Senior School Report

July 23, 2021

by Director of the Senior School, Mr Hamish McCrum

At the time of writing we are in our second week of this lockdown.   We are all hoping that we will come out of it on Wednesday.  At this time, it is important that we focus on those things we can control.  From an academic standpoint, getting the little things right each day will contribute significantly to how well you come out of this period.

Students are encouraged to:

  • Log into each class on time, expecting to learn something.
  • Use the class-time allocated, at that time, to complete the work set for that time. (Later has such a knack of turning into never.)
  • Do their work away from the screen if possible (hardcopy book rather than pdf)
  • Put their phone in another room when “in class”
  • Still do extra homework which is outside of scheduled class time
  • Ask their teachers for help and or clarification

At these times it is also very important to choose other activities very wisely.

  • Get outside every day, get some exercise, be it a walk, ride or run.
  • Do something good for somebody else: encourage them, say something kind, cook a meal for the family, say a prayer for them (& one for you)
  • Avoid anything addictive: drugs, social media apps and computer games. The first of these is obvious.  The social media apps and computer games are more insidious.  They have been designed by “clever” people to be addictive.  The danger is not just the time lost to them.  Anxiety often follows addiction and then depression follows anxiety.  Almost all of the “school refusing” boys I have worked with in the past 10 years have had anxiety and depression issues, which did not exist in a debilitating form prior to gaming addictions.  When phones or games are removed from students, do they sometimes behave like an addict (upset, even tantrums)?  When our children rely at these times on computers and phones for education and connectivity, we are also exposing them to addictive traps that others have laid for them. They will need our help and guidance through this.

One of the things out of our control is when this lockdown will end.  Students need to be preparing to return to classes on Wednesday, and in some instances facing assessments on that day.   They also need to be prepared mentally for the fact that the lockdown may be extended.

Please be aware that the GAT has been postponed to August 12.  As a result Thursday July 29 will now be a normal school day – as normal as we can make it.

I am aware that in many families it is not just their movements and social interactions that have been limited, but they also have the added real stress of being financially impacted through loss of wages or business.  These people are doing it especially hard, and for their sakes I particularly hope Victoria and NSW can quickly suppress the number of COVID cases and get things back closer to normal.