The journey to the new normal….

Amy Woodgate | Head of Junior and Middle Schools

There is no doubt that we are in a time of change.  Whether it be the change of season with the falling leaves and significant drop in temperatures, or our students changing into kilts, blazers and jumpers, these past few weeks welcoming our boys and girls back to the College has seen change, both big and small.

To some extent, it certainly feels like each week and month at the moment brings about another ‘new normal’.  From marks on the floor of shops to show the appropriate social distancing, through to the gradual reopening of restaurants and cafes, and the recommencement of some outdoor activities for our boys and girls, each day and each media announcement gives us more information to adjust to.

For us here at the College, having the buzz of our students around the campus has been a very welcome change, although has seen us transition to the ‘new normal’ of additional health and hygiene practices, changes to our morning tea and lunch routines and modifications to the Co-Curricular Program.  Our students are adapting to new routines, reconnecting to their peers and teachers and readjusting to expectations for learning in each of their subject areas.

Learning from Home has brought with it both challenges and opportunities, with each of us responding and reacting differently.  Some students thrived in the remote learning environment as it provided them with flexibility and autonomy over the learning, whereas other students had difficulty adjusting to the social dynamics of learning in a virtual space without those personal check ins from teachers and predictability in the structure of their day.

In a recent article about the possible bumpy road back to school, Maggie Dent (Australian educator and author) urges schools and families to focus on the ‘three c’s’ during this time of transition – connection, calmness and cohesion.  She argues that focussing on these three areas will support students to again feel safe and supported in their school environment and allow them to re-establish positive connections with their teachers and their peers.

We know that relationships are the key component in our school.  High quality teaching, learning and pastoral care all has a foundation of connection.  When these relationships are established in an environment of calmness, where time is dedicated to ensuring that wellbeing is a priority, a stronger school community can be the result, especially when we are seemingly adjusting to the ‘new normal’ regularly.

When we factor in the ‘fourth c’ of change, I know that SCOTS PGC College is well positioned to support our school community to navigate this time of transition, through a focus on our people and our relationships with one another.  Learning from Home in the virtual space was exciting and had a number of positive outcomes, but nothing really replaces hearing the sounds of our students as they go about their day here at school and we are very happy that the ‘new normal’ has allowed us to all come back together.

 

Related articles:

http://www.essentialkids.com.au/education/school/primary-school/another-new-normal-the-journey-back-to-school-may-be-a-bit-bumpy-20200518-h1o52p

https://www.maggiedent.com/blog/schools-key-to-our-kids-recovery-why-the-3-cs-count-before-grades/

National Reconciliation Week | 27 May – 3 June featured image

National Reconciliation Week | 27 May – 3 June

National Reconciliation Week is a special time on the nation’s calendar to learn about our shared history, cultures and achievements. It’s also a time to …

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National Reconciliation Week | 27 May – 3 June

National Reconciliation Week is a special time on the nation’s calendar to learn about our shared history, cultures and achievements. It’s also a time to discuss and explore how we can all work towards achieving reconciliation and a better Australia.

Throughout National Reconciliation Week, our students reflected on what some of the reconciliation concepts mean to them. After brainstorming their ideas, they said:

“We all play a role when it comes to reconciliation and building relationships – whether they be in our local community, school community or our own indigenous communities. Everyone should work together to take care of this country”.

Unfortunately, some of our students from remote indigenous communities have not had the opportunity to return to the College and missed recognising NRW with their school mates.  However, we were very fortunate to welcome Nelson Madua, a new indigenous student who joined our Year 9 class last week.

Nelson is a full time boarding student from Mareeba in far north Queensland.  Nelson has already settled well into College life and is enjoying making new friends.  He is looking forward to the return of school sporting activities.  His older sister, Kaysan Miles is already here at the College in Year 10.

Welcome Nelson!

 

Disco fun in Year 3 featured image

Disco fun in Year 3

Throughout the Learning from Home period, Year 3 teacher Mrs Brown, set her class the task of organising a special event.  Students had to consider …

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Disco fun in Year 3

Throughout the Learning from Home period, Year 3 teacher Mrs Brown, set her class the task of organising a special event.  Students had to consider different types of events, venues, guests, catering and other tasks involved in executing an event.

In celebration of returning to school and in recognition of how well the Year 3 students dealt with their first five weeks of the term Learning from Home, Mrs Brown decided to bring one of the events planned by the class to fruition.

Students took a vote on three different events – a high tea, a disco party, or a picnic by the river. They unanimously decided to proceed with a ‘Disco Party’, which took place in their classroom last Tuesday.  The venue was ideal for dancing and our Year 3s perfected the catering.  The most important part was that all the Year 3 students had lots of fun! The disco party was a great way to celebrate being back at school and learning together in the classroom.

SCOTS PGC Equestrian – Virtual Showhorse winners announced! featured image

SCOTS PGC Equestrian – Virtual Showhorse winners announced!

Thomas Keable | Equestrian Captain Our very first SCOTS PGC virtual event was a huge success!  Learning from Home has given us the practical experience …

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SCOTS PGC Equestrian – Virtual Showhorse winners announced!

Thomas Keable | Equestrian Captain

Our very first SCOTS PGC virtual event was a huge success!  Learning from Home has given us the practical experience to stay connected in a virtual space.  It has also taught us that we can keep doing the things we enjoy – we just need to be creative.

The Virtual Showhorse event provided our Equestrian team with an opportunity to compete internally and maintain some level of show form in the absence of participating in real life events.  Our schedule would ordinarily be quiet busy at this time of year, so it was nice for our members to be able to saddle up for the virtual event.

Thank you to everyone involved in our 2020 Virtual Showhorse. We had a great number of entries in both our senior classes and are pleased to announce the following results:

Intermediate Class:

1st       Sophie Poole (Year 9)

2nd      Gabrielle Sellick (Year 9)

3rd       April Ries (Year 7)

Secondary Class:

1st       Felicity Sellick (Year 11)

2nd      Kate Lyttle (Year 12)

3rd       Lucy Jackson (Year 11)

Our first place winners receive a gift voucher for Horseland proudly sponsored by David Finch from Finch Farms, which can be collected from the EQ office along with prizes for 2nd and 3rd.  If you would like to receive your feedback notes, please contact Equestrian Co-ordinator, Grace Buchholz.

Becoming Baristas featured image

Becoming Baristas

Our Year 10 Hospitality students took their first steps in becoming baristas this week.  Thursday’s first two lessons were dedicated to learning the basics of …

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Becoming Baristas

Our Year 10 Hospitality students took their first steps in becoming baristas this week.  Thursday’s first two lessons were dedicated to learning the basics of brewing a good cup of coffee.  Our staff willingly offered themselves as taste testers as our Year 10s swept the College taking various orders for lattes, long blacks, cappuccinos and hot chocolates.

From all reports, our students thoroughly enjoyed the session which has been a highly anticipated lesson on their timetables for the hospitality subject.  The class is looking forward to their next practical lesson, which will no doubt mean our College staff are once again treated with coffee.

Their coffee education will also earn them credits towards obtaining their Certificate II in Hospitality.

From the Co-curricular Desk

Mr Tom Bradbury | Assistant Director of Co-curricular Activities It has been wonderful to see lots of students involved in the afternoon activities throughout the …

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From the Co-curricular Desk

Mr Tom Bradbury | Assistant Director of Co-curricular Activities

It has been wonderful to see lots of students involved in the afternoon activities throughout the week.  There are a lot of boys and girls trying their hand in varied pursuits (like golf and tennis) and discovering they have a newfound interest they may not have explored before, had our situation been ‘normal’.

Mr Wilson and I have been working hard behind the scenes to plan and schedule activities as eased restrictions allow us to do so.  The following update about our athletics and cross country was shared via SEQTA last week.

Term 3 Athletics and Cross Country Championships

In line with the Queensland Government’s Roadmap for easing restrictions it is intended to run the College Interclan Athletics Carnival over six days, and our Cross Country over two days in Term 3.

To ensure these events do not exceed mandated crowd limits, unfortunately, no spectators will be permitted.

Only two age groups will compete each day over the Athletic Carnivals, and our Cross Country will be spread over two days in Week 4.

The rationale here is to reintroduce sport and a sense of competition, belonging and connectedness to our school for our students.

The likely dates are as follows:

Term 3 

Athletics:

Week 1 – Wednesday 15, Thursday 16, Friday 17 July

Week 2 – Wednesday 22, Thursday 23, Friday 24 July.

 

Cross Country:

Week 4 – Friday 31 July

Week 5 – Friday 7 August

 

Hockey for Juniors featured image

Hockey for Juniors

Our students under seven years old, now have the opportunity to play hockey in a new local ‘Learn to Play‘ program. Please see the flyer …

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Hockey for Juniors

Our students under seven years old, now have the opportunity to play hockey in a new local ‘Learn to Play‘ program.
Please see the flyer for details.