Photo: Hunter Marty (Year 7) and Mr Amos take up the challenge of online learning

The Huntingtower Bulletin

27 March 2020
Issue 576

Know Thy True Self

From the Principal
Uplifting Thought
With thanks...
Online Continuous Learning
Online Learning in the Junior School
Music Notes
Sport News
Thinking of others: the Simunye Free Dress Day
And there's always time for a coffee!
Huntingtower School
(03) 9807 8888
77 Waimarie Drive
Mount Waverley, Victoria, 3149
AU

Photo: Brett Borbely, Ashlyn Kershaw, Elsa Shariff, Andrew Houghton, Olivia Hunt and Zoe Guymer

From the Principal

Photo: Brett Borbely, Ashlyn Kershaw, Elsa Shariff, Andrew Houghton, Olivia Hunt and Zoe Guymer

As we head into the term break after one week of continuous and online learning, I want to acknowledge all Huntingtower staff for the selfless hours they have put in to prepare, learn, adapt, communicate and care for the community during this transition. There is a saying that the success of any school is directionally proportionate to the quality of the staff. We are truly blessed that all our staff have as their absolute priority the goal of providing the best education and care for our students. I am truly grateful to every one of them and for the expressions of gratitude that have been flooding in from students and their parents. I am sure everyone in the HT Community also feels this way.

 

Thank you to all students and families for embracing this new way of learning. I have seen the Huntingtower values and spirit beautifully modelled as students hold themselves accountable to being online when required and complete work to the expected high standard. I hope parents are enjoying a new insight into their children’s learning process. I encourage you to read the daily Student Bulletins and become involved with some of the challenges set. We are all most definitely ‘braver than we believe, smarter than we seem and stronger than we think.’ (A.A. Milne)

 

As we all anticipate what Term 2 may look like, please be assured Huntingtower will continue to keep you informed of our plans. Teachers will work throughout the break to prepare and adapt to new regulations as and when they become available. While I cannot, at this stage, confirm whether we will physically be on campus when Term 2 commences, I can say we have a wonderful team of people who will continue to provide high-quality education in every way possible. 

 

Even though we are all presently consumed with information about COVID-19, this is a good time to reflect and remember that we are moving into Easter. Easter is a beautiful time of year that signifies rebirth in all sorts of ways.  .

During the term break I encourage families to reflect on the true meaning of Easter and the new beginnings we are all undertaking over the months ahead. I offer you this Easter prayer:

 

Lord God, you loved this world so much, that you gave your one and only Son, that we might be called your children too.

Lord, help us to live in the gladness and grace of Easter Sunday, every day.

Let us have hearts of thankfulness for your sacrifice.

Let us have eyes that look upon your grace and rejoice in our salvation.

Help us to walk in that mighty grace and tell your good news to the world.

All for your glory do we pray, Lord, Amen.

 

And from the Christian Science Hymnal:

 

Let us sing of Easter gladness
That rejoices every day,
Sing of hope and faith uplifted;
Love has rolled the stone away.
Lo, the promise and fulfillment,
Lo, the man whom God hath made,
Seen in glory of an Easter
Crowned with light that cannot fade.

 

I wish the community a happy Easter and ask you to stay safe, support each other, stay connected and I look forward to seeing everyone back on campus as soon as possible.

 

Andrew Houghton

Principal

 

 

 

 

 

Uplifting Thought

Celebrate Kindness

The Huntingtower mantra is ALWAYS BE KIND ALL- WAYS.  While at present the world's focus seems to be on the spread of contagion, the following article by Beverley Goldsmith shows the benefits of kindness and spreading joy instead.

 

Celebrate kindness. Whether you’re at home or work, show your appreciation to others whenever they say or do something kind – your kids included! It’s important to acknowledge all those kind words or deeds with a big smile, a thank you, or encouraging praise such as ‘well done’ or ‘good job’. Celebrating kindness spreads joy. It also encourages us to be kinder to each other in every aspect of day-to-day living – behind the wheel, at the shop counter, at work and in the classroom.

 

What is kindness? It’s the quality of being gentle, caring and helpful to others. It’s being spontaneously considerate, saying a friendly hello, doing a good deed, or undertaking a kind act for someone without any thought of reward. Kindheartedness is spiritual and it springs from the great heart of divine Love – the source of goodwill.

 

In Australia, kindness is alive and well in people’s hearts and actions. It may have taken the recent bush fire crisis to bring this to the fore. Yet, compassion, generosity, goodwill, community mindedness and consideration for others are always lying just beneath the surface ready to spring into life.

 

TIPS TO HELP YOU CELEBRATE KINDNESS

Give thanks every time you see, hear or read about acts of kindness. Take a moment to celebrate the goodness that’s been expressed. Don’t gloss over what’s been done or take it for granted. Acknowledge every example of bigheartedness.

Undertake acts of kindness with your kids or grandchildren. This is a great way to bond as a family and teach youngsters about compassion and service. Doing good to others is one of the most enjoyable activities there is. Every act of kindness is powerful and can have a positive effect.

Be unselfish. Acknowledge the worthiness of someone’s kindness by expressing your appreciation to them. Every kind deed, no matter how insignificant it may seem, needs to be treasured and celebrated because it promotes generosity of spirit, unity and harmony. 'If selfishness has given place to kindness, we shall regard our neighbour unselfishly.' (Mary Baker Eddy, Science and Health p.9:11–14)

 

Be nice to others wherever you go. Speak gently. Be pleasant, polite. 'Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.' (The Bible, Colossians 3:12You’ll be a joy to everyone you meet.

 

Celebrate kindness by passing kindness along. If someone opens the door for you, express your gratitude to that person right away and then pass that kindness along by doing the same for someone else. Don’t keep your kindness bottled up. Share tenderhearted kindness. It’s good for your health.

 

                                                                                                  Beverly Goldsmith, Christian Science Practitioner

Photo: Adhitya Krishna and his online learning classmates

With thanks...

Photo: Adhitya Krishna and his online learning classmates

An amazing job!

The IT team (Benn Gardiner, Dean Sheppard and Ranga Subasinghe) and teachers Matthew McDonald, Claudia Ohlert, Jacqui Pavey, Barbara Hender and Anthony Wroe have done an amazing job over the past weeks to ensure all the teachers, students and parents feel confident about being part of our online continuous learning program.

Huntingtower is very grateful to have had such a skilled group of professionals to help us all come to grips with the challenges of online learning.

 

 

 

Photo: Ria Madan (Year 7), Mr Amos and cyber space: a winning combination

Online Continuous Learning

Photo: Ria Madan (Year 7), Mr Amos and cyber space: a winning combination

Friday Prep

 

Monday, action!

 

Photo: Ellis and Maya Stiffler set up their 'school at home ' routine

Online Learning in the Junior School

Photo: Ellis and Maya Stiffler set up their 'school at home ' routine

Online challenges!

 

In the Junior School we have had a busy but most uplifting time working together as a team to re-imagine teaching and learning remotely. We have discovered that anything is possible, once you set your mind to it. A positive outlook can achieve wonders! 

 

Kind messages of support from parents, like those below, have inspired us to forge ahead. All teachers knew how to post pictures and documents on Firefly, but now we are inserting video links, creating audio greetings and developing style guides to ensure consistent visual cues for the students. We are starting professional learning in Microsoft Teams and will soon begin creating our own videos.

 

 

Hi Helen and all the wonderful HT staff 

Thanks for all your efforts at this challenging time – adversity brings out the absolute best in those with commitment.  

With our appreciation 

Matt and Rache Russell

 

 

We acknowledge receipt of your email and we welcome school's decision and teaching method.

What's ahead of us is uncertain and challenging, but our trust for Huntingtower school, teachers and everyone in the Huntingtower community never been stronger. We also trust ourselves at a time of difficulty like this, try as much as possible be the example for our children to be resilient, calm and sensible. We appreciate that teachers will be at school next week to iron out any issues, we wish everyone the best and look forward to the day in the near future that we can hug each other free of any concerns. 

Take care and be in touch,

Ning Yang

 

 

We have also developed new talents among our staff. Mrs Beath, the Junior School Administrative Assistant, is recording a series of Mindfulness Sessions for our young people on the Wellbeing Page and is sharing some great strategies to help everyone feel relaxed and peaceful.

 

Mrs Williams has been working with such energy and enthusiasm as she teaches staff how to use the technology to its best advantage. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, she seems energised and excited as we all embrace the tools and ideas that she loves to share.

 

Some families began home study programs early and shared with us images of their new routines. As you can see, the Stiffler family, with Maya and Ellis, are already set up with their school routine.

 

Finally, the hatching of the chicks in ELC has brought delight to so many in our school community. It was wonderful to watch the miracle of a new life in person or online emerging before our eyes. Thank you to Mr Hellard and Mrs Cutler for sharing such a wonderful event with the whole community. 

 

From Dr Helen McDonald, Head of the Junior School

 

 

 

 

Photo: 1. Hosanna! Mather Music Captains rejoice: Jacinta Na, Selena Yeh and Jack Wu

Music Notes

Photo: 1. Hosanna! Mather Music Captains rejoice: Jacinta Na, Selena Yeh and Jack Wu

House Music 2020

Congratulations Mather House, champions of this year’s House Music Festival.

 

 

Photo: Girls Netball at the HOSA Sports Day (2019)

Sport News

Photo: Girls Netball at the HOSA Sports Day (2019)

EISM Sport

The EISM weekly sport has wrapped up early for the term. We lost the last round of the season, as well as finals week. The EISM had to cancel games due to COVID19 and has called a draw for each game remaining in the season. The top two teams were unable to play their grand finals so premierships will be shared for the 2020 Senior Summer Season. Our winners for this term were:

  • Girls Softball (back to back premiers)
  • Central Boys Volleyball A (back to back premiers)
  • Central Girls Tennis (back to back premiers)
  • Central Girls Volleyball A
  • Central Girls Volleyball B (back to back premiers)
  • Central Mixed Badminton 'Blue'

 

A huge thank you to all of our coaches for their training sessions each Monday. The coaches all worked hard with their team to ensure the students continued to develop their skills.  We are very grateful that each team has been coached by a staff member who has additional skills in their given sport. This has helped improve our sports program in 2020.  

 

Another casualty of COVID19 was the EISM Champions Carnival for swimming. The EISM has taken the best times across all three divisions and awarded medals accordingly. Huntingtower usually has a strong representation at this event and I have copied the results below. As always, a few highlights from these results are:

  • 15 first place times
  • Huntingtower represented in all but one relay
  • A total of 36 medalists

 

 

Thinking of others: the Simunye Free Dress Day

 

And there's always time for a coffee!

 

The Huntingtower Bulletin