From the Head of the Junior Schooldeveloper
Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,
The headline story of the week was always going to be the return of boys in Years 3-5, meaning that we are finally together again as a Junior School. It has been worth the wait! What a joy to see empty classrooms transformed by the presence of students, learning from one another and their teachers. It was so heartening to again see boys making art with Mrs Nikolov, borrowing books from the Library, practising Mandarin with Mrs Wang, making music with Mr Adams, steaming ahead on designs with Mr Slabbert (pardon the bad pun), planting the Patch with Mrs Bargwanna, playing games with Mr Robinson, and learning from the Bible and praying with Mrs Leedow and Mr Bishop. It has been great fun to see the Junior School full and almost in full-swing once again. The only complaints from boys have concerned having to get up early to travel to school (which also takes them further from the family fridge!). Teachers have occasionally missed the ‘mute-all’ button but have otherwise been delighted to be off Microsoft Teams and back in front of classes. The boys have done remarkably well with our adjusted routines that have meant new times, places and routes as they go about their learning – a spirit of teamwork and cooperation has been evident in everything they have done.
Thank you, again, to all parents for your cooperation with our adjusted times, especially in the carpark. Your patience is appreciated and helps to us to keep all the children safe. The mornings have worked particularly well. One learning from this week is that the first period of each 20-minute afternoon pick-up window is busy before then considerably quietening down. If you come in the last 10 minutes of your allocated window, you will experience little queuing. Please do not arrive early as there is little to be gained by queuing before the boys arrive and you potentially contribute to a traffic issue if waiting cars overflow onto Victoria Road.
Whilst we are very keen to return to every aspect of school life, the current restrictions mean that some regular features of school can not yet re-commence. One of these is the bringing of treats to celebrate birthdays. Please do not send in items for your son to distribute to other students. We will let you know, hopefully soon, when this is permissible again.
As we conclude our first week back together, Mrs Weston concludes her final week with us (at least for a while), with the arrival of her second child now imminent. We wish Natalie, Andrew and Leo all the best in coming days and look forward to having exciting news of a safe arrival to report very soon. Kindergarten will be in the very capable hands of Mrs Bowden for the remainder of the year.
In wonderful news from the break, the Junior School had students achieve remarkable success in the ‘Hello Mandarin’ Recitation Contest, despite the additional challenge of competing remotely this year. William Saunders was named Year 5/6 Champion, and Mimo Kim and James Saunders were awarded first prize in the Year 1/2 and Year 3/4 groups respectively. Their achievements are made more extraordinary given that they were competing against 500 students from many countries, most of whom are native Mandarin speakers. The boys’ achievements build on a fine record of results in this rigorous international competition each year! Congratulations boys and Mrs Wang!
The opportunity to try Netfit was enjoyed by many boys last Saturday and has Trinity sitting atop the school leaderboard after Week 1. In the absence of a regular Saturday Sport programme, IPSHA is offering this online programme on Saturday mornings to promote fitness, to prepare the students for the resumption of community and school sport, and to promote some healthy inter-school competition. Netfit runs for five weeks and continues with Session 2 tomorrow morning on Zoom at 10am. The session runs for 50 minutes, is free to join and you do not need to have done last week to participate tomorrow. Other family members are also able to join in so you can work-out together. The Netfit flyer is available here including information about how you can keep Trinity atop the leaderboard! Why not try it? Simply join the Zoom meeting (ID – 842 1918 8614; Passcode – 205861).
The generosity of our community has not been diminished by the challenges of recent months. I am delighted to report that $12 220 has been raised in the Move-a-thon to pass onto the JohnMacLean Foundation and the Junior School Auxiliary. The page for sponsorship donations will remain open over the weekend and is linked here. We will announce final prizes to the boys in assemblies next week. Further to that, $1274 was raised today through the sale of bandannas. The boys enjoyed wearing their new bandannas and it was a colourful way to raise funds for Canteen and their support of those battling cancer.
Year 6 boys are reminded that certificates are currently being received and tallied for Medallions of Excellence. We have 27 boys who have successfully applied and will receive their medallion as soon as we are permitted to assemble to distribute them with the acclamation deserving of such an achievement. No doubt there will be many other boys who reach the required number of certificates in coming weeks.
The Auxiliary Annual General Meeting will be held next Thursday. Whilst many of our Office Holders are prepared to serve again, particularly given the disrupted year, any Junior School parent is welcome to attend and/or be nominated for an Executive role. The meeting will be held at Café Envy commencing at 9am. If you intend on attending, please communicate this to Mrs Bandaranayake in the Office or Michelle Read before Wednesday, to ensure that we remain within the café’s COVID-capacity.
Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School
Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.