Volume 30 Issue 24 13 Aug 2021 5 Elul 5781

From the Principal

Andrew Watt – Principal

Creating our Bright Future

This week we launched our 2021 Capital Appeal. I hope you have had a chance to view our  new microsite which explodes with colour, shares why we are embarking on this important  journey to create our bright future, and provides us with an insight into just how much our students value friendship, their heritage, community and the world around them. 

I urge you to watch the 3D building flythrough at ourbrightfuture.com.au. I am particularly proud of the backing track – an instrumental version of Ha’Shorashim (The Roots) – which was developed by a number of students, in conjunction with the Music Department and composer/song writer, Alice Chance. Students from Pre-school to Year 12 are currently working on a special project connected to this new school anthem which promises to be a highlight of our campaign. 

I am delighted to confirm that we have received a donation of $2 million from donors who have supported the School before, but never to this very generous level. This significant number means that we are able to launch our Appeal, having already raised 20% of our target. This is an enviable position to be in so early into our campaign.

I look forward to sharing further information and news about the Appeal and our exiting building plans. Look out for my updates on Instagram, on Facebook and in your inbox. While we are raising money for a particular building project, as I said in an article in Australian Jewish News this week: “This project is about more than just bricks and mortar, it’s about creating a bright future for our students, both now and into the future.” 

Madrichim Induction Assembly 

For the second year in succession, we inducted our Madrichim without the physical presence of our proud parents, students, or staff. However, we remain grateful for the opportunity to celebrate – albeit online – with our student leaders, who have committed to be ambassadors of Emanuel and role models to our students. The induction assembly provided an opportunity for our new Madrichim to make a pledge to serve and lead our student community for the next 12 months. Thank you to Aaron Glass for blowing the Shofar for us, welcoming the month of Elul. 

Brazilian writer, Paulo Coelho, said, “When we least expect it, life sets us a challenge to test our courage and willingness to change. At such a moment, there is no point in pretending that nothing has happened or in saying that we are not yet ready. The challenge will not wait. Life does not look back”.

Our new Madrichim will face a range of challenges, around how best to communicate, how best to engage, and how best to run safe, relevant, and fun-filled events. The key challenge, however, will be how to influence the student culture under the ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. The most important responsibility required of our student leaders is to maintain a student culture that aligns with the values of Emanuel; that is, to seek to include and accept everybody; to look after those who need care and support – and significantly, to listen to the voice of every student, and accord them due respect. Our Madrichim have a responsibility to act with integrity, both inside and outside school; to remain above reproach in their dealings with others. They have a responsibility to intervene and report any incidents of bullying, harassment, or other inappropriate behaviour – and to serve their fellow students as best they can, by running activities, supporting events, and supporting those who run events.

The Madrichim Induction Assembly can be viewed here.

A message to our departing Madrichim 2020-2021

A year has passed and our Madrichim can look back with a high measure of pride in what they have achieved, under the most difficult of circumstances:

  • They have learned to pivot when their activities were suddenly adjusted.
  • They have learned the value of being agile in responding to change – and there have been many changes!
  • They have learned to bounce back when they encountered cancelations, adjustments, and a protracted time at home, under remote learning.
  • They have learned to persevere, putting disappointments aside, as many of their initiatives and end of year plans were put on indefinite hold.
  • They have been gracious, kind, and caring leaders…. and perhaps most importantly, they have never lost their sense of humour!

On behalf of the Emanuel School community – parents, students, and staff, we thank you for the way that you have promoted our culture of care and respect. You will never forget your final year and you should be proud of the contribution you have made, to keep our students involved and to lessen fears and anxieties!

Wellbeing Wednesdays

Commencing next week, our Wednesday afternoons will be transformed! We are very aware that learning at home requires a great deal of energy, focus, and often requires independent planning and thinking. Working online throughout an entire week can result in ‘screen fatigue’ and boredom. We have received feedback from parents that some of our students are struggling to remain focused on their studies and would benefit from a change in pace.

Our Wellbeing Wednesday seeks to provide a break from the online routine in the middle of each week, to allow students to catch their breath and engage in activities that will promote physical fitness, relaxation and allow them to pursue their interests and passions.

We will need your support, to ensure that our students do not use this time entirely for further online engagement with friends! We really want them to get outdoors and ‘smell the roses’. What will it look like? Timetabled lessons on Wednesdays will be reduced to 30 minutes duration and the school day will end at 1.10 pm. We hope that this will re-energise our young people!

Quote of the week

“You don’t have to hold a position in order to be a leader.” – Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company