From the Head of the Junior School

From the Head of the Junior School

Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,

Among many highlights of this term, it has been a particular delight to have parents back on campus for many events. The boys so enjoy whenever Mum and Dad are here! Today we were pleased to host many parents for the Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 Easter Hat Parade and Service. Once again this year, the boys made their hats themselves at school (sorry to the ‘craft-y’ and competitive Mums and Dads) so they were particularly proud to show them off to family who could attend. Small performances like this morning are very special for young boys and lay the developmental foundation for more involved performances that will be part of their education in years ahead. Being in the big Chapel also communicates a message to the boys about the significance of Easter in our community. Thank you to Mrs Richards, Mrs Leedow and the K-2 staff for organising this morning’s events.

Schools are busy places and at the end of any term, regardless of its length, it is common to look back and be amazed at how much has been achieved, concerned at how much we still have to achieve, and relieved that we now have a chance to draw breath before embarking on a similarly hectic journey next term. The boys have been a delight from Day 1 despite the challenges of restrictions, isolation periods and seemingly never-ending rain! The staff have been incredibly hardworking and dedicated in their care for boys. Parents have been supportive, patient and understanding of circumstances in partnering with us to help boys learn. Well done and thank you to all!

I particularly commend our Year 6 students on the outstanding way they have started their leadership year in the Junior School. Across the term, I have observed and have had noted to me by a number of staff, how settled, diligent and responsible individual students and the Year 6 cohort have been in setting a cooperative and productive example for the school. I have long maintained that the approach of our eldest boys goes a long way towards setting the tone for all students. On the basis of the first term, Year 6 is helping to set us all up for an extraordinarily successful year. This was again evident in the manner in which they conducted themselves in public on Monday’s Mandarin and Art excursion. The boys were wonderful ambassadors for their school.

Similarly, the younger boys in Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 were a joyous mix of excitement, manners, wonder and appreciation as they bussed to the Riverside Theatre on Monday for a performance of ‘Guess How Much I Love You?’ and a picnic lunch. For many, this was their first excursion…judging by the excitement, for some it may have been their first bus ride!

Elsewhere in this newsletter you will be able to read of the exploits and success of our representative swimmers at the PSSA Championships earlier this week and the endeavours of our green-thumbed students and Mrs Bargwanna in preparing a collection of freshly-grown produce for judging at this year’s Royal Easter Show. Just two more ways that Junior School students are participating in the community and excelling beyond the School gates.

I remind you of some important events early in Term 2. Bookings are already well advanced so don’t leave it until later and risk forgetting over the holiday break. Book now!

  • On Friday 29 April (Week 1) we will hold our postponed Auxiliary Welcome event, Movie Under the Stars. The Auxiliary are organising a showing of Aladdin on the big screen in the Centenary Centre precinct with options to purchase or bring your own food and drink. The evening will start at 5.30pm with the movie scheduled for a 7pm start.
  • On Wednesday 4 May (Week 2) we will hold a Mother’s Day Breakfast for boys in Years 3-6 and their mothers (and K-2 brothers) at school from 7.00am-8.20am.

No booking is necessary but we ask Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 mothers to set aside the morning of Friday 6 May for our K-2 Mother’s Day morning when the boys will be hosting their mothers (and grandmothers) in the classroom and for a picnic breakfast.

Interest in co-curricular activities has again been considerable and we have spent the last few days processing next term’s allocation for over 220 boys. Most preferences have been accommodated and boys have usually been allocated some of their higher selections. Please access your son’s activities via the Parent Portal and contact the activity organiser to clarify particular details if necessary. If changes need to be made, please contact the Junior School Office at the start of term.

Parents who thoroughly read all sections of the newsletter will be aware that the Academic Dean, Mrs Deborah Williams, has written in recent weeks of boys in Years 3, 5, 7, and 9 participating next term in the annual NAPLAN tests in reading, writing, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. These tests will be held in Week 3. All boys in Years 3 and 5 have already had the opportunity to engage with a practice NAPLAN test, to become familiar with the format, language, response types, technology used and time constraints. The School does not overly prepare boys for NAPLAN as the provision of broad and comprehensive teaching and learning programmes is the best preparation the School can provide for students. Parents do well not to accentuate any possible anxiety in students by placing undeserved importance on these particular tests.

Our GROWTH focus this term has been ‘Being a Trinitarian’. Some of the lessons to boys from class discussions and community events have been the importance of:

  • Respect for self, others and the School, through thought, word and deed;
  • Jesus’ command to place the needs of others before self;
  • Attributes of the Learner Profile – growing to be learners who are inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective;
  • Growing in mind, body and spirit.

These characteristics of being a Trinitarian will remain important features of the boys’ education even though our GROWTH focus will shift next term. Of course, these characteristics are not exclusively the domain of Trinity boys, but we want our boys to understand that they are always expectations of Trinity students. Our message to the boys this year from the first day has also been that they do not have to ‘be the best’ but must always ‘do their best’. I am heartened to see that attitude being applied so widely by all throughout this term.

As we conclude this term, we bid farewell to Mr Evan Karagiannis, better and fondly known as ‘Mr K’, who leaves Trinity after almost twenty years to take up a new role as Digital Projects Manager at SCEGGS Redlands. Mr K has literally grown up at Trinity, one of our own students who transitioned into employment at school, developing the role of e-Learning Integrator as he also studied. His creativity, helpfulness and extraordinary e-expertise have meant that every Junior School student, parent and teacher have relied upon him for assistance on one or maybe one-hundred occasions! He will be very missed but we are also delighted to now share a wonderful Trinitarian with the rest of the world! In other staffing changes, we will be welcoming our new Junior School Counsellor, Mrs Megan Christie, from the beginning of term, and introducing you to the new Director of Music as term progresses. We also look forward to the return of Mr Niulala on Day 1 and the return of Mrs Karen Voysey and Mrs Caitlin Weber from maternity leave later in the term.

Vacation Care is available at Strathfield across the holidays and can be booked through OSHClub.

Term 2 begins for students on Wednesday 27 April and boys should be dressed in winter uniform with an appropriate haircut.

I wish all our Trinity Junior School students and families a safe and refreshing holiday break. I hope that the Easter weekend serves as an opportunity to reflect on your blessings, including your family and the privilege to be part of God’s family purchased through the blood of His precious son. God bless you, this Easter.

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.” Galatians 2:20

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