From the Head of the Preparatory School
Mind, Body and Spirit
As a school, Trinity prides itself on focusing on the development of the whole person…Mind, Body and Spirit. This commitment requires our boys to be engaged in a wide variety of learning experiences. As adults supporting the boys in their development, it is essential that we support and encourage them to pursue growth and development in all areas. This can be challenging, as some boys will feel greater levels of comfort in certain learning areas compared to others. When this is the case, the boys look to us – their parents and teachers. We need to be equally committed to Mind, Body and Spirit, and to urge them to persevere to assist them in developing resilience and growing as learners. It is important that boys experience the hard work that is, and should be, associated with learning. The past week has presented numerous opportunities for our boys to do such learning across all facets of School life.
Monday night was a great example of the opportunities for growth and development that exist at Prep as approximately 70 students took to the stage (the front of the Gym at least) to perform as part of the Strings Soiree. I noted to the parents in attendance that the event was some 18 months in the making, given the last time we had been able to hold a concert with parents in attendance was at the end of 2019. This has felt really awkward, given performing is such an integral aspect of learning an instrument. I commend all of the students across the Prep School, and particularly those that performed on Monday night, for their perseverance and dedication to continue practising despite the lack of performance opportunities. Suffice to say, the performances on the evening were very entertaining as well as providing another opportunity for future growth through the feedback received.
We are now looking forward to the other upcoming Studio Concerts which begin in Week 6.
Saturday Sport is one area of School life that requires additional levels of commitment for boys after the completion of a busy week of classroom learning. The benefits of Saturday Sport are far greater than simply winning or losing. Teamwork, winning well, losing graciously, the transference of skills to real life situations, and sportsmanship are just a few of the life lessons our boys have the chance to learn and consolidate each week. Too often we gloss over the true meaning of teamwork. Teamwork requires a sense of commitment, both to a cause and to one another. It requires individuals to identify and use their strengths as well as relying on, and appreciating the strengths of others to cover one’s weaknesses. I understand that Saturday mornings can be a challenge for parents at the end of a busy working week; however, I urge you to support your boys and to engage with them in the wonderful learning they do each week; before, during and after their sporting contests.
Sport uniform – Thursdays
Last year the School changed the expectation for student uniform on Thursdays, to allow students to wear the Sport uniform all day. This was seen as a compromise to avoid students having to bring two full uniforms to school on these days. At the time of this adjustment, it was clearly articulated that all students must arrive and leave school dressed in the sport uniform and not their sport-specific attire. This is an ongoing expectation to ensure there is a level of consistency and neatness in appearance as the boys come and go. Over the last few months, it appears that students are beginning to take liberties with this expectation by wearing sport-specific clothing to school such as their rugby jersey or football shorts. Students are not permitted to wear such clothing and will be given opportunity to change into these items of uniform prior to sport training. I welcome the support of parents in ensuring that the boys arrive in correct sport uniform on Thursdays.
Over the course of this term the boys have been spending time in Chapel exploring and learning key verses of the Bible. Mr Smith has encouraged the boys to commit these verses to memory so that they might support the boys in developing a deep appreciation for what they mean and making it possible for the boys to draw on them as, and when, deemed appropriate in their faith journeys. Last week, the boys focused on perhaps the most famous verse of the Bible, John 3:16 which says, “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” These words should bring great hope and encouragement to know that the God of the universe was prepared to sacrifice his only son to make it possible for us to be in a relationship with him.
Stage 3 Leadership Seminar
On Tuesday, the Stage 3 students were joined by four of the Senior School Leaders for a Leadership Seminar. The four boys, each of whom graduated from the Prep School, spoke to the boys in a panel-style session about their experiences moving from Prep to the Middle and Senior Schools, their leadership growth – both successes and failures, the importance of respect and standards and the opportunities that await them in their future learning journeys. I was particularly struck by message of the current School Captain, Jamie Christopoulos who spoke to the boys about constantly moving out of your comfort zone into situations that encourage growth, whether that be in Mind, Body or Spirit. Each of the Senior School Leaders spoke of the importance of informal leadership, regardless of whether you wear a badge or not. This is an important message for our current Year 6 cohort as they lead the Prep School and set the tone for our campus, and for our Year 5 cohort as they build up to this challenge in 2022.
Photo Day – Wednesday 19th May
Next Wednesday, 19th May, is our Photo Day and we will be taking class, individual and sibling photos. Boys need to be in full School uniform on this day along with ensuring their haircut meets the expectations outlined in the Record Book.
Upcoming Parent Information Session – Assessment and Reporting at the Prep School
Firstly, I am pleased to make you aware of our Term 2 Parent Information Session that will be run on Wednesday, 26th May at 6:00pm and again on Friday, 28th May at 8:30am. Over the last year, the COVID restrictions have caused us to explore more creative ways of holding information sessions and communicating information to parents. I am pleased to say that it is now possible to return to our normal practice of holding these events in person with larger numbers in attendance.
This term’s Parent Information Session will focus on Assessment and Reporting at the Prep School. At the recent Auxiliary Meeting we had a healthy discussion about the differences between primary school assessment and reporting practices and those of the High School. At this session, we plan to explore the thinking behind our assessment and reporting practices and paint a picture for parents about the transition into Middle School and beyond. I invite parents to join us for this session to find out more and to ask any related questions. This will also be an opportunity to provide some additional insights into how our new Flexible personalised learning approach in Years 5 and 6 is supporting the transition for students.
The session will be provided on Wednesday evening (26th May) at 6:00pm and again on Friday morning (28th May) at 8:30am. We hope this makes it possible for parents to attend at a time that is convenient to them.
Kiss and Ride
You may have noticed the Council Rangers have been present a couple of times over the last week. Whilst this may feel somewhat heavy handed, ultimately, we welcome their involvement to ensure the students are safe, Kiss and Ride works as efficiently as possible, and our neighbours are respected. I wanted to write to bring a couple of related issues to your attention and to ask for your ongoing support to ensure all three of those targets are met on a consistent basis.
- Parents are strongly encouraged to arrive at Kiss and Ride at the correct time (see below). Parents arriving earlier than this time will be asked to do a lap of the block to allow parents of younger students to pick up and move on. If you have two boys, please line up at the later time.
- Pre-K – pick-up at 2:45pm
- K-2 – pick-up from 3:00pm
- Years 3-6 – pick-up at 3:15pm
- Parents are reminded to only park or stop in areas where this is legal. Please be mindful of the ‘No Stopping’ zone on the corner of Llandilo Ave and Kingsland Rd. Rangers have indicated that this is an issue they will be monitoring in the coming weeks.
- Please be mindful of our neighbours by not double parking, or blocking or turning into driveways.
- Parents are asked not to perform three-point turns in Llandilo Ave or neighbouring streets. Whilst I can appreciate that this may make it easier to avoid traffic, it creates an unnecessary risk for students, parents and staff who are walking around the roads.
- Parents are reminded to hold their son’s hand when crossing the road.
Chris Wyatt | Head of the Preparatory School
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