From the Director of Waterford, Gabrielle Smith
World Teachers’ Day
On Friday we recognised World Teachers’ Day. We took this opportunity to thank the teachers of Waterford for their hard work, skill, kindness and commitment to supporting the students in their care. It was lovely reading some of the heartfelt messages the boys had written to their teachers.
It is always wonderful to see teachers’ recognised for the work they do. I wanted to share an excerpt from a letter sent to Mr Ben Meadley (Year 6 classroom teacher) from a past pupil of his who is currently completing Year 12. ‘Thank you for teaching me humility. You were honest and fair to every boy in our class, instilling these values in each of us over the four terms we shared. You taught us to put our hand up when we made a mistake, but most importantly to learn from them.’ Teachers play an extraordinary role in the lives of children, teaching them important life lessons and values in order to help them succeed beyond school.
Year 5 Camp
The excitement is building for the Year 5 camp being held at Vision Valley next week. The theme is ‘Let’s Get Together’ which supports the boys in building relationships with their teachers and fellow students. They will have opportunities to experience a sense of achievement as they take on leadership roles and work together as a team to encourage positive decision making. This all being achieved within a supervised, safe and positive environment. We look forward to hearing the many stories upon their return.
Today Show Visit – Hugo’s robot, ‘Christopher’
On Tuesday morning, the TODAY SHOW presented an inspiring story on how Hugo Kulcsar is staying connected with his friends and class with an ‘educational robot’ while he continues his treatment for Leukaemia. When Hugo was first diagnosed in June this year, his Oncology Nurse, Donna Drew (a former Waverley parent), organised a robot for Hugo through a not-for-profit organisation ‘Missing School.’ The story focussed on how Hugo uses his laptop from home, when he is not well enough to attend school, to connect to his robot, named ‘Christopher’, in the classroom. Hugo demonstrated how easy it was to move the robot around the classroom using specific keys on his laptop. It was wonderful to see Hugo’s friends engaged in conversation with him and enjoy his company. The robot has enabled Hugo to continue his learning from home and participate in the daily lessons with his classmates.
Hugo’s robot – ‘Christopher’ is named after the son of one of Missing School’s founders. The real life Christopher is a two time Leukaemia survivor who is now is now 18 years old. In February 2012, three Canberra mothers met to celebrate their children’s recovery from long illnesses. They all expressed their concerns about the impact of those illnesses on their children’s friendships and schooling. From that meeting, Missing School was born and their goal was to explore ways of supporting children, families and teachers through very difficult times.
Hugo’s Mum, Denai, expressed her gratitude by acknowledging how blessed she feels that Hugo has the robot as this opportunity is not given to every sick child. She can see how the robot has given Hugo wonderful support, encouragement and a positive state of mind during this very challenging time of his life.