Edmund Rice Education Australia Touchstones
As a Catholic School in the Edmund Rice Tradition, we aim to provide quality teaching and learning experiences to enable students to experience personal achievement within a safe, supportive and healthy environment.
Who would have thought when we finished school for our term break in June, that we would be commencing Term 3 with Home-Based Learning? When we reflect on our experiences from last year, we know that our boys stepped up to the challenge of having to work online from home. Whereas we understand that it is challenging and certainly does not replicate the rich learning experiences possible in a face-to face learning environment, we do know that our boys were able to extend themselves demonstrating greater independence in their learning, problem solving, critical and creative thinking, questioning and listening skills and developed a greater appreciation of their friendships and their relationship with their teachers.
To the new families that have joined us in 2021, I would like to reassure you that we are very confident that through the guidance and support of their teachers and parents and carers at home, they will continue to learn and grow from the experience. We are already looking forward to the day when they return and we can reconnect with them, as nothing will ever replace the joy we experience when we see a smile appearing across a face as learning suddenly happens.
Our focus throughout the experience of Home-Based Learning will be to work with our boys in delivering rich and engaging learning experiences that strike a balance between covering the content of each of their courses and the development of greater independence in their learning while fostering the development of the contemporary skills of critical thinking, communication and problem solving.
With the great uncertainty that exists surrounding the length of time that we will be forced to be working from home, we are also focused on promoting the health and wellbeing of students while working in isolation. Balancing screen time with exercise, conversation within lessons and making learning fun, we believe are key factors in supporting our boys in achieving success within a safe and supportive online learning environment. We have every confidence that in partnership with our families we will support our boys in dealing with this challenging situation with confidence, resilience and positivity.
Research continues to be conducted in the importance of building resilience in young people in dealing with difficult times. Psychologists Lawrence Robinson and Melinda Smith, MA suggest that there are five key areas to practise to improve resilience to survive tough times. These key areas relate to Practicing Acceptance, Reaching out to others, Investing in Self-Care, Looking for Meaning and Purpose and Staying Motivated. I encourage families to read the summary of their work available at the link below, as it provides some useful ideas on how we can support our young people in building resilience: Surviving Tough Times by Building Resilience
Tips for Home Based Learning
In the first correspondence to families at the start of this term, I provide some detailed information regarding assisting your son with Home-Based Learning. A great deal of research and advice is constantly being developed to support families in managing the home learning environment. I have provided links below to three articles that may provide some further information that may be helpful. Please do not hesitate to reach out to the College through class teachers, Pastoral Leaders or the College Counsellors if concerns arise.
College Annual Report
The 2020 College Annual Report to the community of St Edward’s College provides a summary of the achievements and operations throughout last year. This report is completed each year as part of the College’s registration and accreditation requirements and provides evidence of accountability to the College’s Strategic Improvement Plan. The Report outlines some of the key strategies introduced in 2020 to improve the learning for all students and an overview of expenditure and resourcing aligned with our improvement plans. The Annual Report is available on the College website via the following link: Annual Reports