From the Head Master

During the course of this week, we heard more from the government as to the proposed path out of the current COVID-19 restrictions. While it is important for me to provide some commentary on the plan as it pertains to Trinity, I also want to note how boring this topic is becoming for us all!

From the School’s point of view, the big reveal of the week was the schedule of Higher School Certificate (HSC) exams. Whilst this has most immediate relevance to the half of our current Year 12 cohort who will gain their HSC, it will also have implications for many others in the School community. Given that the decision to commence exams on 9 November had been announced previously, the key question had to do with which subjects would be examined. NESA was contemplating examining only the English subjects, examining a limited and selected number of subjects, and examining all the subjects. It is now clear that all subjects will be examined.

I support the decision to examine all subjects, as this will allow the boys the best possible chance to show what they know and can do in the examinations that they have been working towards in the summative assessment of their schooling.

However, I have serious reservations about some of the details around the plans. The School would have been best-placed to conduct the examinations in a COVID-safe way if other secondary school cohorts were not onsite at the same time. Therefore, it seems strange that the HSC examinations do not start until after the nominated return date for all secondary school cohorts.

While Trinity continues to be committed to following NSW Health guidance, it may be that the pattern and timing by which students return to School varies from models which may be adopted by other schools. Given the length of time between now and when students are permitted to return, the School will take some time to determine the best way forward, taking into account the changing health situation and the other factors that must inform these decisions.

Another implication of the delayed start and finish of the HSC examinations is to push our Valedictory events, along with the end of year prize-giving events for all Year groups, into the final week of the school year. While it appears possible that some or all of these events may be able to take place onsite as gatherings of students and staff, it appears very unlikely that parents and visitors will be able to be onsite also. We are exploring all the options that may allow us to conclude the year well and to celebrate the boys and their achievements. More information will be provided in due course.

Finally, I note that NSW Health and NESA are strongly encouraging students who will be sitting HSC examinations, which in our context also includes the IB Diploma students, to be vaccinated by the time of the examinations. It does not appear that this will be mandatory for students, although it will be for staff and invigilators. However, vaccination of these students will help to keep them and their peers safe, and the School adds its encouragement to that of the government and public health authorities.

I anticipate writing in the near future to the families of the boys who will sit final examinations, asking for an update on their sons’ medical records to indicate vaccination status. This information will be sought in order to help the School manage risk and to keep all of our community safe. The support of families in this matter will be very much appreciated.

Detur gloria soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

Head Master’s Weekly Address

The Head Master, the Head of the Middle School, the Head of the Senior School and one of the Chaplains presents a piece to camera each week during Remote Learning. They are in lieu of the Head Master’s weekly address to the Quad Assembly, the Middle School and Senior School Assemblies and Chapel. View this week’s address from the Head Master below.

This week: Praising God for science

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