Connection in the Calamity
at Georgiana Molloy Anglican School
This year will certainly be one to remember. Never in our wildest dreams would we ever have imagined that 2020 would bring a global pandemic to our shores, resulting in a cascade of unbelievable, and at times, dystopian measures aimed at preserving lives and livelihoods.
Suddenly our beautiful 15 hectare campus seemed impossibly small as we tried to stand 1.5m away from each other in a school of 1,250 students and staff, while practising impeccable hygiene at all times. As the situation developed, those who remained at school witnessed the usual buzz on campus subside to a strange quietness as 98% of our school population transitioned to being at home.
Together, we crossed the great digital divide as we embraced a new way of learning and teaching remotely. We mastered the intricacies of technology with strange names like Teams, Seesaw, Zoom and Class Dojo.
Perhaps most of all, we realised how much we missed the human connection on campus. How we had become so wonderfully familiar with the company of our fellow students and staff throughout the day, that it seemed strange to be without them.
Despite the distance between us, our sense of community, cooperation and resilience flourished. We were reminded that we aren’t ‘just a school’, we are at the heart of the school community. We are the common ground between families and we are ideally placed to bring about a sense of stability and connection in a time when people are feeling displaced and uncertain.
This pandemic, however inconvenient or devastating, has provided us with the opportunity to view our school in a different light. We are in the business of providing learning opportunities, but we are also in the business of facilitating wonderful, life-long connections between people.
Each day our doors are open, new friendships are being forged and strengthened between students, between families and between colleagues. Such connections shone during our Term 2 lockdown, and it wasn’t until we were separated as a community that we realised their worth.
As an Anglican school, we feel compelled by our faith and desire to serve others. The Bible asks us to ‘consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near’ (Hebrews 10:24-25).
As the new normal resumes, we continue to be inspired to grow the sense of community and connection on campus. We are expanding our use of technology to connect people to our school through virtual tours, parent teacher evenings and more.
We have partnered with The Fathering Project to create an onsite Dads’ Group, encouraging fathers and father figures to engage in meaningful conversation and strengthen relationships with their children and other ‘Dads’. We are determined to become the first ‘FIFO Friendly’ school in the wider region, bridging the gap that exists for FIFO parents who often feel disconnected from their children and the school community.
We have also implemented a Helping Hands program to assist school families who may be silently struggling as a result of the pandemic.
In these uncertain times, our school encourages you to think about your own organisation, community group or school and ask how you may best use your unique position to serve others.