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Term 1, 2021 : Welcome message from Mr John Farrelly - Headmaster of St George's College.

Monday, January 18th, 2021 | Academic

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Good day and I hope that you and your families are keeping safe and well.  Welcome back to our parents from 2020 and an especially warm welcome to all the new parents who are joining the College for the first time this year.

We all find ourselves in a position that is not of our choosing but we are determined to make it a successful year.  Again congratulations to our A level students who performed exceptionally well under the most trying circumstances.  We await the IGCSE results with anticipation.

Last year I made the analogy between the evolving online teaching and learning experience and that of teachers having to design, build and then fly an aeroplane with very little forward planning.  We now all know that distance learning presents incredible challenges and opportunities for teachers, parents and students alike.  Everyone’s circumstances are different.  More focussed independent learning from home is easier for some families and students than others.

I am going to outline some tips that synthesise what schools around the world have been learning during the last nine months of online teaching and learning.  The guidance below can help us all make the best of new and sometimes unfamiliar distance learning environments.  It hopefully will prepare you for some of the more practical aspects of learning from home:

  • Establish routines and expectations.
  • Choose a quiet as place as possible for your son or daughter to learn.
  • Help students take ownership of their own learning.No one expects parents to be full time teachers or educational experts.  Provide support and encouragement and expect your sons and daughters to do their part!  Struggling is allowed and encouraged!  Do not help too much.  Becoming independent takes a lot of practice.
  • Every student must start each day by attending registration.Students must also remember to register with the teacher for each lesson.
  • Establish times for quiet reflection.
  • Encourage physical activity and exercise.I am aware that the Sports Department have a number of initiatives that they will be communicating to you.
  • Monitor time on-screen and online.Keep normal bedtime routines, including normal rules for digital devices.
  • Make sure that your sons and daughters connect safely with friends.
  • Most importantly.Let us all remember to be kind to each other!

While no one is sure yet how long this session of online teaching and learning will last, we do know that it will not last forever.  Students take cues from adult behaviour and attitude, so it is important to communicate calm, confidence and hope that we will pull through this crisis together.  Managing our own emotions will help our sons and daughters stay focussed on learning and looking forward for another school year.

Yours sincerely