Executive Team Address – 18 May 2020

TERM 2 WEEK 3 REFLECTIONS

COVID-19 Reflections

It is most certainly appropriate to say that the past four months has been like no other. The year commenced as we had expected it to at Esperance Anglican Community School (EACS); with staff and students returning to the new year keen to launch ambitious goals and with a strong desire to contribute to the development of self and community. This desire was reflected in our community’s strong focus to strive for personal excellence; as well as to ensure the ongoing service to the wider community through the deed and actions of our staff and students.

While all staff and students made a very committed start to our focus area; and plans were made to further the growth of our community, these plans sadly, never had the opportunity to materialise because of the rapidly developing and dangerous spread of the corona virus. As we all now know, the virus originated in the Wuhan District of the Hubei Province in China, spreading rapidly across the globe creating a pandemic.

The world is still responding to the immediate effects of the pandemic and considering how to manage its long-term consequences, especially those of an economic nature. Outside of the Great Depression, there has never been such a sudden and savage shock to our economic certainty in such a short period of time. A vaccine is yet to be developed; however, it seems, as the middle of May is upon us, that the management of the virus has been highly effective in Australia and within our State. The ‘flattening of the curve’ and Western Australia’s low rate of infections have contributed to enabling the removal of our most severe social restrictions as we now plan for managing the virus and encouraging economic recovery.

A friend of mine, Mr Julian Dowse, who is the former Principal of Peter Moyes Anglican Community School, recently shared his thoughts with me about the current circumstance the World finds itself in with respect to the coronavirus. His thoughts were eloquently articulated through an article he entitled ‘Silver Linings’. Julian’s thoughts provided me with a positive view of the tangential effects of the coronavirus pandemic, at a time when the pressure to make sensible and timely decisions for our school community was starting to feel somewhat overwhelming.

Julian’s thoughts assisted me and I trust that they may assist you too.

Excerpts from Silver Linings, as written by Mr Julian Dowse

It’s an ill virus that spreads no good!

When Princess Diana’s death convulsed much of the world in 1997, I can well remember the near wall of flowers that surrounded Buckingham Palace having been left by visiting mourners. By the day of her funeral there were so many floral tributes that the collective perfume of the bouquets filled the London air. Many of London’s main roads were closed for her funeral procession. It was observed by many that it took the death of Diana to imagine what a pre-industrial London was like: fragrant and still, except for the noises of people talking and carriages moving through its stately streets.

The social, economic and, inevitably, political convulsions, caused by the coronavirus are unprecedented. Yet, maybe, like 1997, we have to look for silver linings amidst the shutdowns, lockouts, panic buying, cancellations and quarantines. Probably more than ever.

The world’s environment may well have a reprieve from the worst of our excesses. During China’s recent economic shutdown there was a marked change in the appearance of Beijing’s sky. May a thousand sunbeams bloom! There will be fewer emissions from aircraft as the world is forced to return to an almost pre-industrial state. The water in Venice’s canals are suddenly translucent and fish can be seen. Maybe clipper ships will become back in vogue? As industries inevitably scale back production for the foreseeable future, there will be fewer noxious emissions around the world.

The confidence to ask one’s neighbour for a “cup of sugar” may be replaced by a request “for sheets of toilet tissue.” More importantly, people will have to time to consider what matters truly to them as they construct new patterns of life and regimens. We might not be able to smell the roses as autumn looms, but there is much around us to admire and notice. Walking to work today, the flocks of corellas seemed larger and noisier. They have reclaimed their ascendancy over the noises of a diminishing number of cars. The trees lining the streets seemed more vibrant and imposing.

Sadly, the effects of the virus have led to selfish acts of breathtaking desperation. The ‘toilet roll wars’ and panic buying in supermarkets will be a galling memory of this experience. Thankfully, the counter-revolution is slowly coming. Major supermarkets have allocated dedicated shopping hours to assist the elderly. As the abnormal becomes the temporary normal, people will learn to adjust, and maybe a greater number of us will recognise the myopia of a selfish, singular life.

So, for more than forty nights and forty days, the Western world will endure a compulsory period of self-denial. Less will have to be more. There could be many benefits. People may have to truly learn who their neighbours are, and possibly even learn to ‘love’ them. The Italians, even though stricken by the worst effects of the virus, have begun the process by singing to each other from the balconies of the apartments to which they are confined. A virulent commitment to recognise and act on what ennobles us, may well, in the long term, be the greatest unintended benefit of covid-19. Acts of the soul will be as important as much as ablutions with sanitisers to see us through.

As Julian’s article so clearly articulates; the good that has come and will continue to be further generated from this wretched virus, reminds us that every cloud has its silver linings. That good may propagate from adversity is a notion that we all hold on to when we find ourselves in challenging and difficult situations.

2020 will always be remembered for the onset of the coronavirus and its negative impact on the world; however, just as there will be ‘silver linings’ across the globe, there will indeed be ‘silver linings’ for the EACS community. What began as a time that was seen by many as a time of overwhelming adversity may well come to be seen as a time when our School became stronger, with our mutual reliance and concern for each other further bolstering our sense of community.

Every Blessing
Jason Bartell

Welcome back

Welcome back to all students and families as we embrace a semblance of normal school life again. The past two months has been new terrain for all of us and schools around the country have had to adapt to rapidly evolving circumstances to mitigate against the risks and possible threats associated with COVID-19.

With the support and positive engagement from the whole school community we were able to transition successfully to a new mode of online learning, which provided a medium for teachers to maintain currency with their programs, thus ensuring that all students continued to have access to the educational opportunities that they so thoroughly deserve.

But one thing is for sure; a school is not a school without its students and the return to face-to-face teaching this week has been most welcome. Whilst we must continue to be mindful of physical distancing and personal hygiene measures for a while longer, the light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter by the day.

Thank you to all students and families for persevering through frustrating and difficult times and for continuing to support the School in making decisions that we feel have been in the best interests of the children. Also, to our talented and dedicated staff who have adapted their programs to suit the remote learning platform, your versatility and efforts have been greatly appreciated.

Notices

STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE COUNCIL (SRC)

The fist SRC meeting for the year occurred last Friday when the Advisory representatives met to take part in a presentation from Convic Architects regarding the Esperance Youth Precinct Draft Concept. Whilst the project is still in its infancy this was a great first up opportunity for SRC reps to come together and demonstrate some leadership capabilities.

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Aussie of the Month – Term 1

The Aussie of the Month award recognises personal endeavour, achievement and contribution to the school and wider community, reflecting the values we share as Australians. Each month staff reflect upon each student’s participation, engagement and achievement across all aspects of school endeavour, before making a determination as to which students are most deserving of receiving the Aussie of the Month award in each year group.

Congratulations to the following students who received the first Aussie of the Month award for 2020:

Astiana Beadsmore, Charis Lee-Steere, Kellen South, Ashton Burnside, Jerri Gaebler, Jett Nelson

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WA Child Safety Services Workshops

Below are upcoming FREE workshops that the PCWA is offering the Goldfields Esperance community via zoom, facilitated by WA Child Safety Services:

  • Protective Behaviours
    Wednesday 10 June 6:30-9:00pm (Bookings: GoldfieldsEsperance.PCWA@anglicarewa.org.au)
  • Cyber Safety
    Wednesday 17 June 6:30-9:00pm (Bookings: GoldfieldsEsperance.PCWA@anglicarewa.org.au)
  • Impacts of Pornography
    Wednesday 24 June 6:30-9:00pm (Bookings: GoldfieldsEsperance.PCWA@anglicarewa.org.au)

For further information on the content of these sessions please email Mr Clark (iclark@eacs.wa.edu.au)

Study Skills – Student Planner

Earlier this year students, staff and parents received a series of workshops from Elevate Education focussing on effective study habits. One of the main tips was for students to create a study planner to assist with their personal organisation and time management. With this end in mind an EACS planner has been created and is attached for students and families to utilise, which we hope may be of some benefit.

What's on this week (week 4)

  • Tuesday Executive Principal in school
  • Wednesday Executive Principal in school
  • Thursday Executive Principal in school
  • Friday Executive Principal in school

Best wishes for the week ahead.

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Jason Bartell
EXECUTIVE PRINCIPAL
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Iain Clark
DEPUTY PRINCIPAL
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Lisa Marquis
ASSISTANT PRINCIPAL