Posted on May 5, 2020 / Middle School
One of the most profound things that this hard time of Covid-19 has shown us, is that we are all capable of more than we thought possible.
Challenges are what make life interesting. Overcoming them is what makes life meaningful. – Joshua J. Marine
Our girls have shown a remarkable level of positivity during this time. They demonstrated considerable resourcefulness and adaptability in how they have approached different challenges that they have encountered.
In our academic classes our staff are using a wide range of different programs and apps to enrich the learning possible online. For example, in our maths classes, staff are creating step by step videos to demonstrate the right process to complete a maths equation. These videos support the face-to- face class delivery, by enabling students to be able to go back and view each step and pause when needed. Staff are using online quizzes and other assessment tools to provide students with timely feedback so that they can be confident of their understanding of each topic. Our science staff have filmed experiments (often in their own kitchens) in order to provide a visual example of the chemical process. For our practical subjects such as agriculture, art, music, cooking and dance our staff are being highly creative in working out ways to still provide meaningful learning for our students. Our students are also rapidly developing their own knowledge in using Technology to provide evidence of their learning. Students have been emailed this week with a survey of how they have found online learning, and provide valuable feedback to the school. If you have any suggestions or feedback please feel free to let us know.
Ensuring good mental and physical health is one of key objectives whilst students are at home. The significance that these two things play in a students’ capacity to learn cannot be underestimated.
The Middle School girls have been given some great opportunities to engage in House activities to help keep everyone’s spirits high. This week they have participated in a Middle School house trivia game over the Kahoot program. We have also launched our ‘Tintern’s Got Online Talent competition’. To help improve our level of exercise we have launched a House ‘running/walking’ competition using the Strava app, to track the number of kilometres we have travelled walking around our local areas. Each kilometre walked adds points for their House and the ambitious goal is to collectively ‘walk’ to Perth, WA!
Another exciting initiative is the Online Buddy reading program. Students in Year 9 and above have volunteered to read online to a prep buddy three times a week. We have been blown away by the success of this program as shown through the praise received from both parents and students about how much they are all enjoying this activity and how valuable it has been. This is one initiative that we are keen to be able to hold onto once we all return to school.
In our pastoral program we look for ways to support others, whether this is through writing a letter for a loved one, creating a thank you card, or in doing a simple act of kindness for a family member to help carry the load in the home. With Mother’s Day just around the corner, students have been encouraged to find practical acts of kindness to demonstrate their gratitude or to express their feelings in a letter. Whilst we are disappointed not to be able to have our annual ten-pin bowling mother/daughter night this year, we are hopeful that this lovely tradition can return for 2021.
Last week our Middle School leaders created a wonderful motivational video for our students, which focused on the key message of ‘Make your bed’. This simple message highlighted that something as small as making your bed each morning can significant impact how you feel about facing each day. A small step of achievement can put you into a better frame of mind and help you to feel in more control of things within your grasp. This video has been posted on each of the year level portal pages, if you would like to take a look.
Here are some little suggestions of some fun ways that families can try to help us to thrive not just survive this time.
- Take a short burst of exercise to ‘wake up’ your brain. Make a time to all meet in the lounge room for a really quick ‘brain pump’ session, or race each other around the block.
- Trying to learn a dance step can be a quick way to boost morale. Try these short clips (4 mins) with perhaps a classic “U Can’t Touch This” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rtbJC3t_CVQ or for something more modern try “Uptown funk’ on https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_WvL5qWLOZ4
- Be mindful of the level of exposure to media coverage in your house. Instead seek out things you can do together as a family to create some positive memories. Card games, board games, perhaps ask your daughter to teach you the latest dance craze, or even be brave enough to make a family Tik-Tok.
- Be fully present. Wherever you are, train yourself to focus. Choose to become calmer, take a moment to stop and notice where you are and who you are with. Put up some motivational thoughts around your house to remind each other.
Remember that we are all in this together, and that we will get through this time. Please feel free to contact the school if there is anything we can do to help.