From the Head of the Preparatory SchoolLucas Thurston
Open Morning – the value of a Trinity education
On Tuesday morning this week, we held our Term 3 Open Day for prospective families. I find these occasions to be a valuable time to reflect on the value of a Trinity education. It is easy as a member of the community to become caught up in the hustle and bustle of school life without stepping back and appreciating the amazing educational opportunities our boys experience on a day to day basis. In the space of the last few weeks, the boys have explored their current unit of inquiry, participated in a wide range of specialist subjects that have stretched them and enabled them to try new things, and continued to develop the foundational skills and approaches to learning that form a solid foundation for all future learning. The boys have showcased their artworks, participated in the musical concert as part of the Arts Festival, they have transitioned from the Winter Sport season to some House challenges and looking forward to the upcoming Summer season, and they are preparing to embark on camp. Throughout this journey the boys have been challenged to continue growing in their knowledge of God, personal character, manners, social skills, respect for others and an appreciation of high standards across all areas of school life.
Open Days present an opportunity to share this typical experience of a Trinity boy with prospective families and to reflect on the value of these wide-ranging experiences and the way they support our boys as they grow in mind, body and spirit. It is also worth noting that this experience only exists through the committed support network of parents, teachers and support staff.
It has been wonderful to see a steady stream of parents wandering in and out of the school this week as we have held our Term 3 Open Classrooms. We have enjoyed bringing this initiative back to life after a couple of years of not being able to due to COVID. As I have reflected above, the joys of a Trinity education are often hidden but it is lovely to be able to provide a level of transparency so that parents can appreciate what the boys’ learning looks like on a daily basis. I hope the class visits prompted much discussion over the dinner table.
Fathers’ Day stall
Today, the Auxiliary ran the annual Fathers’ Day stall. Thank you to the Committee for their organisation of the event and to all the parents who assisted. It is a wonderful reflection of our Prep community to see so many volunteers give up their time to support the boys in making dad feel special on Fathers’ Day. Happy Father’s Day to all the dads this Sunday.
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On Wednesday night we ran two ‘Amazing Me’ seminars for Year 3 and 5 students and parents. These seminars addressed the extremely important issues associated with personal development and growth as outlined in the PDHPE syllabus. Rowena Thomas, the presenter, has an incredible ability to create a very open, honest and comfortable environment to discuss puberty, body parts, reproduction and all of the associated feelings. It was great to see the parents and boys interacting so positively throughout the seminars and beginning important conversations built on trust and knowledge.
Student Growth Conversations
Next week our Term 3 Student Growth Conversations will be held. These conferences are critical in supporting the partnership that is shared between home and school as we support each individual student’s growth. The conferences deliberately include the student as this helps to build his learner agency; ownership and responsibility for learning. The student’s MAP Growth assessment data is one of the points of discussion during the conferences as it provides a point of reference when reflecting on recent growth. I trust these conferences provide an opportunity for celebrating growth and setting new goals for the remainder of the school year.
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 at the Colo River.
Changes to enrolment
From time to time family circumstances change resulting in boys needing to relocate and change schools. Parents are reminded that the School requires a term’s notice when boys’ enrolment is to be discontinued. This allows us to offer places for new students in a timely manner.
Tournament of Minds 2022- Honours Recipients
On Sunday 28 September, a group of creative problem solvers from The Preparatory School headed to Randwick Boys High School to join forty-five teams from primary schools across Sydney to participate in the Tournament of Minds Regional Championships 2022 (ToM). Despite being the youngest team in the event, they proved to be very competitive against the ten other teams in the STEM category.
Honours Recipients: Congratulations to Jonathan, Viraj, Sam, Marcus, James, Vino and Henry. Well done!
ToM is a program that provides students with the ‘opportunity to solve authentic, open-ended challenges that foster creative, divergent thinking whilst developing collaborative enterprise, excellence and teamwork’.
This year, our team of Year 3 and 4 boys elected to complete the STEM Challenge, where they had to design and make a moving platform to display 300g of gold, and prepare and perform a 10 minute creative presentation to share their design and their STEM processes.
Along with the Long-Term, students were judged in a Spontaneous Challenge, where they were observed to have excellent group thinking processes and outstanding organisation and teamwork, along with a very creative solution.
We are incredibly proud of the boys’ ability to overcome the various challenges faced throughout the ToM journey, and with the way they represented Trinity on the day.
“But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 3:14-15
Chris Wyatt | Head of the Preparatory School