From the Head of the Junior School

Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,

We reach the end of an extraordinary term that none of us were imaging on the corresponding day last term. There is much to reflect upon. At the moment, my overwhelming feelings are of appreciation and pride for the manner that boys, teachers and parents have endured, persevered, worked together and cared for one another in the face of obstacles, distance, fatigue and uncertainty. Everyone has made the very best out of every situation even when much has been beyond our control. WELL DONE, ALL!

It is now time to rest and re-charge because it is deserved and it is healthy to rest. Also, because next term will contain more challenges in which we all need to be at our best. Initially, the challenge will be a few weeks of continued remote learning, followed by a staggered return to school in the run-up to the conclusion of the year. This return will be a re-adjustment for all given the extended period away and the considerable accommodations that will need to be made by boys, parents and staff to ensure a safe and manageable community. Please ensure that your son (and you) use the next few weeks to benefit from the break to routines and expectations associated with remote learning.

If your son requires some inspiration to help him to be productively occupied across the holiday period, then we suggest:

  • Move-A-Thon – our hours are going up faster than vaccination rates and we have collectively crashed though the 2000 hour barrier! The Move-a-Thon runs until Friday 15th October, with half of its 40 days spanning the holiday break. It is a great time to boost moving minutes, challenge friends and collect sponsors. Congratulations to Week 1 winners of Rebel Sport vouchers, Nicholas Beke (5T), Nicholas Ma (4J), Vito Zhou (5B) and Lachlan McCarthy (KW). We will still draw weekly prizes across the holidays and these will be randomly selected from boys who are doing lots of moving; or
  • Green Patch Day – these activities remain accessible via the Canvas page and can be commenced or continued over the Spring season; or
  • Hungry4More? – teachers have released fun and engaging activities across many areas of interest which most boys have not had the time or inclination to try…yet. Any “I’m bored and don’t know what to do” moments may be the perfect time to try! Whilst teachers will not be updating or monitoring H4M? over the break, the back-catalogue of games and activities is available;
  • and, every holiday is a good time to read!

Today also brings some sadness as we bid ‘adieu’ to Mrs Maher and Ms Baines. Mrs Maher has been a steady, skilled and caring influence on her boys this year, and Ms Baines has been our ‘super-casual’ for two years and a particularly valued member of the Year 6 team this term. Both depart with our considerable appreciation and best wishes, Mrs Maher to take up a leadership position at Roseville College, and Ms Baines to travel, teach and be re-united with family and friends overseas. We also thank Miss McGrory for her role on Year 3 this year as her internship concludes. The boys and teachers of Year 3 have loved having her and we hope that this is not yet goodbye, expecting that she will continue to be part of the Junior School in a casual capacity next term.

Whilst it is not forefront of most minds, parents of students in Years 3 and 5 may be wondering about NAPLAN assessments completed early in Term 2. We have been advised by NESA to expect delivery of these to school in the coming week and will then forward these to parents at the beginning of next term.

As indicated previously, the School is taking time to consider the full implications of the government’s guidelines for returning to school and how these can be enacted to provide a safe learning environment on our campus. The School will communicate the details of the plan to return to school at the beginning of next term.  

Term 4 will begin for all Junior School students with their class check-in on Thursday 7 October.

I wish you all a refreshing and, most importantly, safe break.

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

Matthew 11:28-30

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