Edmund Rice Education Australia Touchstones
As a Catholic School in the Edmund Rice tradition, we are committed to enabling students to experience personal achievement within a safe, supportive and healthy environment.
As we commence the return of the students to face-to-face teaching, I would like to take the opportunity to thank the wonderful people that make up our St Edward’s Community. The COVID-19 pandemic has again provided great challenges to society, but no more than in the lives of the young people in our care. They have been required to demonstrate great resilience in dealing with the uncertainty of the last two years and understandably may have feelings of confusion and questioning regarding what their lives will look like in the future.
A focus of our approach to Home-Based Learning has been to maintain a connection with students. Teachers have taken the opportunity to prepare and engage students in learning activities that have been designed to promote a range of contemporary learning skills. Our focus has not been necessarily on content but skill development. More importantly we have concentrated on connecting with students, gauging their level of engagement with their learning and their well-being. We have certainly missed the one-on-one connection with students in our classes. The curious smile on their faces, the engaging question or the look of ‘okay I understand this now’.
Please feel assured that we will not be attempting to play catch up on any perceived concerns about what students have missed out on, or on questions about whether they have fallen behind. We have every confidence that they will continue to learn and grow at a rate which will be commensurate with their natural gifts and talents. In fact, we believe that many students will have developed a sense of resilience, perseverance and greater autonomy with their learning. We plan to harness these skills, continue to focus on literacy and numeracy and challenge them to continue to be the best they can be. Yes, students may now be beginning to disengage with their learning online, but this is understandable considering the length of time that we have been forced into home-based learning.
It has been a long journey for everyone, and I must thank the outstanding teaching and support staff of St Edward’s. Their commitment and dedication to doing the best possible work in very difficult and trying circumstances is to be celebrated. Like our students, we have been challenged to work outside our comfort zone in a learning environment which is nothing like what we are used to. Our teachers have continued to show resilience and flexibility and a true willingness to try new things and even learn with our students along the way. Most importantly I cannot thank them enough for their professionalism and sincere commitment to do the best they can, while also attempting to care for their own families and loved ones. They have continued to focus on relationship building which will undoubtedly continue to flourish as we return to face-to face teaching. We look forward to the weeks, months and years ahead as we continue to work with the students in our care.
I would also like to thank families for your ongoing support of your sons and the way you have responded to our approach to HBL. Thank you to the many families who have sent emails of thanks and gratitude to teaching staff both individually and collectively. Thank you to the families who have attended information sessions and provided us with questions, queries and concerns. All this feedback has been taken onboard as we attempted to navigate the COVID educational landscape as best we could.
Most importantly, I would like to thank and congratulate the students of St Edward’s College. No doubt they have found the experience quite challenging at times, but their engagement in online learning reached a level beyond what their teachers expected. We do understand that some students found online learning extremely challenging, yet some were able to flourish and continue to grow and challenge themselves to achieve. As we transition over the last few weeks through a blend of online learning and face-to-face lessons, I encourage students to continue to try their absolute best. If families are returning to work however and you are concerned about your son’s lack of engagement in online learning, we encourage and welcome students to come to school each day.
Scholarship Bequest 2022/23 – Open to Year 8 and Year 10 students
I provide a further reminder that through the generosity of various College stakeholders, the College is able to offer the Catholic Women’s League part scholarship to current Year 10 students and the Judy Skeahan St Vincent de Paul part scholarship to current Year 8 students, which will contribute to the costs of schooling for the subsequent two years at St Edward’s. Applications for these are currently being accepted from current Year 8 and Year 10 students. Please click here or see the link below to visit the College website for more information.