From the Head of the Junior School

From the Head of the Junior School

Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,

Drizzle did not dampen the spirits of the Year 1 boys, teachers and parents who journeyed to the Zoo yesterday to support their inquiry into the features, needs and management of living things, as part of their Sharing the Planet unit. The boys learnt lots, had a great time and were wonderful ambassadors on one of their first trips together beyond the School gates. At the same time, Year 2 and Kindergarten students were undertaking a collaborative learning experience in Mathematics around interactions involving money. It is pleasing to see our youngest students already gaining a strong sense of being a Trinitarian and the connection fostered with others that is a feature of belonging to a learning community.

Our learning community includes parents so it was a pleasure to be able to host a small number of mostly Kindergarten parents earlier in the week for an explanation of THRASS and the foundational place of phonics in developing literacy skills. Thank you to Mrs Scott and Mrs Richards for organising this session and to parents in attendance, who will now have a better understanding of how students learn to read and write, and be better placed to support this learning at home.

Today, the boys accepted the challenge of ‘A Day without Speech’ and increased their awareness of the complexities posed by communication disabilities. In every classroom, from Kindergarten to Year 6, lessons were adapted and classes went without a whisper until morning tea! Even ball games in K-2 FAST were played silently! For some boys, this was a first-time experience, whilst others have been developing their empathy and understanding over years of participating in this day at school. By this morning, the total raised for OIC Cambodia stood at $20 031, well exceeding our goal. OIC will use these funds to educate teachers and train speech therapists in a country where there are none. I thank our community for the enormous number of donations, big and small. Please discuss with your son his experience today. Whilst we had fun, we have reminded the boys that the children we are helping do not have the choice to start and stop after a few hours, nor the technology we have to aid their communication. One of the GROWTH messages to boys this term is that being a Trinitarian involves helping others when we become aware of a need that we can meet. The good-natured support and generosity of boys, parents and teachers have been a wonderful illustration of that characteristic. It is a privilege to belong to a community that is outward-looking in supporting those less fortunate in practical ways.

Not to be forgotten from the beginning of this week was All Together Day when we celebrated our unity and diversity, emphasising messages of respect and appreciation of differences that also fit so well with our GROWTH theme of ‘Being a Trinitarian’. Trinity is an extraordinarily diverse community including students from over 70 nations of birth who speak over 50 languages in addition to English. Our students live and learn with other boys and teachers from many backgrounds every day. A highlight was the chance for all boys to hear Mr Slabbert (former STEAM Teacher) share his own migration story and the similarities and differences between Australia and his nation of birth, South Africa. The boys undertook a range of learning experiences in classes and also enjoyed wearing Mufti. I am pleased to report that the privilege of doing so yielded ‘fines’ totalling $507 which will be donated to ‘All Together Now’, an organisation designing electronic and social media tools to educate and promote harmony in rural areas.

We are ready for next week’s Learning Conferences. These are a terrific opportunity to discuss your son’s start to the school year and establish goals for the rest of the year. Teachers will also share your son’s most recent MAP testing results and his growth evident over time. For new parents, this will be a first explanation of MAP testing and a starting point from which to map growth across future terms. The vast majority of conferences will be face-face experiences at school and boys (Years 3-6) should attend in uniform. I remind parents that we still need to conduct events on campus in a COVID-safe manner. Please be punctual without arriving overly early. You may proceed directly to your son’s classroom. Please wait in the seats provided outside the classroom until the teacher invites you into the room. Parents will need to maintain appropriate distancing (1.5m) from other adults. If you have nominated a Teams conference, the teacher will set this up using the email address you provided at registration.

‘Amazing Me’ education sessions provide information and support to students and parents in discussing aspects of personal development. Year 4 and Year 6 parents have been emailed information about these sessions which are scheduled for Monday 4 April. Please note that the Year 4 session starts at 5:30pm followed by the separate Year 6 session which commences at 7:00pm. Year 6 also participate in a follow-up class session on Thursday 7 April. Please use the links provided in the email to register for the relevant parent and boy session.

We will soon become accustomed to a level of disruption with facilities and accessways over the next few years as the School undertakes the Renewal Project. More immediately, we are facing a few weeks without sporting fields as Numbers 1 and 2 ovals are scheduled for maintenance work and Number 3 oval is excavated. This will necessitate bussing boys to nearby facilities such as Cooke Park and Flockhart Park for Thursday practices for the end of this term and the start of Term 2 (much as our tennis players and Prep School teammates do each week). We will keep parents informed of specific venues for each sport each week until we are able to resume practices at school, hopefully very early next term. Next Saturday morning, all boys in Years 4-6 will be involved in Winter Sport Trials.

The absence of fields will also impact some co-curricular activities for the remaining weeks of this term:

  • Monday morning Football – next Monday will be the final session. There will be no clinic in Week 10. This activity will be offered but not commence until Week 3 next term.
  • Wednesday afternoon Cricket Coaching – there will be no session next week or in Week 10.
  • Friday afternoon Rugby – next Friday will be the final session. There will be no clinic in Week 10.

We will distribute the updated schedule of co-curricular activities and open the expressions of interest for Term 2 next week. Please note details carefully as staffing changes and facilities access restrictions have necessitated a few changes from the schedule distributed at the start of the year. You are reminded that registration for activities occurs on a termly basis and where demand for places exceeds capacity, a criteria is applied that includes prioritising students who have missed out in previous terms.

Congratulations to all seven boys who swam or dived in the IPSHA Team at yesterday’s CIS Championships (Nathan Jones, Alexander Chung, Daniel Zhang, Nicholas Ma, Leo Chen, Andrew Zeng and Paul Karlos). In amazing news, all seven have now been selected to represent CIS at the next level of competition. Well done, boys!

We look forward to seeing many families at Sunday’s Family Service in the War Memorial Chapel commencing at 9.30am.

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School

“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.” Colossians 3:12

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