Newsletter 6 April 2020
Dear Parents and Friends of Providence
Over the weekend I have been reflecting on the significance of the past weeks since COVID-19 became such a significant disruptor in all of our lives. The impact of this virus stretches far beyond the realm of education, sending out concentric rings of disruption into every aspect of normal life as we know it, but in this final message, I just want to focus on our shared area of disruption – the education of your children – and share a few thoughts with you.
In a matter of weeks, our teachers have been required to fundamentally change the face of teaching and learning as we know it – and you, our parents, have had to take on the role of supporting your children’s learning at home – with all the challenges and rewards that this presents, while in the midst of dealing with all the other turmoil governing your lives right now.
While this is quite overwhelming for our whole society, there is a sense of real excitement among our teachers at Providence – because we recognise that the challenges we’re confronting today are shaping the way we will teach into the future!
I don’t believe that Teaching – or Learning – can ever be the same again. COVID-19 is forcing us to leave our comfort zone of traditional teaching and learning and venture into the unknown. This applies as much to our teachers who have to deliver their lessons remotely, as it does to your children who are having to adapt to the rigours and challenges of self-managed learning at home.
And that reminds me of God’s promise to us in the Bible, where we hear that “all things will work for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purposes.” Romans 8:28.
Well, we at Providence, unreservedly love Him and we truly believe that we’re called to His purposes through our ministry of Christ-focused education.
While the actual nuts and bolts of teaching and learning in this ‘new normal’ are incredibly important, it is also important to note that we are placing an equal priority on maintaining relationships in these times of social isolation.
We serve a God who is Love, and Relationship is His glue that holds us together as a community. Having over 800 students and most of our teachers off-campus presents a very real, relational challenge. And again, it has been so rewarding to see how our teachers and students are using their imaginations, humour, and online resources to maintain contact and relationship with one another!
We all need to remember that, as all-encompassing and engrossing as this pandemic is right now – it will pass. In Christ, we will endure. We have an amazing future awaiting us post COVID-19 – and so we will all continue to sacrifice to ensure our communities’ and our loved ones’ safety.
At Providence, we will continue to strive for excellence in all that we do in these unusual circumstances – because we want to be on top of our game and ready to go with all the valuable lessons that we’re learning right now, on that amazing day when we receive the all-clear and get back to life as it should be.
Remember: God is good… All the time!
An invitation from the Chaplain, Mr Dave Yardley
My request to you is that at 11:00 am every Monday wherever you are, pause and pray for the whole community of our College – that the peace of God, that is beyond our understanding, brings peace and provision to all in our College community, and that our young people will learn through this time how to Love the Lord and trust in Him with their whole heart, leaning not on their own understanding and to submit to Him in order that their pathway will be straight.
Please know that you can contact me at the College or via email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if there is a need for specific prayer – for you, your children and your family. You are not alone! We are Community, we are family, we are Providence Christian College, under the Lordship of Christ!
It has been an interesting few weeks as we have all adjusted to a whole new way of teaching and learning. I’m sure we can all agree that the teachers have been amazing in creating a remote learning program in just 2 weeks. We have received some encouraging feedback that what we are doing is having a positive impact. We will spend the next few weeks reviewing and adjusting our program to best support the students’ remote learning experience. We know there have been challenges, and that these are difficult times for many of our families. We want to let you know we are praying for our school community regularly.
Speaking of community, it has been great to see so many people working together to support one another. I have seen many messages on the Whatsapp group with offers of practical support of jobs, food and much more. We are so blessed to be part of such a loving, Christian community.
With this in mind, we are doing a food drive to support families in need in our community. If you can spare some non-perishable food (dried pasta, cans of food, tomato paste, sauces etc…) please feel free to drop it off at Parent Services between Monday and Thursday this week. Mr Yardley and I can then distribute it to families in need before Easter.
Overall this term has been successful. We have done some great learning, both face to face and via remote. The interim reports will be sent out this week and we are making plans for parent interviews to occur next term. We are in the process of working out what this will entail and how they will be delivered.
During this Easter break may you take time to reflect on family, friends and most importantly the sacrifice Christ made on the cross for us all. At this time, even more than ever, we need to draw near to God. I pray that your family will have a blessed Easter together, not because of what you do or don’t have, but because of what Christ did for us all.
Head of Primary
Welcome to our final newsletter for Term One. All be it, a very different one at the end of the term which would typically have been full of the activities and events that had happened over recent weeks. That is something we can look forward to, sometime in Term Two.
There is no doubt what we are all experiencing at the moment is certainly taking us out of our comfort zone and causing levels of disruption in one way or another. Disruptions can be a good thing causing us to look at innovations and new ways of doing things. We must continue to encourage our students to adapt as well as they can to our current situation, and it is, in fact, a new life skill that they are learning. We hope that all of them will be able to look back on this challenging time with pride and can say “I did it”, and “we were all experiencing this together”.
Our Staff have been amazing in preparing lessons and suggesting new and creative ways of delivering the existing curriculum, and we thank them. They will be working hard this week planning for lessons in Term Two.
We must remember in these times of separation that it is important for our students to engage in opportunities of connecting and keeping in touch with their fellow peers, with the community, and particularly with people that are finding it harder than they would normally do. A little deed of kindness goes a long way and will be remembered. It is also important for our students to excise and eat healthily and relish in a special time of bonding within families. It’s an opportunity to come up with some amazing things to do together.
A special thank you to our students for the way they have engaged in the On-line Learning Programme, attending lessons on time and their keenness to complete the tasks that have been set for them to do.
To our Parents, for your support in making sure your child is ready in the mornings for classes and supervising them throughout the day when in lessons and in their break-times, we applaud you and thank you.
Overall the Remote Online Learning programme has been very successful, and there has been a real sense of “We are all in this together.”
Year 12 Interviews
Thank you to all of the Parents and the Year 12 students who were a part of our three-way interviews, (parent, student and teachers) held last week online. It was very encouraging to see so many take advantage of our invitation to speak with teachers and hear of the progress that your child has made over this first term. It is so important that together, both parent and student can listen to the same comments from the teachers. Be it how well a child is progressing or how much more effort is needed to be put into place to ensure success in this their final year despite the current situation. All of our Year 12 teachers, their Mentors, the College Counsellor, the Chaplain and myself will be closely monitoring how each is going to ensure academically and emotionally they are coping under these very different circumstances.
Year 12’s and the Schools Curriculum and Standards Authority
The Schools Curriculum and Standards Authority have and will continue to release information explicitly related to the Year 12’s informing Staff and students of any changes to the curriculum and achieving the WACE because of COVID 19 and our current situation. They have assured us that no student will be disadvantaged. I will be updating all Year 12 parents and students of the changes via an email this coming week.
Mr Steve Peek
We sadly said farewell to one of our teachers that has given fourteen years of loyal service to the College, Mr Steve Peek. Steve has contributed to so many facets of College life. This was certainly conveyed to him as Staff gathered together, online and a few in the Staffroom. We acknowledged and showed appreciation for his servant heartedness over these years. It was a shame that under the circumstances at the moment, students were not at school and Staff that were working from home were not able to say their farewells in the usual way. Steve and his wife are planning to travel with their caravan around Australia once the travel restrictions are lifted. We say a huge thank you, to him for his enormous love and care of the students in his care. And for the friendships formed with both Staff and parents.
Our Year 10 Visual Art class have been creating a little ceramic village this term. Look how beautifully they are coming together! I have been impressed with the enthusiasm and attention to detail these students have demonstrated. We can’t wait to fire and glaze these next term!
Mrs Sally Florrison
Teacher-in-Charge Vidual Art
Thank you to all families for your support over the past nine weeks and especially for your kind words of encouragement recently as we have transitioned to a very new way of learning.
I wish you and your families a blessed celebration of Easter and over the holiday break may you all find many moments to relax and enjoy time as a family and explore new and exciting things to do together.
Head of Secondary