From the Head of the Preparatory SchoolLucas Thurston
Book Week is a significant event on the Australian education calendar. It represents so much of what primary schools are about; a love of literature and learning to read, the joy that comes from creativity and imagination, community partnership and celebration, and the importance of language in the way that we communicate with one another. This week’s Book Week celebrations and learning engagements at the Prep School have captured all these things and more. My sincere thanks to the Library team, led so ably by Mrs Abi Nel, for all of their work in preparing for this week, and to the students, parents and staff of the Prep School for embracing it and making it such a wonderful week of learning and play.
The annual Book Parade is the showcase event of Book Week, offering a great opportunity to celebrate the importance of literature and to have some fun dressing up as book characters. The added benefit of the parade is the great sense of community spirit that is present. Thank you for your support of this event and for helping the boys to look so magnificent in their costumes!
As previously mentioned, Book Week is a great opportunity to promote the rich learning and enjoyment that is possible through reading and literature. Adding to the excitement of the week was the visit of our resident literature superhero, ‘Captain Read Aloud’. It was wonderful to see the joy on boys’ faces as they enjoyed being interrupted from their usual learning to have some quality picture books read to them. It brings a smile to my face every year as students across the School seem determined to unveil the identity of Captain Read Aloud. However, all of the intrigue and interrogation quickly stops as the words on the page begin to be read. We are all children at heart and love to be taken on an imaginative journey, even if it continues to involve ‘make believe’ super heroes.
One of the highlights of the week was the celebration of literature, language and language learning that took place on Thursday afternoon. Students, parents and staff from across the Prep School community shared the reading of ‘Possum Magic’ with the students. This picture book is an absolute classic and is distinctively ‘Australian’. The experience of hearing it read this time was more distinctive than ever as each page was read in the home language of the reader, highlighting for the students the way literature unites us, but also the importance of celebrating and continuing to embrace the diversity within our community and the importance of home languages.
Whilst Book Week is a highlight on the calendar, the focus on literature is an ongoing one across the School and particularly through our strong Library and class-based literature programmes.
The highlights of the Book Parade can be found at this link.
Another highlight of this week has been our Jump Rope for Heart ‘skip off’ this morning. After committing to weeks of practice and fundraising, this morning offered the students the opportunity to put their skipping skills to the test. At 10:30am the entire School stopped for a skip off where each student skipped continuously (well as long as they could) for 15 minutes. Whilst the skipping skills vary across the School, it was a great joy to see all of the boys engaged in high tempo physical fitness exercise for an extended period of time. Throughout the day each class also participated in some group skipping exercises and games. I must admit that this event brings back great memories from my primary school days. It is encouraging to know that some things don’t get too old!
I want to express my appreciation to the School community for getting behind the Jump for Rope Day, both its focus on physical fitness, but also the fundraising effort. I am certain that your efforts will be greatly appreciated by the Heart Foundation as they continue to engage in research to prevent heart disease.
Trinity Primary Arts Festival
This year’s Trinity Primary Arts Festival will take place next week. The major event of this week will be a Music Concert taking place in the Prep Gym on Wednesday 24th August beginning at 5:30pm. The concert will feature performances from many of the performance groups and ensembles from across the Prep School, as well as a series of grade-based choral performances. All students in Years 3 to 6 are expected to attend the event and participate.
Throughout Week 6 we will also be hosting an Art Exhibition with every student having at least one piece of their art showcased. The Art Department are busily converting the lower ground floor of the Llandilo Building, encompassing the Library foyer, Art Studios and STEAM Lab, into our very own Art Gallery. This gallery will be open from 3:30 – 4:30pm every afternoon in that week for parents and students to wander through and enjoy the students’ creativity and artistic skills.
We look forward to the Prep School community being part of our Arts Festival in Week 6 as we celebrate the importance of the Arts at Trinity.
In Week 7, we will once again be opening the classrooms to provide parents with an opportunity to get a first-hand experience of what their son’s learning is like on a day to day basis. Further information will be circulated in the coming week about the time each classroom will be open. We look forward to sharing the students’ learning with parents as we continue to partner in their learning.
Hilliard and School House Chapel
This Sunday, boys and families from Hilliard and School House will gather together in the School Chapel at Summer Hill for their annual House Service. I look forward to sharing in this important time of community building and fellowship.
Strathfield Auxiliary Annual General Meeting – next Friday 26th August
The Strathfield Auxiliary is a very important part of the Prep School. It provides an opportunity for parents to work together with one another and the staff to enhance the life of the School. This takes the form of parent, student and community events, as well as being a valuable forum for discussing school-based matters with myself and other key staff members. Over the years, we have been blessed with a high level of parental involvement and some very committed and enthusiastic people to serve the School community through their involvement in, and leadership of, the Auxiliary.
The Annual General Meeting will take place next Friday 26th August at 8:30am in the Year 5 Learning Centre. This is the perfect opportunity for parents to begin, continue or strengthen their involvement with the Auxiliary. I appreciate the fact that as parents we all lead busy lives, however, I want to urge you to consider coming along to the meeting. Involvement in the Auxiliary can be informal or formal and is at whatever level you are comfortable. We are always seeking new parents to join the team to continue the great work that has taken place in recent years to enhance our great community. Being a member of the Auxiliary is also a great way for parents of younger boys to get to know others and to have an influence on the future of their son’s schooling experience while they are at the Prep.
“For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39
Chris Wyatt | Head of the Preparatory School