For those who don’t know me my name is Mark Durie and I have been appointed to the new position of Head of Junior School. Previously I was the Dean of Students working across both Primary and Secondary, but I am very excited to take up this new position and focus on the Junior School which includes, Primary, Preschool and OOSH. For Primary this means I will be working with Mrs Hollingsworth in her role as Head of K-2 and Mrs McNab in her role as Head of 3-6. Together we are looking forward to supporting the staff and students during their time at the College. There are times parents need to discuss matters relating to their children and the process of contacting the class teacher in the first instance remains the same. Then, depending on the nature of your inquiry either myself, Mrs Hollingsworth or Mrs McNab maybe called upon to discuss your matter.

As always Term 3 will be busy despite some changes to the usual program. Unfortunately, due to Covid-19 restrictions our annual Grandparents Day and Father’s Day Breakfast have been cancelled for the year. Despite not being able to proceed with these memorable events the students will still be involved in other fun activities. We have Book Week in Week 6 so start preparing the fancy costumes! We plan to live stream the event so parents can still be involved. The Dads won’t miss out with students participating in gift preparations before Father’s day. We also plan to have a camp experience day and that will run either this term or next depending on restrictions.

The most exciting thing students will be involved in this term is the Deep Learning Social obligation program which will run each Friday afternoon. Last week all Primary students engaged in discussion about various topics where they could serve at a community, national or global level. An area of keen interest within our Infant School was around the topic of homeless people. Young minds were engaged and offered suggestions about how they could help, whether that be raise money, hold an event, make a product or provide a service. Students in 3-6 engaged in discussion, brainstorming and collaboration to delve into each concept more deeply. Students in Year 4 are focusing on the topic of Inclusion, and through a series of activities, developed their understanding and demonstrated empathy for people who are vision impaired. After a series of discussions and brainstorming, Students in Years 5 have narrowed their focus to helping the homeless, and environmental conservation. Year 6 used the United Nations as a springboard into global issues. Students formed interest groups and brainstormed areas of concern, presenting their ideas to their peers.

In the coming weeks, students will engage in further research about the issues surrounding their chosen area of interest. They will begin to understand the importance of bringing these concepts into the eye of the media and communities around the world. They will establish their groups and begin to plan how they wish to do this – creating awareness, raising money, providing services or designing/making a product.

It was wonderful to see Deep Learning in action and the power self-directed learning has on student engagement and learning.

Mark Durie
Head of Junior School