From the Head of Students (7 to 12)
What will change and what will stay the same?
I think I state the obvious but, what a year it has been! If we take the time, I believe that we as individuals and a community have learnt a lot about ourselves, our values and we now have a real opportunity to change for the better. Toilet paper, pasta and disinfectant almost became the new currency. We learnt new ways to connect. We carved simple things. We saw examples of the best and worst in humanity. We became thankful for what we have. What will the students have learnt from this experience? What will they take on board and discard as they move forward?
For me, a small role change at the school as I formerly commence leading the School with regards to Wellbeing. I am not really one for titles but rather following through on a commitment that I have now made to the students, staff and parents at Caloundra City Private School. I believe that we do things very well at CCPS, but there is always room for improvement. My focuses will include:
- Developing teaching and learning styles for increased student understanding and connectiveness to their studies whist increasing academic rigor
- Focusing on community wellbeing through the integration of Positive Psychology practices and PERMAH (Positive Emotion, Engagement, Relationships, Meaning, Accomplishment and Health) – these form elements of our Wellbeing and research shows that enhancing wellbeing practices fosters the growth of the academic, social, emotional and co-curricular of the individual and community
- Enhancing student opportunity, connecting within and outside the school community
- Role modelling and mentoring ‘servant leadership’ for the students
- Further develop and utilise Restorative Practices Behaviour Management across the Wellbeing areas of the School
- Developing a sense of pride in being a member of the CCPS community
- Availing professional development opportunities for the staff
- Developing student Nature Fix and Forest Experiences through studies in the outdoors and Outdoor Education
The staff are very much looking forward to welcoming back the students this coming Monday. For some of the students this will be a return after 10 or 11 weeks away from classrooms, school uniforms and having face-to-face extended contact with a wide range of people. They have spent many hours each day (as staff have) looking at screens, listening and not really interacting with others. At the moment the words of Baroness Susan Green (2009) ring in my ears louder than ever before:
“A sort of sedentary, screen based existence has crept up on our children. They used to be free-range and now they are practically battery children, living indoors, experiencing life experiences through the medium of a screen”.
Of late, maybe this hasn’t crept up on our community but rather been slammed in our faces. It is now so important to guide our students through the next weeks of the ‘return to normal’.
Our priority is to get the students back into ‘school, study and personal routines’ and ensure that any student who has experienced difficulties in their education, learning or assessments have these issues addressed with the relevant staff. Parents will be kept informed as the staff work with your children to maximise and re-enforce their educational experiences over the past five plus weeks of ‘learning at home’.
One thing that will not change is parents first point of contact with any concerns;
- Academic concerns – contact the students’ class teacher
- Wellbeing concerns – contact the students’ Head of House
The School community will be asking the students to make some changes as they return to classes, their teachers and friends.
- Water bottles are a must. Our drinking bubblers will remain covered and turned off. Water bottle filling stations will be open for their use. The students must supply their own water bottles each day.
- Hand hygiene is a must. Hand washing with soap is encouraged whenever possible. Hand sanitiser must be used constantly. The school will have containers of hand sanitiser in all classrooms, but it is highly suggested that the students also carry a small bottle themselves.
- Students are responsible for the hygiene of their own learning surfaces. At the end of each class, the students will spray disinfectant onto the desk and/or learning implements they have used in that class and wipe off this solution with paper towel.
- Be mindful of our distance between each other. Whilst practice of ‘social distancing’ has been relaxed for students and at times a little unclear of what this actually is, we will still encourage the students and staff to be mindful of our personal spaces. Staff will continue to remind students of their responsibilities with regard to this.
- If you are sick – stay home! No ifs. No buts. The most important issue is now stopping the spread of illness – whatever type. Students will be sent home if they show any signs or symptoms of being ill.
- No mobile phone usage whilst on school grounds. There is no change with regards to this expectation, but this will be enforced. Parents can greatly assist the staff with their children adhering to this simple request. Ask yourselves ‘does my son/daughter really need their mobile phone at school if I drop them off and pick them up each morning and afternoon?’ All school time contact with your children must be done through the School Administration Office. Students walking home, riding bikes to and from school and travelling on buses have a safety reason to carry a mobile phone to and from school but they must not have it on them or have the device turned on when at school! Mobile phones brought to school must be stored in either the student’s locker or the student’s own school bag. If the student is concerned about security, they can be left at the Administration Office.
Students using their mobile phones will have them taken from them. The mobile phone will be sealed in a zip-lock plastic bag and stored in the Administration Office. Parents will be asked to collect the mobile phone from the Administration Office at their convenience. A conversation with your child’s Head of House will also take place. Parents are requested to discuss this issue with their children prior to the commencement of classes Monday.
- Students will be ‘free range’ at recess times. This means no electronics. No indoor meetings. Where possible as much leisure and sport to be done ‘out of doors’ at all recess times. Each recess, the students and supervising staff will be required to be in the vicinity of Raelene Boyle Hall and Oval.
- The wearing of the school’s sport uniforms will be the norm for most Year 7 – 10 students. The change rooms in Raelene Boyle Hall will be closed for the remainder of Term 2. The school will ask the students to wear their sports uniforms to and from school on the days they have practical Physical Education classes. These days will vary for each year level. The students will be advised by Miss Sweeney or myself what days they wear what uniform. What is important is that whatever uniform the students are wearing that they wear the correct and full version of that uniform. No mixing of the formal and sports uniforms.
- All Senior School students are able to wear their sports uniforms on Tuesdays with their house shirts.
As always, go gently everyone.
Head of Students
Head of Physical Education and Outdoor Education.