We are approaching the middle of the term already and I must say that it has been a great start to the year with an increasing number of school activities starting up and it is feeling more and more like a regular school year.
Last week I enjoyed what could be considered a celebration of education bookends for our school. On Monday I hosted visits to my office by Kindergarten which was a real joy to meet with students at the beginning of their school journey. I had the opportunity to talk about my job and what was in my office as well as sharing our favourite places. For these students, it varied widely from the beach, to the playground, to the shops all the way home to safe and comfortable bedrooms and backyards. We also talked about the great plays to learn and play here at school. There is so much for these students to enjoy as they grow and learn at William Carey – not just in terms of curriculum, but as young people growing in character and in knowledge of God and his good news of salvation in Jesus Christ.
HSC High Achievers
The following day I met with our 2021 HSC high achievers to celebrate their admirable results despite the challenges of last year. They then spoke to Years 11 and 12, sharing their experiences and advice, including the importance of ‘consistency and using each lesson and activity as an opportunity to train like you want to perform’ (the HSC is a long distance event and working with consistency, each day can help in avoiding the sudden anxiety rushes associated with assessments); keeping a view of the ‘big picture’ (for life and the HSC); and treating the HSC like a ‘team sport’ (relying on the support of teachers and peers). These two experiences from last week encapsulated the range and diversity of our school, which I love so dearly.
Staying COVID safe
The school has organised the distribution of RAHT kits for home testing for COVID this week. The approach for the future is changing from surveillance testing (test twice a week) to using the tests at your discretion. The additional tests provided to students are for families to use when they consider it necessary for their own peace of mind, for example, when a student is symptomatic, if there are cases in their class or if family members are sick. A positive result will still require you to contact Service NSW and the school and then isolate.
When the relatively small number of positive cases have occurred within the school, we have written to inform families to remind them to be vigilant but not alarmed. It is natural that receiving a letter like these raises further questions and possibly some concern. To protect the privacy of community members, we are not able to provide more detail. These letters are just to remind you to keep an eye out for symptoms in family members. However, please take care to avoid jumping to conclusions about the numbers of cases within the school. I can assure you they are lower than those of some other schools. So far, we have been most blessed by only small number of cases.
Matilda the Musical
Two big community events are approaching.
Firstly we can confirm the new performance dates for our musical production of Matilda. Five shows will run on Friday 29th, Saturday 30th April and Saturday 7th May. This set of shows has been pushed back three times now and the cast and crew have kept working to this goal despite the repeated delays. When the curtain goes up it will be a real testament to their determination and perseverance. I have regularly walked into the hall and seen the sets ready and waiting to go. It will be such a celebration to have a live audience at school and for the students to perform what they have rehearsed over such an extended time. Ensure you secure your tickets to celebrate with us as a community.
Secondly, we will be running our School Perspective Community Survey between 14th-27th March. This online survey will enable all school stakeholders to share about their William Carey experience. It will take about 20 minutes to complete the survey and has been specifically designed to assist our school in gaining an understanding of five important areas: School Environment, Teaching and Learning, Student Wellbeing, Leadership and Community. All staff, students, parents/guardians, leaders and board members will be invited to participate.
This is a valuable survey as your input will assist us in planning for the future of our school. We want you to share your voice on this matter, so look out for communication about this important survey coming your way soon.
Mr Keith McMullen