From the Head of the Junior School

From the Head of the Junior School

With the on-set of cold weather, it is unsurprising that the contents of the Lost Property box is swelling. What never ceases to surprise is the amount of new and expensive items that are unnamed. Whenever an item is named it can be quickly identified and claimed by boys when they check the box, or we can return it directly to them. However, many unclaimed items stay in the box for a long time. This week, Kindergarten helpfully sorted and tabled the items as part of their Maths lesson (see the picture below). If you spot an item in the photo that may potentially be your son’s, please send him to the box on Tuesday morning. Over time we have accumulated many very-good quality items that are never claimed (including blazers and never-worn football boots). We will soon advertise these to you for a bargain with all proceeds going to charity. In the meantime, if you are about to buy a new uniform item, it may be worth calling Mrs Webb in the Office and we will see if we can help you with the item in your son’s size.

Today, we marked last week’s World Environment Day with a range of activities to spotlight the issue of sustainability and develop our boys’ awareness and influence as global citizens: Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 spent this afternoon with their Year 6 buddies appreciating the natural environment on our campus and creating artworks; Year 3 boys made and sampled foods using alternatives to meat ie. crickets!; Year 4 travelled the globe virtually; and Year 5 researched the harmful impact of commonly-used chemicals with the subsequent action of chemically engineering environmentally-friendly toilet bombs! The boys also raised $475 for Planet Ark’s Seedling Bank. We hope that you have enjoyed being involved in the choice of environmental Home Learning activities this week and have tried at least one new re-think/re-invent, re-cycle, re-generate, or re-educate initiative. Conversations and surveys with our students consistently show that they care and want to know how to positively impact the environment.

Next week will be ‘Safer Internet Week’ in the Junior School and the boys will undertake many activities aimed at raising their awareness and ability to be safe on-line. We will keep parents informed of activities for each year group via the usual channels: social media; Seesaw, Canvas, but please also ask your son about the activities and messages of the week.

A highlight in the School’s calendar every year is the Gala Music Concert at the City Recital Hall, featuring many of the most accomplished individual musicians and groups in the School. It includes a performance of the Combined Primary Choirs for which boys at the Junior and Preparatory Schools have been preparing. Next Thursday, it all comes together with a combined morning rehearsal and then the evening performance. It is an amazing opportunity for primary boys to participate in a concert at this venue with such an extraordinary calibre of musicians. In addition, the Junior School will be represented by Jacob Chan playing tuba in the Symphony Orchestra. There will be no rehearsals for musical groups (Strings, Bands, Choir) before school next Thursday or Friday mornings.

Next Friday, we are also looking forward to the first of this year’s ‘Opening the Classroom Doors’ events whereby year groups invite families and friends to be an authentic audience for their learning, usually with a focus on the most recent Unit of Inquiry. In this case it will be Year 5’s Science Fair displaying their learnings centred on ‘Where We Are In Place and Time’, with a particular focus on space exploration. Year 5 teachers have communicated the details of attendance to parents – we hope many of you can join us.

Congratulations to the Da Vinci Decathlon Teams whose results from the recent competition are now known. The Year 5 team placed 7th in Legacy (out of 72 teams) and Year 6 were 15th in Creative Producers (out of 82 teams). Well done, boys!

I draw attention to the distribution of details about the co-curricular programme for Term 3, which were emailed to all parents this afternoon. Expressions of interest will need to be lodged by the beginning of the final week of term (10am on 20 June). Late applications are only considered in the rare occurrence where clubs do not fill or there is a withdrawal. I remind parents that you must have completed registration via OSHClub to be considered for after-school activities. Due to the disruption caused by lack of access to fields this term, students who were enrolled and wish to continue with EAP or Football will be prioritised – it is important that you still include these activities in your selected preferences to indicate a desire to continue this activity in Term 3. Other boys are still able to express interest and will be considered if the activity does not fill.  

As previously communicated, this is a reminder that there has been a change to the start of Term 3 dates. Student will now 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. I also repeat news conveyed by the Head Master to all parents previously that the school year will conclude earlier than advertised in the Record Book to accommodate significant stages of work in the Renewal Project, particularly impacting the carpark and campus accessways. Kindergarten – Year 2 students will conclude the year with their Christmas Service on Thursday 1st December and all students in Years 3-6 will conclude following Prize Giving at Sydney Town Hall on the morning of Friday 2nd December.

I also reiterate for Year 4 parents (particularly those already considering the next birthday or Christmas present) that, with the adoption of iPads as the device to support learning across the primary campuses, you should not purchase a Chromebook in preparation for Year 5 next year. Further information about the mechanisms for providing your son’s Year 5 iPad will be provided later in the year.

With the longer winter holiday break soon upon us, many parents and boys will welcome the news that the School will again host a Multi-Sports Clinic for boys in Years 3-6 over the first few days of the break. Details for registration are here.

Enjoy the bonus of a slightly longer weekend!

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

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