From the Head of the Preparatory School
I am excited to finally be welcoming students back to school over the next two weeks. For the vast majority of our students it will have been 122 days since they were last onsite for face-to-face learning, at the conclusion of Term 2!
Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 6 will be the first students welcomed back to campus next Monday, 18th October. Year 2, 3, 4 and 5 will continue with remote learning for one more week before returning on Monday, 25th October.
The teachers are very much looking forward to meeting face to face with their class again and resuming a more natural mode of supporting each student in his learning journey. We are very conscious that returning to school offers far broader opportunities for holistic development, beyond what has been possible through remote learning.
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.
One of the highlights of welcoming boys back to school will be the look on their faces as they view the new playground and building that has now been completed. Whilst I am clearly biased in my assessment, I think it looks incredible! We are thrilled with the outcome and what it represents for our learners for the remainder of this year and for years to come. The new Year 5 and 6 Learning Centres will help teachers to facilitate a flexible and personalised approach to learning that helps to focus on student growth. It will also provide increased opportunities for the development of self-management skills and independence; skills most certainly required as students transition from the Prep School to Year 7. One example of this is the use of student lockers, and for Year 6 equivalent locks that they will use in Year 7. This ‘leg up’ will be invaluable for our students!
In addition, we are excited for all of the students to make use of the new STEAM Lab on the lower ground floor that is adjacent to our recently refurbished Art Studios to create a complete STEAM Precinct. There is also a new additional learning space that has been created adjacent to the Year 6 Learning Centre that will be available for Prep students and teachers to make use of as required. This flexibility is increasingly important for smaller group learning experiences or different co-curricular activities.
I am also excited to see the students exploring and making use of the new playground. Without giving too much away, we have incorporated a range of active and passive play areas to provide choice and further opportunity for the boys at break times. We also anticipate being able to use the new Llandilo playground for learning outdoors.
I am excited to be able to share a video that provides a sneak-peak into the new learning areas and playground. We look forward to welcoming parents onsite in the coming months to see it more fully.
Whilst stage one of the Llandilo Development has now been completed, the School has wasted no time in moving onto stage two which is the creation of a new Basketball Court which includes a cover allowing it to be used in most weather conditions. This court will be constructed on the site of the old ‘oval’ or where the portable Year 5 and 6 building have been located between Llandilo and Milverton. We anticipate this being completed prior to the beginning of next year.
We had planned to run Student-led Conferences in Week 4 of this term. Given the timing of these conferences, and the fact that we are just returning from an extended period of remote learning, we feel that parents and students have already been regularly engaging in the boys’ learning. As such, we have decided to cancel these conferences but look forward to continuing to share the students’ learning journey with parents as they return to face to face learning.
In light of the current restrictions we have made the decision to move our planned Prep School Orientation Day from the scheduled date of Friday 19th November to Friday 3rd December. We are hopeful that delaying it until later in the term might provide greater flexibility to run this day in a more comprehensive manner.
Year 6 will continue to take part in the Year 7 Orientation Day on Friday 19th November. In addition to this, we are also working on incorporating an additional orientation experience for the Year 6 students at Summer Hill on Friday 3rd December.
More information about Orientation Day will be provided later in the term once we have greater clarity from NSW Health about the restrictions that will be in place.
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.
Chris Wyatt | Head of the Preparatory School
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