Posted on September 14, 2021 / Middle School
As Term 3 draws to a close we can reflect on what was once again a term of learning that provided us all with challenges and hurdles to overcome. Remote learning is not our preference when it comes to teaching as we miss face-to-face contact and onsite involvement with our students. Having said this, it has been fantastic to see the way in which our staff adapted their teaching and even more importantly, how well our students continued to learn when switching between face-to-face and remote learning. Our fingers are crossed that as we reach the desired thresholds of immunisations within our community that we may be able to return to onsite learning throughout Term 4.
Recently the Paralympic Games in Tokyo was something that occupied a lot of my spare TV moments (along with the football finals) and it provided me with an incredible level of admiration for the athletes who were participating. They are a wonderful example of resilience and commitment to their dreams, along with the determination to not let potential barriers stop them from competing at their highest level. This attitude and effort is something that all of us can take something from when it comes to our everyday lives, especially our students toward their learning.
In recent weeks, one of our Year 9 Science classes was lucky to have a guest presenter attend their Microsoft Teams class to join in the conversation on the Bionic Human topic they are currently studying. The guest was Dr Lynne McPherson from Southern Cross University, a Tintern alumni and mother of current 9A Science teacher Mrs Petchell. Dr McPherson joined the class as they concluded their unit on the Bionic Human topic and spoke of her experience with hearing loss, and the process of receiving a cochlea implant. She also shared a little about her experience of learning how to lip read.
Recently a number of our Year 8 classes were lucky enough to have an online incursion from Andrew Pogson, Head of Presentations, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, who spoke to the students in line with their current topic of Music in Society. It was a wonderfully engaging unit for all students. For more details, please read the following article by Arya Yogesh-Kumar: https://newsletter.tintern.vic.edu.au/article/music-matters-108/
On Friday 10th September we had our Term 3 GEM Day across the Middle School. This was a day away from their regular academic timetable and instead was a combination of other activities designed around mental health and wellbeing. Our students had opportunities to participate in cooking competitions, yoga classes, HIIT (high intensity interval training), meditation sessions, as well going for a walk within their 5km radius either on their own or with a family member. What has become really obvious during this time of remote learning is the importance of days like our GEM Days to provide students with this opportunity to take a break from their regular learning, to participate in an activity (or activities) that help to work on their mental health and wellbeing. Finding these opportunities is important to help ensure their ongoing learning is best supported.
On Monday 6 September we had the first of our orientation sessions for our Year 7s of 2022. This would normally have involved the new students coming onsite and participating in many different activities throughout the day to help welcome them to our Middle School and to our Tintern community. Given we were unable to run it like this, the event moved online to Zoom where we took them on a virtual tour of the school, introduced them to some key staff and to our programs. We were also fortunate to have our current Middle School Captains, Anika and Barathan, share their own stories of their journey through Tintern so far and what they have to look forward to next year. We also had four current Year 7s, Tess, Yi-Chen, Ryan and Sebastian, join the gender-based breakout rooms to also share their experiences of Year 7 this year and their own similar transition from Grade 6 last year. I’d like to express my gratitude to these students for their contribution on this very successful night.
Congratulations to Cayden Wood in Year 7 was just awarded the Under 13C league best and fairest in the Eastern Football League. Cayden is a very good young footballer, playing for Boronia in the Eastern Football League, and despite a disrupted season, has done incredibly well to be voted the best player in that competition across all teams. Well done, Cayden.
As we move into the holidays I would again like to express our thanks and appreciation to the students, families and staff within our school. The ongoing commitment and hard work demonstrated by everyone is something we are very proud of and I hope the coming break provides some well-earned time off screens and school commitments for the coming two weeks.