Junior School Report
March 19, 2020
by Acting Director of the Junior School, Mr Gerard Willis
As we look towards the end of the first term and all the unprecedented events that have unfolded in these last two weeks, one thing that has remained constant is the continued dedication of our staff to the day to day operation of our learning program in the Junior School. As much as possible, we have maintained business as usual and not compromised our expectations for the boys in regard to their commitment to learning. While some events have had to be cancelled, we have worked hard to offer opportunities that still bring about joy in a time when events out of our control can potentially overwhelm us. While it was disappointing that we could not gather as a whole school community to honour our patron saint’s feast day, there was a real buzz around the school at recess on St Patrick’s Day when the green donuts were distributed. Nothing like a good dose of sugar to lift one’s mood!
The cancellation of the traditional Athletics Carnival provided an opportunity to run a modified carnival for those students keen to lay claim to a position on the Athletics Team in the hope that the BAS carnival will go ahead next term. Regardless of whether or not the BAS Carnival does proceed, it was encouraging to see so many Junior School students sign up for events and put their skills to the test. Those boys who competed are to be commended for their dedication and commitment. It was pleasing to see such a competitive, yet friendly and supportive atmosphere so visibly obvious throughout the morning.
Although it is stating the obvious, the next week is very much a dynamic one. Parents and caregivers are reminded to continually check their email for the latest updates and communications with regards to day to day operations at school. Heightened feelings of concern are understandable at this time. Please engage in conversations with your sons about events as they unfold by focusing on facts and up to date advice. Rely on trusted sources of information and if news reports and social media are becoming overwhelming for your sons, please encourage them to limit their exposure to such sources.
In the interest of promoting positive well being, the following resources have been compiled by the Catholic Education Commission of Victoria and may prove useful for you in dealing with the concerns of your son.
- SPECIAL REPORT: Coronavirus – Dr Michael Carr-Gregg developed this video for parents and school staff. Catholic Education Melbourne acknowledges the generosity of SchoolTV in making the report accessible to parents and staff in Catholic school communities
- How to talk to your children about coronavirus – ABC News article
- Worried about your child getting coronavirus? Here’s what you need to know – The Conversation article
- Talking to children about natural disasters, traumatic events, or worries about the future – This Emerging Minds video introduces ways for parents and carers to manage media coverage of traumatic events, and talk to their children about their worries and fears
- Traumatic events, the media and your child – This Emerging Minds fact sheet provides guidance on how to support and reassure children during ongoing media coverage of COVID-19.
In the event of a school closure, the College will do all it can to provide continuity of learning. There are many options that we are exploring in order to allow us to deliver worthwhile remote learning opportunities, including Microsoft Teams, Google Classroom and Learning Areas in Simon. Students will need to be in a position to access their email so that appropriate instructions can be delivered at the appropriate time.
Mr Webb will return to the role of Director of Junior School at the beginning of term two. As we move into the final week of school, and even though it may feel a long way off, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all families in our school community, a safe and Holy Easter.
Mr Gerry Willis
Acting Director of Junior School