FROM THE HEAD OF JUNIOR SCHOOL
It was another busy and exciting term to bring a year full of great experiences memories to a conclusion.
Year 3 enjoyed their overnight camp at Lake Macquarie – their first camp – with a range of enjoyable outdoor activities including sailing. The students challenged themselves well to reach and achieve new goals and form deeper friendships within their year group and with their teachers.
A number of students achieved distinctions and high distinctions in the Newcastle Permanent Mathematics Competition and ICAS Competitions this year. It was a pleasure to present these to the children along with the ICAS Principal’s Awards from Mr Hannah at our Term Awards Assembly on Monday. We have also enjoyed seeing the students continuing to embrace the addition of Platinum Awards to our merit and awards system with Mr Johns also being able to present a number of these at assembly as well.
Our IPSHA Debating teams recently travelled to Barker College to participate in the IPSHA Gala Debating Day and we were also well represented at the IPSHA Speakers’ Challenge – also held at Barker.
School families enjoyed our Spring Fair and Open Day despite the windy conditions on the day. The boys and girls had an amazing time on the rides and visiting the stalls and displays on the day. A number of our Junior School students performed a range of musical items wonderfully well and our gratitude is extended to all of our parents and students who volunteered their time to assist on the day, particularly with the highly popular School Tours. We are really grateful to our Parents and Friends’ Association for all of the work that they did for Spring Fair, as well as for a range of activities throughout the year.
Our new Kindergarten students for 2020 enjoyed their first visits to the school for Orientation. They had a wonderful time reading stories, making craft, trying out the play equipment in the Kindy Courtyard and testing out the iPads!
Year 1 travelled to the Reptile Park for their excursion to learn about a range of animals, their habits and habitats.
Kindergarten, Year 1 and Year 2 enjoyed their intensive swimming school and had a great time splashing about at the Mariners YMCA Centre at Tuggerah! Year 3 – 6 also enjoyed their swimming lessons, with a number of students undertaking the Bronze Star, a component of the Bronze Medallion Award and Year 6 brushing up on their ocean swimming skills at our Surf Fun Day at Toowoon Bay.
Year 6 enjoyed a number of visits to the Senior School for their transition, including Year 7 Orientation Day. They have toured the Senior School, met Mr Samways and the teaching team, visited the library and been involved in a range of Senior School lessons. Well done to the students who have received awards at state level in the RACI Crystal Growing Competition with Mrs Charker, our Senior School Science Co-ordinator.
Year 6 students enjoyed their Valedictory Chapel and Social last Tuesday. The students have set a positive example for the Junior School, applying themselves to their learning effectively. Mrs MacLarty (Director of Student Wellbeing 7 – 12) and Mr Sewell (Year 7 Advisor) are looking forward to welcoming the students into the Senior School for 2020. It was a pleasure to present the students with their Bibles and certificates and to pray for them as the Junior School joined together in worship and to wish Year 6 the best for their Secondary education, as well as celebrating the successes that they have enjoyed during their Junior School years.
We are grateful to Mrs Kelly for all of her work over the past few years at the school, leading up to her stepping back from her role at Lakes teaching Kindergarten at the end of this year with her commitments to her family farm increasing in 2020. My appreciation is also extended to Ms Abrams, who shared a Year 5 class with Mrs Holland this year, and Mrs MacLeod who shared a Year 3 class with Mr Cantor this year, for all of their efforts at Lakes. With the move from three to two Year 2 classes next year, Mr Cantor and Mrs Holland will share a Year 5 class together and therefore we unfortunately were not able to offer part time positions to Ms Abrams and Mrs MacLeod for 2020. However we hope to see Mrs Kelly and Ms Abrams back at Lakes for casual teaching from time to time during next year.
I would also like to particularly thank Mrs Stowe for her efforts as she has joined us at Lakes this year as our Co-ordinator of Quality Teaching and Learning. We are incredibly appreciative of all of the improvements that her experience and hard work have already brought about. Similarly Mr Johns has been an invaluable support once again this year both in the wellbeing area and more generally in the running of the Junior School. I am incredibly appreciative of his unfailing and dedicated efforts to achieve the best that we can for the students. Likewise we are also thankful for the work of Mrs Colthorpe (Teacher Mentor), Mrs Holland (Gifted and Talented Education) and Mr Cantor (Sport) in their respective areas as they have worked tirelessly to take these to the next level throughout 2019.
The best words to collectively describe our teachers’ commitment to the growth of our students is ‘above and beyond’. It seems that nothing is too difficult to undertake if it is of advantage to the active progress of the children. This is, of course, exactly why our teachers are a great cultural fit for Lakes, and I am well aware of the regard that they are accorded by students and our school families. We are thankful for the contribution of all of our teaching and administration staff at Lakes and are thankful for the ways in which each is a blessing in God’s plan for students at this school.
A huge thank you is also extended to our school families for the privilege of working with the children and partnering with you in their education. We are thankful for your passion and support for the children and the school and grateful for the way in which we enjoy working together to achieve the best that we can for the children. I do sincerely wish you the very best and all of God’s blessings for the Christmas and New Year time and pray that it proves to be a special time for you.
It has been another successful year at Lakes Grammar and we are thankful for the manner in which the children have been interested and engaged right up until Speech Day with so many opportunities for learning, growing and celebrating all that we have achieved this year as well as the wonderful message of salvation that we have in celebrating the birth of Jesus this Christmas.
The birth of Jesus reminds us of God’s love for us:
In this the love of God was made manifest among us, that God sent his only Son into the world, so that we might live through him. 1 John 4: 9
Head of Junior School