“Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:34
One of my favourite things about summer holidays is when I can’t remember what day it is. On holidays, free from day-to day worries, it’s delightful when time, days and dates recede from the forefront of our thinking. This past week I have had the same feeling of not knowing what day it is, but it hasn’t had the same positive association.
The rhythm or cadence of my days is different. Normally, a reasonable portion of my day involves a screen, but a big portion of it involves people. And now not only do I have to do screen things, but the only way to access people is on screen too. Screens are wonderful but tiring, and doubly so if we appear on them. But appearing matters to help ameliorate some of the difficulty of being apart. For most of us, another four weeks of lockdown and remote learning is not what we wanted, but it is what we need.
We are conscious of continuing to keep learning manageable for all concerned in the coming four weeks. To this end, Primary have made some alterations to their weekly routine for the coming fortnight. As they put it, “we have redesigned the learning week to support a marathon mindset rather than a sprint”. In Secondary, adjustments to mentor group will provide a little more space to decompress in the week (which is part of its role at school). I remind parents (and teachers) that we are not setting home learning in addition to remote learning for Years 7-10. This means that the frame of the school day is the extent of the time that Year 7 to 10 students need to focus on school learning. Years 11 and 12 are working well, with a clear view of the preparation they need to complete for Yearly Exams and for the Trial HSC respectively.
Aware of the broader context, our approach aims to balance often competing objectives. We want to support our students and families with the regularity of routine and keep learning rolling along. We want the burden of managing this to be as light as possible for parents, and the learning to be as engaging and feasible as possible for students. We trust that this helps support wellbeing and family life in the coming weeks.
Tim Watson Principal