From the Head of the Junior School

From the Head of the Junior School

Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,

Congratulations to Year 5 who opened their doors and welcomed family and friends to their Science Fair this afternoon, where each boy showcased his knowledge and understanding developed across their inquiry into Where We are In Place and Time. We certainly now have a greater appreciation for opportunities to gather an audience for boys to share their learning and the boys’ excitement was building throughout the day in anticipation of hosting this afternoon. Thank you to all the Year 5 families who supported the boys by attending and engaging with their presentations.

Speaking of gathering an audience…what a privilege it was for all who were part of last night’s audience at the School’s annual Gala Concert. The quality of musicianship was extraordinary and apart from giving the primary choirs a chance to perform on a big stage, the concert also showcases the amazing opportunities that await our young musicians if they continue with their singing, instruments and ensembles into high school. I took particular joy in the wonderful and playful performances of the boys in the Primary Choir as they performed ‘When I Grow Up’ from Matilda and accompanied (for the first time) the School’s Symphonic Wind Band in the haunting ‘Hymn to the Fallen’. It was also a joy to see so many former Junior School boys prominently participating in the various ensembles, bands and orchestras. I pay tribute to all of the Music teachers, support staff and students whose talents, teamwork and hard work entertained and rewarded the audience so richly.

This week was Safer Internet Week in the Junior School and the boys have undertaken many activities aimed at raising their awareness and ability to be safe on-line. Thank you to Mr Charles and the IT Gurus for leading activities, which included Constable Thomas Melia from Ashfield Police speaking to Years 3-6 about the importance of eSafety and how to protect ourselves and each other online. Mr Charles also took a session with each class focusing on the evolution and importance of eSafety. At this age, these matters should be topics of regular family discussion as well, so we encourage you to ask your son about the activities and messages of this week. The School encourages parents to actively supervise the time spent on screens, the activities boys do online and to heed media age guidelines (including on-line games and social media). Whilst boys are aware of appropriate and safe behaviours, they are young and sometimes lack the judgment or maturity to maintain self-discipline. So, the boundaries you put in place and monitor for your children can promote your own child’s safety and the safety of the other children in their network. Parents can find a wealth of advice and resources via the eSafety Commisioner website and are also encouraged to contact the School if you have any questions or concern.

Over time we have accumulated many very-good quality un-named uniform and sporting items that are never claimed (including blazers, tracksuits…even brand-new football boots!). If you are about to buy a new uniform item, it may be worth calling Mrs Webb in the Office to see if we can help you with the item in your son’s size. We are happy to give the items another life and all that is asked in return is a donation that goes to one of the Junior School charities.

It is hard to believe that we are about to embark on the final week of the second term. At the end of next week, you will be able to access Semester Reports that will detail each boy’s achievements and his approach to learning across the Key Learning Areas and Units of Inquiry. As I have read the reports that staff and boys have prepared for you, I am again struck by our students’ own insights into their learning contained in self-reflective comments. I commend your attention to the similarities and differences between staff and student ratings in Approaches to Learning which can make for a fascinating talking point for parents and their Years 3-6 sons, especially when determining new learning goals.

I remind you to note information distributed about the co-curricular programme for Term 3. Expressions of interest must be lodged by Monday morning to be considered for next term’s activities. We will also be checking OSHClub registrations before making any offers for after-school activities. We will endeavour to process these before the term concludes so that you will be able to log-in and view which activities your son will be doing in Term 3.

Safe travels and good luck to our 24 Year 6 boys, Mr Robinson and Mr Niulala who will join with boys and staff from the Preparatory School for the combined North Coast Rugby and Football Tour. The party will be away from Tuesday to Friday and enjoy games against, and hospitality from Bishop Druitt College in Coffs Harbour, The Armidale School and Scone Grammar School.

Enjoy the final round of sport for this term across various venues tomorrow morning. If you are at Bressington Park, the Auxiliary will again be operating a coffee cart as well as selling drinks and pastries to boost the spirits of spectators and feed hungry players (after the game please!).

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School

“For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him.” Psalm 103:11-13

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