We were shocked and saddened by last Friday’s tragedy in New Zealand. The loss of innocent lives is deeply confronting. Our thoughts and prayers are extended to those immediately impacted and their communities, particularly in schools across Christchurch. Due to the many educators who visit Claremont College, we have formed many close friendships with a number of schools in New Zealand, and so we have reached out to them offering our love, prayers and support.
Schools provide a safe and supportive environment for all students, staff and their community, and so our primary goal this week has been to review and consider our response to this tragedy. Each week, on a Monday morning, our Pastoral Care team meets to review the pastoral and wellbeing needs of students, staff and families. We evaluate issues from the week before and we plan how to best care for children and others across the week ahead. As a team we considered how we respond to the Christchurch tragedy and discussed what would be the best way to talk to the children. Our actions included:
GRANDPARENTS AND SPECIAL FRIENDS DAY
This week we were blessed to have so many Grandparents and special friends visit us. It was fun and very special. Congratulations to the children and teachers for your presentations. There was certainly a lot of love in the air!
HAPPY GREEK INDEPENDENCE DAY
This weekend we celebrate Greek Independence Day. I look forward to being with many of our Greek families at Martin Place on Sunday.
NATIONAL FUTURE SCHOOLS EXPO AND CONVENTION
I have spent three days this week in Melbourne attending the ‘National Future Schools Expo and Convention’ which was attended by approximately three thousand delegates. It is always such an honour and privilege to talk about Claremont College. Yesterday I was a member of panel of Principals where we were asked to speak about ‘Strategies for School Leaders to Realise Learning Improvement’. I was also a keynote speaker at the ‘Future Leaders’ Strand where I presented on the topic ‘Planning for the future – change, strategic planning, and a leadership toolkit for disruption, and your personal wellbeing’. If you are interested, the slides of my talk have been uploaded to the school website. Click here to follow the link.
One of the things I love about conferences such as this, is the chance to hear cutting edge talks on a variety of topics that interest and are important to me. Some of the presentations I attended included the new Digital Technologies Curriculum, Positive Psychology in the school setting, researched based strategies for students with autism, latest research findings in brain based learning in children, future innovation and emotional resilience. All up, it was a productive time and I look forward to sharing my ideas and all I have learnt with the staff, and with you all.
As I gave my talk yesterday, I concluded by saying that we need to “keep things simple” and to not lose the perspective of the things that are most important to us all. Our communities must be places where people come first. For me, this means that we must prioritise hope, purpose, reconciliation, unity, diversity, empathy, compassion and most importantly… love.
Let’s continue to hold up Christchurch in our prayers. My heart also breaks for Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe as millions of people come to terms with the destruction of Cyclone Idai. Our world is certainly hurting. Even if it’s a ‘drop in the bucket’, and we are all positioned to make a difference.
Thank you for all you bring to our school community… It wouldn't be the same without you.