“If the plan does not work, change the plan, not the goal.” UNKNOWN
Look at things in a different way
Among many things, the past two years have seen sparingly used words become commonplace in our vernacular, many to the point where they are now completely overused. Think about how many times you have heard or used these words recently: unprecedented, agile, adaptable, pivot, unique, challenging, new normal. Whilst we may have started finding the use of these words irritating, it does not change the fact that they can accurately define our reality since the start of the pandemic (there’s another one!). No one wanted this situation. I dare say no one will ever want to see it again either.
This Term around Victoria and Australia, Year 12 students finished their formal classes, their VCE Exams and were farewelled by their school communities. Victory was just one of many schools that were unable to hold our traditional whole-school assembly and with no friends, family or visitors onsite, we farewelled the Class of 2021 in what was an emotional afternoon – particularly for our staff! One of the highlights of the teaching profession is working with young people and seeing their growth and development. As a Foundation – Year 12 College, this is even more pronounced for some, as we witness their development over more than half of their lives to this point. For those of us who were fortunate to work with this cohort in 2020-2021, we have seen an amazing group of young adults push through arguably one of the most difficult periods students could face.
In every single Term, since they started Year 11, these students have faced lockdowns, re-openings, learning to ‘learn’ remotely, adjusting back into school, restrictions on their sport and social lives – to an extent rarely, if ever seen before. Through all this, they have been completing their senior years of schooling – a challenging task at the best of times. They could have been excused for saying ‘it is all too hard’ or ‘I’ve had enough’, but they didn’t. Whenever their plans did not work and fell through, they changed their plans, but never their goals. Each and every one of our Class of 2021 is to be commended for their unfailing resilience and determination to not lose sight of their final year goals.
Of course, this story is familiar to everyone this year – indeed our Foundation and Year 1 students have likewise seen the formative years of their schooling significantly disrupted. Despite being unable to meet in person due to COVID restrictions, our Foundation students sent their Year 12 ‘Superbuddies’ a card wishing them well – a touching connection between our youngest and oldest. It was also a stark reminder that our kids will have plans change many times throughout their schooling. Things will never be as straightforward and smooth as we would like.
But whilst we may change our plans, we will not change our goals, which for all students is to leave Victory as great people, the best version of themselves they can be. Our Class of 2021 are great people and we are immensely proud of them and the legacy they leave behind.
Head of Secondary
Victory Lutheran College
Hope is everywhere
There is much hope and joy surrounding us and we are thankful that much of our planned Term 4 activities can resume.
Some of the cancelled camps from last Term have been quickly amended and where possible, squeezed into this busy Term to provide students an opportunity to reconnect with their peers on a social level. Again, no doubt, a familiar story to many schools this year but this commitment from teachers to provide these extra-curricular experiences has been invaluable as we know how much our students enjoy camps for strengthening friendships after so many periods of Remote Learning.
The building program continues with the new Years 3 & 4 Learning Centre which is the final capital infrastructure addition catering for the triple streaming of the College. This is due for completion at the end of this year and will be a wonderful contemporary learning space for our growing Primary School. Victory is also adding a Drama Wing to Luther Hall, which will mean our Drama students will have a dedicated space for workshops to test their dramatic talent with access to the College stage.
A highlight of Term 4 is Arts Tech Week and we have again been impressed by the students’ enthusiasm for the lunchtime workshop, artworks on display throughout the College grounds and the performances by music students filling the playground air with song and a rock beat.
Even the resident duck family in the College dam living in the Sustainable Learning Area has been wandering the College grounds, stopping everyone in their tracks as Mum, Dad and their brood of 19 ducklings go for their daily walks. These lax encounters with our waggling duck family are a joy to behold.
They remind us of the wonder of nature, family and of Proverbs: 22:6 “Direct your children onto the right path, and when they are older, they will not leave it.”