From the Head of the Junior School

From the Head of the Junior School

Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,

In the current cycle where it is my practice on Thursdays to provide parents with an update of the week past and a forecast of the week ahead, I will not have as much to note in the newsletter each week. Rather than repeat all I have previously communicated, I will provide a brief summary of the key points, include any additional items, and then let you set a good example for your children by getting away from the screen you are reading this on!

The key points in yesterday’s update were:

  • Gratitude to parents for your continuing support of your children and their teachers
  • An acknowledgement of the additional challenges facing our staff and families residing in the three (now, five) restricted Local Government Areas.
  • Commendation for the development of independent habits that has been evident in so many boys across this first fortnight of remote learning  
  • Adjustments in our protocols this week (the addition of explicit-teaching sessions and opening of ‘Hungry for More?’) and further adjustments to come next week (explicit-teaching in single-subject lessons and check-ins with Maths Olympiad candidates)
  • A reminder to use or to let us know of any concerns or ask questions.  

Remote learning does provide a window into some learning experiences that normally you would not see. For example, our weekly Chapel services are on-line and accessible to all. Exposure to the Christian gospel, accompanied by opportunities for a boy to explore Biblical teaching as he makes decisions about his own faith, is a cornerstone of our School. Parents often have questions about this teaching and especially about weekly Chapel services, either because it is unfamiliar or because of expectations shaped by personal experiences with a church or ideas conveyed in media. Now is a great opportunity to watch and see for yourself! The Junior School Chapel services are typically encouraging, engaging, reflective and fun. This term’s theme is the Fruit of the Spirit and it was a delight to read, after last week’s introduction on love, how many boys responded with a practical commitment to love their families during lockdown. If these pledges were honoured, then there should have been a lot of extra tidying, preparing of meals and washing up done by boys in homes this week! Whilst the lead up to the Tokyo Olympic Games has been accompanied by controversy, and there may yet be more to come, the commencement of the Games will provide a degree of welcome distraction for many of us across the fortnight ahead. No doubt there will be many examples of success and failure that will capture our attention and inspire a variety of opinions and emotions. I remember that it was in my primary-school years, watching the Moscow Games in 1980, that I first gained an understanding and interest in the spectacle and international sports. I hope our boys are interested and inspired by the chance to view new sports, a different culture and admirable athletic achievements in the weeks ahead.    

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School


The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26


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