It was wonderful to welcome everyone back to the school after the break. It always amazes me just how much the children seem to grow over the Christmas period!
I know many of us are still feeling the impact of the events across Australia during the break. The loss of so much of our beautiful natural landscape, the loss of wildlife and the magnitude of the human impact is still something many are trying to understand. For our children, this can feel like an extremely unsettling time, even if they have not been exposed to the media coverage (they certainly feel the increased anxiety in family and community). A few parents have asked me what we can do to support the children through this. I think, for younger children particularly, getting back into normal rhythms and routines is very comforting and allows them to relax into their bodies. If a child is feeling particularly sad or anxious about what has happened, some gentle healing stories can help (stories of hope and safety and human kindness). If you are unsure about how to tell healing stories to young children, your class teacher can help with advice about this.
For our older students, the recent events can lead to feelings of hopelessness and anger. Providing young people with outlets for activity is a good way to work with this. Anything that involved positive activity is helpful. It is also helpful to sit and really listen as your teenager talks about their concerns – having someone in the family who listens and understands can be really healing.
For anyone with children experiencing particular increase in anxiety over the bushfire events, our Wellbeing Workers, Geraldine and Annie, are available for support.
From a school perspective, we will be starting a CBRSS sustainability group and inviting interested students and staff to join to look at how we can improve our environmental sustainability across the school. We are also looking at how we can build further educational activities and community support activities across our curriculum.
I look forward to a wonderful year together as we support our young community to grow and learn.