From the Head of the Preparatory School
Mental health and wellbeing have increasingly garnered the attention of the wider community as this current period of lockdown has extended. Being separated from our usual contexts and having less contact with friends and family has been challenging for all of us, particularly as these things help to fill up our wellbeing buckets. As the period of remote learning has continued, this has been prominent in our thinking and has been the motivation behind Wellbeing Wednesdays and the whole school focus days and activities. These days and activities have given the boys something different to look forward to and engage with. They have reminded the boys about the importance of balance and provided them with a sense of belonging to something bigger such as their House or the wider School community.
This week, our Wellbeing Wednesday coincided with RUOK Day. Across the day, the teachers encouraged the students to check in on one another but also to reflect on the things that we do to make ourselves feel ok, or to lift spirits, or to fill up our wellbeing buckets. It was lovely to see the videos the boys added to FlipGrid. Here is a selection that I hope helps to lift your spirits and make you feel ok.
Click here to see what makes the Prep boys ok.
The teachers also got in on the act and had some fun. Click here to enjoy.
Another reminder that I am sure will lift everyone’s spirits is that we only have one week left in this term before we can all enjoy a break from remote learning for two weeks. I have been incredibly impressed by, and proud of, the students’ engagement and learning throughout the term. I am also very grateful for the strong sense of partnership that has been present as you have supported your son in his learning and provided regular encouragement along the way. Needless to say, the teachers have done an amazing job providing the platform for the boys’ learning. As such, I am certain the holidays will be a welcome relief from remote learning when they come at the end of next week.
Father Son Camp
Last weekend a great number of our boys embraced the opportunity to camp out in the backyard or somewhere inside their house, with their dads. It was great to see the creativity and fun that was had by all that got involved. I trust the dads felt special. Click here to see a short video of the Father Son Camp.
Return to School in Term 4
I am aware that many parents are eagerly anticipating further announcements from the School about what the return to face to face learning may look like in the middle of next term. As has previously been stated, the School is not rushing to confirm anything at this stage as we continue to wait for clarity and further information from the NSW Government, the Department of Education and the Association of Independent Schools about what the return to school might look like. We are also very conscious that a week (or in this case nearly two months) is a long time in the middle of a pandemic. Rest assured that we will continue to prioritise the health, wellbeing and learning of our students in this process. As soon as concrete decisions are made about what this will look like, they will be shared with parents.
End of year Reports
Whilst it is still a long way off, we have begun to consider what, if any, changes might be required to our Semester 2 reports in light of the significant amount of time spent in remote learning across this semester. For the most part the reports will remain consistent with previous semesters, with the possible exception being Specialist areas of the curriculum including Art, Music, STEAM, Mandarin, PE and Christian Studies. Throughout this term we have been very aware of the differing home situations each of our students and families have operated under. Accordingly, we have encouraged families to use discretion about the students’ level of engagement in areas of the curriculum beyond the expected learning in English, Mathematics and Units of Inquiry. As a result, there has been a significant discrepancy in the quantity and quality of the learning produced across the student body in the Specialist areas of the curriculum. This sits very comfortably with the school and is in line with NESA’s (NSW Education Standards Authority) expectation during this period of remote learning. In response, we will only be providing a report in Specialist areas of the curriculum if students have meaningfully engaged on a semi-regular to regular basis across the semester. If students haven’t done so, this page of the report will simply not appear as it will be impossible (and unfair) for a teacher to assess their learning. This will have no impact on a students’ ongoing learning, nor will it impact their transition to the next year. If your son hasn’t meaningfully engaged in these areas of the curriculum up until this point, and you would like a report on them, please encourage him to complete these learning experiences from this point forward.
5 Minute Insights
- This week there are two new episodes of 5 Minute Insights. Mrs Hitz-Morton provides parents with guidance about encouraging the students’ development in the PYP Approaches to Learning during remote learning. Click here to view this episode. This link will take you to some supporting documentation about the Approaches to Learning.
- Mr Lever speaks about maintaining students’ motivation and engagement during remote learning. Click here to view this episode.
The Prep Walkathon concludes today! On Wednesday Henderson House was the first to reach Perth but the race is still on until 6:00pm this afternoon. It’s not too late for the boys to have one last ditch effort that might be the difference of their House.
The following students have randomly been selected as the winners of a $50 Rebel Sport gift voucher that has been donated by the Prep Auxiliary. Vouchers will be sent in the coming week.
- Marcus Yu (2C)
- Isaac Lin (2C)
- Michael Lee (6S)
- Dominic Zou (PKS)
- Aiden Qian (2G)
- Luke Obaid (3G)
- Jonathan Cassar (3G)
- Marcus Nguyen (5H)
- Devon Yan (3H)
- Oliver Le (KB)
Whilst it has been great to encourage the boys to become more active, an additional aspect of the walkathon has been the opportunity for families to make a donation to support people in the Inner West who are in need during this difficult time. We decided to support The Exodus Foundation as they work with people who are sleeping rough in the local area by providing them with food and shelter. I am pleased to report that Prep families have so far donated $1430. The good news is that it is not too late to contribute. If you would like to make a donation, it can be done at this link. Families are encouraged to include ‘Trinity Prep’ in the notes section so that we can celebrate the difference we have made as a community.
Our final big event of the term occurs next Thursday…our Athletics Carnival. Spring boarding off the success of the recently held Prep Olympics, we thought it would only be appropriate to hold a virtual Athletics Carnival. More details will be shared via Seesaw in the coming days. Thursday 16th September will be dedicated to House competition across a range of events. There will be no learning tasks set on this day.
Chris Wyatt | Head of the Preparatory School
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