From the Head of the Junior School

I pay tribute to all of the Music teachers, support staff and students whose talents, teamwork and hard work were showcased on Wednesday evening in extraordinary performances at the annual Gala Concert. I took particular joy in the performances of the Junior School boys who opened and closed the concert as part of the massed choirs, and in the four boys (Tim Buultjens, Harry Hartzenberg, Thomas Henry, Benjamin Loughnan) who played significant roles alongside the senior boys in the Academy Brass Ensemble and Symphony Orchestra. It was a dazzling event and fitting climax to the Festival of the Arts. 

I thank the boys and staff of the Junior School for being wonderful hosts to many visitors to our campus over the last week. The families of Year 5 students enrolled for 2023 toured the Junior School last weekend and we had many other prospective families visit on Wednesday to hear about and witness for themselves the extraordinary calibre of our boys, teachers and the learning they undertake. Our leaders were wonderful greeters and tour guides, and the boys welcoming of our guests into classrooms and other learning spaces was well-received.

I also thank the Junior School Auxiliary, who at yesterday’s meeting agreed to financially support implementation of the Green Patch programme. Mrs Bargwanna presented an overview of the programme that she has designed for the boys in which they will plan, prepare, plant, pamper, protect, pick and plate their Patch. As planting begins next term, we now require significant investment in tools, planter boxes, wicking systems, vegepods and trolleys. The Auxiliary have committed to providing these resources of a quality that will benefit the boys’ learning for many years to come. This investment represents many years of faithful fundraising and stewardship, and hundreds of hours volunteered by many parents across many events to place the Auxiliary in a position to provide such significant support. We will be sure to keep all parents informed about the resources you are providing as they are integrated into our growing Patch.   

I draw attention to the distribution of details about the co-curricular programme for Term 3, which will be distributed next Monday. Expressions of interest will need to be lodged by the beginning of the final week of term (Tuesday following the Long Weekend). We will aim to confirm offers of places before the term concludes but our ability to do so may depend on the volume of applications. I remind parents that you must undertake free registration via OSHClub to ensure the availability of this supervision should it ever be necessary following an after-school activity. This process must be completed by Monday 14 June or your son will not be considered for after-school activities in Term 3.

World Environment Day occurs this weekend and the Junior School will focus on environmental activities throughout next week to shine a light on the issue of sustainability and develop our boys’ awareness and capacity to act as positive, influential global citizens. Home Learning for all boys will include the challenge to incorporate individual and family actions under the banners of: re-think/re-invent; re-cycle, re-generate; and re-educate. Please get involved with your son as there are many initiatives that, whilst not too difficult, will require your support if they are to yield a sustainable significant change of mindset and habit. On Friday, the entire Junior School will undertake a series of fun and environmentally-friendly learning activities during the pre-recess session. Years 3 and 4 will be putting plastic bags to good use during their activity and would appreciate the donation of any relatively clean plastic bags beforehand. If you have these in the back of the car or bottom of the pantry, please send them to the Library where Mrs Bowden is coordinating the collection.     

This term’s ‘Cuppa’n’chat’ with the Junior School Executive (Mr Hassall, Mrs Ormes, Mrs Richards and myself) will be on Thursday 17th June from 8:45am-9:30am. Parents are welcome to take up the opportunity to ask questions or raise matters, or simply enjoy morning tea with us and one another. Parents will be emailed a link for registration early next week.  

Please note the following special events next week:

  • Mufti Day (Tuesday) with a gold coin (or more) donation;
  • Winter Sport Photos (Thursday);
  • Pizza Day (Friday) with thanks to the Auxiliary.

In the final week of term, a large number of students and staff will be travelling and representing the School on the combined primary North Coast Rugby and Football Tour. We wish them well and anticipate some changes to the regular timetable to accommodate the absence of accompanying staff.

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School

The Sovereign Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the feet of a deer, he enables me to tread on the heights.

Habakkuk 3:19


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