From the Head of the Preparatory Schooldeveloper
End of Term Chapel
This afternoon we had the opportunity to gather all the Prep students together for an end of term Chapel. This has become our tradition at the beginning and end of each term. It provides a chance to reflect on the learning and growth that has occurred across all areas of school life and to give thanks to God for the way that he has sustained our learning community throughout the term. It was also an opportunity to reflect back on what the boys have learnt at each of the Chapels this term.
This week you should have received an email notifying you that your son’s Semester One Report is available to be accessed online through your Trinity account. Throughout the report you will notice a strong emphasis on celebrating each boy’s growth and development as well as highlighting his ‘next steps in learning’. This focus is based on our firm belief that each and every boy is unique and is at a different point in his learning journey. We continue to work with the boys to instil a commitment to ongoing learning that is lifelong. This is sometimes referred to as students having a ‘growth mindset’. Rather than simply focusing on what has been achieved, students are committed to ongoing growth, making mistakes and perhaps most importantly, learning from them in the future. This semester you will see this captured through the student self-reflection which is given prime position on the front page alongside the teachers’ general comments. It has been exciting to read the students’ reflection and to see the high level of ownership they have in their learning and the goals they have set for themselves in the coming months. I encourage parents to engage the boys in a discussion about their self-reflection comment and the spidergraph that reflects on the students’ use of the Approaches to Learning across all areas of the curriculum. I hope that this provides a useful stimulus to celebrate growth and to set learning goals for the remainder of the year.
The information contained in the Semester Report should always be read in conjunction with the regular work samples and rubrics shared through Seesaw, Canvas, Google Drive and the Unit of Inquiry books. Together, this provides a comprehensive summary of each boy’s learning journey this semester.
Nude Food and Environmental Sustainability
Over the last couple of years the School has taken steps to improve our environmental footprint. Positively, this has been an initiative co-owned by many members of the student body, as evidenced by the strong growth in numbers in our Eco-Warriors group and their strong advocacy for environmental issues.
One of the most significant developments in our playgrounds has been the addition of co-mingled recycling and food waste bins. Upon reflection and review of the bins, this has had mixed success. On Monday I took the somewhat extreme step of tipping out a series of ‘general waste’ bins in front of the students. The reaction was powerful! The students were quick to express their horror at the number of pizza boxes, cans and other recyclable items that poured out of the bins.
Beyond the need for ongoing education with the students about recycling, I also commented to the boys at the amount of unnecessary general waste in the form of packets, wrappers, etc. This led me to the following challenge…
On Thursday in Week 2 next term we will be holding a ‘Nude Food House Picnic’. The winning House will be the one with the least general waste after each student has eaten their morning tea and lunch that they have brought from home.
The concept of ‘nude food’ is that there is no general waste left after consuming the food. The obvious secrets to success in this space are fruit but also food that can be made at home and brought in a reusable container that returns home in the student’s bag each day. The reality is that ‘nude food’ is almost always healthier too.
We hope this activity will have multiple benefits. It will obviously present a lovely chance for the students across the grades to enjoy a picnic together, but we hope the larger impact is a positive influence on the students’ the eating habits and a renewed focus on making informed decisions about waste management. We do hope that parents will jump on board and support this initiative in an ongoing manner.
I am pleased to say that a number of students and year groups have jumped on the ‘nude food’ bandwagon this week. I have received a series of letters persuading me to consider more compost bins around the school and Year 2 has started their very own ‘nude food’ challenge in their class.
While on the topic of food, there are a number of changes coming to the way the Canteen operates beginning in Term 3.
We have noticed a growing pattern of students going to the Canteen to ask for more food (or different food) throughout the day. There has also been an increase in the number of parents calling up late to order food because their son has left food at home. These situations present a range of challenges. Obviously, we don’t want students to go through a school day hungry but also don’t want to promote students picking and choosing their food. It is also challenging for the Canteen staff to prepare food in time if orders are not received through Flexi-Schools by the 10:00am cut-off. To overcome these challenges, we are implementing a limited ‘All Day Menu’ to allow students and parents to order food as required to ensure no one goes hungry. This menu will only consist of four basic items: vegemite sandwich, jam sandwich, cheese sandwich or ham sandwich. These items are quick and easy to eat and will ensure boys don’t go hungry and are not tempted by something that sounds more interesting.
We have also heard parents express a desire for students to be able to get their Morning Tea through the Canteen. A number of things have changed in recent years, including the fact that the Canteen is now cashless. I appreciate this is a disappointment, but it is a reality we must now work with. I am also not comfortable with young students being responsible for, and able to use a cashless payment system such as the one in place with cards at the High School. After discussing this at the most recent Auxiliary Meeting we have come up with a compromise. Morning Tea will now be able to be ordered separately from the Canteen each day by using the existing FlexiSchools system. Order for Morning Tea will need to be entered by 9:00am each day, whereas the cut-off for lunch orders remains 10:00am.
In addition to making morning tea orders a possibility, this also creates a reason to welcome parents back to the Canteen to support. As such, we will be renewing the Canteen Helper roster to support the preparation of morning tea orders.
Finally, in an effort to support community, we are going to trial operating the Canteen as a Coffee Shop a couple of mornings a week – Tuesdays and Thursdays. We will have some tables and chairs outside the Canteen for parents to congregate and order their morning coffee before heading off for the day. Again, to make this work, we will be looking for volunteers to assume the role of barista on a rostered basis. In the first instance some of our Auxiliary members have volunteered to take on this role.
North Coast Tour
The School has been slightly quieter this week as a number of our Year 6 boys have been off-site on the North Coast Sports Tour. This tour provides boys with a valuable social and sporting opportunity as they mix with boys from other schools. From all reports, the boys had a fantastic time and three very competitive matches against Bishop Druitt, The Armidale School and Scone Grammar School. Thanks to Mr Bremner and Mr Mako (as well as Mr Robinson and Mr Nuilala from the Junior School) for taking good care of the boys while they were away.
The Enrolments Department has begun the process of enrolling our newest Trinitarians into Pre-Kindergarten for 2023. Demand for these places is often very competitive. I encourage families with boys wishing to be part of our wonderful Pre-K programme next year to contact the Enrolments Department now. Similarly, if you know families that are interested in sending their sons to Trinity, now is the time as it is becoming increasingly difficult to join Prep in later year levels.
This afternoon, confirmation emails about Term 3 co-curricular activities will be emailed to parents. Administrators of each activity will provide additional details at the beginning of next term. Please be aware that many of the activities were oversubscribed resulting in some students missing out on their preferences. We apologise for any disappointment but please be assured that we have followed the selection criteria where possible and then resorted to the ‘luck of the draw’ where necessary,
Today, and over the last couple of weeks, we have farewelled several staff who are leaving the school for different reasons. Mrs Levee finished up a couple of weeks ago to assume a high school teaching role at another school. We were lucky to benefit from Ms Levee’s expertise but over time she missed teaching the senior students. We also farewell Mrs Lynden who begins her maternity leave as she awaits the arrival of her second child. Next term we welcome Ms Annie Winters to the Art Department. Ms Winters brings a rich and diverse background in education and the Arts and we look forward to her extremely positive influence on the boys’ learning.
After a long and impactful career at the Prep School, Mrs Smeulders has been presented with an offer too good to refuse which will result in her moving on from Trinity. Mrs Smeulders has been offered the chance to work with Opera Australia on a more full-time basis. This is an outstanding achievement and recognises her expertise. We will miss Mrs Smeulders’ leadership of the Trinity Singers! I am pleased to share that Ms Keyser will continue in this role for the remainder of this year where she has already begun to put her own spin on our Music programme.
We thank Ms Gooden for the work that she has done covering for Mrs Caddy while she was on maternity leave. Ms Gooden now swaps places with Mrs Caddy as she heads off to prepare for the birth of her second child.
Ms Arambasic has done a fabulous job covering for Mrs Oliver in Pre-K and will now move into a role covering a range of different responsibilities for the remainder of the year. Ms Dodds will also finish up her contract at the end of this term, however, we look forward to her continuing to work in a casual basis around the School.
We thank all of the staff mentioned above for their contribution to the Prep School this term.
Term 3 start
Please be aware that Monday 18th and Tuesday 19th July are Staff Professional Development Days. All boys are expected back at school on Wednesday 20th July. We look forward to welcoming them back after a refreshing three-week break.
I hope that all members of the School community have a wonderfully refreshing break over the holidays and have a chance to spend quality time with family and friends. We look forward to the boys returning with enthusiasm for another busy term of learning.
Coming up in Term 3
|Wednesday 20th July||Term 3 Commences [Winter Uniform]|
|Tuesday 26th July||Years 2&4 Allwell Testing|
|Thursday 28th July||Musica Viva
Chris Wyatt | Head of the Preparatory School
“But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” Isaiah 40:31