From the Head of the Junior School

From the Head of the Junior School

Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,

This term, we have been conscious of using language and shaping learning experiences in and outside the classrooms that emphasise the intentional growth journeys of good learners. Our teachers and students (as agents of their own learning) are entering the few weeks where they are completing assessments and self-reflection exercises to produce a report for you that captures each boy’s growth, achievements and next-steps in learning. Semester reports are not to be feared (as they often were when parents were being schooled) but welcomed as informative summaries that celebrate and guide learning.  

Congratulations go to the Year 5 and Year 6 boys who make up our Da Vinci Decathlon teams who competed in ten tasks yesterday, each rigorously demanding of their intellect, perseverance and teamwork. We look forward to hearing team results in coming days. Mrs Gossling was delighted with the attitude, application and teamwork. Well done, boys!

It has been an unusually busy week in staffing for this time of year. On Monday, we welcomed Mrs Sue Goodman, most recently from Ascham, to the Junior School as our new Director of Music. She has hit the ground running this week with lessons, two Musica Viva performances by the group Taikoz, and rehearsals for the Gala Concert which is only three weeks away. I am also delighted to announce the appointment of Mr Matthew Charles as our new e-Learning Integrator. Mr Charles has been working as a casual teacher in the Junior School for a term, after returning from a number of years teaching in England, and we are delighted to secure his services more permanently in this specialised role. We also welcomed back Mrs Weber and thanked Mrs Indari for capably filling the Library Technician role whilst Mrs Weber was on maternity leave. Mrs Indari will continue at Trinity in the Arthur Holt Library. Lastly, we wish Mrs Richards a refreshing month of Long Service Leave, including the chance to travel with her family. The boys of 2R will look forward to tales of her travels when she returns for the start of Term 3. In the meantime, they will enjoy the opportunity to be taught by Mr Cha every day, as he hands the keys to the STEAM Room back to Mrs Voysey who returns from her maternity leave next Monday. There will be considerable shuffling of mugs on the staffroom shelf next week!  

A highlight of this week was an opportunity for boys and staff to participate in the National Simultaneous Storytime, an event whereby students of all ages all around the nation stop to read the same story. On Wednesday, across our school, in classrooms and small groups, many students and teachers enjoyed readings of Family Tree by Josh Pyke and Ronojoy Ghosh. It is a powerful story that uses reflective language and vivid illustrations (of our own local community) to note journeys of growth as experienced and observed by a eucalyptus tree. The tree grows as members of the community living under and around its boughs also grow. As always, the session was also a wonderful reminder of the joy experienced whenever we share stories together. Thank you to Miss Gratton and Mrs Bowden for coordinating the Junior School’s participation. Our Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 boys enjoyed the book with their Buddies and then made a Junior School tree with gum leaves depicting their individual growth hopes. Other grades were read the story by their teachers or Senior School Prefects.

We are crossing all fingers for a weekend round of sporting games uninterrupted by weather, primarily as the boys have had so many opportunities to train and play washed out in recent weeks, but also because the Auxiliary is trialling a new initiative this weekend in arranging for the provision of a Coffee Cart at Bressington Park whilst our teams are playing. All proceeds will go to the Auxiliary to support their community initiatives. Thank you to the volunteers who will assist on the day. If you are at Bressington Park on Saturday morning, please support the Auxiliary by purchasing a coffee and/or pastry. We will use this trial to determine if it is viable to offer such a service more regularly throughout the winter season.

This term’s ‘Cuppa’n’chat’ with the Junior School Executive (Mr Hassall, Mrs Ormes and myself) will be on next Thursday morning. If intending to attend, please RSVP via the link in the email distributed earlier this week.

Thank you also to the Auxiliary for organising next Friday’s Pizza Day – don’t forget to order for your son!

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School

“In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead I called for help, and you listened to my cry.” Jonah 2:2

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