From Girls Boarding
Mrs Chemane Fairleigh | Head of Girls Boarding
This semester has undoubtedly been the most unpredictable, interesting and rewarding of my time here at SCOTS PGC College!
I remember early March, when COVID-19 was beginning to dominate the news headlines and the girls began to ask ‘What does this mean for us in Warwick?” Some of the them were desperately asking when will school close so they could go home and commented on how amazing it would be to have an extended midterm break. Little did we know of the chaos and mayhem that would follow with the closure of schools, state borders and of course shops – which brought our country and indeed the whole world to a standstill.
Girls transitioned into the Learning from Home program with mixed responses. Many thrived when provided the opportunity to become more independent learners, taking ownership of managing their time and ensuring they kept up with online Teams meetings and assignments. Others found it a challenging virtual space to learn in but still persevered and did the best they could do given the circumstances. A highlight of my weeks was scheduling year group Teams meetings where I was able to check in with a number of girls simultaneously. For the first time I was able to get a glimpse of the beautiful properties so many of our girls are fortunate to live on. Isabelle Twidale gave me a very detailed tour of her grounds, and although I was thousands of miles away – it felt really nice to be able to maintain a connection to the girls I have grown so fond of.
All too soon however, the Grade 11 and 12 girls were back in boarding! It was fantastic to see them and for the boarding house to once again hum with the excitement and chatter that adolescent girls create. It was during this time that Mrs Hoffman established a love for crochet and origami with the girls – sitting down in their socially distanced seats of an evening, with crochet hooks, a cup of steaming tea and tales of the day to share. The house became a more intimate, more peaceful and relaxed environment – where everyone re-established their place as a member of this unique little community. We celebrated the 17th birthdays of Molly Turnbull and Emily Timmins, and with fewer girls there was more cake to go around!
A few weeks later, we welcomed back all of our boarders from Year 5 – 10, and were delighted when the vast majority were able to return to school. Sadly, our remote rural students were unable to get flights back to Brisbane and so remained at home for the duration of Term Two.
The boarding staff tried our best to entertain the girls and keep them socially occupied as they adjusted to the ‘new normal’ for living in the boarding house. I must take a moment to thank Mrs Clark, for her creativity in producing a modified activities program. Some of the activities included a BBQ and song night hosted by Mrs Wiid and her family, learn to knit, yoga and Pilates sessions run in house by our very own Rachel Caton and a softball competition.
In addition to this the boarders were treated to a mocktail party, where girls actually created their own mocktail and then dared others to drink it – congratulations to the Year 9 team for winning with their take on a Mojito. The last weekend in boarding saw Mrs Clark’s infamous Amazing Race around our grounds (and in-between the heavy downpours of rain). We capped off a brilliant weekend with a Candle Light in House Chapel service lead by Charmaine Wakpi and Heidi Robson.
So, as you can tell – boarding has not been boring by any means – despite being limited to Warwick for these past few weeks.
This term would not have been such a success without Mrs Hoffman and Mrs Clark but also the support we have received from Mrs Wiid, Miss Berriman, Miss Woodbine, Mrs Mortison and Mr Sullivan. Finally, however – the real stars of this term and the girls, every single one of them that came back to school, adjusted to our COVID safe protocols and just got on with things. Thank you girls for……well for just being you!
I wish each and every member of our boarding community a peaceful, restful and enjoyable mid-semester break and look forward to Term Three with baited breathe for what it will bring.
From Junior Boys Boarding
Mr Tom Bradbury | Acting Head of Junior Boys Boarding
As the Term draws to its imminent close, a closing note from me prior to vacating the chair for Mr Bailey on his return.
Next Term we welcome a new face to Cunningham House. Declan Stanley will be joining the boys and Mr Bailey. Declan comes to us from Brisbane and is a keen swimmer, runner and drummer who enjoys skateboarding. We look forward to welcoming Declan in a more formal way when he arrives.
The boys have worked hard in the past week to complete their assessments and get everything submitted on time. Sometimes this has been a trying affair and there have been frustrations and tiredness, but for the most part they have been very studious and all have applied themselves with our help and that of the day school staff. We trust that Term 3 will see a little less stress but be assured we will need to continue to work at being the best we can all be in the boarding house.
I take this opportunity to wish all the boys and their families a relaxing time together without the pressures of Learning from Home and look forward to seeing them all back in the house and the day school sometime next Term. I leave the boys with one thought regarding their time with us and that is to ask themselves what is it they want to get out of their time here at SCOTS? This answer will differ from lad to lad, and from family to family, but it is a conversation each family should have to make it clear to their sons and vice versa what it is they each expect from their experience.
My hope is that each boy will come to realise that they will only get out of this place that which they are prepared to put in. There are a plethora of opportunities available and if you just take a chance and put yourself out there you may find something you did not realise was going to make you shine.