From the Head of the Preparatory SchoolLucas Thurston
One of the privileges of my job is the regular opportunity to meet with parents about their son and to work together to support him as he works through current challenges. This is the essence of primary education. We should expect all young people to face challenges at different times. And it is true that boys meet these challenges with increased courage and conviction when they know their parents and teachers are on the same page in their support of them. Students in primary school are in a key stage of their development where they are required to navigate the advice and guidance of the two most important groups of people in their lives; their parents and their teachers.
These meetings often address a range of themes; however, one discussion that often stands out is the way we equip students to form positive friendships as well as developing the skills required to overcome social challenges as they arise. For those of us that are a little more experienced, we appreciate the work and skills required to maintain positive relationships. For our students, this can often come as a surprise. The list of skills that young people need to learn is almost endless; learning to share, inviting someone to play with you, becoming skilled in negotiation and the art of compromise, resolving conflict, getting on with people that are similar and different to you, the art of non-verbal communication, celebrating the success of others, empathising with others, being kind…the list just goes on and on.
I am pleased to say that this learning is not by chance and is an integral part of the learning that takes place day in and day out at school. This learning takes a variety of forms; incidental learning in the playground, modelled play through older students, scaffolded learning as teachers intervene through Circle Time, and through explicit learning experiences in our GROWTH (Growing Relationship, Ourselves, Wellbeing, Thinking and Hopefulness) programme.
Primary Arts Festival
This week has been a fantastic week at the Prep School as we have embraced and celebrated the important role that the Arts play in our students’ learning journey. The Arts provide an avenue for exploring creativity, unique perspectives, personal expression and conceptual thinking. These areas of learning also highlight the importance of learning through mistake making, having and growing resilience and hard work.
Throughout the course of the week it has been wonderful to welcome boys and parents to our Prep School Art Gallery, on the lower floor of the Llandilo Building. Our outstanding Art Department did a magnificent job of exhibiting the boys’ artworks in a way that paid appropriate tribute to their creativity and artistic skills. It is always a joy to see a boy find his artwork and to be filled with a sense of pride but also to marvel at the works of his peers.
Wednesday night’s concert was simply outstanding! It showcased the musical talents of the boys in Years 3 to 6 with performances from a number of our ensembles as well as featuring an individual performance from the Denham Court Scholar for 2022, Jude Kim. The concert concluded with a memorable performance by the Year 3 to 6 Combined Choir, featuring all of the boys, of Hamilton. I commented on the night that it was extremely satisfying and encouraging to see boys singing with such a sense of joy and enthusiasm, particularly given the challenges of the last couple of years when singing was not allowed. Congratulations to all of the students involved and to the Music Department, led by Mrs Campbell and supported by Ms Keyser.
Stage 2 Father and Son Breakfast
This morning we welcomed a great number of Stage 2 boys and their dads for the Stage 2 Father Son Breakfast. These events have followed a range of different formats in recent years but we have settled on a reasonably relaxed gathering that simply prioritises boys and dads spending time together. It was great to see the men, young and old, engaging in conversations before breaking into some games of handball and basketball. It is refreshing to see that the boy never leaves the man!
Trinity Memorial Day
On Wednesday, we commemorated the annual Trinity Memorial Day; a day where the School stops to remember those boys and staff that have passed away during their time at school. The service offered the opportunity to remind the boys of Jesus’ death and resurrection and the fact that nothing can separate us from the love of God. These are two great truths that are comforting in times of sadness and loss, and provide great hope.
Next week 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. A full timetable of when each classroom will be open can be found at this link. We look forward to sharing the students’ learning with parents as we continue to partner in their learning.
Strathfield Auxiliary Annual General Meeting
This morning the Annual General Meeting of the Strathfield Auxiliary was held. Whilst this was the time to elect the new Executive Committee for the Auxiliary, it was also an opportunity to thank the outgoing Executive members, many of whom have served the Strathfield Auxiliary, and in turn the Prep School, for many years. My sincere thanks to Lorey Eboli, outgoing President, and her team of faithful volunteers for their outstanding work over recent years. Thank you!
The new Strathfield Executive Committee is as follows:
- President – Wayne Fotheringham
- Vice Presidents – Venera Di Maria and Eman Kirkland
- Secretary – Sarah Tabac
- Treasurer – Vaishali Pasupati
- Parent Liaison Coordinator – Chau Tran
We look forward to the Auxiliary continuing to build on the work of those that have gone before them as they focus on supporting the Prep School community through ‘friendraising’ and fundraising to support the boys’ experience.
Years 3, 4, 5 and 6 Camps
We are fast approaching Weeks 9 and 10 when all of the boys in Years 3 to 6 will be participating in School Camps focusing on outdoor education and providing our boys with valuable opportunities to develop their independence, resilience, risk-taking and to support the ongoing development of positive relationships with their peers and teachers. These camps form an integral part of the Trinity learning programme as we seek to provide opportunities for our boys to develop in Mind, Body and Spirit. Year 3 will be heading to Galston Gorge, Year 4 to Rathane, Year 5 to Lake Macquarie and Year 6 to Somerset (Colo River).
Hilliard and School House Chapel
Last Sunday, boys and families from Hilliard and School House gathered for a lovely Chapel Service in the School Chapel at Summer Hill. The service was a great time of reflection and once again we were blessed to have our time of worship led by the Trinity Singers. Mr Smith shared an engaging talk about the good news of the Gospel told through the names of chocolate bars. He encouraged us to taste the Christian experience personally rather than simply relying on what others tell us about it.
As communicated at the end of last term, we have recently instituted a change to the way ‘emergency lunch orders’ are provided to students. In recent times there has been 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 ‘PREP Emergency lunch’ to allow students and parents to order food as required to ensure no one goes hungry. This menu will only consist of five basic items; vegemite sandwich, jam sandwich, cheese sandwich and ham sandwich, or bottled water. 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.
On Tuesday, 30th August we have an Open Day for prospective families. If you have friends who are interested in the wonderful things that are happening at Trinity, please encourage them to drop in. The Open Day begins at 9:30am at the Preparatory School.
Coming up in Week 7
|Week 7 Events|
|29 August||IPSHA Track and Field||SOPAC|
|30 August||Year 6 Science Challenge||Y6 Learning Centre|
|31 August||Strings Workshop with Emily Sun||Mozart Room|
|2 Sept||Father’s Day Stall||Chessboard|
“When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels and crowned them with glory and honour.” Psalm 8:3-5
Chris Wyatt | Head of the Preparatory School