From the Head of the Preparatory Schooldeveloper
Mind, Body and Spirit
As a school, Trinity prides itself on focusing on the development of the whole person…Mind, Body and Spirit. This commitment requires our boys to be engaged in a wide variety of learning experiences. As adults supporting the boys in their development, it is essential that we support and encourage them to pursue growth and development in all areas. This can be challenging, as some boys will feel greater levels of comfort in certain learning areas compared to others. When this is the case, the boys look to us – their parents and teachers. We need to be equally committed to Mind, Body and Spirit, and to urge them to persevere to assist them in developing resilience and growing as learners. It is important that boys experience the hard work that is, and should be, associated with learning. As with every week, there are a number of events that have taken place this week (and will take place next week) that present opportunities for our boys to do such learning across all facets of School life.
Monday night was a great example of the opportunities for growth and development that exist at Prep as approximately 60 students took to the stage (the front of the Gym at least) to perform as part of the Strings Soiree. I was really disappointed to miss the occasion but was otherwise occupied holding Learning Progress Conversations with the students and parents of my Year 11 Theory of Knowledge class. From all reports it was a wonderful occasion. I also note that it was one of the first events since last year’s lockdown where parents, students and staff have been able to come together to celebrate the students learning. Hopefully it is the beginning of many more!
I commend all of the students across the Prep School, and particularly those that performed on Monday night, for their perseverance and dedication to continue practising despite the lack of performance opportunities over the last few years. I hear that the performances on the evening were very entertaining as well as providing another opportunity for future growth through the feedback received.
We are now looking forward to the other upcoming Studio Concerts which begin in Week 6.
As mentioned in last week’s Prep News, Saturday Sport is another area of School life that provides opportunities for growth, as well as requiring additional levels of commitment for boys after the completion of a busy week of classroom learning. The benefits of Saturday Sport are far greater than simply winning or losing. Teamwork, winning well, losing graciously, the transference of skills to real life situations, and sportsmanship are just a few of the life lessons our boys have the chance to learn and consolidate each week. Too often we gloss over the true meaning of teamwork. Teamwork requires a sense of commitment, both to a cause and to one another. It requires individuals to identify and use their strengths as well as relying on, and appreciating the strengths of others to cover one’s weaknesses. I understand that Saturday mornings can be a challenge for parents at the end of a busy working week; however, I urge you to support your boys and to engage with them in the wonderful learning they do each week; before, during and after their sporting contests.
Over the first few weeks of this term the boys have been spending time in Chapel exploring the Easter story in greater detail. This has been a focused exploration that fits within the broader Chapel theme for this year of covenant, otherwise known as the agreement between God and His people. Easter is such a significant event in the Christian Gospel and it has been great to allow more time for the boys to unpack the key messages of sacrifice, redemption and salvation. It has also been great to reintegrate singing and worship into our Chapel services. For many months we have been unable to sing together. I am thrilled to say that the boys have welcomed the opportunity to sing again and are rediscovering the joy that this practice brings.
Year 6 leadership and supporting our younger learners
As we continue to transition back into regular school life, we have noticed some of our younger learners finding it difficult to play well at break times. This is not uncommon with younger students as learning to socialise is such a significant aspect of early growth and development. For some students this comes naturally, while others require additional support, as with other aspects of the curriculum. We are hypothesising that for some of the boys this may have been amplified by the fact that they have had an interrupted start to their schooling career due to COVID lockdowns. Whilst academic learning was able to be replicated online, it was impossible to replicate the social situations that exist each day in the playground.
To support the younger boys to play well, we have asked the Year 6 boys to help out as part of our newly named ‘Support Squad’. Each of the Year 6 boys will be rostered on to a ‘duty’ each week where they will take responsibility for keeping an eye out, and an ear to the ground, to ensure the younger boys are encouraged to be kind, play safely and be inclusive. Be assured, the teachers will continue to be on duty and will be ultimately responsible for the students’ welfare during these play times. However, we also appreciate the value and influence of older peers in modelling positive play. The added benefit is that it provides an additional opportunity for all of our Year 6 students to assume a leadership role in the School and the opportunity to grow in this capacity. This program will roll out over the next week or so with ongoing training provided to the Year 6 boys throughout the process.
Open Classrooms – Week 7
As we have reflected on the return to normality at school, one thing has stood out – we still haven’t managed to have parents back in classrooms to see the boys in action. I am aware that last year provided a unique opportunity for parents to gain a window into classroom learning through the delivery of remote learning. Whilst it is impossible to provide this during a normal school day, we are keen to open our classrooms to provide parents the opportunity to gain a first-hand experience of their son’s learning environment and to get to know his teacher a little better. To make this happen we are planning an Open Classrooms week in Week 7 of this term (Monday 6th – Friday 10th June).
Throughout the week, each teacher will open their classroom to parents for one interactive session. I have asked teachers to try to make this session either first lesson in the morning or last in the afternoon to tie it into drop-off or pick-up. Parents should anticipate being able to join their son for a ‘normal’ learning experience and to get a chance to see school life through his eyes. Details of these sessions will be communicated with parents in the coming weeks. I look forward to welcoming parents back into school in a fuller manner and to share the joy of learning that exists in our classrooms.
Pre-K and Kindergarten parent session – Parenting your way…overcoming and debunking the parenting stereotypes
One of the challenges of having kids of our own is the absence of a parenting guide book. My personal reflection is that it is simply one of those things you learn on the run, often having to run faster than one would like.
For some parents, advice and encouragement is in abundance, whereas for others parenting can be a particularly lonely or isolating journey. Regardless of the experience, ultimately parenting is a personal responsibility and requires each and every person / couple to develop an approach that works best for them and their son.
Having set the stage, I want to assure parents that this parent session is not about providing a blue print or the ‘right’ approach to parenting. Instead, it is an opportunity to provide some thoughts designed to promote reflection about how our parenting might impact on the growth and development of our children. I encourage parents to join us for this session, particularly aimed at Pre-K and Kindergarten parents but also open to parents from other year levels.
During the session we will take a light-hearted look at parenting stereotypes and consider the strengths and limitations of each. We will then reflect on some key ideas and themes of child development and how parenting can help to promote the development of these.
The session will take place at the Prep School at 8:45am on Friday 3rd June. The specific venue will be confirmed based on rsvp. We look forward to seeing parents at this event and hope that the timing aligns conveniently with drop-off.
Parents are requested to RSVP for these events by completing this FORM.
A couple of weeks ago we launched our Parent Helper Programme with a training session for interested parents. I am aware that some parents weren’t able to make this session. If you are interested in being involved, please contact Mrs Carmichael in the School Office to let her know and we will try and organise another training time. Parents that did attend need to make sure their Working With Children Checks have been provided to the School Office so they are eligible to work in the classrooms.
Photo Day – Tuesday 24th May
Next Tuesday 24th May, is our Photo Day and we will be taking class, individual and sibling photos. Boys need to be in full School uniform on this day along with ensuring their haircut meets the expectations outlined in the Record Book.
Start of Term 3 – change of date
Inevitably, some dates in the Record Book (which is always finalised in Term 3) require amendment as the circumstances of each year unfold. I advise parents that students will return to school for Term 3 on Wednesday 20th July, a day later than advertised in the Record Book. This change will allow the primary school teachers to undertake some further training in assessment techniques and bring the attendance of Prep School and Junior School students into line with classes in the Middle and Senior Schools.
Coming up in Week 5
|Events for Week 5|
12.00 – 3.00pm
|FIT CRU Leaders Training||Prep Gym||Stu Smith|
K-6 (Class Photos)
|National Simultaneous Storytime||Prep Gym||Abi Nel|
All Day Event
|Sydney Writers Festival||Sydney Town Hall||Abi Nel|
All Day Event
|da Vinci Decathlon||Heritage Room||Francene Bryce|
8.55am – 11.30am
|Year 3 Excursion – Delmar Gallery||Delmar Gallery||Alia Lynden|
PK-6 Catch-up individual photos
Co-Curricular (Chess, Debating, Music)
3.15 – 4.45pm
|InterSchool Chess Competition||Prep Library||Ashleigh Lopez|
9.30am – 1.15pm
|Kindy Incursion | Indigenous Basket Weaving||Kindy||Abi Nel|
3.15 – 4.45pm
|InterSchool Chess Competition||Prep Library||Ashleigh Lopez|
9.55 – 10.55am
11.40am – 12.40pm
|Author Talk – Kate and Jol Temple K-2
Author Talk – Kate and Jol Temple 3-6
|Prep Gym||Abi Nel|
Chris Wyatt | Head of the Preparatory School
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” Timothy 3:16-17