21 July 2021

Focus on what we have, as opposed to what we do not

Focus on what we have, as opposed to what we do not
Focus on what we have, as opposed to what we do not
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I appreciate what a demanding time this is for us all as a community to once again be in lockdown. I know it is challenging to maintain a positive, optimistic and agile stance, but we must project a sense of hope that we will be able to find a way through and out of this pandemic, and our children will take our lead on this. As demanding as it is, we need to embrace the opportunity to actively build resilience within our families and place our focus on what we have, as opposed to what we do not. We understand that for many in our community who have been heavily impacted again by this lockdown, that will not be easy. We are sending love and support, especially to all those in our community who have been forced in hard lockdowns for 14 days.

We were delighted to be able to have the full season of Strictly Ballroom presented by the Middle School students just before we entered lockdown. It was a sensational set of performances and I acknowledge the many staff and students involved in the show, and the efforts by many to shift the final performance very quickly to Thursday at short notice.

I’d like to extend my thanks to our staff, who are once again using all their technical and creative skills to shift the learning program online. I am especially grateful to all those working hard to reschedule all planned major events which were meant to take place at the start of this term. We will work to postpone rather than cancel as much as we possibly can. At the moment, we have a particular focus on the Year 8 camp program which we are working to adapt given the circumstances and we will give you more information in the days ahead as the situation becomes clearer. I am also grateful to our parents associations across the school for their support of the community more broadly. Their outreach to families in need and their acknowledgement of the efforts of staff and students is greatly appreciated.

Introducing our new Head of Junior School Kew, and Director – People
This term we have been pleased to welcome into our school two new members of the School Leadership Team.

Kylie Baxter has joined us as Head of Junior School Kew. With an educational career spanning over 20 years, Kylie comes to Carey from Westbourne Grammar where she was Deputy Head of the Junior School since 2012. A dynamic, committed and forward-thinking educator, Kylie’s experience in leading and managing key aspects of school operations for Westbourne’s three junior campuses is extensive. At Westbourne, her position of responsibility has included the delivery of strategic and operational leadership, engagement with key stakeholders, the ongoing professional development of staff and the implementation of an innovative educational program that is in line with the school’s holistic early learning to Year 12 philosophy.

Prior to joining the staff at Westbourne, Kylie was Assistant Principal at Essendon North Primary School where she worked on a number of projects including leading all teaching staff in reviewing assessment practices, subsequently developing a whole-school assessment and reporting strategy. With a commitment to promoting student wellbeing across the school, she established a Student Wellbeing and Engagement Committee to deliver a whole-school social and emotional learning skills program. President of the Junior School Parents Association, Chrissy Margaritis, interviewed Kylie earlier this week to share a bit more about her.

Sophie Lukeis has been appointed as our new Director – People. Sophie has worked in human resources for over 20 years across a number of industries. Her most recent positions have been in education, specifically Bialik College, RMIT and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons (RACS). Throughout her career Sophie, has led HR teams to play a positive and impactful role in employee engagement, wellbeing and culture change. Most recently, Sophie led the People and Culture function at RACS through a period of significant transformation. She is passionate about working with teams to create a workplace where all employees can thrive, and she is particularly excited about the opportunity to work again within a vibrant and positive school community.

2021 Independent Schools Victoria Parent Satisfaction Survey
Carey is once again taking part in a series of satisfaction surveys conducted by Independent Schools Victoria. The opinion of the whole Carey community is valuable to us, and we will be inviting students, parents, staff and Board members to participate. The aim of the survey is to gain general feedback beyond the insights we have received through the Shape the Future inquiry and build a deeper understanding of your perceptions regarding the quality of your experience at Carey. The information obtained will be used by us to evaluate feedback, in order to improve the quality of education at the School for students and will enable benchmarking of the School against other independent schools.

The 2021 survey links will be emailed to parents in the week commencing 2 August. The survey will close on Friday 27 August. We encourage all members of the community to participate, as the information we gain has proven immensely valuable in the past. Please be assured that the information you provide in the survey is completely anonymous. We look forward to receiving your 2021 feedback.

Supporting our children through uncertainty and daily stress
Many of us in the Carey community may be experiencing stress or helping loved ones through the stress of yet another lockdown. In particular, as parents, it is vital that we know how to help our children through uncertainty and the challenges of everyday life in an increasingly complicated world.

The Carey Community Forum is hosting its next event, Supporting our children through uncertainty and daily stress, online next Thursday 29 July from 7.00pm–8.30pm. Our guest presenter is Dr Tom Bruznell, Director of Education at Berry Street, who will offer tips and advice to parents to help young people to:

  • process their reactions to stressors in a safe and positive way
  • develop their wellbeing
  • increase their resilience
  • build relationships and grow in uncertain times
  • access the support they need.

Dr Tom’s presentation will be followed by a panel discussion which will include one of Carey’s psychologists. You will also learn what support services are available to your child at Carey. This is a free online event. Participants must register on TryBooking.

Jonathan Walter


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