From the Head MasterNick Van Breda
I have a nerve-wracking concern that I may have done something dumb. Earlier this week, I commented to a colleague that things appear to be running quite smoothly. The situation with COVID appears to be more and more under control across the State, the resumption of ‘normal’ School life continues to unfold, and there is a general calm observable around the School. Having made that observation audibly, I fear that I may have invited chaos to return … but, so far, so good!
The School is buzzing once again. Yesterday afternoon, as I wandered around the School, I saw our cricketers in the nets, our basketballers on the courts, and our water polo players in the pool. Today we held our Orientation Day for the Year 7 of 2022, which provided an opportunity both for the younger students to taste life in the Middle School, and also for our Year 9 Monitors and Year 11 Peer Support leaders to step up into leadership responsibilities. This weekend, most of our Middle and Senior School boys will take part in training or trials. On Monday and Tuesday our new recruits into the Cadet Unit will develop their fieldcraft and other boys will have workshops in Dance, Animation, Art, and African Drumming.
A particular highlight of next week will be the PYP Exhibitions for the Junior and Preparatory Schools. One of the distinctive features of primary education at Trinity is the International Baccalaureate’s Primary Years Programme. This inquiry-based transdisciplinary programme, which underpins our curriculum, culminates in the Exhibition, which is a celebration of the Year 6 students’ learning. Normally conducted face to face as a public and interactive celebration, this year the boys will present their learning online. I never fail to be amazed at the curiosity, thoughtfulness and creativity that is evident in our boys’ work as presented in the Exhibition. I encourage families to make the time to explore the curated online work when the links are provided.
Many members of the community will have also become aware that Dr Daniel Nour, a Trinity alumnus from the class of 2013 is the NSW Young Australian of the Year. Dr Nour has received this accolade for his work in establishing a medical service for homeless people, Street Side Medics. You can read more about Dr Nour and Trinity here. His is a heartwarming and inspirational story, evincing the kind of character that we hope to cultivate in our boys through a Trinity education.
The importance of vaccination in enabling the resumption of normal life in our community is very clear. As previously described, full vaccination is mandatory for students who are sixteen or older to play inter-school sport. This requirement is aligned with the regulations for wider community sport. At present, the information provided to the School indicates that about 76% of our Middle and Senior School students are fully vaccinated. This is an encouraging number, but it would be good to see it closer to the community norm, which is over 90%. The School continues to encourage boys both to be vaccinated and to provide evidence of that vaccination to the School through this link.
One of the features of this phase of living with COVID is the closure of schools due to confirmed cases. This issue is receiving some media coverage and many in our community will be familiar with this happening in nearby schools. In my thinking, it is only a matter of time until this happens in the Trinity community. The likely pattern is that the School will close for one or two days to allow time for cleaning and contract tracing before resuming, but some staff and students will be designated as close contacts and be required to test and isolate for a period of time. The precautions that we are taking should reduce the number of people required to isolate, as well as reduce the risk of actual transmission. However, families would do well to consider how they might manage this challenge, before the time for doing so actually arrives.
In the meantime, we continue to appreciate how smoothly things are going, without saying so out loud!
Detur gloria soli Deo.
Tim Bowden | Head Master