Welcome to a different looking Term 2

Dear Minimbah Parents, welcome back to Term 2 and what promises to be a different and unique term of teaching and learning. I trust all families managed to have a safe and somewhat relaxing break over the last two weeks.

I have been buoyed with emails and support I received during the break, and as we have commenced the term. We indeed find ourselves in unprecedented times, as children and families the world over are transitioning to a new way of accessing learning. I was so proud of the way staff, students, and families engaged with the School’s Continuous Learning Program the last term, and I am very excited to see Phase 2 commence this week as we introduce real-time teaching. I am very aware that each of our Minimbah Families finds themselves in very individual and specific circumstances, and I encourage you to keep in contact, provide feedback and seek support if and when you need it.

All staff have been working tirelessly to ensure there is significant continuity of learning across all year levels from ECC through to Year 6. On Tuesday close to 200 staff, joined on Zoom to hear from our new Principal, Mr. David Baker, who has taken over the reins from Acting Principal, Mr. David Burton. I am sure you join me in both thanking David Burton for his leadership of the school since November last year under very challenging circumstances but also welcome David Baker as the sixth Principal of Woodleigh School.

Minimbah Staff also met throughout the day last Tuesday to fine-tune their planning in readiness for implementing Phase 2 of the CLP.

As we embark on a new term that is entirely different from what we know, embracing the 'new normal' we can all learn to accept new things, be flexible, to face the challenges head-on, to problem solve and adapt to the change in our lives. With the online environment unfolding for our students, be assured our teachers are there for you and the children even when it is hard and challenging for them.  

I believe we do need to ask ourselves, “What do I want to be during the COVID-19 Crisis?” 

Do I spread emotions based on fear and anger? Do I complain frequently? Or do I acknowledge the situation and think about how to act appropriately? Do I recognise that we are all trying to do our best? Or do I think of others and see how to help them? Am I empathetic with myself and others? Do I keep a happy emotional state and spread hope? And do I look for ways to adapt to new changes? As the weeks unfold, I hope that together, we remain focused on our task, that we stay calm and treat one another with kindness and humility. As we have heard so many times, we are in this together! 

Even though we find ourselves apart, we are stronger when we are united.

As the Continuous Learning Plan moves forward to Phase 2, there will still be set tasks assigned at the start of the day, as well as the incorporation of real-time video conferencing. Student activities will continue to involve a balance of on-screen and off-screen tasks designed to engage the students in experiences that connect to previous learning and the curriculum. Teachers will be using a combination of Zoom and SeeSaw to deliver their content.

Teachers are designing tasks that we hope most children will be able to adapt to independently. Still, we are also very aware that you will be fully involved in the motivation and support of the children. For that, we are very grateful we know many of you are juggling work away from and within the home. Even though we know that an ‘online’ day can never replicate a typical school day, teachers will be endeavouring to create a sense of routine in key learning areas with input and lessons from the Specialist Teachers.

No doubt, like me, many of you are finding some relief from the ‘pandemic news’ via the many social platforms. I did want to conclude my article by sharing one which I enjoyed. I think the message here is really positive and uplifting. 

If you have a spare few minutes, I hope you enjoy it. 

Take care everyone and stay safe.

Kind regards,

Deputy Principal - Head of Minimbah Campus