Over the last few weeks (or 18 months or so to be more precise) we have heard a lot about ‘resilience’. That is, bouncing back from adversity. Our Year 12 students are encouraged to be resilient and determined, our front line and essential workers are often put in positions where they are dealing with those in the community who are frustrated, confused or frightened and they are also asked to be resilient and understanding. Many of us are currently feeling a loss of hope and certainty in our lives.
But resilience is not something that we have or have not, got. It is not something that we are necessarily born with. It can be developed over time and through our life experiences and practices. The Harvard Centre on the Developing Child Three Ways to Build Resilience Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic (harvard.edu) makes a number of recommendations that could help us all build resilience during this time of lockdown and uncertainty.
They recommend that where you can – reduce sources of stress. Be kind to yourself and maintain those supportive relationships with family, friends, the school, your church, or other groups you belong to. Focus on the ‘must haves’ and what you can control. Take a break if you feel overwhelmed and remember to keep things in perspective and understand that you just cannot do it all.
I often find the infographic below helpful in terms of settling those worries that keep me awake at night.
In essence, it can be futile to worry over what you cannot control. We have autonomy over our behaviour and not the behaviour and attitudes of others. We learn and grow through experiences, and while our students may be struggling through online learning and covid right now, they also have the chance to show grit, determination and build their capacity to flourish in this world.
I encourage you all to seek support if you need it, reach out when you need it, and look after yourselves as well as your families. Much like the directions regarding the use of the oxygen face mask in an emergency when flying. It is not being selfish, because, of course, if you run out of oxygenyourself, you can’t help anyone else with their oxygenmask.
Be kind, be positive and keep well.
Mrs Deborah Clancy
KEY DATES FOR THE DIARY
P&F Committee August meeting
Tuesday, 10 August 2021 - CANCELLED
With our fundraising events again severely impacted by the COVID-19 restrictions, and no upcoming events or motions to raise, this month's P&F Zoom meeting has been cancelled.
Our house over the last two weeks has seen a lot of Olympics on the TV. We have been sitting down as a family to watch a wide variety of sports that on a day to day basis we might not ordinarily experience. It has been a joy to see not just gold medallists celebrated, but rather the joy of competing at the highest level.
There has, on the whole, been a camaraderie between athletes that I can’t remember seeing expressed so well in previous games. Maybe the global pandemic has helped us realise that our borders are fairly meaningless in the eternal scheme of things. What has been evident, is the sheer joy that these athletes experience on the world stage. Interestingly there has been rejoicing back here in Australia for all of our competitors it seems, regardless of outcome. And rightly so!!! We can only hope this continues as the Paralympics begin.
During the Olympics you may have seen the Australian government advertising the upcoming census. This event that happens once every 5 years is a way that tracks snapshots of who we are as a nation.
The actual date is set for Tuesday, 10 August and once again there is contention over one question in the census that is actually optional to answer. It is of course the question on religion. Australia has long had a divide between state and church that goes right back to the establishment of our constitution.
The question on religion in the census has been divisive and hotly debated every 5 years as the census rolls out. I believe we will see the highest number of people declaring no affiliation to a religion than ever before. This is really tragic in my opinion. For example, our school community would not exist if it were not for the faithful folks who call themselves Anglican and this effects every last one of us who teach, learn and work here. Our data on religiosity will have a knock-on effect to Federal Government funding for all faith-based schools which comprise 40% of all students across Australia. All I ask is that you think carefully when you choose how to respond to this census question.
Funnily enough, European Australians have been counted in one way or another since first arriving in the 1780’s when they were called musters. The British Empire was counted in April 1881 almost 100 years later, of which Australia and India were included. Most census data was collected by the states up until Federation in 1901 and then we had our first Aussie census in 1911. Shamefully it would take a long time to include our indigenous brothers and sisters in the collection of information. The data over the years has helped focus funding and planning as I mentioned before and interestingly enough, it has shaped the treatment of diseases like rubella for which most of us are immunised. I wonder if this census will ask a question about our current pandemic. I guess I’ll find out on Tuesday.
WHOLE SCHOOL NEWS
COVID Parent Information Hub
We are conscious that a large amount of information is coming home to parents. To assist you in finding key correspondence quickly, we have a COVID Parent Information Hub on the home page of our website which contains all important information. Of course we will continue to send correspondence home via the school mobile app and email.
You may wish to take a moment to visit the school website www.lakes.nsw.edu.au as we have this week launched a brand new site which is a wonderful showcase of our school and all the amazing programs and learning opportunities available.
JUNIOR SCHOOL NEWS
HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL
How exciting are the Olympics! Every 4 years (or 5 in this case!) I enjoy watching the highlights of the day of competition as my family and I watch athletes from around the world compete against each other as they strive for the gold medal.
It has been such a joy seeing Australia collect numerous medals across many sports, particularly the Australian swimmer Emma Mckeon who won a staggering total of 4 gold medals and 3 bronze medals in her events.
However, it is easy to focus on the gold medallist, and lose sight of each of the other athletes who persevered and trained as hard, however were not able to get the recognition that they deserve.
Twenty-one years ago, the Olympics came to Sydney, hopefully you can remember the excitement in the city. During the games in the final heat of the 100 metres freestyle, there was only one swimmer left in the heat, as the other two were disqualified for false starts. The name of that swimmer was Eric Moussambani, who was later nicknamed ‘Eric the Eel.’
Eric is from the country of Equatorial Guinea, and he had set himself the goal of competing at the Olympic Games. Eight months prior to the Olympics he taught himself to swim in a hotel swimming pool, where he was only allowed to swim between the hours of 5.00am-6.00am. Through the Olympics wildcard system, Eric was able to qualify for the Sydney Olympic Games – achieving his goal.
When Eric started his race, he had never jumped off a platform or even swum in a 50 metre pool, but he did not let these hurdles deter him. Eric completed the race in 1min 52.72 seconds, and some would say this was the slowest race recorded in Olympic history, however, Eric would also add it was his new personal best and an Equatoguinean national record.
Following this, Eric captured the world’s attention but not because of his athleticism. But because he reminded us that life is not always about winning, but about the skills of a positive mindset and resilience that can help us achieve during seasons in life.
Over the past four weeks I have been so proud of all Lakes Grammar students for their positive mindsets and resilience they have shown everyday of online learning.
Yesterday we ran our Online Olympics day, and it was such a joy to watch the students participating in all the events – from sprints, to making the Olympic rings. It was a great reminder, although life has dramatically changed over the past four weeks, Lakes Grammar continues to be an incredibly fun, enjoyable, and safe learning environment.
Mr Daniel Wearne
Head of Junior School
SENIOR SCHOOL NEWS
HEAD OF SENIOR SCHOOL
This week we saw a shift in the senior school timetable to allow our students to have time in the afternoon to reflect, re-energise and seek learning support if needed. This change has been very well received by our school community.
There has been a significant amount of work done by staff to support and engage our students, including:
Rev’d Matt has been running live chapel services every week in the senior school for all our students. These chapel services have been a joy for those who attend. He spends hours designing, planning, practising and then presenting with a mixture of videos, live presentations and Kahoot. We are lucky to have Rev’d Matt on staff to provide this pause and praise time for our students. Services are held on Thursdays at:
9:00am for Years 7-9
10:45am for Years 10-12
Each week Mrs MacLarty has been busy working with the wellbeing team to organise a wellbeing lesson for each year group. Students stop the work they are doing in a normal class and the class teacher runs a designed wellbeing lesson, which links in with the themes from chapel each week. This week the wellbeing sessions focused on Peace and the students were also challenged by Mrs Clancy to demonstrate which sport they believed represented their year group. A great compilation of this, done by both staff and students, can be viewed on our Facebook page.
Miss MacKillop and the SRC team have been busy designing fun activities for students to get involved in. This week it was a lolly guessing competition and Kahoot Trivia for each year group! Well done to all those who were involved, the champion guessers from each year group will be announced on Monday.
Well done to our Kahoot Trivia Champions:
Year 7 -8 – Josef, Malachy, Giselle and Beau
Year 9 -10 – Baden, Cameron and Luke
Year 11-12 – Zali, Jamie and Jade
The following events are planned for Week 5:
SRC Year 7 – 8
Wednesday Live Trivia at 12.45pm join in sports Team
Lego Masters Challenge - build an Olympic theme creation and send an image.
Artistic challenge – colouring in - happiness page from the year group Team.
Artistic Challenge – create an artwork or photograph based on a theme of happiness or peace.
Minecraft build challenge – submit a photograph or video of a Minecraft creation based on the theme: Temple
Each week during normal school sport, Mr Beecroft has been posting a sporting challenge on the sports Team for our students to become involved in. Over the past few weeks students have been focused on the Olympics. Students are gaining points each week for their involvement for their college. I really encourage all students to get involved and get active.
Our staff, year adviser team and subject coordinators are working diligently behind the scenes calling families where we may be concerned about students’ engagement in live lessons, completion of class work or their overall wellbeing. This is an important process in catering for our students and their needs during their learning from home period. I encourage you to reach out via your child’s classroom teacher, year adviser or contact Mrs McLarty or myself if you are concerned about any of the above. Our team is here to help both parents and students.
NEW Assessment Schedules Years 7-11
Last week I emailed home a new assessment schedule for students in Years 7-11 for this term. Please take the time to review this with your child. Students are given time to prepare and complete these tasks during class time.
Please note that Year 11 students are completing their yearly examinations during Weeks 9 and 10. We will confirm at a later date whether these examinations will be online or at school.
Advice received today has directed schools in great Sydney to complete all trial examinations from home and, where necessary, adjust their outstanding school assessment tasks to be completed from home. Planning is underway to ensure that the final HSC examinations can occur in a Covid-safe way.
Year 12 – End of School Celebrations
We are very aware that the end of school for our Year 12 students is coming upon us quickly. We are in the midst of planning Covid-safe activities should this be possible, and I hope to be able to provide more details about these in the coming weeks.
Mrs Michelle Smith
Acting Deputy and Head of Senior School
Across the senior school, wellbeing sessions continue to be delivered each week following on from the theme in Chapel across the Fruits of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness and Self-Control. These are central to the characteristics we endeavour to build in our students at Lakes. This relates directly to the VITAL framework with the five character traits that we base our social and emotional learning and teaching and learning on.
Last week our students looked at Joy and were challenged to try out mindfulness activities in addition to ways to do things for others to help bring both parties joy.
This week we have looked at peace with a link to the Olympics. Hopefully there are some Peace Cranes happening in your house – ask your student about that one! We are working on a project for later in the year.
Our very first Year 12 newsletter was sent out to Year 12 and their parents at the end of week 2 with another edition to be sent out this week. This contains helpful tips, news from NESA and communication from key Year 12 staff. This is designed to keep Year 12 informed and supported whilst they are learning online.
Our year advisers continue to make phone calls, send emails and liaise with teachers with regards to supporting students who are having difficulties with online learning or their general wellbeing. They have been doing a remarkable job. Please contact your child’s year adviser if you have any particular concerns. They be contacted by email as shown below:
It is a delight to see the creativity within the homes of our Lakes Grammar Creative and Performing arts students. I’m receiving so many great photos of students producing artworks, playing instruments, designing sets and rehearsing. The positive nature of our creative students is a testimony to the can-do attitude of their wonderful teachers during online learning. All the support from parents at home is greatly appreciated by the CAPA teachers as we all continue navigate online learning.
The HSC students in drama, music and visual arts are continuing to produce their major works and the CAPA faculty is proud of how they are persevering to produce their very best. Resilience in action. We look forward to hopefully seeing them back at school from the 16th of August to complete their trials and check in with teachers as they complete their Major Works and prepare for performance exams.
The spotlight is on Year 10 in this edition of the newsletter. They have created quick colour sketches in the style of Australian Post Pop artist, Howard Arkley. These drawings document the suburban houses in a vibrant intensity that may only exist in the art world or our imaginations. Well done Year 10 on bringing some colour to our world.
Mrs Anne Hobden
Creative and Performing Arts Coordinator
SENIOR SCHOOL SPORTS NEWS
Weekly Term Sport
Weekly sport has moved to an online learning experience for students using Microsoft Teams. Students have been emailed a link for this team and they are set weekly sport challenges to complete at home during normal sport time. A college competition is also taking place and students are encouraged to fill in the sports recording form on Teams to contribute to their college point score each week. Weekly prizes are up for grabs. Well done to Beau J and Grace O for their wonderful submissions to the Olympic challenge last week.