Paradoxically, the Term 3 COVID-19 restrictions have freed us to do life differently, to consider what is true and important about the human condition and highlighted the need to develop a rich inner life. On this special day in the middle of the term we were all able to reflect on deep questions of science, literature, social and environmental change, music and history. Kurrajong Heights Day was a break from the routine of online classes for both staff and students, and presented an opportunity for all in the Barker community to be enriched through engaging with speakers both nationally and internationally.
The focus for the Junior School day was for our students to reflect on how they are demonstrating the Learner Profile Attributes during this time of online learning. This occurred through a virtual chapel service, sport, and student creation of their own representation of how the Learner Profile Attributes apply to them. Their representations will be collated to form an art installation encompassing the central idea of "Historical moments can be captured, shared and reflected upon". This is a very unique moment in our lives. Linking in beautifully with the School’s Round Square and International Baccalaureate vision of reflecting and connecting with local, national and global experiences and understandings.
The art installation will be unveiled at the Year 6 PYP Exhibition and showcased in the School for years to come.
The day also allowed opportunities for students in Years 3-6 and their families, to enjoy various speakers of interest from the Secondary School conference program.
After the conference launch and introductions from Mr Phillip Heath AM, Head of Barker College, and Mr David Charles, Chair of Barker Council, The Hon. Matt Kean, Member for Hornsby and Minister for Energy and Environment gave the plenary address entitled “The role of young people in changing the world”.
Following the plenary session, attendees had the chance to listen to a combination of 12 invited speakers in concurrent sessions throughout the day. Sessions typically ran with an initial 15-minute talk from the invited guest, followed by a discussion with a Barker staff member who posed questions from attendees to the guest.
Thousands of households joyfully participated in various offerings throughout the day. As well as watching, learning, moving and creating with their assigned activities, some Junior School students enjoyed attending the Secondary School conference talks with their older siblings or when it met their curiosities.
Across the Secondary School conference sessions there were over 4600 logins throughout the day from students, teachers, parents and carers, whole families, and those beyond Barker in the wider community. Over 1000 questions were asked to stimulate conversations between Barker hosts and guest speakers, creating a unique opportunity for an event bespoke to the Barker community of greater benefit than merely watching a previous online video from the guest.
Truly this was an opportunity seized by the Barker community to look out and beyond the normal, to enrich the mind, and to refresh and renew the heart.