When we commenced this school year soon after Australia Day, I doubt if any of us could have imagined the health, social and economic landscape we are traversing just now. The effects of these massive changes that have befallen us, turning much of life upside down, have yet to be fully comprehended, especially for our children.
Like all parents, we are very concerned for our children and how they will cope in the weeks and possibly months ahead. Previous experience gives us some confidence to believe that academic and learning shortfalls can be overcome given sufficient time and support. It is our children’s wellbeing – psychologically, socially and spiritually – that demands our highest priority and our best efforts just now. While the disruptions to school life and personal routines are novel at the moment and perhaps even a bit of fun for some, prolonged social distancing and cancellation of sporting, cultural and similar social activities can be very challenging, especially for children and young people.
When Term 2 commences at the end of April, it is highly probable that most students will engage in a continuation of learning-at-home mode. We are well prepared for this at MCC and already you will have seen a lot of material and information about how this will occur. Prep – Year 6 will use SeeSaw as the main platform, while Year 7 will use Canvas and OneNote as their learning platform.
The learning curriculum and students’ access to it every day will be a vital vehicle for our young people and their teachers to stay connected with each other. This form of social connection will be essential antidote to the downsides of necessary social distancing. These challenges call upon all of our children to ‘grow up’ a little faster than we would otherwise expect. We are asking them to take on greater personal responsibility in their organisation and engagement for learning.
We want our learning to be undertaken together in a spirit of hopefulness. Yes, these present challenges are difficult. However, the restrictions won’t last forever. We know that we will get through this better if we travel together.
In the new Term we will be connecting with your children every day, albeit in a different way. Please, reach out to us with advice, suggestions, concerns and feedback. As families and schools, we all have not engaged with learning this way before. Our effective teamwork for the sake of our children’s wellbeing and learning will be so much more essential in the months ahead.
Please stay in touch with developments and access useful resources through the CES webpage dedicated to Coronavirus COVID-19. There are links to very useful resources in supporting our children, their wellbeing and their learning engagement.
In a little over a week we will be on the verge of Easter. The Season of Lent, in preparation for Easter, explores our human need for compassion, healing, forgiveness, and connection. Lent and Easter together celebrate God’s response to human suffering and the fulfilment of human longing for love and belonging. Jesus, as God’s own self, makes real God’s personal love for each of us. It is in the human touch of kindness, the word of compassion and hope, the act of care and service that God’s love is made real in our families, our schools and our community.
May the gifts that Easter celebrates bear fruit in acts of connection, hope and compassion throughout our community in the challenges we must face together.
May God bless us and give strength to our hearts.