FROM THE HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL
It has been an excellent start to 2018, welcoming both familiar and new students and families and especially to have a new group of Kindergarten children and their families joining us. Our Year 6 students were quick to meet their Kindergarten buddies as they settled in - and of course Kindergarten had been keenly waiting the opportunity to play with their Year 6 Buddies! To be able to see the students playing with their buddies has proven to be a real privilege! During the term they have really enjoyed learning together when reading, playing games and undertaking craft activities. The Year 6 Buddies have been a great aid in helping our youngest students to develop their friendship and citizenship skills.
The P & F Welcome BBQ and the P & F Disco a few weeks later were both wonderful occasions for us to get together as a school community at the beginning of the year. We are thankful for our committed and active P & F and for the way they both promote our school community and fundraise to continue to improve our resources for the students.
The Swimming Carnival was again an excellent event where students relished the opportunity to compete for their College. It was a real highlight of the day to see the wonderful College spirit and so many students ‘having a go!’ in the different races. We have a number of very talented swimmers in the Junior School and this was reflected in the number of students who went on to represent the school at HRIS and CIS levels. Well done to Ben Ruzicka, Marlon Buckland, Hannah Ruzicka, Giselle Simon, Miranda Feller, Ava McLeod, Jamie Seol and Elodie Jewell who were wonderful representatives of Lakes Grammar at the CIS Carnival recently.
The School Cross-Country Carnival was an excellent event and very well run – we were blessed with the weather and the track was in great condition considering the amount of rainfall experienced earlier in the week. (It seems to be a cross-country tradition to have a lot of rain in the lead up!). The students showed great, positive school spirit whilst competing and the atmosphere with all of our parents and families was wonderful. Our best wishes go with those progressing through to the HRIS Carnival early next term.
Mr Cantor has been working hard on developing the sport program and we look forward to Years 3 - 6 having the opportunity to experience hockey and soccer next term. We also look forward to the work that Mr Asquith will do with ‘football’ next term. Our AFL team has been training ready for the Paul Kelly Cup Gala Day in May with Mr Wenger and Mr Solomons. Our gratitude goes to Mr Cantor for his hard work in this area.
As a component of their transition program into the Senior School, Year 6 enjoyed the Mud Run – another annual tradition which presents a great opportunity for the students to continue to bond as a year group, developing the protective skills to support and encourage each other through the quality of their peer relationships, as well as for their teachers to develop their relationships with the students.
Junior School students also enjoyed participating in ‘Clean up the School Day’ – thanks Mr Summers! – which was a wonderful precursor to Clean up Australia Day on the following weekend.
Our gifted and talented and enrichment programs have continued to grow under Mrs Holland’s leadership with students participating in the Computational and Algebraic Thinking Competition, the Newcastle Writers’ Festival and the DaVinci Decathlon. Our debating teams have also started where they left off last year, with one team undefeated from three debates. It is wonderful to see these kinds of opportunities made available for so many students to extend and enrich them, as Mrs Holland further outlines in her piece.
We were privileged to have Ms Emma McBride, our Federal Member for Dobell visit the school on two occasions this term. Ms McBride gave a very inspiring speech about her personal journey from being a primary student in our local area to today representing much of the Central Coast in our Federal Parliament. Our Student Representative Councillors and Members were delighted to receive their badges from her at a special assembly.
Mrs Livette, Miss Bennet and Ms Abrams worked with Ms McBride to conduct a mock parliament at school with our Year 6 students as part of their study of democracy in the lead up to our visit to Canberra next term. The students particularly enjoyed debating and voting on the ‘no homework bill’, with many students crossing the floor and Katie Cook, in particular, giving a wonderful speech. Ms McBride was accompanied by Ann Stanley MP, the Member for Werriwa, and both parliamentarians commented on the calibre and good manners of all of Year 6. Noah Simon, Jaydee Lourens, Diluk Adikarimudiyanselage and Ava Burgess were privileged to join both ladies for morning tea afterwards and gave some wonderful thoughts into suggestions for our local area and their ambitions for the future.
Year 3 enjoyed their excursion to the Laycock Street Theatre last week to watch the play ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ as a part of their English learning this term. Kindergarten had an equally wonderful time on their very first excursion in ‘big school’ – on a trip to Oakvale Farm to see all of the animals. Our thanks to the many parents who were able to come along and join us for this excursion.
We enjoyed hosting a number of Korean families earlier in the term who were warmly welcomed by Year 5 and 6 into their classrooms. This proved to be an invaluable experience in being able to share between the Australian and Korean cultures and we are thankful to our many host families who were able to make this experience possible.
A number of students from Kindergarten to Year 6 have had their work on display in the HRIS Travelling Art Show in the Junior School Library over the past month. The artworks on display are magnificent and the students have done brilliantly! The artworks will make their way around a number of the other HRIS schools to be displayed there over the remainder of the year.
We were able to conduct a number of ‘twilight tours’ for prospective families looking at Kindergarten for their child in 2019. We have another tour coming up on Thursday, 3 May at 6.30pm in the Junior School Library. At this stage we still have a few places available for Kindergarten next year and you are welcome to ‘spread the word’ about the benefits of a Lakes Grammar education to families that may like to join us on the evening.
A Year 7 2019 Parent Information Night will be held early next term on Monday 7 May from 6:30pm – 7:30pm in the School Hall. This session will provide an opportunity to hear from Mr Michael Hannah, Mr Ian Samways (Deputy Principal) and Mrs Michelle Smith (Director of Teaching and Learning) and tour the Senior campus to visit our main faculties and interactive areas.
Mrs Harries has provided wonderful leadership to our teaching team as we have worked in partnership with the AISNSW School Improvement Service to continue to improve the learning and pedagogy in each classroom. We have had a continued focus on English, Mathematics and best practice in both teaching and assessment. Some of the fruits of these endeavours on the part of both staff and students are evidenced through the growth in our results which Mr Hannah outlined last year. Mrs Harries has been asked to present at an AIS Conference in June on our school improvement journey which is a wonderful testament to her ongoing and tireless efforts.
Year 3 – 6 students were recently able to put their skills of scientific investigation to the test in a visiting Forensic Science show, solving a thrilling who dunnit!
Mrs Harries has been ably supported by Mrs Colthorpe, our Teacher Mentor, who has been invaluable in leading demonstration lessons and observations in the area of writing, in leading our staff in analysing student progress and results in the forward planning of teaching, and in growing our staff mentoring program for new and early career teachers.
Mr Johns has continued to improve our student wellbeing programs through the refinement of our College Cup and PBL systems and through the introduction of our College Reward Days which will take place throughout the year. Mr Johns has also shown great leadership in researching ways that our student wellbeing programs and the Building Learning Power framework can be more closely aligned, and has been invaluable with many key administrative matters behind the scenes.
Our grandparents and special friends really enjoyed Grandparents’ day with a lovely concert, a generous morning tea and beautiful weather. This was a great opportunity for the children to share their learning and classroom experiences with someone close to them whom they may not get to see on a regular basis.
Peter Oates, our Junior School Chaplain, has continued to grow the spiritual life of the school through his Chapel messages around the Power of the Cross and with a wonderful Easter Service with Rev’d Tim Waghorn from Lakes Anglican. Both Pete and Annette Shorten have grown our Boys and Girls CRU groups which meet one lunchtime each week to learn more about the Bible. Pete has also faithfully lead our Junior School Leaders in praying for the school, the children, our school families and our staff each Monday morning. Pete has also introduced some Christian Ministry leadership positions for students this year which have been a blessing in enhancing this component of our school life.
I was recently very privileged to be invited to a reception with our Governor General Sir Peter Cosgrove, and Lady Cosgrove at Admiralty House. The reception was in honour of an organization called School Aid, Australia’s first ‘crowd funding’ website for school aged children to support a range of causes. It was inspiring to see primary school aged children receiving recognition for significant charity work and to reflect on the fact that we have many children at Lakes who are involved in similar initiatives – recent work some of our students have done for Operation Smile (Ellena and Josselyn McGarry, Ella and Ava Burgess and Rihana Gosselin) and the Fred Hollows Foundation (Ella Williams, Sage Kenny and Ashley Inwood) come to mind.
To bring the term to a wonderful conclusion, our Senior School and Junior School students celebrated Harmony Day together. Our School Counsellors, Ms Taggart and Ms French organised the day wonderfully as it enabled us to stop to consider all people and the notion that all people belong. This was well led by our Senior School Mental Health Advocacy Program students and the Junior School children loved their visit to classrooms in the Junior School for part of the day.
A reminder of the ANZAC Day March held by the Doyalson RSL Sub-Branch which falls during the school holidays this year on Wednesday, 25 April. Participation is something of a tradition within the school and it is heartening to see the large attendance by Lakes Grammar students and their families growing further from year-to-year.
If you plan to attend, please ensure that your child wears the Lakes Grammar winter uniform and blazer. We shall meet near the Raw Challenge Course (on the Pacific Hwy) to form up by 8.00am ready for the march to begin.
Junior School students please meet me on arrival so that I can record each child’s name on the roll in order for their involvement in the march to be reflected on their School Report. Following the march, children should stand with their parents for the service at the Cenotaph at the Doyalson RSL Club (or inside the club itself if the weather is inclement), commencing at 9.00am.
My thanks go to each and every one of our amazing staff team for their efforts this term. It is a privilege to work with such a capable, passionate and professional team who consistently give of their best for the students and love what we do. We are blessed with wonderful students who are lively and passionate about their learning, deeply caring and have a wonderful zest for life. I wish you the best for the upcoming holidays and look forward to welcoming you back in Term 2.
Mr William Wallace
Head of Junior School