From the Head of the Preparatory School

Welcome back to school for Term 4. I trust that the holidays provided an opportunity for a break, whether that be a break from your own work or simply a break from juggling work and remote learning. I hope it provided an opportunity to engage in our new found love of picnics and to reconnect with some friends and family after such a long period of lockdown.

I am excited to welcome you and your boys back to Term 4 because it promises to be a term where we have the chance to return to some form of normality. The following video message was shared via email yesterday.

Staged Return to School

From the beginning of Week 3 we begin our staged transition back to face to face learning with students. I trust that you have engaged in the Return to School Information Booklet that was sent home earlier in the week. If you haven’t done so yet, I encourage you to click on the link below. This booklet details the way that we plan to keep our boys safe as they return to school. 

Return to School Information Booklet – Preparatory School

Our plans have not changed despite yesterday’s announcement by the NSW Premier as we had already prioritised transitioning all year levels back to school over a two week period. We are confident that the protocols we have in place to keep each cohort separate can support this staged return to school for all students.

I appreciate there is a level of anxiety associated with students returning to school, however, the School continues to be guided by the advice of the NSW Government and NSW Health. This advice continues to make it clear that as the public vaccination rate increases, any risk to young people is minimal. I would encourage parents to also weigh this against the risks associated with students not being in a classroom. Whilst we are very proud of the academic focus we have been able to maintain throughout remote learning, I believe it is critical to have students back in classrooms to support their social and emotional development. This is an area of personal growth that has been impossible to replicate as students and families have been restricted to their own homes. Returning to face to face learning will provide students with the necessary interactions and opportunities to play with classmates and to learn in a collaborative environment. These experiences are invaluable in the life of a young person and the sooner we can restore children to the natural environment of school the better.

Parents who have reservations about their son returning to school or would like to discuss remote learning support are asked to contact the School to discuss this with Mr Richard Lever or myself. Please do not assume that we know what you are thinking. If we don’t hear from you, we will assume that boys are returning to school as per the published plan. 

Mr Lever can be contacted via the following email address:

Llandilo Development

A significant amount of work took place over the holiday break, as the builders began putting the finishing touches on the works associated with the Llandilo Development. Today, the final clean is taking place as the building and new landscaped playground are readied for the students’ imminent return. Suffice to say, we are absolutely thrilled with the outcome and I can’t wait for the boys to start benefiting from the new spaces.

Next week we will be creating a walkthrough video that we look forward to sharing with the community to whet your appetites for the learning and play that will take place in these spaces in the coming weeks, months, and years.

PYP Exhibition

One of the most exciting aspects of being a Year 6 student at the Prep School is the opportunity to engage in the PYP Exhibition. The Exhibition is an extended Unit of Inquiry that provides the students with the opportunity to take complete ownership for inquiring into a local issue, becoming an expert, proposing possible solutions and engaging in appropriate action. This learning opportunity acts as the perfect culminating experience for students as they begin to make the transition from primary school to high school. They will have the opportunity to demonstrate their prowess across the different Approaches to Learning; Research skills, Thinking skills, Communication skills, Social skills, and Self-Management skills.

This year the Exhibition focuses on the ‘How the World Works’ transdisciplinary theme. The students have begun brainstorming possible issues that are worthy of exploration.

The PYP Exhibition will take place on the evening of Tuesday, 23rd November. We are still finalising the format of the Exhibition in light of the current restrictions, however, we look forward to making it accessible to all so that the Prep School community and many others across the world can join us in celebrating the students’ learning.

End of year dates

Whilst we are still finalising plans for the end of year events in light of the ongoing COVID restriction, I would like to draw your attention to a change in the end of year dates. The Annual Prize Giving and Speech Day Ceremony will now be held on Monday 6th December as opposed to the previously advertised date of Thursday 9th December. As such, the School term concludes on Wednesday 8th December for Pre-Kindergarten to Year 5. Year 6 students will need to attend school on Thursday 9th December to take part in Allwell Testing. The result of these assessments is invaluable for the Middle School teachers and Housemasters as they support the students’ transition into Year 7 and beyond. Timing of the Allwell assessment will be confirmed in coming weeks. Further details about end of year events will also be communicated as they are finalised in the coming weeks.

NAPLAN results

Earlier this week we posted home the NAPLAN parent reports to Year 3 and 5 families. If these haven’t arrived by early next week, please contact the School Office. If you have any questions about these reports, please contact your son’s class teacher in the first instance.

“There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens…”

Ecclesiastes 3:1

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