“And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13
It’s easy to think of God as distant at a time like this, but we are reminded that in Jesus, God came near to share our pain, our fear and our humanity. In a time of difficulty and change, there is much to be thankful for. I want to record my thanks to the staff of NBCS. They are doing a remarkable a remarkable job. I would like to note my thanks to our parent body. Your support and generosity of spirit have been palpable. Thirdly, I would like to thank our students. They have been thoughtful, considered and insightful in their questions and feedback. I note also the work done by the Board of Directors, always working in the best interests of our whole community.
In Tolkien’s The Fellowship of the Ring, there is an exchange between Frodo and Gandalf. “I wish it need not have happened in my time” said Frodo. “So do I” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such time. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us”. I wrote of this yesterday to staff and thanked them for the way in which they are using their time. It is the staff who have enabled the smooth and effective functioning of the school at a time when many other things are neither smooth nor functioning.
This week I have really appreciated the air of calm that our students seem to exude. It is not that they aren’t taking things seriously, it’s that they know that they are being cared for and provided with the comfort of the familiar (in its best sense).
Today’s Year 10 Remote Learning trial has been a success. We will seek further feedback from staff and students on Monday, but today proved what is possible if we need to move away from school-based learning. Our plan is to use the feedback to refine our approach, and to then move to a test with Year 9 next week. More will be communicated early next week.
You may have heard that Australia’s education ministers decided today to cancel NAPLAN 2020. There are many for whom this will not be a sad thing, but it is a harbinger of the changes that are likely to occur in the coming weeks.
We continue to prepare for school closure and a move to remote learning. We aim to provide students and families with the best resources possible when this eventuates. We will, as ever, follow NSW Health Department advice. It is very difficult at this stage to speculate about the next few days, let alone weeks and at what point decisions will change. I can see that there may be wisdom in the government deciding to extend school holidays by a week, and I am certain that in their deliberations, they are countenancing this and other scenarios. An additional week of holidays may assist many in our community to address the issues noted by Mike McHargue, who wrote “It is normal to feel afraid, anxious, overwhelmed, sad, angry, numb, tired, and other difficult feelings right now. There is nothing wrong with you, this is your body’s way of telling you to pay attention”.
I encourage us all to pay attention to how we feel and trust that the weekend is a time for us to do just this.