From the Principal - Mark Geraets
Congratulations on your first week of lockdown living and learning from home!
It has been a wonderfully smooth transition to online learning and I thank all the teachers, learning support, wellbeing and support staff as well as students and families for adapting so quickly and efficiently to our new, temporary, circumstances.
The School Executive has been considering our lockdown response most of the term because I think we all knew it was inevitable. So we were ready to “flip the switch”, if you like, when the news came through on Saturday.
The extension to our lockdown announced yesterday means that we will continue to plan in parallel two courses of action: our response during a continued lockdown and a life where restrictions are eased. This dual planning means Scots will continue to provide a quality education, wellbeing support and external opportunities whether we are in lockdown or not.
We are looking at options for our Year 12 trial exams, we are considering courses of action for our Country Fair and milestone activities like the Year 12 Final Chapel. There are some activities which can be postponed and some that will go ahead regardless.
For instance, we are pushing ahead with plans for the Country Fair because we believe it will be a beacon on the horizon for families keen to celebrate our sense of community and students who need to have some carefree fun. The way we are planning means that even if, at the very last minute, we can’t hold the fair because of COVID-19, much of the hard work from organisers and Scots families won’t be wasted. We have a back-up date set aside; we will have a drive-through stall to ensure all the food and produce already prepared can be sold; we have a 12-month credit on our amusement ride bookings and we will still draw the car raffle.
Our contingency plans have paid off so far and, I promise, we will keep working hard to make sure that continues.
We are aware that this is a challenging and uncertain time for our Seniors especially around trial and HSC exams. We are communicating with them regularly and have various plans set in response to how the lockdown plays out.
We encourage our Year 11 & 12 students to engage in the Meditation/Mindfulness sessions offered, and to all our community to take part in the Scots@home Online Challenge! Click here for the Scots Co-Curricular Challenge
One thing that keeps me grounded during these COVID times, is my daily walks with Fabio. I have a chance to hear the birds sing, watch his crazy antics and enjoy the fresh country air. It really makes me think how lucky we are here on the Border. Sure, the border restrictions and lockdown measures can be confusing and restrictive but I’m grateful that, even though I can’t physically see my three daughters in Victoria, they are not caught up in the terror and tragedy facing Afghani women under a Taliban regime. And that we are not in the same predicament of not only pandemic concerns, but environmental disasters like people living in Haiti or Greece at the moment. We are indeed blessed to be here in Albury and to have such an amazing community.
I recently was recommended a Dyl and Friends podcast where the host Dylan Buckley talks with Ben Crowe about keeping perspective during the pandemic. Ben is a former International Marketing Manager at Nike and famously is a mentor to Ash Barty, as well as Andre Agassi, Tiger Woods, Steph Gilmore, Trent Cotchin and Damien Hardwicke. The podcast looks at dealing with unrealistic expectations, performance mindset, controlling the controllables, vulnerability, purpose and intrinsic motivation.
I was recommended to watch the full podcast, all 1hr 24 mins of it, but you can skip through to about 1:14.16 where they discuss the pandemic specifically.
Another podcast worth hearing is one called Resilience and perspective: embracing your story. The Wellbeing Conversation .
As I sign off, Gladys is about to deliver another update on the current situation, the rising numbers and the lockdown status. It changes daily but we intend to keep you informed as best we can so that we can unite together for the support and success of our children. Please look after yourselves, keep communicating with us as we will with you, and stay safe.