As we near the end of Term 2 and reach the halfway mark of 2022, I wanted to take the opportunity to reflect on my time so far at Carmel School. This time next week, I am lucky enough to be travelling to Israel with the JNF Educators’ tour, so this will be the final Perth-based Harris Post of the semester.

We have had a hugely busy term. COVID finally hit Carmel School during Term 2 and we continued our usual generosity and sharing nature by passing it around remarkably effectively. On one notable Friday, I recall nearly a hundred students being absent from school which was, in some ways, quite lucky given the number of staff who had also succumbed. Our remaining teachers supported their colleagues fabulously and stepped in to take extra lessons and ensure that the personalised learning we do so well at Carmel continued. We are very grateful to our dedicated teams of educators who work so hard for the students in our care.

Happily, as we near the end of term, COVID numbers are definitely decreasing. Mrs Barnett organised the distribution of 8,000 RAT tests that the government had provided for us to give to parents. I was surprised at some parents’ reluctance to accept their allocation and it was a very pleasing day when we finally gave out the last few. I had to reassure a number of people that we had not purchased these from the School budget – they were government provided tests!

I thoroughly enjoyed speaking in the Gordon Bloomfield Hall to a large group of gentlemen who make up the ‘Living in Retirement’ group. They were a very well-behaved audience, all turning their phones to silent before I started and not chatting during the talk. I loved having the time beforehand to hear about their memories of Carmel School and all about their children and grandchildren and what they had achieved. A fine example of a well-organised, thriving community group.

The P&F go from strength to strength, both in terms of ideas and plans for the future. Their pub quiz night sounds like a lot of fun and I thoroughly recommend you put the date and time into your diary - Sunday the 21st of August at 7pm. Fundraising for books for the High School library is a very worthwhile cause and many of our students will benefit from this.

The recent exams for senior students were run very efficiently and I was impressed by the level of study notes and evidence of revision that I witnessed during some frantic, last-minute studying early each morning. I know that there were some excellent results and trust that those students who were disappointed with their achievements have talked to their teachers and written some goals for the future. I’m sure students who need to, have already planned to request blank copies of their papers to work on a re-sit over the upcoming holidays.

I’ve learned so much from the staff, students and community members of Carmel School during my first semester here. It seems incredible that I have already been here for half a year; it also feels as though I have been here for ever. I am very much looking forward to the second half of this year.

Please help your children make the most of the break from school – encourage them to read a book and get some exercise and spend some time outside in nature.  We shall look forward to their return on the 19th of July.

Shabbat shalom.

Julie Harris