​Returning to School

During the holidays, I recorded a video that outlined the roadmap for schools to return to school. The staggered return to school is, in many ways, challenging for schools to manage. As a community, we need to consider many things at each stage, and there are many government directions by which we need to abide.

After a second year of COVID interrupted schooling the Woodleigh Arts Festival Showcase, was presented online on Monday night.

Enjoy the artwork of our incredibly talented Year 12 students. We can't wait to get you back into the gallery for real.

After our many lockdowns, we know how to prepare students for their return, and we know what to expect when they get back in classrooms. Our COVID safe plan has been thoroughly reviewed. Our staff and most of our students will be either partially or fully vaccinated, and we will all have many protocols and procedures to follow to ensure that Woodleigh is as safe as possible.

For our students, I would like them to consider aspects of their return before they arrive back onsite. We know from previous lockdowns that they will be restless upon their return. Some will be worried about the virus, and others will not give it much thought at all. Some will be angry, while others will simply love being back at school and back amongst friends and peers.

The 2021 Woodleigh Film Festival was also streamed to viewers at home.

Tips for a successful return

I've put together some key points, or tips, to discuss with your kids before they return, to help smooth the transition back to being on campus.

  1. Please be aware that we are not school fit. When we're at school the lessons are longer, the days are longer, and you're likely to be more active than usual. Be prepared to feel tired, to struggle to concentrate and even become grumpy. This will be short-lived as we regain our school fitness.
  2. Be self-aware. Identify how you feel each morning when you arrive at school. You may not be able to change how you feel; however, you can alter your behaviour accordingly. Making adjustments in our behaviour can counter any negative feelings we may have.
  3. Be aware of others. Everyone will be bringing their own feelings, concerns and worries to school. You may not be concerned about the virus; however, others might be very anxious. Please respect their desire for safety and maintain a 1.5m distance and wear your mask correctly. Be tolerant and supportive of others and look out for each other. You don't know what worries others carry in their invisible backpacks.
  4. It's OK to not be in complete control of your schoolwork. You may feel a little overwhelmed by your work and expectations, don't let this worry overwhelm you. Speak to your teachers about how you feel.
  5. Focus on fun. School should be a fun place to enjoy the company of others. Don't forget to laugh, see the lighter side of life and enjoy being in the company of others.
  6. Speak to your teachers regularly. Check-in with them daily, tell them how you feel and what might be bothering you. Check-in with them to see how they are feeling, too.
  7. Look after your health, eat well, avoid sugary foods and try to find time to exercise every day. This will be more enjoyable if you form a group that can exercise together.
  8. Ensure that you do something for yourself every day. Watch a favourite TV show, create something new and innovative, spend time with your friends and family, go for a walk along the beach. Find the things you enjoy and make time to do them regularly.

For all members of our community, we can be positive and develop a resilient mindset if we intentionally follow some guiding rules and philosophies in our lives. I hope the tips I have provided are helpful, and hopefully, you can add to the list or create your own. We are all really looking forward to the time when we can return to school and enjoy everything great about Woodleigh's culture.

Stay safe, stay connected,