From the Head of the Junior School

From the Head of the Junior School

Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,

Thank you to our Auxiliary for providing pizza for the boys today. It was very much appreciated.

This morning, we marked last weekend’s World Environment Day with a number of activities to spotlight the issue of sustainability and develop our boys’ awareness and influence as global citizens. We hope that you have enjoyed being involved in the choice of Home Learning activities this week and have tried at least one new re-think/re-invent, re-cycle, re-generate, or re-educate initiative. Our younger and older Buddies particularly enjoyed the chance to spend the morning together, learning and making. It is our hope that this week’s experiences and discussions at home and at school yield sustainable changes in many mindsets and habits. Through surveying all boys, we have seen a consistent message across all ages, that our students want to know how to positively impact the environment and our world.

This term we have been intentional in our learning about what it means to be globally minded. As a school utilising the Primary Years Programme framework, we know the benefits to our boys of deliberately cultivating a global mindset across the range of learning experiences. All teaching staff have completed a professional development course this semester in ‘Living and Learning Globally’ with exposure to ideas and strategies that they have been able to discuss and then trial in classrooms. Our boys are connected to others in many ways and we are teaching them to understand, appreciate and foster connections, particularly global connections that may not be immediately apparent in everyday activities. These connections have been evident in many experiences at school over the last week: we are connected to others through our shared use and responsibility for the planet which was one lesson from our activities today; we are connected to each other through journeys, as illustrated by the recent Year 6 inquiry which has seen a number of boys’ family members share their migration stories, including our own Mr Slabbert who powerfully addressed the boys and generously shared his story on Wednesday; we are connected through faith and a shared desire and responsibility to address injustice, which was a motivator for learning about and supporting the wonderful work of COPTS through Tuesday’s Mufti Day – thanks to our community’s support and the leadership of Luke Farrow and his family, awareness and $1276 was raised. All have been wonderful activities but not a part of a one-off global ‘festival’! You should recognise the threads of global mindedness running through many learning experiences across every week in the Junior School.  

Congratulations to Year 5 who opened their doors and welcomed family and friends to their ‘fair’ this afternoon, where each boy showcased his knowledge and understanding developed across their inquiry into Where We are In Place and Time. I could not help but contrast this afternoon’s crowd of guests with this time last year when such an activity was unthinkable. We can’t take for granted or underestimate the energising dynamic of gathering an authentic audience for boys to share their learning. Thank you to all the Year 5 families who supported the boys this afternoon.

It is hard to believe that we are about to embark on the final week of the second term. At the end of next week, you will be able to access Semester Reports that will detail each boy’s achievements and his approach to learning across the Key Learning Areas and Units of Inquiry. As always, I am struck by our students’ own insights into their learning contained in self-reflective comments. I also commend attention to the similarities and differences between staff and student ratings in Approaches to Learning which can make for a fascinating talking point for parents and their Years 3-6 sons, especially when determining new learning goals.

I remind you to note information distributed about the co-curricular programme for Term 3. Expressions of interest must be lodged by Tuesday morning to be considered for next term’s activities. We will also be checking OSHClub registrations before making any offers for after-school activities. We will endeavour to process these before the term concludes dependent on the volume of applications.

This term’s ‘Cuppa’n’chat’ with the Junior School Executive (Mr Hassall, Mrs Ormes, Mrs Richards and myself) will be next Thursday 17th June from 8:45am-9:30am. Please use the previously emailed link to register if you wish to join us to ask questions or hear from Mrs Bargwanna about the Green Patch Programme.  

Safe travels and good luck to our 20 Year 6 boys, Mr Robinson and Mr Bishop who will join with boys and staff from the Preparatory School for the combined North Coast Rugby and Football Tour. The party will be away from Tuesday to Friday and enjoy games against, and hospitality from Bishop Druitt College in Coffs Harbour, The Armidale School and Scone Grammar School. Congratulations also go to the 1st XV Rugby team who enjoyed a wonderful 5-0 victory and great support from the home crowd on the School’s premier No. 1 Oval last Saturday. Hopefully, it was a taste of big games to come for many of the boys in future years.  

Enjoy the bonus of a slightly longer weekend!

Mark Dunn

Head of the Junior School

The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right, giving joy to the heart. The commands of the Lord are radiant, giving light to the eyes.

Psalm 19:7-8

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