At the end of Term 1, we issued a small end of term newsletter to acknowledge students receiving Junior and Senior Campus learning awards at our end of term virtual assemblies.
In nominating their ‘star learner’ students of the term, many teachers have noted the perseverance, resourcefulness and determination shown during remote learning. With the end of this challenging term fast approaching, I would like to acknowledge how widespread these qualities have been right across our school community – compellingly demonstrated by students, families and staff.
In my first newsletter column for 2020 I cheerfully wrote, “The year ahead will provide many opportunities for staff, families and students to work together to maximise learning, address challenges and celebrate growth. These relationships between school and home are so important and I am grateful for the efforts made across our school community to build and nurture these relationships so that in the more difficult times, we are well placed to effectively resolve problems.”
At the time of writing, none of us were aware of the dramatic turn of events that lay ahead. A rapidly evolving situation saw the Department of Education announce on Monday 23rd March the bringing forward of Term 1 school holidays in Victoria, commencing from Tuesday 24th March. On Tuesday 7th April it was confirmed that all Victorian government schools would transition to remote and flexible learning arrangements for Term 2 and by Wednesday 15th April, our Camperdown College teaching and learning programs from Prep through to Year 12 had been adapted and distributed for this purpose.
Meanwhile, students and families were responding to unprecedented change, layered with fear and uncertainty about health, finances, employment and the future. I can recall no previous set of circumstances whereby we have faced such a complex problem requiring such rapid solutions, or needed to depend so heavily on the strength of relationships at all levels across our school community. As each new challenge has presented itself this term, I have felt deeply grateful that we have been able to draw upon an entrenched culture of mutual accountability and a strong commitment to learning and shared values.
Just as students and parents refined their expectations and strategies and built confidence over the term, our staff team planned meticulously but ‘learnt by doing’ along the way. I am sure we all have a stronger skillset and an enhanced appreciation of the home-school partnership as a result of the challenges we have shared. The events of Term 2 have certainly qualified as “difficult times” and the resolution of problems – hypothetical in February but very real now – has only been possible due to the calibre of the people and relationships that are the very core of Camperdown College. Thank-you and congratulations to you all.
Cherie Kilpatrick, Principal
Thursday 23rd July 2020