From the Head of the Preparatory Schooldeveloper
Parent Information Evenings
This week we held our Parent Information evenings over two nights. Whilst we were disappointed not to be able to run these in person, as is our usual custom, it was nonetheless valuable to share and connect with parents via Teams to further develop the partnership between home and school that supports the boys’ growth and learning. As always, I was genuinely encouraged by the large number of parents who logged into these sessions. I had the privilege of being a ‘fly on the wall’ for many of the meetings. I was thrilled to see teachers and parents overcoming the current restrictions to forge common understandings about the year ahead.
I can see from the stats that many parents also took the time to watch my address which was pre-recorded. Whilst I appreciate there are far more entertaining things to watch, I do hope that it provided valuable insights into some of the ‘bigger picture’ initiatives we are working on as we seek to prioritise learning and community. If you haven’t had a chance to watch it yet, I strongly encourage you to do so over the weekend. The address can be found at this link.
In my address I covered a variety of themes including the Llandilo Development and the way the new learning spaces are being used to support Flexible Personalised Learning. I also provided an update about our teaching and learning priorities for 2022, and revisited our ongoing focus on supporting growth in each student.
One of the ideas I introduced during my presentation was the theme of ‘Bounce’. Over the course of the last year I have continually reflected on the importance of resilience, positive thinking and hope, and the way these factors contribute to our wellbeing. It is an understatement to say that 2021 was a challenging year. Having said that, it was also a year that taught us to be creative in the way that we overcame challenges, and highlighted the importance of having fun, laughing with, and staying connected to others. This year we want to encourage the students and the school community to ‘Bounce’. We want to encourage the students to bounce back from the challenges they experience, to appreciate and celebrate the good times, and embrace opportunities to have fun together. Our hope is that all members of our school community will join us in bouncing this year!
Being a Trinitarian
One of the regular conversations we have with the students centres around the concept of being a Trinitarian. Whilst the students are familiar with the Prep School surroundings and community, it is important to remind them from time to time that they are part of something far bigger. The whole School has an enrolment of nearly 2300 students, the School began in 1913 and the Prep School in 1932. These facts highlight the fact that they are part of a large community and those that have come before them have helped to set the standards and expectations for students today.
These standards include manners, behaviour, showing respect for teachers, applying oneself with maximum effort across all areas of school life, wearing the uniform well, playing sport with sportsmanship and teamwork, and the list goes on. We expect that these standards provide guidance for our students as they grow and develop. Ultimately, we believe that this process helps to shape the boys’ character.
I invite you to join us in holding the boys to these standards in the way they interact with others, engage with adults and wear their uniform.
New Parents Morning Tea
I can appreciate the start of the year has probably been more challenging than normal for families new to the school. I am deeply sorry that the current restrictions have prevented us from welcoming our new families more warmly. In an attempt to partly fill this gap, we will be holding an informal gathering next Tuesday morning from 8:30am at Profiterole Patisserie on Liverpool Rd. The Prep Executive and I will be there and look forward to connecting with any new parents who wish to join us. It will be an opportunity to ask questions, share first impressions and find out a bit more about the School.
As indicated in the Head Master’s Bulletin, case numbers of COVID at the Prep School have continued to be far fewer than we anticipated. This is great news! Today, additional Rapid Antigen Home Test kits were sent home to allow students to engage in surveillance testing twice a week for the next two weeks. I strongly encourage all families to complete these tests on Monday and Thursday (or Sunday night and Wednesday night if that is more manageable) to ensure we continue to limit the spread of COVID within the community.
Next week brings the beginning of the vast number of co-curricular activities for 2022. As the year’s activities begin next week, I want to once again pay tribute to our hard-working and creative teachers who are facilitating many of these activities. We trust the boys will benefit from these activities. The expressions of interest for many of the activities have been enormous. The one downside of this is that some boys will have missed out on some activities or won’t be able to do them this term. Where this has been the case, the selection criteria that was listed on the Co-Curricular brochure was applied to ensure student selection is equitable and transparent.
House Swimming Championships
The House Swimming Championships for boys in Years 3-6 will be held on Monday next week. Monday’s event will encompass the heats and finals where appropriate. Each boy will get at least two swims at the carnival. Please ensure that your son has the Trinity Swimming costume and his House swimming cap.
Kiss and Ride number plate recognition trial
As shared via email this week, we are embarking on a full-scale trial of a new Kiss and Ride initiative next week.
We have engaged with SenSen Networks Limited to trial a number plate recognition system that will alert teachers to a parent’s arrival. This system, consisting simply of a camera on the corner of Llandilo Ave and Kingsland Rd, will identify known number plates and will provide an alert to teachers on duty. This will allow the teachers to notify students to the arrival of parents in the Kiss and Ride queue and have them ready for pick up upon the car’s arrival in the pick-up zone. Having run a smaller trial at the end of 2021, we are now looking to run a full-scale trial to evaluate the effectiveness of this solution, from the beginning of next week.
If you would like to participate in the trial, please provide your details via this form. There is no need to do this again if you have already done so.
Updating Personal Information
From time-to-time families have the need to set up custodial arrangements in regard to the care of their child. The School would appreciate a copy of any court orders that are issued in relation to your son. This information is kept secured in a child’s file and any pertinent information is provided in an information bulletin for the child’s classroom teacher and other relevant staff.
We strongly recommend all parents registering their son for OSHClub. It is free to register and makes it easier if, and when, your son needs to use this service. Please note that OSHClub is an externally operated service and as such fees can’t be waived if a student only attends for a few minutes. Please register your son with OSHClub through the following link https://www.oshclub.com.au
Chris Wyatt | Head of the Preparatory School
‘Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.’ Proverbs 3:5-6