Principal’s Message | Dr Michael Carroll

Dear members of the Terrace Family,

As this is the final Terrace News in what has been a very unusual term, it is appropriate that we all take some time to reflect on the last three months.

It only seems a short time ago that I wrote to parents late in Term 1 indicating that classes and exams were continuing as per usual.  Within a few days, Term 1 had concluded early, some exams were not completed, and the era of online learning was about to begin.

To commence Term 2 with no students, to have teachers and students undertaking their teaching and learning on a computer screen and to oversee the launch of GT@Home was, to say the least, a unique experience.  Over the course of Term 2, our virtual world grew in so many ways.  There were learnings, readjustments and at times, difficulties for all of us.  The return of the Years 11 and 12 students, followed by the return of all students in Week 6, was a welcomed outcome for all.

As Term 2 draws to an end, I again thank the Terrace Family for all that they have done to ensure that these last few months have been successful.  I thank the staff for their efforts in creating an online learning platform and continuing to support student learning under challenging circumstances.  I thank the parents who have supported their sons and the College in so many different ways.  Supporting online learning at home has not been an easy task.  Finally, I thank the students for their perseverance during the term.  No one would have envisaged the enormous impact of COVID-19 at the start of the year.  The students’ ongoing engagement with learning at home, and then re-engagement back at school, has been critical in them coping with what has occurred this term.  Thank you to all, and well done.

Term 2 will conclude for Years 5 to 11 on Wednesday 24 June at 3pm and on Thursday 25 June for Year 12 students.  Semester 1 reports will be online from 9am on Tuesday 30 June with bookings for online Parent/Teacher meetings also going live at this time.

Over the last couple of weeks, Terrace gained some public exposure because of a social media post.  An extensive investigation into the incident was undertaken and revealed that the photo was not a staged attempt to denigrate the George Floyd incident, nor was it a bullying incident.  What the incident did reveal was that we need to continue to strive to action tolerance of all, refrain from the need to be physical in our interactions with each other, ensure that mobile phones are not accessed at school and to better understand the potentially catastrophic impact that social media can have on our lives.  These issues must remain important learnings for all of us in the Terrace Family so that we can continue to respect all within our community.

Finally this week, communications regarding the upcoming holiday clinics and the Term 3 GPS sports program have been provided over the last couple of weeks.  It is wonderful that these activities are occurring and that many students will be engaged in a range of co-curricular activities during Term 3.  I do need to reiterate that the upcoming season will be different in many ways.  Most notably, the limited number of spectators permitted to attend matches, the important social distancing and hygiene requirements that will need to be observed and the absence of normal game day activities, including canteen facilities.  There will be further information provided over the coming weeks regarding training and game day procedures.  I do ask for your support in following safe practices when visiting both Terrace sporting facilities and those of other GPS schools.

I hope that all within the Terrace Family have time to recharge their batteries over the break, and I look forward to reconnecting with you in what is hopefully a more normal Term 3.

God Bless.

Dr Michael Carroll
College Principal