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Whilst unprecedented times call for unprecedented measures, what we are currently experiencing has precedent on every front. Unfortunately, humankind has a history of pandemics. Fortunately, we are not in unchartered territory.

With our preparations for a potential school-wide, temporary move to remote teaching, incorporating a flipped-classroom style of teaching, we recognise the sheer potential of the project ahead, and see the benefits for our students and teachers as we embrace this as an ideal vehicle for engaging in collaborative, inquiry-based learning. Students are guided in an age-appropriate way to develop their skills and take responsibility for their endeavours. It demands that they show care and empathy for their peers, and have respectful interactions. It ticks all the boxes for the progressive nature of our school, and encompasses our Core Values with clarity and purpose.

Despite any looming necessity to operate in this way for a period of time, the longer-term values, skills and abilities that arise will become an embedded part of our collective future.

Equally, as The Knox School looks to use this as a catalyst for improvement, students should seek out the self-improvement opportunities built in to any compulsory time away from school. To get ahead, there are several considerations that should be made. Drawing from the wisdom of Andrew Fuller, renowned clinical psychologist, speaker and author, there are some key factors for consideration [1].

  • Develop and keep to a system (Goals are good, but systems are better).
  • This is a chance to catch up, not drop back
  • Elaborate what you’ve already got
  • Build your Learning Strengths
  • Extend your thinking
  • Conversations deepen ideas
  • Keep in touch
  • This won’t last forever

Another useful site for information for students and parents can be found at: https://www.theparentswebsite.com.au/author/independent-schools-victoria-2/

[1] https://www.theparentswebsite.com.au/use-school-closure-surge-ahead-academically/

Suzanne van Strien

Suzanne van Strien is Head of Senior School at The Knox School

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