With the ongoing uncertainty of a covid lockdown, there has understandably been a focus on the wellbeing of our students, staff and communities. At the end of Term 2, schools blithely headed into the holidays, with grand visions of Year 12 Trials, graduations, camps, the State of Origin and community events (to name a few!). There was not an inkling of anything amiss. However, very quickly it became apparent that our term, and the rest of the year as we saw it was not meant to be.
This lockdown has (in my opinion) been more challenging than the lockdown in 2020. In 2021 our community has ‘endured’ and has really exemplified the qualities of grit, determination, patience and resilience.
Stoicism is an Ancient Greek philosophy that is based on the pillars of justice, wisdom, courage, and temperance. These values reminded me of the school’s vital framework and the goals we have for our Lakes Learners. Two of the goals in the vital framework are to be determined and compassionate. In other words, to persist and persevere, and to help others and be empathetic and respectful.
I believe that covid is one of those challenges that we have dealt with Stoicism and courage. Our staff have shown wisdom in planning learning programs for our students that are a careful balance of learning and maintaining relationships and wellbeing.
Stoicism is not about being without emotions (which better describes lower case stocisim) but has more of a focus on acknowledging your feelings and identifying their role in enriching your life and protecting you. For example, it is quite normal to feel fear in the face of the uncertainty of covid. However, we cannot control covid. We do have control over our own health and hygiene, and we can ensure that we look after ourselves and others. This is another key element of Stoicism. Think not only of yourself (and your stash of toilet paper) but think of and be kind to others.
In fact, we do not need a covid pandemic to use Stoicism. Stoicism prepares you for the idea that you will face challenges in life. It will not be all smooth sailing, at times more like a hilly ride. I could sum up Stoicism as take care of yourself and be kind to others. Look for those opportunities in life to persist, resist, persevere and serve. As Seneca (Lucius Annaeus Seneca, otherwise known as Seneca the Younger, who was born in southern Spain over 2,000 years ago and educated in Rome) said “wherever there is a human being, there is an opportunity for kindness”.
Is your child leaving at the end of the year?
Can I please remind all parents that it is important to let us know now if you intend withdrawing your child from our school at the end of the year. Obviously, we are currently planning classes for next year, and knowing exact numbers is important for our planning. I would also remind parents that they are expected to give a term’s notice if their child is leaving.
Mrs Deborah Clancy
KEY DATES FOR THE DIARY
There are no upcoming events at this stage.
WHOLE SCHOOL NEWS
SCHOOL HOLIDAY MESSAGE
During the School Holidays, the office will be closed.
When the office is closed or unattended phone messages will still be checked periodically and an administration staff member will return your call.
JUNIOR SCHOOL NEWS
HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL
“Having a clear mind and a clear space allows you to think and act with purpose”
Over the past 18 months, I have been so grateful for technologies such as Zoom and Facetime that allow us to connect with others, when we are not allowed to be in contact with them. Each day I am reminded how much harder this period of time would be if we were unable to see each other.
However, as lovely as it has been to connect online, it has also meant an increase in screen time for students and staff. This week we had in ‘offline learning’ for the last three days of the week to act as a circuit breaker and refresh our eyes and minds.
On Wednesday we held our drive-through collection of learning and wellbeing packs. It was such a joy seeing students and parents safely connecting with staff as they collected their packs. It is our hope that this will enable the students to finish this with energy and gusto, having grown in their abilities to handle an unusual term.
It has been fascinating hearing stories from our students on how they were able to clear their minds when they have not been connected online.
“I must say I don’t like being on a screen all the time. It hurts my eyes and makes me feel tired. I like working physically, so I can really draw and use my hands. It’s just better!” Year 3 student
“I like journal writing in a real book. It’s the best writing I can do.” Kindergarten student
“We did colour in relaxation while Mr Summers read stories. It was really fun. I like teachers reading stories to me. It was cosy.” Kindergarten student
With a few weeks left in the term and not knowing what is ahead, there are a few things that we, as adults and students do know. Activities such as journaling, colouring, reading, doing jigsaw puzzles and exercise are simple and effective ways of lifting our eyes from the current situations we find ourselves in.
The Bible reminds us of the importance of this in Philippians 4:8;
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
Mr Daniel Wearne
Head of Junior School
Covid Premier’s Reading Challenge 2021
As lockdown has meant that access to PRC Reading titles has become challenging, we have altered the finish date for the PRC and the number of free choice books allowed. Reading logs now need to be to Mrs Tennant by Monday, 13 September.
If your child is having trouble accessing PRC titles they can now complete their challenge using Free Choice books. Just add the full book title and author name to the reading log.
Kindergarten and Year 1: If your child is unable to complete their logs Mrs Tennant will automatically log the books that have been read to your child in school and validate their challenges.
Years 2-6: If your child is still having trouble completing their reading logs by the due date, please email their incomplete logs to Mrs Tennant firstname.lastname@example.org and she will try and complete them using books read in school.
A scan or clear photo of your reading logs can be emailed to Mrs Tennant .
For students attending school, logs can also be placed in the PRC box on the desk in the junior school library.
We have 121 completed so far! This is a wonderful effort considering these challenging times.
T4 Author talk and Book Fair
Unfortunately, we have had to cancel our re-scheduled Author Talk by Gus Gordon and Scholastic Book Fair due to the Covid -19 restrictions in place.
However, we will plan to have Gus Gordon in August 2022 and are considering a virtual book fair from Carnival in Term 4. Stay tuned, more details to come…
Mr Danny Summers
Junior School Teacher Librarian
SENIOR SCHOOL NEWS
SENIOR SCHOOL NEWS
This week I had the great pleasure of announcing the prefects for 2022. Students were notified via email and their letter of appointment from Mrs Clancy and their badge was delivered via their self-care packs.
These students have participated in our leadership program throughout Year 11. In this program they displayed key characteristics of our Vital framework, demonstrating that they are connected to our school and our community. Each prefect will be aligned with a one of our key wellbeing portfolios: positive emotions; positive relationships; positive connections or positive health. They will work with a staff mentor to initiate key activities and events to bring these key areas of our wellbeing framework alive with our student body in 2022.
‘We Care Wednesday’
On ‘We Care Wednesday’ we had a wonderful time in the senior school seeing so many smiling student faces arrive to collect their self-care packs from our wellbeing team. Mrs MacLarty, Reverend Matt Shorten and our year advisers worked all day to deliver these packs to our students. This was a key day in our lockdown calendar because it is important we stay connected to our community and our students. Thank you to all the parents who supported the day.
Scavenger Hunt 7-10
This week Years 7-10 students participated in an online scavenger hunt. It was fantastic to see so many students online and having a wonderful time with their tutor teacher and engaging with lots of enthusiasm. An enormous thank you to Mr Hampson (Year 11 year adviser) who organised the event for the students and staff! I look forward to sharing photos from this event in our next newsletter.
As you would be aware the start of the HSC Examinations has been pushed back until the 9 November. This obviously brings many challenges for our Year 12 students but hopefully opportunities as well. Once the new HSC Examination timetable is released, we will plan Term 4 for Year 12 and we anticipate that at this stage we will be able to have year 12 back on campus for HSC preparation from 24 October, 2021.
Term 4 and staggered student return to school
Last week the NSW government revealed their plans for school in Term 4. We are planning what this will look like and we will hopefully have detailed plans released before the end of term. These plans are subject to the public health orders and may change at any time.
The curriculum team also met this week and decided that there will not be yearly exams for students in Years 7-10 in Term 4. Instead, these examinations will be replaced with a learning portfolio for each year group. Details of the learning portfolio will be sent out to students and parents early next term.
Year 11 Examinations
The staff would like to wish our Year 11 students good luck next week as they embark on completing their yearly examinations. We look forward to seeing them back in online classes next term as Year 12 2022!
Drama and D&T
This week we saw the submission of Year 12 drama and design and technology projects. It has been a busy and stressful time for our staff and students due to the extended lock down and limited access to the school since the end of Term 2.
The staff would like to congratulate the following Year 12 students:
Nathan B, Troy C, Isaac D, Brad G, Jasmine M, Zali P, Edan S, Luke W.
Richelle A, Abby B, Orlando D, Grace Mc, Jarron S, Caprice S.
Mrs Michelle Smith
Acting Deputy and Head of Senior School
Congratulations to our resilient Year 12 students who have now completed their last assessment task in the Trial HSC Examinations. We are so proud of how you learnt new technology to sit your exams and then just got on with the job of completing them. You are all so awesome!
Next week sees our Year 11 students sit their yearly examinations and I am sure they will be just as successful in completing them. Here are a few links to help out with preparing for your exams and a few tips for parents who are supporting them.
ReachOut is an excellent tool to help students and parents navigate their way through many challenges. Please visit their website for further helpful tips and information on www.reachout.com
Mrs Alison MacLarty
Senior School Co-ordinator of Student Wellbeing
Applications for SRS applications close on Sunday, 19 September.
Careers we will be moving to a Microsoft TEAM, named “Careers 2021” for current Year 12 students, “Careers 2022” for Year 11 students and “Careers 2023” for Year 10 students. If you are a student who is not connected to this team, please contact me immediately and I will add you. On this page, I will update students with information as I receive it. There is lots of information such as job advertisements, short courses, UAC information and University information. For example: The University of Newcastle is offering an automatic increase of 10 adjustment points for each Central Coast school student to boost their potential ATAR. Students can still apply for more adjustment factors up to a maximum of 12.
HSC creative and performing arts students and have been working on their final submissions over the past few weeks. The faculty is so proud of their determination to complete their works to the highest standard possible under such challenging circumstances. Drama students have completed all their submissions with the expert guidance of their teacher Mrs Braun.
Visual arts students will hand in their Body of Works on Monday. The young artists have toiled to refine their pieces with the support of Mrs Baker who has inspired them to produce some cutting-edge contemporary pieces.
The CAPA teachers wish all our Year 11 students the very best as they study for their upcoming final assessments and pray that they can be confident as they study online.
Mrs Baker and I were busy bees this week filling paint pots and organising over 160 kits of art materials for our Year 7 and 8 students. We hope that these materials will bring a little splash of colour to their art works as they continue to be creative at home.
Our Spotlight shines on the HSC Music class this week. Ms Rabbetts has been extremely creative with her safe assessment of the Year 12 Music ensemble performance as you can see in the images below. Social distancing, fresh air and masks were the order of the day as the class completed their final school-based performance.
We pray for all our senior students and may God bless them over the final weeks of their courses.
Mrs Anne Hobden
Creative and Performing Arts coordinator
Are your children looking for something to read when they have a break from their online learning?
Congratulations to these students for completing the 2021 Premier’s Reading Challenge.
Year 7 Abigail B, Beau J, Mekenzie J and Dexter R
Year 8: Ryan W
Year 9: Boyd R
Certificates will be delivered to the school by the end of Term 4.
WABIAD – Write A Book In A Day is happening again this year in a slightly different format. There are some keen Year 9 and Year 10 students who will be collaborating online across a whole day during Week 10 to write a book together, with set parameters, which will be published and placed into a children’s hospital ward somewhere across Australia.
Currently reading/listening to: The Dictionary of Lost Words by Pip Williams.