Uncharted Waters – Conversations with the Principal


Uncharted Waters is a new podcast series to help our students and Flinders families navigate the turbulent education landscape that is ever-evolving in response to the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic.

Episode 6: Principal Stuart Meade chats with Head of Sport, Mr Adam Ridgewell

 As you know, sport is a vibrant part of College life at Flinders as students are encouraged to embrace as many sporting and co-curricular opportunities as possible.

Sports involvement benefits students in many ways – from learning new skills and building friendships to enjoying being healthy and active as a natural part of life.

Needless to say, students are looking forward to a return to training for and playing sport with their friends and coaches.  

Principal Stuart Meade chats with Flinders Head of Sport, Adam Ridgewell about the future for sport at Flinders for the remainder of 2020.

Adam shares the latest news on dates for a return to training and organised sport as outlined in the Queensland Government’s ‘Roadmap to Easing Restrictions’ document.

He also notes the things he hopes won’t change as restrictions are eased – such as seeing families having a great time exercising together outdoors in the mornings and afternoons.  

Listen to the Episode 6 podcast here:

(00:47) What have students found most frustrating about the restrictions on sport?
(1:50) What have been the impacts on sports programs and co-curricular opportunities at Flinders?
(2:31) What is the latest news for popular school sports such as netball and rugby?
(4:10) What upsides have you noticed as a result of this COVID-19 scenario? 
(5:07) How has the College supported students to remain healthy and fit during home learning?
(6:34) What will our sports program look like for the rest of Term 2 and beyond?
(7:37) Why are their different restrictions for College Sport compared to Club Sport?
(9:05) Please tell us more about the sign-ups for sports like Touch Football and Basketball.
(10:31) The Flinders Aquatic Centre is set to open in Term 3. When will the Flinders Fitness Centre and Sports Centre reopen?

Episode 5: Principal Stuart Meade chats with College Captains Holly and Harrison, and College Vice Captains Justin and Jess

In Episode 5, Principal Stuart Meade sits down with our College leaders to learn what it has been like for our Senior students at home during the remote learning phase. 

Holly, Harrison, Justin and Jess share how they each created structure in their day to avoid feeling overwhelmed and combat a lack of motivation, and what they have missed most about campus life. They also admit their guilty snack fixes, the number of trips they made daily to the fridge, and how their attire may have taken a slide for the worse!

Stuart asks the leaders what they believe the College can learn from this remote learning experience and how school days on campus might be better structured as a result. Thanks for joining the conversation, Captains!

Listen to the Episode 5 podcast here:
(00:43) What was the most enjoyable part of the online learning experience?
(2:20) What did you find most challenging?
(3:55) How did you keep in touch with friends out of school hours?
(4:41) What do you appreciate about the school, having spent time away and now returning?
(5:51) How have you found getting back into the structures and routines?
(6:49) What was your favourite daytime attire when learning from home?
(7:39) What was your favourite go-to fridge food? Did you find yourself grazing during the day?
(8:35) With the knowledge you have gained from being online for a few weeks, what do you believe the school could do differently to improve our processes? 

Episode 4: Principal Stuart Meade chats with Head of Senior Primary, Mrs Ingrid

In Episode 4, Principal Stuart Meade and Head of Senior Primary, Mrs Ingrid Clarke discuss the reports from students, parents and teachers about what remote learning looks like for our Senior Primary students in Years 4-6. Ingrid explains how teachers are working diligently and creatively to support online learning while also excitedly planning for students to return to the Primary School, hopefully on Monday, 25 May.

Stuart and Ingrid allay some of the concerns parents have for their children as a result of
being at home since the end of Term 1. There are questions of gaps in student learning and
of a loss of confidence in friendships. Ingrid also gives an update on the topic of ‘fun’ and
how Flinders is aiming to reshape or recreate opportunities students have missed out on
recently, such as school camps, excursions, VIP Days, leadership opportunities and, of
course, the Year 6 Musical, Moana Jr.

Listen to the Episode 4 podcast here.

  • (00:51) Some of the most common challenges for Senior Primary students during remote
  • (3:00) Why it is important for children to take the scheduled breaks in their daily learning.
  • (3:48) Why parents are concerned about gaps in their child’s learning and how Flinders will
    address this challenge.
  • (5:00) How Flinders Primary will assist students to transition back to school campus.
  • (6:32) Why Flinders is focused on recreating or reshaping missed events and opportunities
    where possible.
  • (8:55) How Ingrid Clarke and Primary Counsellor Alec Hamilton are available to help families
    or students requiring support during the return to school campus.
  • (9:05) What challenges families might be experiencing where one child has returned to
    school while the other sibling/s remain at home learning. How parents can help their children
    to approach upcoming transitions with a positive attitude.
  • (10:33) What routines parents can encourage to help children prepare for a return to the
    Primary School site.

Episode 3: Principal Stuart Meade chats with Head of Middle School, Mrs Anita Gibson

In Episode 3, Principal Stuart Meade and Head of Middle School, Mrs Anita Gibson discuss how the home learning situation is impacting our Years 7-9 students. The conversation explores how teenagers rely on face-to-face connections with their friends and teachers; how parents can soften the effects of excessive screen time while their children are learning online; and how teenagers respect and feel safe when strong boundaries are in place to guide them. 

Anita provides sound advice, encouraging students to be kind to themselves if they are struggling with the demands and challenges of managing their own remote learning schedule. She also shares tips on how parents can prepare their children for a return to school campus, such as bringing back those early bedtimes!

  • (00:40) Two of the biggest problems students in Middle School are experiencing during lockdown.
  • (3:30) How to balance and soften the impact of screen time during remote learning and why we are fortunate at Flinders to be able to learn in a remote environment.
  • (5:05) Why clear boundaries help to support teenagers, and the steps Flinders is taking to soften the demands on Middle School students during remote learning. 
  • (7:10) Advice for parents concerned about how well their child is managing their remote learning schedule.
  • (9:03) How Mrs Gibson and other school leaders are available on campus to support students and families.
  • (10:39) How Mrs Gibson might have coped with the challenges of a pandemic lockdown when she was 13 years old!
  • (11:44) How students can manage and prepare for the imminent transition from home learning to school campus learning.
  • (13:05) Why personal presentation and high uniform standards are important for enabling focus and self-confidence upon a return to school campus.
  • (13:44) Why it is important for parents to monitor their child’s wellbeing during this time and how parents can support their children’s emotional wellbeing and maintain family connection.

Episode 2: Principal Stuart Meade chats with Head of Junior Primary, Ms Chris Curtain

In Episode 2, Principal Stuart Meade and Head of Junior Primary, Ms Chris Curtain explore how parents can structure and support their child’s remote learning at home as we dive into Term 2 of 2020 during Coronavirus lockdown. Chris provides reassuring advice and helpful tips to enable families to prepare for and embrace the new model of remote learning for Primary School students.

No doubt you will agree with Stuart when he describes Chris as “…the voice of reason, experience and pragmatism”. Enjoy this warm-hearted conversation, packed with reassuring advice on how to set you and your child up for a positive learning experience.

  • (1:00) Why it’s important to adjust mindset to prepare for the new remote learning situation, and how this shift in attitude helps to minimise stress and maximise patience.
  • (2.14) Advice for parents wondering how much school work should be packed into each day for children in the junior primary years.
  • (3:20) How to encourage your child to become more independent over time to boost their learning confidence.
  • (4:27) How parents might be able to design their own work schedule to take into account their child’s learning schedule.
  • (4:45) A child’s connection with his or her friends is important. How you can support your child to connect with friends and family.
  • (6:10) What are the key routines and schedules for success with remote learning at home
  • (8:49) Why children love a little bit of control over their own learning and how to encourage this independence. Also, how to manage screen time for your child’s health, and how to be mindful of positivity and patience to protect the connection with your child.

Episode 1: Principal Stuart Meade chats with Head of Senior School, Mr Gary Davis

In Episode 1, Principal Stuart Meade and Head of Senior School, Gary Davis consider the impact of the remote learning model on our Seniors’ learning as we commence Term 2. It’s no surprise that our Year 11 and Year 12 students are concerned about the potential impact of the pandemic on their final phase of high school.

Here we tackle the big questions and concerns that are front of mind for our Seniors and their families. After all, it’s not just final academic results that are at stake here. We are also mindful of our students’ physical and emotional health and wellbeing, sense of connection and support, and their confidence in the future. Here we share how Flinders is supporting our students through these tricky times.

  • (01:00) What has changed for Year 12 students?
  • (03:27) How is remote learning affecting our Year 12 students?
  • (06:11) What do practical subjects look like in our remote learning environment?
  • (08:20) How has the change to remote learning affected our Year 11 students?
  • (10:00) Learning and organisation tips for senior students
  • (12:38) How will we transition back from remote learning to the classroom environment?