As you can see from the photos, this week’s Wellbeing Wednesday home deliveries gave many staff, myself included, a welcome opportunity to see and chat with students and families in person.
These doorstep conversations were greatly enjoyed after almost eight weeks of communicating through phone calls, emails and Compass! It was also lovely to meet so many family pets and I am sure that the dogs, cats and horses of Camperdown have been enjoying the company of so many children at home.
Our wellbeing team, assisted by the organisational talents of our Assistant Principals, the hands on efforts of teachers and support staff, and the morale boosting contributions of past students Kelly Reynolds, Easton Wood and Brydon Coverdale, did a wonderful job organising this mid-term break from remote learning. I hope everyone enjoyed time out from their usual routines to engage in some light-hearted fun, whether this was through eating yo-yos or spinning them, creating a pipe cleaner sculpture or autumn leaf artwork, participating in some Zoom Yoga, or doing some daggy Elvis Presley moves with members of the household old enough to remember him!
The sentiments expressed in this week’s newsletter by many of our Junior Campus star learners and Senior Campus contributors highlight how different it has been for students learning from home. While the ‘new normal’ has presented many challenges, benefits that have clearly been appreciated by many include more time with family, self-pacing and creating individual routines in place of a school timetable, and having unlimited access to the pantry!
The return to school of our first year levels next Tuesday will bring great excitement for many, but it is also very likely, and very normal, that there will be mixed feelings and some trepidation. While the information provided to families about the phased return to school (reproduced on page 5) focuses on the factual and practical considerations, we also acknowledge that the individual responses of students, staff and parents/carers will vary. Wellbeing considerations are high on our school-wide priority list as we support each other to manage the transition back to learning and working together, face to face.
The emphasis on health and safety in community and school messaging during the pandemic may lead to some students feeling confused or worried about the return to on-site learning. Some students who have particularly enjoyed time at home with family, or appreciated the independence and solitude of learning from home, may take time and need assistance to transition back to on-site schooling. Students’ experiences during this unusual time have all been different and we will be working hard to acknowledge this and value the new-found skills and perspectives of our school community in planning for a successful phased return.
It has been disappointing not to be able to hold our annual Year 7 Information Evening for Year 6 students and families, however we are very pleased to be able to offer the following:
For our Early Years students, senior students, teachers and support staff who had their final day of remote learning or teaching today, congratulations and best wishes as you emerge from this stage and prepare for the next. I can’t wait to see you all next week
Cherie Kilpatrick, Principal
Friday 22nd May 2020