From the Head of the Preparatory School

Congratulations, we made it! I was reflecting with a colleague the other day about this term and what has been achieved in such remarkable circumstances. Who would have thought that we could conduct a whole term of learning remotely? It seems absurd just typing it! I have said it previously, but I need to say it again…I am incredibly proud of the efforts of all members of our learning community for the resilience, commitment, engagement and creativity that has been shown throughout the term to support the boys’ learning and to promote a sense of community in spite of our separation.

It goes without saying, but everyone deserves a well-earned rest over the upcoming holidays. I hope and pray that students, parents and teachers are refreshed and recharged by the break and remain safe and well throughout. My strong encouragement is that we all turn off our devices and make the effort to exercise, enjoy the lovely spring weather and connect with friends and family, as we are able.   

I have recorded one final video message for this term that can be viewed below.

Return to School in Term 4

Our attention has begun to turn to planning for the students’ return to school in Term 4. This will continue throughout the break and the School anticipates providing parents with clarity about the timing, associated protocols and structure of this return early in Term 4. Suffice to say that we are very excited about welcoming students back to school so they can benefit from face-to-face learning and reconnecting with their classmates. We appreciate all that has occurred throughout remote learning, but we are also very conscious that having students back in classrooms is far superior.

Utmost in our thinking and planning is the safety and health of the students, teachers and parents. We are confident that we will be able to put structures and protocols in place that will maintain a learning environment that achieves this based on the NSW Health guidelines.

Given the current restrictions, Term 4 will recommence in remote learning mode on Thursday 7th October. Tuesday 5th and Wednesday 6th October are Staff Professional Development Days and will be dedicated to further developing plans for the staged return to school.

5 Minute Insights

As we draw to the end of a term where students have inevitably engaged in far greater screen time than usual (or desirable), the holidays present an opportunity for ‘turning off’ and finding a new sense of balance. For some students and families this will be easy, for others it may require some ‘tough love’ that will be beneficial in the long run. This week’s 5 Minute Insights explores this concept and provides some encouragement for how to achieve this in the holidays.

Click here to view this episode.

Wellbeing – guidance from our Year 5 learners 

Earlier in the year, the Year 5 boys were inspired by the picture book Pandemic by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley. In this book, the author and illustrator write about the challenges faced by people during the Spanish Flu pandemic. The most impactful aspect of this book was the idea that the pandemic was overcome through quarantine and kindness. The children in this book chose to take action in the community by delivering food, feeding pets and collecting fruit and vegetables from gardens when people in the community were in quarantine. 

As group, we took some time to identify how we could support our community during lockdown, just like the children in the book. In 2021, most people continue to have access to food and shopping online, with essential services remaining open, and there are community organisations set up to support people in need. Therefore, we thought we could support the community using a website. Through this website, we aim to spread kindness, joy and wellbeing to all in our community. We hope you enjoy it and it helps you get through lockdown. 

The website can be accessed at this link

Athletics Carnival

Yesterday’s Athletics Carnival was a great way to draw this term to a close. It was wonderful to see the students (and staff) getting involved across the day in a variety of fun-filled events. I have been so encouraged by the strong sense of House spirit that has been generated across this term and yesterday was a further demonstration of this. The final results from the carnival were as follows:

  1. School
  2. Hilliard
  3. Henderson
  4. Archer

Congratulations to School House and everyone that got involved in the carnival!

A highlights video of the Athletics Carnival can be viewed here.

Australia Reads

Literature plays such a key role in the development of young people. As such, encouraging students to be readers is a primary goal of primary schooling. On Tuesday morning we embraced this through our collective engagement in the Australia Reads initiative. All of the students, and staff, were encouraged to commit one hour of the day to reading. Whilst reading is often purposeful, this experience focused more on the enjoyment that can come from curling up with a good book. Click here to see how our community spent the hour…just reading!

Llandilo Development 

I am very excited to provide an update on the Llandilo Development. Over the holidays the finishing touches will be taking place on the internal and external works associated with the building works. Our new furniture is also scheduled to arrive in the next couple of weeks. As a result, the new STEAM Lab, and Year 5 and 6 Learning Centres will be ready to go when the boys are able to return to school. I am working on creating a video of the works to share with the community early next term. 

NAPLAN results

We anticipate NAPLAN parent reports should arrive in time to be sent home in the first week of Term 4.

Pre-Kindergarten making pledges to the world

Over the course of the term our Pre-Kindergarten boys have had a great term of learning. Amongst other things they have been inquiring into the way we share our planet. We have some agents of change on our hands! Click here to view the boys’ pledges to the world and here to see some learning highlights from this term.

Staffing update

Ms Sam Gattas, one of our Kindergarten Teacher Aides, finishes up her contract with us at the end of this term. Whilst it is disappointing to farewell Ms Gattas, we are pleased to be welcoming back Mrs Elena Molnar from her maternity leave from the beginning of next term. The end of this term also signals the end of Ms Ashleigh Lopez’s internship with 1M. We thank Ms Lopez for her involvement across the year and particularly this term throughout remote learning.

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”

Matthew 6:33

Chris Wyatt | Head of the Preparatory School

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