From the Head of the Junior Schooldeveloper
Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,
I extend a warm welcome to all parents and boys for the start of the 2022 school year from myself and the staff of the Junior School, and on behalf of the Head Master, Mr Bowden. I especially welcome 72 students and their parents who are new to the Junior School community this year. I hope that all families enjoyed a safe and happy summer and were refreshed, despite the ongoing uncertainty and obstacles associated with the pandemic.
The boys have made a wonderful and settled start to the year. In these first few days, it has been a delight to see and hear the boys’ enthusiasm and excitement for learning, as they meet, welcome and re-connect with one another. You have made a wonderful start too! We greatly appreciate the cooperation of parents in preparing your son/s each day for school, learning our routines and expectations, and working within the restrictions peculiar to the start of this year.
The school year has started with a bang for Mr Hoare, whose wife gave birth to their first son on Wednesday afternoon (lots of 2s in that birth date!). Mum and Dad are exhausted but also besotted. Congratulations to Patrick and Lexie who are thrilled to be parents.
Despite wishing it were not so, the pandemic will have an impact on some of the events we have planned at least for the near future. We will plan optimistically and then adjust practically with adherence to government health guidelines and consideration of risk for each event. Our approach remains to prioritise safety and preserve the ‘normality’ and breadth of the experience for students as much as possible. At this particular stage of uncertainty brought about by Omicron, that comes at the cost of permitting parents on campus for most reasons when students are present. There are some exceptions that we will apply depending on the nature of events. We aim to keep you informed of changes in a timely manner. We continue to train and reinforce boys in safe practices at school such as regular sanitising. Masks are encouraged although this is not a requirement for primary-aged students (except for older boys on transportation).
There are a number of exciting staff changes in 2022…
We are blessed to have a number of additional staff join the Junior School team this year. We welcome:
- Miss Hannah Regan – as Kindergarten teacher from Redeemer Baptist;
- Mr Kieran Janes – as a Year 4 teacher from North Kellyville Public;
- Mr Tony Cha – as STEAM teacher;
- Mr Nick Larkin – as a classroom teacher working across a range of classes; and
- Miss Kelsey Stokes – as our Notre Dame University Scholar, working particularly with Year 2 as she completes her university teacher training.
I am confident the boys will benefit from the skills, passion and energy of these wonderful educators and parents will appreciate the impact they will have on the learning culture in the Junior School.
The first few weeks of any school year are an important opportunity to establish routines that will serve students well throughout the year. I encourage parents and boys to work together in these early weeks to ensure the establishment of good habits at school and home. It is important for boys to be on time to school each day and with the correct equipment for the day’s lessons. The Record Book will be of great assistance in this regard – students use it daily and parents should be ensuring that they sight and sign it each day as well. It is an important avenue of communication between home and school. Parents are also strongly encouraged to use and maintain familiarity with these sources of information:
- The Junior School News is produced weekly and it is important to read it every Friday for details of upcoming events and the latest information about the weekend’s sporting fixtures.
- The new Trinity Website and the Parent Portal are great sources of information about upcoming activities and events. This is where you will find links to enrol for co-curricular activities and social events.
- The Trinity App puts a lot of information at your fingertips, has the latest information about events and can be tailored to provide alerts that are relevant to you.
Notes, occasional e-mails, Seesaw and Canvas class pages will also be ways in which we share with you about events and your son’s learning. No doubt, questions will still arise from time to time. In the first instance, please contact your son’s class teacher who will be happy to help you with your enquiry or direct you to whomever can provide appropriate assistance. Mrs Webb and Mrs Bandaranayake in our Office will also be a wonderful help to boys and parents. For parents who are new to the School, some of our ICT communication applications such as Canvas and Seesaw will become familiar to you in coming weeks.
Our Parent Information Evening will be on Monday 14th February. It is our intention to distribute general information from me and some single-subject teachers prior to the night, as well as:
- Inviting Kindergarten parents to a session with Miss Regan in the Junior School commencing at 6pm;
- Hosting Microsoft Teams sessions for parents of Years 1-2 with the class teacher commencing at 6pm;
- Hosting Microsoft Teams sessions for parents of Years 3-4 with the class teacher commencing at 6.30pm;
- Hosting Microsoft Teams sessions for parents of Years 5-6 with the class teacher commencing at 7pm.
Further details will be distributed next week. We will also be advising of some after-hours opportunities for new Junior School parents to tour the Junior School and see the learning spaces that are becoming important for your son in his new school.
I wish to clarify pick-up and drop off arrangements for all boys. Boys should not be arriving much before 8.00am unless attending a sports training session or music lesson. From 8am, boys are permitted to enter the building, deposit their bag, change shoes if necessary and then proceed to their supervised play area (Number 2 Oval for Years 3-6 and the courtyard outside the art room for Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2). In the afternoon:
- Boys catching a Trinity bus are supervised and then escorted to the bus stops by a teacher on duty.
- Boys walking home or catching public transport are dismissed to make their own way home.
- Parents of K-4 boys picking up their son are asked to do so between 3.00pm-3.15pm. Any K-4 student not collected by 3.30pm will be signed into OSH Club (unless waiting with an older brother).
- Parents of Years 5-6 boys picking up their son are asked to do so between 3.15pm-3.30pm. Any Years 5-6 student not collected by 3.45pm will be signed into OSH Club (unless waiting with an older brother).
- Boys attending co-curricular activities usually muster in the courtyard until the commencement of the club.
It is a great idea to be registered for OSH Club so that you can access their service at short notice if necessary. This can be done online. We encourage all parents to do so…just in case, and registration is a condition of participating in after-school co-curricular activities.
Thank you again for your patience and cooperation in the carpark this week. It is always laboured in the first week, with so many new users and co-curricular activities yet to begin. It will improve but will always be busy in peak times. Junior School parents can help to make the experience smoother by sticking to our designated time ‘windows’ and displaying the named card on your passenger visor. From next week, we will be restricting access to the carpark during Junior School pick-up times so having a name card on display on the visor or dashboard (even if it is home-made) will avoid you being stopped at the entranceway. It is imperative that parents always follow carpark rules to ensure the safety of all who use it. Safety triumphs convenience!
Today you will have received details of the co-curricular programme. Expressions of interest can be made on-line until Wednesday next week. We will advise you later in the week when you can log-on to view your son’s schedule. The process of allocating preferences is not automatic and takes a couple of days, so we will communicate when allocations are complete. In addition to those requiring enrolment, a number of activities (eg. Games Club, Cru Group, Lego) will be promoted to the boys and are free for them to choose to attend at lunchtimes throughout the week.
The primary boys enthusiastically engaged in sport trials yesterday as we commenced preparations for the first round of inter- and intra-school sport on Saturday, 12th February. We will give all boys a fair opportunity to trial. Unfortunately, not all will be successful in being selected in their first-choice sport and will then need to be allocated to a team in another sport. We will move through this process fairly but also decisively in order to give boys the time to trial in other sports if necessary. The Friday afternoon component of the Year 3 Sport programme commences on Friday 18th February and runs for five weeks each term. Dates for the year are in the Record Book.
Each year, a small number of Year 6 students sit the examination for Year 7 Scholarships. Information concerning scholarships is always available on the School’s website. I draw this to the attention of Year 6 parents as the closing date for applications is today. You can use this link to access information concerning scholarships at Trinity. Please speak with the School Registrar if you have any questions including regarding late applications.
The Junior School Auxiliary is committed to organising events that build our community. Parents are encouraged to participate in the Auxiliary through twice-termly planning meetings, supporting special occasions or volunteering across a range of events. Parent representatives in each year group will communicate details of these opportunities and can be helpful contacts if you are unsure about aspects of school life. Please refer to the welcome letter from Michelle Read, and email Amanda MacLean if intending to attend next Thursday’s first meeting.
Finally, I am pleased to announce that we are again able to have students bring treats to share with classmates on their birthdays. This is not compulsory. However, if you choose to send something to school with your son on his special day, please ensure that it is modest and that there are enough portions for all members of his class.
There has been lots of information to start the year and regular ‘pings’ in your In-box from us. No doubt some questions have been raised as well as answered. Please contact us if this is the case. I look forward to meeting you at an event soon and wish all Trinity Junior School students and their families a rewarding and enjoyable 2022.
Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School
“But I will sing of your strength, in the morning I will sing of your love; for you are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble.” Psalm 59:16