A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school in Adelaide,
South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Senior School - Edition 11 - 2021

Welcome Back

I would like to welcome you all back for Term 3 and offer a warm welcome to the new students and their families who have joined us this term. What a way to start the term - one day at school and then online. While it is not the start any of us would have wanted, I would like to thank the students and staff for the way they have managed to cope with the move to online learning during the lockdown and quarantine period.

The past week has again affirmed my view that schools are more than just places where academic learning takes place. Schools provide the opportunity for people to come together in a variety of situations and enjoy socialising and interacting with one another. This is just as true for staff as it is for students. While technology allows us to connect online, I believe it does not provide all the benefits of physical interaction.

Such interruptions to the normal routine can have an impact on adolescents as they like structure and knowing what is going to happen and when, and in times like we have all experienced that is not necessarily possible. There are some very worthwhile sites that provide sound advice both to parents and adolescents to manage wellbeing during times of uncertainty. One site is Reach Out and many good articles can be found on the Reach Out website. They support the idea of routine for the following reasons:

  • They can make teens feel safe and secure and help them to deal with stressful events.
  • They indicate what’s important to your family.
  • They can help family life run a little smoother.
  • They teach teens basic work and time management skills.

The Black Dog Institute also provide worthwhile advice regarding improving wellbeing during these uncertain times. They offer 10 tips for managing anxiety during COVID:

  1. Channel your anxious energy into action: get informed, plan, and prepare
  2. Limit or avoid unhelpful media and misinformation
  3. Cut down or stop the behaviours that are fuelling your anxiety
  4. Stay focused on the here and now, taking each day step by step
  5. Be aware of negative thoughts and don’t give them too much power
  6. Look after your body
  7. Stay connected with others
  8. Help other people, be kind, and compassionate
  9. Take a breath
  10. If you’re feeling like you’re not coping, get professional advice

Holiday Activities

Normally I would be thanking several staff members for running a variety of activities over the holidays. We were only able to run the Mt Remarkable Bushwalk at the start of the holidays before the two ski trips were cancelled due to the worsening COVID-19 situation in the eastern states. I would like to thank Sam Ferguson for his organisation and supervision of the students during this activity.

During the holidays the School Sailing Team were to compete in the National Schools Teams Sailing Regatta at St Georges River, NSW but this was cancelled for the same reason. This was unfortunate as I believe it is the second year in a row that the event has been cancelled preventing the team from competing at a national level.

Although these activities or events had to be cancelled there was a significant amount of work that staff had invested to organise travel, accommodation etc and I would like to thank all staff involved.

I look forward to a less eventful remainder of the term with all of us back on the campus interacting with each other face-to-face. For events that have had to be postponed there will be information regarding the rescheduling of most of these so please keep your eyes and ears open for new dates. I know staff are working hard at looking for available dates

David Wallage
Head of Senior School