From the Head of the Preparatory School
This week felt like a significant week in the life of the Prep School as we continued to return to ‘normal’ school life. For the first time in over a year we hosted an Open Day for prospective families and conducted two Parent Information sessions. On both occasions I commented that it was refreshing to be engaging in events that were ultimately focused on developing partnership with parents in the education of their son. After all, this is what we are here for!
Open Morning is always a particularly energising experience as it serves as a strong reminder about why we do what we do and how it benefits our students. The strong message is that we are committed to growing young men as learners as they develop in mind, body and spirit. Whilst it is great to talk about this, the most inspiring aspect of Open Morning was seeing the prospective parents engaging with our School Leaders about their experience of the School. They spoke articulately and with enthusiasm about their learning journeys and the opportunities that they have on a daily basis. It was moment that filled me with great pride witnessing their growing maturity.
While remaining of the theme of mind, body and spirit…
This week has seen the launching of the Arts Festival at Summer Hill. To coincide with this a great number of our boys have been performing at Studio Concerts and the Trinity Singers have been engaged in final rehearsals for next week’s Gala Concert which will take place at Angel Place Theatre. These events are wonderful opportunities for our boys to showcase their artistic skills and talents and act as a great reward for all of the effort they put into practising.
Head Master’s Dash
On Thursday, four Year 6 boys (James Barry, Christian Di Giandomenico, Jeremiah Sydhom and Aaron Patel) represented the Preparatory School at the Head Master’s Dash at Summer Hill. The race, over 40 metres, was strongly contested and the fastest four runners in the Primary category across both campuses eventually competed in the Final on the day. James Barry did the Prep School proud as he finished a very respectable 3rd place in the final with the others narrowly missing out. Congratulations to all of the boys involved.
Parent Information Session
On Wednesday evening and Friday morning we hosted some 40-50 parents for this term’s Parent Information session exploring Assessment at the Prep School and how this transitions into the high school.
The key message that was communicated was the importance of focusing more on the journey rather than the destination. As parents it is easy to be drawn into thinking about where our children are going to end up in the future, which can result in us taking our eyes off the here and now. What I mean by this is that we can become driven by the destination rather than embracing the opportunities that lay in front of the students now.
I can appreciate that the ATAR and entrance to university casts a significant shadow over schooling and the potential impact that may have over our children’s future. However, being driven by this fails to recognise the importance of letting young people enjoy and embrace the opportunities that come when they are 5, 7, or even 12 years of age. These opportunities come only once and can’t be returned to when they are 17, 18 or even 25.
To a certain extent this is true of assessment at Trinity. Whilst the HSC or IB Diploma loom on the horizon and bring a particular approach to assessment, they are a long way off. In the meantime, we have the opportunity to develop our students in a manner that is developmental appropriate and provides them with the chance to develop as well-rounded learners. At the sessions, we introduced the concept of developing ‘assessment-capable learners’. That is learners who:
- Are aware of their current level of understanding in a learning area.
- Understand their learning path and are confident enough to take on the challenge.
- Can select tools and resources to guide their learning.
- Seek feedback and recognise that errors are opportunities to learn.
- Monitor their own progress and adjust course as needed.
(Nancy Frey, Douglas Fisher, and John Hattie)
This approach helps to develop learners who are able to monitor their own learning and adjust to the assessment requirements that are associated.
We also reflected on the fact that there is increasingly a strong continuum across the School from Pre-K to Year 12 in terms of assessment practice. The main purpose of assessment at Trinity is to identify where students are in their learning so we can show their growth and achievement and design future learning. This is driven by a commitment to the following principles of assessment across the School:
OSHClub and Co-Curricular Activities
The expansion of co-curricular offerings to families this year, including the provision of these without additional charge, has seen far greater numbers of boys expressing interest and being enrolled in clubs. This is terrific! Expressions of Interest for Term 3 activities will soon be open.
It has been noted that there has been an increased occurrence of boys remaining at school either on days when their co-curricular activity is not on, or well after the activity has concluded. The School takes its Duty of Care to students seriously and ensures that all primary students are supervised on these occasions. On occasions when a mistake is made or you are delayed, your son will always be supervised but this can have significant impact on the supervising teacher who often has other duties or appointments scheduled, or may need to meet their own parental responsibilities.
The School provides after hours care, accessible to every student, via OSHClub. On occasions when students are not collected punctually, OSHClub provides excellent care for students in the company of other boys. Unfortunately, not all families have heeded requests to register for OSHClub and in those instances, OSHClub is not able to accept students into care. OSHClub registration is free! There is no cost unless you actually use the service. It is also a ‘one-off’ requirement as registration remains in place for the duration of a student’s primary years.
The School has taken the decision to insist upon registration with OSHClub as a condition of considering any co-curricular Expressions of Interest for after-school activities from Term 3 onwards. This means that no student in the Junior or Preparatory Schools will be offered a place in after-school activities unless they are first registered with OSHClub at their campus. This is to ensure that Duty of Care can be exercised on any occasion when a student is not picked up punctually.
- Ensure that your child is registered for OSHClub prior to completing an Expression of Interest for co-curricular clubs later this term. Co-curricular Expressions of Interest will not be considered from any student not registered with OSHClub by Monday 14 June.
- Note the commencement date and advertised finishing time of any after-school activities that your son undertakes, to ensure that he attends on the correct days and is collected within 15 minutes of its conclusion.
Please register online at https://www.oshclub.com.au/login-and-register/. Be sure to choose Trinity Grammar and the appropriate campus. Families of Preparatory School boys who attend after-school activities at Summer Hill will also need to be registered for OSHClub at the Summer Hill campus.
Pre-K and Kindergarten Mother’s Day afternoon
After the disappointment of having to cancel this event a few weeks ago, it was wonderful to be able to welcome so many mums into the school today. It was lovely to see the boys take pride in showing their mums around their learning environment. I trust it was an afternoon enjoyed by all involved!
Chris Wyatt | Head of the Preparatory School
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