From Mr McMullen

Usually our newsletters are focussed on the activities of a busy school site as we engage in a wide range of learning activities, not just for academic purposes, but for the growth and development of our students.

However, under the current restrictions, the school is a very quiet place as our student learn from home. Thank you to all of you who are in the position of supervising your children at home and encouraging them to engage in their learning. We know this is a challenging task, for many of our teachers they are experiencing this firsthand.

For so many, our eyes are drawn away from face to face activity and onto screen based work. This has enabled a richer remote learning experience than what would have been possible say 10 years ago. However, it is important for maintaining good health, that we look for opportunities to take breaks from screens. I am writing this as much to myself as to anyone reading this article.

Our eyes and thoughts are also drawn to the daily announcements (and then the following media analysis and opinions) regarding the rate of COVID-19 transmission and changing restrictions. This brings to mind an image of a ship making its way through rough seas. Shifting winds, currents and waves knock against the ship, however, by making regular adjustments the ship holds to its bearing. It will navigate successfully to its destination. This experience is very challenging, but we are holding our bearing and we will navigate through this time. As a school, our bearing is to continue to support our students in their learning and wellbeing and to serve our community families where there is need.

This week our staff have been making contact with families as well as daily meets online with students. Our Primary staff have progressively contacting homes to discuss how students are progressing, our High School teachers are halfway through two nights of online Parent-Teacher meetings. These have been positive opportunities for connection between home and school. Please feel free to contact the school if you have any concerns or questions. In the current climate, email is the most effective method to initiate a conversation. We have several further ways to provide you with support, including:

https://sites.google.com/wccs.nsw.edu.au/wccsremotelearning/ – a wide range of remote learning information and guides

helpdesk@wccs.nsw.edu.au – for technical assistance with remote learning

communitysupport@wccs.nsw.edu.au – for general feedback or enquiries

Earlier this week the Premier Gladys Berijiklian announced the plan for Year 12 students to return to school from the 16th August and the provision of vaccinations for this age group. This has raised many questions for both students, families and staff who all want the best for this year group. The school is waiting on advice on these matters. We have informed Year 12 that Trial HSC exams are planned to commence on this date. These will run within carefully developed COVID-safe plans to meet NSW Health requirements to meet the goal of providing for the health and safety of our community.

I welcome the increasing access to vaccinations to our community and encourage you to take up this opportunity as soon as you can. If you are unsure, seek medical advice. It would appear that health results from the UK and Canada indicate that both vaccines are effective in reducing the severity of symptoms and even a single does has a positive impact. The sooner our community has a high proportion of vaccinations, the sooner we will experience more of our ‘normal’ lives.

We are acutely aware of the strains and pressures many families are experiencing. As a school, we are committed to providing continuity in learning and to maintaining every student’s place at William Carey, from one year to the next.

Should you have concerns regarding your capacity to pay School fees, please contact our Business Administrator, Greg Eyears, via eyearsg@wccs.nsw.edu.au .

This will enable us to speak with you to find out how we can provide effective, case-by-case support for our community members. We will ensure every family’s concerns will be heard and handled with care and discretion.

I will finish with part of my letter to Year 12 students and families from earlier this week,

Lastly, an important reminder from the Bible, which tells us that God is sovereign (in control) and he is good and caring. I am finding great comfort in the following passages and it is my prayer that you will also.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6-7)

“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7)

Yours sincerely,

Keith McMullen
Principal