Edition 4, Term 2 2020
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FROM THE PRINCIPAL
It is my belief that crises reveal the character of a community. That has certainly been the case during the recent travails of COVID-19. Our students, staff and parents have responded impressively, negotiating the changes and challenges elegantly.
That was certainly true again at the start of this week, when in the grips of winter’s particularly triumphant start, we welcomed all of our students and staff back on to our sodden site. The first soccer training session for our senior students occurred in darkness and in the wet on Monday morning. The firsts footballers followed up soon after and the other sports get underway over the rest of the week. They, like the rest of our Senior School students, are preparing for the promise of some sort of a season next term. There will be more details over the coming weeks as to how sport will be accommodated, if possible, after the holidays.
I am extremely grateful to our students, staff and families for the way in which the re-entry to on-site schooling has commenced. Negotiating traffic, rain, temperature testing and what for some of our Year 5 and Year 7 boys in particular must be a fairly unfamiliar setting, was done with great goodwill.
As this week goes on, we will again review our current practices and sharpen our thoughts on some of our arrangements. We are committed to a dynamic response to the changing landscape and will continue to plan in the best interests of our students.
The best support that families can offer the school community at the moment is vigilance when it come to the wellness of the students who come here each day. Nobody should come to school if they are feeling unwell. Please accept my continued gratitude for this observance.
At a personal level, it has been great to get back into the cut and thrust of the classroom. The lessons learned in recent months about the use of technology to support learning will hold us all in good stead, but nothing will surpass the classroom’s myriad learning opportunities. The work of building character is by consistent accrual in the company of peers and adults who inspire, care and seek to help students aspire. It prepares us well for crises and the times when character is tested most.
From the ELC
Opening the gates this week we were greeted by big smiles and warm hellos as the children returned to our learning space. Seeing faces that we have only seen on screens was very exciting for all of us. There was a sense of community and togetherness as the children re-engaged with their peers and educators. We have discovered during our time apart that there are many ways of learning in many different environments. We shared wonder together, we continued to build relationships and we inquired from our own homes. We all embraced this time of change. As we come together again within the ELC we are changing again. We shared this concept of change with the children, likening our change to the caterpillar’s transformation into a butterfly.
The children’s thoughts:
- We were at home in our cocoon. Now we are here at school.
- Our ELC is open, like a butterfly.
- We can all be butterflies.
- All the friends are together in one place.
- I missed my friends and my teachers.
- We are all together now.
Fostering an environment of inquiry is central to learning here in the ELC as we share our thoughts and showcase our journey through this time of Distance Learning. We are looking forward to sharing our reflection of togetherness and change with you.
Thank you again to our families for supporting us through our Distance Learning Program.
Acting Director of the ELC
JUNIOR SCHOOL NEWS
Back together, as one. The Trinity Grammar Junior School is buzzing with the sounds of laughter between friends, screeches from the play equipment and ‘Baaallll!’ from the footy match on the oval. The boys are loving the opportunity to see each other and to be back at school as a face-to-face community again.
The Distance Learning Program created connection and belonging but in a different way to the ‘normal’ school environment. Whilst a remarkably challenging experience for the majority, it provided a deep learning experience beyond the lesson content provided. These first few days back at school help provide context to this learning for most of the boys. The boys have learned the true value of human connection and the enormous benefits associated with friendship and collegiality. Technology is wonderful (when it works) and has provided countless opportunities for learning and connection. However, it does not provide a meaningful substitute for being in the physical company of your friends or family and, in my opinion, never will. The boys are experiencing this as I write and you read. What a wonderful opportunity for them all.
It is truly energising having everyone back at school and working together in this next chapter of the weird and wonderful story we have been a part of in recent months.
Deputy Head Administration
SENIOR SCHOOL NEWS
There were a number of terrific events last week in recognition of Reconciliation Week. On Wednesday there was a live stream of the Reconciliation Breakfast with Shelley Ware and Douglas Briggs. On Thursday the School Assembly featured Uncle Bill with a smoking ceremony before we heard from Stan Grant direct from Sydney. On Friday there was a boomerang throwing competition with the Heads of House and House Captains. Some found their boomerangs didn’t come back! Michael Forward came the closest, but, unfortunately, he ‘dropped’ the catch. Well done to Mr Newcastle and Mr Bean for their continued support and education of the boys on issues around reconciliation.
The Firsts teams in soccer, football, hockey and rugby have restarted training as of 1 June. Although there will be no AGSV games this term, the boys are keen to be prepared for a ‘shortened’ season. Year level teams will hopefully start training before the end of this term too. At this stage all training is in small groups with no-contact drills.
The new cafeteria is due to open on Tuesday 9 June. It is a fantastic facility that will be perfect for the boys to be served meals and to enjoy sitting together (but socially distant at the moment). The plan is to move to a cashless cafeteria, so boys will be able to use their student cards and/or eftpos cards. This will happen when we move to the new cafeteria.
Examinations and Reports for Year 9, 10, 11 and 12
A number of changes have been made to the examination schedule for the end of this term due to Distance Learning.
Year 12: English Assessment still on 9 June, but GAT moved to Term 3
Year 11: Examinations 15 June – 19 June
Years 9 and 10: Examinations 22 June – 24 June (English, Maths, Science, History/Geography)
There is no study day for Year 11, but there will still be a report writing day on Friday 12 June. Reports for Years 11 and 12 will be available to parents early in Term 3, while other reports will be distributed over the holidays as per usual.
Study Nights will return for students in Years 11 and 12 after the long weekend, starting with Wednesday 10 June, Tuesday 16 June and Wednesday 23 and Thursday 24 June in the final week of term. Boys will be able to order a meal from the Cafeteria (to eat at around 6pm) and study in the Tudor Centre from 6.30pm until 9.00pm.
Thank you to the staff who supervise these nights, particularly the Heads of Year.
Deputy Principal and Head of Senior School
Teaching and Learning
It is wonderful seeing classrooms back in action after months of distance learning. Indeed, what is a school without students? It is only buildings. We missed the sounds, faces and relationships over the past couple of months and I know all staff are thrilled to be hearing and seeing their students again. One of my students observed just how much his teachers were once again enjoying the simple classroom banter that can only occur when we are together. While teaching and learning continued at a distance, this experience proved just how important being at school really is. The importance of being immersed in the ‘hidden curriculum’ is clear. This is commonly defined as a side effect of schooling, or the lessons which are learned but not openly intended. That is, everything you learn by just being part of the fabric of Trinity culture.
The transition back to on-site teaching posed its own challenges. For example, the need to adjust our Senior School examination and reporting timeline for Semester One. The aim of these changes is to help facilitate a smoother transition from the distance learning environment to on-site teaching by increasing face-to-face teaching time before Year 9 to 11 examinations. We have also staggered the report writing deadlines to take into account changes to the examination schedules and recommendations from the VCAA.
Buildings, of course, are an essential part of a school, but as a colleague of mine pointed out, a good school fosters ideas, nurtures dreams, and secures friendships. And inside those buildings, if you look hard enough, you will find tomorrow.
Director of Teaching and Learning
2020 Middle Years (7&8) Play – Turbine
Thursday 4th June, 12:45pm, P&F Hall
Tuesday 9 June – Lunchtime 12:40pm – 1:25pm and Afterschool 3:30pm – 5:30pm, P&F Hall
Wednesday 10 June – Afterschool 3:30pm – 5:30pm, P&F Hall
Thursday 11 June – Lunchtime 12:40pm, P&F Hall
Please attend one of the information sessions. Here you will find out more about the play and have the chance to sign up for an audition. If you have any questions that can’t wait until the information sessions, please email the production manager Spencer Hines at email@example.com
Music Theory Classes to resume
We are pleased to inform students and parents that Music Theory and Aural Classes will be resuming on Wednesday 3 June in Room CY3, from 7:25-7:55 am, with Mr Franke.
Music Theory will run on Day 3, and Aural Class on Day 8. Please direct any enquiries to Mr Siegfried Franke at firstname.lastname@example.org
This week is National Reconciliation Week, an annual celebration that is held from 27 May to 3 June each year. It encourages us to continue to build relationships between Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples and non-Indigenous peoples of all cultures in these lands now called Australia. This year’s National Reconciliation Week theme is ‘In This Together’.
During National Reconciliation Week, all Australians are invited to learn more about Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and histories, to share that knowledge and help us grow as a nation.
Some facts about Reconciliation Week:
Do you know the significance of National Reconciliation Week? National Reconciliation Week runs from May 27, which is the anniversary of the 1967 Referendum that effectively gave Aboriginal peoples full citizenship rights by finally being counted in the national census), until June 3, which is (the anniversary of the 1992 Mabo decision that effectively overturned the lie our country had lived of ‘Terra Nullius’ – ‘empty land’ or ‘land belonging to no one’.
And do you know how National Reconciliation Week started? The 1991 Royal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody had 339 Recommendations – only a handful have ever been implemented. The final recommendation, Recommendation 339, said, “Initiate a formal process of reconciliation between Aboriginal people and the wider community.” But it was Christians that led the way when in 1993, the International Year of the World’s Indigenous Peoples, Christians started the Week of Prayer for Reconciliation which was supported by Australia’s major faith communities. In 1996, society caught up to the churches and we had Australia’s first National Reconciliation Week.
As human beings we often gravitate towards ways of thinking and behaving based on ‘in’ and ‘out’ groups, or ’us’ and ’them’. This is a natural human tendency. However, it is something which Jesus calls us to acknowledge, face and move beyond. If you are challenged by this, firstly, take heart in knowing that the intent in Jesus’s challenge is not to create guilt and condemnation. As we honestly face our own biases and blind spots, Jesus lovingly invites us into abundant life. To be free to love in spite of any differences is to reflect the heart and nature of Jesus. It is freedom from the fear which drives the need to exclude those who seem different.
Let me leave you with these questions to reflect on:
- How can you see your Aboriginal neighbour and Aboriginal brother and sister?
- How can you love your Aboriginal neighbour/brother/sister?
- How can you be on the same road and walk beside your Aboriginal neighbour/brother/sister by giving your hand, your time, your resources, and your heart?
Most of my reflection is based on materials produced by Common Grace, an organisation whose members are passionate about Jesus and justice.
I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please send a message through Trinity Connect or email me at email@example.com.
Have a great week.
Rev’d James Hale
A very big THANK YOU to our wonderful parent volunteers who made it possible to open the Uniform Shop for three days last week. We introduced the new ‘swap shop’ concept which has proven timely, as it assists our families during these challenging times of COVID-19. This is just one small way in which we can support our parent community.
Saturday 23 May was the first day of ‘swapping’ and worked so well, with grateful thanks from parents who utilised this option, as well as very positive feedback from those who came to purchase items without the need to swap.
Please note that due to the extra trading days which were provided over the past week, the Uniform Shop will not be opening on Thursday 11 June. Our volunteers will need this time to sort existing and donated items in preparation for swapping and sales in Term 3.
Term 3 dates are as follows:
JULY 16 Thursday 2.00pm – 4.00pm
JULY 18 Saturday 10.30am – 12.30pm
JULY 30 Thursday 2.00pm – 4.00pm
AUG 13 Thursday 2.00pm – 4.00pm
AUG 27 Thursday 2.00pm – 4.00pm
SEPT 10 Thursday 2.00pm – 4.00pm
In Term 3 we will continue to follow the appropriate protocols that enable us to meet all the hygiene and social distancing requirements. Please allow extra time for your visit and please also be patient with the volunteers who are working on the day. Without their support we would not be able to provide this special service for you.
Please note the following important points:
- Card sales only
- It will be compulsory to sanitise hands upon entry
- No more than two customers in the shop at any one time
- Blazers and spray jackets are excluded from the ‘swap’
Families are welcome to bring in good quality uniform to swap over for a different size. Bring in last year’s trousers and replace them with a pair for this year (or this term in some situations!)
If you have any queries, please do not hesitate to contact Bonnie Brown in Hudson House on 9851 9558 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Please note: Bob Stewart and Dobsons are both open.
Director of Development and Community Relations
Reminder to check names on uniforms!
With the return to school underway, could we ask that you check that ALL items of clothing (including sports bags) are clearly labelled with your son’s name. If any items have been purchased from the Uniform Shop, please cross out/remove old names and then re-name.
Student Services Coordinator
Wednesday 3 June
National Reconciliation Week concludes
Friday 5 June
Boarders’ Exeat 3:30pm
Monday 8 June
Queen’s Birthday – Boarders Return
Tuesday 9 June
Year 12 English Assessment Day
Middle School Play Auditions, 12.40pm & 3.30pm
OTGA Committee Meeting, via Teams 7:00pm
Wednesday 10 June
Middle School Play Auditions, 3.30pm
Thursday 11 June
Middle School Play Auditions, 12.40pm
Trinity Shop 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Friday 12 June
Report Writing Day (no Year 7 – 10 classes)
Monday 15 June
Year 11 Examinations commence
Tuesday 16 June
Parents’ Association Meeting 7:00pm via Teams