Head Master's Bulletin

News

From the Head Master

September 17, 2021

As this term draws to a close, I want to take the opportunity to express my thanks to the Trinity community. While the impact of the pandemic has been felt by our community in different ways, it has been a burden for all of us. Nonetheless, under that burden I have observed our community demonstrating quiet resolve and mutual support for one another.

I want to pay tribute to our students. The experiences of our older students are obviously very different to those of the younger ones. We know that sustaining engagement with learning has been particularly challenging for some of our boys. However, it also appears that the majority of the boys are coping remarkably well in these adverse times. The long-term impact of an extended experience of remote learning and social isolation cannot be fully known, but I think we have some grounds for optimism that the challenges will have some positive impacts in the formation of our boys’ character, dispositions and capabilities.

I also want to thank the parents and families of the School community for all that you have done to enable the boys to continue with their education. The partnership between home and school that we often speak about has been forced to take new shapes during this term. Parents have had more insight and input with reference to their son’s learning than has been the case for many decades; that shared experience is now part of your family’s story, with its memories, in-jokes, tensions and emergent traditions. Thank you also for the encouragement and support that you have offered to members of the School team along the way.

I particularly want to acknowledge the efforts of our staff in both their teaching and their support roles. The professional challenges that they have faced, combined with the personal challenges that we have all experienced, have been substantial. Designing learning for the boys, providing feedback on progress, maintaining the personal connections that are so central to the School experience, and managing all the other dimensions of their work has been demanding in the extreme. I am immensely proud of them and their commitment to the boys of the School.

As this term comes to an end, the School is also hard at work planning for next term. The government has provided some direction as to the anticipated return to school, but we are all conscious that our plans are provisional. I anticipate providing families with a substantial guide to our approach to Term 4 at the end of the break. This document will provide answers to many of the questions that are circulating in our minds and in the community about how face-to-face learning will resume in a COVID-safe way.

For the time being, the key messages are:

  • Term 4 will commence with remote learning and the arrangements that are currently in place.
  • The School encourages all members of the community who are eligible for vaccination, which includes the boys who are 12 years old or older, to act on the public health recommendations to be vaccinated.
  • During the break, we should all make a priority of resting well, eating well, exercising well and connecting well with one another.

And, finally for the term, I bring you a blessing from the Bible, in Numbers 6:24-26.

May the Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make his face shine on you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.

Numbers 6:24-26

Detur gloria soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

Head Master’s Weekly Address

The Head Master, the Head of the Middle School, the Head of the Senior School and one of the Chaplains presents a piece to camera each week during Remote Learning. They are in lieu of the Head Master’s weekly address to the Quad Assembly, the Middle School and Senior School Assemblies and Chapel. View this week’s address from the Head Master below.

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

September 17, 2021

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.

On behalf of the School, I would like to express my gratitude for your trust and encouragement over the course of this term. It feels to me that the School community has coped remarkably well with the restrictions and disruptions to the normal programming of events and routines, and the significant challenges posed by an extended and ongoing period of Remote Learning. Your sons have been outstanding in their resilience and flexibility, and your support and patience has been appreciated. Let us all hope that we will never again have to utter the words, “you are on mute”, in the very near future.

At this stage, and with what has become our customary caveat around advice from New South Wales Health, we hope to move to the next stage of the return to attendance on Campus during Michaelmas Term. More information will be provided in the first weeks after the break, but we hope to be in a position where your sons can begin to resume something resembling normal School life towards the end of October. It is likely to be a staggered return in the first instance, as we implemented in 2020, and there is the added complication of the delay of the HSC examinations to consider, but I am optimistic that we will have boys and young men, and not just tumbleweeds and pigeons, on the Quad before the end of the year. Prizegiving ceremonies are planned for Year 7-11 on Wednesday the 8th of December, by Year group, as we did last year. It is highly unlikely that the Public Health Orders will allow parents on site, so these events will be streamed.

Year 12 are fast approaching the end of their secondary schooling, and I would like to take the opportunity to reiterate my encouragement to view the coming break as study leave rather than holidays. May I also encourage you to encourage your sons to regulate their sleep over the holiday break. Eight hours of continuous and uninterrupted sleep is the general rule of thumb, but it is especially important for Year 12 to be rested and fresh as they approach their public examinations. Likewise, good nutrition will ensure that they put their best foot forward by being healthy as well as refreshed.

Also for Year 12, looking beyond their public examinations, I am now in a position to confirm that the School has secured bookings on the 8th and 9th of December for our proposed Valedictory Dinner(s).

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

Eat well, live well, perform well: presentation wrap up

September 17, 2021

Trinity parents and boys were treated to an informative and intriguing presentation by Jessica Spendlove, one of Australia’s leading Dietitians from the Health and Performance Collective.

The presentation, aptly named Nutrition for Performance in School and Life, covered a range of topics including

  • Food is Fuel
  • All the Elements
  • How to Eat for Academic Success during Exam Prep
  • Hydration
  • Food and Sleep
  • Brain Hero Foods

Key take-home points included the need for the diet to include protein, spreading the consumption of protein across the day consistently, as well as looking at carbohydrates as the primary fuel source for body and the mind. With the final piece of the triad of knowledge was that food should be colourful; fruits and vegetables which give the body the necessary micronutrients to assist in the digestion of proteins, carbs, and fats; colour (fruits and vegetables) should make up much of a meal, approximately 1/3 – ½ of a plate.

Food should always be colourful, nutritious, delicious, and simple.

Interactive questions were able to be answered by participants over the presentation, where a number of questions were asked by the audience. A particularly good question was asked about supplements, where Jessica confirmed that supplements are not required for students, further confirming the school’s stance in this area. If you missed the presentation, the recording has been provided below and a copy of the presentation notes can be accessed here.

The sport staff look forward to hosting further sessions in the future and welcoming our next seminar: “The Power of Zzz”, presented by Hugh Fullagar. The details surrounding this seminar will be release in upcoming Bulletins.

Mikaela White | Sports Operations Specialist

From the Head Master

September 10, 2021

During the course of this week, we heard more from the government as to the proposed path out of the current COVID-19 restrictions. While it is important for me to provide some commentary on the plan as it pertains to Trinity, I also want to note how boring this topic is becoming for us all!

From the School’s point of view, the big reveal of the week was the schedule of Higher School Certificate (HSC) exams. Whilst this has most immediate relevance to the half of our current Year 12 cohort who will gain their HSC, it will also have implications for many others in the School community. Given that the decision to commence exams on 9 November had been announced previously, the key question had to do with which subjects would be examined. NESA was contemplating examining only the English subjects, examining a limited and selected number of subjects, and examining all the subjects. It is now clear that all subjects will be examined.

I support the decision to examine all subjects, as this will allow the boys the best possible chance to show what they know and can do in the examinations that they have been working towards in the summative assessment of their schooling.

However, I have serious reservations about some of the details around the plans. The School would have been best-placed to conduct the examinations in a COVID-safe way if other secondary school cohorts were not onsite at the same time. Therefore, it seems strange that the HSC examinations do not start until after the nominated return date for all secondary school cohorts.

While Trinity continues to be committed to following NSW Health guidance, it may be that the pattern and timing by which students return to School varies from models which may be adopted by other schools. Given the length of time between now and when students are permitted to return, the School will take some time to determine the best way forward, taking into account the changing health situation and the other factors that must inform these decisions.

Another implication of the delayed start and finish of the HSC examinations is to push our Valedictory events, along with the end of year prize-giving events for all Year groups, into the final week of the school year. While it appears possible that some or all of these events may be able to take place onsite as gatherings of students and staff, it appears very unlikely that parents and visitors will be able to be onsite also. We are exploring all the options that may allow us to conclude the year well and to celebrate the boys and their achievements. More information will be provided in due course.

Finally, I note that NSW Health and NESA are strongly encouraging students who will be sitting HSC examinations, which in our context also includes the IB Diploma students, to be vaccinated by the time of the examinations. It does not appear that this will be mandatory for students, although it will be for staff and invigilators. However, vaccination of these students will help to keep them and their peers safe, and the School adds its encouragement to that of the government and public health authorities.

I anticipate writing in the near future to the families of the boys who will sit final examinations, asking for an update on their sons’ medical records to indicate vaccination status. This information will be sought in order to help the School manage risk and to keep all of our community safe. The support of families in this matter will be very much appreciated.

Detur gloria soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

Head Master’s Weekly Address

The Head Master, the Head of the Middle School, the Head of the Senior School and one of the Chaplains presents a piece to camera each week during Remote Learning. They are in lieu of the Head Master’s weekly address to the Quad Assembly, the Middle School and Senior School Assemblies and Chapel. View this week’s address from the Head Master below.

This week: Praising God for science

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

September 10, 2021

R U OK?

This week’s Chapel address as part of RU OK? Day

Six month wait times, distressed young people turned away:

Demand outstrips supply at headspace1

This was the headline on the ABC triple j Hack yesterday and is representative of the media commentary on the growing concerns about young people’s mental health over the last 18 months or so. Whilst I am of the view that some of this coverage is, unsurprisingly, hysterical and unhelpful, because we don’t do young people a disservice by pathologising the ‘worried (… bored, sad, disappointed or frustrated) well’, it is important to acknowledge that poor mental health can be a real illness, that it can be treated, and that it ought not be ignored.

At Trinity, we take the welfare and wellbeing of your sons very seriously. One way this is reflected in the School’s procedures is through the Welfare Teams. If a member of the staff or parent has a concern about a boy’s wellbeing or mental health, a referral is generated and triaged at the weekly Welfare Team meetings at the Senior School, Middle School, Preparatory School and Junior School. Each referral is handled individually, and a team approach is taken for each case. A referral may involve the TESS Counselling and Psychological Support Service, it may involve the TESS Academic Support Service, or it may require a referral and liaison with external professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, paediatricians or community mental health teams. It is not unusual for a boy to remain on the Welfare Team caseload for multiple weeks or until such time as the team is confident that his needs are being appropriately case managed. These teams continue to meet during Remote Learning.

Because of our commitment to the welfare of your sons, Trinity Grammar School has built a Counselling and Psychological Support Service that is more comprehensive than any other school of my experience. Mr Tim Smith, Ms Sandi Bell, Ms Sue Boursiani, Ms Cara Chillari, and Mr Micah Boerma make up theTESS Counselling and Psychological Support Service Team. Your son may never require their services but, if he does, he will be in good hands.

We mark R U OK? Day at this time each year to continue to destigmatise mental illness and poor mental health. It remains statistically significant that boys and young men tend not to seek help when they are experiencing a mental health episode or for a mental health condition. At Trinity, we are unambiguously of the view that a mental illness is regarded no differently to a physical illness, insofar as there is no stigma, and we are unambiguously clear that mental health episodes and mental illnesses respond to treatment and do not have to be a life sentence.

Student Leaders’ Address

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill


[1] https://www.abc.net.au/triplej/programs/hack/headspace-six-month-waiting-times/13532744

Eat well, live well, perform well: link to special event

September 10, 2021

A reminder that our team of athletic performance and development specialists have lined up a special event for Trinity parents and students keen to understand how nutrition contributes to peak performance.

Jess Spendlove, from the Health and Performance Collective, will present a livestream from 5:30pm to 6:30pm on 13 September called Nutrition for Performance in School and Life.

Join the livestream via this link.

Jess is an Advanced Sports Dietitian, Accredited Practising Dietitian, and co-host of the podcast, My Millennial Health.

The livestream will cover:
Food is fuel
Study from home top health tips
All the elements
Meals
Snacks
How to eat for academic success
Hydration
Hero Foods

There will also be a live Q&A.

Access the stream from a computer or tablet. 

Join the livestream via this link.

13 September

5:30 to 6:30pm

Via Microsoft Teams livestream

From the Head Master

September 3, 2021

One thing that is abundantly clear in our public discourse is that we want clarity.

The daily press briefings by the Premier and others frequently emphasise their desire to provide clarity. The queries put to them by journalists and commentators in various forms decry the lack of clarity and call for more clarity. We all want clarity.

In listening closely, I have begun to wonder whether the calls for clarity actually mean ‘I want to know exactly what this means for my particular question or problem.’ While the pandemic and its consequences are a huge all-encompassing issue that seems to affect everything in general, each of us has specific circumstances and challenges for which we want clarity.

The trouble is that the challenges presented by the pandemic are complex in the extreme. Clarity is very hard to find in a complex challenge. As the American journalist and writer H.L. Mencken said, ‘For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong.’ The call for clarity is very simple, but the provision of clarity is not.

I was reminded of this, albeit applied in another field, by a speech by the Productivity Commissioner that was reported recently. Michael Brennan mentioned the evolutionary approach to economics, which notes the ‘realistic view that firms face uncertainty – both about the state of things and the future – and do their best to navigate their way through the fog.’ I thought that this was a very pithy summary of the reality of leading an enterprise and it certainly rang true to my experience.

Ron Heifetz, from the Harvard Kennedy School, observes that we want comfort, stability and solutions from our leaders. While acknowledging the validity of these desires, particularly when we are facing destabilising challenges, it may be that comfort, stability and solutions are actually not available to the degree that we want them. In seeking to provide the comfort that we want, our leaders run the risk of over-promising and under-delivering. They may even do us the disservice of teaching us to expect that simple clear answers are always available.

I encountered one other aphorism that connected with my musings on this matter this week; this one came to me through an online fitness instructor who wanted me to become ‘comfortable with the discomfort’. At the time, the discomfort was very real and the exhortation was very annoying. However, it has validity. The discomfort may actually have some benefits for us.

I spoke to the Middle and Senior School boys about this during the week, drawing on the insights of the philosopher Nicholas Taleb, lawyer Greg Lukianoff, and social psychologist Jonathan Haidt. Your son can provide you with the link if you would like to hear my brief reflection (and see me fail to shatter a tea cup!) Their observation is that resilience and robustness grow out of stressors and challenges. In our context, living with the uncertainty about the future, the frustration of expectations, and all the other ways that the pandemic hinders our ‘normality’, may actually have benefits for us.

This is not to diminish or dismiss the reality of mental health challenges that many of us may face in these circumstances. But it does make the point that it is possible to catastrophise the situation and frame its every impact as damaging. We may do well to shift our focus to becoming comfortable with the discomfort, because the fog of uncertainty is going to continue to be part of our experience.

Moving from the conceptual to the practical, Mr Barr’s article in this Bulletin provides some answers to the questions that were asked in the webinar for Middle and Senior School students and parents last Tuesday, as well as links to the recordings of the webinar. This article and link may be of benefit to families who have missed some of our communications about the recent changes to the academic year for Years 7-12.

Detur gloria soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

September 3, 2021

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.

Julian of Norwich

You may or may not be aware that the Head Master, the Head of the Middle School, the Head of the Senior School and one of the Chaplains presents a piece to camera for your sons each week during Remote Learning. They are in lieu of the Head Master’s weekly address to the Quad Assembly, the Middle School and Senior School Assemblies and Chapel. They are only a couple of minutes long and tend to focus on wellbeing, encouragement, advice around help-seeking and mental health, and the perspective that only adults can provide for children and young people when times are tough. If you have not seen one of these, and your son is not a regular viewer, I think you may be surprisingly edified at the positive messages that continue to be delivered, and which reflect the deeply held values of Trinity. This week I have borrowed, with permission, the quote from Julian of Norwich that Mr Lee referred to in his homily. In 2021, it is eerily apposite for something that was written over 700 years ago. I enjoyed his talk ‘from the garage’ and thought I would share it with you.

Last Tuesday evening the School hosted a webinar to share with the community the reasoning and the arrangements for the significant decision to discontinue the so-called ‘rollover’. A replay has been made available to provide an opportunity to listen again to the information as it pertains to you and your son. The link to a webpage hosting all the material is found at the end of this Bulletin.

A number of questions were asked and answered during the presentation, but there were also a significant number that were not able to be attended to on the night. I have attempted to group them by theme.

Year 12/2021

Broadly, the questions asked for clarity around HSC and IBD examinations, valedictory arrangements, and the plans for Year 12 classes in the first four weeks of next term.

As you will have seen in both the media and in communication from the School, the HSC start date has been pushed back to the 9th of November. The School is in the hands of NSW Health and NESA regarding the examination arrangements and we will update you as, and when, new information is released. The 2021 IBD examinations will go ahead if the Public Health Orders permit. If we are unable to run the examinations, the IBO has procedures in place to calculate results and ranks to facilitate matriculation to university. Again, we will update you as, and when, information becomes available. Our advice is unambiguous. Year 12 students should continue to prepare for both the HSC and IBD examinations.

Like the Class of 2020, Year 12 are facing a disappointing end to their time at Trinity and are likely to miss out on many of the traditional valedictory events and celebrations. However, the School continues to plan how it might be possible to offer a Valedictory event that combines the customary Final Assembly, Year 12 Prizegiving and, hopefully, a House function for the young men of the Class of 2021, if Public Health Orders permit. It is likely that any event would be held on campus and for students only. Planning is ongoing and we are at the mercy of NSW Health, but if we can do something to celebrate the conclusion of Year 12, we will.

Year 12 classes will run according to the timetable in the first four weeks of next term. Their teachers will provide revision programmes and be available to support students through video-conferencing, while still providing opportunities for self-directed study and individual examination preparation. 

Year 11/2021

The Year 11 questions focussed on clarifying whether Year 12 content will be taught in Michaelmas Term and when Focus Days will commence.

Year 11 are the least effected by the decision to wind back the ‘rollover’. They will commence their Year 12 programme in both the HSC and IBD next term.

Focus Days will commence in 2022.

The new School Officers will take up their duties next term.

Year 10/2021

These questions focussed primarily on the concern that Michaelmas Term would be wasted and that students would be marking time.

A comprehensive suite of adjustments and provisions will be implemented to ensure that Year 10 students are catered for. It goes against everything that Trinity stands for to waste a term’s learning. The Academic Dean’s presentation was clear, and it is available via the link at the foot of this page.

A Course Information Booklet will be distributed to Year 10 students next Tuesday, and there will be an Information Webinar for Year 10 students on Tuesday afternoon, and another Information Webinar specifically for Year 10 parents next Wednesday evening. Questions around subject choices, independent projects, and the commencement of the CAS component of the IBD will be addressed in the Course Information Booklet and in both Webinars.

Year 9/2021

The primary focus of the Year 9 questions went to the arrangements for the Field Studies Programme, and particularly to the disappointment that the 80 students allocated to Residentials 5 and 6 are feeling after having their programme delayed and the uncertainty around whether it will go ahead in some form.

The School is committed to providing an opportunity for the Year 9 students allocated to Residentials 5 and 6 if Health Orders permit. At this stage, the two programmes will be combined and will run for all 80 students from the 15th of November. If it is not possible to run the full programme, it may be that an abbreviated programme may still commence later in November. If that is not possible, the School has set aside a time in the January 2022 holiday break for an abbreviated residential programme. If the Public Health Orders do not permit a January programme, an abbreviated residential programme has been tentatively scheduled for the July 2022 holiday break. 

I understand that the uncertainty for you and your sons feels like death by a thousand cuts, but the Field Studies Residential Programme is of such high value that we will do all we can to ensure your son can have his experience. The structure of the Middle and Senior School Timetable means it will not be possible for Year 9/2021 Residentials 5 and 6 to run during Term time in 2022, and this provides some context to the January and July 2022 holiday options.

However, as I shared with my colleagues when we were discussing this very matter, the Programme has undergone many transformations over the years. It commenced at Pine Bluff as a ten-week programme in 1993, became a five-week programme, then a four-week programme, then, after years of drought, it became a three-week programme with no showers, and no water in the Abercrombie River. Following the closure of the Pine Bluff Campus, the Field Studies Programme was nomadic for a number of years, bouncing back and forth between the Anglican Youthworks site, Koloona, in Nowra, and the NSW Sport and Recreation site at Berry, before finally relocating to our current campus at Woollamia. If your sons have an abbreviated programme, whether it is in Summer 2022 or Winter 2022, they will not be experiencing anything that young men at Trinity have not endured before. If they miss out, it will be a big deal, but we must have faith that they have the resilience to cope. It is up to us and you to give them a sense of perspective, and reassure them that there will be plenty of halcyon days ahead.

Year 7 and 8/2021

There were almost no questions about the effect of the removal of the rollover for Stage 4.

For the boys of Year 7 and 8 it will largely be business as usual for Michaelmas Term. In most cases, they will do the units of work that were planned.

Covid-Safe Plans, Rapid Antigen Testing and Vaccination

There were a number of questions about whether the School could organise access to vaccinations, whether we would conduct rapid antigen testing and whether it would be safe for students to return to School.

The School has no ability to source Pfizer vaccines or to roll out a vaccination programme. In the event that NSW Health decide to run a schools’ vaccination programme, we will, of course, comply.

The question of when it is safe to return to School is a decision over which we have no control. We will follow the advice of NSW Health. The School strongly encourages you and your son to get vaccinated in accordance with the NSW Health and ATAGI advice.

We remain committed to providing a safe learning and working environment for all students, employees, and visitors to the School. As we have done to this point, we will follow the advice of Independent and Government agencies and Public Health authorities in response to COVID-19, including following any, and all, Public Heath Orders, and including, if required, the implementation of Rapid Antigen Testing.

Reports, Assessments and Prizegiving

There were a number of questions pertaining to Reports and Assessments.

Academic Reports for Year 11 and 12 will be released as scheduled over the September holiday break. Academic Reports for Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 will be made available in early December.

All assessments for Year 7, 8, 9 and 10 in Michaelmas Term will count towards Academic Reports and Academic Prizes.

A Prizegiving ceremony will be held for students in Year 7, 8, 9, 10 and 11 in early December, subject to Public Health Orders.

Mental Health

There were also questions relating to a concern for the mental health and wellbeing of young people.

The School continues to provide support and therapy for students who may be struggling with poor mental health. If you are concerned for your son’s mental health, please reach out to the School through your son’s Housemaster, Mr Allen or Dr De Lany, or the TESS Counselling & Psychological Support Service.

School Fees

A small number of people asked about School fees.

This is a policy decision that is the preserve of the School Council. As with all decisions concerning fees, you will be notified when, and if, any decisions are taken regarding the Fee Schedule.

All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

R U OK?

September 3, 2021

RU OK? Day is Thursday 9th September

Trinity students, staff and families are being encouraged to check in on each other as the School shines a light on mental health and RU OK Day.

Staff, students (and parents) are encouraged to

  • download the RU OK background for video calls on the day (below)
  • wear a yellow t-shirt and submit a photo
  • reach out to friends
  • create posters for their driveway.

Download your RU OK background below. The first is a yellow background, the second is a black background.

A message about RU OK Day from School Psychologist, Sandi Bell:

Other great resources and information

The new RU OK video

REACHOUT.com has great additional ideas for coping during restrictions due to COVID.


https://au.reachout.com/articles/mindfulness-is-it-for-you

What’s your chill style + ideas

Kevin Hart – be who you are!

Change your social media

RU OK Instagram Filter and Facebook Filters are live and available through the links below, if you want to update your social media profile.

https://www.instagram.com/ar/793397374667435/

https://www.facebook.com/fbcameraeffects/tryit/793397374667435/

Eat well, live well, perform well: special event

September 3, 2021

Trinity’s passionate team of athletic performance and development specialists have lined up a special event for Trinity parents and students keen to understand how nutrition contributes to peak performance.

Jess Spendlove, from the Health and Performance Collective, will present a livestream from 5:30pm – 6:30pm on 13th September called Nutrition for Performance in School and Life.

Jess is an Advanced Sports Dietitian, Accredited Practising Dietitian, and co-host of the podcast, My Millennial Health.

“Jess has more than 30 seasons of professional sports experience across AFL, NRL, AFLW, Netball, Basketball, Rugby Union and Soccer, and has worked with many Olympic athletes and high profile personalities,” said Mr Elliot Taylor, Trinity’s Athlete Performance & Development Specialist. “Her approach to nutrition is refreshing, engaging and easy to understand. Jess will talk to Trinity students and families about the power of food when it comes to maximising energy, productivity and performance on the day to day in both school and overall in life.”

It’s great timing as we head into an extended season of lockdown: “It’s really easy to feel mental fatigue and want to order in takeaway to make life easier,” added Mr Taylor. “Jess can help everyone make better decisions when it comes to nutrition.”

Parents and students will be able to ask questions following the livestream, using the Q&A function. “This online event is perfect for our senior school students to help them get ready for exams, and to help ensure they are at their best, when it matters most,” added Mr Taylor. “But it doesn’t matter your age or stage – if you want to learn how to eat to get more energy, better mental focus, and help your mind and body during remote learning, this is the livestream to join.

“Parents too – we know how tough it can be during lockdown; everyone is learning or working from home so being able to get advice from an expert nutritionist can help everyone.”

The livestream will cover:
Food is fuel
Study from home top health tips
All the elements
Meals
Snacks
How to eat for academic success
Hydration
Hero Foods

There will also be a live Q&A.

The link to the livestream will be supplied in next week’s Bulletin and via School App notices.

Save the date:

13 September

5:30-6:30pm

Via Microsoft Teams livestream

From the Head Master

August 27, 2021

During the daily press conference today, the Premier and the Education Minister made a number of significant announcements regarding the return to school. I imagine that many people watched the conference or have read about it in the news since.

Recognising that any statements about what the future holds need to be made tentatively, it was encouraging to see that there is a proposed path to bring students back to school. The government has indicated that a return to face to face teaching will take place in a staggered fashion from Week 4 of Term 4. An indicative order of return has been given, but time will tell whether this return will take place as currently planned. Obviously, we hope it will!

The government has also reiterated their commitment to the Higher School Certificate examinations taking place, although the commencement of the examinations has been pushed back until Week 6 (November 9). The School’s decision to extend the Middle and Senior School’s Academic Year until the end of the calendar year, which I made known to the community earlier today, will enable us to support the Year 12 students in the lead up to this delayed start. At this point we are also working towards the IB Diploma examinations taking place as scheduled, although it will be a change to the usual order of things for the IB Diploma examinations to take place before the HSC.

At present, the School is operating under Level 4 restrictions, whereby students are required to learn from home. The return to face to face classes will take place under Level 3 restrictions. The School has operated under the equivalent of Level 3 restrictions before and we are confident that we will be able to do so again. Much more information will be provided to families as to the nature of Level 3 restrictions and the precautions that the School will be taking in due course. We note that this plan will commence rolling out in some eight weeks’ time, and a lot can change in that time.

The other very important announcement that was made today is that the Pfizer vaccine is now recommended for all people from 12 years of age. Effectively, this means that all secondary students are now eligible for the vaccine. In accordance with the School’s enrolment contract with families, which requires the provision of information regarding immunisation status, I anticipate being in contact with eligible families shortly to request that information for our records. While no indication has been given by the government that students’ return to school is conditional on individual vaccination, there is no doubt that all of us are safer as more of us get vaccinated. The School urges families and all eligible students to heed the advice of medical professionals and to seek vaccination as a priority.

The Premier also indicated that school staff will be required to be vaccinated by 8 November. No detail was provided around this statement, but I want to assure families that the School is strongly encouraging staff to be vaccinated. At the time of writing, the proportion of school staff who are vaccinated is ahead of the State. 43% of our staff have indicated that they are fully vaccinated and a further 24% have had their first vaccination. I am hopeful that the government’s intention to provide priority for school staff in the near future will drive these proportions higher.

Finally, the School community will be aware that we had confirmed cases of COVID-19 attend the Preparatory School on Thursday and Friday last. Consequently, the campus was closed and a number of staff and students were designated as close contacts and required to self-isolate. I am pleased to inform you that, at the time of writing, none of these contacts have developed COVID. Our interactions with NSW Health, through the Association of Independent Schools NSW, in response to this situation have resulted in the School’s management and operations being highly commended for organisation, compliance and courtesy! My particular thanks to all those who have been affected by this situation for their patience, grace and resilience.

Once again, I thank all the members of the School community – students, staff and parents – for their ongoing support of the School as we seek to provide our boys with an education that will equip them well for life’s challenges.

Detur gloria soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill 

August 27, 2021

ethos – (n. characteristic spirit and beliefs of a community, people (or) system)

What makes Trinity, Trinity? It is an important question for us to consider given the fact that for consecutive years, the School has faced disruption to our programmes, and, at present, students are not attending the campus in all but a very few cases. Likewise, in the light of the Head Master’s communique today that effectively does away with the academic rollover, it would be unsurprising to form a view that it was reasonable to ask; is Trinity the same school in 2021, and will it be the same school in 2022?

The answer to that question for me, in my thirty-sixth year at Trinity Grammar School, is a resounding yes. I have been the Acting Master of the Preparatory School, I was the founding Master of the Junior School, held the role of Master of the Middle School for over a decade, and I even worked for a short period as the Master (Elect) of the Southern Campus at Oatley prior to my appointment as Deputy Head Master, and I have developed a great fondness for the School. My values are its values, and it would take, for me, something far more seismic than remote learning, cancelled sporting fixtures, getting rid of the rollover, or postponed Field Studies programmes to rent the fabric of the School, because Trinity Grammar School is far more than the sum of its parts.

I have previously shared the elegantly drafted ethos statement that captures, in a single page, the heart of Trinity; what we believe, why we do the things we do, and our hopes for your sons. Its purpose was not to be produced as a glossy pamphlet for inclusion in our prospectus, nor is it generally a public document, although it is not a secret either, but the desire was to create a document to inform policy and procedure. It is a document that has come to sit behind and inform the decisions the School takes and its future planning, including the decisions that have been shared with you today, and which will be unpacked next Tuesday evening. When times are tough, as they are at the moment, we do well to reconsider that which is most important.

First and foremost, Trinity Grammar School is Christian in its foundation and in its orientation. The School is built on the convictions that this is God’s world, that we are wonderfully made in His image, and tragically broken in sin. Sustained by Him and loved by Him, all people are called to look to Jesus Christ as both Lord and Saviour. This Christian faith is reflected in the life of the School, and shapes our understanding of ultimate meaning, purpose and identity.

Reflecting the meaning, purpose and identity found in relationship with God, Trinity is a School that prioritises relationships and community. Relationships shaped by respect and humility build a community in which people belong and to which they will contribute. More and more, we want to be a community that considers, includes, and cares for others.

Educating boys in mind, body and spirit requires us to value breadth in educational experiences. In these formative years of schooling, boys benefit from their participation in, and exposure to, a wide variety of curricular and co-curricular activities and experiences. School should be a time for expanding horizons and exploring new possibilities. We are convinced that our boys are better equipped for the years to come if they have a broad base of interests, capabilities, experiences and memories by the end of their school years.

This breadth of our educational offering necessarily challenges our students. We believe that there is more in them than they know. Therefore, we require and encourage them to lean into the challenges that they face, and to seek to overcome obstacles. In academics, in co-curricular, and in their participation in our community, we have high expectations of them. Their experience of these challenges is preparing them for the road ahead.

However, at the same time that we challenge our students, we also support them. The journey from childhood through adolescence to adulthood is not easy, and each of our boys has unique needs and circumstances. In partnership with families, we aim to ensure that they are adequately and appropriately supported, at whatever stage of their development, to give them every chance of experiencing success. They do not face their battles alone; their School is for them.

In challenging and supporting our students across the breadth of our education, our focus is on growth. The School celebrates excellence in performance, and many of our boys rise to the highest of standards in the various spheres of their endeavour, but growth is the more important lens through which we look. Every student can learn, every skill can be developed, and every boy can make progress.

Ultimately, our goal is the formation of character. Our world needs men who are decent and trustworthy, and our School aims to play our role in shaping them. Through a Trinity education, we want boys to develop their moral compass, to act in service to others, to take responsibility for those things that are within their power, and perhaps even to form a personal faith in Christ. The true value of a Trinity education is seen in the character of our men in the years long after their graduation.

2020 and 2021 have been challenging years, but, long after the disappointments have receded into the rear vision mirror of history, it is our hope the essential character of Trinity, that which makes us the school we are, will endure.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill 

Parent Resources

August 27, 2021

One of the many ways that the School partners with parents is to provide guidance and direction in areas such as parenting, relationships and mental health. The TESS psychologists have recently compiled a summary of parent and community support resources which can be accessed via this link. We encourage parents to book mark this page.

From the Head Master

August 20, 2021

During the week I came across a new concept that I am attempting to make use of in the interests of good mental health.

Most of us know all about the benefits of having a ‘To Do’ list, whereby we capture those things that need doing. A ‘To Do’ list can reduce cognitive load by taking things out of our working memory and putting them on paper. It can individually itemise tasks into a form that can be tackled, rather than leaving them as a collective amorphous burden of pressure. It can help to organise our working space and patterns, so that at any one time we know what needs to be done. All these are good things.

However, this week I came across the idea of a ‘Ta Da’ list. The ‘Ta Da’ list is the record of the things that got done. This is less about organisation and more about positive psychology. When we are busy, we can get so caught up in the tasks that remain to be done that we forget about the good things that did get done. The cognitive itch of unfinished tasks remains with us much longer than the sense of satisfaction that arises from ticking jobs off. The unfortunate net effect is that we can feel as though we are not getting anywhere.

The ‘Ta Da’ list is the conscious record keeping of achievements. It could be as simple as reading over the ticks on the ‘To Do’ list, but I think there is some tangible benefit from taking five minutes to write out the accomplishments in a separate place.

I am in the early days of implementing a ‘Ta Da’ list. However, I think it aligns well with what we have learned about strengths-based approaches to mental health and wellbeing, where we consciously direct our thinking more to what went well than what didn’t. Let’s make sure we celebrate the wins, not fixate on the losses!

In keeping with the spirit of the ‘Ta Da’ list, I am very pleased to launch the virtual opening of the new classroom facilities at our Field Studies Centre in Woollamia. Whereas we had hoped to hold an Open Day last Saturday, which was to include the opening, we have done it by video, which you can watch here (or see below). We were delighted that Dr Janet West, the wife of former Head Master Mr Rod West, was able to officially open the facilities for us.

The official opening of these facilities is a ‘Ta Da’ moment for the School.

May there be many more items on your ‘Ta Da’ list this week.

Breaking news:

Not for the first time, the situation has changed between drafting a communication and it being published! This morning the Premier announced a number of changes to the COVID-19 restrictions, including the extension of the current restrictions for Greater Sydney until the end of September. In effect, this confirms that face-to-face classes will not resume in Term 3.

The Premier indicated that more information will be forthcoming. We look forward to receiving this information when it becomes available and the School will do all that we can to communicate the path forward to our community. Your patience and support is very much appreciated.

Detur gloria soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

August 20, 2021

Some time ago I came across an article in The Age, The four secret ingredients that can turn good schools into great schools. The headline caught my attention because I think Trinity is already a great school and I was interested to see how we stacked up. Some of what follows is a precis from an article I wrote in 2019, and on which I was reflecting this week.

The first criteria was good relationships. Tick. One of the hallmarks of the School over the years has been an emphasis on respectful, positive relationships. Teachers and students can never, and should never, be friends, but we strive to be a respectful and inclusive community for the youngest boy in Pre-K, my colleagues, whether new graduates or experienced, and for the extended Trinity family of parents, grandparents, Old Boys and friends of the School.

Next was a culture of high expectations. Tick. Trinity unapologetically demands high standards of behaviour, uniform and effort, and it has been edifying to see this translated into an extended period of online learning. We believe all students can achieve, and we encourage the boys and young men of the School to have a growth mindset, to be diligent, determined and to develop those habits and values that will make your sons good employees, leaders, husbands, fathers, brothers, and sons.

Third was flexibility. Tick. As I watched my colleagues and your sons adapt to the rapidly evolving public health situation, I was very encouraged to see pragmatism, optimism, stoicism and resilience on full display.

Lastly, the article suggested that great schools gave clear instructions and set achievable outcomes. Tick. We have always been explicit about what is required for success and about the goals of lessons and programmes, and because we have an institutional growth mindset, we also have a culture of continual improvement.

Trinity is not a perfect school, because no institution made up of individuals can be perfect, but I am confident that there is enough evidence to believe, without hubris, that we are a great school and that we do not, and will not, rest on our laurels.

May I take this opportunity to commend the boys and young men of Year 7 to Year 11 on a successful assessment period. It has been good to see that, even though the mode in which we delivered the curriculum has changed this term, your sons have continued to do their best. It has been very gratifying. Likewise, my admiration goes to the young men of Year 12, albeit they are only at the halfway point of their final online assessments. One of the things we all hope for is that our young people will be resilient, sanguine and determined, and the Class of 2021 have adapted with remarkable maturity and pragmatism to a very fluid situation. Their resilience gives me confidence that in the years to come, this cohort of young people will take the vicissitudes of life in their stride. I think there is probably more than a grain of truth in Nietzche’s adage; Was mich nicht umbringt, macht mich stärker.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master-Summer Hill

A prayer during times of lockdown

August 20, 2021

A brief prayer of thanksgiving that I have relied upon throughout lockdown as we have faced challenges as a community, and as a nation, and as a world, in so many ways:

Loving Father,

We asked for strength, and you gave us difficulties to make us strong.

We asked for wisdom, and you gave us problems to solve.

We asked for prosperity, and you gave us purpose and brains to use.

We asked for courage, and you gave us fears to overcome.

We asked for patience, and you gave us situations where we were forced to wait.

We asked for love, and you gave us troubled people to help.

We asked for justice, and you called us to be just and lead with integrity.

Lord, we have received nothing that we asked for or wanted.

And yet, we receive everything that we needed.

For this we give thanks.

Amen

From the Head Master

August 13, 2021

This week marks the mid-point of Term 3, and it is safe to say that it is not the term that we had expected.

I lay in bed this morning, metaphorically girding my loins to face the day, and my mind went to the disappointments of the term. The list of things – events, experiences, practices – that have not taken place, and that may not take place, is lengthy for all of us.

On a personal note, I was sad to reflect on the fact that my nephew’s wedding cannot take place. I was sad that my daughter’s 21st birthday party can’t happen. I was sad that my recently-taken up hobby of golf has paused. I was sad because of the friends not seen, the holidays not enjoyed and the narrowing of my daily horizons. Without really trying, I came up with lots of things to be sad about. I don’t imagine that any of us would have difficulty compiling an equivalent and lengthy list.

As I consider the School, I feel sad for the boys. I feel for the Year 12 students who didn’t know that they were playing their final game in the green and white. I feel for the Pre-K boys, who have been separated from the lively chaotic tumult in which they thrive. I feel for the boys missing out on camps, or on concerts, or even the normal everyday experience of coming to School.

Although I do not have any specific inside information, just from reading the news, it seems highly unlikely that School will resume in any meaningful way this term. This led me also to think about those events that lie ahead of us which are at risk. It is inevitable that ‘missing out’ is going to be a universal experience this year, albeit particularised with personal nuances.

I think that my children would probably suggest that I was having a ‘pity party’. I think they are right. It can be strangely appealing to catalogue all of one’s losses, disappointments and griefs, to gather them all up, and to focus on them.

Of course, we need to acknowledge the legitimacy of our losses. We need to recognise that there is a real emotional impact from the circumstances that have come upon us. I would not suggest that denial is a good way forward, or that we should just jolly ourselves along.

However, my slide into sadness didn’t actually make anything better for me or for anyone else this morning. It didn’t improve the situation and it didn’t help me feel better. It certainly didn’t advance anything I have to do today. What did help was getting up and getting on with it. Going through the routines of showering, getting dressed and breakfasting. Making the list of things to get done. Starting to tick them off (including writing this article). Asking myself, before each video-conference or phone call, ‘What would the best ‘me’ look like in this encounter.’

None of those actions that I am taking actually compensates for my losses and sadness. Nor will they. But it is good for me and my emotional state, and it enables me to help and serve others. Other losses and sadness are yet to come; at some point we all walk through the valley of tears. The way out, of course, is to keep walking.

At my induction as Head Master, some three and a half years ago, I asked the School community to pray that I would have wisdom, stamina and faithfulness in this role. That request still stands. Be assured of my prayers for the families of our School community, asking that the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ will strengthen us in the trials of each day as we look to love and serve one another in these circumstances.

Detur gloria soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

August 13, 2021

Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.

C.S. Lewis

This week the School spoke with your sons about integrity, which The Oxford Dictionary defines as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles” and lists “uprightness” and, interestingly, “wholeness” as synonyms. It is a quality that is spoken about ad nauseam at Trinity, a reflection of the high value we place on it. Often character is used as a synonym when talking about integrity, that having a good character is worthwhile and valuable. It is often pitched to your sons as an encouragement to “do the right thing, even when no-one is watching”. Do the right thing and don’t expect to be praised. Do the right thing just because it is the right thing.

It was a central theme in the context of online assessments. For Year 12, the stakes are relatively high in moving the final assessments for the HSC and IBD to an online locked down browser. They will be presenting for their assessments in an unfamiliar way, they will be taking them off campus, and, for many of their assessments, they will be typing answers rather than writing by hand. The young men of Year 12 were made aware of the significant trust the School is placing in them by offering this opportunity to receive feedback on their learning progress. However, it was also made clear, both in the information session with the Head Master and Academic Dean on Monday evening, as well as in a series of briefings for Year 12 students and their Housemasters, that there are significant consequences for any academic misconduct during the Final Online Assessments. Whilst this subject is a little grim, it is critical that the adults are on the same page and crystal clear about the School’s expectations for academic integrity, that we are clear about the basis for those expectations, and that you, and particularly your son, are clear about the penalties that apply in the event of any attempt to gain an unfair advantage. Those penalties are made clear in the Trinity Grammar School Assessment Policy.

Whilst making the right choice is not always straightforward or easy, in this instance the School’s position is unambiguous, and that is why your role is so crucial. As with all the values we cherish and want to pass on, it is underpinned by a biblical principle, beautifully expressed in Paul’s epistle to the Philippians when he exhorts us to focus on “…whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable – (whatever) is excellent or praiseworthy, (to) think on such things”. For me, that rules out hubris, dishonesty, discrimination, deliberate unkindness, slander, ingratitude, and disrespect for authority. It also rules out academic misconduct during the Final Online Assessments.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

Letter from The Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC – Governor of NSW

August 13, 2021

Her Excellency the Governor of New South Wales has prepared a short video message from her lockdown in Government House to thank and encourage school communities across NSW. In it, her Excellency the Honourable Margaret Beazley AC QC, thanks schools for all that they are doing to navigate the current circumstances and take care of students and staff. 

“I have so much pride in seeing the way principals, teachers, other staff, students, indeed the whole school community have been so adaptable in ensuring learning stays on track.” She mentions the challenge for Year 12 students, telling them “You’re almost there, good luck, I know you will do your best.”

She asks all students to be leaders in their own “micro-communities” and thanks the magnificent teaching community of NSW “for a magnificent job over the last two years” acknowledging the demands have been unexpected and at time unrelenting.

Watch the three minute video below.

A second helping of Breakfast photos

August 13, 2021

Further to last week’s ‘egg’cellent report, more photos have been sent through from the Trinity community who have been cooking up a breakfast storm at home. We are delighted to share these additional photos below and thank the families for sending them through.

From the Head Master

August 6, 2021

Not for the first time, the COVID-19 advice has shifted and is requiring the School to modify its plans.

While it has been clear for a couple of weeks that the month of August would involve remote learning for most students in Greater Sydney, the School has been working towards bringing Year 12 back for the Trial Examinations in Week 6 and Week 7. As it happens, it was announced this morning that no trial exams or assessments are allowed to take place onsite; they have to be done remotely.

Consequently, the School is in the middle of a major pivot to online assessment for the Year 12 HSC and IB Diploma. The broad parameters of this have been made known to Year 12 students and parents, but the academic leadership of the School, along with the ICT team, are facing some significant challenges to be ready for the commencement of Trials on 16 August. There should be very little impact on the learning and assessment for students in the other years, other than some lessons where work is to be completed without a video conference element.

As today has unfolded, and various members of the staff have been informed of the changes and come to grips with the number of changes, adaptations and innovations that are required, I have been impressed beyond words with our team’s responses. Recognising that these circumstances are the ones that we have to deal with, and that whinging doesn’t move us forward at all, they have simply knuckled down and got on with it. The resilience and resourcefulness that they are showing is likely to be below the horizon of parents and students, but I do want to briefly shine a spotlight on it.

In the circumstances, I trust that people will forgive a briefer Bulletin column than will normally be the case. However, it would be remiss to close without noting the sterling efforts of our Trinitarians in Tokyo. Rohan Browning and Oliver Hoare have made us very proud during the week, and with Oliver’s final in the 1500 metres and Sam Fricker’s performance in the 10 metre platform diving yet to come (at the time of writing), there is still plenty to look forward to.

May God bless us all during these challenging times.

Detur gloria soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

August 6, 2021

The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything … (and) the peace of God which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6a,7b

Much of the work that has been happening in the background during this term’s Remote Learning has been on monitoring our young people’s mental health, resilience, help-seeking and wellbeing, a task made even more complex during an extended lockdown. When to intervene if we perceive young people are at risk, when unhappiness or disconnection tips over and becomes a mental illness, who we can talk to and how we raise awareness of the very real risks of mental illness without creating a legion of worried well, are important questions to keep at the front of mind. Over the years we have invested time and energy talking with your sons about how to manage their mental health, when poor mental health becomes mental illness, that being unhappy or sad or lonely is normal, who they can talk to if they are concerned, and what are some of the signs to watch out for, and hopefully this will inoculate them against the worst effects of the uncertainty and disconnection that is an inevitable aspect of lockdown.

The starting point for us is that it is both predictable and natural that as human beings we experience a full range of feelings. As adults, we have the life experience to know that life comes in seasons, and we ought not be surprised that there are times when we are sad or unhappy or anxious.  Life is not always simple, and no-one can be happy all the time because we are powerless to make the world conform to our desires. And that is a very good thing, because that is how we learn to be resilient. Just as steel is tempered by fire, so we are made stronger by the challenges we overcome. How we learn to cope with the vicissitudes of life; the unfairness, the disappointment, the tragedy, and the frustration is important, because the alternative is just to give up.

We are committed to helping you help your sons to grow to become resilient, empathetic men, and the measure of your parenting, and our education and support, is not likely to be seen for some years, and probably not until they are husbands, partners and fathers themselves. For that reason, we talk frequently with him about resilience and help-seeking, qualities that are not only important, but also essential, and that we become stronger and more resilient if we avoid catastrophising difficult life events, like lockdown, into insurmountable obstacles. It is also mature and sensible to seek help when we need it.

A caveat – At Trinity, we take the welfare and wellbeing of the boys at the School very seriously. Mental illness is as real as any diagnosed physical illness and must be treated and taken seriously. Our psychologists are always prepared to provide diagnostic and therapeutic support, even during lockdown, through direct support during school hours, but also in providing advice and access to external mental health services and professionals.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

Breakfast meeting ‘egg’citement

August 6, 2021

Middle School Fathers got into the Trinity spirit this past week, sharing breakfast and time with their sons. It’s the most important meal of the day, after all! Thanks to all the families who snapped a selfie and shared it with us. A small benefit of lockdown, the lack of commute for many adds in a little extra time for breakfast together.

Coping with COVID

August 6, 2021

Timely tips from two School Captains

Talk to your mates and family, stick to a routine, remain positive, stay active, engage with your teachers, get plenty of sleep, be adaptable, learn new personal skills … all sage pieces of advice for surviving our enforced lockdown and remote learning.

But there’s nothing quite like hearing a tip straight from the horse’s mouth.

Trinity’s current and previous School Captains, brothers Jamie and Spiro Christopoulos, have given a candid assessment of the things they have struggled with, and how they have coped in these unprecedented times.

Their observations may help other students going through the same experiences, not to mention their parents and teachers.

Jamie’s advice:

1. Keep up the communication

This is a very challenging time for everyone, so it is important to keep talking and communicating with those people who are going through the same challenges.

This might be the people in your household, your extended family and cousins, or importantly your mates at school.

Keep talking to your mates; it is as easy as sending a message just to check in with the guys that you normally see countless times a day.

2. Separate your work place

I like to do all of my schoolwork on my desk; otherwise I will go and sit in the living room or on the balcony outside.

By separating these two places, I find I am able to focus a lot better when working, and I can truly zone out when relaxing.

Don’t stay sedentary in one spot all day; try to move around. Think of a normal school day, and how we move between classes and break spaces. You don’t have your recess and lunch in a classroom with all of your work in front of you.

3. Get out and do something

Unfortunately, being at home we aren’t able to do sports like we normally would at school. This is definitely taking a toll on many who are used to heavy training and games for winter sports every week.

I recommend you try to stay active, and get outside to do something. I’m not saying go on a 10km run, but try to get out even for a walk around the block, or grab your sibling and go down to kick a ball at the park.

It is important to get away from the screen when possible and get some fresh air.

4. Engage with teachers during lessons

It can be difficult to stay attentive in all of your classes when you are sitting in the same spot, in front of the same screen from 8:30 until 3:40 every day.

I was struggling with this, but by engaging with the teacher through Teams, I have been able to keep up attentiveness.

Don’t be afraid to speak out in the class online, ask questions and clarify certain things with your teacher. It helps you and shows your teachers you are engaged.

5. Stick to some sort of routine

This may seem like an extended holiday period but I encourage everyone to treat it like a normal school day with some minor adjustments.

We all now have the luxury of a couple of hours of extra sleep, and don’t have to wear our full uniform, but that’s not saying that the routine should be thrown out of the window.

Wake up at the same time every morning, have something to eat before period 1, and get ready, dressed and prepared like you would for school.

Do whatever works for you, but maintain some sort of routine with the way the day pans out.

Spiro’s advice:

1. Stay positive. Although it isn’t easy learning from home, the key is to be positive and remain optimistic, because eventually we will get out the other side and get through the difficult times. Positive energy is crucial to how successful you perform when learning remotely.

2. Make the most of the opportunity. Using the time in lockdown to your advantage is crucial, especially if you’re in Years 10 to 12.

Without the commute to and from school each day, plus no official co-curricular or sport, there’s a lot more time you have on your hands. Don’t waste it.

Gaining a head start on an assessment task or exam prep is a good way to spend that time.

3. Keep your routine as normal as possible. Things like putting on a piece of your school uniform, or sticking to the same break times, are good ways to keep you on track.

It’s easy to get distracted and veer off track, but keeping steady on that path can be easier if you try keeping the routine as normal as possible.

4. Co-operate with people you’re living with.

Being within the same four walls with your family for such long periods can be tough at times, but it’s all about working with them as best as you can.

Staying calm, and just accepting that everyone has their ups and downs, is an important tip to get through the lockdown.

5. Have an open mindset.

Things might not be the same and you might not like remote learning, but if you go into it with an open mind, you’ll get through it a lot easier.

Do your best to adapt to the new conditions to make the transition smooth. If you’re optimistic, there’s a good chance you’ll get more out of the experience and learn more from it, too.

Now for the things they have struggled with.

Jamie:

1. Motivation

Maintaining motivation throughout an entire school day, let alone an entire week, has become increasingly difficult. Some days are certainly better than others.

A lot of people are struggling with the same thing, especially moving into the uncertainty of when the trial exams will be taking place for Year 12.

This is where communication comes in. By talking to mates I have found we are able to motivate each other and keep each other on the right path.

2. Workload

There have been days when a lot of work has been set over a range of subjects. If the workload is too much, I have communicated with my teachers if I have struggled, and they are always more than understanding, and take the feedback into consideration.

Again, don’t be afraid to send an email, or speak out during the class, and your teachers may make adjustments where necessary.

At the same time, try your best to complete all of the work that is set, but if the load is too great I would probably ask a mate for their perspective, and then politely mention this to the teacher.

3. Fatigue

These school days do take it out of you, and many days I have finished quite tired and drowsy. It has then become a bit of a struggle to complete work at night.

However, the nights where I have slept long and well have assisted in reducing the impacts of this. A good night’s sleep is important now more than ever, so you can focus for the next day.

One quote from a speech by the Head Master a year ago stuck with me. He said: “If you can’t get out of it, get into it.”

It is nearly impossible to anticipate where we will be in the future, and we can’t quickly change the circumstance we are in.

Therefore, it is important to try to embrace our situation, and get something positive out of it although at times that seems almost impossible.

For the Year 12s it’s a good time to sit down and study with no distractions, and come into our upcoming exams well prepared.

For younger students, try to get some positives; take it as a life experience in the ability to adapt and change according to new circumstances, which you can carry with you for the rest of your life.

Of course, these things are all easier said than done, but it is the small actions that can really assist you in the biggest ways.

Spiro: 

1. Not being able to see friends.

One of the best parts about day to day Trinity life is the interaction with one another. Not being able to do that is tough, especially if you’re in your senior years. Those moments create memories forever, and putting that on hold can be disappointing.

2. Sport season being put on hold.

Sport is such an important part of what we do and our DNA at Trinity, and with the winter season being put on hold or potentially cancelled is extremely unfortunate.

Premierships are on the line and with only a few more games to go in the season the end is near, but might not be completed.

Year 12 students playing in their final season unfortunately have to appreciate the good run they’ve had at the start of the season and remember the good times they’ve had playing sport over the years.

3. Uncertainty.

No matter who you are or how old you are, not knowing when you’ll be back in the classroom or back on school grounds is terrible at times.

But everyone else is in the same shoes, so it’s important to be patient and wait until information is available rather than speculating.

4. Staying on task.

When you’re at home and the boundaries aren’t there like they are at school, it can be hard to stay focused at times. That’s why keeping your routine in place as best as possible is important.

5. Not having a teacher in the room.

We’re so lucky to have such great support networks at school with staff on hand to provide instant feedback and guidance on our work.

For senior students, it just isn’t the same when you haven’t got that face to face interaction with staff members day to day.

For more tips, see the message from the Prefects on the Green and White Army FaceBook page.

From the Head Master

July 30, 2021

This week we saw a number of shifts in the COVID-19 restrictions that have implications for the School.

Remote learning to continue

The key issue is that schools in Greater Sydney will remain under Level 4 restrictions for another four weeks; in Trinity’s context, we will be in remote mode until at least the end of Week 7. I suspect that this decision was not surprising for most of us, given the continuing escalation of the situation. Nonetheless, I do not doubt that many hearts sank at the prospect of continuing with the current arrangements. While the overall feedback from the community suggests that remote learning is generally going as well as we could hope, we want it to be over.

Broadly speaking, the current arrangements for remote learning will continue. Supervision of students will be provided onsite for those students who need it. The protocols for remote learning can be accessed from the MyPortal.

Year 12 to sit Trial Examinations

The Premier announced that Year 12 students would be able to return to schools on Monday 16 August (Week 6). Trinity is planning for our Year 12 students to sit their Trial Examinations for both the HSC and IB Diploma in Weeks 6 and 7. At this point, the best advice for the boys is to continue to prepare for the examinations.

The School has a number of concerns and questions raised by the government’s initiatives. We expect that the government will provide clarity over the next two weeks; health advice will come from NSW Health and the education authorities will provide guidance with applying the health advice to schools. An announcement was made by the Premier today with reference to the provision of vaccination for some Year 12 students. We expect further information to be provided with reference to COVID testing for students. When the School is able to provide information as to how the Trial Examinations will be conducted in a COVID-safe way, it will be communicated to the School community.

The School is also awaiting guidance from NESA with reference to the assessment of major works in practical and performance subjects. There will be misadventure provisions for boys whose preparation and completion of major works has been impacted by COVID-related restrictions. Again, the School will communicate about these issues with boys as soon as we are able to do so.

At this point in time we do not have the information to be able to answer questions in a meaningful way. The School leadership is seeking clarification, making our concerns known to the authorities, and planning for a number of scenarios. In the meantime, the boys and teachers should continue to consolidate their learning to the best of their ability.

End of year assessment in the MS/SS

As families are aware, unlike most schools, the academic year for the Middle and Senior Schools at Trinity rolls over at the end of Term 3. There are only a few weeks left of the academic year. The extension of remote mode and the announcement regarding the return of Year 12 has required a significant shuffling of the planned end-of-year assessment programme.

The primary purpose of assessment is to identify where students are at in their learning at a particular point in time. Teachers have been gathering evidence of student learning throughout the remote period and will continue to do so. In Weeks 5 and 6, students in Years 7 to 11 will have a more formal assessment in each of their subjects. These assessments will be designed to be completed within the timetable and in a form that is suitable for the remote mode of learning. Boys will have received information about the timing and nature of these assessments from their teachers.

Lesson-free days for MS/SS

In normal circumstances, the process of assessment and reporting in the second half of Term 3 is very highly tuned, placing very heavy demands on teachers and providing very little margin in due dates. The issue is that we attempt to complete the process of assessing and reporting for all six Year groups in a five week period; most schools manage this process over a period of four and a half months, from August to December. There are a number of reasons why Trinity takes the approach that we do; a key consideration is that Term 4 is deployed much more effectively for learning in this arrangement, rather than being characterised by a long, slow slide into summer holidays. However, it is important for families to understand that the second half of Term 3 is very pressured for teachers of Years 7-12.

One of the ways that the School attempts to meet the demands of this ambitious schedule each year is to provide a student-free day for marking and reporting on the Friday of Week 8 (3 September). You will see this date noted in the Record Book. As we have juggled and shuffled the assessment schedule this year, it has been decided that teachers will need an additional day for marking and reporting. Therefore, Friday 27 August (Week 7) has been gazetted as a lesson-free day for MS/SS students, as well as Friday 3 September (Week 8). Reminders about these days will be provided to boys and families over the next few weeks.

Field Studies Centre and Programme

The extension of the restrictions have prevented the School from resuming the Field Studies Programme (FSP) for Year 9 students as we had planned. The current Public Health Order requires fourteen days of self-isolation for people who leave Greater Sydney. We hope to offer the boys who were scheduled to go on the FSP this term an opportunity to do so, as soon as the Public Health Order allows. It appears that this will not happen prior to the end of August. More information will be provided as and when we are able to do so.

The restrictions will also prevent us from holding the planned Open Day on 14 August, during which we had hoped to formally open the new facilities and give School families the opportunity to explore our campus. We will not be able to conduct an Open Day this term. We are putting together a virtual formal opening of the new classrooms, which will be circulated to the community later in the term; this will include video and photos to help families become familiar with the site.

The School continues to be hopeful that the remaining boys from the Year 9 cohort of 2021 will be able to participate in a Field Studies Programme, before the new iteration of the extended programme commences in Term 4.

As always, I am appreciative of the trust that the parents of the School continue to demonstrate in us. In the changing and fluid landscape, we will continue to try to provide the best communication that we can, without pretending to offer a certainty or clarity that can’t be sustained. We understand the frustrations, tensions and pressures that so many are feeling, as we feel them too, and we remain resolute in our commitment to continue to do the best that we can in their education of the Trinity boys.

Detur gloria soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master

July 30, 2021

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and the wisdom to know the difference.

Amen

At Trinity, we take the welfare and wellbeing of your sons very seriously. One way this is reflected in the School’s procedures is through the Welfare Teams. If a member of the staff or parent has a concern about a boy’s wellbeing or mental health, a referral is generated and triaged at the weekly Welfare Team meetings at the Senior School, Middle School, Preparatory School and Junior School. Each referral is handled individually, and a team approach is taken for each case. A referral may involve the TESS Counselling and Psychological Support Service, it may involve the TESS Academic Support Service, or it may require a referral and liaison with external professionals, including psychiatrists, psychologists, speech pathologists, occupational therapists, paediatricians or community mental health teams. The Welfare Teams continue to meet during lockdown. Recommencing this week, your sons were asked to respond to Skodel, our weekly wellbeing pulse check. They are asked three questions; how they are feeling, what things are having a positive or negative impact on their wellbeing, and the third question asks whether they would like to talk to someone. We will ask your sons to respond each Wednesday to help us, and you, keep our fingers on the wellbeing pulse.

An integral aspect of our commitment to the welfare of your sons, is the Counselling and Psychological Support Service. Mr Tim Smith, Ms Sandi Bell, Ms Sue Boursiani, Ms Cara Chillari and Mr Micah Boerma make up the TESS Counselling and Psychological Support Service Team, and all of whom are Registered Psychologists. Your son may never require their services but, if he does, he will be in good hands.

If you sense your son needs support, if you notice he is not his usual self, or if he verbalises that he is struggling with his emotional health, it is important to keep open lines of communication in your family and with the School. Encourage him to talk with a trusted adult, a family member, his Housemaster, or confidentially with one of our School Psychologists who continue to provide remote counselling sessions, support and advice during lockdown. The Counselling and Psychological Support Service may be contacted on 9581 6035 or send a confidential email to ecare@trinity.nsw.edu.au

Alternatively, you may prefer to point him in the direction of some of the online services where he (and you) can speak, anonymously if you choose, to a trained professional. For example, he (and you) can chat with e-headspace at https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/ or you can talk with someone at the Kids Helpline on 1800 551 800. We encourage your son to speak openly with the people in his support network about how he is feeling, to continue to engage in activities, and to maintain his social and family connections.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

Book a breakfast meeting with your son

July 30, 2021

Middle School Fathers received an email this week asking them to arrange a new sort of breakfast meeting. Forget complex agendas and video meetings with work colleagues, we want you to have a breakfast meeting with your son. Over the next couple of weeks, share some time, share breakfast together, then share your group selfie shots with us.

“As the lockdown has interrupted our plans for our traditional Father Son breakfasts across Years 7 to 9, we thought we’d encourage our Dads to enjoy some time with a Father-Son breakfast at home,” said Head of the Middle School, Mr John Allen. You’re invited to upload details of your breakfast recipes, pictures of the meal and of yourselves, using this form. Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll share the stories in the Bulletin and our social media channels.

Thanks to Head of the Preparatory School, Mr Chris Wyatt, who sent in this one of breakfast with his son. “It was nice to have eggs with my dad this morning,” wrote Ben.

Or Father Oliver and son Leo T who sent in a mouthwatering selection. “This morning my Dad and I cooked a nice home made breakfast! It involved double eggs in the egg rings on top of some garlic, red onions and herbs, alongside some mushrooms and cherry tomatoes! With a bit of hummus on toast. A breakfast for champions! Haha!” wrote Oliver.

We’re looking forward to seeing more of our Father and Son breakfast meetings! Submit your stories and photos here.

Learning in lockdown

July 30, 2021

Assembling bicycles, skipping rope challenges, turning dining rooms into mini sporting arenas … Trinity students and their families have been adapting to the challenges of lockdown and remote learning in typically positive style.

They’ve also been making the most of something that in normal times can be in short supply – each other’s company, as indicated by these reports.

Year 10 mum Virginia Valiozis told how her son James managed to assemble his own bicycle at home despite, rather than because of, the manufacturer’s instructions.

“Having exchanged his Trinity school uniform for a more relaxed looking oodie-form, James used his problem solving skills to decipher the not so clearly written instructions.

“Parts were laid out and checked for missing components. Tools and equipment needed to assemble the bike were carefully selected and neatly laid out.”

Though he felt like swapping the instructions for less conventional help such as a rabbit’s foot and healing crystals, the bike was eventually completed.

“Final inspection took place to ensure student expectations were met and the bicycle was roadworthy,” she reported.

“Assessment competency included third-party certification (by way of an older sister) to ensure the bike had been built to specifications.

“It was then taken out into the local area for testing.

“This authentic learning experience challenged our expectations that learning can only take place inside the classroom.  It taught us that learning can also occur through experience – by doing, rather than by listening or observing.  

“Every day, in both our personal and professional lives, we come up against unfamiliar situations in which we have to solve problems, adapt our behaviours and make decisions.

“We were heartened to witness our son discover his capabilities through doing – a habit that will hopefully stay with him for life.

“Learning beyond the classroom is possible for our students if we continue to encourage them to learn through authentic, real life experiences.  This practice of focusing on the good in any given situation helps to rewire our brain and avoid the negative feelings associated with lockdown fatigue.”

Year 2 Prep school mum Nivey Govender said her son had been having fun with the Jump Rope for Heart challenge.

“Some wins we’ve had are:

– spending quality time with each other (in particular with siblings without distractions);

-creating things in Unit of Inquiry that spark curiosity and create joy;

-learning how to navigate different systems and understanding the value in them. 

“Thanks for being a wonderfully nurturing and supportive school and giving us amazing staff to interact with, we are most appreciative.”

Another Trinity mum, Sarah Buultjens, reported a plus from repurposing part of the family home.

“Our family has been playing table tennis on the dining room table during breaks. It’s been fun!

“Thanks for your encouragement.”

For the Junior School’s 6J, they shared in the excitement of Olympics watching Ariane Titmus win gold.

The AHL library team also jumped into remote learning encouragement, from shared story time, encouraging our Kindergarten readers, and even setting up personalised Spotify playlists for our staff too. We look forward to sharing more of your stories next week. Don’t forget you can email them to us via TRLnews@trinity.nsw.edu.au

From the Head Master

July 23, 2021

The inescapable impression emerging from the public health advice is that we are settling in for a long haul with reference to the current restrictions. It would appear that the transmissibility of the Delta variant and the current level of vaccination in the community will require us to continue in the attempts to suppress the virus through various measures that restrict interactions between people. The implication is that, although the nominal term of the current Level 4 restrictions is due to expire next week, most commentators expect remote learning to continue beyond that point.

I have remarked previously about the relative smoothness of our transition into remote learning this term, but this is not to suggest that it has been painless or without significant effort and challenge. This is the case for students, for families, and also for teachers. When facing these challenges, we do well to remind ourselves of the difficulties that are also being faced by the other people in the situation.

It seems to me that the 2020 lockdown experience commenced in a more frenetic way and that it was characterised by more anxiety, more adrenalin, and more novelty. This time, it is more about monotony and low-level lethargy. Day rolls into day with little to distinguish it from last week or next week. In this context, attempts to jolly things along or to attempt to pep people up with little motivational gems are less likely to be either well-received or effective. Rather, the task is to keep on keeping on. There is lots of wisdom conveyed to us as to the various ways to do this well: exercise, eating well, maintaining routine, taking on meaningful projects, disciplined sleep patterns, and the like. However, as always, the value of this wisdom does not lie in knowing it, but acting on it.

With a longer stint of restrictions potentially in front of us, the School leaders are giving consideration to the various issues for the life of the School. With the uncertainty around the duration of the restrictions, this entails making provisional plans, with a number of contingencies that may need to be put in place. Rather than present all the possibilities to the School community at every point, decisions will be made known as and when the path becomes clear.

During the course of today, all School families will have received correspondence from the Chairman of the School Council and me regarding financial assistance to families. I encourage families to ensure that they have read that correspondence.

The families of boys in the Middle and Senior Schools will have also received correspondence from the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill and the Academic Dean regarding the assessment programme in Term 3 for students in Years 7-11.

We continue to await further guidance from the various authorities as to the path forward for Year 12 students, both with reference to the completion of their final credential and also the other aspects of their final term at School. As and when we are able to give some clarity to our senior students, we will do so. In the meantime, continuing to prepare for the trial examinations, major works, performances, and the final examinations, should continue to be their priority.

In reflecting on this article, I can’t help but note how sombre it is. I trust that it has not brought you down, or ruined your mood; that is certainly not the intent. Rather, I think we do well to consider the challenges before us with clear eyes, recognise the frustrations, and resolve to bring our best selves to the circumstances that face us today. As we do it, our children will learn to do it also.

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

July 23, 2021

God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change;

Courage to change the things I can;

And wisdom to know the difference.

– Reinhold Niebuhr

Almost a year ago, newly minted School Officer, Tyson Jackson 12Fo, spoke to the boys and young men of the School about the challenges we had faced in 2020, and which we thought we had left behind. At a time when there is again a focus on wellbeing and mental health, particularly for young people, and after a couple of weeks in lockdown, and with little clarity about what will happen in the coming weeks, it seemed to me that it was worth sharing a young person’s perspective again.

2020 taught us a lot. The simple things we took for granted, are not able to be done at the moment. Hopefully, we will be able to experience those things again as and when things begin to return to normal. But life as we knew it has changed again, and maybe even next year as well. Even the way we went to school has changed and we had to get used to seeing our friends and teachers on a screen rather than face to face.

However, one of the things that this year has taught us is that we can be resilient. We can cope with change. We can cope with disappointment. We have all been faced with setbacks, yet we have all learned to cope with these challenges. 

For me, last year was especially tough, [and the fact that the CAS Season has been affected again this year is bitterly disappointing]. But as much as I love to run out with the 1st XV to a packed No. 1 Oval grandstand, that was not the way things panned out. Because rugby is such a big part of my life, it became hard to find the motivation to keep training and stay fit. However, during this time the fact that everyone was in the same boat made it easier to get through the uncertainty by remaining tight as a group and staying positive. We just found new ways to get stuff done. 

This principle is very important. In life, regardless of the hurdles we face, it is important to believe that we can be resilient, that we can continue to find ways to improve ourselves, and we can take what life throws at us in our stride. We all have a unique opportunity to do what we love here at the School, to pursue our passions and interests, so it is important that you take advantage of these opportunities and remain committed to what you do. Like we have all managed to do all year, it is important to find ways to turn those things you aren’t so keen on, as well as life’s predictable disappointments, into a positive experience. Persist with those things, and the lessons that you learn will be invaluable. 

If there’s key takeaway, it is to persist with those things you may not particularly enjoy, lean into the disappointment, and keep finding new ways to overcome challenges.

Tyson’s words were apposite last November and retain their power almost a year later when we find ourselves back to where we started in March 2020. Seek help when you need it. Reach out to the support services. Your sons (and daughters) need to be reassured that this too shall pass.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

From the Head Master

July 16, 2021

As we come to the close of our first week of remote learning for more than a year, the overwhelming impression is that the School has transitioned to this mode very smoothly indeed.

During the course of the week, I have been seeking feedback from boys, from staff and from parents, as have many of the senior staff of the School, and the feedback has been very encouraging. The messaging to the staff community at the start of the week was that there are two overarching priorities: high-quality remote learning for students, and high-quality support for staff. The indications that we are achieving these goals are positive at this point.

Obviously, there is a great deal of uncertainty as to how long the School will be required to operate under Level 4 restrictions. The School is receiving advice from NSW Health, NESA and the AISNSW as the implications of the public health situation for schools are resolved, and the School will communicate with families as and when it is able to do so. For what it is worth, my observation is that the advice being provided to schools is more consistent, calm and thorough than it was when NSW went through its first wave back in Term 1 and 2 of 2020.

Earlier this week I addressed the boys of the Middle and Senior Schools regarding the need to have their cameras on when taking part in the video-conferencing element of their lessons. During remote learning in 2020, the practice developed across the secondary years whereby the boys would have their cameras turned off. The School has formed the view that it will be better for everyone if the standard practice is to have the cameras on.

As I explained it to the boys, there are a number of reasons that we should hold this view. The first is a simple one of online manners. An activated camera is the equivalent of looking at someone. We would not accept a student turning his back to a teacher in the middle of a face-to-face interaction.

The second reason is accountability. Teachers have an obligation to monitor the engagement and participation of students. The protocols that we have developed identify a number of ways in which this happens, and one of those ways is the student’s participation in the video-conferencing element of learning.

The third reason has to do with the reminder to students and teachers that we are part of a learning community. The isolation of remote learning presents challenges of loneliness and social disconnection. Seeing the faces of other people on the screen is a poor substitute for seeing them face-to-face, but it is vastly better than simply seeing a tile with their name on it.

The fourth reason is that the camera prompts some basic self-care actions that are good for the boys’ mental health. Knowing that they will be visible will (hopefully) be a small nudge to them to make the effort to get out of bed, to get out of sleepwear, to do hair and perhaps even to shower! We know that routine helps in an isolation situation and the camera may play a small role in helping maintain some of these basic habits.

The teachers will be requesting the boys to switch their cameras on. Parental support is appreciated. Obviously blurring or changing the background is a good idea, and inappropriate behaviour or clothing is a bad idea!

We know that Level 4 restrictions will be in play until at least the end of Week 3. It is reasonable to expect that schools will spend a period of time under Level 3 restrictions once Level 4 is wound back, but we have not yet been informed as to the extent of the Level 3 restrictions. In the meantime, I encourage all members of the School community to act according to the public health advice, to minimise movement around the community, and to seek vaccination at the earliest opportunity.

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

July 16, 2021

God grant me the serenity

to accept the things I cannot change;

courage to change the things I can;

and the wisdom to know the difference.

Amen

As we begin another term of Remote Learning, and in the lead up to the examination and assessment period, particularly for Year 12, it is important to acknowledge that it has been another challenging month or so in an 18-month period that has been out of the ordinary. Despite the challenges, your sons (in the small sample size of my classes) have demonstrated resilience and optimism in response to the unpredictability and the disappointments. We also appreciate the continued support of the School community.

Nonetheless, my colleagues and I are aware that things may begin to fray a little for some of the boys and young men of Trinity. With the extension to the lockdown earlier this week, the relentless media coverage of COVID-19, Delta strain, the disruption to the traditional rhythms of the School and the prospect of a longer than expected return to ‘normal’, it would be unsurprising if there was an effect on the mood of our community.

It is important to acknowledge that your son(s) and daughters may be experiencing heightened emotions, sometimes when we are not expecting it, and sometimes in otherwise resilient young people. While it is normal to experience a range of feelings, and we can’t expect to be happy all the time, we do want to encourage you to continue to check in with your sons, and to be reassured that if your son is struggling, there is support available.

If you sense your son needs support, if you notice he is not his usual self, or if he verbalises that he is struggling with his emotional health, it is important to keep open lines of communication in your family and with the School. Encourage him to talk with a trusted adult, a family member, his Housemaster or confidentially with one of our School Psychologists (9581 6035). You may even point him in the direction of some of the online services where he (and you) can speak, anonymously if you choose, to a trained professional. For example, he (and you) can e-chat with e-headspace (1800 650 890) or you can talk with someone at the Kids Helpline (1800 551 800). At Trinity, we encourage your son to speak openly with the people in his support network about how he is feeling, to continue to engage in activities, and to maintain his social and family connections.

The challenges of 2020 and 2021 will pass, and when our young people look back in the rear vision mirror of history, they will have gained some of the perspective that comes with age and experience. However, if the natural volatility of adolescence leads to nihilism or existential angst, the support and perspective must be provided by the adults.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

Healing words for NAIDOC week

July 16, 2021

Why ‘welcome to country’ means so much

A Trinity student has produced a touching explanation of the deep traditional significance of “welcome to country” rituals as part of his NAIDOC Week research.

“Have you ever heard of a word that goes beyond dictionary meaning? A word so encompassing, so rich that language cannot do it justice?” asked Micah A. S. (12St) in a project inspired by Trinity’s Social Action co-curricular group.

“To Aboriginal Australians, the word ‘country’ is much more than ‘homeland’ or places on a map. It goes far beyond ownership, tribal or clan area,” he said in an address due to be read at a School assembly which had to be cancelled because of pandemic lockdowns.

“Country is a word for all the values, places, resources and culture of an area. Country is interconnected relationships with that place, its stories, kin, roles and respectful obligations.

“Beautifully, ‘welcome to country’ is a welcome to a place, as well as a welcome to the connections with that place.”

Addressing this year’s NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) Week theme of Heal Country, the non-indigenous student said welcoming practices had been part of indigenous culture for thousands of years.

“It was not only an invitation to a visitor to enter an area, but to instil in them a feeling of protection and connection to that country,” he said.

“As Australians who were not here first, we must remember the deplorable treatment of our indigenous people, of their culture and land.

“Welcome to country is an immeasurable privilege and opportunity; to not just listen but respond to the call. To respect interconnectedness with the land. To wonder at history and traditions. To make proper space for talking and building. And to realise what a beautiful home we share.”

The address was due to have been delivered before a welcome to country by indigenous student Alex D. (11Mu).

The Social Action group’s coordinator Alison Boyd-Boland, Trinity’s Director of Professional Practice, said the boys had been disappointed by the lockdown cancellation but would now feel pleased that their efforts had found a wide audience after all.

From the Head Master

June 18, 2021

At this morning’s quad assembly, I announced the appointment of the 2022 School Officers.

There are thirty-two School Officers at Trinity: a School Captain; three School vice-Captains; sixteen House Captains; and twelve Prefects. These young men have a formal responsibility of leading our School students during the course of their final year at the School. They take their place in a tradition that stretches back to the School’s inception and I have great confidence in their capacity to carry that tradition forward.

These are not the only opportunities that our senior boys have to show leadership. We have House vice-Captains, Captains of various co-curricular activities and sporting teams, promotional positions in Cadets, Bible Study leadership roles and other such positions, along with the informal leadership that every boy has the opportunity to demonstrate in the ebb and flow of School life.

The process of selecting these young men to serve in this way has been robust. It commenced with nearly one hundred students taking the risk of putting themselves out there by nominating for the role and seeking endorsement from a staff member. The current Year 10 and Year 11 cohorts voted on the list on nominees, as did staff and the outgoing School Officers. I give great weight in the process to the voting results; while this is not an election as such, the voices of peers and staff provide great insight to the regard in which people are considered.

My considerations also included the nominations of the Senior School Housemasters, who consult with the staff of their House in putting forward the names of those who could serve as House Captains. I reflect on the nominees’ respective records at the School. EPA, GPA, Co-curricular participation, disciplinary history, and I consult with senior staff. Every year, my reflection is that I could happily appoint between half and two thirds of the nominees to serve the School in this way, but there are only thirty-two School Officer positions.

Every young man who nominated took a risk in doing so, and sometimes risks don’t pay off. Many boys will experience disappointment today. The great challenge for them will be dealing with that disappointment. Disappointments and frustrated hopes, and doors that don’t open when you want them, are all part of the fabric of life. We do not serve our boys well by either minimising their disappointment as though it doesn’t matter, or by shielding them from it. We do well to help them to sit with it, to recognise it, to process it, and to move past it.

The School Officers at Trinity Grammar from the Year 12 class of 2022 are:

School CaptainSteven Yarad 
School vice-CaptainsJohn Dedousis
Rupert Dobbin
Eric Mihas
School Prefects:Rory Briscoe
Matthew de Belle
George Dedousis
Jonathan Gremos
Benjamin Orr
Zach Pliatsikas
Thomas Rathbone
Elias Sidiropoulos
Andrew Tanous
Keagan Tran
Oliver Walker
Jayden Woods
House Captain – ArcherNick Nguyen
House Captain – DulwichHugh Browning
House Captain – FoundersTom Jenkins
House Captain – HendersonKevin Zhong
House Captain – HilliardEvangelos Papadopoulos
House Captain – HolwoodJoshua Hanna
House Captain – KerriganMatthew Nicolas
House Captain – LathamPatrick Williams
House Captain – MurphySam Waddington
House Captain – SchoolSpyridon Konidaris
House Captain – StephensonDanial Cattana
House Captain – TaubmanMatthew Lubke
House Captain – WeeksRiley Martin
House Captain – Wilson HoggJeremy Chia
House Captain – Wynn JonesJustin Wang
House Captain – YoungMax Nguyen

Whilst I would not normally comment in this context about the departure of staff at the close of the term, in this case, in light of more than a quarter of a century of service, I would like to acknowledge the departure of Mr Michael Spratt, who joined the School teaching staff in 1995. Mr Spratt’s contribution to the School is impossible to quantify, covering an immense range of activities and programmes, but it has been most particularly powerful in his service as Housemaster of Stephenson House for nearly two decades, where his pastoral care has been a powerfully formative influence in the lives of generations of young men. We wish him well as he takes up a new challenge on the teaching staff of Shore School.

May God bless you and yours during the term break and, if your plans include interstate travel, may the borders remain open!

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

June 18, 2021

Over the last couple of weeks we have acknowledged a slew of representative selections in Basketball, Cross Country, Diving, Football, Golf, Rugby Union, Rugby League, Swimming and Volleyball. After many, many years at Trinity, I am still continually amazed at the level of athletic talent this school produces, year after year, with CAS, CIS, State and National representatives. It is a tremendous reflection of the quality of our coaches and the commitment of the boys and young men who reach these lofty heights. I hope it never becomes something we take for granted.

All of this serves as prelude to this week’s news. I would like to extend the School’s congratulations to Lucas Young 10We and Harper Stewart 10St who were selected in the Cadet  Australian Water Polo Team to play in New Zealand next month, and to Thomas Rathbone 11Ke who has been selected in the Australian Youth Water Polo Squad for an intensive training camp in Sydney. These are extraordinary achievements and follow something of a purple patch for Water Polo, and the Young family, in particular, who now have two sons who have represented Australia in Water Polo. It would be wonderful to see some of these Junior Australian Water Polo representatives follow in the steps of Sam Fricker from the Class of 2020 and Rohan Browning from the Class of 2015 who have both been selected in the Australian Team for the Tokyo Olympics. We are hoping to hear news that they will be joined by Oliver Hoare, also of the Class of 2015. In an interesting footnote, Caleb Dryer 12Sc, Gabriel Wilczak 11Ar and Hayden Hoang 9Ta (who turned 15 this week!) competed at the Olympic Swimming Trials in Adelaide. Well done!

Congratulations to the Cadet Corps, and SUO, Sebastian Papadopoulos 12He, on a fine Annual Ceremonial Parade this week, and which continued a tradition stretching back over eighty years. The weather was kind and the Cadets of Trinity and Meriden brought great credit to the Unit. The Marching Band, as always, was outstanding. Well done! The parade was followed by a very convivial Dining In Night for the graduating Cadets at the Canada Bay Club. May I extend my best wishes for a safe and successful Cadet Promotions’ Camp this weekend at the Field Studies Centre, and also to the boys and young men heading off on their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh, as well as to the Snow Sports Team who compete over the winter break.

Please accept my thanks for your support, my congratulations to your sons on another fine term, and my best wishes for the coming holiday. However, may I remind Year 12 students that they would do well to view this three-week hiatus as a study break rather than a holiday. Even six hours of study per day, six days per week, provides the opportunity for almost 200 hours of preparation for the coming Trial Examinations and Final Examinations for the HSC and IBD.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

Virtual exhibition online now

June 17, 2021

Visit “Lineage” anytime online at https://my.matterport.com/show/?m=kPmt7T7npkQ The exhibition continues at Delmar Gallery until 18 July and will be open during the winter break.

The Maningrida region in Arnhem Land is one of the most linguistically diverse places in the world, with 12 distinct languages spoken by over 110 clan groups. The landscape is equally diverse, covering over 7,000 square kilometres and ranging from saltwater coastal regions to rocky escarpments.

“Lineage” celebrates the work of contemporary women artists from across this region. Their strong tradition of fibre sculpture and weaving is at the heart of the exhibition, complemented by handprinted fabrics and works on paper painted with earth pigments, completed during the COVID lockdown. Uniting them is a profound connection to djang: “Djang is an ongoing, eternal, life-giving transformative power that accounts for every aspect of existence. It also refers to the creation ancestor, the country where spirit resides, and to ceremonial designs and songs that represent that being. It is what powers our art.”

The exhibition is presented in association with Maningrida Arts & Culture and Bábbarra Designs and works are available for purchase. Request a price list by emailing delmargallery@trinity.nsw.edu.au

Gallery hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 12-5pm. Free admission.

Entry via Victoria St Gate, Summer Hill Campus.

From the Head Master

June 11, 2021

As the middle of the calendar year approaches, this may be an appropriate point to update the community on the progress with the various building projects that are underway across our campuses.

Development of facilities is an ongoing reality in the life of schools. Sometimes this is required by growth, as we are seeing on multiple school sites around NSW. Sometimes new facilities are required in order to enable new educational offerings, or to facilitate new approaches to teaching and learning or school structures and processes. Sometimes school facilities come to the end of their useful life and are no longer fit for purpose as the needs of schools change.

It is not difficult to find analogous situations in multiple other contexts. Many families undertake renovations as the needs of the family change; many others choose to move. In the workplace, office relocations and new fit-outs are commonplace. The particular challenge for a school undertaking building works is that our refurbishments and developments tend to happen while we continue to inhabit the site. While this entails living with some inconvenience, as anyone who has remained in their home throughout a renovation knows, one finds ways to improvise, adapt and overcome, which provides all that much more appreciation when the work is completed!

At the Preparatory School, the task of reconfiguring the south-western wing of the Llandilo building is progressing significantly quicker than expected. Families who see the building regularly will have noted more of its external form as scaffolding is removed and the focus of construction shifts to the fitting out of the interior. We are currently expecting the Year 5 and 6 boys to move into the new spaces at the start of Term 4. At that point, the demountables will be removed and work will shift to changing the ‘oval’ to become an all-weather external playing court; this work is expected to be completed by Christmas. We anticipate a formal opening ceremony will take place at the start of 2022; more details will be provided in due course.

At the Field Studies Centre in Woollamia, the two staff residences have been completed and both the Head of Campus and the Director of Outdoor Education will have moved onsite by the start of next term. The classroom block, which is needed as we move to the extended Field Studies Programme in Term 4 2021, is also nearly complete. There will be a formal opening of the classroom block on Saturday 14 August 2021; this is the date of our inaugural FSC Open Day.

The Open Day is intended to provide all members of the extended School community with the opportunity to visit our FSC campus. We anticipate the opportunity to attend being of particular interest to the Year 9 2022 cohort, each of whom will spend a term living there, and their families. While we anticipate running this Open Day on an annual basis, I encourage all of our families who would like to begin to become familiar with the FSC to consider visiting on 14 August, either as a day trip or as a weekend getaway to mark the end of the CAS winter sport season. More information about the Open Day will be provided early next term.

The major building project that looms before us is the Renewal Project, which is the major development of the Summer Hill campus. The original information about this development may still be found on the School website. Our State Significant Development Application is in process with the Department of Planning, Industry and Environment, which is taking longer than we hoped. Nonetheless, we are optimistic that approval will be granted within the next couple of months. Whilst the approval process grinds on, behind the scenes work is progressing with finance, procurement, and design.

As always, there is a lot going on in the life of the School. Thankfully, most of it is about the boys and their learning in the context of the School community. The buildings, current and future, provide the background, which is the way that it should be. The School is, primarily, the people.

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

June 11, 2021

Several years ago, on a trip to Brisbane to visit Anglican Church Grammar School, Churchie, I was given a copy of a publication called, Making of Men-101 Tips. It was such an excellent summary that I kept it in my drawer for years. Next term’s Life Skills Programme will turn its attention to articulating to your sons the version of manhood and masculinity that Trinity wants to encourage. We are committed to working with you towards helping your sons become decent men, the ultimate aim of a Trinity Grammar School education. We encourage it incidentally, by the example of the adults who work at Trinity, we encourage it proactively through the Life Skills programme and the co-curricular programme, and we do it reactively when your sons make mistakes.

Many of this selection of tips comes, with permission, from that little book from Churchie. I have published them in the Bulletin before, and most of them are common sense, but, as with many truisms, they gather both power, cultural currency and momentum from repetition and sharing.

So, here they are.

  1. Set your expectations for your son just a little higher than you think he can achieve
  2. Understand that your son doesn’t just learn by doing as you say. More often, he learns by watching and imitating you
  3. Encourage the process rather than the result (this has been the focus of this term’s Life Skills Programme)
  4. Allow your son to experience the logical consequences of his actions as is his right
  5. Understand that it is the certainty of the consequence, not the severity that is the key
  6. Insist your son does chores
  7. Be an authoritative, consistent parent, not a friend to your son
  8. Encourage humility rather than hubris
  9. Know your son’s friends
  10. Explain that compromise is an inevitable part of human relationships
  11. Allow time for your son to talk and don’t fill the silence
  12. Insist that your son respects women and girls
  13. Reject the excuse for boorish behaviour that, boys will be boys
  14. Respond decisively to disrespect, rudeness and profanity
  15. Pass on life’s lessons by sharing your experience

Congratulations and well done to the boys and young men of the School on a successful House Track & Field Championships last Monday. The weather was perfect, and I was delighted to see both the turnout and the enthusiasm. The House Captains did a sterling job of rallying the troops to ensure a day of spirited competition. My thanks also to my colleagues, especially the Sportsmaster, Mr Kearsley, the Director of Co-curricular, Mr White, and the Director of Campus Administration, Mr Wirth, who co-ordinated the event. Well done to Taubman House who won their second consecutive Championship laurel wreath on the day.

Well done also to my colleagues in the Music Department for an excellent Winter Concert on Wednesday evening. It has been a busy couple of weeks for them with the Battle of the Bands, the Gala Concert, the Winter Concert and, next week, the Annual Ceremonial Parade. It has been lovely to see that the metaphorical baton that is the extraordinary legacy of Mr Phillip Pratt has been handed on so seamlessly to Dr McGregor and my colleagues in the Department. I was particularly impressed with Elton Huang’s 9Ar performance of Chopin’s Nocturne in C# Minor, Lucas Fan’s 7He performance of the 2nd Movement of Elgar’s Concerto for ‘Cello in E Minor, and Andy Lin’s 8WJ sublime Requiebros. Well done!

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

From the Head Master

June 4, 2021

There is a certain reassurance that comes with familiar rhythms and patterns of life. I imagine that there are all sorts of explanations for this, including the importance of familiarity in reducing cognitive load, the comfort that stems from positive prior experiences, and the reduction of anxiety about the unknown. Be that as it may, I have found this week at school to be a reassuring experience. It has felt as though we are ‘back to normal’.

I recognise that the spectre of COVID-19 has not gone away, and recent developments in Victoria and the Jervis Bay region have reminded us that our normalcy remains fragile. Perhaps this recognition added to my appreciation of the events of the week.

One of the highlights of the School year is our annual Gala Concert, which has taken place at one of the significant performance venues around the city every year since 1999, with the exception of the pandemic-afflicted 2020. On Wednesday this week our musicians reminded us of the beauty and joy that music is able to evoke in us through a challenging repertoire and skilful performance. In his first Gala Concert at Trinity, Dr Michael McGregor has given us good reason for confidence that the co-curricular musical life of the School is in excellent hands.

In a poignant aspect to the evening, we were very pleased to be joined by Mr Phil Pratt, our former long-serving Director of Music and his wife, Ronnie. Due to COVID and some health challenges, Mr Pratt did not have an opportunity to be farewelled by the extended music-loving community of the School. It was lovely to be able to acknowledge and honour him at the Concert, which demonstrated so vividly the enduring strength of the programme that he has done so much to build. Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with Mr Pratt and his family.

Another aspect of our return to normalcy was the resumption of ‘compulsory home games’, whereby the boys of the Middle and Senior School are required to attend as spectators to sporting fixtures for our First teams. The boys playing for the School at the top level cherish the opportunity to play in front of a crowd, and the School Officers and senior students lead the boys in chanting and cheering their representatives on the field. The School tries to walk a reasonable line between requiring attendance and navigating the competing demands of family life; we require the boys to attend two out of the possible nine fixtures (for Football, Volleyball and Rugby) across the season. As I have said to the boys on more than one occasion, ‘If you can’t get out of it, you may as well get into it!’ Enthusiastic participation makes for a more enjoyable experience for all. The boys may even enjoy it to the point of coming voluntarily!

As a side-note, the First XI Football are locked in a tight and evenly matched competition, the First VII Volleyball are continuing to dominate, and the First XV Rugby are undefeated, having won seven straight games. It would be lovely to see a big crowd turn out to support our teams against Knox at the home fixtures this weekend.

It will be a big day on the Summer Hill site this weekend. The compulsory home games against Knox will take place alongside an Open Day and tour for prospective families, the Back to Trinity reunion for the Old Trinitarians’ Union, and the usual hubbub across all the grounds. Our COVID precautions will be in place, and I would like to remind members of the community that dogs are not permitted in the grounds (except for the two little ones who live at the Head Master’s residence!).

Normalcy is also being seen in the final preparations of the Cadet Unit for the Ceremonial Parade and Dining-In Night, the process for appointing the 2021 School Officers, and all the normal activity that constitutes life at the School. I am reminded and reassured that, much of the time, God’s goodness to us is experienced in the everyday blessings and beauties that constitute daily life. I trust that you and yours are appreciating ‘normalcy’, such as we have it.

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

P.S: There is still time to complete the parent survey; having your feedback is really important to us. The button below will take you direct to the survey. Please submit only one response per family. Thank you!

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

June 4, 2021

Anything but a yes vote to this question would do injury to our reputation among fair-minded people everywhere (on the subject of the 1967 Constitutional Referendum).

 Harold Holt, 26 May 1967

I want to promise you that this act of restitution which we perform today will not stand alone – your fight was not for yourselves alone and we are determined that Aboriginal Australians everywhere will be helped by it. Vincent Lingiari, I solemnly hand to you these deeds as proof, in Australian law, that these lands belong to the Gurindji people, and I put into your hands this piece of the earth itself as a sign that we restore them to you and your children forever.

 Gough Whitlam, 16 August 1975

The message should be that there is nothing to fear or to lose in the recognition of historical truth, or the extension of social justice, or the deepening of Australian social democracy to include Indigenous Australians.

Paul Keating, 10 December 1992

Reconciliation requires changes of heart and spirit, as well as social and economic change. It requires symbolic as well as practical action.

Malcom Fraser, 26 May 2003

Thursday 3 June marked the final day of National Reconciliation Week, a week in which the Head Master spoke powerfully about the history of our nation and, in particular, the importance of the landmark High Court decision in Mabo v Queensland [1992] which overturned the doctrine of terra nullius. We acknowledged the traditional owners of the land in Reconciliation Round matches with St Aloysius’ College, and Alex Donavan | 11Mu, shared something of his own story at Quad Assembly. A precis of his remarks follows.

Good Morning Head Master, Staff and young men of the School.

My Name is Alex Donavan, I am in Year 11 and I am a proud Aboriginal Man.

Yaam darrui ngiina gaduwawgu – It’s good to meet you.

I would like to acknowledge the Wangal people of the Eora Nation who are the traditional custodians of this land on which we stand. I would also like to pay my respects to Elders past and present, and I extend that respect to other indigenous people who are present here today.

My mother is from the Waka Waka nation which is north-west of Brisbane and my father is from the Gumbaynggirr nation near Coffs Harbour.

I would like to share something of my life story, and how challenging it has been for me over the past 17 years. When I was young, only 7 years old, I got taken away from my real parents. At first, I really didn’t know why I got taken away, but I now know the story and I understand why it happened.

I am lucky to have people in my life that have listened to my story and have understood where I have come from and the challenges I have faced. To be honest, at first it was really hard for me to trust people but the people I live with and other people who I have strong connection with, that have helped me throughout the last 10 years, and I am so grateful to have that support.

The history of our First Nations people is rich, and I am proud to be a member of this special community. This is our great nation and together we all need to work towards building relationships and communities that value Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples’, history, cultures, and future.

This year’s theme for Reconciliation Week, “More than a word”, is a call to action for all Australians to be brave and take impactful action, which is important for all Indigenous people.

National Reconciliation Week encourages all Australians to learn about our shared histories, cultures and achievements, and consider how we can contribute to achieving reconciliation in Australia. 

In my personal journey, I am grateful for the bravery and the action taken by the people that I love that have given me the opportunity to be standing here before you today.  

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

Duke of Ed Gold Award Ceremony, May 25th 2021

June 4, 2021
Duke of Ed Gold Awardees 2021: (l-r) The Headmaster Mr Tim Bowden, Daniel T, Sebastian P, Joshua P, Suraj N, William M, Matthew N, Mr Guy Dennis (Gold Award Leader), Ms Christina Vanden Hengel (MIC DEAS)

Last Tuesday, seven of our Trinity young men were awarded their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Awards by the Honourable Margaret Beazley, Governor of New South Wales. Hard-fought and highly prized, these awards mark the end of an ‘adventurous journey’ that the students have been on, starting when they committed to joining the Bronze DEAS in Year 9. Aston F (13Yo), William M (12WJ), Suraj N (12Mu), Matthew N (13Ke), Sebastian P (12He), Joshua P (12La) and Daniel T (12Ta), accompanied by their parents, Gold Award Leader Mr Guy Dennis, myself and the Head Master, met on Wangal land at Sydney Olympic Park with over 220 other young awardees who received their awards and commemorated this auspicious occasion.

Close to 15,000 young people participate in the three levels of the Duke of Edinburgh Award each year in New South Wales. Last week’s ceremony celebrated the wonderful energy of young Australians in their pursuits of service to their communities, personal development of skills and interests, investment in their physical health and the challenge of new experiences beyond their circles. Along with a bevy of inspirational words spoken by awe-inspiring ambassadors for the program, the Governor herself prompted us in the Gadigal words at the end of the National Anthem to “yirribana Australiagal” – to move ‘this way Australian people’ following the lead of our youth who fearlessly and compassionately demonstrate that humble service, a thirst for adventure and reaching for excellence are truly golden qualities.

On a personal note, and I’m sure I speak on behalf of the Duke of Ed staff at Trinity, I have thoroughly enjoyed witnessing the spirit, curiosity and grit with which these Gold Awardees have tackled this commitment. The Duke of Ed team are thrilled for them and for those in the ranks behind them who get to learn from their positive example.

In the shadow of the Duke of Edinburgh’s recent passing, his words about the international award he established in 1956 bestow honour upon these seven young men and ring ever true:

“Gold awards are not easily gained. Young people growing up in this modern complicated world have many difficulties to face and opportunities for personal development are often limited. I hope that all those who take part in this Award will find added purpose and pleasure in their lives”

– HRH Prince Philip

Christina Vanden Hengel | MIC Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme

Waiting for the ceremony to begin (l-r) William M, Suraj N, Matthew N, Aston F, Joshua P and Daniel T.
The Honourable Margaret Beazley speaks with William M, Daniel T, Joshua P and Suraj N after the ceremony

Open this weekend at Delmar Gallery

June 3, 2021

Lineage celebrates the work of contemporary women artists from across the Maningrida region in Arnhem Land NT.

Exhibition installation, Wyarra spirit figures by Lena Yarinkura and Yolanda Rostron
Exhibition installation with works by (left to right) Maureen Ali, Jennifer Prudence, Janet Marawarr, Susan Marawarr

Their strong tradition of fibre sculpture and weaving is at the heart of the exhibition, complemented by handprinted fabrics and works on paper painted with earth pigments, completed during the COVID lockdown.  

The exhibition is presented in association with Maningrida Arts & Culture and Bábbarra Designs and works are available for purchase.  Request a price list by emailing delmargallery@trinity.nsw.edu.au

The Maningrida region in Arnhem Land is one of the most linguistically diverse places in the world, with 12 distinct languages spoken by over 110 clan groups. The landscape is commensurately diverse, covering over 7 000 square kilometres and ranging from saltwater coastal regions to rocky escarpments.

Uniting these artists from different linguistic groups, regions and generations is a profound connection to djang“Djang is an ongoing, eternal, life-giving transformative power that accounts for every aspect of existence. It also refers to the creation ancestor, the country where spirit resides, and to ceremonial designs and songs that represent that being. It is what powers our art.”

Also on display in the gallery’s project space is a commissioned animation by emerging Barkinkdji artist Maddison Gibbs.

Threads was created in response to the artists’ works in Lineage. Through sinuous line, movement and colour, it speaks to the vitality and lightness of spirit in their works.

Threads is about the journey of women going on Country, leaving our tracks and marks on Mother Earth, collecting materials, foods, medicine: listening to earth, taking time and feeling Country, exploring the interconnectedness with land, nature, mother and all living things. The journey continues across Country with shared knowledge and songlines that span one end of the country to the other.”

The exhibitions continue to 18 July.  

Gallery hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 12-5pm.  Free admission.

Entry via Victoria St gate, Summer Hill campus.

Jennifer Wurrkidj, Kuniyor Nagalyod (Rainbow Serpent) 2021

New link to parent survey

June 3, 2021

Below is a link directly to the Perspectives: Your school in focus survey.

We understand some parents have experienced difficulties receiving or accessing the email distributed by AISNSW.

The survey has been sent per family; only one parent/guardian from each household/family should complete it. If you have not yet completed a survey, please access the survey directly here.

Your response to this survey is vital to us, as it will assist in the growth and development of our whole school community.

Participation is confidential and anonymous and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Receiving feedback is vital to the School’s continued growth and development, so I thank you in advance for engaging with the survey and sharing your feedback and thoughts.

Kell Daniels | Head of Community Engagement 

perspectives@trinity.nsw.edu.au

From the Head Master

May 28, 2021

National Sorry Day

This week I spoke to the Middle and Senior School boys about National Sorry Day and National Reconciliation week. The text of my address was as follows:

Each one of us has a story to tell. Where we have come from, what has happened in our lives, the events and experiences that have shaped us. In each of our stories, there are positive elements and negative ones. There are things that have strengthened us and things that have weakened us. You know someone better when you know more of their story.

We have collective stories too. Our school has a story. From our foundation in a church hall in Dulwich Hill, through our relocation to here in Summer Hill. From a couple of dozen students to a couple of thousand. Our story explains many of the things about the way we are now.

  • Why do we have a Preparatory School in Strathfield? Because long ago, the School Council took over Strathfield Grammar.
  • Why do we have chapel every week? Because we are an Anglican School that has made gathering around God’s word for prayer, song and sermon central to our lives.
  • Why are we in the CAS? Because there was a group of boys’ schools established around the same time as ours that wanted to have a regular sporting competition.
  • Why do we make such significant efforts in ensuring that you are safe and supported in school? Because at different points in our history, boys haven’t been safe at school.

We understand more about our present, when we understand more about our past.

Our nation has a story too. That’s one of the reasons that Australian history is compulsory in our schools. Knowing the story of our past helps us to understand our present. As with our individual stories, our family stories, or institutional stories, we need to know more than just the good things.

Tomorrow, 26 May, is National Sorry Day, which commences National Reconciliation Week. In acknowledging these dates, we are learning about and remembering our shared national story. Not in an attempt to shame ourselves or to condemn previous generations. But because knowing the story of our past helps us to understand our present.

On 26 May 1998, a report was tabled in the Australian parliament. This report was the result of an inquiry into government policies and practices during the 20th century that caused Aboriginal children to be separated from their families. We often refer to these Aboriginal people as the ‘stolen generation’. Over many decades, the Australian government took boys and girls away from their families, from the parents who loved them and the communities that they knew and in which they belonged. The trauma this caused has blighted the story of many indigenous Australians ever since.

The significance of the Bringing Them Home report was that it was an unambiguous formal recognition by our government that the policies and practices of our government had caused great harm. Although these policies and practices may have been well-intentioned, they had dreadful consequences. The prosperity, security and benefits of being Australian and living in our country have not been evenly shared. The vicious cycle of disadvantage that has been the story of so many indigenous Australians was the direct outcome of Australian government practices.

One year after the Bringing Them Home report was tabled, the first National Sorry Day was commemorated, calling the government to make a formal apology. Ten years later, in 2008, the Prime Minister delivered that formal apology on the floor of Parliament House. As it happens, one of the Prime Minister’s key speechwriters at the time was a Trinity Old Boy from the class of 1987. He once stood around this quad, as you do today, and his name appears on various honour boards around the school. The Biblical allusions, oratorical rhythms and powerful crafting of words evident in the speech arose in part from a mind shaped in the same classrooms you sit in. His story, our School’s story and the national story, are all linked.

What happened with the report, and with the apology, is that our nation formally recognised one part of our own story, and we came to understand ourselves better. In making this speech today, in acknowledging National Sorry Day – which is now sometimes known as the National Day of Healing – in hanging the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander flags over the quad for the week ahead, we remind ourselves of our national story. Remembering our yesterday helps us to understand our today.

It also follows that knowing our story so far helps us to shape our story into the future. How will the Australian story become one of greater and greater reconciliation? Of breaking the cycle of disadvantage? Of healing the hurts? Of making good the damage previously done? It is a question for our nation. But it is also a question for our School. Most powerfully, it is a question for each one of us. It is a question for you.

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

May 28, 2021

You can’t hit what you don’t aim for.

At this week’s Middle School Assembly, Ms Bookluck, Young Housemaster, spoke to the boys and young men about the importance of stretching themselves. Her occasional remarks continued the School’s thematic messaging about the importance of focussing on growth and challenge, and gave your sons some excellent advice using the rhetorical power of a personal anecdote and, whilst it can sometimes feel like an exercise in futility to try and put old heads on young shoulders, it is, nonetheless, critically important and valuable for adults to provide guidance and advice to children and young people. It might seem casting proverbial pearls before the proverbial swine, but I am convinced that it is one of the keys to bringing up resilient, balanced and respectful children and young people. What follows is a precis of her remarks.

Are you the type of person who always thinks of the negatives when facing challenges?

Do you try to get out of difficult tasks?

When I came to Australia in my early teens, I was placed in a small special class, it consisted of students needing extra academic support, some with behavioural issues and the school bully. I was the only student from non-English speaking background.

Apart from Maths, everything else was difficult. My dictionary was my best friend. By Year 10, I managed to move from the bottom English class to the second class, but I still could not present a speech in History class. I cried when it was my turn. The teacher had to read my speech to the class instead.

As we were choosing subjects for Year 11, a schoolmate wanted to study Music and she needed another person for the class to be formed. I had no music theory knowledge, my instrumental abilities were elementary, but I was up to 7th Grade in Singing. So, I took a risk, dropped Biology, and took up Music with her. Little did I know how difficult 8th Grade Musicianship would be. Then, a month later, my friend stopped coming to school and I had to do the course all by myself. I had passed the point of no return.

Then came the time when my Music Teacher thought it would be a good idea for me to have some solo singing experience in public before the HSC Examination and she entered me in the City of Sydney Eisteddfod. I had no idea what the Eisteddfod was, and Google and smart phones had not been invented. But if I had known, I don’t think I would have been brave enough to enter. The competition was held at the Playhouse in the Opera House that year, and I had to go to the competition on my own. The other competitors all looked very confident. When it was my turn to sing, the first few notes were a bit wobbly, but I calmed down and the music started to flow. Halfway through, my brain went blank! It was a disaster! I had forgotten the words. I somehow managed to regain my composure and finish the song. I didn’t cry because I had no one to feel sorry for me. Thank goodness, I didn’t have to face the judges and other contestants again. Although it was an embarrassing experience, I gained courage and was more determined to try harder to prepare for the HSC.

So, my challenge for you today is what can you do that is out of your comfort zone? When you see an opportunity, you should take it. If it turns out to be a triumph, that is fantastic, but it may be even better if you fail, as this is when we learn the most. Avoidance, making excuses and being afraid of making mistakes will limit your growth as a person. You will never know if you do not try. Stretching yourself out of your comfort zone will enrich your life experience, increase resilience, and bolster your mental strength. If you embrace challenge, you will become courageous, confident, and content, as well as growing as a young man.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

Parent Survey – final days to complete

May 28, 2021

The Perspectives: Your school in focus survey is closing soon; the AISNSW is emailing a reminder this evening to parents who have not yet completed the survey. Please check your junk folder if you have not yet received an email.

The survey has been sent per family; only one parent/guardian from each household/family should complete it. The AISNSW sends the survey to the email address of the individual whom families have nominated in the School’s database as the primary email recipient.

Your response to this survey is vital to us, as it will assist in the growth and development of our whole school community.

Participation is confidential and anonymous and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.

Receiving feedback is vital to the School’s continued growth and development, so I thank you in advance for engaging with the survey and sharing your feedback and thoughts.

Kell Daniels | Head of Community Engagement 

perspectives@trinity.nsw.edu.au

New exhibition at Delmar Gallery

May 28, 2021

From Arnhem Land to Trinity: Lineage opens this Saturday.

Maddison Gibbs, Threads 2021 (video still), digital animation

Join us for the official exhibition opening on Saturday 29 May, 3-5pm, with a Welcome to Country at 3.30pm by Aunty Ann Weldon, Metropolitan Local Aboriginal Land Council.

Lineage celebrates the work of contemporary women artists from across the Maningrida region.  Their strong tradition of fibre sculpture and weaving is at the heart of the exhibition, complemented by handprinted fabrics and works on paper painted with earth pigments, completed during the COVID lockdown.  

The Maningrida region in Arnhem Land is one of the most linguistically diverse places in the world, with 12 distinct languages spoken by over 110 clan groups. The landscape is commensurately diverse, covering over 7,000 square kilometres and ranging from saltwater coastal regions to rocky escarpments.

Uniting these artists from different linguistic groups, regions and generations is a profound connection to djang“Djang is an ongoing, eternal, life-giving transformative power that accounts for every aspect of existence. It also refers to the creation ancestor, the country where spirit resides, and to ceremonial designs and songs that represent that being. It is what powers our art.”

Lineage has been curated by Bronwyn Rennex in collaboration with Maningrida Arts & Culture and Bábbarra Designs. 

Works in the exhibition are available for purchase.  Request a price list by emailing delmargallery@trinity.nsw.edu.au

Also on display in the gallery’s project space is a commissioned animation by emerging artist Maddison Gibbs.

Threads is a digital animation and installation that speaks through line, movement and colour to the artists’ works in Lineage. Maddison is Barkindji from Dubbo NSW and has recently completed a Bachelor of Design in Animation at UTS. 

Detail of fabric designed and printed by Janet Marawarr, Namoodo (Bad Angel) with Mimih, Cockatoo and Mereboh, 3m

Lena Yarinkura, Djamo (dog) 2019, 78 x 48 x 16cm

Battle of the Bands and Lip sync

May 28, 2021

Music hit its strides this week within the Arts Festival, firstly with the Lip Sync Battle held in Compass Court during Wednesday lunch. Performances included Marcus Anstey, Tyson Jackson, Hassan Mourad and Mercurius Yousif. The winner, without a doubt, performing Whitney Houston’s ‘I wanna dance with somebody’ was Mercurius! The performance was a schooling in lip sync technique with all the Whitney dance moves included.

The follow-up was the evening performances at the Battle of the Bands. The Trinity audience was joined by Jy-Perry Banks and Zane Banks as the adjudicators for the evening. The Banks brothers are graduates of Newtown Performing Arts High School and have both attained post-graduate degrees for the Sydney Conservatorium of Music. Jy-Perry and Zane are both experienced session musicians for visiting overseas artists and also work within their own performing groups at regular gigs around Sydney.

Hosts for the evening were Tyson Jackson and David Gabriel who made a great comic duo introducing the performers – they were ‘Hectic’. The adjudicators made mention of some outstanding individual performers. These included: Ben Stevens on Guitar, Eric Tsai on Guitar, Toby Giles on Kit, and Phillip Manuli. The Banks brothers stated that they thoroughly enjoyed the whole event and commented on the level of energy on stage and the professional standard of the performances. The Roadies’ prize went to Salmon Skifflers performing Purple Haze by Jimi Hendrix; the Rising Star award went to Average Anomaly performing Greenday’s Holiday; and the winners were Slowburn performing Anastasia by Slash.

The final performance came from the staff band who performed Conga by Gloria Estefan, which erupted into an audience Covid-Safe Conga!

My thanks to all the boys who got involved with this event; the sound, lighting and stage crews; the music staff, particularly Mr Dimitrievsky for his co-ordination of the event.

Dr Michael McGregor | Director of Co-Curricular Music (PreK-12)

From the Head Master

May 21, 2021

During the week I was reflecting with some of our Trinity boys on the question of “How do you learn to be an adult?” Specifically, in our context, “How do you learn to be a man?”

One of the most moving pieces that I have read on this topic, particularly for boys, was written by Tim Winton and published online in April 2018. You can find it at this link. I commend it as a very worthwhile read for anyone who has an interest in raising boys to be good men, which I assume is most readers of this weekly bulletin.

Winton describes his observation of boys in the surf “Rehearsing their masculinity. Projecting their experimental versions of it. And wordlessly looking for cues the whole time. Not just from each other, but from older people around, especially the men.”

 His description eloquently and powerfully articulates my thinking in this space. It seems to me that, as we grow up, we learn ‘scripts’ about what to do and how to be in different situations.

Some of this learning comes through explicit instruction from authority figures. Most young children are taught from very early days to say ‘Thank you’ when they receive a gift. Likewise with table manners. Students are Trinity are explicitly taught to stand when an adult enters the room, or to surrender their seat on public transport. Some of our learned behaviours are explicitly and deliberately taught to us.

However, I think that most of the behaviours or scripts that we follow are caught, not taught. We observe the people around us, we see how they hold themselves, the way they speak, the things they speak about, and then we try it on ourselves.

One of my family’s oft-told legends was the day that I came home from Kindergarten and ran down to see our elderly neighbour in the garden, and I merrily dropped the ‘F-bomb’ on her. I was being like the big boys who went to my school. Needless to say, there was some explicit instruction at that point from my mother and the neighbour!

As we become older, and our experiences become broader, we internalise a broader range of scripts that we can call on in different situations. How does one act when in an audience? How does one behave in a solemn context? How do you modulate your conduct when with peers, with dignitaries, with employers? What is the way to approach a Saturday night party, or strike up a conversation with a stranger?

The term ‘role-model’ is so familiar to us that I think the concept is de-valued, but there are very few more powerful factors in shaping us. We learn from the people around us. Not just from their example, but also from their response to us. Validation, endorsement, amusement, disapproval. All these responses are potent in their formative effect on a young person.

The point that Winton makes is that silence from adults is not good enough. Dignified silence or withdrawal from displays of toxic behaviour is inadequate. He calls us – particularly men – not to police the boys or to condemn them, but to notice them. To count them as worthy of our attention. To have higher expectations of them. To provide them with scripts that are worth internalising and owning. To show them a better way of being a man and leading them into that path.

One of the challenges for a boys’ school is to ensure that there is both diversity and quality with reference to the scripts for masculinity. Diversity is essential, in that we want to affirm that there are many different ways to be a man. The School ought not to be a sausage-factory, wherein only one sort of man is validated, whether that is the rugby player or the high-achieving intellectual or the scientist. Our School needs to affirm that there are many different ways to be a good man.

And therein lies the challenge: we want good men. We want our boys to encounter and internalise scripts of masculinity that are decent and trustworthy and humble. We want the scripts to avoid entitlement, avoid misogyny, avoid self-centredness, and avoid crassness. We want them to understand what it means to take on responsibility, to act in the interests of others, and to do what is right.

As parents, who are the primary educators of their sons, and as a School community, let’s make sure that we continue to notice the boys, and to provide them with diverse and high-quality scripts for masculinity. In our words, and in our examples, they will learn how to be men.

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

May 21, 2021

Train up a child in the way he should go;
    even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Proverbs 22

I have been reflecting on some reports of insubordination and sexism by our Cadet recruits that was uncovered in the Camp Feedback Forms we ask your sons and daughters to complete after their Annual Field Training each year, a matter that I raised with the boys and young men of the School last week at Quad Assembly. Of course, the School has been following up so that corrective action may be taken and individual students held to account, but it reminded me of the importance of not turning a blind eye to disrespectful behaviour, and the importance of pushing back against the discredited “boys will be boys” excuse that was once a common response to poor behaviour. I have written often of the importance of respect, the inextricable link between rights and responsibilities, and that young people make errors of judgement.

As a teacher of boys for over thirty years, I have attended many professional development seminars and workshops, but one that sticks in my mind was a seminar on behaviour management. The presenter, Dr Bill Rogers, made the point that for young people, it is not the severity of any ‘punishment’ that is most important, it is the certainty, and this is a mantra that has been reflected in my interaction with generations of Trinitarians. I am absolutely convicted that boys and young men have the right to experience the logical and proportional consequences for their actions, and that letting them off or giving them another chance  is counterproductive to the goal of leading the boy or young man to taking responsibility for his actions. Celia Lashlie, the author of one of my favourite books, He’ll Be Ok, says something similar when she suggests boys and young men need to be clear about the expectations, and what will happen if there is a breach of those expectations, in her amusing and pithy summary that boys “need to know what they have to do, when they have to do it by, and what happens if they don’t do it”.

The School insists on high standards. It prizes respectful relationships. It holds the unambiguous view that racism, sexism, misogyny, homophobia, or discrimination on the basis of gender, religious belief or skin colour is unacceptable. It understands young people have the right to be taught right from wrong, to be treated respectfully, and to experience the logical consequences of their actions.

Mr Bowden asked your sons a rhetorical question about how we learn to be a decent respectful adult earlier this week and posited that it was, in part, the importance of modelling, by significant others, of high standards of behaviour, but that children and young people also need to be proactively taught by schools and by families how to grow up to be men of character, decency and integrity.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

From the Head Master

May 14, 2021

Assessment

The School often tries to convince the boys that academic assessment is their friend. You can imagine that this is an uphill battle.

The boys’ understanding of academic assessment is shaped by all sorts of associations and perceptions. The idea of ‘failure’ can loom large in the imagination. The perception that they are involuntarily engaged in a competition with their peers adds undue pressure. The suggestion that their personal worth and potential rises and falls with their results is also unhelpful. Media commentary about performance in NAPLAN and Year 12 results, along with the declining national performance in the PISA tests, also creates a context where academic assessment is freighted with additional significance.

These negative associations can be compounded by well-meaning parents and extended families, who are motivated by love and a desire to ensure that their sons will be able to achieve certain life paths, but who can over-read the significance of each little step along the way.

In her regular columns in the Head Master’s Bulletin, the Academic Dean has consistently articulated a thoughtful, rigorous and wise framework by which the School understands academic assessment. I commend her column to parents.

The reality is that academic assessment is an inextricable element of the School experience of a boy, and it is integral to the learning process. The School does not resile for a second from affirming the importance of academic assessment. However, the question to which we need to continue to return is ‘What is the primary purpose of academic assessment?’

The primary purpose of academic assessment is to identify where a student is at in his learning at a particular point in time, so that growth and progress are visible and so that future learning can be designed.

The sentence above is densely packed with ideas that repay consideration and reflection.

Assessment does get used for other purposes as well, but these are secondary and ancillary purposes and they should not overshadow or obscure the main purpose.

The primary purpose of assessment is not to sort or rank students, although sometimes it does have this role. It is not to determine who receives prizes or citations, although it does get used for that also. It is not to train or accustom students for the high-stakes assessments that happen at the end of their schooling, although it may sometimes help in that way. The primary purpose is not to validate successful parenting, or to qualify individuals for particular careers, or to burnish a resume.

Understood in this way, academic assessment is the friend of students. It is good for them, helpful for them, and valuable for them as they continue to learn.

You may wonder why I have taken the time to labour this point. On one level, it is self-evident that a shared understanding of the purpose of assessment is helpful for students, parents and teachers. We will not be talking at cross-purposes or misunderstanding one another.

However, one of the main reasons I want to address this has arisen from some data that emerges from the various instruments that we use to monitor student wellbeing in the School. While our boys appear to be tracking well with reference to external benchmarks in most areas, they report a higher level of stress than their peers elsewhere. Anecdotally, and through cross-referencing other sources of data, it is clear that academic assessments are a significant cause of the stress that they experience.

It is in the interests of our boys wellbeing that we understand the primary purpose of academic assessment, and ensure that our words and actions reflect that purpose. Academic assessment, properly understood, is a friend.

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

May 14, 2021

People who become exceptional at something, do so NOT because they believe they are exceptional. On the contrary, they become amazing because they are obsessed with improvement. People that become great at something become great, because they understand that they are not already great.

Mark Manson

In this week’s Middle School Assembly, Ms Brett, Housemaster of Wynn Jones House, spoke with the boys and young men in Years 7, 8 and 9 about the value of a growth mindset and the importance of having a clear understanding of the power of failure. Her remarks continue a series on academic growth following the release of Semester 1 Reports for Years 8 and 9, as we attempt to contextualise and unpack your sons’ results, reinforce the feedback they have been offered by their teachers, and explain the importance of reflecting on and learning from their experience. Year 7 will receive their Semester 1 Report in the next week, so Ms Brett’s remarks were pre-emptive.

She provided some excellent examples, including James Dyson’s repeated failures as he attempted to develop his bagless vacuum, the foundation of his $15 billion business empire, Beyonce’s 1993 loss on an American Talent Show, and the Steve Jobs story; creating Apple with Steve Wozniak, being sacked by the Board of the company he built, and returning as its CEO, all the while acknowledging that many people see failure as having negative connotations and that the experience of failing can be very confronting.

Ms Brett explained that students who study Theory of Knowledge in Year 11 and 12 learn that our perceptions are heavily influenced by our emotional bias and form the basis of the narratives we use to interpret our experiences, and which may end up obscuring the truth. She challenged your sons with the rhetorical question: what if failure was an essential experience in the process of improvement, and encouraged them to imagine how they could continue to grow if they viewed their Semester I Reports as an opportunity to check their learning progress, get feedback and re-calibrate by setting realistic and achievable goals.

It was a powerful message, well delivered. I hope your son came home and reported what had been shared. If not, perhaps you can chat with him over dinner tonight.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master –  Summer Hill

From the Head Master

May 7, 2021

Being let down by someone really hurts.

I spoke to the MS/SS boys on Quad this week about that experience of being let down. It can happen in friendships, or with a loved one, or a work colleague. I imagine that it has happened to most of us, many times. Someone tells you that they would do something, and then they didn’t follow through. They said they would come to something, but they didn’t. They said that something was under control, and it turns out that it wasn’t. The betrayal hurts.

I described to the boys the corrosive effect that this has on relationships. If someone lets you down, you start to lower your expectations of them. You no longer take their word for granted. You start to become a bit more guarded, holding back a bit, protecting yourself from disappointment. In the end, you stop trusting the other person.

It seems to me that trust is the foundation of relationships, and relationships with others are the fabric of life. More than our achievements, more than our bank balance, more than our success by all the usual measures, relationships are what really matters for the quality of our lives – and trust is the essential ingredient.

Of course, it is not just about whether you can trust the other person; it is also about whether they can trust you. Being trustworthy is what enables us to have good relationships. If you are trustworthy, other people will support you, they will open up to you, and they will commit to you. They will be there for you, just as you are for them.

So if relationships are what matters in life, and trustworthiness is necessary for relationships, how does someone become trustworthy? How does this become part of our character?

Our character traits are basically habits. It is the way we are, because it is what we do. Character is revealed in the big moments, but it is formed in the little ones. If you want to be a trustworthy person, you need to start with being dependable in little things.

This brings me to my particular point of concern. On Saturdays, most of our boys will pull on the School colours and compete for the School in one sport or another. Sometimes this happens at Summer Hill or another local ground; sometimes it will require them to travel to the Eastern Suburbs, or the upper North Shore. Being in a team requires our boys to think in a wider frame than just themselves. They must rely on one another and they need each other.

From time to time, it is reported to me that a small number of boys choose not to turn up to a Saturday game. It is more common on wet days. It is more common for fixtures away from home. It is more common in lower-grade teams. It is a situation that concerns me deeply, because I suspect that some of the time, the boys are taking their obligations lightly.

Of course, there are legitimate reasons why a boy may not be able to be present on a Saturday. Injuries, illness, and circumstances beyond control can all play a role.

However, I am concerned that some of the time our boys may be seeing their commitment as something that they can opt into or out of. In short, they may be developing the habit of being untrustworthy. Their peers and their peers’ parents and their coaches and teachers, know the pain of being let down.

I am writing to parents about this, as well as speaking to the boys, as parents have an invaluable role in helping the boys to frame their thinking about Saturday sport, as well as enabling whichever path the boys take. We all know that it would be easier to stay in bed. It would be easier not to face the traffic. It would be easier not to get cold and wet. However, it is exactly this experience of carrying through a commitment, even when it is hard, that helps our boys to learn to become trustworthy.

I entirely understand that this battle may be the last one that you feel like having on a Saturday morning, as a recalcitrant, cranky and sleepy adolescent refuses to budge. If you come to the end of your resources in encouraging your son to carry through his obligations, my request is this:

Don’t cover for him. Don’t write him a note to excuse him. Don’t teach him that you will dig him out of a hole of his own making. Don’t advocate for him against the School. Rather, let him experience the natural and proportionate consequences that the School puts in place. Instead of a note saying that he is sick, write a note saying that he was not prepared to turn up. Let the School deal with it, and support us as we do so.

There are ways to deal with the challenges of getting to Saturday sport. Car-pooling is always a good idea. Building a treat into the day on the way home can become a weekly highlight. Redeeming the time, by using the invaluable opportunity of shoulder-to-shoulder extended periods in a car with your son for conversation. All these can help to reframe the Saturday experience, which is a core aspect of our School’s vision for education in mind, body and spirit.

I also need to acknowledge that the vast majority of School families are beyond reproach in this matter, and would no more contemplate dodging Saturday sport than they would contemplate committing a crime. The School is deeply appreciative of your partnership, as are all the other boys and their families who have the same level of commitment.

Parents and the School are working together to shape young men of whom we can be proud. A trustworthy young man, who knows the importance of fulfilling his obligations and who is in the habit of doing so, is well-prepared to build a good life in the decades to come.

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

May 7, 2021

Wellbeing is a positive sense of self-worth, a strong sense of belonging, and the ability to practice skills that enhance learning, development and health in a safe and supportive school environment.

Professor Donna Cross

In 2018 the School took the decision to use the Australian Council of Educational Research, Social-Emotional Wellbeing Survey in an attempt to get a clearer understanding of our students’ wellbeing. This survey is given to students in Year 8 and Year 10, and this year the results were very encouraging.

Your sons report that they are generally happier, feel safer, are more hopeful, and that they feel a greater sense of belonging than comparable students participating in the survey.

Your sons report that treating others with respect is a priority and that they enjoy positive relationships with their teachers.

Your sons report they drink less alcohol and take fewer drugs than comparable students.

This is a sample of the questions that make up the survey, together with your sons’ responses.

Positive feelings and behaviours (PFB)

Question 1 – I am a happy person
Year 8Year 10
97.3% (*88.1%)94.1% (*86.1%)
Question 3 – I feel safe and free from danger
Year 8Year 10
91.1% (*85.9%)95.9% (*86.9%)
Question 9 – I get along with most of my teachers
Year 8Year 10
93.8% (*83.3%)94.5% (*84%)
Question 11 – I feel like I belong in my school
Year 8Year 10
88.8% (*82.6%)91.8% (*79.3%)

Negative feelings and behaviours (NFB)

Question 10 – I feel very stressed
Year 8Year 10
56.3% (*25.6%)51.6% (*35.5%)
Question 16 – I drink alcohol a lot
Year 8Year 10
0.9% (*5.4%)2.3% (*10.0%)
Question 18 – I use drugs
Year 8Year 10
0.9% (*5.8%)0.5% (*9.8%)

Emotional Skills (ES)

Question 26 – I have a hard time controlling how worried I get
Year 8Year 10
50.9% (*35.0%)44.3% (*41.6%)

Values (V)

Question 39 – I am hopeful about my future
Year 8Year 10
90.6% (*88.4%)89.5% (*85.2%)
Question 42 – I think it is important to treat others with respect
Year 8Year 10
97.8% (*94.1%)98.6% (*93.7%)

*Overall

It has become apparent through discussions with colleagues at other schools, that vaping by children and young people is becoming an increasing issue. Several schools have gone so far as to install vape detectors. It is a subject on which I have written twice in the recent past, in a spirit of partnership with you, to share my view that young children, boys and girls, are being shamelessly marketed to by the companies who manufacture vapes. Until recently, I was unaware that there was such a thing as a vape called a Cuvie, which mimics the appearance of a highlighter, or a Juul, which looks like a USB. It may be worth discreetly dropping the fact that you have heard about these devices in casual conversation and using the opportunity to parlay it into a chat about the risks of smoking. If you become aware of a shop selling these devices to children, the law is unambiguous. It is illegal for vapes to be sold to children under the age of 18, and you would be within your rights to alert the authorities. The School’s stance is clearly articulated on page 22 and 23 of the Record Book, and it would be prudent for you to remind your sons that vaping is neither safe nor permitted.

On School grounds, at School events, including events held by other schools where they are a guest or visitor, students must conform to the regulations of Trinity Grammar School. This includes any occasion when a student is coming to or from School or any School event, including excursions, camps, dances, sporting fixtures, performances, workshops or any other School activity. Students are not to consume alcohol, take illicit drugs, smoke tobacco or e-cigarettes (vapes) at School, travelling to and from School, at School organised activities, or as a guest or visitor at any event or activity at another school. Any student suspected of being under the influence of drugs or alcohol at School or at any School event, or being found to have been smoking or using an e-cigarette (vapes) whilst in the care of the School, irrespective of whether the breach has occurred off site or in transit, will be deemed to be in breach of this regulation and will be stood down until such time as an investigation is conducted and, if necessary, a formal Disciplinary Meeting is convened. Any student found to be in breach of this regulation is likely to be suspended or expelled. The use of alcohol, drugs, cigarettes and e-cigarettes (vapes) at School events is prohibited. Any student suspected of using cigarettes, e-cigarettes (vapes), alcohol or any other illicit substance at any School event will be stood down until such time as an investigation is conducted and, if necessary, a formal Disciplinary Meeting is convened. Any student found to be in breach of this regulation is likely to be expelled. Students in possession of smoking or drug paraphernalia (matches, lighters, tobacco, e-cigarettes [vapes], water pipes, bongs) will be deemed to be in breach of this regulation. Students who are suspected of bringing illicit drugs to School or to any School event, whether for personal use or for the purpose of trafficking, will be stood down until such time as an investigation is conducted and, if necessary, a formal Disciplinary Meeting is convened. Any student found to be in breach of this regulation will be expelled.   

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

From the Head Master

April 30, 2021

I took part in a panel discussion recently, in which I was asked the question ‘What are we aiming for at Trinity?’

On one level, it is a deceptively simple question. After all, if you don’t know what you are aiming for, how will you focus your efforts and how will you know if you have hit the target. Surely the leader of a school should know what he is trying to achieve!

Like many apparently simple things, there is a whole heap more to it. As a starting point, the question of what the School is aiming for cannot be considered independently of what the School’s parents are aiming for. After all, the parents are the primary educators of a child. The School is the chosen partner in this endeavour. This is not to suggest that the School’s agenda is dictated by our families, but there is a mutual recognition of the School’s expertise and professionalism, and of the parents’ responsibility.

It follows that the ‘simple’ question also requires reference to the boys concerned. After all, we believe that they have agency in their education. It is not done for them, or to them, but with them. As they grow from early childhood to adulthood, they take on increasing responsibility for their education. That is one reason why there is increasing choice available as the boys get older, either with reference to subject choice and co-curricular participation. By the end of the journey through school, students should themselves have some idea of the goal of their education.

Another layer to be considered is that there are multiple goals of a Trinity education. The final credential in school education, whether that is the Higher School Certificate (HSC) or the International Baccalaureate Diploma, is one very obvious goal. The achievement of this credential opens the doors of opportunity in the next chapter, so its importance is not to be understated.

However, it is misplaced to think that schools are all about the final academic result. The school experience of a boy at Trinity is not just a means of gaining a mark; the journey is the fabric of his life for years. The experience should be challenging and stimulating, it should broaden his horizons, and it should take place in a safe and supportive environment. Any consideration of the aims of the School has to take include the journey, as well as the destination.

Other aims of the School could be expounded at length. I could speak about the School’s commendation of the gospel and the development of a personal faith in Christ. It would be easy to talk about the pursuit of excellence in the varied aspects of School life. Perhaps the preparation of young men for success in their future endeavours should be the focus of my answer.

All these issues raced through my mind as I paused, before responding to the question. What to include, what to omit, what to mention and what to focus on …

In the end, and without a shadow of a doubt, I spoke about character. In particular, I spoke about trustworthiness, decency and respect. If a young man is trustworthy, he will be able to engage in rich and rewarding relationships. If he is decent, equipped with a moral compass that orients him to the service of others and the use of power and responsibility for good, he will make a positive difference in our world. If he is respectful, recognising the value and dignity of others, he will conduct himself in ways that make all of us proud.

As a School, while there are myriad activities and opportunities taking place, and there are many goals that we hope to achieve with our boys and in partnership with our families, ultimately, we are aiming for the formation of character. The success, or otherwise, of our endeavours is revealed only gradually.

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

April 30, 2021

Almost 300 hundred years ago, Carlo Goldoni, an Italian playwright from Venice, wrote a comedy that has become a comedia dell’arte classic, Il servatore di due padroni, The Servant of Two Masters. That original has stood the test of time so well, it was appropriated by British playwright, Richard Bean who set the play in Brighton, England in 1963 in his adaptation One Man, Two Guvnors.

On Wednesday evening, I had the pleasure of attending the premiere of the Trinity Grammar School Drama Department’s production.

The play’s plot centres on a hapless protagonist, Francis Henschall, played by Tom Jenkins 11Fo, who reprises the role made famous by James Cordon of Carpool Karaoke fame, and who is down on his luck and finds himself working for two guvnors, one of whom, Rachel Crabbe, played by Madeleine Lewis, is disguised as a man, the other, played by Rory Briscoe 11Du who delivers an entirely plausible  performance as a denizen of the British upper class, is the murderer of her brother and her secret lover.

While the twists and turns of the plot have the potential to leave an audience confused, or bemused, the quality of the performance, a hilarious pastiche of slapstick, riotous farce, gags, ad libbing, and the extraordinary dramatic ability and comedic timing of such a young ensemble made it an absolutely fabulous evening out.

And as if the performances of the cast were not enough, they were backed by the Salmon Skifflers fronted by Leo Tarbox 12Du and a Mick Jagger channelling Phillip Manuli 12T. Their performance of Pete Townsend’s, My Generation and Substitute, and Woodie Guthrie’s Gamblin’ Man was worth the price admission.

Bravo!!!

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

From the Head Master

April 23, 2021

Restraint and Humility in Sport

An empty school is really just a collection of buildings, so it has been a delight to see the return of the full school community on our various campuses in the last week. By all accounts, it has been a rapid start, with the Cadet Unit’s Annual Field Training taking place at Singleton, a Year 9 Field Studies Programme group departing for Woollamia, a full day of professional learning for staff, and our annual ANZAC Commemoration events taking place. The commencement of the CAS and IPSHA sporting competitions this weekend will round out the return to Term 2.

I spoke to the Middle and Senior School boys at a quad assembly this week, asking them to give thought to how they will manage intense emotions in the context of sport. Some of what follows is extracted from that address.

I remember watching an under 8s soccer game where a young boy scored a goal and he ran over to the corner – where there would normally be a corner flag in a full-sized field, but in this case there was just a plastic marker cone – and he started to shadow-box where the flag would have been, looking over his shoulder to see if his team mates were going to run over and jump on him. After all, he had seen one of the Socceroos score in an international match on TV the previous week, and that is what happened. He was learning how to be a football player – and this is what football players do! If you do something good, you celebrate in a really exuberant way. It looked pretty bizarre for an eight-year-old on a suburban field, without even having a corner post!

As we come into the winter sports season, I want you to think about how you want to express your intense emotions in your sport. Intense emotions are a part of competitive sport. Sporting competition is the focal point of extended effort in training and practice and skill development. It is the focal point of hopes and imaginations, anticipating and looking forward to what might happen. The physical exertion, the adrenalin and other hormones, the single-mindedness of concentrating on a clear and defined goal. The camaraderie that comes from striving towards a shared goal with your team. All of this can combine, bubbling inside you, and it is likely that it will be expressed in some way.

If we watch it on TV, we see it up close through the cameras. Players jumping on each other in celebrations, players gesturing to the spectators – either positively or negatively. Players collapsing to the ground in disappointment, or sprinting around the ground in exultation. The reaction doesn’t always come at the end of the game; it can also happen during the game, when a goal is scored, when a rule is infringed, when a strong tackle is made. How do – and how should – we express our emotions.

I want to suggest to you that there are two key ideas that will help you as a sportsman, and that will align you with your school’s expectations of you. Restraint. And humility.

Restraint has to do with self-control. Whatever happens, you want to remain in control of your own actions and thoughts and emotions. It will help you to be a better player of whatever sport you are doing – it will help you have a clear and cool head, to make good decisions, to see what is going on around you, to monitor the situation, to be aware of others. It is not always easy to maintain your self control – to restrain your emotions. Not easy, but it is necessary.

Humility has to do with maintaining perspective. Humility is remembering that life is not all about you. In the context of sport, it is not all about your individual achievements. It is not even all about your team’s achievements. There are other people involved in this situation – the other players, the other team, the other school community, their parents and the spectators and your coach and your teachers. You have all come together, in this moment, for this competition; it belongs to all of you. Don’t be so focussed on yourself and your experience and your emotions, that you forget to consider others.

So, restraint and humility. What will this look like? Keeping your head during the match and helping your teammates to keep theirs. When something good happens, don’t carry on about it. When something bad happens, don’t carry on about it. Give it everything that you have while it is happening, but always remember that it is just a game. And, throughout the game and particularly at the end, show humility. Thank the others for the game. Don’t shove your celebrations in their face, and don’t sulk at their joy.

Restraint and humility. If we can be characterised by these things, everyone will enjoy the sporting experience more. I suspect that you, individually, will be better at your sport. And I am absolutely confident that you will become a better man, if you are characterised by restraint and humility.

In issuing this call to the boys, I echo it also to parents. By and large, my observation is that Trinity parents maintain a healthy perspective on schoolboy sport, rarely straying into unhelpful intensity or inappropriate behaviour. It would be helpful for all of us to maintain consistent expectations of the boys on these two areas.

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

Family Feud | Bookings now open

The Trinity Grammar School Parents and Friends’ Association presents: Virtual Family FeudClick here for more details and to book your tickets.

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

April 23, 2021

They shall not grow old, as we that are left grow old;

Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.

When war broke out in 1914 Australia had been a federated nation for only 13 years, and when Britain declared war in August 1914 Australia was automatically placed on the side of the Commonwealth. In 1915 Australian and New Zealand soldiers formed part of the expedition that set out to capture the Gallipoli peninsula and open the Dardanelles to the allied navies. The ultimate objective was to capture Constantinople (now Istanbul), the capital of the Ottoman Empire.

The Australian and New Zealand forces landed on Gallipoli on 25 April, meeting fierce resistance from the Ottoman Turkish defenders. What had been planned as a bold stroke to knock Turkey out of the war quickly became a stalemate, and the campaign dragged on for eight months. By the end of 1915, the allied forces were evacuated from the peninsula, with both sides having suffered heavy casualties and enduring great hardship. More than 8,000 Australian soldiers had died in the campaign. Gallipoli had a profound impact on Australians at home, and 25 April soon became the day on which Australians remembered the sacrifice of those who died in the war.

Although the Gallipoli campaign failed in its military objectives, the actions of Australian and New Zealand forces during the campaign left a powerful legacy. What became known as the ANZAC legend became an important part of the identity of both nations, shaping the ways in which they viewed both their past and their future.

In 1916 the first ANZAC Day commemorations were held on 25 April. The day was marked by a wide variety of ceremonies and services across Australia, a march through London, and a sports day in the Australian camp in Egypt. In London more than 2,000 Australian and New Zealand troops marched through the streets; a London newspaper headline dubbed them “the knights of Gallipoli”. Marches were held all over Australia; in Sydney, convoys of cars carried soldiers wounded on Gallipoli and their nurses. For the remaining years of the war ANZAC Day was used as an occasion for patriotic rallies and recruiting campaigns, and parades of serving members of the Australian Imperial Force were held in most cities.

During the 1920s ANZAC Day became established as a national day of commemoration for the more than 60,000 Australians who had died during the war. In 1927, for the first time, every state observed some form of public holiday on ANZAC Day. By the mid-1930s all the rituals we now associate with the day – dawn vigils, marches, memorial services, reunions, two-up games – were firmly established as part of ANZAC Day culture.

Later, ANZAC Day also served to commemorate the lives of Australians who died in the Second World War, and in subsequent years the meaning of the day has been further broadened to include those who lost their lives in all the military and peacekeeping operations in which Australia has been involved1.

Each year at Trinity we commemorate ANZAC with a solemn ceremony on the Quadrangle. The names of the Trinity Grammar School fallen are recited and a cross commemorating each one is placed on the lawn, a page of the Book of Remembrance is turned, the Last Post is played, the flag is lowered to half-mast and the Ode to the Fallen is recited.

The Chapel stands as a memorial to these young men who gave their lives in the service of their country.

These men gave their lives …

Richard Angus Beale,

Doric Phillip Birk,

Hilary Eldred Birk,

John Murdoch Campbell,

Paul Ernest Clinch,

Ronald Vivian Coghlan,

Walter Stuart Cook,            

Reginald Graham Crane,

Lance Dixon Crowther,

John Edward Estell,

Allan John Farrar,

Norman James Folkes,

Francis Edwin Gould,

Winston Grundy,

Gordon Leonard Heath,

Allan William John Hunt,  

Kenneth Herbert Allenby Kirkland,

John Ledgerwood, (known as Jack)

Frank Thomas Lobb, (known as Tom)

John Cameron Lowe,

Philip Osborne Marshall,

Graeme Morrison Miller,

John Michael Stuart Mullens,

Keith Percival Squire O’Donnell,

Creighton Carlyle Ogilvie,

Russell Bradburn Polack,

Malcolm Jack Ritchie,

David Edward William Roxburgh,

Merton Nelson Short,

Francis Burton Smith, (known as Peter)

John Souter,

Pearce Robert Sutton,

Samuel Dean Swift,

Kenneth John Taubman,

Bruce Alexander Templeman,

Neville Lloyd Thornley,

Adrian Francis Falconer Try,

Geoffrey Meyer White,

James Robert Whittaker,

Henry Vincent Fancourt Wilkinson,

Arthur Edwin Whitham,                 

Thomas Kenneth Wright,

Dennis Hampton Bracewell,

John Norman Moffitt.

At the going down of the sun, and in the morning, we will remember them.

Lest we forget.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill


1. https://www.awm.gov.au/commemoration/anzac-day/traditions

Royal Life Saving Bronze Medallion

April 22, 2021

Throughout the last term, our Year 10 PDHPE students worked towards achieving The Royal Life Saving Bronze Medallion, a nationally recognised life-saving award. 250 Trinity students equipped themselves with the skills and knowledge to be able to keep themselves and others safe when they are around water, by learning how to perform a safe and effective aquatic rescue – that could one day save a life. Additionally, the Bronze Medallion allowed our Year 10 students the opportunity to develop additional skills such as teamwork, communication, problem-solving and practical decision making. Well done, Year 10!

Jessica Jones | TESS Academic Support

A safe aquatic rescue being performed by one of our Year 10 students.
Students learnt how to perform a Resuscitation following an aquatic rescue. Photographs by Tim Chin (10Hi)

From the Head Master

April 1, 2021

Imagine reorganising the week, so that ‘Saturday’ sport happens on a Wednesday and classes happen on a Saturday.

Don’t worry – this is a thought experiment rather than a proposal! I am asking you to imagine the disruption to life as we currently know it. The logistics associated with such a change would be massive, both for the School as a whole and for individual families. Life for most of us is so busy, with so little margin, that any change of this sort would be a major disruption.

However, I suspect that the more profound disruption would be our orientation to the week as a whole. As a society, the rhythm of a week and a weekend is still well-established, despite the blurring of boundaries around hours and days of work, weekend trading, and all the other changes that have become part of Australian life in recent decades. It would be a monumental shift for the ‘weekend’ to shift to ‘mid-week’.

As I said, ‘Don’t worry.’ We are not changing the days of the week. However, I want us to feel the magnitude of the shift that took place some two thousand years ago, when an equivalent shift took place.

Throughout the history of the people of Israel, Saturday had been the day set aside as the ‘weekend’. Saturday was the Sabbath – the seventh day, the day of rest. The rhythm of their lives, whilst much less frenetic than ours, had a very clear pattern involving six days of work and one of rest. Their Scriptures established this pattern in response to God’s work of creation in the first chapter of Genesis.

Jesus and his followers were Jewish. The Sabbath pattern of setting aside Saturday as the day of rest was even more deeply engrained for them than the weekend is for us. Yet, within a generation, the newly-termed ‘Christians’ had shifted their holy day from Saturday to Sunday.

There is no historical debate as to why this monumental shift took place. The reason is very clear. It was a response by the early Christians to their core conviction that God raised Jesus from the dead on that first Easter Sunday. They termed it ‘the Lord’s Day’. Their belief in the resurrection of Jesus, and its significance, resulted in the setting aside of Sunday as the day ordained by God for rest and for remembering the resurrection of Jesus.

As we reminded the boys across the School during the course of this week, Easter is bigger than chocolate and hot-cross buns (although the chocolate gifts to the boys and staff from the Parents and Friends and the respective Auxiliaries were very much appreciated). The resurrection of Jesus, that is the particular focus of this Easter day, shows us that God brings good from evil, hope from despair, and life from the grave. It is wonderfully good news for us all.

It took something monumental to change the weekend. My hope and prayer for all of us this Easter weekend is that we might also rest and remember the resurrection of Jesus.

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

April 1, 2021

Holy God, source of all love,

on the night of his betrayal

Jesus gave his disciples a new commandment,

to love one another as he loved them:

write this commandment in our hearts,

and give us the will to serve others

as he was the servant of all,

who gave his life and died for us,

yet is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,

one God, now and forever. Amen

The Collect for Maundy Thursday

Last Friday evening was an opportunity to get together and celebrate the conclusion of the Summer Sport Season at the Canada Bay Club. The mood was especially buoyant as it was the first event in some time the School community, parents, sons, teachers, and coaches were able to gather and mingle, face to face. Congratulations to those young athletes who were recognised by the presentation of awards. Special mention must go to Benjamin Powell 12Ho, the Captain of Volleyball who won the unofficial Best Speech Award.

At Middle School Assembly this week I spoke with the boys and young men of Year 7, 8 and 9 on the subject, Common Sense for Beginners. My remarks were hopefully pre-emptive for most of the audience, but I offered the School’s and the experts’ advice around how to avoid risk when they start being invited to parties and gatherings. I focussed primarily on alcohol, drugs and consent. I sent each of your Middle School sons a link to the kidshelpline guide to partying safely https://kidshelpline.com.au/teens/issues/partying-safely and also to the DARTA fact sheets for young people  http://darta.net.au/factsheetsyoungpeople/. If my remarks were not the subject of dinner table chat on Wednesday evening, it may be an opportunity for you to start the conversation with your sons if you have not already done so.

Last night, it was a pleasure to attend the belated Head Master’s Year 7 Parents’ Cocktail Party. It was edifying to see parents on campus in big numbers. A lovely evening appeared to be had by all.

Basketball – 1st and 2nd V 2021 CAS Premiers

2nd V Best Defensive Player – Rory Clunas 11Yo

2nd V Most Valuable Player – James Kern 12WJ

Most Improved Year 12 Player – Suraj Nellore 12Mu

The David Kermode Coaches’ Award – Brodie Fortescue 12Ta

1st V Best Defensive Player – Theo Kidd 12WJ

1st V Most Valuable Player – Thomas Buvac 12WJ

Cricket

2nd XI Fielding Award – Joel Grimmond 11He

2nd XI Bowling Award – Hugh McMaster 11Sc

1st XI Batting Award – James Schroder 11WJ

1st XI Fielding Award – Nicholas Enno 12Hi

Bowling Award – Ryan Gupta 10WJ

Batting Award – Emmanuel Grogan 12Fo

The Ray Wiseman Trophy for the Senior Cricketer of the Year – Emmanuel Grogan 12Fo

Tennis

2nd IV Most Valuable Player – Jim Gong 12Ar

1st IV Most Valuable Player – Max Nguyen 11Yo

Volleyball – 1st and 2nd VI 2021 CAS Premiers

2nd VI Most Improved Player – Michael Park 11Yo

2nd VI Most Valuable Player – Keegan Tran 11WH

1st VI Most Outstanding Defensive Player – James Kern 12WJ

1st VI Most Outstanding Attacking Player – Steven Yarad 11Mu

1st VI Most Improved Player – Martin Wong 11Ta

1st VI Most Valuable Player – Benjamin Powell 12Ho

Water Polo

2nd VII Most Improved Player – Lewis Kanellos 12He

2nd VII Best and Fairest Player – David Gabriel 12Hi

1st VII Most Improved Player – Luke De Lisle 11Ke

The Award for the Opens’ Player Who Epitomises the Sprit of Trinity Water Polo – Euan Germanos 12He

The Grant Simms Memorial Trophy for the Best and Fairest Player – Harper Stewart 10St

May I extend my best wishes to you and your sons for a blessed, holy and happy Easter.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

‘In Christ Alone’ – Easter Message 2021

April 1, 2021

What does the truth of ‘Christ alone’ offer us all this Easter? Senior Chaplain Reverend Greg Webster brings us Trinity’s Easter message with Trinity choir members singing ‘In Christ Alone’.

The Blessing Of God Upon Cancer Sufferers And Refugees: Easter Mission At Trinity

April 1, 2021
David Nduwimana and Dave McDonald

A NSW pastor has delivered an Easter message of hope to Trinity Senior and Middle School students, detailing the strength of his faith in dealing with a diagnosis of terminal cancer. Also, a Burundi refugee and musician shared not only worship, but also a glimpse into how the local church provided him with family when he was alone.

Pastor Dave McDonald told students how be “broke down” when told he had incurable stage four lung cancer, despite never being a smoker, and was given 10-13 months to live.

That was 10 years ago.

The 58-year-old father of four, who remains on chemotherapy every few weeks to keep his cancer at bay, told how privileged he felt to have been granted his “bucket list prayers” such as attending his children’s weddings and being blessed with two grandsons.

But his faith was sorely tested, he told Year 7-12 boys in a series of Easter Mission addresses in the assembly hall.

The pastor of the Salt Community Church at Bonny Hills, near Port Macquarie, said his diagnosis made him “call into question everything I believed”.

“Could God be trusted? Was he real? Does he answer? Does he keep his promises?”

He had since learned that his youngest son, then 12, would go out into the street and scream, ‘I hate you, God’.

He said many senior students were already planning for life after school, but he challenged them to think about life after death – eternal life with God.

“I have always had a terminal illness – the same one you’ve got,” he said.

“Most planning stops short of death, but it seems foolish not to make any plans for the one certain thing in this life.”

He said Easter was a good time to reflect on the meaning of life.

Some people questioned why the very first Easter Friday, the day of Jesus’ death, should be called Good Friday.

“I don’t like to call it Good Friday,” he said.

“I like to call it Really Good, Amazing, Wonderful Friday. Jesus paid the price for everything that keeps us separated from God.”

He said if Jesus died for a reason, then there was hope.

“Wouldn’t it be wise to check it out?” he asked students.

“I invite you to investigate these claims (of eternal life).”

The pastor, who previously lived in Canberra, spent 16 years as chaplain with the ACT Brumbies rugby team.

Copies of his book, Hope Beyond Cure, were made available for students to read.

Trinity Chaplain Greg Webster said: “As a school community we regularly seek to support our students when they are touched by these sorts of events, so David’s voice is an important one to hear. “Perhaps more pointedly, we’re never far from cancer ourselves – loved ones, neighbours, friends, work colleagues – we can all tell a story.”

The event was part of Trinity’s Mission Week and also included acoustic worship with David Nduwimana, the African refugee who sang Australia’s anthem at Bledisloe III last year. David fled the politically unstable African country of Burundi eight years ago. When he arrived in Australia he had an economics degree, little more than a guitar on his back and didn’t know a single person.

Having applied for a protection visa, David wanted to learn the Australian way of life, so immersed himself in the culture. He did so by learning the Australian national anthem. One Sunday in 2016, Nduwimana bumped into Rob Clarke, now the interim chief executive at Rugby Australia, and his wife Kylie at St Matthews Church in Manly. The trio struck up a conversation. Nduwimana had fallen in love with Australia. The Clarkes opened up their home and, for just over a year, Nduwimana moved in with the family. His music career was flourishing at the church while he also worked at Commonwealth Bank, trying to forget about what he’d left behind and praying he’d be granted permanent residency.

He was. And Rob Clarke offered him the wonderful experience of singing the National Anthem at the Bledisloe as a way of celebrating his new life, free from fear of persecution in Australia.

A video from the Easter Mission event can be viewed here.

Farewell to the Head of Visual Arts: as far as his eyes can see

April 1, 2021
The Head Master and Mr Collins at Quad Assembly this morning.

Mr Stephen Collins joined the Visual Arts Department at Trinity in January 1987, coming to Trinity from the Correspondence School in Darwin. After serving Trinity faithfully for 34 years, he was today farewelled on Quad.

“Over his 34 years at Trinity, Mr Collins has influenced hundreds of Trinity boys whose experience of Visual Art under his leadership has led them to appreciate beauty and expertise, to develop skills and creativity, and to understand the power of art to challenge, to transform and to uplift,” said Head Master Mr Bowden.

A brief reflection across the varied roles he has held, include:

  • Tutor in Wilson Hogg House
  • Founding member of the Trinity Athletics Club in 1987 and 1988
  • MIC Athletics in 1990

He was appointed to Head of Visual Arts in 1997 and has led the team for 24 years. His stature as an art educator was recognised in 2014, when he was appointed President of the Visual Arts and Design Educators Association of NSW.

He has led many cultural tours to Canada, the USA, Italy, Greece, and Europe and has also been involved with sporting tours. In 2006 he led an African Safari tour. In 1990, he organised a Year 11 excursion to hear Nelson Mandela speak in Sydney.

“He has for many years taught in Zimbabwe during school holiday periods, and in 2011 formed the Umhambi Zambezi Orphan Project in Zimbabwe. This project provides funds for orphaned children to be educated in local schools. At Fiesta, we can always find Mr Collins running a stall to raise money for this project,” added Mr Bowden.

Mr Collins’ work with Trinity has been enriched by his own continuing practice as an artist, with his great love being ceramics. On Quad today he shared with the students that during his time at the School he strived to build a better understanding of visual arts, and the numerous ways creative expression contributes to character development:

“I teach a creative subject and strongly believe in divergent thinking which leads to different solutions  – rather than convergent thinking which leads to one solution. Different solutions can easily be applied to creative subjects and these solutions come from experimentation.

“Experimenting in art, drama, music and creative writing provides opportunities for you to express manliness or masculinity. You can experiment with ideas and figure out who you are in these creative subjects – trying out different ideas in a safe place is OK.

“The plaque at the entrance to Delmar Gallery has a quote from Thucydides who said “ For we are lovers of the beautiful yet simple in our tastes; and we cultivate the mind without loss of manliness”. Think about what that means – go over to Delmar and read the plaque and spend some time thinking about what that means for you.

“Engage in the creative arts at school to think and experiment with ideas – to develop an understanding of yourself and the world around you.”

Mr Collins said that as information is increasingly being presented visually, studying art enables students to access this information through visual literacy and discussion about the ideas and values found in art. “We will all engage in the arts at some time, and we ought to learn about the arts because they are part of what it means to be human.”

He reminded students that the more they invest in their time at Trinity, the more they will get out. He reminded them of their opportunities, sharing a powerful story from his time teaching and building an orphanage in Victoria Falls Zimbabwe, where he has put about 100 students through school from Kindergarten to leaving high school over the past ten years.

“Once when I was talking to one young fellow there about his school ambition, I asked him how far he wanted to go? He replied, ‘further than my eyes can see !’… further than my eyes can see !’ He had dreams that an education would take him out of poverty and the violent situation where he lived. Another student called education a weapon against poverty. It really struck me how these students wanted to learn, were desperate to learn.

“I look at the student body here collectively – and sometimes wonder if there is a similar urgency to learn. You are the elite – your parents can afford to send you to a school like this. Australia has one of the highest standards of living in the world; you are among the most privileged in the world. That privilege and opportunity carries with it a great responsibility.”

Mr Collins reminded the boys about gender and consent: “Firstly, ask yourself, do I think I am I entitled? Meaning –  I deserve this due to my privileged position in society. Secondly, ask yourself, what do I understand about consent: what does consent mean? It means listening, respect, understanding, and believing.

“You need to ask yourself these questions because you need to understand yourself, because you are the most important person here and you have a responsibility to use this wonderful opportunity of a Trinity education to make a difference. Dare to Dream… do something significant!

“I would never have imagined, when I was your age, that I would build an orphanage in Zimbabwe and provide an education to over 100 children. I was an average student who did not really know how to study. I did not have people around me showing me how to study or to provide me with the wide variety of opportunities that you all have here.

The young man from Zimbabwe who dreamed to go further than his eyes could see? He now has a computer repair business and runs computer studies classes at the orphanage on Sunday after church. The other student is now completing a law degree and will return to Victoria Falls to work and serve his community. That is a huge achievement for them, orphans with no support or hope except an overseas donor, someone who gave them hope. They thrived on that small amount of belief. So, ask yourself, how far do you want to go with all the support you have here?

“Don’t leave it until year 11 to begin trying. Start right away. You will never regret it; but you will regret it if you don’t start.”

Mr Collins, on behalf of Trinity Grammar School, past, present and future, thank you.

Riversong

March 31, 2021

Visit Delmar Gallery over the Easter holidays and learn more about Trinity’s local watercourse, The Cooks River.

Historian Ian Tyrell and Inner West Councillor Colin Hesse taking a close look at the Royal Botanic Gardens’ map in the exhibition

River Song is a multi-disciplinary exhibition revealing some of the many changes wrought on the Cooks River from environmental, cultural and historical perspectives.

Rare archival material is on view alongside contemporary art, oral history and botanical installations.

Drop by Delmar Gallery and peel back the layers of the river’s history to discover the poetry and cultural memory along its banks. 

Explore the exhibition virtually

Exhibiting artists: Mervyn Bishop, Diego Bonetto, Clare Britton, Vincent King, Dmitry Kuznichenko, Asher Milgate (Cooks River Alliance) and Jason Wing

Historical archives and maps from: Sydney Water/Water NSW, City of Canterbury Bankstown, Inner West Council, Adastra Aerial Surveys & Royal Botanic Gardens
Curator: Catherine Benz, Delmar Gallery

Until 18 April.  Free admission.

Gallery open Wednesday – Sunday, 12 – 5pm.  We will be open both Saturday and Sunday over the Easter weekend.
Entry via Victoria St pedestrian gate, Summer Hill campus.

Class visit to the exhibition with talk by exhibition curator Catherine Benz
Installation view with Jason Wing’s mural painting of Pemulwuy in the foreground
Installation view with Clare Britton’s two-channel video journeying underwater from Strathfield Golf Course to Botany Bay

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

March 26, 2021

Whenever one person stands up and says, “Wait a minute. This is wrong!”, it helps others do the same.

At this week’s Middle School Assembly the Deputy Head of the Middle School followed up last week’s focus on the School’s unequivocal rejection of bullying and violence as a means of problem solving with a wonderful and engaging series of anecdotes that brought a warm and very human perspective to the issue and reiterated the School’s position that bullying will not be accepted. Your sons are very fortunate to have Mr Galluzzo as a mentor. If your son is in the Middle School, perhaps you could ask him about Wednesday’s message over dinner tonight.

This morning at Quad Assembly we enjoyed a wonderful promotional performance of the upcoming production, One Man, Two Guvnors, a play by Richard Bean, which is an English adaptation of Servant of Two Masters (Il servitore di due padroni), a 1743 commedia dell’arte style comedy play by the Italian playwright Carlo Goldoni. The play replaces the Italian period setting of the original with Brighton, England, in 1963. The plot revolves around mistaken identities (including gender swaps), betrayals, murders (off stage), romance (on stage) and plenty of slapstick (on and off stage). So, what makes it a timeless classic? Well, the issues it raises have been with us ever since Adam was a boy. In 2021, as we have seen played out in the media and public discourse, the community fracture lines between class, gender and race are as wide as they have ever been, and it is this timeless reflection on the human condition that makes the play compelling and potentially transformative, as well as hilarious. In response, we can either resort to outrage and despair, or we can take a more optimistic perspective using satire and farce. Commedia opts for the restorative power of laughter. The stage band, The Salmon Skifflers, who accompanied the actors this morning were also wonderful, and the channelling of Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend in their performance of The Who’s, My Generation, alone will be worth the price of admission. Tickets are strictly limited due to the restrictions still placed on us by Covid-19 Public Health Orders, so book early if you would like a ticket to what promises to be a wonderful evening’s light entertainment.

Bookings open Wednesday 31 March

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

2021 Student Senators

March 26, 2021

This week, the 2021 Student Senators were announced on Quad. Sebastian Papadopoulos was the keynote speaker. His speech appears below:

Good Morning Deputy Headmaster, Staff and Students.

Exactly 200 years ago, on 25 March 1821, Greeks from all around Greece and Cyprus initiated the Greek War of Independence. These soldiers, fighting for Greece and its culture, managed, after eight and a half years of hard fighting, to finally free their motherland from nearly 400 years of Ottoman occupation.

Under the Ottomans, the Greeks were treated as second class citizens, not being allowed to practice their religion or teach their children their language. Most if not all of the Greeks around this Quad have ancestors that fought to allow their descendants the right to practice the culture that had been oppressed for so many years. So, you can understand why Greeks are notorious for their intense nationalism.

In honour of Greek Independence Day, I will draw everyone’s attention to a few reasons why Greeks are so great. 

Firstly, Greeks have invented the tastiest food you will ever try. The infamous Greek Gyros with its combination of meat, chips and good Greek pita bread will make anyone’s mouth water.

Secondly, the Greeks brought to life many of the English words we use today. There are over 150,000 words that we use in English which come directly from Greek.

Finally, and most importantly, the Greek invention of Democracy. Without Democracy, the world in which we live in would be unrecognisable. Democracy plays a major part in our school community as well.

To my left are the students that you, the school, have chosen to represent you in the Student Senate. They will be responsible for listening to your ideas of improvement for the school, bringing them to the rest of the Senate. After which, the ideas will be suggested to the senior staff leadership of the school who will either enact or deny the suggestions. After all of the names of the senators have been read out and they are standing to my right, I think it appropriate that we, as a school, recognise them and applaud.

From Year 8:

Alan Chen and Harry Clegg

From Year 9:

Joseph Britton and James Chan

From Year 10:

Kelvin Kong and Charlie Naffah

From Year 11:

Rory Briscoe and Jonah Sawmi

And from Year 12:

Darcy Burge and Joshua Muir

Let’s show our appreciation for the 2021 Student Senators.

River Song

March 26, 2021
Portrait of Ann Weldon by Asher Milgate, for the Cooks River Aboriginal Oral History Project commissioned by the Cooks River Alliance

Delmar Gallery’s exhibition about the Cooks River will be open over the Easter break.

Mrs Lau & the Kyeemagh Market Gardens, photographs by Vincent King

River Song is a multi-disciplinary exhibition revealing some of the many changes wrought on the Cooks River from environmental, cultural and historical perspectives.

Rare archival material is on view alongside contemporary art, oral history and botanical installations.

Drop by Delmar Gallery and peel back the layers of the river’s history to discover the poetry and cultural memory along its banks.

Endemic plant species from the Cooks River Valley catchment, collected by Trinity staff and students from the Environmental Awareness co-curricular.
“In and Out” (detail) by Clare Britton, a two-channel video of an underwater journey from Strathfield Golf Course to Botany Bay
“Sydney Airport & Cooks River diversion”, photographs by Adastra Aerial Surveys 1947 – 1953 inclusive
“Reframing the river” by Diego Bonetto, monoprints of edible weeds occurring along the banks.
Detail of newspaper clippings and archival photos, on loan from the Inner West Council, City of Canterbury Bankstown and Sydney Water/Water NSW.
“Take me to the river” by Dimitry Kuznichenko

From the Head Master

March 19, 2021

The issue of sexual assault in our society continues to loom large.

The petition started by Chanel Contos now has more than 37000 signatures and more than 3000 testimonies of peer-on-peer teen sexual assault from around Australia. In reflecting on the petition and testimonies, against the wider background of the current news cycle, it is evident that there are many causes that have given rise to the damaging experiences recounted by our young people. Misogyny, pornography, substance abuse, peer pressure, adult supervision, cultural expectations and multiple other factors are combining to bring peer-on-peer teen sexual assault to epidemic levels.

In recent weeks, as we have listened to the stories that had previously been opaque to many of us, we have been considering these diverse issues and how they might be countered. It is a complex, society-wide problem that is profoundly damaging to our young people, so I am very thankful that it is now at the centre of our attention.

In recognising the many factors that are contributing to this issue, I believe that there is one that has been below the horizon in much of the discourse, but that needs to be acknowledge and considered. That is, an inadequate understanding of the significance of sex.

During the week I read an article by Dr Emma Wood, published on the ABC Religion and Ethics website, that I highly commend for your reading. Dr Wood argues that the ‘recreational’ view of sex that is characteristic of modern Western culture plays a significant role in creating the horrors that we read about in these online testimonies. Consent education, no matter how early it is introduced or how thoroughly it is taught, will not be adequate to protect our young people. (I encourage you to read the full article, rather than just my two sentence summary.)

I think that Dr Wood’s article has great explanatory power. It should provoke us to consider what we might be losing in our modern understanding of sex and its significance. If Dr Wood’s thesis is correct, and in light of the online testimonies that have been provided with the consent petition, a shallow view of sex is profoundly damaging and harmful to our young people.

As an Anglican School, Trinity affirms the traditional Christian understanding of sex that is taught in the Bible and believed by Christians across the world and through the centuries. Sex is good, precious, and intended by God for an exclusive, unambiguously-committed, mutually-loving, life-long union. This is the very antithesis of casual hook-up culture that has been recognised as so damaging in the lives of our young people.

In holding to this high understanding of sex, the School is acutely conscious that this is no longer a shared cultural assumption. In fact, the statement above is counter-cultural in modern Western society, perhaps to the point of being ridiculous or offensive.

In affirming the Bible’s teaching about sex, the School must also navigate the gaps between the ideal and the actual, between our deeply-held convictions and the lived realities of our communities. We must recognise the diversity of the School families and the views that are held with reference to sexuality across our wider society. We must find ways to educate boys so that risk is minimised and harm reduced, but not to settle for these outcomes. If we are convinced that the Christian faith provides a firm foundation on which the good life – for individuals and for communities – can be built, then we are obliged to commend it to our community in word and deed.

The phenomenon of peer-on-peer sexual abuse is one that demands our attention and our focussed efforts. Please be assured that the School is making every effort to support you in our shared endeavours to form men of decent character who conduct their relationships with respect and humility. May God help us all with this crucial task.

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

March 19, 2021

At Trinity, Every Day is a Day of Action against Bullying and Violence.

Today is the National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence, and it was the subject of this week’s Middle School Assembly which was run by the Year 9 Monitors. Two of them, Ashton Frazer (9Mu) and Hayden Hoang (9Ta) spoke so eloquently and maturely about the insidious nature of bullying, that I have included excerpts of their remarks this week.

Bullying is an ongoing misuse of power in relationships through repeated verbal, physical and/or social behaviour that causes physical and/or psychological harm. It can involve an individual or a group misusing their power over one or more persons. Bullying can happen in person or online, and it can be obvious (overt) or hidden (covert).

[An important explanatory caveat – single incidents and conflict or fights between equals, whether in person or online, are not bullying, even though they are not acceptable behaviour.]

As parents, teachers and carers we can continue to speak with young people about why bullying and violence are unacceptable, and continue to teach our sons and daughters that, regardless of personal feelings, every person is entitled to have their humanity respected. This is fundamental to any conversation around bullying and violence.

We cannot opt out of our collective responsibility. We must work together to stamp out aggressive and anti-social behaviour and empower our boys and young men (girls and young women, too) to stand up against bullying and violence in all its forms, a point both Ashton and Hayden made well in their remarks to their peers.

Bullying and violence remains an issue in schools and the wider society in this day and age. Despite the values we are brought up to have, some people still feel the need to bully others as an outlet for their own struggles and insecurities. Perpetrators can target their victim through verbal abuse, violence, social exclusion or through social media. No matter the circumstance, this is unacceptable and must never be tolerated. 

It is important that we address and take action, making sure that here at Trinity we maintain our anti-bullying culture. To keep this culture, you need to step in if you witness bullying or tell someone if you are being bullied. We want you to develop character, as you have heard many times. I’ve been here since Year 7, and this positive culture is definitely ingrained in our School. We Trinitarians almost always look out for each other, and it must remain this way. 

However, this day is also about taking action against violence in all forms. I believe that in wider society and particularly on social media, violence is still promoted as a credible solution to issues, and we need to understand that it simply isn’t.

While bullying and violence is not common or tolerated here at Trinity, studies have shown that Australia has some of the highest rates of bullying and violence in schools. There is no ignoring the harsh statistics. The Make Bullying History Foundation surveyed 692 Australian students in 2018 and found that 59% of students nationally say they have experienced bullying, with one in five experiencing it weekly, and one in seven students don’t speak up to adults about their experience. It was estimated using data from another survey in 2016 that 70% (or 160,000) of children aged 12–13 had experienced at least one bullying-like behaviour in the 12 months before the survey. All the data points towards a school system where bullying has not yet been eradicated. Yes, it can be hard to tell someone about what has happened to you. But it is important to take action against bullying; telling a trusted adult needs to be more common. 

How do we combat this bullying issue? It all comes down to respect, empathy, and good character. Empathy is crucial to help understand the impact of bullying. If one of your core values is respect, you will automatically treat others the way they should be treated. The theme for this year is ‘take action together.’ Addressing the issue of bullying can’t be done individually. We need to take action together as a School community and maintain our healthy culture. Bullying may be present in other Australian schools, but at Trinity it never will have a place.

Ashton Frazer (9Mu)

What can we do as members of the Middle School community to help those who may be victims of bullying or violence? The simplest way is to start a conversation with them. Be a friend. Be a listening ear. A ‘Hi’ and ‘How are things?’ or ‘Are you ok?’ may be enough. Our understanding and willingness to listen may be a helpful starting point.

We also have to keep in mind that we are not experts. If we feel someone we know is being bullied or they seem to have experienced violence, it is our responsibility to communicate with our support network. A network that might include our peer support leaders, teachers, Housemasters, School Psychologist, and so on. The School has an extensive support network that will provide advice and assistance in resolving conflict or how to respond to anti-social behaviour.

While social media may depict violence as a masculine way to resolve issues, we do not believe violence is an answer to anything. At Trinity, we believe it is far better to handle disagreement respectfully and constructively. It all comes down to our beliefs and character, and our respect for one another.

The National Day of Action against Bullying and Violence is an annual opportunity for us as an extended community to take a stand by raising awareness and to restate our values. Edmund Burke, an 18th-century English philosopher and politician made the observation that “the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

Hayden Hoang (9Ta)

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

Change to P&F Meetings

The Parents and Friends’ Association and Summer Hill Auxiliary have announced revised meeting dates for 2021. Please see the article in this week’s Bulletin.

River Song

March 19, 2021

The Cooks River is the subject of this new exhibition now open at Delmar Gallery.

“Butu Wargun, Pemulwuy” 2021 by Jason Wing (detail)

River Song is a multi-disciplinary exhibition revealing some of the many changes wrought on the Cooks River, from environmental, cultural and historical perspectives.

Rare archival material is included in the exhibition alongside contemporary art, oral history and botanical installations.  

The Cooks River begins in a park in Yagoona, winds its way not far from Trinity’s Strathfield and Summer Hill campuses through concrete channels and some naturalised banks, before entering Botany Bay at a completely different location to its original mouth.  Our local river is Australia’s most urbanised, polluted and contested watercourse.  The vision of restoring its health drives passionate community groups and has propelled four councils to work together as the Cooks River Alliance.

The exhibition coincides with the Cooks River Alliance’s Wurridjal Festival, a series of talks, tours and workshops on the banks of the river.  A few spots might still be available for exhibiting artist Diego Bonetto’s Wonderful Wild Weeds Walk in Strathfield this Sunday afternoon, which complements his installation at Delmar Gallery. 

More information here: https://cooksriver.org.au/events/

Exhibiting artists: Mervyn Bishop, Diego Bonetto, Clare Britton, Vincent King, Dmitry Kuznichenko, Asher Milgate (Cooks River Alliance) and Jason Wing

Historical archives and maps from: Sydney Water/Water NSW, City of Canterbury Bankstown, Inner West Council,

Adastra Aerial Surveys & Royal Botanic Gardens
Curator: Catherine Benz

Until 18 April.  Free admission.

Gallery open Wednesday – Sunday, 12 – 5pm by appointment.  We will be open over the Easter weekend.

“Butu Wargun, Pemulwuy” 2021 by Jason Wing, detail and installation photos
Exhibition installation with painting “Take me to the river” by Dmitry Kuznichenko and Clare Britton’s boat “Sally”
Installation detail of archival photos from Sydney Water/Water NSW
Detail of Diego Bonetto’s installation, “Reframing the river”
Detail of Clare Britton’s video installation, “In and Out”
Detail of Asher Milgate’s series of portraits and oral histories commissioned by the Cooks River Alliance, The Cooks River Aboriginal Oral History Project

From the Head Master

March 12, 2021

Over the last week, I have noticed a much greater sense of normality emerging in School life as the COVID-19 restrictions continue to be wound back.

I was particularly aware of this sense yesterday, with the various events around the 90th Annual CAS Swimming and Diving Championships. Around this time last year, we were on the verge of our first major restrictions, and were limited to taking only sixty students to the Championships as spectators. Last night we were able to take a couple of hundred spectators, which significantly added to the spectacle and volume of the carnival.

We were also able to host the parents of the swimmers and divers on the site to witness the traditional departure of the teams on the quad. After all this time, in which parents have been unable to come to the campus during school hours, it was lovely to have them share this experience, albeit in a physically-distanced, non-mingling with students kind of way!

Our students distinguished themselves last night, finishing in second place in both the Swimming and the Diving. Knox retained the Thyne Challenge Shield for swimming for the fifth consecutive year, and we finished second for the fifth consecutive year. In the Diving, Barker won the Stephen Barnett Shield by two points in a tight competition with Trinity; our boys won the Junior and Intermediate Divisions, but were not able to hold off the Barker team in the Open division. Our School congratulates Knox and Barker for their achievements, and we are already looking forward to the Championships in 2022.

While the details regarding the conclusion of the sports season for all of our summer sports are found elsewhere in this Bulletin, it is appropriate for me to acknowledge the joint Premiership won by our First V basketball team, and the undefeated Premiership won by our First VI Volleyball team. Congratulations to those boys and to the staff who have worked with them over the years to develop their skills and sportsmanship, particularly to their respective coaches, Mr Morrissey and Mr Simos.

The return of parents to the School site was also seen at the finals of the Soloists Competition on Wednesday night. This set of performances was the first time that our musicians have been able to perform to a live audience since March last year. It was also the first musical event to have taken place under the leadership of our new Director of Co-curricular Music, Dr Michael McGregor. My commendations to all those who took part in the competition, particularly those who progressed to the finals, and to the eventual winners.

In the last week we have also run a series of School tours for the prospective parents for the Year 7 class of 2023. This is the cohort who are currently being interviewed in the enrolment process. It has been very encouraging to see the ongoing high level of demand for enrolment opportunities in the School. Parents, who are the primary educators of their children, continue to be keen to engage the School as partners in their sons’ journey from childhood to adulthood, and we are honoured by the confidence that families place in us.

As parents have previously been informed, the School is seeking a State Significant Development Approval for The Renewal Project, which is a major capital development on the Summer Hill site. This process has been burbling along since mid-2019; our current estimation is that approval is likely to be granted around the middle of the year. In the meantime, design and planning for the early stages is continuing to take place, as indicated by the ubiquitous obscure codes and squiggles sprayed on the ground around the campus. When we get to the point that we can speak confidently about the timing, scope and staging of the plans, more information will be provided.

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

March 12, 2021

No country can ever truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contributions of half of its citizens

Michelle Obama

This week at Quad Assembly we acknowledged and articulated the School’s support for International Women’s Day.

In 1910, Clara Zetkin, the leader of the Women’s Office for the Social Democratic Party in Germany tabled the idea of an International Women’s Day at the second International Conference of Working Women in Copenhagen. The proposal received unanimous support from over one hundred women representing 17 countries.

The first International Women’s Day was held the following year on March 19th, 1911. In 1913, International Women’s Day was moved to March 8th and has been held on this day ever since.

Australia’s first International Women’s Day was held in 1928 in Sydney. Organised by the Militant Women’s Movement, women called for equal pay for equal work.

Since those early days, International Women’s Day has become a day to celebrate women’s achievements and call out attitudes and practices that continue to perpetuate gender inequality.

According to the United Nations Women – Australia, in 2021, no country in the world has achieved gender equality1.

The Head Master addressed the School on Tuesday, and on Thursday we were delighted to welcome Ms Genevieve McKeown, the 2020 Head Prefect at Meriden School to address the Assembly. Her remarks were powerful, mature and empathetic, and she has graciously permitted us to reproduce them here.

As you are aware, International Women’s Day is marked annually on the 8th of March. Mr Bowden asked me to come along today and talk to you about this significant day, particularly reflecting on my experiences with Trinity and your role in celebrating this day, and more importantly, uplifting the women in your lives. 

I have had so many positive experiences at Trinity. For example, I have felt so welcome at leadership events I have attended. I had the pleasure of getting to know those of you who were in my platoon last year and we were able to have a laugh and a good time but still got lots done. Or even those of you who have come up and chatted. Conversations like that really make any person feel valued.

However, I want to tell you a story. In 2019 I was on the Sergeant’s course at Promotions Camp for Cadets along with five other girls from my grade and A LOT of you guys. On Day 2, I was duty student, the student in charge for the day and whose duty was to relay messages from the staff in charge of the course. This role came with all the challenges of having to look after a big group of people, as well as the added difficulty of being shorter than those you are trying to be in charge of and having a very soft voice. But the biggest challenge was trying to get the attention of male peers who didn’t seem to see me as an authority figure. So, the question going through my mind was: why was I not given the same acknowledgement that other people in my role had when they didn’t even really know me?

I’m using this example of me as duty student to capture something that, in my experience, is an all too common experience for many girls and young women.

Trinity provides you with so many amazing opportunities to grow in your friendships with one another and build valuable life skills. And whilst these communities that are built are incredibly encouraging and supportive environments, we can sometimes get lost in them and forget about how we should act towards others outside of our bubble and how we should be fulfilling our role in the wider community. And I am coming from the same place as all of you. I went to an all-girls school for 6 years and got to experience the loving and generous community at Meriden. But something we all have to realise is that the day will come when your time at school comes to an end and you have to step outside the gates of Trinity as young men, shaped by the friendships you have made, experiences you have had, and lessons that you have learnt.

It is in this wider community that you will find yourself working alongside women. Maybe they’ll be in charge of you, or you could be in charge of them, or maybe you are working on a project together. It is times like these that you need to acknowledge the opinions and ideas of others, communicate in a respectful way, and draw on the strengths that each individual, male or female, brings to the group. To live in a unified and cohesive society, we all need to feel a sense of belonging and value, and this begins with the way that we are treated by others. There is a continuing need for inclusive behaviour and the deliberate decision to adopt an inclusive mindset. This is something we all must work towards.

Everyone, male and female, has passions, and I am sure that each one of you can think about something you are passionate about. Maybe it’s sport – I’ve heard Liverpool is apparently the soccer team I should be supporting? Or maybe it’s your studies, or a musical instrument. Or maybe it’s a global issue or politics. Passions make us our own person and give us something to relate to others about, and they also help to provide us with motivation and drive. However, just as we have to be careful not to get lost within our own school communities, it can also be so easy to focus on ourselves and our passions and forget about others.

I think we need to be receptive and respectful of each other’s passions. In fact, I would go so far as to argue that we need a new mindset – to listen to other people’s passions before we express our own. Like me, women deserve to have the ability to express and explore their passions, but this isn’t always facilitated in the workplace or in the household. Something that Meriden and Trinity teach so well is for us to explore our passions, formulate our opinions and develop our skills to articulate and share. So, let’s listen, because everyone should have equal respect as we bravely step out and express our ideas. Because, it’s when we stop and listen that we hear things we otherwise might not have thought of, or solutions we might have overlooked. When we stop and listen, we endorse the idea that passions are important and should be pursued. Sharing our passions allows us to collaborate and explore new horizons. I don’t know about you, but I think that’s really valuable, and the potential for that to be a reality is so exciting.

This year’s theme for International Women’s Day is ‘Choose to Challenge’. The idea behind this is that we are all responsible for our own thoughts and actions and that each of us should choose to challenge gender inequality, because challenging ideas leads to change.

Today, for International Women’s Day, 2021, I have a challenge for you. You have the capacity to choose how you think and how you act. How you think is reflected in how you act. So, my challenge is an introspective one. When anyone speaks, do you listen? In a group of friends, do you listen to other people’s perspectives? When a woman or girl speaks, do you listen? And if your answer is no, then my challenge is to proactively change that. Listening leads to a cohesive community, where people are valued and respected. So, choose to challenge one another to listen first, and then speak.

Happy International Women’s Day, Trinity. I look forward to hearing the wonderful things the students of this school will be doing and achieving as you play your part in creating a better, more equitable future.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill


[1] https://unwomen.org.au/

World’s Greatest Shave | Thank you!

March 12, 2021

I would like to express my gratitude to the Trinity community who have supported the Leukaemia Foundation’s World’s Greatest Shave.

The men of the Senior School have raised a huge sum of money, trumping last year’s effort. Overall we have raised in excess of $75,000.00.

Many thanks to those who donated and to all the those who were brave and shaved!

Andrew Yarad | Deputy Head of the Senior School 

Annual Berea Mission

March 11, 2021

In Week 5 the annual Berea Mission took place. Berea is a co-curricular group that aims to train and equip young men for Christian ministry at Trinity and beyond. Thirty-six Bereans from the Senior School were divided into four teams to teach the Bible and share the gospel of Jesus at various schools and churches in Greater Sydney. Each team visited a school for three days, either at Trinity Preparatory School, Georges River Grammar School, William Carey Christian School or Penrith Anglican College, where they taught Christian Studies, led the voluntary lunchtime groups, and gave Bible talks at Chapel services. 

On the Friday evening, the four teams visited four churches. At Ingleburn Anglican and Harrington Park Anglican the teams led the Kids’ Clubs and Youth Groups, while at Minto Anglican and Berala Anglican, the teams led the Youth Groups. The Trinity students conducted the usual activities that one might expect: sharing their testimony, running games, leading the meeting, leading in prayer, giving a Bible talk and leading discussions on Bible passages and themes from the talk. On the Sunday morning the teams led the Kids’ Churches or Sunday Schools of the same partner churches. 

On two evenings and on Saturday, the group benefited from four talks on discipleship by Ben Pakula, the assistant minister and youth leader at Harrington Park Anglican, one of our partner churches. 

Berea Mission has continued to be a highlight of the School year for the students and teachers who participate. The Trinity students are a source of great encouragement and enthusiasm and are warmly received at each of the schools and churches. 

Detur Gloria Soli Deo

Dr Chris Thanopoulos | MIC Berea Co-Curricular

B. Powell giving the Bible talk Penrith Anglican College’s Senior School Chapel Service
Trinity Students lead in a song at Penrith Anglican College’s Junior School Chapel Service
Trinity Students introduce themselves to the Year 5 cohort at Penrith Anglican College.

From the Head Master

March 5, 2021

When school is in session, there are rarely opportunities to pause and reflect on progress that is taking place. However, if one makes the time to do so, it is tremendously refreshing as a leader. This week I have had cause to consider three areas wherein the School is continuing to move forward, doing things better this year than we did last year.

This week we conducted the new iteration of Year 12 parent-teacher interviews, which we now know as Learning Progress Conversations. In previous years, these were large, noisy, and slightly chaotic events. We would go through all the effort of setting up the Assembly Hall and other rooms with desks appropriately-labelled. We would require parents to disrupt all the normal activity of a weeknight by making their way to the School. We would experience the frustration of interview schedules going awry, the challenge of conducting a conversation in the same venue as hundreds of others, and deal with the tensions of navigating the carpark and campus.

This year, however, having learned from our COVID-19 experiences, the interviews took place online. In my experience, and in that of the teachers to whom I have spoken, the experience was vastly better, being less stressful and more calm. While there were some minor issues, these were relatively insignificant compared to prior years. It is nice to reflect on that improvement.

A second area of improvement has been the introduction of the Trinity Assessment Parent Portal (TAPP), which has been rolled out in the last couple of weeks. Mrs Williams has written about this in the Bulletin and in information provided to parents. The TAPP allows parents to receive information about their son’s assessments in a much more timely fashion. This continuous reporting provides additional insight to the boys’ progress and tasks, in addition to the end of semester reports. Many changes to organisational practices and use of technology have had to be implemented to make this possible, and it comes as the final element in a reformation of assessment and reporting that has run for the last two and a half years.

A third area wherein I think we have made good progress has been the use of data and digital technology to facilitate and evaluate the wellbeing of the boys. Earlier this week, the ACER Socio-Emotional Wellbeing survey was conducted, providing us with insight into our student body and enabling us to evaluate the experience of the boys. This data is anonymous and aggregated. We have also introduced a weekly wellbeing ‘pulse-check’ for boys in the Middle and Senior School, which provides us with personalised information. Through the Skodel platform, each boy indicates his emotional state, the factors causing that state, and indicates whether he would like someone to follow him up. It is a quick and easy way to facilitate pastoral support for the boys, and it should help us to continue to care for them.

As I started by saying, the pace of School life is brisk, and it is easy to be continually looking forward at the next task, initiative or challenge. It is no bad thing to pause to acknowledge that progress is being made. I have found it encouraging to do so. I trust that our boys and their families are also able to pause and to recognise growth.

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

March 5, 2021

Next Thursday, 11 March, the School enters a Championship Team at the Annual CAS Swimming and Diving Championships. It is always one of the highlights of the year and is one of our so-called compulsory fixtures. It has been our custom to mandate attendance for students in Year 10 and Year 11, as well as School Officers, and to open up the opportunity for students in Middle School to attend voluntarily, just to experience the extraordinary atmosphere. I think it is fair to say that this event, because of its contained nature, generates more excitement and noise each year than any other event in the Olympic Park Aquatic Centre, other than the 2000 Olympics. It is typical for there to be 3000 spectators from the six participating schools.

Unfortunately, COVID-19 restrictions in 2020 made compulsory attendance impossible, and this year we have a cap on numbers. For that reason, this week we offered the opportunity to Year 11 students, since they missed out last year. That opportunity has now closed. For Year 10 students and School Officers, attendance will, once again, be compulsory. If your son is in Year 10, you will have received the details this morning. Please respond promptly. In the event that there is an unavoidable clash with a family commitment (tutoring, an external sporting commitment or a work shift does not fall into the category where leave will be approved), please write to Dr De Lany requesting a dispensation by the close of business on Monday.

Finally, because we anticipate a small number of additional seats being available, boys in Middle School may also apply to attend. Seats will be allocated on a first come, first served basis.

As we continue to reflect on the heartbreaking stories of sexual assault that have been the subject of saturation coverage in the media, it is important for us as parents and teachers to challenge the particular norms and perceptions that make up the messages our community and our culture sends to boys and young men about what it means to be a man. Qualities and norms that may include self-sufficiency, toughness, physical attractiveness, aggression, control and an adherence to rigid gender stereotypes.

Any endorsement of stereotypical masculine norms, explicit or tacit, has a powerful influence on harmful attitudes and behaviours in boys and young men, including violence, poor mental health, sexual harassment, sexual assault, binge drinking and risk-taking behaviour. However, and this is an important caveat, we want to be clear that the School is not problematising being male, but that recent events compel us to continually reflect on the teaching and parenting of our students and your sons.

We are a boys’ school, and we are both positive and aspirational when it comes to masculinity, your sons’ potential, and our desire to equip your sons with positive and helpful messages around manhood. This is not new at Trinity. The School speaks regularly and often to your sons about the values and attributes we seek to inculcate in the boys and young men of the School; empathy, integrity, honesty, humility and respect. The true value of a Trinity education may only be measured in the character and decency of your sons when they are men; partners, fathers and contributing members of society.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

CAS Swimming and Diving Championships

Thursday, 11 March 2021 at Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre

Attendance is compulsory for Year 9 Monitors, All Year 10 Students and School Officers but voluntary for boys in Years 7-9, 11 and 12.

If your son/s is required or volunteered to attend the Swimming and Diving Championships, parents must ensure they access the parent portal and provide consent, otherwise your son will not be permitted to attend.

The Swimming and Diving teams will be given lunch at School at 11:15am, and at 2:45pm the team will leave the School by coach to go to the Aquatic Centre.  Due to COVID 19, parents are not permitted on site for the Swimming and Diving quadrangle farewell at 2:45pm. All student spectators who are attending the Championships will be taken by coach to the Aquatic Centre, leaving the School at 3:25pm. These students will be given a light meal before leaving and will have access to the canteen inside the Aquatic Centre.  It is compulsory for boys to travel to the championships by coach.

Parents can indicate on the Parent Portal if they are picking their son up after the Championships at approximately 8:15pm from Olympic Blvd, Sydney Olympic Park.

Parents must collect their son/s from either the Summer Hill Campus, or the Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre. Coaches will transport the boys back to Trinity unless prior arrangements have been made on the Parent Portal. Please do not make arrangements for boys to leave the Aquatic Centre before the end of the Championships as boys will not be allowed to leave before our School is dismissed.

Coaches will return to the Summer Hill Campus at approximately 8:45pm. Parents are encouraged to park in the car park (entry via Victoria St) and arrange to meet your son/s there.

Dress: Grey uniform without blazer (NO Khaki uniforms).

Masks: It is a requirement that all staff and students attending this event wear a mask to and from the event when travelling by coach as well as when they are in the venue.

No boys will be given permission to drive a car either to or from the Championships.

Bradley Wirth | Director of Campus Administration

Worlds Greatest Shave | Update

March 5, 2021

Thank you to all who have sponsored our students and staff who are taking part in the World’s Greatest Shave to help beat blood cancer.  The response has been great!

With only a couple of weeks to go, we still have a little way to go to meet our target of $65,000. 

If you would like to sponsor the Trinity team, please click here.

Thank you for supporting this great cause.

Andrew Yarad | Deputy Head of the Senior School 

From the Head Master

February 26, 2021

During the course of this week, the issue of consent with reference to sexual interaction has continued to be a focus of consideration and discussion from the corridors of power in Parliament House to the classrooms and assemblies of schools. This is an issue that needs our attention.

As I wrote to families on Monday, the disturbing issues that are being raised are complex. Consent, with reference to young people as illustrated in the recent publication of stories, is overlapped by other issues, including alcohol, pornography, entitlement, single-sex education, and wider cultural issues. These are all issues with which we already wrestle, and we will need to continue to do so in our quest to shape decent, trustworthy and respectful young men.

During the course of this week, staff at Trinity have conducted an audit of the ways in which the topic of consent, and other related topics, are covered at Trinity. Consent is explicitly taught to the boys through the PDHPE syllabus in Years 9 and 10, as well as in our Christian Studies classes in Years 10 and 12. The boys also engage with this topic in the Young Men’s Seminar with David Kobler, who conducts sessions with the Year 9 boys in Term 3, as well as running an evening session for parents.

This explicit teaching about consent builds on foundations of teaching and inculcating respectful behaviour, which take place in and through every aspect of the School from the early years until the end. It is my observation, and that of many others, that Trinity boys are often characterised by respectful behaviour in their interactions with others. We will need to ensure that they make the connection between respect in a general sense, and its application to the specific context of consent.

The last week has seen the publication of a number of insightful and powerful articles published with reference to the revelations over the weekend. These include: a piece by the Principal of Wenona School that challenges us to face the reality that this issue for school students is a wider cultural issue; a powerful speech delivered to Cranbrook students by the Head Prefect, which was published in the Sydney Morning Herald; and a piece reflecting on the experiences of an external speaker who educates students about consent. If you are interested in thinking further about these issues, I commend these articles to you, as well as Mr Barr’s piece on pornography in this Bulletin.

However, there is one issue that arises from the collected testimonies of these young women that has not yet come under the spotlight but which looms large in the situation. That is the role of some parents in enabling sexual assault.

The majority of the harrowing stories that were recounted online took place at parties or gatherings. These appear to be large parties that take place in family homes, that involve copious amounts of alcohol and intoxication, that provide access to secluded spaces, and which appear not to have active parental supervision. According to these stories, parties of this sort appear to be provided for people who are significantly underage, both with reference to alcohol and sex.

In hosting a party of this sort, parents end up creating an environment that enables sexual assault. This is not a statement I make lightly, and I recognise that the statement will cause offence, but I believe the conclusion is inescapable.

I can think of fewer more dangerous, unhelpful and foolish things that a parent could do than to provide a party of the sort described above. These parties cause heart-breaking and life-breaking damage.

I have heard it said that parties of this sort are a necessary rite of passage, and that they will happen anyway. I disagree. They are certainly a cultural phenomenon, but I think that in the interests of our young people’s wellbeing, we need to challenge the culture.

I know that I have the support of many of our families in this matter. Anecdotally, I think that fewer of these parties take place in the context of our School community than might be the case elsewhere. I am certainly not opposed to young people getting together to socialise and have fun. There are resources available online to assist parents to think through how best to host parties. You might like to check out this information sheet from Drug and Alcohol Research and Training Australia, or the website of Party Safe.  

I do not raise this issue as an exercise in blame-shifting or to downplay the importance of how schools address the issue of consent. Trinity will continue to do all that we can to support parents in raising young men of whom we can be proud. However, unless we address the role of these sort of parties, young people will continue to damage themselves and one another.

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

February 26, 2021

#metoo

In addition to his missive to you concerning the shocking testimonies of sexual assault by boys and young men that was the subject of press coverage last weekend[1], the Head Master spoke powerfully at Quad Assembly with your sons about the allegations that the perpetrators were boys and young men from schools like ours. His remarks were confronting and sobering. The fact that the coverage followed hard on the heels of allegations of a cover up of a sexual assault in our own Federal Parliament suggests we have not yet eliminated a toxic culture that, at its heart, objectifies women and is deeply misogynist. Sadly, although unsurprisingly, it is almost a year to the day that the School spoke with your sons about the anti-social and misogynist behaviour of a group of young men on a Melbourne tram that was the subject of a Four Corners programme, Boys’ Club, when the incident first broke last year. Last week’s press coverage drew back the curtain on the largely hidden pattern of sexual abuse by adolescent boys and young men, and has led me to reflect on the fine line we walk between creating the sense of belonging and community that we value so much at Trinity, and the potential for children and young people to make poor judgements, especially online, when they congregate in groups, when they sacrifice their values in order to experience a sense of belonging, or in their interactions with those outside what they perceive as their group.

What it reinforced for me was the critically important role teachers and parents play in bringing up our sons and daughters. We must, if we are to avoid the pitfalls of racism, homophobia, misogyny, tribalism and other anti-social behaviour, continue to teach them and talk to them about our values, how those values are reflected in how we behave, and what the basis for those values is. Importantly, we must also follow up in a way that is consistent with those values when our children and young people inevitably fall short of our expectations. The boys and young men who behaved so disgracefully on that tram in Melbourne a year ago were from a school not dissimilar to Trinity. The boys and young men accused of sexual assault last weekend are also from schools like ours. It is entirely plausible that young men from Trinity have engaged in the toxic behaviour that has been so vividly uncovered. On a personal note, I am grateful for the courage and strength of the young women who shared their stories, as devastating as they were to read.

So, how then do we respond as parents and teachers? How do we help our sons develop and act with empathy, a sense of decency and respect in their personal relationships? What can we do to help our sons grow into good men? How do we bring about the cultural reckoning that Daniel Principe has called for in a recent article in Eternity[2]?

There are no simple answers to why some boys and young men sometimes engage in deeply misogynistic, sexually abusive and disrespectful behaviour. Although, to be fair, western culture has a long patriarchal history that means the roots of sexist stereotypes and tropes run deep. This is not a recent phenomenon. Nevertheless, one of my working hypotheses, and one which I have written about in this forum previously, is that the ubiquity of pornography, the pornification of contemporary culture and social media, and especially the way girls and young women are represented, has created a perfect storm that has a particularly harmful effect on young people. The statistics around the first exposure to pornography and the fact that virtually all adolescents in Australia have viewed explicit pornography by the time they are 16 is significant, in my view. What seems to be consistent in the research is that frequent viewing of pornography, and substituting pornography for sex education, leads to the objectification of girls and women, an increase in male sexual aggression, negative gender attitudes, an increase in sexualised behaviours on social media, increased narcissism and an increase in callousness.

Lest we take refuge in a belief that the boys and young men of Trinity Grammar School are atypical, the School participated in a piece of research conducted by Dr Marshall Ballantine-Jones, a current parent, that found that over half of our Senior School students were statistically likely to be regular consumers of online pornography. Even more confronting is the statistic that 90% of pornography involves violence towards women, a piece of research that Susan McLean, a cyber safety consultant, shared with our Housemasters in a professional development session in January this year. Likewise, there is a significant body of research that suggests that the consumption of pornography by boys and young men leads to a decrease in empathy and an increase in callousness.  Given these research findings, it is unsurprising that some young men form the view that intimate relationships and sexual activity are done to someone else, rather than with someone else[3] and that they form a worldview where they believe they are entitled to behave in a way that is, in fact, both anti-social and almost certainly criminal.

So, if we take it as a given that we want our boys and young men to grow into empathetic, ethical, respectful, and decent men, we must step into this space. For those of you of my generation, the prospect of being connected twenty-four hours a day is an alien concept. But this is the world in which your sons spend many of their waking hours and which informs their behaviour and values. It is a world which is unregulated, addictive and largely unsupervised by the adult community of parents and teachers.

Can we stop them from watching pornography or engaging in inappropriate sexualised behaviour on social media? Probably not. But, forewarned is forearmed. If, as parents and teachers, we are aware of how young people are behaving online, intuitively a precursor to adoption of anti-social values, and if we are prepared to engage in conversations around what constitutes acceptable and healthy behaviour, if we are prepared to deconstruct the unhelpful and depersonalising depiction of women, if we are willing and able to have the conversations around consent and intimate relationships, it ought to be possible to mediate the messages they may be receiving and mitigate some of the worst effects of a cultural milieu that sexualises and objectifies girls and young women.

As an aside and an encouragement, it was very interesting to note a couple of years ago, when I attended a presentation by a guest speaker from Your Choicez, David Kobler, to Year 9, that a number of the boys and young men in the room expressed an appreciation that their parents had been strict in the enforcement of family guidelines around ‘phones and devices in their tweens and early teens, and saw parental control and clear boundaries as a good thing for them.

Some years ago, I shared some suggestions from a little booklet produced by Churchie, an Anglican Boys’ School in Brisbane not unlike Trinity in its values and the composition of its student body. Many of these tips come with permission from that little book. Most of them are common sense, but, as with many truisms, they gather power, cultural currency and momentum from repetition and sharing. Points ix, xii, xiii and xiv are apposite.

  1. Set your expectations for your son just a little higher than you think he can achieve
  2. Understand that your son doesn’t only learn by doing as you say. More often, he learns by watching and imitating you.
  3. Encourage the process rather than the result (more on this subject next term)
  4. Allow your son to experience the logical consequences of his actions
  5. Understand that it is the certainty of the consequence, not the severity that is the key
  6. Insist your son does chores
  7. Be an authoritative (not authoritarian), consistent parent, not a friend to your son
  8. Encourage humility rather than hubris
  9. Know your son’s friends
  10. Explain that compromise is an inevitable part of human relationships
  11. Allow time for your son to talk and don’t fill the silence
  12. Insist that your son respects women and girls
  13. Reject the excuse for boorish behaviour that, “boys will be boys”
  14. Respond decisively to disrespect, rudeness and profanity
  15. Pass on life’s lessons. Share your experience.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill


[1] https://www.smh.com.au/education/hundreds-of-sydney-students-claim-they-were-sexually-assaulted-and-call-for-better-consent-education-20210219-p57449.html

[2] https://www.eternitynews.com.au/australia/ive-heard-it-firsthand-kambala-petition-just-the-tip-of-the-iceberg/

[3] On Wednesday the ABC News online platform published an analysis piece on consent that may be helpful for some families https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-02-24/what-young-people-need-to-know-about-consent/13184494

Worlds Greatest Shave

February 26, 2021

This year, as has been a School tradition for the last 23 years, Trinity will be taking part in the Leukaemia Foundation World’s Greatest Shave. The Foundation has been actively working towards finding a cure for blood cancer since 1975, and this year marks the 24th year in which the World’s Greatest Shave will be taking place. They have the overall goal of having zero lives lost to blood cancer by 2035. 

As of today, 66 senior school students have bravely signed up to sacrifice their hair for the greater good. This is amazing, and is far larger than the numbers then we have had in previous years. 

Last year’s group set an extremely high fundraising bar, raising about $62,000. Our goal this year has been set for $50,000, and we have already managed to raise just over $20,000, and are currently the 9th highest group fundraising team in the country! This is amazing, but there is still a long way to go, so we need your help!

Any support would go a long way towards achieving our target, and helping to cure blood cancer. A lot of lives can be positively affected by the contribution we make.

To sponsor out team, or one of the students of staff taking part, please refer to the link below: 

https://secure.leukaemiafoundation.org.au/registrant/TeamFundraisingPage.aspx?teamID=123162

Thank you for all your support, and your assistance in achieving our goal. 

Jamie Christopoulos (12Ar)

Notification: Roadworks Victoria Street

February 26, 2021

Monday, 1 March to Thursday, 4 March 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians,

Trinity Grammar School has been notified of roadworks commencing on Victoria Street between Monday, 1 March and Thursday, 4 March 2021.  Please click the link here to view more information.

Please take a moment to read through the information in the link above and if needed, make the necessary changes to your travel route to School.  It may be wise to add additional travel time during the planned roadworks.

Thank you.

Stephen Heanly | Head of Operations

Graduate exhibition closes this Sunday

February 26, 2021

Last days to see Impermanence at Delmar Gallery, or view it anytime online.

Impermanence is the 2021 iteration of Delmar Gallery’s annual survey of new graduates’ work, selected from postgraduate and graduate exhibitions at National Art School, Sydney College of the Arts and UNSW Art & Design.   

Framed by the uncertainties and upheavals of 2020, the artists respond to and make sense of this world in flux. Their works variously look outward, documenting the legacy of the bushfires, living with COVID and Black Lives Matter, while others turn inward, retreating to childhood memories to find anchor points.

Book your visit to Delmar Gallery this weekend (Sat/Sun 12-5pm) to catch a snapshot of the next generation of Sydney artists or walk through the exhibition online.

Exhibition installation views with works by:  Melissa Howe, The Crossing  2020; Seamus Heidenreich; Maria Alejandro Alvarado Loukianova, Scatterbrain maquetteI  2020; Halle Sen (ceramics) and Suzanna Vangelov (painting).  Photography by Silversalt.

Staff Profile | Nigel Cowell

February 26, 2021

Assistant Chaplain brings passion for the Gospel and cricket

Trinity’s new Assistant Chaplain relishes the opportunity to combine two mighty passions – faith and cricket. Nigel Cowell, a former first grade opening bowler for Sydney University, is coaching the Year 7A team at Trinity, where he reunites with Ian Moran, a former University all-rounder and now a Housemaster and PDHPE teacher.

But it’s his passion for sharing the Gospel that excites him most.“I love to see students coming to know Jesus, and helping that to happen,” said the 30-year-old, whose background includes three years teaching Christian studies at Shore school and two years of part-time youth work at The Scots College while completing his Bachelor of Divinity Degree at Moore Theological College.

“Young people are trying to work out who they are and what they think about life.

“I think the Gospel is the firmest foundation for life; it offers hope and life for eternity.

“For young men to be confused about God is a terrible thing.

“If there’s one thing I want to do at Trinity it’s to help boys think clearly about who God is, who Jesus is, and who they are as a person made by Him.

“I want to preach the Gospel in a way that is understandable and accessible to a 15-year-old boy.”

Mr Cowell will teach ten Christian Studies classes as well as a Year 9 History class – he majored in Ancient History and Philosophy for his Arts degree.He will also assist Chaplain Greg Webster and fellow Assistant Chaplain Nathan Lee during chapel, which in pandemic times has been split between the Memorial Chapel and the Dining Hall.

Mr Cowell, whose wife Kat is assistant minister at their local church, St Jude’s in Randwick, said he was attracted to Trinity by its reputation as an educational institution and a place where the Gospel is preached. He was also aware of Head Master Tim Bowden’s previous work as Chaplain at St Andrew’s Cathedral School and Principal at Inaburra. “Many friends spoke highly of him and I was excited by the opportunity to work under him,” he said.

From the Head Master

February 19, 2021

This week I would like to address an area of potentially great danger in the School. I am thinking of the main carpark at Summer Hill, although some of the same issues may also be seen in the streets surrounding both the Summer Hill and the Strathfield campuses.

Carparks and the streets around schools are a risky and potentially dangerous site within a school, as they bring together children and moving vehicles in the same area. The design of our carpark, and the rules governing its use, are intended to minimise risk and to ensure that all people, particularly children, are safe. I have no doubt that all members of our community are committed, in principle, to the safety of children. However, this safety is compromised when the rules are disregarded.

To the best of my knowledge, the main problem does not lie with the senior students of the school who drive. The School recognises the potential risks associated with inexperienced drivers, and places stricter parameters around the boys’ use of the car park. Driving to school is a privilege that can be withdrawn. Through senior staff, the behaviour of the boys who are driving in the car park is monitored and, while there are occasional exceptions, the boys do the right thing.

Our problems arise from parents and other adults who drive students to and from the school. Failure to comply with the protocols, ignoring the rules and flagrant rudeness are regularly seen. Examples abound: picking up students in the wrong zones; using the boot for bags; jumping queues; disregarding the instruction to turn left at the top of Jubilee Drive; waiting rather than going around for another lap; and the list goes on. 

A case could be made that no single one of these behaviours is catastrophic in and of itself. Any behaviour may stem from any number of motivations, from thoughtlessness through time pressure to arrogant disregard. I do not assume to know what the issue may be in any one instance. However, over time as habits form, so does a culture of disregard for the rules, and safety is potentially compromised.

Over my years in schools, various possible solutions have been considered by frustrated staff, parents and community members. Naming and shaming through posting photos and videos of offenders on social media, giving students detentions for their parents’ offences, banning offenders from the car park, using senior staff to police traffic, commissioning a parent group to police traffic, and various other possibilities have been suggested. Most were not practical, and likely to create more problems than were solved, but the sense of frustration amongst the parent group was palpable.

I would like to provide five lenses through which behaviours in the carpark and surrounding streets could be considered. I do so, knowing that 80% of drivers consider themselves to be of above average ability (which is statistically improbable), and that we are all far more adept at spotting the speck in someone else’s eye than seeing the log in our own.

The first lens is that of safety. No-one starts out the day hoping that they will have an accident that hurts someone else, but accidents do happen. Once you have been in an accident, particularly if someone gets hurt and most particularly if you are at fault, you will never forget it. Accidents can have life-shattering impacts, and none of us wants that on our conscience. The rules exist to maximise safety and minimise risk. Please adhere to them.

The second lens is that of modelling. The power of parent behaviour in shaping the behaviour of children is well-established. They will do what they see. This has direct implications for how they will behave when the time comes for them to drive. However, as was raised at the Parents and Friends meeting, the boys will also learn how to treat rules from seeing how you treat rules. Are rules something to be disregarded in the name of convenience? Do individual preferences or desires trump formalised codes of behaviour? At school, we work hard to teach boys to respect rules; we hope that our efforts and yours are aligned.

The third lens is that of relationships. An enduring human challenge is learning to live well together with others. The actions of one person have impacts on others. We want our boys to be considerate of others, to put others first, and to love those around them by acting for their good. Too much of the world around us is self-centred; we want to call our boys to a higher goal. Does your conduct in the carpark show how our relationships with others – even those whom we may not know – can be done well?

The fourth lens is that of character formation. As I have said to the boys on a number of occasions, character is revealed in the great moments, but it is shaped in the small ones. Great acts of noble and sacrificial heroism are made possible by myriad small acts of selflessness and graciousness. If we want our boys to become good men, in whatever spheres and worlds they inhabit in the years to come, it begins with small habitual behaviours in the insignificant areas of daily life, like school car parks.

The fifth lens is that failing to follow the traffic management plan damages the School’s reputation with local residents and jeopardises our hopes for the future development and improvement of the School. The School currently has a State Significant Development Application before the Department of Planning Industry and the Environment (DPIE). The key issues of concern that are being considered have to do with traffic management. Parents who do not follow the plan, which has been written to maximise safety, amenity and functionality, hurt the School.

Please make yourself familiar with our Traffic Management Plan (Summer Hill Campus) and the Preparatory School Traffic Management Plan (Strathfield Campus) and adhere to it. Your school community would appreciate your support in helping our carpark and traffic arrangements to work well.

(If this article seems familiar, there is a reason. It is substantially based on one I wrote in 2019. It described the issues and my thinking then, and it still does!)

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

February 19, 2021

The standard you walk past is the standard you accept.

Lieutenant-General David Morrison (Ret.)

This week we continued in our annual series of reminders to your sons, many of whom have heard these messages before, but many who may be hearing them for the first time.

On Wednesday, Mr Yarad, the Deputy Head of the Senior School, an Old Boy from the Class of 1992, spoke about the importance of standards in the Senior School Assembly. He explained that one of the hallmarks of Trinity Grammar School is that we insist on high standards, and that this extends to expectations for behaviour, punctuality, dress and deportment, courtesy, and respect.

In particular, he reiterated some important, non-negotiable rules, all of which are articulated in the Record Book and Handbook, but which, for young people, bear repeating for the sake of establishing and maintaining clarity. He spoke about the School policy for mobile ‘phone usage. In simple terms, your sons are not permitted to have their ‘phones on between 8.25am and 3.40pm. We tell them they must be “off and away”. The School reserves the right to confiscate your son’s ‘phone in the event there is a breach of this clear and reasonable expectation. If you need to contact your son urgently during the day, you may call Reception on 9581 6000 and we will convey a message. Please do not message him directly. He also spoke about the importance of wearing the uniform well, a theme I returned to this morning at Quad Assembly. It would be fair to say that getting many of your sons to keep their socks up and their shirts tucked in is a constant and frustrating battle. It would be easy to give up but, because of our commitment to high standards, my colleagues and I continue the endless reminders to your sons about the importance of being well presented. Likewise, haircuts. The Record Book is clear that your son’s hair must be clean and tidy and may not be so cutting edge as to invite comment. If a teacher, Housemaster, coach, or senior member of staff asks your son to have a haircut that is, by definition, inviting comment. It is not an infringement of your son’s human rights to ask him to trim his hair, or have a shave, and we expect that your son will comply as a gesture of respect for the person who made the request and for the institution of Trinity Grammar School.

Finally, Mr Yarad stressed the importance of the School’s position on anti-social behaviour involving drugs, cigarettes, alcohol, vapes, weapons (real or replica), theft and vandalism. It is critical that you and your sons are clear that there are some behaviours the School will not accept.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

Staff Profile | Melinda Bargwanna

February 19, 2021

Environmental specialist Melinda Bargwanna has arrived at Trinity to share the fruits of everything she has learned from the “ultimate landscape architect” – God.

She regards her newly-created role as the perfect combination of all of her skills – as a university lecturer in Landscape Architecture, the director of a landscape design business, a lover of nature and children, and a Christian.

“I feel so privileged to be in a school where you can share your love of God through nature,” she said.

“One of my favourite Bible quotes is from Job: speak to the earth and it will teach you.

“I have learned so much about the environment from God. He is the ultimate landscape architect.

“I enjoy Him teaching me things through nature; strolling through the bush and observing the details of his hand, the way water runs across the landscape, the combination of the trees, the soil patterns. He just puts things together perfectly. It’s a real inspiration to me as a designer.

“I want to show students the intricacies of it all and how perfectly he has designed things.”

Her students will see the natural world unfold before their very eyes as they help design and build their own mini Garden of Eden along the Junior School’s frontage with Seaview St.

Mrs Bargwanna will oversee The Green Patch Initiative in which each Year group from Kindergarten to Year 6 will “own” their own space and ideas, and be responsible for all of the Ps: planning, preparing, planting, protecting, picking and plating the patch.

It’s practical as well as aesthetic – the boys will grow, and ultimately eat, their own vegetables.

Mrs Bargwanna completed a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture at UNSW, where she has since lectured for 27 years.

She also studied and taught at Ryde TAFE School of Horticulture for 23 years, teaching TAFE Digital Natural Environment for the past four years, and runs her own landscape design business based at Carlingford.

She volunteered as a scripture teacher for nine years at Burnside Public School in North Parramatta, where her sons, now aged 19 and 17, attended, and loved the interaction with children and parents.

She has been surprised by how anxious young people feel about the future of the planet, global warming and environmental degradation.

“I want to teach the boys skills and concepts to give them hope that they can make a difference, and be able to change the world,” she said.

“By starting them early we can give them a great head start in learning to live sustainably. I hope that will have a ripple effect on families and communities, and we’ll see some great things come out of this program.

“I am optimistic our younger generation will find sustainable solutions not yet thought of and our Green Patch Initiative will be a legacy that impacts their lives in so many ways.”

Congratulations Patrick Cummins

February 19, 2021

Trinity art technician, Patrick Cummins, has added to his accolades by picking up first prize in the Salon of Local Artists at the Arts in the Valley competition at the end of 2020. His winning piece was a photograph taken following the horrific bushfires that swept through the Morton National Park and incinerated large swathes of bushland around Tallowa Dam in the Southern Highlands region. Patrick captured the photograph when he drove through the burnt terrain soon after the fires. “I was blown away by how the foliage had been completely stripped from the trees leaving a colourless landscape of black sticks on white ash,” said Patrick. The picture is taken from the road looking across a gully to the far hills. “Normally you would never be able to see these vistas because the leaves and shrubs block your view,” said Patrick, adding that even in the devastation there was a beauty that caught his eye. “I knew it would make a striking photograph as soon as I lifted my camera.” The Arts in the Valley exhibition has been running in Kangaroo Valley since 2007 and brings together works covering sculpture, painting, drawing, photography and music. Last year’s competition attracted entries from 600 artists vying for one of four prizes. The finalists included two Archibald finalists, an Archibald Packing Room prize winner, and finalists in the Sulman and Blake art prizes. Patrick was humbled to be chosen from such a strong field of artists and has put his $1,500 prize winning towards a motorbike.

From the Head Master

February 12, 2021

Last night at about 9pm I found myself kneeling on the ground in a local shopping centre changing a tyre. There are lots of things I would rather have been doing; earlier that evening I had cooked and enjoyed a meal with my family, we had made more progress through the TV series we are binging, and I had been beginning to think about an early night. However, events intervened and here I was, wrestling with the items that normally live under the floor of the car’s boot.

Initially, my frustration was palpable. However, as I got on with the task, I began to reflect on how it was that I knew how to do this task.

It was my father who taught me how to change a tyre at some point in my early teens. I can’t particularly remember the occasion; it may have been on the side of a road in the context of a real need, or it may have been in the carport as a deliberate lesson. I don’t imagine for a second that I welcomed learning this particular skill. My interests as a young teenager lay more with books and sport than practical skills. However, as it turns out, I learned how to do it and in the thirty-plus years since, I have had to use the skill only half-a-dozen times. However, last night, when I needed to, it all came back to me.

The point of my reverie was not to marvel at my ability, as though this is some sort of super-power. Changing a tyre is hardly rocket-science! Rather, I was prompted to think about the things that we don’t learn in school.

As a professional educator, I am hardly going to downplay the value of learning that comes through school. The knowledge and skills learned in the classroom, the social and emotional skills gained through participating in a community, and the character formation that takes place through the school years are all essential. However, so much of what we learn during our childhood and adolescence comes from outside the School.

I am pretty confident that the mainstream curriculum does not teach skills such as changing tyres or lightbulbs, or how to clean a toilet, scrub a shower or do the dishes. Bed-making, clothes-ironing and lawn-mowing are all outside the scope of school, as they should be. Some young people learn some cooking skills at school, but it is not part of the compulsory curriculum. These life-skills are usually picked up either in the context of normal family life, through the modelling or instruction of parents, or later on when a young person has to fend for themselves. My recollection of some of the group-houses I lived in during the university years and afterwards suggest that a fair number of us only learn these things when there is no alternative.

Over the years, schools have found themselves teaching life-skills that would have been in the domain of the family in previous years. For example, each Field Studies Programme at our Woollamia campus, a number of Year 9 boys learn how to ride a bike. This hasn’t been part of their life experience up until that point. Likewise, many of them haven’t engaged at all with gardening or horticulture until that point. One of the reasons that we are piloting the ‘Green Patch’ initiative in the Junior School is to teach the boys some foundational skills in gardening, because that opportunity will not otherwise be part of their learning.

I recognise that some of the skills listed above may become obsolete. In fact, some of them may already be. Bike-riding is less viable in our urban environment than it used to be. Gardening gets squeezed out, either through smaller living arrangements or lack of time. Cooking at home is increasingly outsourced, one way or the other. Many families are able to hire cleaners to take care of toilets and showers. These skills may go the way of other practical skills that have become redundant through technology, labour-saving devices, or lifestyle changes. I don’t want to suggest that there is anything wrong with that! No-one wants to go back to doing laundry in a copper and using a washboard. There are also economic arguments for outsourcing some of these things, including the efficiencies that come from specialisation, and the opportunity-cost of spending one’s time doing things that someone else could be engaged to do. 

However, I do wonder whether we might do well to consider whether we are adequately equipping our children with enough in the way of basic life-skills, or are we teaching them to look for someone else to fix problems that are well within their reach? Apart from anything else, as I know from my experience last night, there can be a tremendous sense of satisfaction from knowing oneself to be capable. Resilience and self-esteem are bolstered by a sense of competence and self-efficacy. On the other hand, learned helplessness is in no-one’s interests. What are the basic skills, learned at home, that you think your son should have acquired before his school years come to an end?

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

February 12, 2021

新年快

새해 많이 받으세

chúc mừng năm mới
 

Congratulations to Taubman House on winning the House Championship Swimming Cup this week. It was an excellent day out at SOPAC, and it was wonderful to see the enthusiasm of the boys and young men of the School.

In returning to the theme of respect and integrity, this week I spoke with your sons about the importance of courtesy, and I directed their attention to page 25 of the Record Book where there are some important principles, including our belief that good manners ought to be associated with strength of character and that courtesy ought not be dependent on the context, as well as some very specific School-related examples of how courtesy is demonstrated, including standing when speaking with adults, understanding our obligation to visitors to the School, and addressing adults. It is also important that your sons understand that our high expectations of their behaviour continue beyond the School gate. We do expect that they will be courteous and respectful on their journey to and from School. To stand for adults on public transport, to respect the rights of other passengers and transport staff, understanding that each and every boy and young man is a representative of something bigger than himself whenever he is in his Trinity uniform. Likewise, we expect that your sons’ behaviour in the online world of social media is courteous and responsible.

In recent years, the Heads and Deputy Heads of the Middle and Senior School have had to deal with a growing number of allegations of online misbehaviour that breach our (and your) expectations of your sons. Examples of online harassment, misogyny, identity theft, the sharing of intimate photos between children, unsubstantiated allegations and rumour-mongering, and breaches of privacy have all been brought to the School’s attention, sometimes by the victims of the online harassment, sometimes by parents, sometimes by our colleagues at other schools and, on rare occasions, by the police. To be clear, this behaviour is not limited to the boys and young men of Trinity Grammar School. To be equally clear, children and young people make mistakes that are both developmentally predictable and understandable. It is also not behaviour that all of our boys and young men are engaging in (I discourage sweeping reductive generalisations in my own students, so it would be inappropriate to assume all children and young people are engaging in unsafe behaviour online), but there is an unmistakable upward trend in thoughtless, cruel, judgemental and ignorant online behaviour, and whilst this anti-social behaviour is not only being perpetrated by children and young people, they are the ones most susceptible to the pitfalls of the online world. This is a widespread, insidious and largely hidden social phenomenon. This is the world in which your children are growing up.

As a teacher of boys for over three decades, my observation is that it is incredibly powerful for you to speak into this space with your sons. Only the adults can provide the advice and support to mediate the potentially negative effects of social media, and you are the most influential adults in your children’s lives. Expecting children and young people to self-manage their behaviour online is the metaphorical equivalent of leaving the inmates in charge of the asylum. I had a colleague who, for many years, used the simile that adolescence is like a turbo-charged V8 with poor steering and bad brakes. Your sons need your hand, and ours, on the steering wheel, and your foot on the brake to help them control and mitigate their all too predictable adolescent impulses.

Whilst the prospect of talking to your sons about sending nudes, pornography, gaming, online harassment or fighting the battle about screen time may not be anyone’s idea of a good night in of quality time with our children, a preparedness to engage in the awkward conversations and to hold the line about your family values and expectations, together with an adult perspective on the foreseeability of the consequences of online anti-social behaviour may well act as a protective measure for your sons until they reach the point where they have sufficient neurological development to make informed choices. As with many things in life, but especially with children and young people, it is important to be alert but not alarmed, to remember that they are error-prone and that prevention is far preferable to cure. Last week the E-Safety Commissioner released a report[1] on the Digital Lives of Australian Teens, which may provide an opportunity to raise the topic in conversation with your children.

In the spirit of partnership, and in the best interests of your sons’ welfare, it has been brought to my attention that young children, boys and girls, may be being shamelessly marketed to by the companies who manufacture vapes. Until recently, I was unaware that there was such a thing as a vape called a Cuvie, which mimics the appearance of a highlighter, or a Juul, which looks like a USB. It may be worth discreetly dropping the fact that you have heard about these devices in casual conversation at the dinner table or on the way to sport, and using the opportunity to parlay it into a chat about the risks of smoking. If you become aware of a shop selling these devices to children, the law is unambiguous. It is illegal for vapes to be sold to children under the age of 18, and you would be within your rights to alert the authorities[2]. The School’s stance is clearly articulated on page 22 of the Record Book, and it would be prudent for you to remind your sons that vaping is neither safe nor permitted.

May I extend my best wishes for a happy Lunar New Year.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

 

[1] https://www.esafety.gov.au/about-us/research/digital-lives-aussie-teens

[2] https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/tobacco/Pages/e-cigarettes.aspx

2021 House Swimming Championships

February 12, 2021
Daniel Tran (12Ta) with the House and Age Swimming Championships Shield at Quad Assembly on Thursday morning.

This week saw the Middle and Senior Schools travel to Sydney Olympic Park Aquatic Centre for the House and Age Swimming Championships. In its third year as a combined event, we saw some outstanding performances where tremendous House spirit and willing participation was displayed by each House. The Year 12 all-star event was a highlight while our elite swimmers were also able to pull out some big performances in front of their peers. Of particular note is the increase in points from Houses placed 2nd through 16th, highlighting increased participation and engagement with the carnival. It was also great to hold an all-school event for the first time in nearly 12 months!

I wish to extend my gratitude to the staff and students for their significant efforts in ensuring the success of the day. Congratulations to Taubman House who were dominant throughout the day in defending their title. 

The final points score was as follows:

1stTaubman1190
2ndLatham1096
3rdWynn Jones1025
4thHilliard999
5thSchool994
6thMurphy988
7thFounder’s930
8thStephenson924
=9thArcher920
=9thHolwood903
11thKerrigan899
12thYoung892
13thHenderson883
14thWeeks870
15thWilson Hogg862
16thDulwich825

From the Head Master

February 5, 2021

All sorts of influences and people play a role in the formation of your sons. 

Obviously, the primary influence comes from their parents and their family of origin. As the years pass and as the boys grow, the peer group becomes more and more prominent, for good or for ill. Popular culture, community connections and a myriad of other factors are also in the mix. However, schools like Trinity are not backward about claiming that the School makes a difference. 

As Head Master, I am acutely aware that the people on the School team who have the most direct formative influence on your boys are their teachers. The appointment of teaching staff, in particular, is one of the most important responsibilities that I have. The teachers have an impact on the boys with reference to their learning; I hope that most of us are able to identify a teacher whose knowledge, skill and passion opened our eyes in the classroom at one point or another. We also need to acknowledge that teachers also have a formative impact on students in other ways, through role-modelling, expectation-setting, culture-shaping, and providing the security of unconditional positive regard. 

It is not my purpose to go into great detail about all the ways that teachers (at their best) can have a powerful formative influence on their students; I imagine that you already know the reality of this influence. Nor do I wish to downplay the significance of the multitude of other school staff who contribute in many ways to the learning and growth of the boys, both directly and indirectly.

What I would like to do is to provide something of a snap-shot of the body of teachers at Trinity Grammar School. This will probably only have curiosity value for you, but it may also provide a different lens through which to consider that body of people with whom you are partnering in the education of your sons.

There are two hundred and sixty-six teachers who have permanent or temporary employment at Trinity. (This number does not include casual teachers.) Twenty-five of these teachers are part-time, which means that more than 90% are full time. 49% of Trinity teachers are male and 51% are female, although the proportion of female teachers is higher in the two primary schools. The average age of a teacher at Trinity is 42.8 years, and the overall age profile is very close to a classic bell-curve, running from the low twenties to the high sixties.

With reference to tenure, the average length of time teachers have been at Trinity is just under ten years. About one hundred of the teachers have been at Trinity for more than a decade, with the longest-serving being Mr Ian Moore, who was appointed in 1978. On the other hand, thirty-nine teachers have been at Trinity less than one year, and nearly one hundred have been appointed since I joined the School at the start of 2018.

About 30% of Trinity teachers have completed post-graduate studies beyond their initial teaching qualifications, and at least 45 teachers are undertaking further post-graduate study this year. 

As a corollary of our Christian foundation, the School places a very high priority on relationships and community, understanding that it is the connections between people that constitute the fabric of life. As your son journeys through the School, he will come into the orbit of many teachers. In many cases, strong and deep connections will be formed. The reality is that in some cases, personalities will grate and tensions may rise. My hope and prayer is that, in the vast majority of connections between your son and his teachers, respect and humility will characterise their mutual interactions, and that the teacher whose path has been brought to intersect with your son’s path will play a positive role in his journey to adulthood.

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

February 5, 2021

“… in the establishment of Trinity Grammar School we are laying the foundation of an institution that will bring great and lasting benefit to the … community … I have no doubt whatever of the success of the school. God is at the back of it, and the encouragement … is an earnest of big things in the future”. The Founder, George Alexander Chambers (1913)

Since the foundation of Trinity Grammar School, Chapel services have been an integral part of our community. “What does a chapel mean to a Church School?” This was the rhetorical question that introduced The Chapel Within Trinity Grammar School, a brief account by former Head Master, Mr Wilson Hogg and former School Captain, Old Trinitarians’ Union President and Member of the School Council, Mr Kerrigan, written and published in the 1960s. Their answer: that the building was “the embodiment of the Christian principles upon which (the School) was founded”. Their account continues with the exhortation that “we must never forget that the Chapel is a memorial … to the memory of Trinitarians who served and those who died” in the service of their country. The foundation stone was laid on the 11th of November 1956. Remembrance Day. The War Memorial Chapel was opened and dedicated one year later. On both occasions there was a “solemn reading of names of those who had given their lives and whose names were inscribed on a bronze plate above the north-east door, and “in the shadow of the national flag”. After an extended, Covid-19 imposed hiatus, it was lovely to be able to resume services in the Memorial Chapel. Of all the events and activities that were curtailed in 2020, the joining together in Houses for a period of corporate worship was perhaps the most significant. It was the hope of Messrs Wilson Hogg and Kerrigan, that the Memorial Chapel would provide for the boys and Old Boys of Trinity Grammar School a symbol and reminder of the deepest meaning and purpose of their School, and an oasis of quiet reflection in the otherwise vibrant and lively life of the School.

Last week’s Bulletin drew attention to the Safe Learning and Working Environment Policy on page 14 of the Record Book, its genesis in the School’s conviction of the value of the individual and its outworking in the respect we show to other people. This thread runs through the introductory pages in the Record Book and continues on page 20 with an articulation of your sons’ Rights and Responsibilities. In over thirty years of School mastering, I have formed the view that young people have no problem at all with understanding their rights, but that as parents and teachers our work tends to focus on helping them come to understand the reciprocal relationship with their responsibilities. The catalogue of Rights and Responsibilities is grounded in the School’s fundamental belief, imago Dei, that we are created in the image of God and that, as a result, we are to seek to treat one another with understanding and respect. Over the course of this term, this notion of mutual respect will be unpacked with your sons in the Life Skills Programme, Assemblies and House Meetings. It is our hope that the ubiquity of our messaging to your sons leads to it becoming a topic of dinner table conversation.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

Impermanence

February 4, 2021

New exhibition opening this weekend at Delmar Gallery

Selected from the end-of-year graduate exhibitions at National Art School, UNSW Art & Design and Sydney College of the ArtsImpermanence is a snapshot of the next generation of visual artists.  It includes ceramics, sculpture, video, photography and painting by eight Bachelor of Fine Arts, Bachelor of Media Arts and PhD candidates.

Framed by the uncertainties and upheavals of 2020, their works are responses to this world in flux. Some make sense of world events by looking outward: variously documenting the legacy of the bushfires, living with COVID and Black Lives Matter protests. Others turn inward, retreating to childhood memories associated with stability and security.  

Exhibiting artists are Maria Alejandra Alvarado Loukianova, Seamus Heidenreich, Melissa Howe, Amy Masson, Yul Scarf, Halle Sen, Suzanna Vangelov and Whimbrel Wilson.  Curated by Catherine Benz, Delmar Gallery.

The exhibition opens to the public on Saturday 6 February and runs until 28 February, Wednesday – Sunday, 12-5pm.  Admission is free, but visits need to be pre-booked in line with COVID-related safety measures for school.  Email delmargallery@trinity.nsw.edu.au or phone 9581 6070 to arrange a time to visit.

From the Head Master

January 29, 2021

Happy New Year, and welcome back to School!

One of the lovely aspects of this time of year is experiencing the revivification of the School community. Between Christmas and New Year there is no-one on the Summer Hill site, apart from my family and the security guard. The first week of January sees the return of some support staff, particularly in ICT and the buildings and maintenance team. The numbers build a bit in the second week of January, but the third week sees the great influx of staff. The senior staff conferences, the new staff inductions, and then three professional development days for all staff, with an associated lift in energy as colleagues reconnect, collaborate and plan for the year ahead. This rising wave of life peaks with the return of students this week. Every year at this time, I am vividly reminded that the School is a community of people, not a cluster of facilities.

As is the ongoing way of School life, there are many new members of the Trinity community this year. Around forty new teaching and support staff have joined us, as have around one hundred and eighty boys, most of whose families are also new to the School. We are delighted to have all these new people join us. Our hope and prayer is that, whether the journey is brief or lengthy, you will both experience and contribute to the mission of the School and that your time with us is powerfully formative in all sorts of ways.

Many families will be aware of the strong results achieved by the class of 2020 in the HSC and the IB Diploma last year. There were some wonderful highlights, including six boys achieving an ATAR equivalent of 99.95 in the IB Diploma, and our HSC Dux achieving 99.85. The median ATAR across both cohorts was 90; that is to say, half the boys in Year 12 achieved in the top 10% of the State. However, these ‘headline’ achievements were also accompanied by many other ‘good news’ stories of individual boys who achieved their goals, overcame challenges, and exceeded their own expectations. While there are always students who are disappointed by aspects of their final results, it is also encouraging to hear of them finding a way to pursue their desired next step in life’s journey. We are very proud of them all.

Although the year is only a month old, I imagine that we are all very much aware that the dynamics of 2020, at least with reference to the pandemic, are still very much with us. Thankfully, on the current level of restrictions, much of the School’s operation is able to continue according to the protocols that emerged in the second half of last year. One of the major changes that will be experienced by the boys is the requirement that students older than twelve, and staff, are now required to wear masks while on public transport and the School buses. The boys have all been issued with facemasks, which they will now be expected to carry as part of their standard school equipment. The School’s expectation is that the boys will wear either a plain black facemask (as issued or equivalent) or a disposable mask. 

One of the enduring protocols that we must continue to chafe under has to do with the prohibition of parents onsite during School hours. We know that education is a partnership between families and the School, and it irks us to have this requirement still in place, but we continue to be committed to following the guidance that is provided to us by the government and the public health authorities. There are some minor exemptions that are primarily aimed at the parents of our youngest students; these have been communicated directly to these families through other channels. As always, the place to look for a summary of the School’s COVID-19 protocols continues to be the front page of our website, where you will find this link

Having noted that the School is people, not buildings, it is still exciting to see some construction underway at the School. The Preparatory School site at Strathfield has been transformed over the summer, with substantial demolition work having taken place and demountable classrooms having been installed. At this point, the construction is on track for completion before Term 4. The construction of staff residences and a classroom block are also progressing at the Field Studies Centre, and we are planning towards an Open Day at the FSC in Term 3. Our State Significant Development Application for The Renewal Project at Summer Hill is with the NSW Department of Planning and we are hoping for approval to be granted at some point this term, although it is not yet clear when works might commence.

One of the other notable features associated with the start of the year is traffic chaos around schools. Many families like to drive their children to and from school at the start of the year. It also takes some time to find and establish the rhythms and timing that work best for family life. I would like to ask and urge all our families to adhere to all the usual road rules, and the School’s guidance with reference to traffic and parking. I do not exaggerate when I say that nothing matters more to the School than the safety of our students, and I fear that there is no greater threat to that safety than vehicular traffic. Your patience, your compliance, and your willingness to work with us are invaluable both in this early part of the year and in the months to come. The School continues to encourage families to explore alternate ways for the boys to come to and from the School. Walking, car-pooling, School buses and public transport are all excellent and viable options, depending on your circumstances.

Heraclitus, one of the ancient Greek philosophers, observed that one cannot step into the same river twice. The river has changed, and you have changed. For all the continuity that we observe on the return to School, and the ways in which 2021 looks very similar to 2020, this year will not be the same experience that we had last year. May God’s blessings be with us in the ups and downs of this new year and may we know His peace, which passes all understanding.

Detur Gloria Soli Deo.

Tim Bowden | Head Master

From the Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

January 29, 2021

Heavenly Father,

We ask your blessing

Upon all who work in and for this School.

Grant us faith to grow spiritually,

Strength to grow bodily,

And wisdom to grow intellectually,

Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

May I echo the many welcomes to the 2021 school year that I am sure have been extended to the School community over the course of this week, and especially to those 250 or so new families for whom this year is their first on the secondary campus or even their first at Trinity.

The first weeks of the year are important for setting the tone and, over the course of the term, it is our plan to reiterate the fundamental touchstones, principles and values that form the bedrock of Trinity Grammar School. The Life Skills programme will focus on respect, courtesy and integrity; themes that will be reiterated in Assembly, on the Quad and in The Bulletin.

First and foremost, Trinity Grammar School is Christian in its foundation and in its orientation. The School is built on the convictions that this is God’s world, we belong to him and depend on him, and Jesus Christ is both Lord and Saviour. The Christian faith informs and shapes all aspects of the School’s life, from our belief in the worth of the individual, to the attention we give to the Bible, to our convictions about the meaning and purpose of life. Therefore, Trinity is a school that prioritises relationships and community, where meaning, purpose and identity are found. Relationships shaped by respect and humility build a community in which people belong and to which they will contribute. It is crucial that we learn to consider other people, to include other people, and to care for other people. We will talk often with your sons about the importance of respect, both for people as well as for property, we will explain the significance of the Chapel as a War Memorial, and, more prosaically, the importance of wearing their uniform properly. The School appreciates your support in reinforcing these fundamental elements of the ethos of Trinity.

It is also important to state, from the beginning, that Trinity Grammar School is committed to providing members of the School community with a safe learning and working environment, free from harassment and discrimination. Racism, homophobia, discrimination or harassment on the basis of physical appearance, disability, intellect, gender or religious belief, both face to face and online, are not accepted at Trinity. Page 14 of the Record Book and page 45 of the Handbook provide both an explanation of the sorts of behaviours the School will act on, together with some guidelines for your sons on page 16 of the Record Book about how to respond in the event that they feel they are being harassed. It is important to acknowledge that young people make mistakes, as do adults, and that they, like us, are entitled to experience the logical consequences of our actions. If your son is the victim of anti-social behaviour he will be supported. If your son engages in anti-social behaviour, either face to face or online, the School is likely to respond with a sanction. Whilst it may be felt as a punitive response, the purpose is always educational.

I look forward to an excellent year. May I encourage you to encourage your sons to work hard and focus on academic and personal growth. Celebrate the highs with them and encourage them to be resilient in the face of adversity.

Bradley Barr | Deputy Head Master – Summer Hill

Year 7 Start-up and Peer Support Programme

January 28, 2021

The Year 7 Start-up and Peer Support programme was conducted this week on-site at Trinity’s Summer Hill Campus. The activities were led by Senior staff, Housemasters, Peer Support leaders and external providers. Students engaged in range of activities including stop motion animation, rock climbing, Trinity’s Amazing Race, swimming, games, initiatives, sports trials, Peer Support sessions and on-boarding induction activities.

Our observations and feedback indicate that the programme has been successful in meeting its aims, those being to ease the Year 7 boys into the Middle School, enable them to become more familiar with the campus and our ethos and to establish the important relationships that strengthen our community and assist with the boys’ learning and development. It was pleasing to see the boys approach the activities with a positive mindset and attempt the challenges in a collaborative and supportive spirit. It is my hope that they have grown as individuals and as a cohort through the experience.

I wish to thank the following staff for their fine efforts in assisting in the preparation for and or delivery of the programme; Mr David Galluzzo, Housemasters – Middle School, Ms Sally Mae, Mrs Monika Slobodova, Mr Andreas Mickler and Mr Andrew Payne. The Year 11 Peer Support leaders are also acknowledged. They conducted their duties and lessons with great thought, empathy and energy.

John Allen | Head of the Middle School

Exhibition call-out: Cooks River

January 27, 2021

Do you have any historical photographs, maps or archival material relating to the Cooks River? If so, we’d love to hear from you.

In March, Trinity’s Delmar Gallery is presenting an exhibition about the Cooks River.  

We’re currently looking for interesting, original archival material that tells the story of how the river has changed over the decades.  

If you have photographs, prints, drawings, maps or news clippings that you’d be willing to lend for display, please contact us.  We’re particularly interested in material dating from 1850s – 1950s.  Email Catherine Benz, Curator, cbenz@trinity.nsw.edu.au or phone 9581 6070.

Conrad Martens, View of Tempe on Cooks River, near Sydney, N.S.W. 1845.  Collection of the National Library of Australia.

Academic

Academic Focus

September 17, 2021

This term is one we will remember for many, many reasons – a time we might reflect upon in contemplative tone and perhaps be ‘telling … with a sigh, somewhere ages and ages hence’. Today, I’d like to remember the term for the ways it has allowed me to see the very best in our students.

When we began the term in remote mode, we were unsure whether it would be just a couple of lessons, or longer. I remember speaking with my Year 7 class and agreeing with them that whether it was for Week 1 or for Weeks 1 to 10, we were going to be the best remote learners we could be! And they did not disappoint … this week I finished the term with each of my students pitching their creative thinking, proposing an idea for a contemporary manifestation, in comic form, of an aspect of classical Greek mythology. What a blessing for any teacher to be working with committed students who bring their best every day. While I share here a specific example from one of my own classes, I know every teacher has enjoyed such experiences. We will remember this term for the resilience of our students, their creativity, their collaboration and the encouragement they provided not just to each other, but their teachers as well.

When we realised there was not going to be any Sport for quite some time, I remember the rapidity with which the Co-curricular team developed Canvas pages to support myriad versions of physical activity and training at home. While I am no great sportswoman, I found myself fascinated by the range of workout options available to even me and I felt empowered to give some of them a go! We will remember the ways in which digital spaces came to offer us so much connection to the things we love, and the inspiration to keep working hard for them.

When we understood that, despite our detailed planning, we would not be able to hold Trial Examinations onsite, I remember working with Year 12 students in a series of online briefing and practice sessions, attempting to get them ready for a new kind of final assessment in just a single week. Again, they did not disappoint … they engaged, they asked the right questions, they mastered the processes required, they worked over the phone with IT specialists to solve technology issues, they managed their mothers and fathers who occasionally popped into the online assessment (and then quickly back out again), they arrived on time to every invigilation session and chatted kindly with each other as they waited for the release of the tasks. Year 12, we enjoyed this time working closely with you, even though separated by distance. We will remember this term with pride in the incredible maturity you brought to online assessment.

When we made the decision to extend the 2021 academic year, I remember working with Year 10 students, again in online briefing sessions, to support them in understanding the options before them and how to deliberately step into responsibility for making good choices. Definitely no disappointment here – the boys were respectful, thoughtful and purposeful in the way they shaped not only their programmes of study, but also their attitudes, to expect excellent learning in the coming term. We will remember this term with great satisfaction in the way in Year 10 embraced new possibilities.

When I remember these things about our students, I am led to then remember the commitment of the Trinity staff to making things as great as possible. Our gratitude to the Housemasters who supported every boy in their care, our gratitude to the Heads of Faculties who managed all the consequences of a shifting landscape to ensure high quality teaching and learning, our gratitude to the teachers who adjusted to remote learning and then adjusted again and again to gauge the needs and moods of classes and respond with ever more creative ways to make remote mode work, our gratitude to the Trinity support staff who simply did whatever was needed, is immense. I remember too, conversations and email exchanges with parents, through which genuine partnership to achieve strong outcomes for students was evident, and kind words were shared. We will remember this term with joy in the community of which we are a part.

There are of course a few more regular pieces of information in this last article for the term … firstly, the Middle and Junior Schools are awaiting the delivery of NAPLAN Reports and anticipate mailing these to parents early in the first week of next term. Secondly, students and parents are reminded that Semester 2 Learning Progress Reports will be produced for the end of the year and will include evidence of learning that is collected during Term 4. Finally, a deep thank you to each family for your support of learning throughout the term, and a heartfelt wish for a marvellous break.

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

Careers

September 17, 2021

Term 3 is always a very busy term for Year 12 students, as they near the end of their time in formal lessons and consider their course applications more carefully.

As parents, you have been wonderful, advocating for your sons as they navigate these tasks in difficult circumstances. Thank you for your support of the careers programme this term, and for the guidance you are providing your sons.

I posted an end of term message for our Year 12 students this morning – contact with me does not finish this week, and I look forward to continuing to help them making their decisions for what comes next.

Susan Draysey | Careers and Student Pathways Advisor

News from The Arthur Holt Library

September 17, 2021

We’ve been talking a lot lately about the benefits of reading and about the kinds of research-based strategies that encourage and support it. This week gave us all a chance to see some of the progress that we’ve made and to celebrate some notable success stories.

The week started with Library Lovers’ Day, an initiative from the national library association, ALIA, designed to spread the word about all that libraries do to build community. The day started with a 17th-Century love poem, brilliantly read by Sam Vickery at Quad assembly.

The library also ordered cakes and biscuits to be served at morning tea for all the staff, where one of our Teaching and Learning Librarians, Ms Courtenay, read a short story. We even made sure to include staff at the Field Studies Centre.

Staff and students were also encouraged to enjoy a ‘blind date with a book’. This involves taking home a book wrapped in brown paper on the understanding that you will read it no matter how unlike your usual reading tastes it is. It’s a great way to encourage people to broaden their reading habits and to move beyond their comfort zone.

We also issued this year’s Premier’s Reading Challenge Certificates to those boys who have taken full advantage of all the benefits that reading bestows. An impressive 18 boys received a Gold Certificate for their fourth year completing the Challenge, while 12 received a Platinum Certificate for their seventh year completing the Challenge. Huge congratulations to each and every one of them!

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.”

Charles W. Eliot

Stefanie Gaspari | Director of Library Services 

News from The Arthur Holt Library

September 17, 2021

As we wind down the term, it has become customary for The Arthur Holt Library to create an infographic to record any key events and track how our resources are being used across the school community. Of course, in a normal term, we might look at borrowing statistics, or the number of classes who enjoyed our space – but, as we’re all aware, this term was anything but normal. So, instead of the numbers, we’ve led with some of the projects we completed to support the School and its students through these unusual times.

First and foremost is our co-teaching. This term we were able to deliver our wide-reading programme to Year 7 and support the IB Diploma Programme boys in their planning for their Extended Essays – all via remote learning. We also delivered lessons to the HSC Extension English students and to those students preparing for their Maths IAs.

To better support those students involved in independent research tasks, we also redesigned our Digital Resources page on our Canvas course. Relevant databases can now be found via subject-specific buttons, which we hope will help the boys to find the information they need more efficiently.

We’ve also put together a new Academic Scholarship Module that shares resources, scaffolds and lesson plans, with teachers looking to design research-based projects and give advice, help and guidance for any students currently engaged in them.

With face-to-face events out of the question, we also had to find some creative ways to use our guest speakers for Science Week and set a Reading Challenge that would remind staff and the wider community of the benefits a good book can bring in these trying times.

All in all, a successful term! Although we are very much looking forward to seeing everyone back on site before Christmas.

“A writer only begins a book. A reader finishes it.”

– Samuel Johnson

Andrea O’Driscoll | Teacher Librarian

News from The Arthur Holt Library

September 10, 2021

One of our favourite quotes here in The Arthur Holt Library is former US President Harry S. Truman’s observation that “Not all readers are leaders, but all leaders are readers.” We reckon that makes the honour roll of students who managed to complete this year’s Premier’s Reading Challenge a list of ones to watch!

Despite the obvious challenges, an impressive 26 Year 7 students earned their certificates. They are: Bailin A. (Founder’s); Peter B. (Stephenson); Jaydon B. (Henderson); Dominic C. (Archer); Christie C. (Archer); Jackson D. (Young); Geronimo D. (Founder’s); Hesham E. (Latham); Lachlan E. (Young); Ethan E. (Weeks); Carlo F. (Dulwich); Edward G. (Young); Toby J. (Latham); Daniel J. (Murphy); Alex K. (Murphy); Memphis L. (Kerrigan); Thomas L. (Latham); Alejandro M. (Kerrigan); Benjamin M. (Weeks); Owyn N. (Kerrigan); Christian N. (Wynn Jones); Alessandro R. (Latham); Dara R. (Holwood); Jackson S. (Holwood); William S. (Wilson Hogg); and Aakash V. (Taubman).

All three of the boys who completed this year’s challenge from Year 8 are in Stephenson House: James D.; Tom E.; and Jacob G. It’s an accolade of which Middle School Housemaster, Ms Hronopoulos, will undoubtedly be extremely proud.

There were also four boys in Year 9 who completed this year’s challenge: Daniel D. (Founder’s); Matthew N. (Murphy); Dylan R. (Holbrook); and Cristiano S. (Taubman). For these boys, this marks the culmination of a long and fruitful history with the PRC and we would like to offer them our particular congratulations.

We know these students will act as an inspiration for staff who are still struggling to complete their own Library Bingo reading challenge!

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.”

― George R.R. Martin

News from The Arthur Holt Library

September 3, 2021

Some stories are so good that they never die. They just get told over and over again by different generations in ever-evolving forms. Some of the best examples of this are the Greek Myths. These ancient tales continue to inspire writers from all over the world – and none more so than modern comic book creators.

This week, The Arthur Holt Library has been working with the English Department to help our Year 7 boys trace the influence of some of the world’s oldest stories on some of its newest. Sadly, we were unable to let the boys loose in the graphic novels section of the library as we would have liked, but we did manage to scan enough pages to allow the boys to discover just how much modern superheroes owe to their Ancient Greek counterparts.

Whether it’s Achilles and his heel or Superman and his Kryptonite; Hades in the Underworld or Batman in his Bat Cave, the influence of mythology is everywhere. The boys were able to tease out connections between the heroes and the villains, the monsters and the weaponry as well as some of the most prominent plot lines, including Wonder Woman’s slaying of a certain snake-haired nemesis.

Given how popular the hard copies of our comic books, graphic novels and manga are, we also decided that it was time we hunted down a digital service that would give the boys access to these kinds of books at home. Comics Plus gives them access to literally thousands of graphic novels and manga and we are sure that it’s about to become one of our most popular resources.

You can find it under the Digital Resources tab on the Library’s Canvas course. Students can simply sign in using their Trinity log in details and access anything that they would like to read from manga versions of Shakespeare to the ever popular Attack on Titan and Minecraft.

“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”

― Mortimer J. Adler

Careers

September 3, 2021

There have been advantages in conducting careers conversations via Teams this term. Students have a little more flexibility in their timetables to schedule these conversations when it suits them best. As well, their lack of after school commitments and travel time at the end of the day has enabled them to use this time to ponder their post school pathways.

What is missing though, are the incidental conversations as we walk past one another, or the joining up of small groups of boys with similar interests for a chat. The sharing of information and tips for making applications now needs to be a more directed activity – the ‘accidental’ discoveries are less likely to happen.

As information about the ways universities and colleges might be responding to the challenges our senior students are experiencing filters down to schools, it is shared with students via the Canvas Careers page. As well, announcements directed to Year 12 students are created.

Information about post-school study comes from all directions. If you could imagine yourself standing in one place during a rain shower, you will see that rain around you will fall to the ground and not touch you. Accessing information about courses, scholarships, early entry opportunities and apprenticeships is a little like standing outside in the rain – if you wait for this information to come to you, you might miss out.

Please continue to encourage your sons to contact me to set up a time to meet to talk about courses and pathways, no matter what Year at school they are in.

Courses and contacts

Please refer to Courses & Contacts for details of courses and contacts that may be of interest to you and your sons.

Championship Winning Debaters: 10A CAS Team

August 27, 2021

The winter of COVID discontent, to paraphrase William Shakespeare, has affected the entire Trinity Debating community, forcing the 2021 CAS Debating competition into the realms of virtual debating. Naturally, this has meant our debaters have needed to be adept at overcoming the challenges of communicating with team-mates, presenting in front of a computer, coping with communication dropouts and above all else, learning to be adaptable.

These challenges were overcome with deft agility by the entire squad of CAS Debaters. It is within this context that I am proud to announce the remarkable achievement of the 10A CAS Debating team being crowned as the official First-Place winners for their Division within the CAS contest. My congratulations to V. Singleton (10WH), W. Taplin (10WH), A. Jacob (10Fo) and C. Kong (10La) who have worked tirelessly throughout the season to produce a season of high-quality debates.

Congratulations Year 7B CAS Debating Team

Our Junior Division debaters have also established themselves as formidable opponents, winning four out of five debates. Congratulations to A. Viswanathan (7Ta), H. Newman (7WJ), G. Kariatlis (7La), A. Yee (7Ta) and H. Chuchra (7He).

Thank you

Thank you to the Debating Society coaching staff for their invaluable contributions throughout a challenging season, your efforts are truly appreciated.

Mr Chris Taplin | Co-ordinator of Debating

News from The Arthur Holt Library

August 27, 2021

If, like us, one of the things that you miss most about life before lockdown is gathering book recommendations from everyone that you meet, then we have good news. As anyone currently working their way through our Library Bingo reading challenge knows, it can be hard to find out which books your colleagues, bosses, librarian and friends have recently enjoyed. In recognition of this, we have started a series of blog posts which will give the reading recommendations that you need to both complete your bingo card and break you out of a reading rut.

We’ve kicked it off with a list of books that our library staff have enjoyed, and it’s a more diverse collection than you might imagine.

https://arthurholtlibrary.com/librarian-reading-recommendations/

The Tolstoy Estate and The Silent Patient are joined on the list by the extremely prescient The End of Men, the self-help book Atomic Habits and Forensic Counsellor John Merrick’s memoir True Stories from the Morgue. Craig Silvey’s Honeybee also gets a mention, which ties in nicely with an impressive-looking reading-related event taking place this weekend.

ABC Radio National is hosting a Big Weekend of Books both online and over the airwaves, and it kicks off with an interview with Craig Silvey that will take place in Perth. It also includes interviews with Douglas Stuart (author of the Booker-Prize winning Shuggie Bain) and crime writers James Lee Burke and Michael Robotham.

Kids have also been asked to submit their questions to Andy Griffiths, and Tony Birch is running a series of masterclasses for any budding writers out there. Details are available on the ABC web site, but it looks like a weekend guaranteed to leave you with a to-read pile that should see you through to October.

https://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/big-weekend-of-books/

“Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.”

– Fernando Pessoa

CAS Debating: Round 5

August 27, 2021

1st III

It was certainly a momentous occasion on 20 August for Trinity’s First III Debating Team. Team members W. Martin (12WH), K. Kwok (12WH) and J. Perera (12La) took part in their last ever formal debate representing the School, marking the end of an unorthodox yet fulfilling season as well as the members’ high school debating careers. Against a strong Knox team who were eventual winners of the competition, Trinity negated the topic “That we should not allow United States military bases on Australian territory”. Keen to lay down a marker, Knox flew out of the traps with the stance that Australia should seek to maintain good relations with both China and the United States, and that building such bases would promote conflict. Unfazed by the Knox team’s reputation and blessed with the presence of the largest spectator crowd of the season thus far, first speaker W. Martin (12WH) expertly pointed out that having military bases on Australian soil would not only strengthen Australia’s national defence in case of conflict, but also act as effective deterrence against potential aggressors, noting that military conflict was unlikely to occur. Knox rallied by further outlining the lack of incentive and even domestic harms that Australia would suffer with the bases, but second speaker K. Keith (12WH) valiantly retaliated with the observation that Australia would be better off accepting the sunk cost in utilising the economic benefit existing bases bring in the status quo, and that actively rejecting the bases would bring more marginal detriment towards the historically strong US-Australian relationship as compared to strengthening the already-fractured Sino-Australian relationship. Faced with a very strong conclusion from the Knox team, third speaker J. Perera (12La) was motivated by the expanding audience size. He continued to attack a lack of mechanism in Knox’s model of removing bases, and proposed that it was essential for Australia to maintain a single standard with regards to all countries’ bases, and outlined the potential benefit of these bases to rural Australian communities. Despite Trinity wrapping up the debate with a series of compelling rebuttals, we fell just short of coming away with a win against our undefeated Knox rivals. 

A profound and emotional vote of thanks delivered by Debating Captain J. Perera (12La), that nearly exceeded the length of his third speaker speech, hallmarked the conclusion of the Debate. After this, the team received feedback from our coach, whose efforts, and those of all the coaches, must be acknowledged in the integral role of their guidance. However, the final marker of this being the ‘last dance’ was the ridiculously-too-late-at-night dinner, after the debate; illustrating just another example of the sacrifices made by parents of the Debating Society. Whether travelling across Sydney, sitting in the background of the virtual Debate, or reconfiguring Friday nights for the past 6+ years to work around Debating, the efforts of parents are perpetually under-thanked but do not go unnoticed. A member of the Joey’s Debating fraternity recently remarked that “Trinity has the best fan base in Sydney Schoolboy Debating,” and we thank our legion of fans. This includes Mr. Ikeuchi who, aside from all his support inside the classroom, spent last Friday night spectating our Debate against a formidable St Aloysius’ side, wherein we were fortunate to have a topic that featured a lot of IB Economics. 

Finally, the efforts of Mr. Christopher Taplin, Co-ordinator of Debating, for this season to occur must be lauded. A common reflection made this CAS season during the vote of thanks within Firsts Debates has been how grateful Year 12 Debaters are for some sort of a season to have transpired. This has only been possible due to all the work that has been put forward to ensure that we have had this opportunity. This season has run quite successfully with very few hiccups, a testament to Mr Taplin’s organisation of this season.

We now shift our focus to our trials and final exams, but more importantly, our blossoming Mock Trial career and endeavour to atone for our forthcomings in Debating within the realm of the courtroom, wherein we are strengthened by the addition of D. Wang (12La), who has ardently supported our Debating endeavours this season. I have no doubt that Trinity Debating will continue to flourish, and wish next year’s leaders all the best.

K. Kwok (12WH) (Debate Summary) and J. Perera (12La) (Vote of thanks)

2nd III: Review of the CAS Season

It was Leon Trotsky who said Revolutions are always verbose. If such wisdom is to be believed, this CAS season for the Trinity Grammar 2nds have mobilized a linguistic arsenal of unparalleled might and destructive power to topple empires, ravage regimes and bring about a permanent revolution. The novelty of debating online required a flexibility and adaptability that strengthened the resolve and skill of all involved. J. Ming (11Yo) consistently utilized his oratorical speed and efficiency to blitzkrieg his opponents. Such devastating deployment saw him shatter the circular logic of the negative team in the second round. Whilst some are born great, some achieve greatness, and for H. Davidson-McLeod (11Ta) greatness was thrust upon him. The unrestrained implementation of his full faculty of words decimated the spirit of his enemies and made his teammates happier than ever. J. May (11Yo) left behind naught but a trail of broken dreams and flawed reasoning. As first response, he let loose the dogs of war to annihilate any arguments put against him. With the spectacle of digital debating fading into the distant past, this triumvirate waits in anticipation for the chance to learn from their losses and come back stronger than ever. Whilst we may have lost the battle, we have not yet lost the war. To those who seek to challenge the strength and skill among us we say to you: we are waiting, we are prepared, and we will show you destruction on a scale unbeknownst to the modern world.

J. May (11Yo)

10As

In the final debate of the 2021 CAS season the 10A’s debated against the powerhouse of Knox Grammar. To say that the 10A team composed of V. Singleton (10WH), W. Taplin (10WH), A. Jacob (10Fo) and C. Kong (10La) went into this debate expecting an easy victory would be a blatant lie, especially considering that the debate fell into the general topic area of international relations, a topic that none of us had ever experienced outside of training. The topic we received was “That we should not allow United States military bases on Australian territory” and we were tasked with arguing against the topic. Our preparation time was well spent and we entered the debate with strong arguments and analogies.

Knox’s first speaker argued the idea that removing U.S bases from Australian soil would mend our trade relationship while simultaneously arguing that the presence of American troops would still be welcome and we would not be denying the U.S access to our training facilities.

Trinity’s first speaker pointed out these points to be contradictory before delivering his substantive, which consisted of the argument that we need the U.S bases to maintain a strong presence in the Pacific and South China Sea. Additionally, he argued that the bases are an important aspect of maintaining diplomatic and military cohesion with the U.S based on the fact that the bases are important symbols of the strength of democracy and the influence of the U.S in the Pacific.

Knox’s second speaker responded by saying that military cooperation would still take place between the U.S and Australia and that the U.S didn’t need its bases in Australia because it already has bases on islands such as Guam. He then proceeded onto his substantive, an argument that their model would provide the Australian military with greater freedom and autonomy.

This point was refuted by Trinity’s second speaker, who compared the logic of this argument by saying that disconnecting a critically ill person from life support doesn’t kill them, it just makes them more autonomous. He also reinforced Trinity’s first speaker’s argument that forsaking our alliance with the U.S will not heal our relationship with China. He also twisted Knox’s first speaker’s argument that military cooperation would still exist between the U.S and Australia after the withdrawal of U.S bases by highlighting that to do so would harm our relationship greatly with the U.S, while also stating that the U.S needs permanent bases to operate out of to give them greater geographical reach in the Pacific. He then argued his substantive, revolving around the ideas that removing U.S bases would be counter-intuitive due to the amount of resources that the U.S have put into these bases as well as the fact that the bases serve to protect Australia’s interests. All of these points were backed up with strong analogies.

Knox’s third speaker then delivered his summary of the debate in which he stated that the two main issues of the debate were the issues of which side of the debate would bring more economic benefits and the issue of which side of the debate provided more military autonomy for Australia. He promoted his team’s solution well, although he did make several seemingly irrelevant statements and arguments.

Trinity’s third speaker then responded by highlighting the irrelevance of these arguments as well as by summarizing Trinity’s side of the argument with great depth, ultimately proving that the benefits of allowing American bases on Australian soil far outweigh any possible risks attracted as a result. He also simultaneously debunked many of the opposition’s points, providing a strong end to the debate.

The debate ended with a well-earned victory for Trinity, ending the CAS season on a high note. Congratulations to V. Singleton (10WH), W. Taplin (10WH), A. Jacob (10FO) and C. Kong (10LA) for a stunning victory over our fabled opponents.

With the end of the season, I’d like to thank the MIC of Debating, Mr Taplin, for his efforts to work around the myriad technical hurdles and connection issues during online debates. I’d also like to thank the Captain and the Vice Captains of Debating for 2021, J. Perera (12La), W. Martin (12WH), K. Kwok (12WH) and D. Chuchra (12He) for their outstanding work this year. This year has not been easy by any metric, yet they have still managed to make things work, guiding and supporting the society during the difficult times of home learning.

W. Taplin (10WH)

9As

Last Friday on the 20th August, the 9A debating team pulled off a close win in their final debate against Knox with the topic “That we should never pay ransoms to terrorist organisations (topical given the situation in Afghanistan)”, with Trinity taking the affirmative side The speaking order for the debate was 1st A. Stone (9Ho), 2nd K. Suri (9Yo), 3rd J. Britton (9He) and 4th J. Fung (9Ke).  

The first affirmative came up and from the outset, categorized the current status quo in a negative light, defined the topic and proposed a model which would outlaw the selling of ransoms by individuals and governments (because who doesn’t love banning stuff). Alternative ideas such as increased protection and military programs were suggested but weren’t clearly fleshed out or explained with sufficient detail. Additionally, he said that ransoms fund the growth of terrorist organisations, and these are people you cannot trust. In future, broader general knowledge and reference of examples would have enhanced the case, although the points were well fleshed out and explained throughout both first and second affirmative, and it was up to K. Suri (9Yo) to develop a strong rebuttal to enhance our point and case, along with his own substantive. 

Second Speaker brought out minor, but ever so important points on the economic impacts and the distrust of terrorist organisations and had thorough rebuttals against some tough points, questions and flaws pointed out by the first negative in our arguments.

Third speaker, Joseph, closed our case strongly with strong rebuttals and pointing out the main themes of the moral high ground, and what will slow down terrorism more; leaving a strong and cohesive speech that fortified the win.

Ultimately, we hope that the entire Year 9 debating cohort will improve in the future and prepare for the upcoming ISDA and FED debating season next year. The debate against Knox showed us a lot of areas from which we hope and need to improve to perform better next season, we will strive to continue to improve in the future.

J. Fung (9Ke)

7Bs

Last Friday, the 7B CAS debating team competed against students from Knox Grammar on the topic “That climate and environmental treaties should not require developing countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions” and we negated the motion.

Our opponents’ major arguments revolved around developing countries not being able to afford to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions, which we rebutted quite well. Some of our arguments included the notion that the whole world is in this together and has a collective responsibility to take action for the greater good of the environment.

We were particularly pleased with how we demonstrated the opposition did not have a working model or definition and didn’t illustrate their case had any claim. Furthermore, our team provided strong rebuttals to leave the opponents’ case in tatters.

As always, there are always opportunities to improve our performances in future debates and we were grateful to the adjudicator for the comprehensive feedback. Things we need to work on in the future include cutting down our introductions, elaborate our arguments in greater detail and work on our time management skills. Clearly, we were all enthusiastic debaters on the night and consequently we all ran over the time limit!

Overall, it was fantastic to beat Knox in our final debate and end the CAS debating season on a positive note and I would like to personally thank our Captain of Debating, J. Perera (12La) for his support, feedback and ideas on how we can improve.

A.Viswanathan (7Ta)

News from The Arthur Holt Library

August 20, 2021

This week was Science Week, and what a week it was! The theme this year was ‘Food: Different by Design’, which gave us ample opportunity to spark discussion around such issues as sustainability, healthy eating and the use of native ingredients.
Each morning kicked off with a Science Conundrum, with the day’s winner receiving a themed book in the post. The questions ranged from how Fish Mojo helps shrimp farmers to why the Maillard reaction creates different flavours and aromas in food.
We even welcomed back (albeit via recorded message) Old Trinitarian, Ed Halmagyi (Class of 1992) – better known to most of you as Fast Ed, the chef from Better Homes and Gardens. Ed put together a wonderful presentation that not only showed the boys how to make chicken saltimbocca and gnocchi, but also explained the importance of healthy eating, the science of food preparation and even the importance of planning.

He also showed how we can use native ingredients to replace more familiar flavours in a lot of the food that we cook. He showed how traditional fennel seeds can be substituted for Australian aniseed myrtle and explained why that is a more sustainable option.

Students in the Middle School were also treated to a recorded presentation by Avani Bhojwani of Vow Foods. Vow’s answer to the problem of sustainability in food production is to grow meat in a lab from animal cells. Avani’s presentation certainly highlighted the increasing role of science in helping to solve some of the world’s biggest problems.

“Some books should be tasted, some devoured, but a few should be chewed and digested thoroughly.”

― Sir Francis Bacon

Careers

August 20, 2021

I watched an interview this week with Catherine Friday from EY, who co-authored the report “The peak of higher education — a new world for the university of the future”. This report was written building on her previous papers “Can the universities of today lead learning for tomorrow?” (2018) and “University of the future” (2012).

The preamble for the 2018 report, prepared for the Australian Government, starts with:

“Imagine closing your eyes and waking up on 1 January 2030”, and the new report continued with the 2030 theme, posing four ‘What if” scenarios for university Vice Chancellors to consider. Key messages in the responses focussed on digital adaptation of learning strategies and the exploration of what a university campus may look like in 2030.

In the context of the massive disruption the learning sector has experienced in the last two years, Ms Friday was interviewed some three years after this report was published, and made comment on the fact that universities have pivoted their business to provide access to their products online, perhaps 10 years earlier than anticipated as discussed in the report.

She questioned the campus approach to learning, suggesting that universities are being forced to consider what value a designated learning space has for students. Certainly, aspects of the university experience like attending lectures alongside cohort of 200 other students don’t speak to a bespoke learning experience, which was reflected in this comment in the 2018 report:

“With this in mind, we suggest universities should consider the potential to…make the shift from being faculty-focused to learner-centric (and) re-imagine the physical campus for the digital world.” When we speak to our students of the range of employment options that they may take up, that haven’t been created yet, we are reminded that it is also the case that the range of ways they will learn, similarly, haven’t yet been imagined.

Courses and contacts

Please refer to Courses & Contacts for details of courses and contacts that may be of interest to you and your sons.

Academic Focus | Year 12 Online Assessment

August 13, 2021

This week the School has focussed upon preparing Year 12 students to complete online assessments in Week 6 and 7, in place of the traditional Trial Examinations, which can no longer take place. My congratulations to the students for the mature and diligent approach they have taken to this preparation phase – they have engaged with the range of briefing and practice sessions organised for them, asked intelligent questions, and stepped into the responsibility of ensuring they are informed and ready for next week.

I would also like to thank the Head Master and School Executive for their work in this area over the past week, the Senior School House Masters as they supported the boys, the TESS team as they assisted families to understand the range of provisions that can be accessed in the online environment, the Heads of Faculties as they led their teams to translate trial examinations into purposeful online assessments, and the dedicated teachers as they enacted this work, taking special care to ensure high quality assessment for their students. I must also thank the ICT team for the agile way in which they have found solutions to questions, tested plans and ensured student confidence in technology; in particular I need to thank Ms Rachel Hughes for the outstanding way in which she has led staff and students through the preparation phase for Canvas based assessment.

The School has set up a dedicated phone line for students or parents to call if they experience technical difficulty during an assessment. The number is 9581 6171. It is available only during the online assessment sessions.

We are ready now to begin online assessment on Monday; I am confident the assessment period will provide excellent opportunities for students to demonstrate their learning.

Please find here two documents representing the School’s approach to online assessment.

The Year 12 Online Assessment: Information for Parents and Students was released on Monday and is provided here again for your convenience. This document includes the assessment schedule.

The Year 12 Online Assessment: Student Manual was released to students in Canvas on Tuesday and is also provided here for your convenience.

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

Debating News | CAS Round 3

August 13, 2021

7B Debating Report

On 6 August, the 7B CAS team debated against Waverley College on the topic that ‘All corporate boards should be represented by 50% women’. After a very close debate we as the affirmative were successful. We argued that a board with 50% women will allow for a more diverse opinion which will benefit all corporations. Waverley, as the negative, argued that boards should be chosen based solely on merit. Congratulations to A. Viswanathan (7Ta), H. Chuchra (7He), G. Kariatlis (7La) and A. Yee (7Ta) who through their strong teamwork were able to secure their second win for the season.

G. Kariatlis (7La)

9B Debating Report

Last Friday night, after a solid week of online learning, four Year 9 debaters, Aryan (9Yo), Benjamin (9Du), Dihan (9WJ) and Nicholas (9Fo), debated against Waverley College as the affirmative team on the topic “That Australia’s foreign aid should be tied to the women’s rights records of recipient countries.”

Aryan’s detailed and precise modelling of our team’s case set the stakes high for the affirmative team. He successfully structured our model to reflect the power that restrictions on aid would have on uplifting restrictions on women in those countries to challenge the status quo in these countries. We had lost the previous week’s debate, so when we saw the adjudicator nod in agreement to our arguments, our spirits immediately lifted. Our second speaker Ben, rose to the task of pinning down the arguments of the opposition that we should give foreign aid even if it doesn’t reach the most vulnerable, by strengthening the model’s message that it’s more important to effect change in these countries through the symbolism of the message we will be sending them. Our third speaker, Dihan, strengthened our argument even more through his piercing fracture of the opponent’s argumentative framework. He cleverly summed up our case in the debate, strengthening our rebuttals in the main clashes and raced us successfully to the finish line.

Having watched the Olympics throughout the week, it was motivating for us to have our win and get a feel of victory that has spurred us on to want more!

Nicholas A. (9Fo)

1st III Debating Report

Last Friday evening, Trinity’s 1st III Debating Team, comprising D. Chuchra (12He), W. Martin (12WH) and J. Perera (12La), partook in the third round of the CAS Debating Season against Waverley College. Being Trinity’s first virtual ‘home’ debate, Trinity’s 1st III affirmed the topic: “That, when considering proposed laws that would specifically affect women, only female members of parliament should be allowed to vote”. Coming off a strong ISDA season with frequent practice of Gender-themed debates, this topic presented no obstacles to Trinity. First speaker Daksh cogently opened the debate by characterising the status quo, specifying Trinity’s model, and suggesting mechanisms to reduce systemic discrimination and improve female voice within the Australian Parliament. Startled by Trinity’s rigid model, Waverley undertook an ambitious countermodel to increase the presence of female politicians within the Parliament. Yet, second speaker Will skilfully addressed the vagueness of Waverley’s countermodel by highlighting the lack of pragmatic mechanisms involved. After further rebutting several of Waverley’s points, Will built upon Trinity’s case by depicting the importance of the involvement of women politicians in forming laws that would primarily affect women and displaying the long-term benefits of our model. Despite the attempt of Waverley’s second speaker to find flaws within Trinity’s case, third speaker Josh carefully dissected the main clashes involved with both models and successfully implemented rebuttals to grant Trinity the win. While Josh’s strong closing argument sealed the victory against Waverley College this week, more successful debates are hopefully just around the corner. We want to thank our legion of fans and look forward to seeing more attending within the next two weeks. Nonetheless, this would not have been possible without the motivation from our reserve K. Kwok (12WH), the feedback provided by the adjudication panel, and our coach, Mr Kapaniris, as well as Mr Taplin’s hard work in ensuring that these online debates go as smoothly as possible. We look forward to seeing you all next week at our penultimate debate against St. Aloysius’ College.

D. Chuchra (12He) | Vice-Captain of Debating

News from The Arthur Holt Library

August 13, 2021

It was Albert Einstein who said that the measure of intelligence is the ability to change, but even he couldn’t have foreseen the levels of flexibility required of all of us under the present circumstances. We’ve all had to change the ways we work, whether we’re students, teachers, parents or the organisers of the Premier’s Reading Challenge!

In response to the ongoing lockdown, the deadline for this year’s Challenge has been extended by two weeks until Friday 3 September. Students are also now able to include up to 10 Choice Books on their reading records (a doubling of the usual five) in recognition of the difficulty they might have tracking down the books on the list.

Another important concession to these ever-changing times, is that students can add any books that they have read in class to their reading records. That means that any books that you have studied in English or read as part of the Library’s Wide Reading can be added to your total.

So – quick recap – to complete the Challenge you simply need to read 20 books, 10 of which need to appear on the official list, which can be found online at https://online.det.nsw.edu.au/prc/home.html. And if you’ve lost or forgotten your login details, all you have to do is email Mrs Nolan at cnolan@trinity.nsw.edu.au.

Oh, and we have one final challenge for you! We’d love to see some pictures of you all reading – the more unusual the location, the better. Email them through to librarian@trinity.nsw.edu.au and we’ll add the best ones to our Instagram feed.

“What really knocks me out is a book that, when you’re all done reading it, you wish the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it.”

– JD Salinger

News from The Arthur Holt Library

August 6, 2021

We all know how hard it can be to find some time for yourself in a lockdown, and that’s why one of the undoubted highlights of the past few weeks has been the return of Movie Club. Thanks to the Library’s ClickView service, we’ve all been able to enjoy some great movies from the comfort of our own homes and Movie Club has been able to resume its regular Wednesday afternoon catch ups.

Last week, the boys enjoyed the New Zealand comedy ‘Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ and this week the Australian drama ‘Lion’. We’ve had to get a little creative about how the boys can share their opinions of the movies they’ve watched since we can’t all meet up in the library to discuss them. First off, Teaching and Learning Librarian Ms Raffaele asked them to create emoji reviews of the week’s film, while this week she’s set the challenge of creating a Haiku in response to the movie.

Of course, it’s not just the boys in Movie Club that can enjoy the wealth of movies and TV shows on ClickView. Anyone can log on using their Trinity email and browse through the collection. Some recent additions include Ewan McGregor’s adaptation of the Philip Roth novel ‘American Pastoral’; famed documentary ‘The Sorrow and the Pity’; and the recent Four Corners investigation into the app TikTok.

There are also a number of foreign language films and television programmes, which are a great resource for students looking to immerse themselves in their chosen language while speaking opportunities are at a minimum.

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“Some of these things are true and some of them lies. But they are all good stories.”

― Hilary Mantel, Wolf Hall

Careers

August 6, 2021

Looking forward, looking back

It has been wonderful speaking with boys about their post-school plans. Our students’ interests are wide and varied – they want to design, they want to build, they want to write, to teach, to heal and to entertain. They ask me about ways to achieve these goals and are open to exploring what their Year 13 will have to offer them. Without doubt, conversations over the past few weeks have included some poignant observations about what this school term is bringing. In among these reflections, your sons’ resilience and vulnerability come through. It is an honour to support them in making decisions about next year.

One Year 12 student commented to me that this wasn’t what he thought his last term of school would look like. This may well be true of almost everything – we simply don’t know what is in store. We look to structure and what others tell us of new experiences, to prepare us for what comes next. What we can rely on is the journey we have taken to get to the point where we consider the ‘what next’. This is applicable in general, and equally when looking at post school study options. What you have done so far, will help inform what you do next.

That is the solid foundation that cannot be taken away. The commitment our students have made to their education remains their best asset. Training providers will be considering their next cohort of applicants. Already UTS has announced a new direct entry pathway, similar to that introduced by ANU last year. Smaller universities have direct entry pathways in place that many students will apply for. The message for our students is to keep to your path, use their support network and keep asking questions.

Students are encouraged to keep an eye on the Canvas Careers pages and announcements – this is where information about things like the new UTS entry pathway has been provided. As always, please ask me if you have any questions.

School Based Traineeship Programme

Last week Ms Williams, Ms Nixon and I participated in a question and answer session for Year 10 students and parents about this Programme. Prior to this meeting, we uploaded an information video and forwarded a digital flyer.

Thanks to the support of employers, we facilitate this Programme for a small number of Year 11 and 12 students who are undertaking VET courses as part of their HSC. If you are a parent of a Year 10 student who has identified a VET course for next year, and you missed this information, you are welcome to contact me if you would like to know more.

Courses and contacts

Please refer to Courses & Contacts for details of courses and contacts that may be of interest to you and your sons.

Academic Focus

July 30, 2021

As we conclude our third week of remote learning, I congratulate students for the fine way in which they have stepped into the online learning environment. They have organised themselves to be in the videoconference at the appointed time, followed the protocols, participated, contributed, asked questions, led discussions in Teams breakout rooms, submitted their learning evidence, taken feedback … and turned up the next day to go again! We would like you to know that we are immensely proud of our young men.

The middle and senior schools are heading now into the final three weeks of assessment programmes. During this time, teachers will focus lessons upon consolidation, revision and preparation for these final tasks. Teachers will be supporting students to take up the opportunity to demonstrate what they now know, understand and can do. The tasks themselves, and the learning time leading up to them, have been purposefully designed for students learning in remote mode; they are shaped to support student success. Lesson time will be devoted to students doing the work they need to do in preparation for submitting or completing tasks, with their teachers available via the videoconference to answer questions, provide guidance and work with individual students to consolidate understanding.

Students in Years 10 and 11 will be completing assessment tasks in lieu of examinations during weeks 5 and 6. The intent is not to replicate the examination experience, but to ensure a final opportunity to demonstrate learning. These tasks will be focused upon targeted outcomes and selected topics undertaken in Semester 2; they will be completed during a timetabled period. Lessons leading up to these tasks will offer time for consolidation, revision and teacher guidance.

Teachers are working to ensure students feel well supported to do their best in these assessment opportunities. We know that it is quite a different experience to ‘do’ an assessment task at home without your mates and without your teacher right there. We have therefore designed the lessons before the task, and the task itself, and the online environment during the task, to give students best opportunity to feel confident and be successful. Students and parents are encouraged to reach out to teachers if they have any questions about these next few weeks in which assessment programmes will be completed.

Our Year 12 students are continuing to prepare for Trials in Weeks 6 and 7, while their teachers and School continue to work out answers to the many questions about what COVID-safe examinations will actually look like. My encouragement to Year 12 students is to focus upon the most productive learning that you can do day by day, to take breaks and rejuvenate often, to know that the School is working for you in many ways, and that we will continue to communicate with you as clearly as we can as information updates.

As always, the Curriculum Office warmly invites you to contact us if we can be of any assistance as you navigate remote learning over these next few weeks. At the moment, the best way to contact is us is via 7-12learning@trinity.nsw.edu.au.

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

News from The Arthur Holt Library

July 30, 2021

There are many challenges facing a library in lockdown, but none are more pressing than the need to provide access to resources when your physical space is off limits. In response to this challenge, the team at The Arthur Holt Library recently underwent professional development with the State Library of New South Wales to better understand how we can leverage their resources to support the Trinity community.

There has quite literally never been a better time to join the State Library. It’s a simple process that involves filling out a form on their website and because they are currently unable to issue physical library cards, they will then email out a library card number that gives you access to their entire digital collection.

Get a library card: https://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/research-and-collections/get-library-card

For those boys studying for their IB Diploma or HSC, this includes access to a number of Academic Databases that will help them complete the research projects they have been assigned. These include Jstor and Gale, databases which they would ordinarily be able to access via the Trinity network, and others such as ProQuest, which give them access to thousands of specialist and scholarly journal articles.

ProQuest are also one of the State Library’s key providers of ebooks via their Ebook Central service. If (like us) you finished your holiday reading weeks ago, it might be worth browsing the collection for something suitable. Your library card will also give you access to NoveList, a collection of ebooks that includes teen fiction and books recommended for nine- to 12-year-olds.

There are even some games, clubs and videos that might help you keep your housebound high schoolers occupied. These include a Young Writers Club, a series of art tutorials and a weekly recipe taken from the collection.

“Having fun isn’t hard when you’ve got a library card.”

― Marc Brown

News from The Arthur Holt Library | Extended Essay Guide

July 23, 2021

This week, we debuted the new Trinity Grammar School Extended Essay guide to senior students enrolled in the IB Diploma Programme. The Extended Essay is a 4,000-word piece of independent research that every boy on the programme must complete in one of his areas of study. It can seem an onerous task to students unused to undertaking such an extensive research project and that is why we helped put together this guide to enable the boys to better understand what is expected of them.

This week, we focused on ideation, or the process of identifying and exploring a potential area for research. The boys were asked to brainstorm ideas, explore each other’s suggestions and then to settle on a topic area that they will start exploring in more depth next week. We used a scaffold called a Lotus Diagram to help them to reach beyond what they already know into those areas where they need to engage in further reading and build their understanding.

Next week, we will guide the students through their preliminary research. They will be asked to complete an annotated bibliography, which lists those sites and research articles that they have accessed and what key pieces of information they learned from them.

The boys will then be allocated a supervisor in their individual subject area and we in The Arthur Holt Library will continue to support them with advice on conducting deeper research, accessing Academic Databases, and making sure that they track their sources and reference them correctly. It’s a genuinely exciting time in the academic development of the boys on the IB Diploma Programme and if previous years are anything to go by, some of the work produced will exceed all expectations.

Of course, we are also on hand to support our HSC students. Our Teaching and Learning Librarians delivered lessons this week on finding secondary sources to all the Extension English students. They were told how they can access critical essays and use them to develop their own arguments. They were also shown how important an understanding of historical context can be when analysing a text.

We might not be available in person, but we are still on hand to help any of our students with their reading, research or Academic Scholarship needs. Any and all students are very welcome to email us any time at librarian@trinity.nsw.edu.au if they have any questions or require further support.

One final word to all of our holiday borrowers! If you’re worried about overdue books, don’t be. Any overdues that you’ve been fined for can be returned once face-to-face teaching resumes, and we will provide a refund for any items that are less than two terms overdue. For complete peace of mind, email us at librarian@trinity.nsw.edu.au and request that we renew your overdues – this will result in your fines being cancelled.

“It is what you read when you don’t have to that determines what you will be when you can’t help it.”

– Oscar Wilder

Careers

July 23, 2021

Established in July last year, the National Skills Commission’s role is to provide advice and leadership on Australia’s labour market and current, emerging and future workforce skills needs.

One of the three primary focus areas for the Commission is around aligning skill development with labour market needs. The training ‘industry’ has engaged in many iterations of this thinking, responding to the need to work with industry to create learning pathways that produce employable graduates.

As we already know, the three areas where graduates will be most valuable to employers will be working in caring, computing and creating roles. These three concepts of work will be relevant across many employment sectors – it is the job of training organisations to provide learning experiences to match industry demand.

Training organisations are also pivoting very quickly to provide online learning experiences, across all subject areas. The competition for new students is not only focused on delivering relevant content, but also the way in which it is delivered. The incoming University of Sydney vice-chancellor Mark Scott suggests that:

“Digital” education will redefine how students view and select universities. It may allow for more personalised learning paths, lifelong and more accessible learning, upskilling for employment and a more remote and diverse body of students.

Taking all this into account, apart from pursuing their interests when considering post school study pathways, our students also need to explore how training organisations are preparing them for work, and how these organisations are using technology to make their learning not just accessible, but engaging and industry-relevant.

News from The Arthur Holt Library

July 16, 2021

It was with a heavy heart that we closed the doors to the Arthur Holt Library this week, but rest assured that while we might not be able to welcome you all in person, we are very much open for business. We would welcome your emails if you have any specific questions and our team of librarians are on site to ensure that our services run uninterrupted.

Reading is one of the best ways to beat the lockdown blues and we have assembled a host of resources to help you choose and access books from the comfort of your own home. Our Library Senior Canvas course page includes reading lists for each year group and links to the Premier’s Reading Challenge, as well as other reading challenges you can complete as a family.

Our Canvas course will also provide you with access to our collection of audiobooks and ebooks via Bolinda Borrowbox. To use this service, you simply need to download the Bolinda app onto your device, log in using your Trinity email and choose from the range of books on offer. On our Reading page we have also provided a link to Project Gutenberg, an ever-expanding library of more than 60,000 ebooks that are no longer copyright protected. The focus here is on the classics and works in translation.

Don’t forget that audiobooks also count towards your Library Bingo card. The Arthur Holt Library’s bingo-style reading challenge has been a huge hit with the staff and the good news is that it’s not too late to start if you are up for the challenge of broadening your reading and stepping out of your comfort zone. The Headmaster filled us all in on his own progress in the challenge as he welcomed the staff back on Monday.

You can also stay up to date with ‘all things library’ via the AHL Blog (https://arthurholtlibrary.com/category/reading/) and our social media channels https://www.instagram.com/tgslibrary/ and https://twitter.com/tgslibrary

Of course, we are also here to assist with any questions you have around research, referencing and gaining access to resources. Our team of Teaching and Learning Librarians are working closely with the teaching staff to ensure that students can access what they need from home, but please don’t hesitate to reach out if you need help or advice in any of these areas.

“To learn to read is to light a fire; every syllable that is spelled out is a spark.”

– Victor Hugo

Managing a successful term break in Senior School

June 18, 2021

This week I had the pleasure of addressing the Senior School assembly as they headed into the mid-year break. My message had two themes, and I am sure the students have heard me represent these themes to them before! Firstly, I offered the perspective that the pain of discipline is never as great as the pain of regret; and secondly, that in Senior School, a successful term break is a matter of balance.

The first perspective is found in the truth that achieving one’s best possible secondary school credential is costly: one must either pay in discipline throughout the journey, or with regret at the end of the journey. As a teacher, it is a great joy to witness the delight and satisfaction on result day when students know they have done their best and are proud of their achievement. All teachers wish this joy for all the students they teach … but they also know this kind of joy is found in sustained discipline over time.

Our Senior School cohorts are at quite different points in this journey. Year 10 have committed to a credential pathway and must now work diligently to prepare themselves for a best possible start.  I gave the example of a HSC student who has elected to step into the challenge of Mathematics Extension – but knows there are aspects of his learning this term that he has not quite mastered. This term break is the time to consolidate that learning – not next term. Our Year 11 students have made the transition to the demands of Stage 6 and each will have not only learning to consolidate, but final assessments for which they must begin preparation. Setting aside substantial  time during the term break, to work both on consolidation and assessment preparation, is an expectation. And of course, Year 12 are managing a rigorous and self-directed schedule of learning consolidation, final assessment, and study for trial examinations. They have benefitted from the Focus Day programme throughout this academic year; their feedback about the skills of reflection and task management they have developed is most encouraging.

During my address, I offered students five lessons from neuroscience to promote effective and efficient personal study time: encode your learning thoroughly; create your own study notes; use visual techniques constantly; include daily exercise and ensure excellent sleep culture. Your son can tell you more about these strategies …

The second, but equally important perspective I wished to share was about balance. In the Senior School, term break means balancing time for learning consolidation with time for rest and rejuvenation. Each student must assess the balance he needs to create. For some, the investment in study needs to take the greatest weight. Others, who have invested heavily in their learning this term, or are recovering from injury, or whose journey this term has involved hardship, must acknowledge that it is rest and rejuvenation to which they must more fully commit, if next term is going to be as good as it can be for them. I’d like to encourage parents to see themselves as very well placed to support students as they make this determination … what should the balance of your son’s term break look like?

Finally, each student was challenged to pick a number! If we think about sixteen school days over the term break, with about seven hours of usual school time in each day, then students have roughly 100 hours of self-directed study time available to them, if they just worked to the school timetable! Now, I’m not suggesting every student needs to study for 100 hours … but you can do a lot with a big chunk of time like this! I suggested that there are probably very few students who should be picking a number less than 20 …. but equally, no student should be thinking he needs to do more than 100 hours of learning. Balance is the key.

I wish every student and family a marvellous, balanced, term break.

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

News from The Arthur Holt Library

June 18, 2021

There’s been something of a focus on our Year 11 IB Diploma Program boys of late. Next term will see the boys begin their Extended Essays, a 4,000-word piece of research that will enable these students to develop many of the skills that will see them through university and beyond.

In preparation, The Arthur Holt Library ran a workshop for the entire cohort that was designed to practice and assess their research skills. We called it a ‘Research Race’. Students were grouped in teams and asked to Google complex questions, search Academic Databases for information, summarise lengthy newspaper articles and apply their critical thinking skills to a series of ambiguous photographs.

It was a great way to warm the boys up for the term that awaits them. At the end of each session we asked the boys to reflect on their own performance by identifying their own areas of strength and comparative weakness. We identified seven key research skills and asked them to arrange them in order of personal ability. The results will help us tailor our future sessions with the boys to those areas where they need the most support.

This is just one example of how we use evidence-based data to inform our practice. Read more about the boys’ reflections and rankings in our blog post analysing the data here.

Ideation, or the sparking of ideas, was the skill most consistently identified as an area of need, so we have been busy preparing a series of sessions to help support the boys in finding a subject for their Extended Essay that will interest and inspire them. We are very much looking forward to delivering them at the start of the new term.

So while we are wrapping up for another term break, our eyes are fixed firmly on the year ahead. We hope the boys share some of our excitement.

“Only a generation of readers will spawn a generation of writers.”

– Steven Spielberg

Careers

June 18, 2021

More than goals

In the last Year 12 Careers Session this term, I presented a mystical image of a crystal ball and challenged the boys with the concept of the ‘quest’ that they were on. Not a quest to achieve goals that relate to marks to be achieved, courses to be accepted on to study next year, or sports teams to captain, but a quest to become the best version of themselves when they graduate from Trinity at the end of the year.

We talked about the way tasks, assignments, exams and performances need to balance with the ways the boys take care of themselves and attend to their ‘quest’. The metaphorical scales are never in exact equilibrium, rather they tip from side to side as we move through life. Attending to self care is the key to ensuring that our scales don’t remain imbalanced for too long

For some, making a decision about the next step beyond school can be quite daunting. Our students will hopefully recognise the value of the connections they make at school to help them weigh up their options when they consider the post-school opportunities. If boys have not approached me to have a conversation about their options, I am contacting them, and I am very happy to make appointments to Teams-meet during the holidays if this suits their timing.

Courses and contacts

Please refer to Courses & Contacts for details of courses and contacts that may be of interest to you and your sons.

Academic Focus Article: What do we mean by student growth?

June 11, 2021

This week has offered me two opportunities to reflect upon the importance of growth and what that means in the context of Trinity Grammar School.

On Tuesday I was fortunate in attending and presenting at the NSW Association of Independent Schools’ ICT Leadership conference. With Mark Thompson, the School’s Business Analyst, I outlined the collaborative journey between Academic and ICT teams over the last three years to reform the way we spoke about, assessed and reported on student learning. At the heart of this presentation was Trinity’s explicit focus on growth and our desire to communicate explicitly about the individual, or personal growth, each student makes in a range of domains, from one semester to the next.

At Trinity, we are interested in a student’s growth in four areas:

  • His capacity for deliberate engagement
  • His skills to manage deep learning
  • His disposition to embrace challenge
  • His expanding repertoire of knowledge, understanding and discipline specific skills

Therefore, our curriculum is designed to teach not only content, but also skills such as reflection and self-assessment; our reporting is designed to provide consistent feedback not only upon mastery of knowledge, but also upon engagement behaviours; and we encourage a student’s responsibility for his own learning progress by giving him precise next steps.    

This morning, I was prompted to again reflect upon the value of individual growth rather than comparison to others, when Joshua Butler (12 St) delivered a timely address on the Quad assembly about the value of challenge as a mechanism for growth. Joshua emphasised the importance of deliberate choices to step into carefully selected challenges. He explained the way in which managing initial hardship leads to resilience and confidence: when we choose to take on specific challenges, we learn how to master our minds when they sometimes tell us we can’t do something. Joshua offered the perspective that we don’t have to be the best at what we choose to take on, but we will benefit by tackling challenge.

At Trinity, we seek to normalise a culture of learning from mistakes as an opportunity for personal growth. This means we encourage boys to embrace challenging opportunities, to choose the more difficult options, to seek feedback for improvement, and to identify what they can do today that they could not do yesterday. This approach to learning is grounded in the seminal work on Growth Mindset by Carol Dweck (Stanford University). Dweck’s work proved that students with an orientation towards learning through mistakes could achieve superior results on a range of cognitive tests, including Mathematics. She summarises her research like this: a mindset for challenge and effort plus a willingness to embrace feedback equals ongoing academic improvement.

Our approach is further supported by the work of Professor Andrew Martin (University of New South Wales), whose research indicates that external engagement behaviours often precede internal or intrinsic motivation: that is, we can choose to behave in ways that promote engagement regardless of the way we feel.

Term 2 provides many opportunities for students selecting academic pathways to focus upon personal growth and to embrace challenge. I am delighted by the evidence of deliberate engagement and the disposition to embrace challenge. I am delighted by boys stepping into the demands of Language learning, new ways of learning through our Year 9 inquiry courses, the demands of Extension HSC courses, and the expectations of the IB Diploma curriculum.

I often write about the concept of growth and how growth is defined at Trinity Grammar School – because it is the foundation of robust education and lifelong learning. I congratulate every student who is able to identify personal areas of growth in his learning over the course of this term – and encourage every student to set clear goals for personal growth next term!

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean  

Request for volunteers to provide Exam Support for students with approved Disability Provisions

June 11, 2021

All Year Groups 7-12

Trinity Education Support Services (TESS) oversees the implementation of Disability Provisions for students who need exam/assessment support and have had this approved either by the School or NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA).

We are seeking help from our school community to administer the disability provisions for the upcoming exam block from Monday 9th August to Friday 27th August 2021. This support includes reading and/or writing for a student. The support is provided in a compassionate manner, whilst maintaining the utmost confidentiality for the student.

If you have an interest in volunteering in this important area, we would love to hear from you. You may volunteer for one exam or multiple exams depending upon your availability. We have been fortunate to have volunteers work in this manner for some time, gaining valuable insight into the support provided to Trinity students, and facilitating the process of supporting individual students in need.

In line with Trinity Grammar’s Child Protection Policy, a Working with Children Check (WWC) is essential, along with a volunteer code of conduct review and agreement. You may apply for a check or gather additional information by accessing this link: Child Safe Organisations. Once your Working with Children Check is complete, you will need to provide the WWC number and your date of birth to the school so you can be cleared to volunteer with students. The check is free for volunteers and remains valid for five years.

If you would like to volunteer, or require further information, please contact Simone Glassford on 02 9581 6078 or email sglassford@trinity.nsw.edu.au

Renee Culgan | Director of TESS

News from The Arthur Holt Library

June 11, 2021

Reminders

Anthony Bosco

As we near the end of another term, it falls to us to issue a couple of timely reminders. The first is for anyone with overdue books to bring them back into The Arthur Holt Library as soon as possible. We do issue fines at the end of each term, but we would much rather get a book back.

It’s also that time of term when you can reserve a place for next term’s after hours study programme — Study+. Open to all seniors, the programme runs between 6pm and 8pm Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. We recruit a number of Academic Mentors to help the boys with their revision and assignments, something they always find particularly valuable in Trinity term. An email will be sent to all Senior School parents before the end of term with details of how to book a place via Flexischools.

May we also congratulate Mr Anthony Bosco of the English Department, the first member of staff to complete his Staff Library Bingo card. Notable highlights of his term of reading include a translation of short stories by Izumi Suzuki called ‘Terminal Boredom’ and ‘Psycho Politics’ Byung-Chul Han.

“There are many little ways to enlarge your child’s world. Love of books is the best of all”

– Jaqueline Kennedy Onassis

EVENT CANCELLED

Tuesday, 15 June 2021 | Arthur’s Authors: Dr John Dickson

Due to unforeseen circumstances, our inaugural Arthur’s Authors breakfast event with Dr John Dickson — scheduled for this Tuesday 15/6 — has had to be cancelled. We apologise for the inconvenience and late notice. We hope to reschedule this event early next term and look forward to welcoming you then.

Careers

June 4, 2021

Connecting your thinking with the decisions you make

During Chapel this week, Mr Webster referred to the concept of Critical Thinking, and invited boys to reflect on their understanding of the place that religion has in causing unrest and differences of opinion. Like the person who reads the headline of a news article, then comments without reading the article in full, it might be easy to put forth your thoughts on the way religion can be at the centre of disharmony, without careful consideration or reflection.

Teachers embed critical thinking processes in their lessons because they want their students to develop the capacity and confidence to question and direct their own learning. In the workplace, critical thinking is identified as a key cognitive competency. The 21st century workplace relies on the ability of workers to ask ‘why’ when responding to problems and to develop new products and markets.

In the many conversations I have had with students and their parents in the past weeks (about subject and course selection for school and beyond), the process of making decisions relies on the critical thinking attributes – interpreting the information presented, analysing and evaluating for fit with personal goals, and considering how the ‘draft’ decision will work. At the end of this process, being able to explain why the decision made about what subject or course to select works well in careers conversations, to allow students to hear back for themselves, their connection to the decision they have made. As explained to Year 12 students during their careers sessions last week, all of this is not done in isolation. Connecting with those who can support the decision-making process is essential – parents, mentors, teachers, coaches, family members.

Courses and contacts

Please refer to Courses & Contacts for details of courses and contacts that may be of interest to you and your sons.

Susan Draysey | Careers and Student Pathways Advisor 

Arthur’s Authors | Join us for an Inaugural Event!

June 4, 2021

We are thrilled to announce the inaugural Arthur’s Authors event, a collaboration between The Arthur Holt Library and the History Department.

Join us for a light breakfast, and the chance to hear Dr John Dickson in conversation with Mr Matthew Driscoll, of Trinity’s History Department, as they discuss John’s new book, Bullies and Saints : An Honest Look at the Good and Evil of Christian History.  You’ll also have the opportunity to meet the author, and purchase a copy of his book.

Date: Tuesday, 15 June 2021

Time: 7am breakfast, for 7.30am start

Location: The Arthur Holt Library, Trinity Grammar School

Tickets: Visit http://bit.ly/ARTHURSAUTHORJDICKSON to book.

Tickets are strictly limited. In order to maintain COVID19 safety regulations this is a ticketed event and all guests will be required to ‘sign in’ upon entry.

More about the author:

Dr. Dickson has a PhD in ancient history from Macquarie University and a first-class honours degree in Theology from Moore Theological College. He now teaches ‘Historical Jesus to Written Gospels’ at The University of Sydney and runs the ‘Undeceptions’ Podcast.

Over the last six years, has been a Visiting Academic in the Faculty of Classics at Oxford University. In 2019, he was appointed as the Distinguished Fellow and Senior Lecturer in Public Christianity at Ridley College in Melbourne, a position he took after concluding his time as Senior Minister at St. Andrew’s Anglican Church, Roseville. He has written over a dozen books for children and adults alike, many of which are used by the Christian Studies department at Trinity.

We look forward to welcoming you at this exciting event!

Academic Focus: Self-Regulated Learners

June 4, 2021

One of the most useful pieces of information on secondary school academic reports is the feedback provided about a student’s self-management in a particular area of the Trinity curriculum.  The first criteria determining a student’s engagement score in a subject, or in the House, Sport, Co-curricular contexts, is the extent to which he demonstrates commitment to his personal best and respect for his own and others’ perspectives. Sometimes termed ‘self-regulation’, this criterion is about the ability to manage one’s emotions and behaviour in ways that respect self, others and the opportunities for learning. Here’s an example of what this feedback looks like on the boys’ Semester Reports.

When we think of a ‘self-regulated person’, we might imagine a highly confident individual planning their day meticulously and executing every task with the utmost competence – perhaps we see them as inherently motivated or organised – just lucky to be born that way! In reality, self-management, or self-regulation of emotions and behaviours, is learned and open to improvement with practice.

At Trinity, we believe that the external environment can do a great deal to support students as they grow into habitual behaviours of self-management. They can be supported to manage the emotions that come with significant challenge – and persevere. They can be supported to reflect upon their current skills – and set goals to learn new skills. For this reason, we provide feedback about how they are going in managing and developing the kinds of behaviours we know are linked to academic confidence and success.

Research also tells us that traits such as self-regulation are domain specific: that is, self-regulated learning is not an absolute state, but is highly variable in time and dependent on context. Just because a student finds self-regulation behaviours very easy to demonstrate when learning Mathematics, doesn’t mean she will automatically bring that high level regulation to a different context – like Debating, or History, or musical performance; she might need a lot more support to commit to her best and persevere in these areas.

Professor Barry Zimmerman, an educational researcher at the City University of New York, was one of the early writers about how people regulate their attitudes and behaviours to maximise their learning opportunities. Zimmerman shifted to discourse about self-regulation to a purely internal motivational state, to a discussion about the way deliberate behaviours and the external environment can promote self-regulation. He notes that as students progress through high school, they are expected to take greater responsibility for their own learning – but that not all students step into this responsibility equally well. His research demonstrates that the greatest academic success occurs when teachers and students work together to support the self-management skills of goal-setting, planning and evaluating. Zimmerman’s work on self-regulated learning emphasises the need for all learners to develop their capacity to adjust thoughts and actions based on new challenges and feedback.

Trinity students have just passed the halfway point of the academic year; the stimulus of final assessments and examinations is still quite far away, but the motivational boost of a new start is also back in the past. Perhaps now is a good time to practice self-management skills by reflecting on 2021 academic journeys – so far. Here’s a useful protocol:

  1. What are some of the subjects or areas I have been able to demonstrate commitment to doing my personal best? What does this look like?
  2. What is one area in which I am struggling to regulate my emotions and behaviours– but in which I really want to improve?
  3. What have I done so far to improve my self-management? Has it worked?
  4. What is one thing I could do – before the end of Term 2 – to improve the way I feel about my learning in this subject?
  5. What is one more action I could undertake – before the end of Term 2 – to demonstrate my commitment to improvement?

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

News from The Arthur Holt Library

June 3, 2021

One of our most important jobs in The Arthur Holt Library is to actively promote reading across the school and to encourage students to value reading for pleasure, as well as for academic purposes.

In her article ‘We Talk Books’, published in the November issue of English in Australia, Margaret Merga emphasises how book discussions in school libraries can help to promote a culture of reading in a school and may even help counter some of the negative trends that have led to the reduced significance of reading in many young people’s lives.

Luckily, our librarians love nothing more than discussing books. This term alone we have been reading and discussing Advanced Review Copies of soon-to-be-published books with our Middle School reading group, Arthur’s Readers. The boys wrote reviews, which can be found on our Library blog here (https://arthurholtlibrary.com/arthurs-readers-arcing-up/), and advised us on which books they thought we should add to our collection.

Trinity has also started a Professional Learning Book Club. Staff have been invited to pick up copies of the first book from the library, where we have individually wrapped each copy to keep the title a surprise. The book club will meet next term to discuss the ideas discussed in the book and how they might impact teaching across the school.

Finally, we are also delighted to be able to welcome parents back into the Library. Our inaugural Arthur’s Authors event will see Dr John Dickson in conversation with Mr Matthew Driscoll, of Trinity’s History Faculty, as they discuss John’s new book, ‘Bullies and Saints: An Honest Look at the Good and Evil of Christian History’. You’ll also have the opportunity to meet the author and purchase a copy of his book. Check your email for more details.

Stefanie Gaspari | Director of Library Services 

“Show me a family of readers, and I will show you the people who move the world.”

– Napoleon Bonaparte

Shakespeare Carnival Success

May 28, 2021

The Shakespeare Carnival is a prestigious competition that invites schools to showcase quality performance work, setting a high standard across the state. Encouraged and coached by the Drama department, this year’s Carnival rotated around the Bard’s seminal text, Othello.

The State-wide competition encourages the performance of Shakespeare’s plays and engagement with a range of themes and ideas. This year we fielded entrants in five categories: Group Devised, Ensemble scenes, Duologue, Physical Theatre, and Music composition.

The students develop their work over the term, using the elements of drama, directing skills, and working collaboratively with creativity.

This year Trinity Grammar hosted the Inner West Regional final with six other schools attending and competing for places in the State Grand Final. It was a fantastic evening sponsored by the Sport for Jove Theatre Company who also act as masters of ceremonies. After a quick workshop, some Shakespeare trivia, and many performances the judges announced the winners.

The results were:

Regional Finalists and awarded Associates of Sport for Jove Theatre Company for their Group Devised piece, newcomers from Year 7: Peter Bott, Hugo Bruce, Sam Davoren, Jackson Deng, Geronimo Devitt, Benjamin Gallo, Alexander Henry, Axel Lee, Ashvin Nagaratnam.

Regional Finalist: also awarded Associates of Sport for Jove Theatre Company

Runner up for the Physical Theatre Category, Alexei Baldwin, Noah Blomfield, Jack Fahd, Hamish Gray, Jayden Higgins, and Ryan Kesby.

Regional Finalist: also awarded Associates of Sport for Jove Theatre Company,

Runner up the Ensemble Scene were James Brockie, Thomas Jenkins and Aiden Lee.

Regional Winners: also awarded Associates of Sport for Jove Theatre Company and Winners of the Duologue category and will representing Trinity at the State Finals, Joseph Britton and Lochlan Demark.

Regional Winner: Music Composition- “That Kills for Love, Act 5 scene 2, Othello” representing Trinity at the State final, Hamish Gray.

It was a well-attended event that spoke to the poetry and beauty in the words of Shakespeare and the camaraderie and respect between rival schools. I was a very proud drama teacher and would like to sincerely thank the School for supporting such events in particular; Brendan Duhigg, MIC Drama; Scott Bradburn, Year 7 Drama Club teacher; Sam Mulgrew, Drama Co-curricular assistant; and the technical genius that is Ben Cotton and Steve Pupo. Additionally, I would like to acknowledge Rosie Nunez and Brad Wirth for venue management, and the wonderful parental support whose partnership is essential.

The competition at State level will be intense but I know our boys will do their best.

Congratulations to all involved.

Ms Kathryn Smith-Sergi |Shakespeare Carnival Co-ordinator, 2021.

Academic Focus

May 28, 2021

Academic Excellence Citations and Engagement Citations – Semester One

I am delighted to publish the names of students who have achieved academic and engagement awards for commitment to their studies during Semester One. As I review the data for the semester, I continue to be impressed by the strong relationship between a student’s deliberate engagement, as represented by the Engagement Point Average, or EPA, and his overall performance as indicated by his GPA. To the several students who have been awarded a citation for strong growth in their EPA, and also earned a citation for academic excellence or growth, well done! You are a reminder for all students seeking to improve their academic performance to begin by focussing upon feedback about their academic engagement behaviours.

Academic Excellence

The first category of Academic Excellence Citation is based upon a student’s Grade Point Average. Students in Years 7 – 10 and HSC candidates with a GPA of 13 or greater on the 15 point grade scale have achieved consistently outstanding academic performance. IB Diploma students with a GPA of 6.4 on the 7 point grade scale have achieved similarly robust results. 

The second category of Academic Excellence recognises students who improve their personal GPA, form one Semester to the next, by 2.0 or more points. This kind of academic growth is not possible without a renewed commitment to the engagement behaviours and the embracing of academic challenges.

Engagement Citation

Trinity has defined, and reports feedback on, the behaviours that characterise personal academic success:  self-management, task management, learning focus and persistence. These scores are collated as an Engagement Point Average. Students who scored an EPA of 4.8 or greater on the 5-point scale, achieve an Engagement Citation.

Students who improve their EPA by 1.0 points or greater have demonstrated their ability to receive and act upon feedback and take responsibility for the actions that lead to academic success. These students are acknowledged for their courage to change their behaviours and the way they interact with learning challenges.

The Semester One awardees are celebrated here. Each boy is congratulated upon their fine achievement.

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

Year 7 Academic Excellence Citation
Luca Dawson Kerrigan
Joey Acland Founders
Harshal Chuchra Henderson
Joshua Jeung Henderson
Finn Canadas Archer
Jaidan Sivapirabu Hilliard
Hamish Turner Taubman
Ashton Yee Taubman
Jared Arnold Archer
Daniel Jones Murphy
Gregory Kariatlis Latham
Aidan Wong Young
Joshua Lubke Taubman
Alexander Ren Stephenson
David Sukkar Taubman
Matthew Tse Founders
Ashton Viggiani Stephenson
Bailin Ashcroft Founders
Lachlan Ellis Young
Nicholas Lake Wilson Hogg
Axel Lee Young
Lachlan Allen Wynn Jones
Archie Campbell Weeks
Youngheon Cho Latham
Zeke Gourlas Latham
Isaac Sandroussi Weeks
Aakash Viswanathan Taubman
Year 7 Engagement Citation
Finn Canadas Archer
Eesa Bokhari Stephenson
Joshua Jeung Henderson
Axel Lee Young
Joey Acland Founders
Harshal Chuchra Henderson
Luca Dawson Kerrigan
Gregory Kariatlis Latham
Mason McGroder Wilson Hogg
Jaidan Sivapirabu Hilliard
William Skinner Wilson Hogg
Hamish Turner Taubman
Sterling Tuxford Wilson Hogg
Aakash Viswanathan Taubman
Ashton Yee Taubman
Year 8 Academic Excellence Citation
Leopold Vo Wilson Hogg
Nathan Chun Holwood
Toby Chan Founders
Joel Britton Holwood
Ethan La Latham
Isaac Latt Wilson Hogg
Aiden Ngo Hilliard
Enrico Ciarroni Wynn Jones
Reuben Chong Hilliard
Christian Ciarroni Wynn Jones
Nathan Pham Wilson Hogg
Albert Zhou Wynn Jones
Christopher Lowe Holwood
Callum Padman Hilliard
Declan Tan Murphy
Cameron Mock Dulwich
Alex Christian Henderson
Angus Royal Archer
Myles Buvac Wynn Jones
Matthew McLachlan Wynn Jones
Ethan Wong Dulwich
Andy Lin Wynn Jones
James Borg Henderson
Harry Clegg Dulwich
Andrew Worsfold Wynn Jones
Logan Toohey Kerrigan
Daniel Lok Kerrigan
Samuel Gimenez-McAlpine Kerrigan
Jacob Pham Wilson Hogg
Marcus Cupac Henderson
Hugo Favelle Archer
Waylon Liu Dulwich
Lachlan Hovilai Founders
Jason Taouk Henderson
Marc-Anthony Younan Hilliard
Riley Coneliano Holwood
Lachlan Rathbone Kerrigan
Sam Griffiths Latham
Zaine Bachir Murphy
Christopher Lowe School
Aidan Russell Wynn Jones
Owen Street Taubman
Matteo Pezzano Weeks
Michael Kordian Wilson Hogg
Year 8 Engagement Citation 
Andrew Worsfold Wynn Jones
Reuben Chong Hilliard
Harry Clegg Dulwich
Christian Ciarroni Wynn Jones
Matthew McLachlan Wynn Jones
Isaac Latt Wilson Hogg
Angus Royal Archer
Peter Vithoulka Wilson Hogg
Ethan Wong Dulwich
Nathan Chun Holwood
Daniel Lok Kerrigan
Ethan La Latham
Albert Zhou Wynn Jones
Toby Chan Founders
Enrico Ciarroni Wynn Jones
Jonathan Ly School
Leopold Vo Wilson Hogg
Nathan Pham Wilson Hogg
Oliver Howell Kerrigan
Year 9 Academic Excellence Citation
Kevin Ma Founders
Luca Gillard Stephenson
Elton Huang Archer
Jaden Fung Kerrigan
Chris Chin Henderson
Ashton Frazer Murphy
Owen Lang Holwood
Timothy Squires Young
Aryan Nair Young
Nathan Grech Wynn Jones
Max Millgate Founders
Lucas Blum Archer
Beau Moller Young
Daniel Doueihi Founders
Toby Henry Latham
Aiden Iliadis Taubman
William Chang Archer
William Tran Holwood
Andrew Stone Holwood
Stefano Furlan Dulwich
Levi Shin Henderson
Finn Taylor Latham
Jonah de Groot Archer
Oscar Zong Wilson Hogg
Oscar Sealey School
Reece Hartnett Dulwich
Noah Herden Henderson
Charlie Scott-Shires Murphy
Aidan Gaitanis Weeks
Reece Mihas Latham
Jet Lin Weeks
Jonathan Ucchino Wilson Hogg
John Dalla-Camina Latham
James Chan Latham
Liam Swadling Murphy
Joel Kelloway Dulwich
Year 9 Engagement Citation
Luca Gillard Stephenson
Toby Henry Latham
Hayden Hoang Taubman
Kevin Ma Founders
Jack O’Shea Henderson
Will Carvosso School
Daniel Doueihi Founders
Samuel Eastwood Henderson
Ashton Frazer Murphy
Finn Hodgkinson Founders
Brendan Logarta Taubman
Max Millgate Founders
Ollie Orr Holwood
Luke Simpson Dulwich
Timothy Squires Young
Kyron Thapa Weeks
Bo Hai Xie Young
Brandon Ghannoum Founders
Year 10 Academic Excellence Citation
Luca Ratnavadivel Dulwich
Ryan Gupta Wynn Jones
James Kim Archer
Liam Wingrave Archer
Caleb Kwan Taubman
Samuel Rofail Young
Aman Shaw Archer
Christopher Kong Latham
Trenton La Latham
James Kountouris Murphy
Davide Eboli Wilson Hogg
Aneesh Nagaratnam Young
Noah Blomfield Founders
Alexander Jacob Founders
Alex Gavrilovic Young
Miles Angus Wilson Hogg
Max Wende-Dunstan Dulwich
Shivam Wadhera Kerrigan
Alex Ward Murphy
Jonah Arraj Hilliard
Beier Chen Young
Hudson Korda Wynn Jones
Year 10 Engagement Citation
Ty Garaci Holwood
Ryan Gupta Wynn Jones
Jack Hartzenberg Young
Luca Ratnavadivel Dulwich
Miles Angus Wilson Hogg
Ryan Geddes Murphy
Alexander Jacob Founders
James Kim Archer
Will Nice Kerrigan
Jonah Arraj Hilliard
Year 11 Academic Excellence Citation
Solomon Khoury Archer
Matthew Lubke Taubman
Oscar Martin School
George Dedousis Murphy
John Dedousis Murphy
Nicholas Nguyen Archer
Josiah May Young
Max Nguyen Young
Matthew Nicolas Kerrigan
Andrew Tanous Dulwich
Keagan Tran Wilson Hogg
Timothy Woodyatt Dulwich
Varun Iyer Wynn Jones
David Tsai Holwood
Justin Wang Wynn Jones
Hussein Choker Henderson
Oscar Hindle Wynn-Jones 
Jake Varone Henderson
Hunter Myliotis Young
Caiden Cleary Stephenson
Matthew Lubke Taubman
Marco Ianni Kerrigan
Declan Lee School
Jeremy Pogrebizhsky Holwood
Max Velten Wilson Hogg
Year 11 Engagement Citation
John Dedousis Murphy
Timothy Woodyatt Dulwich
George Dedousis Murphy
Riley Martin Weeks
Hassan Mourad Henderson
Marco Nagode Wynn Jones
Nicholas Nguyen Archer
Year 12 Academic Excellence Citation
Fynn Ferdinands Wynn Jones
Elias Christodoulou Murphy
Michael Wierum Henderson
Lewis Kanellos Henderson
James Petrakis Hilliard
Will Martin Wilson Hogg
Keith Kwok Wilson Hogg
Caleb Dryer School
Daniel Tran Taubman
Euan Germanos Henderson
Matthew Chan Archer
William Blanchfield Holwood
Dylan Wang Latham
Thomas Calabro Archer
Jack Casimir Wilson Hogg
Emmanuel Grogan Founders
Juno Yim Holwood
Joel Matthei Latham
Adrian Barrett Founders
Oscar Van Hal Murphy
Christian Becvarovski Archer
Matthew Chen Henderson
Kevin Lin School
Antony Zafiropoulos Young
Will Cooper Hilliard
Ronan Hennessy Stephenson
James Green Henderson
Fenn Hodgson-Yu Wynn Jones
Noah Sinozic Archer
Vangeli Tsintominas School
Brendan Chew Kerrigan
Haidar Saab Murphy
Aaron Phan Holwood
Ryan Tamerji Murphy
Deen Rasool Wilson Hogg
Year 12 Engagement Citation
Patrick Cantlon Dulwich
Elias Christodoulou Murphy
Will Martin Wilson Hogg
Joel Matthei Latham
Cameron Ong Stephenson
Michael Wierum Henderson
Juno Yim Holwood
Jack Casimir Wilson Hogg
Jayden Chan Stephenson
Matthew Chan Archer
Daksh Chuchra Henderson
Fynn Ferdinands Wynn Jones
Euan Germanos Henderson
Keith Kwok Wilson Hogg
Zac Lau School
Asher Tarbox Dulwich
Leo Tarbox Dulwich
Kosta Theodorou Weeks
Sam Vickery Wynn Jones

News from The Arthur Holt Library

May 28, 2021

This week our Director of Library Services, Stefanie Gaspari, was appointed the new Vice President of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA). We’re sure you will join us in offering her our heartiest congratulations. Miss Gaspari has been a powerful advocate for Library Services here at Trinity and her new role on the ALIA Board will enable her to apply that same commitment and passion to the broader library and information sector.

ALIA is behind some of our favourite library-based initiatives, including Library and Information Week, Library Lovers’ Day and Australia Reads. It also co-ordinated last week’s National Simultaneous Storytime, which enjoyed unprecedented success this year. A staggering 1,980,280 readers took part across 33,418 locations, all enjoying the power of a good story to unite and delight.

Our own internal reading challenges are also well under way. The Middle School have all been invited to take part in the Premier’s Reading Challenge, while the staff were given the choice of either joining the boys in the PRC, or completing a round of Staff Library Bingo, which involves reading a book from each of the 20 categories identified by our library staff.

Both teachers and parents can positively influence children’s attitudes toward reading through modelling personal enjoyment of the practice. If you, or anyone you know, would like to join in with either of these challenges, please get in touch so that we can give you more details — email librarian@trinity.nsw.edu.au

“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift.”

– Kate DiCamillo

Save the Date!

May 28, 2021

The Arthur Holt Library and the History Department are excited to announce the inaugural Arthur’s Authors event, a discussion between Mr Matthew Driscoll, of the History Department, and Dr. John Dickson, whose new book, Bullies and Saints: An Honest Look at the Good and Evil of Christian History, is being published this month. Join us for a light breakfast, and an enthralling discussion, with the chance to meet the author and purchase a copy of his book, on Tuesday, June 15th, at 7.00am.

Dr. Dickson has a PhD in ancient history from Macquarie University and a first-class honours degree in Theology from Moore Theological College. He now teaches ‘Historical Jesus to Written Gospels’ at The University of Sydney and runs the ‘Undeceptions’ Podcast.

An inaugural Arthur’s Authors event, a collaboration between the History Department and The Arthur Holt Library, in support of shared discussions about books.

Academic Focus

May 21, 2021

Making deliberate choices to shape a programme of study

One of the marvellous aspects of the journey through secondary school is the opportunity to make choices about our programme of study, to actively shape the pattern of courses to which we will commit our best effort. Last week, Year 10 students and parents met for the Year 11 2022 Course Information Evening and this week, Year 8 families gathered for their turn to explore the array of choices available to them in our newly designed Stage 5 curriculum. Next week, Year 7 families will have their turn to consider the language elective choice they are able to make for next year when an information booklet about Year 8 curriculum is made available to them.

Of course, with choice comes responsibility. At each evening I spoke to students about the responsibility of making a deliberate choice by acquiring all necessary information and taking up as many opportunities as possible for conversation with those who have greater expertise than us in the courses on offer and the shaping of individual programmes of study.  As students make these choices, they are encouraged to look through two lenses: firstly, that of current interests and successes and, secondly, the lens of challenge, asking themselves about opportunities to embrace new possibilities they may wish to explore and to set ambitious goals.  

While the School publishes detailed information about courses in our online sites, one of the purposes of the evening event is to make time for the conversations that are central to positive outcomes. Staff come to offer their expertise, answer questions and engage in thoughtful discussion as students weigh up the possibilities on offer. I would like to acknowledge the staff who prepared presentations of the highest quality and worked with such enthusiasm over the course of each evening. It is their expertise and passion that makes these evenings meaningful.

Another purpose of these big events is to mark the occasion by gathering and celebrating the new pathways opening up for our boys. I was impressed by the energy and enthusiasm our current Year 8 students brought to the evening this week. They had made good use of the information already provided to them; they had come with some fledgling plans and lots of questions. It was wonderful to see them engage deliberately with the greater choice now available, particularly as they conversed with teachers about the range of new 25-hour courses we will deliver in Year 9. Students elect three of these courses and study each one for a term. They are focused upon research and inquiry, helping students see the connections across multiple disciplines as they undertake investigation in areas such as entrepreneurialism and design, journalism, engineering, social justice, philosophy, architecture and sustainability. The Orchestra Room was transformed with a market-like atmosphere as families perused the gallery walk of courses on offer! My thanks again to the team of teachers who have been designing these courses to meet the needs and interests of Trinity students, and who gave their time generously on Wednesday evening to answer every question that came their way!

Student preferences are submitted online, via the personalised link sent to parents, by these dates:

  • Year 10 for Year 11 2022 on Wednesday 26th May
  • Year 8 for Year 9 2022 on Wednesday 2nd June
  • Year 7 for Year 8 2022 on Monday 7th June

Students and parents are warmly invited to contact the Curriculum Office if they would like further support as they make deliberate choices about their programmes of study for next year.

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

News from The Arthur Holt Library

May 21, 2021

This week, we celebrated National Simultaneous Storytime (NSS) – from space! NSS is an initiative of the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) that sees a picture book read on the same day and at the same time by schools, pre-schools, bookshops, homes and libraries throughout Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. It’s estimated that more than 1 million people would have been listening to this year’s book as it was read at 11 am on Wednesday morning.

What made this year especially exciting, though, was the fact that one of the readers was an astronaut on the International Space Station. NASA astronaut Shannon Walker read a book written especially for the event by Australian author Philip Bunting titled ‘Give Me Some Space’. The book details a young girl’s adventures in the solar system before she realises that everything she travelled so far to find can be found right here on Earth.

In what has become something of a tradition, the Head Master also read the book to a group of Year 1 students, accompanied by the School Captain in an astronaut costume. We hired a Planetarium for the occasion so the boys could hear the story under the stars and spot such constellations as Orion and his belt and the Big Dipper. The Planetarium was packed during recess and lunch and a number of Year 7 English classes were able to visit throughout the day.

Movie Club also adopted the week’s space theme, as did Friday’s morning tea, where staff were treated to space-themed cupcakes, music and a special reading by our Library Manager Mrs Courtney Nolan.

It was a wonderful opportunity to involve the students in conversations about books and also to remind them that reading is – and should always be – fun!

“That’s the thing about books. They let you travel without moving your feet.”

– Jhumpa Lahiri

Careers

May 21, 2021

University applications are open

The Year 12 Universities Admissions Centre (UAC) presentation for parents and students this week highlighted for our most senior students, that the university application process has commenced. Our 21st guest as part of the Futures Fair events this term was Ms Trudy Noller, the Community Engagement Manager at UAC. We were happy to see parents able to attend this presentation at school, with the option of connecting to the live stream. We have sent an email to Year 12 students and parents with a recording of the presentation, that you may view below or by clicking here.

Fit for purpose supporting documentation

With the university applications opening, the season for early entry and scholarship applications is upon us!

When applying for a scholarship, or early entry programme, it is important that students understand that the processes in place to allow them to respond individually, giving the institution the chance to get to know them as more than just a series of academic achievements. Responding to questions in these applications in a considered, thoughtful way will provide a well-rounded application that reflects genuine interest and commitment to the study pathway being applied for. A ‘cut and paste’ approach will only be useful if the questions being asked are exactly the same.

Just as for application questions being asked of students, letters of support or recommendation from the School will also be considered individually, with the aim of responding directly to the criteria identified. The process we have in place for preparing these documents takes time to complete as information from a range of sources in the School is included. Please encourage your sons to provide as much notice as possible if they require supporting documentation from the School.

Courses and contacts

Please refer to Courses & Contacts for details of courses and contacts that may be of interest to you and your sons.

Susan Draysey | Careers and Student Pathways Advisor 

2021 Da Vinci Decathlon

May 21, 2021

The Da Vinci Decathlon is an academic opportunity where our students compete against a range of schools across NSW. This year was the first time that the competition was online and our teams connected via Zoom. It was an interesting experience in many ways. Our teams worked tirelessly as they persisted through a range of very challenging concepts. This year we had eight teams representing our school. The competition runs over three days. Tuesday 4 May – Years 7 and 8; Wednesday 5 May – Years 9 and 10; and Thursday 6 May – Years 5 and 6 (Junior and Preparatory Schools).

Here are some anecdotes from the students across the Year groups that were competing:

On Tuesday 4 May, the Trinity Grammar Year 7 Da Vinci Team participated in the Da Vinci Decathlon. This was an opportunity for our team to work together to complete a number of challenging tasks in a variety of specialty areas including Mathematics, Science, and Creative Producers. We all pushed ourselves out of our comfort zones and this was what ultimately led to us successfully attaining 4th in Science and 15th in Ideation. Overall, it was an extremely enjoyable and exciting experience that I was honoured to be a part of this year. Gregory Kariatlis (7La)

Da Vinci was very challenging. I found that the questions in Da Vinci were very different. I have never done those types of questions before. They were very new to me. For the English paper you had to know a lot about books and authors. The Creative Producer task was hard. You had to think of what you would do if given the chance to go back in time and change something. Art and Poetry was my favourite competition. As a team we could split up our efforts if someone was stuck. We could switch around and help each other. That was a good part of the day when we could help each other. I hope I do it again next year. Rory Ashcroft (5Hi) PS

We all worked together on challenging problems that seemed almost impossible to us individually which meant that, we had to different people in our group who specialised in the area we were working. Maths and Cartography were challenging. It was fun because it made us think for the whole day. Maxwell Leung (5Yo) JS and Ryan La (5Ta) JS

On Tuesday 4 May, the Year 8 Team competed in the Da Vinci Decathlon, which was online for the first time ever. I was glad to see everyone giving it their all in the competition as we raced against the clock to submit our responses in relation to the theme of chance. Each subject was unique and interesting, from building a mini-golf course to reading weather maps, to creating a three-dimensional artistic poem. Overall it was a fantastic experience that tested our critical thinking and creativity. Christian Ciarroni (8WJ)

Da Vinci was very challenging. It tested your skills to work as a team. To be successful you needed to use all your skills such as time management and self-management skills. They were necessary just to complete the tasks. At some points, time was not on our side and we had to rush our answers. Da Vinci was surprising in that it is very different from other experiences. Usually, you work on your own in competitions. For this competition, I had to collaborate with my teammates. The hardest part of Da Vinci was to get through all the papers and not give up. Sometimes it felt like it was breaking your mental spirit but you just had to keep trying. Working in a team, supporting each other made it easier for everyone. Alex Hu (6Hi)

I was extremely proud of the boys after the day. We had been working to the best of our ability with some banter to keep our spirits high. My personal favourite category would be Ideation, which really brought out our creativity and Science, which did extremely well in our Year group. Compared to 2019, online was much less stressful as the noise levels were down and it was easier to concentrate. An amazing effort made by all teams for the Decathlon. Ashton Yee (7Ta)

It was fun to be part of a team where everyone contributed to each category in the competition. Being online was an interesting experience where we had to work together. At one time we had five papers to submit. It was intense when we had to solve really challenging problems and we had to split up some papers so we could get the papers in on time. Dane Barns. (9WH)

Tha Da Vinci Decathlon is a day where we answer questions from ten different categories competing against schools from NSW. I really enjoyed the category titled Legacy as this was the only task that allowed for our whole team to work on something together. Most of the day we allocated different papers to pairs and trios depending on the strengths of each member. Matthew Nurcombe (6Fo) JS

Although the Da Vinci Decathlon this year was a different experience to previous years, it was challenging nonetheless. The virtual setting did not prevent us from thinking outside the box and we applied our academic and creative skills in ways we had not thought possible before. Overall, an excellent time. Timothy Woodyatt (11Du)

As Year 11 is the final year of the decathlon, I was honoured to be a part of this experience this year. Throughout the day, we operated as a group of eight across ten disciplines, delegating responsibilities according to our strengths. This was immensely rewarding and our team received two places in our Year group. George Dedousis (11Mu)

The decathlon acknowledges the top 18 places across the ten categories in the competition. Our Trinity results were overwhelming:

  • Year 5 JS: 4th – Art & Poetry, 9th – Maths, 10th – Codebreaking
  • Year 5 PS: 12th – Maths
  • Year 6 JS: 9th – Engineering, 10th – English, 7th – Legacy, 13th- Codebreaking
  • Year 6 PS: 6th – Creative Producers, 5th – Science
  • Year 7: 4th – Science, 15th – Ideation
  • Year 8: 3rd – Science, 15th – Maths, 15th – Ideation
  • Year 9: 14th – Cartography
  • Year 11: 3rd – Creative Producers, 12th – Legacy

Lisa Gossling | Head of Gifted and Talented Education

Year 5 Team, Junior School

News from The Arthur Holt Library

May 14, 2021
Mother’s Day Book Display

If anyone reading this is a mother, may we take the opportunity to wish you a very happy Mother’s Day on behalf of everyone in The Arthur Holt Library (better late than never). This year, we encouraged the boys to borrow a book to bring home to their mothers or grandmothers, and organised a display of titles that we thought you might like.

For those of you who received a book, we’d love to hear what you thought of it. For the rest of you, we hope to do the same thing next year, so maybe now’s the time to start dropping some hints about the kinds of books that you like!

One of our favourite borrowers took home The Place on Dalhousie by Melina Marchetta for his mother. He explained that it was partly because he thought she might enjoy it, but also because she had once lived on Dalhousie Street in Haberfield where the novel is set. What a thoughtful young man… If you are reading this, do let us know if the descriptions in the book matched your own recollections.

Of course, we’ve also been continuing our efforts to engage more of the students in reading for pleasure. Our resident Book Group, Arthur’s Readers, helped us to build a display recommending those books and series that they believe everyone should have read by the time they leave the Middle School. Some of their favourites include Eragon, Skullduggery Pleasant and Artemis Fowl. So if you have a son who’s looking for inspiration, tell him to come take a look.

“Books and doors are the same thing. You open them, and you go through into another world.”

– Jeanette Winterson

Andrea O’Driscoll | Teacher Librarian 

Shakespeare Carnival 2021

May 14, 2021

On Tuesday May 11th some 30-plus Bard enthusiasts/performers and 70 parents gathered in The Latham Theatre to celebrate Shakespeare’s ongoing legacy and influence. The forms of Drama included Ensemble and Duologue scenes, group-devised performances and even an original music composition. All the performances were based around Othello and was a culmination of some intensive workshopping in Drama Cocurricular since the start of the year.

Significant moments were:

  • the use of physical theatre in the interpretation of the Proclamation scene
  • Hamish Gray’s evocative piano piece “That Kills for Loving” inspired by the themes of loss and desire in the play
  • the inventive use of symbolism and staging in a Year 7 group’s performance of the handkerchief scene
  • the vast number of students who demonstrated control of the iambic pentameter, showing comfort and mastery of “Shakespeak”
  • a generous sense of ensemble and proficiency in the use of stage space and dramatic elements in all duologues and group scenes
  • a commitment to communicating the stakes for each character: good or evil, hero or villain

All twelve performance items distilled the essence of the play and a wonderful sense of stagecraft. The night culminated with audience participation through online voting. The students who will represent Trinity at the Regional Final on 18 May include:

Act 3 Scene 4 – Group Devised – Peter Bott, Hugo Bruce, Sam Davoren, Jackson Deng, Geronimo Devitt, Benjamin Gallo, Alexander Henry, Axel Lee and Ashvin Nagaratnam. Act 2 Scene 2 Physical Theatre – Ryan Kesby, Jack Fahd, Alexei Baldwin, Hamish Gray, Noah Blomfield, Jai Sharma and Jayden Higgins. Act 1 Scene 3 Duologue – Joseph Britton and Lochlan Demark.

All credit to Ms Smith-Sergi who has driven this wonderful event for some years now; thanks to Mr Bradburn for inducting Year 7s into Shakespeare performance; the indefatigable Mr Pupo for his technical set-up; Ms Hughes for organising the on-line voting; and Mr Mulgrew for his support. Old Bill would have approved.

Brendan Duhigg | Head of Drama 

From the Academic Dean | NAPLAN 2021

May 7, 2021

As you will be aware, this year, along with most other students in NSW, Year 7 and Year 9 Trinity students will be completing NAPLAN Online testing in Weeks 4 and 5. Last term we ran practice tests to enable the School to again test its IT resources and the students to become familiar with the online test environment.

The online testing window is available for nine days; the timetable for testing at Trinity is published below, and was sent to parents of the relevant Year groups earlier in the week. Students are allocated to one of two venues, either the Assembly Hall or Centenary Centre, and will be supported by a team of IT specialists, invigilators and teachers to promote a smooth and focussed NAPLAN Online experience.

NAPLAN provides an opportunity to show what students know, understand and can do, as well as growth over the two-year period since the last testing window. Parents can support their son by ensuring he:

  • Brings a fully charged device to school on each of the testing days
  • Brings a pencil or pen to each testing session to plan answers as permitted
  • Knows where and when his tests will take place
  • Eats a substantial, nourishing breakfast and morning tea, and drinks plenty of water
  • Understands that NAPLAN provides one snapshot in a very full year of academic assessment and achievement. It helps teachers identify strengths and targets for different students, but results are always interpreted in light of all the other learning evidence students produce.

Students who are absent for the tests will have opportunity for catch up sessions on Friday 21st May. Students who require catch up sessions will be contacted by the Curriculum Office via their School email account, and should  check their school email for this communication.

Students can access the public practice platform if they would like to view the test layout once again.

Further information for parents about NAPLAN Online is available here.

If you have any further questions about NAPLAN Online or Trinity testing arrangements, please contact the Curriculum Office on 9581 – 6135.

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

2021 NAPLAN TEST SCHEDULE

Catch up session | Friday 21st May 2021

News from The Arthur Holt Library

May 7, 2021

One of the takeaways from the recent Year 9 Learning Conversations was the number of parents who wished their sons read more. One such parent complained that her son had devoured the entire Harry Potter series while in Junior School, but since joining the Middle School had barely opened a book that wasn’t prescribed by his English teacher.

It’s a growing problem that has been dubbed ‘aliteracy’ by a number of researchers in this area. Whereas ‘illiteracy’ refers to an inability to read and write, ‘aliteracy’ refers to those students who are (often extremely) able to read and write but choose not to. Drawing these lapsed readers back to books is one of our greatest challenges in The Arthur Holt Library, but we do have a number of strategies in place that we hope will help.

First, we have challenged the entire Year 9 cohort to complete the Premier’s Reading Challenge for the very last time. We hope that by registering them all on their behalf, reminding them that this is the last year that they can officially enter and encouraging some healthy competition, we might see more of them return to reading.

We have also launched a Middle School book group called Arthur’s Readers, which we hope will bring more student voice into the library. The boys are currently reading advance copies of pre-publication books so that they might decide which ones we should add to the collection. By accommodating student choice like this, we can stay relevant to our borrowers and invite their recommends.

We have also built up our collection of Audio Books over the past year. It’s worth remembering that they are a great way for those boys who can’t find the time or the inclination to read to stay connected to story and to build up their interest in books.

“Reading should not be presented to children as a chore, a duty. It should be offered as a gift.”

– Kate DiCamillo

Careers

May 7, 2021

The importance of connection

It is by careful design that the word ‘connection’ appears in the Careers infographic at the head of this article. Echoing the comments made by the Head Master and the P&F President on Monday night at the P&F meeting, it was wonderful to be able to speak with a group of parents in person once again, about the Careers Programme.

I provided an overview of our Programme at this meeting, outlining the scope and flow, and how topics are presented. In connecting with your sons, the question of what he wants to do when he starts working (the “What do you want to be when you grow up?” question) sits in the future, not the present. The role of the Careers programme is to empower students and their families to explore options simply for what comes next – what post-school learning option your son will take up.

The notion of preparing yourself for a job in the future centres around the recognition and development of foundation skills – those portable skills that apply across industries and roles, that are enhanced by the learning and application of technical skills. Encouraging your sons to find information themselves about courses that may interest them is supported by conversations that help them identify their skills and interests and how they overlap. This is the area in which your sons will find inspiration to explore courses with which they can connect when they finish school.

I work closely with your sons’ teachers and Housemasters and welcome conversation with you that may assist your son with his course applications.

Futures Fair 2021 – Mini-exhibitions, Presentations and Parent meetings

Our senior students were not able to connect personally with training providers at all last year. Universities and industry groups responded to this challenge and created resources and opportunities to e-meet to share information.

In 2021, universities and training providers have kept some of the e-resources current, making them accessible on the viewer’s terms – a great outcome. But nothing replaces a real-time, face to face conversation.

To ensure that our senior students have this valuable opportunity, we have invited nearly 30 orgnisations to visit school this term as part of our Futures Fair 2021 event. Your sons will have registered to attend the Exhibitions held this week. Next week there is one more Exhibition, and then the series of lunch presentations will start. Year 12 Parents and students will see that there is a UAC presentation scheduled for Tuesday 18 May. You are welcome to register for this event to attend either at school, or via livestream.

These career events are deliberately planned around the Course Information Evening for Year 11, 2022 students. Gathering information will help your sons make the decisions about their subject choices for their last years at school.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Courses and contacts

Please refer to Courses & Contacts for details of courses and contacts that may be of interest to you and your sons.

Susan Draysey | Careers and Student Pathways Advisor 

Year 10, 2022 Trinitarian Scholarships | Now Open

April 30, 2021

Current Year 9 students are encouraged to apply. These scholarships cover Year 10, Year 11 and Year 12 tuition fees and are awarded to boys whose abilities are of an all-round nature, based on documented academic performance and participation in a range of music, sporting, citizenship and co-curricular activities.

Click here to download the application form. Applications close Friday 14 May 2021.

For more information, contact Georgina Gunner, Enrolments Officer: ggunner@trinity.nsw.edu.au or 9581 6029

News from The Arthur Holt Library

April 30, 2021

This week in The Arthur Holt Library we’ve been involved in teaching the Year 11 IBDP boys the value of reflecting. A unique aspect of the International Baccalaureate programmes is the inclusion of humanitarian values in its learner profile. The IBO doesn’t just want its students to achieve academically; it also wants them to consider the role they might play in the wider world – an attribute it describes as International Mindedness.

Reflection plays a key role in the Diploma Programme and in the development of this attribute. All boys must complete a course on the Theory of Knowledge, which essentially asks them to reflect on the assumptions and ideas that underpin their current thinking — challenging the boys to ask the question “how do we know what we know!?”. The Extended Essay also involves a number of formal reflections that require students to consider the research process they have undertaken and the choices they have elected to make. And CAS (Community Activity Service) asks the boys to reflect on their personal development as they undertake a series of creative, physical and service-orientated experiences.

These reflections encourage the boys to observe and guide their own development as learners. They help them to define potential areas for improvement or growth and to take ownership of their work and to decide on their future direction. These are not just the attributes of an IB learner, they are the attributes of all lifelong learners, because they enable you to learn from your mistakes and identify your shortcomings.

In their sessions with the Library Services teaching team, the boys were given scaffolds to guide their early reflections. These will then be displayed on the wall in The Arthur Holt Library so that the boys can see for themselves the kinds of insights and directions that are made possible through effective reflecting.

“In the case of good books, the point is not to see how many of them you can get through, but rather how many can get through to you.”

– Mortimer J. Adler

Careers

April 30, 2021

Futures Fair 2021 – Starting next week for students in Years 10, 11 and 12

As we are not able to host the annual Careers Expo this year, we have put together a series of Careers events in Term 2 for students in Years 10 to 12 that will provide opportunities for conversations with universities and training organisations in some mini-exhibitions, and participation in presentations about scholarships, cadetships and a range of post-school pathways.

For Year 12 parents and students, there is an information session about the university application process, with our invited guests from the University Admissions Centre (UAC). Parents and students will have the opportunity to attend this session at school, or via live-stream.

There is also a Careers presentation scheduled for the P&F meeting next week.

Students will need to register to attend some of these events; others they can attend and register on joining the activity.

To be part of this exciting initiative, please click here for detailed explanations of the activities, and for information on how to register.

Susan Draysey | Careers and Student Pathways Advisor 

Student-centred learning and the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD)

April 23, 2021

Welcome to the new term and new semester. One of the wonderful aspects of school life is the opportunity afforded by the rhythm of a termly structure and the regularity of periods of rejuvenation followed by new starts. I encourage all families to take just a little bit of time to talk with their sons about one or two things they would really like to achieve this term – and what they might actually do to get as close as they can to this goal! Years 8 to 10 have the benefit of the Semester 1 Learning Progress Reports to help them as they formulate these goals, and Learning Progress Conversations are taking place in these first few weeks of the new semester. For Years 7, 11 and 12, Reports and Learning Progress Conversation are imminent.

A culture of goal-setting in a school supports students to take responsibility for their own academic journeys and to ensure the progress they celebrate is both personal and important to them. Trinity’s student-centred approach to learning prioritises the individual growth a student makes rather than comparative judgements amongst a cohort. Semester 1 Academic Awards are under preparation and will recognise both outstanding academic achievements in terms of the highest achieved GPAs as well as outstanding academic growth for students who improve their GPA through focussed effort, no matter the point from which they begin. During Middle School Assembly next week, I will address all Middle School students about academic growth and the ways in which they can step in to take responsibility for their personal growth. The Middle School Life Skills programme for Term 2 will continue to explore concepts such as growth mindset, goal setting and academic integrity.

Another expression of student-centred learning is Trinity’s commitment to providing all students, including those with diverse learning needs, with the very best educational opportunities. Staff work to make the School a valued, safe and dynamic learning environment where every boy, through challenge and support, can be successful. For students with additional needs, this involves understanding needs, strategising to meet these needs and designing learning opportunities that offer equitable access to the curriculum.

Every year, all schools in Australia participate in the Nationally Consistent Collection of Data on School Students with Disability (NCCD). The NCCD process requires schools to identify information already available in the school about supports and adjustments provided to students with disabilities. These relate to legislative requirements under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 and the Disability Standards for Education 2005, in line with the NCCD guidelines (2019).

Information provided about students to the Australian Government for the NCCD includes:

  • year of schooling
  • category of disability: physical, cognitive, sensory or social/emotional
  • level of adjustment provided: support provided within quality differentiated teaching practice, supplementary, substantial or extensive.

This information assists schools to:

  • formally recognise the supports and adjustments provided to students with disability in schools
  • consider how they can strengthen the support of students with disability in schools
  • develop shared practices so that they can review their learning programs in order to improve educational outcomes for students with disability.

The NCCD provides state and federal governments with the information they need to plan more broadly for the support of students with disability.

The NCCD has no direct impact on parents or students: there is no additional testing or surveying required. The School curates and provides existing data to the Australian Government in such a way that no individual student can be identified – the privacy and confidentiality of all students is ensured. All information is protected by privacy laws that regulate the collection, storage and disclosure of personal information. To find out more about these matters, please refer to the Australian Government’s Privacy Policy.

Further information about the NCCD can be found on the NCCD Portal.

If you have any questions about the NCCD collection at Trinity, please contact Renee Culgan, Director of TESS on 95816180.

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

Careers

April 23, 2021

Recognising commitment and hard work

At Trinity we recognise and celebrate our students’ successes in many ways. Occasionally, students’ hard work and dedication is also recognised by people outside of our School.

This is the case for Daniel Soldatos (12Hi), who has been nominated for an award recognising his achievements as a School Based Trainee (SBT) over the past two years (Daniel is undertaking the VET Electrotechnology course as part of his HSC). Last Monday Daniel attended an interview for this award and has been advised that he is a finalist for a Regional SBT Award.

In the letter that his employer sent to support Daniel’s nomination, he said:

“Daniel has shown a great commitment to the company over this past turbulent year, throughout the ongoing challenges that COVID presented to the company. We could always rely on Daniel getting to work on time and putting in 100% for the team asking great questions along the way. It is great to see a young man like Daniel, willing to make the sacrifice of working through the school holidays to learn new skills.” Jackson Larkin, Larkin Electrical Contracting

As well, Isaac Soldatos (Year 12, 2020) was nominated by his employer for a Trainee of the Year Award.

As part of the NSW Department of Education, Training Services NSW co-ordinates these Awards, seeking state-wide nominations across a range of vocational programmes. To be nominated in itself is wonderful recognition of effort and dedication. Congratulations to both Daniel and Isaac.

Daniel at work in a customer’s lounge room, installing a new light fitting.

Susan Draysey | Careers and Student Pathways Advisor 

News from The Arthur Holt Library

April 22, 2021

As we welcome staff and students back to The Arthur Holt Library after the Easter break, it’s a great opportunity to check in on everyone’s holiday reading. As many of you will know, it has become something of a tradition for the Head Master to share the books he read with the staff on the first day back, but this term we have also thrown a challenge out to our wider community of readers.

Inspired by similar reading challenges that we have issued to students, the AHL has invited staff to complete either this year’s Premier’s Reading Challenge or a round of Library Bingo. Completing the Premier’s Reading Challenge alongside the students offers a wonderful opportunity to invite shared discussions around books and to broaden your own reading while also gaining some insights into current Young Adult Fiction.

Library Bingo offers an even broader range of titles. Staff have been challenged to read one book from each of the 20 categories featured on the card. These cover the various genres included in The Arthur Holt Library’s collection, but also a series of recommends from library staff, students and the Head Master’s list, among others.

Along with shared discussions about reading, role-modelling was one of the key research-based reading strategies identified by Margaret Merga in her work in this field. So, completing this challenge will not only benefit you, it will also serve to encourage your students, sons and/or daughters to pick up a book themselves. And that is one of the best things you can do for them.

Andrea O’Driscoll | Teacher Librarian 

“No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally – and often far more – worth reading at the age of fifty and beyond.”

C.S. Lewis

One Man Two Guvnors | THREE NEW SHOWS ADDED!

April 1, 2021

Due to an unprecedented demand for tickets from the performers in the show (a vote of confidence in itself), all three advertised performances sold out before opening up bookings to the public. So, the school has added three shows-

  • Matinee at 1pm on Saturday May 1st
  • 7pm evening show on Friday May 7th
  • 7pm evening show on Saturday May 8th

The show is rated PG as there are occasional sexual references and occasional coarse language. You can book your tickets here.

To whet your appetite for what’s in store, below is the 7-minute promotional performance which took place at Quad Assembly on March 26th.

In addition, here is the last character profile for this term:

RACHEL

That’s her on the right.

It’s hard being a woman in 1963 England. It’s hard being a woman having to impersonate a man. It’s hard being a woman having to impersonate a man who happens to be your twin brother. It’s hard being a woman having to impersonate your twin brother who your lover stabbed to death. And now you want to run away with your lover, the murderer. This could be Hamlet. Then again, it could be your place on a Friday night. Will true love run its course over a corpse? Or will the British legal system demand justice or the Brighton Criminal Underground exact revenge? Find out Week 2 of Term 2. Oh yes, this is a comedy!

Academic Focus | Growing Into Our Intellectual Lives

March 26, 2021

Writing about human learning, twentieth century learning theorist Lev Vygotsky said that ‘children grow into the intellectual life of those around them.’ Vygotsky believed, as do we at Trinity, that learning is social, and collectively we can achieve so much more in our intellectual lives than when we work in isolation.

Lev Vygotsky is a learning theorist I often quote. Throughout the term I have attempted to reflect his perspective of effective learning taking place within a rich community by considering the various ways in which learning is relational. We learn with our peers; we learn with our teachers; and we reflect upon our learning with our families. In this last article of the term, I’d like to frame the experience of receiving Semester Learning Progress Reports as yet another aspect of ‘growing into’ the intellectual life around us.

During the second week of the holiday break students in Years 8 – 10 will receive Reports, and students in Years 12, 11 and 7 will receive theirs early in the new term. The information curated in these documents is based upon a broad range of learning evidence. Both the tasks completed by all students in a cohort, and class-based tasks, are used to determine the specific learning focus grades assigned to students, as well as the overall A+ to E- grade. Learning Focus grades assist students and parents to understand the relative strengths a boy has demonstrated in each of his courses. Overall grades, and the grade distribution tables, meet the NESA requirement for schools to provide a summary of how a student is going in relation to the range of syllabus outcomes set for study in a particular stage of learning. In addition to this assessment of how a boy is travelling with the academic outcomes, the Report provides feedback about his academic engagement: how he is managing the skills and dispositions we know underlie academic growth. At Trinity, we define academic engagement in terms of a particular set of behaviours that indicate skills in self-management, task management, learning focus and persistence.

My first encouragement to families is that as they peruse the Reports together, they focus upon the notion of learning progress. What has changed from the last Report? What is most pleasing about this Report? What are the best parts of the Report – where are the strengths? What might boys do differently next semester to accelerate progress?

My second encouragement is that families value above all else the engagement behaviour feedback: what is happening to the Engagement Point Average (EPA)? If it’s going up – celebrate! If a boy is looking for improvement in his GPA, he must first look to his EPA … is there a pattern in the feedback? Could he be more persistent? Does it seem he needs to develop his skills of managing the tasks he is set?

My final encouragement is to always, always, play the long game … the intellectual life of a Trinity student is indeed rich and varied. We know our boys do incredibly well by the time they complete Year 12 … but the journey is not always smooth. The long game is graduating students who know what it is they want to learn and have the skills to go and learn it. The long game is graduating students who will make a strong and significant contribution to any sphere into which they choose to step. The long game is personal growth in the learning habits that support a rigorous and satisfying intellectual life – both at and beyond school. Receiving a semester Report demands we reflect upon ourselves, that we wholeheartedly celebrate the positives, and, sometimes, that we determine how we might change things moving forward. It’s not always easy … but it is part of growing into an intellectual life that wants our very best – and gives us the feedback we need to achieve it!  

Thank you for reading about learning at Trinity over this term. I wish each of you a blessed, rich and thoughtful Easter, and a wonderful holiday period.

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

News from the Arthur Holt Library

March 26, 2021

With the end of the term in sight, we’ve started winding down the Year 7 Wide Reading Program. The final lesson sees the boys write a review of the book that they borrowed from the Arthur Holt Library’s collection. They need to think about the reasons why they chose the book they did, their expectations when they started reading it and anything that surprised them in their reading journey.

These reviews will be posted on the Library Catalogue where they might help guide the choices of both current and future students of the Middle School. It’s a great way of giving the boys access to recommendations from their peers, which has been proven in a number of studies to encourage reading among high school students. It also provides an authentic audience for their work, something which evidence has shown increases their engagement in the task and gives their work a greater sense of agency.

Of course, the end of the Wide Reading Program does not mean the end of the boys’ reading adventures here at Trinity. Mrs Nolan will be popping into every class to sign the boys up to the 2021 Premier’s Reading Challenge. This State-wide initiative is designed to encourage a love of reading for leisure and pleasure in students and to expose them to a diverse range of quality, age-appropriate literature. It’s a challenge after our own hearts.

“I have a passion for teaching kids to become readers, to become comfortable with a book, not daunted. Books shouldn’t be daunting, they should be funny, exciting and wonderful; and learning to be a reader gives a terrific advantage.”

– Roald Dahl

Stefanie Gaspari | Director of Library Services

Servant of Two Masters | Year 9 Drama

March 26, 2021

Experimental Drama Theatre. Monday March 22nd.

The show must go on! Right? Even when one of your leading men breaks his arm on the weekend and is in a recovery ward instead of a stage wing. Even when a number of your best performers are at the Field Studies Centre. Even when half of Sydney is under water. The show must go on… right? So go on, it did… with a touch of improvisation, a dollop of versatility and a large helping of chutzpah on the part of the 12 boys in Year 9 Drama.

The boys performed excerpts from “Servant of Two Masters”- probably the most famous Commedia text. It has been adapted by Australian writer, Nick Enright and is also the prototype for the upcoming production of “One Man, Two Guvnors”. In the history of Commedia, most of the characters wore masks but no shoes. The performance venue was usually the back of a cart in a marketplace, the plots were familiar to the audience and used as points of improvised departure by the performers. The characters were archetypical, typically reviled if they were upper class or foreign. So, it’s well suited for Australian audiences.

As Ms Smith-Sergi reminded the small but supportive audience, the Drama Department celebrated its first live performance since before the pandemic, going back now 18 months. This was also the first public outing of the Department’s theme of “Walking in Someone Else’s Shoes”. For most of these boys, it was their first time on stage before an audience, other than their teacher. So, most were trying on shoes for the first time.

There was much to appreciate here – Joey Britton’s “I’m Not Dead Yet” Pantalone, Toby Henry’s feisty Clarice, Angus Madden’s maddeningly pathetic Silvio, Aidan Kuoch’s noble Florindo, Hugo Nguyen’s crafty Dottore, Aidan Gaitanis’s unflappable Beatrice, Ben Moloney’s phlegmatic Smeraldina and Keegan Van’s irrepressible Truffaldino. Aaron Byeun and William Tran were versatile stage Spakfilla – they filled holes and roles everywhere. Some of the most inspiring moments came from problem solving on one’s feet (another shoe analogy) in drawing all the threads together. It ended up with three weddings where true love crossed the class, gender and socially distant divide. Pantalone paid for the lot.

Thanks to the boys’ teacher, Ms Smith Sergi for her inspirational genius, Mr Bradburn for his support and to Mr Bowden and Mr Barr for their encouraging presence.

Brendan Duhigg | Head of Drama

Careers @ Trinity

March 26, 2021

In the same sentence…

In whatever job you do, you will be able to recognise the place of both knowledge and skill to enable you to be productive and effective in your role. An increase in university enrolments, and indeed in many cases, the expectation that new workers will have a university qualification, has come at the expense of employment related skill development.

The question in parents’ minds when sitting with their boys, talking about post school study options is quite rightly, “What job will this qualify them to do?”.

There has been a blurring of the edges, if you like, with respect to courses offered by the VET and Tertiary sectors in recent years. Both sectors now offer Diploma and Bachelor courses, and both are taking seriously the call to link the learning they provide with industry requirements.

The workforce of the future will need to be responsive to change, technically adept and able to communicate vision and intentions with customers and peers alike. The skills and knowledge required in this working world will be learned from both the VET and Tertiary sectors. More and more, engagement in skills based learning will take place alongside more generalised learning to produce graduates that are immediately employable.

Lifelong learning will take place across different education sectors, with all seen as equally important in maintaining currency of skills and knowledge for work in the future.

Of interest was the release of a report by David Gonski and Peter Shergold last week, titled “In the same sentence. Bringing higher and vocational education together.” Preparing Trinity graduates for meaningful careers, challenges us to continually consider what the future of work will look like for our young men.

Courses and contacts

Please refer to Courses and Contacts for details of courses and contacts that may be of interest to you and your sons.

Susan Draysey | Careers and Student Pathways Advisor 

What’s With the Shoes?

March 26, 2021

Shoes are the theme and symbol for 2021 of the Drama Department at Trinity. How prosaic! Shoes!

The great English actor Laurence Olivier once claimed, “Once I had the shoes, I had the character”. In that case, Imelda Marcos, former first lady of Philippines dictator, Ferdinand, must have had 6000 characters in her head as she had this number of shoes. Our purpose is more educationally driven, inspired by the quote, “You never really understand someone or their perspective until you walk a mile in their shoes”. Atticus Finch from Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” puts it more viscerally, “to walk around in their skin”.

Either way, skin or shoes, we’re about promoting empathy. The Australian Curriculum calls it Personal and Social Capability. NESA strongly encourages empathetic understanding tasks in the teaching of History. Christians have empathy defined for them in the story of the Good Samaritan, to walk a mile and more in your enemy’s shoes.

In a world increasingly defined by individualism, fractured communities, controversies about understanding “the other”- most recently around consent – empathy has never been a more imperative item on the education agenda.

In Drama, empathy is achieved through inhabiting another character, using that most concrete of teachers, experience. This year, boys will walk through Mozart’s shoes, an assassin’s shoes, a character with no shoes – the list goes on. The aim is to develop empathetic young men – one step at a time.

Continuing our character profiles of the cast from the upcoming production of “One Man Two Guvnors” our next one is…

Stanley Stubbers

Stanley plays one of the lovers in “One Man Two Guvnors”. He represents all that was great in the English Public School Education system from last century – quick of fist, devoid of empathy and an abiding sense of entitlement and fair play, with no intelligence to see the contradiction between the two. He refers to the Beatles as “a popular beat combo”. The prototype upper class twit made popular by Monty Python. No more to be said.

That’s him on the left, about to hit the waiter for six!

NAPLAN Online in 2021

March 19, 2021

At Trinity, we focus upon understanding assessment as an opportunity for students to show what they CAN do. When we think about assessment in this way, it is about celebrating growth and identifying next steps for learning This week, I’d like to frame the coming NAPLAN tests as another opportunity to celebrate learning growth – and provide some information about the 2021 online NAPLAN tests.

The National Assessment Program – Literacy and Numeracy (NAPLAN) assesses literacy and numeracy skills that are essential for every child to progress through school and life. Students in Years 3, 5, 7 and 9 participate in the annual NAPLAN tests in reading, writing, conventions of language (spelling, grammar and punctuation) and numeracy. The assessment provides parents and schools with an understanding of how individual students are performing at the time of the tests. NAPLAN is just one aspect of a school’s assessment and reporting process – it does not replace ongoing assessments made by teachers about student performance and it is not used for class placements or formal semester reporting at Trinity.

Trinity moved to online NAPLAN testing in 2019. The 2020 programme did not take place due to COVID-19, and in 2021, like the majority of students across Australia, students at Trinity’s Preparatory School, Junior School, Summer Hill and Field Studies campuses will sit NAPLAN online. One of the main benefits of NAPLAN online is its capacity to deliver tailored testing, where the test automatically adapts to an individual student’s test performance by presenting questions of higher or lower complexity. This allows all students to work at their own point of challenge and allows the test to measure student achievement more precisely.

The assessment window for 2021 NAPLAN online is between 11 and 21 May (Term 2 Weeks 4 and 5).  Precise scheduling information will be provided to each year group in the first week of Term 2.

Students in Years 3 will hand write their writing test on Tuesday May 11th; they will use School devices and school supplied headphones, in their own classrooms, to complete the other tests. Students in Year 5 will use School devices and school supplied headphones to complete all tests. The School will ensure all devices are set up with the software required for the testing and Specialist IT support will be available during all testing windows. Practice opportunities will be available to students in classroom settings before the end of Term 1.

Students in Years 7 and 9 will use their own devices for NAPLAN online. This will require the installation of a ‘lockdown browser’ to ensure the security of the testing platform.  Instructions for downloading the lockdown browser have been provided by email to students and parents today. Parents of students in Years 7 and 9 are asked to support their sons’ access to the online environment by ensuring the lockdown browser has been installed. A practice session next week, Week 9, will check the lockdown browsers and provide opportunity for students to familiarise themselves with the test platform. A limited number of loan computers will be supplied for students whose device is not functioning on the day of testing and specialist IT support will be available during all testing windows.

The public demonstration site contains FAQs and access to some practice items to allow students to become familiar with the layout of the online tests.

More information about NAPLAN Online 2021 is available for students in Years 7 and 9 in this letter from the Australian Curriculum, Assessment and Reporting Authority (ACARA), and for students in Years 3 and 5 in this letter.  Parents and carers may find this information from NESA useful. You are also invited to contact the School if you have further questions about NAPLAN online in 2021.

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

Trinity Grammar School Drama Department

March 19, 2021

presents

One Man Two Guvnors.

Wednesday, 28 and Friday, 30 April and Saturday, 1 May at the Experimental Drama Theatre at 7pm.

This is an especially joyous occasion for the Trinity Drama Department as our last show, “School of Rock” was torpedoed by COVID last year, just four weeks from opening night. Now we’re back! Week 2 of Term 2! Tickets will go on sale shortly once clear guidelines in response to the changing nature of the pandemic have been published by the government.

This comedy is a re-imagining of Carlo Goldoni’s Commedia classic, “Servant of Two Masters”- same stock characters of masters and servants but set in Brighton, England 1963. The plots revolve around mistaken identities (including gender swaps), betrayals, murders (off stage), romance (on stage) and lots of slapstick and pratfalls (on and off stage). It formed the basis of the Westminster system of Liberal Democracy minus the Oprah interviews. So, what makes it a timeless classic? Well… the issues have been with us ever since God sent Adam out of the garden on Jobseeker. The community fracture lines between class, gender and race are wider than ever. In response one can either take to the streets or get a bit of perspective through laughter. Commedia opts for the latter. One Man Two Guvnors is the first in a series of performances based on the concept of “walking a mile in someone else’s shoes” – more to come on this later. Keep an eye out for shoes!

To whet your appetite for the show, you will be given a character portrait each week. The first is…

Francis Henshall

Francis was born on April 19th to 21st 1943 in a bomb shelter during the London Blitz. A fairly unattractive baby, he was mistaken for an unexploded bomb for 3 weeks until the fire department sprayed him with fire retardant. This began a life-long distrust of authority, suspicion of anything foamy and hysterical reactions at the sound of sirens. Francis did well at the Liverpool School for Orphans Who Look Like Shrapnel. He excelled at Lunch Money Extortion and the performing arts where he acted as bits of scenery. Now he’s an out of work busker, thinking about going back to the Armed Services as an unexploded bomb.

News from The Arthur Holt Library

March 19, 2021

With Year 12 out on exams, and Year 11 about to join them, you might imagine The Arthur Holt Library to be a bit quieter than usual. In actual fact, the absence of the Senior boys has left more space for the Middle School to come in and take full advantage of the return of the soft furnishings.

The beanbags and sofas had been relegated to storage, but the recent easing of COVID restrictions has meant that we were able to bring them back in time for the start of this year’s Premier’s Reading Challenge. Anyone looking to register should come and see Mrs Nolan in the library. We have also set up a display of books that have been included on the list and made sure that there are plenty spots in the lounge area for boys to curl up with a good book.

The library is also home to the Middle School Book Club. Less a formal book club and more an opportunity to discuss any and all books with some like-minded individuals, the club meets every Monday lunchtime under the stewardship of our Library Services Manager, Mrs Nolan.

The Arthur Holt is also home to Movie Club, a Senior School co-curricular that meets every Wednesday after school from 4pm to 6pm. Teaching and Learning Librarian Ms Raffaele carefully curates a selection of classic and modern films to intersperse with the boys’ own movie choices to keep the conversation lively! Be sure to look out for it next time you choose your co-curricular activities.

“Let us remember: One book, one pen, one child, and one teacher can change the world.”

Malala Yousafzai

Andrea O’Driscoll | Teacher Librarian

Academic Focus | Reflecting

March 12, 2021

One of the joys of my role is teaching a Year 7 English class. Over the course of Term 1, Year 7 have been exploring the concept of identity, and learning to write analytically to explain what other composers represent about identity, but also to write reflectively to explore what they think about their own identity. As I read Year 7’s reflective responses, I am both delighted by the thoughtfulness they have brought to this assessment opportunity and reminded of the power of our reflective capabilities.

Neil Postman, an extraordinary 20th century educator, declared that questions were the primary intellectual tool available to human beings: ‘Once your have learned to ask questions – relevant and appropriate and substantial questions – you have learned how to learn and no one can keep you from learning whatever you want or need to know.’

In my Year 7 class, we have come to understand reflection as looking back on something significant and asking ourselves questions about this experience in order to understand it, learn from it and value it. It is in asking questions of ourselves that we grow.

As we approach the end of the first semester of the 2021 academic year, I’d like to suggest that the capacity to ask ourselves questions – relevant and appropriate and substantial questions – is fundamental to learning success. The ability to look critically at our attitudes, behaviours and achievements, to discern our strengths as well as our areas for further growth, and then to make changes as a result of this process, is a characteristic, I think, of people who are not only successful at what they do, but who enjoy what they do. I encourage all students to ask themselves these three reflective questions as the engage in their end of term assessment programmes and begin to look towards the restfulness of a holiday period.  

  1. What have I done well? Where have my strengths emerged and what will I celebrate?
  2. How have my attitudes and beliefs about myself served me as a learner? What would I like to work on in terms of my mindset?
  3. What will I do differently as I return to a new academic year and a new academic challenge? Do I need to work on self-management? Task management? Would I benefit from being more persistent?

Of course, these questions are a fairly typical reflection start up pack … but I wonder what are the additional questions you might need to ask yourself? Can you frame these questions so you can explore their answers during the coming second semester? Would you like a conversation with someone who can help you ask the questions that will lead you to the answers you need? Your teachers are ready to chat with you!   

I wish all students and their families a productive remainder of the term: it is the season for focused and diligent work, for giving our best to the examinations and assessments that are a necessary part of learning. But, as you engage in this work, take the time to reflect on how you are going with your learning journey so you can begin to shape your next goals and plans. I am sure Year 7 have found the experience of reflecting upon themselves not only valuable, but surprisingly and powerfully enjoyable!  

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

The University of Sydney Academic Achievement Award

March 12, 2021

Each year, the University of Sydney invites schools to nominate students in Year 10 for a University Academic Achievement Award. The criteria set for this award are quite demanding: a student must demonstrate not only outstanding achievement across a range of discipline areas, but also clearly show that he or she has developed the dispositions of academic success, such as the willingness to embrace challenge, and to persevere in the discovery of new strategies to learn deeply and solve complex problems.

This morning on Quad Assembly, the School was delighted to announce John Dedousis (11Mu), Dux of the Year 10 2020 cohort, as a recipient of a University of Sydney Academic Achievement Award.  The award was presented by Mr Barr, Deputy Head Master.

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean 

News from The Arthur Holt Library

March 12, 2021

Monday 8 March was International Women’s Day. Of course, the day is primarily a chance to celebrate how far women have come, both in terms of their rights and freedoms and their subsequent achievements in all areas of society, politics and the arts. But the day is also an opportunity to take note of where improvements can still be made and where injustice and inequality still prevail.

Our series of library displays built a very real sense of women’s achievements. Books on or by Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Greta Thunberg, Virginia Woolf, Helen Garner and Jacinda Ardern reminded the boys how every sector of society has benefitted from the emancipation of women.

As the home of the student-led co-curricular Film Club, we also dedicated a wall to posters of films made by female directors, from Kathryn Bigelow’s ‘Point Break’ to Jane Campion’s ‘The Piano’ and the recent documentary ‘13’ by Ava Duverney.

We even pulled some borrowing statistics and very proudly displayed the fact that 52 per cent of the books borrowed from The Arthur Holt Library in February were written by female identifying authors. This follows on from the last two author events that we organised, with elite female athlete, Elysse Perry, and acclaimed writer of historical fiction, Lauren Chater.

However, this is perhaps one of those areas where more work could be done. A recent article in ‘The Washington Post’ by children’s author Shannon Hale warned of the dangers of assuming that boys don’t like to read books by or about women. It’s an assumption that’s as likely to be made by people who recommend books as by the boys themselves. She points out what an important tool in building empathy and understanding books can be and how vital these qualities are.

So, since the motto of this year’s International Women’s Day is #Choosetochallenge, our resolution is to make sure that our boys understand that just because a book is about women, doesn’t mean that it’s a book for women.

Stefanie Gaspari | Director of Library Services

“Fairy tales are more than true: not because they tell us that dragons exist, but because they tell us that dragons can be beaten.”

– Neil Gaiman

Year 9 History Incursion

March 12, 2021

On Monday, Year 9 students participated in a World War Living History workshop to bring to life aspects of their current unit of study, Australians at War (1914-1945).

In the first session, students learned about the experience of Trench Warfare in World War I. The second session was about Jungle Warfare during the Kokoda Campaign in World War II.

Students had the opportunity to pass around artefacts, ask questions, and interact with each other during points of discussion. The students enjoyed the incursion and the opportunity to handle real artefacts while hearing stories and historical information about Australians’ experiences at War.

Matthew Miller | History Teacher

A. Gaitanis
P. Khoury-Harb
A. Lemme
M. Ticic

Careers @ Trinity

March 11, 2021

University entry – 2022

It has been wonderful to field so many questions from your sons in Years 11 and 12 about early entry to university courses.

Early entry programmes are not available at all universities, nor for all courses. Most students will achieve the course offer they are seeking at the end of the year, after exams are finished, results are released, and when universities release an offer round. Early or direct applications are managed in two ways – through the Schools Recommendation Scheme managed through the UAC application process, or an individual university’s early/direct entry pathway, both of which will use Year 11 results to determine academic suitability for the course being applied for. They may also use additional criteria – for example, leadership experience or community service. Most of these entry pathways will be open next term. (Information about the early entry scheme for ANU, which opened at the beginning of this month was posted on the Canvas Careers space.)

UAC and universities are finalising their entry pathways options in readiness for next term. On 1 April, Year 12 HSC students will receive information from UAC regarding their course application process. Year 12 IB students will receive this information a little later in the term. They are not disadvantaged by the different timing as the full range of courses is not posted in the UAC space until August.

Parents and students may like to subscribe to UAC for information updates, by email, or via social media (Facebook and Instagram). I will share information when needed, directly with parents, and as well on the Canvas Careers space for our boys.

Please don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions.

Courses and contacts

Please refer to Courses and Contacts for details of courses and contacts that may be of interest to you and your sons.

Susan Draysey | Careers and Student Pathways Advisor 

Academic Focus

March 5, 2021

Learning Progress Conversations and Semester 1 Learning Progress Reports

Over the past few weeks, I have written about the various ways in which learning is relational. Two of the most effective ways to advance learning journeys are through purposeful conversation with those whose expertise is greater than ours – our teachers – and purposeful conversation with those who care deeply about and support our progress – our families. When a three-way conversation between student, teacher and family can be accessed, the opportunities for accelerated growth are significant.

This week began the School’s season of Learning Progress Conversations (formerly known as parent – teacher interviews). On Wednesday evening, Year 12 students and their families met online with teachers to exchange information, share perspectives and ask questions about each individual student’s engagement and growth. The rebranding of these events places the emphasis upon conversation that is a genuine interaction about a student’s progress to date and his next steps for further progress. The time to acknowledge improvements, celebrate successes and strategise for the upcoming formal assessment period was most important.

The decision to conduct 2021 Learning Conversations remotely comes from the overwhelmingly positive response from parents and teachers to the online experience forced last year by COVID. Staff have felt the privilege of being invited into your homes for a brief moment, and many parents have valued the ability to focus carefully upon their son’s learning, without the competing demands of a bustling Assembly Hall, traffic and travel.

As we move through the final weeks of Semester 1, students are fully engaged in completing the semester’s assessment programmes and, for Years 11 and 12, preparing for a formal assessment and examination period. Teachers will be designing purposeful tasks, marking, organising feedback and preparing end of semester reports, in the lead up to the Term 2 Learning Progress Conversations for Years 7  – 11. It is an intense time in the School, and I encourage all students to focus upon personal goals and growth rather than comparison to others as they set their own goals for success. I encourage them to have conversations about the goals they have set for themselves, how they think they are going with these goals, and the kind of support they would value from their families. I also warmly encourage parents to contact the Curriculum Office or the relevant Pastoral Office if they would like to speak to a member of staff about any aspect of the assessment programme or their son’s engagement during this quite demanding period. We are here to listen and assist.

Semester 1 Learning Progress Reports will be released, via the parent portal, according to the following schedule:

Years 8 – 10

  • Week 2 of the April holiday period

Years 11 – 12

  • Week 3 of Term 2

Year 7

  • Week 5 of Term 2

Learning Progress Conversations, via the students’ MS Teams accounts, will take place on the following evenings:

Year 10

  • Wednesday 21 April (Term 2 Week 1)

Year 9

  • Tuesday 27 April (Term 2 Week 2)

Year 8

  • Wednesday 5 May (Term 2 Week 3)

Year 11

  • Monday 10 May (Term 2 Week 4)

Year 7

  • Monday 31 May (Term 2 Week 7)

Information about bookings and instructions for online Learning Progress Conversations are provided by email to families the week before the relevant evening.

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

News from the Arthur Holt Library

March 5, 2021

“Today a reader, tomorrow a leader.” They are the words of the American author and educator Margaret Fuller, spoken almost 200 years ago, but they remain as true today as they were in the 19th Century.

This can be a stressful time in the school calendar. Learning Progress Conversations have commenced; the work is piling up; and exams are looming. It can seem hard to find the time for anything outside of study, but in fact one of the best things you can do for yourself – or indeed one of the best things you can recommend for your son to do – is to pick up a book and read it.

Not only will it help you to relax, it will also help you to maintain perspective and sharpen your mind for the weeks ahead.

If you find a moment in the school day, perhaps you might like to pop into the library and take a turn on our new reading chair. It’s proved a popular addition among both staff and students and there isn’t a better spot in the school to take five minutes out of your day and enjoy all the benefits of a good book.

We’d also like to take this opportunity to congratulate three of our Teacher Librarians for completing the Huskisson Triathlon last week. Competing as the ‘Tribrarians’, Ms Nell from the Preparatory School, Ms Courtenay and Ms Raffaele did us proud with their personal-best beating performances.

“Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination, and the journey. They are home.”

– Anna Quindlen

Stefanie Gaspari | Director of Library Services

Media and Advertising Class

March 5, 2021

“We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.”

E.O. Wilson (1998)

In a world saturated in news and entertainment media, where news has become almost indistinguishable from “fake news” or even “fake fake news”, media literacy has never been more vital.

Over the course of Term 1, 2021, Year 6 students at the Junior School have been in a student centred and directed inquiry into various forms and iterations of media. They have been exploring how to think critically about advertising and the news media and how to “make important choices wisely”[1] in relation to how they allow this media to affect them and shape their thinking.

Just as Coleridge’s “Ancient Mariner” found himself and his crew on an imperilled boat surrounded by “Water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink” so, too, Trinity boys find themselves born into and existing in a world where “We are [all] drowning in information, while starving for wisdom”[2]

On Wednesday, Year 6 boys engaged in a cohort-wide lesson focussed on how to navigate, make sense of, and make wise choices in response to a world in which advertising in ubiquitous.

Junior and Middle-Senior staff collaborated on the programme. Year 6 teacher, Mr Hoare, reached out to the Assistant Head of English of the Middle-Senior School, Mr Bosco, to discuss, plan for, and co-construct this lesson for the students.

In it, students learnt about the origins of modern advertising being grounded in the work of Sigmund Freud and his nephew Edward Bernays who is (in)famously credited with being the father of “public relations”. They learnt how advertising seeks primarily to engage audiences emotionally and encourage them to act upon their desires by exploring Abraham Maslow’s “Hierarchy of Needs” and the AIDA (Attention/Interest/Desire/Action) that is often used both to construct and analyse advertising. Students had the opportunity to critically examine a number of recent advertisements, from the launch of the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra phone to the Christmas 2020 Coca-Cola campaign, as well as learn about how they might use some tips and tricks employed in advertising to improve their own persuasive writing and speaking skills.

“It was a pleasure and a privilege for me to work with the boys of Year 6 and their teachers and to assist them in developing their critical thinking and media literacy skills,” said Mr Bosco.


[1] (Wilson, 1998)

[2] IBID

Academic Focus

February 26, 2021

Study Support, Arthur Holt Library, 3.45 pm – 5.00pm Monday to Thursday

Last week, I wrote about the many expressions of learning as relational: relating what we know to what is new, relating with our fellow learners to deepen and accelerate our own learning, relating with those who are interested in our progress to articulate what we have discovered. This week I would like to focus upon one of the opportunities the school offers for relating with those who have greater expertise than us – teachers and mentors – beyond the classroom.

These kinds of opportunities are available for all secondary students in The Arthur Holt Library after school, Mondays to Thursdays. Between 3.45 pm and 5.00 pm, teachers are available to work with students on study habits and routines, homework, upcoming assessment tasks, how to prepare study notes for upcoming examinations, how to set up a study timetable – or any other learning-related question a student may have!

No prior booking is required – simply turn up, sign into the Library with your Trinity student card and follow the signage to the designated Study Support area.  Teachers will be ready to work with you.

Of course, the Library is a valuable study space for many students after school and remains open until 6.00pm every evening. Students attending for Study Support may choose to stay on after the 5.00pm finish to continue working in a supervised, conducive environment if they wish.  If you would like further clarification about Study Support, please contact Mr Andrew Scott, Director of Curriculum, on 9581 – 6135.

When we take up opportunities to ask questions, test our ideas, and work shoulder to shoulder with someone who has more expertise than us, we can be supported in valuable ways. What sometimes appears daunting can be broken down into manageable steps. We can work out where to start and how to get to the end of a homework or an assessment task. We can become efficient learners, confident to step deliberately into any learning challenge. I encourage you to consider the ways in which Study Support in the Library after school might be just the help you are looking for to foster these kinds of learning habits in your sons – and, boys, I encourage you to turn up and give it a go!

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

Careers @ Trinity

February 26, 2021

Studying overseas

One of the many post school study experiences that our students may pursue will be to study overseas. I explain to boys that there are five ways to include an overseas experience in their study pathway when they finish Year 12:

  • Undergraduate study at an overseas institution
  • Post graduate study at an overseas institution
  • Domestic undergraduate study that includes a year studying at an overseas institution
  • Engaging in an exchange programme while undertaking a domestic undergraduate course
  • Considering a structured Gap Year Programme prior to commencing study in Australia.

We support students and families in exploring these options in a range of ways. My first question to boys when they ask me about studying overseas is about the conversations they have had (or not!) with their parents. You are aware that the commitment to study overseas is substantial, in terms of effort required for the application process, as well as financial. There is no singular pathway to achieving a course offer at an overseas institution.

If boys are seeking to apply for student athlete programmes in the US (ie apply for a scholarship), they will need to ensure they meet National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility criteria, as well as the academic admissions criteria for the course they are choosing. Applications are made directly to US colleges and each college will have their own application process. Some may use the US CollegeApp system, which acts as a holding space for application information that colleges can access.

Part of the US college application may also include completion of standardised tests. Some parts of these tests are being phased out – more information here.

For those interested in study in the UK, applications are made through the University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). This process is similar to Australia’s tertiary admissions process used by individual states.

In both cases, applying for US or UK courses, applicants need to provide personal statements to provide information about themselves that should complement the information provided in their applications, an provide context and connection with the courses they are choosing.

For applications to study in other countries, there is often very little standard information made available, and I welcome the chance to explore different possibilities with your sons if they have these interests.

Studying overseas provides a wonderful opportunity for growth, both personally and academically, and is a great teacher of foundation skills that are widely valued – resilience, flexibility, decision-making, and taking responsibility, to name a few.

I encourage your sons to look at the information provided on the Canvas Careers page regarding overseas study to explore ideas and review links with information to help them learn about the application process.

Courses and contacts

Walking direction on asphalt

Please refer to Courses and Contacts for details of courses and contacts that may be of interest to you and your sons.

Susan Draysey | Careers and Student Pathways Advisor 

From the Mathematics Faculty

February 26, 2021

Dear Trinity Mathematicians,

You are invited to participate in the 2021 Mathematics Challenge for Young Australian (MCYA) programme. This is a problem-solving programme organised by the Australian Mathematics Trust (AMT), which is generally aimed at the top 15% of students in an academic year at the School.

Participants will be required to present written solutions to as many of problems set in either Stage. The problems require time and persistence and may be based on Mathematics studied to date or learned as you progress through the Stage/Series problems.

The Challenge Stage:

The MCYA Challenge Stage will take place over a continuous four-week period commencing later this term (and continuing in the forthcoming vacation period). Participants will receive a problem book containing six questions (in either the Junior Division for Years 7 and 8 and the Intermediate Division for Years 9 and 10).

Participants are advised of the following dates:

  • Date of issue of materials will be on or before Monday March 22
  • Due date for submission of solutions to attempted problems will be on or before Monday April 26.

Confirmed entrants will have access to a dedicated Mathematics Competitions Canvas Course and further instructions will be notified soon after registration. In this Series, participants may work with a partner on any of the problems in the same Division although individual solutions must be submitted. Details regarding submission of solutions and further information will be made available on the Mathematics Competitions Canvas Course.

The Enrichment Stage:

The MCYA Enrichment Stage will take place over a continuous 12-week period commencing in June through to August, 2021. Depending on the Series selected (Dirichlet, Euler, Gauss, Noether, Polya), participants will receive a problem book containing 8 to 16 questions based on topics in Number, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement and Problem Solving.

Participants are advised of the following dates:

  • Date of issue of materials will be on or before Tuesday June 1
  • Due date for submission of solutions to attempted problems will be on or before Tuesday August 17.

Like the Challenge Stage, confirmed entrants will have access to a dedicated Mathematics Competitions Canvas Course and further instructions will be notified soon after registration.

Each question in an Enrichment problem booklet is based on Mathematics contained in a comprehensive booklet of theory notes, examples and exercises. These notes, examples and exercises should be consulted before completing any of the related questions in the actual problem booklet. Sample questions and corresponding solutions will be provided on the Mathematics Competition Canvas Course.

In this Series, collaboration among other entrants is NOT permitted.

A brief description of each Enrichment Series is presented below.

  • The Dirichlét Enrichment Series

This Series is suitable for students in Year 7. Three of the eight chapters revolve around a story which illustrates some problem-solving techniques: using logic, solving a simpler problem, and working backwards. The other five chapters cover:

  • Tessellations
  • One-handed arithmetic
  • Time, distance, speed
  • Working with patterns
  • Recurring decimals

Almost all the material presented is Mathematics not usually taught in school at any level and so is appropriate for enrichment purposes. The Student Problems book has eight questions.

  • The Euler Enrichment Series

This Series is mainly for Year 8 and outstanding Year 7 students. The topics considered in this series are:

  • Primes and composites
  • Least common multiples
  • Highest common factors
  • Arithmetic sequences
  • Figurate numbers
  • Congruences
  • Properties of angles
  • Counting techniques
  • The Pigeonhole Principle

Chapters 1 to 4 involve very little algebra, and the latter chapters will require students to learn about or have more advanced Algebra skills. The Student Problems book has 12 questions.

  • The Gauss Enrichment Series

This is designed for talented students in Years 8 and 9. It introduces the use of computer spreadsheets such as Excel. The topics covered include:

  • Parallels
  • Similarity
  • Pythagoras’ Theorem
  • Spreadsheets
  • Diophantine equations
  • Counting techniques  
  • Congruence

Each chapter introduces new Mathematics and presents some key mathematical ideas followed by some illustrative examples with suggested approaches and sets of exercises for which there are fully worked solutions. The Student Problems book has twelve questions. 

  • The Noether Enrichment Series

This is designed for talented students in Years 9 and 10, following on from Gauss Series. The topics considered are:

  • Expansion and factorisation
  • Sequences and series
  • Number bases
  • Inequalities
  • Methods of proof
  • Congruence
  • Circles
  • Tangents

Spreadsheets may also be useful for some problems. The Student Problems book has sixteen questions. 

  • The Polya Enrichment Series (by invitation ONLY)

This Series extends the work from earlier Series on Euclidean geometry. There is an introduction to some selected topics in advanced algebra. The topics covered are:

  • Functions
  • Symmetric Polynomials
  • Geometry
  • Inequalities
  • Functional Equations
  • Number Theory
  • Counting
  • Graph Theory

It would be useful for students to compile an ongoing summary of the facts and techniques learned and use them to obtain their own solutions to the examples. The Student Problems book has 16 problems. 

For both the Challenge and Enrichment Stages, the AMT has indicated that students can seek help from any resources other than human ones, so textbooks, encyclopaedias, etc., calculators and computers are suitable. Websites offering help with problems are really human resources and are not allowed, but the use of a computer-based encyclopaedia or a website providing information of a general nature is alright.

Supervised support for participants in this programme will be available across two lunch sessions in a week. The time and venue of these support sessions will be confirmed with the participants on the Mathematics Competitions Canvas Course. Some guidance on how the solutions are to be prepared and submitted will also be shared with confirmed participants.

If accepted, Trinity Grammar School will absorb the cost of entry of participants into either Stage.

We hope the MCYA Challenge and/or the Enrichment Stages is an enjoyable and valuable learning experience for participants.

If you wish to enter any of the Stages (Challenge and/or Enrichment), please click on the following link(s) to register your interest no later than Monday 8 March 2021. Unfortunately, we are unable to register submissions after this date

If you have any questions, please contact Miss Cho (Senior Mathematics Teacher) at hcho@trinity.nsw.edu.au.

Hyun Mi Cho | Teacher | Secondary [Math] | MiC Math Club 

News from the Arthur Holt Library

February 26, 2021

The Arthur Holt Library is very proud to announce that our longest-serving Teaching and Learning Librarian, Vicki Courtenay, is this year’s recipient of the State Library of New South Wales Teacher Librarian of the Year Award. It’s a great testament to the work she does both in and for the school.

In order to win the award, Ms Courtenay was required to demonstrate her competency across a range of areas specific to her role. These included professional knowledge, professional practice and professional commitment.

Our Teaching and Learning Librarians are required to work with every department in the school, to promote the principles of Academic Scholarship and to foster lifelong learning. In developing the Research Wheel, a process scaffold based on Carol Kuhlthau’s Guided Inquiry Design and Information Search Process, Ms Courtenay has been instrumental in teaching our Trinity boys how to research effectively and how to take control of their own learning.

It is also the job of a Teaching and Learning Librarian at Trinity to promote a positive school-wide reading culture and here again Ms Courtenay has proved invaluable. She worked with the Director of Library Services and Dr Margaret Merga to develop the school’s reading support strategy and recently revisited it to ensure its ongoing effectiveness. Our Teaching and Learning Librarians also deliver our wide-reading programs and are working to broaden these in the coming years.

It’s a well-deserved award and we’re sure you will join us in offering Ms Courtenay our heartfelt congratulations!

Here’s the link to the SLANSW official announcement: https://www.slansw.net.au/media/10081956

“I read a book one day and my whole life was changed.”

Orhan Pamuk

Andrea O’Driscoll | Teacher Librarian 

Academic Focus | Trinity Assessment Parent Portal

February 19, 2021

One of the most fundamental truths about learning is that it is relational: not only is learning a process of relating what we know to what is new, it is a process of exchanging ideas and questions with those around us. Relating in structured and focused ways with peers who are learning with us is one expression of learning as a relational process. Another is found in the ways we dialogue and work with those who have more expert knowledge, understanding and skills in a particular domain – our teachers! Yet another aspect of this notion of learning as relational is found in the conversations we have about our learning with those who are interested in our progress, especially our families.

Today I would like to outline an initiative designed to support your timely and informed conversation with your sons about their learning progress. The Trinity Assessment Parent Portal, or TAPP, has been designed to support parents as they engage, through conversation, with their sons about how learning is going. The application allows parents a ‘window’ to the upcoming learning tasks a student has been set as well as results and feedback students receive on the course-based assessment tasks they complete. The application draws information from Canvas, the learning management system in which the boys and teachers work, learn and talk together. TAPP visualises this information so parents can receive timely updates on learning progress, before the more formal Semester Report is released.

When you log into TAPP, via the parent portal, you will be able to see results, feedback and student reflections for course-based tasks completed by your son’s whole year group. In addition, you will be able to see all learning tasks set for your son in Canvas, both at the course and class level. Some of the questions you might use to prompt conversation could be:

  • How are you planning to tackle the tasks you have coming up? Do you think you need any help? Do you have all the resources you need?
  • What was the most challenging aspect of this task – and how did you meet that challenge?
  • What did you really enjoy about this task – and why?
  • What are you most proud of in completing this task?
  • Can you see something specific you could do to improve next time?
  • Do you need to go back to your teacher to explain any aspect of the feedback?

This short video outlines the purpose and features of TAPP and provides step by step instructions for accessing the new application. TAPP will be ‘turned on’ next week, allowing parents to ‘see’ assessment information such as marks, grades, rubric feedback, teacher comments and student reflections for those tasks completed in the academic year to date. Parents will receive an email announcing the release of assessment information and a reminder of log on instructions for the parent portal.

TAPP has been in development over the last eighteen months and was piloted in Term 3 last year with parents of the 2020 Year 7 cohort. We are confident this technology will enhance the conversations you are able to have with your sons, both in celebrating his learning achievements and supporting the next goals he sets for himself. If you have any questions about this initiative, you are warmly invited to contact the Curriculum Office on 9581 – 6135.

Deborah Williams | Academic Dean

Academic Study Support for Years 7, 8 and 9

February 19, 2021

The Library Seminar space has been set aside every afternoon after school (Monday to Thursday) to provide study support for students in Years 7, 8 and 9. Academic teaching staff are available to assist students with accessing and understanding homework and Assessment tasks that they may find challenging, as well as receive guidance in goal-setting and the organisation of resources. For students who don’t wish to receive, or do not require assistance, it may just serve as a dedicated quiet space to complete homework in a supervised environment without distractions.

There is no need for students to book into the study support sessions, nor is any roll taken. Rather, it is an informal opportunity for quiet work and academic support.

Andrew Scott | Director of Curriculum 

News from the Arthur Holt Library

February 19, 2021

We’ve been talking a lot lately about the benefits of reading and about the kinds of research-based strategies that encourage and support it. This week gave us all a chance to see some of the progress that we’ve made and to celebrate some notable success stories.

The week started with Library Lovers’ Day, an initiative from the national library association, ALIA, designed to spread the word about all that libraries do to build community. The day started with a 17th-Century love poem, brilliantly read by Sam Vickery at Quad assembly.

The library also ordered cakes and biscuits to be served at morning tea for all the staff, where one of our Teaching and Learning Librarians Ms Courtenay read a short story. We even made sure to include staff at the Field Studies Centre.

Staff and students were also encouraged to enjoy a ‘blind date with a book’. This involves taking home a book wrapped in brown paper on the understanding that you will read it no matter how unlike your usual reading tastes it is. It’s a great way to encourage people to broaden their reading habits and to move beyond their comfort zone.

We also issued this year’s Premier’s Reading Challenge Certificates to those boys who have taken full advantage of all the benefits that reading bestows. An impressive 18 boys received a Gold Certificate for their fourth year completing the Challenge, while 12 received a Platinum Certificate for their seventh year completing the Challenge. Huge congratulations to each and every one of them!

“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counsellors, and the most patient of teachers.”

Charles W. Eliot

Stefanie Gaspari | Director of Library Services 

From the Mathematics Faculty

February 19, 2021

Dear Trinity Mathematicians,

You are invited to participate in the 2021 Mathematics Challenge for Young Australian (MCYA) programme. This is a problem-solving programme organised by the Australian Mathematics Trust (AMT), which is generally aimed at the top 15% of students in an academic year at the School.

Participants will be required to present written solutions to as many of problems set in either Stage. The problems require time and persistence and may be based on Mathematics studied to date or learned as you progress through the Stage/Series problems.

The Challenge Stage:

The MCYA Challenge Stage will take place over a continuous four-week period commencing later this term (and continuing in the forthcoming vacation period). Participants will receive a problem book containing six questions (in either the Junior Division for Years 7 and 8 and the Intermediate Division for Years 9 and 10).

Participants are advised of the following dates:

  • Date of issue of materials will be on or before Monday March 22
  • Due date for submission of solutions to attempted problems will be on or before Monday April 26.

Confirmed entrants will have access to a dedicated Mathematics Competitions Canvas Course and further instructions will be notified soon after registration. In this Series, participants may work with a partner on any of the problems in the same Division although individual solutions must be submitted. Details regarding submission of solutions and further information will be made available on the Mathematics Competitions Canvas Course.

The Enrichment Stage:

The MCYA Enrichment Stage will take place over a continuous 12-week period commencing in June through to August, 2021. Depending on the Series selected (Dirichlet, Euler, Gauss, Noether, Polya), participants will receive a problem book containing 8 to 16 questions based on topics in Number, Algebra, Geometry, Measurement and Problem Solving.

Participants are advised of the following dates:

  • Date of issue of materials will be on or before Tuesday June 1
  • Due date for submission of solutions to attempted problems will be on or before Tuesday August 17.

Like the Challenge Stage, confirmed entrants will have access to a dedicated Mathematics Competitions Canvas Course and further instructions will be notified soon after registration.

Each question in an Enrichment problem booklet is based on Mathematics contained in a comprehensive booklet of theory notes, examples and exercises. These notes, examples and exercises should be consulted before completing any of the related questions in the actual problem booklet. Sample questions and corresponding solutions will be provided on the Mathematics Competition Canvas Course.

In this Series, collaboration among other entrants is NOT permitted.

A brief description of each Enrichment Series is presented below.

  • The Dirichlét Enrichment Series

This Series is suitable for students in Year 7. Three of the eight chapters revolve around a story which illustrates some problem-solving techniques: using logic, solving a simpler problem, and working backwards. The other five chapters cover:

  • Tessellations
  • One-handed arithmetic
  • Time, distance, speed
  • Working with patterns
  • Recurring decimals

Almost all the material presented is Mathematics not usually taught in school at any level and so is appropriate for enrichment purposes. The Student Problems book has eight questions.

  • The Euler Enrichment Series

This Series is mainly for Year 8 and outstanding Year 7 students. The topics considered in this series are:

  • Primes and composites
  • Least common multiples
  • Highest common factors
  • Arithmetic sequences
  • Figurate numbers
  • Congruences
  • Properties of angles
  • Counting techniques
  • The Pigeonhole Principle

Chapters 1 to 4 involve very little algebra, and the latter chapters will require students to learn about or have more advanced Algebra skills. The Student Problems book has 12 questions.

  • The Gauss Enrichment Series

This is designed for talented students in Years 8 and 9. It introduces the use of computer spreadsheets such as Excel. The topics covered include:

  • Parallels
  • Similarity
  • Pythagoras’ Theorem
  • Spreadsheets
  • Diophantine equations
  • Counting techniques  
  • Congruence

Each chapter introduces new Mathematics and presents some key mathematical ideas followed by some illustrative examples with suggested approaches and sets of exercises for which there are fully worked solutions. The Student Problems book has twelve questions. 

  • The Noether Enrichment Series

This is designed for talented students in Years 9 and 10, following on from Gauss Series. The topics considered are:

  • Expansion and factorisation
  • Sequences and series
  • Number bases
  • Inequalities
  • Methods of proof
  • Congruence
  • Circles
  • Tangents

Spreadsheets may also be useful for some problems. The Student Problems book has sixteen questions. 

  • The Polya Enrichment Series (by invitation ONLY)

This Series extends the work from earlier Series on Euclidean geometry. There is an introduction to some selected topics in advanced algebra. The topics covered are:

  • Functions
  • Symmetric Polynomials
  • Geometry
  • Inequalities
  • Functional Equations
  • Number Theory
  • Counting
  • Graph Theory

It would be useful for students to compile an ongoing summary of the facts and techniques learned and use them to obtain their own solutions to the examples. The Student Problems book has 16 problems. 

For both the Challenge and Enrichment Stages, the AMT has indicated that students can seek help from any resources other than human ones, so textbooks, encyclopaedias, etc., calculators and computers are suitable. Websites offering help with problems are really human resources and are not allowed, but the use of a computer-based encyclopaedia or a website providing information of a general nature is alright.

Supervised support for participants in this programme will be available across two lunch sessions in a week. The time and venue of these support sessions will be confirmed with the participants on the Mathematics Competitions Canvas Course. Some guidance on how the solutions are to be prepared and submitted will also be shared with confirmed participants.

If accepted, Trinity Grammar School will absorb the cost of entry of participants into either Stage.

We hope the MCYA Challenge and/or the Enrichment Stages is an enjoyable and valuable learning experience for participants.

If you wish to enter any of the Stages (Challenge and/or Enrichment), please click on the following link(s) to register your interest no later than Monday 8 March 2021. Unfortunately, we are unable to register submissions after this date

If you have any questions, please contact Miss Cho (Senior Mathematics Teacher) at hcho@trinity.nsw.edu.au.

Hyun Mi Cho | Teacher | Secondary [Math] | MiC Math Club