Dear members of the Mount Lilydale Mercy College community,

Finally, at long last, there is a sense of normality returning to the College with the end of remote learning well within our sight. For many in our community they are ready and eager to return. For some, the prospect of another change may be daunting. With this in mind, the best advice I can give is to reinforce a routine with your children.

The College, very mindful of the wellbeing of our students will be focusing on getting things back to normal as soon as possible. Bells, uniform, classes and friends will once again make up their day as we settle back into the routines we have put aside during this last lockdown. I believe routines give us the predictability and structure we crave in times of uncertainty. If this has not already been a topic of conversation, I recommend revisiting, sleep and wake times, and the notion that dreaded homework will be needed as we head toward exams and end-of-year assessment tasks.

I mention sleep time quite deliberately here as transition and reintroducing a stricter routine can be exhausting. School requires a lot of self discipline and self regulation and I expect that a high percentage of our students will return home fatigued, needing some space to unwind and relax. Late nights that may have been a thing of lockdown will rob students of the precious hours to recharge and get ready for the next day.

During the lead up to returning to school, Year Level Leaders have been posting reminders on their Year Level (Google) Classrooms about the importance of routine. To ensure our full attention can be spent on helping students reengage with on-site learning, and concentrate on the things that really matter, we ask that the normal day-to-day nuts-and-bolts-type requirements are taken care of prior to returning. We aim to spend our energy on creating engaging activities, rather than having to correct uniforms, ask for masks to be worn correctly or address immature classroom behaviours.

Please support us to make the return to school as positive as it can be by ensuring uniform is not an issue. Piercings and the like should not be something we need to deal with. It is such a simple thing that all students can be responsible for.

During this reestablishment time, communication is a vital factor. If your child has any concerns about returning, please encourage them to talk to staff. All staff want the very best for our students and will work with them to help them overcome any feelings of anxiety as they adjust back to being on campus. The invitation for you as parents to let us know how things are going remains. Please reach out to us if you feel your child will not.

As always, I am only an email or phone call away.

Returning to school advice from our Counselling and Wellbeing team

COVID-19 has required everyone to make changes: how we live, how we socialise, how we learn. After months of lockdown in 2021, students will now begin returning to school rules, routines, classrooms, classmates, teachers and, in some cases, even new schools. For many, these changes can create a sense of anticipation and for some anxiety, especially given the ongoing threat of COVID-19 despite the College’s social distancing and hand hygiene measures.

Everyone has a remote learning story and, while there are similarities, our own story is unique. Some students found it hard, others may have been worried about how it will affect their progress and there have been other students who enjoyed it. Whatever the experience, know that it is normal to experience a wide range of emotions and for these emotions to have changed from one week to the next.

As we get ready to return to school, it is important for students to think about strategies that will help to prepare for the return, manage any worries they might have and re-focus their thinking.

Outlined in the attached document are some tips for families as students prepare for the return to on-site learning. Please remember we are here to support and assist students. You can contact your child’s Year Level Leader or our Counselling and Wellbeing Team if you have concerns about the wellbeing of your teen via email to: