Meeting the Challenge

Meeting the Challenge

by Craig Coutts, Head of School

I am not really sure where I should start. I think I can say with certainty that this year has been like no other for any of us. The long lasting effects of this pandemic have tested systems, organisations and people. It has tested us as a school in terms of how we deliver our core purpose of improving learning and it has challenged us as a community. I have stated this in a couple of forums already, but at the start of this year we had a lot of voices telling us that it would be a year where we would struggle to develop as a school and the best we could hope for was to just keep things going and make it through this challenge. However, as a school and a community we have faced the challenge and moved forward. Our students learnt and were successful. It was not easy for all and certainly some struggled, but overall they showed great drive, adaptability and creativity in their learning and demonstrated how they could progress and be successful. They took our mission and lived it.

Then there are the staff and faculty, who have engineered the strategies and carried out the plans that have kept our learning programme exciting and challenging. They have taken everything they have known and turned it on its head so learning was accessible for everyone. They dynamically adapted teaching practices and learning models to meet the changing circumstances and made them work and work well. And they exhibited the core values of the school in looking after each other and working as a team. They have been amazing.

Finally there are our parents. Amidst all the pressures of managing your own work and family life during these disrupted times, you have stuck with us through all of this and supported us as a school, and more importantly your children as learners. You learnt and then taught algebra, you emptied cereal boxes and made cardboard models and you joined in on the lounge room PE exercises. You did all of this with grace and understanding and you made your children feel successful. 

I always finish the year by writing to as many people as I can to thank them for all they have done over the year. This year I am struggling to get across just how truly grateful I am to everyone in the wonderful YIS community. You stepped up and gave us all you had, even when the present day seemed harder than the one before. Thank you, thank you for everything you have done.

To families who are leaving YIS and going on to new adventures, we wish you well and hope that you take fond memories of your time here and hope you remain in touch and feel proud to be a YIS alum.

I wish you all a safe and happy holiday ahead. I hope you all get some much needed rest and re-energize for the year ahead, which holds a great deal of hope and excitement for everyone around the world.

Take care.