Geelong Lutheran College St John’s Newtown students have thrived in a challenging year. The beginning of the year saw the building of a new perimeter fence which meant a restricted use of the grassed play space for most of Term 1. However, it was worth the wait as we celebrated a fresh new look with our much higher fence – the result being we keep more balls inside the yard and less on the road! Who knew that being restricted was going to be a theme in 2020!
Harmony Day was the springboard for our renewed focus on students and staff wellbeing came at, what turned out to be, an ideal time as we moved into Remote Learning. This celebrated the links our students and staff have to other countries and cultures. It created some wonderful literacy experiences through our library program and students proudly shared their language, national dress, food and cultural experiences.
Prior to moving into a remote learning environment, a group of our Year 6 students led the staff in a Professional learning time at a ‘Techie Brekkie’. To have the students as teachers was a wonderful experience and interesting to hear the students say, ‘You all talked too much when we were trying to explain things. Is that what it is like for you?’
Like many students around Victoria and indeed, the world, we learnt how to use Zoom and Teams more efficiently. It was clear that the ability to adapt and be creative was alive and well as we explored every opportunity to connect meaningfully.
‘Community Conversations’ was an initiative which saw parents come together with key staff via Zoom to catch up, share stories and experiences and gain wisdom from each other as they supported their students at home. This provided an opportunity to keep our community in touch with each other and provide wellbeing support, advise and connections where we could.
Virtual chapel and assembly became a regular feature of our programming and featured some fun ways to celebrate birthdays and other milestones.
A challenge to share photos of ‘Remote Learning’ in action resulted in students sharing pictures of their pets who keep them company, cooking experiences, creative play in the backyard (including some amazing tree houses) and clever obstacle courses created for PE. Music, French and Art teachers provided some incredible opportunities to integrate aspects of the programs which the students loved.
Those students who attended school for supervision during remote Learning, created some wonderful signs – ‘We love our School’ and ‘Thank you Teachers’. As the students came back from the first time, it was a great reminder to all how blessed and thankful we are to be part of such a caring a loving community.
GLC St John’s Newtown campus