From the Head of the Junior School

Only three sleeps to go for Kindergarten, Year 1, Year 2 and Year 6 students before we welcome them back to campus on Monday. There has been obvious excitement amongst these boys in online lessons this week for the end of remote learning. Similarly, excitement is evidently building for boys in Years 3-5 for their return the following Monday. I imagine parents are experiencing some degree of mixed feelings; delight that children are going to be out of the house and returning to learning at school and in the company of others (undoubtedly beneficial to everyone’s mental health) but possibly tainted by a degree of concern for their child’s health given the physical exposure they will now have to others in the community. Rest assured that the School has extensively considered how to provide as safe a learning environment as is possible for all who will be on-site, including but not limited to: mask wearing (compulsory for staff and recommended for primary students); separation of cohorts in and outside buildings; planning for and practising physical distancing (where possible); enhanced cleaning and hygiene; improved ventilation (all classrooms have HEPA filters); and vaccination of all adults. Further details are contained in the Junior School Return to School Information Booklet. Students must not attend school if unwell, even with mild symptoms of COVID-19. Any person with any COVID-19 symptoms will be sent home and must not return until they have received a negative test result and are symptom-free.

Next week will provide an ideal opportunity to test and orientate half our students to the adjusted procedures, routes and timetable before the full return of Junior School. To this end, I ask K-2 and Year 6 parents to ensure they know and support the following adjustments:

  • Modified start time (9am)
  • Modified finish time (K-2 at 2.40pm; Year 6 at 3pm)
  • Carpark Drop off window (8.30am-9am)
  • Carpark Pick-up window (K-2 from 2.40pm-3pm; Year 6 from 3pm-3.20pm) – Year 6 boys with K-2 brothers will be dismissed at the earlier time to facilitate one pick-up
  • No visitors – parents may not enter gates or proceed past the carpark
  • No buses in Week 3
  • No canteen
  • Summer uniform – Uniform Shop home delivery and click and collect are available
  • Sport Uniform – boys will wear sport uniform to, from and during the day on their timetabled PE day (K-2 on Monday and Wednesday; Year 6 on Friday)
  • Access to Number 2 Oval – parents are advised that cohorts will be using the external pathway along Seaview Street and Victoria Road to move from the Junior School to the oval for breaks. This is to enable cohorts to come and go without coming into contact with other cohorts. Boys will be supervised and there is no road crossing on the short journey  

Years 3-5 will continue with their remote schedule as has operated throughout, beginning each day with an 8.30am check-in. The only change next week will be that specialist teachers will not be available in afternoon ‘drop-ins’ as they will be teaching the boys who will now be on campus. However, they will still set tasks, mark and provide support to students…completion of specialist tasks is expected for all boys in Years 3-5 next week.   

Next week’s registration email for Week 4 attendance will simply ask parents of boys in Years 3-5 to indicate if their son will not be returning in Week 4. As previously stated, this option necessitates a conversation with Mr Hassall.     

In a significant change for many families, the return date of the Trinity bus network has been announced as Week 4 (from Monday 25 October), to coincide with the return of the majority of students to campus. 

We are still giving careful consideration to events that will be prioritised over the rest of term bearing in mind what is or may become permissible, which changes almost daily! Beyond Week 4, the School will publish details progressively to allow us the agility to respond to the evolving roadmap. A number of dates for end-of-year events have already been adjusted (in some cases different from the Record Book) and will now take place on:

  • Monday 22 November: Year 6 PYP Exhibition
  • Monday 6 December: Years 3-6 Prize Giving
  • Tuesday 7 December: K-2 Christmas Service
  • Tuesday 7 December: Year 6 Valedictory Service (unchanged)
  • Wednesday 8 December: Final day for all Junior School students

The format of these events will be confirmed closer to the time. If parents are still not permitted on-site, we will stream or record and distribute these events for the enjoyment of all in our community.

Today heralds the end of the moving part of the Move-a-thon…40 days of activity. It is our hope that boys have been inspired to move more than usual and that, in some cases, an appreciation of the benefits of prioritising physical activity may have been fostered and will be ongoing. Well done to all of the boys, teachers and supervising parents who got into the spirit of the event…we hope it has been a blessing to you and your family across the final weeks of lockdown. The final moving statistics and last round of prize-winners will be announced next week. Now, attention moves to the fundraising aspect of the event and it is our hope that the total amounts raised for the John MacLean Foundation and the Junior School Auxiliary are as momentous as the minutes moved. Please help your son turn his minutes into dollars by sponsoring him or assisting him to approach family and friends to seek sponsorship. Some guidelines and the link to make donations are contained on the Sponsors & Donations page on the Move-a-thon site and linked here

Please also help your son to meet next week’s deadline for submitting a personal drawing for inclusion on his class’ individualised tea-towel. The Junior School Auxiliary will soon provide information to parents about how you can purchase the tea-towels which will make great Christmas presents. I extend the School’s appreciation to the Auxiliary Committee and Year Group Parents who have remained supportive of the School throughout the disruptions of this year, which have often thwarted their plans for community and fundraising events. The Auxiliary did meet last week and interested parents can access the record of this meeting elsewhere in this newsletter.

Last week, we posted home the NAPLAN Parent Reports to Year 3 and 5 families. If these haven’t arrived yet, please contact the Office. If you have any questions about these reports, please contact your son’s class teacher in the first instance.

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School

But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint

Isaiah 40:31

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