From the Principal – Oriana Constable
This week we have a special guest introduction from Oriana Constable, Head of Senior College
We are living in extraordinary times. As we return from an unusual break and begin an equally unusual start to the term, together we are navigating our way through a whole new way of working, living and schooling.
Throughout the recent events I am so proud of our school community for all rising to the occasion and truly fulfilling the motto of our school ‘Factis non verbis’ (Deeds not Words). The deed of sacrifice to protect the communities’ most vulnerable may have presented its challenges, but the support and goodwill demonstrated by the Tintern community is heart-warming. Just as Monty Python urged us to always look on the bright side of life, I hope that this moment in history may shine a spotlight on the amazing job that teachers do and that as parents you have, on some level, enjoyed seeing just how adaptable and resilient your children are in the face of adversity; quickly engaging with a new way of learning and continuing to support their peers and teachers by actively participating in remote learning classes.
Tintern has a proud history of rising to the occasion when a challenge is presented – a creed so true that it is reflected in our Tintern girls’ school song ‘…we’ll work with a will, yes we’ll work one and all for the welfare and honour of Tintern’. Indeed, our annual school publication ‘The Brook’ tells us of the difficulties faced and the contributions made by our Tintern Community in the 40s. An excerpt from 1941 talks about the efforts by students to help during the war through social service.
And in the school’s Jubilee year of 1947, a reflection on the ‘The War Years’
In more recent times we have seen this in our response and support for those affected by bushfires. Our rich history of 143 years has seen the school endure and thrive through many adversities and now we have come together again and I know we will be stronger on the other side.
We continue to take great pride in being a school that encourages and nurtures connections between teachers, students and parents and we continue to strive for this in the online space. In the coming weeks our primary focus is in maintaining continuity of learning and wellbeing for our students and community and to provide a safe and supportive environment for our staff and students. Following the Easter Break, our teaching staff completed four days of Professional Learning activities, with staff off-site. These activities allowed colleagues to hone their skills in online delivery with many opportunities for collaboration. It was wonderful to have the opportunity for staff to share their expertise and experiences using various online platforms to develop the best possible academic, social and emotional outcomes for our students.
After 3 weeks away from each other I know staff and students are eager to re-connect this week and, while our Prep-Year 12 classes are unable to physically be together, it is wonderful to see everyone online when we meet for classes and pastoral sessions. The return to school provides routine and structures that have been missing these past few weeks and having live lessons with students is assisting us to maintain a sense of connection and community.
While drawing out the positives, I also recognise and appreciate the real and genuine challenges these circumstances present for our staff, students and families. The days are becoming shorter and colder and the novelty of having the option to conduct everyday life in pyjamas is wearing thin. It is much more challenging for our staff to teach online as I am sure it is for parents who are also working from home, with the challenge of juggling a full house. I know you will share in recognising the terrific job our staff are doing, but I want to highlight how honestly exhausting this quick change in circumstance has been, requiring many, many hours of additional work. Despite the best efforts of our teachers and high-quality delivery, I also acknowledge that it just isn’t the same for our students. They will be missing their friends, social interactions and being able to play in the playground and run around the oval at lunchtime. They are missing their teachers too and we are equally missing them. And for parents everywhere, while having your children home will present you with many positives and new opportunities, it is hard work and I am sure many of you have felt stretched to your limits as you adjust to this new way of living. Your wellbeing is important to us too.
Last night we hosted an online information session for parents with Hugh van Cuylenberg from The Resilience Project. He highlighted the importance of parents looking after themselves during this time and maintaining optimism and hope. He encouraged us all to focus on expressing gratitude during this time and to look for the positives in the situation (even when it doesn’t seem like there are any!). A strategy for doing this is to take time to write down three things that went well for you each day and to think about something you are looking forward to tomorrow. One of the unfortunate consequences of the restrictions in place currently is that for all of us we have experienced the disappointment of cancelled plans; holidays, celebrations, milestones and events. Despite this, we can still look forward to something each day; a catch-up with family on skype, walking the dog in your local area, trying a new recipe. Find something to be optimistic about.
The Resilience Project has created an online resource for parents, TRP @ Home that you can access through http://theresilienceproject.com.au/at-home/?mc_cid=7ef1b4b69b&mc_eid=f9486363fc
Another great parenting resource has been developed by the World Health Organisation which provides specific advice and strategies that you may find useful – COVID-19 parenting tips
Despite the unusual situation we find ourselves in, we are committed to providing unique, engaging and broad educational and co-curricular opportunities for all our students. This extends to key events and celebrations. We are presented now with an opportunity to be creative and adventurous in the way we approach delivery of a range of these events and I look forward to our upcoming ANZAC Service which, despite our distance from one another, has seen contributions from staff and students across the school.
You have been incredibly supportive throughout this process and we are enormously grateful to you for this support. Thank you for your patience, support, commitment, suggestions and, ultimately, care for each other. During the challenge of events such as these the fabric of our school is woven even more tightly as we embrace the shifting landscapes ahead together.
Notice of Appointment
Notice of Appointment of Tintern Grammar Board Chair and Deputy Chair
At its regular meeting on the evening of Monday 23 March, the Tintern Grammar Board unanimously elected Dr Jessica Davies as its Chair.
Dr Davies has served the Board since 2015. Jessica has been Chair of the Board’s House & Grounds Committee since 2018. In 2019 Jessica was elected Deputy Chair of the Board. She has been Acting Chair since the December Board meeting. Jessica is a current parent and a Tintern alumna and in addition to her PhD and impressive academic curriculum vitae, Dr Davies is also a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors. Jessica is currently the Head of Business Intelligence with Netball Australia.
The Board is also very pleased to announce the election of Mr Alex Danne, a member of the Tintern Grammar Board and the Finance & Risk Committee since 2018, as Deputy Chair. Mr Danne is a project finance and infrastructure lawyer, who is a partner at Gilbert and Tobin’s in Melbourne’s CBD.
Tintern works to have a balance of strong skills, diverse cultures and creative perspectives amongst the members of its Committees.
If you are interested in contributing to Tintern’s life and development, please email firstname.lastname@example.org indicating the strengths you would be able to contribute. The Committees are: House & Grounds; Finance & Risk; and Governance.
The Board’s role is to oversee the direction, resourcing and performance of Tintern Grammar. It is currently working closely with the Principal and Leadership to maintain the best possible care and education during these difficult times.
Thank you all for playing your part in this exciting and challenging task.
Jessica Davies – Board Chair
Alex Danne – Deputy Chair
Tintern Parent Group – 2020 AGM
The next meeting for the Tintern Parent Group is to be held on Tuesday 19 May 2020 @ 7.30pm online using Zoom.
To enter the meeting via audio only, call 03 7018 2005 and enter Meeting ID: 892 176 621.
All parents are welcome to attend and be a part of the Tintern Parent Group. We look forward to seeing you online at the AGM.
Online Parent Group Catch Ups
With the current Social Distancing requirements it has been almost impossible for our parents to catch up. Some of our Parent Representatives have been organizing online meet ups via Zoom, House Party, Wats App or any number of other social apps. Look out for communications regarding any year level catch ups for your class.
Although this looks very different to the dinners, morning teas and mini golf sessions that many were planning at the beginning of the year, it is equally important that as parents and guardians you stay connected with each other, as well as your children stay connected with their school and friends.
Please remember if you hear of any distress, concerns or questions within your year level, please do not hesitate to let your immediate class room teacher/pastoral mentor know or feel welcome to reach out directly to your Head of School. If you are not sure, you are always welcome to call or email me as well (email@example.com or 9845 7893). I am working both from home and in the office so any messages left on my phone will be received, so please feel free to leave me a message if you do prefer to phone in.
We still have a number of junior school year groups along with the Year 12 cohort, who do not have ‘official’ parent reps. If you have a son or daughter these years please let me know if you, or someone you know could help out, or you may know of someone already doing the role.
As they saying goes “We are all in this together” so please do not hesitate to reach out if you need.
Friends of Equestrian
Thank you to everyone who donated to the Friends of Equestrian Bushfire Appeal. The funds will be donated to Warriors 4 Wildlife to help buy much needed feed, hay and medical supplies.
Although many Equestrian Events have currently been cancelled due to safety concerns, our Equestrian students were able to represent Tintern at a number of events early this year. To read more please select here.
Presentation Ball 2020 – An invitation to Year 11 Students – Bookings extended to the 27 April
For a number of years, Year 11 students have had the opportunity to take part in the very successful Tintern Grammar Presentation Ball. We are now inviting Year 11 students to become part of the 2020 Presentation Ball.
A booking has been made for Saturday 12 September 2020 at The Centre Ivanhoe, 275 Upper Heidelberg Road, Ivanhoe.
The information booklet can be downloaded here, detailing what is involved to participate in the Presentation Ball program. The booklet must be read closely, so you understand the commitment required.
This event is run by a small group of parent volunteers who spend many hours of work planning this Ball to make it an enjoyable and memorable occasion for all involved. We ask for your cooperation wherever possible.
If any parents would like to assist with the Presentation Ball we would be delighted to hear from you.
Full payment for each Presentee is required by Monday 27 April 2020 to secure a place. Both partners must complete the Tintern Grammar Presentation Ball registration and payment through Trybooking: https://www.trybooking.com/BIQEK
At this stage the Presentation ball will still be taking bookings, with the understanding that if the event doesn’t proceed we will provide full refunds to the participants and their families.
Tintern Grammar Community Business Listing
To further support our strong community and fellowship, Tintern Grammar is establishing a Community Business Register.
We understand that the constantly changing situation with Covid-19 has impacted businesses across our community, therefore if you are currently reshaping your business model to accommodate the changing landscape or simply wanting to share new business offers, you can now join our business register by filling out our online form –https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LLS3K25
We look forward to supporting your business.
Community Committee Dates
Please note that due to Tintern moving to online teaching in response to the Covid19 virus, all Community Group Meetings will be held online.
Further information will be provided.
- Tintern Parent Group (TPG) –Next meeting: Tuesday 19 May 2020 President: Haidee Wallace
- Friends of Music (FOM) – Next Meeting: Wednesday 13 May President: Debra Fryer
- Friends of Young Farmers (FOYF) – Next Meeting: Monday 4 May 2020 President: Michael Biggs
- Friends of Equestrian (FOE) – Next Meetings: TBC 1.30pm
Upcoming Community Dates:
- Friends of Equestrian Demonstration Day – Friday 27 March 2020 – Cancelled
- 20th Annual Interschool Horse Trial Championships – Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 April 2020 – Cancelled
- Cathedral Service – Sunday 17 May 2020 – Cancelled
- Alumni Career Event – Thursday 21 May 2020 – Cancelled
- YG 2015 5 Year Reunion – Friday 17 July 2020, 7.30pm, offsite – Book Here
Community Group Fundraising
Entertainment Books – Now Valid for 12 Months
We are thrilled to announce that Entertainment is going 100% digital. New Entertainment Memberships that we know and love, will only be available via our App from next season onward. Excitingly this means that you Membership is valid for 12 months from the date of activation.
With many new offers and all the old favourites the value of this book is incredible!
Please click here to order your Entertainment book from Tintern Grammar. Instantly purchase and access a digital membership which can then be used on two separate devices.
Please contact Community Relations on 9845 7877 for further information.
All proceeds raised go towards the fundraising for the TPG!
Welcome to our beginning of term 2! I hope and pray you had an enjoyable and restful Easter and Resurrection Sunday.
Life in our household has certainly been different. The adults are finding the adjustment difficult while the kids are loving not having to go anywhere, being free to play and sitting down for two to three meals together each day has been a blessing.
Of course, there have been interesting times, there have been some ad hoc science experiments that the kids have decided to do. Like when something is labelled ‘highly flammable’, just how flammable is it? It turns out hand sanitiser does burn very effectively, I jumped in just before the deodorant can was tested. Then there was testing of what happens to different objects when thrown at a ceiling fan. So, the kids are adjusting well but this may change when they need to do school from home.
How are you going, how is your family going? Have you been surprised by anything? How are you feeling about the term ahead?
Just after the first Easter, not all of Jesus’s disciples had seen him rise from the dead. So the disciples were sad, confused and could not see the way forward, they had to adjust to a new ‘normal’, one they had not planned for nor imagined. The text in Luke says they were so focused on how things had been in the past that when walking down the road from Jerusalem to Emmaus, they did not even recognise when Jesus came and walked along side them.
We have a new normal to adjust to, one just a few brief months ago we could not have even imagined. And change is never easy. I know when this is passed, I will value the freedom I have taken for granted up to this point, of meeting with others and doing things together as a community.
So how will we as a community ‘do’ the upcoming term? Maybe you are concerned about how to motivate your child or children. Or wondering how you will balance work and home time nad how will you delineate the two?
In Pauls first letter to the Corinthians, he speaks of peoples experience as ‘running a race’, and running in such a way as to not only finish but to win. I found this really helpful as a way of looking out over the term ahead. We need to run this race, so that we finish, but not just finish but also succeed. That success will take a level of kindness towards ourselves as to what our best is and looks like. We need to be sustainable in our practice. We all need to set up a plan for what success looks like in this new environment, because it is different to what success looks like when we can all be at work or school together. We have a new normal to adjust to, and my prayer for us all is that we do this ‘race’ well and we make sure we have practices in each day that make it both sustainable and enjoyable. Run in such a way as to finish the race.
As I conclude I would like to offer a prayer:
Jesus of the resurrection
You are here with us as we walk this journey
There are challenges, there are fears.
Help us to find ways through so that when this is done, we can look back with pride as individuals and as a community of people who responded to the challenge, who finished the race, who kept the faith.
French World Music Incursion
Excited chattering filled the air as students from Years 7 and 8 gathered in the CM Wood Centre on Wednesday 11 March for the French World Music Incursion.
The high-pitched, melodious whistle of a woodwind instrument reverberated through the room as we all chanted “Bonjour Philippe!” Philippe, who was our guest presenter for the incursion, walked onto the stage and down the stairs, while playing a wooden instrument that resembled an oboe. Philippe told us that the instrument was a traditional French wind instrument called a ‘bombarde’. He also introduced us to the accordion, and played some French folk songs with lively rhythms. Throughout the incursion, the atmosphere was vibrant and interactive, and everyone wholeheartedly participated in the performances. Some students volunteered to play tambourines while the rest kept the beat by clapping along.
We sang along to some French songs, such as ‘An Dro Retournée’ which was enjoyed by all, even though we struggled to keep up with the fast-paced actions. ‘Alouette’ was a favourite among many – the song is a French children’s nursery rhyme which some of us recognised from countless French lessons in the Junior School.
Personally, the highlight of the incursion was the folk dances. We danced to many French folk songs from all over France. We danced to a number of jigs, such as ‘La Bastringue’, a piece originating from the French colonies in Canada. The minute the song began, we were all transported to a different place, feeling as though we were surrounded by snow-capped trees and mountains, as if we were dancing jovially around a camp-fire; the only things missing were probably the traditional costumes.
Everyone is very grateful for Philippe’s visit to Tintern and we’d like to thank him for introducing us to cultural French music. The opportunity proved to be very enriching, rewarding and fun for all the students. Thank you to the teachers and staff for organising this enjoyable experience.
We all learnt a lot from this performance and look forward to more events like this one in the future!
Anika Mulemane, Year 8
Senior Music Ensembles to start up again in Term 2
Term 2 is upon us and all of the Music Staff are greatly missing the happy smiles of our student musicians and the sound of bands and orchestras and choirs making music along our corridors. Well, there’s only one way to fix that!
Whilst ‘rehearsing’ our ensembles in the usual way would not be super easy in an online platform, there’s more than one way to peel a banana, as they say. So, this week, ensemble leaders are contacting some groups to trial some ‘gatherings’ of our groups to explore ways we can continue to share time together and learn pieces and songs. We have at the back of our minds that, when we do finally return to our onsite learning, we will be bursting with the need to perform. Individual music lessons are continuing at a pace this week, which is wonderful. But if we let our communal voices and instruments languish, they will get rusty and our technique will go out the window! There may be some opportunities for small concert events through Teams, but we have our fingers crossed that our big events in Term 3 (Annual Concert, Jazz Night) and smaller concerts (wind, brass, voice, percussion and strings) will go ahead ‘live’. The Annual Concert program (7 August) might be a little thinner than usual, and not quite as well-cooked, but what better way to celebrate our return to our Music School than to perform on stage all together!
In the meantime, we are dabbling with some “virtual” performance concepts also, so keep your eyes and ears posted for news of an offering or two in that area during Term 2 (presuming we stay learning in an online setting throughout the term)! Again, many fingers and toes crossed and much gnashing of teeth and speedy learning of unfamiliar online software is taking place in the hope that we can bring this to fruition.
Thank you for your ongoing support of your young musicians and the endeavours of our Music staff to continue their music education. I hope you are enjoying the opportunity to perhaps observe some music lessons in process and appreciating the care, patience, commitment and dedication of our Music team. Music gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind (and) flight to the imagination (Plato) and we are honoured to be able to continue to bring these opportunities to your children.
Setting up for Music lessons at home
Please remind (or help) your young musicians (Junior and lower Middle School; we presume seniors have their act together!) to be prepared for their music lessons at home each week. They should:
- have their instrument set up before the scheduled start time of the lesson and their music waiting on their music stand*
- have their device (iPad) connected to a charging cable and positioned so that the music teacher can see the child’s face and hands (for instrumentalists) and the child can see the screen easily. Try not to have the device facing a window, as the student will become a silhouette.
- have a pencil to mark notes on their music during the lesson.
- ensure the lesson can take place in a quiet place where interruptions will be minimal.
* If you don’t have a music stand, please consider buying one at your earliest convenience. They cost around $20 – $25 and are vital for good posture and ease of reading music.
Online Fitness Resources
Online Fitness Training Resources are now available on the Secondary Sports Portal, these include a range of free workouts, challenges and recommended fitness apps, to help students stay active during the online learning period.
House Athletics Carnival
The new dates for House Athletics Carnival are as follows, COVID-19 health guidelines permitting:
House Athletics Carnival: Wednesday 16 September at Proclamation Park in Ringwood. (Last Wednesday of Term 3)
At this stage House Cross Country will be going ahead on its scheduled date of Friday 31st July, COVID-19 health guidelines permitting.
3rd Place CT95”
Amelia Qvist in Year 11 and her horse Springwood Junior represented Tintern in the first of a series of four Horseland Interschool Combined Training competitions at Boneo Park on the 29 February 2020. A total of 20 students from 16 different schools in Victoria competed in this 95cm class which also included dressage.
Amelia’s point score was 18 out of a maximum of 20 points, which is a great start to the series for her.
SchoolTV SPECIAL REPORT: Dealing with Disappointment.
SchoolTV SPECIAL REPORT: Dealing with Disappointment.
The Coronavirus is impacting families around the world and changing how we do things on a daily basis. In many cases, it has resulted in the indefinite postponement of many special, and often long-awaited events, such as milestone birthdays, sporting competitions, school trips and family holidays.
Disappointment can be a tricky emotion to deal with at any age, but particularly for young people whose world has been turned upside down in a matter of weeks. Although disappointment is a normal part of growing up, adults need to remember that kids have a lot of choice regarding how they respond to it. Their response will determine the impact on their future happiness. Disappointment is considered a healthy and positive emotion that is essential to a child’s emotional, intellectual and social development.
It is important to help kids manage their disappointment in order to avoid stronger emotions such as anxiety and depression. Although your first reaction may be to fix the problem, it is better to encourage them to find the words to express how they feel.
In this Special Report, parents and caregivers will be provided with some tips on how to help a child process disappointment and look at the problem objectively. We hope you take time to reflect on the information offered in this Special Report, and as always, we welcome your feedback.
If you do have any concerns about the wellbeing of your child, please contact the school for further information or seek medical or professional help.
Here is the link to your special report – https://tintern.vic.schooltv.me/wellbeing_news/special-report-dealing-disappointment
Senior College News
VCE and IB News
I begin with an apology for what is a lengthy letter, which contains important information for parents of our most senior students. I reach out to you during these very challenging times knowing that some of you will be grappling with difficulties I am not aware of, but also some that I am. As a senior student’s parent, particularly if your child is in Year 12, these are truly uncharted and potentially anxious times. I have been holding off on contacting you in the anticipation that I would have received some concrete communications from VCAA and the IBO. We have had contact, but it has expressed similar uncertainties to those I have previously expressed to you. Both organisations are facing the same landscape as we are, and no doubt feeling a similar inability to confirm a defined course moving into the future.
However, there are some things I can offer as facts, together with some strong indicators.
VCE and IB parents will be understandably focussed on high standard completion of curriculums, on what will happen with Year 12 assessments and on the quality of teaching and learning. To this I would offer the following:
• Teaching time: Tintern students began with or before many or most students in Victoria and were also taught through all of last week, unlike all government students and many other independent school students. We will lose two days in what was Week 1 of next term but will very likely not have a mid-year examination period, or the GAT in Term 2. This will give us additional teaching time then. So, if anything, Tintern students will have been advantaged over many other Victorian students and certainly not penalised in any way.
• Teaching quality: The first 7 weeks of Term 1 was business as usual, with our outstanding teachers doing their outstanding work. In the final week, as I have already said multiple times, no student in Victoria would have been delivered a better teaching and learning offering. Again, if anything, Tintern students will have been advantaged over many other Victorian and Australian students. As we move into Term 2, however that ends up looking, your child will either be advantaged by what will be delivered, or certainly have parity with any other students, whether face to face, or online off-campus.
To VCE parents
• Assessment: VCAA will ensure it will be a totally level playing field for all VCE students, as it must. This is reassuring, but for our students, who have had no delivery or opportunity disadvantage, this just to be taken as read, in my view.
o Examinations – I am close to certain that there will be external examinations at the end of the year. This will be the last thing that VCAA will relinquish.
o Possible modifications to examinations – Exams may be a little later in the year, Unit 4 may be weighted differently to Unit 3, examinations may contribute a different percentage of an overall study score or may be composed differently. We will be absolutely across whichever, if any, of these options are taken up, when we know what it/they might be.
o Unit 3 assessment – I think it is possible that Unit 3 will be assessed primarily on internal SACs which will then be moderated against some combination of the GAT (which will need to be held later than the currently advertised date in Term 2) and possibly external end of year examinations. It is not possible to know how this moderation might occur and I may not be correct. Regardless, it is critical that students focus, progress and assess as well as they can in Unit 3.
Regardless of all of this, VCE students can continue to work hard with confidence that the School will ensure they; have full understanding of what is needed to be done, will be very well prepared and will have the resilience and confidence to “adapt, improvise and overcome” as I believe the US Marines’ slogan is.
To IB Year 1 parents
• Although this is a very unusual year for your children, it is essentially business as usual (clearly with some modifications!) and at this point there are no indications that assessment and completion will be any different to previous IB experiences.
To IB Year 2 parents
Assessment: You will no doubt have heard that the May examination period was cancelled in the northern hemisphere. At this point we have no details on how this will be managed there.
o Examinations – I am extremely confident there will be an examination period for southern hemisphere IB Diploma students in November as usual. Primarily, because it will be possible by them, and also because I expect that all IB students will have access and opportunity with a largely equal experience leading up to the examination period.
o Internal Assessments – these will be very important as they are every year, but if the examinations take place, no more than usual. We are receiving support from the IBO and the Asia-Pacific IBO leadership to ensure that students can complete these to the best of their ability. I have confidence that while there may be some challenges, any barriers to achievement will be fairly and appropriately considered as required.
o EE, TOK and CAS – at this point our understanding is that these will proceed as normal. I can envisage that there may be some modifications if time pressures become significant, but this cannot be anticipated at present. Again, students doing their best in each of them is the key here.
Our 2020 Year 11 and 12 students will work through a period of teaching and learning that will certainly be very different to those of previous years. It will be very much a bonus for them; they will have been forced (along with staff) to accelerate the development of skills attributes and dispositions that will advantage them in the world outside our gates. As always, the new learnings are difficult and uncomfortable, they stretch and challenge us like hard physical training, but we grow and develop precisely because of the stretch and all our students will now be particularly well prepared for post-schooling opportunities, whether in education or the workplace.
The ‘rites of passage’ elements of the final years of school are key blocks of student memory and social connection. In this very moving landscape, we are examining how we can retain as many of these as possible. We will update you on these when we have some certainty, which is not possible now.
The social aspect of school for Year 11 and 12 students is also a foundation of wellbeing and good mental health. The School is looking at how it can retain connections between students, particularly the mentoring and guidance of older to younger students. Our students must also be missing other students intensely. While classes provide some social and mixing opportunities, we recommend the use of Zoom, FaceTime, Skype and similar apps to ensure coffee catch-ups and chat with friends is a part of every students’ day.
Finally, COVID19 will pass. We do not know when, but it will pass. In 6 months we will look back on it as a time of test, growth and challenge, and we will move on with our lives, changed, but whole. You and our senior students also need to know that we will have them back on campus for face to face teaching as soon as we are safely able to do so. We miss them, and many staff have said this since we farewelled them, now nearly two weeks ago. I particularly look forward to sharing the last months of schooling with our Year 12 cohort, a fabulous group of young men and women.
Girls’ Middle School News
Welcome back to a most unusual Term 2! We are back into full swing with our virtual classes running online using the Microsoft Teams platform. Despite the change in format, many things within a class are just the same. Their teacher is there ready to help them grow and develop further in their knowledge and skills in each class. There is palpable energy that young people bring to any space and there is a buzz of friendly chatter as the students catch up with each other and share their experiences. What a strange time we area all living through. As we have battened down the hatches in preparation for Covid-19, our society has shown incredible care and concern for each other in social distancing and working to protect our most vulnerable. It has been wonderful to see neighbours caring for each other, kids and parents finding new ways to connect as they spend considerably more time together, and working out new ways to stay connected with other loved ones via the internet. That said I am sure that in your household, like mine, there has been considerable moments of frustration, fear and hard times over these past few weeks.
This coming term will be uncharted territory for us all, however, there are several key things to help to keep our students and our learning on track. Each class will be a mix of synchronous (together) and asynchronous (independent) approaches to learning. Students will be following our regular timetable and will start each class by joining into the class team meeting. This will help students to feel connected and also to have a clear idea of what needs to be done. The teacher will then either spend some time in synchronous activities with the class, or ask them to move into independent work. This will also help to reduce screen fatigue and enable students to work at their own pace. Students will have the opportunity to check back in with their teachers when needed. Some teachers have also created videos of key teaching aspects which will also be invaluable for students to progress independently.
Pastoral Mentors will continue to connect in with the students over the week, and are the first port of call if you have any concerns about how your child is managing online learning. As we saw in the last week of last term, our students have already embraced this new way of learning, and have adapted to it quickly.
Over the holidays many students elected to complete some creative tasks such as beautiful colour wheels as part of their Year 7 Art project. They certainly have been creative in finding items around their house to complete this task.
Some students have been busy creating poppies for our annual Anzac Day assembly later this week.
A reminder that as well as academic classes, many of our co-curricular groups such as the Green Team, Duke of Ed, morning fitness and Debating have all started up again and will use the digital space to operate. Students need to check the portal page for more instructions on how this will work.
This week you will have received an infographic providing some tips on how to best navigate this time of remote learning. Remember to encourage your child to have set time away from the computer, and hopefully also participate in some physical activity to keep up their physical health.
We are confident that whilst this is certainly a different time in education, there are new skills, growth and confidence to be gained by each one of our students. I was amazed this week to read of a small group of high school girls in Afghanistan who created a ventilator out of car parts! This may literally be a life-saving achievement and a wonderful reminder that pressure can sometimes produce diamonds. An incredible testament to the dedication of these young women and an inspiration to us all. For those who would like to read more about this news item please click here.
As we settle into our new ‘normal’, thank you to all parents for your ongoing support, encouragement and understanding. We greatly appreciate all that you have been doing to support your child in this complex time, and remember we are just an email away if you need advice, or have any concerns about your child. We are confident that whilst this is certainly a different time in education, there are also new skills, growth and confidence that can be gained by each one of our students. Looking forward to journeying with you all through this new experience in Term 2.
Boys’ Middle School News
I would like to start by welcoming everyone back to school in a virtual sense for the beginning of Term 2. I hope that your recent school holidays were an opportunity to spend some quality time with family given the current restrictions. For me it was a lot of family bike rides, simple cooking with kids, and quite a lot of Netflix and other similar platforms. I have to also admit, that I am now an account holder in Roblox and have played a few games of Jail Break – my boys loved the opportunity to teach me this one!
As has been mentioned in previous communication, the learning this term will be a combination of both synchronous and asynchronous approaches. Our boys will be following their regular timetable as indicated on the Portal and their lessons will start in a synchronous way with teachers meeting and greeting students before directing them to the work they are required to be doing each lesson. Often this will be asynchronous and therefore having our boys working independently on set tasks for the remainder of each lesson. They will always have the opportunity to check back in with their classroom teachers and ask questions, and if ever in doubt they can contact their Pastoral Mentor for general help.
Alongside normal academic classes, we are still running our many co-curricular activities, just in a different format. Activities such as debating, fitness, Green Team, Social Justice, etc. are all still occurring, just using the digital space to operate. Boys need to keep an eye on the bulletin and on their emails to keep track of what is happening and when. Again, if in doubt they need to contact their Pastoral Mentor.
During this period of online learning it is critical that our boys still find opportunities to be active and also socialise with each other. Our Sport and the Physical Education Department have combined together to provide activities for our students to be doing whilst at home and have placed these on the front page of the Portal. It is really important that students find time to include physical activity during their daily routine. Socialising with their peers is also another critical factor throughout this time of isolation, and this generation of students will find this easier than parents may have thought, given that this mode of socialising is something they’ve been doing for some time now. Having said that, we are encouraging students to find time at lunch, recess or after school to catch up with their friends using one of a variety of platforms that you as a parent are comfortable with.
Our pastoral program will also continue to run with our Pastoral Mentors running a variety of activities throughout these weeks from Resilience Project lessons to fun catch up chats to ensure we are keeping track of our boys and their mental health. We will have them involved in different webinars, small group activities, mindfulness sessions, games, challenges, plus lots more. Parents are encouraged to please keep us informed about any concerns or issues you may see developing in your children by contacting their Pastoral Mentor.
As much as this is a different way to start any school term, it is also an exciting way to fast-forward the development of our boys in terms of independence, organisation, self-sufficiency, plus lots more. Of course there are going to be students who find this challenging at first, but we are here to help with that. The world will be a different place following COVID-19, so these additional skills will be advantageous if universities and workplaces continue to utilise remote learning and working habits in the years to come. This is a fantastic opportunity for our boys to develop those skills now in a really positive and supportive way. I wish everyone well for the beginning of Term 2.
Girls’ Junior School
Welcome to Term 2
The start of our term will be a bit different to usual, but I hope to be able to pop in and see you all during your meetings with your teachers.
This week we will still have our usual Assemblies on Wednesday for girls in Year 3-6 and Thursday for girls in P-2. You will receive an invitation to a teams meeting for this, so I do hope you join in.
You might also notice some audio files being put on my portal page. These files are going to be a story time that I will be reading to you, starting with one of my favourite books, Charlotte’s Web by E.B. White.
It is a classic book, and even though I know many of you will have read the story, I hope that you enjoy hearing it read to you again.
Have a great first week of Term 2
ANZAC Day Poppies
Tintern families are encouraged to show their respect for ANZAC day by making creating their own interpretation of a Poppie, our Junior School Girls have done a fantastic job at creating some beautiful poppies as pictured below. All photos received will be included in our 2020 online ANZAC day service.
Boys’ Junior School
Welcome to Term 2 Junior School Boys
Early Learning Centre
This week we welcomed back the children into the ELC.
Our new drop off and pick up procedures have been welcomed by our families and the children are saying a cheerful goodbye at the doors and running into the classrooms to start their day.
We have learnt some new songs that we are happily singing while we wash hands to wash away the Germs.
It has been lovely to see the children happily engaging with the experiences, singing and dancing and enjoying our outdoor space.
We also had a special visit from Mr Fry who read a funny story about a Pink Pig who wears Rainbow underwear. We are looking forward to Mr Fry coming back to read to us again soon.
As ANZAC day draws nearer the children have been engaging in some ANZAC related projects.
We have been very busy making poppies and sharing stories around ANZAC. We have taken some of our Poppies and created a wreath. We will be taking a small group of children on Friday to the Flag poles to lay these wreaths on the ground.
Celia Pacquola (YG 2000)
A huge congratulations to alumna Celia Pacquola (YG 2000) for winning the 2020 season of Dancing With The Stars Australia. Celia takes home the coveted Mirrorball trophy and $50,000 for Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre. Congratulations Celia on this incredible achievement!
Dani Venn (YG 2003)
Congratulations to alumna Dani Venn – The Wholehearted Cook (YG 2003) for receiving the only immunity pin as a contestant in the MasterChef Australia ‘Back to Win’ series.