FROM THE ACTING DIRECTOR OF THE JUNIOR SCHOOL, GREG HARRIS
Prayer of the Week – END of TERM
We thank you Lord, for this term. For the challenges, the successes, and the mistakes from which we have learnt.
Be with us as we spend our time with family and friends. Give us strength and courage to do what is right: to be witnesses of our faith.
Help us to be a good person these holidays, to appreciate what others do for us, to give time and effort to help others. To be peacemakers in our family.
We thank you for our classmates, teachers, parents and a community that cares for us. May we always be conscious of you in our lives.
Keep us safe in our activities; give us good rest and good fun. Bring us back refreshed and ready for a new term – Amen
St Mary of the Cross: Pray for Us
Blessed Edmund Rice: Pray for Us
Live Jesus in our Hearts: Forever
Write A Book in A Day – Dedication for Hugo
Last week I mentioned the Write A Book in a Day contest that seven Year 5s and seven Year 6s attended in the Grange Area of the High School. The competition is a cancer fundraiser and so that was always in the background as one of the reasons the boys were doing this. It was such a lovely surprise when we received the two books the boys had written. Upon opening the front cover of the Year 5 book we found this spontaneous dedication to Hugo. I checked with Mrs Arkins who supervised the boys and she said she had nothing to do with it. The boys decided to do this themselves. The dedication read as follows:
Dedicated to the Children, especially a Junior School Waverley Schoolboy called Hugo, who is going through a tough time battling against Leukemia in hospital. Keep fighting hard against the sickness.
Thank you for believing in yourself and keep trying and don’t let people or things get in your way of the things you love.
You may think you are ordinary but you are unique. This book was brought to you because we love writing and drawing. Do what you like and you will produce something amazing.
Written by Lachlan Marzol, James Peate, Monty Armstrong, Charles Coughlan & Oliver Hudson,
Illustrated by Michael Soleas & Fox Stapleton
Tony Banboukjian Returns – Term Three
We were all very excited to hear from the Head of College, Mr Leddie, that Tony Banboukjian, the Director of the Junior School, will return to us for Term Three. As has been explained already this year, Tony’s second five-year contract, for a total of 11 years as Director of the Junior School, came to an end at the end of this term. The extra year is not a Maths error, but because both Tony and I had 2008 as our first year as a new leadership team in the Junior School, on a one year Acting appointment, before we were both offered longer contracts. In fact, this year marks Tony’s 27th year of guiding students and staff through the Junior School experience at Waverley College. Knowing it will also be his final term with us is tinged with sadness for all, but also a great excuse to celebrate his contribution and legacy over all those years.
With this, my last entry in Nurrunga for my stint in the chair, it will also be my last chance to publicly thank Tony for his leadership and friendship over my time at the Junior School. My treatment will take me away from school for most of next term and I am more than likely going to miss the celebrations and farewells, for a man I have come to love and admire in my time at the Junior School. Of course, for the last eleven years we have had to walk step by step together to make this place what it is today. I know you all have your own opinions on where that might be.
Tony stepped into the role of Director in 2008 after a tumultuous few years in the Junior School, which saw a number of changes. Enrolments back then were always a challenge to fill the school and reach the maximum numbers. Today we cannot find enough spaces for those wanting to join us.
Tony rebuilt the school from that point to what it is today. He oversaw the building programme, which also included the fire that took out the bridge on the drive and caused damage to what is now 6 Green and the Auditorium. I can remember him giving up his whole Christmas School Holidays to oversee both clean up, repairs and the completion of the building with the governments BER money. His dedication was without question.
I remember a principal from a local public school visiting who could not believe how impressive our COLA on the playground was in comparison to what his school had got with the same amount of money. Some of that difference was Tony’s hands on approach to this project compared with the systematised process being used in the public system. Tony was able to request more and get a better result with our money by being so involved in the project. He made it his personal mission.
There are many stories to tell but suffice to say Tony has lead the Junior School community well, with a wonderful blend of selflessness, strength and gentleness. He has allowed all of us to grow and own this place in so many ways. No suggestion or idea was ever ignored. He trusted his staff and the boys to deliver their best and then gave us the freedom to do so. He always had plans brewing for improvement and had a quiet yet firm vision of where he wanted the Junior School to go and grow. There is so much he did behind the scenes that many would not realise.
We have been with Tony through many of the highs and lows of his life over that time and have walked the journey with him as he has walked the journey with many of us through the joys and struggles of our lives. He has supported all of us without question or doubt. On so many occasions.
With Term Three being his final term with us it is only right that we all join in celebration and thanks to a man who has given close to half his life building and serving the boys, families and staff of this place. He will be greatly missed. He has done a wonderful job and I know he won’t want a big fuss, but that might be a little out of his control. So please take the chance to offer your thanks and gratitude to a man who means so much to us all. A leader, a teacher, a friend. Thank you, Mr B.
As mentioned last week it has been a very tough term in the Junior School for myself and many staff who have had their own challenges. Yet still we have made it to the end and for the most part and had a wonderful term We have worked hard to do the best we can for the boys in our care. I would like to thank the Head of College, Mr Leddie, for showing faith in my leadership given the circumstances and challenges affecting me. I have enjoyed the experience and opportunity to be part of the leadership team of the whole school and have survived.
I want to thank all the staff for their dedication and commitment to the boys and the school. They are truly a loyal and dedicated group of teachers. Education and society just seems to ask more and more of teachers these days and it has certainly got more complicated and corporatised than it ever was when I first started. It is no wonder statistics show a far too healthy percentage of our young teachers giving up on the profession after just five years. I know many older teachers who also see that amount of time left in their careers.
I especially would like to thank the Junior School Executive for the amazing job holding things together with all that was going on here and in their own lives. To Mr Meadley (Sport) and Mr Gill (RE) thanks for stepping into new roles. Ms Bransby and Mr Ghattas for your professionalism and thoroughness in all you do. Special mention to Mr Ryan, who lost his mum at the start of the term, but still was able to take on the role of Assistant Director and at times Director in my absences and do so seamlessly. He covered me well on my days off and took on so much more than is usual. He never complained to me once and was always willing to do more if I needed him. We shared many conversations and found a way to solve many problems and even share a laugh together on most days.
Of course, we all joke, but not too seriously, about who really runs the Junior School and I need to thank Audrey. Audrey kept me going on the tough days; the down days; the painful days. She directed me and assisted me with many things that could not be found in the manual on ‘How to Run the Junior School’. Don’t worry, there is no manual, but we do have Audrey and there are not too many things she doesn’t know in regards to how the place runs. She was my support; my nurse and my life coach on many days, especially the ones I was struggling to find my way to the end of, especially in the early weeks.
Thanks also to the boys and the families that have reached out and shown me so much love; care and support over the term. The holidays will be a great rest and I come back to some big personal challenges when I return, but I carry that support with me. The holidays should always be a good rest and break for all after all we have asked of you; your boys and your families. Recreation is what holidays are for so make sure you take the three weeks break to re-create yourself; get the rest you all deserve and be ready to come back refreshed and full of enthusiasm for another exciting term. I hope to see you all then for a little while longer.
Thank you, Jack McCarthy
We have been so lucky to have Jack take part in the Junior School for most of the nine week term. Five weeks on 5 Blue for Mr Ghattas; a week of casual work; and a final three weeks on 6 White for Mr Robinson. Jack is a wonderful young man and a fine teacher and coach. A passionate Old Boy of the school, whose father and grandfather are also Old Boys. His return to the Junior School, to work with some of the teachers who taught him, has been a great treat for all as we have had the pleasure of watching this young man grow and mature to this point. He has fit in so well and taken on all challenges we have thrown at him. We will be hopefully seeing him back when we can get him next term if we can prevent other schools from snatching him up. Thanks for contributing so much to the school – Well Done.
Farewell Matthew Hamill – 6 Gold
This week is also the last for Matthew Hamill from 6 Gold, who is moving with his family to Singapore, where dad has picked up a new job. Matthew is not a stranger to Singapore where he has lived once before. He will be attending an International School there. We all wish Matthew every success in his new school and home and know you take or blessings for a safe and happy time in the years ahead. We hope to see you again in the future and know we will always be here should you wish to come back and say hello.
The Final Week and Next Term Dates
Final day of school for the term this week is – Friday the 29th June after the Athletics Carnival.
The holidays run for three weeks and after a Monday Staff Day (23/7) the boys return for Term 3 in full winter uniform on Tuesday 24th July.
School Leadership Term Three
With Tony Banboukjian’s return as the Director, the Executive will somewhat return to normal in Term Three. However, my involvement in the term will be much shorter (most probably just the first three weeks). I will be around planning and working behind the scenes as a non-teaching staff member on a reduced load. Mr Ryan will continue as the Acting Assistant Director. He will teach Year 5 Maths and Computer Studies. Mr Meadley will continue as the Acting Sports Master for the term and stay on 6 Red. Mr Proudfoot will continue in 6 Green for Mr Ryan. I wish them all well and hope to be back when the doctor’s give me the all clear.
Pre-School Reading Program
This is our second year of linking to the pre-school via our reading sessions with the aim to build literacy and confidence. Six Junior boys from Year 5 spent some of Wednesday reading in pairs to the Pre-Schoolers. It worked really well as each pair read two books to three separate groups. The Year 6 boys will also have a turn doing this soon. The boys in year 5 all indicated how much they enjoyed the experience today.
ICAS Digital Technologies – The Results are In
The results of the ICAS Digital Technologies Test from earlier in the term was completed by choice by 18 Junior School boys. This week the results were delivered to the school and boys received their certificates of achievement or participation at Thursday afternoons final assembly for the term. We congratulate all boys for taking part, but special mention to Yannick Hott and Jude Timbs on the rare event of a High Distinction. The high achievers are as follows:
Strategic Planning Committees – Junior School Staff
We would like to congratulate the following Junior Staff for putting themselves forward to contribute to the strategic direction of the College and become a member of a strategic focus group. There are a number of groups and these groups will meet approximately six times for a double period during Term 3. Mrs Rollins and Ms Stephens have joined the Enhanced Teacher Quality Committee along with a number of High School staff. Mrs Rollins has been appointed as the Chair of the group.
European Music Tour
Mrs Rollins headed off today with a number of the Music Staff and boys in tow to Europe. Mrs Rollins will be looking after the choir. We wish all a safe and exciting trip to the other side of the world.
The Hugo File – Update
Hugo continues to find the initial stages of the chemotherapy problematic and has not yet been able to make it home as planned. We ask you all to keep him and his family in your prayers.
A reminder that at some point Hugo will be allowed to come to school to spend important time with his friends and class. These times are seen as crucial socialisation and confidence building opportunities to keep Hugo engaged with his community. We will notify you of these days when Hugo will be coming in via Skoolbag App and we will need you to take action if your son is unwell in the following ways:
If your son develops of has a confirmed case of chickenpox, measles, shingles or whooping cough you must notify the school immediately. This is important so the family can be advised and the appropriate treatment may be given to Hugo. As his chemo treatment will lower Hugo’s immunity, it is vitally important that we are made aware of any medical issue as above as you can imagine the family would need to be informed as a matter of urgency.
A case of chicken pox was reported just this week and we thank that family for their prompt action in letting us know. Hugo is not back yet, but it is still important to let us know and take the required time away from school when your child develops the symptoms of chicken pox.
Mr Stanton & his wife, Bernadette – In our thoughts & prayers
Mr Stanton’s wife Bernadette, who had a fall at home last week and broke her hip, is still in hospital.
As a community please keep Bernadette and the Stanton family in your prayers at this difficult time. May her recovery be as quick and as painless as possible.
Whole School Athletics Carnival – Friday 29th June – THIS WEEK – From Mr Meadley
The College’s House Athletics Carnival will take place on Friday 29th June at ES Marks Athletics Field and we have been invited to join them on the day. (Please note we will still have our own Junior School Athletics Carnival on Thursday 2 August – Term 3 Week 2)
The Junior School emphasis of the day is participation and friendly house competition. The day is also an excellent opportunity for boys to display their talents in the 100m event and a range of novelty events. Boys will compete in their age category.
The day is a great community and house team building occasion. The Waterford students will have a wonderful opportunity to interact with the Senior School students. The day is a compulsory school event and a wonderful way to end a very busy term.
Boys are asked to wear their college tracksuit, house jersey, PE shorts (Colour Comp Uniform) – Please make sure they wear their college cap and their own sunscreen.
- Waterford students must meet at the Senior School Centenary Quadrangle by 8:00 am
- Waterford boys with a sibling enrolled at the Senior Campus may make their own way to the venue and be there no later than 8:45 am – they must be in the care of their brother until Junior Staff arrive at the venue if arriving before staff get there on the buses.
- Waterford students are to meet in their House Colour Mentor Groups at the Centenary Quadrangle for roll call no later than 8:00am.
- Expensive items are to be left at home.
- Boys will have very limited access to their bags during the day.
- Wallets and mobile phones will be stored in a secure area.
- Boys will return to the College by bus at the end of the day
- Boys may make their way directly home from the venue at the discretion of their parents either – with a parent, with their brother, or another arrangement you have made with them.
Canteen facilities are available at the venue but please be warned they are not cheap. Boys are encouraged to bring their lunch and drinks with them.
In the event of rain, boys will come to school in their College tracksuit, but are also asked to bring books/equipment for normal lessons (Friday Week B). The wet weather phone number is 8250 3780. This information will also be available on the Skoolbag app.
We are sure the day will be enjoyable for all. Parents are most welcome to attend. Your son should have presented you with a permission note for this event due back at school by Monday 25th June.
Term One Interim and Mid-Year Reports
We will send an email in the next few days to advise that the Mid Year Reports are ready on the Parent Portal.
Reports are written to parents from teachers using adult language. Parents are asked to consider the wisdom of sharing the reports with their son. We do not encourage this practice. Children receive frequent feedback from teachers about their progress in class in child friendly language.
The critical points to remember are:
- We use a five-point scale for grading done as comments. There are no limits to how many of each grade can be issued.
- It is anticipated that most children will receive grades stating ‘developing as expected’ for most areas as this grade indicates that they are progressing as you would expect for a student.
- Receiving this indicates good progress has been made. Celebrate this. Children can only receive higher grades: ‘achieving above’ and ‘high achievement’ if they meet the description explained. Grades are a range rather than a defined point. This system, mandated by the government, makes it quite hard to give the two higher grades.
- Please do not have the expectation that your child’s report will be full of ‘high achievement’ grades.
- The most important part of each report page is the comment provided by the teacher.
- Not applicable refers to Key Learning Areas or Strands of a KLA that will not be taught until Semester Two. Sometimes a boy’s absences will lead to an N/A as he has not been present to complete enough of the work.
Parents should always remember that a school report is a summary of a boy’s current level of achievement with suggestions for the future. Child development and progress varies and changes as children grow and mature. We are reporting on each boy as they are now. It is not a prediction of the adult they will become.
Term Three – A Busy Start
Reminding you again to lock in two special events in the first two weeks back after the holidays.
On Wednesday 25th July Week 1 the boys will be taking part in the Winter Sports Blitz Day at Queens Park involving all the Winter Sports we play. It is an exciting day of sport and one of the special days on the Junior School calendar.
On Thursday 2nd August Week 2 the Junior School Athletics Carnival at ES Marks Field. This is our official carnival where we select our athletics team and allow all to compete in a day of both traditional and novelty races.
Wakakirri 2018 – Term Three – Coming Soon – Tuesday 7th August
Mrs. Rollins is in full swing with preparing for the 2018 Wakakirri performance at NIDA – 215 Anzac Parade Kensington NSW 2033 on 7th August 2018 (Performance 1). Mrs. Rollins and three Junior School staff members will be with the boys all day as well as during the performance. The performance starts at 7.15pm sharp. Until the evening we are not advised of the performance order. That means we could be performing first, last or anywhere in between – so please be punctual.
- There are 100 boys in our 2018 production.
- Behaviour is as important as talent in such a big group. Boys will be expected to be polite and cooperative at all times or their place will be taken by one of the reserves.
- If we make it – the final will be on September 19th, 2018 at Homebush (Performance 2).
- The boys will have one last time to “strut their stuff” at the Junior School Music Recital, November 15th, 2018 (Performance 3).
- These dates are compulsory for all boys participating in Wakakirri – Boys must have made themselves available for ALL THREE PERFORMANCES as per the note sent out. Please add them to your calendar
Thought for the Week
Leaders aren’t born they are made. And they are made just like anything else, through hard work. And that’s the price we’ll have to pay to achieve that goal or any goal – Vince Lombardi