20/20 Vision. Though most parents were physically out-of-sight at Grace Orchard School’s New Student and Teacher Orientation on 20 June ’20, the school’s vision for a virtually-run orientation remains clear. As with previous years, GOS’ Orientation seeks to journey and provide a platform to interact and prepare new students and their parents for a smooth entry into the school.
This year is the same but, yet different. As the COVID-19 pandemic brought widespread disruption to schedules and activities, the Orientation, as we know it, would have been a no-go. However, in embracing the Mission of GO* (Grace Orchard), we wanted to make a difference and to make the best of the situation by still having an Orientation – but a virtual one.
In light of safe distancing measures resulting with the absence of a physical presence, a 30-strong team of school leaders and staff came on-site to school to ensure our new students and parents receive an equally warm, virtual welcome via Zoom. The two-hour virtual orientation started at 10 am with a welcome address by our school principal, Mrs Lisa Goh, followed by a COVID-19 Safety Measures brief, introduction to class teachers and quickly Zoom(ed) and focused on two main segments: 1) Parent Orientation. The cosy Zoom breakout room sessions, hosted by teachers with supporting staff, gave parents a personalised glimpse of school life and the care and support awaiting their child. 2) Student Orientation. Besides seeing their teachers and new classrooms, students got to meet other new students in a fun-filled “Get-to-know-our-school-better” BINGO that brought out wide smiles and happy laughter.
This virtual orientation sure was a first, but whether apart or together, it was heart work that we hope made the difference to a good start of a new student’s journey at Grace Orchard School. A big thank you to all staff, parents and students for making this virtual New Student and Parent Orientation a success!
*Mission of GO (Grace Orchard): We Shape Special Lives for Significance: Rooted in Values, Prepared for Life, Empowered to Make a Difference.