From the Head of the Junior School

Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.”

Matthew 22:37-39

Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,

I want to thank parents for their support and partnership with us across the first few weeks. It has been a very smooth start for students due in part to the wonderful efforts of our extraordinary teaching and support staff but also because of the important supporting role parents have played in preparing boys for each day, delivering your son punctually, equipping him correctly and fostering a positive and cooperative attitude. The teachers were very appreciative of the opportunity to communicate with so many of you during Monday’s parent information sessions. Thank you for your participation. If you have not already done so, please watch the linked Junior School 2021 Orientation Video and the Junior School Learning & Communication Platforms Video which were distributed for the evening and that will support you in supporting the School and your son.

For Years 3-6, the week began with an assembly presentation from former Trinity student, Weh Yoh, about the importance of doing all we can to support others’ needs. The Junior School has been partnering with the charity founded by Weh, OIC Cambodia, for over five years, building our own students’ awareness of the communication challenges faced by many students and financially supporting the provision of speech therapists for underprivileged Cambodian children. In a few weeks, the boys will undertake ‘A Day without Speech’ when they will go without speaking in support of OIC Cambodia. It is always a very quiet, creative and rewarding morning in the Junior School! We have distributed information (via class Canvas and Seesaw pages) about how to donate or provide sponsorship for your son’s silence so that we can continue to make a difference (all donations are tax-deductible). In the current climate, support of lesser-known but equally-worthy charities is vital to their ability to provide continued assistance. Please support generously and even challenge your son to go beyond what we will do at school…a weekend without speech?

This week also saw the dedication of Year 6 and the commissioning of School and House Officers as they pledged to be servant leaders this year. Leadership is an important attribute for all young men to experience and nurture, which is why all Year 6 boys are given a position of responsibility as well as many informal opportunities to grow in this way. In coming weeks, Year 6 boys will begin to explore and plan authentic opportunities in their area of responsibility under the guidance of a ‘mentor’ teacher. As a group, Year 6 is already embracing many responsibilities by helping and setting an example for younger students. The impact of kindness and gentleness from an older boy should never be underestimated as an influence on our younger students looking for role models and starting to form ideas about masculine identity.  

Our co-curricular programme is now in full swing with many sporting and club activities commencing this week. Year 3 Sport commences this afternoon and Round 1 of Year 4-6 sporting games is tomorrow. At the beginning of the season, there is sometimes angst around team selection and unfamiliar procedures. I emphasise that the first rounds are viewed as ‘trials’ and some movement across teams is to be expected, although we anticipate changes will be minimal. I remind all parents about the importance of your son turning up to his match in sufficient time for a warm up and instructions from the coach – it is expected that boys are at venues half an hour before the scheduled start of play. Junior School boys play sport under the IPSHA (Independent Primary School Heads of Australia NSW Branch) umbrella. IPSHA sets out clear guidelines and codes of behaviour for players, spectators and coaches. The principles of IPSHA sport are:

  • Enjoyment and sportsmanship must be emphasised at all times
  • Competitors should be encouraged to play hard and strive to win fairly
  • Respect your opponent
  • Team spirit and School loyalty must be given priority over selfish play
  • Foul or rough play is inexcusable
  • Applause should be generously bestowed on good play from both teams
  • Excessive jubilation must be curbed so as not to show contempt for an opponent
  • The referee’s decision is final and beyond reproach
  • Complaints concerning the conduct of games must not be made during or after the game but must be referred to the School (either Mr Robinson or Mr Dunn)

At Trinity, we encourage boys to be gracious in winning as well as in defeat. The shaking of an opponent’s hand (‘fist-pumping’ at the moment) at the completion of any game is expected and good play from an opposition team should be acknowledged in an appropriate manner. No player should criticise any teammate and there is to be no swearing or fighting on the playing field for any reason, or as the result of any provocation. All Trinity teams are to be immaculately turned out in the correct playing strip and non-Trinity items of clothing are not to be worn. At all times boys are expected to give 100% effort. I ask that you reinforce all of these principles with your son and uphold them yourselves each Saturday. The Trinity Grammar School Sport Code of Conduct and IPSHA Guidelines are linked here. The most up-to-date game information and latest COVID-19 protocols for participation and parent spectators have been made available via the app. Please ensure that you are familiar with expectations and cooperate with requirements. At Trinity venues, two parents are permitted to attend as spectators but siblings and extended family are not to attend. Please remember:

  • all spectators must register on arrival;
  • observe safe-distancing;
  • come, play or watch the game and then leave;
  • do not attend if you have tested positive to COVID 19 or awaiting results, been in close contact with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID 19, have been required to self-isolate, or are unwell or are displaying flu-like symptoms;
  • follow the directions on signs and from staff.

As mentioned previously, I am asking all families to ensure that they are registered with OSHClub. This is a ‘just in case’ registration for that one-off emergency when your son needs care after hours. Even this week, we have had some boys where pick-up has gone awry who have not been registered. No one plans for this to happen, but it happens to almost everyone at some stage. It is free and relatively easy to register online here.

Unfortunately, safety protocols stipulate that boys can not currently celebrate birthdays by bringing items to distribute. We will advise you when this situation changes. Instead, we will hold a corporate celebration for all Term 1 birthdays arranged by the School later in the term.

I remind Year 5 parents that the Digital Citizenship session noted in the Record Book for next week will be replaced by an on-line learning resource to be distributed later in the term. However, all boys in the Junior School have now brought home the 2021 ICT Agreement. Please familiarise yourself with this agreement, discuss it with your son, sign it and return it before next Friday.

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School

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