From the Head of the Junior SchoolNick Van Breda
Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,
It has been lovely to see the boys in Kindergarten to Year 2 undertaking swimming lessons each day this week as part of a two-week intensive programme. We are so pleased that we have been able to run the Learn to Swim Programme this year and the teachers are already noting an improvement in confidence and ability in the water brought about through regular practice. Australia is an island nation with a vast majority of the population living near the coast. Visits to the beach, backyard pools, rivers and dams are a common childhood experience, making safety and confidence around water important aspects of growing up in this country. It’s possible that some of the boys learning in the pool this week will become Trinity swimming champions in future years (or possibly reach even greater heights). More importantly, all of these boys will have the skills to be safe, and enjoy the social and recreational opportunities associated with water that inevitably lie ahead of them this summer and in years ahead.
We took one further step towards normality this week, conducting an Assembly, live streamed to all boys in Years 3-5 and with Year 6 in attendance. The occasion was the first distribution of Year 6 Medallions of Excellence, an award that only some boys achieve in their final year as a commendation of their all-round achievements and exemplary behaviour over their Junior School years. It was a pleasure to distribute 26 medallions and share the moment on-line with parents of those boys. There will be a further distribution of medallions on Monday in Week 9. It was also a pleasure to note the achievement of many students who have successfully completed music examinations this year and those who experienced success in the Mathematics Olympiads.
Next year’s Kindergarten students had their first ‘official’ visit to the Junior School today as part of their orientation. Whilst orientation events are complex to plan and execute in this climate, our newest and youngest students will benefit greatly from time spent getting to know the places and teachers who will become an important part of their lives next year. They will visit again next Friday. The 18 boys who attended this morning and their families are the nucleus of a year group of boys who will steadily grow in number to approximately 240 by the time they reach high school and then become the Class of 2034!
The young men of Year 6 and their teachers have been consumed this week, finalising their on-line presentations for the Year 6 PYP Exhibition. It is a unique opportunity for each boy to share the culmination of his specific inquiries and exhibit his own growth as a learner. The boys’ presentations will be made available on-line this afternoon so that families will be able to view the students’ learning ahead of Monday evening, when Year 6 families will be able to video-chat with the boys and interrogate their understanding of the issues and actions they are championing. Interactivity, action and feedback are important aspects of learning, so the boys and their teachers thank you in advance for setting aside the time to engage with them and their presentations. We have also made the site accessible to Year 5 and I encourage the students, who will undertake Exhibition next year, to have a look.
I am now in a position to advise of staffing appointments for next year including some new teachers for the Junior School. We will also welcome back Mrs Taylor who has been on maternity leave throughout 2021. We welcome to the staff two classroom teachers: Miss Hannah Regan (from Redeemer Baptist School); and Mr Kieran Janes (from North Kellyville Public School). Both are wonderful educators and we look forward to them bringing energy, experience and expertise to our learning community. Mrs Bowden will continue to work in the Junior School, sharing the Teacher-Librarian role with Ms Gratton who will also return from maternity leave. Mrs Voysey will return as STEAM teacher during Term 2. We will be saying farewell to Mrs Bell at the end of this year, who is looking forward to spending more time with her young family and taking up some travel opportunities next year – we will farewell her in coming weeks but for now note our gratitude for her service to Trinity and the Junior School over five years.
Classroom teachers in 2022 will be:
Kindergarten: Miss Hannah Regan
Year 1: Mrs Jessica Taylor
Year 2: Mrs Shelley Richards
Year 3: Ms Megan Best and Mr Suli Niulala
Year 4: Miss Chloe Martin and Mr Kieran Janes
Year 5: Mrs Jacque Bradfield (nee Kelly), Miss Alanna Tone and Ms Miriam Cross
Year 6: Mr Patrick Hoare, Mrs Deanna Harrison (nee Jabaji) and Mrs Jenny Tredinnick
A number of students will complete testing next week, deferred from Term 3. Year 5 students will complete the Motivation and Engagement Survey, a tool used to identify areas of strength and areas of development relating to academic motivation and engagement. Individualised results will be made available to boys and parents early next year and can provide guidance in framing student goals across the next few years as students assume greater responsibility for their own learning. Years 2, 4 and 6 will complete the ACER Social-Emotional Wellbeing Survey. This tool does not provide individual results but allows us to track the impact of programmes such as our GROWTH programme and adjust lessons to address emerging needs in individual year groups.
There are still many events in the final three weeks of the year and parents are asked to particularly note the details of these events as they are finalised and distributed in coming days:
- Years 3-6 Swimming Championships – 30 November
- Prize Giving (Years 3-6) – 6 December (9.30am): the event will be live-streamed to parents.
- Year 6 Parent & Son Dinner – 6 December: at Doltone House
- K-2 Christmas Service – this service will be pre-recorded and made available on-line in the final week.
- Year 6 Valedictory Service – 7 December (1.30pm TBC): we hope that parents will be able to attend this service.
- Fun Day – 8 December: games and activities at school for Kindergarten – Year 5 and an excursion for Year 6. This is the final day for Junior School students.
- Year 6 Allwell Testing – 9 December
It is with great pleasure that I advise the Junior School community that Mrs Weston has had her baby! Natalie, Andrew and Leo welcomed Kaiden Weston into the world on Sunday morning…and he is gorgeous. All are well and have enjoyed their first days at home settling into routines as a bigger family.
Mark Dunn | Head of Junior School
Your word is a lamp for my feet, a light on my path. Psalm 119:105