Yesterday (Wednesday 8 March) was International Women’s Day and the theme for this year was #EmbraceEquity. The aim for this campaign is to raise awareness of the differences between equity and equality. While these words are sometimes used interchangeably, in regard to supporting differences between people, they are quite different.
Where once equal opportunity was the goal, given what we know now about the differences between people, equality based on all people and groups being provided with the same resources or opportunities is no longer enough. We can embrace equity when we recognise that each person has different circumstances, and therefore the resources and opportunities they are provided may also need to be different in order to reach an equal outcome.
A simple way of stating this is that equality is giving everyone a pair of shoes before a race. Equity is ensuring everyone has the right size shoes for them to perform their best.
This topic is relevant to Helena College, as it should be in all schools, because it is important that we are able to provide appropriate resources and opportunities for all of the unique learners in our College to be successful. There are two main ways in which we do this. Firstly, teachers differentiate in their classrooms by adjusting their delivery of curriculum and the ways that they assess learning depending on the student. While this often happens in the moment as the teacher interacts with a student in class, it is also an important element of our teacher appraisal system - we want to see that teachers are able to display where they have considered the different learning needs of their students in planning for the lessons.
Secondly, for those students with diagnosed learning needs, our Learning Support specialists collaborate with teachers, students and parents to develop individual education plans which outline specific strategies and resources to assist teachers in developing their plans and delivering their lessons. We know that not all students learn in the same way, so it is important that teachers have the necessary information to tailor their lessons accordingly.
I would like to take a moment to congratulate all our participants in the Junior School and the Senior School Interhouse Swimming Carnivals. In particular, it was terrific to see the excitement generated when Cardan were declared victorious the first time in many years. It was wonderful to witness the great camaraderie among all the students, and the Year 12 race was particularly fun and energetic. Well done to all the participants and the organising staff for facilitating two wonderful events.
The ACC Interschool Swimming Carnival is coming up soon, and I am looking forward to seeing our students represent Helena College with pride and sportsmanship.
As we navigate through these uncertain times, I would like to remind all parents and guardians that COVID and other viruses are still present within our community. Please keep your children at home if they are feeling unwell, as this will help us to keep our school community safe and healthy - there are some tips from our School Nurse, Vanessa Kennedy, in this edition of the newsletter.
Finally, I would like to extend my gratitude to all who attended the Friends of Helena Sundowner, our first catch up of the term. It was wonderful to see everyone come together and catch up with old friends and new. A special thank you to all who have volunteered to assist with future Friends of Helena activities. Your dedication and commitment to our community is greatly appreciated.
Mr Peter Coombs, Principal