From the Head of the Preparatory SchoolLucas Thurston
A multitude of opportunities
Earlier in the week I was involved in the annual Record Book meeting to review dates for the following year. The meeting is a lengthy one as the multitude of events across the School are juggled to fit into the calendar. As I sat in the meeting I was struck by the vastness and sheer number of opportunities on offer for boys throughout the year. Trinity boys certainly have a great variety of opportunities to grow in mind, body and spirit beyond the normal class-based learning experiences. Whilst these opportunities grow in number and diversity as the boys get older, there are also a great number for the boys at Prep. One of the challenges for parents is supporting their son to find an appropriate balance that suits his developmental readiness. I encourage parents to also consider the importance of maintaining time to play and rest. Given the attractiveness of the opportunities on offer, it is easy to fall into the trap of signing the boys up for everything. Boys are only primary age once and for a limited period. One of the great delights of being this age is the freedom to have fun, play make-believe games, spend time with mum and dad, climb trees, ride bikes, etc. I encourage parents to continue to prioritise these activities with their boys in the knowledge that there will be plenty of opportunities to try different things as the boys grow and make their way through the School.
Term 4 Co-Curricular opportunities
Today parents have been emailed the Term 4 Co-Curricular form which provides an opportunity for students to register their interest in being involved in the wide variety of co-curricular opportunities that will run in Term 4. I encourage parents to consider these opportunities in light of my reflection above. Expressions of interest will close next Tuesday 13th September 6pm.
Pre-K to Year 2 Sports Carnival
Today’s Pre-K to Year 2 Sports Carnival was great fun despite the last minute need to change it to the Prep Gym. Despite this, there was a brilliant atmosphere as the Gym stands were packed with enthusiastic parents cheering for their sons. It was brilliant to see our budding young sportsmen showcasing their quickness and agility across a number of modified events. As always, it was fantastic to have such strong community support for this event. These opportunities form the basis for our boys’ future involvement in House and sporting events in the coming years. Some of our Year 5 boys attended to provide support and encouragement to the boys as they participated in the different events. They too were brilliant!
Commemorating Queen Elizabeth’s passing
For many of the younger students, Queen Elizabeth’s passing won’t feel very significant. Nonetheless, this is a significant moment for Australia and all Commonwealth countries. To ensure this was not lost, this afternoon we gathered the entire Prep School for a short Chapel service to commemorate Queen Elizabeth’s passing and to give thanks for her life and the significant contribution she made throughout her reign.
‘R U OK Day’
Yesterday, we commemorated ‘R U OK Day’, an annual event that seeks to promote the importance of meaningfully connecting with people and supporting others who are struggling. Given the increasing challenges associated with mental health, messages such as this are incredibly important for our boys to be engaging with. The teachers and School Officers spoke to the boys to remind the boys of the importance of checking in with one another at key times, if not more often. This is a process that occurs regularly in class through Circle Time sessions wherein boys have the opportunity to share their concerns and to celebrate positive moments in a safe and supportive environment.
Please CLICK HERE to enjoy the performance from the School Officers with Mr Bremner and Mr Mako.
Student Growth Conversations
It has been wonderful to have so many parents in and around the School in the mornings and afternoons this week as the teachers have hosted the Term 3 Student Growth Conversations. We value the partnership that we share in the boys’ learning and I trust these conversations have strengthened this and provided an opportunity to celebrate each boy’s growth and identified some potential next steps in learning that can form the basis of new learning goals.
Indigenous Literacy Day
On Wednesday we gathered together as a school community to take part in Indigenous Literacy Day. The day aims to raise awareness of the need to support literacy in remote and isolated indigenous communities of Australia. It was great to provide the opportunity for the students to be exposed to the importance and uniqueness of language in indigenous communities but also the commonality and unity that exists and is possible across all languages.
The next two weeks are big for the boys in Years 3 to 6 as they will be participating in School Camps focusing on outdoor education and providing them 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. Next week Year 3 will be heading to Galston Gorge, Year 4 to Rathane, Year 5 to Waterslea and Year 6 to Somerset at the Colo River. I encourage the boys to embrace these learning opportunities!
Prior to each of the Camps, I speak to the boys (in grade meetings) to share with them some important information about camps. The focus of the meeting is to ensure the boys understand the purpose of the camps and the importance of looking after one another. I remind them about being Trinity ambassadors, the need for everyone to have fun and feel safe, the value of the learning they will experience, and the need to be sensitive and accommodating of one another (and the teachers). From recent experience, these pre-camp briefings help to set the scene, calm fears and to set the tone for what are extremely valuable learning experiences; in mind, body and spirit.
The past week has been significant for the Year 6 students as they have begun planning for this year’s PYP Exhibition which will take place on Monday 21st November. I encourage all members of the Prep community to save this date to ensure they don’t miss out on the chance to celebrate the students’ learning and growth. I can assure you that those in attendance will walk away impressed and challenged!
This year the students and teachers are exploring the transdisciplinary theme ‘Where we are in place and time’. Without wanting to spoil what is to come, the teachers began the unit by encouraging the students to consider why Kate Bush’s song, ‘Running Up that Hill’, originally released in 1985, has become so popular again. Why is it that views on moments in history are viewed differently by people in different times and places even if the moment or event itself doesn’t change? Stay tuned for more as the students begin to explore some of the ideas raised by this question and the transdisciplinary theme.
I want to once again reiterate the importance of prioritising road safety in and around the School, particularly when dropping off and picking up the boys. Whilst I appreciate the desire to be efficient during these periods, I want to urge parents to take care and extra time to avoid any unsafe situations for the students. One of the particularly concerning practices that cannot be tolerated is allowing the boys to step onto the road to get their bags or belongings from the boot. This is unsafe and places the boys at unnecessary risk. To avoid this, it is essential that boys have their bags in the back seat with them or they allow a teacher to retrieve them from the boot.
Trinity Grammar School APP
It is apparent that many parents are still without the Trinity APP. This is an essential tool for school communication. All Prep School events, the cancellation thereof, last minute communications and request for leave etc are advised through the APP.
To download and set up the APP on your mobile, please click here for instructions.
‘Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!’ Philippians 4:4
Chris Wyatt | Head of the Preparatory School