From the Head of the Preparatory School
It has been wonderful to welcome the Pre-Kindergarten, Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 6 boys back to school this week. It was a pleasure to see all of the smiling faces on Monday morning as boys bounced out of cars eager to resume face to face learning and reconnect with their teachers and peers. Despite operating under slightly different conditions, it has been so refreshing to return to a sense of normality.
It has been impressive to see how quickly the boys have settled back into school routines and so enthusiastically engaged in their learning. Teachers have placed a high priority on balance for the students as they adjust back to face to face learning by building in some additional brain breaks and opportunities for social interactions.
After months of planning and building works, it has been so exciting to see the Year 6 boys bring the new learning spaces to life. They have been quick to embrace the flexibility of the learning environment. This video captures the thoughts of the Year 6 boys after the first few days using the new Year 6 Learning Centre.
Another massive hit, with all of the students, this week has been the new Gaga Pit. I don’t want to give too much away but suffice to say there is a new favourite area of the playground! I am sure our Year 2-5 students will love discovering this next week. One of the teachers was quoted this week saying, ‘We need another one somewhere else in the school!’
Next week we look forward to welcoming the remainder of our students back to school! It has been helpful to stagger the return of students over two weeks as we have been able to test our processes and protocols to ensure they are effective and sustainable. We are confident that this is the case. Parents are encouraged to re-read the Prep School Return to School Information Booklet, paying attention to important details concerning modified finish times for each day; Kiss and Ride procedures; safety protocols; uniform expectations; and activities and services (including Canteen) that will/won’t be operating for at least Weeks 1-4.
Over the course of this week, teachers of Years 2-5 have begun discussions with the boys about transitioning back to face to face learning at school. A few of the classes have taken that a step further by getting the boys to get dressed in their school uniform to make sure they hadn’t forgotten how to do so.
This is probably a timely opportunity to remind parents to ensure that boys return in full summer uniform with appropriate haircuts as described in the Record Book. The boys are expected to wear their sport uniform on Thursdays.
IPSHA NetFit Saturday Sport program
In the absence of our regular Saturday Sport program, IPSHA is offering an online program on Saturday mornings to promote fitness, to prepare the students for the resumption of community and school sport, and to promote some healthy inter-school competition. The program runs for five weeks starting this Saturday and begins at 10:00am. Each session runs for 50 minutes, is free to join and optional for all Prep students (all ages and all family members are free to join in). To join, simply follow the Zoom link contained within this flyer. Information is also provided about how you can help Trinity Prep reach the top of the leaderboard!
Kiss and Ride
To ensure we maintain appropriate physical distancing, we have adjusted our Kiss and Ride practices in the afternoon. We strongly encourage parents to make use of the Kiss and Ride service rather than picking students up on foot as this helps to ensure pick up is efficient and limits adults and students gathering in the area outside the School. A number of parents of older students have organised (by writing to the School) for their son to walk to a local meeting point to be picked up by car. This is proving to be very helpful in reducing traffic and also offers the older students increased independence at the end of the day.
I ask that parents remain mindful of the following points that help Kiss and Ride to operate efficiently:
- Please arrive on time and do not queue in the Kiss and Ride line too early.
- Pre-K to Year 2 pick up is 2:45pm
- Year 3-6 pick up is 3:15pm.
- Parents are reminded that it is illegal to queue in Kingsland Rd and in the ‘No Stopping’ zone on the corner of Kingsland Rd and Llandilo Ave. The Council Rangers have been patrolling this week. If you arrive early, please do a lap of the block and join the queue when it is possible to do so in Llandilo Ave.
- Please drive to the top of the Kiss and Ride area, or behind the car in front, rather than trying to pick your son up outside the Kiss and Ride gate. Staff will be encouraging students to wait at different points in the Kiss and Ride area to meet parents as they pull up.
- Wherever possible, boys should put their bag in the front or back seat of the car (whichever door they enter) rather than the boot. This is safer and faster.
- Parents are requested to stay in their car rather than getting out to help their son, and to move away from the Kiss and Ride area as soon as it is safe to do so.
We appreciate your support in making Kiss and Ride as safe and efficient as possible.
From next week the internal Trinity bus will begin operating and providing a connection to other bus services from the Summer Hill campus. Please note that all students are required to wear a mask on these buses, regardless of age.
Whilst we are very keen to return to normal school life, the current restrictions mean that bringing in treats to celebrate boys’ birthdays is not allowed. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news! We are very keen to make the boys feel special on their birthday in other ways.
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
“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.”Ephesians 1:3-4
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