From the Head of the Junior School

From the Head of the Junior School

Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,

Welcome back to all members of the School community for Term 3. The staff are refreshed and professionally stimulated after two days of professional development in which they were able to spend dedicated time working collaboratively to enhance their understanding and plan learning for the semester ahead.

Whilst the Renewal Project is still in its early stages, one part of the project that will directly benefit the Junior School community, the improvement of access to Junior School from the carpark, has been prioritised for these early stages. Students returned to school on Wednesday to find their familiar route from the carpark blocked and teachers waiting to direct and escort them via the slightly longer and more scenic route adjacent to the Sports Centre and Centenary Centre. The boys are commended on the way they handled and have quickly adopted this new route in mornings and afternoons, and to and from the oval for play at recess and lunch. We expect this route to be operating for at least the duration of this term.

Whilst this work is undertaken, the only access to the Junior School building and OSH Club will be via the door at the eastern end of the building via the K-2 playground. Parents are asked to note this for any events staged in the Junior School this term. If you have reason to come on site during the school day, you must still report to the Junior School Office on arrival – parents are never to make their way directly to classrooms.

I have no doubt that this disruption will be well worth it once the students, staff and parents have a dedicated, direct and level accessway to the Junior School from the carpark, especially for individuals with impacted mobility and parents with prams. One benefit already noticed is the increased exposure of our boys to the wider school community as the boys’ routes overlap with those of older boys in Middle and Senior Schools. Some boys have been fascinated to glimpse the daily ritual of 1300 students and staff gathering and dispersing from Morning Quad Assembly. This morning it was my pleasure to witness two separate Junior School students escorted hand-in-hand by a Senior School brother and a cousin through the high-school passages to class. In another instance, a Year 2 student bumped into his former Year 6 buddy (now in Year 8) eliciting an excited greeting from both and an impromptu cuddle before parting for their respective areas. The boys are learning to share each other’s turf!

I am delighted to be able to report the safe arrival of Brody Harrison during the semester break. Brody was born on the evening of Wednesday 6 July and weighed 3.6 kilos. The Harrisons are now home and adjusting to new routines as a family.

I remind parents that Mrs Ormes will be acting in the role of Junior School Deputy and Mr Hoare will be Acting Curriculum Coordinator this term, as Mr Hassall enjoys Long Service Leave. We also welcome Miss Stokes for her term-long practicum. Miss Stokes is the recipient of a scholarship developed by the school in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame so she is already well-known to the staff and Year 2 boys from her weekly attendance across Semester 1.

Term 3 is always one of the busiest terms for community events in the Junior School and I urge parents to maintain familiarity with upcoming events via this weekly newsletter, the Record Book, on-line calendars, App notices, and communications from staff via Canvas and Seesaw. If there are changes to Record Book entries, we will notify you and affected students. Next week, we have our Athletics Championships for Years 3-6 at Homebush on Tuesday. All Years 3-6 boys will need to be at school by 8am on Tuesday (7.45am if competing in 800m) for bus departures unless being taken by parents directly to the carnival. Boys will return to school in time for regular dismissal and co-curricular clubs will run that afternoon. Other details were communicated by Mr Robinson in yesterday’s note. If your son has not returned his permission note today, please ensure that his class teacher receives it on Monday morning.

We also look forward to gathering on Friday morning at the Centenary Centre with boys and fathers for a bacon and egg roll, coffee or hot chocolate at the Father-Son Breakfast for Years 5-6. We already have 165 attendees registered. Any Year 5 or 6 boys and fathers attending who have not yet registered are reminded to do so before Monday morning. Please note that the morning commences at 7:30am (not 7:45am noted in the Record Book).

Another opportunity for parents in the community to gather is the Trinity Ball to be held at Doltone House on Saturday 20 August. I am looking forward to seeing a number of Junior School parents who have already purchased tickets or organised tables of 10. It would be wonderful to see many more Junior School parents enjoying the rare opportunity to socialise together with parents across all campuses. Registration details and tickets can be accessed via this link until Monday 1 August.

I also wish to highlight an event not for this term but for some boys to look forward to in Term 4. We are delighted to have been able to arrange an alternative date for the Year 5 Camp that was unable to proceed in Term 1 during the brunt of COVID-related sickness and isolation. The boys will now be going to camp in Week 7, from 23-25 November. It promises to be a wonderful way to almost-finish the year and herald the start of summer.

Next Friday, students in Years 2 and 4 will be participating in a series of short Allwell Tests conducted by Academic Assessment Services. These tests provide a diagnostic measure in Reading, Writing and Numeracy. Boys are not required to undertake any preparation for these tests. Ongoing school-based assessment remains our principal way of reporting student achievement. However, the additional information gained through these assessments will contribute to our broad academic profile of each boy, enhancing our ability to map their learning growth across years, and ensuring we continue to meet their learning needs. Results will be provided to parents when they are available.

Optimism trumps realism in wishing all our Year 4-6 boys an enjoyable game tomorrow morning! Some games are already cancelled and there is the likelihood that more games will be impacted by the persistent rain and ground conditions. Parents will need to monitor App alerts or the fixtures link on the School website for any further changes later today and overnight. 

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School

“For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Ephesians 2:10

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