These past weeks have been one that I think we will all remember and, listening to the experts, we are far from resolving the impacts of COVID-19. Times such as these often bring out the best and worst in people and society, with self interest being a high priority.
We have seen behaviour driven by panic and selfishness which has led to stockpiling of many basic items, to the extent that there is nothing left for others and often it is the most disadvantaged in society who suffer the most. Much of course has been written about the increase in the popularity of toilet paper! Talking with various students over the past week I am heartened to listen to their views about the illogical behaviour of some members of the general community. Such behaviour does not reflect the values that we develop in our students.
As a School we have had to respond to the impacts on COVID-19 and consider what is the best approach to maximise the outcomes of the actions we have put in place. I have been very grateful for the way in which the staff have worked together to ensure the learning of our students is disrupted as little as possible and to refine what the expectations are for each of their subjects. The learning that has taken place within the faculties has been very impressive, with staff collaborating to evaluate alternative strategies to enhance the online learning environment.
I have been impressed by the way the students have accepted the fact that they will not be here at school on Thursday and Friday of this week and understand that there is work to be done. Such an experience will be new to them as they have always undertaken most of their learning in proximity with other students and a teacher present in their physical learning space where they can communicate face to face. Of course, the level of uncertainty and the tone of much of the reporting can have an impact on the thoughts of young people and I encourage them to talk about their concerns with family. They are also very welcome to contact key staff at School including members of the Wellbeing team should they have any concerns or would like some support. The best way to do this is to call the Senior School Office on T: 08 8276 0251 and Bev Le Cornu will direct them to most appropriate person.
I would like to say thank you to the many parents who have taken the time to provide feedback about the approach that the School has taken in relation to COVID-19. In times like these you need to have all the key people and groups working together to ensure the best outcome is achieved. Your support has been very much appreciated during this time and into the future.
In the last edition of the eNews, I mentioned resilience as one of the key qualities a person can have to navigate their way through life and embrace the challenges that we all encounter. There will be disappointments as decisions external to Westminster will have an impact on what activities can take place, as has already occurred with the cancellation of Generations in Jazz and several tours. As we respond to the changing circumstances that will no doubt occur in the weeks and months ahead, I am confident that the staff, students and families have the resilience to find solutions to the challenges that will be placed before us and will make 2020 a year to remember for the right reasons.
Head of Senior School