Spring has spoken, playgrounds beckon and picnics are on the table

With the hint of spring in the air, the warmth of longer sun-filled days and the re-opening of playgrounds, Carey Junior School students are starting to again be reminded of the power of connections with others.

The Carey Community Connection Day, just over week ago, provided opportunities for the entire community to engage in personal activities that sparked joy and happiness. The day provided a sense of connection within the school community, whether that was painting with the Principal, or connecting with the broader community through chalk drawings and messages of hope on footpaths. The day was a resounding success with more than 900 family computers logging in to the sessions, representing well over 60% of the Carey community.

Thank you for your feedback
Feedback is essential for reflection and moving forward with certainty and purpose. The pastoral phone conversations have enabled the Pastoral Team to not only get a sense of how individuals and families are travelling and the sincere gratitude for all the teachers are doing, but also what areas of the online learning have met individual needs and where we can be mindful of what parents see within their homes around student engagement, connections and fostering relationships with peers.

Class teachers and specialists have also been thrilled to receive individual emails of thanks and affirmation for the creative ways of engaging and supporting student learning. They have been buoyed with enthusiasm to continue to create meaningful connection opportunities for their students through online quizzes, class lunchtime picnics and afternoon check-ins. We have been told that the the break-out room functionality in Big Blue Button has been well received, allowing students to chat openly with peers on curricular and non-curricular topics whilst being able to see larger screen images of their friends and classmates. These minor refinements and adaptions to the online program have been the catalyst for so many individuals to keep engaged and positive about the online space they find their learning and socialisation taking place in.

With the holidays now upon us and the opportunity to break free from the screen for the students, it is timely for us to remember the best parenting often comes from being present in the moment. Whether it’s for a short 20-minute walk to the park, a visit to the local café for a hot chocolate or a fitness circuit for the family, the idea of downing all technology, listening, sharing conversations and hearing what others have to say is never more important than now. These simple actions may mean the difference between thriving and languishing, now and into the future.

Farewell and enjoy your holidays
It is with a heavy heart that we farewell the vivacious, energetic and passionate Sharon Rong who retires at the end of the term. We wish her all the best as she embarks on the next chapter of her life.

I hope all families have a safe and calm holiday period and look forward to seeing the halls full of students and the noise of the busy school playgrounds and ovals at recess and lunchtimes once again fill the air.

Alby Ingles
Deputy Head – Student Welfare