The Thistle - An E-Newsletter of Scotch College, Perth, Western Australia

Head of Middle School

Please tell your boys that we miss them already.  We miss the noise, the energy, the untucked shirts and the balls being bounced in the corridors.  It is a very different place today.  I have poked my head into a number of classes and can hear boys talking to teachers and can see lessons unfolding on white boards and laptops.  This week we will understand the things we weren't aware of in the online teaching world and systems at home and in the classroom will evolve.

Tip #1: Have boys set a phone or laptop alarm a minute before the scheduled start of each Period 1 - 4 lesson.  Good timekeeping is now devolved to the individual student.

One message I will reiterate is that during Periods 1 - 4 teachers are there online, taking the class, taking attendance and this includes Physical Education, Music, Design and Art.  In Period 5 & 6, the teachers are not online, boys check their scheduled P5 & 6 SEQTA lessons, see what is outlined there and/or carry on with any enduring work from the morning classes or extended assignment type tasks.

On the weekend I discussed with my elderly neighbours how our restricted lifestyles would affect them.  Their weekly trips and social activities that give structure and purpose to their weeks have been cancelled and they are really house bound.  No more watching grandchildren play sport – a regular highlight of the weekend.

What can the boys do?  One idea is to ask the boys to set up a regular contact with their grandparents: a phone call, video chat, FaceTime.  The regular time aspect is important.  Negotiate it so that it is a convenient time and predictable.  It is a small act, but lots of small acts add up and a big difference can be made.

A little later in the day my neighbour's grandchildren arrived and gave their Grandad a paint by numbers kit and had one for themselves.  Over the next few weeks they planned to paint and share their progress via photos.  It seemed to me this was a great activity and way to connect, and talking with them again on Sunday evening they were really looking forward to both the activity and the conversations it would generate with their grandchildren.  I went and ordered one online for myself.