From the Head of the Junior School

I love you, Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. Psalm 18:1-2

Dear Parents and Friends of the Junior School,

Today, the boys and staff had the opportunity to farewell Mr Paul Brigden as he completes over six years as the Junior School Assistant Chaplain. Mr Brigden has faithfully served the Junior School community, passionately going about the task of ensuring the Bible is taught with clarity and integrity. We thank Mr Brigden for his ministry to many over the years and wish him well as he takes up a chaplaincy position at Woolooware Shores.  

It has been a pleasure to see the boys and staff productively occupied in many contexts this first full week of school: engaged in the classroom; training for sport; problem-solving in STEAM, exploring play spaces; demonstrating respect for others in their listening, manners and cheerful greetings; and learning with and from one other. Particularly noticeable in the early weeks of the year is teachers’ hard work with the boys establishing high expectations in regard to the way we treat one another. At Trinity, we embrace the Christian command to love one another and our expectation is that boys, parents and staff will practise and model respect in all interactions. This expectation is embodied in our Junior School Code of Respect (our CoRe) which provides guidelines for our interactions. The Code of Respect encourages and reminds us to respect ourselves, others and our school in all of our decisions, words and actions. Teachers and boys have already come up with many fantastic applications of these principles in their own classrooms and activities. The Code of Respect is part of the language and culture of the Junior School and can be found in all learning spaces across the Junior School. It is a wonderful reminder for adults in how to treat each other as well! Students also participate in GROWTH lessons throughout the year as part of a whole-school approach to health and well-being. In Term 1, each boy will participate in lessons specifically focusing on ‘Being a Trinitarian’, with the specific content and activities tailored to each year level. Class teachers and I will elaborate on this programme on Monday evening.

Class teachers are looking forward to remotely connecting with you on Monday evening and we hope you take the time to ‘Meet the Teacher’. I touch on the different nature of the evening and highlight some areas of focus for 2021 in an introductory video that will be emailed to you on Monday morning with the links to join each class’ meeting. I remind you that you will need to install the Microsoft Teams app beforehand if you will be using a mobile device.  Classroom sessions by teachers are scheduled for:

  • K-2 classes commence at 6.00pm
  • Years 3 & 4 commence at 6.30pm
  • Years 5 & 6 commence at 7.00pm

Sixteen Year 6 students selected for positions of responsibility as School and House Officers will be commissioned at our weekly Chapel Service on Wednesday morning. The commissioning in the War Memorial Chapel is significant as a message to the boys that they lead for God’s glory, that leadership involves sacrifice, and that they can draw inspiration and guidance from the example of servant leadership modelled by Jesus. The rest of our Year 6 boys have also been advised of their individual leadership roles today and will meet with staff in coming weeks to set goals and discuss expectations for their portfolios over the year.  

We have appreciated the positive feedback so far about changes to the co-curricular programme of activities. Boys and parents seem to appreciate the breadth of activities, communication of the full year programme and the elimination of charges for activities. Predictably, expressions of interest in some activities significantly exceed availability. As foreshadowed, we will apply the identified criteria and notify all applicants one way or another at the beginning of the week. In leaving registrations open until today, we have given ourselves a considerable task for early next week but understand you need to know if your son has a place before the day of the activity. I remind you that boys who miss out on this occasion will be prioritised for an offer in future terms where possible.

The Year 3 Sport programme will commence next Friday afternoon and runs for five weeks this term. The sessions will complement the PDHPE programme and Thursday sport sessions, to provide the boys with the necessary skills and games experience to prepare them for competitive IPSHA games from the beginning of Year 4. All sessions commence at 3pm and conclude at 4.30pm. Parents are asked to be punctual for pick-up. Boys booked into OSH Club can still go to OSH at the conclusion of the session. Sports trials for boys in Years 4-6 continued yesterday and we are well placed to have all boys in a team (hopefully the correct one!) for Round 1 of IPSHA and Intra-sport next Saturday.

I am asking all families as an act of preparedness and kindness (to sons and their teachers) to ensure that they are registered with OSHClub. This is a ‘just in case’ registration for that one-off emergency when your son needs care after hours. Without registration, OSHClub can not legally admit a boy to care. No one plans for this to happen but it happens to almost everyone at some stage across the primary years. It is free and relatively easy to register online here. This registration does not expire so you should not need to re-register if you have done so previously for this campus.  

It was wonderful to gather with the Class Parents and Executive at our first Auxiliary Meeting yesterday. These parents are very keen to connect families across the Junior School, and to plan events for the boys and wider community. Class parents will communicate with you about Auxiliary events and initiatives during the year, and provide opportunities for you to connect with one another. Unfortunately, yesterday we had to make the decision to postpone the traditional welcome event, our ‘Movie Under the Stars’ evening. We hope that restrictions will be eased soon to allow us to re-schedule this wonderful family evening for later in the year.

I also advise Year 5 and new Year 6 parents that the Digital Citizenship session scheduled for Wednesday 17th February can not proceed on that evening. Mr Karagiannis is developing an on-line self-paced course for boys and parents to undertake in its place. Details will be provided soon.

If your family circumstances have changed recently, particularly in regards to contact details (especially email) or care of your son, please ensure that the School has current information. This allows us to contact you easily and where necessary, issue multiple copies of notes and reports to parents. If care of your son is affected by orders from the Family Court, please ensure that the School is provided with up-to-date copies of the applicable orders. Should there be any variation to these, please ensure that we are immediately notified.

Next week will be a big week for any hopeful swimmers. On Tuesday, our primary students will be able to trial for the Swimming Team to represent the Junior School at Invitational and IPSHA carnivals over the next month. I encourage any boy who is a capable and regular swimmer to have a go. We will also conduct a swim test for all new Years 4-6 boys on that morning, as part of our risk management procedures for lessons, camps and other activities to be held in and around water this year. Mr Robinson has communicated the details to boys and parents.

Mark Dunn | Head of the Junior School

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