From the Head of the Junior School

From the Head of the Junior School

Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,

Throughout the first few weeks the boys have heard the message that they do not have to be the best but should always seek to do their best. I am delighted to report that it is a mantra evident in the boys’ approach to tasks so far this year; in the classroom, at sport and activities, in familiar and new endeavours. We strive to acknowledge their application, positive approach and achievements in lots of ways: through words of praise; fist-pumps; pats on the back; smiles; thumbs-up; as well as certificates and ribbons. In the Junior School we do celebrate excellence and acknowledge outstanding performances, including victory. However, we want boys to learn that individual and collective success takes many forms and that finishing first, jumping highest or scoring the most are only a few of the measures of success. The self-satisfaction of knowing you have given your all in every endeavour is the real prize.

I want to thank parents for their support and partnership with us across the first few weeks. It has been a very smooth start for students due in part to the wonderful efforts of our extraordinary teaching and support staff but also because of the important supporting role parents have played in preparing boys for each day, delivering your son punctually, equipping him correctly and fostering a positive and cooperative attitude. The teachers were very appreciative of the opportunity to communicate with so many of you during Monday’s parent information sessions. It has been our habit in the past to produce a Junior School Parent Handbook for distribution. This year, this publication will be available to you online using this link. Please bookmark it for future reference.

This week started with the dedication of Year 6 and the commissioning of School and House Officers as they pledged to be servant leaders this year. Leadership is an important attribute for all young men to experience and nurture, which is why all Year 6 boys are given a position of responsibility as well as many informal opportunities to grow in this way. In coming weeks, Year 6 boys will begin to explore and plan authentic opportunities in their area of responsibility under the guidance of a ‘mentor’ teacher. As a group, Year 6 is already embracing many responsibilities by helping and setting an example for younger students. The impact of kindness and gentleness from an older boy should never be underestimated as an influence on our younger students looking for role models and starting to form ideas about masculine identity.  

Our co-curricular programme is now in full swing with many more sporting and club activities commencing this week. It is a big help if you can remind your son each morning if he has a group in the afternoon…a few boys spent some time in the carpark this week before they realised they were meant to be at a club! Year 3 Sport commenced this afternoon, along with a Swimming Invitational and ISDA Debating. The second round of Year 4-6 sporting games is tomorrow. At the beginning of activities and the sporting season, there is sometimes angst around selection and unfamiliar procedures. I emphasise that the first rounds of sport are viewed as ‘trials’ and some movement across teams is to be expected, although we anticipate changes will be minimal.

The Record Book notes that Year 5 boys and parents were to have a Digital Citizenship session next Tuesday evening. With restrictions in place last year, we instead asked Year 5 boys to attain their eSmart Digital Licence. This proved to be a comprehensive learning experience that prepares and equips boys to making responsible choices with devices and in the digital realm. Hence, Year 5 boys will again undertake this course, replacing the evening session. Boys will commence this course of lessons in class next week and then complete modules each week on-line as part of their Home Learning tasks. Once the boys complete all modules, they are awarded their Digital Licence. However, we still encourage parents to take an interest in the modules with your son and quiz him about class discussions that support his e-learning, as many of the choices (and potentially mistakes) children make when using technology occur when at home or in transit, away from network securities and the supervision applied at school. If parents have any questions about how to support your son to grow as a safe and responsible e-citizen, please contact Mr Karagiannis who will be happy to have a discussion with you.

As part of our approach to growing all boys as responsible users of technology, each year teachers and Mr Karagiannis remind boys in Kindergarten to Year 6 of our expectations of them when using the digital resources provided at school. These are outlined in the 2022 ICT Agreement, which boys will bring home (and will be emailed to parents) early next week.  Please familiarise yourself with this agreement, discuss it with your son, sign it and return it before Tuesday 1st March.  

Thank you to families who have recently heeded the request to register with OSHClub. In checking the progress of registrations with OSHClub, it is apparent that many families are submitting an application but not accepting the automated email from OSHClub triggered by the application. Unfortunately, your son will not be imported into the registry until you follow the steps of acceptance. If you have overlooked this step, please complete it. OSHClub have indicated that they will try to follow-up those who have applied but not fully completed registration.

Individual and class photos will be taken next Wednesday morning. Please ensure that your son arrives on time with neat hair, clean uniform (and shined shoes!).

We wish our new ISDA Debating team all the best for their first debate this evening against Loreto Kirribilli.

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School


For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39


Share this post