The Beauty of Now and the Beauty of Before

Kyle Thompson | Principal

About three weeks ago, on the last Friday of Term 1, I remember finishing work and walking home, tired, but glad to be able to seek some rest and solitude on the front deck to my residence. I remember settling on the outdoor lounge and looking out towards the Condamine, cool drink in hand, and taking a deep breath as I enjoyed the wonderful outlook (as also captured in my sunset photo highlighted in the online sunset photo competition).

A few minutes into this unwind, a massive, moving, white blanket appeared to fill the sky as literally 1000 corellas descended, firstly into the paddock on the other side of the trees and then finally taking their places in the Gums along the river bank.

As someone who still considers themselves to be relatively new to rural and regional life, I thought ‘How great is this?’ Sitting on my deck, looking over the Condamine River, watching and listening to the native wildlife as the sun set behind the trees. It was a truly spectacular setting and a special experience. I thought to myself how much better to sit and listen to the sound of cockatoos and observe nature than the many years of my city observations, watching traffic pass my house (cars and trucks) and basking in the glow of a streetlight rather than the ambient light from the setting sun. I genuinely thought ‘How cool is this’. And it was.

Some three weeks later, this is no longer ‘cool’! I have since heard these crazy feathered fools create ruckus after ruckus. They go off at 3am, just before dawn, then at about 7:30am. They return again late afternoon and go off about 4pm and then again, big time, at dusk. The novelty has well and truly worn off the sound of their arrival and posturing. Now the sight of them flying in, masquerading as an airborne white blanket, makes me shake my head in helpless frustration as I know the peace and serenity will again be shattered at all hours of the day and night.

I still recognise the beauty and excitement I felt at the beginning of this new experience. However, I also recognise that this new experience is something I don’t wish to experience permanently and in fact I long for how it was before their arrival.

To some degree, this is how I feel about our current teaching and learning environment. I would begin by saying how brilliant our staff have been. And, I use the word brilliant deliberately. I would also reference how incredible our families have been, students and parents, in their support of the staff and the College as we have entered this new experience. It seems to be pretty special in a lot of ways.

Just as I felt with the arrival of 1000 corellas, I feel our whole community has embraced this ‘new world’ experience. We have all thrown ourselves into this new experience and all its challenges and learnings. There appears to be a real energy from our staff and students as we embrace the newness of this experience and marvel at the technical abilities and different ways in which we can stay connected. I fear though, that just as the novelty of the corellas wore thin, at some stage we will all feel the fatigue and potentially frustration as we begin to remember the beauty of how things were before we entered this new world. As excited and energised as we are to be able to have this new experience, deep down we know that schools aren’t the same without actually having students in rooms with teachers. There is so much more to teaching than content delivery. The magic is in the relationships and interactions. As educators, we don’t just teach, we spend our professional lives learning constantly as well. Such has been this experience.

I look forward to the day we welcome all of our students back to the classroom, greeting our boys and girls at our metaphorical gate. I look forward to walking past our rooms and seeing the vibrancy of students’ interactions in the same space as their teachers. I am sure we all, if we aren’t already, look forward to a return of the old normal and the rest and comfort this might bring after a period of intensity never before experienced in education.

Thank you once again, to our entire community for supporting each other and embracing the ‘new’. I still wouldn’t trade the Condie, sunset and birds for the cars, trucks and street lights! Welcome back to Term 2.

A message from our Captain featured image

A message from our Captain

As we commenced our first week of Learning from Home, one of our College Captains, Josh Bailey, shared a few words of encouragement to the …

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A message from our Captain

As we commenced our first week of Learning from Home, one of our College Captains, Josh Bailey, shared a few words of encouragement to the rest of the student body.  Check out his message here on YouTube https://youtu.be/txY1lqDLv-k which was also later shared as part of local news segment on Channel 7.

Josh’s message was broadcast to students during one of their timetabled Wellbeing lessons, this week.

Tune in again next week as we check in with Kira Holmes, who’ll share some more hints and tips on planning and preparation.

 

Learning from Home – Show us your work station! featured image

Learning from Home – Show us your work station!

This week, our learning spaces have changed somewhat from the usual classroom desk, to the end of the dining room table.  Some students have taken …

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Learning from Home – Show us your work station!

This week, our learning spaces have changed somewhat from the usual classroom desk, to the end of the dining room table.  Some students have taken the time this week to share their work spaces with their classmates and tutor groups.

We also checked in with the students who have joined us on site at the campus this week, so those at home can see that learning from home is different for everyone.

We are proud of the effort and commitment every family is contributing to ensure that as a community, we make the experience as positive as it can be.  Congratulations to all on surviving the first week!

Honouring our ANZACS featured image

Honouring our ANZACS

As a College community, the commemoration of ANZAC Day is quite possibly the most revered and highly regarded event that takes place on our calendar …

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Honouring our ANZACS

As a College community, the commemoration of ANZAC Day is quite possibly the most revered and highly regarded event that takes place on our calendar each year.  Unfortunately, due to the current COVID 19 restrictions, our annual Dawn service had to be cancelled.  However, in true SCOTS PGC style, this year our College has devised a creative way to respectfully honour our ANZACs whilst managing to keep within the confines of the new social distancing rules.

On ANZAC Day, our College will honour and remember the life of David L Crichton, one of the College’s Magnificent 42.  A small group of our senior students were able to carry out the SCOTS PGC College tradition of commemorating ANZAC Day to remember Mr Crichton and the forty-one other fallen servicemen that were all past students of the College.  Please keep an eye on the SCOTS PGC Facebook page tomorrow (ANZAC Day) to see this year’s special tribute.

ANZAC Day activities have been the order of the week across the College and amongst our virtual learning from home spaces.  Our entire student body has been engaged in making ANZAC biscuits and other baked treats amongst painting poppies and wreath making.  Our Learning Resource Centre foyer features Mrs Peterson’s top war story reads amid a wall of colourful red paper poppies.

Although our students are spread far and wide this year, our ANZAC spirit is still well and truly alive and representative of the very tight knit community that is SCOTS PGC.

Please don’t forget to show your support tomorrow morning at 6am as we gather in our front yards to remember our ANZACs.  Students are encouraged to wear their school uniform, hold a candle and share a photo with Mrs Bohm.

SCOTS Connect – Sunset Photo Competition featured image

SCOTS Connect – Sunset Photo Competition

Above: The joint winning photo from Samantha McKechnie – Year 11 The SCOTS Connect program launched its first competition this week, inviting all students to …

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SCOTS Connect – Sunset Photo Competition

Above: The joint winning photo from Samantha McKechnie – Year 11

The SCOTS Connect program launched its first competition this week, inviting all students to take part in sharing their ‘best sunset photo’.  The entries have been outstanding which posed a difficult choice for Mr Thompson to award an overall winner.

Congratulations to all the students who entered.  Mr Thompson could not decide a clear winner this week, so he’s awarded both Samantha McKechnie in Year 11 and Lachlan Woods in Year 8 as joint champions.  Samantha and Lachlan will receive a special prize in the post next week.

Our SCOTS Connect program has proven already to be a wonderful way to keep our students engaged and connected with one another and also with their teachers.   Students and families are reminded to check out the SCOTS Connect activity schedule to see what’s happening each afternoon.

A new competition will be launched at the beginning of each week during Tutor time in the morning.

Lachlan Woods – Year 8 (tied winner)

Hayden Coleman – Year 12

Buchanan Titus – Year 12

Claudia Barton – Year 8

Eliana Amos – Year 7

Sophie Brennan – Year 9

Lewis May – Year 8

Maddie Bayley – Prep

Stevie Collins – Year 8

Peter McFarland – Year 10

Luke Stephenson – Year 9

Bryce Zerner – Year 9

Steph McCosker – Year 2

Erin Keogh – Year 10