Posted on June 6, 2021 / Middle School
It is amazing how quickly thing can change! This time two weeks ago I was commenting on the many co-curricular activities happening at school including Year 8 Smoothie Bar, EISM Sport and our Chess Club training for the EISM Chess competition at the beginning of Term 3. Today, we are in Lockdown 4.0 and back to completing our learning remotely like what was done for a large part of 2020.
It has been fantastic to see the smoothness in which our community can transition between face-to-face learning onsite, to remote learning from home with little warning. This is a real testament to the flexibility and adaptability of our students and their families, as well as that of the staff. If COVID-19 is teaching us one thing, it is to be able to accept and deal with change as it is presented, and our students are doing a great job in this area.
As has been communicated to both families and students, it is important that when working from home that an appropriate environment is created for each student. This includes the right light, desk set up, and routines, as well as many opportunities to have a break from screens and engage in some physical activity outside. Below is a link from a great website that helps to provide some tips for parents about supporting online learning.
For our Year 9 families, we have our ‘Guiding your Future’ Evening on Wednesday 9th June commencing at 7.00pm via Microsoft Teams. This event is designed to provide students and families with detailed information around options available for 2022 and beyond. This will include subject selection, details about the VCE and VCE/VET courses and pathways, plus the role of subject selection in providing opportunities for future careers. Questions entered into the Chat will be responded to during the evening. Details for this have been sent to Year 9 families already and we look forward to seeing many of you on the screen that night.
Another event that was occurring this term is our Year 9 House Showdown event. This involves our Year 9 cohort working in their House groups (girls and boys) to create a dance performance that is presented to families at an evening event. With current restrictions and uncertainty around the ability to host families onsite, we have rescheduled this event to Term 3 and will provide information on this as soon as we are able to confirm the new dates.
Our Year 7s and 8s have been working on units to do with study skills this term through their pastoral program and it has been great to see many of them implementing successful strategies both when at school and now for remote learning. In Term 3 the program shifts to a social media focused program titled ‘Positively Shaping Digital Practices’. This will focus on the safe use of social media, an understanding of risks associated with it, as well as the positive use of such mediums in today’s society. There will also be a big focus on positive self-esteem and positive body image, with programs from Butterfly Education for our Year 7 & 8 girls on Wednesday 21st July, and The Man Cave working with our Year 7 & 8 boys on Friday September 10th.
The Resilience Project continues to play a big part in the pastoral development of our secondary students, as well as with staff and families. I feel it is important to remind parents that we have many resources available to parents from the Resilience Project that are accessible from the landing page of the portal. If you are interested in this but are unable to locate the resources, please contact the school for assistance.
The Resilience Project has focused a lot on gratitude, empathy and mindfulness in many of the activities for students and staff. Emotional literacy is another area that the program focusses on helping to develop. This is the ability of one to understand their own emotions and that of others, and to help develop self-confidence and self-esteem. Information for this can be found on the Resilience Project link on the portal, as well as from the link below to an article discussing the importance of developing this in our children.
The journey through school, and especially through the Middle Years, is one that needs to be a continual team effort. Families and school need to work together to help provide the best possible environment for the growth and development of our young ones. This includes the right level of challenge, independence and support. As a school we are grateful for the ongoing support and connection we have with our families during their educational journey.