From the Head of Junior School

Now Christ Jesus has come to show us the kindness of God. Christ our Saviour defeated death and brought us the good news. It shines like a light and offers life that never ends.

2 Timothy 1:10

Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,

I extend a warm welcome to all parents and boys for the start of the 2021 school year from myself and the staff of the Junior School, and on behalf of the Head Master, Mr Bowden. I especially welcome 72 students and their parents who are new to the Junior School community this year. I hope that all families enjoyed a safe and happy summer break, whether you were able to get away for a holiday or had a ‘staycation’.

The boys have made a wonderful and settled start to the year. In these first few days, it has been a delight to see and hear the boys’ enthusiasm and excitement for learning, as they meet, welcome and re-connect with one another. Please see snippets from the boys’ first few days in the video below.

Continual improvement of our facilities and professional expertise is always a focus when we have blocks of time without students on campus. We are indebted to many who did much hard work over the break, cleaning up from 2020 and getting everything ready for students to start 2021. Our maintenance teams completed internal repairs and painting, thorough cleaning, installation of some new furnishings and clearing of the space outside Years 5/6 for our new Green Patch initiative. Our teachers assisted with this as well as undertaking professional development in-servicing in the days prior to commencement. I will share with you the particular details of the goals, site developments and programmes that will impact the student experience in 2021 at our Parent Information Evening (mentioned below). 

Perhaps hardest working of all our staff was Miss Gratton, who gave birth to Jackson on the 12th January. Jackson was the first boy to visit the Junior School this year and he is healthy and beautiful. Congratulations to Gill and her partner, Leo, who are thrilled to be parents.

Despite wishing it were not so, the pandemic continues and will have an impact on some of the events we have planned at least for the near future. It is our desire to run events where possible, so against the backdrop of changing restrictions, we will plan optimistically and then adjust practically as required with adherence to government health guidelines. Our approach remains to prioritise safety and preserve the ‘normality’ and breadth of the experience for students as much as possible. Unfortunately, that comes at the cost of permitting parents on campus for most reasons when students are present. We will continue to adjust events and procedures as necessary and aim to keep you informed of changes in a timely manner. We continue to train and reinforce boys in safe practices at school such as regular sanitising. Masks may be worn at school and on transport including the Trinity buses, although this is not a requirement for primary-aged students.

There are a number of exciting staff changes in 2021…

Weare blessed to have a number ofadditional staff join the Junior Schoolteam this year. We welcome:

  • Miss Miriam Cross – as a Year 5 teacher from All Saints Grammar;
  • Mrs Penni Maher – as a Year 4 teacher from Launceston Grammar;
  • Miss Alanna Tone – as a Year 5 teacher from Glenferrie Primary School;
  • Mrs Nikki Bowden – as Teacher/Librarian. Nikki has been a casual at both primary campuses;
  • Mrs Melinda Bargwanna – in the new position of Environmental Educator. Mel has been teaching at the University of NSW and for TAFE.  
  • Mr Nick Bishop – as Youth Leader-Intern whilst he completes ministry studies; and
  • Miss Charlotte McGrory – as our Notre Dame University Scholar, working particularly with Year 3 as she completes her university teacher training.

I am confident the boys will benefit from the skills, passion and energy of these wonderful educators and parents will appreciate the impact they will have on the learning culture in the Junior School.  

We will also be farewelling two long-serving members of the Junior School staff in coming weeks, changes that were finalised after the completion of the 2020 school year:

  • Mr Paul Brigden will be leaving us at the end of Week 2 to take up a chaplaincy position at Woolaware Shores, an Anglicare retirement facility at Taren Point. Paul has had a great impact as the Junior School Chaplain for over six years.
  • Mrs Emily Brown will complete her tenure in Week 4. Emily has been supporting the students and staff of the Junior School in various Teacher’s aide roles for fourteen years.

We thank both for giving wonderful service to the Junior School community and wish them well in their next endeavours. Mrs Eliza Leedow, who is already working as a support teacher and provided much assistance to Mr Brigden in Chapel and Christian Studies last year, will take over those responsibilities in 2021.

The first few weeks of any school year are an important opportunity to establish routines that will serve students well throughout the year. I encourage parents and boys to work together in these early weeks to ensure the establishment of good habits at school and home. It is important for boys to be on time to school each day and with the correct equipment for the day’s lessons. The Record Book will be of great assistance in this regard – students use it daily and parents should be ensuring that they sight and sign it each day as well. It is an important avenue of communication between home and school. Parents are also strongly encouraged to use and maintain familiarity with these sources of information:

  • The Junior School News is produced weekly and it is important to read it every Friday for details of upcoming events and the latest information about the weekend’s sporting fixtures.
  • Trinity Events / Community Directory (accessed via website or app) is also a great source of information about upcoming activities and events. This is where you will find links to enrol for co-curricular activities and social events.
  • The Parent Information Booklet 2021 has Junior School specific information about the year ahead. It will be available for Parent Information Evening.
  • The Trinity App puts a lot of information at your fingertips, has the latest information about events and can be tailored to provide alerts that are relevant to you.

Notes, occasional e-mails, Seesaw and Canvas class pages will also be ways in which we share with you about events and your son’s learning. No doubt, questions will still arise from time to time. In the first instance, please contact your son’s class teacher who will be happy to help you with your enquiry or direct you to whomever can provide appropriate assistance. Mrs Webb and Mrs Bandaranayake in our Office will also be a wonderful help to boys and parents. For parents who are new to the School, some of our ICT communication applications such as Canvas and Seesaw will be introduced to you in coming weeks.

Our Parent Information Evening will be on Monday 8th February. Assuming current restrictions remain in place, it is our intention to distribute general information messages from me and some single-subject teachers prior to the night, as well as:

  • Inviting Kindergarten parents to a session with Mrs Weston in the Junior School commencing at 6pm;
  • Hosting Microsoft Teams sessions for parents of Years 1-2 with the class teacher commencing at 6pm;
  • Hosting Microsoft Teams sessions for parents of Years 3-4 with the class teacher commencing at 6.30pm;
  • Hosting Microsoft Teams sessions for parents of Years 5-6 with the class teacher commencing at 7pm.

Further details will be distributed next week. We will also be advising of some after-hours opportunities for new Junior School parents to tour the Junior School and see the learning spaces that are becoming important for your son in his new school.

I wish to clarify pick-up and drop off arrangements for all boys. Boys should not be arriving much before 8.00am unless attending a sports training session or music lesson. From 8am, boys are permitted to enter the building, deposit their bag, change shoes if necessary and then proceed to their supervised play area (Number 2 Oval for Years 2-6 and the courtyard outside the art room for Kindergarten and Year 1). In the afternoon:

  • Boys catching a Trinity bus are supervised and then escorted to the bus stops by a teacher on duty.
  • Boys walking home or catching public transport are dismissed to make their own way home.
  • Parents of K-2 boys picking up their son are asked to do so between 3.00pm-3.15pm. Any K-2 student not collected by 3.30pm will be signed into OSH Club.
  • Parents of Years 3-6 boys picking up their son are asked to do so between 3.15pm-3.30pm. Any Years 3-6 student not collected by 3.45pm will be signed into OSH Club.
  • K-2 boys with brother/s in Years 3-6 are able to remain and are supervised in the carpark with their brother/s. At 3.45pm they will be signed into OSH Club.
  • Boys attending co-curricular activities usually muster in the courtyard until the commencement of the club.

It is a great idea to be registered for OSH Club so that you can access their service at short notice if necessary. This can be done online. Thank you for your patience in the carpark this week. It is always laboured in the first week, with so many new users and co-curricular activities that dissipate departure times yet to begin. It will improve but will always be busy in peak times. Junior School parents can help to make the experience smoother by sticking to our designated time ‘windows’ and displaying the named card on your passenger visor. It is imperative that parents always follow carpark rules to ensure the safety of all who use it. Safety triumphs convenience!

I remind you to note information distributed about the co-curricular programme especially if your son is interested in an activity that requires enrolment for Term 1. There have been a couple of changes to the details of some activities which were reflected in the updated brochure and on individual registration pages. I remind you that expressions of interest remain open through next week. We will confirm offers of places at the beginning of Week 3, when most clubs commence. In addition to those requiring enrolment, a number of activities (eg. Games Club, Cru Group, Gardening, Lego) will be promoted to the boys and are free for them to choose to attend at lunchtimes throughout the week.

The primary boys enthusiastically engaged in sport trials yesterday as we commenced preparations for the first round of inter- and intra-school sport on Saturday, 13th February. We will give all boys a fair opportunity to trial. Unfortunately, not all will be successful in being selected in their first-choice sport and will then need to be allocated to a team in another sport. We will move through this process fairly but also decisively in order to give boys the time to trial in other sports if necessary. The Friday afternoon component of the Year 3 Sport programme commences on Friday 12th February and runs for five weeks each term. Dates for the year are in the Record Book.

The Junior School Auxiliary is committed to organising events that build our community. To this end, they are planning a welcome event for all Junior School families, a ‘Movie Under the Stars’ evening to be held at the Centenary Centre on Friday 12th March. We will only know if this can proceed closer to the time, but please set aside the date and watch for more details in coming weeks. Parents are encouraged to participate in the Auxiliary through monthly planning meetings, supporting special occasions or volunteering across a range of events. Parent representatives in each year group will communicate details of these opportunities and can be a helpful contact if you are unsure about aspects of school life.    

There has been lots of information to start the year. No doubt some questions have been raised as well as answered. Please contact us if this is the case. I look forward to meeting you (in a socially-distant way!) at an event soon and wish all Trinity Junior School students and their families a rewarding and enjoyable 2021.

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School

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