From The Principal

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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Insights – a warm and inclusive environment

Dear Community,

Do you remember starting at a new school? Your first days at a new workplace? That fear of misunderstanding the local lore or specific cultural nuance and making a fool of yourself. The worry that you would not have anyone to talk to or that you would be lonely.

Seared in my memory is a mortifying moment as a young student on my first day at a new school where I sprinted down some stairs, instead of up, and found ...

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Insights – “Be excellent to each other!”

Dear Community,

In one of my favourite scenes from the classic ’90s movie “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”, Bill and Ted are placed in an uncomfortable position when asked to offer some words of wisdom to their adoring followers. The advice they come up with is indeed sage, they say – “Be excellent to each other!”

Following recent prominent stories in the media, it seems increasingly apparent that our society needs the wisdom of Bill and Ted. In the past week we ...

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Insights – the heart of our school

Dear Community,

I would like to share with you the words I offered at yesterday’s Back to School Service:

It is a great honour to welcome you all to our Back to School Service for 2020.

The Back to School Service is our acknowledgment of the promise of the new school year. It is also a chance for our community to celebrate the contributions of extraordinary staff members and students who do so much to enhance the School.

This morning we will recognise the ...

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Insights – the miracles of our planet

Dear Community,

“Once there was a tree….and she loved a little boy. And every day the boy would come and he would gather her leaves and make them into crowns and play king of the forest. He would climb up her trunk and swing from her branches and eat apples. And they would play hide-and-go-seek. And when he was tired, he would sleep in her shade. And the boy loved the tree…. very much. And the tree was happy. ...

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Insights – dawn of a new school year

Dear Community,

Last Friday, I indulged in one of my most favourite annual traditions. I attended the Prep orientation session and then immediately dashed to the Year 12 orientation. This is one of the great blessings of my job – to be involved in guiding our students, regardless of age and stage, through their school journeys.

The Preps were a delightful picture. Serious faces, swimming in over-sized uniforms, lugging school bags that they could practically live in. There were far ...

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Insights – Presentation Evening

Dear Community,

I would like to share with you an excerpt from my speech from this week’s Presentation Evening.

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Good Evening, Rabbanim, distinguished guests, and our wonderful school community.

As many of our parents walk their kindergarten students into the campus from the carpark on Dandenong Rd they pass a collage in the stairwell which bears the words from the famous Paul Kelly and Kev Carmody song: “From little things big things grow.”

Looking out at our graduates tonight these words ring particularly ...

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