From the Head of the Preparatory School

From the Head of the Preparatory School

Prep Olympics

Yesterday was the day that our community needed! A day of fun, healthy House spirit and competition and a break from the normal day to day remote learning experience. Throughout the day I found myself forgetting about the absence of students because of the high levels of student engagement and the feeling of community being so palpable.

There were many highlights…

  • The student submissions for each of the eight events that demonstrated creativity, determination, House spirit and positivity.
  • The teachers and support staff throwing themselves into the experience – in front of the camera, behind the scenes and via Seesaw.
  • The involvement of the Year 6 School Leaders, encouraging their fellow students throughout the day.
  • But most of all, the smiles on everyone’s faces! I found it difficult to get a smile off my face all day!

To quote one of our Year 6 students, “Today has been great! All the activities were fun and enjoyable. This day couldn’t be better!”

My deepest appreciation goes to the teachers and support staff involved throughout the day to make this possible!

See below or click here to watch a highlights video of the Prep Olympics.

The final medal tally from the day can be found below:

 GoldSilverBronzeTotal medals

My congratulations to all of the boys who were involved in the Octathlon!

Science Week

This week has also been full of opportunities for the students to broaden their interest in the world of Science. It has been great to hear of the boys engaging in the cooking challenges and taking part in the range of online activities.

Lip Sync battle

Next week we are turning our attention to a more creative endeavour to make us smile and to break up the week. The classes will be engaged in a Lip Sync battle! To whet your appetites the staff have collaborated to perform Happy by Pharrell Williams. We hope you enjoy it!

Three-way conferences

Earlier this week you will have received information about the upcoming Three-way conferences scheduled for next Friday, 27th August. Please make sure to book a time to meet with the teacher. Due to the conferences occurring across the day, there will be no class-based learning experiences taking place. Instead, the students are encouraged to engage in the Specialist learning experiences and / or Time For More activities. It may also be an opportunity for boys to catch up on unfinished work or to catch their breath. 

Week 7 update

Yesterday I wrote to parents to share the latest updates about remote learning as we head into Week 7. I hope that parents take the time to watch the video that was contained in that email. In case you haven’t had the chance, here is the link again.

Updated Remote Learning protocols – Wellbeing Wednesday

As I provide this latest update about remote learning, I want to begin by saying that I am extremely proud of the Prep students. Their engagement in remote learning has been amazing. They have shown high levels of engagement, resilience and determination in their learning. The same can also be said about parents and our teachers! Whilst there have been many challenges associated with remote learning, I am very grateful for the incredibly supportive and committed learning community that we have at the Prep School.

It has been very helpful and affirming to receive ongoing feedback from parents about the remote learning experience. I acknowledge that it is simply not possible to completely satisfy everyone; some families would like a little more, some a little less, some would prefer the emphasis to be in a different area of the curriculum and the list goes on. This is completely understandable, but I want to assure you that we are making decisions based on what we believe is best for the learning of our boys, including the need for balance.

At last week’s Auxiliary meeting a range of suggestions were shared and one particularly resonated with some of my observations. The reflection highlighted how challenging it is for students, parents and teachers to maintain a consistent level of engagement throughout the week without the regular activities that bring colour and contrast to our daily lives. I believe this is becoming more and more challenging as the weeks roll by. Essentially, the reflection identified the growing challenge of maintaining personal wellbeing while engaging in remote learning. It is certainly true that learning is most effective when students are experiencing high levels of positive wellbeing.

We have considered a number of possible solutions to this challenge. As a school we have a strong belief that achieving and maintaining wellbeing occurs when there is a balance between mind, body and spirit. So, I am pleased to say that we will be introducing Wellbeing Wednesday from next week. The basic premise of this day will be ensuring there is a balance of learning experiences that specifically engage the mind, body and spirit as well as providing a little extra space and time for students (and parents) to catch their breath.

From next week, Wednesdays will include the following learning engagements:

  • Mind
    • Interactive session targeting small groups or individuals from 8:45-9:45am 
    • English and Maths learning experiences will be provided for students to work on
  • Mind / Body / Spirit
    • Morning Check-In 8:30-8:45am (Pre-K 9:00-9:15am)
    • Afternoon Check-In at 12:15pm (12:30pm for Years 5 and 6)
    • An offline wellbeing experience will be provided for students to work on as they are able. There will be no expectation of submitting work. Instead this will be followed up at the Afternoon Check-In on Thursday. 
  • Spirit
    • Chapel will be uploaded for students to engage with as they are able. 
  • Body
    • PE learning experiences will be uploaded for all students’ Pre-K to Year 6 to engage with as they are able. 

Parents are encouraged to use their discretion in the completion of non-essential learning experiences. Please note, this adjusted schedule for Wednesdays represents a reduction in the ‘compulsory’ learning experiences with the UOI task being removed and replaced with a non-critical offline wellbeing learning engagement.

Below is an updated remote learning Specialist timetable.

MondayTuesdayWednesdayThursday Friday 
Year 6MandarinChristian StudiesPE / FASTMusicSTEAM  Art
Year 5ArtMandarinPE / FASTMusicSTEAM Christian Studies
Year 4Christian StudiesArtPE / FASTMusicSTEAM Mandarin
Year 3STEAMChristian StudiesPE / FASTArtMandarin Music
Year 2MandarinSTEAMPE / FASTArtMusic Christian Studies
Year 1MusicMandarinPE / FASTChristian StudiesArt STEAM
KindergartenArtMusicPE / FASTSTEAMChristian Studies Mandarin
PKChristian StudiesArtPE / FASTMandarinMusic STEAM
  P-6Chapel – Infants and Primary

“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour.”

Psalm 8:3-5

Chris Wyatt | Head of the Preparatory School

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