Edition 2, Term 3 2021
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From the Principal
When I was in Year 4, having just started at a new school, my class and I were enthralled as we witnessed an enormous dust storm move over Melbourne and cause havoc. While largely exciting to a nine year old, it undoubtedly triggered a raft of emotions in people older than me who understood the gravity of the Mallee’s topsoil arriving by air amidst the chronic drought prevailing at the time. Of course, a week later terrible bushfires took hold and wrought devastation.
My reflection on the ‘student experience’, though, is that it was a memorable event that was notable for stopping Mr McClellan in his tracks, allowing us opportunity to look at the excitement out the window and deal with the problem of the dust jamming up the tram lines on our way home.
I wonder about the reflection our young people will have beyond the reality of this ongoing battle with COVID’s effects when the virus’ concerns are consigned to history. While different to the dust storm and fires, of course, there are similarities, too. In the grip of a society wide matter, with news outlets projecting gloom, we can tend to exist thoroughly in that gloomy space. That is not unreasonable…we are in quarantine!
Thinking of our Year 4s this year (and Preps, and Year 12s and Year…) it strikes me that our students may well be the best positioned of all in our community to outlast the trouble and challenge of today, and lend a more positive view to the situation. Broadly, it has certainly been my experience of them that, while variously comfortable, frustrated or confronted by the restrictions on us, they have also more swiftly than the rest of us resigned themselves to the reality and got on with things. That is not true for everyone, of course, but there are many who have given such a pragmatic and mature response that I am heartened by the collective experience.
This episode in history will be spoken of well into the future. How well it will be spoken of may be, in part, due to the way that we as parents and staff communicate the situation to our children. We cannot quell the media, social media or casual conversation they will be exposed to, but we might be able to borrow from what I see as their potential to bring a more positive air to the matter. As we move towards a relaunch of school on site soon, perhaps we can flex the positive and somewhat sidestep the gloomy narrative that seems to pervade.
From the ELC
The ELC staff have been so pleased to see all our children and families in our morning Teams meetings each day. These touchpoints help us maintain a sense of connection, not only to you and your children but also to each other as staff. We are grateful to our families for embracing our Distance Learning program and connecting online with us.
Our morning meetings are a chance for us to share a window into our families and homes during this quarantine period. Connecting with our students online allows us to see inside their home comfort zones. It allows us the rare opportunity to step inside each child’s world and further identify their interests outside our ELC learning space. Our knowledge of you all is strengthened and our connections increased.
It is important at this time to ‘hunt for the good’ with our children and help them practise gratitude. It has been shown that practising gratitude on a daily basis can help rewire the brain and create a more positive mindset. Gratitude can be built into your day or evening ritual, perhaps by each person in your family sharing something they are grateful for. For us at the ELC it is connecting with you each day and seeing your happy smiling faces.
Director of the Early Learning Centre
From the Junior School
Junior School enters Lockdown 5.0
An enormous amount of credit needs to go to the whole Trinity community for how well we have been able to adapt over these past two weeks. We are truly all in this together! The boys have been incredibly resilient as have the staff and the parent community. A big thank you is extended to families for the way we have been able to continue the Distance Learning program, making sure the boys are still engaged in their learning.
It has been rewarding to see many boys in the ‘touchpoints’ discussing fun events they have been involved in both inside and outside areas of their homes. Many Kahoot quizzes have entertained the boys in the mornings so they have been able to begin their days in a positive mindset after connecting with their friends and teachers.
Prep B’s assembly on Monday was a highlight as the boys were able to discuss many of the exciting things they have been learning this year in their Units of Inquiry throughout their PYP units. The Preps also shared a ‘HUGE’ milestone they reached by celebrating 100 days at school and what a great 100 days it has been! Many exciting times and many challenges have been experienced and I am sure these will enable the boys to be more resilient, flexible, caring and open minded as they continue on with their schooling.
Junior School Library
We are so lucky to have author Oliver Phommavanh speaking to us for our Library Assembly in Week 6! Oliver has written lots of books for children and teens, including the ‘Thai-riffic’, ‘Con-nerd’ and ‘Punchline’ series. If you would like to ask Oliver a question which he will answer during the assembly, click HERE and fill out the form!
Don’t forget that there are lots of things to do and explore on the Library blog! To celebrate Book Week, the Library is running a survey where you get to vote for your favourite things to read, so have your say!
Junior School Teacher Librarian & Specialist Coordinator
Click here to browse the Junior School Library catalogue
From the Senior School
The events of the past week remind me why I am so proud to be a part of the Trinity community. Thank you to all staff, parents and students for your support and positive approach in dealing with what have been very challenging circumstances.
Congratulations Hadyn Tang
Over the past week, Hadyn has been taking part in the International Mathematical Olympiad, a competition where 107 countries nominate six students to compete for their country and solve complex problems. Hadyn has represented Australia for the past five years and managed to achieve his best performance this year, placing 24th in the world and earning a gold medal. Congratulations Hadyn on this outstanding achievement!
Big Win for Trinity in the Chess Victoria Zonals
Last week, Trinity students had the opportunity to compete in the Chess Victoria online tournament and we placed first, ahead of Balwyn High and Marcellin.
With a score out of 7, our top performers were:
Oliver Li (Year 8) – 6
Yuxiang Peng (Year 8) – 5.5
Stephen Zhou (Year 12) – 5
Noah Wiltshire (Year 7)– 5
Congratulations to all students who participated and to Mr Burke for his organisation and Mr Ryder for his technological expertise.
Middle School Play – Just Disgusting!
At the end of Term 2, the Drama Department held auditions for our 2021 Middle School (Years 7 and 8) Play Just Disgusting!. Adapted from the Andy Griffiths’ book, Just Disgusting! follows the imagination of Andy as he takes us through his world of battling giant Brussels sprouts, overcoming an invasion of ‘brown blobs’ in the bathtub, a giant slug attempting to take over the world, and a re-enactment of Cinderella performed by an ensemble of dead flies…
Rehearsals have now commenced and everyone involved is looking forward to bringing this play to the stage. It will be held in the P&F Hall on September 3 and 4. Ticketing details will be provided in later editions of the TGS News and via Trinity Connect. But for now, mark this event in your calendar…you will not want to miss this!
Deputy Principal, Head of Senior School
Update: 2021 Musical – Strictly Ballroom – The Musical
The musical Strictly Ballroom shares with us the story of our ability to withstand pressure and to fight for what we believe. It reminds us of our power to feel, be true to ourselves, and to not let fear get in the way.
Strictly Ballroom was to be the Ruyton-Trinity musical in 2020. It started with great hope and high energy but despite the persistence of staff and students we were unable to bring it to fruition last year. The extended lockdown from the Melbourne second COVID wave extinguished our dreams. Last week, our school communities prepared to see our cast, crew, orchestra and production team finally have their time in the spotlight. COVID restrictions had eased and it was time. The world had finally righted itself.
What a difference 24 hours makes. On Thursday afternoon, with the glitz and glamour of the set surrounding us, a theatre full of costumed, primed and proud students and staff who had walked every step of the way with them, we shared the news that no one wanted to hear. A heaviness set in around the theatre. They would not realise their show that evening and the fate of their production was once again an uncertainty. It was a collective feeling of loss that evening, but somehow, as only performing arts communities can do, laughter broke through the heavy silence, students comforted each other, staff gravitated to cast members in need and parents rallied around the staff. It was not a time anyone would wish to experience again, but it was a moment of pure community fortitude and compassion. The strength and resilience of our young people was drawn on again and yet again came to the fore.
The performing arts offer us a unique opportunity to process our experiences, to laugh at them, defy them or to escape from them. We know that having lived through the isolation of lockdown, there can be little doubt now of the value of the arts to heal, soothe, invite thought, entertain, share our stories and to allow us all to be part of a community. Our hope is that there will still be an opportunity for our school communities to continue our Strictly Ballroom journey soon.
Linda Douglas, Lauren Perfect and Darcie Kane-Priestley
Ruyton Girls’ School
From the Music School
Play Music for Your Pet
The theme in the Suzuki Violin and Cello Group classes this week was ‘Bring your pet to group class’. All manner of live dogs, cats and stuffed animals appeared in the classes – even a mechanical LEGO dog who could fetch a ball (though the boys pointed out that the real dogs didn’t need a remote and the animals both stuffed and live were much cuddlier). Cello boys had to guess Mrs Bonollo’s unusual family pet – Clyde, the bearded dragon! The boys played their repertoire for their pets while working towards more expressive tone. Those pets made us all strive for a more emotional connection with the music. What better way to share music than with a special friend?
Suzuki Program Convener, Suzuki Violin
Suzuki Cello Graduations
Congratulations to Year 3 Suzuki cellists, Daniel Chao, Jayden Li, and Evan Ngiam, for achieving their Level 1 Suzuki Graduation, the Bach Minuet. In order to graduate, the boys must polish and perform a set work from memory with piano accompaniment. There are 11 levels, the highest of which is the Saint-Saens Cello Concerto in A minor. While their final performance was cancelled due to lockdown, we congratulate the boys and wish them all success as they refine their musical development and expression.
He who Sings Frightens Away Ills
The return to musical online learning on Monday 19 July was swift and positive. Staff and students knew the drill and all entered our alternate portal with relative ease. We are so proud of our boys, their flexibility, clear communication and support of one another (and their teachers) at this time.
Students are encouraged to play their instruments and to sing whenever they can.
Good wishes to all,
Director of Music
Teaching and Learning
Who would have thought… Distance Learning Version Number Five? I do believe this time around we were all well versed on what seems to work effectively in terms of teaching and learning in an online environment. That said, the transition from face-to-face teaching to learning on a screen can be difficult for some. From my experience the more engagement the better, so I do encourage the boys to take every opportunity to participate actively when the opportunity arises. This could be during sessions of open questions in class or in breakout rooms with peers.
Most of our information sessions on subject selections in the Senior School have now concluded and I hope that important conversations are taking place in order for the boys to follow their passions and interests. Remember, Heads of Faculty and your son’s subject teachers are an excellent resource so if you have any questions please do not hesitate to reach out them.
For our Senior students completing their VCE, much work is being done in terms of preparing for a return to face-to-face teaching from 2 August. For example, we are revising our SAC schedule to limit assessment congestion as best can be done. The rescheduling of the GAT to Thursday 12 August has certainly allowed more time for a better transition back to school.
Our first round of Semester Two Parent-Teacher Interviews is fast approaching and will be done online. While we miss the opportunity to come together and bump into friends, there is the added benefit of not having a late night or trying to find a parking space! Also, it is great to see the boys participate far more often in the discussion in a home environment.
I look forward to seeing everyone back at Trinity soon and with a renewed sense of what it means to be a community together.
Director of Teaching and Learning
As the Tokyo Olympics begin, my mood has changed. I don’t know about you, but it has put a spring in my step again. Things have been challenging for all of us this past week and a bit. We have been longing to get out of our houses and enjoy the simple pleasures enjoyed by lucky Melbournians in lockdown: going for a walk (or 10) each day, doing the shopping (‘Uh oh, we’ve run out of Kooka’s Country Cookies again! Better pop down to Coles…’) and getting a little bit of space from the people at home.
So, I sat down on Friday night to watch the Opening Ceremony in hope and anticipation. It was a joy to be transported to a different place, with the opportunity to view non-stop sport to distract us from our present realities. I am also ready to carry on the great Australian tradition of becoming, for two weeks, an armchair expert on equestrian (‘Did her hoof just clip the pole?!’), gymnastics (‘Ooh, that’s a 0.5 deduction!’) and pole vault (‘It’s all in the run up.’).
If we were to pick a gospel image for the Olympics, the hope-filled picture from Paul’s words in 1 Corinthians 9:24-25 come to mind:
‘Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.’
During these last few days of quarantine, in these COVID Olympics, do not lose sight of your hope. Rather, be inspired by the world’s best athletes, who in their total devotion and striving to win point us to our lifelong commitment as disciples of Jesus: as we race for our infinitely greater imperishable gold medal, our reward of salvation and eternal life.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please send a message through Trinity Connect or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Have a great week.
Reverend James Hale
On my desk, I have a little card with a quote on in from St Francis of Assisi that was given to me some years ago. It reads: ‘Start by doing what’s necessary, then do what’s possible and suddenly you are doing the impossible.’ As probably was their intention, I find his words to be of great solace when things at first seem insurmountable. This recent week was an example of how, just by starting to put one foot in front of the other, our community has come together to achieve wonderful things.
The TLC group, run by Angela Gill and Alice Noonan, are to be sincerely thanked for their unwavering commitment to proving exceptional support during difficult times. They began with a call for support early last week and the community responded, donating more than $11,000 in 24 hours and more than $18,000 since. This money is being used by the TLC group to provide care packages such as hampers and vouchers for those most in need including the COVID-19 positive cases.
In addition to this, the Parents’ Association and Deliveroo have funded vouchers for all teaching staff and the entire parent body. This contribution has been very well received with one parent emailing, ‘Our whole family feels so fortunate our son is under the care of Trinity. We wish Trinity staff and boys and whoever is confirmed with COVID to recover as soon as possible. Our community will be stronger and closer than ever after such an event. All the best. stay safe, stay healthy.’
One staff member noted: ‘That is SO sweet! Can you please convey my deepest thanks to the Parents’ Association for thinking of me. It made me cry. The isolation just started to take its toll as of today.’ And another asked me to ‘pass on my thanks to the Parents’ Association for this very kind and thoughtful gift – certainly we appreciate [even] more, knowing that all parents and students are also in quarantine, and that this represents the very spirit of community that I (and all other teachers) believe best defines Trinity as a school.’
Clearly, this initiative has been impactful and provided some relief during our quarantine. We would like to take this time to remind you that the voucher has been sent to the family primary contact only. You may also need to check email junk boxes if you think you haven’t received it.
In addition to these efforts, there have been numerous offers of assistance from people in and beyond the Trinity community, including from Methodist Ladies’ College. Annette Dal Sasso has kindly agreed to facilitate this offer. So, if you are in need of anything, such as someone to collect a prescription, printer cartridges or anything really, please email email@example.com
Additionally, thank you to Class Rep Coordinators Lisa Williams and Melissa Gallace for acting as the liaisons for the WhatsApp groups and ensuring a flow of information between the groups and the school. Many of you would be members of these groups and, I am sure, found the information provided there to be helpful during your quarantine period.
And finally, all the best to every one of you for your commitment to keeping us safe through this most challenging of times. Good luck for the next few days and I look forward to seeing you in more ordinary times.
Director of Community Engagement
Wednesday 28 July
Year 10 Outdoor Leaders and Somers applications close
No scheduled TGS classes – Day 13 Testing
Bunting Oration, 6:00pm, Livestream
Monday 2 August
No Ruyton classes P5 & P6 * to be advised
Year 12 (2021) Student VTAC Briefing
Tuesday 3 August
Year 12 (2021) VTAC Information Night, 7.30pm, Livestream
Thursday 5 August
Australian Mathematics Competition
Student Session, Paul Dillon
Paul Dillon Parent Information Night, 7.30pm, Online
Friday 6 August
No Ruyton classes P1-4 * to be advised
Years 3-6 House Athletics Trials, Collingwood Athletics Track, 9.00am * to be advised
Year 9A- 9D Learning Journeys concludes * to be advised
1990/1991 OTG Reunion, 6.00pm* to be advised
Monday 9 August
Early Finish Senior School – no Sport, Music or Co-Curricular Activities, 2.45pm
Year 11-12 Parent-Teacher Interviews, 3.00pm, Online
*We will advise of the rescheduled Junior School Class Reps meeting date soon.
**Dates subject to change.