From the Head of the Junior School

Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,

Schools are busy places and at the end of any term, regardless of its length, it is common to look back and be amazed at how much has been achieved, concerned at how much we still have to achieve, and relieved that we now have a chance to draw breath before embarking on a similarly hectic journey next term. Boys, teachers and, no doubt, parents are all ready to draw breath. It has been a wonderful term and we are grateful that we have been able to undertake almost all the events we had hoped to over the last ten weeks including camps, sports, Learning Conferences, and Easter celebrations. The boys have been a delight…ever-enthusiastic, positive and cooperative. The staff have been incredibly hardworking and dedicated in their care for boys and communication with you. Parents have been supportive in partnering with us to help boys learn, for which we thank you.

As term break commences, we again find ourselves in familiar territory, hopeful that the trajectory of easing restrictions will yield a term of relative normality, yet also aware that our community situation can change very quickly. The Record Book details the many events scheduled for Term 2 and I encourage you to remain familiar with it and attend to the weekly calendar updates provided through the newsletter. Doubt remains around events that involve food service to large gatherings. Hence, our Father & Son Breakfast dates should be treated as ‘to be confirmed’. The Auxiliary have reached the decision that the Years 3-6 Mother and Son Breakfast can not proceed in the week before Mothers’ Day, due to the prohibitive ticket cost that would be necessary to satisfy the additional food safety protocols. It is hoped that we can host this event in its familiar format later in the year. However, our K-2 Mothers’ Day morning will proceed and all mothers can expect an invitation early next term to attend this morning of performances and classroom activities.        

There will be a number of staff changes occurring throughout Term 2, for wonderful reasons. Mrs Voysey and Mrs Weber are hopeful of starting the term but are no chance of finishing it at school because they will give birth to their first children at some stage before June. We will welcome Mr Brian Slabbert to the staff from the beginning of term to co-teach STEAM with Mrs Voysey and then assume that responsibility when she takes leave.

Interest in co-curricular activities has been unprecedented and we have spent the last few days processing preferences for over 220 boys. Most preferences have been accommodated and boys have usually been allocated some of their higher selections. Many activities have also been over-subscribed, so the selection criteria advertised has been applied where necessary. Boys who were unsuccessful in their application in Term 1 have usually been prioritised for next term, a preferencing that will continue to apply as we undertake this process each term. Emails confirming the offering of places for most activities have been sent today. Most activities commence in Week 2 although administrators of some sporting activities will be in touch if their activity is to start in Week 1.  

Representative PSSA Swimming and Diving Championships have been held at SOPAC this week. Unfortunately, Nathan Jones broke his finger on the weekend and could not swim which is obviously disappointing for him. Coincidentally, the student selected to replace Nathan is our own Zac Bachir and he swam today. Moussa Choker continued his winning ways taking out the Diving championship in his age, and most pleasingly showcased great improvement in his dives across the season.  

Parents who thoroughly read all sections of the newsletter will be aware that the Academic Dean, Deborah Williams, has written in recent weeks of boys in Years 3, 5, 7, and 9 participating next term in the annual NAPLAN tests in reading, writing, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. These tests will be held in Week 4. This week, all boys in Years 3 and 5 have had the opportunity to engage with a practice NAPLAN test, to become familiar with the format, language, response types and time constraints. It is also an opportunity for the School to test the technology platforms. The School does not overly prepare boys for NAPLAN as the provision of broad and comprehensive teaching and learning programmes is the best preparation the School can provide for students. Parents do well not to accentuate any possible anxiety in students by placing undeserved importance on these particular tests.

Our GROWTH focus this term has been ‘Being a Trinitarian’. Some of the lessons to boys from class discussions and community events have been the importance of:

  • Respect for self, others and the School
  • Jesus’ command to place the needs of others before self in thought, word and deed
  • Attributes of the Learner Profile – growing to be learners who are inquirers, knowledgeable, thinkers, communicators, principled, open-minded, caring, risk-takers, balanced and reflective
  • Growing in mind, body and spirit

These characteristics of being a Trinitarian will remain important features of the boys’ education even though our GROWTH focus will shift next term. Of course, these characteristics are not exclusively the domain of Trinity boys, but we want our boys to understand that they are always expectations of Trinity students. Our message to the boys this year from the first day has also been that they do not have to ‘be the best’ but must always ‘do their best’. I am heartened to see that attitude being applied so widely by all throughout this term.

Vacation Care is available at Strathfield across the holidays and can be booked through OSHClub.

Term 2 begins for students on Tuesday 20th April and boys should be dressed in winter uniform with an appropriate haircut.

I wish all our Trinity Junior School students and families a safe and refreshing holiday break. I hope that the Easter weekend serves as an opportunity to reflect on the blessings of family, to be surrounded by family, and to be part of God’s family purchased through the blood of His precious son. God bless you, this Easter. 

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

John 11:25-26

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