From the Head of the Junior School

This week was ‘Safer Internet Week’ in the Junior School and the boys have undertaken many activities aimed at raising their awareness and ability to be safe on-line. Please take a moment to read the article included in this week’s edition with many links to helpful resources. Please also ask your son about the activities and messages of this week as a discussion starter at home. Thank you to Mr Karagiannis and the IT Gurus for leading activities. Ashfield’s Youth Liaison Officer, Constable Jim Bottalico, who is a great friend of Trinity, spoke to most boys about online safety. Each year, Constable Jim raises the boys’ awareness of safe practices, particularly ways that they can take care to not reveal personal information when they are socialising, playing or posting on-line. Constable Jim explained that ratings (G, PG, M, MA, R) are assigned for a reason and should be used by boys and parents when making decisions about what is appropriate to watch and play. Many boys indicated that they play games or watch content with ratings guidelines well beyond their actual age. It is a difficult situation for educators and sends mixed messages when some parents allow children to participate in activities in spite of safety guidelines. Whilst parents are entitled to make decisions about standards in their own household, it poses difficulties in our community when some are allowed and some are not, especially in the area of media where student exposure to content rarely remains in the home but is shared on-line, emerges in classroom conversations or is discussed in the playground. I urge parents to heed media age guidelines (including on-line games and social media). Our boys are aware of appropriate and safe behaviours but sometimes lack the judgment or maturity to maintain self-discipline. So, the boundaries you put in place and monitor for your children can promote your own child’s safety and the safety of the other children in their network. This year, Year 5 and Year 6 teachers are incorporating the eSmart Digital Licence programme into the Home Learning requirements for their classes. It is hoped this will give parents the opportunity to observe, participate and promote discussion of digital citizenship in each home.

Our mothers will be a focus of community activity in the Junior School next week. We are looking forward to being joined by our K-2 mothers next Friday 7th May from 9am until approximately 10am for our K-2 Mother’s Day Morning. Our special guests will have the chance to see some items from the boys, dance and visit classrooms. Please contact the Office if you did not receive your invitation in the mail. The boys will need to be in classrooms at 8.45am to get ready and it is fine for Year 2 to arrive at that later time as well. On Tuesday next week, all K-6 boys will have the opportunity to purchase a gift for Mum from the Mother’s Day Stall. The Auxiliary Committee have done an extraordinary job assembling a wonderful collection of gifts ranging from $5 to $40. Please ensure your son has cash to purchase a gift on the day. Older boys (Years 5 and 6) who have their own debit card may use this to purchase but I stress that no boy is to bring or will be allowed to use a parent’s credit card at school. Thank you to the Auxiliary team for giving the boys the chance to purchase a beautiful gift. The Auxiliary are also in the process of re-scheduling our Years 3-6 Mother and Son Breakfast…whilst unable to align this function with Mother’s Day celebrations this year, we are looking forward to holding this event in the not-too-distant future. 

It has also been a long and treasured tradition to provide boys and their fathers the opportunity to gather together for early-morning Father & Son Breakfasts. COVID-19 and the move of weekly Chapel from Fridays mean that we will not be utilising the dates set aside in the Record Book for breakfast this term. However, this has provided us with the chance to re-imagine how these events might be staged to make the most of the opportunity for boys and Dads to spend time together. We will advise of the new format and Term 3 dates for all year group breakfasts soon.

On Wednesday, we had over 70 boys compete in the Australian-Chinese ‘Hello Mandarin’ Contest, an annual competition for children and adults to encourage reading and an appreciation of Chinese literature. We have never had so many boys prepare and perform individual and group recitations, from both Mandarin and non-Mandarin speaking backgrounds. In preparation, all of the boys worked very hard with Mrs Wang to develop their Mandarin reading and speaking skills in their lessons and clubs. We are confident many of the boys will advance to the next stage of this competition. We are grateful to Mrs Wang for her energy and initiative in making these opportunities available to boys. Similarly, we are grateful to Mrs Gossling for preparing our Year 5 and Year 6 teams for next week’s Da Vinci Decathlon. Good luck to both teams as they match their minds against boys and girls from many other schools on Thursday in a series of problem-solving challenges spanning many learning areas. The boys have been training hard in recent weeks and are sure to enjoy and benefit from the experiences in store for them.

Parent helpers are greatly appreciated in supporting the boys’ learning. Miss Kelly will soon ask for helpers in Year 1 Reading Groups. We are asking all parents who are likely to volunteer for Reading Groups to attend a training session either next Wednesday 5th or Thursday 6th May at 8.40am. At this session, we will cover some general guidelines for parents assisting in the classroom and some important aspects of safety and confidentiality. Each meeting should take no longer than fifteen minutes.

The Year 3 Sport programme will commence next Friday afternoon and runs for five weeks this term. The sessions will complement the PDHPE programme and Thursday sport sessions, to provide the boys with the necessary skills and games experience to prepare them for games from the beginning of Year 4. All sessions commence at 3pm and conclude at 4.30pm. Parents are asked to be punctual for pick-up. Boys booked into OSH Club can still go to OSH at the conclusion of the session.

We had a terrific beginning to inter and intra-school winter sport competition last Saturday, with some great skills and teamwork on display, excellent sportsmanship and many teams registering wins. Most importantly, many games were close, well-fought contests played in the right spirit. Please ensure that boys are at the correct location tomorrow morning at the advertised time to allow coaches to warm-up and prepare the teams appropriately. Boys, play hard, play fair and play with passion!

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School

He has made everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in the human heart; yet no one can fathom what God has done from beginning to end.

Ecclesiastes 3:11

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