Parent Update, 21 May 2020

Welcome to my Week 6 Update.

What do you value?

As teenagers, my parents limited my older brother and sister and me to one hour of television per weeknight. We would have a daily battle over what combination of Gilligan’s Island, Get Smart, Hogan’s Heroes or the Brady Bunch we watched.

As we aged our tastes changed and it became a toss-up between Sale of the Century, Mastermind or The Price is Right. Our mother raised an eyebrow about some shows. Her disapproval would be amplified about The Price is Right, with her critical and annoying commentary in the background, especially about the overly hyped audience and the greedy contestants. Each show finished with the winning contestant trying to rank the value of about ten material goods to win the showcase.

During COVID-19 we have had the chance to reflect on who we highly value in society. I assume your lists will also include, in no particular order, medical workers, emergency service providers, chemists, farmers, truck drivers, food manufacturers, supermarket stackers, cleaners and school teachers.

What about your own personal list of what you value? For me it is mental health, physical health, family, friends, opportunities, meaningful work and hope. I will let you decide the order of these values, but during these unique and challenging times we should be grateful for what we have. I feel so very grateful for what I have and what is ahead of me, especially as we welcome the staged return of all staff and students back onto campus over the coming weeks.

Please take the time to watch the video below with your children. It is intended to remind students of their sense of belonging to the School and to highlight a few key messages about their return to campus.

Return to on-campus learning

The School Executive, in consultation with the School Council, has prepared whole school implementation plans relating to the return to on-campus learning.

Detailed information for the arrangements for all students, including boarders, is available here. myMGS credentials will be required to access this information. I ask parents of these students to read these documents thoroughly please.

Head of Grimwade House, Royce Helm

For the past two months Royce has been in New Zealand caring for his wife Rhona who has undergone significant medical treatment.

I am pleased to report Rhona’s treatment is progressing well. I am in regular contact with Royce and I know how much he is missing being on campus at Grimwade House and appreciates the many messages of support from the Grimwade House community.

Royce and Rhona plan to return to Australia and work at the start of Term III. Until then Nathan Boller and Jane Thomas will continue to do an outstanding job as Acting Head and Acting Deputy Head of Grimwade House respectively.

Making Sense of our Senses

The physical immediacy and visual cues that aid our interpretation of words and build our relationships are often missing when corresponding through ‘screens’. In this compelling reflection, Making Sense of our Senses, Rev’d Malcolm Woolrich, Wadhurst Chaplain highlights aspects of the sense-related themes flowing throughout Scripture and explains why he is looking forward to the return to an on-campus environment.

You can read the reflection here.

Transition back to school: How will I cope?

Barbara Jones, Head of Counselling and Psychological Services, has written an excellent article titled Transition back to school: How will I cope? It provides students with advice and strategies for dealing with the next upcoming change in their lives – returning to on-campus learning. I encourage all parents to read this very helpful article, highlighting its messages to children, or referring them to it, as needs be.

You can read the article here.

Book reading

This week’s book reading is a wonderful tale about a brave horse and his trainer who heroically tackle adversity with courage and determination. Called Fabish – the Horse that Braved a Bushfire, the book was written by a leading Australian children’s author, and Melbourne Grammar School parent, Neridah McMullin, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Uniform Shop

Uniform Shop arrangements have changed to accommodate the return to on-campus learning while still meeting health guidelines.  The updated arrangements are outlined here.

With my warmest wishes,

Philip Grutzner