From the Head of the Junior School

From the Head of the Junior School

Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,

It is often difficult to pick a highlight from a school week, such is the variety and plentitude of memorable moments. My personal standout this week comes from the serious faces of our young musicians as they nervously entered the Assembly Hall, clutching instruments with their ensemble, and then breaking into smiles when spotting proud family members in the audience…a real, live, flesh and blood, big audience! Amongst the challenges of the last few years, our young musicians have done it particularly tough, often unable to sing, bow or blow long after restrictions on other activities ended, often forced to practice alone, in small numbers cavernously-spaced, thereby denying so much of the joy that comes from making music with one another and to be appreciated by others. So, it was a special joy to be assembled once again for the first Junior School Evening of Music in three years, with a full house of appreciative families and boys full of energy and talent, many among them who had never previously had the opportunity to perform for a crowd. Well done, boys; congratulations, music teachers; and thank you, parents; all for your part in a memorable concert that brought great joy to all.

This morning, the boys and staff of Years 3-6 gathered with those of the Middle and Senior Schools to observe Remembrance Day. Like many people today, we stopped to remember the sacrifice of those who served their nations. We gave thanks for them, for the freedoms we enjoy, and for the relative peace that we live in. We prayed for the men and women who now serve in military postings around the world and we prayed that our children will never be called upon to serve in times of war. Part of commemorating and honouring is also re-dedicating ourselves to demonstrating understanding, tolerance, respect and love for others in our relationships so that we might be agents of peace in our community. The observance of remembrance and reflection on the lessons associated with this occasion are important customs that we pass onto our children.

Year 6 move into their final weeks of primary schooling with many special events to mix celebration, culmination and preparation. As I write this, I can hear the ‘doof-doof’ of disco beats and the shouts and squeals of boys and girls from Newington, MLC, Meriden, PLC and Trinity at the Year 6 Social, enjoying freedom and friends, some nervously breaching school and gender boundaries to make new acquaintances. It is a welcome break for the young men of Year 6 and their teachers who have been increasingly consumed through the rest of the week with finalising their preparations for the Year 6 PYP Exhibition this Monday. There is nothing else like Exhibition in our calendar, another event that will be richer for once again being a live gathering. It is a unique opportunity for each boy to share the culmination of his specific inquiries and exhibit his own growth as a learner. And it is not to be missed! Attendance by other students, especially those in Year 5 who will undertake Exhibition next year, is strongly encouraged. I urge everyone in our community to come and experience something quite special. The evening will begin in the Assembly Hall at 6pm for the corporate opening of Exhibition. Following this, the students will exhibit their knowledge and understanding of their chosen issue, this year communicated through individual artworks. Guests will be able to peruse the surrounding galleries and question the boys for the rest of the evening, concluding at 8pm.

I will detail end-of-year events in separate communications as they draw near but wish to note to parents the following:

  • Year 6 Parent & Son Dinner – Monday 28th November at Le Montage commencing at 6.30pm
  • Year 6 Valedictory Service – Wednesday 30th November, commencing at 1.30pm in the War Memorial Chapel
  • Kindergarten, Year 1, Year 2 Christmas Service – Thursday 1st December, commencing at 9am in the War Memorial Chapel. Parents are encouraged to join their sons on this occasion. School finishes for the year at the conclusion of the Assembly (approximately 10am) and boys go home with parents.
  • Years 3-5 Picnic Day – Thursday 1st Students in Years 3-5 come to school as usual and will rotate through fun activities. Casual clothing is worn.
  • Year 6 Picnic Day – Thursday 1st Year 6 will be bussed to and from Penrith Water Park. Casual clothing is worn.
  • Junior School Annual Prize Giving Ceremony (Years 3-6) – Friday 2nd December, commencing at 9am at Sydney Town Hall (TBC). The final event for the year is attended by all Years 3-6 boys in summer uniform. Boys are to be transported to/from Town Hall by parents. School finishes for the year at the conclusion of the ceremony (approximately 10.30am) and boys go home with parents. Please note that there is currently the threat of industrial action hanging over this day that could significantly disrupt public transport. Should this eventuate, the Ceremony will take place at the alternate venue of the Preparatory School at Strathfield. The School will confirm the venue as soon as we have greater clarity of the likelihood of this action proceeding.

One of our annual practices is to gather data about our students’ wellbeing. The purpose of doing so is to assist in the process of reviewing and evaluating our wellbeing programs and initiatives. Next week, our students in Years 2, 4 and 6 will complete the ACER Wellbeing Survey which helps us to track general trends in our student body as compared with schools across Australia.

Parents are reminded of the Auxiliary Annual General Meeting to be held at Café Envy at 9am next Thursday. At this meeting we will be electing the office holders for 2023. All are welcome to attend.

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School

God’s voice thunders in marvellous ways; he does great things beyond our understanding.

Job 37:5

Share this post