Earlier this week I was in Singapore visiting old boys and their families and meeting with current and prospective parents. I always enjoy catching up with members of our community and sharing news of the latest school developments. Every time I meet up with members of our community the notion of global citizenship is discussed. It’s a term that is now firmly in our lexicon but what does it mean in relation to education? It is about our boys actively participating in projects that address global issues of a social, political, economic or environmental nature. Importantly, the projects need to be supported with conversations in the classrooms that help to develop a ‘global consciousness’ and the skills to enable the boys to participate in changing and developing the world. This is a significant shift from how the majority of us were taught and needs to also take into account the impact of technology. There is so much information now available to our boys that we are really teaching them how to be critical consumers of information, creative thinkers, collaborative contributors and independent learners. These are interesting times for educators and parents.
A large number of my conversations are also about our recently introduced Year 9 Program and the OQD component as there is a growing interest in mental health and wellbeing and how schools are incorporating this into the curriculum. It seems peculiar to talk about mental health and young people in the same breath, but one in seven Australian children experience some type of mental health issue. On Monday night, we welcomed Dr Lea Waters to the School. Dr Waters spoke to over 200 parents about strength-based parenting and the results that positively impact the entire family when we focus on developing our children’s strengths. Once we build on their strengths we can take steps towards dealing with problem behaviour or talking about difficult situations and emotions. Dr Waters is an engaging presenter, who gently takes the audience on a journey that starts with identifying our ‘negativity bias’ or hard wiring that sees us focusing on weaknesses and trying to rectify them, to then considering strategies to learn about our child’s strengths and celebrate them.
For generations, the school community has given generously to support the education of Christ Church boys. As someone helping us shape the school community, I invite you to join me in considering a gift to one of our initiatives. Please clickhere for more information and to make your gift.
This week energy levels have risen across the entire school following the completion of Year 11 and 12 exams. There has also been a buzz among our Houses with the commencement of rehearsals for the now infamous, House Shout competition, to be held during the last assembly for this term on Thursday 28 June.
On Tuesday evening I attended the annual Music Scholars’ Recital and was absolutely captivated by the amazing talent these boys demonstrated in their performances. I was particularly impressed with Ben Kaos’ piano performance of Bumble Boogie and William Hu mesmerised the audience with his own piano composition while Daniel Zhou, delighted all with his performance of Spanish Dance playing the violin. All of the scholars should be very proud of their performances on the evening.
As we enter the final two weeks of term, I would like to remind families of the need to use the School’s absentee line (ph: 9442 1777) to advise of any student absences, even if it is for an appointment scheduled during the day. Similarly, requests and notification of extended leave should be communicated in advance to myself and your son’s Head of House.
Head of Senior School
I know the entire community is looking forward to completion of the build and everything is tracking well. I am often questioned by the 600 ex-Prep boys in the Senior School about the progress as they walk past during morning handshake. I know the entire community is interested in the ‘finished product’ that we can all tell will be exceptional teaching, learning and play spaces. We are also looking at how the new spaces provide us with research and data supported innovation in our pedagogy. We have a large team of teachers in the Prep School trialing a number of environments for a roll out in our new, amazing classes. All the strengths of our relationships, culture and values with the opportunity for innovation and continual improvement – exciting times!
On Wednesday, we hosted an Early Learning Community Music morning with prospective students (many babies in arms!) facilitated by Eboney Yapp and Stephanie Balfour. Parents also got to meet Rebekah Garwood (Co-ordinator of the ELC) and Holly Miller (Director of Studies) and ask questions. We are looking at holding a similar session next term focused on the importance of oral language and storytelling in the earliest years. Thanks to the combined efforts of the ELC team and the work of the Admissions team, we are now looking at adding an extra Kindergarten class for 2019.
We are looking forward to the Years 3 to 6 Athletics Carnival being held off campus next Monday and are watching the weather forecast very closely. If we need to cancel we will SMS the community as soon as possible on Monday morning. We hope to go ahead as planned and look forward to seeing all Years 3 to 6 boys with their House shirt, Sport uniform, hat and packed lunch.
Next Thursday our JPSSA Cross Country team will be competing at the JPSSA Cross Country Carnival at Hale School. We wish the team all the best for the day and for them to compete with the heart and sportsmanship we expect from all our boys. I know they will do us proud.
Head of the LW Parry Preparatory School