From the Head of the Preparatory Schooldeveloper
Pancake Day / Week
Earlier this week we engaged in the inaugural Pancake House Challenge to celebrate Shrove Tuesday, known by others as Pancake Day. This is part of our commitment to prioritising moments of fun throughout each week and promoting an increased level of friendly House competition.
Each of the House Masters and their House Captains and Vice Captains gathered in the Year 6 Lab to engage in a good old fashioned ‘cook-off’ with Macca, our charismatic Olympic celebrity, reappearing as guest judge alongside his ‘sister’ Professor Penny. It is fair to say the event was a fantastic success with a great level of student engagement and some great fun had.
As with all cooking competitions, judges look for a balance of creativity, cooking technique, taste, timeliness, and presentation. It is fair to say that the standard across the Houses varied greatly. Archer, the eventual winners, produced an inspired delicacy that combined pancakes, bacon, a perfectly cooked sunny side up egg and a healthy dose of maple syrup. Macca and Penny raved about the taste! At the other end of the competition, School House, and Mr Gannon, produced what was described as a flat blue sponge that resembled a pancake.
My thanks go out to all of the House Masters and Captains and Vice Captains for their involvement. The final placings for this aspect of the competition are as follows:
It is not too late for families to get involved by cooking pancakes over the weekend and uploading a picture to your son’s House Seesaw page. Each entry scores points towards their House and bonus points will be awarded for the fanciest pancakes.
It appears there is a growing trend of students wearing smart watches at school. I have previously written in Prep News to request that these devices not be brought to school to avoid distraction and eliminate any issues associated with a student using a cellular device throughout the school day. Whilst I can appreciate there are multi-faceted benefits to such watches, it is not fair or reasonable to expect teachers to be investigating whether they have cellular capacity and whether they are being used appropriately by students throughout the day. As such, we are going to adopt a common approach across the school that requires students to hand these devices to their teacher at the beginning of the day for secure storage and returned at the end of the day. This is consistent with our policy with mobile phones. If your son needs to wear a watch to support time management, please ensure it is not a smart watch. I have communicated this to the students this week.
The last week has once again been very wet! As requested in Prep News last week, we are asking that students come to school with a raincoat and not an umbrella. Umbrellas add a significant risk element as the students attempt to navigate their way amongst their peers. I have communicated this message to students.
New Parent Information Session and School Tour – Wednesday 9th March
We appreciate the last couple of years have been challenging for new parents to our school as we have been unable to welcome them onto the School grounds as part of the drop off and pick up experience. This has no doubt made it difficult to get a true sense of the boys’ learning experience. The good news is there is light at the end of the tunnel!
Whilst we are not quite ready to throw open the gates on a daily basis, we are keen to create an opportunity for new parents to our school to come for a visit and to spend some time hearing about our approach to learning and teaching at the Prep School. Next Wednesday 9th March, beginning at 4:45pm, we will be running a school tour and PYP information session for new parents. The afternoon will consist of a tour of the relevant areas of the School and an opportunity to hear from the Prep Executive about the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme (PYP) which frames the students’ learning experience.
We are very comfortable for you to decide on the definition of ‘new’. In essence, if you feel that you would benefit from this experience, please join us! We anticipate being joined by many Pre-K and Kindy families as well as some of the newer families from across the School.
If you are planning to join us for the tour and information session, please RSVP via this link. Please note that students are not to attend this event.
The next Auxiliary Meeting will also take place next Wednesday 9th March to give all parents a chance to visit the School and for our new parents to connect on another level with the School community. The Auxiliary meeting will take place in the new Year 6 Learning Centre from 6:00-7:00pm, immediately following the New Parent Tour and Information Session.
Auxiliary Meetings are great opportunities to increase your knowledge of the wider activities of the School community, as well as providing an opportunity to get involved (the latter is optional). Encouragingly, the last meeting had a number of new parents in attendance.
COVID Coffee Catch ups
Encouraged by the attendance at a recent new parents’ Coffee and Chat Catch Up, we are planning to run these a few times each term to provide parents with an informal opportunity to ask questions, share insights or just to chat with members of the Prep Executive. There is deliberately no agenda for these catch ups, but they have proven to be very valuable in recent years for staff and parents alike. The next Coffee and Chat Catch Up will be held on Tuesday 15th March at Profiterole Patisserie, just up on Liverpool Road.
If there are particular focus areas that parents are interested in us addressing, please let us know and we would be happy to speak to them.
Archer and Henderson House Chapel Service
The first of the House Family Chapel Services will be held on Sunday, 20th March for boys in Years 3-6 in Archer and Henderson Houses. The Service will begin at 10:00am in the War Memorial Chapel at Summer Hill. All boys in Archer and Henderson are expected to attend this service. All families in these Houses are encouraged to attend and to join in a time of community worship. Boys are to be dressed in their school uniform for this service.
Father and Son Breakfast
Next Friday was due to be the Father and Son breakfast. We are looking forward to this event taking place, however, we have decided to postpone this until later in the term as we begin to welcome parents back onsite. The new date of this event will be communicated in the coming weeks.
IPSHA Swimming Championships
On Tuesday, a strong squad of Prep swimmers competed in the IPSHA Swimming Championships at Sydney Olympics Park Aquatic Centre. There were a number of strong results including our Junior Relay team finishing 2nd. The following students have qualified to represent IPSHA at the CIS Swimming Championships; Athan Ferizis, Max Ge, Daniel Jin, Aris Ferizis, Timmy Zhao, Harris Yang, and Owen Hoang. Congratulations to all of the students that competed and especially to those who qualified for CIS.
The Preparatory School is in a very healthy situation with increasing interest for Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten enrolments in the years ahead. Whilst siblings and Old Boys are given priority, it is imperative that parents submit an enrolment application early so that these boys are factored into our numbers and to avoid disappointment. We are beginning to conduct Open Mornings again for prospective parents. Please encourage friends to book online if they are interested in exploring enrolment at the Prep School in the future.
Chris Wyatt | Head of the Preparatory School
“Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.” 1 John 3:18