Insights – “In this together”

Dear Community,

Womindjeka!

Last year, when the National Reconciliation Council announced the theme for its 2020 National Reconciliation Week it had no idea that what was chosen would resonate with such new layers of meaning. They chose “In this together” as a poignant message to characterise a shift in relationship with Australia’s First Nation peoples.

Of course, this theme has been adopted by politicians, corporations and individual across a range of media platforms to characterise our shared fight against the pandemic.

While the theme ...

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Insights – facing the future with confidence

Dear Community,

“Hardships often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary destiny.” This line from C.S. Lewis should inspire us all to face the future with confidence.

We’re living through a PANDEMIC! That is something that belongs in all caps – it is no small thing and something that we should more readily acknowledge. Our human psyche acts rapidly to normalise the unfamiliar as a coping mechanism. This phenomenon can play out in minimising the seriousness of a situation. However, every now and ...

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Insights – COVID 19 may positively transform education

Dear Community,

During the COVID 19 crisis we have relied heavily on video conferencing technologies to maintain education, work and social connections. In a recent Zoom meet which included participants from around Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the USA, I was struck by just how incredible it was that each of us were facing such similar challenges and experiences regardless of where we were on the planet. I cannot think of another period in my life ...

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Insights – memorialising important events

Dear Community,

An oddity of Classical Hebrew is the lack of a word for the term “history”. While contemporary Hebrew appropriates the European word, Classical Hebrew utilised the term “zikaron” or memory, as an approximation of the concept. I say approximation because the notions of memory and history are conceptually very different. History presents a veneer of objectivity whilst memory is understood to be a subjective recollection of events. That said, historiography has taught us that we cannot take the “story” ...

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Insights – innovation and creativity in education

Dear Community,

Winston Churchill is credited with the famous quote, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” This week, when observing the many varied, rich and meaningful learning opportunities undertaken across the School, I was struck by how our educators have innovated so effectively in order to maintain a sense of community, and the integrity of our curricular and co-curricular experiences despite the move to Distance Learning.

One of the international conglomerates that has actually seen increased business during the COVID ...

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Insights – meaningful opportunities to engage

Dear Community,

The start of Term 2 is ordinarily an extremely busy time when we find ourselves moving from ceremony to ceremony to commemorate the yomim – Yom HaShoah, Anzac Day, Yom Hazikaron and then Yom Ha’atzmaut. While the circumstances are radically different, this year is no exception.

Providing meaningful opportunities to engage with these occasions has required creativity and flexibility on the part of our brilliant educators and I am proud to say that the team have put together moving and ...

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Insights – Chag Pesach Sameach

Dear Community,

Family legend has it that in the very early 1980s a very young KDS student (yes, that was me!) regaled his Pesach Seder attendees with a detailed retelling of the exodus complete with Moses loading the Hebrews into a Volvo station-wagon to cross the Red Sea.

I was clearly ahead of my time in the incorporation of technology into our ancient story. However, this year it is likely to be video-conferencing, rather than Swedish automobiles that will be centre stage.

While ...

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Insights – the revolution in global education

Dear Community,

At a professional development session I once attended, the presenter showed an approximately 100 year-old photo of a room and asked the audience to guess what it was. The room was reminiscent of a university lecture space. It had tiered wooden bench seating and what appeared to be a teaching table in the middle of the room. It had a blackboard mounted on the wall and another small table with a wooden chest on it that was presumably used ...

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Insights – this too shall pass

Dear Community,

I recently read a great tweet by American comedian, Alyssa Limperis, which simply stated, “Crazy how Monday was 4 years ago”. Like much good comedy, the art here is catching and expressing the collective mood.

It really does feel like the volatility, uncertainty and pace of constant updates is leading to a climate where many of us are experiencing the passage of time in a very different way.

Like many of you I have vacillated between moments of feeling normal and ...

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Insights – the School’s planning and response to COVID-19

Dear Community,

This is a challenging time for many in our community as the concerns about the COVID-19 situation have continued to escalate. This week we have briefed all staff, communicated with all parents and also met with all Senior School students to explain the School’s planning and response.

Our goal in these communications is to be clear and helpful and to reduce rumour and misinformation.

It is also apparent that a number of students are feeling anxious because of the heightened focus ...

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