Message from the Principal

Message from the Principal

Who would have thought just two weeks ago that the whole complement of our students – over 1,100 – would be working remotely?

Who would have imagined that our staff would have had to completely reimagine their teaching practice? 

Who could have imagined?

Everywhere we turn – in the press, or on social media – COVID-19 images and statistics accost our senses. This increases our fear and sense of being overwhelmed – of not having any control.

During times of heightened fear and anxiety, it can be useful to put things into perspective.

I am grateful to one of my parents who shared the following graphic with me, highlighting the need to focus not on what we cannot control or change – but on what we can control. 

We are still a community

Despite how much we may love being part of a community, schools are complex and challenging places at the best of times and now more so than ever.

At St Ursula’s, we have been able to transition to this new way of working calmly and purposefully.

To our advantage, we have our students’ skills and natural curiosity for learning and the staff’s creative reimagining of the curriculum and capacity to learn quickly. Making use of new tools to engage with our students, we are confident that learning will continue, no matter the circumstances. Thus, we can feel a sense of control in this domain.

It is learning as usual at St Ursula’s – just not in Caroline Street for all of our students right now. 

Our College is much more than just great learning

We are a College built on quality relationships and a genuine concern for the wellbeing of each member of our community.

Wellbeing is the key word

At this time, I have no doubt that students, their families and our staff may be feeling a sense of loss. I miss my morning routine of greeting girls at the front door, or when I am walking through the playground, or saying goodbye to them in the afternoon.

We take for granted how good our College is at nurturing quality relationships; at giving people a sense of belonging. It’s the small things, like a smile or a shared joke. We miss being able to do these things in person. Even more so, in these different times, we must all find ways to keep those relationships going; to make sure people still feel they are part of this living community, by ensuring we are looking after each others’ wellbeing! 

This is our collective commitment – yours and ours –  to the wellbeing of others.

Serviam advocates service to others with kindness and compassion. Our Year 9 value of Unite has never been more important than it is in these unprecedented times.

As adults, we need to reaffirm and reassure our young people that they do belong to a community. We need to ensure that they still feel connected to their friends and their school. Thus, opportunities to chat to friends or to interact using Zoom and other tools are wonderful ways to ensure they feel they have control.

You may find that your daughter’s behaviour changes, because she is used to learning and being in a very social environment with her peers.

What she needs right now is to feel comforted and loved; to feel like it is going to be OK. On some days, as the people who will be closest to them each day, this may mean you telling them to turn off the computer, to take a break, go for a walk, or just chill. Your role as their parents and carers will be critical, so that they don’t become overwhelmed. 

Together, we will get though this challenge. We will no doubt come out the other end having learnt many valuable and life-changing lessons.  

God bless you and each of your loved ones and I pray you keep safe and well.

Mary Leask