Jam 2020: A Student Jam
Oct 16, 2020
Over the past year, COVID-19 has given the entire world a wake-up call that cannot be ignored. Globally, countries, communities, businesses, and schools have been locked down or closed off. ‘Frequent flyers’ have become reluctant ‘stayers’. Every family in our own community has felt the impact of the pandemic at home and abroad. We have endured isolation and uncertainty as we have patiently kept our distance, but always with the firm hope of a speedy return to normal. However, our plans, like our lives, have had to be reviewed, revised, and rethought.
With the completion of our phased return to school now complete, albeit with a heavily modified school day for our Primary School students, we have good reason for hope. Accordingly, we are now looking carefully at how we might plan for some of the key community events on our calendar this year. Some programs, such as our annual experiential learning and co-curricular programs, have been cancelled or postponed. A revamped program of experiential activities is now planned for the Christmas break. One large-scale community event, however, stands out for its symbolic importance to our school: The ISF Jam. Following the forced cancellation of our 2019 Jam, we thought long and hard about the possibility of staging a jam this year. While we hope for its return, we must also be realistic about the potential obstacles standing in its way.
The 2020 Jam – our annual community celebration – is scheduled to take place on Saturday, 21 November 2020, just over a month away. There are many reasons why such a large-scale social gathering for fun, food, and festivities could not proceed. For one, it poses significant challenges in the prevailing environment of mandated social distancing. Indeed, just last week I received a reminder from the Education Bureau that large school social events would be in breach of the government’s policy on maintaining a healthy social distance. Quite simply, we need to look closely at what we are permitted to offer, what we might hope to achieve with a jam this year, and who might benefit most from it. As such, we must place the needs of our children, our students, at the heart of this planning.
With our students already back on campus and in their classrooms, we have decided to make the 2020 Jam a student-led and student-focused event. We will stage a series of carefully managed and appropriately designed activities and events for our students working in small, class-sized groups, across two sessions to achieve a balanced celebration of students returning to school and resuming their learning in person. Parents are welcome to support us in many indirect and material ways, but circumstances will not allow for their direct participation in this year’s event.
I think it is vital that we make plans for our children to come together to celebrate what ISF means to them. While a jam that engages the entire community would be our preference, an event that celebrates the spirit of learning for our students is a message of global importance at this troubled time in human history.
For our parents, I ask only that you support us and each other at this time. May your gift for this jam be one that is personally significant: be it creativity, be it time behind the scenes in support, or even resources, or perhaps just a smile of encouragement; all gifts are doubly precious at this time!
Please support this student event on 21 November as
a celebration of ISF spirit reflected in the enthusiastic engagement of our children in learning.
Each one is important, each one is valued, each one makes a difference. Please also care for your own health and that of those important to you.
Dr. Malcolm Pritchard
Head of School