The arrival of winter this week brings us to the realisation that time is marching forward. We are already heading toward the half way mark of the year. As restrictions are gradually lifted there is a sense that things are returning to normal and life is getting better. Our students have commented that they really miss going out on weekends, playing sport and doing things in groups. Hopefully as the situation improves, the out of school activities can resume which will provide some distractions and enjoyment on the weekends for us all.
On Friday last week our staff commenced the first of five certified and accredited modules on the topic of assessment and moderation. This course explores in great detail the meaning and purpose of assessment and looks at a whole range of assessment practices currently employed by our staff. This first session was very insightful and will pave the way for some very considered and detailed learning over the next 12 months. We understand as teachers that we use a whole lot of assessments and for a variety of purposes. The professional learning we are undertaking will really drill down into the purpose of, and the manner in which we use the knowledge we gain from our assessments. All of this work is aimed at one thing, improving the outcomes for the students in our care and we look forward to the new knowledge we will gain over the next 4 sessions as we explore this topic further.
Occasionally, and more often in recent times parents ask how we manage working with our children and how we are coping with ‘the new normal’. It is fair to say that times have been more challenging, particularly in the area of social emotional behaviours and anxiety levels. The children are adjusting to very different circumstances and while there have been some challenging days, these are outweighed by the joy, zest and energy that our young people bring. We are often delightfully surprised by students’ insightful views, their astute perception of what is just, and their willingness to support others who are doing it tough. This of course is a reflection of our families who work hard to instil values of compassion and empathy and go out of their way to make time for others.
It is important to remind ourselves that even though our children sometimes don’t quite get things right, we need to reassure them that we will always love them, even when they make mistakes. Please don’t underestimate the influence you have on them. Many of our students talk about how much they love their family and how grateful they are for being able to attend such a great school with great friends and teachers. We value working in partnership with you. We understand there will be bumps along the road for most children at some time in their school journey. As you no doubt have heard many times, the best learning comes from the mistakes we make. We are all human and we are all subject to errors of judgement, poor choices and on some occasions these choices really impact on others. However, it’s the manner in which we respond when challenged that really counts. We can all be better, let’s all try to achieve that goal in the coming week at home and at school.