From the Head of the Preparatory Schooldeveloper
Last week the NSW Premier spoke about the proposed plans for the return of students to school in mid Term 4. Based on feedback received over the last week, it is clear that this announcement has been met with very mixed responses across all stakeholders given the two very powerful agendas of having students back at school, and the importance of maintaining health and safety of all. I am not in a position to provide any further response about what this will and won’t look like as we are still so far away from the proposed return date, and there may be further changes before then. Once plans are more concrete these will be shared with the parent community. Rest assured, the School remains committed to ensuring we prioritise the students’ learning, health and wellbeing.
Yesterday I wrote to parents with a number of updates about the upcoming week. I also included a video message which can be found below.
5 Minute Insights
From all reports, last week’s Three-Way Conferences were extremely valuable for all stakeholders to touch base about the boys’ learning. At Monday’s Staff Meeting we debriefed together and a number of themes emerged that we feel could be valuable to provide comment on over the coming weeks to ensure parents and teachers are on the same page. I am pleased to provide you with the first episode of 5 Minute Insights. These videos will be included in Prep News each week during the period of remote learning and will aim to provide support and information to parents.
Please click on the image below to access 5 Minute Insights – Episode 1
It has been great to see the boys engage so wholeheartedly with the first week of the Prep Walkathon. It is currently a close contest with Hilliard House narrowly leading the race across Australia. At last glance, it appeared the Houses were getting close to the western boarder of NSW. The progress of all of the Houses (and the Prep staff) can be tracked at this link.
I also want to remind parents of the opportunity to give to those in the Inner West who are sleeping rough at the moment. We have chosen to focus this fundraising effort on supporting The Exodus Foundation who run the Loaves and Fishes Free Restaurant in Ashfield. Donations can be made at this link and parents are encouraged to include ‘Trinity Prep’ in the notes section of the donation page so that we can celebrate our collective giving.
An additional aspect of the Walkathon has been the associated STEAM challenges that have encouraged the boys to complete challenges associated with places and landmarks they have passed on their virtual Walkathon journey. Here are some snapshots to enjoy the trip!
Father Son Camp
I am looking forward to seeing some photos of the boys camping out (or inside if that is the case) after this weekend. I have many vivid memories of camping in and around my house as a child and I hope this week might be an opportunity to create a similar memory with Dad to celebrate Father’s Day (or just with someone else in the household). Parents and boys are encouraged to share photos of the camp out via this link.
R U OK Day
Next week we will be embracing R U OK Day on our Wellbeing Wednesday. This day focuses on the importance of checking in on one another’s mental health and wellbeing. The key to asking the question is listening to the answer and being prepared to help out when needed. Next Wednesday we will be asking the boys to reflect on, and share, what they do to make them ok. It is important to acknowledge that we are not always at our best and sometimes we don’t feel ok. The key is being able to bounce back and to know what we can do to help us to begin feeling ok again.
Boys are encouraged to wear yellow on the day to help focus them on the concept of wellbeing and to align with RUOK Day.
The other exciting initiative that is coming up on Thursday in Week 10 is our Athletics Carnival. Spring boarding off the success of the recently held Prep Olympics, we thought it would only be appropriate to hold a virtual Athletics Carnival. More details will be shared next week but Thursday 16th September will be dedicated to House competition across a range of events.
One of the most endearing relationships that exist across the Prep School are those that are enjoyed by the Buddies. Each year, Year 5 assumes a big brother role with our Pre-K boys, and Year 6 does likewise with our Kindy boys. Given the challenges of this year, we haven’t been able to initiate these connections, however, next week is the week. The older boys have prepared some different things to share with the younger boys at an afternoon check-in. It is always hard to judge which boys benefit most from these relationships and I suspect they will be cherished more than ever given the current period of remote learning.
Strathfield Auxiliary Meeting Next Wednesday
Next Wednesday the Strathfield Auxiliary will hold its September Meeting. The meeting will be held via Microsoft Teams and will begin at 8:30am. I look forward to meeting with anyone who is in attendance. The meeting can be joined by clicking on this link.
Kindergarten Taking Action
I continue to be amazed at the quality of the learning that is taking place across the different classes. This week I came across our Kindy boys choosing to take action in response to their most recent Unit of Inquiry. It is great to see that the learning that is taking place has engaged the head, heart and hand of our boys!
In the Unit of Inquiry ‘Sharing the Planet’ the boys have been learning about the central idea that ‘Cycles follow patterns’. We have been looking at three key ideas in our unit:
- Living things have needs
- Cycles are observable in the world around us
- The impact of cycles on living things
To challenge their thinking, they were asked to think about rubbish. Looking at how rubbish can impact and break some of the cycles we have explored. This allowed for rich exploration of the Three R’s: reduce, reuse and recycle. Our students are becoming experts in taking care of the environment by recycling rubbish.
We looked through the lens of causation. We know that our actions have consequences.
We also took action by reusing rubbish to create a toy that we could play with.
In Kindergarten, we take action when we feel strongly about something. If we all take action (even if it is something small), then together, Kindergarten can make a big difference.
‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!’Philippians 4:4
Chris Wyatt | Head of the Preparatory School