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Returning to our new normal

The only way to make sense of change is to plunge into it. Flow with it…  And join the dance. Alan Watts 

As we look forward to welcoming our full cohort of students on Tuesday, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart for your support of the children's learning throughout our lockdown. Seeing our ECC to Year 2 students relish the opportunity of being back in school has been a joy, and I know our older students are looking forward to returning to school on Tuesday. 

Images of new Woodleigh School Principal David Baker joining the 4YO ECC Students at the Minimbah Creek and placing a stick in Bunjil's Nest.

Change is never easy, and the restrictions and environment we found ourselves in over the last few weeks certainly tested us all emotionally. What I have witnessed, however, is strength and determination from the children, some creativity and endeavour, self-motivation along with generous amounts of cajoling and gentle support from home. Behind the scenes, a small team of us has kept the school running as we supported the students of essential workers in our community. I am so grateful for the work of the staff who were able to keep the Continuous Learning Program accessible to all students at home and at school. 

While the pandemic is far from over, and as the government eases restrictions, our school returns to something closer to 'normal,' we are provided with an opportunity to reflect on our recent experiences. I wonder what elements of being home together we would love to keep going. I also wonder, lessons we have learned about the pace of our lives and the business of our routines; is there an opportunity here to reassess what we try to fit in? 

When our older students return this week, class teachers will find time to explore some of these themes. They may ask about challenges, and what have the children learned about themselves during the remote learning, or what were they grateful for while living in isolation, or what would they keep going even in the face-to-face teaching environment? I, along with their teachers, will be very interested in their responses. 

Reporting and Parent/Teacher Interviews 

Class and specialist teachers are currently preparing an end-of-semester report, which will reflect the work covered across Term 1 and the remote learning through the Continuous Learning Program of Term 2. The report is a modified version of our regular report and will reflect the very different circumstances under which learning and teaching operated since the final weeks of Term 1. The report is distributed via email in the first week of the Term 2 holiday. Parent/Teacher Interviews via Zoom will be provided during Week 2 of Term 3. You will be able to book a time to meet with class teachers (ECC 4yo – Year 6) before the end of this term. 

I know the next couple of weeks will fly by! Term 3 will conclude on Friday, 19 June, at 3.20pm. Once again, I thank you for your continued support and wish you a happy holiday when they come. Hopefully, they will provide some respite from remote learning, time to explore more than just the home environment, and time to reconnect with family and friends. 

Stay healthy and safe. 

ROD DAVIES
Deputy Principal - Head of Minimbah Campus