From the Head of the Junior School

Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,

I commend our Year 6 students on the outstanding way they have started their leadership year in the Junior School. I have observed and have had noted to me by a number of staff, how settled, diligent and responsible individual students and the Year 6 cohort have been in setting a cooperative and productive example for the school. I have long maintained that the approach of our eldest boys goes a long way towards setting the tone for all students. On the basis of the first six weeks, Year 6 is helping to set us all up for an extraordinarily successful year.   

It is now a year since we began messaging parents and boys about changes to our customs brought on by an emerging awareness of COVID-19. Some of those messages remain the same one year on. For example, if your son is unwell, please do not send him to school, especially if school involves an excursion or camp. Our approach to other events has become more nuanced as we have learnt to approach events in different ways, and learnt what is possible, preferable or undesirable when we utilise technology. Our decisions to adapt, cancel or postpone events depends firstly on our capacity to safely run the event, but also on our ability to achieve benefits that will make that event worthwhile. With that in mind, I wish to provide an update on community events scheduled for the remainder of Term 1:

  • Movie Under the Stars – as previously advised, this event will not occur this term. We hope to be able to re-schedule this experience later in the year.
  • Parent / Student / Teacher Learning Conferences – will occur in Week 9 using technology to bring participants together. See below.  
  • Family Services – these will not be held this term. In postponing our services for now, we hope to be able to re-schedule these community services for later in the year when restrictions may permit a fuller experience including singing and socialising.
  • Amazing Me – will take place in Week 10 using technology to bring participants together. Parents of boys in Years 4 and 6 will soon receive information about participating in this personal development presentation and guided conversation, which you will undertake with your son from home.

Today, the boys accepted the challenge of ‘A Day without Speech’ and increased their awareness of the complexities posed by communication disabilities. In every classroom, from Kindergarten to Year 6, lessons were adapted and classes went without a whisper until morning tea! Even ball games in K-2 FAST were played silently! For some boys, this was a first-time experience, whilst others have been developing their empathy and understanding over years of participating in this day at school. By this morning, we had already passed $14000 raised for OIC Cambodia to educate teachers and train speech therapists in a country where there are none. Hopefully, sponsorships still to be registered over the weekend will get us to our $15000 goal. I thank our community for the enormous number of donations, big and small. Please discuss with your son his experience today. Whilst we had fun, we have reminded the boys that the children we are helping do not have the choice to start and stop after a few hours, nor the technology we have to aid their communication. One of the GROWTH messages to boys this week is that being a Trinitarian involves helping others when we become aware of a need that we can meet. The good-natured support and generosity of boys, parents and teachers have been a wonderful illustration of that characteristic. It is a privilege to belong to a community that is outward-looking in supporting those less fortunate in practical ways.

Trinity and the Junior School will mark International Women’s Day next Monday. The teachers and I will speak with the boys about the value of all people, especially of women and girls. We will make our boys aware that in countries in the world and even in some aspects of our own community, women and girls are not afforded the same status, respect, reward, opportunities or access to education as men and boys. We will also discuss real ways that boys can act for change in their own circumstances, and our desire for them to grow into young men whose words and deeds communicate that women and men are equally deserving of respect and opportunities. The School and parents have an important role to consistently communicate to our boys the God-given value and uniqueness of every person and equip them to challenge inequality or unfairness with action that is rooted in justice, compassion and respect. 

Next week, all families will receive notification of how to book a Parent/Teacher/Student conference in Week 9. These conferences are a terrific opportunity for you, your son, and his teacher to discuss goals for the year and important next steps in learning. Your son’s presence in this meeting is to facilitate a three-way conversation rather than simply a conversation between adults. I encourage all parents to make this meeting a priority and book a time on-line to conference together.  

The Auxiliary will be running a Gelato Day next Friday as a fundraiser and treat for the boys. Information has been given to the boys, emailed to parents and is linked in this newsletter. The most important detail is that these must be pre-ordered and paid for on-line. We will not be able to accept cash from boys so please pre-order.

Congratulations go to our swimmers and divers, who competed at IPSHA Championships on Tuesday. The boys were a credit to the School and performed very well against high-quality opposition, in some cases winning not only their race but the entire age division. It is a pleasure to report that Moussa Choker has qualified for CIS Championships in diving, as well as Nathan Jones, Zac Bachir and Daniel Zhang in swimming events. Well done, boys on your outstanding achievements. We are proud of all the boys who represented the Junior School across the season of inter-school carnivals.    

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.

Joshua 1:9

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School

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