Schools Rise to Colossal Challenge
This was the title of the editorial in The Age, Wednesday, 21 July 2021. It went on to quote Peter Goss, the Head of the School Education Program at the Grattan Institute, who said:
“Schools can’t be responsible for what their kids know the first day they walk in through the school gates; they can only be responsible for how far they take those kids in their learning journey.”
And what a learning journey it has been these past 18 months. A journey comprising a time where it feels like going into and out of lockdown is more the norm than the oddity. Over this period, students have as many as 123 days of remote teaching and learning, and the State has experienced the equivalent of 6 months in some form of lockdown.
The editorial goes on to say, “the profound impact of suddenly having to learn remotely from home – usually in close confinement with the rest of their family, often with their parents also working from home – has doubtless affected our children’s education”, and “what the long-term impact is likely to be is difficult to say…”
However, what we can say is that our community has shown remarkable resilience, adaptability, tolerance and versatility. I know we have heard these words before and I pray, will not hear them again in this context. Nonetheless, they reverberate through the school community now even stronger than they did those many months ago when I wrote you confirming that we were entering Lockdown 1.0. Can you believe that was in March 2020!
What we can also say is that the rate in which students have resumed their studies, have hardly broken step and kept a steady pace in their learning throughout, despite the challenges has been remarkable. A wonderful testament to the impact the adults have had in their lives - parents, staff family and friends. That you all have provided the support, optimism and structure so needed during this time is a powerful thing.
Finally, what we can say is that the future remains bright and full of hope. No matter what happens, the work that has taken place these past months, is occurring now, and will continue, will place the students in the best position possible.
At the core of our beliefs, is our responsibility for taking our students as far in their learning journey as humanly possible. Let your colours shine!