From the Head of the Junior School

Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,

One of the ways that parents can keep in touch with the comings and goings of daily life in the Junior School is through the Junior School Instagram account. If you have not already discovered this and followed us, you can do so @tgsjuniorschool. If you took a peek this week, you will have seen Year 5 at camp on Lake Macquarie, abseiling, sailing, rafting and laser-tagging to name a few of the great activities that kept them busy. I had the privilege of spending Wednesday with the boys and was impressed by the enthusiasm and cooperation they displayed with one another and their camp leaders. Many boys particularly pushed themselves to overcome a personal challenge when fear or unfamiliarity may ordinarily have stopped them from having a go. Some boys slept in a tent for the first time. And for some, this was their first camp or time away from home. Despite the weather, the boys and staff embraced the opportunity to learn about themselves and one another in an environment very different from home or the classroom. Thank you to Miss Cross, Miss Tone, Mrs Bell, Mrs Bowden, Mr Hassall, Mr Bishop and Mr Karagiannis who took time off from their own families and responsibilities to look after the boys. I remind Year 5 boys and parents that all boys are expected to participate in sport tomorrow morning.

The School Council and leaders across all sections of Trinity gathered on Thursday evening to mark a very significant milestone. In 2021, three Trinity teachers have completed twenty-five years of service to the staff and boys of the School. I draw attention to the two Junior School teachers who were honoured, Mrs Shelley Richards and Mrs Robyn Scott. It is remarkable to consider the impact both of these committed and skilful educators have had on so many boys in their formative years across that quarter of a century….and they are still doing so every day! Congratulations and thank you to Mrs Richards and Mrs Scott! 

I note for the attention of current Year 6 parents that the Year 7 2022 Information Evening scheduled for Tuesday, 9th March will be delivered as pre-recorded sessions for viewing by current Year 6 parents. You should have received information from the Head of the Middle School, Mr John Allen, this week. This is the beginning of the process of preparing boys and parents for the transition to Middle School.  

I am pleased to see that there have not been too many items of lost property in the box located at the courtyard entrance to the Junior School. The task of returning lost items is made almost impossible when an item is unnamed. Parents are reminded of the importance of clearly labelling all their son’s clothing, lunch boxes and other items. If it isn’t named, it shouldn’t come to school! Whilst we encourage the boys to develop responsibility in this area, it is inevitable that enthusiastic boys who are regularly required to move around school will leave items behind. Lost items are almost always returned to their owner if they are clearly labelled. But, it is very difficult to make a legitimate claim for a piece of found or disputed property if it does not have your name on it. Items of uniform that can not be identified are stored in the Office for a term after which they become available to anyone…in return for a small donation to our term’s charity. Mrs Webb has quite a selection of very-good-condition items that are unclaimed from previous terms. So next time you need a replacement or new item, please ask your son to check with Mrs Webb whether she has an unnamed item in the size you need – you may score a bargain and our charities will benefit…win-win! 

Next Friday, the boys will be supporting ‘A Day without Speech’ and raising their awareness of communication challenges when they go without speaking in support of OIC Cambodia. Please help your son to get sponsors (or make a tax-deductible donation) so that this powerful learning experience for our Trinity boys also allows us to make a difference in the lives of children with communication issues and far fewer resources accessible to address these issues. We have distributed information (via class Canvas and Seesaw pages) about how to donate or provide sponsorship for your son’s silence. Thank you to those who have already donated. The class competition is heating up with 3B still holding a lead, but it is slimmer. We are hoping that a big and generous boost of pledges will get us close to our goal before next Friday.  

For a number of years, the School has made available the opportunity to Years 3-6 students to choose to compete in International Competitions and Assessments for Schools (ICAS) in English, Writing or Mathematics. These independent skills-based assessments are rigorous competitions with many questions set beyond grade level, and as such do not suit all boys. Whilst we will again offer this competition, I ask parents to think very carefully before opting-in. In addition to the reasons above, it is worth considering whether the time out of the classroom justifies any benefits. Those benefits are less apparent in an age when students already get considerable exposure to formal testing and when teachers have access to a wealth of growth data which we find more valuable than that provided by ICAS. However, should you decide that your son should participate in some or all of these competitions, I draw your attention to the announcement elsewhere in this newsletter about enrolling your son.

The next meeting of the Junior School Auxiliary will be on Thursday morning at Café Envy commencing at 9am. It will again be attended by the Executive and Year Parents so please feel free to contact your Year Parent if there are any questions or issues you would like covered.  

Finally, we wish our swimmers great success at the IPSHA Championships next Tuesday. I remind parents wishing to attend that you must pre-register via IPSHA. The carnival is an enormous logistical undertaking with over 1100 students competing and the organisers have stressed that there will be no exceptions for spectators wishing to enter who have not pre-registered.

Mark Dunn | Head of Junior School

That is why we labour and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Saviour of all people, and especially of those who believe.

1 Timothy 4:10

Mr Dunn coding with Kindy!

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