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From the Principal – June 2020

I hope that you enjoyed a change of pace over the long weekend and that you were able to enjoy some family time together and stay warm!

Last week we navigated our first week of downpours and blustery weather. It seems to me that it is during drop offs and pick-ups that the heavens open and the rain comes down in all its might! As with anything new, we were faced with a few challenges that needing ironing out. Thank you for your patience as we worked together to get the routine running smoothly again.

Our staff and students have generally thrived through this season. I have seen and heard reports of many students who have improved their learning engagement and attitude in response to the different obstacles we have all faced. The staff have risen to the many challenges with great patience, creativity and dedication. So many of the things we have learnt as a school community will no doubt, be of great benefit into the future.

Part of the learning process is also the realisation that mistakes are okay. Setbacks are often where we learn resilience and it’s in this space that we learn the ability of overcoming. Sometimes, we avoid things that we find difficult, but it is also important to know how to tackle difficult things and keep trying rather than give up. Resilience is the ability to bounce back when we are disappointed; getting up, dusting ourselves off and trying again. A community of people showing resilience is truly a wonderful thing.

The past few months have had a definite impact on the way we live life and perhaps have even realigned some of our priorities. Living life differently has also, in a very real manner, taught a variety of social and emotional skills like confidence, persistence, resilience and organization. These are skills we talk about and explicitly teach in the classrooms but the very best ways of learning is the ‘doing’.

As we’ve navigated the ‘new normal’, we have noticed a growing confidence and independence in our students. Last week as I walked past the Pre-Primary verandah, I noticed a group of girls unpacking their bags. What struck me was how independent they were as they sorted their supplies for the day and were doing so with lots of laughter and catching up with their friends. They have flourished during this time as they independently navigate their friendships and make responsible choices. This has been greatly encouraging and heart-warming to witness.

Children need both outside support and inner strength to build resilience. Greater resilience has so many benefits, namely, resulting in improved learning and academic achievement; lower absences from school due to sickness; reduced risk-taking behaviours and deeper involvement in the community and/or family activities.

As restrictions are lifted and we start returning to what once was, I would like to encourage us all to hold on to the good things we’ve learned through this season. Let’s nurture and encourage our children’s independence. Look for the opportunities where children can safely have a ‘red hot go’ and take risks. When we encourage children to do for themselves what they are capable of, we are placing them firmly on the path to confident independence.

Blessings
Michelle Cockrell
Principal