Conversation with the Leadership Team
Thank you to the 49 families who joined us online on Wednesday, 9 September for our third “conversation” with the Leadership Team. The focus this term was on wellbeing – what it is, how we can support and promote it, and some of the related work we are doing at the College. A timely topic, given our “R U OK” focus on 10 September. I introduced the evening in the following way:
This pandemic has certainly given us the opportunity to normalise mental health and wellbeing discourse, to acknowledge that the circumstances of our lives have a deep impact on the way we interact with the world and with one another, and that at some stage, most of us will need to accept and deal with a mental health issue, in the way we deal with physical ailments when they arise. In fact, we are being urged to name the negative thoughts and feelings that we have, acknowledge that they are a part of our nature (hopefully transitory), find a way to manage them, and when they are not short-lived to seek support to manage them.
Tapping into the wisdom of our parent community, we asked via an online forum, what are some of the ways that families are supporting their girls to build and maintain their wellbeing at this time. I share some of their insights below:
- Remain positive. Encourage them to take a break from the screen and get outside to exercise or just get some fresh air. Listen when they talk about their day or what’s happening in class – no matter how trivial.
- Exercise with them, help them maintain routines, talk to them at the beginning of the day about what they have on, check in throughout the day about how they are going, talk at the end of the day about what they still need to do.
- Pray together if they will let you.
- Stay connected to peers. Encouragement and support. Regulating screen time. Regular exercise and get outdoors.
- Encourage and believe in them – let them express their feelings.
- Spend individual quality time one on one with each child to listen and speak to them.
- Listen, listen, listen.
- Acknowledge their feelings of frustration.
- Encourage variety in their day.
- Let them know that it’s ok to feel this way.
We are in the midst of planning for Term 4 with the roadmap outline provided by Premier Andrews last Sunday. We are very aware that some students, especially our Year 7s, have not had the opportunity to connect and engage with the College and with their peers. Discussions are underway regarding how we can continue to imagine “transition” for these girls, when we welcome students back onsite.
It has been a privilege to be in partnership with families as we navigate this tricky and uncertain time for adolescents (and for the adults as well) and we remain grateful for your support. As always, please do not hesitate to contact your daughter’s House Teacher or House Leader if you have any concerns.
Virtual Instrumental Music Concert
What great fun it was to join the virtual Instrumental Music Concert on the evening of Thursday, 10 September. It was great to pop in and out of “rooms” to listen to the girls perform their individual pieces, which they have largely learned online, and to witness the support and encouragement for each girl from her Instrumental Instructor and from her peers. The creativity and innovation of the Music Staff, and their commitment to maintain engagement and motivation for learning during this period of remote learning is commendable. Thank you to all of the St Columba’s College music staff for an inspiring evening.
Year 12 Students – Centrelink Student Resource Kit
Centrelink has developed a new Student Resource Kit to inform students about payments they can access after high school.
The kit includes factsheets, guides to online services, tips on claiming, tools to work out how much students could get each fortnight, translated material and videos. Please click here to access the information sheet and the link to download the resource kit.