From the Head of the Junior School

From the Head of the Junior School

Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,

Each boy has grown and developed throughout the year in so many facets of life. This year’s growth, particularly the development across Semester 2, is captured in your son’s Semester 2 Report which was made accessible on-line today. If there are any points of clarification, feel free to address these with the relevant teacher in the coming days. I encourage each student to spend time with their parent/s reflecting upon the messages that teachers have included in their report. A particular reflection and discussion point can be the Approaches to Learning ‘web’ and the student reflection comment on the first page. In particular, for students in Years 3-6, the correlation or discrepancy between teachers’ assessment and self-assessment in the five over-arching Approaches to Learning may generate discussion and be inspiration to set some goals for next year.

There are some significant events scheduled for the final days:

In addition, we will make available to all Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 families the recording of our Christmas Service on Monday. The boys perform beautifully and look fantastic in the Christmas capes that they have made. We hope this service is an encouragement to you.

Year 5 boys are readying themselves for assuming the mantle of Junior School leadership and those who have nominated to be considered for School and House Officer roles will be eagerly awaiting Monday’s announcement of 2022 leaders at Prize-Giving. I spoke specifically to Year 5 this afternoon and all boys in Years 2-6 earlier this week at the announcement of prize winners about the ways we can choose to respond when receiving either welcome or unwelcome news. The reality is that all of us will have many experiences of both types of news ahead of us, no matter our age. Rudyard Kipling noted that one marker of making the transition from boy to man is “If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster and treat those two imposters just the same”. The announcements that accompany end-of-year events can become those ‘imposters’ for a young man, eliciting significant joy or disappointment depending on whether or not it is your name or another’s that is announced for the prize or position you had set your heart upon. Parents and teachers can do much to help boys understand that these experiences and associated emotions are a normal part of life and we can learn from both, and how to deal with both. Whilst enjoying a moment of success, we can learn to be considerate and thoughtful of others for whom it is a difficult moment. And we can learn also that in moments of personal disappointment, we can still be generous and sincere in congratulating others and acknowledging their achievement. Most of all…life goes on and usually assumes a rhythm which will soon distract us from the moment passed.

Tuesday’s House Swimming Carnival was enjoyed by the boys. Wonderful House spirit and encouragement of mates across the range of swimming abilities was evident despite segregating into cohort-carnivals. Congratulations to the Age Champions and Runners-Up who swam many races with significantly shorter breaks between strokes:

Under 8 Champion – Mason Shi; Runner-Up – Zayn Barakat

Under 9 Champion – Daniel Zhang; Runner-Up – Nicholas Ma

Under 10 Champion – Adam Zhao; Runner-Up – Darren Cai

Under 11 Champion – Nathan Jones; Runner-Up – Max Munday

Opens Champion – Jayden Bechara; Runner-Up – Andrew Zhang

Particular congratulations go to the boys and leaders of Young House who defended their title from 2020. I wonder how decisive that victory may be in what is shaping as the tightest race in many years for the overall House Cup. That wondering will be answered on Monday morning when one House is crowned as Overall Champions for 2021.

Parents in Year 4 are reminded of the link to the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) Overview with details about their son moving from using a school-provided device to purchasing their own Chromebook for Years 5-6. I remind you that your son will need his own device from the commencement of school in 2022. If you did not receive notification about this, please follow this link and contact Mr Karagiannis if you have any clarifying questions.

Safety protocols still prohibit us from distributing to students any food items brought by boys to school. This restriction also applies to the sharing of Christmas treats, candy canes etc. brought from home. This year, please do not send your son with food items to give others as treats or presents – we will need to send these home again, which is always disappointing for the boy.

I wish to flag to parents that the start and finish times currently in operation will become the regular hours for the Junior School in 2022. The only change to note from the regular 2021 times is the earlier finish of Years 3 and 4 at 3pm. In 2022, Junior School times will be:

  • Kindergarten and Year 1 from 8:45am – 3:00pm
  • Years 2 – 4 from 8:30am – 3:00pm
  • Years 5 – 6 from 8:30am – 3:15pm       

It is the season! Congratulations to Miss Jabaji who gets married tomorrow. She will be at school next week for Year 6’s various celebrations and from 2022 will be known to parents and boys as Mrs Harrison.

As this is the last newsletter for 2021, I would like to take this opportunity to again thank students, staff and families for their hard work, co-operation and support throughout this most extra-ordinary year. Despite the remoteness of Terms 3 and 4, we have worked together to sustain each other and help each boy grow. I am especially grateful to parents for your trust in us, and for the regular expressions of support for staff across the year that have conveyed recognition, appreciation and lifted spirits often at just the right time.

In 2022, we anticipate starting with 297 boys in the Junior School across 13 classes and we look forward to welcoming our current students into their new classes along with 73 new students. Classes commence for all students in Kindergarten to Year 6 on Monday 31st January, 2022.

I wish all families a wonderful Christmas and all the blessings of the season. We look forward to swapping holiday stories (fingers-crossed!) on the first day back in 2022. God bless!

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School

“Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Saviour has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.” Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favour rests.” Luke 2:10-14

above: photos from the Orientation Day

Share this post