For the Whole of Their Life.

Junior School News - Week 8, Term 1 2020

Posted 19th March 2020
By mandy eggins

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Peace In The Pandemic!

‘Resilience’ is one of the buzz words in education. Part of what good schools do is to build the capacity in our children to cope with upsets in life. We are facing one now! It’s known as COVID-19!

Research is showing increasingly that some children experience significant emotional trauma from viewing confronting images in the media to do with natural disasters, terrorism and sickness. Right now we are all in danger of being buried beneath an avalanche of reporting about COVID-19. Teachers, parents and carers should be particularly mindful of the effect this might be having on our children.

Dr Wayne Warburton is a lecturer in developmental psychology at Macquarie University. His research indicates that around half of all children have been scared by something they saw in the news, which can result in anxieties and phobias that persist into adulthood. Children troubled by the news can have trouble sleeping, or become agitated, nervous or sad. Sometimes this can result in long-lasting phobias or anxieties. Half of all young adults can recall a specific news story that frightened or upset them when they were a child, such as a terrorist attack, murder, natural disaster or kidnapping. Seven per cent say the fear persists to this day. Dr Warburton recommends that parents should try to limit children's exposure to media, and monitor what they watch. He says that shows like the ABC's Behind The News and News on 3 are good for providing age-appropriate news coverage in context. This is advice well worth bearing in mind as we contend with the coronavirus!

Schools like ours strive to build an environment which helps to shield children against the storms of life – or at least equip them with the skills to navigate safely to the other side. We provide a values-rich, caring and supportive environment, where children can feel engaged with learning and connected to each other.

Key to our approach is introducing our students to Jesus Christ. It is our strong belief, backed up by our lived experience, that knowing Him and serving Him brings joy, hope, peace and purpose to life – even in the midst of major challenges. When it comes to weathering storms there is no better encouragement than to know that our Heavenly Father loves us beyond all measure and intends to bring us safe ‘to the other side’.

This famous incident described in Mark 4 should give us great heart:

Jesus Calms a Storm

35 On the evening of that same day Jesus said to his disciples, “Let us go across to the other side of the lake.” 36 So they left the crowd; the disciples got into the boat in which Jesus was already sitting, and they took him with them. Other boats were there too.37 Suddenly a strong wind blew up, and the waves began to spill over into the boat, so that it was about to fill with water. 38 Jesus was in the back of the boat, sleeping with his head on a pillow. The disciples woke him up and said, “Teacher, don't you care that we are about to die?”

39 Jesus stood up and commanded the wind, “Be quiet!” and he said to the waves, “Be still!” The wind died down, and there was a great calm. 40 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Why are you frightened? Do you still have no faith?”

41 But they were terribly afraid and began to say to one another, “Who is this man? Even the wind and the waves obey him!”

In life it might seem sometimes that God is sleeping and not responding to our need! Where are you, God?! Don’t you care about what’s happening to me?! But He is there, He is in total control and He will see us safely to the destination He has in mind for us.

We can find peace in the pandemic!

Mr Keith Dalleywater
Head of Junior School

The Life

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