From the Principal
This week we have a special guest introduction from Oriana Constable, Acting Vice Principal.
A week of change and adaptability was the theme last week when the Victorian Government made the decision to lockdown the State for five days and in a short space of time, we were forced to quickly prepare for our first period of Remote Learning for 2021. Our experiences from last year certainly gave us confidence and ensured a relatively seamless transition and continuity of learning. The feedback from our students and parents were that they felt well prepared and supported for the week through the leadership and agility shown by our teaching and non-teaching staff. One week on and we have happily resumed school back on site and, with vaccines rolling out this week, we are all optimistic that we will have greater certainty and consistency in terms of restrictions from here and hopefully we’ll avoid any future lockdowns.
Other than our three day stint online, it has certainly been a more familiar school environment this term and it has been wonderful to have parents and community members back on site; the sense of community that is at the core of Tintern is strong, vibrant and positive.
As we begin the year, Tintern’s rich offerings in and outside of the classroom provide our students with so many opportunities to get involved in activities to broaden their experiences and develop their interests and talents. Already we are seeing our students take up offerings such as debating and chess club, whilst others are rehearsing as part of a musical ensemble, training for interschool swimming or volunteering to assist with Clean Up Australia Day and mentoring programs.
An important part of the overall education of students during their time at Tintern is the Camps Program and it is not surprising that students remember these experiences fondly well beyond their time at school. The sequential program begins in Year 3 and our staff work to create programs that are engaging, challenging, rewarding and valuable for students.
It can be easy to assume these programs are all about fun and it’s true, there is a lot of that(!), however, it’s more than that. Camps aid in the development of students emotional skills and increase their connectedness and sense of belonging within the school. Involvement in the outdoors particularly provides students with a range of activities outside their usual environment, so that they learn to face challenges in an atmosphere which requires greater self-reliance and independence. Our programs aim to develop students’ positive relationships with the environment, others and themselves. These positive relationships can contribute significantly to student wellbeing and these shared experience with their peers and staff creates a strong bond that is not as easily or rapidly developed in the classroom. As students work in small groups they also further develop their intrapersonal skills in areas such as group communication, trust and co-operation. The activities undertaken encourage them to use their initiative and to take responsibility for their own and the group’s actions.
It was terrific to see our Year 7’s enjoy their recent camp on the Mornington Peninsula where they enjoyed tree climbing, snorkelling, cycling, hiking and a camp-out. Our Year 9’s are currently undertaking the first of their three camps for the year, a five day bushwalk on the iconic Great Ocean Walk. The Year 8 Camp is scheduled for later this term and these Middle School camps very deliberately challenge students to become more familiar with their group, be self-sufficient and gain confidence in their own abilities to experience and enjoy the outdoors. We are currently looking at options to re-schedule the Years 10 and 11 Camps that were unable to take place due to the recent lockdown and our Years 3 to 6 students will also have a number of opportunities to participate in the camps program this year. We certainly look forward to students taking part in these activities and hearing more about the fun that is had, but also the valuable personal growth that occurs as result of challenging themselves and stepping outside their comfort zone.
Acting Vice Principal