is joy, enthusiasm and ambition aplenty for all of us ahead of tomorrow, and then later, the return of Year 8 and 9 students on the 26th. The fulfilment of that hope to return will have been a sustaining force for many students, parents and staff over the last 6 months, and to have it fulfilled, reinforces the human ability to find, see and focus on the positives, the light in the darkness, the hope that sustains us through challenge.
We also know that it is not like that for all of us. We know we have students who are nervous or anxious about returning, and I am sure there will be measures of this amongst staff and parents too. As I said in the Friday Principal’s Bulletin, wellbeing and health will be the immediate priority for our students and staff as they return. Many will do this seamlessly, some with relative ease, and others will need more support. Can I ask that if your child, or you, would find an easier path with some support, that you approach us? Pastoral Mentors and Year Level Coordinators, Heads of School or subject teachers; we are here to help. Please reach out if we can assist and we will join with you, supporting your child or you and fulfil that hope that has sustained our whole community over the last 6 months or so.
We are very fortunate in our Tintern community, that we have choices. We can make our own way, if we feel we can – perhaps with an occasional kind word or supportive hand, or perhaps even that not needed. But if at times the journey is too much, there is more available, to ensure there is support during the difficult times. I know our staff are both grateful and humbled to share each family’s journey through school – to relish the successes, to assist with the challenges, to pick up and dust off after the failures that we all experience at times. We are all partners in the building of our community; its hopes, its dreams, its aspirations, and its capability to achieve them.
I want to conclude by thanking you for the remarkable trust, support, and affirmation you have given our students, our staff, our executive staff, and me. I know it has sustained my own optimism and hope over this very difficult period, and I am confident I am not alone in that. We have shared a remarkable journey and now we move forward into a new phase, buoyed and sustained by that shared hope.
factis non verbis