It is not just the students that are learning to adapt to a new environment.
Bubble life ending
Our bubble life as we have known it is coming to an end and it will be an extraordinary time to look back on. We very much look forward to having everyone back in school on Monday.
For our teachers and your daughters, the last 7 weeks would have been even more challenging had we not had your support and cooperation with the learning @ home programme. Together we have learned such a lot! We are most grateful for your hard work around the kitchen table, your organising of device sharing, your Google Meet facilitation, your management of those frustrating digital dilemmas and your gratefully received words of encouragement.
We look forward to a happy return to Marsden Primary on Monday and connecting with you again.
Director Marsden Primary
15 May 2020
On Day 20 of our Remote Learning programme, and with the end of this phase of our journey potentially in sight, I would like to take the opportunity to express my gratitude to members of our Marsden community.
Firstly, to our students. They have risen to the challenges they have faced in a spectacular way since schooling as they knew it was upended on 23 March. They have shown that they are capable, self-motivated, resilient, super-creative and flexible. They have demonstrated their kindness and empathy through expressing concern for each other and their teachers, and adapted their leadership to the current circumstances, even through personal disappointment. The lessons they have learned should help them face future life challenges with optimism. Thank you for keeping the Marsden values alive even when we have not been together.
Secondly, to our staff. They have been innovative, adaptive problem-solvers, completely and dramatically pivoting the way they conduct their work to deliver remote learning or undertake their support roles remotely. They have done this while managing their own caring responsibilities at home, and they have done it with unfailing good humour. They will take an enhanced confidence in their ability to be agile in the way they do their work into the future. Thank you.
Thirdly, to you, our parents and caregivers. For the way you have supported the Remote Learning programme, for dropping in to lessons and assemblies, for providing really helpful constructive feedback, and for reading and acting on the information we have shared with you. You have done this all while maintaining your own professional and family responsibilities and even through this, so many of you have taken time out of your busy schedules to express gratitude. Thank you.
8 May 2020
I can’t remember a year, for a very long time, when I haven’t been to an ANZAC ceremony on 25 April, even when I have been overseas. A particularly memorable one was a service at the Commonwealth War Graves section of the Westduin Cemetery in The Hague when we were living in the Netherlands. I remember feeling very ‘Dutch’ as I rode my bike to the service before dawn, dressed formally, heels and all.
I have also spent many ANZAC Days at the MCG, where the commemoration ceremony before the game between traditional AFL rivals, Collingwood and Essendon, is incredibly moving when nearly 100,000 people go completely silent as they pay their respects. That’s where I was going to be spending ANZAC day 2020, but instead I will be ‘standing at dawn’ here in Wellington as I am sure many of you will be. The sacrifices we are all currently making seem small when we think about the sacrifices of generations before us in times of war. ANZAC day always provides important learning opportunities for our students, and it is a perfect time to express gratitude for this safe place where we live.
Today the Preschool and Primary staff and students have been wearing red clothes as a way to symbolise connection with our community, showing unity and love during this time of lockdown and in remembrance of our ANZACs. The girls have also been reading ANZAC stories and making poppies. It has been wonderful to see on Seesaw the creative poppies that have been made. We have encouraged the girls to place their poppies in their windows which is a lovely way for us all to stand together in our bubbles paying tribute and saying thank you.
Director Marsden Primary
24 April 2020
Having a purpose is really helpful
Although it has been good to have a break, I am aware that most of our students and staff are really happy that we will be back at school on Wednesday. Having something purposeful to do at the moment is really helpful, and there is certainly plenty of purposeful learning to do!
I hope that you enjoy some rest over Easter from the quite unique juggling act that we are all doing with work and family at the moment. I am really looking forward to Term 2 and I am confident that we will be able to support both the learning and wellbeing of our students and their families in whatever circumstances we may find ourselves in.
9 April 2020
Focusing on Gratitude
During this period of lockdown, I have been focusing on the character strength of gratitude. There is a large amount of research showing the importance of gratitude for our psychological health. Gratitude is linked to a host of positive indicators such as self-discipline, emotional warmth, altruism, positive mood, self-esteem and life satisfaction.
Gratitude can take the form of words “thank you” being the most obvious and always effective, but you can be more elaborate in commenting on the particular strength a person is showing, for example, thoughtfulness, creativity, or any of the character strengths. Strength-based parenting is a way of raising your child in a manner that shows appreciation and gratitude for who she or he is and it helps them appreciate the strengths in others, too.
Director Marsden Primary
9 April 2020
Take the time to be kind
Whilst as parents, teachers and caregivers we are all working hard to sort out our lives as we head into isolation, and we make sure that learning continues for our children, it is important that we take the time to be kind to ourselves and our children, and to stay calm and happy.