Welcome back to Term 3. I have been on maternity leave for the past 16 months and much has changed in the world, especially so in teaching, since March 2020. Before I left no one had even uttered the words “remote learning” and as I write this we are in lockdown 5.0, which unfortunately has become a too familiar occurrence.
Recently I listened to a podcast with Ben Crowe - Ash Barty’s mindfulness coach. His other prominent clients include the Richmond Football Club and Steph Gilmore. At the end of 2020, he asked his clients “What do you think the world is trying to tell us (in relation to the global pandemic)”. He said unanimously his clients across the globe said the world was trying to tell us “To stop doing and start being. To do less and be more connected to myself, my family, my friends”.
I asked this question to all my classes last week (when we were face to face) and maybe this is a question you could also ponder whilst we are in lockdown 5.0.
The Year 8 Renewals occurred last week with a strong focus on respectful relationships and encouraging upstander behaviour.
To enhance the understanding of the work students have been completing in their Religious Education classes about the importance of being an upstander, the team from Courage to Care spoke and ran workshops with the students about their firsthand experience of the Holocaust and the significant impact upstanders had in ensuring their survival. Courage to Care celebrates the ordinary people, whose acts were extraordinary in their bravery and impact. The students heard stories of individuals who, in the darkest moments of the 20th century, chose to stand up and confront discrimination and injustice, often risking their own lives and sometimes also those of their loved ones, to save others. These stories are an enduring example of the power of the individual to make a difference, and a poignant reminder that it is our own choices that determine if we remain bystanders, or become ‘upstanders’ who take positive action in the face of discrimination, prejudice and bullying in our everyday lives.
The boys also participated in other sessions throughout the day including the importance of interfaith dialogue and the benefits of mindfulness.
Below Edward and Callum share their thoughts about the day.
EDWARD J (8C)
The Year 8 Renewal was a very interesting experience that I thoroughly enjoyed. I found it interesting listening to the Holocaust survivor that spoke to us. I took away so much from this experience chatting with one of the Courage to Care mentors as well as the liturgy in the morning and the other experiences offered in the afternoon. I greatly enjoyed the Year 8 Renewals and look forward to ones offered in future years.
CALLUM W (8l)
During our Renewal day we had a liturgy in the morning and then we learnt about Respectful Relationships. What they look, sound and feel like. Joeys was visited by Courage to Care, which is an organization about the importance of being an upstander. We listened to a survivor of The Holocaust. Judy told us all about what it was like and the challenges she faced to survive. She then shared with us the people who had the courage to be upstanders to help her and her sister hide from the Nazis. We also learnt about how all religions have different beliefs, but significant similarities, aiming to, ‘Live the Golden Rule’. To finish off the day, we did some mindfulness in the Chapel and created posters using symbols to show how to be Upstanders when we see an injustice occurring. We need to:
See it: Eyes
Call it out: Voice
Be seen: Hand – take action
It was a great day, and I learnt a lot.